With so many condenser microphones under $300 out there, choosing just one among all of them would take a great deal of effort to do. All of them say the same thing – they’re made with great quality, they sound great, and they have must-have features you just can’t miss.
You have the entry-level mics that offer all the basics and then some. A step above that level and you could then get a feel of professional-grade specs. And then you have the top of the line condenser mics – the cream of the crop.
Anyone who is in the business of audio recording would want to get their hands on the best of the best. But what if you’re just not sure about investing all your money in one single purchase just yet? Or what if your budget falls a little short?
If you are stuck in between choices, then you might want to look at what the middle ground can offer you. There are plenty of great condenser mics in between novice and high-end levels.
If you’re looking for something a bit more than your standard professional mic, then check out these condenser microphones under $300.
10 Best Condenser Microphones Under $300 in 2020 (Reviewed)
- Sonic character of the C414 XLII for beautifully detailed recording of lead vocals and solo instruments
- Outstanding dynamic range and ultralow noise for close-up recording of high-output sources of up to 156dB SPL
One look at the AKG C214 and you know that this mic is built for the road. With its heavy-duty all-metal die-cast body, the C214 mic is the definition of mic durability – but that’s not all.
This mic has an impressive dynamic range and ultra-low noise as well, perfect for recording high-output sources of up to 156 dB SPL. The switchable 20 dB attenuator and bass-cut filter reduce proximity effects during close-up recording as well.
Personally, I like that this mic puts out a lot of effort in reducing mechanical noise and vibration. Plenty of mics are hyperfocused on getting rid of some unwanted external sound.
But a lot of times, the mic itself makes a lot of noise; the AKG C214 understands this and it is great that they’ve addressed these issues through this beautiful condenser mic.
- Sports a super durable body
- Made with high-quality materials and a shock and scratch-resistant finish
- Reduces self-noise and vibration
- Great for recording vocals and solo instruments
- Produces pro-level sound quality
- Has great range and tonal balance
- Comes off as sounding too bright for some users
- Three custom condenser capsules and four different polar pattern settings: Cardioid, Stereo, Bidirectional and Omnidirectional
- Cutting-edge A-D converter chip and separate analog circuit path for use with professional studio mixers and preamps
The Yeti is an audiophile favorite and with many good reasons why. If you’re looking for a condenser mic that can offer you a wider variety of polar pattern settings, then the Blue 1967 Yeti Pro is the thing for you.
It has three custom condenser capsules with four polar pattern settings – cardioid, stereo, bidirectional, and omnidirectional. So no matter what your setup looks like, you know that you are capturing all the sound details you need.
I would personally recommend this mic for those who like to listen to their work while on their headphones. The 1967 Yeti Pro has probably the best support for headphones – it comes with a built-in headphone amplifier for zero-latency monitoring.
It also provides direct controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, mute, and microphone gain.
- A versatile condenser mic that offers various polar pattern settings
- Works great with professional studio mixers and preamps
- Also perfect with headphones
- Offers great quality sound that is clear and crisp with reduced noise
- Some users have reported an unresponsive USB connection
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The very first thing that I found interesting about the Rode NT1KIT was its body. It’s made with 6061 aluminum and is nickel-plated for resistance against corrosion.
And if that’s not impressive enough, the mic is also coated in a military-grade ceramic layer that provides resistance against scratches or marks. So if you’re looking for something that would last for years, then the Rode NT1KIT is for you.
This condenser mic also has the best of both worlds when it comes to range. It provides super smooth high frequencies and warm bass. What I like about most about the Rode NT1KIT is the fact that it is ultra-quiet.
Despite having a detailed midrange response, and all the other features above, this mic still manages to come clean when it comes to audio.
- Detailed and has awesome range
- From smooth high frequencies to warmer bass
- Built for durability
- Resistant against scratches and marks
- Comes with a double-lyre suspension shock mount that cancels vibrations
- And a removable all-metal pop filter for plosive protection
- The quality of the accessories included needs improvement
- Technically advanced large diaphragm tensioned specifically to provide smooth, natural sonic characteristics
- Externally polarized (DC bias) true condenser design, Exceptionally low noise, wide dynamic range and high SPL capability for greatest versatility
Another crowd favorite in the home/studio recording scene is the Audio-Technica AT4040. The brand Audio-Technica is no stranger to audio equipment as they are one of the top producers of high-quality recording devices today.
The AT404 is just one of their top-level condenser mics, but it is also one of the most talked-about among recording professionals.
This condenser mic has a large diaphragm that is responsible for the smooth and natural sound. Its nickel-plated brass, acoustic element baffle provides element stability and optimal sensitivity. But what I really liked about the AT4040 is the fact that it has exceptionally low noise while also providing a wide dynamic range.
I am also very impressed with how this mic successfully eliminates low-frequency distortion. I would personally recommend this mic for users who prioritize clarity for their projects.
- A great quality condenser mic with low noise and low-frequency distortion
- Smooth and clear while also able to capture detailed and natural sound
- Not recommended for those who want a bright open sound
- Hissing can be heard at the mids
- Dull highs and average lows
- Three switchable polar patterns: omni, cardioid, figure-of-eight
- Switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter and 10 dB pad
The Audio-Technica AT2050 is the more affordable counterpart of the AT4040. The two have similar traits with only a few variations. While the AT4040 works with XLR, the Audio-Technica AT2050, on the other hand, only supports USB connectivity.
It produces the same high level of quality as the AT4040 but it also offers a more affordable price tag. A 50 dollar difference may not sound much to some people, but if you aren’t keen on spending money on features that you won’t need, then the AT2050 deserves your attention.
- Pro-level sound quality with an affordable price
- Has three switchable polar patterns
- Has three switchable polar patterns A switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter and a 10 dB pad
- Includes a shock mount and protective pouch
- The quality of the pop filter needs some improvement in terms of durability
- Accessories and headphones in the bundle are subpar
- Large-diaphragm capsule (1")
- True condenser design
There’s no audio equipment list without mentioning a product from Sennheiser. Although not exactly at the top of the industry these days, there’s no denying that this maker still knows how to make great quality audio devices. And I think that the MK4 has got to be one of their best condenser microphones.
It’s simple, straight-forward, and it has everything you would need from a pro-level mic. The MK4 has a 24-carat gold-plated diaphragm and a true condenser design.
It also has a 1-inch large-diaphragm capsule that delivers crystal clear sound. I would recommend this mic for those who want a quick solution to their studio projects or live stage needs.
- Sports a durable body with solid construction and high-quality components
- Provides a flat even tone that is also clean and transparent
- Little to no noise
- Handles high-pressure levels really well compared to others on the list
- Requires a supply of phantom power to work
- Works best in quiet environments
- Not much when placed in noisy areas
- Professional cardioid condenser microphone capsule
- Pure digital connection for pristine sound quality up to 24-bit/ 96kHz
Since the mid-1980s, Apogee has been producing some of the world’s best audio recording equipment. I believe that the Apogee MIC PLUS is one of the most notable creations in their microphone catalog today.
It is a versatile cardioid condenser mic that can be used for a variety of projects. You can use it for vocals, instruments, voice-overs, and even during interviews.
And because this is a USB microphone, users can also connect the device to their iPhones, iPads, Macs, or PCs. It also comes with a headphone with a Blend feature for zero-latency recording. Basically, it has everything you could ever ask for from a high-quality mic.
- Absolutely no configuration needed
- Just plug and play to start recording your music
- Offers pristine sound quality with the support of its PureDIGITAL connection
- Comes in a super portable size with USB connectivity compatible with most devices
- The low end isn’t as great as the other mics on the list
- Its size and portability compromises the quality of the features
- Uniform cardioid pattern for superior off axis rejection
- Superior transient response from a low-mass large Mylar diaphragm
Looking for a multi-purpose condenser mic that will sound great on stage and also on studio applications? Look no further because the Shure SM27-C has everything you need.
This large-diaphragm, side-address condenser mic promises low self-noise and extended frequency response. It’s rugged, versatile, and yet super detailed. It can pick up vocal and instrumental nuances with impressive clarity.
But what got me interested in the SM27 wasn’t just its sound quality, but its make and form have also won me over. The Shure SM27 has a truly durable construction. It has three separate mesh layers that effectively reduce wind and breath noise – a common problem among mics positioned on stage.
- Has a three-position switchable low-frequency filter for reducing background noise
- Sports a heavy-duty metal construction for guaranteed durability
- Produces a flat and evenly neutral frequency response to capture sounds naturally
- Expensive in comparison to the higher value other mics offer with the same price
- Extended upper clarity with smooth mid frequencies for any voice or instrument
- Hand-built proprietary large-diaphragm cardioid capsule for full, open sound
Here’s another selection from the Blue Microphones brand. The Bluebird SL sports a simple yet surprisingly intriguing design – definitely something different compared to the usual mic body. It comes with a hand-built large-diaphragm cardioid capsule for a full and open sound.
The high-pass filter and -20 dB pad provides versatility, making it a great mic to work with when capturing vocal performances or instrumentals. No matter if it was a guitar or a piano, the Bluebird SL only delivers pristine sound quality.
I also appreciate the fact that this mic is friendly towards users. It works great with home studio USB audio interfaces, making workflow smoother and easier for the user.
- Captures sound naturally while also reproduces a crisp and clear audio quality
- Flexible and addresses the needs of varying recording projects
- Works great with USB audio interfaces
- Meant for recording louder instruments
- Does not capture subtle sound very well
- Studio Condenser Microphone tailored to the unique needs of voice over recording
- Foam-lined travel case and fleece-lined protective storage pouch
The Harlan Hogan MXL VO: 1-A is a super sleek and attractive condenser mic. It was created by the collaboration of Harlan and Marshall Electronics with hopes of creating the best mic for the voice-over performer.
Although this mic was primarily designed for spoken word recording, that does not mean that it cannot do wonders with vocal performances.
The MXL VO: 1-A is the mic to look out for in the Harlan Hogan Signature Series. It captures deep tones perfectly and it has a smooth and silky high end.
Overall, this is a perfectly balanced mic in terms of tone; nothing too heavy or too harsh making it compatible with most male and female voices. If you’re looking for a reliable mic for your vocal projects, then the Harlan Hogan MXL VO: 1-A should be on your shopping list.
- Produced by two trusted brands promising studio-quality audio production
- Great tonal balance
- Beautiful low ends with super smooth highs
- Comes with a hardshell case
- Shock mount
- MXL cable
- Quick clip mount
- A fleece-lined vinyl pouch
- And two replacement mount elastics
- Captures breath noise
- Has higher self-noise compared to others on the list
How To Choose The Right Condenser Microphone Under $300
Before purchasing a condenser mic on the higher end of the scale, observing differences and additional features should be on your list of things to do. And if you’ve been looking carefully, you’d notice that most condenser mics under $200 don’t have the ability to switch between polar patterns unlike the ones under $300.
This is very important as it plays a crucial role in how you capture sound. But that’s not all there is to it…
To choose the right condenser microphone under $300, you must first make an assessment on what your audio projects look like and what your needs are.
You also need to factor in expandability since these condenser mics don’t come cheap and investing in this type of mic might mean that you are looking to work with it for many years to come.
As we always say, there is no such thing as the perfect equipment – but there will always be that one device that delivers all your needs. Figure out what your priorities are when it comes to audio quality and select a mic that can do the job right for you.
The best condenser mic under $300 is the AKG Pro Audio C214. It works great with vocals as well as with instruments. Also, we think that it is the best go-to condenser mic if you want something that is reliable, consistent, and durable.
Although other mics may have better features, we believe that the AKG C214 delivers great results while also addressing the needs of various audio projects.
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