The main thing these microphones for under $300 provide are options. The options available with these mics make them versatile, reliable, and a great investment. They’re fit for a wide variety of recording studio types and for engineers with differing levels of experience. If you have the money, these mics are worth a look (or two).
Top 3 Condenser Microphones Under $300:
The Audio-Technica AT2050 has the option to switch between three pickup patterns: cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-eight. This large-diaphragm condenser microphone works with almost any recording situation, whether in the studio or live. With a 80 Hz high-pass filter and a 10 dB roll-off pad, you’ll have complete control over the quality of the audio and your recording.
The Blue Yeti Pro is a condenser microphone that has the options you need. It works with both USB and XLR, and you can choose between the four types of pickup patterns (stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional). Also, with a headphone jack as well as input gain and headphone volume controls, you can monitor right from the mic.
The Apogee MiC 96k microphone is a digital condenser microphone that uses a cardioid (heart-shaped) pickup pattern. It connects to your iOS mobile device via Lightning or to your laptop or desktop via USB. It’s best used to record vocals or acoustic guitar -- and at its best, it’s pretty darn good.
These mics offer a lot of options, more than what most cheaper mics offer.
One of the great features about the Audio-Technica AT2050 and the Blue Yeti Pro is the option to switch between pickup patterns. The AT2050 let’s you switch between cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-eight pickup patterns, while the Blue Yeti Pro allows all three of those plus a stereo pickup pattern.
This is super convenient if you’ll be recording a variety of instruments. For example, a cardioid (heart-shaped) pattern is perfect for recording vocals or acoustic guitar. An omnidirectional pattern is efficient for recording an entire room’s sound, which is something engineers do as a second form of recording in addition to a mic closer to the instrument.
Another way these mics offer options is the multi-connection availability. For instance, the Blue Yeti Pro is compatible with both USB and XLR, meaning you can plug the mic directly into your computer or via an audio interface. Likewise, the Apogee MiC 96k works with either Lightning or USB, so you can record with your iPhone or iPad, or you can use a laptop or computer.
The point is, all of these mics have options. So you’re bound to find a mic perfect for your recording needs.
Hard to go wrong in terms of quality
Sometimes it’s true that paying more will get you something of higher quality. Well, when it comes to the microphones in this category, that’s the gospel truth.
All three of the above recommended microphones record pro-level audio quality. The Apogee MiC 96k specializes in getting clear, high-quality vocals, whereas the the Blue Yeti Pro does well recording acoustic guitar, and the Audio-Technica AT2050 has more versatility and can pretty much record any instrument you put in front of it.
If you can spare the $200 to $300 for a new microphone, these three mics are safe (but really good) choices, as long as the mic’s features fits your recording situation.
These aren’t just any audio equipment companies…
Reliability is a key factor in choosing the right microphone. A trusted name can go a very long way to winning over the hearts of recording engineers, as long as the company holds its reputation.
Such is the case with these mics -- name like Audio-Technica and Blue are names you know deliver some of the best audio equipment around.
You will regret avoiding these microphones. If you’re a DIY musician who ignores them because they’re out of your budget, still take a look at them for future reference. If you’re a professional engineer who only buys higher-priced microphones and don’t believe in mics at this “low” price, see what they have to offer before you make a decision.
If you have the budget, you can be sure you’ll find a pro-level microphone in this category. You’ll get more options than most mics offer, you’ll get top-notch audio quality from these mics, and it’ll be backed by companies you know and trust. What more evidence do you need to grab a mic for under $300?