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best microphone for vocals

The Best Vocal Microphones For Studio Quality Recording

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
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.
Best Budget Pick
Shure
SM57
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Bottom
Line
The industry workhorse dynamic mic that sounds good on every source, lasts forever, & gets better with higher-end equipment in the signal chain.
Pros
It costs nearly nothing for the quality it provides, is built like a tank, & can rival some of the best mics around when paired with a high-end preamp.
Cons
It matches the quality of your other gear. Its true potential is unlocked as you upgrade other components in your recording path, especially the preamp.

The best vocal microphones come in various shapes, sizes, and types. Compound that with the unbelievable amount of bad info out there and it's no wonder people aren't sure what they should be looking for. There is a truth to the matter and we're going to break it down for you simply and clearly. Then we'll offer some recommendations of both main types of mics in various budget ranges so you can get what you need and move on with recording!

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