Best Live Vocal Microphones

The first and perhaps most significant element in an audio chain which transforms your music and voice to the audience is a microphone. With tons of models to choose from, determining which microphone is suitable for your live performance needs can be difficult. This guide should assist you in sorting through the various styles of vocal microphones and making an informed decision.

Buying Guide

There are some factors to keep in mind when selecting the best microphone according to your needs. Since unidirectional microphones are so excellent at isolating background noise and preventing criticism, you’ll definitely find them in most systems.

Vocals

Some professional singers choose dynamic microphones to condenser micsodels, like the classic Shure SM58, since dynamic mics provide a smoother, thicker tone and also wear better with time.

A breathy, subtle voice, on the other hand, will benefit from the informative high end range of a condenser microphone. To shut out distracting sounds and minimize feedback, make sure to use a cardioid or a super cardioid microphone.

Drums

Each drum comes with its own microphone in many live audio systems. A  close polar pattern microphone like a cardioid or super cardioid helps separate the sound within each drum having minimal break from the remainder of the system.

A dynamic microphone is normally a safe alternative for the snare drum since it needs a mic which can sustain a high SPL. A strong low-frequency microphone is needed for kick drums. A plain response condenser microphone captures the high frequency and intensity of cymbals best. Several manufacturers offer drum multi-mic sets which provide all of the microphones you’ll need.

Another method for recording live drums is to use a set of well-fitted condensers as both an overhead as well as kick drum microphone. This minimal method is very suitable for circumstances where channel numbers are small, and it fits especially well for rock music, in which the drummer’s toms are typically very noisy, obviating the need for close-miking.

Guitar Amps

A traditional guitar amp contains sound qualities that are identical to human voice. A dynamic voice or drum microphone would suffice in most cases. Another factor dynamic microphones work well with guitar cabinets is that they can normally accommodate high SPLs.  

Bass Amps

A bass amp, similar to a guitar amp provides a lot of sound, and recording the full spectrum of notes the bass can emit with a decently sized dynamic mic is always a good idea. When choosing a microphone for bass cabinet, a thing to keep in mind is that if it sounds good on kick drums, it’ll probably sound good on bass guitar too.

Acoustic Piano

For an acoustic piano, two flat-response small or large diaphragm condenser mics are needed. You might place one 12 inches above its treble strings as well as the other 12 inches above its lower strings. Again, consider placing all mics about 8 inches away from its hammers.

Electronic Keyboard

Since electronic keyboards are plugged directly into amplifiers, you could follow the ideas for an electric guitar, basically a dynamic mic having high SPLs.

Best Live Vocal Microphones

Product Name
Features
Price Range
Buy Now
Sennheiser e 965
  • Designed with a cardioid pattern
  • Comes with a low cut switch to reduce rumble, ambient noise and wind nose
  • Has a pre attenuation of 10 decibels which is switchable to match singers with strong voices
  • A shock mounted pod effectively handles noise resulting in clear and dynamic sound
$$$
Shure Condenser Microphone
  •  Designed with a lightweight Mylar diaphragm
  • Has both cardioid and super cardioid polar patterns
  • Comes with a XLR Output and durable aluminum coating
  • Comes in a zippered cushion case
$$$
Heil PR 35
  • Has a frequency limit that can go as low as 40 Hz
  • Contains a diaphragm measuring 1.5 inches
  • A hum-backing coil is attached to it to reduce EMI
$$
BLUE Encore 200
  • Covers a frequency level of 50 to 16 kHz
  • Has a mounted cardioid pattern
  • It’s a phantom powered microphone
$$$
Electro-Voice ND76
  • Contains a large diaphragm with a dynamic capsule
  • The capsule is mounted for absorbing shocks and minimizing any buzzing noises
  • Made of Memaraflex grille which resists dents
$$
Telefunken M80
  •  Has a very thin capsule membrane
  • Can cover a wide frequency range due to its rugged design
  • Competent for higher SPLs
$$
AKG Pro D7
  • Has a dual thickness diaphragm that covers a wide frequency range
  • Built with a hum coil for clear sound
  • The mechano pneumatic pattern avoids unwanted noises
$$

Vocal Microphones1. Sennheiser e 965

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The Sennheiser e 965 is a high-end broad diaphragm vocal microphone with a real condenser capsule, which can be switched to cardioid or supercardioid patterns.  The microphone has been around for a while but is still largely unknown. Its price was high at first, costing even more than Neumann as well as other high-end versions, so there were few willing to give it a shot.

But, because the price has recently been lowered, we decided to put it to the test and write a review, and boy, were we shocked!  Although condensers of stage can easily go wrong, this microphone has handled everything making it totally worthwhile!

Pros:

  • Crispy but also not fragile, has strong clarity
  • Has natural sound with a rich low-end performance
  • True condenser of the device provides studio-quality sound
  • It’s not as warm as most mics, and it’s less susceptible to criticism.
  • Versatile for a variety of settings, and capable of handling multiple instruments as well

Cons:

  • Does not come with a cushioned case

2. Shure Condenser Microphone

Vocal Microphones

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The Shure microphone is a professional condenser mic for use on stage. This model is well-known, and many musicians still use it. It has a natural, accessible sound with a well-balanced low-end, a delightfully smooth midrange, with brilliant highs.

It works well with all kinds of voices, providing just the right amount of brightness to place you in position or barely ahead of other instruments. You’ll get excellent sound and noise canceling levels, as you’d expect from professional equipment.

KSM9 is distinguished by its switchable pattern, from cardioid to super cardioid that allows it to adapt to any condition or environment.

 Pros:

  • The sound is very natural, crisp, and well-balanced
  • Cuts through gracefully
  • Has patterns that can be changed
  • Handling noise is minimal
  • Popping and breathing noises are kept to a minimum

Cons:

  • Not budget friendly

3. Heil PR 35

Vocal Microphones

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The Heil PR35 is a recording-grade, high quality dynamic handheld having a strong focus on appearance and a deep, extended low point. This mic has a really smooth sound, with clean highs and almost no harshness.

It could be used to make high-quality recordings while remaining stage-worthy, which is a huge plus. When used by an inexperienced sound engineer or a low-quality PA, though, it can appear worse than the SM Beta 58. It does not strain from criticism and can be used on relatively noisy stages, but it may not be suitable for all singers.

Pros:

  • Has an exceptional low-end quality
  • Is relatively flexible
  • Delivers a crisp natural sound
  • Exceptionally smooth

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • More suitable for professional singers 

4. BLUE Encore 200

Vocal Microphones

Amazon Link Here

The Blue en-Core 200 is a cardioid-pattern working dynamic microphone. It produces a vivid, high-definition sound which cuts through with ease. It’s better for live concerts, particularly those with silent passages, because it reduces electromagnetic interference.

The prebuilt amplifier in the en-Core 200 is a special feature that provides just a little amount of leverage and significantly reduces the irritating hissing and buzzing sounds that can also be caused by poor quality wires. This microphone is extremely robust, and the gleaming copper finish grants it a high-end appearance. The sound of the en-Core 200 is best characterized as clarity first and foremost.

It doesn’t have a smooth frequency curve, with little variations here and there; however it does produce a quite balanced sound throughout. When singing into this microphone, you can clearly hear any detail without sounding loud or over-emphasized.

Pros:

  • Sound quality is good, and the clarity is exceptional
  • Gain and reliability are increased by using an internal amplifier
  • Both voices and instruments benefit from its framework
  • Has an excellent design and appearance

Cons:

  • It can be a little sibilant sensitive

5. Electro-Voice ND76

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The Electro Voice ND76 is a low-cost vocal microphone with excellent sound quality. While it might not be as long-lasting as the Shure SM58, this offers significantly improved value for about the same amount. It has a vivid high-end and a silky smooth low-end.

This mic still provides a plenty of detail with consistency, so however one’s voice is, it’ll never sound blurry. The ND76 could be the microphone for you if you are looking for a decent entry-level device with above-average sound quality, so don’t risk being careful with handling.

Especially, if you’d like to update it in the future and are willing to recognize its short lifespan.

Pros:

  • For the price, you get a good quality sound
  • Suitable for a wide range of vocal ranges, including bass
  • Provides excellent clarity

Cons:

  • The durability of the mic is debatable

6. Telefunken M80

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The Telefunken M80 is a tough dynamic cardioid microphone designed for live singing. It has a similar vibe to the popular SM58, with the exception of a stronger balanced low-end reaction that makes it break through the track.

It does not have much of a discrepancy in terms of input before feedback, but it seems that the M80 takes less input despite the specifications claiming it does have lower sensitivity. This microphone has a lot of similarities to the tone of the Shure SM58. They seem to have identical curves and act in the similar way.

The only significant difference is that its response has a smaller low end; in particular, the frequency curve reveals that it begins to roll off around 200 Hz, while Shure’s response starts somewhere above 100. Telefunken is a well-known brand, so it does not compromise when it comes to producing a microphone that sounds and looks fantastic.

Pros:

  • It has a nice design
  • Overall, the consistency is excellent
  • Lower end response is well-balanced
  • Long-lasting and reliable

Cons:

  • Overpriced

7. AKG Pro D7

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The AKG Pro D7 is a high-end dynamic super cardioid microphone for live shows that produces a smooth, open tone, resistant to feedback. On screen, it can seem to be similar to D5, but do not be tricked; the sounds are vastly different. The AKG Pro D7 is a definite upgrade in consistency and price, and you’ll receive what you have paid for, luckily.

Despite its lateral pickup, it produces a rather natural sound as a standard microphone. And, as applied to the Shure SM58, the input before feedback can be just what the AKG states.

While it is extremely flexible in terms of performing styles, it is intended to be in use solely on stage, and the review is designed to help break through the sound.

Pros:

  • The tone is really normal and unhyped
  • Highs are crisp and condenser-like
  • Tone is smooth, balanced, and of high quality

Cons:

  • Not suitable for those looking for a warmers and mellow tones

Once you’ve figured out what kind of microphone you’ll need, think about some of the most important features. You’ll need a microphone that can tolerate repeated use and can capture your speech on a number of surfaces.

Some microphones can be far more reactive than others, so you would want to choose one that records your voices clearly and crisply. The best microphones often have a good degree of clarity, enabling you to hear your voice clearly in live performances.

You can aslo read about Best Budget Mics under $1000.

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