A good podcast not only requires strong content but high-quality equipment as well. The most essential piece of equipment any podcaster can have is a condenser microphone. A superior condenser microphone will add tremendous value to your podcast, providing you with recordings that pick up the subtlest details with crystal-clear clarity while blocking out unnecessary background noises. In this article, we will help you take your podcast to the next level by guiding you to the best condenser microphones on the market.
1. What Is a Condenser Mic?
A condenser microphone is one that uses a condenser, or capacitor, to store energy in the form of an electrostatic field. It is the standard choice for studio recording because its low mass allows it to follow sound waves accurately while providing superior sound quality.
2. What Can I Do with a Condenser Mic?
A condenser microphone is suitable for a wide variety of studio tasks. With a condenser microphone, you can record both vocals and instrumentals for various media, such as music, videos, and podcasts.
3. Where Can I Buy the Best Condenser Mics?
You can find varying selections of condenser microphones at any store carrying recording equipment. For the easiest access to the best condenser microphones, however, we recommend you take a look online on sites like Amazon.
How We Reviewed
We chose these ten condenser microphones because of their wide acclaim for superior sound recording. We decided to put them to the test by reviewing them according to their features, pros and cons, prices, and warranties. Our reviews will share all the essential details you need to know about these products. For your convenience, our reviews also include links for you to purchase them.
Overall Price Range
These condenser microphones range in price from $ to $$$. The main price determinants include their build quality, the materials used, the inclusion of innovative technologies, the level of sound detail, and the brand name.
What We Reviewed
Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone
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- A premium valve condenser microphone designed to provide incredible detail and warmth in the studio
- The electronic circuitry complementing this very sensitive transducer includes a hand-selected twin-triode 6922 valve and audiophile grade components
- The rich valve sound is ideal for vocals, acoustic instruments, drum overheads, guitar amps and pianos
The Rode NTK Premium Tube Cadioid Condenser Microphone is an Amazon’s Choice product primed to ride the line between affordability and quality. This is a premium valve condenser microphone that captures crisp details and delivers a rich sound. It features a cardioid polar pattern, which makes it ideal for most single instrument recording scenarios. Inside, it comes equipped with superior electronic circuitry with a handpicked twin-triode 6922 valve and components that would satisfy the rigorous standards of any audiophile.
The sound range of the Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone is ultra-wide and dynamic. This mic excels at capturing both low noises and high ones alike with the same delicate attention to detail.
The Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone is ideal for recording vocals, acoustic instruments, drum overheads, guitar amps, and pianos.
The Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone comes with a limited 1-year warranty.
Neumann U 87 Ai Switchable Studio Microphone
- 3 selectable directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-810dB attenuation switch127dB SPL handling 20Hz to 20kHz response Impedance rated at 200 ohms.
The Neumann U 87 Ai Switchable Studio Microphone is among the best known and most widely used studio microphones in the world. This modern day classic offers reliable access to the highest quality in studio recording. There is a reason why the best studios see this large-diaphragm microphone as an industry standard.
The Neumann U 87 Ai features the ultimate versatility in its three selectable directional patterns, including omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-8. It comes updated with modern circuitry, increasing its operational headroom by decreasing resistance and elevating its sensitivity by 10dB. These recent improvements result in a signal-to-noise ratio increase of 3dB.
This studio microphone comes with a switchable 10dB pre-attenuation pad. When this pad is activated, the mic can accept sound pressure levels of up to 127dB, making it perfect for capturing audio from tom-toms or amplified guitars. It also features a handy switch that cuts off low-frequency sounds to reduce the muddiness that often gets mixed into the sound of other microphones.
The Neumann U 87 Ai Switchable Studio Microphone does not come with a warranty.
Audio-Technica AT2035 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source
- Large diaphragm for smooth, natural sound and low noise
- Pop Filter to eliminate the annoying "plosives" from your recordings
- 10ft. XLR Cable to connect the mic to your mixer or interface
- Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
The Audio-Technica AT2035 Cardioid Condenser Microphone is an Amazon’s Choice product that delivers superior sound capturing capabilities that outperform its highly affordable price point. It uses a cardioid polar pattern that minimizes sounds from the sides and rear while isolating a specific sound source. It comes equipped with a large diaphragm for rich, natural sounds and a pop filter that eliminates unpleasant sound pops from your recordings. As a bonus, Audio-Technica also provides a microfiber cleaning cloth to help you maintain it for long years of use.
The Audio-Technica AT2035 Cardioid Condenser Microphone comes with a limited 30-day warranty.
Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone
- The price/performance standard in side address studio condenser microphone technology
- Ideal for project/home studio applications; The noise level is 20 db spl
- High spl handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility
- Custom engineered low mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response
- Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source. Output connector:integral 3 pin XLRM type
The Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone includes a hard mount and a soft case. It is equipped with a 1.1″ diameter evaporated gold diaphragm that is able to pick up smooth and accurate sounds. It uses a cardioid pickup pattern that is ideal for isolating specific sound sources from unwanted background noises. Its body and capsule are made of solid brass, providing the ultimate durability.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone comes with a limited 1-year warranty.
MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone
- Large 32mm pressure gradient condenser capsule
- Gold-sputtered, 6 micron density diaphragm
- Solid state preamp balanced transformer output
- MXL-57 isolation shock mount available
The MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone is an Amazon’s Choice product that provides a level of recording quality you would not expect for the price. Its design screams luxury with its gold-sputtered, 6-micron density diaphragm and forest green finish. It features a large 32mm pressure gradient condenser capsule and a solid state preamp balanced transformer output.
The MXL V67G excels at capturing sounds with crystal clarity while retaining a warmth that is pleasant to the ears. It records penetrating vocals above rich tracks that makes it ideal for recording music, particularly R&B, pop, rock, and country. Easy to use and highly versatile, it is also an excellent microphone for podcasts and will make the job easy with great clarity.
The MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone comes with a generous 3-year warranty.
Blue Microphones Kiwi Microphone Kc
- Nine-pattern condenser-cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-8 with variable settings in between
- Class A discrete amplifier circuit
- Blue's famous hand-built B6 large-diaphragm capsule
- Modern tone with a smooth extended top end with nine different pattern selections for tremendous versatility
- Hand-tuned and tested
The Kiwi Microphone is Blue Microphone’s gorgeous crown jewel with an elegant design of green, gold, and platinum. This multi-colored microphone is a nine-pattern condenser, providing easy access to cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8 recording with variable settings in between. It comes with a Class A discrete amplifier circuit, as well as Blue’s world-renowned, hand-built, B6, large-diaphragm capsule.
Blue Microphones’ Kiwi Microphone is hand-tuned and tested that delivers a modern tone and achieves a smooth extended top end through its nine different pattern selections.
The Blue Kiwi Microphone comes with a 3-year limited warranty.
Studio Projects B1 Vocal Condenser Microphone
The Studio Projects B1 Vocal Condenser Microphone is a large diaphragm, cardioid microphone with a pressure-gradient transducer. It features a superior, transformer-less design to deliver high-quality recordings with extremely low background noise. Its gold sputtered large diaphragm provides the finest quality and attention to detail in vocal and instrumentation recordings.
Included with every Studio Projects B1 Vocal Condenser Microphone are a shock mount, a foam screen, a manual, and associated packaging.
The Studio Projects B1 Vocal Condenser Microphone comes with a 1-year warranty.
AKG Pro Audio C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
- Sonic character of the C414 XLII for beautifully detailed recording of lead vocals and solo instruments
- Outstanding dynamic range and ultralow noise for close-up recording of high-output sources of up to 156dB SPL
- Switchable 20dB attenuator and bass-cut filter for close-up recording and reduction of proximity effect
- Integrated suspension to reduce mechanical noise and vibration from stage
- Roadworthy design all-metal die-cast body with shock- and scratch-resistant finish
The AKG Pro Audio C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone is an Amazon’s Choice product that comes in a sleek, black and silver design that is sure to give your studio a refined, professional look. It features a wide dynamic range that allows it to capture ultra-low noise for closeup recordings of high-output sources up to 156dB SPL. It comes with a switchable 20dB attenuator and bass-cut filter designed for close-up recording and the reduction of proximity effects. It is also equipped with an integrated suspension to decrease mechanical noises and vibrations.
The AKG Pro Audio C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone is built to last with an all-metal die-cast body and a shock and scratch resistant finish.
It comes with a carrying case, a windscreen, and a spider-type shock mount.
The AKG 214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone comes with a 2-year warranty.
Sterling Audio St55 Large Diaphragm Fet Condenser Microphone
The Sterling Audio St55 Large Diaphragm Fet Condenser Microphone features a large capsule with an ultra-thin 3-micron evaporated gold Mylar diaphragm. The St55 is carefully crafted through an exclusive process that extends higher frequencies and improves the clarity of details and overall depth on vocal and instrumental recordings. It features Sterling Audio’s Disk Resonator system, an innovative technology that compensates for the 14kHz frequency roll-off found in large diaphragm mics and produces increased sensitivity, a fuller frequency response, and a lower signal-to-noise ratio.
The Sterling Audio St55 Large Diaphragm Fet Condenser Microphone also sets itself apart from competitors through its diaphragm thickness. Most modern condensers come with diaphragms measuring 6 to 12 microns. The St55, however, has an ultra-thin diaphragm membrane made of Mylar, measuring just 3 microns and resulting in superior sensitivity.
The Sterling Audio St55 Large Diaphragm Fet Condenser Microphone comes with a 1-year warranty.
sE Electronics sE2200 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone
The sE Electronics sE2200 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone that improves upon the original sE2200 with a new black, rubberized finish and a trusty shock mount. This condenser microphone is built for versatility, serving users in all purposes, whether you are recording guitar riffs at a professional studio or making a podcast from home.
The sE2200 comes with a cardioid polar pattern that provides a stellar, up-front sound with low-noise operation. It comes with a variety of extra onboard options, so you have the freedom to experiment to your delight.
The SE Electronics sE2200 is discontinued and does not come with a warranty.
The Verdict: The Best Condenser Microphones for Podcasting
We found a lot to be impressed by while reviewing these ten microphones, but we walked away with the most favorable experiences when working with three in particular. We decided that the best condenser microphones for podcasting are the Neumann U 87 Ai Switchable Studio Microphone (price rating: $$$), Blue Microphones’ Kiwi Microphone (price rating: $$$), and the MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone (price rating: $).
The Neumann U 87 Ai Switchable Studio Microphone is something of a staple in the recording industry; it is well known and regarded for its unparalleled sound quality. This is a phenomenal microphone whose performance merits its staggering price. In fact, it is quite possible that its sound recording capabilities far exceed what most podcasters need.
It should also be noted that making full use of this microphone requires a certain level of sound engineering and recording know-how, giving it a somewhat steep learning curve. Its sheer quality, however, is unmatched, and if you want the best sound, the Neumann U 87 Ai will deliver.
The Kiwi Microphone by Blue is a more affordable way to get peak performance from your recordings (though it is still on the pricier side). This microphone is highly versatile, featuring nine directional patterns. It also has excellent build quality, with a hand-built, large-diaphragm capsule. Whether you are podcasting or recording music, the Kiwi Microphone provides professional grade sound and is fairly easy to use.
For a more affordable condenser microphone, however, look no further than the MXL V67G Large Capsule Condenser Microphone. Its performance is marvelous, far exceeding what most people would expect from a microphone at the lower end of the price range. It is also extremely beginner-friendly, making it perfect for that home studio you just started. Whether you are just looking to podcast or also hoping to record music, the MXL V67G will meet all your needs at a great price.