Building a home studio may be one of the things that female vocalists and singers will very happily do in order to record their music, but it does not always come cheap. You need to invest into studio equipment and soundproof materials to build a nice listening and recording environment.
One of the first things that you need to purchase is the microphone. Starting out, you do not have to buy the most expensive mic in the market, quite the opposite. You need to find an affordable one that will be suitable for your type of work, especially when it comes to recording female vocals.
You should start small and purchase a cheap microphone for vocals in order to test your abilities and find out whether this is something you like or not. It wouldn’t be advised to invest large amounts of money into something that may last for only a few months.
This is why you need to focus on a very affordable solution and invest the minimum amount of money for your first microphone, around $100 and less, which is a very decent price for a condenser mic.
Later, when you decide that you want to commit into recording, you can upgrade your equipment and buy a more expensive microphone for better sound results. The general rule here as with every type of sound equipment, is that with a larger available budget you can purchase a mic of a much better quality.
What to consider regarding microphones for female vocals
The quality of the microphone is the most important thing in order to make sure that it is going to deliver decent results when it records female vocals. There are many cheap microphones available in the market that offer great sound quality despite their very small price ranges.
You should search for a mic that fits your vocals. For example, if you have a heavy voice you should search for a microphone with decent low-end frequencies so that you can enhance that part of your vocals.
The price is always one of the main concerns especially for beginners. In our list, we have gathered a group of condenser microphones that cost under $100, which is a fair price considering the amazing results they can provide.
For more affordable mic solutions, you should consider dynamic microphones, although their use is better when it comes to live performances rather than studio recordings.
You need your microphone to be functional. Make sure that it has all the appropriate ports in order to connect it with the equipment you are going to use. For instance, if you only use a personal computer or a laptop, you can purchase a USB condenser microphone, whereas if you are going to plug the microphone on a console, you have to make sure that it has XLR ports and cables.
Many microphones comes with additional features. You can search for bundles and buy a complete package, with a microphone, shockmount, pop shield cables and a carrying case. Such bundles usually come in very fair prices and they can be very affordable in comparison to purchasing each item separately.
Best condenser mic for female vocals
1 – AKG P120
The AKG P120 is very similar to the P420 in many ways, with the main difference in appearance being the blue-tinted grille. The base of the Perception 120 is a cardioid pattern with a capsule that has diameter of 0.66 inches.
It was designed and engineered both for vocals and for instruments and it comes with a cardboard box. There is no shockmount included in the package. Its response is 20Hz to 20kHz and it has a sensitivity level of 22 Mv/Pa with a maximum SPL of 150db.
The ratio of the signal-to-noise is 72db and it weighs 525g being 53 x 165 mm. These specifications make the microphone stable but not to heavy so that it can maintain its portability and convenience.
The mic is appropriate for vocal use, as it has a very warm and heavy sound, which give to the listener the delusion of a smoothly compressed sound pattern. The higher frequencies are subtle without making the overall sound dull or less bright.
All in all, it the sound of the microphone could be characterized as neutral but not entirely flat, which makes it easy to fit a broad range of different vocal frequencies, both heavier and lighter ones such as female vocals, adding just the right amount of depth and presence.
Although there is a lot of competition in these price ranges, AKG offers a great option for individuals on a very limited budget that want to achieve decent results. This particular microphone’s appearance makes it stand out from the rest of the similar mics, and the engineering level of the AKG guarantees a high quality product.
Regarding its studio performance, the P120 deserves nice credits in relativity to its price and it is definitely a microphone that it is worth the purchase.
2 – MXL 770
This microphone is an excellent product for beginners and is one of the best condenser microphones under $100. It weight is 10 pounds and it measures 40 x 10 x 10 inches.
The MXL 770 is a small diaphragm condenser microphone, and it usually comes as a bundle with a shockmount and a carrying case, a tripod that has a fixed-length boom in order to secure the position of the microphone, a pop shield to avoid noises and an XLR cable to plug in the mic with mixing consoles when recording.
The frequency range of the microphone is 30Hz to 20kHz. The noise level is 20dbA and the signal-to-noise ratio is 74dbA, whereas the maximum SPL is 137db and the sensitivity level of the microphone is 15 Xv/Pa.
The overall sound of the microphone is bright with smoothly harsh edges, along with some warmth in the lower ends. It is a small diaphragm mic that can be used for multiple purposes, such as song vocals, both male and female, podcasts, interviews and audio for videos.
Furthermore, the MXL 770 has a FET preamplifier with a transformerless output, which makes sure that large amounts of noise can be avoided, and it provides a high output gain level. One of the main advantages of the microphone, is the ability to perform well both with vocals and instruments, mostly string ones such as acoustic guitars.
The cardioid polar pattern of the microphone is responsible for the reduction of the off-side audio. In addition to this, it decreases large amounts of the unwanted feedback and the fact that the mic has a flat frequency response, makes it suitable for distinct vocals.
The MXL 770 is one of the best options considering affordable condenser microphones. It is most suitable for home recording studios and has an excellent performance regarding home made recording sessions with limited soundproofing.
Its appearance is very professional looking and it is a slightly heavy and stable mic, with excellent portability, which makes it perfect for every type of musician, artist or sound engineer due to its great low-end response and clear sound.
3 – Samson C03U
The C03U is one of the perfect examples considering affordable condenser microphones with great quality results. It is suitable for podcasts and online interviews, and requires the minimum money investment.
This microphone comes with a stand, which has a very stable heavy base, along with a shock-resistant cage that increases the stability levels of the microphone to the maximum. One of the big advantages of this particular model, is the sound quality, which is much higher than the similar microphones of the same price range.
It has a multi-pattern condenser, which gives to the microphone the ability to capture audio perfectly no matter the positioning. It consists of a three-way switch that controls the directions and gives the user the ability to choose the way he wants to record.
Pretty close to the switch, there is placed another switch, which controls the quick-volume cut. When pressed either up or down, it cuts or adds 10db. This function helps when there are large amounts of background noise that disturb the recording process.
A USB port is used in order to provide power for the C03U. This makes the microphone conveniently portable and ideal for remote recording sessions with a laptop or at external places.
There are no drivers required in order to install it to your personal computer or laptop, as it is automatically recognized by your operating system. Nevertheless, drivers are also included in the package so that you can have the option to change preferences, like phase control or level metering.
The overall sound of the mic is very clean and bright and it definitely is a great option for the money. In the package there is usually included the Cakewalk LE, a very handy software considering editing, mixing and mastering processes.
4 – MXL 2006
This microphone has the ability to capture every single sound. It has a very solid carrying case and the shockmount that is included in the package is a great help when it comes to decreasing any unwanted sounds of the environment.
On the other hand, the sensitivity of the microphone considering the capturing of the sound causes some limited noise to the recordings, as it captures audio from the slightest sounds that may occur in the room that the recording takes place.
The MXL 2006 usually does not come with an XLR cable and you have to purchase this item separately, a fact that increases the initial investment, although overall it is a microphone that it is worth its money and definitely provides great quality results.
It is a condenser microphone suitable for vocals, and has a cardioid pattern. It has great levels of sensitivity, much better than the other microphones of similar price ranges. It is highly suggested that you use the microphone in a well-soundproofed room or studio, so that you can avoid capturing unwanted sounds and noises.
The mic comes with a heavy and strong carrying case. An external source of power is required to operate the microphone and it does not have a power switch. This means, that the only thing you have to do is connect it to your console or mixer, and you are ready to start your recording session.
Being a microphone that captures every single sound no matter how small it is, you need to operate the MXL 2006 with a console in order to be able to adjust the gain and input volume levels to balance the sound the mic receives.
The microphones has an excellent performance both for vocals and for string instruments such as guitars, and more specifically acoustic guitars. You have to take into consideration the careful positioning of the instrument in front of the microphone in order to capture audio the best way possible.
5 – Floureon BM-800
The BM-800 is one of the greatest cheap solutions when it comes to condenser microphones. It has a broad variety of applications and great levels of functionality. The biggest advantage of the mic of course is its minimum price and the decent sound quality results it provides for the user.
One main characteristic of this microphone is the fact that it can capture great audio detail from every single sound in the room that the recording takes place. Furthermore, it suitable for catching room space noise or environment sounds due to its high levels of sensitivity.
Such sensitivity is the reason this microphone is suitable for all types of application, such as room recordings, instruments, vocals recordings, podcast and audio for videos. It is a great option for beginners that are starting to equip their own home studios, or for musicians that want to record their demo songs.
The BM-800 is designed and built extremely well. It has well-protected diaphragm and internal components and has a very stable and strong design that it will help the microphone hold its great shape and functionality over time.
What is more, the mic comes with a nice shockmount, which makes sure that the microphone is kept secure and in position. It also comes with a foam cap, which you can remove or add, especially if recording in external place where it is windy or noisy.
The BM-800 requires phantom power in order to function, although it comes as a battery-model too. Make sure that you check carefully the specifications during the purchase, in order to buy the model that suits you best.
All in all, this is a great condenser microphone for its money. It will meet all your expectations as a beginner artist or podcaster and it will deliver great sound quality results. Every individual on a very limited budget should consider purchasing this nice affordable condenser microphone.