The epitome of professional quality, the perfect way to capture vocals, instruments or any medium of audio – Condenser Microphones. The best investment to guide you on your path to sounding “industry standard” and finally being able to challenge the pros! In no order of priority, we are here to aid the beginning of your exploration into a new world of clarity, check out our choicest picks below in ‘Home Studio Setup: 5 Affordable Condenser Microphones’.
One of the most popular microphones in the market for most people who are purchasing a condenser microphone for the first time, and rightly so, the Audio-Technica AT2020 is known for its durability and rugged build, making it a versatile investment to use in studio recordings and even live performances. This is because, unlike many other really costly condenser mics, this bad boy can take loud signal levels and still deliver clean tonality without getting damaged in the process. A top recommendation for a newbie.
Price (Approx.): $170
Another multi-application microphone, which has been around for a long time now, the AKG C3000 is a smartly constructed mic that ensures a cleaner signal because of the internal windscreen which further reduces the picking up of wind, distant ambient sounds and vocal pops. It has a tolerance for loud signals and has a history of being used in studios and live performances for vocals, guitar and bass guitar cabinets, piano, drum overheads and other instruments. It has a high-pass filter on the it which goes up to 500Hz and a pad switch as well. A real steal!
Price (Approx.): $165
sE Electronics X1 A
Gaining huge popularity in the last 4-5 years, sE Electronics have really changed the game, really bridging the gap between quality and affordability. One thing consistent with their products is the rich tonality and purity of the audio signal with the rejection of unwanted overtones. The sE Electronics X1 A comes built in a strong metal chassis that is made to take bumps and even electrical surges and the integrated windscreen is designed to protect the mic’s side-address capsule from weather damage. It also has a high-pass filter till 100Hz. It delivers the signature sE Electronics sound at an entry level price tag, a great purchase.
Price (Approx.): $125
Lewitt LCT 240 PRO
Boasting of professional level sound quality at quite an economical price, the Lewitt LCT 240 PRO is especially a good choice if your audio work is more prioritised towards vocals as it has a boost button to get more clarity on the airy frequencies. This enables a highly detailed capture of vocals, or even other instruments like acoustic guitar and piano, for instance. And it’s great for your home studio because of the cardioid pickup pattern, making it more directionally focused than some other condenser mics in the same range. Also, it looks quite classy!
Price (Approx.): $180
It was the best thing that Shure did a few years ago when they stopped manufacturing their entry-level PG series and replaced it with the PGA (PG ALTA) series. Not only does this new family of microphones sound leagues better, they also look it, with the new sleek black metal industrial design. The Shure PGA181-LC is a multi-application cardioid condenser side-address microphone which can be used to record vocals and all types of instruments. Its versatility, ability to take loud signals and durable build make for live sound application as well. Still priced in the affordable entry-level zone, but exceeding expectations performance-wise, a great buy indeed!
Price (Approx.): $125
What goes without saying is, that in a home studio setup, it is only recommendable to get yourself a condenser mic if you have treated your room in a way that the least amount of external sound or noise enter, and ensure that you have the right amount of diffusive padding. Ready to hit that record button?
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