Best Home-Studio Microphone for Vocals and Voice-Over work under $500

Aaron CozortCommissioned Research, Gear, Inexpensive, Recommended Items, Vocal RecordingLeave a Comment

best microphone for vocals under 500

I was helping a friend improve his recording. His current project involves multi track vocal acapella singing recorded and produced on an iPad Pro. He uses an XLR to lightning adapter (Saramonic SmartRig+ Di) and an Audio Technica AT-2035 microphone. He wants to keep the iPad for his production but wants to improve vocal quality.

He does not have a professional production studio environment, so my research and advice takes ALL these factors into play. It is not the single answer for everyone’s environment, but maybe it will help you.

X, (The person I was doing research for)

After doing some reading, I was considering sending you toward one of the very spectacular Large Diaphragm Condenser microphones out there, but the recommendation from some is to stay away from them unless you’re in a “noise treated” studio environment (or a sound stage).  

Since I do not know what your recording environment is, but think it might be more like mine (a basic room), the reading I did indicates you’ll deal with un-wanted noise in the recording from the room when using any kind of condenser.  

To that end, the recommendation was a Dynamic mic, and specifically the Electro-Voice (EV) RE-20.  I have personally used this mic, and it is in radio stations all over the country.  It is rock solid for vocal performance and has great rejection of room noise.   But some did mention the need for a “lot” of clean gain.  Since it is a dynamic mic, it does not need phantom power so one person recommended getting a device called a “Cloud lifter” (see link below) to use with it to convert phantom power to around 25db of clean gain.   This might accomplish getting you everywhere you need to be together with your current recording setup.  

The other dynamic microphone that I also have experience with that is found in many recording studios for vocals is the Shure SM7B.   (Here is a shootout between two LDCs and the Shure SM7B from Sweetwater’s studios – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wyvd–VsD2o)

Here are links: 

Note: they are affiliate links from Amazon.  If you prefer shopping on Amazon anyway, it would provide a little bit back to me for the time researching this.  If you prefer shopping at sweetwater or elsewhere, do not feel bad about not using the links. 

EV RE-20 with broadcast arm and shock-mount kithttps://amzn.to/2Yf3UYb 

EV RE-20 (mic with mic stand mount only) – https://amzn.to/2DT3CyE

Cloudlifter (turn Phantom power into clean gain) – https://amzn.to/2Jpdmo2

Shure SM7B (mic) – https://amzn.to/2ZZEuzz

Let me know anything else you might want to know! 

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