There are plenty of cheap vocal microphones around. Not all of them are great, and you need something affordable without sacrificing sound quality and performance.
Thankfully, there are plenty of excellent vocal microphones under $200. You can go for an all-purpose mic like the AKG P220, or something made for specific applications like podcasting or live performance.
We’ve been digging and found a few other options for you. Whether you’re a singer, podcaster, or something else, we’ve got a mic that’ll meet your needs.
Quick Look: The Best Vocal Microphones Under $200
1. AKG P220 — All-Around Pick
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Frequency response captures every detail of your voice
- Bass roll-off and pad switches for enhanced control over your sound
- Rugged all-metal body for enhanced durability
- Useful for a wide range of applications
If you need something that’s useful for just about anything, look no further than the AKG P220.
It’s a large diaphragm condenser mic, which means it’s ultra-sensitive and can accurately capture all the details of your voice. And if you want, it’s a fantastic all-purpose studio microphone for recording guitars and other instruments.
On top of that, it’s got a rugged all-metal body. It feels tough and heavy in your hand, and its grill is surprisingly stiff. So durability shouldn’t be a concern with the P220.
We also like the two switches on the front:
- First, there’s the bass roll-off switch, which helps cut down lower frequencies.
- Then there’s the 20db attenuation pad, which lowers the input gain for recording loud sound sources.
Having these switches gives you greater control over how you sound.
Beyond the specs, we’re just fans of AKG and their microphones in general. I’ve personally relied on them for voiceover work in the past, and they’ve always delivered fantastic results.
An excellent studio microphone that's incredibly versatile. Use it for singing, podcasting, guitars, and anything else you think of.
2. Shure SM58 — Best Stage Mic
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Frequency response tailored to vocalists
- Handheld design for live applications
- Legendary Shure durability
- Great for countless other applications
The SM58 is arguably the gold standard for handheld dynamic microphones. You’ll find them in almost any professional studio or stage setup — and for good reason!
Shure’s microphone offers a brightened mid range and a bass roll-off that’s perfect for capturing any vocals.
It’s at its best in live performances. So if you frequently sing or talk on stage (or you’re a sound engineer who works with those people), the Shure SM58 is an essential microphone.
But it’s not just a good stage mic. It’ll capture anything else you need in a pinch:
- Podcasting and streaming
- Acoustic guitars
- Guitar amps
- Brass and wind instruments
- Anything else
And thanks to Shure’s legendary durability, the SM58 can take a serious beating and still work the way it did when you first opened it.
But if you’re not interested in this mic, we’d gladly recommend these Shure SM58 alternatives.
3. Rode PodMic — Best for Podcasting
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Tight frequency response for vocals
- Internal pop filter for reducing plosives
- Compact metal construction for superb durability
The Rode PodMic strikes a perfect balance between affordability and performance. And as the name suggests, it’s ideal for podcasting, streaming, and YouTube.
This little guy offers superb sound quality for vocals thanks to its tight frequency range and internal pop filter. That way, you’ll elevate your audio presentation.
Plus, the PodMic is small and compact. So it takes up less on-screen real estate for video, giving viewers a better view of the speaker (if you’re worried about that sort of thing).
On top of all that, the PodMic is highly durable thanks to its chunky metal body. So durability shouldn’t be a concern.
A broadcast-quality mic for podcasters and streamers on a budget. With an integrated pop filter, it'll deliver silky-smooth vocals every time.
Why We Chose These Vocal Microphones Under $200
There are literally hundreds, if not thousands of budget microphones on the market today. Most of them will do a decent job if you use them correctly.
But we chose these microphones for a few reasons:
- These are trusted brands — Having personally used these and other mics from AKG, Shure, and Rode, I know these are quality choices.
- They cover a wide range of applications — Between these three mics, vocalists can get great results for singing and speaking in both live and studio settings.
- We wanted XLR microphones for enhanced production — Generally, XLR microphones offer higher sound quality than USB mics. They’re also more compatible with professional studio equipment.
Which Microphone Is Right for You?
Choosing a vocal microphone largely depends on what you value and how you plan to use it. Here are our general thoughts on each one:
- For all-around use, get the AKG P220. It’s great for vocals, but also useful for recording guitars and other instruments.
- For live performance, go with the Shure SM58. There’s a reason it’s so widely used for concerts, speeches, and karaoke bars.
- For podcasting and streaming, use the Rode PodMic. It’s a fantastic dynamic mic that’ll give your voice that “broadcast sound” without breaking the bank.
But as long as your audio is clean and doesn’t have any distracting background noise, the average listener won’t notice which mic you’re using — which is a good thing!
Our Overall Pick: AKG P220
If you need a vocal mic that can “do it all”, the AKG P220 is it.
We love the extra detail you get from this mic for vocals. And in a controlled environment, you’ll have more flexibility with pre- and post-processing.
Plus, it’s a fantastic instrument mic that works well with acoustic guitars, pianos, winds, brass, and more. So if you also record music, the P220 is a great mic to keep around.
Looking for More Audio Gear? Check Out These Resources
We’ve put together additional resources to help you flesh out your home studio:
- Pair your new microphone with one of these beginner audio interfaces.
Check out our Toolbox for Composers, Producers, and Musicians for more gear and software recommendations.