Best Condenser Microphones in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update April 25, 2019
If you need the condenser microphone with transcendent acoustic qualities for your studio or home use so you can broadcast and record your instrumental music or vocal performance, in this review we've selected five top models to help you make the right choice. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Sound Recording Modes
Frequency Response
Sample Rate
Bit Rate
Extras
Warranty
 
PROS

Included is a premium pop-filter, which significantly reduces the likelihood of overloading when the harsh consonants are pronounced (hard ‘B’, ‘T’ or ‘P’ sounds). There is also an XLR cable with a length of 6 meters for easy connection.

CONS

Very sensitive - records even the slightest outside noise.

OUR VERDICT

This model from RODE NT1-A is one of the quietest microphones: it boasts ultra-low self-noise at only 5 dB, which means you can achieve the purest voice and instrumental recordings. Suitable option for the organization of a professional studio.

detailed parameters
Sound Recording Modes

Cardioid Mode

Frequency Response

20 Hz - 20 kHz

Sample Rate

48 kHz

Bit Rate

16 bit

Extras

3-pin XLR output connector, Adjustable shockmount and pop filter, dust bag, 6m XLR cable included

Warranty

1 year (9 more years for product registration)

PROS

The vintage appearance gives this microphone a character that is completely in place with a recording studio. Includes a shockmount and a hard carrying case for storing and transportation.

CONS
No desktop stand.
OUR VERDICT

We also liked the classy design of this MXL 990 Condenser Mic. Being quite to our taste, it's an awesome acquisition for a small home studio as it has decent frequency response for delivering the harmonious sound of your voice.

detailed parameters
Sound Recording Modes
Cardioid mode
Frequency Response
30 Hz - 20 kHz
Sample Rate
48 kHz
Bit Rate
16 bit
Extras
FET preamplifier, Stockmount holder, Mic stand adapter, Carrying case
Warranty
1-year warranty
PROS

The ultra-rugged construction with a die-cast body makes the microphone incredibly durable and stable - this significantly reduces the risk of the device failing due to an accidental hit - especially important when performing on stage with a fixed microphone on the stand.

CONS

Some users complain about a rather high self-noise level.

OUR VERDICT

This microphone is the best fit as a primary or secondary microphone during live performances, because with its help you can achieve high-quality sound without sudden volume jumps and changes in tone.

detailed parameters
Sound Recording Modes

Cardioid Mode

Frequency Response

40 Hz - 20 kHz

Sample Rate

48 kHz

Bit Rate

16 bit

Extras

3-pin XLR output connector, Ultra-low noise transformerless FET input, swivel stand mount and transport case included

Warranty

1 year (2 more years for product registration)

PROS

Gold-plated XLR connector provides reliable contact with the XLR cable's plug. A special LED indicator displays a stable supply of phantom power at 48 V - this allows you to be sure that the microphone is turned on during the recording session.

CONS

When recording a voice, you need to use a pop filter.

OUR VERDICT

If you often have to record songs with loud instruments like an electric guitar or a drum set, then we recommend purchasing this model: with its SPL level at 136dB, the probability of sound distortion and overloading will be minimal.

detailed parameters
Sound Recording Modes

Cardioid Mode

Frequency Response

20 Hz - 18 kHz

Sample Rate

48 kHz

Bit Rate

16 bit

Extras

3-pin XLR output connector, swivel stand mount and transport case included

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The design here provides a high-quality holder for a 5/8" rack with a swivel angle of inclination: you can quickly set the optimum microphone position based on your placement. And there is an adapter for 3/8" racks in the kit.

CONS

The quality of storage pouch leaves much to be desired.

OUR VERDICT

This budget model from Audio Technica is often used by bloggers and streamers who want to achieve pure sound with a minimum of resources. And it can also be exploited on radio stations, as voice recording with it will pleasantly surprise even the most demanding audiophiles.

detailed parameters
Sound Recording Modes

Cardioid Mode

Frequency Response

20 Hz - 20 kHz

Sample Rate

44.1 kHz

Bit Rate

16 bit

Extras

3-pin XLR output connector, stand mount with threaded adapter (from 5/8" to 3/8"), soft protective pouch included

Warranty

2 years

Rode NT1-A

The Standard in Condenser Microphones

Ask most recording professionals about their favorite microphones, and chances are that many of them will reply with Rode. This Australian company has become the gold standard in microphones over the years, and the Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone. This microphone has maintained the high reputation that the manufacturer has earned by providing an exceptionally clear recording ability that is able to pick up all nuances in both vocals and instruments.

This microphone features a large diaphragm capsule with a golden membrane and has an impedance of 100 Ohms, making it perfect for heavy-duty recording and concert equipment. The external case is made of a high-strength metal with a satin nickel finish, making it extremely durable and able to withstand the rigors of performances. Internally, the microphone has vibration support of the capsule, ensuring that the microphone itself does not produce noise or interference. The high sensitivity of this model means that it is susceptible to picking up background noise, but this shouldn't be an issue in a soundproofed recording booth. Overall, the high performance and extreme durability of this model makes it the best condenser microphone for many people.

Review of Rode NT1-A Condenser Microphone

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

MXL 990

Equip Your Own Studio

There is much to be said for a high-quality microphone that isn't overly expensive. The MXL 990 mic comes at a comparatively low price, though it doesn't look cheap. Quite the contrary, it has a rather classy design, especially when the shock mount is attached. The mic, shock mount, and the stand mount come in a hard plastic case with foamed insides. Please note that it's shipped without an XLR cable and needs phantom power at 48 V. Thus, make sure your mixer or preamp can provide it. As for hooking it up to the computer, you will need an XLR-to-USB audio interface.

The captured sound quality may vary, depending on other equipment that you have. Still, the MXL 990 is pretty sensitive and can capture the finest acoustic details while you are using it for recording. It has an extra-quiet inherent self-noise, while its large membrane is very sensitive and will likely pick up some unwanted noises from the background, so make sure you use it in a sound proof room, especially in an apartment. Anyhow, this high-quality microphone delivers fluid treble, solid middles, and sturdy sub-bass frequencies. Feel free to use it for vocals, speech or instruments. Whatever you decide to use it for, you are certain to be pleased by its performance.

Review of MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount

VIDEO
Part 1 - MXL 990 Microphone Review
 

Behringer C-1

Ultra-rugged Design

A problem that is often encountered with microphones is that many of them aren't very durable. While one wouldn't think that microphones tend to have a limited lifespan, this does often turn out to be the case, and this is largely due to the sensitive nature of these devices. The internal components often used for microphones are often fragile, and having one that can survive the rigors of regular use would make the microphone worth its weight in gold.

The Behringer C-1 Studio Condenser Microphone is one model that is made to withstand the regular wear and tear that studio microphones often go through. This condenser microphone features a large diaphragm that helps it achieve high audio recording quality. The microphone is cased in a rugged metal exterior that helps provide extra protection to its internal components, making it able to withstand a great deal of abuse. Not only is it rugged, though, but it also features exception recording quality, with an exceptionally flat frequency response and high dynamic range that allows it to pick up every small nuance in whatever audio is being recorded. The ultra-low noise internal circuitry guarantees that you will have little noise or interference with your recordings. For those in the hunt for an exceptionally well-designed and rugged studio condenser microphone, this model may be your best bet.

Review of Behringer C-1 Studio Condenser Microphone

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Samson SAC01

Exceptional Studio Tool

Any equipment meant for a recording studio needs to be of high quality. Studio equipment goes through a lot of rigors, so it needs to be durable, and the sound quality of any equipment also needs to be at the highest level. The Samson SAC01 Studio Condenser Microphone not only meets the standards of high-quality studio tools, but also exceeds them by a wide margin. This exceptionally high quality condenser microphone features a cardioid pickup along with a heavy gauge mesh grill, providing superior audio recording quality across the spectrum.

Everything about this microphone just screams high quality. The XLR connector is gold plated, ensuring a strong, stable connection to whatever recording equipment it is connected to. The highly durable case features an LED indicator that is lit whenever it is receiving full voltage, giving you the ability to see when it is recording. Inside of it are two ultra-thin sensor membranes that are able to pickup almost every small detail of audio, giving you the ability to record accurately. It even comes with a swivel mount that can be attached to any standard mic stand, giving you freedom of movement and positioning for recording. Anyone who is needing a superior quality condenser microphone for their studio will find this model to be a great value.

Review of Samson SAC01 Studio Condenser Microphone

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Audio-Technica AT2020

The Price to Performance Standard

Not every piece of audio gear has to be expensive. Even though recording audio can demand high-quality components, there are still bargains to be found out there when searching for reliable tools for the studio. Such is the case with the Audio-Technica AT2020 condenser microphone, a high-quality recording device that is also quite affordable. This microphone, despite being more reasonably priced, carries with it a high reputation for providing superior audio recording quality.

Due to this model's quality and budget price, it has quickly become a favourite of home musicians and video bloggers everywhere. Featuring a wide dynamic range, it maintains high SPL handling, providing superb voice recordings, as well as having the ability to pick up the small details of audio of any kind. The design of this model provides a holder for a 5/8" rack with a swivel angle of inclination, which means you can quickly set the optimum microphone position based on your placement. There is also an adapter for 3/8" racks in the kit. With the price to performance ratio of this model being so high, anyone who needs a microphone of great quality for their home will quickly find this one to be their favourite.

Review of Audio-Technica AT2020

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Condenser Microphone?

Most people who have ever been around recording or auditory equipment are familiar with microphones, and have at least seen one if not actually used one. A microphone is an electrical music and sound device that can capture sound waves around it for recording or amplifying and further reproduction with the sound speakers. Whereas dynamic microphones are relatively simple devices with their own set of pluses and minuses, condenser-type mics usually have a slightly upper hand over dynamic mics in terms of frequency response. They have a wider frequency range, allowing them to pick up the smallest nuances in your voice or your music instrument's tonality. Therefore, if you need a mic for a home studio, online webcasting or general audio recording, these microphones are exactly what you need. Choosing one of the models listed below will ensure that you get the best condenser microphone for your needs.

Looking for more equipment? You can also check out our pick of the best over-ear headphones too. And if you are into game live streaming, we recommend getting a powerful graphics card and an HD webcam so that your videos won't look pixelated or have low resolution.

Sources:

1. Joe Shambro Condenser vs. Dynamic Microphones, ThoughtCo. January 28, 2019.

2. Studio Microphone Buying Guide, Sweetwater.

3. The Beginner’s Guide to Recording Studio Microphones, E-Home Recording Studio.

4. Sean The Best Microphone for Recording Rap Vocals, The Wire Realm. September 20, 2018.

5. Alan Henry How to Choose the Best Microphone for Your PC, Lifehacker. March 24, 2014.

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Publish Date: 2019-02-15 11:59:12