A Comprehensive Guide to Buying Microphones

Your Guide to buying the best Microphones


Microphones are an essential tool for music production, podcasting, streaming, and more. They can range from inexpensive consumer models to top-of-the-line professional gear. This buying guide will provide you with the information you need to choose the best microphone for your needs, covering important topics like types of mics, polar patterns, frequency response, and more. With our help, you will be able to find the perfect microphone for your application, whether you are a beginner or an experienced audio engineer.

Key features

  1. Type of Microphone: Consider what type of microphone is best-suited for your application. Microphones are divided into two analog categories: dynamic and condenser. Dynamic microphones are very rugged, and are used primarily in live sound applications. Condenser microphones are more delicate and sensitive, and are often used for studio recording.
  2. Polar Pattern: Polar patterns refer to the directional characteristics of the microphone and how it picks up sound. Different polar patterns are more suitable for different applications, such as cardioid for live sound, and omnidirectional for sound capture in all directions.
  3. Frequency Response: Frequency response is the range of tones that the microphone can pick up. Look for a frequency response that matches your intended use. For example, a microphone with a frequency response of 20 Hz - 20 kHz is a good choice for general purpose use.
  4. Connectivity: Microphones need to be connected to an amplifier or a sound system. Consider what type of connection your system requires. Popular connections include XLR, USB, and Bluetooth.
  5. Price: Price is usually a key factor in selecting a microphone. Choose a microphone based on its features and your budget. Often, higher-priced models offer more features and better sound quality.

See the most popular Microphones on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Cost - Microphones come in a variety of price points, so you can find one that fits within your budget.
  • Portability - Many microphones are designed to be light and portable, making them easy to take with you on the go.
  • Sound Quality - Depending on the type of microphone, you can achieve high sound quality on recordings or live performances.
  • Versatility - Microphones are designed for a multitude of applications, such as recording music, capturing audio for videos, or amplifying voices in a venue.
  • Durability - Quality microphones are built to last, so you can depend on them for many years of use.


  • Price - Microphones can range in price from relatively inexpensive to quite expensive, so it is important to consider your budget before making a purchase.
  • Compatibility - Microphones may be designed to work with specific equipment, so make sure to select a microphone that is compatible with the device you plan to use it with.
  • Size/Portability - Depending on the size and weight of the microphone, it may not be suitable to be used in a portable setup.
  • Noise - Ambient noise from the environment around the microphone can cause audio interference, so it is important to consider the potential noise before making a purchase.
  • Power Source - Some microphones require an external power source, such as batteries or a power outlet, in order to work properly.
  • Durability - Depending on the type of microphone, it may not be suitable for use in harsh environments or heavy use.

Best alternatives

  1. Headsets - A headset is a type of microphone that covers the user's ears and is usually connected to a computer or device via a USB cable.
  2. Lavalier Microphones - A lavalier microphone is a small, clip-on microphone that is usually attached to clothing and used to pick up audio in a range of environments.
  3. Shotgun Microphones - A shotgun microphone is a directional microphone that is used to pick up sound from a specific direction with a long pickup range.
  4. USB Microphones - A USB microphone is a type of microphone that is connected to a computer or device via a USB cable.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Microphone stand - A stand used to hold a microphone in place on a tabletop or on a floor stand.
  • Pop filter - A foam windscreen or metal mesh screen used to reduce popping sounds caused by air pressure against a microphone.
  • Shock mount - A mechanical suspension system used to isolate a microphone from unwanted vibrations.
  • XLR cable - An audio cable used to connect a microphone to an audio mixer or recorder.
  • Windscreen - A foam cover that fits over a microphone to reduce wind noise.
  • Headphones - Headphones used to monitor sound levels when recording with a microphone.

Common questions

  1. What types of microphones are available? Microphones come in a range of types, including dynamic, condenser, ribbon, and USB mics. Each type of mic has different characteristics and advantages.
  2. What are the differences between dynamic, condenser, and ribbon mics? Dynamic mics are the most rugged and can handle high sound pressure levels (SPL) without distorting. Condenser mics are very sensitive and are best for recording delicate acoustic instruments. Ribbon mics are often used on guitar cabinets, drums, and vocals, and have a warm, smooth sound.
  3. How do I choose the right microphone for my needs? The best way to select the right microphone is to identify what you need it for. Consider where and how it will be used, how much noise is in the environment, and what type of sound you want to capture.
  4. What microphone accessories do I need? Microphone accessories can include shock mounts, pop filters, filters, carrying cases, mic stands, and cables. Depending on the type of microphone you have, you may need multiple accessories.
  5. What is the best way to set up a microphone? The best way to set up a microphone is to place it at the optimum distance from the sound source and at an angle that minimizes reflections from nearby objects. It is also important to use a shock mount and pop filter to reduce noise and improve sound quality.
  6. Are there any tips for using a microphone? Yes, there are several tips for using a microphone. Make sure you have the right mic for the job, set it up properly, use a pop filter, and be aware of your environment. Also, be sure to turn down the monitor levels to avoid feedback when recording.


In 2014, a microphone used to record dialogue for the hit TV series Game of Thrones was left behind at a pub in Ireland. The microphone was discovered by the pub owner and returned to the producers, who found that the pub's background noise and conversations had been recorded onto the device. This caused the producers to have to re-record the dialogue for the episode. The pub owner was offered free tickets to the show's premiere as a reward. Source: BBC

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.