Which microphone is best for recording vocals?


Aston Origin

Best mics for vocals - Aston OriginThe Aston Origin is a cardioid pattern large diaphragm condenser microphone. Since its release in 2015 it’s received rave reviews from almost everywhere. In some cases, big time engineers are even showing a preference for it over some of their most prized vintage mics.

The mic itself has both a built in stand mount, and a built in pop shield, removing the necessity to purchase either separately – a very cost effective solution. It’s a versatile mic, but particularly excels on guitar and vocals, and its capabilities far surpass what you might expect for the price.


The CAD GXL3000 is a budget friendly, multiple polar pattern condenser microphone. With cardioid, figure of 8 and omnidirectional to choose from, the GXL3000 is a versatile mic at a very reasonable price.

The microphone comes with a shock mount, as well as a protective carry case, and also features a hi pass filter switch, and an attenuator.

Sontronics STC20 Pack

The STC20 pack from Sontronics is everything you need to get started recording vocals. The pack consists of the STC20 – a cardioid condenser microphone, a pop shield, shock mount, cable and protective case. This makes it a great, budget friendly choice for people wanting to start recording.

The STC20 contains the same capsule as the hugely successful STC-2, and delivers exceptional clarity – making it great for voiceover work as well as vocals.

Best mic for vocals - Sontronics AriaSontronics Aria

The Sontronics Aria is a fantastic valve microphone, which was actually tested by PJ Harvey at Abbey Road Studios. It’s a single polar pattern cardioid condenser, and is defined by its silky smooth characteristics – incorporating Sontronics’ trademark high frequency roll off.

The Aria is a tremendously popular microphone, and it’s received a number of testimonials from producers like Paul Epworth, and Tim Brian, as well as engineers at Abbey Road, and PJ Harvey herself.

Warm Audio WA87Best Microphones for vocals - Warm Audio WA87

The Neumann U87 is perhaps the most famous vocal microphone of all time, and it’s been used on more records than you can shake a stick at. That’s why Warm Audio have decided to make their own version – taking inspiration from the classic mic, but making it much more affordable. It features the same circuitry as the original, but with some parts being swapped out for less costly alternatives.

The Warm WA87 has three polar patterns – cardioid, figure of 8 and omnidirectional. It comes shipped with a shock mount, hard mount and a wooden carry case. The microphone has received fantastic reviews, and has fared well in tests against a Neumann U87.

The Warm Audio WA87 is a fantastically versatile microphone, and looks just like a U87!

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Chris Milnes

Christopher Milnes is a Leeds-based musician and music producer. He’s received various awards and scholarships for his music production work, notably The David Thompson Scholarship, and the O2 Think Bigger award, as well as the conservatoire prize at Leeds College of Music. His work has been broadcast on BBC radio 1, BBC Radio 3, and many other radio and TV stations.

One Response to “Which microphone is best for recording vocals?”

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  1. Peter Lancaster says:

    These are all great mics. However when thinking about recording vocals it is always worth considering the Shure SM7B and ElectroVoice RE20. These mics have been used to record vocals on many multi million selling albums and songs by artists such as Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, U2, Snow Patrol and Metallica. Being dynamic mics they are not as sensitive as condensers. This can have significant advantages for many home studio users because you capture almost no room sound, which is ideal if you are recording in a less than perfect sounding space. Partnered with a good pre amp the SM7B or RE20 will capture a surprising amount of detail. Because fewer extraneous noises are picked up by these mics editing vocals recorded with them is much easier than for condenser recorded vocals. For EDM producers who heavily edit vocals and apply lots of pitch correction and effects that is a definite plus point. For rock vocals these mics capture a sound that will compress in a very pleasing way using something like an LA-2A. The SM7B and RE20 are quite neutral sounding mics. Partnering them with a quite coloured sounding pre amp (e.g. Neve, UA, Focusrite ISA, Avalon) will get the best out of them.

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