Best condenser microphone recommendations $50 to $100

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KVRAF
3708 posts since 12 Jan, 2018

Post Tue May 11, 2021 9:34 pm

I am currently using Shure SM58 (dynamic microphone) to record vocals. Thinking of getting a cheap condenser microphone (around $50) in near future to add some variety. My studio room is relatively quiet with typical PC noise and ceiling fan noise. Perhaps I should choose the one that has comparatively lower sensitivity. I have Komplete Audio 6 (old model) audio interface and it can provide the 48V phantom power.

I came across a couple of products that seem to have great reviews:

Beh-ringer C-1
Samson C01
AKG P120

Does anyone have an experience with any of these or have other/better suggestions?

Also, I wonder if typical microphone boom stand will work fine for a condenser microphone too. I have a Samson PS01 pop filter too that is currently fitted to this boom stand. If a new stand is needed, I had appreciate a recommendation for that too. A stand that can hold both SM58 as well as the condenser microphone along with the PS01 pop filter.

Thanks.
Last edited by LoveEnigma18 on Mon May 31, 2021 10:02 am, edited 3 times in total.

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KVRian
1429 posts since 10 Jul, 2008 from Orbit Sol III

Post Tue May 11, 2021 10:38 pm

$50 is kind of low i think. I've not used those three mics but if i had to guess i'd go with AKG. i have a higher end AKG and i'm extremely happy with it. i wouldn't touch Behringer, and i mostly know Sampson as a lower quality company. Mics are possibly the most subjective piece of equipment there is, for every voice or sound there is usually a mic that shines. Sometimes a very unlikely choice!
A condenser will be a lot more sensitive to those noises you mention.
If there is any way for you to borrow, rent, or somehow test them that's ideal.
The 58(and 57) is sort of an "industry standard" of dynamic mics though.
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KVRAF
12790 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Tue May 11, 2021 10:51 pm

I agree that for $50 there's not much choice, even less quality, even second-hand.

Regarding the boom: mic stands are universal. Most mics come with a holding piece you screw on the boom.
So switching mic with one boom means unscrewing and rescrewing the part inbetween mic and boom.

So maybe save up another extra $20 or so for the mic stand (or hold the SM58 in your hand)
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KVRAF

Topic Starter

3708 posts since 12 Jan, 2018

Post Wed May 12, 2021 1:09 am

CrystalWizard wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 10:38 pm
$50 is kind of low i think. I've not used those three mics but if i had to guess i'd go with AKG. i have a higher end AKG and i'm extremely happy with it. i wouldn't touch Behringer, and i mostly know Sampson as a lower quality company. Mics are possibly the most subjective piece of equipment there is, for every voice or sound there is usually a mic that shines. Sometimes a very unlikely choice!
A condenser will be a lot more sensitive to those noises you mention.
If there is any way for you to borrow, rent, or somehow test them that's ideal.
The 58(and 57) is sort of an "industry standard" of dynamic mics though.
Thank you for your suggestions.

I do agree that $50 is low. I will try to save up to $100 then and see if there are better options. Sensitivity to noise is the main reason I was avoiding condenser microphone in my home studio, that's why looking for a cheaper option in case it does not work as expected.

For now, will continue using SM58 then.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

3708 posts since 12 Jan, 2018

Post Wed May 12, 2021 1:11 am

BertKoor wrote:
Tue May 11, 2021 10:51 pm
I agree that for $50 there's not much choice, even less quality, even second-hand.

Regarding the boom: mic stands are universal. Most mics come with a holding piece you screw on the boom.
So switching mic with one boom means unscrewing and rescrewing the part inbetween mic and boom.

So maybe save up another extra $20 or so for the mic stand (or hold the SM58 in your hand)
Okay, I will consider to increase my budget to $100 or so and see if I can get both a good condenser microphone and a stand. Thanks for the suggestion.

I would have easily jumped on one of these cheaper microphones, but perhaps good that I didn't.

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KVRian
1151 posts since 11 Apr, 2008

Post Wed May 12, 2021 1:42 am

Behringer C-1 is a noise generator. Remove it from the list immediately ;)

The safest bet for that price range will be Audio-Technika / AKG and maybe sE X1A (I didn't hear that one in action) imo.
As I understand, you have a mic and you're just looking for a different 'sonic footprint' - hmm... in that price range you're looking more at microphones that trying to not sound like crap and are not noisy, than have a specific timbre that can add something to your performance.
If you can't wait, go for AKG or Audio-Technika. If you can wait, then wait and collect money for something that actually will give you quality improvement. Maybe you'll catch some spring/summer sale with a decent mic I reasonable price.
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KVRist
368 posts since 15 Apr, 2020

Post Wed May 12, 2021 1:47 am

Supposedly some of the MXL mics have good bang for the buck ratio.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

3708 posts since 12 Jan, 2018

Post Wed May 12, 2021 4:48 am

pixel85 wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 1:42 am
Behringer C-1 is a noise generator. Remove it from the list immediately ;)

The safest bet for that price range will be Audio-Technika / AKG and maybe sE X1A (I didn't hear that one in action) imo.
As I understand, you have a mic and you're just looking for a different 'sonic footprint' - hmm... in that price range you're looking more at microphones that trying to not sound like crap and are not noisy, than have a specific timbre that can add something to your performance.
If you can't wait, go for AKG or Audio-Technika. If you can wait, then wait and collect money for something that actually will give you quality improvement. Maybe you'll catch some spring/summer sale with a decent mic I reasonable price.
;)

Thanks for your suggestions. I can definitely wait, no hurry since I have one microphone to work with. The sE X1A looks interesting, would have never come across this brand. I think it will be better to spend a bit more than what I initially thought to avoid possible disappointment.

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KVRian
1151 posts since 11 Apr, 2008

Post Wed May 12, 2021 5:00 am

LoveEnigma18 wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 4:48 am
pixel85 wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 1:42 am
Behringer C-1 is a noise generator. Remove it from the list immediately ;)

The safest bet for that price range will be Audio-Technika / AKG and maybe sE X1A (I didn't hear that one in action) imo.
As I understand, you have a mic and you're just looking for a different 'sonic footprint' - hmm... in that price range you're looking more at microphones that trying to not sound like crap and are not noisy, than have a specific timbre that can add something to your performance.
If you can't wait, go for AKG or Audio-Technika. If you can wait, then wait and collect money for something that actually will give you quality improvement. Maybe you'll catch some spring/summer sale with a decent mic I reasonable price.
;)

Thanks for your suggestions. I can definitely wait, no hurry since I have one microphone to work with. The sE X1A looks interesting, would have never come across this brand. I think it will be better to spend a bit more than what I initially thought to avoid possible disappointment.
It's good company. From USA. Not some Chinese cheap company from aliexpress :D

From this review it seems to be decent mic. Nothing spectacular but it's expected for that price https://www.musictech.net/reviews/se-el ... -a-review/
Beware! The software discussed in this topic has unacceptable aliasing at -386dBTP but it can be fixed by changing the sample rate to 12Bit

KVRAF
2257 posts since 5 Nov, 2014

Post Wed May 12, 2021 5:07 am


KVRAF
12810 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Wed May 12, 2021 6:42 am

This is just my opinion so take it for what it's worth. Here goes: Don't waste your money buying any microphone unless you have a specific need for that microphone. Then, and only then, determine what that need is and buy the microphone that fits that need. Related, the second (or at worst third) best microphone for any task is an SM-57. Also related, good dynamics are more useful in small spaces owing to reduced pickup of background noise. Also related, having a pair of SM-57s is more useful than having one.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

3708 posts since 12 Jan, 2018

Post Wed May 12, 2021 8:48 am

ghettosynth wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 6:42 am
This is just my opinion so take it for what it's worth. Here goes: Don't waste your money buying any microphone unless you have a specific need for that microphone. Then, and only then, determine what that need is and buy the microphone that fits that need. Related, the second (or at worst third) best microphone for any task is an SM-57. Also related, good dynamics are more useful in small spaces owing to reduced pickup of background noise. Also related, having a pair of SM-57s is more useful than having one.
Thanks. Unfortunately, I cannot test microphones, not at least in the current covid situation. Good that I thought to take suggestions here (again) before taking any action. But I wonder why I did not think about SM57! It could be a good option indeed with a little different sonic character.

lpr
KVRist
166 posts since 28 Dec, 2016

Post Tue May 18, 2021 3:18 pm

Neat Workbee.

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KVRAF

Topic Starter

3708 posts since 12 Jan, 2018

Post Tue May 18, 2021 8:06 pm

lpr wrote:
Tue May 18, 2021 3:18 pm
Neat Workbee.
Interesting, thanks.

KVRist
94 posts since 2 Mar, 2018

Post Mon May 31, 2021 7:23 am

ghettosynth wrote:
Wed May 12, 2021 6:42 am
the second (or at worst third) best microphone for any task is an SM-57.
...for that price range, I assume you mean. Even then, he already has a 58, so that would be a total waste of money. It is a very good all-around mic, but even for the price, there are many better options for vocals.

OP: you have some very good condenser options around roughly $100 or less (talking new; used gives you even more). Like:

- isK Pearl (advertised as an SDC, but really it's an LDC in disguise): $60
- AKG 120: $80
- sE X1A: $100
- Studio Projects B1: $120
- AGK 220: $120

I have used or know people who have used all of these and were very happy with them. As I hear it the sE and Studio Projects are brighter mics, don't know if that's better or worse for you but FYI.

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