What is the best home recording mic under $100?
In this post we are going to talk about the best home recording mic for under $100. To be realistic, let me first say that there truly isn't one "magic bullet" when it comes to microphones for the home music studio. In the ideal world, each recording application may require a different mic.
With the home music studio on a budget in mind, I hope to narrow down the search for a few quality multipurpose options. Options that will deliver the best audio possible, for under $100.
As I've just stated, there really isn't just one microphone that will work well in every recording application. For this reason I want to talk about the top three units that made my list of the best home recording mic under $100.
I've also included links to purchase any of these mics from one of the best suppliers on the web, Musicians Friend. Should you decide to buy just click on the link and it will take you directly to their site. Know that a small portion of your purchase will go back into Home Music Studio 1.
Shure SM58 $99.00
The Shure SM58 has long been an industry standard for stage vocals. The same holds true in the home studio recording environment. When it comes to versatility, the SM58 certainly holds its own. This mic works great for voice overs and vocal tracks of all kinds.
The SM58 produces a clear sound with very low background noise. It can handle being banged around a bit and will still keep working.
Though this mic is really designed to reproduce a beautiful vocal track, it can be used in many other applications as well. I've used the SM58 to record everything from vocals to acoustic guitar. For this reason the Shure SM58 is on my list of the best home recording mic under $100.
Shure SM57 $99.00
Much like it's SM58 counterpart, the Shure SM57 Instrument/Vocal Microphone has been a stage workhorse for years. It is also a great addition to any home music studio. The SM57 can do a great job recording vocals and yet it works well for recording many instruments.
The SM57 is an excellent choice for both snare and tom drums. It can be used to close mic many acoustic instruments like guitar, mandolin, cajon and even guitar amp cabinets.
The SM57 has a great ability to capture a very true sound to it's source. I've often said that you simply can't have too many Shure SM58's or SM57's in your home music studio.
I can say with confidence that the Shure SM57 is certainly on the, best home recording mic under $100, list.
MXL - MXL 990 Large Diaphragm Condenser $99.99
Of the 3 mics on our list, the MXl - MXl 990 Condenser Microphone With Shockmount is by far the most impressive for the money. The easy price tag of $99.99 gets you the mic, a nice hard cover case, and the shock mount with clip.
If you've been around the home music studio scene for a while then you know that a large diaphragm condenser mic is often the gem of the studio.
Because of their size and design elements, large diaphragm condenser mics usually produce more clarity than a small diaphragm condenser does. The MXL 990 is no exception to this rule. It's truly hard to believe it's only $59.99 for the quality of sound it produces.
This mic is great for voice overs and vocal tracks alike. It can also be used in a variety of other applications for a satisfying result. I've used this mic for Congas, acoustic instruments and vocals. For the money you truly can't beat it.
If I were going to pick the best home recording studio mic for under $100, the MXL 990 would be it. No, it's not the end all be all but it is a great choice to begin with because of its price, versatility and quality.
My hope is that this list will be helpful to you in your pursuit to build your home music studio on a budget. As always, I'd love to hear any comments or feedback you may have. Please add your thoughts to the comments section below.
Update: Since the time of writing this post I've come across another large diaphragm that should definitely be on the list for the best home recording mic under $100. Take a look at the AT202 by Audio Technica.
Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser $99.99
Audio-Technica’s stringent quality and consistency standards set the AT2020 apart from other mics in its class. Its low-mass diaphragm is custom-engineered for extended frequency response and superior transient response. With rugged construction for durable performance, the microphone offers a wide dynamic range and handles high SPLs with ease. The AT2020: the new standard for affordable side-address studio condensers.