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22 best inexpensive microphones 2022

As the entertainment industry grows wider and wider, the need to keep up, especially with great sound input, cannot be overlooked. Getting the best inexpensive microphone for clear sound recording is very important.

It is easy to chalk up inexpensive microphones as poor quality; however, if you know just where to look, you’d be surprised at the fantastic quality with studio-grade materials you’d be getting at an affordable price. Luckily, we have prepared a list of some of the best inexpensive microphones you can purchase.

Take a look below for our picks for the best inexpensive microphones!

The most common types of microphones

Before getting to our list, let’s quickly touch base on the types of microphones you can get.

  • Condenser mics: These types of mics are often used in a recording studio as they are highly sensitive and feature an extensive frequency range. Although condenser mics are usually more expensive than dynamic mics, they can pick up sound from a distance and are considered a middle ground between dynamic and ribbon mics. Condenser mics require a power source, e.g., batteries or phantom power.
  • Dynamic mics: These are more affordable and durable, making them popular for live performers. Unlike condenser mics, dynamic mics do not need a separate power source. The disadvantages of dynamic mics are low sound accuracy, i.e., they are not as responsive or accurate as other types of mics, and the vocalist must be very close to the microphone for a better sound experience.
  • Ribbon Mics: The ribbon mics are the oldest type of microphone and have a wide frequency range. While some musicians and producers consider them the most authentic or realistic kind of microphone, they have a few disadvantages. Ribbon mics are not only more expensive but they are pretty delicate because of their parts and can be easily broken.

The best cheap microphones you can get

Shure SM48-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Image source: Shure

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Eliminates background noise

Cons

  • Preferrable for vocals and not recording

The Shure SM48-LC is one of the best cheap microphones on the market today. It offers incredibly clear quality with a brightened midrange as well as bass roll-off for that extra emphasis on your vocals.

Although it is often regarded as a vocal mic, it can also be used for recording purposes, especially if you’re on a tight budget. This sub $50 mic has a dynamic capsule with a cardioid polar pattern that eliminates extra background noises.

Shure SM48 Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone with Shock-Mounted Cartridge, Steel Mesh Grille an… List Price:$62.00 Price:$39.95 You Save:$22.05 (36%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone Image source: Samson

Pros

  • Very versatile
  • Compact

Cons

  • Mostly useful for vloggers and outdoor-based videos

This microphone is particularly useful for vloggers or any other travel or outdoor work requiring on-the-go videos.

You’ll enjoy its unique versatility and portability for the price. The Samson Go mic offers two polar pattern modes, cardioid and omnidirectional. The cardioid pattern is perfect for you if you’ll be speaking directly into the microphone. At the same time, the omnidirectional pattern is a better choice if you wish to capture the entire room.

It is perfect for recording, podcasting, FaceTiming, or Zoom meetings, for which you can simply plug it directly into your computer. With its compact design, the mic can clip to your laptop or sit upright on your desk, and the built-in headphone lets you listen as you record.

The Samson Go Mic has two polar pickup patterns to meet your recording needs, and it is handy for recording voices, acoustic guitars, or other close-miked instruments. You can also capture the whole room’s noise or a jam with a few friends by flipping it into the omnidirectional mode to capture sounds from all sides.

It features a USB mic with plug-and-play capabilities for Mac and PC, built-in headphone output for zero-latency monitoring, 20Hz – 18kHz frequency response, cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns, and a 16-bit/44.1kHz recording quality.

Samson Go Mic Portable Clip-on USB Condenser Microphone (Titanium)- USB 2.0 Hub with Individual… Price:$54.95 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Snowball Black iCE

Snowball Black iCE Image source: Snowball

Pros

  • No extra equipment required
  • Tri-fold design that offers a sturdy balance
  • Crystal-clear audio

Cons

  • Narrow frequency range

This USB mic doesn’t require extra equipment to get started and, thanks to its innovative design, it is certified by Skype and Discord.

Not only is it a custom cardioid condenser that offers crystal-clear audio, but it is also the perfect shape and size for any desktop. It boasts a tri-fold design that offers sturdy balance.

Although its frequency range is slightly narrower than you’d want, it does well in sensitivity. It provides quite a competitive level of depth to your audio and is one of the more popular best condenser mics under $100.

Logitech for Creators Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone for PC, Podcast, Gaming, Streaming, Stud… List Price:$49.99 Price:$46.99 You Save:$3.00 (6%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Fifine Microphone

Fifine Microphone Image source: FiFIne

Pros

  • Affordable
  • High-quality audio
  • No background noise

Cons

  • Not the best option for recording

The Fifine microphone might not be a household name like the others, but it is one of the most popular inexpensive microphones on the market. It is versatile and can be used for podcasts, gaming, virtual music, and recording music.

This mic includes about a 6-foot USB cable and a tripod desk stand. It uses a cardioid condenser that guarantees high-quality audio without background noise. This is because its cardioid pickup only records audio through the front while blocking noise from the sides and rear. That’s a feature that is perfectly convenient if you happen to live on a busy street.

It is the perfect all-in-one tool if you’re on a tight budget. More features include a condenser USB mic, cardioid polar pattern, 20Hz – 20kHz frequency range, 48kHz sample rate, 16-bit depth, and 30dB (at 1kHz≤1% THD) maximum SPL.

While it might not be your best option for recording music, you’ve got a great deal with this microphone for everything else speech-related.

USB Microphone,FIFINE Metal Condenser Recording Microphone for Laptop MAC or Windows Cardioid S… List Price:$34.99 Price:$29.99 You Save:$5.00 (14%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Jlab Audio Talk Go

Image source: Jlab Audio

Pros

  • Good starter mic
  • Subtle RGB
  • Portable design

Cons

  • Can sound tinny

This is another inexpensive USB condenser microphone that offers many interesting features. It has several similarities to the Blue Yeti microphone series and can serve as a cheap alternative.

The Jlab Audio Talk Go, despite being a condenser mic under $100, has a 96kHz/24Bit-depth, making its accuracy transmission from mic to computer an industry standard. It offers cardioid and Omni for recording a single voice or the whole room.

Although it uses USB-C instead of Micro-USB, which might not be attractive to some, this microphone also has a volume adjuster and zero latency monitoring via an aux cable.

JLab Talk USB Microphone | USB-C Output | Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Stereo or Bidirectional |… List Price:$99.00 Price:$78.99 You Save:$20.01 (20%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Shure SM58 Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Image source: Shure

Pros

  • Ideal for vocals
  • Has a bass roll-off that improves overall sound quality
  • Built-in wind and pop filter
  • Durable
  • Clear and sharp tone

Cons

  • Not wireless
  • Sound could be louder
  • Has no on or off switch

While this mic is a little more expensive, this Shure series is the most popular and widely used live microphone worldwide. It is also one of the best microphones for live vocals and never fails to over-deliver quality.

With the Shure SM58, you’ll get valuable live vocal features like an internal shock mount to reduce handling noises and a built-in spherical wind with a pop filter. The microphone also offers a brightened midrange and bass roll-off, giving the illusion of depth and accuracy.

Shure SM58LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone List Price:$188.00 Price:$99.00 You Save:$89.00 (47%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Medium-diaphragm Condenser Microphone

AudioTechnica AT2020 Inexpensive Budget microphoneImage source: AudioTechnica

Pros

  • Well built
  • For musicians
  • Excellent sound

Cons

  • Requires USB Audio Interface
  • One polar pattern
  • USB model is $50 extra

This is one of the most popular choices for beginners and professionals in podcasting. With its amazing quality and ease of use, you’d be getting your money’s worth and more. Although it is an XLR mic and can be a bit inconvenient as opposed to USB, people who are determined to get the best quality overlook this.

The AT2020 is visually stunning and provides a wide dynamic range of versatility that is ideal for home studios and video audio. It also has a wide-range frequency response for serious depth in your audio with crisp highs and warm lows.

It would help to consider it when searching for the best budget microphone, especially for podcasts.

Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Studio Microphone Bundle with Pop Filter and XLR Cable List Price:$108.90 Price:$86.90 You Save:$22.00 (20%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

AKG P120

Image source: AKG

Pros

  • Impressive sound quality
  • Great for home studios on a budget

Cons

  • Not very versatile

This microphone might not be the best choice for live vocals, but it works well as both a vocal and instrument mic and can be a great addition for home studios. Compared to other mics that are double its cost, the AKG P120 has an impressive sound quality and delivers bang for its buck.

Although not as versatile as others, it is best for singing and instruments and was developed specifically for home studios on a budget. That alone makes it another great choice for the best cheap microphones.

AKG P120 High-Performance General Purpose Recording Microphone Price: Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Shure SM48 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Image source: Shure

Pros

  • Built-in “pop” filter
  • Perfect for vocalists
  • Superior gain

Cons

  • Low-frequency range

This mic is perfect for live applications, especially for singers. Although it is a more basic version of the Shure SM58, the industry-standard live vocal mic, the SM48 still lives up to Shure’s reputation and is great for those on a budget.

It shares similar characteristics in terms of form factor, build quality, and basic sound signature with the more expensive SM58. However, a significant difference between the two is the frequency range. The SM48 has a narrower bandwidth with the high frequencies extending to 14kHz, while the SM58 is at 15kHz. Also, the low-frequency range on the SM48 rolls off at 55kHz, and 50kHz for the SM58.

The SM48’s narrower bandwidth makes it better with plosives, pops, and proximity effects than the SM58. Therefore, the SM48 is suitable for live use, shows, or rehearsals, all for half the price of the more prominent and popular SM58.

The SM48 features are as follows: cardioid pickup pattern for off-axis sound rejection, brightened mid-range and bass roll-off to control proximity effect, shock-mounted cartridge for reduced handling noise, built-in pop filter, and a stand adapter and storage bag.

Shure SM48 Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone with Shock-Mounted Cartridge, Steel Mesh Grille an… List Price:$62.00 Price:$39.95 You Save:$22.05 (36%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Behringer Ultravoice XM8500

Image source: Behringer

Pros

  • Moisture-resistant
  • Dynamic
  • Ultra-wide frequency response

Cons

  • Less durable

Behringer has a strong reputation for providing valuable solutions to musicians everywhere, and this version further proves it. You can purchase this mic for the price of a meal.

It boasts of a frequency response of 50Hz to 15kHz (with a mid-frequency presence rise for enhanced voice projection), an impedance of 150 ohms, and incorporates a two-stage pop filter.

Although it is primarily designed for live vocals, the Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 can also be used on drums and other instruments for home studio recording and demos. Also, while it may not be as durable as some of the more expensive models, it’s a solid budget choice.

The Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 features are smooth mid-frequency presence rise for excellent voice projection, a comprehensive frequency response for transparent sound, high signal output, cardioid characteristic for minimal background noise and feedback, and a shock mount system to cut down handling noise.

Behringer XM8500 Price:$25.00 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Peavey PVi 2 Dynamic Microphone

Image source: Peavey

Pros

  • Superb sound quality
  • Unidirectional cardioid pattern
  • Rugged case

Cons

  • Low-frequency range compared to more expensive mics

This budget mic is used frequently in live sound applications due to its rugged construction and reliability. It is also based on the Shure SM58, featuring a dynamic cardioid design.

It is widely known as a durable piece of equipment with good stage vocal sound and reliability due to how long it can last.

The PVi features a dynamic range of 50 Hz – 16kHz, a sensitivity of – 50 dBV/pa (3.2mv/pa), an output impedance of 500 ohms, and a silver-plated XLR connector. It also has a die-cast steel case, low handling noise, low-gloss black finish, unidirectional cardioid pattern, and an on/off switch.

Peavey PVi 2 XLR Cardioid Unidirectional Dynamic Vocal Microphone with XLR Cable Price:$49.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

MXL 2008 large Diaphragm Condenser Mic

Image source: MXL

Pros

  • High-quality sound
  • Rugged carrying case

Cons

  • Low-frequency response

It offers excellent value – a high-quality studio condenser mic – for a small amount of money.

The MXL 2008 features 30Hz – 20kHz frequency response, cardioid polar pattern, sensitivity of 18mV/Pa, output impedance of 150 ohms, and max SPL for .5% THD: 130dB. This microphone also has a large, highly sensitive 32mm condenser capsule that helps capture the details and nuances of your vocals, your acoustic guitar, electric guitar cabinets, and even percussion.

It is backed by Class-A circuitry and balanced, transformerless output for good results in recording studios or in live applications. The MXL 2008 also comes with features usually reserved for more expensive mics like a rugged carrying case and a high isolation shock mount.

MXL 2008 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount and Carrying Case, Cardioid (Renewed) Price:$299.95 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Blue Snowball iCE USB

Image source: BlueMic

Pros

  • Crystal-clear audio quality
  • Captures your voice with clear sound

Cons

  • Not very durable

This stylish condenser mic is great for your desktop setup and offers crystal clear audio for several desktop applications like virtual meetings and podcasts.

It features a frequency response of 40Hz – 18kHz, 44.1 kHz/16-bit recording quality, a two-year warranty, compatibility with Mac or PC with no drivers to install, and a tripod. This cheap and stylish mic has good audio quality and is so convenient that you can start recording immediately after inspiration strikes.

Logitech for Creators Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone for PC, Podcast, Gaming, Streaming, Stud… List Price:$49.99 Price:$46.99 You Save:$3.00 (6%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Samson Q2U

Samson Q2U Inexpensive MicrophoneImage source: Samson

Pros

  • Built-in headphones
  • Well-controlled background noise
  • Includes a small tripod mic stand, USB cable, and foam windshield

Cons

  • Requires additional peripherals

This is another mic that is a top choice if you’re on a budget or need a larger setup for four to six people. It is uniquely versatile as it possesses both XLR and USB connections. This makes it easier for you to quickly change your setup depending on the type of audio content you are recording.

It has built-in headphones that you can use to monitor your sound in real-time without delay. Due to its metal cage, background noise is well-controlled.

Samson Q2U includes a small tripod mic stand, USB cable, and foam windshield. This means you’ll get your basic recording needs from the hardware perspective with this purchase.

Samson Technologies Q2U USB/XLR Dynamic Microphone Recording and Podcasting Pack (Includes Mic… List Price:$126.24 Price:$69.99 You Save:$56.25 (45%) Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

MXL 990

MXL-990 Inexpensive Budget MicrophoneImage source: MXL

Pros

  • Includes a FET preamp, custom shock mount, and a mic stand adapter
  • Visually appealing
  • Very versatile
  • Perfect for acoustic instruments

Cons

  • A bit confusing to setup
  • For entry-level rather than professional producers and musicians

If you’re looking to venture into podcasting, this is another amazing budget condenser microphone that will serve all your needs. You can get it for about $80 and the set for $110.

MXL990 features a shock mount with an integrated pop-filter, 20’XLR cable, a desk swivel, and a microfiber cleaning cloth. Also, it has a high-quality small-diaphragm, cardioid polar pattern, and a balanced sound. With its provision of the flexibility of the XLR connection to use an audio interface or preamp, you’d be getting a good price-to-quality ratio.

MXL 990 Blackout, Condenser Microphone, Limited Edition Price:$129.95 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Rode NT-USB Mini

Rode-NT-USB-Mini Inexpensive budget microphoneImage source: Rode

Pros

  • Great sound
  • Simple, compact design
  • Decent software

Cons

  • Software only works with NT Minis
  • Picks up background noise

This is another budget-friendly USB condenser microphone. It is highly recommended for beginners who need an easy and intuitive setup and a mic that will fit into a small space.

It is slightly bigger than the Samson Go and delivers better audio quality, thanks to its larger footprint. With this microphone, you won’t need to install additional filters or software as it features an integrated pop shield. It is a simple plug-and-play device.

Rode NT-USB Mini USB Condenser Microphone Price:$99.00 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Blue Yeti

Blue Yeti Budget Inexpensive MicrophoneImage source: Blue Yeti

Pros

  • Very small and light
  • Easy to use
  • Great sound quality

Cons

  • Relatively expensive for a ‘budget’ mic

There are reasons why the Blue Yeti is considered the best in the Yeti mics lineup and its affordability while delivering almost the same sound quality as the Pro model is one of them.

Blue Yeti has USB and XLR connections and a unique design with four adjustable pattern settings; cardioid, omnidirectional, stereo, and bi-directional. It also delivers a beautiful audio resolution out of available competitive USB microphones.

USB Microphones Blue Yeti for Recording and Streaming on PC/Mac, 4 Pickup Patterns, Headphone O… Price:$112.00 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Rode PodMic

Rode PodMic Inexpensive budget microphoneImage source: Rode

Pros

  • Quality audio sound
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Has only XLR connectivity
  • Preferred for entry levels or beginners and not professionals

This XLR mic is great for entry-level or beginner podcasters. It produces quality audio optimized for podcast recording; it is easy to use and has an option to connect an audio interface as your podcasting skills grow.

The Rode PodMic offers an internal pop filter to help with most sound issues and an internal shock mounting to reduce vibrations simplifying your setup.

Rode PodMic Cardioid Dynamic Broadcast Microphone Price:$99.00 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB

Audio-Technica-ATR2100x-USB Inexpensive Budget MicrophoneImage source: AudioTechnica

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Has both XLR and USB connectivity

Cons

  • Mostly preferred for podcasting only

The ATR2100x is another affordable microphone developed by a trusted audio brand. With its good sound quality, it is highly recommended for podcasting.

It has a USB port, three cables (USB-C to USB-C, USB-C to USB-A) for quick and easy recording, and an XLR (XLR female to XLR male) input for connecting it to an audio interface or a mixer.

Also, the ATR2100x comes with a sturdy tripod desk stand with folding legs that is small, stable, and easy to set up and transport.

Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB Cardioid Dynamic Microphone (ATR Series) Price:$79.00 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

AKG Lyra

AKG Lyra Inexpensive Budget MicrophoneImage source: AKG

Pros

  • Very versatile
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • The distinctive design might not appeal to most

This mic is versatile and has a distinctive design. It offers three pickup patterns; cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-8, and various functionalities. It is also very user-friendly, which makes it easier for beginners to navigate.

AKG Pro Audio Lyra Ultra-HD, Four Capsule, Multi-Capture Mode, USB-C Condenser Microphone for R… Price:$97.17 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

PreSonus Revelator

PreSonus-Revelator Inexpensive Budget MicrophoneImage source: PreSonus

Pros

  • Stable, bulky stand
  • Good sound quality

Cons

  • Mostly preferred for podcasting

This is considered the most powerful condenser USB mic among all other USB budget mics for podcasting. With a built-in “loopback” functionality, it can act as a hub for your different audio streams, making the audio handling process from various sources very simple.

PreSonus Revelator has a very stable yet bulky stand that makes the overall mic look heavier than it is. It also boasts good sound quality and is one of the most advanced USB mics for its price.

PreSonus Revelator USB Condenser Microphone for podcasting, live streaming, with built-in voice… Price: Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Samson Q9U

Samson-Q9U inexpensive budget microphoneImage source: Samson

Pros

  • Classic look
  • Versatile
  • Great, unique features

Cons

  • Mostly ideal for podcasting

This mic has a classic look that makes it the best looking mic for under $200. It is ideal for any podcasting host with its great-sounding dynamic mic, cardioid polar pattern, USB-C digital output, and XLR analog output for more versatility.

It has a low-cut filter, mid-pretense boost, mute controls, dual-layer windscreen, and a solid, die-cast construction with an integrated yoke mount. Therefore, you won’t need additional foam, pop filter, or shock mounts for this mic.

Samson Technologies Q9U Dynamic Broadcast Microphone, XLR/USB, Black Price:$119.99 Buy Now Available from Amazon, BGR may receive a commission

Factors to consider when choosing the best inexpensive mics

While you may just be focused on getting a great deal, the overwhelming number of mics on the market make it essential to consider a few factors before making your purchase.

Some of the things to keep in mind when looking for a microphone that suits you are:

  • Durability: Durability is vital, as a long-lasting microphone is necessary for the best sound experience. Most significantly, if you’re a musician that travels a lot, you might not be able to control the fact that your new mic will be getting banged up a bit. A sturdy mic is precisely what you need.
  • Sound: As expected, each type of mic has different sound outputs. This is why you should choose one that suits your brand as a musician. For example, the best kind of mic for a vocalist is one for reproducing vocals. Also, it is essential to look out for the proximity effect. A mic that projects poor lower register sounds when you’re too close to it is not the one to go for.
  • Type: The type of microphone you intend to buy has to suit your individual goals as a musician or entertainer. Whatever you wish to use your mic for, ensure it has the right sound. Also, if using a mic with an external power source bugs you, you can opt for one that doesn’t need an external power source.

Remember, you don’t have to break the bank to get a quality microphone.

Are you just venturing into the entertainment world as a beginner, or are you already an expert in your field? Several available mics are pretty affordable and will get the job done perfectly.

FAQ

Can a cheap mic sound good?

Absolutely. Even the most budget-friendly microphones today sound better than some of the ones used in the early days of recording.

How much does a good mic cost?

Most microphones cost between $5 to $5,000, while the average cost of a good quality mic is between $100 to $500.

What makes a mic sound better?

If you want to improve the sound of your recordings, you can locate a place with no background noise. You can also ensure your voice is the focal point of each recording, as it should be.

What microphone is used in recording studios?

Since they are considered the most versatile studio microphones and can be used to record any instrument, condenser mics are used in recording studios. However, they aren’t as popular in the live setting because they are somewhat more fragile, sonically sensitive, and require a small electrical current to operate.

What type of mic do YouTubers use?

A cardioid microphone is the most common type used for vlogging as it is an unidirectional mic ideal for recording the human voice.

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Toby Grey contributes as a How To expert for BGR. Typing away like a keyboard super hero, he covers just about anything you can think of. If Toby isn't writing, he's probably reading a book or playing video games.