If you’re looking for the best XLR microphone, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve scoured the internet to find the best options, and we’ve put them all together in one place so you can make the best decision for your needs.
No matter what your budget is, we’ve got you covered. We’ve found the best options under $100, $200, and even $500. So no matter your needs, we’ve got the perfect microphone for you. Look at our top picks and find the perfect one for your needs. You won’t be disappointed.
- 1 Top Rated 16 Best XLR Microphones Brands Of 2022
- 1.1 Shure SM7B
- 1.2 Rode NT1-A
- 1.3 Audio Technica AT2020
- 1.4 AKG Pro Audio C214 Professional Large
- 1.5 Aston Microphones Spirit
- 1.6 AKG P420
- 1.7 Rode PodMic
- 1.8 Heil Sound PR-40 Dynamic Studio Microphone
- 1.9 Neumann TLM 102
- 1.10 Electrovoice RE20
- 1.11 Marantz Pro MPM1000
- 1.12 Telefunken M82 (M82 Kickdrum Mic)
- 1.13 Slate Digital VMS
- 1.14 Stellar X2
- 1.15 Sennheiser E 935
- 1.16 sE Electronics VR2 Ribbon Microphone
- 2 What You Should Know About The Best XLR Microphones
- 3 FAQ
- 4 Conclusion
Top Rated 16 Best XLR Microphones Brands Of 2022
- At the same time, warm and close to home.
- It makes every room sound amazing.
- Filter with low cut
- Protective shielding against electromagnetic radiation
- You need lots of clean gains.
Some of us don’t have the luxury of recording in well-treated, expensive studios free from unwanted noise and sound reflections. The increasing popularity of podcasts and home studios means we are recording in less than ideal spaces.
It doesn’t matter. This mic can make vocals sound syrupy, even in rooms so poor they should be imprisoned for cruelty.
Close miking is a favorite trait of the SM7B, making vocals sound rich, rich, and seductive. It is also able to reject unwanted off-axis noise. This is partly due to its low sensitivity and close miking.
The frequency response is relatively linear, ranging from 100Hz to 12kHz. It ramps up from the bass and drops dramatically from the top end. Two switches allow you to adjust the amount of bass roll-off and presence boost you want.
The only problem is that the SM7B requires a lot of clean gains to work at its best. However, if your interface is not strong enough, you can easily fix it with a Cloudlifter. The SM7 B’s unique design includes a shock mount, pop filter, and electromagnetic shielding to combat hum from nearby electric appliances. This is a great tool for recording in difficult places.
The XLR microphone requires phantom power between +24V and +48V. This can be obtained in the form of either an interface or preamp. The microphone comes with an external shock mount, shock shield, downloadable instructional video, and 6-meter XLR cables to connect it to your interface. Although the microphone is small and not portable, it has a dust cover that protects it in your studio.
Audio Technica AT2020
Audio-Technica AT2020 is a top-of-the-line XLR microphone. It provides superior sound quality for vocal and instrumental use. Many people, including podcasters and home studio enthusiasts, love this microphone.
The AT2020 studio condenser microphone is side-addressed. This means that audio enters via the capsule’s openings. This XLR microphone records audio with exceptional sensitivity. It produces a rich, deep, and full-bodied sound that will amaze you.
These microphones are very accurate in recording soundwaves. This is why I used two of them to record acoustic guitar back then. They are now used as backup microphones for podcasts and voiceover recording.
Audio-Technica AT2020 microphone is engineered with a low-mass, custom-engineered diaphragm. This gives you a wider frequency range and better transient response than most microphones in this price bracket. This microphone is a great choice for budget-minded users.
AKG Pro Audio C214 Professional Large
- This rugged, vintage-inspired piece has a classic look.
- Outstanding built-in performance and features
- There is nothing, except maybe the thought that you should have saved more money and bought a 414.
It’s time to get one of the big guns. AKG has a rich history of producing high-quality microphones that are world-class. The AKG C414. The C214 is the younger brother of the AKG C414. The 214 is similar to the 414 but is much more affordable.
This condenser mic is large and single-diaphragm. To reduce mechanical noise, the diaphragm has been suspended. The frequency range is 20Hz to 20kHz, and the SPL of 156dB is impressive. A switchable low-cut filter can be used, and an attenuation pad with 20dB is available. The options available on the 214 may not be as extensive as those on the 414, particularly regarding the number and type of polar patterns.
It still produces that amazing AKG sound.
It is made with the typical AKG build quality, which means it will last a long time. It has a toughened metal grille and is scratch-resistant. What does it look like? We’ll be discussing this more later.
Its rugged construction makes it seem heavy for its small size. Although it is just six and a quarter inches in length, it is over three pounds. If you use a boom extension, ensure your microphone stand can withstand the challenge. It is the best XLR condenser microphone and will require Phantom power of +12v to +52v.
You can feel the purity of each frequency.
This mic is extremely AKG in performance, with well-defined mids, which give it an edge over its competitors. A crisp top end and warm bass frequencies are also included. It is hard not to be impressed. Absolute quality.
Its looks were the topic of our conversation. We think the best thing about this mic is how it looks. It has a retro vibe to it. It has a vintage feel that is similar to its more costly cousin. We like that. Although there are many condenser microphones with large diaphragms, they don’t have the same look. This is our opinion, the deal clincher.
Quality is not cheap.
Everyone has a chance to be a part of AKG’s action. Although it isn’t as affordable as others, it offers quality. It is still a lot cheaper than the 414. Is the AKG Pro Audio C214 considered one of the best XLR microphone 2020? Let’s just say that we have one guess. It was designed, engineered, and constructed in Austria.
Aston Microphones Spirit
- Excellent value
- Modifiable patterns
- Superb sound
- Quality construction
- Standard does not include a shock mount or pop filter.
The regular ol’ cardioid pattern is great for many applications, including vocal capture and miking up guitar cabs or percussion. It strikes the perfect balance, offering great tonality, isolation, and sufficient feedback resistance.
Sometimes, however, it isn’t right for the job. In these cases, you can reach for another mic or, in Spirit’s case, flip a switch to change the pattern. Although switchable condenser microphones are not new or unusual, the Spirit is unique in that it offers great versatility and value. It sounds amazing, too.
This mic is great for recording vocals and acoustic instruments. The Origin’s baby sibling, the Origin, is similar to this mic. It has a nice mid-range and a bright top. Aston isn’t a search for warmth or clarity. We are happy to report that the proximity effect is well controlled and didn’t translate into thinness after Omni was chosen. The third pattern, while less commonly used, is still very useful.
The switchable patterns can also be used with a selectable -10dB or -20dB attenuation pad and an 80Hz low cut filter. The Spirit Black Bundle includes a shock mount and pop filter, so you get a lot for your money.
The condenser microphone includes a shock mount, a carrying case, and some fricatives. However, you must purchase a pop filter to reduce the plosives. You will also need +44V to +52V Phantom power. It is made of all metal and has a static condenser. To reduce noise, you should always keep it in the shockmount.
Rode PodMic is a podcast microphone that I love, and one of the most XLR microphones Rode has ever made. First, I love the design aesthetics. It appears like a vintage broadcasting microphone you would find in a radio showroom. As the design suggests, this microphone was designed for podcasters and voice-based applications.
The microphone has many features that will help you get the best sound possible from your recordings. The microphone has an internal shock mounting system that can withstand vibrations without affecting your audio.
This is due to the air suspension in the capsule. To reduce plosives, there is an internal pop filter. These features are combined with cardioid patterns to create a well-controlled sound for your recordings.
The Rode PodMic is different from other microphones. It produces rich, balanced audio that has warm lows and crisp highs. This gives your vocals a professional sound. Your audio will sound more natural and authentic because it has a wide frequency range.
This microphone has too many uses, but if you want a microphone that can capture spoken words, the Rode PodMic will do just fine.
Heil Sound PR-40 Dynamic Studio Microphone
- It is well-built and has some great built-in screening features.
- Sound design is used for recording vocals and other voice-related recordings.
- It may be a bit expensive for some.
Heil Sound was founded in Illinois in 1966 and produced a variety of high-quality microphones and accessories. One of these is the PR-40.
This dynamic mic has a Cardioid design. The mic has a large diaphragm, and a copper wound NdFeB magnetic design that allows for a wide dynamic range. Due to its high SPL can produce higher volumes of sounds, such as a kick drum or a kick drum. The frequency range is from 28Hz to 18kHz.
To help with off-axis noise rejection, it has four ports at its rear. This eliminates the so-called proximity effect and creates a tight cardioid pattern.
It features a strong steel body and a Zinc-die-cast bottom ring. It also has an internal shock mounting made from Sorbothane, reducing handling noise. A humbucking shield protects the coil to prevent interference from monitors and lighting.
Practical and versatile
Smooth frequency responses result in a well-defined and precise mid-range. This makes it ideal for voice-over and vocal applications. This microphone is ideal for podcasts, interviews, and other applications that involve the voice.
Many design features can be used to help reduce unwanted sounds. These issues are kept to a minimum by using two separate mesh screens and an internal plosives filter.
Excellent vocal performance at a reasonable price
It is a very high-quality microphone with very precise features. This makes it ideal for recording voice. It is not the most expensive, but it is in the middle of the price range.
Neumann TLM 102
- A Neumann is an affordable option.
- Neumann character
- Small form factor
- But it was not so expensive.
Neumann refers to the TLM102 as an entry-level microphone. It is, in fact, the most affordable large-diaphragm condenser of German brands. The TLM 102 is a small mic that can easily handle most tasks. It’s aimed at home studios as well as small studios. This will be a great first purchase if you are just starting.
It’s not cheap, but we don’t claim it is. It’s not cheap, but it is a good way to get into Neumann’s quality and the Neumann brand.
The frequency response is remarkably flat throughout the mid-range, with a slight lift at 10KHz. It has a transparent, open sound that can capture the true voice of vocals and strings, and percussion. The bottom end is rich with warmth, just like a large-diaphragm cone. Close miking doesn’t cause any muddying.
It is a small mic for a large-diaphragm condenser. Although it is smaller than Neumann’s larger models, its tiny form factor makes it easy and convenient to place when miking strings or cabs. It doesn’t have a pad, but it has a high tolerance for SPL of 144dB, making it suitable for electric guitar and drums. It has a very low self-noise level, which won’t disturb quiet vocal recordings or sensitive acoustic.
This mic is the ideal all-rounder for those who like to invest a little money in a single mic that covers most bases.
The large-diaphragm minimizes unwanted electromagnetic interference for the humbucking coil. The RE20 uses a cardioid pattern to block sound from behind it. The mic includes a stand adapter, a carrying case, an internal pop filter, and an internal shockmount. An external shock mount can be purchased separately if you need additional protection from handling noise.
Marantz Pro MPM1000
Marantz Pro MPM1000 microphone is among the most affordable we have. This microphone is affordable and offers studio-quality quality. It’s easy for people to use it for their home projects, such as podcasts or voiceovers. This microphone is one of the few XLR microphones I needed to review.
Its low price is great. But how does it perform? It doesn’t have the best quality in terms of noise-to-signal ratio or responsiveness, but it is advertised for voiceover applications such as podcasts. Condenser capsules still use a wide frequency response to produce richer and fuller sounds while providing a transient response that matches our expectations. Our recordings had a great overall sound and were easy to produce.
The MPM1000 uses a cardioid design to reduce background noise. This is great for those recording at home and without an environment. This feature can also be used to prevent feedback if you are using a playback device while recording. This feature sounds fantastic when used in tight spaces.
It seems durable and the accessories included are far better than I expected, given their price. Although the shock mount and desktop stand are decent in quality, they were a pleasant surprise. The Marantz Pro MPM1000 is a great option for those on a tight budget or just starting.
Telefunken M82 (M82 Kickdrum Mic)
- It is a tough build at an attractive price.
- This product is designed to be efficient and specialized in low-frequency frequencies.
- Some people may need a more flexible mic.
Another German company with an interesting past. It was the radio force that powered the Zeppelins during World War 1. We won’t get into too many details. They survived both world wars and were merged into AEG. They gained a global reputation for consumer electronics and developed and worked closely with Neumann on their mics. They eventually went bankrupt.
It was re-acquired several times and continues to be used today. It’s almost. It was quite an interesting story.
It’s time to kick it in front of the kick drum.
The M82 dynamic microphone fills a gap in the Telefunken line-up. Although it can be used for many purposes, the M82 is designed to record kick drums.
This mic features a 1.37-inch moving-coil diaphragm with an excellent low-frequency response. Telefunken designed this mic from the bottom up to record low frequencies. It’s great for the kick drum, but you can also use it as a bass cabinet.
Or in front of the singer
Let’s not downplay it. This mic’s performance is similar to the EV RE-20 that we reviewed. It has a rich, punchy tone and will perform well with vocals.
Many great features are built-in, including an EQ filter that can be switched and a switchable high booster option that allows you to increase top frequency clarity. When used with the kick drum, it will emphasize the beater’s attack sound. Many sound management options are available to get the sound you want from your recording.
The sounds that you desire
Engineers will tell you it is a good idea for the sound to be as close as possible to the final sound during recording. This way, you don’t have too much to rely on post-production work. “Fix it in the Mix” may not be the best option. You can get the sound that you want with the built-in kickEQ. This will ensure that your kick sounds are not mushy or flabby.
The mic’s shell and grille are made of tough metal. It’s a great mic for low-frequency specialized work, but it doesn’t do everything. It’s not. This is an attractive option because it comes in the middle of the price range.
Slate Digital VMS
- Models of the most iconic mics
- You can do so much with just a touch of a button.
- Much cheaper than the real thing.
- There is no high-pass filter in analog chains.
What will you buy when you win the millions? A lime-green Lambo? A spot in the sun? A ’54 strat? Is it a box full of vintage microphones?
That’s the last thought. Imagine if you could access a virtual microphone locker right now. These sound almost identical to their physical ancestors, but for a fraction of what they cost.
Mic modeling has been around for a while, and we have found mixed results. The main problem with mic modeling is the lack of consistency in the signal chain. No matter how high-quality the modeling is, there is always the possibility that something will affect the authenticity of your sound. Making your sound more Sony than it is real.
Slate Digital has a solution. It controls the entire signal chain, from start to end, so its integrity can be guaranteed. The VMS suite has a colorless mic as well as a pre-amp. This is the only audio kit that can have a personality. However, it provides a blank canvas for Slate Digital to create its plugin.
It does so in eight different colors. The FG47 (the iconic U47), FG-801 and 800M (after Sony), FG-251 and Telefunken, FG-6 (Neumann), FG-12(AKG), FG-7 (Shure, loved by Michael Jackson), and the FG-269/Neumann are all available. The VMS also includes two software preamps, the FG-73(Neve 1073), FG-76 (based upon a Telefunken valve Telefunken), and the FG-76.
Thanks to the amazing results, we had a wonderful morning filled with delightful deja vu moments. Although these virtual microphones may not be as real as the real thing, they sound pretty close.
Although the plugin is the show’s star, it would not be possible to shine without the support of its two companions. Modeling is possible with the ML-1 mic, a large-diaphragm FET, and the bundled VMS ONE hardware preamp.
The Stellar X2 studio microphone is a large-diaphragm condenser mic that works well in a home studio. This mic was purchased recently to review. I am pleased to report that it excels in many areas. Studio microphones below $500 can be either very impressive or disappointing. The X2 has proven its worth so far.
The X2’s internal electronics are the most high-quality. They offer the highest conductivity & performance. This microphone is professional-grade, with gold traces and pure brass capsules. It’s easy to see why the recordings sound so natural.
Although there is a small limitation at the higher frequencies that I was concerned would make my audio sound more artificial, I found my audio to be as balanced as you would expect from a condenser.
High sensitivity and low self-noise produce strong recordings. I found the Stellar X2 to be extremely effective in recording vocals and instruments. Although it’s a smaller brand than others, I have been impressed with this microphone for the brief time I’ve had it.
This XLR microphone comes with a spring shock mount and foam wind cover. It is ready to use as soon as it is opened. The X2 is a great studio microphone for this price.
Sennheiser E 935
- Prioritize vocals over all other instruments
- Strong metal construction
- Good feedback rejection
- Low handling noise
It’s a very crowded market, with the Shure SM58 dominating it but many others trying to take its crown. To survive in this market, you have to offer something unique. The e 935 is a good example of that.
Sennheiser has custom-voiced the e935 and given it lots of output to make live vocals pop out in the mix. The e 935 has transparent high-end and defined mids that increase vocal intelligibility. This is so even delicate voices won’t get lost in the mix of keys, guitars, drums, and bass.
Some dynamic mics can have trouble with the mid-range, making vocals sound muffled and indistinct. But, the e935 has that Sennheiserish clarity.
The cardioid design of the shock mount helps in this quest for good on-stage isolation and offers excellent feedback rejection. The internal shock mount keeps thumps and bumps at bay and reduces electromagnetically-induced noise.
Sennheiser is proud to show how this mic, which has a smart appearance, can be mistreated. It’s so bad that Sennheiser made an extreme video showing it being unscientifically destroyed by hammer blows and drops from high places. It should make it to Friday night at Nag’s Head.
sE Electronics VR2 Ribbon Microphone
- The frequency response is flat and broad.
- Clear, transparent sound
- High output, low noise active circuitry
- Ribbons are a good value.
Ribbon mics are loved by producers for their sensitive but detailed characteristics. Ribbon mics sound natural, warm, and clear. We could go on, but the point is that ribbons will make your recordings sound exactly like they should. Authentic.
When used with pre-amps of different impedance ratings, they can sometimes lack top-end response and inconsistent performance.
These criticisms have been addressed by Siwei Zou, CEO of sE Electronics and classical musician. The Voodoo VR2 is designed to offer a wider frequency response than usual. The response curve of the Voodoo VR2 is very linear, with only a slight presence boost between 2KHz to 10KHz. This mic will capture all the details and capture them authentically, so take our word for it.
Ribbon mics are typically passive. This means you can change their sonic characteristics by connecting them to preamps of different impedances. A low-impedance preamp, for example, will produce a sound with lower bass response. This can help reduce proximity effects.
Producers with many preamps or preamps with variable impedance use these to their advantage. It’s a bit like EQ. If this sounds too complicated, the VR2 ribbon, which has active circuitry, is the best option. This ensures it is utterly consistent regardless of the preamp’s impedance. It also gives it superior signal-to-noise performance and high output – which are great benefits for recording quiet instruments.
What You Should Know About The Best XLR Microphones
What is an XLR microphone?
XLR microphones can be used in many applications, including recording instruments and vocals, broadcasts, live performances, and radio broadcasts. XLR microphones are not susceptible to the same electrical noise issues as USB microphones, resulting in a clean, high-quality sound that is easy to edit in post-production.
An audio interface or preamp is required to connect one of these microphones to your computer’s recording software. An interface is not necessary if the microphone you’re using for live performance. It all depends on whether the microphone is condenser or dynamic.
What is the difference between a dynamic and condenser microphone?
The main difference between condenser and dynamic microphones is that the former doesn’t require phantom power from an interface to produce an output, while the latter does.
Dynamic microphones can also withstand high volumes without distortion. This makes them ideal for recording loud instruments in the studio or picking up loud voices or instruments in live performances.
Condenser microphones can be more sensitive, making them great for recording in isolated studios where you need to hear the details of a vocal or acoustic instrument.
What are the uses of different polar patterns?
Depending on what you intend to use your XLR microphone for, you’ll need to search for a particular polar pattern. This is the shape in a microphone picks-up sound.
These polar patterns are the main ones: cardioid (omnidirectional), bidirectional, hypercardioid, and supercardioid. Depending on where the microphone is placed or pointed, each polar pattern may have certain uses that are more appropriate.
XLR microphones, cables, and reduced noise
Cables that exceed 15 feet can act as long antennas and pick up electromagnetic interference. This can be heard as buzzing or grainy noise that, unless one is a student of Holger Czukay (the late Holger Czukay), rarely contributes to performance.
The XLR cable is a type ‘balanced’ XLR cable. It overcomes this problem with some clever phase inversion tricks. An XLR cable has more than one core. Depending on the specialist’s use, they can have as many as seven. A ground wire and a hot signal wire carry the audio signal. The third wire, called the cold, carries the audio signal but is inverted.
This seems absurd initially, as the cold wire will surely mute the hot wire. You can’t hear anything if you invert two identical audio signals, known as “out of phase.” The two signals will cancel each other out. Both wires are equally susceptible to noise, just like an unbalanced one.
It is quite simple but brilliant. The trick is to turn the inverted cold channel into a phase at the end. The hot channel matches it exactly, so you can hear the original audio loud and clear. However, if you re-invert the second channel, the noise will now be out of phase and can therefore be canceled. Clever, eh?
This may take some time to understand, but don’t be discouraged. Balanced cable runs aren’t subject to the same noise problems as unbalanced cables. One caveat: we are referring to additional noise that cables pick up and no noise from the room or mic during recording or performance.
There are many balanced cables, like TRS, but XLR is the best with all its extra features, phantom Power being the most important.
Phantom power and grounding are explained.
Power is required to activate mics, such as high-sensitivity models like condensers. This power can be supplied occasionally by an onboard battery. Still, it is more commonly provided by an audio interface or mixing desk and delivered via anXLR cable at pins two through three. Phantom power is a term for this supply. It haunts audio wires instead of having its wire. The latter is the norm.
The XLR’s ground wire on pin one is particularly important because of the presence of phantom power. Pin one should be slightly longer than pins 2 and 3. This ensures that the XLR connector can be plugged into a socket. Your expensive mic will be grounded just seconds before it starts to flow, protecting it against potentially dangerous electrical shorts.
Ground wire works with the cable’s braided/metal shielding to reduce interference and noise that could ruin your audio signal.
Some relevant posts:
- Best Microphone For Youtube Videos 2022: Top Brands Review
- Blue Microphone Yeti Pro Review 2022: Top Full Guide
- Shure Microphone Review 2022: Top Full Guide
How much is a good XLR mic?
Below are my best xlr condenser mic at different price points: Shure SM7B. Rode Procaster. Under $200: Audio-Technica AT2035.
Is XLR higher quality?
Each component of an XLR microphone is independent of the microphone. You can choose which equipment you need to accomplish each task. Each device will produce a better recording because it focuses on its particular job.
Is XLR mic better than USB?
Although USB microphones may not have the same quality as XLR microphones in certain areas, they are generally easier to transport and much cheaper. XLR microphones pack more punch but are more expensive and require additional equipment.
Is Shure MV7 good for singing?
There are some key differences. The SM7B is versatile enough for rap, rock vocals, guitar cabs, and drums. However, the MV7 was optimized for speech applications such as podcasting and singing.
The best xlr microphone for singing is the one that meets your specific needs. The Neumann TLM 102 will be a good choice if you’re looking for a microphone in a recording studio. If you need a microphone for live performances, then the Shure SM58 would be a better option. Thanks for reading!
Last update on 2022-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API