Condenser Microphone – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
If you want to make podcasts, YouTube vlogs or studio recordings with better audio quality, a condenser microphone could be the right product for you. These types of microphones offer greater sensitivity to detect your voice or the musical instrument you are playing. One of the most recommended models is the Blue Microphones Yeti X, which is very useful for video game streaming, YouTube vlogs, podcasting, etc., due to its practical USB connection and professional sound. Another model is the Marantz Professional M4U, which includes a small USB interface, so you can easily connect it to a computer to start recording.
The 8 Best Condenser Microphones – Opinions 2022
There are many brands and models of condenser microphones, each product with varying advantages, so it may be difficult to choose a specific one for your audiovisual projects. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the best condenser microphones of 2022; We hope that it will be of great use to you in your search.
USB condenser microphone
1. Blue Microphones Yeti X Professional USB Condenser
It is perhaps the best condenser microphone for YouTube projects and streaming on Twitch, because you simply have to place it on the surface of the desk and connect it through its USB cable. In other words, in a few seconds you can start recording or transmitting your videos on the Internet, with an elegant and compact microphone that also offers good sound. This is thanks to its Plug and Play technology, so you don’t have to install drivers or programs for your computer to recognize it.
It’s also a USB condenser microphone with a stand, so you won’t need to buy an extension arm or tripod separately.
Likewise, we mention that it has practical green LED lights, which will show you the volume level of your voice while you are speaking or singing. In the same way, if you want the microphone to pick up the sound better, you can use any of its 4 configurations, cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional or stereo.
These are some of the main qualities of the Blue Microphones Yeti X. If you don’t know which condenser microphone to buy, this model could be the one.
Sound: This microphone offers high sound quality, in addition, you can connect headphones to monitor your voice more clearly.
Lights: It has green LED lights that turn on according to the intensity or volume of your voice.
Versatility: You will enjoy 4 pickup options, including omnidirectional, very useful for conferences or cardioid if you stream on Twitch and YouTube.
Cable: It would be good if the brand improved the microphone’s USB cable, since it sometimes gives connection problems.
2. Tonor TC30 USB Condenser Microphone for Computers
If you want to know which is the best condenser microphone, read the characteristics that we explain here regarding the Tonor TC30. This USB condenser microphone allows a faster connection to the computer, without having to use an audio interface. In fact, thanks to this you will have fewer devices next to the computer.
In addition, it should be noted that the microphone is compatible with Windows, Mac and PS4, so you can use it with the equipment of your choice. For example, it serves to communicate better in online video games, that is, the other players will hear you clearly. Also, you can use it to make podcasts, YouTube videos, Skype calls, streaming on Twitch, etc.
On the other hand, we inform you that this condenser microphone is cardioid, so you can record or broadcast live without ambient noise.
This is one of the cheapest condenser microphones, so if you’re looking for something to start your startup projects with, check out its qualities below.
Design: This is a cute little USB condenser microphone, with a mini tripod for desktop placement.
Type: It is a cardioid type microphone, so it will capture your voice very well for streaming and video calls.
Filter: The product comes with a very easy to install pop filter. This prevents the air force in your voice from disturbing recordings.
Output: It is missing that it has an audio output, so you can connect headphones.
Condenser microphone with interface
3. Marantz Professional M4U Condenser Microphone with USB interface
There are various accessories of this type on the market, but if you are looking for a condenser microphone with an interface, we suggest you check out this model. It has an ergonomic design with a desktop stand and USB cable, so you can connect it to your computer.
Its interface is small and simple, which allows easy use to record podcasts, direct on YouTube, Twitch streaming and much more. You simply connect the XLR cable to the interface and it will take care of converting the audio for the USB port of your computer. This microphone is compatible with both Mac and PC, so you can use it with your laptop or desktop without any hassle.
Also, you can use this microphone to record musical instruments, for example an acoustic guitar. In this way, it is possible to make very complete projects for Home Studio without having to invest a lot of money.
Perhaps it is the best condenser microphone of the moment for music and podcasts at a good price, since it does not present latency problems. Next, we show you its most outstanding characteristics.
Type: It has a cardioid design that allows you to record cleanly, that is, without background noise.
Connection: It is used to connect to Windows and Mac computers via USB cable, thanks to the small built-in interface.
Sensitivity: It offers a good capture of frequencies and sensitivity, to obtain a more precise audio in your projects.
Filter: It is missing that it brings a foam pad or anti-pop filter, although these accessories can be found on the Internet at a good price.
4. Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio 3rd Gen Audio Interface
To build a mid-range Home Studio you need a kit like this one. The package includes the Scarlett Solo interface and the Scarlett Studio microphone, both accessories from the prestigious Focusrite brand. It also comes with Focusrite HP60 MKIII studio headphones that offer clear monitoring on recordings and mixes.
In the same way, the kit has the XLR cable to be able to connect the condenser microphone with interface without problems. This means that it is a fairly complete package to be able to make tutorials, podcasts, video game streaming and good quality music recordings.
In addition to this, this product comes with the Easy Start tool, so you can start recording and playing audio in simple steps. You can record instrument and voice at the same time, thanks to its 2 audio inputs.
Focusrite might be the best condenser microphone brand, because it specializes in professional products for recording studios.
Versatility: This is a ready kit to start your podcasts, vlogs or music recordings, as it includes both the necessary equipment and quick start software.
Microphone: This accessory has a wide diaphragm to better capture the sounds of voices and instruments.
Operation: It allows to record two channels separately, for example, voice and instrument.
Volume: You must speak fairly close to the microphone if you want it to capture a high volume level.
AKG condenser microphone
5. AKG P420 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
The AKG P420 condenser microphone has three pickup patterns, omnidirectional, figure 8 and cardioid, allowing you to moderate the sound of the microphone according to the need of the moment.
In addition, it has a robust body made of metal and a steel grille, being quite resistant and durable. The grille will reduce wind noise and vibrations, for better results in your projects.
Also, we inform you that the microphone has a double diaphragm design, with a wide frequency response. This captures every nuance of the original sound, so you end up with a sound with authentic detail, warmth, and transparency.
Likewise, you should know that this microphone will allow you to make recordings of voices, pianos, string instruments, drums and much more.
If you want to renew the microphone you have in your studio, we recommend this model, it may meet all your requirements.
Patterns: Thanks to the three polar patterns, figure 8, omnidirectional and cardioid, you can configure the sound pickup according to your preferences.
Case: The package includes a reinforced metal case, which provides greater protection for the microphone while transporting or storing it.
Grille: It has a steel grille, which has been designed to avoid interference from wind noise and vibrations.
Cable: The microphone comes without a cable, so you must purchase this accessory separately.
6. AKG C1000S Condenser Microphone
This AKG condenser microphone has a capsule that incorporates gold components, preventing moisture from easily damaging it. For that reason, this microphone is known as a “Swiss Army Knife” due to its durability.
In addition, it is a very practical microphone, since it is powered by two AA batteries that you can use for 120 hours.
On the other hand, it has a Presence Boost adapter, which has three adjustments for the frequency of both instruments and voices.
Likewise, it has a cardioid to hypercardioid polar pattern, thus giving you greater functionality in your recordings. In addition to this, it should be noted that this microphone will allow you to make video productions, as well as capture sounds of guitars, drums, ukuleles, among other instruments.
As if that were not enough, this microphone has a low cut filter that minimizes interference caused by noise and low frequency.
Here are the pros and cons of the AKG C1000S condenser microphone. Pay attention to each quality, it may be the product you require.
Adapter: It comes with a three-setting Presence Boost adapter, which will allow you to adjust the frequency of instruments and vocals to your liking.
Filter: Thanks to its low cut filter you can minimize interference caused by low frequency, as well as noise.
Robustness: Since it has been made of metal, it protects the internal components, offering a longer useful life.
Cover: It is missing that the microphone comes with a cover to transport or store it more safely.
cardioid condenser microphone
7. Tonor Professional Cardioid Studio Condenser Microphone Kit
This is a crystal clear microphone, as it has an upgrade to its low noise FET preamplifier. This and its wide dynamic range provide a warm sound very close to the original.
In addition, it has been designed to be used in Home Studio, YouTube video production, podcast, streaming, etc.
Also, we mentioned that it comes with an extendable arm, which can be fixed on tables of different thickness. Also, the table clamp has a contact area 4 times larger than its previous versions, which means that the microphone will be much more stable.
Likewise, this cardioid condenser microphone can be connected to an audio interface, preamplifier or mixer, as long as it has Phantom Power.
On the other hand, thanks to its cardioid pickup pattern, it suppresses off-axis sound, thus reducing noise in your audio projects.
If you are interested in a condenser microphone kit, know the negative and positive aspects of this product, as it is very complete.
Kit: The microphone comes with a kit that includes XLR cable, boom arm, pop filter, etc., so you don’t have to purchase these accessories separately.
360: You can rotate the extensible arm 360º, to better adapt it to your recording studio.
Utility: You can use this microphone for podcasting, YouTube video production, home studio recording and other tasks.
Sound: This microphone does not offer deep bass, however, the sound is crisp and bright.
professional condenser microphone
8. NW-800 Professional Studio Condenser Microphone and NW-35
This could be the best price-quality condenser microphone, because, although it is one of the cheapest, its cardioid system minimizes background noise and at the same time better captures the sound of the voice. In this way, the voices in podcast or songs will sound very clear.
It also comes with an extendable arm, which has been made of resistant steel. This one is foldable, so it will be easy to transport or store.
Similarly, we mention that it has an elegant design, thus combining with the decoration of almost any study. In addition, this professional condenser microphone comes in gold with black color, which is perfectly matched with the accessories included in the package. Accessories include a pop filter, foam pad, extension arm, spider mount, and 3.5mm male to XLR cable.
If you are looking for a professional condenser microphone kit, we recommend checking out the pros and cons of the Neewer NW-800.
Pad: Thanks to its foam pad, the diaphragm area will be protected from dust, scratches and moisture.
Design: It has a modern and elegant design that will give your study a better synchrony with the decoration.
Stand: The package includes a spider-type stand that will provide the microphone with greater stability while you use it.
Cable: It comes with a 3.5mm male to XLR cable, which is compatible with few audio interfaces.
Condenser Microphone Accessories
Condenser microphone stand
Neewer Universal 45MM Microphone Shock Mount
This spider type condenser microphone stand is one of the most important accessories. With it you can prevent vibrations or unexpected movements of the extension arm from distorting the sound. This is because the present support serves as a shock absorber.
It is made of sturdy metal and elastic rope, to hold the condenser microphone tightly, preventing unexpected falls. It also has a standard thread, so that you can attach it to various extension arms for study. We also mentioned that it has foam to prevent scratches on your condenser microphone.
If you want to choose a suitable product, check out this guide to buying the best condenser microphone. In it we explain the main characteristics of these audio equipment.
When making a comparison of condenser microphones, you should review this aspect, because not all models are the same. For example, there are microphones with various pickup systems. One of them are the omnidirectional ones, which offer to record or broadcast live from any direction. The advantage of these is that they are used to record two or more voices at the same time. Also, you can record instruments and a full band, although in that case you would not be able to edit guitar or vocals separately. This is because you would record together.
Another type of pickup is cardioid. This is one of the most used, because it allows recording without background noise, it only captures the signal from the front. If you want better quality in your recordings, record each voice and instrument separately with this type of cardioid microphone. It will allow you to edit each track separately, thus facilitating the general mix of your musical projects.
The microphone with cardioid pickup is also highly recommended for video game streaming or tutorials. This is because, normally, they do not capture the sound of the keyboard or mouse. If you eliminate these sounds and only your voice is heard, your videos will be more professional.
On the other hand, it should be noted that some microphones offer different types of pickup, so you can choose the one that best suits each project. The downside is that this can affect how much a certain model costs. That is, the more options the product offers, the higher its price, although, due to the wide variety of microphones, you can find some good and cheap equipment on the Internet.
USB or XLR connection?
Generally, the best condenser microphones for music recording studios have an XLR connection. This is because music producers use a wide audio interface, which has at least 2 inputs, XLR and 1/4″. The condenser microphone or, failing that, dynamic microphone is connected to the XLR port. The latter is very popular when recording acoustic instruments, for example guitars, mandolins or ukuleles. The main advantage of being able to plug the microphone into an interface is that you can control the input volume and filter out unwanted noise or spikes.
If you are one of the users who prefer condenser microphones with XLR ports, you should check if you have an audio interface with Phantom Power. Otherwise, you may damage the interface input with the condenser microphone.
For their part, condenser microphones with a USB port already come with a special system so you don’t have connectivity problems on Mac or PC. You won’t need an audio interface and, in many cases, you won’t need to install drivers on your computer either.
Many users complain that condenser microphones have latency, making audio recording and streaming impossible. However, the truth is that technological advances have made it possible to solve this problem. Newer USB microphones typically no longer have bad latency, so they offer high sound quality.
The extension arm is one of the most popular in podcasting and Home Studio, because they can be placed directly on the table or tripod. This arm can be extended to place the condenser microphone in the most comfortable position close to your mouth or the musical instrument.
Likewise, we can mention the microphones that come with a small desktop stand or tripod. This type of support allows to occupy very little space on the desk.
Another well-known and used support is the spider type, which normally goes right at the end of the extension arm. This type of support reduces ground vibrations and provides stability in your recordings. Thanks to this, in most cases you will be able to move the extension arm live and the other users will not hear any disturbing noise.
Pop Filter & Pad
The pad is a small foam sleeve that covers only the top of the condenser microphone, specifically the diaphragm area. It somewhat attenuates the incoming volume of sound and protects the diaphragm area from saliva, moisture, dust, bumps, scratches, etc.
On the other hand, the pop filter is a circular piece of foam that, in addition to protecting the microphone from saliva, also reduces the sound of the air expelled by the person singing or speaking. Likewise, it is called anti-pop because it filters out the strong “P” sound that we sometimes inadvertently emit.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to make a condenser microphone ?
The first thing you should do is cut a PVC tube, in which you will later insert the circuit and diaphragm of the condenser microphone. You can paint the tube in the color you want, but with a spray gun, as this gives it a more professional finish. Next, you need to cut the tube right where the diaphragm will be.
Next, you put a metal mesh with foam in the part where you made the holes. This is for a better finish and sound.
Inside the PVC tube you must insert the diaphragm with the circuit ready. You can buy the latter on the Internet or do it yourself by watching a tutorial on the Internet. It takes time, but the sound will be very good if you do each step correctly.
Q2: How to connect a condenser microphone ?
This task is very easy, you just connect the XLR cable. This has an XLR connector at the house end, female and male. The female connector goes on the microphone and the other on the XLR port of the interface. However, some people use mixing desks as an interface, as long as they have Phantom Power.
We recommend that you have the audio interface turned off before connecting the cables, in case any loud noises occur during this step. In this way, you will protect both the condenser microphone and the receiving interface or equipment.
Regardless of whether you install the microphone in an interface or mixer, you will have to connect the equipment to the computer. Through the latter you will record or transmit the audios live.
The connection of the interface to the computer is made through a USB cable.
Q3: How to use a condenser microphone ?
Condenser microphones are used on an extension arm with a spider-type mount, to avoid background sounds, including keyboard and mouse sounds. Also, the extendable arm is important to place the microphone in a position where it captures your voice or the musical instrument well.
If it’s an omnidirectional condenser microphone, you won’t have to get very close to it to sing or speak. Instead, you should almost always get closer if the microphone is a cardioid type.
On the other hand, if the microphone has pickup modes, you should choose the one that best suits your needs, for example, cardioid or omnidirectional. This is often changed through a switch that the condenser microphone has in its housing.
Q4: Which is better, condenser or dynamic microphone ?
Either one can work for recording or streaming, but the condenser usually captures sounds cleaner. That is, without background noises that annoy or distract listeners.
On the other hand, if you want to record an acoustic guitar, a special dynamic microphone for instruments would be best. In summary, the choice will depend a lot on what you are going to do with the microphone.
Q5: How to connect a condenser microphone to PC?
Condenser microphones sometimes come ready to plug into the 3.5mm port on your computer, so you shouldn’t have a problem doing this. In this way, you won’t even need to install drivers or special programs for the computer to detect it.
Also, there are USB condenser microphones, which also come plug-and-play. Sometimes you have to install a special driver, depending on the model of USB condenser microphone you have purchased. Other times, the connection will be Plug and Play. By making this connection, the computer will power the microphone, so you don’t need to use batteries of any kind.
Q6: How to place a condenser microphone ?
If you have a spider type mount, you need to open the loop where the microphone handle attaches. This ring is normally opened by pressure or by means of a screw. Also, unlike traditional dynamic microphones, the condenser is placed vertically, however, you can tilt it a little, depending on the position you are in when speaking or singing.
In case you use an omnidirectional condenser microphone you can place it a little further from your voice. Likewise, it is possible to place it in the center of a table so that it captures the voices of several people at the same time. If you are going to record a choir of voices with several people, we recommend placing the microphone a little high and tilted forward, so that it picks up the audio of all the singers in a balanced way.