Top 10 Home Studio Microphones

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Thanks to the widespread availability of sophisticated home studio microphones, creative individuals can create all sorts of interesting media from the comfort of their dens and living rooms. For some consumers, however, the ability to choose from hundreds of microphones comes off as more overwhelming than freeing. Not all microphones carry stellar reputations despite carrying the reputation of a trusted manufacturer. Others may suit themselves more to one task, such as podcasting, but not others. By researching the most popular makes, models, and brands of home studio microphones available, consumers can acquire equipment that complements their studio setup.
1 Blue Snowball
Blue Snowball

Compact and boasting phenomenal sound quality, Blue Snowball keeps things simple. It connects to equipment via USB and sits atop an adjustable tripod. Connect it to any Windows PC and watch as the operating system finds and installs the drivers within minutes. Blue's Snowball mic plays nicely with any sound recording software and offers mono recording at 44.1kHz, 16-bit.


2 Blue Yeti
Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti sports a sophisticated look able to make any home studio feel more professional. Drawing on three 14mm tuned condensers, the Blue Yeti features four modes. Stereo mode produces realistic sound, while cardiod picks up audio from the front of the microphone. Omnidirectional mode records sounds from all directions and transmits them equally, while bidirectional focuses on the front and rear of the mic, an idea mode for interviews.


3 AKG D5
AKG D5

Manufacturer AKG likes to brag that the AKG D5 can cut through the noisiest environments to capture crisp, clear sound. Putting the mic's cardiod-packed hardware to the test reveals that AKG's claims hold up. The D5's low end frequency range brushes aside ambient noise to pick up vocalists who stand in front of it. Even better, the microphone's durability protects it from bumps, bruises, and scratches, perfect for bands that spend a lot of time on the road.


4 ADK Thor
ADK Thor

The ADK Thor channels the power of the gods to offer an expensive but powerful microphone encased in a stylish black mesh grille. Designed for versatility, the ADK Thor presents users with three high-frequency options that enable them to produce a wide aural range. Users can further tune the mic to any setting using a three-position switch to control frequency response.


5 Rode M3
Rode M3

Many microphones target experienced users. The Rode M3 follows a different tack, concentrating on solid composition at a reasonable price. An internal shock mount reduces handling noise, and the mic's clear responses renders it useful for drum overhead and handheld percussion environments. Even more experienced users should find something to like, as the Rode M3's durability and flexibility in execution make it a good option for a handheld mic.


6 MXL V69 Mogami Edition
MXL V69 Mogami Edition

The MXL V69 Mogami Edition represents 30 years of excellence from MXL, a manufacturer known for building affordable mics that meet high-performance needs. The mic's cardio-only design comes with no bells and whistles such as a low frequency filter. Instead, it targets a solid response that doesn't begin to drop off until around the 12kHz range.


7 Samson Meteor Mic
Samson Meteor Mic

Diminutive in stature, the Samson Meteor Mic houses a heavyweight condenser that puts out vocals and acoustic instruments accurately. Aimed at podcasting and similar ventures, the mic comes with cardiod-only functionality best used in quiet environments. Although it lacks a wider range of recording options, the Samson Meteor Mic's quality and price should appeal to newer users.


8 Golden Age FC4
Golden Age FC4

A take on the pencil condenser form factor, the Golden Age FC4 stands out from the crowd thanks to adaptability and price. Consumers can put the slim mic to work in virtually any setting, but it shines brightly in studio environments such as podcasts and interviews. Musicians should try hanging the Golden Age FC4 from strings and using its cardiod capsule to record instruments.


9 Blue Mikey
Blue Mikey

Not content to create microphones for only one or two settings, Blue's Mikey works in a pinch for users who don't need a full-blown, professional-quality microphone. The Blue Mikey fits on top of the many iterations of Apple's iPod, transforming the MP3 player into a recording device able to capture stereo sound. Users looking for a compact device able to record interviews and smaller concerts should feel satisfied.


10 Avantone CR-14
Avantone CR-14

The Avantone CR-14's dual-ribbon design does more than give the mic a distinct appearance. The shorter ribbon cuts down on higher frequencies, and the mic's low sensitivity comes from those parallel ribbons. Avantone CR-14 fizzles when faced with high-end performance tasks, but Avantone built the mic intending to attract new users interested in experimenting with ribbon designs.


How to Buy Home Studio Microphones

For every podcaster, broadcaster, and aspiring singer who works out of the home, there exists a suitable home studio microphone. eBay's sellers meet those needs by offering the most popular microphones in new and used versions. Begin a search by going to any eBay page and enter a search phrase Type in general phrases such as " home studio microphones" to sort through a larger list, or enter a particular microphone to view those offerings. Consumers need not shop for microphones based on popularity alone. Rather, they should consider their studio environment. Smaller microphones such as the Blue Snowball can fit on almost any surface, while other desks may not accommodate bigger microphones as easily.
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