One of the most essential pieces of recording equipment for your home studio is of course a microphone. Though you don’t just want to opt for any old microphone. You want the best of the best.
But when most of these condenser mics are hundreds of dollars, it can be frustrating trying to find a model that is both affordable and able to deliver great results.
You may find yourself tempted to opt for a cheap condenser mic. But the problem with buying cheap is that you often have to buy twice when the thing breaks. $200 gives you a decent budget to work with to find a quality condenser mic without having to break the bank. But where do you even start?
I know how hard it can be to try and find the best condenser mic under $200. So that’s why I’ve done all the hard work for you! I’ve researched and reviewed hundreds of condenser mics to find the best models available on the market.
Blue Yeti is one of the market leaders when it comes to quality microphones. And the best thing about the majority of their mics is that they’re available for an affordable price!
This particular Blue Yeti USB mic comes with a range of great features to make it the perfect fit for your home studio. This includes the legendary Blue Broadcast sound, giving you professional quality recordings.
This particular condenser microphone comes with a custom three capsule array. This means you can produce powerful clear sounds for your recordings. The Blue Yeti USB mic will be perfect for podcasting, recording your own music, game streaming, and many more.
What’s really great about the Blue Yeti USB microphone is that it comes with four different pickup patterns. Those include cardioid, bidirectional, Omni, and stereo.
This gives you more flexibility than condenser mics that only come with one pickup pattern, as you can choose the best one for your needs. So you’ll be able to do an efficient job with this single microphone for jobs that would normally require several mics.
You’ll be in control of everything with the Blue Yeti USB mic in your possession. It comes with all the onboard audio controls you need to keep on top of your whole recording experience.
You can easily control the volume of your headphones, instant mute, pattern selection, as well as microphone gain. This all works to make it much easier to control every aspect of your recordings.
- Trusted brand – Blue Yeti is one of the market leaders for microphones
- Better control – you’re in complete control of all aspects of your recording
- Pickup patterns – comes with four different pickup patterns for more versatility
- Large – some customers found the Blue Yeti USB mic was larger than other microphones they were familiar with
- Custom three-capsule array: Produces clear, powerful, broadcast-quality sound for YouTube, game streaming, podcasting, Skype calls and music
- Four pickup patterns: cardioid, Omni, bidirectional, and stereo pickup patterns offer incredible flexibility, allowing you to record in ways that would normally require multiple microphones
- Onboard audio controls: Studio controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute, and microphone gain put you in charge of every level of the recording and streaming process
The Audio-Technica cardioid condenser studio XLR microphone is another great choice if you’re looking for a high-quality mic under $200. This particular mic gives you one of the best performances at a great price point. It will make the perfect fit for your home studio and comes with a noise level of 20cB SPL.
What’s really great about this condenser mic is that it comes with high SPL handling. This gives you a much wider dynamic range, which in turn will give you even more versatility. Great if you want to use your new Audio-Technica XLR mic for a variety of applications.
Another great feature of this Audio-Technica microphone is that it comes with a custom engineered low mass diaphragm. This gives you an extended frequency response, as well as a superior transient response.
There’s also better sound source isolation thanks to the cardioid polar pattern. This works to reduce the sounds from the sides as well as the rear of the microphone to give you clearer recordings.
This particular condenser microphone comes with several helpful accessories, too. You’ll get a soft protective pouch to store your microphone in after use. There’s also a pivoting threaded stand mount for ⅝ inch-27 threaded stands, as well as a ⅜ inch-16 threaded adapter.
- High quality – one of the best quality condenser mics for under $200
- Sound isolation – cardioid polar pattern gives you better sound isolation
- Additional accessories – includes a protective pouch and threaded stand mount
- Sensitive – picks up background noises really easily
- The price/performance standard in side address studio condenser microphone technology
- Ideal for project/home studio applications; The noise level is 20 dB SPL
- High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility
Another fantastic condenser mic from Blue Yeti is the Nano professional condenser USB microphone. This particular microphone is smaller than its counterpart that I’ve reviewed above, so will be the perfect choice for those who don’t have a lot of room in their home studio.
The Blue Yeti Nano condenser microphone is wonderfully versatile. You can use it for recording your own music, for podcasting, game streaming, YouTube, or even Skype calls. This great versatility makes it a worthy investment as you’ll get more value for your money.
This particular microphone comes with both cardioid and Omni pickup patterns. This gives you greater choice when it comes to your recordings, as you can pick the best pattern for your needs. This Blue Yeti Nano mic is able to support sample rates of up to 24-bit/48 Khz.
Another handy feature of the Blue Yeti Nano is that it comes with a no-latency headphone output, headphone volume, and mic mute control. This will give you better control of your recording experience.
Perfect if you want to have a clear, concise recording that you won’t have to repeat a second time to cut out interruptions.
- Small – the Blue Yeti Nano is a smaller model than the full sized Blue Yeti USB mic
- Versatile – can be used for a variety of recording purposes
- Two pickup patterns – choose between cardioid and Omni patterns for your recordings
- Software – need to download Blue Sherpa software to control the gain
- Yeti Nano features two custom microphone capsules tuned to give your voice and audios exceptional presence and detail, for pro recordings and streamings with legendary Blue broadcast sound quality
- Elevate your podcasting, video or game streaming to the professional level with the compact Yeti Nano, providing the production value you deserve so you’ll be heard loud and clear every time
- This USB microphone has dual pick-up patterns; cardioid for optimal direct mic recording and streaming, and omnidirectional for creating room-like conferencing or podcasting with more voices
The Elgato Wave: 3 USB condenser microphone gives you a high quality mic at a competitive price. Coming just under your budget of $200, you’ll be able to create professional quality content with this particular microphone.
It comes with a tight cardioid polar pattern to give you more precision when you’re recording.
A unique feature of this Elgato Wave: 3 USB condenser microphone is that you can easily control it using the Wave Link app. This allows you to easily control your new microphone as well as up to 7 other audio sources. You can also use the Wave Link app to create 2 independent mixes.
You won’t have to worry about any distortion appearing in your recordings. The Elgato Wave: 3 comes with proprietary Clipguard technology. This works to protect the mic from any distortion while you’re recording. Perfect if you want to avoid having to record your work a second time!
What’s really handy is the Elgato Wave: 3 comes with a variety of controls. There’s a capacitive mute to help you silently disengage the mic. You can also tweak the input gain, adjust your headphone volume, and crossfade between the mic and PC mix.
Ideal if you’re looking for a condenser mic that gives you better control over your recordings.
- Precision – comes with a tight cardioid polar pattern for better precision
- Wave Link app – easily control your mic via the smartphone app
- Clipguard technology – works to protect your recordings from distortion
- Software – a couple of customers found the software could be buggy
- Condenser capsule with a tight cardioid polar pattern captures speech with precision
- Use the Wave Link app to control Wave: 3 and up to 7 other audio sources, plus create 2 independent mixes
- Up to 24-bit / 96kHz analog to digital conversion delivers lush detail
Rounding off my list of the best condenser mics for under $200 is the MXL Mics 770 cardioid condenser microphone. This particular mic comes in well under your maximum budget, and can still deliver on great quality recordings.
The MXL Mics 770 condenser mic is a versatile model that can be used for a variety of recording purposes. This particular mix is perfect for a variety of instruments including the voice. It can also be used for podcasting and streaming.
You’ll be able to get precise recordings with this particular microphone in your collection. It gives you a balanced bass response with high end clarity so that you can have a more well rounded sound. There’s also a low frequency roll-off to reduce unwanted rumble, so you’ll have clearer recordings.
Another great feature of the MXL Mics 770 cardioid condenser microphone is that it comes with a low noise FET preamp. This works to give you precise, balanced, transformerless output. You’ll be able to get a clean, responsive, and most importantly, reliable performance.
What’s really great about this particular condenser mic is that it comes with additional accessories. You’ll get an MXL 70 shock mount included to support your mic while you’re using it.
There’s also a rugged storage case for you to store the mic in once you’ve finished using it. This will help to keep it protected if you ever need to transport it out of your studio.
- Versatile – can be used for recording music, podcasting, or for streaming
- Reliable – comes with a range of great specs to give you better quality recordings
- Additional accessories – includes a rugged storage case and a shock mount
- Shock mount – some users felt this could be of better quality
Searching for the best condenser microphone under $200 is no mean feat. There are so many things that you need to think about before you can ensure you’re buying a quality microphone that will be perfect for your needs. Not to mention a model that will last you for many years to come!
I know how frustrating it can be trying to find the best condenser microphone for your needs. So I’ve put all of my essential research criteria into this handy buyer’s guide to help you.
This buyer’s guide should give you a much better idea of what you need to look out for in a quality condenser microphone.
Check out everything you need to know about condenser mics under $200 below or skip ahead to the frequently asked questions!
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best condenser mic for your needs is which pickup pattern it comes with. Most condenser mics tend to favor a cardioid pattern. This means the mic will pick up more sound from one end of the microphone instead of from the sides or rear.
Other patterns that condenser mics can come with include hypercardioid, supercardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. Each pattern will pick up sound from a different area, so will be suited to different types of recording.
If you want to use your new condenser mic for multiple purposes, you may wish to opt for a model that comes with different pickup patterns for you to choose from.
Another handy factor to consider in choosing a condenser mic is whether it comes with a range of controls. This will include a mute function, adjusting the volume of your headphones, as well as adjusting the gain of the mic. These features will give you better control over your recording experience.
This will also allow you to eliminate any factors that could affect your recording. Which I’m sure you’d prefer instead of recording your work for a second time!
Some microphones might not come with the types of controls I’ve mentioned above. So if these will be important to you, you should ensure that your chosen microphone comes with everything you need for a more accurate recording.
It will also be worth checking whether your preferred condenser mic can be controlled via a smartphone app.
You should also think about the available space you have in your studio. The size you have available for your microphone may affect your decision when it comes to choosing the best condenser mic for your needs.
If the microphone is too big for your setup, you’ll have to buy larger equipment to accommodate it.
Likewise, if your chosen condenser mic is too small. You will need to ensure that your preferred mic is able to fit in smoothly with the rest of your recording equipment.
One of the most important aspects to consider, of course, is getting a clear sound from your new condenser mic. There’s no point in spending all that money if you can’t get the very best sound quality out of it!
Take a look at the specs of your preferred microphone. What frequency is it able to support? Does it come with an FET preamp to give you a cleaner sound? How good is the mic at isolating the sound you want to record?
You may also want to consider buying additional features such as a pop filter or a shock mount to give you a cleaner sound.
Choosing the most versatile condenser mic will be especially useful if you need it for a variety of different recording purposes. This can ensure that you’re able to use it for more than one thing. A more versatile condenser mic will give you better value for your money, too.
Now that you’ve considered all the most important aspects of choosing a condenser mic, you should think about what accessories come with the mic. This will mean you have to buy fewer things to go with your mic, such as a shock mount or even a pop filter.
You will also need to consider which stand will best fit your new mic if you want to attach it to a boom arm.
It will be worth noting whether your new condenser mic comes with a protective case. This will be very helpful if you like to do your recording on the go or in different locations, as the case can protect the mic during transport while it’s not in use.
Frequently asked questions
What are the best condenser microphones under $200?
The best condenser microphones under $200 are:
- Blue Yeti USB Mic
- Audio-Technica Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone
- Blue Yeti Nano Professional Condenser USB Microphone
- Elgato Wave: 3 USB Condenser Microphone
- MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
How do I choose a condenser mic?
Several factors will be important when it comes to choosing the best condenser microphone for your needs.
These will include the number of pickup patterns included, the size of the mic, what additional accessories come with it, the controls the mic features if it records clear sound and does so reliably, and how versatile the mic is.
All of these factors will help you to find the best condenser microphone for under $200 for your needs.
Is a condenser mic better for vocals?
Condenser mics are indeed better for vocals, yes! These types of microphones are also the best choice for capturing high frequencies. This is because condenser mics come with a thin diaphragm as well as an increased sensitivity, so they’re able to capture sound more accurately.
Condenser mics are also the better choice for podcasting and other home studio applications.
Last update on 2021-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API