The 4 Best Condenser Microphones
Condenser microphones have been highly sought after for their unique and advantageous features. A quality condenser microphone can offer you great sound, especially at high frequencies. These high frequencies are characteristic of female voices, pianos, acoustic guitars, ukuleles, and all sounds where bass is not predominant. Here we will show you the 4 best condenser microphones that dominate and lead today's markets.
If you are reading this post, you should already have an idea of what you want to record and you have made the decision that a condenser microphone is the one for you. Whether you want to set up your own studio, or record music videos, you will need a good condenser microphone. We will show you our selection and then some interesting information about these microphones that will help you choose the right one and take care of it once you have already bought it.
- Comparison Chart of the 4 Best Condenser Microphones
- 1.- Audio Technica AT2035 Condenser Microphones
- Buying Guide For The Audio Technica AT2035 Condenser Microphones
- 2.- AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphones
- Buying Guide For The AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphones
- 3.- MXL 770X Condenser Microphones
- Buying Guide for the MXL 770X Condenser Microphones
- 4.- AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII Condenser Microphones
- Buying Guide For the AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII Condenser Microphones
- What is a Condenser Microphone?
- Why Buy Condenser Microphones?
- Important Points I Should Know Before Buying A Condenser Microphone Of Any Make Or Model
- How To Take Care Of A Studio Condenser Microphone?
- Which Condenser Microphone Should I Buy?
- Comparative Chart Of The 4 Best Condenser Microphones
Comparison Chart of the 4 Best Condenser Microphones
1.- Audio Technica AT2035 Condenser Microphones
The Audio-Technica AT2035 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone designed for the studio. There's no need to buy the world's most expensive microphone when you can get great quality sound with the Audio Technica AT2035. Designed for the professional studio and for new musicians, the AT2035 offers low noise and very high sound details.
This is a lateral direction cardioid microphone that can handle high levels of sound pressure without difficulty. It has a 10 dB pad, and its 80 Hz high-pass filter is switchable. In addition to the high-end specifications, this microphone has a robust design and provides consistent performance. It comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth, a pop filter to eliminate noise and a 3 meter XLR cable.
The cardioid polar pattern also minimizes sound pickup from the back and sides, making it easy to isolate sounds. The XLR cable makes it easy to connect to the interface or mixer, and the fiber cloth lets you clean the microphone without fear of damage.
Buying Guide For The Audio Technica AT2035 Condenser Microphones
The AT2035 is a well-designed microphone that offers solid performance. The sound quality is good and its custom switch is well done. The inclusion of a protective bag is also a good feature.
This is an excellent microphone and its price is acceptable. The value this microphone adds to your equipment is for sure more than its cost in money. That is why this is our first recommendation.
Its great recording sound quality is its best weapon. Undoubtedly this is a great microphone.
Where to Buy The Audio Technica AT2035 Condenser Microphones?
Available at Amazon.com
- Diseñado para aplicaciones de estudio doméstico/de proyecto/profesional y actuaciones en vivo
- Ofrece una nitidez excepcional y un ruido mínimo
- Equipado con un filtro de paso alto de 80 Hz y un atenuador de 10 dB conmutables
- Viene equipado con estuche protector y soporte antivibración personalizado
2.- AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphones
The AKG Pro Audio C214 is a cardioid condenser microphone considered one of the best microphones for live vocals today, and its sound characteristics makes it easy to record voices and instruments. Its body is made of cast solid metal, and its finish is scratch and shock resistant. The microphone has a low cut filter and a 20 dB attenuator that allows you to make close-up recordings while minimizing the proximity effect. The noise level is low, allowing you to record up to 156 dB SPL. Its dynamic range is also outstanding.
The design means that it is suitable as a low-cost substitute for high-end microphones. With AKG’s back plate technology you get high-quality sounds without compromise. It is also effective for guitar amps, drum cymbals, and the like.
Buying Guide For The AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphones
The AKG Pro Audio C214 is suitable for professional musicians who need a high-quality microphone. The durable design makes it suitable for transport and handling, and the built-in suspension minimizes vibration and mechanical noise. Overall, it's a solid, well-designed microphone.
This microphone offers great value for its price. It is a high quality microphone at a fairly acceptable price.
Its robust design and sound quality catapult it among the best condenser microphones.
Where to Buy The AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphones?
Available at Amazon.com
- Diafragma de 1"
- Patrón polar cardioide
- Sensibilidad: 20mV/Pa
- Respuesta en frecuencia: 20Hz - 20kHz
- Pad de 20dB
3.- MXL 770X Condenser Microphones
The MXL 770X Multipole Condenser Microphone is a low distortion diaphragm microphone with many features found only in high-end microphones. This microphone has the characteristics of the MXL line, and has a 10 dB pad and switchable bass cut. The output is well balanced and comes with a sturdy case.
A shock mount with integrated pop filter is included, along with the XLR cable plus a microfiber cloth. Although this is not a high-end microphone, the quality is very good and much better than the mid-range ones.
The 770X not only looks good; it also feels good in your hands. The recording quality is top notch and you will notice it. It is an excellent microphone at a very affordable price.
Buying Guide for the MXL 770X Condenser Microphones
The MXL 770X is ideal for voice and instrument recordings and the bass is solid. This is a cost-effective alternative to high-end microphones, and is also ideal for new and veteran artists who want quality without spending too much.
This microphone offers a great value for its price. It’s High-end quality microphone at a mid-range price.
Its excellent sound and design line make it stand out.
Where to Buy the MXL 770X Condenser Microphones?
Available at Amazon.com
- Micrófono de condensador premium con gran diafragma de oro de 1.25 pulgadas
- Impresionante claridad y detalle en los máximos equilibrado con calidez en el extremo inferior
- Patrones polares omnidireccionales y cardióides conmutables, de figura 8 y versatilidad
- El paquete incluye micrófono 770X, soporte de choque con filtro pop integrado, cable XLR balanceado de 20 'y paño de limpieza de microfibra
4.- AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII Condenser Microphones
The AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII is a multi-pattern vocal condenser microphone with high-quality sound, making it suitable for lead instruments and lead vocals. It also has three bass cut filters that reduce proximity effect, stage vibration, and wind noise.
This microphone also has 3 levels of attenuation (-6 / -12 / -18 dB), allowing you to work with high-performance sources of up to 158 dB SPL. It is also effective for close-up recording.
It has 9 polar patterns so you can choose the right settings for each application and has been designed to provide high quality neutral sound and high linearity. This large diaphragm microphone is also versatile and can be used for different recordings. The sound quality also makes it suitable for detailed and acoustic instruments.
Buying Guide For the AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII Condenser Microphones
Sometimes the best budget condenser microphone for vocals is not enough. In that case, it is better to invest in a quality microphone like the AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII. It is designed for professional musicians and anyone who wants a high quality microphone. The recording quality is sharp and there's even an overload warning.
This is a high quality professional microphone and even though the price is high, it is worth the investment.
Its great versatility with its different patterns, allows recordings of almost all kinds of sounds without losing quality. It is a very sought after for studio recordings.
Where to Buy the AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII Condenser Microphones?
Available at Amazon.com
- El carácter sónico del famoso AKG C12 ofrece una calidad de sonido increíble para voces principales y solos de instrumentos.
- Nueve patrones polares seleccionables para el ajuste perfecto en cada aplicación.
- Tres niveles de atenuación (-6/-12/-18dB) para grabación cercana o de fuentes de alta salida hasta 158 dB SPL
- Tres filtros de corte de bajos conmutables para reducir el ruido del viento, la vibración del escenario o el efecto de proximidad.
- Aviso de sobrecarga con LED de retención de pico de audio para detectar los picos de audio más cortos.
What is a Condenser Microphone?
A condenser is essentially two very close metal plates and the closer they are, the greater the capacity. A condenser capsule is similarly constructed, and consists of a thin membrane near a solid metal plate. The membrane or diaphragm, as it is often called, must be electrically conductive, at least on its surface. The most common material used is a gold membrane, but some, mostly older models, use extremely thin metal foil.
When sound waves hit the diaphragm, it moves back and forth relative to the solid back plate. In other words, the distance between the two capacitor plates changes. As a result, the capacitance changes to the rhythm of the sound waves. And this is how sound is converted into an electrical signal.
However, the signal from the capsule itself is too "fragile" to be connected to other pieces of equipment. The output voltage of the capacitor capsule is actually quite high, but it produces almost no current, because very little energy is stored in this small capacitor. It requires what is called an "impedance converter," a circuit that dampens between the capsule and the outside world. The impedance converter makes the signal "stronger" by making more signal current available.
Therefore, condenser microphones require external power. This could be inconvenient in the old days, but today almost any microphone input offers phantom P48 power, an additional 48-volt power for microphones.
Types of condenser microphones
We can classify condenser microphones by the size of their diaphragm.
Large diaphragm microphones usually have a larger diameter in their main structure. They are very sensitive and need suspension mounts and external power to function. Large diaphragm microphones are suitable for recording vocals and a wide range of instruments. A side-steer microphone is another large condenser microphone, with a large diaphragm and a flat windshield. These microphones must be placed horizontally and at a 90 degree angle.
A small diaphragm microphone is usually around 15 cm in diameter. They are great for recording and also for live performances. These microphones are especially suitable for recording high-frequency sounds and those that rapidly change volume, i.e. cymbals. Like other condenser microphones, a small diaphragm microphone needs a battery or phantom power to function.
Why Buy Condenser Microphones?
Condenser microphones have certain advantages over their dynamic counterparts. Let’s take a look at some of its benefits:
Important Points I Should Know Before Buying A Condenser Microphone Of Any Make Or Model
The best condenser microphone for vocals should have more than just the correct diaphragm size. Consider the following as well:
If you are looking for the best condenser microphone, you will find polar patterns of different types. This refers to the shape of the microphone's sensitivity field or the directions where it ignores and accepts sounds. A two-way microphone collects sounds from west to east but not south and north. Omnidirectional microphones respond to all directions. A unidirectional microphone captures the audio from only one direction and does not include the rest.
Unidirectional microphones are the most common and have three polar patterns: hyper cardioid, super cardioid, and cardioid. All three reject off-axis and rear-axle sounds, ensuring the recording is clear. The cardioid pattern is the most common of the three. It has a heart shape, hence the name, and is very sensitive to audio from the sides and in a straight line. However, it does not accept 180 degree sounds opposite where the microphone is directed.
A super cardioid microphone rejects more sound along the sides, but takes more around 180 degrees. The hyper cardioid accepts more sound at 180 degrees but less at 90 and 270 degrees. Polar patterns are crucial when you're recording in a noisy location, as they block out strange sounds. They also get rid of feedback and reverb.
Some microphones allow you to change patterns from cardioid to Omni-directional and vice versa. It is worth seeing if you need versatility.
The frequency response refers to the frequency range that the microphone picks up. Frequencies are measured in hertz and range from low to high. An 80 Hz to 15 Hz will serve for a vocal microphone. However, the best condenser microphone for male vocals usually starts at 50 Hz.
The response curve of a microphone is its responsiveness to frequency, and is shaped like a curve if you plot it. The curve has protrusions and peaks that make it suitable for specific types of applications. For example, a voice microphone may have spikes in the curve that allow for better reproduction.
SPL Handling Ability and Sensitivity
The best microphones for gaming and recording have great sensitivity. The more sensitive the microphone is, the quieter the sounds you can record. The SPL (sound pressure level) is measured in decibels (dBs). It refers to the maximum volume with which the microphone can work, so it is the opposite of sensitivity. Most condenser microphones have an SPL of 100 dB, although some can reach 130 dB or more.
Condenser microphones need power, and that's what phantom power provides. With + 48V phantom power, a condenser microphone can receive the power it needs via an XLR cable and power outlet. Plug in your microphone, turn on the phantom power, choose the correct channel, and your microphone is ready.
The proximity effect leads to more pronounced bass frequencies. This can be a good thing as it makes the voice sound clearer and cleaner, however too much can make your voice sound muddy and unintelligible. The best studio condenser microphone generates more proximity effect than dynamic microphones, but most have a minimizing element to get your voice out.
Construction And Design
Is the microphone comfortable to hold? What is it made of? Make sure the body is made of high-quality metal or other steel to ensure it can handle the rigors of everyday use. If you are going to carry the microphone while traveling, you need to bring a case.
How To Take Care Of A Studio Condenser Microphone?
Even the best large diaphragm condenser microphone won't last if you don't take care of it. Here are some tips:
Which Condenser Microphone Should I Buy?
If you are new to recording, buy a simple condenser microphone. Learn how it works and once you're comfortable with it, you can upgrade to a more versatile model. However, if you are a recording artist, you need a high quality microphone to match your recording equipment.
Now that you know what features to look for in a condenser microphone, you'll know how to read product specifications and what to get. You will also see that the recommended ones on our list are a great option. You can choose any of our list which are of great quality and worry only about your budget.
To conclude, we will first recommend that you read our article on the best microphones for voice recordings. This will give you a better idea of the importance of condenser microphones.
Whether you're looking for the best condenser microphone at any price, remember that cost isn't the only thing to consider. As we've shown in this review guide, there are many other factors that come into play. We hope that with this guide you now know what condenser microphone to look for, and choose any of the four named models on our list.
If at the end you do not make a purchase, you could still take advantage of all our information, which ultimately is our main idea. Thanks for reading.
Comparative Chart Of The 4 Best Condenser Microphones
Última actualización el 2022-11-29 / Enlaces de afiliados / Imágenes de la API para Afiliados