Searching through the rubble to find the best microphone under $100 can be tough, so today we wanted to focus on this specific price-point to help your shopping endeavors. As we’ve seen thus far in many of our shopping guides, the best microphones come in many different shapes and sizes to help accompany many different types of applications and people. That’s why finding the absolute best microphone under $100 may be a tough answer to completely answer, so today we found a list of our favorite mics of all time that fall under a Benjamin. Let’s take a look at what we found.
Picking the best microphone under $100
- Your exact budget – We saw in our best microphone under $50 that even in the lowest price-point of mics, your exact budget will be important. Do you want a mic that hovers at or around exactly $100? Perhaps a budget-friendly near the $50 mark? Maybe even go a little higher in the $200 or less range? You may even change your mind after browsing the selections to end up saving up some more cash before making your purchase.
- Type of microphone – There are quite a few different types of microphones in the world today and as stated previously, we’ve found a bit of everything under $100 to give you some options. USB microphones are great for most computer applications, condenser microphones for recording in studios (vocals and instruments), dynamic microphones for performing live on stage or recording louder instruments (such as drums), etc.
- Extra gear? Since we’re on a strict under $100 budget here, we want to make sure you have the necessary gear planned ahead. We still won’t get into microphone packages and bundles since those are near the $200 range, but it may be worth your while if you do intend on adding extra gear to your budget. It does ultimately depend on what type of microphone you buy (since a lot of USB mics are plug-and-play and come with their own stands), keep this in mind as you factor in your budget and envision your microphone setup. Some popular extra microphone equipment includes audio interfaces (especially if you need to power up a condenser), microphone stands, shock mounts, cables, windscreens and more.
The best microphones under $100
The Audio‑Technica AT2020 is a high-quality condenser microphone with not only an amazing reputation but quality that will offer you great vocal recording ability thanks to its numerous functionalities. We do want to note that there is a possibility this one hovers above our price-point, but we included it because we’ve seen it under $100 frequently (you never know with websites fluctuating prices). The AT2020 gives us a cardioid polar pattern, which makes it an excellent choice for vocal usage because it minimizes rear and side sound pick up, enabling the user to focus on the desired sound resource. What also makes it a contender for the best microphone under $100 is the fact that it is a really low noise mic, which makes it an excellent choice for recording with some additional equipment (you’ll need at least an audio interface since it’s an XLR port). With this microphone you are getting a lot of dynamic range to record most instruments you may have alongside your voice (the only instrument we wouldn’t recommend is drums, although you can get away with it if you have to). Along with this excellent mic, you are also getting a pivoting stand mount in the box. Definitely check this option out if you are looking for the best microphone under 100 dollars and wanted a high-quality condenser microphone. You can also check out their USB version of this mic, the AT2020USB.
The Shure SM58 is one of the most famous microphones of all time. It definitely qualifies for the category of the best microphone under 100 dollars if you’re looking to perform live or record instruments with a high sound pressure level (SPL). With its 50 Hz to 15 kHz frequency range that will perfectly suit vocal recordings and more, you will be able to use this one with solid results for a number of other purposes as well: voice-overs, interviews, events, acoustics, etc. The SM58 is manufactured with quality in mind, and you can see it at first glance, especially the build (this thing can potentially last you decades). It’s equipped with a shock mount system and built-in pop\wind filter for ultimate reduction of background sounds and offers a built-in dynamic cardioid pickup pattern. The stand adapter that is rugged and resistant to breaking also makes this mic the best microphone under $100 because it permits the user to connect several microphones to a mixing board if that’s what you intend to do. Even if you choose something else, many consider the SM58 but something like a hammer to a garage — we all need at least one in our arsenal.
Blue Snowball iCE
If we had to choose one of the best microphones for under $100 to list first in terms of USB, the Blue Snowball iCE just takes the cake. Blue Microphones is a very popular brand nowadays, especially when it comes to USB microphones. The iCE is rated super high among users due to the quality to price ratio we get with it. It comes with 16-Bit/44.1 kHz resolution and the option to use a cardioid polar pattern, which will deliver some solid versatility and audio quality results. It comes with a desktop stand, USB cable and simple to use plug and play option. Another convenient detail that makes it in our opinion the best microphone under $100 is its compatibility with both Windows and Mac. This is a versatile microphone that will deliver crisp and clean sound thanks to its condenser capsule that has been custom designed. In regards to application, it’s suitable for those mic users in different types of usage (which is why we listed it first) – while recording vocals (home studios, although we still recommend a condenser mic for this), instruments or band music. It also made it into our best computer microphone guide so if you were planning on incorporating this into your office setup, it fits quite snug on your desk for podcasts, gaming, Skype calls and more. The only use we wouldn’t really recommend the iCE for is recording vocals for music or performing on stage, which we list further down.
Although it is on the middle-end of our target budget range, the Samson Meteor will deliver excellent quality of sound for a smaller-sized USB microphone. It connects to both Windows and Mac devices via plug-and-play as long as you have a USB cable, and since it has a stand built-in to the mic itself, you’re good to go without needing to buy an extra grear. The Meteor is equipped with a cardioid polar pattern and has great versatility for different recordings: podcasts, online calls, gaming, even lower-end studio vocals. Although it isn’t an obvious expensive condenser mic, the sound will always be pretty clear and free of distortion. The converter and preamp of the Meteor will aid in replicating the sound of your instruments and allow you to create really magnificent audio for voice-overs, music, interviews or podcasts. This one’s great if you wanted a USB mic and had a bit of a strict budget as compared to others.
If you are looking for the best microphone under $100 and wanted a tank-like build in a condenser mic, the MXL 990 is definitely a good choice. It is equipped with a FET preamp and a big diaphragm, which makes this microphone everything you need for studio quality recordings of all types. This mic will pick up sound from your instruments and vocals to create a crystal clear end result. This mic comes with wide frequency response, ranging from 30 Hz to 20.000 Kz. The MXL 990 can be connected to either Windows or Mac for complete technical freedom, and its design is very attractive – vintage-styled in a retro champagne color. Just keep in mind you’ll need some type of phantom power or audio interface to power this thing up. Another important element that could make it the best microphone under 100 dollars is that it reproduces highs and lows with excellent clarity, something all should look for in a studio microphone.
Talk about affordability. This one is definitely the cheapest condenser microphone we’ve seen worth looking at, and although we recommend going higher if you’re looking to record at least in a home studio setting, this can get the job done if need be. The Floureon BM-800 is a highly rated condenser mic that can be connected via XLR and it works with both Windows and Mac, making it a versatile microphone for all of your recordings. Since it isn’t one of the heavy-hitter brand names in the microphone market, this paired up with the fact that it comes with a shock mount makes it often considered as the best microphone under 100 dollars for looking to save money. It includes a hand holding part and a metal shield net. Regarding technical specs, the BM-800 comes with a frequency range from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, which means that you can count on a decent range of sound quality. Just keep in mind you’ll need at least 48 volts of phantom power, which doesn’t come in the box. Nothing too eye-popping here, but we love this one for those who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on their microphone and external gear.
The CAD U37 mic is an excellent solution, and it surely qualifies for consideration as the best microphone under 100 bucks for those wanting a USB mic on the cheaper side of our targeting price-point. It can be used with all computers, and its technical capabilities (considering the price) make it a solid choice for some vocal recording, band or (a few) instrument recording, conference calls, Skype, podcasts, gaming, etc. With this microphone you are getting condenser capsules that enable a cardioid pick-up pattern that will minimize noise from the background. Another thing that could make this microphone the best microphone under $100 is its wide frequency response from 20Hz to 20,000 Hz as well as -10dB overload-protection. With this microphone you will definitely get studio quality of recording for all your different audio recordings for a super cheap price.
Samson Go Mic
The Samson Go Mic is a versatile condenser USB microphone that will function equally well for different types of amateur usage, which definitely puts it in the running for a place in the list. This one comes with the option to choose between omnidirectional or cardioid polar patterns, which will enable you to adjust recordings to a concrete type of recording and to isolate background noise. This is also excellent for VoIP recording, and its wide frequency range from 20 Hz to 18,000 Hz additionally underlines its versatility. All these features put this mic on the list of the best microphone under 100 dollars in the market right now. It has been manufactured with a compact design for easy and simple attaching to a computer or laptop. Those who travel and need to do some conference calls, vlogging or recording of any kind on-the-go will love this thing — it folds into a wallet-sized little gadget to accompany your other gadgets at the airport in the car.
Don’t forget to checkout the Behringer B-1 if you wanted a solid condenser microphone that connects via XLR by one of our favorite budget-friendly brands out there at the moment. This under $100 mic presents an excellent ratio between quality and the price you are paying for it. It comes with a pretty big diaphragm and offers lower-end home-studio recording quality. Like the others, we have a cardioid pattern that will enable you to get excellent quality of isolated recordings of different types: audio, instrumental, band music, etc. It isn’t a multiple-hundred dollar studio mic at all, but it is equipped with a 1” capsule and transducers that will definitely reduce background noise (we do of course recommend recording in an isolated area). Another element that makes this microphone potentially the best microphone under $100 is its overall construction (XLR that is plated in a gold and will ensure sturdy transmission of signal). Just another option to check out here, especially if you’re a Behringer fan and wanted a condenser mic by them.
Sound Tech CM-1000USB
Lastly, the Sound Tech CM-1000USB is definitely one of those microphones that we want to name as the best since it comes in a different shape and size many wouldn’t really associate with a mic. It comes with an omnidirectional polar pattern and convenient USB connectivity for easy access and usage of your recordings on Windows and Mac computers. It’s relatively low frequency range from 10 Hz to 10,000 Hz may turn you off but it still gets the job done for simpler applications. The CM-1000 is a USB mic that comes in a package together with a stand and USB cable that will allow you to start right away with recording mostly online chats or VoIP. Everything is produced with decent sound quality, which surely qualifies this mic as an option for those needing something shaped flat to fit into their existing setup. Who knows, it may be exactly what you were looking for. The user reviews aren’t too bad, either.