15 Best Budget Microphones For Vocals

best budget microphone for vocals

Are you in the market for a budget microphone that does the job without breaking the bank? Do you need a reliable backup to add to your microphone arsenal but don’t want to spend a fortune?

Microphones come in all shapes and sizes – and prices – which can make it tricky to separate the great bargains from the ‘get-what-you-pay-fors’. What might look like great value for money will sometimes be simply unfit for purpose.

With this in mind, we’ve rounded up the best budget microphones for vocals, including inexpensive products from big-name brands and lesser-known but entirely respectable manufacturers, to suit a range of purposes.

Whether you are after a decent discount dynamic mic or a cheap microphone for recording vocals, we’ll have you sounding your best in no time!

What are the best cheap microphones?

Shure SV200 Microphone

Shure SV200

Even with their reputation for high-end, industry-standard microphones, Shure still offers a host of affordable, entry-level products that still bear all the hallmarks of its trusted brand.

This dynamic mic is a great all-rounder, whether you are using it to record vocals or instruments or to perform live (which is where the handle’s on/off switch comes in very handy), making it a popular choice for first-time buyers.

It’s also been built to last, thanks to its rugged metal construction and dent-resistant grille, so you may find that you still have space for your SV200 in your collection even as it grows.

Pros

The build quality is excellent, especially considering the price

The SV200 comes with a durable XLR to XLR cable

Cons

Sound-wise, this mic can’t quite match up to the Shure SM58

Despite its cardioid pickup pattern, the SV200 is quite sensitive to background and handling noise

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AKG P3s

AKG P3s

In the P3s, AKG have created a professional all-purpose microphone at an unbeatable price.

In a studio setting, the P3s lives up to its range’s ‘Perception’ title, offering a particularly wide frequency response for a dynamic microphone, meaning you can use it to capture the brightness of such instruments as strings and pianos.

For live situations, the wire-mesh grille houses an integrated wind shield, which works well with the P3s’s tight carioid polar pattern to help reject any unwanted popping and off-axis noise.

The sturdy die-cast metal body belies the low cost – you would struggle to find a mic that feels this well-made for under a hundred.

Pros

AKG provide you with a mic stand clip and a case to keep your P3s safely in place

The on/off switch is easy to access and is very quiet

Cons

  • The P3s doesn’t come with a mic cable as a standard, but you can find this available as an add-on
  • While the die-cast handle will protect your P3s from damage, it is quite heavy to hold in your hand

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Amazon Basics Desktop Mini Condenser Microphone

Amazon Basics Desktop Mini Condenser Microphone

One of the best budget condenser microphones on the market comes from Amazon itself.

A popular choice for podcasters and YouTubers who are just starting out, this USB mic plugs straight into your computer – no set-up required.

Thanks to its wide frequency response, you can use your Amazon Mini Condenser Microphone for all kinds of audio projects, from chatting to your friends and family over Skype or FaceTime to recording vocals and instruments for the song you are working on.

If you want to record high-quality audio from the comfort of your desk, then look no further than Amazon Basics.

Pros

This mic is compatible with a range of operating systems (Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, and XP; Mac OS; and Linux)

Amazon provides you with a handy three-legged desktop stand

Cons

There’s no headphone output on this mic, which is a feature that many other streaming microphones do offer

This microphone’s output level is fairly low

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Audio Technica ATR1500x

Audio Technica ATR1500x

Audio Technica are perhaps best known for their incredibly popular condenser mic, the AT2020, but the ATR1500x shows that they have much more to offer.

The ATR1500x sits at the top end of Audio Technica’s ATRX range of entry-level instrument and vocal microphones. Instead of an integrated or detachable TRS connector, this mic keeps things professional with a fully detachable 5 metre XLR-XLR cable.

The ATR1500x also has the widest frequency responses of all the ATRX mic, capable of handling frequencies as low as 60 Hz.

Pros

The mic handle is solidly built from quality metal components, so it can withstand a fair amount of wear and tear

The cardioid polar pattern does a great job of rejecting noise from behind and to the sides of the mic

Cons

The ATR1500x’s frequency response is narrower than other vocal mics we have reviewed in its price range

Unlike other mics in the ATRX range, the ATR1500x doesn’t come with a desktop stand

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SubZero SZM-11

SubZero SZM-11

Despite what their low, low prices would have you believe, SubZero products are far from subpar.

Taking more than a couple of cues from the Shure SM58, the SZM-11 features a smart matt-black metal handle and a shiny metal grille. With a foam insert built into the mic itself, you no longer need to use a separate pop shield to protect your performance from plosives.

The frequency response rolls off at around 50 Hz, helping to keep the proximity effect under control – so you do not have to worry about getting a huge bass boost if you sing or speak too close to your SZM-11.

Pros

The tailored frequency response means that you can use your SZM-11 to get the most out of any vocal, low or high

For such an affordable product, it clearly has not been cheaply produced

Cons

No cable included

No on/off switch on the mic handle

Find on Gear4Music (UK)

Behringer SB 78A Condenser Mic

Behringer SB 78A Condenser Mic

Behringer offers a useful handheld alternative to dynamic mics that can help you capture an unmatched level of sonic detail: the SB 78A Condenser.

Being a condenser mic, the SB 78A’s response is not tailored to boost certain frequencies, giving you much more natural-sounding audio. It can also handle a wider range of frequencies than most dynamic mics, which means you can also use to to capture the sparkling high frequencies and rich low frequencies of instruments that dynamic microphones might miss.

With a tough die-cast body that still manages to be lightweight and compact, the Behringer SB 78A is a microphone you can trust in every sense.

Pros

Being a handheld condenser, the SB 78A is a versatile mic in a variety of situations, onstage or in the studio

This mic is clearly built with quality components

Cons

The low-cut filter switch is difficult to use

Like all condenser mics, the SB 78A will only work with phantom power, so make sure you switch that on at your mixing desk or audio interface

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Stagg SDM90

Stagg SDM90

Stagg are well-known for manufacturing reliable entry-level musical instruments and equipment, and the SDM90 lives up to that reputation.

From the smooth handle to the handy on/off switch, the handheld SDM90 has been carefully designed for ease and comfort. You can also mic up instruments using your SDM90 and expect decent results, although Stagg do have another model – the SDM70 – in this range that might do an even better job.

Stagg also provides you with 5 metre XLR to XLR cable and a plastic carry case to keep it in, so you get everything you need to pack up ready for practice.

Pros

The ergonomic handle is made from a sturdy zinc alloy

The included carry case is good quality

Cons

The SDM90 is not built to a professional standard – it should be fine for practices, but might struggle with gigs

The included XLR lead is not great quality

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Gear4music 3 Piece Microphone Set

Gear4music 3 Piece Microphone Set

If you want a handy suite of microphones that are ready to meet your gig, presentation, or karaoke needs, this three-piece set from Gear4music will do the trick.

These three dynamic unidirectional microphones, along with their accessories, all fit inside the provided carry case, giving you a ready-to-go kit to mic up multiple speakers or vocalists.

These mics use an XLR connector (cables sold separately), ensuring a balanced connection to your mixer that will prevent the loss of signal quality.

Pros

You get three microphones to add to your collection with one purchase

Each microphone comes with its own individual carry case and mic stand clip

Cons

These inexpensive microphones have a plastic build that cannot withstand rough treatment

The frequency response of the microphones is quite narrow, so they cannot capture the full definition of lower-frequency or higher-frequency instruments

Find on Gear4Music (UK)

Rode M1

Rode M1

The all-metal M1 from Australian manufacturer Rode is one of the most solid mics we have ever reviewed, so you definitely do not need to tip-toe around it. In fact, you could probably give it a good kicking without damaging it, although you wouldn’t want to scuff up the sleek black finish.

The M1 also has a low handling noise and gives a high, balanced signal output which amount to a clear sound without the need for too much gain, whether you are using it to mic up instruments or vocals.

If you prefer a more natural, untailored frequency response for live performance and recording vocals, check out the M2, Rode’s similarly robust handheld mic.

Pros

The quality of the build is unbeatable

The M1 responds better to higher frequencies than similar mics, such as the SM58

Cons

You will need to pay more for an M1 with an on/off switch

The M1’s frequency response drops off earlier than other mics in its price range, so it struggles a bit with lower-pitched vocals and instruments

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AudioPro USB Microphone

AudioPro USB Microphone

For pristine desktop recording, podcasting, and streaming at a fraction of the cost, AudioPro is a name you can trust.

Thanks to its USB-C connector, you can plug your AudioPro mic straight into everything from your laptop to your phone to your PlayStation 4 or 5 without needing an audio interface. The volume and gain dial are easy to reach from the front, as is the LED-lit mute button – plus you can plug your headphones directly into the bottom of the X5.

AudioPro also provides a stable, anti-skid desk stand which can tilt 360 degrees, giving you plenty of arrangement options without sacrificing too much desk space.

Pros

The onboard controls and headphone output are easy for you to reach from the front of the mic

The sound quality is easily as good as USB mics that cost twice as much

Cons

Unless you buy a separate boom arm, you will be quite limited in terms of how and where you can position your X5

As with all USB mics, the X5 is more vulnerable to signal interference as it does not use a balanced XLR cable

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sE Electronics V3

sE Electronics V3

You would be hard-pressed to find an entry-level microphone with such a professional design as the V3 from sE Electronics’ V series.

The V3 comes pre-fitted with a smart ‘sE red’ spring steel mesh grille featuring a bevelled edge and an internal windscreen, although you can easily swap it out for the included plain black foam alternative.

With the sE red grille still attached, this mic has a fully metal build. While you might miss the convenience of an on/off switch, this actually works in the V3’s favour – the mic’s shock-mounted capsule is kept away from any mechanical vibrations, so apart from its impressive output, this mic is virtually silent.

Pros

You get a frequency response and tight cardioid pattern that rivals the SM58 at about half the price

The handle design is ergonomic and user friendly

Cons

There is no on/off switch

The accessories, while good quality, are minimal and basic

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Sennheiser e835

Sennheiser e835

Get the e835 and treat your voice to Sennheiser’s top-level sound engineering at a very reasonable price.

With a balanced frequency response giving you a subtle yet noticeable presence boost with a menial proximity effect, your e835 will help your voice cut through any mix like a hot knife through butter without an overwhelming proximity effect. It almost goes without saying that, as a product bearing the Sennheiser badge of honour, the e835 is almost indestructible too.

If you love the mic but want an onboard on/off switch, you can always opt for the e835s.

Pros

The solid metal casing protects some equally well-engineered components

The frequency response has been carefully tailored to give you consistent control over your bass, mids and treble, even when you vary your distance from your e835

Cons

The standard e835 does not have an on/off switch

Sennheiser provides a mic stand clip and a soft case, but nothing else – you will need to purchase a separate XLR lead if you do not own one already

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Recording Starter Pack by Gear4music

Recording Starter Pack by Gear4music

If you want to start recording vocals at home but aren’t sure what accessories you’ll need, Gear4Music has got you covered.

In this set, you get a pair of comfortable HP-210 Stereo Headphones, a height-adjustable boom stand, a pop filter on a posable gooseneck, and much more.

The MC1 Condenser Microphone itself sounds great, with a width of frequency range to rival much higher-end alternatives.

Pros

All of the included accessories are high enough quality to get you started on your recording journey

The MC1 has an impressively tight cardioid pattern, which, coupled with the provided pop shield, virtually eliminates any unwanted sounds

Cons

The MC1 lacks onboard controls and a headphone output

You will need to purchase an audio interface to use this setup if you do not own one already

Find on Gear4Music (UK)

Samson Q7

Samson Q7

The smart minds at Samson Technologies have done an excellent job with their budget dynamic microphone, the Q7.

The Q7 has a particularly tight supercardioid pickup pattern, which means that if you are singing into the front of it and there is a bit of background noise behind it, your mic will ignore it.

The Q7’s frequency response is nice and smooth, too, so you will not get a huge boost of bass when you get close to it or lose your voice’s richness when you move further away from it. All in all, Samson has delivered a reliable, rugged dynamic microphone that will yield pleasing results in most situations.

Pros

This mic can handle high sound pressure levels (up to 147 db), which means you can use it for close miking without causing distortion – especially useful for loud vocals, snare drums, and guitar amps 

This mic has a solid die-cast body, so you can take it on the road with you for a good few years

Cons

The Q7’s frequency response is quite narrow compared to other mics in its range, going as low as 80 Hz and as high as 12 kHz

You do not get many accessories and the Q7 has no on/off switch

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Behringer XM8500

Behringer XM8500

Behringer has been the reigning champion of budget music equipment manufacturing for decades, and you can see why as soon as you open up the included hardcase and pick up your XM8500.

The second microphone to take more than a little inspiration from the SM58 on our list still manages to tick the main boxes: a tailored frequency responses that gently drops off at 50 Hz; a steel mesh windshield (although Behringer have opted for black on this occasion); and, robust metal housing – there’s nothing flimsy or plastic about this product.

The XM8500 has an integrated noise filter to help combat wind, pops, and other unwanted sound, and can effectively ignore background noise from the sides and the back.

Pros

The carry case is impact-resistant and has a foam insert to keep your XM8500 completely safe in transit

The build and sound quality are impressive at this price

Cons

This microphone doesn’t come with a cable

The microphone doesn’t have an onboard on/off switch

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Searching For The Best Budget Microphone For Vocals?

Our list proves that you don’t need to drop big bucks to get your hands on some of the best vocal microphones out there. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to add another mic to your kit, there are plenty of affordable microphones that can do the trick without skimping on quality.

If you’re diving deeper into the audio world, you might like to check out our other articles on the best USB microphones and best YouTube mics on the market.