If you’re looking for cheap microphones, but you’re a bit wary about the quality of what you’ll find, you should be.
Because at the very bottom price ranges, most of what you’ll find is questionable at best.
However there are exceptions, though few and far between.
Luckily though, you won’t have to go digging for them, because in this ultimate guide, we’ve narrowed down the very best cheap microphones on the market, for a variety of different purposes. (Nothing over $200).
So here’s what we’re about to cover:
Table of Contents:
- The Best Cheap Condenser Mic for Studio Vocals
- The Best Cheap Dynamic Mic for Stage and Studio
- A Pair of Small Diaphragm Condensers for Acoustic Guitar
- The Best Dynamic Mic for Guitar Cabinets and Drums
- The Best USB Microphone for Streamers and Podcasters
- The Best Cheap Mic for Kick Drums and Bass Instruments
- The Best Cheap Multi-Pattern Mic for Multi-Purpose Recording
The Best Cheap Condenser Mic for Studio Vocals
The vast majority of people reading this article are simply looking for a good large diaphragm condenser mic to record vocals in their home studio.
Typically though, mics in this category are quite expensive. With the mid-range around $500-1000, and the high-end being almost limitless.
However, there are a few rare exceptions well-below that range.
And in that small group, there’s none more affordable, and more respected than the Audio-Technica AT2020.
The endless number of positive reviews don’t lie. This mic is awesome.
For a warmer option, check out the surprinsingly cheap MXL R144 which is actually a ribbon mic:
The Best Cheap Dynamic Mic for Stage and Studio
Of all the cheap microphones on this list, this one’s undoubtedly the most obvious pick of all: the Shure SM58.
Long-known as the most famous microphone in the world, the SM58 can be seen all the time at concerts, and speaking events.
And they’re just as popular in the studio as well.
And even though it’s insanely cheap, there’s really no compromising with this mic. Because it’s somehow still the #1 choice of people with unlimited amounts of money.
So if a cheap dynamic mic for vocals is what you’re looking for, I can promise you there’s really no other option that’s even worth considering.
Just get this one. You won’t regret it. Here’s the link:
A Pair of Small Diaphragm Condensers for Acoustic Guitar
Whether you’re recording acoustic guitar, piano, cymbals, or any instrument with that high-end metallic shimmer…
A matched pair of small diaphragm condenser mics is typically a go-to choice for the job, so you can record in stereo.
Once again, a quality pair of these mics is typically quite expensive, and most of the cheap ones sound awful.
But the Samson C02 is one of the rare exceptions.
You wouldn’t think mics at this price could have almost universally positive reviews.
And you wouldn’t think that Samson, a company not well-known for their amazing microphones, would be the makers of such an impressive product.
Yet somehow these microphones have developed quite a good reputation among home studios.
And they’re highly recommended in virtually all user reviews. Here’s the link:
The Best Dynamic Mic for Guitar Cabinets and Drums
For these two instruments specifically (and a number of others as well), there’s no better mic than the Shure SM57.
Just like the SM58 which we covered earlier, the SM57 has been an industry standard microphone for many decades now, and used everyday on-stage and in studios.
And just like the SM58, the SM57 is also about as cheap as a microphone can get.
Yet many pro-studios keep tons of these on-hand, because they are seriously that versatile.
So for a home studio, there’s really no good reason to not have at least 1-2 of these in your mic locker.
Here’s the link:
The Best USB Microphone for Streamers and Podcasters
While considered more of a novelty than a tool, USB mics today are more popular than ever.
Not only with musicians, but even more so with streamers, Youtubers, and podcasters.
This is mainly because they’re super easy to use, and plug straight into your computer, without the need for an audio interface.
Among the top USB mics of today, there’s none more popular, or more famous than the Blue Yeti.
As the most sold model ever, it’s look and name is virtually synonymous with USB mics in general.
Recently acquired by logitech, the current linup of Yeti mics features 3 different versions:
- Blue Yeti (Amazon/B&H) – the original flagship
- Blue Yeti Nano (Amazon/B&H) – the smaller version with only 2 pickup patterns
- Blue Yeti X (Amazon/B&H) – with an extra capsule, brand new software & effects and a LED input display
The Best Cheap Mic for Kick Drums and Bass Instruments
For kick drums and bass instruments, a special type of dynamic mic is used…
One specifically tailored for capturing the low-end, while scooping out the mids.
There aren’t many mics to choose from in this category, probably less than a dozen in total.
And on that short list, almost all of them are hover right around the $200 price range.
The only one that is significantly cheaper is the Sennheiser e602 II.
And since its reputation is just a solid as any of the others, it’s the obvious winner in this category.
The Best Cheap Multi-Pattern Mic for Multi-Purpose Recording
If the goal is to get as much functionality as you can, out of as few dollars as you can…
It makes perfect sense to choose a microphone that does not just one thing, but many.
And while you may not have heard of them before, multi-pattern mics are designed for exactly that purpose.
You see, as you get more advanced with recording, you’ll learn more about the different microphone polar patterns and what they’re used for.
The problem is, most microphones have only ONE polar pattern, which means that you’ll need several microphones to cover each one.
Unless of course, you have a multi-pattern mic. In which case, you can have them all covered in just one mic.
Once again, most mics in this category are expensive. And once again…I have an exception for you.
And here it is:
More Microphone Posts in this Series:
Stereo Mics | Ribbon Mics | Electric Guitar Mics | Acoustic Guitar Mics | Drum Mics | Kick Drum Mics | Vocal Mics | Field Recorders | On-Camera Mics | Wireless Mics | Cheap Mics | Dynamic Mics | Condenser Mics | USB Mics | Studio Mics