But for the more budget minded muso recording at home or amateur studio, vocal microphones are particularly challenging because the human voice is so diverse ranging from the softly spoken folk balladeer to the melt your face off metalhead. Get the latest Rode NT-1 pricing at zZounds. What’s it’s sound characteristics? The NT1 vocal sound is crisp and detailed with plenty of warm low-end body, nothing missing or exaggerated in the midrange and an airy clarity in the top end, plus the included double-meshed pop shield does a great job and conveniently sits unobtrusively exactly where you need it. It provides a sound that is surprisingly warm and detailed – despite its low price point. You want the best condenser microphone available under $300. It’s cool and distinctive. This mic can handle a high sound pressure level of 158dB. Bang for Buck: Price to performance. It will record next door’s dog barking. You’ll get change out of $150 and we reckon it hits the sweet spot between excellent performance and value for money. For the money, in our humble opinion, this is the best microphone for recording vocals. It captures the sound and reproduces exactly what it captured. Since then I've used the NTK in hundreds of various recording situations, and with a multitude of different instruments including vocals, acoustic guitars, classical guitars, upright bass, percussion, and more. The Rode NTK is a classic tube microphone, perhaps one of the quietest on the market. It also has a wide dynamic range in part from its sensitive Class A circuitry that rejects RF interference from other electronic equipment. Let’s deal with the specs: this is a 20Hz – 20kHz XLR cardioid large diaphragm condenser mic capable of handling 127dB sound pressure levels (SPLs). If you plan to record work with high volume, high sound pressure levels, consider getting the NTK since it can handle up to 158dB. Check it out—it’s rated at only 5dBA compared to the NTK at 12dBA. You’re more interested in character than a perfect, noise free recording. It’s not as quiet as the NT1, but with a self-noise of -12dBA, it’s no slouch. If you do voiceovers, the NT1-A comes very highly recommended for its low self-noise and neutral sound. Whatever mic you choose from this list, we can confidently say that you won’t be disappointed. The flatter response of the NT-1 means that, at least in theory, it should be more compatible with a greater range of voice types. For $99, the Shure SM57 is a legendary cardioid dynamic microphone. Though a little costlier than what most other microphones on this list costs, the Rode NTK Microphone has all you’ll need in the best home recording mic. Also, from a connectivity perspective, these are all XLR microphones. Well, like a fine wine it’s warm, clear and full-bodied and that tube warmth really does shine through especially on vocals. Good on just about anything. We’d still recommend a pop shield though. It’s a true condenser mic, externally biased. Check out our full review here. But I don’t think we could look ourselves in the mirror if we left Neumann out of this review, so we haven’t. The sound of the AT2035 is excellent. The NT-1 is supremely quiet. If you are considering between Neumann TLM 103, TLM 149, or even TLM U87 Ai and this one, then you should buy this one. It has a foam-filled grill for reducing plosives and sibilance. The TLM 102 is a no-nonsense 20Hz – 20kHz XLR cardioid microphone with no additional bells and whistles. But what does it sound like? My production now stacks up better on-air against the bigger studios. Rode NTK This is the second microphone from Australian manufacturer Rode, and this is a different beast to the NT1 because it’s a cardioid pattern valve condenser microphone. Remember also, this is a ‘real-world’ review. In the bundle you get the mic itself obviously, the excellent SM6 shockmount with popshield plus a high quality XLR cable. Smooth lows combine with balanced mids and crystal clear highs to produce a really pleasing sound that’s excellent not only on vocals, but also acoustic and electric guitars and drum overheads. We should also point out that condenser microphones need external power to operate so make sure your audio interface offers 48V phantom power. I love to create sounds using two microphones of different make and model in a stereo field, but almost always the NTK is included. SM57s are built like tanks and found in just about every studio in the world. It’ll also handle 132dB of sheer vocal rage thrown at it if that’s your thing. The NTK Changes Everything. Neumann microphones are legendary in recording circles. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This can be negated by replacing the tube but be aware that this may invalidate warranties – and it’s an added cost. You want Neumann quality and don’t mind paying for it. For a Neumann, it’s cheap. Hey Dave! Would you say that the NT1-A compares positively to the NT1? You want performance at a great price. With a maximum SPL of 158dB, the NTK can take a battering – and it comes with a 10 year warranty from authorised dealers. It’s just cardboard. It’s hugely versatile, is built like a tank and the kit is only about $40 more expensive than the NT1-A. The exterior of the NTK looks both beautiful and professional with its satin nickel finish and the high strength steel mesh head. It requires 48V phantom power. There’s a video on YouTube showing an SM57 being run over by a tour bus and still working afterwards. Sub $150, we believe there isn’t a better mic out there and with a pop shield and XLR cable thrown in for good measure, this is a great deal. Click here to see the Rode NTK microphone on Amazon. It’s surprisingly effective on guitar amp cabs. Since then I've used the NTK in hundreds of various recording situations, and with a multitude of different instruments including vocals, acoustic guitars, classical guitars, upright bass, percussion, and more. The NT1-A comes in a special commemorative package with an external studio grade pop shield, a Rode SM6 shock mount, and a 20-foot long XLR cable. The NTK can more than hold its own against sought-after vintage microphones that cost several times as much. This is the second microphone from Australian manufacturer Rode, and this is a different beast to the NT1 because it’s a cardioid pattern valve condenser microphone. Sound quality: self-explanatory really. A 20Hz – 20kHz frequency response ensures it’s great not only for vocals, but on a variety of instruments like acoustic and electric guitars. Dollar for dollar this is an excellent vocal mic – but whilst it’s recommended, it doesn’t feature in our top picks. Why did we choose this over the more vocally oriented SM58? Important before you part with your hard-earned cash. Also unique is the mic itself because the Aston Origin looks like no other microphone. Ideal for hobbyist and pro alike, Offers surprising warmth, clarity and detail, Versatile. It’s quite flat in the lower mid-range unlike the 58 so the sound is less colored, and it has a wider range in the high frequencies which gives a ‘sweeter’ sound. But it’s no delicate piece of equipment. Now things get really interesting. Get the latest Rode NT-1 pricing at zZounds Let’s look at them both to see which is the best for you. How does the mic perform? Actually on price alone, the AT2020 is probably the best sub-$100 mic out there but seeing as we’re not judging this purely on price, we would go for the AT2035 every time. 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