Best Microphone For Recording Vocals At Home

Best Overall Microphone: Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone

Best Versatile Microphone: Audio Techica Microphone AT4053b

Best Budget Microphone: Rode NT1-A Microphone

Are you tired of recording vocals at home and ending up with low-quality sound?

Well, you’re not alone!

The struggle is real when it comes to finding the best microphone for recording vocals at home. Lucky for you, I’ve gathered some factual data and put together this article to help you find the perfect microphone for your needs.

In this guide, I’ll go over the different types of microphones, what to look for when choosing a microphone and some things to keep in mind when recording vocals at home.

By the end of this post, you will better understand what microphone suits your needs, and you’ll be one step closer to achieving that crisp and clear sound you’ve been dreaming of.

So, let’s get started on this journey together and find the best microphone for you!

Understanding Vocal Mics

When recording vocals at home, choosing the right microphone is crucial. Several types of studio microphones that are available, each with unique characteristics and advantages. In this section, we’ll look at four of the most common types of vocal microphones: condenser, dynamic, USB, and ribbon.

Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones are popular for recording vocals because they offer high sensitivity and detail. They use a thin diaphragm that vibrates in response to sound waves, creating an electrical signal that’s amplified and recorded.

Condenser microphones typically require phantom power, a type of power supplied by the recording device or mixer. They’re also more fragile than dynamic microphones and can be prone to picking up unwanted background noise.

Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic microphones are a more rugged and durable option for recording vocals. They work by using a coil of wire that moves in response to sound waves, creating an electrical signal that is amplified and recorded.

Dynamic microphones are less sensitive than condenser microphones but better at rejecting background noise and handling high sound pressure levels. They also don’t require phantom power, which makes them a more convenient option for home recording.

USB Microphones

USB microphones are a popular choice for home recording because they are easy to use and do not require any additional equipment. They connect directly to your computer via USB, allowing you to record vocals directly into your recording software.

USB microphones are available in condenser and dynamic models and offer a good balance of convenience and quality. However, they may not offer the same level of detail and sensitivity as higher-end condensers or dynamic microphones.

Ribbon Microphones

Ribbon microphones are a more specialized option for recording vocals. They work by using a thin strip of metal that vibrates in response to sound waves, creating an electrical signal that is amplified and recorded.

Ribbon microphones are known for their warm and natural sound but are also more fragile and sensitive than others. They also require a high phantom power, which may not be available on all recording devices.

Choosing the Right Microphone for Vocal Recording

Sound Quality

Sound quality is the most important factor when choosing a microphone for vocal recording. A good microphone should accurately capture the nuances and subtleties of your voice without adding any unwanted colouration or distortion.

Frequency Response

The frequency response of a microphone refers to how it responds to different frequencies of sound. For vocal recording, you want a microphone that has a flat frequency response, meaning it captures all frequencies equally. This will ensure that your voice sounds natural and balanced.

Polar Patterns and Directionality

The polar pattern of a microphone refers to its sensitivity to sound from different directions. A cardioid pickup pattern is ideal for vocal recording, as it captures sound from the front of the microphone while rejecting sound from the sides and rear. This helps to reduce background noise and ensure that your voice is the focus of the recording.

However, an omnidirectional mic may be a better choice if you are recording in a room with a lot of ambient noise, as it equally captures sound from all directions.

Diaphragm Size and Type

A microphone’s diaphragm is the part that vibrates in response to sound waves, generating the recorded electrical signal. Larger diaphragms are generally better for vocal recording, as they capture more detail and nuance in the sound.

Condenser microphones are also popular for vocal recording, as they are highly sensitive and can capture a wide range of frequencies. Ribbon and dynamic mics are also options, depending on your preference and the sound you are trying to achieve.

Sensitivity and Self-Noise

The sensitivity of a microphone refers to how much sound it can pick up. For vocal recording, you want a microphone that’s sensitive enough to capture all the nuances of your voice but not so sensitive that it picks up unwanted background noise.

Self-noise refers to the electrical noise generated by the microphone itself. A good microphone should have low self-noise to avoid any unwanted noise to your recording microphone.

Setting Up Your Recording Environment

Setting up your recording environment is crucial to achieving high-quality vocal recordings at home. Here are some key factors to consider:

Microphone Placement

Microphone placement is crucial when recording vocals. The proximity effect, which increases bass response as you move closer to the microphone, can be used to your advantage. Placing the microphone closer to the singer can help to capture a warmer, more intimate sound.

However, be careful not to place the microphone too close, resulting in unwanted pops and sibilance. A good rule of thumb is to place the microphone about six inches away from the singer’s mouth.

Acoustic Treatment

The acoustics of your recording space can significantly affect the quality of your recordings. To improve the acoustics of your recording space, consider investing in some acoustic treatment. This can include bass traps, acoustic panels, and diffusers.

Acoustic treatment helps to reduce unwanted echoes and reverberation, resulting in a cleaner, more focused sound. It also helps to reduce the amount of outside noise that can interfere with your recordings.

Reducing Room Noise

Room noise is another factor to consider when setting up your recording environment. This can include sounds from outside, such as traffic or neighbours, and sounds from within your home, such as air conditioning or appliances.

To reduce room noise, try recording in a room that is as quiet as possible. You can also use a shock mount for your microphone to reduce vibrations and handling noise. Plus, you can use a noise gate in your recording software to automatically remove any unwanted background noise.

Top 10 Microphones for Recording Vocals at Home

Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone

The SM7B unique frequency response provides warm, natural-sounding low-end, making it perfect for professional podcasts and critical studio recordings. It has a smooth, flat, wide-range frequency response, perfect for recording music or speech in any professional audio scenario. Designed primarily for recording speech and vocal performances, it makes your voice perfectly defined while maintaining a strong sense of intimacy.

Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone


Perfect For: professional vocal recording and broadcasting applications


  • Dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern
  • Switchable bass roll-off and mid-range boost controls
  • Has a detachable windscreen to reduce plosives and wind noise


  • Trusted by the worlds leading vocalists, podcasters & streamers
  • Provides excellent sound quality with a smooth, warm tone
  • A versatile microphone that can be used for vocals, instruments, and broadcasting
  • Effective at rejecting background noise and minimizing feedback


  • Requires a lot of gains to achieve optimal levels

The TedScore: 10/10

Audio Technica Microphone AT4053b

With a frequency range of 20-20000 Hz and a replaceable capsule, this small diaphragm condenser microphone is suitable for all types of recordings, whether in the field or in the studio. While it may not sound as clean as more expensive shotguns up close, it still produces a rich sound, making it a popular choice among users. The microphone also features direct-coupled balanced outputs for clean signals and is fully RoHS-compliant, making it a safe and eco-friendly option.

Audio Technica Microphone AT4053b


Perfect For: any professional recording needs


  • Hypercardioid polar pattern for excellent off-axis rejection
  • Interchangeable capsules for added versatility
  • High SPL handling and low self-noise for clear recordings


  • Excellent sound quality with a natural, detailed sound
  • Versatile microphone for recording vocals and instruments and field recording


  • Can be more expensive than some other microphones in its class

The TedScore: 9/10

Rode NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Microphone

With its sleek stainless steel design and exceptional build quality, the NT1-A is built to last. This microphone is well-suited for recording vocals but can also be used for various instruments. Despite its low cost, the NT1-A delivers professional-grade performance, making it an ideal choice for anyone upgrading their recording setup. The NT1-A is also very quiet and has a cardioid polar pattern, so you can be sure that the sound you’re capturing is precisely what you want.

Rode NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Microphone


Perfect For: musicians, podcasts and content creators


  • Capture every detail at any volume with an extended dynamic range and high SPL
  • Exceptional isolation from unwanted sound sources thanks to a cardioid polar pattern
  • Extremely low self-noise for clear recordings


  • Suitable for recording loud sources such as drums and guitar amplifiers
  • Includes an SM6 suspension shock mount, pop shield, XLR cable and a dust cover


  • Lacks some of the versatility and features of more expensive microphones

The TedScore: 8/10

AKG C414 XLS Condenser Microphone

This microphone is designed for exceptional linearity and neutral sound and has been popular for decades. With nine available polar patterns, the C414 XLS can easily handle any recording application. It maintains the sonic character of the legendary C414 B-ULS, a go-to for studio and live performances since 1971. Whether you need to record vocals or acoustic instruments, the C414 XLS can produce a detailed and polished sound with shimmering treble frequencies, making it an excellent choice for any recording enthusiast.

AKG C414 XLS Condenser Microphone


Perfect For: any recording application


  • With nine available polar patterns ready to take on any recording application
  • The attenuation pad and high pass filter let you get great results on noisy stages


  • Boasts clarity and sensitivity
  • Delivers a combination of versatility, detail, and sound quality
  • A mainstay in recording studios since 1971


  • More expensive than some other microphones in its class

The TedScore: 8/10

Neumann U87 AI Studio Microphone

This large-diaphragm condenser microphone offers three polar patterns, a unique frequency response, and a comprehensive set of accessories for professional recording. Whether you’re recording vocals, instruments, or speech, the U87 Ai can adapt to suit your needs. With its classic design and refined sound, it’s no wonder this microphone is a studio standard and one of the most renowned studio mics anywhere in the world.

Neumann U87 AI Studio Microphone


Perfect For: professional studio recording applications


  • Excels on virtually any instrument and voice
  • Features the same capsule used in the original series with improved circuitry for optimized performance
  • Has a pressure-gradient transducer with a double-membrane capsule
  • With extremely low self-noise, it delivers crystal-clear recordings


  • One of the most iconic microphones in the history of sound reproduction
  • Includes a shock mount and wooden case for optimised protection


  • Can also pick up environmental sounds

The TedScore: 7/10

Electro-Voice RE20 Microphone

This microphone is a well-established industry standard, widely used since 1968 for its ability to offer maximum background rejection without sacrificing sound quality. With its large diaphragm and cardioid polar pattern, the RE20 is optimized for human voice recording, including voice-over work and singing. It utilizes EV’s patented ‘variable d’ design to minimize the proximity effect and LF roll-off.

Electro-Voice RE20 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone


Perfect For: performance, production and broadcasting


  • Minimal proximity effect thanks to Variable-D technology
  • Zero colouration from unwanted sound via the cardioid pickup pattern
  • Tailored for vocals with a smooth frequency response


  • Excellent sound quality with a smooth and natural tone
  • Effective at rejecting background noise and minimizing proximity effect


  • Has large size and is slightly heavyweight

The TedScore: 7/10

Sennheiser MD 421

This microphone is designed to handle drums, bass, brass, guitar cabinets, and vocals with its full-bodied cardioid pattern and five-position bass control. It’s widely used for speech in broadcasting and music in live concerts and recording studios. It’s also suitable for miking instruments high in transient peak response. This microphone has excellent sound qualities that cope with the most diverse recording conditions.

Sennheiser MD 421 II Dynamic Instrument and Vocal Microphone


Perfect For: studio, stage and broadcast applications


  • The cardioid polar pattern provides focussed capture with excellent rejection
  • Achieve the right filter via the five-position bass control
  • Provides a focussed capture, with excellent rejection of up to 6dB


  • Rugged, durable design ensures long-lasting-life
  • The “desert island” microphone for many Grammy award-winning professionals


  • Higher price range

The TedScore: 8/10

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

This microphone offers great sound quality, flexible recording options, and multiple pickup patterns. Plus, the on-mic levels display and gain knob make adjusting your recording levels on the fly easy. And with a simple plug-and-play design, you don’t need to worry about setting up a separate audio interface. Despite being introduced in 2009, the Blue Yeti remains one of the best USB microphones.

Blue Yeti USB Microphone


Perfect For: applications requiring a versatile and easy-to-use microphone


  • With multiple polar patterns (cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo) for added versatility
  • Designed with a built-in headphone jack for latency-free monitoring
  • Onboard controls for headphone volume, polar pattern selection, and gain adjustment


  • Easy to use and set up, making it a great option for beginners
  • Affordable price point compared to other high-quality microphones


  • Can be sensitive to handling noise and vibrations

The TedScore: 7/10

Aston Origin Microphone

This British-made condenser mic is designed with a one-inch gold evaporated capsule and features a fixed cardioid pattern. It includes a -10dB pad switch and an 80Hz LF roll-off switch. Additionally, it is shielded against electromagnetic radiation for added protection. The Aston Origin is an affordable option that delivers exceptional sound quality, whether you’re using it for vocals or acoustic guitar recordings. As with most condenser microphones, it requires 48v phantom power.

Aston Microphones Origin Cardioid Condenser Microphone


Perfect For: instruments and vocals


  • With a wave-form mesh head that reduces unwanted vibrations and resonances
  • Has a 1-inch gold-evaporated capsule for a clear and accurate sound
  • Comes with a built-in pop filter that helps to reduce plosives and sibilance


  • Built to last with a solid stainless steel construction
  • Made with a unique and stylish design


  • Relatively expensive compared to others in its class

The TedScore: 8/10

Shure SM57 Microphone

Shure Incorporated makes this low-impedance mic with a cardioid polar pattern that emphasizes the main sound source while reducing unwanted background noise. Its dynamic element makes it ideal for drums, horns, guitar amps,, and more. It has a contoured frequency response that delivers clean, instrumental reproduction and rich vocal pickup.

Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone


Perfect For: musical instrument pickup and vocals


  • The uniform cardioid polar pattern reproduces every note as it was intended
  • Has a spherical mesh grille and a built-in pop filter to keep any unwanted noise out
  • Made with durable construction and break-resistant stand adapter


  • Delivers high-quality vocal reproduction
  • Excellent sound quality with a clear and detailed tone


  • Lacks some of the features and versatility of more expensive microphones

The TedScore: 9/10

Best Microphone For Recording Vocals At Home: The Essentials

Finding the best microphone for recording vocals at home is like finding your soulmate. It can be challenging, but it can be a fun and rewarding experience with the right knowledge and guidance.

I’ve explored some of the top microphones on the market, but remember, the perfect match for you may not be the perfect match for someone else.

For me, I love using the Audio Techica Microphone AT4053b. I think it’s got a nice tone, isn’t too expensive, and is built nice and strong for taking on location.

Whether you’re a shower singer or a professional artist, there’s a microphone out there that’s perfect for you. So, take the time to do your research, try out different microphones, and find the one that gives you goosebumps. With the right microphone, you can unleash your inner superstar!

Don’t settle for anything less than perfection. After all, in the words of Beyonce, “If you like it, then you should have put a mic on it!”

Wait, there’s more!!!

Looking for the best digital mixer for your music production needs? Check out this comprehensive list of Best Digital Mixers on the market, complete with features, pros, and cons to help you make an informed decision!


What type of mic is best for recording vocals at home?

For recording vocals at home, a condenser microphone is your best bet. They’re sensitive and capture a wide range of frequencies, making them ideal for capturing the nuances of your voice.

How do I choose a microphone for recording vocals?

When choosing a microphone for recording vocals, consider factors such as the type of microphone, polar pattern, frequency response, sensitivity, noise level, and price. Look for a microphone that fits your needs and budget, and read reviews and comparisons to make an informed decision.

What microphone do most artists use?

Many artists use the Shure SM7B microphone for recording vocals. It’s a versatile, dynamic microphone that produces a warm, natural sound.

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