It has always been a special moment to enter the studio and record a new song or album. I fancy the fact, that, whatever piece of music you’re going to produce, will be for eternity.
Moreover, your recordings will always be the fundament of music promotion. Who wouldn’t want this masterpiece of creativity sound as perfect as it could get?
That’s exactly, why having a powerful and reliable studio microphone in place, is crucial and should be prioritized before many other gears or plugins purchases.
I’m going to introduce you to the 3 best studio microphones for vocals for every budget.
Shure SM 7B
Current price: $ 399.00
Where to buy: Amazon | Thomann
Weight: 2.03 pounds
Dimensions: 13.5 x 7 x 4.5 inches
I personally think, you shouldn’t buy any vocal recording mic for less than $ 400. So, the Shure SM 7B would be a decent start for serious recording.
There are plenty of world-famous musicians and producers, who swear by the Shure SM 7B. Michael Jackson (with producer Quincy Jones), the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam or the Foo Fighters all use or have used this inexpensive, still special dynamic microphone.
However, don’t be misled by those popular names as they used tons of super-expensive, high-end additional gears to let the SM 7B shine the way it did. If you work with average pre-amp and without a Cloudlifter, chances are, you won’t get the top sound out of it.
Nevertheless, in summary, it’s safe to say, that it’s the best mike at this price point.
– Classic cardioid polar pattern
– Maximum rejection and minimum coloration of off-axis sound
– Rugged construction and excellent cartridge protection
– Flat, wide-range frequency response for both music and speech
– Bass roll off and mid-range emphasis controls
– Improved rejection against electromagnetic hum
– Internal air-suspension shock absorber to eliminate mechanical noise transmission
– Detachable wind shield A7WS protects against popping noises and gives a warmer sound for close-talk vocals
– Swivel bracket with integrated tripod mount for easy installation provides precise microphone positioning control
– Frequency response from 50 – 20,000 Hz
– Output Impedance: 150 Ohm
– Open circuit sensitivity: -59.0 dBV / Pa (1.12 mV)
– Includes foam win screen, close-talk windscreen, and locking yoke mount.
– Avoid any background noise while recording even in less ideal conditions (home studio)
– Produces crisp, clean and warm professional audio sound
– You can scream without clipping
– You need a capable preamp (+60db gain) and a Cloudlifter to reach its full potential
– It doesn’t work on everything; Pretty poor on acoustic guitar
– Vocal recordings
– Speaker recordings
– Radio DJ
– Broadcast, radio and TV
==> Check Out Shure SM 7B at Amazon <==
Current price: $ 1.699.95
Where to buy: Amazon | Thomann
Weight: 3.55 pounds
Dimensions: 7.8 x 6.5 x 5 inches
That’s the one I personally use. I bought the Neumann TLM49 4 years ago, when we reached a certain sound limit in our home studio.
Looking at the studio equipment, I realized, that I still used a lower-priced dynamic microphone for vocal recordings, which didn’t do justice to the level of music we were producing.
Hands down, if I had had the money, I would have purchased the Neuman U87Ai as I always like to go for the best when it comes to music quality. Nevertheless, as far as I was concerned, the TLM49 was the runner-up pro studio mike. So, I went for it and never looked back.
Compared to my old mic, the sound quality of the TLM49 was just night and day. TLM stands for “transformerless microphone”.
– Large-diaphragm studio microphone
– Cardioid directional characteristic
– Warm sound, especially optimized for vocal performance
– Uses famous K47 capsule
– Retro look and sound design oriented towards the legendary M 49 and M 50
– Typical Neumann fine matte nickel finish. The “sound design” is also oriented toward that of the M 49 and the U 47. By combining its retro look with proven Neumann transformerless circuit technology, this microphone ensures low self-noise and the use of high gain levels.
– Looks gorgeous
– Reproduces a rich, smooth, and sweet sound
– Can make a thin voice sound warm, fat, smooth and clean over the entire frequency range
– The TLM 49 can operate at sound pressure levels of up to 114dB without distortion, and provides a dynamic range of 102dB (A-weighted)
– It can also transmit extremely low-frequency signals without coloration
– You have tailored response on the low end
– Shine on both female and male vocals without having to roll-off bass which can muddy up most vocals
– Also great, when used overhead for drumkits
– Achievable and fair pricing
– Does not have any wooden box, comes in a normal paper board retail packing
– Instruments, such as guitar, bass, piano, drums
==> Check Out Neumann TLM 49 at Amazon <==
Neumann U87 Ai – The Gold Standard
Current price: $ 3.195.00
Where to buy: Amazon | Thomann
Weight: 2.43 pounds
Dimensions: 11.1 x 11.1 x 6 inches
Let me finally introduce you to the king of studio microphones.
The best known Neumann U87 Ai has been the studio standard for 50 years and there are good reasons why. This solid high end mike is a powerful industry standard with excellent sound and reliability. It’s for certain, the U87 Ai doesn’t come for free, but you’ll get what you pay for.
This famous model of condenser mic really does sound much better than anything in the mid-priced market
– Large dual-diaphragm capsule
– Three polar patterns: omni, cardioid, figure-8 – selectable with a switch
– Switchable 10 dB pre-attenuation to handle sound pressure levels up to 127 dB without distortion
– Low frequency response can be reduced to compensate for proximity effect
– Vintage record smokey 3D vibe
– Excels at providing great midrange detail and depth with just a touch of air on top
– Clear, clean and real
– It can get boxy but that is easy to fix with EQ
– The price tag is pretty big
– Singer (male & female)
– Acoustic guitar
– Basically, everything you put in front sounds amazing
==> Check Out Neumann U87 Ai at Amazon <==
There’s no doubt about it. If you want to bring your vocal recording sound to the next level, you have to make an investment and get a great studio microphone.
With the Shure SM 7B, the Neumann TLM 49 and the Neumann U87 Ai, you have three top recording mikes available, which meet different budgets.
Check them out, love them, have fun and make great music!
Did you like my review? What do you use for vox recording? Share your opinion, I’m interested!
10 thoughts on “The 3 Best Studio Microphones For Vocals – Level Up Your Recordings”
I’m looking for a good microphone to buy to my brother as a present for Christmas. He is very talented and I have the faith that he will become famous one day. His voice is just amazing. He wants to record a good song with his DJ friend, but I know that the microphone they are using is not so good. I think that Neumann TLM49 is the perfect choice for me; I would like to buy Neumann U87 Ai, but it’s very expensive and I cannot afford it.
He will love it! I have been using the Neumann TLM49 for 3 years now and I’m so happy I invested that amount of money.
Hi FelixYou really have great choices when it comes to quality of your microphones! I am a beginner in blogging and I’ve felt of late that it’s high time I started a weekly podcast. I’ll soon be out looking for an affordable mic for a beginner- and the 3 you’ve reviewed surpass my budget by far. What other choices could I have for say up to $100 for a normal podcast?
– Boniface forKikuyu
I’m sorry, but I can’t recommend anything at this price point without faking. I just think you only get crap for that money. The lowest entry could be the Rode NT1A, which you can get for 225 bucks. If you combine that with a good, still affordable audio interface, such as the Scarlett 2i2, you’re safe.
I am very glad that I have stumbled upon your article Felix. I want to begin with YouTube and I really need some quality microphones for my videos. I heard that there are tons of them on Amazon but I did not know which to chose. Shure SM 7B will be my choice as it is of very nice design and it is not expensive at all.
Good choice! Don’t forget to also invest in a good pre-amp to get the best out of the SM7B.
Thank you for sharing your review on these amazing products. My wife enjoys making videos for YouTube and I think that the microphone can make a difference. She also likes to sing so I think that it could be a good present 🙂
We tend to have karaoke nights in my house so this WILL DEFINITELY turn up the fun night. The details that you give are on point and it helps make a decision. I would probably get the cheapest one because of the use that I would give but I could imagine singing on the most expensive one. My wife is much better at singing than me, so she would sound AMAZING! (by the way, nice visuals!)
If you want to sing live, than you definitely should choose another mic. I’ve done another review on the top stage mics. In this case I can highly recommend the Shure SM58, which comes for a fabulous price of $ 99.00.
I want to make a YouTube channel and on shopping for a microphone for recording. This postcame handy. The blog reviews three microphones ranging over different price, quality and features.
As always in life quality is related to price at least in this case. You are creating something for lifetime and do your best. Go for the best price. That is what I feel.
I really like Neumann U87i- The Gold standard. Yes, it is pricey but look at the quality of vocal recording one gets out of this.
I like the the big dimension, weight because it goes with my house with all other heavy big stuff. What I really love is its switchable 10 dB pre-attenuation to handle sound pressure levels up to 127 dB without distortion. You feel you really are performing!What I do not like is its 24 month only warranty period. With this price I expected more years. Hey, that is what it is. You cann’t have everything you want and that is life. But it might be big sticky thing to go for it. I carry no direct or indirect experience with the system. But the video speaks for the system. Awesome to listen.
The Neumann TLM49, a handy, affordably priced for anyone serious getting the best out of this price, with the quality it offers. With its warm sound it seems really appealing.
Although I like both of these, sincerely for YouTube and as a starter in recording I will more comfortable considering Shure SM7B.
With YouTube based marketing securing the highest traffic (48%, by Neil Patel), this review is relevant and will attract many to the product review site and help them.
I am happy to review this product while I am in the market to shop. Thanks for sharing.
Absolutely, you will be happy with the Shure SM7B. Just keep in mind to get a good pre-amp for this one, too.
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