Getting started in music recording and production can be very tedious, especially if you are running on tight budget. That is why having good, affordable options matters a lot.
Today we are going to show you some of the best condenser microphones you can get under $100. As you are about to find out, these are easily among the best mics in general, depending on what kind of use you have in mind.
Speaking of which, later on we will discuss some viable applications for this type of gear as well as what you can expect from a $100 mic.
Top 10 Condenser Microphones Under $100:
- Chassis that was built to work under real, adverse conditions.
- Great sound quality especially when used to record loud instruments.
- A functional and classic design that has good aftermarket support.
- Good choice of hardware aimed for a solid overall performance.
AR RATING 63/100
When it comes to big brand names, you won't find much better or bigger than AKG. Their mics are legendary to say the least and an important piece of numerous world class recording studios. What makes this brand great good is the fact that they offer some of that quality and spirit in their budget solutions. AKG Perception 170 is one.
Being a pencil mic, you would expect Perception 170 to be very limited in many ways, but that is not the case. AKG has done their magic once more and delivered a microphone which has enough punch, finesse and power to serve in a variety of applications. It doesn't get much bet better than this at this particular price point.
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AR RATING 62/100
Audio Technica is one of those brands that have struck the golden balance between price and performance of their products. They seem to have the perfect entry level race horse for just about any category. Audio Technica AT2020 is that race horse when it comes to their condenser microphones. There's not other way to describe this mic other than awesome.
You are getting a perfect combo of functionality, great design, proper hardware and good performance. While it may not be something many professionals would use for high end projects, AT2020 has found itself in numerous enthusiast grade and even semi pro recording studios all around the world. If you are looking for an all around good performer, look no further.
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One thing’s for sure…
If we can be sure about one thing -- just one thing -- with these condenser mics, it’s that they record good quality audio. And that’s the most important thing, isn’t it?
For an example of high quality, take the AKG Perception 170. It’s built with a small-diaphragm, which allows for a few benefits or large-diaphragm mics. It can more accurately follow the sound waves of your instrument or voice. It has an extended frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz (all frequencies audible to the human ear), opening the possibilities to what you can include in your recording and giving you overall better sound.
To be sure your mic sounds good is the main thing when it comes to building a decent recording space.
Give yourself the option of having options
It’s always nice to have options. When you’re stuck with just one type of feature, it can be annoying. Good news -- these mics have you covered with options.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 and the AKG Perception 170 both have roll off switches (10 dB on the former and 20 dB on the latter). This means when you activate this rolloff switch, it will roll off certain frequencies below the given dB. With this feature, you can record close to the mic or mic up instruments with high pressure levels, like horns or drums, and not worry.
Likewise, the Blue Snowball allows you to change the pickup pattern. This is a very cool feature that not a lot of microphones offer, especially in this price range. The Snowball allows you to choose between cardioid (heart-shaped), omni (from all directions), and cardioid with that aforementioned -10 dB pad to activate roll off.
You’ll give yourself the option of having options with one of these microphones.
Cheap yet not cheap
A professional engineer might look at the title, see the words “under $100,” and scoff.
I only buy microphones of the utmost quality, this engineer may think. And quality comes at a price.
Okay, there’s truth to that statement. But sheesh, Mr. Engineer, open your mind a little. Even though these mics are less than $100, many of them record pro-level audio. You could swap some of them out with one of the best microphones in the world, one of those fancy $1,000 mic and you probably wouldn’t even know the difference.
The price tag may be cheap to some people, but the quality is not cheap -- no matter whom you ask. For example, the P170 is usually on the cheaper end of the “under $100” category, and it’s our most recommended condenser mic.
If the ceiling of your budget is around $100, this is the category you should be hanging out in. Adding a condenser microphone to your recording setup is a must -- they’ll give you a crisp, “real studio” sound for a margin of the price and 10 times the feeling of reward. Depending on the mic you get, you’ll also get options that not every mic offers.
The key is to find the right microphone for your needs. Hopefully, we’ve helped you on that path.