We love microphones, and in our opinion one of the most attractive features is the wide range of price points we can get from the niche. Even though professional grade models go up into the thousands, with the advancement of technology nowadays, there are some very attractive budget-friendly mics available to us if you aren’t into spending an arm and a leg. In this article we focus on microphones that are typically priced at $50 or lower. Which model you check out depends on a few needs of yours however, and we made sure to spell that out for you. Let’s get started.
How to choose your $50 microphone
- Your budget – Even though we’ve narrowed it down to $50 lower, there are still some differences between let’s say a $10 mic with an exactly $50 model. How low do you want to go? Perhaps higher? You can also read our best microphone under $100 or even under $200 guides if you want to see what else is out there for a few more dollars. Otherwise, keep in mind that there’s still a big difference and it may be worth spending a few extra bucks once you decide on a mic that’s best for you.
- What microphone type? There are a few different microphone types. This means that some fit on your desk, others on your head, many in the studio on a traditional mic stand, etc. To simplify, the main types of connection are USB microphones (connect straight into your computer via the popular cable), XLR (another cable with three prongs that hook up condenser microphones to phantom power units or audio interfaces), or 3.5 mm (the most common cable in cheaper models of audio electronics – ie: the headphone jack into your smart phone).
- Additional accessories needed – Do you want a mic stand for this? Pop filter? Carrying case? An audio interface if you grab a condenser? If so, you’ll need to factor this into your budget, which may very well lead to going over our $50 goal. Some microphone packages may be worth your while, although those definitely aren’t priced at $50 or less. However, some models in this guide indeed come with at least some of these accessories you’ll need for at least out-of-the-box use, so we made sure to find those and let you know what they exactly come with.
The best microphones for under 50 dollars
FYI, we don’t cover any headsets or lavalier microphones in here so read that article if that’s what you’re looking for. The following are the best models of microphones typically priced under $50. For those of us on a budget, there are some solid options to take a look at. We made sure as to choose mics with different connectivity options as well as price points to ensure you have some options. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or concerns!
Blue Microphones Snowball iCE
One of our favorite brands in the mic world is Blue Microphones because of the high-quality audio and build they provide. Up first in our article is their Snowball iCE, which is just priced at around $50 (double check the links to see exact price) and even if it’s a few bucks over, we still feel is worth the purchase. It’s a USB microphone so it is mainly compatible with your computer, but if you were planning on a PC\Mac mic that fits on your desk conveniently this is the model to get. It’s easy to use as you merely plug it in and it works, gives us 44.1 kHz/16 bit audio quality (pretty good for the price), has a cardioid polar pattern so will pickup what’s mainly in front of it and isolate the rest, and also comes with a mini tripod stand for easy placement. You can definitely travel with this one if you’re ever on-the-go, and it works well in multiple environments and uses, such as recording vocals and instruments (we’d stick to keys or a guitar), podcasts, gaming, skype calls, and more. The Snowball iCE is definitely our pick for the best microphone under $50 since it’s so versatile and highly-reviewed.
We all know how legendary that Shure brand name is, and this model here is a very solid dynamic microphone to come in second as the best under $50 dollar microphone out right now. The Shure SM48-LC connects via XLR port, so if you want it to go into your computer you’ll have to buy an adapter or use an audio interface, although this is mostly used for live and stage environments. It is great for sound isolation as well, has a built-in pop filter to take away from those pesky P’s and S’s, and is quite reliable in terms of build (if you take care of it, it will last you quite a few years). To further back up our confidence in the longevity of this mic, it also has a shock-mounted cartridge and steel mesh grille and although we don’t recommend “dropping the mic”, if that does happen to occur, you’ll be fine in terms of it not breaking. Uses of the Shure SM48-LC include live vocals and instruments, karaoke, and speeches\sermons\presentations if you want a hand-held solution.
Samson Go Mic
The Samson Go Mic is one of the most popular and best under $50 budget-friendly USB microphones in the market and definitely rivals the Blue mic pick we previously listed. Go to any top 10 USB mic article and this will be in there. Samson is know for their lower priced yet decent quality audio gear for budget-friendly shoppers. It’s great for travel since it folds up and can be easily used with a laptop, or you can also keep it on your desk at home to use with your PC. We’ve heard of people using this for podcasts, gaming, conference calls and more. You can technically record some vocals if you’re planning making music, but it isn’t going to give you amazing eye-popping quality or anything, so we wouldn’t necessarily recommend that. The Samson Go Mic is solid for at-home applications and is reasonably priced under $50 dollars. Sound on Sound’s Go Mic review was rated highly.
CAD U1 USB
Here’s another great option for a mic under 50 bucks but this one is a mixture of the prior two models listed. This one is a dynamic microphone so it is versatile but also plugs in to your setup via USB. You get an on\off switch built into the unit, a pop filter, and a wide frequency response to cover all grounds of recording or performing. Dynamic mics are mainly designed for vocals\instruments, but this will also work as a decent solution for recording or online meetings. podcasts and streaming as well. We lost count how many times this has appeared in internet guides for the “best mics”, especially USB microphones. The CAD U1 USB is ranked very high on Amazon so be sure to check it out and read some user reviews if you need some more information or confidence before you make the purchase.
Behringer Ultravoice XM8500
The Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 is one of the cheapest microphone models under $50 worth looking at, so if you’re planning on saving as much as cash as possible this could be the model for you, unless you want perhaps a little stick mic for around $5 from your local electronics store. Behringer is also known for their low priced yet decent quality audio solutions. You have a built-in shock mount system here as well with some wind and pop noise filter. There’s not too special about it but at the same time we feel that’s a good thing because it gives you what you need: a dynamic microphone with a 50 Hz to 15 kHz frequency response although it connects via XLR you can easily buy a converter to hook it up to your PC or Mac.
Last but not least, we have our beloved Audio-Technica making appearance here as our last pick as the best microphone under $50. Here is another dynamic microphone but it connects via 3.5 mm out of the box. It’s the lowest priced model in this article so if you want an extremely cheap, lower quality option here it is. We’d still prefer this over the typical electronics store $5 mic. The specs include a 80 to 12 kHz response that isn’t necessarily as wide as the others but can still get the job done. You’ll have to buy a separate mic stand if you want it to sit up right, otherwise you can hold it up yourself. The Audio-Technica ATR-110 is great for simple applications that don’t call for recording, such as gaming or online meetings.