TOP 9  MICROPHONES FOR VOICE OVER ARTISTS & PODCASTERS

STARTING A PODCAST

RETAIL: $429

If you are working in a quite noisy environment and looking to buy the best vocal dynamic mic, then Shure SM7B won't disappoint. you. It is the best dynamic mic for voice-over work.

These are types of mics that most of the radio broadcasters use. This is the mic that Michael Jackson used on the Thriller album! This is the best vocal mic that is dynamic. It is an XLR mic, that's in mid-price range and is really a value for money.

The main advantage of this mic is that they offer flat frequency response when compared to other dynamic mics so that the reproduction of sound is more realistic and natural. Along with this, it also has a mid frequency boost, that's great for vocals. When you are working with condenser mics, the major problem is that of self-noise. In some of the condenser mics you can't hide the amp noise and also the background noise. But in the case of dynamic ones like this one, they are less sensitive to background noise. They perform well even in untreated home studio environments.

"This is clearly a professional top pick from all the mic's reviewed for merely its price range and its highest quality in sound performance. This is undoubtedly one of the best and highly relegated microphones within the industy of podcasting. Joe Rogan, from THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE PODCAST, also utilizes this top performing mic." 

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RETAIL: $499

Are you looking for condenser-like natural sound reproduction in dynamic microphone? Then pick this mic up. These mics have tailored frequency response to offer recording quality matched to that of studio-grade condenser mics. These mics are great if you are doing voice-overs or podcasting. They record very good vocals, the frequency graph shows it all.

The best part about these mics is that unlike other dynamic mics, you don't have to be close or maintain a consistent position while recording your voice. In this case, the mic is forgiving and the levels of the voice won't change very much when you move back and forth. If you don't have to be static while doing your voice-overs, this is for you. The noise cancelling and sound isolation is excellent, but for some of them, self-noise is the issue.

It's made of a good quality steel and offers great build-quality. It has a built-in pop filter so that you don't require an external pop filter for filtering out unwanted details in your voice. This mic costs around 400 bucks but it's really worth it if you want your voice to sound very good and want your mic to be durable.

Audio technica
atr 2100

RETAIL: $89

If you want a good versatile mic and are on a tight budget, Audio-Technica ATR2100 should be your choice. The main attraction with these mics are that they are compatible with both USB/XLR cables. If you are traveling and forgot to carry your XLR cable or interface, no problem. The USB support will always be there for your rescue. You can use both the USB and XLR outputs at the same time, which is a great feature. So, if you are planning to buy a mixer or maybe an interface, you are good to go with these mics without shelling out for new ones.

As I told you earlier that if you can't acoustically treat your recording space, just go for a dynamic mic as they are less sensitive to external noise. These mics won the hearts of many aspiring podcasters who can't afford to build a sound-proof studio and supply phantom power to their studio-grade equipment.

The sound quality and isolation is extremely good for the price. The unwanted sound coming from the back or sides of the mic are blocked greatly. The sound coming straight to the diaphragm are only picked up. The sound recorded is crisp and clear. The pickup pattern is cardioid. For vocals, you can't go wrong with cardioid mics.

RETAIL: $129

There are several reasons why this mic is a top seller on Amazon. For starters, it has a stylish retro-look. Even if it didn’t look so awesome, the features alone make this a serious consideration for podcasters. It’s both bidirectional (used for interviews) and omnidirectional (used for conference calls) and is ready to use right out of the box. One of the most unique features, however, is that you can also plug your headphones into the mic because it also has an audio output built-in.

Perfect for podcasts, game streaming, vocal performances, voice-overs and instruments. Cardioid mode records sound sources that are directly in front of the microphone, delivering rich, full-bodied sound.

Because the Yeti uses a unique, three-capsule design (instead of the two included on the Snowball or the single capsule used by most other microphones), the microphone offers two more recording patterns: a stereo mode, and a bidirectional mode that pulls sound from directly in front or behind the mic.

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RETAIL: $249

The Podcaster USB microphone by Rode Microphones is designed especially for podcasting. Although it is a typical dynamic mic, the Podcaster has a look all its own. It features an internal pop filter to stop the p and b sounds from being over accentuated. This USB mic has a cardioid pattern to help filter out background noise and isolate your voice for recording. The Podcaster is a bit too sound sensitive and picks up more background noise than the best USB microphones with cardioid pickup patterns. Some digital audio workstation (DAW) software has settings to help further minimize white noise. You may need to invest in noise gate software for complete background sound elimination.

While the Podcaster USB microphone is pricey, you get a lot for your money, including Rode's amazing 10-year warranty. Rode's customer service includes online user manuals, FAQs and traditional phone and email support. Turnaround time for service is very slow; in our experience, it sometimes took weeks before a representative got back to us.

RETAIL: $119

The first thing that you’ll notice about the MXL990 is the neat vintage style appearance. On top of that, this mic comes equipped with a FET preamp – which will help with a balanced output – and a  large diaphragm for superior and professional sound quality. Just remember that this mic requires a XLR cable which means that you’ll need either XLR-to-USB converter or USB mixer.

The MXL 990 comes in a number of configurations including straight up condenser and XY stereo. There are also USB versions of both. I had one of each to play with. Starting with the construction, build quality is excellent and the mic has a solid and substantial feel. The electronics feature an FET preamp and transformerless design that, according to MXL, is loosely based on the circuitry found in the early British recording consoles. The advantages of this design are lower self-noise and expanded dynamic range. The 990s have a smaller housing than your typical large-diaphragm condenser and based on look and feel alone, I would not be embarrassed to put this mic up in front of a high-profile client. Now let’s move on to sound quality.

I’m always adding mics to my collection because you never know when a mic you wouldn’t expect to will capture lightning in a bottle. I believe the MXL 990 to be just such a mic. Between its stupid-low price and exemplary performance, it’s just plain silly not to have one. If you don’t have a good FET condenser that can bring out detail or add a little sizzle to voices and acoustic instruments, the MXL 990 makes an excellent and easily affordable addition to any mic cabinet. 

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RETAIL: $349

Heil microphones in general have a strong reputation for quality and performance, dating back more than 25 years. Reviewers of this mic note that it’s reliable (some cheaper mic varieties may have dropouts or glitches) and offers incredible side and rear rejection.

The sound, for seasoned podcasters, is a perfect blend of bright and rich but still soft and controlled. Think liquid velvet. It’s amazing. The end fire pickup is a serious crowd-pleaser, delighting podcasters, vocalists, and broadcasters alike.

The PR40, which is assembled and tested at Heil Sound's facility in Illinois, USA, has a surprisingly wide frequency range for a dynamic microphone, covering 28Hz to 18kHz (‑3dB). It is designed to withstand very high SPLs, but at the same time it manages to sound more natural on voice and other instruments than most cardioid dynamic mics — many of which have a noticeably coloured sound, due to the complex porting needed to create the cardioid polar pattern.

Although the frequency response is nominally flat between the upper and lower roll‑off points, there's the gentlest hint of a presence bump from 3‑5kHz. It only amounts to a couple of dB, but it gives a sense of air at the top end. Made for commercial broadcast, live sound, and high end recording projects, the Heil PR 40 bills itself as outperforming most condenser mics through its wide frequency range.

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RETAIL: $249

The RODE NT1-A and its abilities are well-respected by recording studios, TV post-production teams, professional podcasters, and musicians. It uses standard XLR for power and when registered with RODE, includes a 10-year warranty. If you’re looking for a mic that can handle more sophisticated projects while giving you purely professional sound, this $369 wonder is a must-try.

As an all-round instrument mic, the NT1A has a brighter, more articulate high end than the original NT1, but the low end remains well balanced, resulting in a clear, believable sound. However, I suspect most users will buy the NT1A predominantly for use as a vocal mic, where it delivers a very modern sound, balancing transparency and airiness with a supportive lower mid-range. There's certainly nothing budget or second class about the sound of this microphone, and where you do need to emulate the somewhat warmer, more middly sound of the original NT1, a little high-end EQ cut gets you pretty close.

From a practical viewpoint, the NT1A is a little lighter than many of its contemporaries, which makes mic-stand sag less of a problem, and the very low noise means it won't struggle when recording quieter instruments or when working at a moderate distance from the sound source. It's transparent high end also enables it to do a great job on acoustic guitar and hand percussion.

RETAIL: $225

The first thing we noticed about the MiC is how well built this piece of kit is. We were pleasantly surprised to find a durable, all-metal housing instead of a plastic frame like we encountered a few months back with the Jam. The same three-color LED status indicator makes its home on the face of the mic, telling us when the tech was connected but not quite ready, go-to-go or that the input level was too darn high. Aside from that, there weren't any other discoveries, as the peripheral is pretty straightforward in terms of design. On the microphone's right side, lies the lone on-board control: a gain dial for monitoring input levels and a feature also present on the guitar tech. While the left side is bare of any added controls, the USB / iOS connector finds its home on the base and is the sole output.

If you're worried about toting around a microphone on top of everything else in your bag, that should be the least of your concerns here. The Apogee MiC hits the tape at about 1.5 x 4.5 inches (38.1 x 114.3mm) and it's only about an inch and a half thick but still packs quite a punch.

Not too shabby for a well-built mic capable of tracking vocals and your acoustic axe. Included in the box is a small tripod stand for desktop / tabletop use and both iOS and USB compatible cables. None of these items will take up too much space in the ol' backpack either -- honestly, the entire package could fit inside an acoustic guitar case. It rested nicely in ours, anyway.

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