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Best Vocal Mic Under 100 - September 2021

Thanks for Natural Language Processing Algorithm advantages as well as our professional experts, we collected 13,273 objectives reviews of consumers, then carried out in-depth analysis to generate the list of 10 Best vocal mic under 100 in 2021. You can totally believe in their quality because they all belong to popular brands such as: FIFINE, Audio-Technica, MANLI, Blue, TONOR, MAONO, Rode.

With so many alternatives available, surfing through the online stores to find the best vocal microphone under $100 can be challenging, so we decided to concentrate on this price range today to help you in your search. As we've seen in many of our buying guides, the best microphones come in a number of shapes and sizes to accommodate a wide range of applications and users. As a result, selecting the best vocal microphone under $100 can be tough, therefore we've recommended a few options below.

Maria Lebsack By, Maria Lebsack
Product Images, Product Titles, Product More Information from Amazon Product Advertising API

Buying Guides

1. The types of microphone

You know that microphones and headphones are the two ends of the recording process. While the headphones “speak” to your ears, the microphones record the sound from the artists and instruments. Therefore, they somehow share some properties in terms of the mechanisms. Here are the types of microphones:

  • Dynamic microphones: Just like dynamic headphones, dynamic microphones feature a thing called the “voice coil”. The motion created by the vibrating membrane is sent to the voice coil, which generates a distinct electric signal based on the types of vibrations picked up by the membrane as it travels through its magnetic field.
  • Condenser microphones: Instead of featuring a voice coil, this type of microphone features a condenser. Because sound waves cause the membrane to vibrate, the electric signal is created by the motion of the membrane and the movement of the electric field. Two types of condenser microphones are large diaphragm for vocals, and small diaphragm for high frequencies.
  • Bass microphones: Bass microphones are actually condenser microphones designed for recording bass, or low frequencies. Bass microphones are usually larger than most dynamic mics, and look different.
  • Ribbon microphones: Ribbon microphones are designed for picking up high frequencies in the mid range and treble range. A tiny ribbon-like sheet of metal is strung between two magnets on either side of a ribbon microphone. The vibrations are taken up by the magnets on each side of the ribbon as sound waves approach it. Ribbon microphones are durable, high-quality, but super expensive.

2. Polar patterns

Polar patterns can be understood as where and how the microphones collect the sound waves and convert them into electrical signals. It can be everywhere around the room, only the singer’s voice, from the sides, or from both the singer’s and the opposite direction. Here are some popular polar patterns you need to know of: 

  • Omnidirectional: As we talked about, this is usually the kind everyone has been imagining. Omnidirectional microphones collect signals from all angles around its position. Therefore, if this kind is used and there’s noise around the corners, it would be inconvenient.
  • Bidirectional: Instead of collecting everything, bidirectional microphones only record sound waves from two opposite directions, as in the situations when two singers are singing at the same time. Bidirectional mics ignore the sound from the sides of microphones, thus being the most popular type in studios.
  • Cardioid: The sensitivity of these mics is best in the front, but it gradually decreases towards the sides, eventually reaching a null point in the back with no sensitivity. These microphones are recommended to be used with monitor speakers.
  • Hypercardioid: Similarly to cardioid’s specs, hypercardioid microphones have the polar patterns shaped like the clubs in the poker card, being most sensitive in the front and little in the back.

We can never say which kind of polar patterns is the best to use, but that depends on how and where you use your microphones. Here are the factors for you to consider when choosing your microphones:

  • What do you use the microphones for: studio recording, concerts, live performance, or karaoke.
  • How do you use the microphones: handheld or fixed with a tripod.
  • The size of the room / space: Studio size, bedroom size, or stadium size.
  • What kind of sound you need to record: Human voices, guitars, or bass.

3. Connectors

Connectors are the ways you use to get the signal out of your microphone to the computer. Although the connectors can be divided into two categories: wireless and wired, most professional headphones are corded.

The reason why they don’t use Bluetooth for professional recordings is that Bluetooth is not ideal in transferring high-quality signals with high resolutions and high bandwidth. Therefore, we rarely see a Bluetooth-powered microphone sold on the market.

For corded microphones, signals can be transferred in two ways, just like headphones: analog and digital.

  • Analog connectors: Imagine your earphones you use everyday, that’s analog. Analog microphone is the type that transfers raw analog signals instead of bit sequences with 0 and 1. Analog connectors are usually seen on non-professional karaoke microphones.
  • Digital connectors: The type we usually see here is the USB. Most professional microphones use the USB ports to transfer signals to the computer. Therefore, the computer doesn’t need to understand and try to sample the analog signal but just needs to understand bit sequences of audio. That ensures the quality of the recordings regardless of the computer hardware.

4. BitRate

This section will introduce you to the bitrate value, but do not be confused with the BitDepth value, because those are totally different properties. BitRate is the number of bits used to describe one second of audio in the compressed music. Assuming that all audios are recorded at the same BitDepth and sampling rate, the BitRate would equally mean the compression level of the music file. 

To put it plainly, the most popular BitRate for normal music files is 128kbps (128.000 bits for one second). The higher this BitRate value is, obviously the higher the quality gets. Here are the most common bit rates you see:

  • 32kbps/64kbps: This is usually the bit rate for what’s called “data saver” quality. For 32kbps, it would take just around 1MB for a 5-minute music file, so it’s the ideal bit rate to save data. However, you literally have to suffer from the poor quality.
  • 128kbps: As we said earlier, this is the most popular bitrate for music files ever in the world. There are two reasons for this: firstly, this bit rate is said to be acceptable in terms of quality, and secondly, most normal non-professional headphones could not portray higher bit rates well, so why should we have to waste bandwidth on something useless?
  • 320kbps: The highest quality Spotify provides users with at this moment. 320kbps is considered standard for higher music quality, however not the highest.
  • 1411kbps: CD quality bit rate.
  • Higher: Higher bit rate would also mean that the microphones have to be high-quality enough to record. If the recording device has low quality, then putting the output into a ridiculously high bit rate is nothing more than nonsense.

Alright, so at the end of this section, you need to know in advance what kind of music you want to produce before purchasing your microphones. Purchasing a very high-quality mic for low-quality music production is wasteful, while purchasing a low-quality mic for high-quality music production is honestly dumb.

The best vocal mic under $100

1. Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone

Shure SM58-LC Dynamic Vocal Microphone is the first microphone of our choices’ today. The Shure SM58 is a widely used voice mic in studios and venues all around the world, when it features dynamic voice coil, beautiful design, and clear sound.

The first thing to talk about this mic is the Cardioid polar patterns, created specifically for voices. Engineered for vocals, the microphone has the frequency response of 15 Hz to 15000 Hz, which covers all the frequencies that human voices can make. 

The mic uses the XLR connector to connect to the computers or other recording devices, requiring one lithium-ion battery to function correctly. Finally, we have nothing to doubt about the Shure brand, who has been making high-quality microphones and headphones for decades now.

  • 15 Hz - 15000 Hz
  • Engineered for vocals
  • XLR connector

2. FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone

There is no doubt that the FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone is one of the best vocal microphones we can buy for under $100. With over 12000 good ratings and still counting, this device has shown itself as a perfect candidate for streaming and vocal recording. 

Fifine Studio Microphone is designed for Condenser technology to have the best quality for recording voices. It uses a USB connector for digital signal transmission and Plug and Play to ease the installation process. The polar pattern here is cardioid, and the item weighs about 700 grams.

  • USB connector + Plug and Play
  • Black cool design
  • Good ratings
  • Cardioid polar pattern

3. MXL 990 Vocal Microphone

The next item in our reviews today is the MXL 990. MXL 990 possesses a very beautiful golden design which makes your studio feel luxurious and royal. The mic is initially designed for working with voiceover projects, streaming and even recording music.

As for technical specifications, the mic features an XLR connector, which provides a balanced connection for the purpose of noise elimination. The mic has been adjusted and balanced by the specialists from MXL for the beautiful sound of the 30 Hz - 20000 Hz frequency response. The polar pattern claims to be unidirectional.

  • Unidirectional polar pattern
  • XLR balanced connector
  • 30 Hz - 20000 Hz frequency response
  • Adjusted for home studio

4. Blue Yeti Nano Professional Microphone

Blue Yeti Nano Professional Microphone is manufactured with no-latency headphone output, headphone volume controls, and mic mute settings, it's ideal for podcasting, game streaming, Skype calls, YouTube, or music. The microphone works with USB ports and offers users the Plug and Play capability.

For the specifications, the microphone records at the 24-bit definition and supports up to 48kHz of sampling rate. Two polar patterns supported are cardioid and omnidirectional. Finally, the microphone is warranted by the manufacturer for one year.

  • 24-bit/48kHz bit depth and sampling rate
  • Perfect for voices
  • Volume controls

5. SAMSON Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

After thoughtful considerations, we have decided to go with SAMSON Go Portable Microphone for the budget choice today. The Samson Go defines itself as a portable mic for mobility, when it features only one channel of recording, weighs only half a pound and has the size of a palm.

The microphone has a white design with a stand built-in, allowing it to put it on the table whenever you want to stream your videos, record your music, or call your friends. The microphone works with multiple polar patterns, but the downside is that it requires a Li-ion battery to operate correctly. 

  • Portable for streaming, voice calling, music recording with USB connector
  • Only one recording channel
  • 0.5 pounds
  • Very cheap

FAQs

1. What are the recording channels?

Since we have two ears and most speaker systems have two speakers, music files are usually made with two channels, each of them will be played by a speaker into one ear. Therefore, in the recording process, it is important to record the sound with multiple channels to mimic the experience of listening to the real artists with two ears.

Although two channels are meant to be separated, some DJ softwares and audio editing tools still allow producers to crossfade channels, create virtual reverb, or alter the channels’ signals.

2. What frequencies do I need for my vocal voice?

As we said in our reviews, human voices usually have frequencies in the range of 90 Hz to 9000Hz, mostly in the range of 900 Hz to 3000 Hz. Therefore, in order to record only human voices, the microphone only needs to cover the basic voice frequencies range above. However, you should choose the widest frequency range possible, because you never know when you need it.

3. What is the difference between XLR and USB connector?

The main difference is that XLR transmits analog signals while USB transmits the digital signals to the computer. If you plan to use XLR to work with your mic, you will need an external recording interface or some other devices with recording features and compatibility with the XLR port.

 

So, the question is, why are people still stuck with XLR connections? XLR based microphones don’t have an internal recorder, so you can use your own custom sound card and change it whenever you want. For USB, you’ll have to stick with the built-in recorder even when it’s terrible.

4. What is a balanced connector?

A balanced connector is defined to be a connector with the noise-eliminating capability. The principle that allows devices to do that is apart from sending the signals on the lines, the sender also sends a ground signal which is nothing in the perspective of the sender but noise in the perspective of the receiver. 

Therefore, the receiver would just simply subtract the signals to the ground and get the perfectly noise-free data. For your information, XLR cables are always balanced.

5. How do I clean my microphone?

Follow the steps here to clean your microphone:

  • Stop recording and unplug the power cord. Remove the batteries if needed.
  • Take off the sound filters if it can be taken off.
  • Use a soft cloth and some alcohol to clean your mic. Don’t use water.
  • Dry it out and put the battery or plug the power cord again.

Final Thoughts

The demand for vocal microphones designed for streaming, music recording or sometimes voice calling is increasing now in the world. In this article, we have introduced you to the best vocal mic under $100. Here are our final picks for the topic:


Thank you for reading our article today about the best vocal mic under $100. We have provided you with information about specifications, how to choose  for yourself the best device, and introduced you to some of our selected products. Feel free leave any comments down below, and we’ll take a look and see you!


1 ratings
Maria Lebsack By, Maria Lebsack
Maria Lebsack is a gifted Music Producer with seven years of building fantastic sound tapestries and taking artists to the next level. Inspiration and motivation, coaxing the best performances out of artists and delivering a tight finished product. In 2006, He studied in Driscoll School of Music and graduated in Bachelor of science: Music Engineering LA, England. He worked as assistant Music Producer with Behemoth Records in business Minor. He has not only strong knowledge of movie scores, musical instruments, but he also has experience with theatrical, industrial and concert touring. He likes playing guitar, piano and drum set. He wants to share his reviews to everyone choosing one of favorite musical instruments.