Planning to start a podcast, voiceover gig, or creating music and want a microphone that will make your vocals stand out? Then, your best choice is a condenser MIC. And if you’re working on a constraint budget, don’t fret. Here are some of the best condenser microphones under $300 worth considering.
A microphone is inarguably one of the essential accessories for any recording studio. And if you’re looking for a mic that will help make your audio stand out, you may want to consider investing in a great condenser mic.
Condenser microphones are usually incredibly responsive and more sensitive, making them most ideal for capturing most subtle and detailed sounds such as your vocals or even guitar harmonics.
Condenser mics also vary significantly in terms of prices. And while they’re known for being more expensive than dynamic microphones, you can find numerous solid condenser mic options that cost under $300. With a budget of $300 or less, you can get large diaphragm condenser microphones that offer you the clearest and natural sound for studio recordings or even live performances.
However, not every condenser mic in this price range will be best for you since they come with different features. As such, there are several things you need to consider to make sure you’re buying the best condenser mic out there. The most important factors include the mic’s build quality, power requirements, and recording sensitivity.
That said, here are some of the best condenser microphones under $300, which guarantee to give you pristine sound on your recordings.
best condenser microphone under 300
- AKG Pro Audio C214
Top on our list is the AKG C214, which is an outstandingly stylish large-diaphragm condenser mic that delivers highly detailed sound quality.
For the design, this condenser mic is made of an all-metal die-cast chassis for increased durability and a diaphragm cover comprising scratch-resistant double-mesh grille for enhanced aesthetics. That’s not all; the mic’s body also provides high-RF immunity.
The AKG C214 features a fixed cardioid pattern, 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response range, and an XLR output of about 48v phantom power.
When it comes to the performance, this mic provides an impressive span of dynamic range as well as ultra-low noise, which is ideal for recording high-output sources of almost 156 dB SPL. The mic’s low-cut filter and 20dB attenuator help minimize proximity effects in a close-up recording.
The AKG C214 delivers excellent clarity and detail, making your vocals sound incredibly smooth and warm. This also means that you can seamlessly record virtually any acoustic instrument without worrying about unwanted external sound. The integrated capsule suspension helps eliminate mechanical noise as well as resonance, in turn, improving sonic accuracy.
The mic’s extensive dynamic range makes it a great option for a beginner studio singer with poor mic skills as it captures detail when dynamic range falls off.
Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic
Another budget-friendly condenser mic is the Blue Snowball iCE, which features an attractive design and delivers pristine sound in a cardioid recording pattern.
The Snowball ice is designed with a plastic chassis and a beautiful- looking metallic grille at the front part with an LED status lighting that lights up once the USB cable is connected. The Snowball Ice also has a plug and play design, meaning it doesn’t require any setup to use it.
This mic boasts a custom condenser capsule, which gives you crystal-clear sound quality with minimal distortion or hard resonance. Blue’s Snowball ice is designed to offer the fastest, easiest way to get top-notch sound quality for all your streaming and recording works.
What’s more, this mic is certified by both Discord and Skype, so you can rest assured you’ll get the best results. You’ll also get an excellent sound quality when making videos on Youtube even while you’re seated comfortably on your seat.
This condenser mic is also designed to offer compatibility with Windows 7 and higher as well as Mac operating systems 10.4.11 and higher. And it also works well with USB 1.1, 2.0 and newer versions.
Overall, Blue Snowball iCE is a superb budget condenser mic that stands out from the rest for its ability to capture sound perfectly even from a distance while filtering any unwanted background noise.
The Audio-Technica AT2035 is another affordable yet high-performance condenser mic that features a large diaphragm that delivers great audio quality for studio recording or even outdoor live performances.
For the design, this condenser mic comes made of an all-metal chassis and satin black with a silver finish for enhanced appearance. It also comes equipped with a shock-mount, an elastic suspension, and a protective couch to maintain its durability.
Additionally, it features a fixed cardioid pattern and a low-cut filter. This mic allows you to record focused sound, thanks to the cardioid polar pattern that ensures off-axis noise is kept at a minimum. The switchable high-pass filter and -10 dB pad cut out lower frequencies below 80 Hz.
It is designed to offer a high dynamic range and can accommodate sound pressure levels of up to 148 dB, 1 kHz with minimal self-noise of about 12dB. The high SPL means that your audio recording won’t get distorted even when with loud guitar amps.
This mic’s frequency range is quoted as 20 Hz to 20 kHz, which is a pretty flat frequency response for neutral sound even with a small presence peak around 12 kHz. It requires phantom power in the range of 11 to 52V for it to work.
Renowned for its remarkably low self-noise level, the NT1-A is an excellent large-diaphragm microphone that ensures you get the cleanest and top-quality audios.
The NT1-A has an excellent build quality as it is made of a metallic case with a metal grille. It is also designed with a metal shock mount with a pop filter attached to it that works incredibly well in eliminating plosives.
This condenser mic features a frequency response of 20Hz – 20kHz and will sound full and crisp on your electric guitar and other acoustic instruments. Its high sensitivity also means that it performs exceptionally well on vocals since it’s able to capture simple vocal nuances to give you great natural sound for your recording. Apart from its extensive dynamic range, this mic’s transducer offers a great signal to sound ratio.
The cardioid polar pattern offers superb vocal tracking, allowing your studio recordings to sound unique. Unlike most of the condenser mics on our list, the NT1-A doesn’t include a high-pass filter or even a PAD but is still able to perform exceptionally well.
Overall, the NT1-A is an outstanding condenser mic that’s best suited for a range of recording tasks due to its significantly low self-noise-levels, extended dynamic range, and high-SPL capability.
The Shure SM81-LC is a great unidirectional condenser mic that’s uniquely designed ideal for your studio recordings or live performances.
To begin with, this mic features a single directional, cardioid polar pattern that allows you to focus the microphone on the sound and eliminate any unnecessary external noise. It has a wide frequency response that ranges from 0 Hz to 20 kHz, ensuring a precise reproduction of sound sources.
This condenser mic has a long, slim design, which makes it super easy and convenient to use it with acoustic instruments such as pianos, guitar, and drum kits. It is the perfect option if you’re looking for a condenser mic that can deliver crystal-clear details when playing your acoustic instruments. This mic also works well on live performances, thanks to its resistance to feedback and flat response.
Having extra EQ together with a great preamp, you can nicely add unique characteristics to the sound that can make your tracks sound exceptional. The 10 dB pad allows you to achieve the right sound levels on a loud acoustic instrument without overloading or distortion using the attenuator, not forgetting that it runs on external phantom power.
Packed with impressive features including wide frequency response, low noise- and RF susceptibility, the Shure SM81-LC makes a great option for nearly all your recording tasks.
Razer Seiren Elite
The Seiren Elite from Razer is a cardioid-pattern dynamic mic that offers crystal-clear audio signal for podcasting and live streaming.
The Seiren Elite features a long cylindrical design with a classic black anodized aluminum chassis and grille for enhanced durability. The mic comes equipped with an LCD control panel, a USB port for power plus a headphone jack. It also boasts an in-built shock mount and a high-pass filter switch. The stand is well built to remain stable when placed on desktops, keeping the mic securely in place.
With a high-pass filter, this mic ensures any unwanted low-frequency noises is filtered out. It also comes fitted with an LED indicator that lights up when the signal is blown out, which is quite convenient. The D/A vocal limiter helps eliminate any harsh peak sounds that may slip through the mic.
This cardioid pattern mic features one dynamic capsule that helps minimize background filter source sound from background noises for a richer and warmer streaming or broadcasting experience. It has a high-frequency response of 50Hz to 20 kHz and does a great job of picking up clear sound.
Overall, the Razer Seiren has a solid construction and performs pretty well as a podcast, voiceover, or streaming microphone.
Apogee MiC Plus
If you need a high-performance mic for your podcasts, voiceovers, or even interviews, then the Apogee Mic Plus is a perfect choice.
One of the main standout features of this mic is the innovative PureDIGITAL connection that helps ensure you get crisp and pristine audio resolution of up to 24-bit/96 kHz.
The Apogee MiC Plus is a cardioid USB condenser mic that offers you up to 46dB of preamp gain, superb off-axis sound rejection, as well as digital control for unmatched precision. And it does not utilize digital signal processing (DSP) to convert audio to digital signal but still produces an excellent sound.
Besides that, it also comes with a headphone output, inbuilt threaded camera mount, a perfectly positioned USB port, front-side input, and output blend controls for zero-latency monitoring, a mini tripod, and mic stand adapter. Besides, it is lightweight, weighing approximately less than half a pound, and it is compact enough to fit in a pocket.
With 3-color LED to indicate status, blend mode, or input level, the Apogee Mic Plus is compatible with iOS devices, as well as Windows and Mac PCs.
Overall, the Apogee Mic Plus is a high-performance portable mic that delivers immaculate sound quality, making it ideal for remote application. So whether you like podcasting while walking or you are looking for the perfect USB mic for recording instruments at a venue, this condenser mic is your ideal choice.
What makes condenser mic unique and different from other mics?
Condenser mics are incredibly lightweight, which means that the diaphragm can precisely move the sound waves unlike that of dynamic microphones, which are attached with a slightly heavy moving coil. As such, condenser microphones tend to deliver excellent sound quality. Additionally, condensers offer the best transient response, a broad frequency response, higher output, and reduced noise.
What are condenser mics best for?
Condenser microphones are well known as the best choice for studio recording since they offer unrivaled output/sensitivity, fidelity, and wide frequency response.
Where are condenser mic mostly used?
Condenser mics are ideal for recording. Although they come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, most of them feature large diaphragms so they can rapidly pick up and isolate sound from the surroundings to give a pitch-perfect recording.
What does condenser mics in this range of price lack that is found in other expensive condenser mics
In general, expensive condenser mics tend to have a better and spectacular sounding recording with high-end smoothness. Besides, expensive mics are built with better components, which equally translate to less noise and better transduction.
However, the best choice of condenser highly depends on specific situations. In some cases, a $300 condenser mic can outperform or even sound more expensive than a $1,000 condenser with proper compression and equalization.
From the above list, there is certainly plenty of choice of condenser microphones under $300. But before you decide on the right mic to choose, assess your needs as well as how your audio projects look like.
Moreover, no device is perfect, but you can always find one that meets all your needs. As such, determine what you want when it comes to the quality of audio, then choose one that can do the job right.