The 10 Best Studio Microphones On The Market

Almost every professional musician gets to listen to sound recording people talking and raving about these beauties. If you are in the sound recording field, even remotely related to it, you must know the best ways to use studio microphones and which studios microphones to use with what instrument. Angles, distances, tilt, all come into play when using studio microphones. We’ve put together a studio mic list that features 10 of the best mics available along with some details for your informational pleasure. Plus, for you studio geeks out there, there are some beauties to feast your eyes upon.



C414B-XLS is a standard issue mic for any professional recording studio. This large diaphragm condenser microphone is designed for accurate, beautifully detailed pickup of any acoustic instrument or voice. The microphone’s 5 pickup patterns are easily selectable via an electronic switch with LED indication and offer the selection of omnidirectional, cardioid, wide cardioid, hypercardioid and figure-eight patterns. The C414 B/XLS has a transformerless output and all-metal chassis, making it immune to electrical interference and RF from digital equipment, video monitors and wireless systems.



Sennheiser 421 II
Sennheiser is renowned throughout the world for making quality audio products. The MD 421 II is one of the most famous microphones in the world. It can record in virtually any condition and hence is used for broadcasting applications throughout the world. Because of its clarity in reproducing sound, the MD 421 II is one of the most preferred microphones in the world.




This mic is one of the most reliable mics on the market, the AKG C414 is very popular because of its ruggedness. It can work excellently even in high humidity places, and also cuts out the interference from other digital audio appliances nearby. It is highly recommended for single instruments and solo vocals, but not so much for grouped audio sources like choruses or orchestras.



Neumann U87
Equipped with a big dual diaphragm capsule which has three directional patterns, the Neumann U87 is one of the most widely used Neumann studio microphones in the world. The choice of cardioid, figure 8 or omnidirectional can be done by a switch near the head. The most preferred reason for using the Neumann U87 is that it can be used very close to an audio source and still it won’t become too rough. It receives close sounds well, and hence is used for solo vocals and single sound source instruments a lot.




Shure SM57
The Shure SM57, one of the most trusted microphones in the world by sound recording professionals, has not gained its popularity for nothing. It delivers amazingly good quality feedback when using high volume instruments, and gives the same kind of output again and again, even when you’ve used it for years. It is rugged, which allows it to work with the same efficiency for so long. And by the way, just so you know, the White House podium uses the SM57 mic for the President’s speeches.







Electro Voice
The Electro Voice RE20 is one of the most widely used broadcast microphones in the market. Its great noise rejection and amazingly good bass lessening in close range qualities endear it to sound recording professionals. It is best used with acoustic instruments, electric bass guitars and bass drums, and for close range vocals.






4011-TL Cardioid
The 4011 TL mic by DPA is popular because of its great accuracy and precision in reproducing sounds. It also offers good noise rejection and very low distortion of sound. It is considered one of the best microphones out there for live music shows because of the originality of the sound and is great to use with acoustic guitars, piano, percussion and wind instruments like the flute. It is sometimes used in vocals too, though other microphones are a better choice for vocals.






Royer R121
One of the very few ribbon microphones to still do well, the Ryer R121 Studio Ribbon microphone is famous because it can handle high Sound Pressure Levels (SPL’s) with ease and hence can be used with electric guitars and heavy percussion. It can be used in close ranges as well, as it still produces that clarity of sound. However, it is not too great at rejection and catches side noise a bit too well.





Behringer T1
The T1 by Behringer is a tube condenser mic with a large diaphragm, and has extraordinarily long life because of its rugged nature. It can be used equally well with solo vocals and grouped sounds, and offers a rich and smooth output because of its vacuum tube. It also is good at low frequency sounds and hence can be used for all electric heavy instruments.





Coles 4038
One more ribbon microphone that is very famous is the Coles 4038 studio microphone, and is known as the BBC Microphone as it was so famously used by BBC radio station in the 1950s. It has a good ability of amplifying sounds and making them sound large, and is used in drum overheads and guitars.

Hope you enjoyed reading about our choice of 10 best studio microphones in the world. We’d like to hear from you about your top 10 too!


Original post on
Posted By: Vinaykrishnan Menon | 6 months ago

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2 Responses to “The 10 Best Studio Microphones On The Market”

  1. Sude May 29, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    Schoeps M201 was the main (but not the only) mic used for the Mercury Living Presence recordings. In the mono days, sinttrag in 1951, first it was a single Telefunken-badged Neumann U-47. But by 1953, the M201 was discovered and that became the single-mic mono pickup from then on. There were very few M201 s made, so when stereo recording started, in late 1955, it was not possible to locate six M201 s (needed three for recording and three backups session time with an orchestra was way too expensive not to have backups for every microphone). The earliest Mercury 3-channel stereo recordings were made with a M201 in the middle and U-47 s on the side. However, in early 1956, the switch was made to Neumann KM-56 on the sides. By the beginning of 1959, enough Schoeps M201 s had been located so all Mercury recordings after that, through the last Living Presence in San Antonio in 1967, were made with M201 s.

  2. Cory Albany June 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

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