Few things in recorded music are as important as the vocal track. Our ears grab onto it first, and it can make or break our impression of a song in mere moments. It should come as no surprise, then, that vocals happen to be one of the more difficult musical elements to satisfactorily capture, and that’s owed largely to the outstanding range and nuance of the human voice on top of our critical human ears. If you’re looking to record a solid vocal track at home, it’s crucial to pick the right microphone for your space, style, and budget.
Check out this list of our favorite vocal microphones on the market.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 is a microphone revered for both its versatility as well as its ability to excel at capturing vocals. Being a condenser microphone with a frequency response of 20 to 20,000 hertz, it’s ideal for capturing dynamic and nuanced sounds from voices, percussion, and strings alike, especially in lightly sound-treated rooms or other situations where capturing every detail is a must. Its high sound pressure rating and metal housing make it tough enough for high-traffic studio use as well.
The BETA 58A is a stylish, upgraded version of Shure’s legendary SM58 microphone, with a frequency response specifically tailored for vocals and a supercardioid polar pattern for ultra-focused sound capture and ambiance rejection. It’s shock mounted inside so you can record with it in your hand, or pop it on a stand and record vocals and an instrument simultaneously. If you’re working in a noisy, untreated room or want to record vocals with other instruments in the room, this is a great choice.
The WA-47jr from Warm Audio is an all-purpose condenser microphone modeled after a design used on legendary studio recordings throughout the years including those by Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, and Nat King Cole. Perfect for imparting classic studio character to vocals and radio-ready sound quality, it features a gold-sputtered capsule and electrolytic capacitors to mimic vintage circuitry in a modern package. These high-quality features plus its three switchable polar patterns in a stylish housing make it a fantastic choice for accurate, high-quality vocal recordings and deserving of a place in any microphone locker.
For bang for your buck, you can’t go wrong with this classic dynamic vocal microphone from AmazonBasics. It’s based on a timeless handheld design that’s comfortable to hold and resistant to environmental noise thanks to its internal pop filter and cardioid pattern, with a frequency response of 50 hertz to 16 kilohertz. The whole thing is packaged in a zinc die-cast housing that’s rugged enough to endure stage and portable use, and the price point is great if you want to pick up a few workhorses for your studio on a budget.