Best Condenser Microphones

The 10 Best Condenser Microphones in 2019

In this review we feature the best condenser microphones that are built for professional studio use and recording artists who want superb sound quality. These condenser microphones are ideal for home or studio applications and are designed with high SPL handling and wide dynamic range for versatile sound recording. They also come with low-mass diaphragms for extended frequency response and superior transient response. Our experts have tested over a hundred different condenser microphones to determine which ones provide the best sound quality and value for money. If you are looking for some of the best condenser microphones for crystal clear voice recording, be sure to check out our top picks below!

#1 Best Overall: Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone

Type: Cardioid condenser studio XLR microphone

Features: High SPL Handling and wide dynamic range; 20 dB SPL

Design: Custom engineered low-mass diaphragm

View Full Specs: Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone

The Audio-Technica AT2020 is a premium quality cardioid condenser studio XLR microphone. It covers the whole audible frequency range (20 Hz – 20 kHz) and its impedance is 100 Ohms. Its cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving the isolation of the desired sound source. The custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response. The noise level is 20 dB SPL and it has 124 dB of dynamic range. Its high-SPL handling and wide dynamic range make it very versatile.

The AT2020 condenser microphone is particularly good at recording vocals, which come out clean, crisp, and very direct. The rugged construction ensures both sturdy build quality and durability, with users mentioning that it has survived drops. Its design is sleek and modern looking, coming in plain black color with black speckles, making it really good-looking.

The package includes accessories such as a stand mount for 5/8″-27 threaded stands, a 5/8″-27 to 3/8″-16 threaded adapter as well as a soft protective pouch. Its pivoting, threaded stand mount attaches securely for easy and precise placement of the microphone. On the whole, the Audio-Technica AT2020 is an affordable, high-quality condenser microphone which would be highly recommended for project/home-studio applications.

#2 Best Value: Blue Snowball Ice Condenser Microphone

Blue Snowball Ice Condenser Microphone

Type: Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Features: USB 2.0 compatible, can be used to record vocals and create podcasts

Design: Easy plug and play directly to your Mac or PC

View Full Specs: Blue Snowball Ice Condenser Microphone

The Blue Snowball iCE is a high-quality condenser microphone that delivers premium quality sound performance. The custom condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio for Skype, Messages and FaceTime. Its cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving the isolation of the desired sound source. It has a frequency response of 40 –18 kHz.

The Snowball iCE is a USB 2.0 device (USB 3.0 compatible as per USB 3.0 backward compatibility specification). It is very easy to set up as you just plug it and play directly to your Mac or PC without the need to install any drivers. It is suitable for recording instruments or vocals, adding crystal clear audio to recordings for YouTube as well as creating podcasts and add narration to your home movies. It is also Skype-certified so that you can get noise-free video calls.

This condenser microphone might pick up some background noise, but you can fix it by adjusting the microphone sensitivity on your computer. The package includes an adjustable stand to mount the microphone. On the whole, the Blue Snowball iCE is a very affordable solution that allows you to replace your computer’s built-in mic with a high quality and easy-to-use USB microphone.

#3 Best Sound Quality: Shure MV88 Condenser Microphone

Shure MV88 Condenser Microphone

Type: Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone

Features: 5 DSP Preset Modes – automatically adjusts EQ, compression and limiting

Design: Mid-side architecture for phase-perfect clear stereo image

View Full Specs: Shure MV88 Condenser Microphone

The Shure MV88 is a digital stereo condenser microphone which has been designed to capture clear, high-quality sound and has Apple Mfi certification. It delivers crisp and clear sound performance, featuring matched cardioid and bi-directional 1 cm cartridges. It incorporates mid-side architecture for a clear stereo image It covers the whole audible frequency range with a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.

In addition to that, the Shure MV88 incorporates 5 DSP preset modes (Speech, Singing, Flat, Acoustic Instrument, Loud) that can automatically adjust EQ, compression and limiting for optimal results. It is compatible with all iOS devices equipped with a Lightning port such as iPhone 5 and later, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini and iPod touch (5th generation). It features innovative hinge/rotation design that supports multiple recording angles, including video applications.

You can use the free ShurePlus MOTIV recording app that features 24-bit/48 kHz wav (uncompressed) recording, control over DSP mode selection, microphone gain, stereo width, mid-side adjustments, wind reduction and more. The MV88’s all-metal construction ensures both sturdy build quality and durability. The microphone dimensions are  2.64 high × 0.98 wide × 1.38 deep in inches and a windscreen is included in the package.

#4 Best USB Microphone: Fifine Condenser Microphone

Fifine Condenser Microphone

Type: Cardioid polar pattern condenser microphone

Features: Plug and play USB microphone with 5.9 foot cable included

Design: USB-powered design condenser microphone for recording

View Full Specs: Fifine Condenser Microphone

The Fifine metal condenser recording microphone is a USB microphone that is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. It comes with an additional volume knob, having loud volume output and high sensitivity, ensuring that your voice would be heard well enough when gaming, skyping or recording your voice.

The Fifine condenser microphone has a cardioid polar pattern which captures your voice properly, producing clear, smooth and crisp sound without static noise. It also makes the microphone suitable for  gamers and streamers as it can isolate the sounds from the main source and separate them from any background noise. It is easy to use and install as it features plug and play technology: you just need to connect the microphone with the included 5.9-foot USB cable directly to the USB port in order to record (the microphone is not compatible with Xbox or phones).

We liked the fact that its USB-powered design does not need the 48 V Phantom power supply and it works well with Cortana, Discord, voice chat and voice recognition. Its solid metal construction design ensures both robust build quality and durability. The stable tripod stand that is included in the package is convenient when you are doing voice overs or livestreams on YouTube. On the whole, the Fifine metal condenser recording microphone is highly recommended for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording and voiceover use.

#5 Best for Studio: Audio-Technica AT2035 Condenser Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2035 Condenser Microphone

Type: Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Features: High SPL handling, switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter and 10 dB pad

Design: Large diaphragm design for smooth natural sound

View Full Specs: Audio-Technica AT2035 Condenser Microphone

The Audio-Technica AT2035 is a premium quality cardioid condenser microphone that has been designed for  home/project/professional studio applications and live performance. It has a frequency response ranging from 20Hz to 20kHz and 120 ohms of impedance. It has a studio-quality physical design and sound replication and delivers crystal clear and detailed sound performance.

The Audio-Technica AT2035 is particularly good for recording dynamic sounds, like human voice and instruments, as well as for recording impulse responses. The cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving the isolation of the desired sound source. Its large diaphragm allows for smooth, natural and very detailed sound while maintaining the noise levels very low. Its high SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide great versatility.

In addition to that, it features a switchable 80 Hz high-pass filter as well as a 10 dB pad in order to handle high sound pressure levels. It comes equipped with a protective pouch and a custom shock mount that provides additional isolation. Its design is sleek and modern looking while its rugged construction ensures both sturdy build quality and durability. The Audio-Technica AT2035 has an integral 3-pin XLRM-type output connector and it requires 48 V of phantom power.

#6 Best Value Bundle: ZINGYOU Condenser Microphone Kit

ZINGYOU Condenser Microphone Kit

Type: Condenser Microphone Bundle Kit

Features: High signal to noise ratio, unique 3-layer protection system

Design: Features thin material diaphragm which provides accurate voice representation

View Full Specs: ZINGYOU Condenser Microphone Kit

The ZINGYOU condenser microphone bundle is a kit that includes a BM-800 condenser microphone with an adjustable mic suspension scissor arm stand, a metal shock mount and a double-layer pop filter for studio recording and broadcasting. In addition to that, it features an anti-wind foam cap, a power cable and a sound card.

The Zingyou BM-800 features a thin material diaphragm or “capsule” which vibrates and sends a signal to the output, providing a very accurate and highly detailed sound reproduction. Its cardioid polar pattern isolates the sound source from the surrounding sound, eliminating background noise. Its wide frequency response (20 to 20,000 Hz) makes it a suitable mic to capture vocals, acoustic guitars, acoustic pianos and even strings as the condenser microphone is able to take an accurate snapshot and capture all the subtleties and nuances inherent in these instruments.

Furthermore, this condenser microphone features a 78 dB high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) that means less distortion is caused on the process of recording.  A 3-layer protection system prevents unwanted pop noises, providing singers with a clear, plosive-free vocal performance. The arm stand clamps to your desktop with a C clamp to ensure it remains firm with two knobs to adjust the angle of the mic clip and the arm. The included all-metal suspension shock mount isolates the microphone from physical vibration, floor, and stand noise.

#7 Most Versatile: Rode NT-USB Condenser Microphone

Rode NT-USB Condenser Microphone

Type: USB Condenser Microphone

Features: Ultra-low noise capability, compatible with Apple iPad, on-mic mix control

Design: High quality studio microphone with USB connectivity

View Full Specs: Rode NT-USB Condenser Microphone

The Rode NT-USB is a versatile studio-quality USB cardioid condenser microphone that is made for  recording singing and musical performances in addition to spoken applications such as podcasting and voice-over. It is USB bus powered which makes it convenient and easy to set up. It is compatible with mainstream recording applications on both Windows and Mac OS based computers, as well as the Apple iPad using RØDE Rec, Garage Band, or any other recording app that accepts an external microphone.

The body of the NT-USB features a zero-latency stereo headphone monitoring (3.5mm) jack, which allows you to monitor the microphone input in real time, along with dials to adjust the monitoring level and mix between the computer/iPad audio and the microphone input. In order to use it on the Apple iPad, it requires a suitable USB connection adaptor, such as the Apple Camera Connection Kit.

A pop-filter is included, which fits onto the base of the mic, positioning the filter in the ideal distance from the capsule to minimize plosives during singing or speech. The package also includes high-quality stand mount with industry standard 3/8″ thread, a desktop tripod stand that allows the NT-USB to sit at a comfortable height on a tabletop, and a pouch for storage of the microphone when not in use.

#8 Best for Professionals: Neewer NW 800 Condenser Microphone

Neewer NW 800 Condenser Microphone

Type: Professional Studio Condenser Microphone

Features: Captures rich, full-bodied sound from sources directly in front of the mic

Design: Complete electronic circuit control with shock mount to reduce handling noise

View Full Specs: Neewer NW 800 Condenser Microphone

The Neewer NW-800 is a professional condenser microphone for studio broadcasting and recording. Its cardioid polar pattern allows it to capture rich, full-bodied sound from sources that are directly in front of the mic.It incorporates a precision electronic circuit to eliminate the crossover distortion and harmonic distortion. It features a good cardioid pickup output and high sensitivity, while maintaining the noise levels very low. Its wide dynamic range makes it versatile.

The Neewer NW-800 has fashionable design with elegant appearance and it comes in plain black color. The choice of materials along with its metal construction ensures both sturdy build quality and durability. Its dimensions are 1.9 x 6.3 inches/ 4.8 x 16 centimeters and it weighs 11 ounces/316 grams.The set includes a black professional condenser microphone, a microphone shock mount, a ball-type anti-wind foam cap and a microphone Power Cable.

The shock mount can effectively reduce handling noise while the ball-type anti-wind foam cap can protect the microphone against wind interference and singers’ spit. The condenser microphone only works with devices that can provide enough power (Voltage required: 5 V). If your device can not provide enough power, the sound volume recorded might be low, and it is recommended use an extra 48 V phantom power adapter to connect it (the phantom power adapter is not included).

#9 Large Diaphragm Microphone: AKG P220 Condenser Microphone

AKG P220 Condenser Microphone

Type: Professional Studio Condenser Microphone

Features: Captures rich, full-bodied sound from sources directly in front of the mic

Design: Complete electronic circuit control with shock mount to reduce handling noise

View Full Specs: AKG P220 Condenser Microphone

The AKG P220 is a large-diaphragm condenser mic that delivers versatile performance and reliability, and can be used in various occasions such as in a professional studio, while recording at home, or for mixing front of house. The sound that this microphone captures is very detailed and warm, making it very suitable for recording vocal performances.

This vocal condenser microphone covers the whole audible frequency spectrum, ranging from 20 Hz to 20kHz and has a sensitivity of 20 mV/Pa, while keeping its max SPL at 155 dB. Featuring a cardioid pickup pattern, it captures the sound source that is right in front of the mic, rejecting background noise from the sides and the back.

It also incorporates a switchable 20dB attenuation pad in order to handle high pressure levels and a bass roll-off switch that you can use if you want to record without having to deal with any unnecessary low end frequency that the mic picks up. It comes in plain black color with a sleek and modern-looking design. Its dimensions are  6.00 x 8.00 x 12.00 and it weighs 530 g. The AKG P220’s package also includes a metal clip, an aluminum carrying case and a spider shock mount.

#10 Best for Vocals: AKG C214 Condenser Microphone

AKG C214 Condenser Microphone

Type: Professional Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Features: Switchable 20dB attenuator and bass-cut filter for close-up recording

Design: Integrated suspension to reduce mechanical noise and vibration from stage

View Full Specs: AKG C214 Condenser Microphone

The AKG C214 is a professional large-diaphragm condenser microphone that has been designed as a cost-effective alternative to the high-end AKG C414. It is a versatile microphone that is made to be used for recording of lead vocals and solo instruments in the studio as well as on stage. It has an audio Frequency bandwidth of 20 to 20000 Hz and sensitivity of 20 mV/Pa.

It captures sound by combining one capsule of the C414 dual-capsule system in a single-diaphragm, cardioid-only design and the patented AKG Back-Plate Technology, resulting in crystal clear sound. It has a very wide dynamic range and picks up very low noise, making it suitable for close-up recording of high-output sources. A switchable 20dB attenuation pad allows recording of loud sources of up to 156dB SPL, while a switchable bass-cut filter at 160 Hz allows close-up recording with almost no proximity effect.

The C214 condenser microphone features an integrated capsule suspension that reduces mechanical noise and resonances for better sonic accuracy. The double mesh, all-metal grille protects the capsule and ensures high RF immunity without affecting the acoustical performance. The C214 has robust construction quality with a modern scratch-resistant finish, a dent-resistant, metal grille and a gold-plated XLR-type output. The package also includes a carrying case, a windscreen, and a spider-type shock mount.