A microphone is basically to convert the sound to an electrical signal. In this era of technology, microphones or what we call mic are used everywhere like in mobiles, telephones, hearing aid, live recording sessions, public address systems, radio, and television broadcasting.
|AKG Pro Audio P420 Dual Capsule Condenser Microphone, Black||Check On Amazon|
|Shure PG27-LC Multi Purpose Microphone||Check On Amazon|
|Audio-Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone||Check On Amazon|
Not only in these but also you can see mics using in computers too. How? You must have seen there’s a thing known as Voice Recognition in the computers, what does that require to function? Yes! The mics. In other applications such as VoIP, Ultrasonic, or knock sensors, the mics are used everywhere.
Well! In mics also, there are multiple categories. So, we can say there are many kinds of mics to convert sound waves into electric signals-
- The Dynamic Microphone
- The Condenser Microphone
- The Contact Microphone
What actually a Condenser Mic is?
So, let me first tell you, there are two forms of condenser mic-
- The mic with large diaphragm and
- the mic with a small diaphragm
When both these mics have different size-diaphragms, the question that can click your mind now is, Will both these kinds work differently or the same?
Well! There’s no difference in the process of functionality. Both these small-diaphragms and large-diaphragms follows the same working process.
So, whenever there are two kinds of the same thing, they definitely possess some similarities as well as differences. Before proceeding with the differences, we’ll first spot the similarities between the two and how exactly they work?
Condenser microphones were invented back in 1916 and at that time these mics were referred to as the capacitor microphones. Why capacitor mic? As the condenser mics perform similarly as a capacitor does. There’s a capsule in the condenser mics and that’s something very much similar to the capacitor.
This capsule is all about the condenser mics. Actually, it’s the capsule that is made up of the diaphragm (either small or large) and a backplate. The diaphragm is capable to conduct electricity and hence, it’s made up of metal only. Generally, it uses ‘gold-sputtered mylar’. This mylar is quite light in weight and of, course a good conductor of electricity.
How do Condenser Mics work?
Between the diaphragm and the backplate inside the capsule, there’s a slight gap where it requires passing the electric current and this current will be the actual power supply for the condenser mic. For the external power supply, the condenser mics use batteries and phantom power.
Whenever sound enters the condenser microphone, it makes the diaphragm vibrate. This vibration reduces the distance between the diaphragm and the backplate and this ultimately transforms the sound waves into electrical signals.
Applications of Condenser Mic
However, both kinds of condenser mics work in the same way but the applications are different. So, first, we’ll be looking over the applications of the large-diaphragm condenser mic-
- In the recording studios for the vocals
- There are musical instruments that produce low sound, to produce a loud sound, the large-diaphragm mics are good to go
- No unnatural sound
The main reason for preferring this large-diaphragm condenser mic over others is that the sound feels absolutely natural. However, these mics are not ideal for a stage show or something like that.
Let me tell you one more thing, if you’re using these large-diaphragm condenser mics in the studio for recording vocals, you definitely have to invest in the pop filters at the same time because the large-diaphragm mics are likely to capture each and every other noise so better to use the filters along to record the vocals only!
Coming on the Applications of the small-diaphragm condenser mics-
So, if you’re recording the sound from the instruments like from the acoustic guitar or cello, then these small-diaphragm condenser mics come into action.
The small-diaphragm condenser mics are well-known to generate high-quality sound even at low frequencies. This what the small-diaphragm condenser mics are popular for.
Indeed! this wide frequency is actually the best when it comes to recording for the instruments but it’s not ideal for recording vocals.
While recording the instruments using the small-diaphragm condenser mics, you can even adjust the polar pattern as per your preferences and convenience. Or I would rather say that suits your voice or your instrument.
So, we can conclude that the large-diaphragm condenser mics are ideal for recording vocals while the small-diaphragm condenser mics are ideal for recording the instruments at a wide frequency in the recording studios.
Factors to be Considered While Buying a Condenser Mic
The most frequent question asked by many of the musicians, Which is the best condenser mic to go with? To be honest, this is something that cannot be answered at all. But, yes we can consider various factors to get the best-
- Diaphragm Size
- Directionality and
Durability is something that defines how long this thing will work without getting damage or something. So, when it comes to the condenser mics, go with the one that you feel will have fewer technical issues.
If you’ve selected multiple options already and the features are almost the same then go with the one with the simple setup as with that one, you will be needing just to plug in and play!
As I’ve already described above, some of the condenser mics have the large-diaphragm while others having the small-diaphragms.
If you want to record your vocals then go with the large-diaphragm condenser mic but you will also require the pop filter with that kind as it’s quite sensitive.
And, if you want to record the instruments at a wide frequency, then it’s the small-diaphragm size that you must go with.
Directionality defines the polar pattern of the condenser mics. All these condenser mics possess different directionality. There are various directional patterns like focused directional, cardioid, hyper-cardioid. All it depends on your requirement, what you wanna go with!
At last, it’s the price of, course. Everybody has their own budget and own requirements. So, this is definitely not the thing that if you gonna buy the most expensive one it will be high-quality. You can even get the best at a low price too if you have good googling skills and you can research properly.
5 Best Condenser Mics under $200
Here is the list of the best 5 condenser microphones in the market as reviewed in 2021. Without wasting any more time, let’s dive in:
- AKG Pro Audio P420 Dual Capsule Condenser Mic
- Shure PGA27-LC
- Audio-Technica AT2035
- AKG Perception 220
- Blue Yeti USB Microphone
1.AKG Pro Audio P420 Dual Capsule Condenser Mic
AKG Pro Audio P420 dual capsule condenser is available on Amazon at a price value of $149. This condenser mic supports the multipattern and comes in silver-blue color. It has no wireless connectivity and hence it features a wired connection.
This dual-diaphragm condenser mic has 3 different kinds of polar patterns and as per your requirement and convenience, you can set it up. The AKG Pro Audio P420 dual capsule condenser mic is designed with an aim of delivering the best sound quality.
The feel, the vibe, the warmth it produces is like anything! This condenser mic is ideal for ambient recording and stereo mixing, thanks to its cardioids, omnidirectional, and figure 8 factors.
- Features multi-polar pattern
- With AKG Pro Audio P420, it’s easy to switch between mid-side and Blumlein recording
- High sensitivity
- Large-diaphragm and hence makes it ideal for vocal recordings
Shure PGA27-LC is available on Amazon in black color and the condenser microphone will cost you $199. It comes with a unidirectional polar pattern. The condenser mic weighs only 2.7 pounds.
Just like the above-listed condenser mic, this Shure PGA27-LC also features the wired corded electric connectivity, there’s no wireless connectivity with this condenser mic also.
You’ll be requiring 1 lithium-ion battery to get started with the Shure PGA27-LC. For high pitches, low details, and mid-notes, this condenser mic comes with the large-diaphragm and this large-diaphragm condenser mic is ideal for recording vocals.
With Shure PGA27-LC, you’ll get the cardioid polar pattern and this is something that isolates the unwanted background noise, and you will focus on the music only.
This large-diaphragm condenser mic is pretty good in looks and its metallic black color is an addition to its beauty. To control the unwanted signals produced at the low-end, Shure PGA27-LC has a high-pass filter.
- Minimizes the background loud noise
- It offers you maximum stability
- While you travel or carrying this condenser mic, it requires extra care so, for that, the package comes with the padded zipper case
- High-class build
- Good in design
Audio-Technica AT2035 is available on Amazon at a price value of $149 in black color. If you want to use it for a live performance or for professional studio recording, Audio-Technica AT2035 is good to go with.
So, this condenser mic can also be used apart from home and studio applications too. With the Audio-Technica AT2035 comes the 80Hz high pass filter. It has high-end configurations and comes in a different rugged design.
The condenser mic also has the noise filter that is here to reduce the background noise and you can fully focus on the music only. For clear highs and decent lows, this condenser mic is a decent pickup and also, Audio-Technica AT2035 is used by many professionals too.
Getting so much in this price range is like anything that shouldn’t get slipped off your hand. The mic is so light in weight that you can easily carry it anytime, anywhere. It comes with a headphone jack with a volume control feature on it.
- It is designed to produce high-quality output and works at the sampling rate of 44.1/48kHz
- It also features the mix-control that mixes various kinds of music together and produces an ultimate output
- Super clarity
- No compatibility issues, compatible with Windows, Vista, Mac, XP, and 2000
4.AKG Perception 220
AKG Perception 220 is available on Amazon at a price value of $119 in black and gold color. This condenser mic features a unidirectional polar pattern and weighs only 1.16 pounds.
AKG Perception 220 is entirely made up of aluminum and is quite good in looks. This is a large-diaphragm condenser mic. Actually, all these listed condenser mics are large-diaphragm and hence ideal for recording your vocals while the ones with the small-diaphragm condenser mic are good to go when you want to record the instrument recordings at wide frequencies.
Many professionals recommend this AKG Professional 220 and also considered as the one with the high-quality feature set. This large-diaphragm condenser mic can also be used as an overhead mic for drums where there are required high-end cymbals and toms.
The most appealing factor of the AKG Professional 220 is its rugged design and is actually popular among adults.
- Rugged design
- Metallic body
- Made up of aluminum
- Weighs 1.16 pounds
- Bass cut filter
- Attenuation pads
5.Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Blue Yeti USB condenser mic is ideal for recording as it has a large-diaphragm. This condenser microphone is ideal for streaming on PC and Mac. It contains 3 condenser capsules and 4 pickup patterns.
The condenser microphone is available on Amazon at a price value of $130. There are two color choices- Blackout and Midnight Blue. If you’re one of those who like to opt for vibrant and colorful options, then Midnight Blue is the one for you.
It comes with the USB connector type and the frequency range of the Blue Yeti USB condenser mic is 20Hz- 20kHz.
- The condenser mic weighs 3.51 pounds
- Supports the corded electric power source
- It comes with an audio sensitivity of 120dB
- The condenser has 3 capsules
- 4 Pickup patterns
- Unique design
- Offers you a warranty of 2-years
This is all about the 5 best condenser mics under $200 as reviewed in 2021. All these listed condenser mics have undergone various tests and then finally came up in the Top 5 listing and also, these mics considered to be the best buy as collected from the customer diaries. Each of these listed condenser mics is good on its own and now it all depends on your convenience and requirement what you actually wanna go with.