This article aims to give you helpful information on the best condenser mic under 200 and how to choose the right model.
Condenser mics are very popular among professional recorders as well as amateurs, thanks to their great versatility and functions. They are generally very expensive, though.
Despite the usually high price, not all condenser mics can work as well as the way you want it to. As if that’s not enough, many manufacturers love to brag about how great their products are meanwhile they are not really that great. The marketing gimmicks they use also make it even more difficult to purchase the most suitable mics.
With that in mind, we want to offer you the top 15 products at an affordable price. Without further ado, let’s begin!
- Best Condenser Mic Under 200 Per Category
- 1. Blue Yeti USB - Best Overall
- 2. Rode NT-USB - Best Compatibility
- 3. Audio-Technica AT2020 - Best Sound Quality
- 4. Shure MV88 Portable IOS Condenser Microphone - Best Sensitivity
- 5. MXL Mics 770 - Best Sound Clarity
- 6. Rode M3 End-Address - Best Power
- 7. AKG Pro Audio P220 - Best Large-Diaphragm Microphone
- 8. Rode M5-MP Matched Pair Condenser Microphones - Best Matched Pair
- 9. AKG Pro Audio P420 - Best SPL Applications
- Buying Guides
- What You Get From A Condenser Mic?
Best Condenser Mic Under 200 Per Category
1. Blue Yeti USB - Best Overall
Our top pick is the Blue Yeti USB, with many distinctive features.
- Four pickup patterns
- Wide frequency range
It consists of four pickup patterns, namely cardioid, Omni, bidirectional, and stereo, making it highly flexible.
With the custom three-capsule array, it can deliver clear, high quality sound for YouTube, game streaming, podcasting, Skype, music, and so on.
Not only that, the product offers a very wide frequency range (20 Hz - 20,000 Hz).
Since this model is the top pick in our list, we find nothing to complain about it.
- It comprises four pickup patterns.
- Highly versatile.
- It has a high frequency range.
- There is nothing to complain about.
2. Rode NT-USB - Best Compatibility
The next candidate on our list is the Rode NT-USB , which is famous for its great compatibility.
- Compatible with many devices
- Accessories included
- Zero-latency monitoring
The condenser mic is virtually compatible with most devices - computers, Apple iPads, and so on, without any interface or mixer needed.
This product comes with some extra accessories. They include a pop shield, a tripod desk stand, a ring mount, a storage pouch, and a 6m (20’) USB cable.
And you know what - it allows you to enjoy zero-latency monitoring thanks to the 3.5-millimeter stereo headphone jack.
Amazing as the product is, we do not recommend it for home podcasters because it can record the noise from the surrounding areas.
- You can connect it to many devices.
- It comes with multiple accessories.
- It has zero-latency monitoring.
- It is not ideal for home podcasters.
3. Audio-Technica AT2020 - Best Sound Quality
If you are looking for pristine sound quality, take a look at the Audio-Technica AT2020 .
- Premium sound quality
- Ideal for home studio applications
With the cardioid polar pattern, this model can capture the sound from the front very well, but it is not too sensitive to side or back sound sources.
The product is rock-solid constructed with a hardy metal grill with a threaded mount stand, providing extra stability.
Since the noise level is 20 dB SPL, it is most conducive to applications and recording projects at home.
The only minus point about this model is that it doesn't include an XLR cable.
- The sound quality is superb.
- It is very sturdy.
- It works very well with home studio applications.
- It doesn’t include an XLR cable.
4. Shure MV88 Portable IOS Condenser Microphone - Best Sensitivity
The Shure MV88 Portable iOS prides itself on its superb sensitivity to sound.
- High sensitivity
Because the sensitivity of the diaphragm is -37 dBFS/Pa, the mic allows you to record instruments with tremendous ease.
This product offers great adjustability, too. You can tilt, flip and rotate it up to 90° for optimal stereo clarity.
We give this model another plus point for its ideal weight - 0.09 lbs.
Unfortunately, it is only compatible with iOS devices only.
- It is highly sensitive.
- You can easily adjust it.
- It is lightweight.
- It is compatible with iOS devices only.
5. MXL Mics 770 - Best Sound Clarity
For extra clear recording, the MXL Mics 770 is the perfect choice.
- Great clarity
- Patented design
- Ideal for streaming and podcasting
Thanks to the low frequency roll-off and the low noise FET preamp, the mic effectively reduces unwanted rumble and delivers balanced output.
Another worth-mentioning feature is the patented design with a black finish, gold detailing, and rock-solid chassis construction.
The product features a balanced blend of warmth and brightness, making it highly recommended for streaming and podcasting.
However, the compact shock mount is a bit flimsy.
- It delivers great clarity.
- The design is well-made and patented.
- It brings out the best for streaming and podcasting.
- The compact shock mount is a bit flimsy.
6. Rode M3 End-Address - Best Power
If you find phantom power inconvenient, give the Rode M3 End-Address a try.
- Excellent battery power
- Ideal for electric guitars
- Accessories included
Unlike most of its competitors, this model can run either on P48 phantom power or a 9V battery inside.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the product is the best option for electric guitar amplifiers. The tone is perfect: it is clear, crisp and highly resonant.
This model comes with accessories, namely a windshield, a mic clip, and a zip pouch.
Despite the remarkable features, there is one problem. It doesn't work very well at close proximity.
- The battery power is excellent.
- It works well with electric guitar.
- There are multiple accessories included.
- It doesn’t work very well at close proximity
7. AKG Pro Audio P220 - Best Large-Diaphragm Microphone
For those who prefer a large-diaphragm, you can go for the AKG Pro Audio P220.
- Offering warm and clear sound
- Ideal size
- Attractive design
This feature offers warm and clear sounds, bringing out the best for lead vocals, acoustic guitars, and other brass instruments.
We also love the ideal size of the product. The dimension is 24.6 x 13.2 x 23 centimetres.
The design is rugged and roadworthy, making it look very stunning for on-stage applications.
There is one thing to complain about, though. The mic may pick up some background noise while you're recording, so beware.
- The sound is warm and clear.
- Its size is ideal.
- The design is cool.
- It may pick up background noise.
8. Rode M5-MP Matched Pair Condenser Microphones - Best Matched Pair
The Rode M5-MP condenser microphones are by far the best matched pair on our recommended list.
- Least sensitivity between the microphones
- Stylish design
- Accessories included
The sensitivity between the microphones is made to the lowest - no more than 1dB, avoiding unwanted surrounding noise in your recordings.
Their attractive design has a cool matt black finish, coated with high-quality ceramic.
When you buy this product, you will get some extra items. They include WS5 windshields and RM5 stand mounts.
But the model is a bit of an inconvenience since there is no hard case or storage pouch.
- It doesn’t have much sensitivity between the microphones
- The design is attractive.
- It comes with many accessories.
- A bit inconvenient
9. AKG Pro Audio P420 - Best SPL Applications
In terms of SPL applications, there is no product better than the AKG Pro Audio P420.
- Great SPL applications
- High dynamic range
- Multiple functions
With incredible sensitivity and 155dB maximum SPL, it produces a warm, transparent sound quality. There is no other model better than this one to record things such as grand piano, woodwind, brass instruments, drums, and percussion.
The product offers an impressively high dynamic range, thanks to the low noise electronics.
This one-inch dual-diaphragm microphone comes with three selectable polar patterns. Customize your favorite setting!
This condenser mic has one grounding issue, however. You may expect some unwanted noise in the background.
- The SPL applications are superb.
- The dynamic range is high.
- It has various functions.
- There might be some unwanted noise.
If you are going to buy a condenser microphone but still confused as to which features to consider, we are willing to offer you some helpful guidelines below:
Sensitivity Vs. Noise
This electric device is highly sensitive to sound. It runs on either 48V phantom power or an internal battery.
What is special about condenser microphones is their ability to catch the subtle part of the audio. This is why they are frequently seen in recording studios.
Suppose that you want to capture a quiet instrument. Most professionals would agree that they want to increase the Preamp to the max and add some noise to the record.
It is the sensitivity of the diaphragm that determines the quality of a condenser mic. However, you are likely to get a headache if the device is too sensitive. The situation gets worse if you are not in a soundproof room since you may end up getting loops-effects.
This criterion is also worth putting some thoughts. Generally, there are 4 variations of condenser microphones, namely Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Hypercardioid, and Bidirectional.
These patterns have distinctive characteristics, thus serving different purposes. You should consider which type of instruments or vocals you use to decide on the most suitable pattern.
Some have all four patterns; meanwhile, others only have one or two. For the condenser mics below $200 we are discussing here, most of them have only two or three patterns. So keep this in mind when you want to buy one.
Let's not forget to give some consideration to the frequency response.
For recording instruments that generally produce sounds at the upper-midrange, such as a mandolin, you will need a condenser microphone with a responsive frequency boost. That is to say, the model with an upper mid-frequency boost is the perfect option in this case.
However, it is advisable to choose the fairly flat frequency models for vocals because this type of recording plays all over the frequency range.
Also, the frequency range does matter a lot. For example, a wide high-frequency range mic will bring out the best for capturing high-frequency sounds. In contrast, for the kick-drum and acoustic bass guitar, we recommend models with a lower range.
This aspect is particularly important since it is closely related to the sensitivity of a condenser mic.
A large diaphragm size will capture more sound, hence possessing greater sensitivity to the sound sources. Similarly, a mic with a small diaphragm cannot capture much sound, so it is much less sensitive than its big counterparts.
The noteworthy point is that large diaphragm models have different frequency responses with different placements. Nonetheless, the frequency response of a small-diaphragm remains the same on the same condition.
It is this feature that enhances the bass frequency when the microphone is closer to the sound source. This effect varies greatly between different condenser mics, depending on their quality.
For those who want to capture very awesome vocals, a mic with a high proximity effect would be the best choice. For other recording purposes, we recommend picking a conventional condenser mic.
Many professional singers make use of the proximity effect to have a better performance. If you love singing, you should give the models with this effect a try.
When it comes to durability, there are two things to consider: material toughness and mechanical toughness. Since these mics boast great sensitivity, they are more fragile than dynamic ones.
A friendly reminder is that you should not drop the condenser mics too much. If you do, the diaphragm will be damaged.
What You Get From A Condenser Mic?
A condenser mic offers various benefits that you might not imagine. These advantages give it the edge over its competitors.
- Flat frequency response: These mics can reproduce an input with greater accuracy. It works by letting the output in without causing any unnecessary enhancements in a specific area. If the response is flat, you will get an audio with more purity.
- Lightweight: Since the diaphragm assembly is much lighter than other types of mics, condensers do not weigh much. They are not bulky and therefore won’t cause you any unwanted trouble.
- High ranges of frequency: Thanks to fast moving diaphragm, condenser mics can offer high ranges of frequency. With this, you can get more bandwidth, sending much more detail and data in your recordings.
- High sensitivity: Having a condenser mic with high sensitivity will require less pre-amplification. The ultimate result is that you can bring the sound easily on the mixer channel.
- Suitable for audio instruments and vocals: With all those features combined, you can virtually make recordings of audio instruments and vocals as you wish.
1. What Are Condenser Frequently Microphones Used For?
There are quite a lot.
Condenser microphones are essential in studio recording, they come with every recording bundle. These electric devices serve various purposes, including recording vocals, acoustic instruments, voice-overs, and so on.
Also, podcasters prefer condenser mics to dynamic ones for more clarity and higher output.
2. Do Condenser Microphones Require Phantom Power?
Most of them do. Unlike their dynamic counterparts, there are more active electronics and higher impedance in a condenser mic. These factors require extra power from another power source.
Besides, there are some condenser mics that have an extra battery included. You can use this power when there is no phantom power available.
3. Which Is Better, A Condenser Microphone Or A Dynamic Microphone?
As we mentioned above, condenser mics are often preferred when it comes to studio usage and recording audio. Since the former is much more sensitive, it can capture the sound with more accuracy. In this term, the dynamic mics are no match for the condensers because of the heavy coils inside them.
Dynamic mics are great for live setting, if it's what you need you can invest in one of these best dynamic microphones.
So, what is your opinion? Have you decided on the best condenser mic under 200? Maybe you already did since we are confident that we have provided you with a lot of useful information.
The benefits of a condenser mics are enormous - they not only have flat frequency response, high ranges of frequency, and high sensitivity but these tools are also lightweight and ideal for audio instruments and vocals.
When buying a condenser mic, there are multiple things to consider, though: sensitivity vs. noise, polar pattern, frequency response, diaphragm size, proximity effect, and durability.
In case you are still confused, you can go for our top pick - the Blue Yeti USB. We’re sure you will love the four pickup patterns, wide frequency range and versatility it offers.
Lastly, thank you for your reading. We hope you find our article helpful!