We went through hundreds of discussion threads in our forums to figure out the best microphone for recording vocals under $350 - here’s what we found!

Audio-Technica AT4040

The AT4040 can be considered the baby brother of Audio Technica’s 40-series professional condenser microphones having earned a fine reputation for many years now. With low noise, wide dynamic range and high-SPL capability this side-address condenser mic has been applied with great results not only in vocal tracks but also instruments such as pianos and acoustic guitars. The microphone features cardioid polar pattern, 20Hz-20kHz frequency response and a 12dB/oct low frequency roll of switch set to 80Hz.

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.

Shure SM27

Shure LDCs may be lesser known than its dynamic siblings but that doesn’t mean they’re lacking the sound quality and rugged construction the company has always been acclaimed for. Arguably the most popular large diaphragm condenser made by the Japanese company, the SM27 is a flexible microphone with high off-axis rejection and fast transient response that makes it ideal for vocals and instruments. The SM27 also features a three-position switchable low-frequency filter (flat, -6dB/oct set to 115Hz and -18dB/oct below 80Hz) and a pad switch that can handle up to 152dB SPL.

Aston Microphones Spirit

UK-based company Aston’s Spirit condenser microphone can be taken as a refined version of their best-seller, the Origin mic. Both are often described as nice all-rounders suiting vocals as well as instruments, one could say the Spirit is a ‘pro’ version of the Origin with features such as switchable polar patterns (omni, cardioid and figure-8) and two more pad options offering -20dB/-10dB/0dB of attenuation. The Aston Spirit is a natural smooth sounding microphone developed with the feedback from highly regarded professionals in the industry.

Lauten Audio LA-220 V2

Already established as a stellar FET condenser microphone the Lauten Audio LA-220 was revamped to version 2 with functional and aesthetic enhancements while “maintaining its sound, through-hole circuitry, and custom-crafted Lauten Audio capsule” as stated by the company by the time of its release. With its built-in low and high pass filters, both switchable between flat and 12kHz (Low-pass) and 120Hz (High-pass), the LA-220 presents itself as a two-tone transformer balanced FET condenser microphone offering users the capability of switching between classic and modern tones.

Blue Microphones Bluebird SL

Blue Microphones conquered the hearts and ears of the industry with its retro-style bottle design and really good value for money even though its range of products can go from inexpensive usb mics to a nearly 4000 USD worth innovative vacuum tube condenser. As part of the company’s ‘Pro XLR’ range, the Bluebird SL is a best-seller known for its elegant response of higher-frequencies in part due to its hand-built, gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragm. The microphone also features a high-pass switch set to 100Hz and a -10dB pad.

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.


Around for more than two decades, the Rode NT1000 Large-diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone continues to be a sought-after microphone mainly because of its sturdyness, smooth sound and attractive price tag. Built with the same true capacitor capsule as the company's premium tube condenser (NTK), the NT1000 is a studio workhorse with low self noise (6dBA) and full frequency response.

Universal Audio SD-1

The Universal SD-1 Standard Dynamic is one of the first UA's released microphones. A very flexible dynamic cardioid studio microphone ready for any application such as vocals, instruments, podcasting, recording or live performances. The SD-1 also featires a switchable 200Hz high-pass filter as well as an articulation boost switch that bumps the frequency spectrum between 3kHz and 5kHz brightening your vocal tracks.

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.