When it comes to microphones, we usually have two choices.
The first being Dynamic Microphones...
...while the other is Condenser Microphones.
Since the article is specifically about best condenser microphones under $200, let’s stick to condenser microphones instead!
Before we start let me give you an overview about Condenser microphones.
What are Condenser Microphones?
I don’t want to get into the technicalities of Condenser Microphones...
...for that I have written a entire guide that explains all the technical aspects.
A Condenser Microphone is a lightweight, small-size, sensitive microphone commonly used in Home and Professional Recording Studios.
Go to Youtube and almost 95% of professionally recorded videos use Condenser Microphones.
Because the best Condenser Microphones comes within a range of $50-$200 from popular brands like Blue, Samson, Audio-Technica, and Rode and so on.
However, there are many cheap condenser microphones that cost less than $20...
...these usually are generic and made in Chinese factories, and have terrible sound quality.
Our list has a mix of XLR Condenser Microphones and USB Condenser Microphones.
If you want to just record gaming sessions or basic Youtube Videos:
USB Condenser Microphones suffice.
XLR Condenser Microphones cannot be directly attached to a computer...
...it requires an audio interface that connects with your computer and adds in the extra dollars.
Consumer's Tip >>>
An Audio Interface provides power to XLR microphones and also converts electrical signals (from microphone) to digital signals; which are then passed over to the computer.
The benefit of XLR Condenser Microphones is, you can edit the quality and feel of your voice on-the-go by using an audio interface like the Focusrite Scarlett Solo.
Here’s a technical Explanation of Condenser V/S Dynamic Mics by Michael Pitluk
What are the 5 Best Condenser Mic Under $200?
At $200, you’ll find the best condenser mic for the money:
Normally best budget condenser mic for studio recording fall under this price bracket.
If you want to get started with professional home studio recording or want to upgrade your default mic for Youtube Videos or podcasting; these 5 Best Condenser Mic under $200 will be your savior.
Must Read: Top 7 Best Condenser Mic under $500
If you require a mic specifically for recording instruments then Shure PG27 is your best bet as a cheap condenser microphone.
Don’t believe me?
See the video for yourself… (attached below)
Various instruments like Harmonica, Ukelele, Electric and Acoustic Guitar are played on it.
Since it’s a side-address condenser microphone, you need to hold it sideways as seen in video above.
You can be rest assured about the mic's quality because Shure have been making audio equipment for the past 80 years.
Coming to Shure PG27; it’s a USB microphone and can be directly plugged into your PC.
The microphone even has integrated pre-amp along with gain control which is always an added advantage for any condenser mic under $200.
Shure PG27 package includes mic, an adapter for attaching the mic to a stand, USB cable and pleather carry pouch.
It also includes a headphone jack that allows you to listen what the mic picks up in real time.
This term is known as 'headphone monitoring' and is useful during gaming sessions; when you have Noise Cancelling Headphones on and don't need to scream into your mic.
You can listen to what you're speaking right into your headphones.
Even in multiple instruments recording; you can listen how different instruments stack up when played together. This allows you to change position of various instruments.
Do check it's review by clicking here...
"For the money you are spending Shure PG27 is very close to being best vocal mic under $200."
Also Check: 11 Best Audiophile PC Speakers under $100-$500
Audio Technica AT2035 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone which allows for natural sound and low noise.
Similar to Audio Technica AT2020 (USB Condenser Mic), the AT2035 features a fixed Cardioid pattern.
It features a side-address format…
… which means you need to speak into the front side of microphone rather than on top of it.
Unlike Audio Technica AT2020, AT2035 features a 80Hz high pass filter and 10dB pad switch.
Audio Technica AT2035 retail packaging includes a high-strength plastic Shock Mount and pleather pouch for carrying this XLR Condenser Microphone around.
This means you need to buy an aftermarket XLR cable, Mic Stand and Pop Filter.
The design of Audio Technica AT2035 is similar to AT2050…
… the only difference is, AT2050 features a Polar Pattern selection switch.
Check Audio Technica AT2035 review...
Built quality of the mic is solid and durable. The Matte Black profile of this mic makes it look premium and superior.
Audio Quality via the AT2035 is smooth and bright…
…however for the price, it could've been a bit better.
It’s still my view and yours take on it could be different.
These are however I would say best vocal mic under $200.
"Once you get the right setup with XLR audio interface, Pop Filter and Mic Stand, this microphones will be a fun to work with."
Also Check: 15 Best In Ear Headphones for Budget Heads under $50
Here we have another XLR Microphone in our list i.e. the AKG Perception 420 Professional Mic; which can be considered as one of the best budget condenser mic under $200.
AKG Perception 420 comes with 1 inch twin diaphragm and have three polar pattern settings.
Due to this; the microphone is well suited for recording vocals as well as musical instruments like guitar, cello, drums and so on.
The box in which it comes with looks very premium for a vocal mic under $200; including a strong, solid and rugged shock mount.
That’s the only thing you get as accessory and nothing else.
AKG Perception 420 Professional XLR Condenser Microphone has matte finish and comes in only two colors i.e. Silver and Black.
Both of them look extremely attractive and premium.
The mic body also features switch pad for high SPL applications up to 155 dB SPL.
It does a great job by reducing low level unwanted frequencies and captures rich high-level frequencies; that is not the case with other cheap condenser microphones.
Multiple polarity patterns, extends its use for multiple applications like two-person podcasting, game sessions recording and stereo mixing.
However the only downside being; compared to other mics AKG Perception 420 doesn’t comes with a detailed guide on how to use this microphone.
Check out its review and see this microphone in work in the video embedded below!
If you are looking for rugged, robust and great sounding XLR Microphone:
Then look no further than Blue Spark.
The microphone comes placed in a wooden box, which is a rarity at this price.
The company also throws in a Shock Mount as well as small Pop Filter.
However, it’s disheartening to see an XLR cable absent from the package. Hence you need to buy an aftermarket XLR cable.
It comes in two colors:
Bright Red Orange and Lighting Blue…
…however if XLR is not your thing; the company also provides a USB interface Blue Spark microphone that is compatible with iOS and Apple devices like iPhone and iPad.
Awesome, isn’t it?
Microphone’s body features only a single button; which company calls as Focus Control, it allows you to toggle between Normal Mode and Focus Mode.
Consumer's Tip >>>
Normal Mode allows Blue Spark to capture wider landscape of sounds useful for discussion between two people using single mic…
… whereas the Focus Mode captures deeper vibrations of your voice; giving it that bassy feel in male voices.
For more info check out it's review...
See the battle by We Will Kill Channel on Youtube and you decide for yourself…
The #1 Position is LOCKED! Click on any one button. Share the article, and see who holds the #1 Position
Blue Yeti! Are you shocked to see it?
You shouldn't be; because I'll give you enough reasons to put this mic on first position.
A popular and best condenser microphone under $200 for Youtube Channels, Podcasting and Voice Overs.
This microphone fills the gap between cheap condenser microphone and studio quality audio.
Take time and watch this video review of Blue Yeti by Mike Thomas from JayzTwoCents (embedded below)
Since it’s a USB condenser mic, the box comes with the mic itself and just a USB cable.
The best part is, Blue Yeti comes with a fixed stand…
… hence you don’t need to buy an aftermarket shock mount and mic stand. However you might need a pop filter.
We have 4 controls on mic body…
- Pattern Selection Switch: Stereo, Omni-Directional, Cardioid and Stereo
- Gain Control Knob
- Volume Knob
- Mute Button
3 Condenser Capsules which the company calls as Tri-Capsule Array allows the mic to record in any situations like podcasting, voice overs, interviews, field recording, conference calls, vocals and musical instruments.
It is one of that mic which allows you select multiple patterns allowing it for a wider use.
Voice is smooth and bright on this and makes Youtube audio a joy to listen to.
Well do know more about it by clicking here...
The video embedded above features a demo of Blue Yeti recording various instruments.
Also Read: Listen to Classical and Country Music Often? Here's Top 5 Headphones to satisfy your needs
Accessories required for Condenser Microphones
Did you appreciate our list of best condenser microphones under $200? (I do hope you've unlocked the Best Condenser Mic on #1 position)
If so, and have decided to buy one of these…
… then you might also require accessories to go on with the mics too.
Below I have listed accessories that you might require depending on your use with your mic!
Accessory #1: XLR Cable
For the one going ahead with USB Condenser Microphone, you can skip over this accessory. However the ones going for XLR Condenser Microphone will require an XLR cable.
Since most manufacturers don’t provide XLR cable, you need to buy an aftermarket one.
At $9, you'll get a 10ft. XLR cable to go with XLR condenser mics.
Accessory #2: Audio Interface
It’s funny how if you require an XLR condenser microphone, then you really require an XLR cable and Audio Interface.
Accessory #3: Alternative to Audio Interface
As you can see…
… audio interface are bulky and big! If your only requirement is conversion of XLR mic to USB; you don’t need 95% of features that come with Audio Interface.
Alternative to Audio Interface is this small thing called Blue Icicle which eliminates unwanted features of Audio Interfaces and provides only the necessary XLR-to-USB conversion.
It also eliminates buying any XLR cable, as Blue Icicle can be plugged right into your microphone as seen in the video below.
Accessory No #4: Pop Filter
A pop filter usually is a foam-fabric accessory that is used in front of mic.
It reduces pops while speaking words which includes B’s and P’s. Also the pop filter absorbs unwanted noise frequencies and hence is a must during music recording and podcasting.
A simple pop filter can cost aroud $6 on Amazon.com, however a little higher version like this can set you back by around $20.
Accessory #5: Shock Mount
As the name suggests, a shock mounts usually deals with various shocks and vibrations the mic experiences. Video below demonstrates the functionality of a shock mount.
Accessory #6: Mic Stand
Accessory #7: Acoustic Sound Isolation Shield
This one accessory is tricky…
… for creating Youtube Videos or Podcasting, you might not need something like this… however for home recording artists, it’s a must as it absorbs a lot of reverberations and reflecting sound waves and makes your sound more fuller.
But they don’t come cheap, one from Monoprice costs under $80…
whereas another from CAD Audio comes in at $120.
Practically these are way more costlier than they look.
Hence just for you I found this video on Youtube that helps you build a Acoustic Sound Isolation Shield just for $10.
Well! That's it.
I hope you enjoyed our list and recommendations for 5 best condenser microphones under $200.
From an average consumer point of view…
… $200 does feels on the pricier side.
However for any studio recording artist; they’ll be surprised for the quality offered by such cheap condenser microphones.
If you liked the article… please don’t feel shy and do share our article on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Reddit, StumbleUpon and so on…
Thank You for your time!
Have a great day!