8 Best Vocal Mics of 2019

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This guide looks at the current best vocal mic choices for amateurs and pros. Microphones all have different tones, and some sound much better than others. Then there are those that sound equally great, yet different. In that case, one is only better than the other based on user preference. So, podcasters, interviewers, voice-over artists, and singers, buy the mic that best suits their voice.

A dirt-cheap mic is sure to have a poor sound and does nothing to enhance vocal qualities. Don’t let the bargain-basement products lure you in if you’re serious about audio quality. Also, don’t confuse cheap with inexpensive. The former is inferior, whereas the latter can provide excellent value.

Budget
best-budget-vocal-mic
MXL V67G Vocal Mic
4.6/5.0
Type: Condenser
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Rich midrange, superb proximity effect, all-metal build, vintage style.
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Best Value
best-value-vocal-mic
Shure SM58S Vocal Mic
4.9/5.0
Type: Dynamic
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Perfect for vocalists, built-in pop filter, rejects off-axis sound, mic clip, pouch.
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Top Pick
top-value-vocal-mic
Audio-Technica AT2035PK Vocal Mic
4.8/5.0
Type: Condenser
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Easy to use, low-noise, 360° boom arm, high-pass filter, high SPL handling.
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Vocal Microphone Properties

A little knowledge of the four microphone buying considerations is the best place to start:

  1. Types of microphone
  2. Polar patterns
  3. Frequency response
  4. Diaphragm size

This is not a technical guide, so I won’t go into the inner workings of different mics. A basic outline of their properties is enough to help you to make better-informed decisions.






About My ‘Best Vocal Mic’ Guide

Not all vocal mics do what they say on the box, or not as well as the hype suggests. I researched dozens of products before coming up with this shortlist of 8. I also looked at the views of industry professionals and real user feedback. My first three reviews are the Editor’s Choice for the Best Budget vocal mic followed by Best Value and the Top Pick.

Vocal Mics Comparison Table

1. MXL V67G Large Capsule Vocal Mic | Best Budget

MXL V67G Large Capsule Vocal MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

MXL Mics makes the Best Budget pick with its large-capsule vocal microphone. It’s a rugged mic with an attractive look and a price tag that appeals to entry-level users.

  • Best feature 1: Designed for vocals
  • Best feature 2: Crisp, clear audio
  • Plus points: Rich midrange, superb proximity effect, all-metal build, vintage style, mic clip
  • Minus points: Colors not to everyone’s taste, no shockmount or pop filter

MXL V67G Vocal Mic Highlights

The MXL V67G is one of the best vocal microphones in its price category. It sports an all-metal build, a large condenser, and a gold-sputtered mylar diaphragm. The reason for the thin layer of gold is that it makes for a superior electrical conductor. This mic’s distinctive round vintage-style body feels great to the touch. Appearance is often a vital buying factor for stage and video performances.

MXL’s V67G uses a cardioid polar pattern that suits most solo vocalists and some instruments. The audio produced by this condenser mic is warm with a notable rich midrange. It also has an impressive proximity effect. The trebles are pleasing too and don’t suffer the same harshness as some budget end vocal mics. The V67G is a perfect choice for the sound-treated home studio.

The Not So Good

There’s only one color scheme for this mic, i.e., gold, and vintage green. People either love that finish or they loathe it. The MXL V67G doesn’t come with a shockmount, but it needs one, so that’s an extra cost. It also requires a pop filter (not included) to reduce plosives and protect the mic from flying spit. Worth noting is that a pop filter may marginally reduce the proximity effect (less bass).

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Tech Specs
Brand: MXL Mics
Mic Type: Vocal condenser
Connection: XLR
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power: 48V phantom
Max SPL: 130dB
Frequency Response: 30Hz–20kHz
Impedance: 200ohms
S/N Ratio: 74dB
Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 2 x 2”
Product Weight: 20.8 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Designed for vocals
All-metal build
Gold-spluttered diaphragm
Solid-state preamp
Cool vintage style
Crisp, clear audio
Rich midrange
Superb proximity effect
Pleasing trebles
Mic clip included
Excellent value
The Cons
Only available in one finish
Doesn’t include a shockmount
Doesn’t include a pop filter

2. Shure’s Famous SM58S Vocal Mic | Best Value

Shure's Famous SM58S Vocal MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

Everyone but the raw novice will have heard about the legendary Shure SM58 vocal microphone. It comes in a variety of options, and this one is with an on-body ON/OFF switch.

  • Best feature 1: Most sought-after vocal mic in its category
  • Best feature 2: Built like a brick oven
  • Plus points: Perfect for vocalists, built-in pop filter, rejects off-axis sound, mic clip, pouch
  • Minus points: Low sensitivity, needs a preamp

Shure SM58S Vocal Mic Highlights

This microphone looks like you’d expect a handheld mic to look. Don’t be put off by its low-key appearance. The only reason the Shure SM58 is still around is that it’s in high demand. Its all-metal build and rugged mesh grill verge on the indestructible. It’s probably stronger than some hammers—seriously. The Shure SM58S has a nice weight and balance to it and feels super-comfortable to hold.

It’s a dynamic mic that uses a cardioid pickup pattern. A built-in pop filter reduces unwanted plosives (p-pops) and other breath noises. It does a superb job at rejecting off-axis sound too. For vocals, the SM-58 performs better than the SM-57. The latter is better for miking instruments. Shure’s SM58S can handle just about any recording application from anyone.

Tailored for Vocals

Shure tailors its SM58 mics for vocals. The small increase in lower frequencies adds warmth. The brightened midrange and bass roll-off helps the voice cut through the mix. A cardioid polar pickup does a great job at isolating the primary sound source. It also helps to reduce unwanted background noise and potential feedback. And its pneumatic shock mount reduces handling noise very well.

The Not So Good

It’s a mic with low sensitivity, which is typical of dynamic type microphones. However, the SM58’s sensitivity is lower than many others. That means it needs a decent preamp—preferably dedicated—to boost its audio signal. You also need to eat the mic—figuratively speaking—to get the best sound.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Shure
Color: Black
Mic Type: Dynamic vocal
Connection: x
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Cable: 3-pin XLR
Power Supply: Active speaker
Frequency Response: Tailored
Product Dimensions: 10 x 4 x 10”
Product Weight: 21.6 oz.
Warranty: Limited 2 years
The Pros
Global bestselling dynamic mic
Built like a brick oven
Perfect for vocalists & speech
Built-in pop filter
Pneumatic shockmount system
Rejects off-axis sound
Mic clip
Carry pouch
The Cons
Low sensitivity
Need to be on top of the mic to achieve the best sound

3. Audio-Technica AT2035PK Vocal Mic Pack | Top Pick

Audio-Technica AT2035PK Vocal Mic PackView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Audio-Technica’s AT2035PK Vocal Mic Pack makes the Top Pick. It costs twice as much as the popular Shure SM58S above, but is it worth the extra dollars? You decide.

  • Best feature 1: Vocal mic for content creators
  • Best feature 2: Superb audio for its class
  • Plus points: Easy to use, low-noise, 360° boom arm, high-pass filter, high SPL handling
  • Minus points: Needs a preamp or mixer

Audio-Technica AT2035PK Mic Highlights

Audio-Technica aims its AT2035PK microphone pack at live streamers and podcasters. It’s a sensitive side-address condenser mic that lets you record without sitting on top of the capsule. This is a versatile tool that’s suitable for a range of vocal applications. Other highlights include a 10dB pad, switchable 80Hz high-pass filter, and high SPL handling. And the audio boasts excellent detail and low noise.

The fully-adjustable studio boom mic stand is well-made and easy to adjust. It attaches to any table up to 2.2” thick and has a convenient internally-threaded XLR cable. Practical spring joints and full 360° rotation make easy work of precise mic placement. The pack also includes ATH-M20x pro headphones, an AT8458 shock mount, and a soft protective pouch.

The Not So Good

This mic uses phantom power, but some newbies may not realize what that means. It’s not a con, but something novice buyers should be aware of. So, to use the Audio-Technica AT2035PK, you need extra hardware. That includes a decent preamp or an audio mixer with phantom power.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Audio-Technica
Mic Type: Studio condenser vocal
Connection: 3-pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Phantom
Frequency Response: 20Hz–20kHz
Impedance: 120 ohms
Max SPL: 12dB
Dynamic Range: 136dB
S/N Ratio: 82dB
dB Pad: 10dB
Dimensions: 17 x 10 x 4”
Mic Weight: 14.2 oz.
Package Weight: 48 oz.
The Pros
Vocal mic set for content creators
Versatile microphone
Easy to set up and use
Superb audio for its class
Fully-adjustable 360° boom arm
AT8458 shock mount
Low-noise
high-pass filter
Handles high SPLs well
ATH-M20x Pro Headphones
Protective pouch
Value for money
The Cons
Uses phantom power; needs a preamp or mixer to work (items not included)

4. Pyle Dynamic Professional Vocal Microphone

Pyle Dynamic Professional Vocal MicrophoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

Meet the affordable Pyle PDMIC59 dynamic microphone. It looks similar to the Shure SM58 above, but it’s an entry-level, not a pro-level mic, despite the description. However, it’s an exceptional first mic.

  • Best feature 1: Rugged construction
  • Best feature 2: Suitable for stage and studio applications
  • Plus points: ON/OFF switch, built-in pop filter, comfortable to hold, XLR cable, affordable
  • Minus points: Loud handling noise, average audio, lousy manual

Pyle Professional Vocal Mic Highlights

Consider the Pyle PDMIC59 if you want to experiment with vocal amplification. It’s a great choice for anyone trying their hand at content creation, singing, or public speaking, etc. It’s suitable for use on the amateur stage or the home studio. It’s quite rugged, too, which is vital for a handheld product. And the convenient ON/OFF switch at the side is not a feature found on all mics.

The sound is clear, crisp, and warm for a budget-end product. There’s even a built-in pop filter to help lessen plosive sounds. The Pyle PDMIC59 dynamic mic is a fun tool for first-timers. It has a good average of everything, including build, handling comfort, and audio. Those who buy it with realistic expectations are sure to enjoy this economical mic.

It’s Not a Shure SM58

Many users compare it negatively against the Shure SM58. That’s not a fair comparison considering the Shure costs around 90 dollars more. Pyle’s PDMIC59 sells well for what it is and not what it tries to be. It enjoys far more positive feedback than negative comments, and that speaks volumes.

The Not So Good

Something must give with a mic this cheap. There isn’t an internal shock system, so handling noise is quite evident. It’s not terrible, but it’s noticeable all the same. The ON/OFF switch is also quite loud. The audio is average, but first-timers will love it. Those who have experience with better quality mics will be less impressed, though. Lastly, the manual is poorly translated from Chinese to English.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Pyle
Color: Black/silver
Material: Zinc Alloy Metal
Mic Type: Dynamic vocal
Connection: 3-pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Sensitivity: -59dB
Frequency Response: 50Hz to 15kHz
Impedance: 600 Ohms
Dimensions: 1.96’x 1.96′ x 6.41”
Product Weight: 21.6 oz.
The Pros
Rugged construction
Stage & studio mic
Clear, warm audio
ON/OFF switch
Built-in acoustic pop filter
Comfortable to hold
XLR cable
Excellent value
The Cons
Loud handling noise
Average audio
Scant manual

5. Fifine K669B USB All-Metal Vocal Microphone

Fifine K669B USB All-Metal Vocal MicrophoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

This review looks at a desktop USB vocal condenser microphone by Fifine. It’s a product favored by budding podcasters, voiceover artists, and vocalists in training.

  • Best feature 1: Plugs straight into PC and Mac computers
  • Best feature 2: Clear, natural sound reproduction
  • Plus points: Affordable, metallic finish, two colors, large-diaphragm, portable, desktop stand
  • Minus points: Average noise rejection, fixed mic cable, no mute

Fifine USB Vocal Mic Highlights

Mic Compatibility: Windows PCs with OS Win 2000, Vista, XP, and Win 10, and Mac OS.

The Fifine K669B is a metal condenser recording mic with a large-diaphragm and smart metallic finish. It comes in two colors, black or rose red. It’s a simple plug-n-play microphone, ready to use out of the box with any Windows or Mac computer. The mini tripod stand is a welcome extra as is the long 5.9ft USB cable. The entire kit is small and portable, which is ideal if you’re mobile.

This mic has a useful volume knob on the front, so there are no issues with being heard. The audio is clean, crisp, and smooth, but lacks a little on the bass. Still, we are looking at an affordable mic here, so all things considered it offers exceptional value.

The Not So Good

The K669B mic is not renowned for its noise rejection. Users should choose a quiet space if they are concerned about ambient sounds. Also, look for a quiet keyboard if you type while you speak. The Jelly Comb 2.4G Slim is an excellent example, but there are others. The fixed cable is unfortunate as you can’t swap it if it gets damaged. The absence of a mute button is another minus point.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Fifine
Mic Type: Tabletop condenser vocal
Connection: USB
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Response: 20 Hz–20 kHz
Equivalent Noise level: 16 dB
Max SPL: 130 dB
Dimensions: 4.9 x 2.6 x 7.3”
Weight: 14.1 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Plug-n-play simplicity
Mac and PC compatible
Versatile desktop mic
Large-diaphragm
Natural sound reproduction
Onboard volume knob
Affordable yet quality
Metal mic, smart metallic finish
Two colors available
Lightweight & portable
Mini, sturdy desktop stand
The Cons
Average noise rejection
Fixed USB cable
No mute button

6. Sennheiser E835 Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Sennheiser E835 Dynamic Vocal MicrophoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The Sennheiser E835 is a handheld dynamic XLR microphone for vocal and speech applications. It promises to cut through those high stage noise levels to produce crystal clear reproduction.

  • Best feature 1: Rugged all-metal construction
  • Best feature 2: Minimal proximity effect
  • Plus points: Internal shock mount, ideal for live performance, good off-axis rejection, value
  • Minus points: No ON/OFF switch, lacks bass

Sennheiser E835 Vocal Mic Highlights

Sennheiser’s E835 is a superb handheld microphone for vocalists, especially in live situations. It feels great to hold, and the internal shock mount minimizes handling noise. The cardioid pickup pattern eliminates background sounds well when the mic’s close to the sound source. And the minimal proximity effect keeps the bass clear and consistent at all ranges.

Sennheiser E835 Vs. Shure SM58

The Sennheiser E835 and the Shure SM58 sell for around the same price. They’re both handheld vocal mics of a similar size but with different contours. When it comes to sound quality between close rivals, opinions are often subjectively based around voice and preference. However, the E835 tends to have a more pleasing mid-range and high-end boost than Shure’s SM58. It doesn’t need as much EQ either.

A significant plus for the SM58 is that it handles screaming vocalists better than the E835. And Shure also wins hands down with build quality. But then the SM58 is the most rugged mic in the world, so that’s no real surprise. The Sennheiser is still incredibly robust, though. So, there’s no clear winner here as it’s about preference and vocal expectations.

The Not So Good

There isn’t an ON/OFF switch because not everyone wants that as an onboard control. However, you can opt for the Sennheiser E835S if it’s a feature that’s important to you. Some uninitiated users complain that the E835 lacks bass. That’s due to its minimal proximity effect. A little understanding of the specs can help new buyers make better-informed decisions on a mic’s audio.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Sennheiser Pro Audio
Mic Type: Dynamic vocal
Connection: 3-pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Phantom
Frequency Response: 40 – 16KHz
Sensitivity: 2,7 mV/Pa
Dimensions: 10 x 3.5 x 5”
Product Weight: 11.7 oz.
Warranty: 10 years
The Pros
Ideal live performance mic
Rugged all-metal construction
Minimal Proximity effect
Internal shock mount
Good off-axis noise rejection
Pleasing mid-range
High-end boost
Exceptional value
The Cons
No ON/OFF switch
Lacks bass for some users

7. AKG P220 Vocal Condenser Microphone

AKG P220 Vocal Condenser MicrophoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The penultimate vocal microphone goes to the versatile large-diaphragm AKG P220. It has a rugged all-metal body and metal grill that feels as good as it looks. It’s one of the heaviest mics in its class.

  • Best feature 1: Rugged, all-metal road-ready design
  • Best feature 2: High-pass filter
  • Plus points: Versatile mic, sturdy shockmount, switchable 20dB pad, hard storage case
  • Minus points: Heft, basic design

AKG P220 Vocal Mic Highlights

The AKG P220 vocal microphone has an attractive design and is suitable for a range of applications. It works for miking instruments as well as speech and vocal applications in the studio or on stage. The P220 comes equipped with a hardy spider shockmount and smart aluminum storage box.

On the front of the body is a handy high-pass filter and a -20dB attenuation pad. The latter is useful when recording exceptionally loud sounds. As far as sound quality goes, the AKG P220 is a pleasing allrounder with a nice flat-sounding mid-section. Some vocalists may find the treble and air boost a tad overwhelming, though. Still, that’s open to opinion and may be preferable for some applications.

The Not So Good

This puppy has some serious heft. That’s also a good thing if you want a rugged mic that sits mostly on a stand. But you’re sure to notice it’s weight if you expect to hold it for extended periods. There are lighter, more ergonomic handheld options available if that’s your style. The mic is also basic with little in the way of settings. That’s only a problem for those who need more control than this one offers.

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Tech Specs
Brand: AKG
Mic Type: Condenser Vocal
Cable: XLR–XLR
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Form Factor: Mount
Connector: 3-pin XLR
Power Supply: Phantom
Signal to Noise Ratio: 78dB-A
Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 8.9 x 5.2”
Product Weight: 18.69 oz.
Warranty: 2 years
The Pros
Heavy mic with a high-quality feel
Simplicity, easy to set up and use
Rugged, all-metal construction
High-pass filter switch
-20dB attenuation pad switch
Versatile; vocals & instruments
Sturdy spider shockmount
Smart aluminum storage case
Reasonable price
The Cons
Heft
Little in the way of settings

8. Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vintage Vocal Mic

Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vintage Vocal MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

Microphones are decorative accessories as well as vocal tools for singers. Well, there’s no better-looking mic than Shure’s Super 55 Deluxe if a vintage appearance compliments your style.

  • Best feature 1: Classic vintage design (Elvis style)
  • Best feature 2: Integrated self-tensioning swivel mount
  • Plus points: Perfect sound for vocals, superb off-axis rejection, shock-mounted cartridge
  • Minus points: Not comfortable to hold, limited usage, expensive

Shure Super 55 Deluxe Mic Highlights

Shure’s Super 55 Deluxe is an enriched version of its 55SH series. The iconic design has a heritage that spans over 75 years, and it’s still a favorite among vocalists. Older generations would’ve seen the likes of Elvis Presley and other stars of the day clasping these contours. This version has a satin chromium-plated finish embellished with a Shure logo and a vibrant blue foam grill.

The 55 Deluxe boasts a tailored frequency response and superb off-axis rejection. That makes it a perfect tool for natural speech and vocal applications. It does a reasonable job at rejecting plosives too. The Shock-mounted cartridge is effective for reducing handling noise to a bare minimum. And the mic’s integrated swivel mount provides a convenient forward tilt of 45° and 80° back.

The Not So Good

Shure’s Super 55 Deluxe is a gorgeous vintage-style microphone that belongs on a stand. You can lovingly touch it while performing, but it’s not a comfortable ‘handheld’ mic. Consider another product if you need the freedom to move around. Lastly, this mic is primarily for vocals. It’s certainly not something you’d want to hide away to mike instruments. Thus, it has limited use at a high price.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Shure
Mic Type: Dynamic
Connection: 3-pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Range: 60Hz to 17kHz
Impedance: 290 Ohms
Mic Sensitivity: -53dBV
Mic Dimensions: 7.40 x 3.06”
Product Weight: 23.2 oz.
The Pros
Classic vintage style
Natural-sounding vocal mic
Chrome-plated capsule
Tailored frequency response
Adjustable swivel mount
Shock-mounted cartridge
Superb off-axis rejection
Rejects plosives
The Cons
Uncomfortable to hold
Limited use
High price tag
0/50 ratings