If you’re an artist looking to amp–up your live performance, one accessory you will absolutely want to get right is the perfect best microphone for your live acoustic guitar.
You may, however, find the task of choosing the right one overwhelming and daunting. Well, that’s why we’ve put together this awesome list of the 11 best microphones for live acoustic guitars on the market!
With features like cardioid polar pattern, diaphragm type, and frequency response, you may find it quite beneficial to hear the reviewed choices and experiences of other artists. Here, you’ll find helpful information on which qualities of an acoustic mic would work best for your particular style.
(Interested in vocal mics? Check out our list of the Best 9 Microphones for Vocals!)
This could be just the boost you need to take your performance to the next level, whatever that may be for you.
So let’s dive-in
The L.R. Baggs ANTHEM-SL Acoustic Guitar Pickup easily made our top pick spot, for several different reasons. It’s a sturdy, reliable pickup that will produce a beautiful, high-quality performance on any acoustic guitar. For an artist looking to level-up in live acoustics, it’s an absolute must-have!
In This Article –
- Top Pick: L.R. Baggs ANTHEM-SL
- Runner Up: DPA D-Vote CORE 4099
- Budget-friendly: MXL Mics 770 Condenser
- Best Lavalier: Audio-Technica PRO 70
Our 4 Top-Rated Best Microphones for Live Acoustic Guitars
Our Top Pick:
The L.R Baggs ANTHEM-SL Acoustic Guitar Pickup is by-far going to be your best option for live performances. This one is perfect when it comes to making the acoustic guitar sound clean and natural. Many guitarists recommend that this one be installed by a professional, however, due to its lack of good instructions… but when push comes to shove, this is a great trade-off for the perfect live performance!
Whether in your buddy’s garage or on the set of SNL, this is the best on the market for for the money when it comes to hearing the purest amplified sound of an acoustic performance.
You’ll enjoy the endpin amplifier too, as it protects the final sound from any extra chaotic noise. Every string you play will resonate with purpose; no need to worry about weird tones or random distortion.
The L.R. Baggs ANTHEM-SL Acoustic Guitar Pickup is an award-winning cardioid condenser microphone that pairs perfectly with the Element pickup to deliver the warmth of studio mic acoustic guitars, no matter where you perform!
L.R. Baggs ANTHEM-SL Acoustic Guitar Pickup Key Features:
- Award-winning cardioid condenser
- Includes Element pickup & TRU-MIC
- Long battery life of 170+ hours
- Mic level control
- Endpin preamp
Our Runner Up
The Vote Core 4099 microphone made our runner up pick because of its low profile, making it another awesome option for performing live. It can be repositioned with only one hand without damaging the finish of your instrument, night after night of touring!
A huge bonus with the Vote Core 4099 Instrument Microphone is how it is compatible with virtually any wireless system, eliminating the guesswork of matching systems up when you’re on a new stage or in someone else’s environment.
We really liked how easy this microphone is to attach and remove. And even over time, the mic is rugged enough to meet touring demands. The Vote Core 4099 would definitely be a top contender if you were a traveling artist looking for that studio-grade sound that doesn’t pack a ton of boomy feedback.
Vote Core 4099 Key Features:
- Prepolarized diaphragm condenser
- Diaphragm is small
- Plenty of cable length at 5.9 ft
Best Budget Pick
The MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone has quite a few premium-level features. In fact, we’re pretty shocked that it’s so budget-friendly! It is basically a multi-purpose condenser, making it excellent for many different types of instruments… but works especially well for acoustic guitars.
This cardioid condenser helps to produce a warm sound with awesome tones. It has excellent balanced bass response with high-end clarity, and low frequency roll-off to reduce unwanted rumble. It can even double as a studio mic!
This is the best budget pick microphone for someone looking for versatility, or for someone who wants a live and studio mic at one great price. Although not quite as travel-friendly as our other top picks, the MXL Mics 770 is a great choice for practicing or performing live in any setting where you need a microphone upgrade at a reasonable price!
MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone Key Features:
- Has a frequency range of 30Hz-20kHz
- Cardioid polar pattern
- 48V phantom power requirements
- Great choice for acoustic guitar recording
- Only weighs 1 lb
We chose the Audio-Technica PRO 70 Cardioid Condenser Lavalier/Instrument Microphone as the best lavalier mic pick because of its ability to achieve full-sound pickup. This handy and durable microphone is equipped with a cardioid polar pattern, helping you to isolate your sound source… and a low-frequency roll-off switch that allows for reduced pickup of room noise.
This helps to keep the attention on the music or vocals, and not on the microphone itself.
And last but not least, you have two power options. The Audio-Technica PRO 70 operates on battery or phantom power. Couple these features with a discrete design, and you have everything you need in a live acoustic-guitar lavalier!
Audio-Technica PRO 70 Key Features:
- Natural reproduction
- Gold plated XLRM connector for corrosion resistance
- 6′ cable permanently attached
If you own an acoustic guitar, and plan to play it live… then you will most definitely need a live acoustic guitar mic at some point.
You can also use a live mic to record an acoustic guitar in the studio… though this is a bit less common, as larger, less-portable condenser microphones usually provide superior sound in a studio-type environment.
In any case, if you own an acoustic guitar, and plan to amplify it or plug into a sound system at some point, then you may want to start looking for a live acoustic guitar mic. There is nothing quite as frustrating as being ready to play, but unable to amplify your sound!
Many people start with a budget option, like the MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone, and then work their way up from that to more ‘premium-grade’ products, like the L.R Baggs ANTHEM-SL Acoustic Guitar Pickup.
(Looking for a mic that is better suited to all-around recording? Check out our list of the 18 Best Recording Microphones Starting at $24!)
There are a number of important features to consider as you shop for the right microphone for your acoustic guitar. Here are some of the main things to look at.
- Wireless, Or Wired?Do you need a wireless mic for live performances with your acoustic, or do you feel that a wired pickup/mic would work better? They both come with their fair share of upsides and downsides. Wireless mics are occasionally prone to interference, and are limited by their battery life. But wired mics are not quite as portable, and will ‘tether’ you to a certain area of the stage… giving you only your chord-length in room to move around.
- Budget, or Premium?How do you know whether or not to go for a budget mic? When is it time to upgrade to a premium-level product? This can be difficult to figure out if you are new to the game, but here is a general rule of thumb to follow. To start out, try something inexpensive… like the MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone. Gaining experience with a cheaper mic will give you a much better idea of how live acoustic guitar mics are supposed to work in-general, which can set you up for a much better premium-level choice when the time comes to spend your money on something more expensive. Think of every mic purchase as an investment in your future guitar-craft.
- Sound QualitySound quality is a HUGE factor. Unfortunately, there are really only two ways to figure out if a particular mic may have decent sound quality. You can test the mic yourself, or you can read-up on what other users have said about it to try to figure out which microphones tend to sound the best. After this, it is mostly a game of choosing what looks the best, giving it a try, and then upgrading later on. The more experience you get in this field, the better you will get at choosing products that will have a higher probability of working the way you want them to!
What Mic Is Best For Acoustic Guitar?
There are many quality mic options available for capturing audio during a live acoustic guitar session.
But at the end of the day, it is important to look at the features and the price range to determine which one will work best for you.
Some people like to set up a condenser or dynamic mic on a stand, and play their guitar in front of it… while others would rather use a pickup mic (a mic that goes inside of the guitar).
Our favorite mic for live acoustic guitar sessions is by-far the L.R. Baggs ANTHEM-SL. You should check it out if you are thinking about purchasing a mic, and want to be sure to get something high in quality.
How Can I Make My Acoustic Guitar Sound Better Live?
There are a few different ways to help make your guitar sound better while performing live. One of the first things that you can do is to use new strings, and make sure that your guitar is tuned properly.
(Failing to tune your guitar properly is a rookie mistake! Need to tune on the fly? Check out the Pitch Black Pedal Tuner by Korg. It’s tough enough for the road, and super-simple to use.)
Mic-positioning is also important, as is ensuring that the EQ settings on your sound system or amp are set up right. You want to start with the mid, low, and high-frequency settings on your equalizer in a neutral position… and then fine-tune them to make your guitar sound rich and smooth.
If there’s too much bass, you can roll off the low end. If it’s too ‘tinny,’ you can taper off the high end.
What Is The Best Pickup For An Acoustic Guitar?
There are obviously dozens of choices for premium-level pickups on the market for acoustic guitars.
Our favorite, however, is the L.R. Baggs ANTHEM-SL. We’ve actually tried this pickup ourselves, and love the rich, smooth tones it produces.
For the money, you really can’t beat it.
What Type Of Mic Is Best For An Acoustic Guitar?
As a general rule, a high-quality condenser microphone is going to capture the best sounds and tones for acoustic guitar… though sometimes, dynamic mics give you better longevity on the road.
But then again, standard condenser mics also come with their own shortcomings… and sometimes, they are not practical in a live-music scenario. This is why condenser pickup mics like the L.R. Baggs ANTHEM-SL can be so useful… not only in live scenarios, but even in the studio.
You’ve read about our top four favorite live acoustic guitar mics… but there were also quite a few honorable mentions that didn’t make our top list! Here are some other excellent mics that deserve a mention!
- Excellent side rejection making it great in a noisy room
- Built-in shock mount that prevents unwanted noise
- Dynamic broadcast mic
- Tuned grill that eliminates internal reflections
- Also excellent for recording vocals for music
- Dynamic broadcast mic
- Phenomenal side rejection making it favorable for a noisy room
- Cancels out internal reflections
- Prevents unwanted noise with the built-in shockmount
- Excellent for vocal recordings
- Pickup can be removed without damage, only needing 1 hole drilled
- Has potential for more feedback, but is very controllable
- Perfect choice if your guitar body tends to pick up noise
- Built-inNoise cancelling
- Does not have a pickup
- Analog signal conditioning
- Volume control in the soundhole, with mic presence control headphone jack
Many have used this on multiple types of instruments and it has worked phenomenally. With the price coming in at $17.99, that’s pretty hard to beat.
- Volume adjustable
- Will fit with most instruments
- Installation is easier
- Comes with a 10 ft amp cable
If you care about the aesthetics of your pickup, this might be what you’re looking for.
- No drilling for installation
- Bright clarity
- Fantastic tonal response
- Exceptional for fingerplay and heavy strum playing
- No need for a battery
Hopefully, this review has helped to give you plenty of options for your next live acoustic guitar mic.
We’ve compiled this list from the best mics on the market, and truly believe that these are some of the best options for the money!
With that being said, we really kept coming back to the L.R. Baggs ANTHEM-SL as our top-pick, and we can’t get enough of it. So if you’re not sure where to go or how to start, click on the link and check that bad-boy out.
In the meantime, keep creating and making music! Whether you’re gigging live, streaming on Twitch, or making videos… never give up! Art and passion is where it’s at!
Until next time!