While a rapper wants a lot (cars, clothes, girls in bikinis etc.), tracking down the best mic for recording rap vocals should be their top priority. Why?
Well, let’s just say that Hip Hop is now very much the ‘in’ thing. So much so that to actually stand out and have a chance of becoming a major rap-star, you first have to sound the part. Gone are the days of crackly mixtapes recorded from someone’s basement. After all, this is the 21st century, so even the worst rap microphones can no doubt present you with a clearer sound. However that’s not to say that choosing the best microphone for rap isn’t important. It most certainly is, especially if you are (or aspire to be) a pro MC!
With SO many MCs now stepping up to the mic, your sound is one of the few things that you can use to distinguish yourself from the pack. In other words, grab the attention of both listeners & music labels. So to ‘cheap out’ on a rap microphone would be a bit of a schoolboy error. And yet, it’s not like tracking one down is easy as 1-2-3.
The more rappers step up to the mic, the more companies ‘conveniently’ decide to manufacture their own vocal mic. Saying that though, this sudden surge has caused prices to drop. So you can now pick up a HQ rap mic for significantly less than your monthly pay packet!! Only trouble is, go mic shopping and you’ll be spoiled for choice. So to help you uncover the best mic for recording rap vocals, we’ve reviewed 11 of our top picks to help you narrow down your options.
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The best rap microphones @ a glance…
12 of the best mics for recording rap vocals in 2023…
Although on the face of it, finding the best mic for recording rap vocals seems pretty simple, it’s actually quite a task. That’s because a rap microphone has to deal with a lot. Not only does it have to be able to record your fast-paced delivery in detail, but it also has to diffuse plosives like a boss! Exactly why the best microphone for rap may not be what you expect.
While certain mics do work exceedingly well for pop stars and voiceover artists, whether they work for rappers or not is another story. So without further ado, here’s our rundown of the 11 best mics for recording rap vocals…
Condenser mics for recording bars in the booth (+ 1 exception)
1: Rode NT2-A studio mic
The rode NT2-A is a classy microphone equipped with everything you are looking for in a mic, making it a sure shot choice for you. RØDE NT2-A Studio Pack has a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with three pickup features, including a cardioid, omnidirectional, and even a figure 8, thus providing excellent range and accessibility.
Alongside that, RØDE NT2-A Studio Pack also comes with great build quality. This means that when you hold the mic, its renowned quality is represented in its weight and solidity, thus making this durable. Not only this, but it also has a sleek silver exterior with a sleek appearance, fulfilling all your aesthetics aptly.
Moving on, a high-pass filter switch allows for 40Hz and even 80 HZ. All in all, this is a great mic to invest in if you are dealing with several ranges or voices since it can manage almost anything and enhance their frequencies without ruining its quality, consequently presenting it great for whatever instrument you want to use.
2: CAD Audio E300S condenser microphone
One of the most exquisite mics produced by CAD is the E300S since it offers the best performance. This means that not only can it be used behind doors in a studio to record music, but you can effectively use it in a live setting to play for a crowd.
An amazing feature of the CAD AUDIO E300S Condenser Microphone is its gold vapor deposited multi-pattern which ensures exceptional performance and accuracy. To further elaborate, the multi-pattern diaphragm capsule includes a cardioid pattern, Omni pattern, and even a figure-of-eight pattern.
The capsule is hand-dampened for consistent response. In addition, you get a stage filter to improve stability with a hard-shell composite carrying case, delivering this as one of the most advanced vocal mics out there that’s perfect for professionals.
3: Shure SM7B broadcast quality rap mic (the exception)
Shure’s collection of mics is something it prides itself on. You can find it all over music studios, sound stages, and even live music venues. With that much popularity, their SM7B Dynamic microphone is one of the finest mics you can turn to, especially for podcasting purposes.
Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone delivers ideal sound in whatever environment it is kept in since it works impressively for sound delivered at any level of every voice, making it essentially better. Another thing that adds to Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone’s glory is its rugged construction with a certain aesthetical appeal, which presents carrying and using it better.
The Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone has three frequency response settings: presence boost, flat, and bass roll-off, which, when added with the detachable windscreen, make this microphone stand out. Although some might believe that Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone does not have a pop filter like other mics, however, its windscreen is enough to deal with the plosives in the best manner possible.
Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone comes with a switch cover plate and shock isolation, making it indifferent to any physical vibration and allowing it to be mounted at any desk without any hassle. With all these features, we can surely overlook the fact that its price point is high.
4: Aston Microphones Spirit studio microphone
This microphone has easily become one of the best products in the market, owing to many reasons. The Aston stealth is a microphone with an active preamp and independent voicings that you can easily switch. Also, it comes fitted with four distinct voicing options and limiting distortion, making it great for almost everybody.
It has high flexibility because it can act as both a condenser and a dynamic microphone, as seen with its switching between active/passive modes proving its great versatility. In addition, the shock mount it comes fitted with prevents rumble.
It can auto-detect power to engage active mode, which is a unique feature and makes this condenser one of the best inline.
5: Blue Baby Bottle SL vocal rap mic
The predecessor of this Blue Baby Bottle is ‘the bottle,’ and even though that might be good, the new Baby Bottle is a much more focused sound with an even better price point.
The diaphragm of the Blue Baby Bottle SL XLR Condenser Microphone is hand-tuned, gold-sputtered, and brass plated, making this already a great buy. Alongside that, it also has top-notch circuitry with a 20 dB pad. A great feature of this device is its self-noise, which is extremely low, proving to be the finest compared to several others.
Blue Baby Bottle SL XLR Condenser Microphone comes with a shock mount, which adds the cherry on top and makes this the perfect mic out there for guitars, drum overheads, and even pianos.
6: Shure SM27 recording mic for vocals
Shure products have set the bar high for delivering excellent goods. This fact is further rooted in truth because of Shure SM27’s excellent exterior, which is made incredibly rugged with a side address and a microphone for the large diaphragm.
Shure SM27 has the feature to limit self-noise. In addition, it has a frequency response that is so amazing that it can pick up on even the slightest noises and offers great sound, even at higher volumes. Some might say that this microphone only offers one polar pattern, but what is exceptional is how it manages that polar pattern.
The cardioid polar pattern it comes with eliminates all kinds of sounds, which works great for any individual artist. With high output levels, three mesh layers acting as a pop filter, and a neutral frequency response, this microphone is a package to look out for.
7: AKG C414 XLII
More info coming soon!
8: Electro-Voice RE320
More info coming soon!
Dynamic mics for rapping onstage…
9: Sennheiser MD421 dynamic rap mic
This is one of those mics which is a must-have if you need to tolerate the higher sound pressure levels. It is safe to say that Sennheiser MD421 does the job surprisingly well. With great durability, this Sennheiser MD421 mic has an interior body made up of advanced circuitry elements.
If that is not good enough, Sennheiser MD421 also has an amazing sound quality which is probably the first reason to buy this device. Moreover, its beautiful build is another feature that adds to Sennheiser MD421’s charm, which can be seen through the refined steel basket and hardy enclosure.
The cardioid magnet field through which it picks up interruptions is also a unique trait that adds polarity, preventing feedback. In addition, Sennheiser MD421 comes with a frequency ranging from 30 Hertz to 17 Kilohertz. As a result, Sennheiser MD421 provides better focus with a clearer capture, making this one of the better options in the market for drums, amplifiers, and even heavy distortion because of Sennheiser MD421 ability not to be overly sensitive.
10: SE Electronics V7 dynamic rap mic
In this era where vintage products are in high demand, why should microphones be any behind? This is exactly the motivation behind choosing the V7 Dynamic vocal Microphone. It has those specific touches of a mid-20th century European mic but with great sound quality right on par with the 21st century.
One of the great features of this mic that equips it with an open and crisp sound is its aluminum coil, which is custom-developed and ticks all the right boxes for great sound quality while also keeping it natural. Alongside that, V7 Dynamic vocal Microphone’s super-cardioid capsule is another excellent finish, which ensures sound isolation.
V7 Dynamic vocal Microphone comes with an integrated shock mount, which eradicates any distracting sounds and comes with an internal windscreen to get rid of unwanted air and allow you to use this mic without any hurdle.
As mentioned above, the internal characteristics of V7 Dynamic vocal Microphone are excellent, with features like a windshield, shock mount, and an aluminum coil. The external body is what you need. It comes with heavy-duty metal construction made from zinc.
11: Shure SM58-LCE performance rap microphone
If you’re looking for a mic that is a whole package and serves all your needs without costing you a fortune, then this is just the thing for you. Not only is the Shure SM58-LCE Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone highly durable, affordable, and reliable, but it also has everything a vocal microphone should have.
Although many say that SM58 is 15 years old, we believe it still has all the characteristics to daze you. Starting from a durable and rugged construction made from metal and a removable grill, this mic ensures that you can use it for a long time without worrying. It also has a cardioid pickup pattern and a recording emphasis of midrange, i.e., picking up sounds that are either not too low or too high.
The cardioid pickup pattern also assures that the background noise is reduced exponentially, proving lesser focus on the mic’s placement because of the high quality of the microphone. In addition, Shure SM58-LCE Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone has an internal shock mount, reducing the chance of being distracted by external noises and handling noises.
The stand adapter is a great touch making the Shure SM58 excellent for live performances. In addition, Shure SM58-LCE Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphoneworks effectively in louder noises and ensures distortion and noise rejection. With so many functions, Shure SM58-LCE fits the needs of a vocalist and podcaster, making this an optimal choice
Here’s the best cheap microphone for rapping…
If you’re just starting off in the rap game, then splashing mega £$€ on a rap microphone may not be the wisest move.
If anything, you’d be better opting for a more budget rap microphone & funnelling the rest of your cash into other gear like midi keyboards, studio monitors & VSTs. Besides, even if you’re on a budget, that doesn’t have to stop you from achieving a great Hip Hop sound. In fact, until the time comes to upgrade to something mega-pro like a Telefunken or Neumann, most rappers can suffice with a Rode mic.
More specifically the NT1-A, which as far as rap mics go is no sluch, yet won’t set you back all that much in the way of cash. Hence why if you ask us, it’s easily the best cheap rap microphone for beginners…
12: Rode NT1-A recording microphone
Often, people confuse having a good quality microphone with something pricey and while that might be the case in certain scenarios, rode manufacturers surely don’t believe this way. Instead, they make excellent products at highly reasonable prices, making them accessible all across the world. So, not surprisingly, the Rode NT1 proved to be the best microphone for recording vocals.
This is because it is a cardioid polar pattern condenser microphone, which means it picks up sound from all sides and rejects unwanted sound later. Rode NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Microphone is constructed from aluminium and is nickel-plated to protect against any corrosion while also being coated with a durable and scratch-resistant layer, ensuring this microphone’s high quality and long-lasting ability.
The performance of this microphone is phenomenal with a wide frequency response between 20hz – 20kHz and has a warm and natural frequency curve. Rode NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Microphone is extremely quiet and ensures no disturbance but will pick up any background noise. Thus it will probably be a good idea to record vocals in a silent space. Rode NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Microphone has a pop shield with a shock mount, ensuring no distractions and guaranteeing the best performance.
Which mic is best for rapping in 2023? Our editor’s choice…
Putting a finger on the best microphone for rapping isn’t exactly straight forward. Because as you’ve probably gathered, how well suited a mic is to being a ‘rap microphone’ is hinged somewhat on your voice. Nevertheless, if we were recording a studio album, we’d say you could get away with both a dynamic or condenser microphone, providing you play your cards right.
By that we mean invest in the right microphone. So after much intense deliberation, we’ve managed to reach our verdict on both the best condenser mic for rapping, as well as the best dynamic mic too. So without further ado…
Shure SM7B Broadcast Mic = Best Dynamic Rap Microphone
When it comes to dynamic mic, few are as suited to studio recording as the Shure SM7B. And while this mic is popular amongst radio DJs for interviews & would work really well as a podcast mic, as a rap microphone it’s certainly no slouch either.
It’s the sensitivity of this mic that really sets it apart. At just -59db the SM7B is incredibly quiet, which makes it ideal for achieving a strong crisp vocal. Exactly what every rapper needs not just to stand out, but to be properly understood. And on the subject of clarity, the SM7B goes above and beyond in comparison to other dynamic mics, and even puts some condenser mics to shame too.
That built in air in-built air suspension system really does its job. Out of the all the mics on this list, the Shure arguably performs the best in terms of reducing interference and handling noise! And being a dynamic microphone, the amount of background noise it picks up is minimal anyway.
Then there’s the fact that the sound itself is flexible too. The low cut filter and the mid boost mean that virtually any rapper with any tone of voice, could get comfortable with this mic. It really is versatile. Couple this with the insanely good build quality and you do struggle to find fault. So much so that the Shure SM7B is (what we believe to be) the best dynamic microphone for recording rap vocals. However before you buy the SM7B, consider this…
CAD Audio E300S = Best Condenser Mic For Recording Rap Vocals
Now, we said our best mic for recording rap vocals wasn’t one you’d expect… and we weren’t lying. That’s because when it comes to all-round flexibility, no mic – not even the Rode NT2-A – can steal the crown from the CAD E300s. A condenser mic that isn’t really talked about that much, and yet we struggle to understan d why.
In terms of sound, we couldn’t really fault the CAD. Being a condenser mic, it’s far more tonal and detailed in comparison to a dynamic. Let’s just that the E300s doesn’t make your voice sound flat. Exactly what you need if you’re a rapper, especially if you’re one that also sings on the odd occasion. What’s more, the E300s also comes with a wealth of options for adjusting your polar pattern, tone of recording and so. In fact, we’d say it’s equally as flexible as the NT2-A in that respect. Not to mention that double layered mesh grill to fend off any pesky plosives.
And yet, this is a condenser mic that you can take virtually anywhere, as aside from phantom power, it can also be powered by 9V batteries! Our favourite perk of this mic, as it makes it ideal for a ‘pop up’ freestyle or just a vocal mic for use on location. But crucially, it manages to pack all this functionality into something that really does feel professional.
The build of the E300s is up there with the best too. This rap microphone has a really nice weight to it and the rubberised outer doesn’t just feel really comfortable, but also works super well on the go to prevent from any slippages. As far as microphones go, the E300s doesn’t cost all that much for what it is either. And that exactly is why we feel it’s the best condenser mic for recording rap vocals. The E300s performs like a A-lister, yet is very much the plucky underdog.
Enjoy this review of the best rap microphones & eager for more? Be sure to check out our latest Reviews Of Recording Gear, as well as tap into our Knowledge Of Music Production. We recently also published an article on a bunch of Good Vocal Mics Under 500 + another on the Best Pop Filters, which may also be a good read.
Or if you want to delve even further into our rap microphones review, be sure to dive into the FAQs below…