Best Microphones For Under $100
Whether you are looking to record yourself for a singing talent show, speak with your students in an online class, or just want to do some voice-over for your latest YouTube project, a good microphone is a must-have. If you are just starting you might be looking for the best microphone you can buy on a budget.
We have checked out dozens of microphones that are readily available in the market and have finalized a list of five which we feel are the best microphones that don’t go above $100.
Budget Microphones (<$100) Compared
Best Microphones For Under $100
1. Shure SM58-LC
- Unidirectional cardioid pattern
- Designed for vocal performances.
- Wireless design.
There are several things to like about the Shure SM58-LC cardioid dynamic vocal microphone. It features a unidirectional cardioid pattern. The microphone is designed for vocal performances mainly. A wireless design that ensures a tangle-free experience. The package comes with a wind noise-reducing pop-filter.
In terms of frequency response, the Shure SM58-LC is responsive from 50 to 15,000 Hz. The system works on a single Lithium-ion battery. There is a little bit of an issue in handling noise. This is something that many vocalists and content creators have pointed out.
You can always use a boom arm or a table mount shock-absorbing mount. The system comes with a pneumatic shock mount system that reduces overall handling noise.
- Uniform cardioid pattern.
- Excellent main sound isolation
- Good suppression of background noise.
- The base model does not come with a built-in on-off switch.
2. Audio-Technica AT2020
- Excellent noise suppression.
- Low mass diaphragm.
- 20 db SPL noise level supported.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 uses a cardioid pattern that ensures that surrounding noise is suppressed and only the main sound is picked up. An interesting stand-out feature is that the AT2020 uses a custom engineered low mass diaphragm. The result of this is extended frequency response and much superior transient response.
For easy mounting and use the AT2020 comes with a pivoting threaded stand mount. And while we are talking about the construction quality of the mic, it is pertinent to mention that it is a fantastically well-built mic.
Please note the reason that the AT2020 comes with a 3 pin XLRM type connector is that it requires Phantom power.
- Cardioid polar pattern.
- Uses a 3 pin XLRM type connector.
- Frequency response 20-20,000 Hz.
- Requires phantom power.
3. Blue Snowball iCE
- Custom condenser capsule.
- Frequency response 40- 18 kHz.
- Plug and play design.
For non-vocals requirements, you need a slightly different microphone design. Tasks like podcasting or skype calls or live-streaming require a microphone that can be plugged in and played without the need for additional software.
The Blue Snowball iCE serves that purpose. You can plug this into your Mac or Windows laptop using a USB port. The frequency response of the microphone is 40 – 18 kHz.
The Blue Snowball iCE is a USB 2.0 device. But don’t worry about that, your USB 3.0 port is backward compatible and will work just fine. Works flawlessly as a live-streaming mic. So, if you are streaming on Twitch or YouTube, this is a nice piece of hardware to invest in.
- Custom condenser capsule design.
- Certified for use with Skype and Discord.
- Works with PS4 too.
- Blue Snowball iCE is a USB 2.0 device.
4. FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone
- Cardioid condenser microphone design.
- Boom arm and microphone mount provided.
- Double pop-filter provided.
We love the FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone. This one is a complete package. It comes with a condenser microphone, an adjustable scissor arm, a pop filter, a shock mount, and cables. If you are looking for a complete solution for voice-overs, voice recording, podcasting, streaming this is a great package to go for.
A good thing about this condenser microphone package is that it is a plug-and-play device. Meaning you can unbox it, plug it into your computer via the USB port, and start using it right away. No need for additional software.
In terms of design, the boom arm is an all-steel design. Overall quality is very satisfying.
- Plug and play device.
- Low-profile table hugging design.
- Comes with 2 years of extended warranty.
- Not compatible with x-box and phones.
5. Razer Seiren X
- Super-cardioid pattern.
- Unidirectional polar pattern.
- Built-in shock mount.
One of the things that we love about the Razer Seiren X is that it comes with zero-latency monitoring. This is useful when you are trying to avoid echoes that can be confusing to the audience. The Razer Seiren X uses a super-cardioid pattern that ensures nothing distracting in the background is ever picked up, isolating the main sound.
The mic comes with a built-in shock mount. This is a nice touch as it eliminates the chances of the microphone getting affected by vibrations leading to a smooth recording performance.
We also love the compact form of the mic. Without the need for a boom arm, filters, and external shock mount this has a low profile.
- Built-in background noise cancellation.
- Comes with zero-latency monitoring.
- Unique design with an anodized aluminum finish.
- Setting up takes a bit more time than what is expected.
Choosing A Microphone Under $100
If you are trying to buy a microphone under $100 you will be surprised to see the number of choices that you have. The real task is identifying the one that matches your requirements.
Condenser microphones are by far the most popular of all microphones. They are great for both vocals as well as instruments, and that is why are preferred by both musicians and vocalists. They are also great for podcasters, voice-over artists, and content creators like vloggers.
Frequency response is a key factor when you are choosing a microphone. For vocalists, a mid-range frequency is more than enough. For people who are looking to use a microphone in a studio environment, picking up both low and high-frequency sounds, a microphone with a larger frequency response is recommended.
USB vs. XLR
If you are looking for a plug-and-play solution, we highly recommend the USB microphones as they come with a standard USB plug that you can plug-in into your computer or laptop.
However, please note that these microphones will lack phantom power and if that is a requirement, we recommend going for a 3 pin XLRM type connector. Integrated shock mounts are a requirement for people looking for a one-stop solution for their recording needs.
Depending on your budget there are a bunch of good microphones that are available in the market. We recommend that you make a list of all the features that you need and then go about matching the microphones that tick all the boxes. This is the simplest process of getting the best microphone for your needs under $100.