13 Best Vocal Microphone Under $100 (Cheap Mics That’ll Surprise You)

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It can be tough to find a quality microphone for vocals for a reasonable price, let alone under $100. You don’t want to compromise your content for a lower price, but you also can’t spend all your money in one place!

The last thing you want to do when embarking on your new vlogging hobby or outfitting your at-home studio is spend your whole budget on a mic. However, you need a good one if you want quality content.

Knowing that, and knowing that there is a veritable bottomless well of microphones out there, we’ve found some of the best microphones that you can get for less than $100. Whether you know what you need or you have no idea where to start, this list will definitely help you out.

We’ve kept track of the specifications you need to know, what the mic is known for, and much more that will allow you to make an informed decision.

Better yet, it won’t take that much time!

So let’s dig into these options, and find you a mic that is well within your price range!

Shure SM58
The Shure SM58 is a very popular mic for vocals in studios and venues around the world. It has minimal handling noise, full mids, clear highs, and comes for a steal!
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The 11 Best Microphones

 

Top Pick: Shure SM58

Shure SM58
The Shure SM58 is a very popular mic for vocals in studios and venues around the world. It has minimal handling noise, full mids, clear highs, and comes for a steal!
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The Shure SM58 uses its cardioid polar pattern to emit awesome, clear vocals. Used in studios and event venues around the world, it’s our number one pick because of its reliability and pristine performance.

Its engineered with live and studio vocal use in mind.

The built-in wind and pop filter keeps irrelevant noise to a minimum while the pneumatic shock mount system eliminates handling noise.

At just under the $100 cut-off, it’s a reasonable mic for beginners or experts. Regardless of what you need it for, this dynamic mic is great for vocal recording or live events. The break-resistant stand adapter means that you can take it anywhere and it won’t have any trouble working with any mic stands.

The Shure name is trusted by vocalists, technicians, and sound engineers the world over. With its rugged construction and fantastic vocal performance, it’s no wonder the Shure SM58 is our top pick for vocals.

Shure SM58 Product Key Features:

  • Dynamic mic
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Built-in wind and pop filter
  • Pneumatic shock mount system
  • Rugged construction
  • Break-resistant stand adapter included
  • Capable of handling SPL: 94db

Runner-Up: MXL 990

MXL 990
The MXL 990’s cardioid polar pickup pattern and wide frequency range makes it good for any use! It delivers crisp highs and silky mids that’ll go toe to toe with any other studio mic!
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The MXL 990 is a studio-ready quality condenser mic. With its FET preamp and large diaphragm, it works amazingly in studio settings. It eliminates feedback and any equipment interference, vastly improving the quality of any vocal recording.

This mic delivers excellently clear vocals while emitting low self-noise and feedback, keeping the recorded sound pristine and detailed. You won’t get any hissing, air pops, or white noise with this mic.

It’s easy to set up right out of the box, is priced well under any vocalist’s budget, and looks amazing! The color choices and the metal build are not only durable, but also gorgeous!

The shock mounts and durable metal build of this mic make it a go-to for any recording scenario… while the vocal clarity alone makes the MXL 990 a go-to choice for podcasting, streaming, or vlogging.

MLX 990 Key Features

  • Condenser mic
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Available in Midnight or Champagne
  • Shock mount included
  • Solid build
  • Capable of handling SPL: 130db

Best Budget Pick: Marantz Professional MPM1000

Marantz Professional MPM1000
The Marantz Professional MPM1000 is perfect for any budget. Its crystal clear audio & incredible frequency response makes it a perfect condenser mic for vocals.
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The Marantz Professional MPM1000 is perfect for any audio occasion. It is a simple studio condenser mic, and will absolutely level-up your audio if all you’ve been using up to this point is a dime-store mic or the built-in mic on your phone or laptop.

It also comes with a windscreen, shock mount, and tripod that make getting started a piece of cake!

It has minimal self-noise and sound interference from other equipment, making sure that only the vocalist is heard without any pesky editing.

The result of the wide-plated capsule and cardioid polar pattern is a wide frequency range that captures inviting and natural vocals from any speaker or performer.

With its easy to use nature and set-up right out of the box, this is a great mic for anyone just getting started. Even better, it will stretch your budget even further!

Marantz Professional MPM1000 Key Features:

  • Condenser mic
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Windscreen, shockmount, and tripod included
  • XLR
  • Low self-noise
  • Wide diaphragm

Best USB: Samson Q2U

Samson Q2U
The Samson Q2U is a USB mic for any user. Its cardioid pickup pattern rejects background noise and picks up any vocalist’s best work!
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The Samson Q2U is hands down the best USB mic under a hundred bucks you could ask for. It’s dynamic, so it can be used for just about any vocal project you have in mind… and its cardioid polar pattern squarely rejects any background noise or signal interference.

To make it even better, it can be adapted to be XLR too in case you need to use it at a venue or away from your home studio. The USB cable and easy to use equipment makes it virtually plug and play, meaning you can plug it in to your computer and start using it with your favorite audio software without any added bells and whistles.

But if you want bells and whistles, this mic comes with a mic clip, tripod stand, a stand extension, and both cables you’ll need to get started. Which means you can start as soon as you get it!

Best yet, the Samson Q2U mic comes equipped with a headphone jack. This lets you listen to your own recording in real time, so you can make any adjustments you need without starting all over again! All this and well under $100 makes this a top-notch USB mic for you!

Samson Q2U Key Features

  • Dynamic mic
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Plug and play capabilities
  • USB and XLR output options
  • Compatible with PC and Mac devices
  • Headphone jack
  • Includes mic clip, tripod stand, tripod stand extension, USB cable and XLR cable

Best Portable Microphone: Samson GO

Samson Go Mic
The Samson GO mic is a perfect USB mic for anyone on the go. Giving you a choice between cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns, it’s versatile and easy to use.
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The Samson GO USB is perfect if you’re looking to take your studio recording, podcasting, or vlogging endeavors on the road. It is a condenser mic with two versatile polar options that limit the amount of interference and feedback!

Plus, it has a headphone jack for you to listen to your content while you’re recording it, and the mic clip is included. With its high SPL threshold, you can record anytime and anywhere, worry-free!

The Samson GO USB mic is compatible with Mac and PC systems, making it adaptable and ideal for multi-purpose use in new settings. It’s our go-to portable mic for any vocal project!

Samson GO Key Features

  • Condenser mic
  • Cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns
  • Capable of handling SPL: 121 db
  • Headphone jack on mic
  • Fold up design clip
  • Compatible with Mac and PC
  • USB mic

Who Should Buy Microphone for Vocals?

A good mic for vocals can be used for anything that involves you needing to record vocal tracks for any sort of vocal project.

You could be starting your own studio at home, equipping a new vocalist, or getting a new mic for your podcast. Any of these will require a microphone for vocals.

Anyone who plans on recording or performing anything needs a good vocal mic. If it so much as involves talking, singing, or even beatboxing, you’ll need a mic that delivers fantastic vocals without a lot of extra hassle.

Even better if you can get it under a hundred bucks!

Shure SM58
The Shure SM58 is a very popular mic for vocals in studios and venues around the world. It has minimal handling noise, full mids, clear highs, and comes for a steal!
Check The Price on Amazon

Important Features to Consider

When looking through all these great microphones, we noticed a lot of techy terms that kept getting tossed around. To keep your investigating to a minimum, we’ve defined some of those terms for you!

This will help you to make sure you know what you need. Here are the most important features to consider…

  • Condenser vs. Dynamic: A condenser mic is best if you need to eliminate all ambient sound and just hear the speaker. The construction of this mic allows for a louder output of a generally softer sound, like the human voice, and they are also generally more responsive to higher frequency ranges.
  • Diaphragm: Large/wide, small/narrow refers to the size of the diaphragm capsule on a mic. This is used for condenser mics primarily, and has a bearing on the kind of sound delivered. Both have their advantages. Large diaphragms have lower self-noise, while smaller diaphragms have more detailed pick-up patterns.
  • Sound level: Measured in units of decibels (db) and widely referred to as SPL, this is the pressure deviation from atmospheric sound.
  • A mic responds to an increase in SPL (that could come from vibrations from equipment or interference) and records it in correspondence. By saying a mic has a high SPL, it means that the mic can take sound levels without distorting based on technical interference.
  • USB: Short for “universal serial bus,” this refers to the type of cable connection the mic has. It plugs into and connects directly to any device with a USB hub, like a tablet or laptop. This is great for at-home studio.
  • XLR: Short for “external line return,” which refers to the type of cable connection the mic has. This is a mic that plugs directly into a sound mixer or system. It’s used for venues, live use, and studio use primarily.
  • Polar Patterns: A polar pattern is a very important feature which dictates how much sound the mic can receive and from which direction. If you’re just using this mic for a speaking purpose not necessarily focused vocals, you won’t need to worry about multiple polar pattern choices.
  • Omnidirectional: These mics record from all directions around the mic. This makes it more likely that off-axis sounds are going to be picked up by the mic. This doesn’t necessarily degrade the quality of the mic, it just makes the sound a little less crisp if there’s a lot happening immediately around the speaker.
  • Cardioid pattern: Aka the ‘unidirectional’ pattern, this pattern blocks sound coming from the sides and rear of the mic. This makes it so the mic only picks up sound directly in front or above the handheld mic.
  • Bidirectional pattern: This pattern rejects most of the unwanted noises, and captures sound from more of the mic’s area. That makes bidirectional mics the best if you’re handling the mic a lot or having multiple people share one mic.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best condenser microphone under $100?

The Shure SM58 is a GREAT mic and we think it’s the best you can get under that $100 mark. It has the credentials of a mic used by venues and vocal professionals world-wide, while having the quality to back it up.

Who should use a microphone for vocals?

Anyone! It doesn’t matter if you’re curating a pet project or looking to start a new career, you need an excellent mic! If you’re recording any kind of vocals, you need the best to get the best content you can from the start, cutting down the time you spend editing.

You don’t want to have to go into every podcast or vocal track you have and edit out feedback from a mic or background noise! So if you’re asking who should use a mic for vocals, the answer is you, my friend!

Should I get a condenser or dynamic mic for vocals?

There are some great dynamic mics out there, but what you’ll really need for quality vocals is a condenser mic with a wide frequency range.

Looking for an awesome condenser mic? Check out our list of the Best Large-Diaphragm Condenser Mics.

The best will keep the unintentional bass noise to a minimum, but deliver the mids and highs with detailed and natural sound.

Dynamic mics are better for multi-purpose studios and venues, allowing them to be versatile and flexible… though they are less likely to provide those crystal-clear, subtle tones as well as a condenser would.

What is a good microphone for vocals?

While we highly recommend our Top Pick, a good microphone for vocals is going to be a microphone that fits your needs.

Whether that be durability for venue and tour use, or included filters to help cut back on background use, mics are designed to keep the user in mind.

If you’re just getting started and don’t want to bet the farm, try our Budget Pick the Marantz Professional MPM1000, which is on the lower end of any price range. It’s a quality condenser mic that you can get with XLR or USB capabilities, depending on your preference.

Other Recording Microphones We Reviewed

Shure SM58
The Shure SM58 is a very popular mic for vocals in studios and venues around the world. It has minimal handling noise, full mids, clear highs, and comes for a steal!
Check The Price on Amazon

Alternate Picks

Audio Technica ATR2500
The Audio Technica ART2500 is a condenser microphone with easy-to-use USB access.
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The mic plugs right into any USB port, and is recognizable and accessible to both Windows and Mac devices. It works smoothly with your favorite recording software or apps, making it easier on you when you’re getting the hang of it.

It also has a headphone jack, letting you monitor your content in real time so that you can adjust your headphone volume from the controls on the mic. It’s got low self-noise, limiting the electronic humming that comes with some mics. Included with a tripod desk stand and pivoting, threaded mount for versatility and easy access.

Audio Technica ATR2500 Key Features

  • USB Mic
  • Condenser mic
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Built-in headphone jack
  • Adjustable volume on mic
  • Compatible with most recording software
  • Tripod desk stand included
  • Threaded stand mount included
AKG D5
The AKG D5 is a microphone developed for vocals and back-up vocals, that can be used in a live or studio setting.
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The crisp sound on the higher frequencies comes from the super-cardioid polar pattern that delivers the vocalist’s voice regardless of other noise.

The dual shock mount keeps handling noise to a minimum, allowing more freedom and movement from anyone using it. The high SPL threshold means that the vocalist can get as loud as they want without having to keep the mic at a distance.

AKG D5 Key Features

  • Dynamic mic
  • Super-cardioid polar pattern
  • Durable construction
  • Handheld
  • Shock mount included
  • Capable of handling SPL: 137db
Audio Technica AT2020
The Audio Technica 2020’s cardioid polar pattern helps to remove room noise and signal interference to isolate the vocals of the speaker!
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It has a wide frequency range, which makes it versatile for all kinds of vocal projects and environments. It’s an easy to-use-mic that records clean and crisp vocals for a reasonable price.

Audio Technica 2020 Key Features

  • Condenser mic
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • XLR mic
  • Capable of handling SPL: 144db
  • Sturdy construction
Samson C01
The Samson C01 has a hyper-cardioid polar pattern that makes for clear vocals and excellent isolation from feedback, instruments, or ambient noise.
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Its sturdy construction and gold-plated XLR ensures that it’s reliable and that it’ll last you and your vocals through several uses.

MXL V67G Key Features

  • Condenser mic
  • Hyper-cardioid polar pattern
  • Swivel stand mic mount included
  • Solid construction
  • Large capsule mic

Alternate Budget Picks

MXL 770
This MXL 770 condenser mic is reasonably priced and emits a round, resonant sound.
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It’s multi-purpose, going so far as to be used for both vocals and instruments alike (bass and percussive instruments included). The low-frequency roll off eliminates unwanted room noise entirely, while preserving the clarity of the original recorded sound.

MXL 770 Key Features

  • Condenser mic
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Low-bass roll-off
  • Capable of handling: 177db
  • Secure mic mount and carrying case included
MXL V67G
The MXL V67G mic delivers open and full vocals, making it perfect for any sort of vocal task.
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It has a rich mid-range and clear high range, allowing it to be versatile for any vocalists’s performance on stage (no matter how loud the instruments or music). You’ll be surprised by the great sound and the even better price if you’re trying to outfit your first sound kit.

MXL V67G Key Features

  • Condenser mic
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Capable of handling: 130db
  • Ideal for vocals
  • Large capsule mic

Conclusion

We can’t emphasize enough the importance of quality sound performance in your microphone. If you’re a social influencer making YouTube videos, starting a podcast, or streaming your latest game, the first thing you need is a good mic for great vocals.

Start with the best of the best in the $100 price range, used by venues and vocalists everywhere, the Shure SM58.

First and foremost, you ought to know what’s most important to you. Do you need a USB or XLR compatible mic? Are you on a strict budget? How much noise-elimination do you really need? Once you know even one of these things, you’ll have it narrowed down even further if you go by this list!

There’s a lot of quality mics out there, but check out these 11 first. You can choose between a quality USB mic that’s compatible with any system, like the Samson Q2U. Maybe you want a more budget-friendly option to get your project off the ground, like the Marantz Professional MPM1000.

If you start with these, you’re guaranteed a mic with that will deliver phenomenal vocals under a hundred bucks.