Best Condenser Mic Under $200/£200

Best Condenser Mic Under $200Condenser microphones are universally used for recording killer vocals.

The problem is, they can be quite pricey.

So when you have $200 bucks or less to spend on a condenser mic… which do you choose?

In this post, I break down what you should be looking for when choosing the best condenser mic and our top picks.

Note: This article focuses on XLR Condenser Mics, primarily for home studio use!

Let’s get started. (…or jump to our Top Picks instead)

Condenser Microphones: A (very) brief buyer’s guide

When choosing microphones, the choice is between a dynamic microphone or a condenser microphone.

So which one should you choose?

There are many other articles out there that have covered this in-depth, but here’s a really quick summary from MakeUseOf.com

Condenser mics give better sound quality over all frequencies whereas dynamic mics are more durable and better for cutting out background noise. MakeUseOf.com

Here’s a quick run down of the pros and cons of condenser mics.

Condenser Mics: Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Super sensitive mics which means they record high fidelity audio
  • Great at capturing high frequencies
  • Condenser mics are great for vocal recording: singing or spoken
  • Available in a multitude of form factors

Cons:

  • Due to the tech, they can be expensive (hence why you’re reading this!)
  • The capacitor is quite delicate and damages easily
  • Since they’re really sensitive, they can be bad in places that aren’t sound-treated
  • They require phantom power

So, you really want to use condenser mics for live video streamsvoice/video calls and of course, recording vocals for music.

If you’re looking for a technical read on the difference between mics, I recommend this article by James Alburger.

Our Picks: Best Condenser Mics under $200

Condenser Mic Overview

AKG P420 True Condenser Microphone Review

This mic is known for being a great all-rounder. If you’re not after any specific features in a microphone – this may be the one for you.

As well as vocals, the AKG P420 is perfect for using in louder environments as an overhead mic, usually above guitar amps or brass sections.

Features:

  • Large 1″ capsule
  • Omni / Cardioid / Figure of Eight sound patterns
  • 20dB Pad switch removes unwanted noise and artefacts from your recordings.
(5.0/5)
20Hz – 20000Hz frequency bandwidth
79dB signal to noise ratio
Switchable pickup patterns, cardioid, omni and figure-of-8
Available on Amazon

What others are saying:

It took me a little while to get used to it after using a really rubbish vocal mic, but the sound quality of this mic is fab. I’m not going to bore people with technical details – if you love making a noise and recording and being creative, why not treat yourself to something really worth the price..
Frendo (Verified Buyer)

Audio-Technica 20 Series AT2035 Review

The Audio Technica AT2035 is a studio staple, whether you’re using it for podcasting, voiceovers or music production.

An evolution of their ever popular AT2020 microphone, the AT2035 is a side address microphone which means you speak into the side of it instead of the top.

It’s sturdy high-quality plastic construction is complemented with a faux leather carrying pouch, just keep in mind you’ll need your own accessories (stands, pop filters, XLR cable etc.).

Features:

  • Large diaphragm is perfect for capturing noise-free, natural sound.
  • Cardioid sound pattern to focus on recording the desired sound.
  • 10dB Pad switch removes unwanted noise.
  • 80hz high pass filter.
(4.7/5)
20Hz – 20000Hz frequency bandwidth
82dB signal to noise ratio
Cardioid pattern
Available on Amazon

What others are saying:

 The extremely low circuit noise makes this a true pro option. It has excellent overall pickup and quite a rich sound although this can be a little muddy in the mix without EQ. My go to vocal mic for recording. Picks up low frequencies very well so bottom end on a guitar is bass rich (if thats what you want) and it is also great for bass drum and low end percussion.
Musical Truth (Verified Buyer)

Available on Amazon

RODE NT1-A Condenser Microphone Review

The ROSE NT1-A is ideal for people starting out with vocal recording and production.

Why?

It’s incredible value and comes in a bundle which includes a shock mountpop shield and XLR cable – that’s saving you a good £/$50 straight away!

On top of that, the mic captures sound with incredibly low noise – it’s actually recognised as one of the quietest studio microphones in the world.

Check out some benefits below:

Features:

  • Large 1″ diaphragm is perfect for capturing noise-free, natural sound.
  • Cardioid sound pattern – perfect for recording vocals.
  • 10dB Pad switch removes unwanted noise.
  • 80hz high pass filter.
(4.8/5)
20Hz – 20000Hz frequency bandwidth
88dB signal to noise ratio
Cardioid pattern
Available on Amazon

What others are saying:

The best purchase I have ever made in terms of my home studio. The RØDE NT1-A has such a perfect frequency response for a reasonably priced microphone. The warmth which this mic gives is great, and it can also be used for many applications, including: acoustic guitar, amplifiers, vocals, ambient sounds, all manner of acoustic instrument etc.
James King (Verified Buyer)

Available on Amazon

JZ Microphones J1 Condenser Microphone Review

JZ microphones are known for their higher-end pro microphones.

What makes the J1 so great is that you get access to this quality at a much lower price point.

This mic features a huge diaphragm (as do others in the list) although JV use their patented Golden Drop technology to make the capsule.

Features:

  • Large 1″ diaphragm – made with JV’s patented Gold Drop technology.
  • Cardioid & unidirectional sound patterns – great for isolating sounds.
  • Shockmount included
  • 5 year warranty for peace of mind.
(5/5)
20Hz – 20000Hz frequency bandwidth
77dB signal to noise ratio
Unidirectional & Cardioid patterns
Available on Amazon

What others are saying:

A great quality Microphone. Classy good looks and a great, great sound. I use it for guitar/vocals. Very natural warm sound and solidly crafted. I’d buy again without hesitation.
James King (Verified Buyer)

Available on Amazon

Which mics do you use and recommend for you home studio? Leave a comment below!

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