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Capture improved vocals with the Best Condenser Mic Under $500

The art of voice requires a lot of skill, knowledge, and money. One might always find himself or herself in a fix when choosing quality over expense. As the common conception says that more expensive things deliver better quality. Though it might be true in many scenarios, there are a lot of cheaper options of condenser mics out in the market which deliver the best sound outcomes.

Editor's Pick

Name

Rode NT2A Anniversary Edition


☞Frequency: 20-20k Hz
☞Self-noise: 147dBA
☞Maximum Output Level: 16.0mV

Here, we will present to you 7 options of the best condenser mics under 500$.

What to look for while buying the best condenser mic under 500$

The three different stakes on which the quality of a condenser mic depends which are:

Sensitivity:

The definition of sensitivity is the mic’s ability to pick up the subtle nuances of a room and sound source. In environments that are properly acoustically treated, a more sensitive microphone will capture a more detailed and realistic representation of the intended sound source.

The second definition is the sensitivity rating we find on a mic’s datasheet. This rating refers to the microphone’s output level when the mic is subjected to a certain sound pressure level. Condenser mics tend toward high sensitivity ratings due to their internal impedance converting and amplifier circuits.

Microphones with a high sensitivity rating will require less preamp gain and will, therefore, be less reliant on the preamp and more consistent in their performance.

Detailed Vocals:

Condenser mics use a charged plate and a thin diaphragm. This makes it easier for these mics to detect minute details. Every pitch and note of the speaker’s/singer’s voice is captured in these mics. Look for a mic that has the best-detailed vocals and has both, charged plate and diaphragm.

Transient information plays a major role in defining a sound. A microphone capsule is responsible for accurately capturing these transients and, therefore, representing the sound source as accurately as possible.

The internal amplifier and output circuits of the LDC also play a significant part in transient response. Tube electronics and transformer-coupled outputs tend to shape and smooth the transient information (which often yields a pleasant, compressed sound) while FET electronics and transformer-less outputs are typically more transparent and precise when it comes to transient response.

Frequency:

The frequency of these mics ranges between 12-15 Hz which is not very high. Look for a microphone with the least possible frequency as it helps with the output quality and makes the minor notes and details of the voice more visible.

Additionally, microphone frequency responses that are “flat” (equally sensitive across All frequencies within the range) are often preferred because they yield more natural results that represent a truer sound.

Of course, a perfectly flat curve is not always best. Having some variation in frequency-specific sensitivity gives a microphone character and makes it better suited to certain sound sources.

Self-noise:

It is relatively easy to achieve unnoticeable amounts of self-noise within large-diaphragm condenser microphones. However, it is still an important specification to look out for, especially when choosing an LDC for quieter studio applications.

A low self-noise means a better signal-to-noise ratio and a greater dynamic range. It also means the mic will be more sensitive to the quietest, most subtle changes in a sound wave.

Any self-noise rating under 10 dBA is practically unnoticeable in most situations. A self-noise below 15 dBA is considered good in most active microphones.

Versatility:

Versatility is not critical to performance, but it makes a large-diaphragm condenser microphone much more usable inside and out of the studio.

Versatility in a solid-state condenser could mean any of the following:

  • Multiple switchable polar patterns.
  • High-pass filters.
  • Passive attenuation devices.
  • Alternate circuit paths.

List of the top 6 best condenser mics under 500 dollars

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Rode NT2A Anniversary Edition

☞Frequency: 20-20k Hz
☞Self-noise: 147dBA
☞Maximum Output Level: 16.0mV
Price on Amazon
The Lewitt LCT 440 PURE

☞Frequency: 20- 20K Hz
☞Self-noise: 7 dBA
☞Sensitivity: 27.4 mV
Price on Amazon
Audio-Technica AT4040

☞Frequency: 20-20k Hz
☞Self-noise: 12 dBA
☞Sensitivity: 1 mV
Price on Amazon
Shure KSM32/CG

☞Frequency: 20- 20K Hz
☞Self-noise: 13 dBA
☞Sensitivity: 16.6mV
Price on Amazon
Warm Audio WA-14

☞Frequency: 20- 20K Hz
☞Self-noise: 13 dBA
☞Sensitivity: 20mV
Price on Amazon
sE Electronics sE4400a

☞Frequency: 20- 20K Hz
☞Self-noise: 16 dBA
☞Sensitivity: 25.12 mV

Price on Amazon

1. Rode NT2A Anniversary Edition – best condenser mics under 500$

Rode NT2A Anniversary Vocal Multi-Pattern Dual Condenser Microphone Package

Key Features:

  • Frequency: 20-20k Hz
  • Self-noise: 147dBA
  • Maximum Output Level: 16.0mV

The Rode NT2-A is a professional large capsule (1″) condenser studio microphone with a variable pick-up pattern, pass filter, and pad. These features provide greater creative control and versatility.

Three-position switches located on the mic body provide the freedom to step, Cardioid, or Omni polar pick-up patterns; from a flat response to either 40Hz or 80Hz high-pass filter, and a Pad adjustment of 0dB, -5dB, or -10dB attenuation. The heart of the NT2-A is the Australian-designed and manufactured TYPE HF1 dual diaphragm capsule.

The frequency and transient response of this new transducer have been voiced to complement today’s modern recording techniques yet still evoke the silky-smooth character of legendary microphones of the ’50s and ’60s. And just to make the NT2 A Studio Solution a home run, RODE is including a shock-mount, cable, dust cover, and tutorial DVD.

The mic has all the qualities a condenser mic should have but some of the customers faced an issue of the mic turning off on its own, a problem which was immediately addressed by the manufacturers.

Pros

  • 3-position variable polar pattern: Omni, Cardioid & Figure 8; all controlled on the mic.
  • 3-position variable high-pass filter: Flat, 80Hz, or 40Hz.
  • 3-position variable pad: 0dB, -5dB or -10dB.
  • Ultra-low noise, transformerless SMT circuitry.
  • Wide dynamic range.
  • High strength heat-treated steel mesh head.
  • Durable satin nickel finish.
  • Internal capsule shock mounting.

Cons

  • Sometimes the mic turns off on its own.

Price on Amazon

2. The Lewitt LCT 440 PURE – best vocal mic under 500

LEWITT LCT 440 PURE Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Key Features:

  • Frequency: 20- 20K Hz
  • Self-noise: 7 dBA
  • Sensitivity: 27.4 mV

The LCT-440-Pure Single-Pattern, Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone from Lewitt is the company’s top-of-the-line microphone that combines technology packed into a sturdy, stylish, and compact housing.

The 1″ transducer and 3-micron, gold-sputtered, Mylar-diaphragm capsule can be used for a variety of applications and delivers a level of detail and very low self-noise in capturing audio.

The microphone enclosure is a zinc die-cast material. The LCT-440 mics are powered by 48V phantom power and are built with a gold-plated, 3-pin XLR connector.

Lewitt LCT-440-Pure is the epitome of perfection and quality but the only thing it lacks is a proper storage box. There is only a cardboard box provided which makes it difficult to carry.

Pros

  • Cardioid Polar Pattern
  • 3-Micron, Gold-Sputtered Mylar Diaphragm
  • Gold-Plated, 3-Pin XLR Connector
  • Includes shock mount

Cons

  • No storage box other than the cardboard box provided

Price on Amazon

3. Audio-Technica AT4040 – best hip hop microphone

Key Features:

  • Frequency: 20-20k Hz
  • Self-noise: 12 dBA
  • Sensitivity: 1 mV

The AT4040 is designed for professional recording and critical applications in broadcast and live sound. The versatile AT4040 will appeal to artists, engineers, and producers looking for a mic that delivers a well-focused, musical sound with reliability and consistency.

AT4040 provides an exceptionally low-frequency distortion which is because of its transformerless circuit. This design also provides high-speed transits which make it easier to record the sound of recursive instruments.

Even though the AT4040 offers superb sensitivity, it is also able to handle extremely high SPLs – up to 145dB. A built-in 10dB pad allows you to put the AT4040 in front of sources up to 155dB, and an 80Hz high pass filter takes care of rumbles.

An open acoustical environment of the symmetrical housing assembly minimizes unwanted internal reflections for the most uncolored reproduction possible. If you could have only one microphone in your studio, the AT4040 might very well be your best choice!

Pros

  • Large-diaphragm cardioid condenser mic
  • Externally polarized
  • Technically advanced large-diaphragm
  • Exceptionally low noise
  • Wide dynamic range
  • High-SPL capability
  • Transformerless circuitry
  • Precision-machined, nickel-plated brass, acoustic element baffle
  • Open acoustical environment
  • Switchable 80Hz hi-pass filter and a 10dB pad
  • Includes AT8449 shock mount
  • Requires +48V phantom power

Cons

  • High-frequency response irregularities.

Price on Amazon

4. Shure KSM32/CG – best mic for deep male voice

Key Features:

  • Frequency: 20- 20K Hz
  • Self-noise: 13 dBA
  • Sensitivity: 16.6mV

Shure KSM32 is the first choice of engineers who are looking for transparent sound production. It has a clean diaphragm, a transformerless preamplifier that produces crystal clear sound. The diaphragm extends low- frequency responses and the same off-axis reaction.

Having a -15dB pad and alternating high pass filter round makes it the perfect choice to fulfill all your needs. Its super-thin, 2.5-micrometer 24-karat gold-layered, low-mass Mylar diaphragm exhibits superior transient response, while its embossed, high-compliance diaphragm supplies extended low-frequency response and consistent off-axis rejection.

There has been a tremendously positive response from the customer side, besides some ground-loop, problems which were a bit of an anomaly for some users.

Pros

  • Large-diaphragm condenser microphone
  • Thin, gold-layered, embossed, high-compliance Mylar diaphragm
  • Transformer less preamplifier circuitry
  • Internal shock mount
  • Integrated 3-stage protection grille
  • -15dB pad
  • Variable high pass filter
  • Rock-solid build construction

Cons:

  • Ground-loop problems

Cons

  • Ground-loop problems

Price on Amazon

5. Warm Audio WA-14 – best rapping microphones

Key Features:

  • Frequency: 20- 20K Hz
  • Self-noise: 13 dBA
  • Sensitivity: 20mV

The WA-14 is built with premium components such as the LK-12-B-60V Lens Kondensator (a high-quality reproduction of the coveted vintage CK12 capsule) and a genuine USA-made CineMag output transformer. It features an all-discrete signal path with tantalum, polystyrene, and WIMA capacitors. Premium parts and meticulous design deliver a superior-sounding microphone.

From somebody who has used both, an actual 414 and this cleverly crafted emulation for over 100 hours each, this is the best thing you can get your hands on for nearly half the price It captures accurate depictions of the sound source with a frequency response that is hard to argue with. Buy this and you will never regret it.

Some users faced off-axis recording problems and a significant correlation from the surroundings but most of the users were satisfied with the quality of work and product.

Pros

  • Large-diaphragm condenser microphone
  • Cardioid, figure-8
  • LK-12-B-60V Lens Kondensator CK12 capsule
  • Custom CineMag USA transformer
  • all-discrete signal path with tantalum, polystyrene, and WIMA capacitors

Cons

  • Off-axis recording issues
  • Significant correlation from surroundings

Price on Amazon

6. SE Electronics sE4400a –best value microphone

Key Features:

  • Frequency: 20- 20K Hz
  • Self-noise: 16 dBA
  • Sensitivity: 25.12 mV

You can find any number of Chinese‑built microphones at the budget end of the market, but SE is one of the very few companies to own a microphone factory in China — rather than having their mics made for them in one of the huge factories in Shanghai or Beijing that specialize in building mics or capsules for third‑parties.

Mic’s multiple patterns are achieved using a pair of back‑to‑back, large‑diameter (one inch), center‑electrode capsules that are mechanically similar to those used in the company’s SE2200a model

The SE4400a is one of the best mics but there are some concerns about the resonance shielding which makes some notes unclear.

Pros

  • Very versatile.
  • Subjectively natural sound, balancing warmth with detail.
  • Excellent shock mount.

Cons

  • Issues with surrounding resonance

Price on Amazon

Conclusion:

Conducting a thorough investigation of the products such as these might be hectic and time-consuming, but in the end, it is all worth it. Art requires a lot of passion and all that passion should not go wasted just because of the products you choose to work with.

We provided you the 7 best condenser mics available, that too, in a very pocket-friendly price range. The mics on are list are authentic, durable, and bear the best results.

Hope you found it helpful. Our entire team is working hard to make it easier for everyone out there to consume the best and most budget efficient products.

FAQs:

1: Is a condenser mic good for vocals?

Ans:  Yes, due to the added power and the quality of the diaphragm, they are the best mics when it comes to recording vocals. One of the greatest condenser mics in the market is Rode NT2A Anniversary Edition which works best to record vocals.

 2: Why condenser mics are more sensitive?

Ans: Condenser mics are more sensitive because of their low weight; the diaphragm can easily track sound waves while working with a heavy coil.

3: How does a condenser mic work?

Ans: The mics use two metal plates one of which is fixed and the other rotates. This arrangement of the plates forms a capacitor. When the waves hit the diaphragm, the distance between the plates changes, hence, producing capacitance.

4: Do condenser mics need external power sources?

Ans: Yes, the condenser mics use external power sources which helps their mechanical plates to move and produce capacitance.

5: What you need for a condenser mic?

Ans: There are three things you need: a condenser mic, a sound card, and a mixing console. The mixing console is critical as without it you will not be able to achieve the best sound quality.

6: What is the best cheap condenser microphone?

Ans: Rode NT2A Anniversary Edition is the best and the cheapest condenser mic out there which cost less than $500.

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About the author

Andrew Colin

Andrew is an avid technology enthusiast, Who loves to try out new technology, gadgets, smartphones, laptop computers and other electronic items. He also reviews daily life products, which he experiences. He wants to help people out there looking to buy different products by sharing his experiences and opinions.

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