5 Best Budget Microphones

So you need a new microphone, but you haven’t got a lot to spend. This can be a daunting task when you see that the vast majority of microphones on the market cost hundreds of dollars.

Why should you fork out so much money on a product that you have no idea will be the right fit for your needs? It can also be incredibly difficult knowing where to get started.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a small fortune to find a good quality microphone. There are plenty of budget options that you can buy for the functionality that you need, that won’t break the bank.

But with so many different options to choose from, how can you be sure that you’ve found the best budget microphone for your needs?

That’s where we come in! We’ve done all of the hard work so that you don’t have to. We’ve researched and reviewed over 50 different budget microphones to find the best that the market has to offer.

We used a strict list of review criteria to whittle the best budget microphones down to a selection of the very best that the market has to offer.

So let’s take a look at the best budget microphones so that you can find the perfect model for your needs!

FIFINE USB Microphone

USB Microphone,FIFINE Metal Condenser Recording Microphone for Laptop MAC or Windows Cardioid Studio Recording Vocals, Voice Overs,Streaming Broadcast and YouTube Videos-K669B

Out of all the budget microphones that we tested, the FIFINE USB Microphone easily came out on top.

Not only is this one of the more affordable microphones on the market, but it also comes with a great range of features for you to use.

One of our favorite things about this particular microphone is that it comes with plug and play usability. This will make it super easy for newbies to use straight out of the box.

Simply remove the microphone from its packaging, plug it into your preferred hardware, and it will be ready to go!

What we really loved about this microphone when we tested it was that it is super versatile.

It can be used for a wide variety of different applications, including podcasting, recording music in your home studio, singing, and many more.

Another fantastic feature of this microphone is how widely compatible it is. It features a USB connection so that it can be used for a variety of different systems, including computers and many more.

Pros:

  • Budget friendly – affordable for a more competitive price compared to other products
  • Plug and play – no need to worry about downloading complicated software before you can use your new microphone
  • Versatile – can be used for a wide variety of applications, including recording music, podcasting, or singing

Cons:

  • Lower sensitivity – you may need to get closer to the microphone for it to pick up certain frequencies

Also available at…

Sale
USB Microphone,FIFINE Metal Condenser Recording Microphone for Laptop MAC or Windows Cardioid Studio Recording Vocals, Voice Overs,Streaming Broadcast and YouTube Videos-K669B
  • Plug and play USB recording microphone with 5.9-Foot USB Cable included for computer PC laptop that connects directly to USB port for record music, computer singing or podcast. Easy to use and install. (◆◆Incompatible with Xbox and Phones◆◆)
  • Solid sturdy metal construction design computer microphone with stable tripod stand is convenient when you are doing voice overs or livestreams on YouTube.
  • Gaming mic for PS4 with additional volume knob itself has a louder output and is more sensitive, your voice would be heard well enough when gaming, skyping or voice recording.
  • USB-powered design condenser microphone for recording no need the 48v Phantom power supply, work well with Cortana, Discord, voice chat and voice recognition.
  • Cardioid gaming microphone for pc captures your voice properly, produce clear smooth and crisp sound without static noise. Great gift for gamers/streamers/youtubers at isolating the sounds from the main source and separating them from any background noise. Does the job well for streaming broadcast ,OBS and teamspeak.

TONOR USB Microphone

USB Microphone, TONOR Computer Cardioid Condenser PC Gaming Mic with Tripod Stand & Pop Filter for Streaming, Podcasting, Vocal Recording, Compatible with Laptop Desktop Windows Computer, TC-777

The TONOR USB Microphone is another solid choice if you’re on the hunt for a good quality budget microphone.

This particular model comes with a range of great features for you to use. It is also available at a highly affordable price compared to competitive products.

A feature that we really loved about this microphone when we tested it was that it comes with plug and play capability.

So all you need to do is remove it from its packaging, then plug it into your computer or PA system so that you can get started. There’s no need to fuss around with complicated settings!

This particular microphone features a cardioid pick up pattern. This makes it easier to capture the clear sound that you’re after.

The cardioid pattern works to isolate the sound you want to record from any unwanted background noise.

We really liked the fact that the included mount was highly versatile.

You can easily unscrew the included shock mount so that you can attach your chosen microphone to a boom stand for a more versatile application.

Pros:

  • Plug and play – makes the microphone super easy to use straight out of the box
  • Cardioid pick up pattern – designed to capture clearer sound while keeping out unwanted background noise
  • Versatile mount – the included shock mount can be unscrewed so that you can attach your microphone to a boom stand

Cons:

  • Headphone output – the microphone doesn’t feature a headphone output for private listening

Also available at…

Sale
USB Microphone, TONOR Computer Cardioid Condenser PC Gaming Mic with Tripod Stand & Pop Filter for Streaming, Podcasting, Vocal Recording, Compatible with Laptop Desktop Windows Computer, TC-777
  • Plug and Play: With a USB 2.0 data port, the TC-777 is plug and play, no any additional driver is required. Ideal for conference, distance learning, streaming, chatting, podcasting, recording, Zoom, Skype, YouTube video, etc.
  • Cardioid Pickup Pattern: This mic has a cardioid pickup pattern that captures the clear, smooth and crisp sound in front of the microphone and suppresses unwanted background noise.
  • Easy to Install: Without any assembly, only need to unfold the three-legged stand directly and adjust the position of the pop filter, then it can be plug and play.
  • Versatility: The shock mount can be unscrewed and attached to a boom stand with 5/8'' threaded insert directly. Note: If the threaded insert your stand comes with is 3/8'', then the 3/8'' female to 5/8'' male threaded screw adapter is needed (not included).
  • What You Get: 1 x Microphone with Power Cord(1.5m), 1 x Foldable Mic Tripod, 1 x Mini Shock Mount, 1 x Pop Filter and 1 x Manual. (Note: It is not compatible with Xbox.)

FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone

FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone Computer PC Microphone Kit with Adjustable Scissor Arm Stand Shock Mount for Instruments Voice Overs Recording Podcasting YouTube Karaoke Gaming Streaming-T669

Looking for a higher quality version of the FIFINE K669 model that we picked as our top choice? Then you should consider this FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone.

This is another fantastic option from FIFINE that will be more than suitable for a wide variety of applications. Ideal if you want to use your budget microphone for a range of recording purposes.

You’ll get the crystal clear audio that you need to capture when you opt for this budget microphone.

It has been designed to give you a wide range of frequency responses, as well as tackle high SPLs for a better quality of sound.

What we really liked about this budget microphone was how versatile it was to use. You can easily use this budget microphone for a wide variety of applications, including in your very own home studio.

Another handy feature of this particular microphone is that it includes all of the necessary accessories that you need for high quality recordings.

This microphone comes with a handy pop filter as well as a boom arm to help get you started.

Pros:

  • Crystal clear audio – capable of capturing the clear audio that you need from a budget microphone
  • Versatile – suitable for a wide variety of uses including in a home studio
  • Starter pack – includes a handy pop filter and a boom arm

Cons:

  • Highly sensitive – the microphone will pick up all sounds within its vicinity

Also available at…

Sale
FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone Computer PC Microphone Kit with Adjustable Scissor Arm Stand Shock Mount for Instruments Voice Overs Recording Podcasting YouTube Karaoke Gaming Streaming-T669
  • 🎤【USB Output】Enables simple setup. USB Microphone Kit provide a direct convenient plug-and-play connection to pc and laptop without any additional hardware for recording vocals, podcasts and Skype. It's never been easier to get high-quality sound for your voice and computer-based audio recordings. (◆◆Incompatible with Xbox and Phones◆◆)
  • 🎤【Excellent Sound Quality】With rugged construction for durable performance, the vocal microphone offers a wide frequency response and handles high SPLs with ease. Ideal for project/home-studio applications. The cardioid condenser capsule offers crystal-clear audio for communicating, creating and recording. Comes ready to go with a desktop mic stand and 2.5M USB cable, you're guaranteed to get great-sounding results.
  • 🎤【Durable Arm Set】Studio Microphone with versatile and sturdy broadcast suspension boom scissor arm gives you great tools for capturing your voice in a podcast or voiceover. The Double Pop Filter provides two layers of dissipation, removes the rush of air caused by vocal plosives, minimizing the popping sounds that can compromise your recording is great for studio as well as home use.
  • 🎤【Easy to Attach】The streaming microphone adjustable boom studio scissor Arm Stand features a heavy-duty combo mount that consists of a sturdy C-clamp and a detachable desktop mount. With 13" fixed horizontal arm and offers a 30" reach. The low-profile, table-hugging design allows on-air talent to perform without facial obstruction to record podcasts or make dubbing sounds for videos, use voice chat in online games or doing business on Skype.
  • 🎤【The Accessory Package Includes】The scissor arm stand is made out of all steel construction, sturdy and durable, a studio-grade shock mount, a double pop filter, premium 8.2' USB cable, a bonus tripod stand, a microphone for podcast recording, a user manual and friendly Technical Support.

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone, Ideal for Project/Home Studio Applications

If quality is your main concern when it comes to choosing a budget microphone, then you should consider the Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone.

This particular microphone is slightly pricier compared to other models we reviewed, but it’s still affordable for a budget price compared to more expensive models.

A handy feature of this microphone is that it is widely versatile. This particular microphone features a high SPL handling, as well as a wide dynamic range.

These will work in tandem to make sure that your chosen microphone is more versatile than competitive models on the market.

What we really loved about this microphone when we tested it was that it features a cardioid pick up pattern.

This works to isolate the sounds that you are recording from any unwanted background noise.

This particular microphone is a solid choice for those who plan on using it in their home studio. It also features a custom engineered low mass diaphragm.

This works to extend the frequency response, and gives a superior transient response.

Pros:

  • Widely versatile – features a high SPL handling as well as a wide dynamic range
  • Cardioid pick up pattern – reduced the likelihood of pesky background noise
  • High quality – built with high quality sound in mind for better recordings

Cons:

  • No pop filter – you will need to buy this separately to get a better quality sound with no popping

Also available at…

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone, Ideal for Project/Home Studio Applications
  • 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

Samson Technologies Q2U USB/XLR Dynamic Microphone Recording And Podcasting Pack

Samson Technologies Q2U USB/XLR Dynamic Microphone Recording and Podcasting Pack (Includes Mic Clip, Desktop Stand, Windscreen and Cables), silver

Looking for a high quality starter pack that will give you everything you need to crack on with your recordings?

Then this Samson Technologies Q2U USB/XLR Dynamic Microphone Recording and Podcasting Pack should be your top choice.

This particular microphone comes with everything you need to get started, including a pop filter, different connector cables, and a desktop stand.

You won’t have to worry about this microphone letting you down when you use it to record your creations. It features a cardioid pattern, which will capture all of the sound that you need it to.

This works to isolate your chosen sound from any unwanted background noise.

One of the best features that we loved about this microphone when we tested it was that it gives you a choice of connectivity. It includes both USB and XLR cables so that you can choose the best for your needs.

An interesting feature of this microphone is that it comes with a headphone jack. This will allow you to enjoy zero latency monitoring, so you can hear the recording in real time.

Pros:

  • Versatile connectivity – can be plugged into a computer, PA system, audio interface, or connected to a mixer
  • Cardioid pick up pattern – minimizes the likelihood of background noise being picked up
  • Complete kit – gives you everything you need to get started including a range of additional accessories

Cons:

  • Microphone stand – some customers felt this could have been of better quality

Also available at…

Samson Technologies Q2U USB/XLR Dynamic Microphone Recording and Podcasting Pack (Includes Mic Clip, Desktop Stand, Windscreen and Cables), silver
  • Best of both worlds: professional handheld dynamic microphone with USB digital output for connecting to a computer and XLR analog output for connecting to a mixer, audio interface or portable PA system
  • Sound your best: dynamic microphone capsule with a cardioid pickup pattern captures sound from in front of the microphone and less from the side and rear, minimizing ambient sounds and other room noises for podcasting, home recording or voiceover work. It also reduces possible feedback in live performance settings
  • Hear the mix: onboard 1/8" (3. 5mm) headphone jack allows for zero-latency monitoring, so you can hear yourself without any delay or echo, plus a mix of your computer audio playback. Solid, die-cast construction with heavy gauge mesh grille
  • Start Recording: The Q2U is a plug-and-play device, meaning it doesn’t need any special drivers to work with your computer. Just connect the microphone to your computer, launch your favorite audio software, and start recording.
  • It’s All in the Box: The Q2U Recording and Podcasting Pack includes everything you need to start recording great sounding projects: an extended desktop stand with mic clip that positions the microphone close to the sound source, a pop-filter for reducing p-pops, and USB and XLR cables.

Buyer’s Guide

Searching for the best budget microphone can be a real challenge. There are so many different factors to consider that it can often be a confusing experience.

Even more so if you’ve never bought a microphone before! With all of the different specifications on the market, it can be confusing knowing what features you should prioritize over others.

We’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide to help you. We’ve included all of our essential research criteria to give you all the information you need to make a fully informed decision.

So if this is your first time buying a microphone, you can start on the right foot. As long as your chosen budget microphone bears the below features in mind, you can rest assured that it will be perfect for your needs.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about budget microphones down below, or skip ahead to the frequently asked questions.

Cardioid Pick Up Pattern

One of the most important things that you will need to look for in your chosen budget microphone is whether it comes with a cardioid pick up pattern.

This ensures that your microphone will only pick up the sound that’s directly in front of it, and slightly to the left and right.

This is the preferred pick up pattern for a wide variety of applications, as it works to minimize any background noise that you might encounter.

This will be essential for creating high quality recorded content. The less background noise there is to interfere with your recording, the better the overall quality of the sound.

It’s important to note that there are several different types of pick up pattern, and these can suit different applications.

However, one of the most common for a wide variety of recording purposes is the cardioid pattern.

If you’re not familiar with how to use microphones, this will be the perfect place to start as the cardioid pattern will do most of the hard work for you.

Plug And Play

Another essential feature to look for in a budget microphone is plug and play capability. This will help to make your microphone even easier to use.

You can simply use it straight out of the box by plugging it into your audio interface or computer. Perfect if you don’t want to opt for a complicated microphone that requires a lot of setup before you can even use it!

Choosing a microphone that comes with plug and play capability will make your life so much easier in the long run. You won’t have to worry about fiddling with a range of settings before you can get started.

This feature will be particularly suited to those who are just getting started with using microphones.

Versatile

It will be crucial to opt for a budget microphone that promises to be wonderfully versatile.

This will include the types of applications you can use it for, as well as the connectivity that your chosen budget microphone is able to offer you.

If you plan on using your microphone for a variety of different purposes, then you will need to select a microphone that can be used for all of these purposes.

The more versatile your chosen budget microphone is, the better it will be in the long run.

This will allow you to use it for all manner of recording applications, which will be ideal if you have a range of hobbies that you plan on using this microphone for.

It will also be worth thinking about how versatile the connectivity of your chosen budget microphone is.

You will need to choose a model that is compatible with your particular setup, otherwise you won’t be able to use your new budget microphone.

So make sure to bear this feature in mind when it comes to choosing the best microphone for your needs.

Easy To Use

Once you’ve got all of the basics covered, you will need to think about how easy your new budget microphone will be to use.

It will be best to opt for a model that promises to be easy to use, as this will make your life much easier in the long run.

There’s no point in opting for a budget microphone if it’s going to be too complicated for you to use!

As we’ve mentioned above, you will need to look for a budget microphone that promises plug and play usability.

This will mean that you don’t have to worry about fiddling with the settings before you can use your chosen microphone.

It will also be worth thinking about any additional accessories you may need to purchase to use your new microphone, such as a pop filter or boom arm.

It will be best to opt for a budget microphone that will make your life easier, not harder. So ensure that you choose a model that will be easy for you to use straight away.

Durable

You will of course want to opt for a budget microphone that will be sturdy and durable. The more durable your chosen budget microphone, the longer it will last you overall.

Take a look at the materials that have been used to construct the microphone. Has it been manufactured using metal? Or are there cheap plastic components included that are easy to break?

If you want to ensure that your chosen budget microphone will last you for many years to come, then you will need to look for a highly durable model.

It’s important to remember that a budget model isn’t likely to be as hard wearing as a model that costs several hundred dollars, but you will still need to look for as durable a microphone as you can find.

This will ensure that it lasts you longer than a super cheap model made from cheaper materials that will break easily.

Additional Accessories

Lastly, you will need to think about whether your chosen microphone comes with a range of additional accessories for you to use.

This will save you from having to purchase the different accessories that you need for successful recording, such as a pop filter and a boom arm.

It will be much better on your wallet to select a model that comes with all of these necessary accessories included.

Make a list of all the essential accessories that you will need to use alongside your chosen microphone, then select a model that will come with these included as standard.

Frequently asked questions

Which Is The Best Budget Microphone?

The best budget microphones are:

  • FIFINE USB Microphone
  • TONOR USB Microphone
  • FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone
  • Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone
  • Samson Technologies Q2U USB/XLR Dynamic Microphone Recording and Podcasting Pack

How Much Is A Decent Microphone?

This will ultimately come down to how much you are willing to spend, and what you intend to use your chosen microphone for.

There are a range of fantastic budget microphones on the market, however, you will need to bear in mind that these won’t be as good quality as a microphone that costs hundreds of dollars.

For a decent quality microphone that won’t cut corners in terms of sound quality or other features, you will find yourself spending anywhere between $100 up to $250.

However, it will of course depend on what you need your chosen microphone for.

If you’re using it for a certain hobby, then you won’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to get a good quality microphone that will be able to do the basics.

If you’re looking for a good quality budget microphone, check out the products that we have reviewed in more detail above.

How Do I Choose A Good Budget Microphone?

There are several different factors that you will need to consider when it comes to choosing the best budget microphone.

The most obvious of course will be your budget, as you will need to consider how much you are willing to spend in order to get a good quality budget microphone.

The other important factors that you will need to consider are: whether your chosen microphone comes with a cardioid pick up pattern; whether it comes with plug and play features; how versatile it is for using with a variety of applications; how easy the microphone is to use; how durable the microphone is; and whether it comes with a range of additional accessories to save you from having to buy these separately.