A lot of people say that starting a new hobby or passion is never easy. There’s a lot to learn, plenty of hours left for practice, and a long way ahead before achieving mastery. Sadly, only a few people ever talk about the journey in between, although this is where a learner’s passion, perseverance, and motivation usually falter.
If you’re no longer a beginner but not exactly a pro yet either, we understand how you feel about purchasing gear. You no longer want to settle with entry-level products, but you also aren’t confident to throw all your cash away on a super expensive high-end device.
Perhaps your starter kit is starting to bore you, and you’re looking for more features to play around with.
Building a home recording studio from scratch wasn’t easy, but as your skills progress, you might want to replace them for something that will continue to challenge you as an artist. They say that even the simplest upgrades could go a long way. And so we have compiled together a list of the best condenser mics under $200.
This list is perfect for those who are looking to slowly upgrade their studio without having to break the bank. Check out our list of favorites below.
10 Best Condenser Mics Under $200
Rode NT-USB Cardioid Condenser Mic
Anyone would expect to get more features out an audio device that is a step up from entry-level options. If you’re looking for a super versatile mic, then the Rode NT-USB is the perfect choice for you.
Not only does it sound great for musical recordings and live performances, this mic can also be used for spoken word projects. No matter if you are creating a podcast or doing voice overs, the Rode NT-USB delivers consistent sound quality.
Its body features a zero-latency stereo headphone monitoring jack which allows the user to monitor mic input in real time. It also comes with dials to adjust the monitoring level and mix between your preferred workspace (on PC or iPad) and the mic input.
- Simple and easy to use
- Allows USB connectivity
- Just plug and play
- Produces impressive and consistent sound quality
- Comes with a pop shield
- A stand mount with 3/8” thread
- A desktop tripod stand
- And a pouch for storage whenever not in use
- Quality of its parts and components can be improved
- Faulty headphone jack after prolonged use
Audio-Technica AT2035 Cardioid Condenser Mic
When it comes to audio gear, one of the top brands that come to mind is Audio-Technica. Throughout the years, the company has created some of the best audio recording gear in the market today – the AT2035 being one of their most remarkable creations.
This condenser microphone is versatile; it can be used for home, project, or even professional studio applications and live performances as well. One of the best things I like about the AT2035 is the fact that it truly has exceptionally detailed sound but low noise.
With the help of its high-pass filter and 10 dB pad, this mic can handle high sound pressure level with no problem.
- Has extended frequency response
- Impressive unwanted sound pickup reduction
- Comes with a custom shock mount for superior isolation
- Features switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter and 10 dB pad
- The quality of components can be improved
- Especially the USB drive in the mic
- The durability of the dials also needs some work
If you’re looking for a mic that can capture every detail of your sound perfectly, then look no further. The Marantz Professional MPM-3000 is the mic to look out for.
No matter if you are recording with subtle sounds or an orchestra performance, the MPM-3000 promises the best audio quality possible – no missing details or distortion.
Besides its attractive gold detailing, what I love most about this condenser mic is its metal mesh pop filter. This small but super-useful detail is responsible for the MPM-3000’s power to filter noise. So you can say goodbye to unwanted sounds or random sibilance.
- Comes with a pop filter
- Shock mount
- Extra springs and screws
- And an aluminum case
- Captures detailed sounds effectively while also reducing unwanted noise
- Great for recording drums as overheads and room mics
- Durability needs more improvement
- Needs an XLR to USB conversion cable to work
Added features aren’t the only things that take a condenser mic one step above entry level models. Sometimes, versatility, flexibility and usability are all it takes to place a regular mic on a higher level.
So if you’re looking for a mic that will give you enough room to make adjustments, then the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is for you.
This condenser mic is all about taking control. Its headphone jack has a volume control which allows users to monitor the mic without delay. The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ also has a mix control, allowing users to blend microphone signal with pre-recorded audio.
- Provides the user with a lot of control options
- Has impressive sound quality with a smooth
- Extended frequency response
- Comes with a stand mount for 5/8” – 27 threaded stands
- A 5/8″-27 to 3/8″-16 threaded adapter
- A soft protective pouch
- A tripod desk stand and a 10′ (3.1 m) USB cable
- The quality of accessories included could be better
- Faulty USB connection for Windows users
The Yeti by Blue Microphones is one of the most talked-about condenser mics among audio recording junkies. It works wonders for those who do podcasts or other spoken-word projects, but that does not mean that you can’t use this mic for your musical endeavors.
In my opinion, the best thing about the Yeti is its on-board controls. These features may be minute, but for those who are using a professional-grade mic for the first time, they may come in handy.
The Yeti also has four recording modes. If you are using the Yeti for recording songs, the mic has a Stereo mode that can help you achieve your recording goals.
- Great usability
- Features a simple and straightforward design
- Has four recording modes making it versatile for various projects
- Comes with full size headphones and a pop filter
- Recording sounds distant compared to other options on the list
- The headphones included in the bundle can be better
If durability is your number one of your top priorities, then the AKG Perception 220 should be on your list. This condenser mic is one of the sturdiest options on the list with its heavy-duty and rugged all-metal body.
The AKG Perception 220 also features a robust design that is built to last for years, making it a great investment.
This condenser mic also has a switchable bass-cut filter which eliminated unwanted rumble and footfall noise. It also has a switchable attenuation pad for high SPL applications up to 155 dB SPL.
Overall, I believe that this is great for those who want a mic that is in it for the long haul. It’s durable and it has all the features that you would need for years to come.
- Has a super strong body that is built to last for many years
- Produces super clean and crisp vocals
- Has good tonal balance
- A Great quality mic at a very affordable price
- May be too bright for some users
- Might need a tube preamp to make warm
If you need a condenser microphone that is straightforward and compatible across various Apple devices, then the Shure MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone is for you. First, this device is exclusive to Apple products. It is Apple MFi certified and it is compatible with all iOS devices equipped with Lightning.
Besides the stunning features and specs of this mic, what I love most about it is the 5 DSP preset modes included with the mic. You can choose among Speech, Singing, Flat, Acoustic Instrument, and Loud – making audio capturing a lot more simplistic. The mic automatically adjusts the EQ, compression, and limiting for best results.
- Provides superior audio quality and clarity
- Comes with super handy presets for your audio recording needs
- Comes with a Windscreen accessory on the microphone
- Power supply is dependent on the amount of battery in your Apple device
MXL 990/991 Recording Condenser Microphone
Confused about which condenser mic to get? Are you looking to expand the variety of your audio projects in the future? What you need is a mic that can provide you with consistent quality sound no matter if you want to record vocals or guitars – and that is exactly what the MXL 990/991 can do for you.
This package is a complete microphone kit for vocals, acoustic guitars, drum overheads, and many more. The MXL 990/991 are all about versatility and quality.
It has premium quality gold-sputtered diaphragms that produce pro-level sounds. So no matter what your audio recording goals are, you can bet that the MXL 990/991 can deliver your needs.
- Great for both digital and analog recording
- Provides smooth high end and a tight solid bass for impeccable vocal recording
- Comes with 2 mics
- Includes a high-impact carrying case and mic stand adapters
- Accessories included do no match the quality of the mic
- The durability of the item can be better
Here’s a condenser mic that works super well with musical recording projects. The Beyerdynamic FOX has a large diaphragm capacitor capsule with cardioid characteristics which enable accurate sound conversion and low noise.
Users can also listen in to their sound with the headphone output – just plug in your studio headphones into the jack and you’re ready to go.
The features that won me over with this mic are the mute button and its gain switching capabilities. A mute button goes a long way when it comes to recording; it keeps all the unwanted noise away.
The gain switch also allows users to record sound without much distortion. That said, the Beyerdynamic FOX is definitely one of the mics to look out for.
- Provides sound clarity while also eliminating random unwanted noise
- Supports USB connectivity
- Compatible with both Apple and Android devices
- Fast and easy mounting
- Allowing users to take the mic anywhere with them
- High gain had a bit of noise
- Low gain was extremely low
- Random pops can be heard according to some users
ZINGYOU BM-800 Condenser Microphone
The price tag on the Zingyou BM-800 may be a cause for concern for a lot of people, and it is totally understandable. Buying cheap gear puts the buyer’s money at risk because more often than not, these cheaper products tend to also have cheap quality.
But the Zingyou BM-800 is challenging the norms by proving that good quality sound does not have to be expensive.
This condenser mic is all about sensitivity. With its nicely-build capsule, the Zingyou BM-800 can give you accurate and detailed sound representation. It captures everything and works great with both vocals and instruments.
Its wide frequency response makes it compatible with almost any recording project you have whether you’re working with vocals or instruments. Plus, its high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) provides less distortion and unwanted pops during the recording session.
In short, this is one condenser mic to look out for when you’re on a tight budget.
- Comes with pro-quality recording equipment
- Shock mount
- Pop filter
- Adjustable suspension scissor arm stand
- Anti-wind foam cap
- A power cable and a sound card
- Sounds great for a condenser mic within its price range
- The durability of the item needs work
- Inconsistent sound quality
- Also depends on the positioning of the mic
- USB preamp causes a lot of issues
How To Choose The Perfect Condenser Mic Under $200
Perhaps you’ve been dabbling with home or studio recording for a while with an entry-level set, and you’re looking for an affordable upgrade.
You’re probably looking for something a little bit different from your first mic, but also, nothing that is too over the top that it does not fit your budget. If so, choosing a condenser mic under $200 may be the solution for you.
Most professional-grade mics, those that are a step above entry-level, start within this price range. But the question is, how do you choose the right one? As we always say, it is very important that you consider what your needs are.
Now that you’ve gone through projects with an entry-level mic, you must know what features you are missing. Take note of the specs you wish to have and work it out from there.
For most people, their first professional-grade mic might be the one that will last them for many years to come. With that said, it is also recommended that you think about expandability before your next project. Think about what you want to achieve using your mic.
Are you going to continue recording music, or will you also use the same mic for other endeavors? Will you get into gaming, podcasting, or doing voice-overs in the future? There are tons of versatile condenser mics to choose from – it’s all about finding what your recording goals are.
The more your choices are, the more confusing it gets, especially when trying to see the value from the cheaper condenser mics. Fortunately, we found just what we are looking for by taking into consideration the following aspects:
SPL handling — SPL stands for “sound pressure level,” which describes the maximum volume the mic can handle. If you are dealing with drums or playing metal, make sure to have higher SPL. According to The Hub, the average SPL is around 100 dB and high around 130 dB SPL.
Frequency response — This is another factor you need to consider. A good condenser mic has a flat graph, which means it captures and processes lows, mids, and highs equally.
However, there are exceptions. For example, rich vocals with more bass can be picked up easily with mic offering a great low-end response. The general response for most mics is 20Hz — 20kHz — so, you know the baseline.
Headphone output — Also called “active monitoring,” this feature is very important when you are recording. It allows you to listen to what you are recording, while you are still recording it. Not only for headphones, but it can also be connected to a console controller or computer.
Noise-canceling — You don’t want to include unwanted signals in your recordings, right. So, better check this feature in a microphone, especially if you have a setup that comes with lots of other devices like computers that may produce noise.
Sensitivity — Condenser mics should have higher-than-normal sensitivity, according to Audio-Tehnica Blog. Higher sensitivity condensers are perfect for low SPL applications and vice-versa.
Most condensers with lower sensitivity are used in studio recordings, while those with higher sensitivity are used in broadcasting, like television production.
Get more information about condenser mics from this YouTube video. You get more idea on the best condensers for vocals, at the same time, you’ll get a glimpse of its difference from dynamic microphones so that you can choose the best for your needs.
Our favorite condenser mic under $200 is the Rode NT-USB. We think that it is the mic with all the right features. It may not be perfect, but it may help a lot of users achieve perfect results.
It is durable, versatile, and very easy to use – all of which fit our standards as the best condenser mic under $200. Plus, it is also one of the most affordable mics in this list as well.