5 Best Microphones For Amazing Vocals (My Review)

Choosing a Microphone

We all know:

Choosing a microphone can be a difficult task,

Especially since there are thousands to choose from.

But fear not!

We all know:

Choosing a microphone can be a difficult task,

Especially since there are thousands to choose from.

But fear not!

Choosing a Microphone

Because today I'm going to make it easy for you...

...I am here to show you the 5 best microphones for vocals.

So sit back, strap in and get ready to sing your heart out.

More...

Choosing the right Mic for You.


Before we get started there are a few factors to look out for ​when buying a new microphone,

I will go over them briefly:

Price: Usually the more money your pay the better quality your will get, this doesn't mean you can't get a great mic for less money. Just don't get a mic for $20 because it's cheap and "looks cool". The difference between a cheap and expensive microphone is ​huge and you should go for the highest price within your budget range.

Durability: Most microphones are rather durable these days, so this isn't something you will need to worry about too much, but if you're thinking of taking your mic everywhere with you in your backpack and playing live with it. It might be worth getting something that can withstand a punch or two.

Connectivity: This is an easy one. Get a microphone with an XLR connection! No ifs, no buts, just do it. Most microphones will use XLR. Don't bother with a USB mic for singing as the quality is inferior to any XLR microphone. Every microphone I will show on here will have an XLR connection.

Condenser or Dynamic: Most of the time a condenser microphone will be perfect for your needs, there will be times when you will want to use a dynamic microphone for recording vocals and some people will actually prefer them with their voice. But to start off with, your best bet will be a condenser mic. Remember your will need to use phantom power (48v) when using a condenser microphone. This will usually come with your audio interface.

Before we get started if you would like to learn about EQ you can check out my post "What Is An Equalizer". As I talk a lot about the frequency response of each microphone in this review.

Lets get started:

1

ASTON MICROPHONES - ORIGIN

TOP CHOICE!

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$299

Type:

Condenser

Polar Pattern:

Cardioid

Freq Response:

20Hz - 20kHz

Price:

$299

Type:

Condenser

Polar Pattern:

Cardioid

Freq Response:

20Hz - 20kHz

We Like

  • check
    Has a built in pop filter
  • check
    ​Built with durability in mind
  • check
    ​It sounds very big, warm and open
  • check
    ​Very clear and natural sounding
  • check
    ​Best microphone in its price range

We Dislike

  • ​​Doesn't come with a case
  • ​​Need to buy a shock mount separately
  • ​​Expensive if you're on a tight budget
Ashton origin

Summary:

When you’re thinking about a microphone, the design of the origin probably isn't the first that comes to mind.


It's certainly odd looking.


Nevertheless, it looks the way it does for a reason and in my opinion I think it looks great!


Not only does it look great but it also sounds amazing as well...


...with its built in pop filter and smooth natural sound, it gives you a lovely warm and open recording on almost any instrument.


This mic is the best bang for your buck by far and a MUST HAVE for any studio.

The Features

Look:

The first thing you notice on this microphone is the wavy mesh head...

Ashton origin Head

...Not only does this look unique and stunning.

It also serves as protection to the inner core which holds the capsule.

The wavy mesh helps to resist the shock from a heavy knock and allows the head of the mic to distort.

Finally returning back to its original position...

...This in turn, allows the inside of the head to be unharmed!

Another great feature of the origin is the built in pop filter. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to get started straight away.

Although a separate pop filter is recommended, it is not a necessity and does a great job without one.

There are two things I really like about this filter:

  • ​It's stainless steel so it will never rust.

  • It can be removed, replaced and washed when it gets dirty.

One way this mic stands out from the rest is the direct mic to stand mount on the bottom.

Ashton Origin Bottom

It is also internally shock mounted.

So no need to buy a shock mount for it separately...

Although:

...The benefit of having a shock mount gives you more flexibility when positioning the microphone.

The Specs

ashton origin frequency response and Polar Pattern

As you can see on the frequency chart, this mic is very flat between 120Hz and 2kHz.

But it has a bit of a roll off at 120Hz and is raised from 2kHz all the way to about 10kHz...

...Finally rolling back down to 0dB at 20kHz.

The origin extends all the way to 20kHz without any loss in the high frequencies.

This gives you a nice rich and fulfilling high end that sounds bright and crisp without being too harsh.

Hear It in Action

Hit the play button to see how versatile the Aston Origin microphone really is and how everything fits nicely together.


​2

RODE - NT1-A

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$229

Type:

Condenser

Polar Pattern:

Cardioid

Freq Response:

20Hz - 20kHz

Price:

$229

Type:

Condenser

Polar Pattern:

Cardioid

Freq Response:

20Hz - 20kHz

We Like

  • check
    ​Has a wide dynamic range
  • check
    ​Comes with a shock mount and pop filter
  • check
    ​XLR cable is included
  • check
    ​Simple and easy to use
  • check
    ​Has a ten-year warranty

We Dislike

  • ​No options on the mic can be limiting
  • ​Shock mount and pop filter could be better quality
  • ​High frequencies can be harsh at times
RODE NT1-A

Summary:

For the price this mic is amazing!


It might not hold up to some of its more expensive buddies.


But with the clean, crisp quality and being button free.


You can just plug it in...


...And record.


It can also be used with more than just vocals and sounds great with almost all instruments.


All in all:


This is a great microphone for a beginner, an amateur or even a professional.


No matter who you are.


​This is a microphone you should have in your collection.

The Features

This is without doubt one of my go to microphones, I use it all the time and not just on vocals.

It has an all metal chassis which is great for durability and traveling...

RODE NT1-A With Mic

...Which means one of these can last you years and work just as well as it did when you first bought it. (Hence the 10 year warranty)

But it gets better:

Rode claims the NT1-A to be one of the worlds quietest microphones, and boy they wasn't wrong! At a self-noise level of only 5dB this is great for both professional studios and bedroom recorders.

The shock mount and the pop filter are great additions to this bundle. The shock mount is all metal and very sturdy.

So, your microphone will always be safe and secure...

RODE NT1-A Shock Mount

...And the pop filter works perfectly for getting rid of them annoying nuances.

They ​could have been made from a higher quality material, but they get the job done.

The Specs

RODE NT1-A Polar Pattern
RODE NT1-A Frequency Response

The frequency response on this microphone is relatively flat.

It has some boosts around 2kHz and up, but dips down at around 12kHz and has a little boost at 200Hz Giving some warmth to your voice.

The dot on the mic indicates the front of the microphone:

RODE NT1-A Dot

This is really helpful if you want to turn the microphone off axis a little to give you a different EQ response.

This means:

If you turn the microphone either left or right you will be able to hear the high end boost start to roll off.

This is great if you can hear some high end sibilance on your voice.

Hear It in Action

Listen how clear and crisp his voice sounds with this microphone, and also feel the warmth produced by the boost at 200Hz.


​3

​BEHRINGER - B1

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$99.99

Type:

Condenser

Polar Pattern:

Cardioid

Freq Response:

20Hz - 20kHz

Price:

$99.99

Type:

Condenser

Polar Pattern:

Cardioid

Freq Response:

20Hz - 20kHz

We Like

  • check
    ​Comes with a travel case
  • check
    ​Includes a shock mount and wind sock
  • check
    ​Good sound quality with low noise
  • check
    ​Low budget price

We Dislike

  • ​Not as robust for travelling and playing live
  • ​Can sound harsh at times
  • ​​Recordings will possibly need EQing to cut through the mix
Behringer B1

Summary:

This is probably my favourite mic for under $100.

Perfect for anyone on a budget.

It may not be as good as some more expensive microphones but it still holds its ground!

It has low noise and good sound quality with a little boost at around 10kHz...

...This helps to give your vocals a nice, crisp and clear sound.

Behringer are an extremely well-known and respected brand that makes great quality products.

This would be a great first microphone.

The Features

The accessories that come with the Behringer B1 are nice additions to anyone looking for their first microphone...

Behringer B1 Accessories

...But for the price, it's a great microphone to have in any collection.

I was impressed at how sturdy and well-built the outer casing was, as well as having a nice weight and feeling really good to hold.

The shock mount was also well built compared to some of its competitors.

Overall it's a lovely microphone and I’ve used it in many of my recordings.

Here’s the kicker:

This microphone does perform well and can sound great...

But it's safe to say:

...You will need to do some mixing on your vocal track to get it to cut through the mix.

The Specs

Behringer B1 Polar Pattern
Behringer B1 Frequency Response

The frequency response on this mic is completely flat with an exception to the boost in the high frequencies.

The boost starts at 5kHz and slowly rises up to 6 decibels, finally dropping off at around 12kHz.

This produces a clear presence within this range...

...So, no need for much high frequency EQing as the boost already helps to sit on top of the mix.

And If it's used too much it could degrade the signal and raise the overall noise floor.

Cutting the high frequencies is not a problem though.​

The best thing is:

This microphone provides transparency that is highly desired and usually gets lost during recording and mixing.

Hear It in Action

Play the video to see how this mic sounds:


​4

​SHURE - SM58

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$99

Type:

Dynamic

Polar Pattern:

Cardioid

Freq Response:

50Hz - 15kHz

Price:

$99

Type:

Dynamic

Polar Pattern:

Cardioid

Freq Response:

50Hz - 15kHz

We Like

  • check
    ​Industry standard microphone
  • check
    ​​Extremely durable
  • check
    ​Great live and in the studio
  • check
    ​Highly respected company
  • check
    ​No #1 selling microphone in the world

We Dislike

  • ​Sound quality is average
  • ​Lacks presence and can sound dull
  • ​More modern and better mics are readily available
Shure SM58

Summary:

This industry standard microphone will last forever!

It's a true work horse, brilliant for playing live and in the studio!

The sound quality may not be as good as some, but for the price and reliability. You can't go too wrong.

This is an awesome first microphone, as it sounds good with anyone thanks to its frequency response tuned to accentuate the warmth and clarity of lead and back-up vocals.

The SM58 is a legendary live vocal microphone known for its rugged reliability on tour.

If you need a microphone that will last a life time, this is the one for you!​

The Features

This mic is a beast!

Shure SM58 Tilted

Whether you play live, in the studio or both...

...It will last you years and won't let you down!

The best thing is:

The SM58 is a dynamic microphone so you won’t need:

  • Phantom power (48v).
  • A pop filter
  • Or even a shock mount.

It comes with a handy travel case and a microphone holder that screws onto your mic stand...

Shure SM58 Accessories

...These are all fine and dandy, but most people already have a microphone holder.

 (Never hurts to have more than one though right?)

Also:

The only thing the travel case is going to protect is your mic from is dust.

Good thing this microphone is built like a champ!

It’s Perfect for a beginner, someone on a budget or anyone who likes to travel light and use something they can rely on.

The Specs

Shure SM58 Polar Pattern
Shure SM58 Frequency Response

The sm58 is specifically tailored to vocals.

It has a bass roll off at 100Hz and starts to raise up from 1kHz which peaks at 5kHz. It has a little dip at 7.5kHz and rolls off at 10kHz.

This gives it a nice high end boost which gives you brighter and more crisp sounding vocals.

Not only that:

Thanks to its polar pattern it works great when playing live...

...As it rejects a lot of unwanted noise and minimizes feedback.

Just one less thing to worry about while on stage.

Hear It in Action

Think I’m lying about the durability of this thing? Watch this video from Musician's Friend and find out what this microphone can withstand!


​​5

​SHURE - SM7B

Overall Rating

Build Quality

Price:

$399

Type:

Dynamic

Polar Pattern:

Cardioid

Freq Response:

50Hz - 20kHz

Price:

$399

Type:

Dynamic

Polar Pattern:

Cardioid

Freq Response:

50Hz - 20kHz

We Like

  • ​​​Excellent for voice overs
  • ​​Different frequency response options
  • ​​Doesn't require a shock mount
  • check
    ​Very rich and smooth low end
  • check
    ​Great for loud rock vocals
  • check
    Has a lovely clean and warm sound
  • check
    ​Works really well in untreated environments

We Dislike

  • ​​The gain is very low out of the box
  • ​​May require a pre-amp
  • ​​Not a mic to use on stage
  • ​​Most expensive microphone on the list
Shure SM7B

Summary:

No matter whether you’re a streamer, radio DJ or a powerful rock vocalist.

This could be the mic for you!

This mic works Great for talking and singing!

It's a little more expensive than the others on this list...

...But it blows most of them out of the water! With its rich low end and clean and warm tone.

But here’s the kicker:

When you first get this microphone out of the box the gain is set extremely low, and you will more than likely need a preamp (which is not your audio interface).

Scroll down to discover what a preamp is and what I personally recommend.

Even though you will have to get a preamp, I would still highly recommend this microphone.

The Features

Many people fall in love with this microphone because of the completely natural yet richly satisfying low end.

What does this mean?

No more of your vocals sounding thin!

Not only that:

The high end on this mic is extremely smooth and clean, making it great for both music and speech.

Another great feature is the shock mount being built into the microphone.

It does a great job at deflecting noise and actually takes up less space than traditional microphones with an external shock mount.

Shure SM7B Top

This microphone is perfect if you stream on Twitch, record your own podcasts, talk on a radio station, make YouTube videos etc.

But it is also very effective when singing.

Quick tip: Whenever you want to record yourself singing, take off the foam wind shield. It will brighten up the high end and de-muffle some midrange the foam causes.

There is a feature that compensates for the lack of brightness this microphone has...

...That is called presence boost.

And it gives you even better results!

Shure SM7B Wind Sock

Here’s the catch:

The deal with this microphone is you need a lot of clean gain to push through it.

About 60dB...

...So, make sure your equipment can produce that or you will end up with a very low noise output.

If it can't, you will need to get a preamp.

Something like the Cloudlifter would do perfectly.

Cloud Lifter

...I almost forgot to tell you:

This is the same microphone that Michael Jackson used for his vocals on Thriller.

The best-selling album ever!

The Specs

Shure SM7B Polar Pattern
Shure SM7B Frequency Response

This microphone has 3 different frequency responses. That can be changed at the back of the microphone.

  • Flat response
  • Bass roll off
  • Presence boost
Shure SM7B Switches

It can be tricky to flip the switches as they are recessed into the back plate, you will need to use your nail or something like a paperclip.

This shouldn't be too much of a worry because once you have it set, you will rarely change it.

Flat response has a flat EQ across the board, and sounds creamy and smooth with spoken vocals.

Presence boost is great for singers wanting a bit more brightness and edge that cuts through the mix.

I usually keep the flat response setting on all the time, as this sounds nice with my voice.

Want to know the best thing?

The fact that this microphone works so great in under-par studios, just makes me love it even more.

Let’s face it:

Not everybody has a perfect studio...

...But because of its tight proximity effect, there’s not a lot of room sound to be heard.

This makes it amazing for anyone wanting to record in their bedroom or any unideal place without acoustic treatment.

Hear It in Action

Listen to the rich, smooth and creamy low end from this microphone while it gets reviewed with no processing except for the loudness:


And The Winner Is...

Ashton origin The Winner

Aston Microphones - Origin

  • ​​​The best looking​​​​
  • ​The Best sounding

And the most impressive microphone in it's price range.​


Which is your favourite

Tell me:

Out of all the mics which one are you going to pick?

Leave a comment below and tell me which microphone is your favourite.

Or let me know if you think a different mic should have been in this list.

Either way, leave a quick comment below right now.

Leave a Comment: