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Best Budget Microphone

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When it comes to recording audio, a condenser microphone can offer exceptional sound quality without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a podcaster, musician, or content creator, there are many budget condenser microphones that provide professional-level performance at an amazing price. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when choosing the best budget microphone for you, and break down our top picks. So let’s dive in and explore the best budget mics on the market!

Best Budget Microphones

These mics are our top picks for recording audio on a budget; offering a balance of sound quality, build quality, and affordability, you can’t go wrong with any of these mics. While there are cheaper options out there, these are our go-to picks for affordable microphones that sound great!

Audio-Technica AT2020 Budget Microphone
  • The price/performance standard in side address studio condenser microphone technology
  • Ideal for project/home studio applications; The noise level is 20 dB SPL
  • High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility
  • Custom engineered low mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response
  • Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source. Output connector: integral 3 pin XLRM type
MAONO Budget Condenser Microphone PM500
  • Custom-designed 34MM Large-diaphragm gold spluttered condenser capsule offers a wide dynamic range of 20Hz - 20KHz.
  • Low self-noise for clean recordings.
  • Cardioid pickup shows excellent off-axis sound suppression capability, great for vocals, podcasting, or recording acoustic instruments.
  • The build quality of this mic is solid. With all metal construction, it feels durable and heavy.
  • Included metal pop filter, shock mount, cable and desktop stand help stretch your budget even further, so you can keep more of your cash or invest in more gear!
Lauten Audio Black LA-220 V2
  • The Series Black LA-220 large diaphragm FET studio condenser microphone by Lauten Audio is a professional and versatile microphone for studio vocal and instrument recording
  • Our choice for recording on a budget while maintaining high quality standards
  • Premium build quality and pristine sound for an affordable price
  • While it's the most expensive microphone on our list, it is still a great value and punches above its weight when it comes to sound quality
  • Our top pick for best budget microphones!

Now, let’s take a deeper dive into each of these to see what makes them the best budget microphones!

Best Budget Microphone Under $100:
Audio-Technica AT2020

Coming in at under $100, the Audio-Technica AT2020 has secured its place as the best condenser microphone in its price bracket. My band in high school had an AT2020, and we used it for making demos before going into the studio.

When purchasing this mic, it’s important to be realistic about what you’re getting. The AT2020 is a solid pick for making demos and scratch tracks, and it’s also a good choice for YouTubers and streamers who want to upgrade from their camera’s built-in microphone. Even Audio-Technica’s product listing says “ideal for project/home studios,” so it’s important to be realistic about what you’re getting here.

  • Ideal for demos/project studio applications
  • Somewhat noisy at 20dB
  • A workable mic for under $100



You probably want to save up for a higher quality mic if you’re looking to record music projects for other people. However, this is a solid pick for your first condenser microphone, so if you’re a on a strict budget or just looking to dip your toes in the recording waters, the AT2020 is the best budget mic choice out there. Audio-Technica is a reputable brand, and this entry-level offering is a great budget microphone!


Best Budget Microphone under $200:
MAONO PM500 Condenser Microphone

MAONO is a newer brand of mics, but they’re gaining ground fast. This mic is a bit more expensive than the AT2020, and I think it justifies the price jump due to its better sound and solid build quality. It has a nice body to its sound, and while I got this mic primarily to review it, it’s worked its way into my recording setup as a voiceover microphone and as a portable option when doing remote recordings.

MAONO Budget Condenser Microphone PM500
  • XLR microphone with custom-designed 34MM Large-diaphragm gold spluttered condenser capsule.
  • The body of this XLR condenser microphone is made with zinc alloy and treated with multi-layer coatings. It is sturdy, durable, and functions as an electromagnetic shield to give a purer audio signal.
  • The included metal pop filter, shock mount and desktop stand help save money.

This is my favorite large diaphragm condenser under $150, and as a bonus, it comes with an included desktop mic stand, pop filter, and cable! I found the cable to be low quality and swapped it out with an XLR I already had, but the stand and pop filter are super useful. For the price, you’d be hard pressed to find a better sounding mic, pop filter, and desktop stand combo, so I highly recommend the MAONO PM500 if it’s within your budget.


Best Budget Mic under $300:
Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 Condenser Microphone

Lauten Audio is one of my new favorite microphone brands, and the LA-220 V2 is their most budget friendly large diaphragm condenser mic, coming in at just over $250. This is a pretty big upgrade in quality compared to the AT2020 and PM500, with better sound and more features. This mic has lo and hi frequency cut switches, allowing you to shape the sound of your mic and offering more flexibility. The LA-320 is our go-to mic under $300, but its amazing build quality and great sound put this mic above the “budget mic” category. It’s just an all around great mic, no matter the cost.

Lauten Audio Black LA-220 V2
  • Professional quality condenser mic with great sound and premium build quality
  • Onboard hi and lo cut for custom tone shaping without the need for EQ
  • Our top pick for a balance of great sound quality and an affordable price


Check out our first impressions of the Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 here:

If you can make room in your budget for the LA-220 V2, it will serve you well for years to come. Its great sound quality, flexible controls, and amazing build quality make this our #1 pick for the best budget microphone! Lauten Audio has earned their place as a revered microphone brand for a reason, their mics are simply great sounding and punch above their weight when it comes to price.


Final Thoughts on Budget Mics

While there is a huge variety of microphones on the market, these selections cover all of the bases. We’ve got options for under $100, $200, and $300, all with good build quality and sound. It’s amazing how far your dollar can go when it comes to condenser mics, and I would’ve loved to have these high quality mic options available to me when I was just starting out! If you’re new to recording, or you want to level up the sound quality of your content creation, grab one of these three mics and you’ll be amazed at just how much better your sound will be.

Audio-Technica AT2020 Budget Microphone
  • The price/performance standard in side address studio condenser microphone technology
  • Ideal for project/home studio applications; The noise level is 20 dB SPL
  • High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility
  • Custom engineered low mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response
  • Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source. Output connector: integral 3 pin XLRM type
MAONO Budget Condenser Microphone PM500
  • Custom-designed 34MM Large-diaphragm gold spluttered condenser capsule offers a wide dynamic range of 20Hz - 20KHz.
  • Low self-noise for clean recordings.
  • Cardioid pickup shows excellent off-axis sound suppression capability, great for vocals, podcasting, or recording acoustic instruments.
  • The build quality of this mic is solid. With all metal construction, it feels durable and heavy.
  • Included metal pop filter, shock mount, cable and desktop stand help stretch your budget even further, so you can keep more of your cash or invest in more gear!
Lauten Audio Black LA-220 V2
  • The Series Black LA-220 large diaphragm FET studio condenser microphone by Lauten Audio is a professional and versatile microphone for studio vocal and instrument recording
  • Our choice for recording on a budget while maintaining high quality standards
  • Premium build quality and pristine sound for an affordable price
  • While it's the most expensive microphone on our list, it is still a great value and punches above its weight when it comes to sound quality
  • Our top pick for best budget microphones!

Still have questions? Check out our Budget Mic Buyer’s Guide below! Is money not an issue? Check out our list of the top 6 condenser mics here!


Condenser Mic Buyers Guide: Finding the Best Budget Microphone for you!

If you’re looking for a new condenser microphone, consider these factors when making your decision.

When it comes to recording audio, a condenser microphone can offer exceptional sound quality without breaking the bank. Whether you’re a podcaster, musician, or content creator, a budget condenser microphone can provide professional-level performance. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll explore the key factors to consider when choosing a budget condenser mic.

best condenser mic for acoustic guitar

1. Sound Quality: One of the most critical aspects of any microphone is its sound quality. While budget condenser mics may not rival the premium options, they can still deliver impressive audio clarity and detail. Look for a microphone with a wide frequency response range (typically around 20Hz to 20kHz) to capture a full spectrum of sound. Read user reviews and listen to audio samples to gauge the mic’s performance.

2. Included Accessories: Budget condenser microphones often come with a variety of accessories that enhance their versatility and usability. Common accessories to look for include:

  • Shock Mount: A shock mount isolates the microphone from vibrations and handling noise, ensuring cleaner recordings.
  • Pop Filter: A pop filter reduces plosive sounds (like “p” and “b” sounds) that can cause distortion in recordings.
  • XLR Cable: Many budget mics come with an XLR cable to connect the microphone to an audio interface or mixer.
  • Carrying Case: A protective case keeps your microphone safe during storage or transport.
  • Stand: Some mics do include a stand, but if they don’t, you’ll need to purchase one.

3. Polar Pattern: Most budget condenser microphones feature the cardioid polar pattern. This pattern captures sound from the front of the microphone while minimizing pickup from the sides and rear. This is particularly useful for recording in controlled environments, as it reduces background noise and room reflections. For 99% of recording needs – such as vocals, podcasts, and solo instruments – a cardioid pattern is highly versatile and effective.

4. Build Quality: While budget condenser microphones may not be as rugged as their higher-end counterparts, good build quality is still important for longevity and consistent performance. Look for microphones with sturdy metal construction, reinforced connectors, and well-designed components. A well-built microphone is less prone to wear and tear, ensuring that it will withstand regular use.

5. Additional Considerations:

  • Phantom Power: Most condenser microphones require phantom power to operate. Ensure that your audio interface or mixer can provide the necessary +48V phantom power before purchasing a microphone.
  • Usability: Consider the microphone’s size, weight, and ease of setup. A user-friendly design makes the recording process smoother and more enjoyable.
  • Versatility: While cardioid is the standard polar pattern for budget mics, some models offer switchable patterns (e.g., omnidirectional and figure-8). This can add flexibility to your recording options.
Audio-Technica AT2020 Budget Microphone
  • The price/performance standard in side address studio condenser microphone technology
  • Ideal for project/home studio applications; The noise level is 20 dB SPL
  • High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility
  • Custom engineered low mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response
  • Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source. Output connector: integral 3 pin XLRM type
MAONO Budget Condenser Microphone PM500
  • Custom-designed 34MM Large-diaphragm gold spluttered condenser capsule offers a wide dynamic range of 20Hz - 20KHz.
  • Low self-noise for clean recordings.
  • Cardioid pickup shows excellent off-axis sound suppression capability, great for vocals, podcasting, or recording acoustic instruments.
  • The build quality of this mic is solid. With all metal construction, it feels durable and heavy.
  • Included metal pop filter, shock mount, cable and desktop stand help stretch your budget even further, so you can keep more of your cash or invest in more gear!
Lauten Audio Black LA-220 V2
  • The Series Black LA-220 large diaphragm FET studio condenser microphone by Lauten Audio is a professional and versatile microphone for studio vocal and instrument recording
  • Our choice for recording on a budget while maintaining high quality standards
  • Premium build quality and pristine sound for an affordable price
  • While it's the most expensive microphone on our list, it is still a great value and punches above its weight when it comes to sound quality
  • Our top pick for best budget microphones!

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About the Author: Adam Sliger

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I'm the founder of makethatlouder.com, and a producer, musician, and songwriter based out of Orlando, FL. I have 10 years experience producing and owning a commercial recording studio. I write and produce music for artists, TV, and for my solo project, Night Winds. When I'm not writing and recording, I'm into food, coffee, and riding rollercoasters!

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