The history of the condenser microphone dates back to 1916 when C Wente of Bell Labs invented it. Before that many attempts were made. Finally, with years of efforts by many scientists, the device which we use now for sound recording in the studio came into existence. The best condenser mic under 500 for vocals is optimized to hone the sound quality.
Well, you will be surprised to know that the earliest form of microphone which led to the further invention is the cup and string game. The game that we used to play as a child by attaching strings on both ends of the paper cups. It is fantastic how these scientists have made such great inventions. They have made our lives comfortable.
Best Condenser Mic Under 500 For Vocals – Buying Guide
The most common problem arises when you are supposed to buy a condenser mic. Some people who acknowledge the working of a condenser mic find themselves in a challenging situation to distinguish between the right condenser mic. Just to make it a bit easier, factors have been enlisted here so that the next time you don’t mess up the whole thing.
Factors to look for when buying the best condenser mic under 500 for vocals
- Polar pattern- Select the right condenser microphone by choosing the right direction. Some microphones are more sensitive to the voice coming from the front while some can pick up voice from 360 degrees. The most common one used is a cardioid pattern in which the microphone is more sensitive to sound coming from the front and sides. It proves beneficial as it helps in reducing ambient noise. But if you have a great room without any noise then omnidirectional works as it produces a natural sound.
- Frequency Response- This term refers to the microphone’s pickup range of frequency which is measured in hertz. In simple words, it refers to the number of cycles sound waves can travel in 1 second. The audible frequency range for a human is 20 hertz-20,000 hertz. This only informs about the frequency range of the microphone. Graphical representations are used for more detailed and enhanced knowledge. Response curves are a representation of how the microphone performs. There are two types of responses- flat response and shaped response. A flat response microphone has significantly fewer peaks and troughs. Whereas shaped responses have more of this.
- Dynamic Range- Dynamic Range refers to the difference between the lowest level of self-noise and the highest level, I.e. the maximum SPL that the microphone can handle. The more comprehensive the dynamic range, the better it performs.
- Sensitivity- The microphone can convert the acoustic sound to an electrical signal. The higher the sensitivity, the less pre-amplification is required. On the other hand, lower sensitivity needs more pre-amplification. It is an essential characteristic as it determines the microphone’s ability to produce varying output when exposed to the same sound.
- Max SPL- Sound pressure level is the property that defines how much pressure the diaphragm can handle. In other words, max SPL overloading occurs, and the distorted output signal is produced.
- SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio) – It compares the level of output (signal) to the level of the background noise. It is measured in decibels.
- Self-Noise: Self Noise refers to the inherent noise the mic adds to your recording without any external source.
How a condenser microphone works
A capacitor or condenser microphone works when the electric charge gets stored in its plates. The plate conductors are placed parallel to each other with a positive and negative charge. Phantom power which is a DC is connected to the leaves. The front plate is called the diaphragm. This is made of a thin vibrating material mylar. The backplate is made up of metal which is stationary. When the sound hits the diaphragm, voltage is carried, which converts electrical energy to sound energy. The more excellent will be the surface of the plates, a smaller distance will lead to larger capacitance.
Best Condenser Mic Under 500 For Vocals Reviews
Audio Technica AT- 2020 is one of the best studio condenser mics under 500 for vocals. For the professional recording of songs in the studio, this model is a perfect option to get the desired signal. The standard, classy, and attractive XLR microphone is punctiliously designed.
- The low-mass diaphragm produces an excellent transient response.
- The pickup pattern of this microphone is cardioid which reduces the unwanted background sound.
- It has a frequency response ranging from 20 – 20,000 Hz.
- The signal-to-noise ratio is 74 Db filtering out more noise to produce the desired signal.
- The wide dynamic range of 124 Db is incomparable, making it professional recorder’s choice.
One of the renowned brands Stellar manufactures some high-quality musical instruments. This large-diaphragm condenser microphone has good capacitance storage. You may find it a little expensive, but its specifications and features justify its price.
- It is strongly built and rugged in construction.
- It includes accessories like an aluminum flight case, shock mount, adapter, and a leather pouch for significant maintenance.
- The top-notch diaphragm is meticulously built from Japanese imported mylar and pure brass.
- Every part of this mic goes through many levels of quality and performance checking.
Get a personalized condenser mic for recording vocals and listening to well-tuned songs. Neumann TLM 102 condenser microphone consists of a cardioid polar pattern to reduce the pickup of unnecessary background noise. It is high-quality, standard, sturdy, and durable. It has a maximum SPL of 144 Db. This means you don’t have to worry about playing distorted sound.
- The superior transient response with a wide dynamic range produces excellent results.
- It includes a stand mount for excellent support.
- The signal-to-noise ratio is 73 Db, and the sensitivity is 11mV.
Are you fed up with your previous microphone? Do you continuously hear distorted and dull sounds? Then it’s time to buy a new microphone for uninterrupted recording of vocals. MXL 990 is the right one you have been looking for. You can record without taking the tension of the distorted sound. It has a maximum SPL of 135 Db. It also includes shock mount isolates XML 990.
- It is equipped with a unidirectional cardioid polar pattern which is only sensitive to sound coming from the front.
- It makes your voice more engaging and attractive and has a low self-noise.
- The signal-to-noise ratio is 80 dB and an impedance of 200 ohms.
- The Blucoil 10-foot XLR cable easily connects the microphone with an audio interface, mixer, or preamp.
While most of condenser microphones are used for recording vocals, the Rode M2 condenser microphone is perfect for live performance. This live condenser vocal microphone is equipped with the pickup pattern of super-cardioid rejecting any unnecessary noise.
- The sturdy metal body is ergonomically designed with ten years warranty.
- It has a relatively flat response which is excellent for producing natural sounds without coloration.
MXL Mic 770 is classified as the best condenser mic under 500 for vocals. With a vast number of reviews from its customers, it has made its place as the ‘Amazon Choice’ bestseller. The unidirectional cardioid polar pattern is sensitive to acoustics only from the front. This means it has a high gain of the preamplifier.
- Its solid, rugged construction in a classic, royal black color makes it versatile with excellent quality.
- The frequency range is 30 -20,00 hertz.
- The size of the capsule is 22mm, and the diaphragm is made up of imported mylar with gold-sputtered tone rings.
- The storage case safely protects it from external damage, and the MXL shock mount provides good support for the mic.
Blue Yeti X Professional USB Condenser Microphone captures sound with greater clarity and focus. It enables precise control and gives instant access to your PC and Mac.
- Unlike other condenser microphone, it has four capsules for unique pickup and output.
- With the high-dress LED metering, you can quickly check whether the voice level is too high or low.
- The multifunctioning smart knob allows you to adjust the mic easily and mute it as well.
- It is a multipurpose microphone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is the best studio condenser mic under 500 for vocals?
Audio Technica AT-2020 is the perfect companion for you to record great vocals. It produces the desired signal by filtering the unwanted noise.
Which is the best USB condenser mic under 500 for vocals?
Blue Yeti X is the best USB condenser mic under 500 for vocals. It records voice with extreme precision, and its four capsules are sensitive to sound from every direction.