Vocal Mics for under $500 – Choices for tighter budgets

Finding the best vocal mic for your specific needs is a big challenge – especially when you throw a tighter budget into the mix.

However, I’ve done some research and come up with five of the best vocal mics that are available for under $500. I’ve sifted through the plethora of options and narrowed the choices down to save you time and effort.

Have a quick read below to see if any of the mics take your fancy.

Features to Lookout For:

There are some important factors that you need to consider before going ahead and picking the best vocal mic for your needs.

This section is especially helpful if you’re new to all this (don’t stress, we’ve all been there!).

Frequency Response

A frequency response is simply the range of frequency that the mic is able to detect. They can vary from high to low and they are typically demonstrated in hertz.

Mics that have a frequency response of 80Hz-15Hz are great for vocal recordings.

Sensitivity

The top mics for recording vocals will have a great amount of sensitivity. This is an excellent feature for people looking to record quieter vocals.

The sound pressure level is commonly recorded in decibels and this tells you the highest volume that the mic can handle.

Construction

It’s important for mics to feel strong and durable. An easy way to gauge this is by keeping a lookout for the materials that are used to construct it. If they’re sturdy materials, like metal or steel, you can be confident that it will last you during the day-to-day use.

Phantom Power

It’s common for vocal mics to require power – this is provided by phantom power.

This power system involves an XLR socket and wire. All you have to do is plug it in and switch on the phantom power prior to selecting a channel, and you’re good to go.

Top Vocal Mics Compared

Product
Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone
Rode NT1KIT Cardioid Condenser Microphone
AKG C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Preview
Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone
Rode NT1KIT Cardioid Condenser Microphone
AKG C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Price
$327.00
$264.00
$347.99
$99.00
$299.00
Rating
Prime
Product
Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone
Preview
Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone
Price
$327.00
Rating
Prime
Amazon Link
Product
Rode NT1KIT Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Preview
Rode NT1KIT Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Price
$264.00
Rating
Prime
Amazon Link
Product
AKG C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Preview
AKG C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Price
$347.99
Rating
Prime
Amazon Link
Product
Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
Preview
Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
Price
$99.00
Rating
Prime
Amazon Link
Product
Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Preview
Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Price
$299.00
Rating
Prime
Amazon Link

5 Best Vocal Mics Under $500

1.Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic

Heil Sound PR 40 Dynamic Cardioid Studio Microphone Bundle with PRSM Shock Mount, Two-Section Broadcast Arm and Microphone Cable
  • Large Dynamic Element
  • Steel Housing
  • Internal Sorbothane Shock Mount
  • Cardioid Pickup Pattern
  • Assembled in the USA

Heil are known to create high-quality mics that enable you to get the most out of your vocals – and the PR-40 mic is no different.

Best Features:

  • Steel materials are used to construct this mic which makes it strong and durable.
  • The frequency response range of 28Hz-18kHZ is impressive as it gives you a lot to play around with.
  • There’s a total output level of 53,9dB at 1,000Hz.

Features to Keep an Eye on:

  • Some find the XLR jack to be a little too tight

What are customers saying?

“The mic itself is everything I would expect of a Heil microphone. It build ruggedly, and has a beautiful, flawless finish.”

Rode NT1KIT Condenser Microphone

The Rode NT1 mic has been created with fantastic midranges, awesome bass production, and remarkably high frequencies that are smooth.

Sale
Rode NT1KIT Cardioid Condenser Microphone
  • Amazon as the seller is the ONLY authorized Fulfilled By Amazon Dealer
  • Purchases from unauthorized dealers carry No Warranty
  • Acoustic Principle: Pressure Gradient
  • Polar Pattern: Cardio
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz - 20kHz

Best Features:

  • A Rode SMR Premium Shockmount is included to minimize vibration interferences
  • There’s bipolar output buffer and JFET impedance converter
  • A cardioid polar pattern is used to reduce noise around you
  • It has a good frequency that ranges between 20Hz and 20kHz

Features to Keep an Eye on:

  • A few customers have mentioned the pop filter doesn’t completely block out air

What are customers saying?

Instant clarity, consistency, and a true HiFi feel. The improved quality, even just recording vocals, affects the whole mix drastically. Mixing a song is easier and more satisfying.

AGK C214 Professional Condenser Microphone

I noticed that the AGK C214 is essentially a more budget-friendly option to the C414 mic. It provides you with a professional grade sound at a lower price than you may be expecting.

Sale
AKG C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
  • Sonic character of the C414 XLII for beautifully detailed recording of lead vocals and solo instruments
  • Outstanding dynamic range and ultralow noise for close-up recording of high-output sources of up to 156dB SPL
  • Switchable 20dB attenuator and bass-cut filter for close-up recording and reduction of proximity effect
  • Integrated suspension to reduce mechanical noise and vibration from stage
  • Roadworthy design all-metal die-cast body with shock- and scratch-resistant finish

Best Features:

  • Built-in suspension to minimize mechanical noise & vibrations
  • Metal construction that’s resistant to scratches
  • Impressive dynamic range which is great for close-up recording
  • The sonic features enhance vocals and instruments

Features to Keep an Eye on:

  • May be prone to faint popping sounds – but this can easily be remedies with a pop filter! For the price, this is a very minor downside that’s easy to deal with.

What are customers saying?

If you’re looking for a professional high-quality MIC to add to your collection or looking for your first professional MIC, this is it.

Shure SM57 -LC Cardioid Dynamic Mic

It’s common to find this Shure SM57 mic in studios and in the hands of performers for a reason. I liked how it has a very clean, warm sound which makes it fantastic for a variety of instruments.

Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
  • Contoured frequency response is clean, instrumental reproduction and rich vocal pickup
  • Professional-quality reproduction for drum, precussion, and instrument amplifier miking
  • Uniform cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main source while reducing background noise
  • Extremely durable under heaviest use
  • Frequency response 40 to 15,000 Hz

Best Features:

  • Any mechanical noise is reduced due to the shock isolation feature
  • The pop filter is remarkably effective at minimizing air sounds, which makes it great for close-up recording
  • Background noise is drastically reduced, while your main voice is focused on for clearer vocals as a result of the cardioid pattern
  • Comes with an impressive 40-15,000Hz frequency response
  • The sound recorded is protected from electromagnetic sounds from any electronics nearby

Features to Keep an Eye on:

  • Some find the wires are prone to disconnecting after prolonged use

What are Customers Saying?

Great microphone! Does its job as a dynamic mic. It can be used for many different instrument applications for live or recording, it’s a must have for producers, performers and sound engineers or just anyone who needs a reliable microphone.

Audio Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Mic

The Audio Technica AT4040 has a great frequency response along with very smooth sounding recordings.

Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
  • Technically-advanced large diaphragm tensioned specifically to provide smooth, natural sonic characteristics
  • Externally polarized (DC bias) true condenser design, Exceptionally low noise, wide dynamic range and high-SPL capability for greatest versatility
  • Transformerless circuitry virtually eliminates low-frequency distortion and provides superior correlation of high-speed transients
  • Precision-machined, nickel-plated brass, acoustic element baffle provides enhanced element stability and optimal sensitivity
  • State-of-the-art surface-mount electronics ensure compliance with A-T's stringent consistency and reliability standards

Best Features:

  • The large diaphragm has been tensioned to allow for incredibly smooth sounds
  • Any low-frequency distortion is minimized due to the circuitry coming with no transformer
  • You can achieve fantastic sensitivity & stability with the nickel-plated brass
  • The condenser design opens you up to more versatile sounds as there’s a bigger range of dynamics to explore

Features to Keep an Eye On:

  • Some users find the highs to be a little dull

What are Customers Saying?

I really love this mic. It sounds great with vocals and acoustic guitars. It comes with a nice storage box, an excellent shock mount, and a dust cover so you don’t have to take it down every day. I’m very happy with this purchase

Be sure to use the above review to guide you towards picking the best vocal mic for you!

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