AKG P420 microphone

The Best Budget Microphones for Vocals Under $100

If you’re in need of a great vocal microphone but don’t want to spend a fortune, you’re in luck. There are plenty of amazing microphones out there that won’t break the bank. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the best microphones for vocals under $100. We’ll talk about what to look for in a microphone, how to choose the right one for your needs, and give you our top picks. So whether you’re looking for a dynamic or condenser microphone, for live performances or studio recording, or a USB microphone for your computer, we’ve got you covered.

What to Look For in a Vocal Microphone

When choosing a vocal microphone, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. First, think about what type of microphone you need. There are two main types of microphones: dynamic and condenser. Dynamic microphones are great for live performances because they can handle high sound levels without distorting. They’re also more resistant to feedback than condenser microphones. But if you’re looking for the best audio quality possible, then a condenser microphone is going to be your best bet. Condenser microphones are typically used in studios because they capture all the subtle nuances of the voice.

AKG P420 microphone
This is the condenser microphone that I use. It’s an AKG P420. Photo by Karen Chow.

Another thing to consider is the polar pattern. The polar pattern is basically the direction that the microphone is sensitive to sound. There are three main types of polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional. Omnidirectional microphones pick up sound from all directions, which makes them great for recording things like Background noise or multiple people at once. Cardioid microphones are only sensitive to sound from directly in front of them, making them ideal for solo performers who want to reduce stage noise or recording sessions where only one person will be speaking at a time. Bidirectional microphones pick up sound from both the front and back but ignore sound from the sides. These are often used in interviews where two people are facing each other.

It is difficult to get that beautiful studio quality vocals with a microphone that is less than $100. For example, the popular Neumann TLM 103 Condensor Microphone costs $1200.

I find that with doing at home recordings, getting great vocal quality is the hardest part. But you can buy a condenser mic under $100 if you want to make a demo recording.

Now that we’ve gone over what to look for in a vocal microphone, let’s take a look at some of our top picks for your home studio.

Dynamic Mics

Shure SM58

The Shure SM58 is the perfect vocal mic for live performances. The Shure SM 58 is a legendary vocal mic, trusted by singers all over the world for its iconic sound and reliability. The SM58’s cardioid pickup pattern helps to isolate the sound of the vocals from the rest of the instruments on stage, making it the perfect choice for live performances. The pneumatic shock mount helps to reduce handling noise, and the built-in pop filter helps to reduce plosives. The SM58 also comes with a storage bag and an A25D mic clip, making it easy to transport and store. 3-pin XLR connector ensures compatibility with most professional audio equipment. This is the microphone that I use for live performances. It’s very rugged, and sounds great, and rarely has feedback.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, the Shure SM58 is a great choice for a vocal microphone. It’s affordable, durable, sounds great, and is easy to transport and store. If you’re looking for a microphone that will give you great sound without breaking the bank, then the Shure SM58 is the perfect choice for you.

Sennheiser Professional E 835 Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone

The Sennheiser Professional E 835 is a high-quality vocal mic that offers excellent sound isolation and feedback rejection. This cardioid pickup pattern microphone provides good signal isolation, enables higher sound levels to be obtained, has a balanced frequency response, and a minimal proximity effect. The rugged metal construction and internal damping help to isolate handling noise. This vocal mic is ideal for less than $100.

Sennheiser E 835 Features

Some of the main features of the Sennheiser Professional E 835 include:

• Cardioid Pickup Pattern- Provides Good Signal Isolation

• Enables Higher Sound Levels- Obtained

• Balanced Frequency Response- Helps To Maintain Signal Quality

• Minimal Proximity Effect- Provides Consistently Clear Bass And Performance

• Rugged Metal Construction- Internal Damping Help To Isolate Handling Noise

Ideal For

The Sennheiser Professional E 835 is ideal for less than $100 and it is great for those who need a high-quality vocal mic with excellent sound isolation and feedback rejection. It is also great for those who need good signal isolation, enabling higher sound levels to be obtained, as well as those who need a balanced frequency response to maintain signal quality. Additionally, it is ideal for those who need a minimal proximity effect so that they can obtain clear bass and performance when singing closer to or farther away from the microphone capsule. Finally, it is also great for those who need rugged metal construction in order to isolate handling noise.

The Sennheiser Professional E 835 Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone is a great microphone for those who are looking for something under $100 that offers excellent sound isolation and feedback rejection. If you are someone who needs good signal isolation in order to obtain higher sound levels or if you need a balanced frequency response in order to maintain signal quality, then this microphone will work great for you. Additionally, the minimal proximity effect ensures that you will have clear bass and performance no matter how close or far away from the microphone capsule you are singing. And finally, the rugged metal construction helps to isolate any handling noise so that your performance will not be interrupted by unwanted sounds.

Condenser Mics

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone

When it comes to finding the best vocal mic for under $100, there are a lot of different factors that you need to take into account. One of the most popular mics in this price range is the Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone. We’ll break down what features this mic has to offer, as well as its pros and cons, to help you decide if it’s the right fit for your needs.

Features of the Audio-Technica AT2020

The first thing that you need to know about the Audio Technica AT 2020 is that it’s a condenser microphone. Condenser mics are more sensitive than their dynamic counterparts, which makes them ideal for home studio applications. However, they’re not the best choice for live performances due to the risk of feedback.

That being said, the Audio-Technica AT2020 does have a few features that make it worth considering for your home studio. First and foremost, it has a cardioid polar pattern. This means that it’s specifically designed to reduce pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, which improves isolation of your desired sound source. Additionally, it has an output connector type of integral 3 pin XLRM.

Pros and Cons of the Audio-Technica AT2020

Now that we’ve taken a look at some of the features of the Audio-Technica AT2020, let’s discuss some of its pros and cons. On the plus side, this mic is incredibly versatile and can be used for a variety of different applications. It also has a very natural sound reproduction, which is perfect if you’re doing any kind of audio recording or mixing.

On the downside, however, condenser mics can be quite delicate. This means that they’re not really meant to be used in live performance settings where they might be subject to drops or other kinds of physical damage. Additionally, because they’re so sensitive, they tend to pick up quite a bit of background noise. This means that if you’re recording in less than ideal conditions (i.e. a room with poor acoustics), your recordings might not come out as clean as you’d like them to be.

All things considered, the Audio-Technica AT2020 is a great all-around vocal mic for under $100. It’s versatile enough to be used for a variety of applications, and its sound reproduction is very natural and accurate. However, because it’s a condenser mic, it’s not really meant to be used in live performance settings where there’s potential for physical damage or subpar recording conditions.

MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Vocal Microphone

I remember when I first started out making music. I had NO IDEA what kind of microphone I should get. I just knew that I wanted to sound good! After doing a ton of research, I finally settled on the MXL 770. And let me tell you – I was NOT disappointed! This mic has amazing sonics and features, all at a fraction of the price of other condenser mics on the market. If you’re in the market for a great beginner vocal mic, look no further than the MXL 770!

The specs on this mic are impressive, to say the least. It’s a true, phantom powered, condenser microphone with a 6-micron, 20-mm. gold-sputtered diaphragm. That means that it’s capable of capturing silky highs and solid lows with ease. It also has a high quality FET preamp and its output is balanced with a wide dynamic range. So no matter what you’re recording, this mic will be able to handle it with flying colors!

I’ve personally used this mic for musical recordings, podcast recordings, and even voice-over work. And in every instance, I’ve been super impressed with the quality of the audio that it produces. If you’re looking for a great sounding vocal mic that won’t break the bank, the MXL 770 is definitely worth checking out!

All in all, I think the MXL 770 is an amazing vocal microphone – especially for beginners. It sounds great, it’s packed with features, and it’s very affordable. If you’re looking for a new vocal mic and don’t want to spend a fortune, definitely give the MXL 770 a try!

Behringer C-1 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone

The Behringer C-1 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone is a good microphone for a number of reasons. For one, it has a cardioid pickup pattern, which means that it is able to pick up sound from one direction very well. This makes it ideal for recording vocals or acoustic guitars, as the sound will be very clear and focused. Additionally, the C-1 has a transformerless FET input, which helps to reduce noise and increase fidelity. The microphone also comes with a swivel mount, so you can easily position it in the optimal spot. Finally, the C-1 requires phantom power in order to function, but this is fairly standard for condenser microphones. Overall, the Behringer C-1 is a great option for anyone in need of a high-quality, large-diaphragm condenser microphone.

USB Microphone

While the condenser and dynamic microphones discussed above have an XLR connection, and would connect into an audio interface for recording, or into a mixer for a live performance, there is another category of microphones: USB microphones. These are ones that you plug into your computer, for recording into your computer or for video conferencing or podcasting.

Blue Yeti Nano USB Microphone

The Blue Yeti Nano is the perfect vocal microphone for a variety of applications, from podcasting and game streaming to Skype calls and YouTube videos. Featuring a no-latency headphone output, headphone volume control, and mic mute switch, the Yeti Nano is a versatile and user-friendly option for those looking for high-quality vocal recordings. In addition, the standard threading on the microphone allows for easy attachment to a radius iii shock mount or compass boom arm, making it even easier to set up and use. And with its plug-and-play compatibility with both Mac and PC, the Yeti Nano is an ideal choice for those who want to get up and running quickly and easily. With its superior sound quality and ease of use, the Blue Yeti Nano is the perfect vocal microphone for a variety of needs. But there have been some complaints about this newer Nano version, and many people really love the original Blue Yeti, which unfortunately is just above $100.

Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone

The Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone is a great choice for anyone looking for a high-quality microphone. It features a custom condenser capsule that delivers clear audio quality, and a cardioid pickup pattern that ensures your voice is captured with focused sound.

The stylish retro design looks great on your desktop or on camera, and the adjustable desktop stand allows you to position the microphone for optimal sound quality. Additionally, the Blue Snowball iCE is Skype and Discord certified for clear communication during interviews, meetings, or gaming sessions. Whether you’re recording video content or streaming audio, the Blue Snowball iCE is a good choice for crystal-clear sound quality. This is the microphone that I use for my work video conferences. I originally bought it to record presentations, and to broadcast ukulele jams online, and I’ve been pretty happy with the sound quality.

This is my Blue Snowball that I have on my work computer. I use this for video conferencing, and to host online ukulele jams. Photo by Karen Chow.

Behringer C-1U USB Studio Condenser Microphone

Unless you’re a musician or producer, you might not be familiar with the Behringer C-1U USB Studio Condenser Microphone. But if you’re looking for an affordable way to get professional-sounding recordings, this is the mic for you. The C-1U is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with a built-in USB interface, making it easy to connect to your computer and start recording. And with its flat frequency response and high sound resolution, it’s perfect for capturing vocals, acoustic instruments, and more. Plus, the cardioid pickup pattern helps to reduce feedback and background noise. So if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that delivers great sound quality, the Behringer C-1U is a decent choice. But Behringer is known for making less expensive sound equipment with lower quality parts. The C-1U USB Studio Condenser Microphone is a good example of this age-old saying, “You get what you pay for.” This microphone is not very good because it has a lot of noise and the frequency response is not good. The cardioid pickup pattern also does not work that well. But if you do want a USB microphone that is a condenser type, this is a good choice.


Choosing the right vocal microphone doesn’t have to be expensive. There are plenty of great options out there that won’t break the bank. Just remember to consider what type of microphone you need (dynamic or condenser for XLR connections, or USB), what polar pattern you need (omnidirectional, cardioid, or bidirectional), and what your budget is before making your purchase. And if you’re still not sure which microphone is right for you, just leave us a comment below and we’ll be happy to help!

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