Usually, condenser microphones are more expensive than their dynamic counterparts. This is mostly due to more components involved in the build of the microphone itself. Condenser microphones work with an active power source such as a battery or phantom power whereas dynamic microphones
operate on passive power.
The popularity of home recording and enthusiasts diving into sound are slowly forcing manufacturers to create more affordable offerings to cater to their needs. Technologies that existed on premium product segments 5 years ago are now commonplace in entry-level products.
Even while opting for a budget-friendly option you should pay attention to several criteria such as overall build quality, responsiveness, consistency, inclusions, and exclusions in the package to name a few.
For this article, we would be looking at microphones that use XLR connectors. These are our staff picks for the best bang for the buck cheap Condenser Microphone under INR 10,000/-
Our top 5 pics of budget condenser mics are :
1. Audio-Technica AT2020
Coming from the well known and trusted Japanese manufacturer Audio-Technica who are known the world over for producing high-quality audio equipment, the AT2020 is their budget offering and has been one of the best cheap condenser microphones in the market. The AT2020 has become the go-to option for home studios because of versatility, consistency, and affordable price.
The Audio Technica AT2020 is a splendid option that handles low output extremely well. This is mainly because this mic has a low-mass diaphragm. It also has a robust frequency response that ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
The AT2020 has a cardioid polar pattern so it is ideally aimed for podcasting or singing vocal takes suited for single person use. This microphone does come with a few extras such as a soft carrying case and pivoting mic stand mount making it super easy to position the microphone. However, it would have been nice to see a shock mount included.
If you are in the market for a versatile microphone at a compelling price point this is certainly an option you should consider.
2. Behringer B1
When it comes to engineering Germans seem to have figured out the perfect balance between function and form. The next microphone on our list is from the German company Behringer. This company’s presence in the entry-level tier is unmistakably strong.
The Behringer B1 is a large-diaphragm microphone that features a 1” gold-sputtered design. This microphone also has a heft SPL of 148 dB. Many swear by the sound quality of this mic and compare it to rivals that are almost four times more expensive.
Like the AT2020 the B1 also has a standard cardioid polar pattern for added clarity and low-end performance.
When you do have use cases where you would require less of the lower end frequencies the Behringer B1 comes equipped with a low-frequency roll-off switch along with a -10dB input attenuation for improved SPL handling.
The mic has been constructed with a classic nickel-plated brass body which ensures durability. Most users were satisfied with the overall build and the spot-on audio quality which exceeded their expectations especially considering the price point.
The Behringer B1 comes bundled with a shock mount, a windscreen, and an aluminum transport case which makes it even more of a compelling purchase.
3. MXL Mics V67G
Hailing from the United States of America, MXL Mics has become a sought after name in the music production industry. They have had a wide range of products and are famous in the budget/ beginner segment.
The MXL V67G is a microphone you won’t miss when in a store or when shortlisting online. It’s got a unique green vintage body with a gold plated round grill. Aesthetically it does look a bit outlandish and extroverted. But the vintage green and gold grill do have their charm. We sure enjoyed ogling at this mic.
The V67G has a large 32mm pressure gradient condenser capsule which features a 6-micron gold-sputtered diaphragm. This offers a frequency response of 30 Hz to 20 kHz which while is narrower than the other contenders, is still quite practical.
MXL says that the V67G “combines a Class A FET circuitry and a transformer-coupled output for an open and pure sound.” When tested it does have that smooth classic warmth that makes vocals sound organic.
This microphone is truly a budget contender, while you can’t expect high-end, world-class performance it does match the competition in terms of sound quality.
If you love a mic that looks a bit glamorous and performs aptly for home studio environments, this cheap condenser mic sure is a promising pick.
4. AKG P120
When a physicist and an engineer join forces to create audio equipment you know things are about to get serious. AKG Acoustics a Viennese company now headquartered in the USA is one of the pioneers in large format sound. Nowadays AKG has partnered with various brands and services to create the perfect auditory experience.
The AKG P120 is one of their most affordable offerings. While being affordable this condenser microphone is quite accurate and features a rugged metal body build.
What truly distinguishes this microphone is its ability to withstand high SPLs (Max: 150 dB) making it perfect to record vocals or instruments.
The construction has a hefty feeling which reassures the end-user that this a more premium product than its price point. The mic also features a low-frequency roll-off switch and a -20 dB input attenuation switch for better SPL handling.
For someone who is starting and familiarizing themselves with equipment and mixing, this mic is the perfect choice at the perfect price point.
Each of the above budget condenser mics offers superb value for money and would be a great addition to your home studio arsenal. One other mic we want to give an honorable mention to is the Samson C01. It barely missed our shortlisted and is another great cheap condenser mic alternative. You can view it on Amazon here
Finally, it is important to be aware that using some kind of a harness to keep your microphone stable is key to get your recordings to sound cleanly and clearly. If you are intending to do vocal work on your mic it would be a good idea to start considering a pop filter to reduce popping and breath sounds in your recordings.
Be sure to read our next article which would feature our Top 5 picks for budget Dynamic Microphones.