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Best Dynamic Microphones For Vocals (For Every Budget)

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Dynamic mics are excellent for recording vocals – everything from podcasting to voiceovers to singing – and work especially well when you’re recording multiple people in the same room.

Like our similar article on the best condenser microphones, there are a variety of different models at different price points.

Dynamic mics, especially higher end models, tend to require a large amount of gain to record adequate levels.

This can introduce noise on cheaper preamps (and some might not even have enough gain to record), so I recommend considering investing in a separate preamp (the DBX286s is a great option) or the Cloudlifter CL-1 (it uses phantom power to give passive mics an extra 25dB of gain). Just remember to get an extra XLR cable.

Dynamic microphones also work well for live performances, so you’ll find a handful of wired dynamic mics that you’d find during a live presentation.

If you’re interested in wireless live vocal mics, we have a separate article for that.

To save you some time, here my top dynamic mic picks in 2021 at various price points:

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Best Condenser Microphones For Voice Recording (For Every Budget)

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Condenser microphones (also known as capacitor microphones) are well-known for their excellent audio quality and sensitivity. They typically have wider frequency response and better transient response than dynamic microphones.

They require power to work either through batteries or by phantom power and are preferred for studio recording or other environments where background noise can be controlled.

We’re going to be focused on large-diaphragm condenser microphones commonly used in home studios for recording voice, singing, podcasting, guitar, and more.

Some models have more than one mic capsule, allowing them to record different pickup patterns from the standard cardioid pattern typically used with single-capsule models. This tends to add a bit of additional cost – and I’ll highlight those options as well.

The cost varies widely so we’ll organize them by price so you can choose a mic that fits your budget. You’ll find mostly mics that use XLR connections, but I’ll also highlight a few USB condenser mics as well.

Here are my top picks for each price point in 2021:

Best Microphones For YouTube Videos (With Top Creator Picks)

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Deciding what the best microphone for YouTube is will largely depend on the type or style of videos you are doing. In many cases, you will want more than one microphone so you that you can use the one that fits your situation best.

If you are doing screen recordings or voiceovers after you record, a USB or XLR studio mic would work best.

Lavalier microphones are great in a lot of situations where you don’t want to have to worry about how close to the mic you are – just clip them on and start recording.

Shotgun mics are excellent for run-and-gun style videos, vlogging, and sit-down interview-style shots.

Because there are many different types of videos, and different microphones that work well for recording them, we’ve highlighted our favorite YouTube mics by category so you can easily find what will work best.

Quick Overview: Best Microphones for YouTube Videos

IMAGE PRODUCT
Rode NT-USB
  • USB connection
  • Easy plug-n-play use
  • Included tripod
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Blue Yeti
  • 3 condenser mic capsules
  • Choose from 4 different pickup patterns
  • Includes a mute button, gain control, headphone jack, and a decent stand
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Audio-Technica AT2035
  • Comes with a shock mount
  • Has an 80Hz high-pass filter
  • Designed for critical home/project/professional studio applications
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Rode SmartLav+
  • Plug into your phone to get excellent audio
  • A popular choice
  • Uses a TRRS connection
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Rode VideoMic Pro+
  • Auto power on/off
  • Removable cable
  • Safety channel
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Audio-Technica AT4053B
  • Hypercardioid boom mic
  • Highly recommended for indoor dialogue
  • Mic capsule is interchangeable
VIEW ON AMAZON →

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Best Interview Microphones (Handheld, Shotgun & Lavalier)

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There are many different ways to record an interview: outside or inside, sitting or standing, planned or spur-of-the-moment, video or audio-only, and likely more that I haven’t thought of.

Each scenario will excel with a certain type of microphone and for planned interviews, people will commonly use a shotgun mic combined with a lavalier mic as a backup.

You will find the sections below highlighting handheld mics, shotgun mics, lavalier mics, and other accessories you may need. You’ll also find wireless options where it makes sense.

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Best Handheld Wireless Microphones (For Live Performances)

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We’re going to look at the best handheld wireless microphones with transmitters built into the body of the mic.

These mics are designed for live “performances” of any kind: business presentations, singing, churches, conferences, and any other type of event where you would want or need a live vocal microphone.

There have recently been some changes to the wireless frequencies allowed in the 600 MHz band (specifically 616–653 MHz and 663–698 MHz). Basically, stay away from any device that that even overlaps with these frequencies. Feel free to take a look at the wireless microphone guidelines at the FCC that was updated June 26, 2017.

Other considerations include:

  • Digital vs Analog
  • UHF or VHF (Ultra High Frequency or Very High Frequency)
  • Frequency range selectable (wider is typically better)
  • Useable transmitter to receiver distance (how far away the mic will work)
  • Number of simultaneous microphones
  • Budget
  • Sound quality (which microphone to get)
  • Pickup pattern

There are also options for wireless lavalier mics, head-worn mics, and wireless instrument lines that can all be used together in your mixing board. We’ll take a look at some of those other options in a future post.

For the most part, price and quality will go up as you go further down the list.

Let’s get into the wireless live vocal mic recommendations for 2021…

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