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Best and Cheap Condenser Microphone Under $200 +Buying Guide 2019

Condenser microphones are widely used among professionals and musicians who need to record crisp and clear sound. The basic principle behind the working of a condenser microphone is that a capacitor is used which converts analog signals into digital signals. The main reason why professionals and musicians prefer using condenser microphones instead of dynamic microphones is that condenser microphones require external power also known as phantom power, which increases the recording quality up to multiple folds as compared to a dynamic microphone.

Best Condenser Microphone Under $200

NAME POLAR PATTERN FREQUENCY RESPONSE PRICE
Rode NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Mic
• Cardioid • 20Hz-20kHz View Price
Blue Yeti USB Mic
• Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo • 20Hz-20kHz View Price
Audio-Technica AT2020
• Cardioid • 20Hz-20kHz View Price
Shure SM58
• Cardioid • 50Hz–15kHz View Price
AKG p220
• Cardioid • 20Hz-20kHz View Price
Sennheiser e906
• Cardioid • 40Hz-18kHz View Price
sE Electronics sE2200a II C
• Cardioid • 20Hz-20kHz View Price
Shure BETA 87A
• Supercardioid • 50 Hz – 20 kHz View Price
Audio-Technica AT2035
• Cardioid • 20Hz-20kHz View Price
AKG C214 Professional
• Cardioid • 20Hz-20kHz View Price

Without going any further onto the best condenser microphones under $200, let’s talk about a few things that you must consider before buying a condenser microphone. Considering the fact that there are hundreds of options available in the market offering versatile features at different price points, it is difficult to select one microphone. We have extensively gone through the different aspects you need to keep in mind before buying a condenser microphone, so let’s go through them:

Purpose of the Microphone:

First of all, you need to know the purpose of the microphone. Why are you looking to buy a condenser microphone, is it necessary to spend that much money on buying a condenser microphone or you can live with a dynamic microphone. If you end up deciding you really need a condenser microphone then you are good to go.

Polar Patterns:

Polar patterns are something very important when considering buying a condenser microphone, the polar pattern is basically the direction from which a microphone can catch the sound. An omnidirectional microphone responds and records sound coming from all directions of the microphone. However, bi-directional microphones as the name suggest records sound from two directions i.e. east and west but they don’t record sound from north and south. On the flip side, a unidirectional microphone records sound from only one direction and don’t pick up sound from anywhere else.

The most popular type among all these microphones are unidirectional microphones, these microphones have different polar patterns which include: cardioid, super-cardioid, and hyper-cardioid. All these patterns have different characteristics however, all of these rejects sound from the backside i.e., off-axis. Some microphones like the Blue Yeti have the capability to change the polar patterns using a switch basically. Which means their polar pattern can be changed from omnidirectional to cardioid or vice versa.

Frequency Response:

Frequency Response basically means the frequency range a microphone can catch. This range is measured from lowest to highest frequencies and its unit is hertz. For example, if you want a microphone to record vocals, you need a microphone that can record high-frequency sounds which means the frequency should range from 80 Hz to 16 kHz.

However, for recording heavy sounds perhaps bass sounds or some other lower frequency instruments you might want to get something equal or lower than 40 Hz.

Sensitivity and SPL Capabilities:

Sensitivity is basically the lowest sound a microphone can pick, the more quiet sound the microphone picks the more sensitive it is. So it depends how sensitive you want your new microphone to be depending on the purpose you are buying it for.

SPL basically stands for sound pressure level. It is measured in DBS which in full form means decibels. It basically means the maximum sound a microphone can record. Basically, sensitivity and SPL both are opposites of each other and are very important technical aspects of a microphone. For easy explanation, a drum produces very high dB sound which means that the microphone should have a high SPL range. 100 dB is considered an average SPL range, On the other hand, 130 dB and above is measured as high SPL range.

Here we have assembled the best condenser microphones under $200 to save your time and energy. Surf through them for a better understanding of how condenser microphone works.

1- Rode NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Mic

 

RODE NT1-ATechnical Details

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Maximum SPL: 137dB
  • Power consumption: +48-volt phantom power

Review

The NT1-A is known as a large-diaphragm condenser mic. It is considered as the clearest microphone of all. Since it is highly sensitive to sound, it captures trivial details in quite. Also, it provides efficient performance due to its amazing benefits.

The NT1-A has a reasonably bright tone, with upper mids and top ends having a bump. Also, this mic is cardioid. Therefore, it only captures the sound produced in front of it and not behind. It has a clean and crisp tone that aids in excellent sound quality. The NT1-A is a perfect option for those who wish to expand their mic closet. The presence of this mic would provide a boost to your recordings and vocals.

Unluckily, the NT1-A is a “fixed pattern mic” and not multi-pattern. Therefore, there won’t be much configuration options for you.

 

2- Blue Yeti USB Mic

Best Microphones for ASMR

Technical Details

  • Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Max SPL: 120dB
  • Sensitivity: -31.9dB re 1V/Pa
  • Power Consumption: 5V 150mA

Review

The Yeti is a very stylish and elegant looking microphone. It has a durable and sturdy construction and feels well-weighted. It will only take a minute to set up the Yeti. You simply need to connect it to your computer with the provided USB cable. The computer readily detects it, and no installation is required. Using any software you feel like to, and you can start its usage.

The Yeti has a stand of its own, which is one of its plus points. Also, the stand comes with rubber-padding. The blue yeti has a port for earbuds or headphones. Thanks to this, you’ll hear exactly what’s recorded. Moreover, you also have the option to configure that sensitivity and polar pattern manually. Thus, you can easily match the Yeti according to your style. In this regard, Yeti has four distinct polar patterns available.

One negative aspect of Yeti you’ll face is that “it is quite heavy.” Secondly, the “mic does not readily fit on the stand.” You’ll be doing a lot of struggle for that.

 

3- Audio-Technica AT2020

Audio-Technica AT2050 Multi Pattern Condenser Microphone

Technical Details

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
  • Power consumption: 48V
  • Sensitivity: 14.1 mV re 1V at 1 Pa
  • Max SPL: 20 dB

Review

The Audio Technica AT2020 is supreme quality condenser mic. Despite having an affordable price, its performance is like an expensive mic. This microphone efficiently captures instruments sounds. It beautifully captures the lower mid with the top end is fantastic. It is ideal for those who seek the right mic at a reasonable price.

The Audio Technica AT2020 is perfect for studio applications while having a low price. It has a swift frequency response with a neatly engineered diaphragm. This mic has a stylish cardioids design.

The Audio Technica AT2020 has a uniquely flat-response. You won’t find any harshness in the sound. Its sound feels very warm to the ears. Therefore, due to this quality, this mic is perfect for both females and males.

The Audio Technica AT2020 has a maximum sound pressure of 144 dB. Therefore, this mic accurately reproduces strong vocals and instruments like drums and horns.

The Audio Technica AT2020 has a robust construction. It weighs only 12.1 oz. That is why this mic is compact and not bulky.

One disadvantage, however, you might note is that this mic “sometimes produces self-noise” which can disrupt the sound quality.

 

4- Shure SM58

 

Shure SM58 Technical Details

  • Frequency response: 50Hz–15kHz
  • Max SPL: 126 dB
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Sensitivity: –54.5 dBV/Pa

Review

The Shure SM58 is one of the cardioids patterned vocal microphones. It is designed to provide a clear and warm sound reproduction. It has long been known as the best condenser mic under $200. Despite its numerous benefits, it has an affordable price.

The Shure SM58 has a robust and sturdy construction. It comes with an efficient sound mount system that reduces noise. It is made up of durable steel, and its mesh grille can endure rough handling. Moreover, it performs superiorly both indoors and outdoors. A wireless version of this microphone is also available.

Its cardioids design effectively isolates the vocalists. Also, it greatly reduces the feedback sound on the stage. Its grille readily screws on and off. Therefore, you can even replace the grille in case you wish to. Also, it allows you to clean the grill easily. This mic depicts superior mid-range that produces rich vocals with a high frequency.

However, it “lacks a bit in tonal quality” when in the higher range. Despite that, it is still the best within its price range.

5- AKG p220

AKG p220

Technical Details

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Max SPL: 135 / 155dB
  • 20 mV/Pa (-34 dBV)
  • Power consumption: +48V phantom power

Review

The build quality of AKG p220 is truly awesome. It comes in all durable metal-body. Its sturdy construction feels very high-end in hand. The grill of this mic is also solid, and it does not bend when pressed by fingers.

AKG p220 excels in the performance department. It readily works with any application you can think of. It is perfect for recording vocals and produces a clear and clean voice. Therefore, it is firm for instrument recording and also vocals. It readily works with any instruments ranging from guitar and piano to a drumkit. That is why AKG p220 is highly preferred among the audience.

However, at 12dBa, this mic “produces a very high noise floor,” which leaves you underwhelmed. You can still make the most of its superior build quality.

 

6- Sennheiser e906

Sennheiser e906

Technical Details

  • Frequency response 40Hz-18kHz
  • Polar Pattern: super cardioid
  • Sensitivity – 2.2 mV / Pa

Review

The Sennheiser e906 is a compact-sized and versatile mic. It has a side-address that makes this make very compact. It is perfect to use with guitars and other close micing instruments. Therefore, it works smoothly and efficiently with high-gain tones of the guitar where you wish to avoid the high crackle. This mic also readily works with snare drum and with vocals as well. Furthermore, this mic has a low price. But it still never compromises on performance.

The speakers of this mic produce amazing results. It delivers a truly natural tone without any artifacts or distortion. Overall, the sound quality is lively and clear. Also, you have the option to alter the EQ position to three different levels. It almost seems as if using three different mics. However, it best works with a guitar. Also, it produces exceptional results when used with a drum kit. Furthermore, for such crispy sound-producing mic, the cost is very reasonable. It’s cost the reason for its widespread popularity.

The Sennheiser e906 sadly has a “tight polar pattern” which the vocalists find unacceptable.

 

7- sE Electronics sE2200a II C

sE Electronics sE2200aTechnical Details

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response:20 to 20,000 Hz
  • Max SPL:135 dB
  • Power Requirements:48V phantom power

Reviews

The sE Electronics sE2200a II C has durable overall quality and produces an amazing sound, which is its central aspect. Another one of its prominent features is that it can easily manage loud sound sources. The mic is very well built. It seems as each capsule is handcrafted.

The pop filter and bundled shock mount are an epic addition to its arsenal. Within its price range, it sounds the best. Furthermore, at 10 KHz a bump is produced that adds a soft airiness to the sound. This mic has an efficient mechanism to record dynamic sound.

In short, the sE Electronics sE2200a II C is rightly considered as the best condenser mic under $200. Although its design is a little bit complex to use, you get used to it after some time. However, there is no denying of the fact that it is a beautifully designed and ergonomic mic. It will produce a snappy and clear voice with any instrument. Therefore, it is perfect for recording vocals.

 

8- Shure BETA 87A

Shure B87ATechnical Details

  • Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
  • Max SPL: 140,5 dB
  • Sensitivity: -52.50 dBV/Pa – 2.37 mV/Pa
  • Power consumption: 11 to 52 VDC

Review

The Shure BETA 87A is a high quality, condenser vocal microphone. It is specially developed for professional lead vocalists and provides a smooth and crispy frequency response. Also, it has an efficient high sound pressure controlling capabilities. It comes in a strong supercardioid design to allow complete isolation from surrounding instruments. Also, it reduces the feedback coming from stage monitors. This mic comes with a stand adaptor and a bag for its storage.

This mic has an ergonomic capsule suspension system that reduces the handling noise. Overall, the Shure BETA 87A provides the first-rate audio quality anywhere. It delivers studio-like vocals response that remains snappy and uninterrupted.

However, the crystal clear sound might not be very preferable for rappers and rock singers. Screaming so hard might distort the sound. Keeping in view its price, the Shure BETA 87A is relatively cheap. However, it stills hold it grounds among many of its competitors.

 

9- Audio-Technica AT2035

Audio Technica AT2035

Technical Details

  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 148dB SPL
  • Sensitivity: –33 dB (22.4 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
  • Requires +48V phantom power

Review

The Audio-Technica AT2035 shows confidence with its robust construction. It has a stylish design that looks good. Audio-Technica AT2035 has proved itself among many departments and is a proven musical performer.

Audio-Technica AT2035 has a fixed cardioid pattern. It can manage high SPLs and provides low background noise. Its shock mount is made up of high-end plastic. Furthermore, it comes with 80Ghz switchable pass filter.

Audio-Technica AT2035 has improved technical performance and offers a low-end response and considerably lowered noise. Despite its low sensitivity, the three polar patterns aids in its versatility. This mic is ideal to use numerous studio applications and a wide range of electric and acoustic instruments. Moreover, keeping in view its reasonable price, this mic doesn’t seem to have any apparent cons or issues. It is well within $200 and has an excellent value for money.

 

10- AKG C214 Professional

AKG C214

Technical Details

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 136dB
  • Sensitivity: 20 mV/Pa
  • Power consumption: 9-52V

Review

The AKG C214 is an epic addition to its series. It produces the same legendary sound but this time at an entry-level price. It delivers a highly-detailed sound on instruments and voices both. Despite this, it has a fairly affordable price.

The AKG C214 produces a premium large-diaphragm sound. Also, it is suitable for a dynamic range of 143dB for natural transients. This mic performs readily on a variety of acoustic instruments. It can be used on stage for loud applications requiring close miking such as drums and guitar amps. The AKG C214 will always by your side for whatever the need.

The AKG C214 capsule suspension system minimizes mechanical noises for high sonic precision. The all-metal grille acts as the safeguard for the capsule.  However, the C214 has “only one pick-up pattern” that somewhat limits its use.

 

CONCLUSION

The microphones mentioned above are all the best in their category. They provide crisp, clean, and snappy reproduction of either your sound or musical instrument. They all differ in features and attributes. Therefore, you should have explicit knowledge of your requirements. However, one aspect that you don’t need to worry about is price. All these condenser mics are available under $200. So, for a pleasant musical journey, select one of the products above.

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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