As we continue our search for the perfect microphone for your own personal needs and application(s), today we’re met with a great price-point that sits within the middle to lower-tier of budgets when it comes to recording and performing audio — $200 dollars or less. This will help us find a decently powerful and high-quality microphone solution while still saving some money at the same time. Although sifting through the different types of microphones may get a little messy for you (we understand), we’ll help spell out what kind of mic is best depending on what you’ll be using it for. Also keep in mind what setting (or settings if you intend to travel with your mic). Since it’s hard to pick just one and it’s relatively subjective when it comes to the word “best”, we chose quite a few of our favorites to give you options.
Finding the best mic under 200 dollars
Your overall budget will first be a large decisive factor when deciding on your mic today. Even though we’ve been able to narrow it down to just $200 or less, the difference between a microphone that just sits below that price-tag of 200 even will be a lot different from a mic even half of that price. We always have our microphone under $50 or microphone under $100 guides to give you some cheaper alternatives to save some money. Otherwise, we attempted to find an array of each price-point below.
Different microphones come in various shapes, sizes, sounds, feel, and overall personalities. The microphone type you are seeking will be the next factor to keep in mind. The main types we’d like you to keep in mind include USB, condenser, and dynamic microphones. If you’re a vocalist recording in a studio, we highly recommend grabbing a condenser microphone (although many quality condensers are seen in the under $500 mic range). Those who play acoustic guitar, piano, as well as other string instruments will also benefit from a condenser mic. On the other hand, if you’re performing and need a stage mic regardless of instrument or voice, dynamic microphones are your best bet. We’ve heard of dynamic mics being used in the studio as well, but not in this price-range.
USB microphones are also a viable option for recording vocals and various other instruments, especially at this price-point. Although we do ultimately recommend a condenser for studios, USB mics are great for those who don’t want to fiddle with external gear such as phantom power or audio interfaces to get going as soon as you plug-in your mic into the computer. They’re also easier to use when it comes to size — most have built-in stands that sit on your desk for convenience. Even for those who aren’t into music and have other applications on the computer, such as podcasting, streaming, gaming, online chats, voice overs and more, USB microphones are the perfect solution for you, so grab one of those.
The additional gear you’ll need will lastly dictate how much money you’re able to spend on your microphone under $200. As stated previously, if you do use a condenser microphone, you’ll have to invest in a few other pieces of equipment that’ll drive up your budget, such as mic stands, pop screens, filters, shock mounts, and of course, phantom power.
The best microphone for under $200
Coming in as our number one pick for recording studios, the Audio-Technica AT2020 is a quite famous condenser microphone that is perfect for vocalists, instrumentalists, or even those wanting to grab a studio-quality mic for non-musical uses, such as podcasts, gaming, online meetings and more. This is a low-mass cardioid condenser microphone that is specifically designed for extended frequency and transient responses. When it comes to cheaper alternatives, the AT2020 sets the standard, as this affordable microphone is equipped with a cardioid polar pattern that will filter out the sound pickup from outside noises, leaving us with a reliable entity to capture what’s only in front of it. The AT2020’s rugged build enables it to be incredibly durable, and should last just as long as any of the pricier models out there if you’re able to take proper care of it. It also comes with a pivoting and threaded mount that can attach easily onto your mic stand right out of the box. It was first in our beginners microphone guide for a reason, but stems across even into some professional studios we’ve heard of as well — it’s definitely one of the best microphones under $200 if you find yourself needing a studio-quality microphone for recording or streaming on the internet.
Up next, if a traditional condenser microphone wasn’t your thing, we have a nice alternative here with user reviews to back up its effectiveness. When it comes to USB microphones, the Blue Yeti is by far one of the best microphones under $200 and most popular choices in terms of cheaper, versatile and high-quality microphones. This customized best-selling USB mic offers a ton of flexibility enabling you to record some great music, podcasts, vocals, or even audio for videos such as voice-overs or sound effects. The benefit of USB mics is the wide-range of applications — anything you can think of that involves a PC or Mac it can take care of, not to mention it’s easy plug-and-play capabilities right out of the box (no need for external power sources or other gear like windscreens or mic stands like traditional studio condensers). Equipped with Blue’s awesome custom tri-capsule technology (switch between three different polar patterns to customize the pickup in case you use it for different applications), the Yeti is even more versatile than other USB mics. Regardless of whether you are podcasting, recording music or an interview, the Blue Yeti’s four different power settings allow it to have a differentiating factor that sets itself apart from the rest. Designed with on-unit volume adjustability as well as containing plug and play accessibility, the Blue Yeti is simplified in its design and user-friendly in all of its features.
The Shure SM58 is a reasonably priced, yet high-quality dynamic vocal microphone that is legendary within the microphone game. It is most optimal when used for singing or speech, specifically live performances on stage. Crafted for clarity and a high-quality design, this vocal microphone articulates whatever message you would like to deliver quite clearly. Equipped with a built-in shock mount system for support and spherical filter to drain out the wind and ugly breath popping noises, this superior mic is the perfect addition to your stage arsenal as well as recording studio (yes, some use it for recording vocals as well, but we still prefer a condenser for that). It’s extremely rugged when it comes to build, and we remember dropping ours more times than we count with only a few dents yet still being able to work properly. Its dynamic build and use enables an extreme amount of versatility for different frequency ranges, sound pressure levels as well as tones, regardless of its purpose. When it comes to reasonably priced microphones, it doesn’t get a whole lot better than the SM58, and it’s definitely another one of the best microphones under 200 dollars if you’ll be performing music or speaking on stages. Some say it’s a staple-point of a musicians toolbox.
The Sennheiser e906 offers a professional super-cardioid, dynamic instrument mic that is truly the perfect microphone for sounds of all types, such as drums, guitars, strings and keys. Easily adaptable and connective, this is one of the best microphones for under $200 if the previous dynamic mic wasn’t your thing and you foresee yourself needing a solution for more than just a voice. Versatile in nature and durable in design, this microphone truly does it all when it comes to amplifying your sound. The switchable presence filter customizes the sonic characteristics to different requirements to enable additional versatility. The characteristics of this sound are offered in three different forms — bright, moderate and dark, allowing the user to have a choice when it comes to what type of sound and feel you’re aiming for, while at the same time allowing adaptability for different instruments. Regardless of why you are in the market for a new microphone under $200 bucks, this is a multi-usable choice that can be utilized in various different ways on stage or in the studio.
Coming in as a strong competitor to the previously listed Yeti although slightly more expensive, the Rode NT-USB is a studio-quality USB microphone that comes with some nifty high-tech features and superior sound quality. This is a mic under $200 that is designed with convenience for the user with its USB connectivity, along with its compatibility to Apple and iPad devices, 3.5 mm stereo headphone jacks for zero-latency monitoring and as well as master gain knobs on the side of the unit. The microphones pop shield, tripod desk stand, and ring mount are incorporated for additional support to get to using right out of the box. The NT-USB is said by many to be optimal for singers and vocal recorders everywhere, but those who stream online or use it for other computer uses won’t be let down either. The beauty of the NT-USB is not only that fuzzy feeling we get seeing the ‘Rode’ brand name on it, but the overall quality it brings for being a USB mic. Regardless of your primary usage for this versatile microphone, there is little reason to believe that you can’t use it for nearly anything.
AKG Perception P220
Equipped with ‘True Condenser capsule technology’, the AKG P220 is a large-diaphragm microphone that is perfect for vocalists, pianos, brass instruments and acoustic guitarists. It’s pretty wild to consider the Perception 220’s price tag because this high-quality solution offers features that make it one of the best microphones under $200. When it comes to condenser microphones, you will be hard pressed to find one more that is more durable than this rugged design, eliminating your worries about causing damage in the event of a mic drop. It features additional switchable 20 dB pre-attenuation pads for use in sound fields up to roughly 155 dB, as well as switchable bass cut filters to eliminate unwanted noise for your lower-end frequencies. The large-diaphragm cardioid build is a popular type of condenser for vocalists — it creates a warm and unique signal, and although less ‘accurate’ than it’s smaller sisters, can be the main choice for many singers and rappers out there. AKG offers enhanced sound quality with its custom price and performance levels, making this microphone a great choice regardless of its desired use.
A microphone with the quality for a professional, the Shure PGA27-LC is truly one of a kind when it comes to affordable and versatile microphones under two-hundred dollars. Equipped with a larger diaphragm like our previous pick, this is a side-address cardioid condenser microphone that is also optimal for vocalists. The side-address direction is known for being optimized by vocalists as well as an amplified acoustic instruments such as a guitars or other strings. Here we have a professionally used microphone that comes with an enhanced industrial design as well as state of the art improved physical features. Long story short, if you are looking to amplify your sound you have a sure bet in the PGA27-LC as this microphone will deliver regardless of its environment. All things considered, these are some of the necessary features that make this mic one of the best for under $200. Conveniently including a shock mount, as well as a padded zipper case if you are a big traveler these features allow it to be one of the best travel companions when you are on the road.
The e935 brought to you by Sennheiser is a professional grade cardioid vocal stage microphone that comes with every great feature that allows it to perform in any setting that you desire. The Sennheiser e935‘s high output enables the user to feel like a professional musician allowing them to record or perform the sound they are looking for without worrying about the microphone being the reason for a hindered performance. As a big competitor to the SM58, it’s often used by on-stage musicians, public speaking, sermons, karaoke, and more. Featuring a metal construction that is both rugged and durable, it’s hard to find a microphone out there that will be as reliable as this one. This mic is equipped with shock-mounted capsules for low sensitivity when it comes to handling noise as well as hum-compensating coil for reduced electrical interference and confidence in the overall sound quality you’ll attain. If you are looking to amplify your sound in the best way possible, don’t look too far because the e935 is a microphone that users keep coming back to as it is considered one of the best microphones under $200 if it pertains to your particular use and intended sound environment.
sE Electronics SE X1
Regardless of the recording you’re searching for, this microphone comes to you with so much versatility that it can essentially do it all. The sE Electronics SE X1 has a large diaphragm and its gold-sputtered capsule make it first in its class and one of the best microphones for under $200 when it comes to overall quality and durability. This mic can be found in fancier settings as it is often used by Jazz players as well as lead vocalists and percussion instruments on stage or in a home studio. The advanced features that this microphone comes with makes it a great option for its price — great flexibility with a very high dynamic range and ability to handle high sound pressure. The SE X1 is a sturdy 32 mm diaphragm, cardioid directional pattern microphone making it a great option for a low-cost condenser mic. This one offers more of a ‘open sound’ feel and quality, which is something that you would find in a condenser mic three times the price.
Razer Seiren Elite USB
Last but not least, we have another great USB mic under $200 that we had to include. Conveniently designed, the Razer Seiren Elite USB offers the user a great addition to gaming (considering it’s a gaming gear brand), podcasts, online meetings, voice overs, and of course, a smaller home recording studio. No need for mic stands, as this microphone’s aluminum base allows it to perfectly fits on top of your studio desktop, making it a great choice if you are interested in recording and streaming your music. It is a multi-use mic that comes with three built-in 14 mm custom-tuned condenser capsules that allows it to be capable of creating four different recording pattern configurations. Featuring some super-clear 192 kHz / 24-bit in recording resolution, this microphone is going to deliver the optimal listening experience regardless of who your audience might be. Yes, it’s just another option for a USB mic out there, but if you’re a Razer fan and wanted to grab their flagship USB model (it comes in the middle of both the previously listed Yeti and NT-USB), it may very well be the best mic under $200 for you.