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10 Best Vocal Mic Under $500 & Their Reviews For 2021

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What is the best vocal mic under $500?

The vocal mic is the second most important thing needed in a studio – the first is a singer with a good voice.

Without a mic in your studio, there’ll be no recording, music editing, production, or even a Grammy nomination.

Your music studio will not look good without a good mic, and not only should it be durable as you’ll be needing the mic for the next 4-5 years, but the sound quality, recording quality, proximity levels, and other stuff need to be perfect.

However, when you’re just starting your career, investing in a good mic worth 1000 dollars will make you cry your eyes out.

Hence, we’ve come up with a list of the best vocal mics for under 500 dollars.

IN A HURRY? HERE’S OUR FAVORITE PICKS…

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best Vocal Mic Under $500 Reviewed

Now, let’s take a look at the first best vocal mic under $500.

1. Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
  • ONE MICROPHONE FOR EVERYTHING - Studio Recording, Home Recording, Podcasting & Streaming. The SM7B Is Trusted By...
  • STUDIO VOCAL RECORDING - The SM7B’s Dynamic Cartridge With Smooth, Flat, Wide-range Frequency Response Produces...
  • PODCAST & BROADCAST - Found In The Top Podcasting Studios Around The World, The SM7B Air Suspension Shock Isolation...
  • STREAMING CONTENT - Professional Live Streaming Starts With A Microphone Capable Of Capturing Exceptionally Clean...
  • PROFESSIONAL XLR CONNECTION - The XLR Connection Along With An Audio Interface Allows You More Control Over The...

Last update on 2021-06-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you are starting a podcast channel or want to be the next music artist, then the Shure SM7B is the mic you need.

This mic is the all-time favorite for recording albums, this dynamic mic is an all-rounder, the podcast industry loves this one and even Michael Jackson used it.

It also works great as a broadcaster mic and can be used with drum sets too.

The SM 7B records with low sensitivity compared to other dynamic mics and is a good choice for loud vocalists, it has a frequency response of 50 Hertz to 20 kilohertz.

The SM7B does not require phantom power and is not affected if phantom power is present on its mixer input.

Note that some third-party external pre-amps commonly used with the SM7B DO require phantom power to operate.

The pop filter eliminates the need for any add-on protection against explosive breath sounds, even for close-up vocals or narration.

It has a cardioid polar pattern, the SM7B dynamic microphone has a response appropriate for music and speech in all professional audio applications.

It features shielding against hum generated by computer monitors, neon lights, and other electrical devices.

The SM7B has been updated from earlier models.

Other mics from Shure are the Shure SM58 and the Shure SM57.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Compact and elegant comprising of a paging console and distribution unit
  • Flat, wide-range response for clean and natural reproduction of music and speech
  • It comes with 3 presets modes

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


2. Aston Spirit Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic

Aston Microphones Spirit Large Diaphragm Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone
  • Designed and built in the UK
  • Multi pattern Microphone
  • Built in Pop filter Built in Pop filter using the latest stainless steel mesh knit technology
  • End Caps Direct to stand microphone mounting
  • Capsule The Aston Sound Developed by Professional Artists, Engineers and Producers

Last update on 2021-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This mic comes with a switchable pattern, a switch on the mic body that helps switch between Omni, cardioid, or figure-eight polar pattern.

It can be used by acoustic or electric guitar rock stars and vocalists.

It’s designed to deliver an awesome open sound with gleaming harmonics, the recording is very good and transparent, capturing every sound and all the details.

This large-diaphragm condenser microphone is way better than other microphones in the same range.

If you’re looking for something (modern sound) a vintage mic won’t give you, and if you want a more articulated and detailed voice structure, go for the Spirit.

Aston Spirit has a frequency of 20Hz to 20kHz, a sensitivity of -32dB, a self-noise of 14dB, and a phantom power requirement of +48volts.

Other mics from Aston are the Aston origin microphone and the Aston stealth.

Pros & Benefits:

  • All-metal body with built-in pop filter and a malleable metal mesh with rejecting plosives technology
  • 3 switch
  • 80Hz high patch filter

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


3. Warm Audio WA84BK-SP

Warm Audio WA-84 Small-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Nickel
  • Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone with Cardioid Polar Pattern
  • 10dB Pad - Nickel

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A rebuild of the WA84 classic, this small-diaphragm condenser is known as SDC’s or Pencil Mic due to its thin and small cylindrical shape.

This mic is another one for our acoustic rockstars because of its ability to capture sounds of acoustic instruments and symbols, this one tends to capture more natural sound and large volume.

While the large diaphragms tend to be more sensitive and require more isolation.

WA84 has a frequency of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and a sound pressure level from 10 dB to 133 dB.

This mic’s sound quality is what sets it apart from all the acoustic instruments no matter if they are electric bass or upright bass.

Some other small-diaphragm condenser mics are Rode NT5 and SE Electronics SE7.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Original vintage capsule
  • A cinematic USA large transformer

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


4. AKG Pro Audio C214 Large Diaphragm

AKG Pro Audio C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone, Grey
  • Sonic character of the C414 XLII for beautifully detailed recording of lead vocals and solo instruments
  • Outstanding dynamic range and ultralow noise for close-up recording of high-output sources of up to 156dB SPL
  • Switchable 20dB attenuator and bass-cut filter for close-up recording and reduction of proximity effect
  • Integrated suspension to reduce mechanical noise and vibration from stage
  • Roadworthy design all-metal die-cast body with shock- and scratch-resistant finish

Last update on 2021-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This mic comes with a heavy metal casing and a locking design, which is very handy and great to use.

C214 is not good with plosives but the sound quality is above average for low and mid-range, and the high transits sound a little rounded off and sound natural.

With some mics, you have to work with the EQ and the saturation but AKG does it all on point.

Being a large-diaphragm mic, it’s meant for people who want to do it all – from podcasts to capturing vocals, instruments, room sounds, and more.

These microphones are more responsive to nuances of sound waves for high-fidelity recordings.

Some other large-diaphragm mics are the Audio Technica AT4050 and AKG 414.

Pros & Benefits:

  • High pass filter with 6 dB per octave starting at 160 Hertz
  • It has a large diaphragm

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


5. RODE NT 1A Vocal Condenser

Sale
Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package
  • Large diaphragm 1” gold-sputtered capsule
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Ultra-low noise, self-noise of only 5dB (A)
  • Includes Rode SM6 shock mount, pop filter and dust cover
  • Internal capsule shock mounting

Last update on 2021-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This mic comes with a shock mount and SM6 pop filter with an XLR cable.

This mic may not be for everyone because it isn’t a flat mic, but its sound is pretty good for those who don’t want to go much in with the saturation and EQ thing while recording vocals or instruments.

Since Rode deliberately made this mic’s frequency pattern sound a certain way, this may not fit everyone’s voice.

To be quite clear, this mic is for the vocalist community – the detail with which it captures sound is awesome.

It comes with a 5dBa sound level, and for proximity and plosives tests, this mic is great.

For background, sound management goes with a dynamic mic that doesn’t come near this one.

Other mics from rode are Rode NT5, Rode NT2A, and Rode Video Mic.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Shock mount
  • 5 dBa sound level
  • Voice enhancing ability

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


6. SE Electronics SE7

sE Electronics SE7 Matched Pair
  • Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic with 80Hz Highpass Filter
  • Gold-plated XLR (pair)
  • Pad

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Convincing stereo recordings require mics with high consistency and accurate localization with a pair of microphones.

The SE Electronics SE7 is a high-quality small-diaphragm, back-electret condenser microphone designed for a broad range of studio and live sound applications.

With the acoustic design, versatile attenuation, highpass switches, and a transformerless output, it delivers a clear, natural sound at all frequencies on any source.

It has a frequency of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and a sensitivity of -34 dB, this mic is just great.

The SE Electronics SE7 is a good mic for recording 3 dimensional and a similar mic is theSE Electronics X1R.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Smalldiaphragm cardioid condenser mic with 80 Hz highpass filter
  • Goldplated XLR (pair)
  • Comes with a pad

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


7. Shure SM58 LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Sale
Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone
  • Frequency response tailored for vocals, with brightened midrange and bass rolloff to control proximity effect
  • Effective built-in spherical wind and pop filter. Frequency response: 50 to 15,000 Hz
  • Pneumatic shock-mount system cuts down handling noise.
  • Uniform cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main sound source and minimizes background noise

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

They say that old is gold and yes it is, the Shure SM58 is the favorite here, this mic has been in the industry for the past 30 years (maybe more).

The built-in quality is the gold standard, you can find videos on YouTube of a Shure sm58 being run over by a truck and still working.

It has a cardio polar pattern with a frequency response range of 50 Hz to 15 kHz and a sensitivity range of -54.5 dB.

The Shure SM58 goes with everything, and you can do whatever you want to do with this mic.

Whether it is podcasting, YouTubing or just demoing out music, Shure SM58 is the go-to mic.

It’s insanely durable and has a nice noise rejection, thus you can use it in a noisy environment.

Well, not everything thing about this mic is all rosy, it does have a few drawbacks as well, especially its low sensitivity level, hence you will have to drive your preamps.

Just keep one thing in mind while using this mic; you need to speak right on top of the mic to get the best sound quality.

Pros & Benefits:

  • The shock mount system cuts down handling noise
  • Has a cardioid pick-up pattern

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


8. Audio Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone, Ideal for Project/Home Studio...
  • The price/performance standard in side address studio condenser microphone technology
  • Ideal for project/home studio applications; The noise level is 20 dB SPL
  • High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility
  • Custom engineered low mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response
  • Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound...

Last update on 2021-06-12 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is a full condenser microphone.

It does not come with a microphone cable, so keep in mind that when buying the AT2020, you’ll need to buy it separately.

The built-in design is fully metal and is perfect, the frequency response ranges between 20 Hz to 20 kHz and it requires a 48 Volt of phantom power.

It’s a cardioid-built pattern microphone, so you need to speak in front of the mic.

If you’re just a beginner in the recording world, then I would strongly recommend that you go with any other mic on the list.

This mic is specifically for the ones who are looking for high-end audio quality like mostly the professional ones, people who can buy a pop filter, and a USB audio interface because it will help in enhancing the audio recorded on the microphone.

Other microphones from Audio Technica are Audio Technica ATR2100 and Audio Technica AT4040.

Pros & Benefits:

  • It can handle high SPL sounds
  • Deliver low self-noise and noise isolation
  • Offers superior transient response

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


9. Blue Ember Condenser Recording Streaming Instruments

Blue Ember XLR Condenser Mic for Recording and Streaming, Custom Cardioid Capsule and Mic Stand...
  • Custom Blue Condenser Capsule – captures your voice with stunning depth and clarity
  • Open, Accurate Sound – with impressive headroom, Ember delivers clear, commanding vocals for your voice...
  • XLR Connection - Perfect for computer audio interfaces and mixers
  • Precise Cardioid Pattern - Ensures focused sound while minimizing room sound
  • Wide, Consistent Frequency Response - innovative circuit design provides remarkably consistent phantom power to the...

Last update on 2021-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A microphone specifically for streamers, Blue Ember is an XLR studio condenser microphone for recording and streaming.

The built-in quality is great with full metal on style, it has an all-metal mesh pop filter too.

The mic has a cardioid polar pattern with a frequency response range of 38 Hz to 20 kHz, a sensitivity of -38 dB, a max SPL of 132 dB, and an impedance of 40 Ohm.

It also has a phantom power requirement of +48 volts.

Again, you have to speak in front of the mic to get the best audio quality.

The explosive levels are average and not quite good, the mic doesn’t pick up much room noise when you’re speaking.

There are some cons too as the proximity effects are a bit of an issue and the plosive levels will all go if you use a pop filter.

This a not a vocalist microphone but if you need it just for the podcast stuff, then you are good to go with this one.

It has a little bass and treble boost and does not need too much EQ stuff.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Hand-tuned condenser capsule delivers open, detailed sound
  • Premium high-output for maximum quality
  • The cardioid polar pattern for noise rejection

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


10. Aston Stealth Broadcast Condenser Microphone

Aston Microphones Stealth Broadcast Quality Cardioid Condenser Studio/Live Microphone
  • Broadcast quality cardioid microphone for studio and stage
  • Four settings, four different voices
  • Works with or without 48V phantom power; autodetect function senses 48V and chooses Active or passive mode
  • Built-in Class A mic preamp; no external gain lifting device required
  • Unique Sorbothane internal shock mount

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Aston Stealth comes with an all-metal body but the head of the mic has a little plastic that feels cheap, at the bottom of the mic is a 4-way rotating dial to switch between all 4 types of voicing.

The end where you speak contains padding to support the plosive rejection.

It contains a cardioid pattern with a frequency response range of 29 Hz to 20 kHz.

With a passive sensitivity of -60dB, and an active sensitivity of -16dB, it has a class A preamp built inside the mic which gets activated with the phantom power turned on, due to which, there is an increase in gain and your preamp don’t need to go hard.

There are 4 modes: V1-Male, V2-Female, G-Guitar, and D-Dark-Ribbon Functions.

The sound recording is great on the V2 Mode with a massive amount of articulation.

This is a versatile microphone for everything you need, just turn it in the mode you want and you can start recording.

The Stealth will be a beast for your music studio.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Four settings for different voices
  • Active and passive modes with 48 V auto-detect function
  • Built-in class A mic preamp

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


11. Royer R-10

Royer R-10 Matched Pair Ribbon Microphone
  • Dynamic Ribbon Microphone with Figure-8 Polar Pattern - Matched Pair

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you love heavy metal and the electric bass, then this is for you.

Also, if you play electronic guitar all day long, then you can go for the Royer R-10 ribbon mic as well.

This mic is hand-built in the Royer Burbank facility, Royer R-10 has a three-layer windscreen system designed to protect it from noise to work better in a live environment or open studios.

It also helps in the low bass, so you can attach it to a speaker and record flawlessly.

One more good news for the buyers is that the ribbon mic contains a transducer used in the Royer R-121, it contains a 2.5-micron Ribbon element.

The transformer in the Royer R-10 is designed to record loud electric guitars or drums and other instruments.

You have a lot of room with this mic to record.

R-10 is a wonderful microphone to pick if you don’t like any of the above 10, you can use it wherever you want, it’s extremely versatile.

You’ll not regret this one, and the other ribbon microphones are Royer 121 and Beyer dynamic M60.

Pros & Benefits:

  • Very versatile microphone
  • 2.5-micron element
  • 3 layers of wind protection

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


12. Avantone Pro CR14

Sale
Avantone Pro CR-14
  • Use for: Mic guitar amps & cabinets, acoustic guitar, mandolin, drum overheads, vocals, room mic, etc

Last update on 2021-06-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Avantone Pro CR14 comes with a wooden case for the mic and an aluminum case for the shock mount.

It also comes with an XLR cable, and the red wine color just looks great on the mic.

The retro body design of this ribbon mic looks pretty awesome, the shock mount in the case is very good in allowing a precise positioning of the mic while inhibiting the transfer of unwanted vibrations.

The Pro CR14 dual low mass ribbon element enables a better sensitivity ratio.

It has an ultra-high 148dB SPL capability with a figure-8 audio directionality pickup pattern via up front and rear, with extensive sweet spots as compared to large-diaphragm condenser mics and single ribbon designs.

This mic is again for people who are professional in their craft and are looking for a high-end quality sound, it’s a high-end mic and if you are willing to spend more money on your studio, then feel free to get it.

For beginners, go with any other mic from the above list and let the pros can pick this one.

This mic is versatile and can be used everywhere but it requires great care too.

Pros & Benefits:

  • It can be used with all types of musical instruments in all situations
  • It has an ultra-high 148dB SPL capability

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon


What Are Ribbon Mics?

If you’re still reading, welcome to the golden age of sound.

Ribbon mics are the first economically successful directional microphones and are known as the best in the radio business.

They work differently than other microphones such as the small-diaphragm condenser, the LDC, or the dynamic mics.

They have a thin metal layer that picks up the air molecules as compared to the SPL – sound pressure level.

But here’s more to it, the modern ribbon mics can pick up virtually any source, they are amazing when it comes to carrying classic sounds.

They can carry sounds of electric guitars, drum heads, solo, and group vocals.

Comparing The Aston Stealth & Shure SM7B

After going through the list, it’s normal to feel a little confused because every mic has its authentic way and features.

So let’s compare the top picks from the list above.

The Aston Stealth and Shure SM7B are both great mics and are tough to choose from because both have their unique style.

The Aston Stealth is a 4-in-1 microphone since it comes with 4 different sound modes, the last mode, mode D is for the ribbon mic feature.

This contains a proprietary built-in shock mounting system.

SM7B comes with an air suspension and 3 presets mode – flat, low bass, and presence mode (same as V2 in Aston ), the air suspension helps In minimizing stand vibrations.

Both have a built-in shield to reduce electronic interference.

The SM7B is good at dealing with plosives and you can talk on whichever end of the mic it catches the frequency.

The Stealth in comparison is a bit sensitive and can catch a lot of your breath and gulping, hence a cloud lifter will be recommended.

If you want a more versatile mic, go for Stealth and if you want a basic mic that can provide you with smoothness and a mic for making podcasts or vocals, then go for Shure SM7B.

Final Thoughts

There are so many mics to choose from, thus it can be difficult to choose the right one.

If you’re a beginner, don’t think too much about the mic you want to buy, just go on and get a good standard mic.

Because technology has made our life simpler and given us the choice syndrome as well (you can google it), all mics on the list are the best ones out there, so you don’t have to buy the most expensive one.

These are mics are pretty much the same as the ones from the past 20 years, not much advancement has been done, however, more and more brands are coming but the basics remain the same.

If you have a music studio, go with the versatile one, if you are a podcast guy, you know which one to buy, and if you are an electronic or acoustic guitar rockstar, you also know which one to go for.

So stop dragging your feet, buy the best vocal mic for under 500 dollars, and start recording.

Thanks for reading.

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