What is the best microphone for voice acting?
Everyone has that favorite cartoon, no matter what age they are.
Maybe it is one from your childhood, or a more adult themed program that has been recently released on your favorite streaming site.
Regardless, each show has its own set of actors who shine with their different, unique types of vocal characterizations.
Voice acting, quite specifically, is the art of performing voice-overs or providing voices to represent a character, or to provide information to a targeted audience.
Some of us watch our favorite shows over and over again, to the point that we find ourselves quoting them daily and are being told that we have the perfect sound for it… so why not try out voice acting yourself?
Voice acting is everywhere… from the radio, to TV, to YouTube… there are more opportunities than ever to try your hand (or…erm… your voice) at it!
But what kind of microphone do you need for voice acting?
This is a good question… and today, we’re going to answer it.
We have compiled a list of 19 microphones… the best of the best… to help you become the best voice actor you can possibly be.
From the high-quality to low-budget mics, we will go over the details and features of each… helping you to make the best microphone decision for your voice-acting art form.
Let’s dive in!
The Shure SM7B has been featured in many of our reviews, because it is, quite simply, one of the best mics in the game within its price range. It sounds awesome, it works well, it’s an Amazon Choice mic on Amazon, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find something that sounds as good without spending literally spending hundreds or thousands more.
In This Article
- Top pick: Shure SM7B
- Runner up: Electro-Voice RE20
- Budget pick: MXL Mics 770
- Best USB for Voice Acting: HyperX QuadCast
- Budget USB: Fifine Condenser
- Best Studio Bundle: Focusrite Scarlett Studio Bundle
Top 19 Microphones For Voice Acting
Top pick: Shure SM7B
This isn’t the first time we’ve shown the spotlight on the Shure SM7B.
This mic is insanely popular among YouTubers, Podcasters, and other people in similar professions, mostly because of the high audio quality and the reasonable price-point.
The most popular thing about this mic is the fact that it captures exceptionally clean, natural vocal sounds.
And this makes it perfect for voice acting.
It’s also packed with features that add onto this.
It has a flat, wide frequency response. Bass roll-off and a mid-range emphasis help to boost presence, while preventing rolling bass sounds.
Internal ‘air suspension’ shock isolation basically eliminates mechanical noise by 100%.
And the included pop filter is almost as famous as the mic… making it possible to speak up-close while still avoiding breathing sounds and pops.
If you’re looking for a microphone that can truly deliver professional-level audio, then the Shure SM7B should be the first product on your list.
Shure SM7B key features:
- Exceptionally high quality audio
- Awesome isolation and noise reduction
- The pop filter is top-notch, and helps to eliminate any and all plosives
- Classic cardioid polar pattern is perfect for single-person vocals
- Mounts easily to an arm or to a stand
Runner up: Electro-Voice RE20
The Electro-Voice RE20 is probably best known as a ‘broadcaster’s mic,’ but that’s why it is also such a great fit for voice acting.
Let’s talk about the features.
This microphone has been an industry standard since 1968.
It’s a dynamic cardioid mic with an internal pop filter. It actually does a great-job with up-close vocal work, which is part of the reason for why broadcasters like it so much.
Equipped with Variable-D technology, it gives you a minimum proximity effect. This is a technology that was actually developed by Electro Voice back in the 1950s, as a response to problems with ‘proximity effect’ in cardioid microphones.
The technology virtually eliminates this problem.
(Proximity Effect is an audio phenomenon that occurs when low frequencies being picked up by a mic increase as the source moves closer. The closer you get, the bigger the low-end boost. This effect is not usually wanted… and keeping it at-bay is a challenge for more budget-friendly microphone designs.)
It’s also designed with a voice-tailored frequency response, and is specifically formulated to help ward-off tonal shifts as well.
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line dynamic microphone that was specifically formulated for natural vocal pickup, the RE20 is definitely a tool to take a closer look at.
Electro-Voice RE20 Key Features:
- Specifically designed with natural vocals in mind
- Equipped with Variable-D technology, which is specific to Electro-Voice microphones
- Dynamic cardioid designed for broadcasting
- Built-in blast wind filter helps to limit plosives and other noises
Budget pick: MXL Mics 770
The MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is our top budget pick for a few different reasons.
Firstly, this is a very diverse and multi-function mic. In fact, this isn’t the first time it has made its way onto one of our lists!
As far as features go, this basic, but versatile condenser provides not only a solid bass range, but also an upfront high-end.
It ships with a shock mount to protect your vocal takes from mechanical noise, and a rugged storage case for easy transport.
As an XLR condenser, it will require phantom power… but it offsets this extra need by giving you a pretty dynamic frequency range, from 30Hz-20kHz.
This may not be the mic that everyone is using to produce professional-quality recordings on big projects. But if you’re new to voice acting, and need an upgrade that will get you into that range where you can start producing more professional-quality recordings and performances, then this mic will save you some money while delivering time and time again.
The MXL Mics 770 Condenser gives you plenty of bang for your buck, and is a definite ‘win’ if you’re new to the game and looking for something that will get you off to a great start.
MXL Mics 770 key features:
- Cardioid Condenser
- Balanced bass response
- Awesome sound quality on a budget
- Ships with a shock-mount and a rugged storage case
Best USB for Voice Acting: HyperX QuadCast
The HyperX QuadCast has been featured in multiple reviews on our site, for good reason.
It is an incredibly versatile condenser USB mic with 4 selectable polar patterns.
That is probably the hallmark feature of this mic. On top of shipping with a high-quality shock mount and offering truly high quality audio for its price range, it gives you the option to select from 4 different switchable polar patterns, making it one of the most flexible and diverse mics on our list.
The four polar patterns include stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional.
Switching between them is as easy as turning a switch.
It also has a tap-to-mute function on top, as well as a gain control located on the underside.
As a full-featured, standalone condenser mic, you can truly use this unique piece of equipment for almost any type of audio recording project and still expect quality audio on the back end.
Because the blend of the condenser microphone technology, four patterns, and the on-board controls pretty much give you complete control over the recording experience.
The HyperX QuadCast is awesome because it can simply be whatever you need it to be in the moment.
HyperX QuadCast USB Microphone Key Features:
- Four selectable polar patterns
- Tap to mute function
- You can control the gain with a simple control
- Comes with a shock mount
- Incredibly diverse condenser USB microphone
Budget USB: Fifine Condenser
This wallet friendly plug and play USB mic sports a cardioid polar pattern that is sure to pick up your voice, resulting in professional sound quality. With a sturdy shock mount and a tripod stand, the Fifine comes well-equipped for voice acting work right out of the box.
The Fifine Condenser absolutely deserves our budget USB top-spot… not only for its super accessible price-point, but also for its rugged construction and quality audio capture capabilities.
Make no mistake… this is not a $300 mic, and it isn’t necessarily going to compete with one for sound quality.
But if you’re on a budget, and you need to upgrade from a cheap dime-store mic to something that will actually let you record quality vocals and level up your voice acting game, then this mic makes a suitable upgrade… especially if you’re on a budget and are in the market for a USB condenser.
This USB powered cardioid condenser is easy to use, is designed for plug-and-play functionality right out of the box, and can be used with PCs and Macs.
It is literally ready to go, and can be up and running in a minute!
If you don’t want to deal with a bunch of software nonsense, starting out with a mic like the Fifine Condenser can let you bypass the normal ‘tech headaches’ and get right to work.
Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone key features:
- Super easy to use
- Ready to go, right out of the box
- As a USB condenser, it requires no phantom power
- Can be used on both PCs and Macs
- Very budget-friendly
- Delivers great sound for the price-point
Best Studio Bundle: Focusrite Scarlett Studio Bundle
The Focusrite Scarlett Studio Bundle has been on our radar for some time now.
One of the things we love the most about this kit is that it comes with pretty much everything you need to get started with recording.
If you plan to have a future in voice acting, you will likely start out by recording your own parts… and if this is indeed the case, you may need to set up your own studio to get started.
This kit comes with headphones, a microphone isolation shield, an interface for connecting the microphone to your computer, and a large diaphragm CM25 studio condenser microphone.
You also get the cables you need to hook everything together.
The interface contains two Scarlett mic preamps, so you can record using up to two mics at once.
As far as software is concerned, the bundle comes ready to roll with Cubase recording software.
The Focusrite Scarlett Bundle packs some serious entry-level value into one package.
If you’re starting from scratch, and want an actual, real bundle to start with that will actually give you everything you need to start recording, then this is it.
Focusrite Scarlett studio bundle key features:
- Comes with a mic, interface, headphones, and isolation shield
- Interface contains two natural sounding preamps
- Microphone is a large-condenser Focusrite Scarlett CM25
- Inputs on interface can be used for either XLR or ¼ inch instrument cables
Who Should Buy a Microphone For Voice Acting?
If you have an interest in voice acting, then you’ll probably either start out trying for projects as a freelancer, or creating your own projects and using/polishing your voice acting skills on those.
Or, if you have already had some experience with voice-acting, and want to take it to another level, you might be looking for a microphone that can keep up with your budding success.
In any case, there are two things that you can count on.
- You are going to need a microphone that is capable of growing with you as you work to advance your career as a voice actor.
- You are going to need to make a purchasing decision and buy said microphone so that you can get to work and find success.
Nowadays, many voice actors work remotely… and if you can’t record your own parts, you’re going to be at the mercy of people who can either lend you the gear or record you themselves.
This is not only expensive, but can also lead to a lot of issues. Without having a microphone and recording setup of your own, you’ll be forced to give control of your projects away to people who may not be as passionate about them as you.
So if you want to be successful, you will want to…
- Get set up with a computer that can record audio
- Get yourself either a USB mic, or a mic and a preamp/interface
- Get set up with some software that will allow you to record and edit your audio after
For free software, you can always use Audacity. But as far as mics go, you really need something that will help you to get a quality vocal take that you can be proud of.
Important Features To Consider
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right mic for a voice acting gig.
- Polar Patterns:Different polar patterns give you different ‘recording areas,’ and paying attention to this feature helps you to figure out the perfect type of mic for you.For voice acting, you are pretty much always going to be recording one voice at a time, in a controlled environment, like a studio.For this reason, a cardioid polar pattern is usually the best option.
- USB or XLR:
USB mics are super helpful if you’re not a ‘sound geek,’ and don’t want to mess around with things like ‘interfaces, phantom power, XLR cables,’ etc.Not all XLR mics require phantom power, of course. But… you will need an interface if you want to use an XLR microphone to record on your computer.For this reason, it is usually recommended that you use a USB mic if you just want to jump into recording as easily as possible.A USB mic literally just plugs into your computer and helps you to start recording. Some of them require drivers. But if you can find one that is plug and play, you can just start recording and don’t need to worry about anything extra.
- Condenser vs Dynamic Microphones:
Condenser microphones basically use a capacitor to turn sound waves into electrical energy, while dynamic microphones convert sound into an electrical signal by means of electromagnetism.Dynamic microphones are less sensitive than condensers… but they are studier.This is why dynamic mics tend to make such good stage microphones.They are better at withstanding the rigors of the road, and better at not picking up all kinds of other sounds (other than the vocals) on stage.But the detriment is that they also filter out some of the finer qualities in the vocals.On a live sound stage, these will not really be missed.But on a recording that is going to be listened to time and time again, you might not want to miss out on those more subtle details.And so, choosing a mic is a great balancing act between these factors.The truth is that both dynamic and condenser mics can capture amazing sound. So you also need to look at whether you want a USB, whether or not a particular mic fits into your budget, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best types of microphones for voice recording?
You can use dynamic or condenser microphones to do voice acting and voice recording.
In fact, as far as voice acting is concerned, choosing the proper polar pattern… along with a product that simply has a high quality-level… is definitely more important than anything else!
A polaroid is certainly going to give you the clearest, best audio for voice acting. Stereo is usually not necessary for voice-acting work, and omnidirectional and bidirectional microphones won’t give you the kind of isolation you’ll need for super-clear vocals.
For doing professional, high quality voice acting, our top recommended mic is the Shure SM7B.
What equipment do I need for voice over work?
If you plan to use a USB mic, all you will need is a computer and a recording program.
If you want to use an XLR mic, you will also need an interface with a built-in mic preamp.
A set of headphones is going to be useful in any case.
If you’re just getting started, and want to set up your own home-studio and get straight to recording, we actually really recommend the Focusrite Scarlett studio bundle.
Are Blue Yeti microphones good for voice acting?
We considered the Blue Yeti microphone as a top USB pick in this review. We’ve featured that mic before, and it works very well in certain circumstances.
We actually prefer the HyperX Quadcast as a USB option to the Blue Yeti. But with that being said, the Blue Yeti is a great mic, especially if you are just starting out and want a USB mic with plug-and-play ease of use.
Other Microphones That We Reviewed
While our top-6 were our favorite options in all applicable categories, we also found quite a few others that also met our criteria. Here are about a dozen other options that could also easily hold a valuable spot in your voice-acting toolkit!
Alternative Budget Picks
It offers a unidirectional pick-up pattern, gives you a definite upgrade from a built-in cell phone or laptop mic, and is easy to use!
- Small and portable
- USB ease of use
- Requires no additional equipment
- Comes with a mini tripod stand
As a condenser mic, it’s a great option if you’re looking to get started with voice acting at an affordable price.
- Distinctive dual layer filter
- Comes with a Folding Tripod Stand
- Comes with a 2 year, 30 day return plan
It packs in some pretty decent quality, especially if you’re just starting out and want a directional cardioid mic to get started with voice acting.
- Desktop or stand mountable
- Directional Cardioid mic capsule
- Wide frequency response of 20 to 20,000hz
- Even ships with an XLR cable
This plug and play USB mic has a low price, but an extremely high signal output due to its distinctive omnidirectional pick-up pattern… making this a great choice for home studio recording, YouTube recording, and Skype.
- Plug and Play Portable mic
- Distinctive Omni pick-up pattern
- Smooth, flat frequency response of 50Hz-16KHz
- USB mic, capable of recording right to your computer
If you were hoping for professional sound quality at an affordable price, this is a very decent mic to look into.
- Plug and Play usability
- Adjustable Gain Level
- Cool blue lights make it look awesome when it’s powered up
- Comes with an adjustable tripod stand
Alternative Studio Bundles
If you’re looking to get started, this is another very decent studio bundle!
- You get a lot for a very low price
- Microphone is a cardioid large-diaphragm condenser
- Delivers warm, clear vocals… especially for this price range
- Excellent upgrade from a built-in laptop mic or low-quality webcam mic
It also comes with a pop filter and a shock mount. Need two different condenser mics for slightly different sounds? This bundle gives you tremendous quality.
- Includes shock mount and microphone clip
- 1 GXL2200 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- 1 GXL1200 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- 1 EPF15A Pop Filter
It comes with a USB plug and play condenser microphone, two kinds of microphone holders, a pop filter, and a windscreen.
- Comes with two mic holders
- Microphone has a frequency response of 30Hz-16kHz
- Compatible with all operating systems
- Also ships with an adjustable scissor arm stand
- USB condenser mic
- Ships with an adjustable suspension scissor arm stand with mounting clamp
- Plug and play ease of use
- Also comes with a shock mount
Alternate Top Picks
The AT2020 is a cardioid condenser studio XLR microphone that would work quite well in voice-acting applications.
- XLR connector
- Studio condenser mic
- Low mass diaphragm gives you extended frequency response
- Ships with a soft protective pouch, and a stand mount
One of the best things about this mic is that it has four pickup patterns, which are selectable at will. You can choose Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, and Stereo pickup modes, making this an incredibly diverse and flexible tool.
- Four polar patterns makes it diverse and flexible
- Comes with an adjustable desktop stand
- Onboard audio controls give you headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute, and mic gain control
It is a premium quality capsule tube condenser mic that comes a few different accessories to get you started and off the ground running.
- Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser
- Gives you warm, crispy sounds
- Has a brilliant high end
As a USB condenser, it still delivers awesome audio quality, especially for its price range. It is a directional cardioid as well, making it a great fit for voice actors who need something professional.
- USB technology gets you up and running without an interface
- Frequency response of 20 – 18,000Hz
- Comes with an included shock mount and desktop stand
Finding the right microphone for your voice acting projects doesn’t have to be rocket science.
The first step is to figure out what your budget is, and then to get yourself into an upgrade so that you can start increasing the quality of your recordings.
If you are already at a level where you need something professional, then you will certainly benefit from saving up some money and getting into something like the Shure SM7B.
But either way, the most important things to remember are…
- To do your research and buy a mic
- Get back to your voice acting as quickly as possibly… and never stop creating
If this is what you love to do, don’t get bogged down by the buying process.
Make a choice, buy, and get back into the studio and get to work!
Hopefully, our review has helped you to find some awesome mics that fit your criteria, that will help you to really level-up your voice acting audio game.