Which Is The Best Microphone For Vocals?
The right tools to express yourself
Getting the best out of your vocal, be it for live performance or for studio recordings relies largely on the microphone you choose. Not only is it down to the fundamental quality of the microphone, but also about its polar pattern.
As we’re concentrating on vocal mics here, we’ll stick to cardioid microphones. These are designed specifically to capture audio right in front of them whilst keeping background noises to a minimum.
For live applications, you’re going to want to use a dynamic microphone as they are much less sensitive than something you would use in a recording studio, such as a condenser microphone. With all that in mind, let’s have a look at our best pick of microphones for your vocals.
Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone
Where else to start but with the legendary Shure SM58. Arguably one of the greatest vocal microphones for live use out there. Purpose-built to be used for vocals, the Shure SM58 features a uniform cardioid pickup with a 50Hz to 15kHz range. Even though the SM58 isn’t the most expensive mic around, you can guarantee that professional venues all over the world will have them in their inventory.
A seriously versatile, reliable and high-performing vocal microphone that will last, the SM58 is an absolute must for all live vocal performers. It doesn’t disappoint in the studio either!
Marantz Professional MPM-1000 Condenser Microphone
Marantz are no strangers to professional audio equipment and the fact that they have got into the microphone market is quite exciting. The MPM-1000 delivers on outstanding sound and build quality yet Marantz have kept costs low. As well as being excellent for vocals the MPM-1000 can also play nice with instruments making it highly versatile. There’s even a USB version too!
As with some others on this list, you will be gifted all required accessories to begin recording and broadcasting from the get-go.
SE Electronics V7 Dynamic Microphone
SE Electronics have consistently impressed us with all of their mic range and the V7 is certainly no different. Built like a tank but weighing in at just over 300g this microphone was designed to give the liver performer comfort and clarity.
The V7 Dynamic Mic also comes with a brand new, patented shockmount. This isolates the capsule from the housing so that you’ll get near zero handling noise. So no more unwanted rumbles and pops! Even for the liveliest of performers out there.
The inclusion of a pouch and clip make it ready to rock and this mic is ideal for heavy rock bands that like to deliver lively performances.
F-Zone BM-800 Condenser Microphone
The F-Zone BM-800 is a reminder that you don’t need to spend a ton of cash to get excellent results. True, it may not perform as well as some of the more expensive mics on this list. But for home recording the BM-800 is ideal! It has a full 20Hz to 20kHz pickup range (the full audible spectrum to humans) and that all-important cardioid pickup pattern too.
The icing on the cake is that you also get a shock-mount, pop-shield and cable so that you’re ready to begin making professional grade vocal recordings and broadcasts straight away.
For those that don’t want the constraints of a cabled microphone whilst upholding the requirement for impeccable clarity, the XSW1-835 wireless mic set from Sennheiser is our best choice. Built on the world-renowned 835 microphone the capsule delivers nothing short of the best clarity.
To this end, Sennheiser needed to design a wireless system where the clarity would not be impeded in any way. All we can say is that they were 100% successful. Complete with internal antennas with built-in switching diversity, 10 selectable channels over a huge UFC frequency range. The XSW1-835 is ideal for the biggest of venues.
Another entry for SE electronics here but this time in a condenser mic form is the X1 S microphone. Whilst not just strictly a vocal mic, the X1 S can be you ‘go-to’ microphone for all of your recording needs. The large-diaphragm design makes the X1 S a fantastic vocal mic, thanks to its linear frequency response. The timbre of both male and female singers is captured beautifully, allowing an appropriate amount of headroom in the upper-frequency range to give a sweetly rounded quality.
SE Electronics mics can be found in professional studio’s all over the world and once you begin recording with it, you’ll understand why – simply outstanding.
Shure Super 55 Vintage Microphone
Definitely one for the rock ‘n’ roll performers the Shure Super 55 gives you legendary audio quality with vintage beauty. Ideal for live performances that really swing the Super 55 will never let you down. The powerful capsule is dynamic and uses a supercardioid pickup pattern. This means you can capture vocals with very high gain and keep background noise to a minimum which also makes it ideal for use with a harmonica too.
The Shure Super 55 Vintage Microphone comes complete with an integrated, self-tensioning swivel mount which permits tilting through 45 degrees forward and 80 degrees backward. There is also an included 5/8″ to 3/8″ thread adapter to ensure it’ll mount to any stand.
Rode NT USB Studio Quality USB Microphon
For the times when you need to record vocals on the go, be it broadcasts for news, podcasts or when inspiration strikes, the Rode NT USB condenser mic has you covered. The trick here is the active electronics within the microphone that handle all of the analogue to digital conversion for you so you can simply plug into your computer, load up your software and get professional grade recordings instantly.
The Rode NT-USB also comes bundled with a case, tripod stand, pop-shield and a ring mount making this a really great plug and play recording solution right out of the box.
Be sure to keep up to date with all of our microphone range at the Dawsons website.