Is your church choir having trouble being heard? Do you find your church service lacking impact? Or perhaps your current setup isn’t doing the job?
You want it the be the best of the best right?
Finding the best microphone for church choir will help you to capture every voice, amplify the volume of their performances, and level up the quality of your church service! But where to start?
There are an overwhelming number of options so in this post we’re going to simplify it.
Based on budget and building scenarios, today you will learn the best mic to level up the performances of any size choir.
Let’s dive in and talk about choir microphones!
Overheads, Matched Pairs, Or Handhelds… Which Is Really The Best?
This is a probably one of the most important questions to ask before jumping into purchasing a choir mics.
Your goal is to make your choir heard by the audience. And to do that, you need quality amplification. Beginning with the easiest way to mic your choir first.
- Matched pairs are extremely when micing choirs because this gives you two identical microphones that you can put on stands, set up symmetrically in front of your choir, and send the audio through the sound system.
- Overhead Mics, or hanging mics, are more difficult to install… but they are super convenient after the fact because they are literally suspended from the ceiling. This will provide a means for fantastic audio, while also giving you the power to turn them on and off from the soundboard. In all other respects, they are hands-off, which saves time and makes everything simpler. Be ready to get a long cable for each, however.
- Handheld mics can also be used to mic a choir. You will likely need to buy more than one handheld along with mic stands, to set them up… or you will need to try to balance your entire choir audio with one mic, which is not recommended.
The Audio Technica U853R is our Top Pick for basically all church choir mic applications. It’s easy to use, accessible, and adaptable for any system you may have. This mic will have your congregation hearing your choir and singing exuberantly right along with them!
Matched Pair Tip – The 3-to-1 rule
This is an old trick of the trade for miking in stereo, and one you’ll want to employ if you opt for one of the matched pairs of pencil condensers.
The 3-to-1 rule states that the distance between 2 microphones should be at least 3 times the distance between the first microphone and the sound source.
This ensures that the signal picked up by each pencil microphone is distinct enough to prevent any phase-related issues from cropping up in your audio.
In This Article
The Top 9 Best Mics for Church Choir
- Top Pick: Audio Technica U853A
- Runner Up Overhead: Shure CVO B/C
- Top Pick Matched Pair: Rode NT5
- Runner Up Matched Pair: Rode M5
- Best Budget Matched Pair: LyxPro SDPC
Other Honorable Mentions
Best Choir Microphones
The Audio-Technica U853R is what’s known as a hanging or overhead microphone. This type of mic is installed permanently – you guessed it – overhead.
The benefit of this microphone approach is two-fold. Firstly, once installed, the overheard mic doesn’t require any further adjustment, movement, or setup at the start or finish of service.
Secondly, given their size and ability to be hung from the ceiling, this type of microphone can be installed very discreetly, providing superior sound quality without compromising aesthetics.
The U853R features a cardioid polar pattern, and a built-in low-cut filter at 80Hz that aids in reducing the pickup of low frequency noise. This basically means that it is great at focusing on vocals, and capturing brilliant high frequencies without low-end rumble.
Designed specifically as a choir mic (as well as for theater and orchestra applications), the U853R offers fantastic off-axis rejection from the included cardioid capsule, which can be swapped out for hypercardioid or omnidirectional elements (sold separately).
In other words, this makes the mic capable of picking up sound where you are pointing it… and ignoring other noises off to the sides!
It’s easy to use, accessible, and adaptable for any system you may have. Again, just be sure you budget for a long cable for each.
According to the manufacturer, the U853R is “equipped with UniGuard® innovations that offer unsurpassed immunity from radio frequency interference.” This makes the mic perfect for recording or reinforcing your choir, without unwanted noise interfering with the audio signal.
The Audio-Technica U853R mic will have your congregation hearing your choir and singing exuberantly right along with them!
Audio Technica U853R Key Features:
- Low-profile design
- Immunity from radio frequency interference
- Our top pick
If you thought the last choir microphone had enough letters in the name, think again. The Shure CVO (Centraverse™ Overhead) is available in black (-B/C) or white (-W/C), and is a strong alternative to the U853R.
Shure is a powerhouse in both the studio and live sound games, so it’s no surprise that two of their microphones feature on this list. The CVO is an overhead condenser mic with a cardioid polar pattern and a discreet, low-profile design.
A great option for your next choir microphone , the CVO comes with an integrated wire for aiming the mic for optimal placement. Compared to the U853R, it offers a slightly more limited (but still respectable) frequency response of 70Hz-16KHz, and can handle sound sources up to 120dB SPL.
In other words… it can pick up a wide range of both low and high end sounds, and it can handle loud sounds without a problem!
A capable condenser mic with an open, honest and clear sound, the CVO-B/C is Shure to do the trick!
Shure CVO B/C Key Features:
- Available in black or white
- Features RF filtering technology
- High SPL handling
The Rode NT5 is a microphone that has quickly made a name for itself. And it’s easy to see why.
It’s sleek design, low self-noise and high SPL handling (up to 143dB SPL) make it a worthy option for many applications, church choirs not-withstanding.
The NT5 is a small diaphragm condenser (also known as pencil condensers due to their appearance), with a tight cardioid pickup pattern. This makes it excellent for installation above a choir where you can aim it directly at the group.
The microphone’s off-axis rejection will help in this, excluding any sound from behind.
Purchasing as a matched pair gives you the added benefit of a pair of microphones with perfectly matched capsules, delivering the stereo performance your choir needs.
What’s more, these mics sound incredible. Silky smooth highs and a robust yet not overbearing low-end make the Rode NT5 an ideal option for amplifying your singers. We’d recommend buying them as a matched pair, especially for larger choirs where wider coverage is required.
The Rode NT5 Key Features:
- A well established brand
- Interchangeable capsules
- Flat frequency range
If the NT5 is a little out of your budget (or maybe you just don’t like silver mics), the Rode M5 is a fantastic alternative when you need multiple mics. Finished in a smart satin black and just 100mm in length, these pencil condensers are inconspicuous enough to go unnoticed above a choir, but pack the performance required for your singers to be heard.
Like its silver sister, the M5 is a condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern and fairly flat frequency response, from 20Hz right up to 20kHz. You should have no concern over using these above a choir – these bad boys are built to be good choir mics!
In other words… These mics do a great job of capturing sound in the vocal range, and they can handle pretty loud volumes!
They sound great though, with a flat frequency response that captures vocal performances accurately and faithfully. The Rode M5 set also comes with windshields and stand mounts!
Rode M5 Key Features:
- Lower cost option to the NT5
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Looks smart in matte black
If you’re looking for an instant improvement to your audio quality for under $100, the SDPC is your guy!
Perhaps not quite as well known a name as the other brands on this list, LyxPro is a Chinese manufacturer of microphones, speakers, headphones, and even musical instruments! So, rest assured they understand audio.
Just like the previous two mics, the LyxPro contender comes with windscreens and microphone clips, but also boasts 3 different interchangeable capsules (Omni, Cardioid and Super Cardioid), meaning you can customise the microphone’s polar pattern to your specific purpose!
With a frequency response spanning almost the entire audible range (30Hz-18kHz), the LyxPro SDPC sounds very natural, producing a faithful representation of the sound source with little coloration. They also respond well to equalisation, so your sound guy will be happy!
Aimed at the acoustic and woodwind instrument recording market – which occupy a similar frequency range to vocals – the LyxPro SDPC make for great choir microphones on a budget.
LyxPro SDPC Key Features:
- Under $100!
- Comes with 3 interchangeable capsules
- Responds well to EQ
The MX202 features a wealth of options, available in black or off-white, and with in-line or plate mounted preamps. Okay, four. There’s four options. Whichever you choose, the microphone features a wide response and dynamic range, a four inch gooseneck and interchangeable capsules. This microphone assuredly belongs on best picks for these reasons.
We’re reviewing the cardioid condenser option which offers a highly sensitive and accurate sound reproduction, with little RF interference, making the MX202 perfect for amplifying your choir.
MX202 Key Features:
- Customizable options
- Highly sensitive capsule
Their offerings to the microphone market fall nothing short of the name the brand has made for itself, and the C02 condenser microphone is no exception.
Samson C02 Key Features:
- A solid option on a budget
- Includes windscreens and clips
You can think of the PRO 45 as the U853R’s little brother – it looks similar, but lacks a bit of the subtle tonal quality. That said, this condenser microphone sure packs a punch at under a hundred bucks!
An ideal overhead for an orchestra, or for use as choir mics, the PRO 45 has a smooth frequency response from 70-16,000Hz, and features a low-mass diaphragm for optimal high frequency performance. The cardioid condenser microphone has no need for external power modules, as the electronics are contained within the microphone itself.
In other words, it can capture vocals beautifully, and reproduce them with a very natural, true-to-life sound!
As with many of the other hanging choir microphones, the PRO 45 is also available in white.
PRO 45 Key Features:
- PRO is in the name for a reason
- Also available in white
- No need for external power module
This is one of the only choir mic on this list to feature both a high-pass filter and a -10dB pad – that said you can’t use them both at once! Either way, the Behringer C02 mics are a best option on a budget – with a 3 year warranty!
Behringer C-2 Studio Key Features:
- German designed
- Features a high pass filter and -10dB pad
- 3 year warranty
As all of the above are condenser microphones, they’ll require a source of Phantom Power. Phantom power is typically provided by the sound desk, and travels through the same cable used for audio. You can read more about Phantom Power here.
There are some great options for mics on the market that suit all budgets, and any of the 9 mics above will be sure to lift the quality of your choir service straight away. Check out our Top Pick, Audio-Technica U853R, first for a great look and sound!
Boasting a smooth sound performance and a low-profile design that keeps it out of sight, the Audio-Technica U853R is the ultimate pick. But don’t take our word for it, check it out for yourself!