Are you interested in buying a new studio microphone to capture your vocals or perhaps an instrument? We have put together a list of the top microphones for home studios in 2021.
Our objective for this page is to recommend microphones that have excellent recording quality while being priced reasonably. These are the microphones that we’ve used in the past and are renowned in the industry for sounding great.
These are the Top 3 Studio Microphones for 2021:
1. Rode NT1-A – This is the microphone i use in my home studio and i cannot recommend it enough. I was surprised at how cheap I was able to buy this microphone on a listing on Amazon.
The worlds quietest studio microphone and our top 2021 microphone for home music studio microphones. Great price with superb sound quality, a great rounded microphone for all vocalists
2. Shure SM7B – Our most expensive recommended microphone. It is used by many recording artists (including Logic) and many podcasts (Joe Rogan Experience), click to check the current price on Amazon. This dynamic vocal microphone is a solid studio microphone for recording vocals. Great for podcasts, radios, voiceovers, and vocal recordings. Comes with a windscreen to protect against explosives and produces a clean, natural recording.
3. Shure SM58-CN – Our most inexpensive recommended microphone that sounds great can also be bought on Amazon. This is a very well known microphone in the recording industry and is used by many artists. It is a Cardioid vocal microphone and has a frequency response tailored for vocals.
Why We Picked The Rode NT1-A
- Large diaphragm 1” gold-sputtered capsule
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Ultra-low noise, self-noise of only 5dB (A)
The Rode NT1-A is a very well known studio microphone that is being sold for a very decent price for the quality. You can buy this microphone in a bundle (click to view on Amazon) and as a solo microphone.
The quality is superb and is a great microphone for all vocalists. Rode is claiming that the Rode NT-A is the worlds quietest microphone – That’s not the only reasons why we picked this microphone. Here’s a list of our reasons why we believe the Rode NT1-A is the best home music studio microphone in 2021.
- Worlds quietest microphone – This point can be misinterpreted. It means that the circuity inside the microphone is dead silence. It does not make a noise, even when you max out the gain! A great benefit.
- Superb quality – The sound quality is excellent, especially for the price range and duo to this it makes a great starter, budget microphone.
- 20hz – 20khz frequency response – This is one of the features that make this microphone great for all instruments, and vocals as it’s using the full frequency response.
- Mega Affordable – This microphone is mega affordable. You certainly get what you pay for with this microphone.
- Shockmount System – The pop filter is mounted to the basket. This means that it would be very hard to lose your pop filter!
- Rode NT1-A comes in a bundle – Not a significant point, but due to the bundle that Rode is offering, it makes it a fantastic microphone set up for relative new musicians. The bundle comes with the microphone, a pop filter, shock mount, 20′ XLR cable, dust cover, and an instructional DVD.
- Jack of all trades – Fantastic microphone for recording, voiceovers, podcast, radio, vocalists, and even instruments due to the large frequency range that it can capture.
The Rode NT1-A is a XLR condenser microphone, this means it requires phantom power. To power your microphone and to connect it to your computer you will need to use an audio interface. Our top pick for an audio interface (and the one I use daily in my home studio) is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, I was surprised to find out how inexpensive it was on Amazon. For more information on which audio interface to get, make sure to check our recommended product guide.
Inside the Rode NT1-A box you get the microphone, a pouch dust cover, a shock mount with a pop filter, a XLR cable, manuals and a sticker.
One thing that stood out about the Rode NT1-A is how good the built quality is. It’s made with a full body metal casing and has a good amount of weight to it. It feels very good to hold and very sturdy.
Features to Look For in a Quality Studio Microphone
Here are a few things you should look for when buying a studio microphone
- The frequency range – A microphone’s frequency range is referencing to the range of frequencies that the microphone will pick up. The frequency range is measured in Hertz. For vocals a range of 80 Hz to 15 kHz would be perfect, however, for instruments such as a snare or toms the range will start lower at around 50hz and for a bass drum, you will need a microphone that can pick up even lower frequencies of around 30 or 40hz.
- The different types of microphones – It’s important to know about the different types of microphones so that you can identify the different types and to know which microphone to use for certain uses.
- The sound pressure level – It’s important to know the SPL of the microphone. The SPL is measured in decibels and it’s an accurate representation of the maximum volume that a microphone can handle. It’s important to know this if you’re recording drums and instruments. The so-called average SPL is around 100DB.
- The microphone sensitivity – it’s also good to know how quiet your microphone can detect a sound. The lower the number the more sensitive the microphone is.
The Downsides To The Rode NT1-A
The Rode Microphone is a very good microphone, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect either. The price of the microphone is superb, but it does have it’s weak spots.
- There are better microphones – Depending on your budget and how much you are willing to spend. The Rode NT1-A is priced very reasonably and for the price you cannot get a better microphone, but if you are willing to spend significantly more, there are better alternatives that are more expensive.
- A weird frequency response chart – a frequency response chart tells you how sensitive a microphone is to sounds at a different frequency. The Rode NT1-A’s frequency response has a strange chart. This isn’t a big deal and can be resolved with some EQ and won’t hugely affect your recording quality. I doubt you’d even notice it, but if it’s something that will bother you, then you should go for an alternative.
Rode NT1-A’s frequency response chart
Rode NT1-A Final Thoughts
This microphone’s price is excellent and the recording quality is superb, clear and natural. It has a frequency response of 20hz – 20khz which means it can capture a whole range of sounds and makes it ideal for recording vocals and instruments.
We would recommend this microphone to slightly newer musicians or new home music studio owners and strongly believe it is a great microphone for your first choice.
It’s perfect if you’re dabbling your toes into creating music and want to know whether it’s for you before investing a whole lot of money on a microphone. There are better microphones out there if you are willing to spend $400 plus, but for the price, you cannot beat this one and we strongly recommend it.
It also comes in a bundle, which makes it even more convenient for new musicians.