SPOILER: Not all vocal mics can be crowned the ‘best vocal microphone for recording’.
Perplexing, we know – but it’s no joke! Not all mics are made equal, even they’re specifically designed for recording vocals. Different mics are at home in different environments. They also work better for certain types of voices too. So while one could be the best microphone for singing, another could be the best rap microphone or more suited to live performance. Something you need to establish before making a mad dash for the checkout.
Fail to do so and you’ll likely end up with the most popular or well marketed vocal mic. Not necessarily the best vocal microphone for your voice. A slight difference that believe us, really does make all the difference! As let’s face it, the last thing you want to do is to rip open the box to an pricey vocal mic, only to realise that by doing so, you’ve actually forfeited the right to return it. In other words, exchange it for the mic you would have bought had you read this blog.
A sticky situation, as finding the best vocal microphone for recording you and your voice, could be all that’s needed to differentiate you from other artists. While you can work magic in a DAW, nothing can beat a clear raw vocal! So to help you buy right first time, we’ve reviewed & pulled apart 19 of the best vocal mics you can get your hands on in 2023.
On the hunt for something specific about a professional microphone for singing? Or just curious as to what we think is the best vocal mic in 2023? Use the menu below to find all the answers you need in 1 click…
The best vocal microphones @ a glance…
10+ of the best professional microphones for singing…
Professional microphones come in all shapes and sizes. Not to mention cater for different voices and styles of singing. So during this rundown of the top 17 vocal mics for singers, each mic’s rank will be based on how it performs in relation to the average singing voice. Something like you’re typical pop vocal.
But just to clear, if certain mics work particularly well with another style of vocal, we will make it known. Classical vocalists or those who’ve got a slight raspy tone, may benefit from reading up on all 17, as these voices tend to be the most difficult to place. Not that it’s stopped us though! So without further ado, here’s our rundown of the best vocal microphones for recording singers in 2023…
* Vocal microphones come in two types – condenser & dynamic. Condenser mics are usually the way to go when recording vocals in the studio, although there are some exceptions like the Shure SM7B (below). If you’re after a mic for more ‘in the moment’ type recordings, then you may actually be after the Best Dynamic Mics For Performing Live instead.
1: Rode NT2-A mic for singers
2: AKG C414 XLII
3: Shure SM7B microphone
4: Aston Microphones Spirit vocal mic
5: Blue Baby Bottle SL mic
6: CAD Audio E300S microphone
7: Shure SM27 mic for singers
8: Audio-Technica AT4040 mic
9: Beyerdynamic M 90 PRO X
10: Rode NT1000 mic for vocals
Beginners: Here’s the best vocal mic for singing…
If you’re a keen singer, then at the VERY least, you need a mic that compliments your vocals.
The last thing you want is to spend your £$€ on a mic, only to find that it doesn’t magnify or accentuate your voice in the right way. I think we’d be right in saying that no singer would pay for a mic that dulls their voice. Something you have to be careful of when choosing a microphone for singing. Because not only do some mics work better for spoken word, opposed to singing, BUT there’s also the chance that a mic doesn’t suit the character of your voice. Husky singers, we’re talking to you!
And besides, we did manage to find a mic that suits a vast range of vocal styles. So much so that (despite being a budget mic) it’s even been mistaken for one of the best vocal mics for singing in existence… (like WOW!!)
11: Tech Zone Audio Stellar X2 vintage mic
Strapped for space? Here’s the best hyper cardioid mic for recording…
If a singing mic needs to be portable, or you’re one to record in busy spaces (i.e. need to eliminate a lot of background noise), then going hyper cardioid would be the way to go.
See, while ‘technically’ hyper cardioid mics are like the Shure SM7B (dynamic mics – not condensers) we have found them to produce a quality sound across a wide range of voices. Yes – the clarity may not be as crisp of that you’ll find with a condenser mic, neither will there be quite as much ‘space’ to the vocal. BUT for a portable mic that’s the size of a tube of Smarties, hyper cardioids don’t do bad. Team that with a considerably cheaper £$€ + the fact they DON’T require phantom power (i.e. you can save £$€ on an audio interface too), & it has to be said that hyper cardioid mics do make a LOT of sense.
So if you fancy going hyper cardioid with your singing setup, here’s what we consider to be the best hyper cardioid mic for recording vocals…
12: Rode M5 (hyper cardioid pair)
After a real looker? Here’s the most sexy recording mic we could find…
Now, as vain as it might sound, if a mic is going to star in a music video, it NEEDS to look the part.
Don’t argue… nope… button it! See, as much as one mic might be technically superior, how many people do you see performing live grasping a U87? Or fondling a blacked-out SM7B? Exactly – very few. And that’s because while a mic does have to sound impressive, if it doubles as a prop, it also need to look like the mic of a superstar too. Part of the reason why the mics used on X Factor & American Idol etc. look they’ve been plucked straight out of a Hollywood film set.
Hence why if your vocal mic also doubles as prop, we’d suggest avoiding all of the above & taking a look at the jaw-dropping gorgeous…
13: Shure Super 55 performance mic
Budget no option? Try this…
If £$€ is no object, then what can we say – go wild… within reason.
Because while there are plenty pricey vocal mics out there, that’s not to say all of them are worth their hyper-inflated price tag. What you really need to be looking for in this scenario is an added bonus – a reason to justify why spending the extra on a high-end pro-grade mic is worth it. Let’s just say that after a LOT of testing, we seriously struggled to find any mics with a 4 figure price tag, that we’d seriously be able to recommend. Most didn’t really seem to have a USP worth backing…
That was until we discovered this mic from Lewitt. A high-grade recording mic, which unlike virtually all the mics on this list, boasts a built in fet! So if you’re an audiophile with serious £$€ to splash, this is the only super premium vocal mic that (to us) actually makes sense…
14: Lewitt LCT 940 vocal mic
Which is the best mic for singing? Our editor’s choice…
When deciding on the best vocal microphone for recording singers, of course you have to take into account sound quality. But that’s not all. There’s also how usable a microphone is, as well as its build quality. Not to mention its features and price too. Really then when you’re looking for the best mic for singing, you’re actually looking for the best all rounder. A mic that we believe we’ve found.
Rode NT2-A = Best Recording Mic For Singers
At first, we were sceptical about the Rode NT2-A. At the beginning of this review, we didn’t really think it made sense. Why would you buy this condenser mic when you can get its smaller cousin, the NT1-A, for a fraction of the price? A mic that’s a gazillion times more popular & is by far one of the best budget vocal mics out there.
Well you see, while on first impressions the NT2-A doesn’t make a lot of sense once you look beneath that brushed steel body, suddenly all of that changes. Out of all the mics we tested, the NT2-A is up there with the best in terms of sound quality. Rode really did a good job of making this mic sound warm and crisp – exactly the qualities you’re after when recording vocals. Team this with the quiet noise floor (-7DBa) as well as the high max SPL (157 DB) and you really can get some sensational tones out of this mic.
But that’s the thing with the NT2-A , sound is just the start. To put it out there, this is one of ‘the’ best built mainstream mics that we’ve ever come across. The whole feel of this mic just screams premium. There’s a real decent weight to it! You really get the impression that this mic has been well engineered. Everything on this mic, even the XLR port and the switch feel very much ‘part of’ the design, opposed to just being an afterthought. Even the shock mount is made of metal!
Then consider the sheer amount of features that the NT2-A has over the majority of vocal mics – pads, high pass filters, polars patterns etc. And the true flexibility of this mic really does shine through. Yes, it may not be the most forgiving in terms of background noise, but let’s face it, if you’re serious about your sound then you’ll be recording in a studio or soundproofed room anyway.
In fact, that’s the only flaw we could find with this mic, as even the price makes sense when you really look at this mic’s capabilities. Exactly why we’d waste no time in saying that it’s the best microphone for recording singers. The NT2-A is flexible beyond belief, extremely well built and sets you back nowhere near as much as a Neumann mic.
A combo that we think you’ll be hard pushed to beat.
Enjoy this review of the best vocal microphone for recording & eager for more? Don’t miss out on our latest Vocal & Recording Reviews, as well as All Things Music Production. Recently, we also did a rundown of the best Vocal Microphones Around 500 + another on the Best Mic Stands, which may also be a good read!
Or if you’ve still got a burning question about the vocal microphones and how they compare to , keep reading & we’ll do our best to answer any more of your burning questions…