Vocals are the main centrepiece of every audio or music. No microphone can be claimed to be THE ONE, as critical listening really is critical. The best vocal mic under 1000 may be more high-performance than a high-end huge price tag and bigger brand name microphone for vocals depending on the features meeting the standards.

Things to consider before buying

Different mics with different purposes vary in terms of brand, models, construction, and features. Choosing the best vocal microphone under 1000 can be a bit challenging with all the options and opinions circulating around.

Here is a comprehensive guide on what to look for in a mic when it comes to upgrading your vocal microphone or buying the first-ever. One way or the other, it is key features that create the whole difference in working performance.

Personal preference

Along with the technical bits, personal preference plays an important role in choosing the best mic for vocals under 1000, such as;

  • What are you recording?

Vocalists vary as per their recording and listeners requirement:

  • Singer or songwriter; they can record with or without an instrument.
  • Male or female; rock, pop, country, etc. vocals.
  • Speech vocalists; monologue or conversational speech recordings.
  • What is the purpose of recording?

No matter what you are recording, vocals are the most important. Choosing the best vocal mic under 500 or 1000, do not forget to consider what and who you are recording. For instance, if you are recording a speech or a conversation you will be needing a dynamic mic for better recording.

  • What kind of recording environment do you have?

The environment you are recording in plays an important role in sound quality. There are two probabilities for recording environment, such as;

  • Controlled environment/treated room
  • Uncontrolled environment/ untreated room

Type of microphone

When it comes to the type of a mic there are two major types that are widely used. You cannot say one type is better than the other as they are made to serve different purposes. Using the right mic for the right purpose gives the best results.

Tube microphones

Tube microphones are associated with warmth and roundness. These microphones require a stable source of high voltage. To achieve the right voltage, these mics are accompanied by external power supply units.

  • Smooth out the sound of the instrument.
  • It rolls off the top-end of a source that offers a warm tone that is pleasing to the ears.
  • It adds an element of depth and resonance, which makes instruments sound larger than life.

FET microphones

FET mics are best known for fast transient response and accuracy.

  • These mics are best known for their transient response that helps in picking precise transients as compared to tube mics.
  • These are the best for louder sources of sound as FET mic has less output.
  • They perfectly run off standard 48V phantom-power that is supplied with most common preamps.

Vocal Mic Specifications

Here are some of the important specs to consider before choosing your next mic for vocals under 1000. Talking about technical bits of a mic, there are four major specs that must not be overlooked while making a purchase;

  • Polar pattern
  • Frequency response
  • Transient response
  • Sensitivity

⦁ Polar pattern

Polar pattern refers to the sensitivity of the mic to the sound arriving from various angles to the central axis of the microphone. The sides of any microphone are at least 5dB less sensitive at the sides in comparison to the front of the mic.Polar patterns play an important role in defining where to position the mic to maximize the pickup of the sound source.

There are three basic types of polar patterns that are widely used and are the most effective when it comes to vocal recording. If you ask what are the 3 types of microphone pickup patterns, here you go.

Omnidirectional polar pattern

  • The omnidirectional polar pattern on paper looks like a perfect circle.
  • Omnidirectional mics are designed to pic the sound from all the directions regardless of its orientation to the sound source.
  • It picks up sound from every direction without being specifically targeted to one source.

Unidirectional polar pattern

The unidirectional polar pattern on the paper is more or less like a heart upside down.

  • Unidirectional mic is the most sensitive to the sound coming from one direction.
  • Uni mic picks up less ambient noise as compared to the omnidirectional mic.
  • It is less sceptical to feedback, especially when used with a sound system.

There are several different types that come in uni-directional microphones;

TYPES

Cardioid

  • The most common unidirectional pattern is cardioid.
  • Most sensitive to the sounds coming from in the front of the mic.
  • It has the least sensitivity behind the mic.
  • It offers a fair amount of feedback rejection.

Subcardioid

  • They are also known as “wide cardioids”.
  • Slightly more directional than Omni mics and less directional than cardioids.
  • Their rear sensitivity is 3 – 10 dB lower as compared to the front sensitivity.
  • Natural, even, and wide pickup.
  • Picks up a group of instruments or vocalists with least proximity effect.
  • They are PRONE TO FEEDBACK.

Supercardioid

  • They have tighter pickup angle than a cardioid.
  • It offers more side rejection than the cardioid.
  • Slightly sensitive to the sound source directly behind the mic.
  • Offers better isolation from nearby and room noise.
  • It is more resistant to feedback than a cardioid mic.
  • It needs a more consistent position in front of the mic directly.

Hypercardioid

  • It has more sensitivity to the rear sound.
  • It is best to reject sound from the sides.
  • hyper-cardioid mics have exceptionally good rejection feedback rate.
  • Being highly directional, they need the precise placement to the source of the sound.
  • It offers an extreme rejection of ambient sounds.

Bidirectional or figure-of-eight Polar Patter

  • It is highly sensitive to the sounds coming from the front and the rear of the mic.
  • This mic is least sensitive to the sounds coming from the sides.
  • Bidirectional mics have a very narrow pickup angle, which helps in isolating one voice or instrument from another if there is nothing directly behind the mic.
  • It is the most effective for picking up two different sound sources that are positioned alongside.

⦁ Frequency Response

To capture certain characteristics of vocal performances, the microphone’s frequency response plays an important role. The frequency response of the microphone varies, which benefits some vocals over others.
Let’s have a look at how it works.

Flat frequency response

  • Flat frequency response comes as the best when it comes to capturing vocals in the most accurate and precise way.
  • It is great for capturing vocals, especially with larger ranges in classical recordings and pop.

Gentle high-end roll-off

  • It is best to reduce sibilance and harshness or the recordings overall.
  • A darker mic is best to balance brighter vocals in a mix.

Presence boost

  • In the presence range of 3 – 6 kHz, it boosts much of speech intelligibility.
  • It helps vocals pop out in a dense mix like EDM, classical, and rock.

Sibilance dip

  • It offers a slight dip in sibilance range of 5 – 8 kHz.
  • It overlaps the upper end of the presence range.
  • This frequency response is the best to reduce harshness in the vocal signals.
  • You can best record sibilant voices with a sibilance frequency response mic.

Low-end roll-off or high-pass filter

  • It helps in removing low-end of the vocals that significantly removes low-end rumble in recordings for vocal signals.
  • It helps in minimizing the proximity effect.

Transient response

Transient response for a mic is the accuracy of the mic diaphragm and other internal components. The effectiveness of a mic to closely represent the subtleties of a pressure variation of a sound wave.

Transient response plays a significant role in determining what kind of vocals you are recording to ensure accuracy.

  • Clean vocals

For clean vocals, a faster and more accurate transient response is highly preferred. For musical genres like pop, classical, rap, and at times jazz.

  • Dirty vocals

For dirtier vocals, compressed-sounding (slower) transient response is beneficial. The genres like rock, metal or jazz (sometimes) are more accurately and clearly recorded in slower transient response.

Sensitivity

The sensitivity of a mic must not be overlooked while making a purchase for the best vocal mic under 1000. Vocals significantly benefit from the sensitive mic, but it counts for more. For instance, the environment you are recording in is important. Mics with higher sensitivity are more prone to picking up ambience noises.

Talking about mic sensitivity there are two major categories to differentiate sensitivity of a mic, such as;

  • Condenser mics

These mics have higher sensitivity ratings. This mic works the best in

  • Dynamic mics

Dynamic microphones have lower mic sensitivity. Louder vocals are best recorded with microphones with lower sensitivity such as rock.

Vocal Mic Features

To make the best out of your microphone for vocal recording, keep an eye out for the mic with best features that help in optimizing the performance of a mic in every kind of environment, such as;

  • Microphone pad; it helps in reducing the air pressure reaching to the capsule of the mic. Mic pads are used to protect mics from loud sound sources to prevent distortion.
  • Filter setting; condenser mics and dynamic mics are accompanied with filter settings that let you control or cut off the bass frequencies from the audio source. It helps in reducing unpleasant rumbling.
  • Pop-filters; they are used to protect against plosives.
  • Shock-mount; shock mounts play a significant role in keeping the sounds from the floor vibrations and sounds of the stand reaching to the sensitive diaphragm of the mic.

Budget

Finding your best microphone for recording vocals under 1000 must not be overwhelming for you as there is exceptional best studio vocal mic under 1000 that can also be used as home vocal mic at its very best.

You will find the best mic for vocals starting from under 500 to over thousands. Deciding how much you are willing to invest in your microphone helps in narrowing down your search saving time and effort. Besides that, it is less confusing to choose the best microphone for recording vocals.

Top picks for vocal mic under 1000

ImageNameFeaturePrice
Warm Audio WA-251Shock mount
Large-diaphragm
External power source supply
Price on Amazon
Warm Audio WA-47Shock mount
Dual large-diaphragm
External power source supply
Price on Amazon
Shure KSM44AShock mount
Dual large-diaphragm
External power source supply
Price on Amazon
  1. Warm Audio WA-251 – the best vocal tube mic under $1,000

Specifications

  • Type: Tube Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid, bidirectional, and omnidirectional
  • Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz
  • Dynamic range: 125dBA
  • Maximum SPL: 132dB

Features

  • Shock mount
  • Large-diaphragm
  • External power source supply
  • Dimensions of 9.72″ x 1.81″

This mic is a faithful replica of the great, legendary, classic “251-style large-diaphragm condenser mic, which makes it the best without any question asked. Offering uniquely smooth, open, and present sound, WA-251 is the way to go. This microphone is capable of giving sumptuous sound on almost every instrument.

Pros

  • Authentic vintage tone
  • Fine and durable build quality
  • Best for the price

Cons

  • It has an awkward clip on shock mount.

Price on Amazon

2. Warm Audio WA-47 – best value vocal mic under 1000

Specifications

  • Type: Tube Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Unidirectional, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional
  • Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz
  • Dynamic range: 130 dBA
  • Maximum SPL: 140 dB

Features

  • Shock mount
  • Dual large-diaphragm
  • External power source supply
  • Dimensions of 10″ x 2.36″
  • Weight of 9 pounds

This mic is the best for the price as compared to other alternatives that are available in the market when it comes to versatility. Besides its 3 major polar patterns, it offers six in-between patterns. It offers flexibility when we talk about exploring different recording techniques, which makes it an all-rounder for every kind of recording in every kind of environment.

Pros

  • Authentic vintage, warm and fuzzy tone
  • Strong and sturdy build quality
  • It is the best microphone for the price
  • It comes with a warm audio external power supply

Cons

  • No con to be found yet.

Price on Amazon

3. Shure KSM44A – best overall microphone for vocals

Specifications

  • Type: Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8
  • Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz
  • Dynamic range: 127 dB
  • Maximum SPL: 131dB (Cardioid), 137dB (Omni), 136dB (Figure-8)

Features

  • Shock mount
  • Dual large-diaphragm
  • External power source supply
  • Dimensions of 14.5 x 10.5 x 6.5 inches
  • Weight of 1.08 lbs

You must remember Shure’s popular KSM44? Well, SHIRE KAM44A, you can say, is a revised version of the popular KSM44. Offering an excellent choice for recording vocals, this mic has a lesser-known large-diaphragm multi-pattern solid-state condenser mic that offers the best studio recording. As a standard for FET condensers, this mic has somewhat bright character.
Shure KSM44A is the best overall mic for the value that excels on practically all kinds of sound sources in every kind of recording environment.

Pros

  • It’s Prethos Advanced Preamplifier Technology that offers complete transparency.
  • It offers extremely fast transient response and no crossover distortion.
  • High-end construction; Premium electronic components and gold plated internal and external connectors.
  • Its subsonic filter eliminates rumble from mechanical vibrations below 17 Hz.
  • This mic comes with a switchable 15 dB pad for extremely high sound pressure levels (SPLs).

Cons

  • No con to be found yet.

Price on Amazon

The best vocal mic under 1000 at a glance

  • The best studio vocal mic – Audio-Technica AT2035 –
  • The low-cost dynamic stage vocal microphone – Shure SM58-LC Vocal
  • The best broadcasting vocal microphone – Shure SM57
  • The best-spoken word, live vocals, and male vocal mic – Electro-Voice RE320
  • The best Youtuber mic for vocals – Shure SM7B

Conclusion

Finding the best mic for vocals is not about the price and the brand, but specifications and key features that determine the best quality. To make the best out of your money and effort, make sure to look for personal preference over price. Investing in the best mic saves you from time and again replacements and maintenance.
Once you are sure of what mic best suits your needs and requirements, go for a trusted source to make a purchase as it helps in getting a secure, authentic, and a product with a good warranty.

FAQs

  • What type of mic is the best for vocals?

Keeping convenience and overall performance priority, a dynamic microphone is the best for vocals. It does not need a power supply and is fairly low cost as compared to other mics. The best dynamic mic for vocals is Shure SM57.

  • What is the best cheapest mic for vocals?

Coming to the best budget, cheapest mic for vocals that offers the best sound quality, Shure SM57 and Shure SM58 is the best one in the market that would not cost you a fortune.

  • What kind of mic is used by YouTubers?

Coming to popular microphones used by famous YouTubers for vocals, Audio-Technica and Shure are the most common. These mics offer the best noise cancelling along with strong and durable construction that lasts longer than other alternatives that are available in the market.

  • Can instrumental mic be used for vocals?

Certainly, you can use an instrumental mic for vocals if you know that a microphone’s response to audio frequencies and its mounting method primarily determines what it is best suited for.

  • Is dynamic or condenser mic the best for vocals?

A condenser mic is the best for vocals as they are capable of capturing low and specifically higher frequencies. Condenser mic’s thin diaphragm is perfect for picking up delicate sounds, which is not possible otherwise.

 

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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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