We asked the Gearspace.com hive-mind for their suggestion for the best microphone for recording vocals under $300 and here’s what they recommended.


Audio-Technica AT2020

There’s a good chance that Audio-Technica's AT2020 was the first condenser microphone for many of us in this community. Due to its super affordable price and wide availability, it made its way into so many project studios and became a true getaway to recording. The AT2020’s character is mostly neutral with a slight boost on the upper mids and highs that favours vocals, capturing all nuance and articulation of the performance, and its cardioid pickup pattern does a good job on avoiding room reverb. It literally costs a hundred bucks, so it’s a great entry point for anyone who needs to record vocals with high quality on little cash.



Warm Audio WA-47jr

The sound of one of the most coveted mics in recording history for less than three hundred bucks? Yes, you heard that right! Warm Audio is known for making quality gear that doesn’t cost a kidney to own, and the WA-47jr certainly caught the attention of everyone on Gearspace when it was announced. This condenser microphone boasts tube circuitry and the famed K-47-style capsule that made the original U47 so good, and it features three polar patterns (cardioid, omni and figure-8), attenuation pad (-10dB) and a high-pass filter at 70Hz to avoid excessive low end. Thanks to its variety of polar patterns, it can also be used on sources other than vocals, making it a true workhorse mic for the budget-conscious setup.



sE Electronics sE2200

The sE2200 cardioid condenser is built upon a highly successful design, so instead of reinventing the wheel, sE Electronics updated and improved their older sE2200 “A” version to keep with the times - and they did so without raising the cost! It features class-A circuit with discrete for lower self-noise and increased consistency, a hand-built capsule that is individually verified for quality, custom output transformer and a brand new all-metal housing with a classy matte black finish. For those seeking a multi-pattern mic to record other sources, make sure to check out the sE2300.



Lewitt LCT 440 PURE

Lewitt has been making waves over the past few years with their impressive products, and although the LCT 440 PURE is one of their most affordable microphones it is nothing short of amazing. Its design shares many notes with its more expensive siblings, including the most crucial components such as the circuit and capsule. It also includes the classy LCT 50 PSx pop-filter, which is magnetically attached to the mic and doesn’t add extra clutter or unnecessary weight, making mounting and placement much easier. Sound-wise the LCT 440 PURE is clear and open, with a gentle lift on the mid-highs and a cardioid polar pattern that makes it a great fit for any voice.



Shure MV7X

Although it is marketed by Shure as a podcast microphone, the MV7X is actually an excellent cardioid dynamic microphone for any voice-related application: spoken word, voiceover, vocals on music, they all can benefit greatly from this mic. Bearing great visual resemblance to the iconic SM7B, which is a staple for broadcast and also well-known for its excellence on hip-hop, rap, rock and metal vocals, the MV7X not only draws from its looks but also from the sound character, delivering a performance that is certainly in the same ballpark of its “older brother”.



Aston Microphones Origin

A superb microphone with some unique looks that will also impress when recording. The British-made Origin is Aston’s most affordable LDC microphone and features a fixed cardioid pattern, a stainless steel body, distinctive waveform mesh head design with built-in pop filter, a custom moulded base with integrated XLR connector and a stand adapter at the bottom, which is very convenient for easy mounting. It also comes with switches for the -10dB attenuation pad and for the 80Hz low-cut filter. The Origin’s frequency response is mostly flat, but it shows a subtle shelf-style boost past 2kHz which drops a bit after 10kHz, which in theory should add some clarity for vocals. Overall the Origin is a very interesting choice if you’re looking for a microphone that is very well-rounded in all aspects and that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.



Antelope Axino Synergy Core

The Axino Synergy Core brings Antelope’s award-winning modelling technology to a friendly price point that more people can afford. The Axino is a true chameleon as it can emulate eighteen different microphones ranging from all sorts of condensers to dynamics, including some of the most widely used modes for vocals. It also features ten real-time effects such as EQ, compression, gating and de-esser that allows for a “record ready”, polished sound. A perfect mic for those on the go or looking for a compact setup since it doesn’t require an audio interface and can be plugged directly to a Windows or Mac computer or laptop via USB. It also provides a handy headphone output for monitoring and general use as an interface as well.




Beyerdynamic M 69 TG

The handheld M69TG is an elegant yet simple dynamic mic with a hypercardioid pattern for ultimate focus and off-axis rejection. Despite being widely used for live sound applications due to its high feedback rejection, this microphone has found its way into collections around the world as it turns out it can actually provide great studio recordings too. The M69TG shows a frequency response from 50Hz to 18kHz, with a lift in the 2-10kHz area that will definitely benefit vocals and it also displays a boost in the lows past 200Hz when used in close proximity to the source. A high sensitivity means that won’t require much from a mic preamp, so it’s basically good to go regardless of the situation, and you don't need a tonne of gain to get great results. A very appealing choice and a great all-around mic that will deliver very good results anywhere.



Electro-Voice RE320

The RE320 continues the legacy of the legendary RE20, one of the top recommendations when it comes to capturing vocals and a true industry standard. The RE320 is a dynamic mic with a cardioid pickup pattern, featuring a very recognizable steel body and two operating modes accessed by a switch located near the XLR connector. The first mode is designed for kick drums, featuring some dips in the low mids and a boost at the mid-high range, whilst the second mode is meant for vocals and instruments, and ranges from 45Hz to 18kHz in a more linear fashion up until 5kHz, where it picks up a few dBs to enhance clarity and top end detail. The RE320 is also known for its proximity effect that considerably boosts the low end under 200Hz when taken up close, adding heft and girth to a performance. A safe and reliable choice that will not disappoint.



RODE NT1-A

When “affordable mics” is the topic, this must be one of the most commented and discussed microphones of all time. The NT1-A is a large diaphragm condenser with a cardioid polar pattern, very low noise and a wide frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz, with some peaks over the mid-highs and a subtle high-frequency lift. This is a rather simple to use mic with no switches or extra features, it deals well with high sound pressure levels and will take almost any vocal style. If you've got some extra budget available you might also want to try the more refined (and more expensive) NT1000, but regardless, the NT1-A is definitely worth considering if the funds are limited.



It’s interesting to note that there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” and it shows that a vocal recording can be done with a wide variety of microphone types - condenser or dynamic, it all depends on the source. Click to research more condenser microphones and dynamic microphones.
There is a great discussion thread on this exact topic here!