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best condenser mic for vocals

The Best Condenser Microphones for Pro & Home Studios

Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Neumann
TLM 102
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Bottom
Line
For the average voice, male or female, you'll be hard pressed to find a better option that remains realistically priced.
Pros
Sparkling high frequencies. The 6 kHz boost adds a desired presence to vocals. Creates very intimate vocal recordings. Crystal clear recordings.
Cons
Lack of pad & filter switches means you'll have to watch your dynamics and roll-off low frequencies in the mix, which you'd do anyways.
Best Bang for the Buck
Bottom
Line
My personal go-to mic for vocals & most instruments. Known for its crystal clear high-end frequencies and tube warmth.
Pros
The tube adds a very pleasing sense of warmth to the lows & mids, but not so much you'd call it 'coloration.' It's a very bright mic, perfect for vocals.
Cons
Requires its own provided external power supply that's fairly large. The mic itself is heavy, thus care is needed when placed on a boom.
Best Budget Pick
Rode
NT1-A
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Bottom
Line
The anniversary edition of the classic large diaphragm NT1 model, known for its mid-range & high frequency clarity.
Pros
Sounds great with an average preamp & interface. With a little mixing, it's comparable to mics in the class above it. Shines on vocals and guitar.
Cons
It's sensitive enough to pick up a lot of unwanted sound if you don't control your recording environment & use a pop filter.

The best condenser microphones are the same you see among the top of almost all of the best mic lists in general, regardless of the type. The large diaphragms, the sensitivity across the entire frequency spectrum, and the added flavor of vacuum tubes truly does set condenser mics apart into a class of their own.

TL;DR - Best Bang for the Buck: Rode NTK - Best Budget Pick: Rode NT1-A