10 Cheapest Microphones Reviewed in 2020 (Complete Review)

Whether you want to make your voice heard to the masses, or you want a good microphone for your studio so you can record. Choosing the best equipment can go a long way when looking to set up a setup that requires a microphone. 

As 2020 is a year of odd happenings, we are here to prove that spending more money doesn’t always mean a better product. On the contrary, it’s the opposite. 

We have put together a list of  10 Cheap Microphones that are available for purchase right now and offer better value for money than the other options available in the market. 

Now, Let’s Get Started:

1. MXL 990, XLR Connector Condenser Microphone

MXL 990 Connector Condenser Microphone

If you’re looking for an effective yet budget-friendly option, then you have found your fit. The best of the cheap microphones, this microphone offers a more focused and consistent sound which goes very well with vocals and acoustic guitars, this microphone uses a cardioid pickup pattern. 

It supports noise isolation which removes any interferences from the surroundings which makes it ideal for recording vocals or sounds from instruments, which is what an ultimate microphone should offer.  

The frequency of this specific microphone is thoroughly kept consistent across the range of 30KHz-20KHz. This range will help you keep an idea of how accurately will a microphone catch the sound of different instruments. 

The microphone comes with a little extra treble boost that provides some extra clarity and High definition sound towards the high end of an artist’s vocal range.

With a little tuning on Equalizers, it will sound great on acoustic guitars.

PROS

  • Has a cardioid pattern with provides a good sound output and offers great noise cancellation. 
  • Durable quality finish that makes it more durable than most of the cheap microphones.

CONS

  • Requires Phantom Power Supply to be operated.

2. Shure SM57

Shure SM57

This microphone has been in the game for a long time and has been providing great results overall. For about the past 30 years, these microphones have been providing their services to their users. 

Simply put, these are one of the cheap microphones and well-known to people affiliated with the music of any sorrts and also happens to be one of the best dynamic microphones ever created, and for a rather valid reason. 

This microphone is primarily a musical instrument, but they don’t stay behind in any situation a microphone is needed to fulfill its purpose.

The very tight pickup on these microphones means that they only receive sound from the direction from where your voice is coming and will cut out the surrounding sounds away. 

They make a great combination with snare drums or guitar amplifier. Just plug it in and let the rest handle the rest. 

PROS

  • Highly Durable and gives a solid performance 
  • Has a tight cardioid pattern that helps in canceling out the rest of the unwanted noise.

CONS

  • None.

3. MXL R144 Ribbon Microphone

MXL R144 Ribbon Microphone

The sound provided by this microphone is dreaded by the people of many different occupations.. This Microphone is one of the most cheap microphones to give a solid antique ribbon microphone. 

This microphone’s core generates a soothing sound with more crispiness and detail that are better than the sound provided by most of the cardioid mics. 

The low boost and extra characteristics this mic has are perfect for electrifying spiky guitar pickups and also helps in smoothing out nasal overtones. 

The max sound pressure level that this device can bear is more than 130 decibels and here’s the best part: the sound doesn’t even distort! 

These qualities make this one of the perfect options in a low budget for louder sources such as the guitar amps and brass instruments as they will up their level from the support granted by the ribbon mic. 

This mic has an eight-figure pattern which allows it to be used by two artists or instruments simultaneously as they are played towards the opposite ends of each side of the mic. 

PROS

  • A better option than most of the ribbon mic options at this price. 
  • Can handle high sound pressures. 

CONS

  • Needs a Phantom power supply to work.

4. SE Electronics SE7 

SE Electronics SE7

If your main goal is to look for cheap microphones that offer great compatibility and sound with musical instruments, then this SE Electronics SE7 microphone is your way to go. 

This condenser mic happens to be a perfect candidate for providing neutral sounds.

This mic is rather easy to use as you only have to point it at the sound you want to record. The cardioid pickup pattern helps you neutralize the surrounding sounds that may alter the output you want.

A low-cut filter is also provided and a  -20 dB pad on the rear of the mic is located. This filter can improve your bass result and reduce the sounds that ruin the output. 

To conclude, this will make for one of the best cheap microphones. 

PROS

  • The low-cut filter and the pad provide extra customization options so you can get better outputs as you record. 
  • Pencil Mic Shape and small diaphragm are great to use with instruments. 

CONS

  • Require a 48V Phantom Power Supply to work.

5. AKG Pro Audio D5S Professional Dynamic Vocal Microphone

AKG Pro Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Another dynamic microphone, the AKG Pro Audio D5S is a great option if you want to use a mic to address a whole crowd or if you need to record in a studio. 

It gives off the frequency of 70hz-20kHz, with a boost of 4-12kHz that gives clarity to the output. Different from any other options, this microphone uses a super-cardioid pattern.

The use of this polar pattern improves sound isolation and removes any unwanted sounds from the background.

The max SPL this microphone provides you with is 156 dB which means it can handle sounds at a higher level without breaking a sweat. 

With its tough design, this mic will be able to take some beating and still provide a consistent sound quality before finally giving out.

The durability and great sound quality are why this microphone lands this high on our list. 

PROS

  • Supercardioid polar pattern makes it easier to ignore the unwanted background sounds and give a good output. 
  • The durability of this microphone will make it last for a long time

CONS

  • Tuned primarily for vocals, which means there are better options for you if you’re looking for something to go well with instruments.

6. AKG P120 General Purpose Recording Microphone

AKG P120 General Recording Microphone

As the manufacturer says, this microphone is created for general purposes. But it means that it is suitable to be used in various situations and is one of the best cheap microphones.

The frequency of this microphone is between 20Hz-20kHz. It has been created to give a high-end output that will enrichen the sound of your vocals and instruments.

The microphone also consists of a low-filter and a pad which makes it great for use for domestic purposes or a stage.

Together with the support of the filter, the pad, and the SPL of 150 dB, we’d say that it’s not so much of a general-purpose microphone provided that you are looking for cheap microphones.

7. Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone

Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone

This is one of the best cheap microphones ever since its release in 2004. You might think that this microphone is outdated, but it still gives competition to the latest and other microphones in its price range. 

It provides a frequency of 20Hz-20kHz and packs a slight boost around the 8-10kHz band. This gives more power to your trebles and sparks the output.

The sound can reach up to 144 dB, which assists the mic in delivering a powerful performance with both the vocals and instruments. 

The outsides of these cheap microphones consist of a sleek black metal covering which makes it durable enough for you to use and can take a hit or two. 

The mic comes off as a package deal with a boom arm and a carrying case. 

PROS

  • Broad frequencies with a tailored equalizer. 
  • Includes a boom arm and a carrying case.

CONS

  • None.

8. Samson CO2 Pencil Condenser Microphones

Samson CO2 Pencil Condenser Microphones

The uniquely designed Samson CO2 pencil condenser microphone comes off as a pair of two microphones that allow you to record your instruments from various angles.

Due to this feature, the output is rather more textured than most of the cheap microphones. 

These two compact mics cover between 40Hz-20kHz with a little boost of 8kHz to give your outputs a little detailed and in-depth touch. 

Regardless of their compact size, they can handle a sound as loud as 140 dBs which will also allow them to be compatible with most of the microphones. 

PROS

  • The pair provides a matched response which means more accurate results on both mics.
  • The two units offer more detailed and textured sound 

CONS

  • Since there are two units, you’d need two different phantom power supplies. 

9. AKG D112 MkII Professional Bass Drum Microphone

If you are looking for something that will make recording drum bass easier, then this is the correct option for you.

This is one of the best cheap microphones as they can handle high sound pressure levels and have a low spectrum Equalizer. 

From the masses of cheap microphones, this will catch your eye as it will enhance the bass drum and give an optimal output. 

It has an SPL of more than 160 Dbs, the support of high Decibels means that this microphone can manage even the loudest of drums. 

It also gives a slight boost at the range of 4kHz which will keep the sound of the drum punchy and lively making it one of the best cheap microphones.

All thanks to its large-diaphragm dynamic build, this microphone provides a detailed and strong sound output. 

PROS

  • Specifically made to be used with kick drums which means it can handle loud voices. 
  • Great durability. 

CONS

  • None.

10. Shure SM58

Shure SM58

As the SM57 was great for vocals, the SM58 is the ultimate option for a singer as it comes well-equipped for one’s needs. The SM58 shares almost every trait and quality of the SM57 and also offers the same tough build quality. 

Although it comes with minor tweaks in its frequency response. To further simplify it enhances the middle and the upper frequencies to allow you to give better output of your voice

The SM58 will give stand by you when you need to perform in large arenas and can bear any kind of rough abuse and still play with the same great quality before dying on you. 

PROS

  • Consistency 
  • Damage resistant 

CONS

  • None.

Different Types Of Microphone:

Different Types Of Microphone

To further simplify the best cheapest microphones, we have broken them down into three different categorical levels: Dynamic Microphones, Ribbon Microphones, and Condenser Microphones.

Now, each type of microphone delivers a different kind of output so it is vital to know which microphone will suit you best in your purposes.

Dynamic Microphones: Most of the artists prefer dynamic microphones when they want to record as it accounts for their clear, accurate tones and durability.

In their building contents, there’s a coil that’s further suspended into the magnetic field that moves under the response that is provided by the nearby sound waves.

The use of simpler yet standard creation design makes it harder for them to be broken easily and they usually last longer than the other types of microphones. 

The dynamic microphones don’t add to your audio much which provides equilibrium between your voice and give accurate outputs most of the time.

Like the Shure SM57, many dynamic mics feature high sound pressure limits, which allows them to record a louder sound source without dropping the sound quality or distorting the sound. 

Due to the clarity and pressure tolerance that Dynamic mics provide, it makes them the perfect companion for your electric instruments which usually require a clearer response free of distortion or vibrance.

Due to being extra durable, these mics are the center of the eye of the majority of artists. 

Ribbon Microphones: These Ribbon Microphones are the most fragile, but their fragility is overcome by the performance they provide.

The sound resulting from them is usually warm, and glassy that artists and producers are constantly looking for. Their operating mechanism is mainly the ribbon that is placed between the magnetic poles.

The ribbon can detect changes in air velocity and the microphone transforms those into electric signals. 

Usually, you will find ribbon mics with electric guitar and bass cabs or recording vocal arrangements. Their deeper tonality allows a person to add depth and texture to their output results.

It also straightens the audio out removing any vibrance that may be present in the noise and also avoids reaching any trebling peaks. 

Naturally, ribbon mics produce an 8-figure polar pattern, which gives them to isolate the surrounding sound distractions by a lot. Unlike many Cardioid mics, it also removes any ambient noise from the background.

As a downside, ribbon microphones produce a weaker signal and need an interface that requires a lot of tampering with it to boost the output that you may want to obtain.

If you don’t have a strong audio interface, then the Ribbon microphone will bottleneck as it won’t be able to provide great tones.

Condenser Microphones: just like the dynamic microphones, condenser microphones are not behind in their race of fame. Condenser microphones are usually preferred to be used in the studio.

They use a diaphragm that vibrates against a solid plate that allows them to generate a strong signal. 

As the diaphragm used with them is rather thin when compared to the coils used in dynamic mics, a condenser microphone takes the lead as it is great in adapting to the changes in sound and provides more accurate and smooth results than dynamic microphones. 

From the masses of condenser microphones, the best cheap microphones give a rather smooth, balanced sound that makes it perfect for recording values, as well as a long-range of compatibility they offer with music instruments. 

To conclusively tell you, artists and producers are in awe over these large diaphragms as they provide a warmer, smooth tone with more color and unique character.

Small diaphragms condensers such as pencil mics, happen to be slightly clearer and sharper and give an overall more detailed audio output. 

On the negative side of the table, condenser microphones require a phantom power supply to run and are even more fragile than the other two types of microphones.  

Best Cheapest Microphones – Buyer’s Guide:

Cheapest Microphones

Of course, this whole article is about being budget-friendly. But if you have a less budget doesn’t mean that your buying options are compromised somehow. From these Cheapest Microphones, look out for these factors to make the right choice for you. 

Sound: Of course when looking for cheap microphones, the first and foremost thing that you’re going to look for the sound frequency that these microphones offer. Look for trebles up to 20kHz, which is the peak of the hearing spectrum. 

You should also bring in the frequency response curve of each of these cheapest microphones. This will allow you to depict whether these microphones boost or cut any frequency bands, which factors in overall tonality. 

Flat response curves give a rather more accurate “dry” result from your instruments when the sound is played from them, while some other of these cheapest microphones, becoming an increasing factor of the bass and trebles to provide better sound quality at the end.

  At the end of the day, these extra boosts will give a microphone more character but will also require you to make a lot of adjustments in your Equalizer settings. 

Durable and Lasting Performance: Here’s The Deal: Consistent standing between frequencies is a trait that some of the greatest microphones ever created have.

Now, some of the cheapest microphones come with polar patterns that will differ a lot between frequency bands. 

When opting for microphones, look for a microphone that’s both cost-effective and offers reliable polar pattern charts. These charts matter a great deal as they can tell you at which point can a microphone detect.

The closest to identical these charts are, the more consistent the performance your microphone will be able to provide you with.

The most popular types of polar patterns in mics are Cardioid and Supercardoid mics. The microphones with these polar patterns provide better background noise cancellation and deflect sounds from the sides as well. 

On the contrary from huge diaphragm mics, small pencil mics, and dynamic mics provide a relatively identical response throughout all of the frequency brackets.

Consistency should be one of your ideals when scouring through these cheapest microphones options and these small models with a more attentive design will work flawlessly.

Robust Design Construction:  Regardless of how small or big your budget is, reliability is a must-have factor.

If you have a rough budget and don’t plan on buying another microphone anytime soon, then you best check for its reliability before you purchase them.

Amongst all the cheapest microphones, dynamic microphones happen to be the most durable that a low budget can buy. Because they have lesser fragile components.

On the other hand, small and large diaphragms happen to be fragile as they have thinner interior diaphragms and a metal plate that generates the sound from within. 

Ribbon microphones are the most fragile because the ribbon that is within its interior is very thin and is likely to break easily if not handled with care.

Some of the ribbons are so tiny that they can even break if you hold a microphone too tightly.  This is why most of the producers opt for ribbon microphones for studios.

Apart from the microphone’s design, look for a metal closure with a solid mesh grill to stop you from damaging the capsule unintentionally.

Conclusion!

To conclude, Our best pick for the cheapest microphone is MXL 990 Condenser Microphone. The reasons we have put up will justify why it happens to sit with a crown on its head in our list and the compatibility of this device is just astonishing. 

Nevertheless, if you don’t agree with us about this microphone being the best, there are 9 other cheapest microphones for you to choose from. We have included a buyer’s guide that will also help you to choose from these options the best one.

To Conclude, We hope our efforts come in handy and you can buy the best cheapest microphone as per your preference. 

Leave a Comment