The Best Studio Microphones Under $100 (2023 Ultimate Guide)

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Looking for the best studio microphones under $100 in 2023? This ultimate guide will help you find the perfect mic for your needs and budget. Whether you are a singer, podcaster, or streamer, you will discover the best options for quality sound and performance. Learn about the different types of microphones, their features, pros and cons, and how to choose the right one for you.

1. Audio-Technica AT2020

TOP PERFORMANCE

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2. MXL 770                                       

SMOOTH VOCALS

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3. Samson C01                            

NATURAL SOUND

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4. Behringer B-1

PROFESSIONAL QUALITY

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5. AKG P120

VERSATILE PERFORMANCE

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6. MXL 990

CRISP CLARITY

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1. Audio-Technica AT2020

TOP PERFORMANCE

Wide frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz.Cardioid polar pattern reduces background noise.
Sturdy and durable metal microphone.Low price, great value.
Picture by Audio-Technica

Picture by Alesis

PROS

  • If you’re on the hunt for a studio microphone that provides exceptional sound quality at an affordable price, the Audio-Technica AT2020 is worth considering. This microphone is a strong contender under the $100 mark, and here are four compelling reasons why:

    Firstly, the AT2020 features a large diaphragm condenser that accurately captures the intricacies and subtleties of vocals and instruments. With an impressive frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz, this microphone can handle a wide range of sounds and musical styles.

    Secondly, its cardioid polar pattern effectively reduces background noise and feedback. By capturing sound primarily from the front and sides while rejecting rear sound, the AT2020 is an ideal choice for recording vocals, podcasts, or acoustic instruments in a home studio environment.

    Thirdly, the AT2020 boasts a durable and sturdy design built to withstand daily use. Crafted with metal and a scratch-resistant black finish, this microphone is equipped to handle the rigors of recording. It also comes with a pivotable stand mount and protective pouch for convenient storage and transportation.

    Lastly, the AT2020 offers outstanding value for money with its affordable price tag. Though it falls within the budget-friendly range, it does not compromise on quality or performance. Priced at less than $100, this microphone is a steal when compared to other models in its category.

    These are just a few advantages of the Audio-Technica AT2020, but there are many more.

CONS

  • The Audio-Technica AT2020 is a popular studio microphone option under $100, but it does come with a few drawbacks.
  • Firstly, it requires additional equipment and setup, as it uses an XLR cable and needs 48V of phantom power. This means you’ll need a mixer, audio interface, or voice recorder that can provide phantom power and accept XLR input.
  • Additionally, the AT2020 lacks perfect sound quality. While it excels at isolating your voice from background noise, it is very sensitive and can capture unwanted sounds like breathing or room reflections. To minimize these issues, you’ll need a pop filter, shock mount, and acoustic treatment. Despite these drawbacks, the AT2020 offers affordability, durability, versatility, and convenience. For more information, check out our blog post: The Best Studio Microphones Under $100 (2023 Ultimate Guide).

2. MXL 770

SMOOTH VOCALS

Large diaphragm, wide frequency response.Includes shock mount and pad.
Cardioid polar pattern reduces off-axis sounds.Sleek and durable professional design.
Picture by MXL

PROS

    • If you’re in search of a studio microphone that offers excellent sound quality within an affordable price range, the MXL 770 is definitely worth considering. This condenser microphone is highly recommended for recording vocals, instruments, podcasts, and more, especially for those on a budget. Here are four key advantages that set the MXL 770 apart from its competitors:

      Firstly, it boasts a large diaphragm which captures a wide frequency range with a smooth response. Versatile across various genres and styles, the MXL 770 handles both high and low frequencies with clarity and warmth.

      Secondly, it comes equipped with a shock mount that effectively reduces unwanted vibrations and background noises. Additionally, the microphone features a low-noise FET preamp and a balanced output, ensuring a consistent and clean signal. The swivel mount allows for easy microphone positioning, while the -10 dB pad switch comfortably manages louder audio sources.

      Thirdly, the MXL 770 features a cardioid polar pattern, effectively isolating the main sound source and rejecting off-axis sounds. This is particularly beneficial for recording vocals or solo instruments in either a home studio or a noisy environment. The included bass roll-off switch cuts out low frequencies, eliminating any potential rumble or boominess.

      Lastly, the MXL 770 boasts a sleek and sturdy design that exudes professionalism and durability. With a black metal body complemented by gold accents and a gold-plated grill, the microphone not only looks classy but is also built to withstand frequent use and transport.

      The MXL 770 is undoubtedly one of the top studio microphones under $100 in 2023. 

CONS

  • The MXL 770 is a popular studio microphone known for its smooth and warm sound quality in vocals, instruments, and podcasts. It boasts a low-noise FET preamp and a balanced output, providing a wide dynamic range. Additionally, it comes with a shock mount and carrying case for added convenience. However, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider before purchasing the MXL 770.
  • Firstly, being a condenser microphone, it requires phantom power to function, which may pose a problem if your equipment lacks the ability to provide phantom power. Acquiring an external power supply would entail additional costs and complicate your setup.
  • Secondly, its cardioid polar pattern offers advantages such as reduced background noise and feedback, but it limits microphone positioning flexibility. Attention must be given to the angle and distance from the microphone to preserve sound quality and volume.

3. Samson C01

NATURAL SOUND

Versatile, durable, affordable, high-quality.Solid construction and durability.
Affordable large-diaphragm condenser microphone.Quality, sensitivity, low distortion, versatility.
Picture by Samson

PROS

  • If you are searching for an affordable studio microphone that offers exceptional performance without breaking the bank, look no further than the Samson C01. Despite being on the market for an extended period, this large-diaphragm condenser microphone remains a formidable competitor. Here are four significant advantages of the Samson C01 that make it a strong contender for the best studio microphone under $100.

    Firstly, the Samson C01 offers versatility. Its capabilities extend to various recording applications, including vocals, acoustic instruments, drums, and podcasts. With its smooth and flat frequency response, this microphone accurately captures the natural sound of your source, making it suitable for singer-songwriters, rock bands, and voice-over artists alike.

    Secondly, durability is a key feature of the Samson C01. Designed to last, it boasts a robust metal body and a sturdy mesh grill that safeguards the capsule from harm. Additionally, it features a gold-plated XLR connector and an LED indicator that signals when phantom power is active. The microphone comes with a swivel mount and a hard plastic case, aiding effortless storage and transport.

    Thirdly, affordability sets the Samson C01 apart. Priced at just $79.99, it is one of the most cost-effective large-diaphragm condenser microphones available. This makes it an excellent choice for beginners and hobbyists starting their home studio on a budget. Additionally, purchasing a bundle that includes the optional SP01 shock mount and other accessories allows for further savings.

    Lastly, the Samson C01 excels in quality despite its low price. With a 19mm diaphragm and a 3-micron thick gold-sputtered coating, it ensures high sensitivity and minimal distortion. Its cardioid polar pattern rejects unwanted background noise, focusing solely on your source. With a maximum SPL handling of 136dB, it effortlessly handles loud sounds without clipping.

    Although the Samson C01 has some drawbacks, such as slightly higher self-noise compared to certain competitors and the absence of pad or low-cut switches, its advantages make it an outstanding option for anyone seeking a studio microphone under $100. Considering its price and performance, the Samson C01 is challenging to surpass.

CONS

  • The Samson C01 is a highly affordable studio microphone that boasts a flat frequency response and a cardioid pickup pattern, allowing it to excel at recording vocals, instruments, podcasts, and more. However, it is important to be aware of a few drawbacks before making a purchase.
  • Firstly, the microphone requires phantom power, which means you will need additional equipment such as a mixer or audio interface to use it.
  • Secondly, the C01 is sensitive to background noise and plosives, picking up unwanted sounds and popping noises. To mitigate this, using a pop filter or windscreen is recommended. Despite these drawbacks, the Samson C01 is still a fantastic entry-level option for studio recording. For more affordable studio microphones under $100, take a look at our comprehensive 2023 ultimate guide.

4. Behringer B-1

PROFESSIONAL QUALITY

Low-cut filter, 10dB padIncludes shockmount, windscreen, aluminum case.
Cardioid polar pattern isolates sound.Wide frequency response and high SPL handling.
Picture by Behringer

PROS

  • If you’re in the market for an affordable studio microphone, the Behringer B-1 is worth considering. This large-diaphragm condenser mic is designed to capture your music with a high level of realism, sensitivity, and accuracy. Here are four key advantages of the Behringer B-1:

    1. It features a low-cut filter and a 10dB pad, providing control over the low-end response and input level of your recordings. This versatility makes it suitable for various sources and situations, such as vocals, acoustic instruments, drums, and guitar amps.

    2. Included in the price, the Behringer B-1 comes with essential accessories like a shockmount, windscreen, and aluminum case. The shockmount reduces unwanted vibrations, the windscreen prevents pops and sibilance, and the case protects the mic from dust and damage.

    3. With its cardioid polar pattern, the microphone primarily picks up sound from the front while rejecting noise from the sides and the back. This significant advantage helps isolate your source from unwanted ambient noise and feedback, resulting in a cleaner and clearer sound.

    4. Boasting a wide frequency response and a high SPL handling, the Behringer B-1 captures frequencies from 20Hz to 20kHz, covering the entire audible spectrum. It can also handle sound pressure levels up to 138dB, making it capable of recording loud sources without distortion.

    The Behringer B-1 is a versatile and reliable microphone suitable for various recording applications. While it may not be the absolute best-sounding mic available, it delivers exceptional value at its affordable price point. If you are looking for a studio microphone under $100, the Behringer B-1 is certainly worth considering.

CONS

  • The Behringer B-1 is a feature-packed, budget-friendly large diaphragm condenser microphone that comes with a cardioid polar pattern, 10dB pad, low-cut filter, shockmount, windscreen, and aluminum case. However, it falls short in certain areas. Sound quality is a major concern as users have reported its thin, harsh, and sibilant output with a lack of warmth, depth, and a tendency to distort with high sound levels. Furthermore, its build quality is unreliable, with complaints about the flimsy shockmount, cheap windscreen, and a case that doesn’t provide sufficient protection. While suitable for beginners or hobbyists, serious professionals may find better options within the sub $100 price range. Exploring alternatives is advised.

5. AKG P120

VERSATILE PERFORMANCE

Cardioid polar pattern, switchable attenuation pad, low-cut filter, rugged metal body.150 dB sound pressure level
low-cut filter reduces rumbleRugged, durable metal body.
Picture by AKG

PROS

  • If you’re searching for a studio microphone that delivers exceptional sound quality and performance without breaking the bank, then the AKG P120 should be high on your list. This condenser microphone is among the top options available for under $100, and here are four key reasons why it stands out:

    Firstly, the AKG P120 boasts a cardioid polar pattern, enabling it to reject unwanted background noise while focusing on capturing the intended sound source. Whether you’re recording vocals, instruments, podcasts, voice-overs, or more, this feature proves invaluable.

    Secondly, the microphone includes a switchable attenuation pad that allows for the handling of high sound pressure levels up to 150 dB. Consequently, you can record louder sources like drums, guitar amps, or brass instruments without worrying about distortion or clipping.

    Furthermore, the AKG P120 features a low-cut filter that effectively minimizes rumble and boominess that often arises from low-frequency sounds. By reducing this unwanted noise, the microphone enhances the clarity and intelligibility of your recordings, particularly when used close to the sound source.

    Lastly, the AKG P120 is constructed with a robust metal body, rendering it resistant to rough handling and ensuring longevity. It also comes with a stand adapter and a protective case, making storage and setup hassle-free.

    Overall, the AKG P120 is a versatile and reliable microphone suitable for various recording scenarios. It imbues recordings with a smooth, warm sound that is slightly compressed, making it highly flattering for most voices and instruments. Moreover, this microphone is user-friendly and compatible with the majority of audio interfaces and mixers. If you desire a reasonably-priced quality microphone, the AKG P120 is an excellent choice.

CONS

  • The AKG P120 is a condenser microphone that provides clear and detailed sound for vocals, instruments, and podcasts. It features a low-cut filter and a -20 dB pad switch to minimize unwanted noise and distortion. However, there are a few drawbacks to consider before purchasing.
  • Firstly, it requires phantom power, meaning you’ll need an audio interface or mixer capable of providing 48V power to the microphone. This adds to the cost and complexity of your setup.
  • Additionally, the cardioid polar pattern captures sound mainly from the front, rejecting sounds from the sides and back. Precise positioning and minimal movement during recording are necessary to avoid volume and tone changes. Keep these factors in mind when deciding on the AKG P120. If you desire a more versatile microphone, explore our selection of the best studio microphones under $100.

6. MXL 990

CRISP CLARITY

Large diaphragm, high sound pressure levelsRejects unwanted noise, clearer recording.
Shock mount isolates vibrations.Very affordable, under $100.
Picture by MXL

PROS

  • If you’re in search of a studio microphone that delivers exceptional sound quality without breaking the bank, look no further than the MXL 990. This condenser microphone is a highly popular choice among home studio owners and podcasters, and rightfully so. Here, we outline four key advantages of the MXL 990 that make it a fantastic option for all your recording needs.

    Firstly, its large diaphragm effectively captures the entire range of your voice or instrument, providing a rich and detailed sound. With the ability to handle high sound pressure levels, the MXL 990 is suitable for vocals, acoustic guitars, drums, and more.

    Secondly, its cardioid polar pattern rejects unwanted noise from the sides and back, enabling you to focus solely on your main source. This feature also reduces feedback and room reflections, resulting in a cleaner and clearer recording.

    Thirdly, it comes equipped with a shock mount to isolate the microphone from vibrations and bumps, preventing unwanted noises from sabotaging your performance. The shock mount also boasts a threaded base that fits most standard microphone stands, ensuring easy setup and adjustment.

    Lastly, the MXL 990 is impressively affordable, costing less than $100 on most online platforms. For such a reasonable price, you gain access to a microphone that produces professional-grade sound, rivalling some of the pricier models in the market. Furthermore, the MXL 990 includes a carrying case and a 15-foot XLR cable, further enhancing its value.

    These aforementioned advantages merely scratch the surface of the MXL 990, making it a top contender among studio microphones under $100.

CONS

  • The MXL 990 is a widely used and budget-friendly condenser microphone suitable for various applications like vocals, podcasts, voice-overs, and acoustic instruments. However, it does have a couple of drawbacks to consider before purchasing:

    1. The MXL 990 has a fixed cardioid polar pattern, limiting its versatility since it only captures sound from the front while rejecting sound from the sides and back. While this feature can be great for isolating the source, it hampers stereo recording, ambient sound capture, and simultaneously recording multiple sources. For more flexibility, consider mics with switchable or variable polar patterns like the Audio-Technica AT2020 or the AKG P420.

    2. The MXL 990 requires 48V phantom power for operation, necessitating a mixer, audio interface, or preamp capable of supplying it. This adds cost, complexity, and reduces portability. If you desire a simpler and more affordable solution, USB microphones like the Blue Yeti or the Samson Q2U can be directly plugged into your computer.

    Despite these limitations, the MXL 990 remains an excellent choice for beginners and hobbyists seeking an affordable, dependable, and quality condenser microphone for their home studio. However, if you desire greater features and flexibility, exploring other alternatives in the market might be worthwhile.

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