The best condenser mics under $100 are the ones that still give you quality sound at a reasonable price. With so many products on the market in this day and age, it can be a daunting task to think you will narrow your choices down to one. But, whatever you decide to do, make sure that it fits your needs first and foremost.
Nothing is worse than buying a product that you thought was perfect for you and realizing it certainly was not. By doing your homework and taking your time, you will make sure that your purchase was the correct one for you to make. However, if you make the decision hastily, then you will not get what you ultimately desired.
So, without further ado, it is time to hop into the nitty-gritty of this buyer’s review guide. All this information will help you to make the best decision humanly possible. Now, let us get into the product review, so you can figure out the best budget condenser mic. With this list, you will not have to look anywhere else for your condenser mic needs.
- What Is a Condenser Microphone?
- Things to Consider When Buying Condenser Mics Under $100
- Top 12 Best Condenser Mics Under $100 Reviews:
- 1. Blue Yeti Blackout + Assassin’s Creed Bundle
- 2. Audio-Technica Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
- 3. MAONO USB Microphone With Studio Headphone Set
- 4. miniDSP UMIK-1 USB Measurement Calibrated Microphone
- 5. Razer Seiren X USB Streaming Microphone
- 6. MXL Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- 7. TONOR Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- 8. Marantz Pro Studio Recording Condenser Microphone
- 9. Samson Pro USB Studio Condenser Microphone
- 10. Zoom Mid-Side Stereo Microphone for iOS Devices
- 11. Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality Condenser Microphone
- 12. FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Best Condenser Mic Under $100: Editor’s Top Picks
What Is a Condenser Microphone?
With so many microphones on the market today, it can be confusing as to which is which. That is why you need to understand what a condenser mic actually is. Most of the time, people use dynamic microphones when on stage. But, when it comes to recordings, condenser mics are the gold standard.
First categorized as the “capacitor microphone” from the British, condenser mics place two metals close to one another. When this happens, the magic starts. With thin pieces of metal side by side, an electrical conduit starts to take in sound waves. As the sound waves get going, they move back and forth up against the backplate. This way, you get different rhythms of sound.
Even though the signal is very faint at this point, you still get a super high voltage. With no current getting in the way, you do not need to give off a lot of energy either. Because of all this, condenser mics do not power to make them work. That is why phantom power is essential for sound quality.
Condenser mics have been around for 100 years. In their original form, they were about the size of a brick. Over time, they have gotten smaller and smaller. At first, condenser mics used a PSU box and a cable. But, in the 1960s, the box became powered with the help of phantom power, and P48 power was born. It is a technology like this that has stood the test of time.
Things to Consider When Buying Condenser Mics Under $100
If you do not have a clue about the best condenser mics under $100, then you need to understand the buying guide for this product. Read below to take in more features you should understand. This way, you will make the best-educated decision around.
Knowing the Diaphragm Size
When it comes to the condenser microphone, large diaphragms usually come standard. This allows for more sound details at the source of the technology. Different instruments can also work well with this microphone. As it pertains to Sound Pressure Levels (SPL), high SPLs work great for a drum kit, guitar amps, and wind instruments like clarinets rather than small diaphragms that cannot extract as much sound.
The smaller the diaphragm is, the more chance you will have a cardioid mic that can help fight against loud, obnoxious sounds. On the other hand, the large-diaphragm selections will give you added detail, but you may get some distortions and reflections that are not what you are looking for in the recording world. This maxing out can cause clipping which can ruin a perfectly good recording.
Polar Patterns Along with Noise Reduction
When it comes to vocals and single instruments, cardioid patterns are the best options. They help reduce the problem of added noise that is detrimental to a recording. With a cardioid pattern, all the sound of the front is kept, while the background noise in the side and back does not get added.
However, if you are recording a variety of instruments at one time, then you should look into figure-8 and omnidirectional patterns. But, when this happens, background noises will seep in. In this case, placement is everything. No matter what kind of polar pattern you decide to use, you will have a lot of versatility for these mics. Still, know that they are fragile pieces of technology that need to be protected and maintained.
To Use USB Or Not To Use
USB microphones seem to be all the rage in this day and age. Since USB mics draw power out from tablets or computers, you must keep your products charged during the recording process. This is the most common problem when there is not enough power. iPads are notorious for running out of power when being plugged into the best condenser mic under $100.
Luckily, if you have a USB port at the front of your device, less voltage is used that is not taken by the motherboard itself. If there is not consistent power, then you may have damage to your computer and/or your microphone. Your computer battery may also be compromised.
Are you noticing your power being drained when it’s plugged into a mic? Then, you may need a USB hub that is completely powered on its own accord. However, there are condenser mics out that are not USB oriented and they usually need phantom power which we will get into next. Audio interfaces and mixing desks can help with this.
Getting That Phantom Power
Traditional condenser microphones are normally the ones that need phantom power. When they are connected with an XLR, they need some sort of power source which acts as a preamp. You can also use an audio interface or mixing console as stated previously.
There are some products out there that have converts from XLR to USB. However, this is not the best way to get your sound working. It would be better to use one or the other and stick with it, instead of switching between the two types of microphones.
Since condenser microphones need power up to 48 V, it is hard to find a converter that has to more USB voltage up from five. Also, USB and XLR microphones use different circuitry patterns, so messing with this could be bad for your technology. If you do decide to go for an XLR option, try channels between 4, 8, and 16.
Staying Clear of iPads
As stated earlier, iPads do not fit well with microphones. Unfortunately, iOS products are limited in what they can handle, especially when it involves USB products. In turn, you may run into problems where the microphone does not work at all. Another problem may involve working, but then the iPad shutting off altogether. It is problems like these that you might have to contend with. Still, a powered hub could be all the added boost you need for the USB microphone.
Top 12 Best Condenser Mics Under $100 Reviews:
1. Blue Yeti Blackout + Assassin’s Creed Bundle
A great place to start with condenser mics is the Blue Yeki Edition. If you like customization, then you will love this microphone. With 15 color options to choose from, you can match your tech with anything else around your home. Not only will you get the mic itself but the PC editions of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Talk about a double punch of fun.
When it comes to the best condenser mic under $100, you will love the fact that you can mess with the gain, mute your mic, and you will never have latency problems. Additionally, 3 condenser capsules afford you the possibility of streaming and recording anywhere with an internet connection. This plug-and-play model is perfect for Mac computers, along with the fact it can pick up a signal of noise at 100 dB (decibels).
Lastly, if you are into Twitch streaming, then you should not look any further when it comes to mics. Podcasting, interviews, Skype, recording music, and voiceovers can all be done with the Blue Yeti as well. There is not anything this mic cannot do for you.
- Uses a USB connection
- The power needed is 5 volts
- The frequency response ranges from 20 hertz (Hz) to 20 kilohertz (kHz)
- The microphone weighs just over 1 pound
- Can run on Windows 7 or higher
- The mic stand weights 2.2 pounds
- No filter needed for this microphone
2. Audio-Technica Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
The Audio-Technica Microphone is another stellar option to look into. As a USB condenser microphone, it is perfect for a digital recording. The high-quality conversion has a sample that ranges from 44.1 to 48 kHz. With the help of a headphone jack, you can control the volume easily, without any delay for your headphones or the signal itself.
Mixing is also possible with the Audio-Technica Microphone. With this feature, you can blend pre-recorded material, as well as a microphone signal. The high output amplifier will also give you the best clarity in the market, which highlights overall detail for the best musical performance around.
No matter if you have a Mac or Windows, you can use this microphone without any compatibility issues. Lastly, with every purchase of this microphone, you will receive a standing mount, an adapter, a protective pouch, a tripod stand, and a USB cable. The cable is in particular is 10 inches long which gives you a lot of ley-wey when using your microphone.
- The frequency response range goes from 20 to 20,000 Hz
- Polar Pattern is a cardioid
- The bit depth is 16
- The headphone jack is 3.5 millimeters (mm) all in stereo
- The microphone weighs just 13.6 ounces
- Material quality is second to none
- Limits background noise
3. MAONO USB Microphone With Studio Headphone Set
Still looking for the best studio headphones and microphones around? Then, look no further than this next option from Maono. The headphones themselves have a large-aperture, which gives you the deepest bass imaginable. Your ears will certainly thank you. There is even noise reduction technology. So, you can focus on the sounds coming your way and not the ones outside of your headphones.
The headphones also are very flexible and foldable, allowing you the best comfort and durability on the planet. There is even an adapter plug for both 6.35 mm and 3.5 mm plugs depending on the headphones you have. Connect them to your mixer, and you will be able to see all the possibilities.
The microphone is also an astounding addition. With the help of a professional chipset, you will have a great sampling rate by using the USB. The sampling rate itself is a 24 bit, 192 kHz variety that gives you better frequency response for speech, singing, and even voice-overs.
When reproducing the sound on the Internet, there will be no change or difference amazingly. With the help of this plug-and-play model, you will not have to worry about getting a sound card. You will love the fact that you will receive all these items with your purchase: headphones, mic, arm stand, pop filter, windscreen, and so much more.
- There is a warranty for 1-year
- Sizing adjustability for the earmuffs
- The polar pattern is cardioid
- Frequency response time ranges from 30 Hz to 16 kHz
- The mic weighs 4 pounds
- Made of sturdy metals and plastics
- The sound quality is second to none
4. miniDSP UMIK-1 USB Measurement Calibrated Microphone
If you are looking for a calibrated microphone that is perfect for audio tuning, then you have found it. This best USB condenser mic under $100 is ideal for someone who wants calibration features like sensitivity and frequency ranges galore. As a great plug-and-play model, this microphone works on both Windows and Mac devices. Linux and iDevices maneuver greatly with this microphone as well.
Another special thing about this microphone is the fact that you can connect it with acoustic software like Smaart and REW, which gives you even more reasons to buy this. With every purchase, you will receive a tripod, windscreen, case, USB cable, and the mic itself.
Lastly, you will love the fact that this microphone is omnidirectional, allowing for frequencies to be picked up anywhere in the room. You will never have to worry again if your microphone is picking up what you need it to. The miniDSP just knows how to work and work well.
- Weighs 1.2 pounds
- Is classified as an Audio Class 1 Device
- Accuracy is the best part of your microphone
- The mic can measure down to 20 Hz
- Calibration files range from 0 to 90 degrees
- The USB cable is 15-inches long
- The microphone helps calibrate with the help of Room EQ Wizard
5. Razer Seiren X USB Streaming Microphone
The Razer Seiren microphone is one unlike any other. With three color options (Classic Black, Mercury White, and Quartz Pink) along with three style options (Elite, Emote, and X), there is plenty of customization abilities here. The cardioid pickup is one thing you will like as well because it records at the tightest of angles.
Many people stress out about background noise, but that is not a problem, with the Razer. The audio will always be clear and vibrations will not kill the sound you are looking for. With its compact design and superior broadcasting abilities, you will love the frequency response for this microphone.
Along with no latency issues, you can always monitor what you sound like when streaming. This gives you advantages that other microphones could only dream of. With the annoying echo effects, your audience will hear the purest of sounds.
- Frequency response ranges from 20 Hz and 20 kHz
- Controls include adding volume, volume, and mute
- The product only weighs 13.4 ounces
- No needed for added filters
- Ideal for gaming
- Accurate speech recognition
- 30-day moneyback guarantee warranty
6. MXL Cardioid Condenser Microphone
The MXL Cardioid Mic is as multi-purpose as they come. Its uses range from vocals to percussion to pianos to name a few. With the help of balanced bass clarity, you can also get the high-end clarity you have always been looking for. There is also a roll-off reduction for the lowest frequency levels.
If you are concerned about noise issues, do not be with this microphone. With its preamp being balanced, this patented design will get you to where you want to be. Lastly, color options give this mic some great customization abilities. Black, Sky Blue, and Vintage White are your color options to take note of as well.
- The capsule size is 22 mm
- Frequency ranges from 30 Hz to 20 kHz
- The high pass filter hits at 6 decibels
- Uses 48 volts (V) of phantom power
- Weighs one total pound
- Comes in a heavy-duty storage case
- Essential for anyone in the beginning stages of using a condenser microphone for the first time
7. TONOR Cardioid Condenser Microphone
The Tonor condenser microphone is one that has a killer sound range frequency. With wider and exquisite frequencies, the response ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Low distortion allows for better sound quality as well.
Depending on what you are looking for with a microphone, you can use it for voice, instrument, or video recording. Voiceovers, gaming, and podcasting work as well. You will also like that the microphone has a sampling rate of 192 kHz. With the help of an advanced chip, you will love the nuances it creates.
Along with the microphone, you will receive a suspension stand that is made of all-metal material. Three bracing pieces help shock absorb and create added durability. In turn, your mic will last longer and you will not have low-frequency issues.
- Works on all OS computers with a USB
- Does not need any driver software or added sound cards
- Comes with the mic, stand, filter, windscreen, and USB connection
- The mic is a cardioid pickup
- The USB cable length is 2 m (meters)
- Weighs just over 5 pounds
- You can adjust the mic stand up to 100 centimeters (cm)
8. Marantz Pro Studio Recording Condenser Microphone
You may not have heard of Marantz Professional, but get yourself acquainted. This best condenser mic under $100 is a no-brainer for people looking for the best quality. With studio-grade capabilities, you can place it on a desktop or for a stand for the best crystal clear capture.
Directional cardioid technology comes standard with this microphone. This allows for great streaming, recording, gaming, and podcasting. The sound is also something that you will learn to trust. With a frequency response from 20 to 20,000 Hz, you will have a fully audible set-up. The highest of sensitivities and low signally will help you as well to create the best audio.
When you buy from Marantz Professional, you will receive these items: a windscreen, tripod stand, shock mount, cabling, and microphone. All of these items are compact and light enough for you to haul around. It is a product like this that you will be glad you got in the first place.
- High-quality sounds for drums, melodic instruments, and vocalists
- Made with an 18 mm aluminum plated capsule
- Runs an XLR cable
- Low self-noise measures out at 17 decibels.
- The mic weighs less than 11 ounces
- XRL cable is an amazing 6 feet
- The frequency response is 7- Hz to 16 kHz
9. Samson Pro USB Studio Condenser Microphone
If you have read the Bible, then you are familiar with the story of Samson. He was a strong man with mammoth strength. Think of this microphone in the same way. It is a large 19 mm audio device that has zero latency.
The super-cardioid construction gives a great pick-up pattern that gets the best sounds out of what you need. The frequency response is very smooth and flat direction ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Even the resolution is pristine with a 48 kHz resolution.
Another great thing about this microphone is the fact that you can create a podcast, do some Twitch streaming, record a song all with this microphone. Webinars can even be done with this thing. With a 1/8-inch headphone output, you will be well on your way to successfully using this microphone the way it was intended for.
- Uses wireless technology since 1980
- Come standard with sound quality that rocks
- The output uses a USB
- Includes a tripod stand, mic stand, boom arm, and shock mount
- Comes in the color silver
- Peak LED comes with an indicator
- Made of strong die-cast materials
10. Zoom Mid-Side Stereo Microphone for iOS Devices
If you own Mac products, then this is the device for all your recording needs. This easy-to-use product some in the iQ7 and iQ6 forms. They are plug-and-play models that will surely brighten your day. With the help of a lightning connector, you must use Airplane Mode or this device will not work.
Along with your purchase, you can download a free application for recordings that helps with video recording as well. For audio recording, you can choose between a few types like 90, 120, and the mid-side option.
When you purchase this option for the very first time, you will receive a windscreen and a one-year warranty on the microphone. Whether you have an iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad, this recording device will work for you. Because it is so light, though, you can carry it around in your pocket crazily enough.
- Connects to audio programs like iMovie, Vine, Instagram, and so much more
- You can adjust the stereo width and the compatibility for mono
- Stereo width ranges from 30 to 150 degrees
- Uses WAV formatting
- AAC formatting can be used to make smaller files
- Can add reverb and EQ with this product
- Has an LED metering
11. Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality Condenser Microphone
Rode microphones all well-known in the marketplace, and you pay the price in terms of cost. But, there is no letdown when it comes to this piece of technology. This option is the highest quality that Rode puts out. With every purchase, you will receive a pop shield, a desk stand, a storage pouch, a ring mount, and a USB cable that is 20 feet long. There is even a headphone jack that has zero-latency technology.
As a pressure gradient acoustic principle option, this is a sensational condenser microphone. With the help of active electronics, you will love the impedance converter that has an amazing output buffer. The converter itself even does a good job of hitting 48 kHz. Even the frequency range is astounding from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
If you like upgrades, then you will like this microphone as well. The WS2 foam windshield and the SMR shock mount work wonders with this microphone. This way, you will not be bound to a certain branding. It certainly is nice when you mix and match among brands.
- Can be used on Mac and Windows computers
- Weighs 1.15 pounds
- Comes with a warranty when bought through a Rode dealer
- Perfect for someone new to recording
- Made with a strong, sturdy construction in mind
- Background noise is eliminated
- The microphone is very sensitive to your needs
12. FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone
The last best condenser mics under $100 come to use from FIFINE. You may have not heard much about FIFINE, but they are beginning to enter the recording game with assertiveness. The USB microphone kit is the perfect plug-and-play alternative that works on either Windows or Mac-based products. Whether you are recording vocals, Skype, or podcasts, you will get the highest quality sounds that you never thought were possible. Just make sure you know this product does not work with phones or an Xbox.
As we talk more about sound quality, it is important to understand the durable construction that creates wide responses on the frequency levels. When it comes to vocals, high SPLs will be fixed in no time at all. No matter if you are doing a project at home or abroad, you will get the clearest of sounds. Also, when you buy this product, you will receive the microphone itself, a USB cable, a mic stand, and memories that will last a lifetime.
The microphone arm is what a lot of people get excited about. With the help of a boom scissor arm, you can capture sound wherever you want. Add that with the pop filter and dissipation will not cause any issues. Without the rush of air and popping sounds, you will have great studio time with this product.
If you like easy attachments, the stand uses C-clamps to connect to any desktop. With the arm measuring out at 13 inches and a 30-inch reach, you will never have any facial obstruction to deal with. Add a one-year warranty, and possibilities for 2 more years, and you will have more than you bargained for.
- The cable is 8.2 inches long
- Comes with an adjustable volume button
- The microphone weighs 1.54 pounds
- Ideal for gaming
- The shock mount is second to none
- Limits background noise
- Amazing technical support if you run into trouble
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
As we get close to finishing up this article, we have compiled the best questions for you. These questions are ones that many have asked over the years. With this in mind, you will be well on your way to picking the right condenser mic for you.
Q-1: Can I use two condenser microphones at the same time?
Many people want to get more sound out of their recordings, so they want to double up with mics. If you have cardioid technology, this should not be a problem. However, if you have 2 omnidirectional mics, you may pick up too much sound all at once.
With this in mind, you will need to set-up your mics regardless. Computers should be able to recognize your USB devices, but usually only one at a given time. But, you can make configurations through Pro Tools and GarageBand to make this work for you.
Q-2: How do I set up my USB mic?
Because most USB mics are plug-and-play, you just need to plug them into a USB connection and you are good to go. Defaulting may take a light while, but you will know it works when sound is registered to the product. If they do not work right away, you will either have to download something online or add software that comes with the purchase.
On a PC, go to the “Manage Audio Devices” and click “Recording” for more information. On the other hand, when using Mac products, go to “Sound Input” and you can work things out from there. Both times, click the microphone you want, and it should play without any problems to you.
Q-3: How do I take out unwanted noise?
A mic with higher quality will be a lot more sensitive than you might think. Unwanted noise can come in the form of mouse-clicking, typing on the computer, or children in the next room. You cannot truly get rid of background noise altogether, but there are some rules of thumb to help you out in the process.
First, set the volume appropriately. Your volume gain goes a long way in making the best sound possible. Also, get your mouth or instrument as close to the mic as you can. This way, you will help eliminate feedback. Try to be in a quiet room as well. With minimal noise come minimal problems.
Q-4: What do I do if I start getting a “whining sound” in the recording?
You either are dealing with interference or there is a hardware issue. Try to record in a different environment to see if the problem persists. If the whining stops in a new location, then you need to start thinking about the other space and what could be causing the problems. However, if the whining continues, it is time to contact customer support, so they can help you get to the problem as quickly as humanly possible.
Now that we have come to the end of the review, it is time for you to make a wise decision. Of course, there are plenty of options and brands to choose from. But, since you have been empowered with this article, you should be well on your way to making a decision you can live with. Check the product and buying guide above and you will not get steered wrong. Good luck with all your recordings!