Best Studio Microphones Under $200 a Month

The Best Microphones Under $200 a Month

Recording at home? Don't let a small budget stop you from stocking your studio with the best microphones around! With zZounds' monthly installment plans, you can split the cost of that new mic into 4, 6, 8, or 12 easy payments. In this buying guide, you'll find our picks for the best microphones under $200 a month -- from Neumann, Shure, Audix, Sennheiser, AKG, Rode, and Beyerdyamic.
Neumann: Best Microphones Under $200 a Month
Don't let the small size of the Neumann TLM 102 fool you -- it's a monster of a mic! With a slight presence boost above 6 kHz, this cardioid large-diaphragm condenser yields "that Neumann sound" on vocals and just about everything else. Try the larger, lower-noise Neumann TLM 103 for a brighter top-end sound, courtesy of its wide, smooth presence boost starting at around 4 kHz. Upgrade to the TLM 103 Anniversary Edition microphone to score the matching Neumann shock mount and case.

With a gentle boost around 9 kHz, the legendary Neumann KM184 is the acoustic guitar microphone. Thanks to SPL handling of 138 dB, this classic cardioid small-diaphragm condenser also shines on loud sources like brass and percussion.
Shure: Best Microphones Under $200 a Month
If you're recording aggressive rock/rap vocals -- or a powerful opera singer -- the Shure SM7B is a solid bet. Capable of handling 180 dB SPL, the SM7B loves loud vocalists, and it's also an industry-standard mic for voiceover. Shure's KSM series of premium studio mics includes the KSM32 and KSM42 large-diaphragm cardioid condensers -- both heavy hitters for tracking vocals.

Next time you're at a concert, look above the drum kit. You're likely to see a pair of Shure SM81 small-diaphragm condensers hanging there. These workhorse cardioid mics are known for their outstanding transparency and realism on drums.
Sennheiser: Best Microphones Under $200 a Month
Capable of handling sound pressure levels (SPL) up to an astonishing 150 dB, the mighty Sennheiser MD 421 microphone is a go-to cardioid dynamic for loud sources like guitar amps, rack toms and powerful vocals. Its 5-position bass roll-off switch makes it super-versatile. Need a high-SPL dynamic mic that's less bulky than the 421? Clip the Sennheiser e604 on tom or snare rims.

Check the reviews -- zZounds customers love the Sennheiser e609S Silver on guitar amps and more. It's super-easy to place: just hang it over the top of the amp and let the mic's grille rest on your amp's grille. Recording vocals at home? Try the affordable Sennheiser MK4 -- Sennheiser's first side-address large-diaphragm condenser.
Rode: Best Microphones Under $200 a Month
Rode microphones are much-loved studio workhorses, and with zZounds' payment plans, you can score one for under $200 a month. For sources where you might use a pair of small-diaphragm condensers -- like in front of an acoustic guitar, above a choir, inside a piano or over a drum kit -- try the Rode NT4 stereo condenser mic for incredibly easy placement.

For tracking vocals, a tube condenser like the Rode K2 or Rode NTK can help capture detailed tracks while adding a bit of tube character to your digital studio. The NTK is a fixed-cardioid design, while the K2 gives you a continously variable polar pattern to give you more flexibility in the studio.

Then there's the Rode NTR ribbon microphone. A newer Rode offering, the NTR can reproduce detailed high frequencies in ways that many ribbon mics fall short. Try this mic on sources where you'd use a condenser and see what kind of flavor you get.