The Best Stage Microphones For Live Vocals

Stage Microphones
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The Importance Of A Good Stage Microphone

There are many stage microphones to choose from these days and it’s no easy task – so we’ve done all of the hard work for you. No matter what your budget is you’ll find a tried and tested microphone for live vocals that will keep you performing at your best for years to come.

In this buying guide we show you our top picks for stage microphones in set price ranges that take into account sound performance as well as build quality – after all you don’t want your mic falling to pieces after only a few gigs. All of the microphones on this list offer the best value for money and are a solid investment that will maintain their price over lesser, inferior brands.

Stage microphones come in both dynamic and condenser style designs which both have their own advantages and disadvantages. We’ve summarised the technical specifications of each microphone as they can sometimes include a lot of jargon that can be overwhelming when making a decision.

Stage Microphones Under $100

Shure SM58 – Dynamic Microphone

No introduction required – The Shure SM58

Pretty much everyone should know about this mic. The descendant of the Shure 565 has been used by almost everyone involved in live singing. Originally designed to solve the problem of fragile studio mics the Shure SM58 eventually became the iconic instrument it is today. It was certainly destined to do so, after all the earlier 535 was the first microphone to have the ball grille design that is now the standard for live vocal mics. For the first time singers could roam about freely on stage with a handheld vocal microphone rather than standing behind a static stand.

A common compliment of the Shure SM58 is that is feels like an extension of the performer which allows them to connect better with their audience. The quality of the build means you always get a high performing microphone. It has a lightweight build with a comfortable grip along with a tailored frequency response. Shure stress test the materials and parts of the SM58 every year so you always know you’re getting a robust and long-lasting microphone that will hold its value for a long time to come.

  • It’s the industry standard. There is a good reason why every live venue will have at least one of these
  • Build quality and durability is excellent. Shure have really been perfectionists with this mic
  • Holds its value – everybody wants one of these
  • Iconic design with its famous ball grille – you will really look the part
  • At this price it’s the safest bet you could make

Audio-Technica AT2010 – Condenser Microphone

The brilliant 20 Series makes its stage appearance – The Audio-Technica AT2010

The Audio-Technica AT2010 is a cardiod condenser handheld microphone that is a complete steal at under $100, definitely one of the bang-for-your-buck studio microphones The idea behind this microphone is to bring Audio-Technica’s famous 20 Series to the stage and what a great job they did with it. It offers crystal-clear vocals that makes it suitable for singers of all genres. It has an extended frequency response which makes it extremely versatile.

 

  • One of the best value stage microphones available on the market
  • Has an identical 16mm low-mass diaphragm that can be found in the famous AT2020 studio condenser microphone
  • Vocal sound is isolated thanks to the cardiod polar pattern that reduces sound from the sides and rear
  • Long-lasting design with a stong and durable all-metal construction that guarantees years of service
  • Quiet-Flex™ stand clamp provides you with a silent and flexible microphone positioning

 

Stage Microphones Under $200

Sennheiser e845 – Dynamic Microphone

Eliminate ambient noise with this dynamic super-cardiod vocal microphone – The Sennheiser e845

This mic is great for singers, groups of singers and for presentations and conferences. Sennheiser have concentrated on expanding the higer frequencies in order to create space for demanding dynamics. It makes your voice fill the room regardless of proximity to the mic. One of the best studio microphones for getting rid of unwanted noises.

 

  • Isolates your voice superbly
  • The extended high freqency range will give you a wider sound at varying distances
  • Has an on/off switch that isn’t always a standard feature
  • Super-versatile for many applications
  • An impressive metal casing for long-lasting performance

Shure Beta 58A – Dynamic Microphone

A high-performance offering from Shure to rival more expensive stage microphones – The Shure Beta 58A

Thanks to its precision engineering the Beta 58A from Shure is perfect for live performance as well as being useful in the studio. The frequency response is particularly designed to highlight either lead or backing vocals and is enjoyed by countless musicians who appreciate the attention to fine detail along with a strong warmth and presence. Not many stage microphones combine this level of quality and performance.

 

  • It’s made by Shure so you know the quality is top-notch
  • Features a neodymium magnet for high signal-to-noise output
  • Handles proximity effect well by using bass rolloff along with an enhanced midrange
  • Rejects off-axis sound thanks to its uniform supercardiod pattern
  • The mesh grill is made from hardened steel for extra durability

Sennheiser e935 – Dynamic Microphone

From us to you with the cleanest sound, the best-engineered microphone from Germany – The Sennheiser e935

In the music industry mics are some of the most important devices. Without them, we would nothave massive concerts, clean sound in crowded venues or healthy vocal cords. Sennheiser is known to provide its customers with the best, most affordable microphones out there. And their e935 model is no exception. Durable and ‘natural’ sounding the device is for those who do not want to use autotune but rather feel like shining brightly through their own, amazing voice. With a sleek and effortless form, this is the mic that is suitable for karaoke nights as well as serious performances.

● The user-friendly price is not achieved by compromising quality. The Sennheiser e935 –
Dynamic Mic 96500 is proudly possessed by many singers and earns splendid 5-star
reviews no matter where it goes
● Most owners never switch after purchasing the device and, when compared to
condenser mics, e935 often wins
● The dynamic microphone has a relatively flat frequency response which means that your
voice will sound extremely natural when using it
● A shock-mounted capsule guarantees low handling noise, therefore the gadget is ideal
for live vocal performances and miking acoustic guitars
● A hum compensating coil reduces the overall electric interference of the device

Blue Microphones enCORE 300 – Condenser Microphone

The leading live vocals condenser microphone, for all singing styles out there – The Blue Microphones enCORE 300

If you are versatile and looking for a mic that can adapt to your needs in a heartbeat this is one of the best stage microphones to get. In a studio as well as a bar, any concert venue, or festival grounds. Even your own garage, the sound is always crisp, clean and well managed. Your voice is all the microphone will pick up, no outside noises, no interference. Just pure skill and emphasis on the unique quirks of your singing style. In each and every place, this is the ultimate mic to have when you have a need for both, recording and performing.

● A floating capsule design makes sure that only the sound that is supposed to reach the
listener’s ears gets picked up by the gadget. It also reduces the handling noise
● The Blue Microphones enCORE 300 – Condenser Mic is known for its versatility. It is
ideal for live as well as recorded vocals and works well as a guitar mounted microphone
● The mic has a flat response so it works with much more singing styles than other, similar
devices
● This condenser mic model has a frequency response rate from 40HZ to 20kHz
● This transparent microphone that is usable in multiple settings will suit beginners as well
as seasoned professionals

Stage Microphones Under $300

Sennheiser e945 – Dynamic Microphone

Begin your journey of singing through this highest quality Sennheiser dynamic mic – The Sennheiser e945

All talented individuals have to start from somewhere. Singers are no different. If anything, it is even harder for a fresh, talented performer to find the right tools to use. That is why Sennheiser
e945 was designed. To ease the first steps of an artist that just wants to sing and have the best gadgets at the same time. To give an opportunity to perform and record to those who are just learning the ropes. Thanks to the microphone being dynamic, it has no exaggerated proximity effect. That, in turn, means no screeching, bleeding ears, and horrible tunes. You can not go wrong with this one!

● The Sennheiser e945 – Dynamic Mic 95500 has a hum compensating coil that reduces
electrical interference and handling noise
● With this model, you do not have to worry about phantom power or the feedback
rejection that, on this dynamic microphone, is excellent
● The device produces a clear sound of everything it is close to. Voice and instruments,
even amplifiers
● The gadget is German-made and built to the highest standards. It is durable and
pleasing to the eye
● High quality, incredible sound, and easy usage are what makes this mic a triple treat!

Audix VX5 – Condenser Microphone

Multi-purpose condenser microphone with commendable proximity

For those who are willing to invest more to acquire the best-quality item, Audix VX5 is the answer. With the ultimate properties of producing crisp and clear, natural sound
this device is meant not only for vocal performances, but also for studio recordings, miking your musical instruments, and even broadcasting. It is the gadget of all trades and endless possibilities. Your imagination is the only limitation as the condenser mic can truly do it all. It even has an additional design property that lets it serve as an all-around device for acoustic
equipment.

● With a smooth frequency response the mic produces a flawless sound no matter the
environment it is used in
● There is no need to get too close to the microphone to get good sound, the proximity of
the gadget is top notch
● The mic is resourceful and can handle various sound sources, from wind instruments to
vocals, from acoustic drums to guitars
● A studio ready mic with one of the clearest sounds in the industry, the Audix VX5 can
handle most tasks you throw at it
● Featuring tighter supercardioid polar pattern the condenser microphone is ideal for live
performances as well as recordings and everything in between

Shure Super 55 Deluxe – Dynamic Microphone

Vintage grace with current technology – The Shure Super 55 Deluxe Mic

A musicians image is important to uphold. What are you into? What is your style, your aesthetics? If you are a groovy jazz lover or look up to Elvis Presley and are a Rock n’ Roll singer, this is the mic for you. Even if you are just looking for vintage glamour on the stage, this microphone can give you the necessary edge. It does not compromise on quality, to the contrary, the design might come from the old days but the insides of the device are equipped with the best. Improved sound and modern ambient rejection are what you get when Shure Super 55 Deluxe is the choice you make.

● A dynamic microphone features a satin chrome-plated housing, it is a true classic mic on
the outside and a modern beast on the inside
● The supercardioid dynamic mic capsule inside the device follows all the specifications of
today
● With small technical adjustments you can have the best-looking mic out there. Yes, it
sounds as good as it looks
● The device has no on/off switch which is a silent pro, you do not have to worry about any
extra, unnecessary actions. Just plug it in and go!
● Thanks to the reliably good performance, this is a highly recommended gadget for stage
vocal duties

Stage Microphones Under $500

Audio-Technica AE5400 – Condenser Microphone

Studio sound with crisp vocals, dual-purpose condenser mic – The Audio-Technica AE5400

As a handheld microphone designed to have endless possibilities, the Audio-Technica AE5400 works well during live performances as well as studio recordings. With an 80Hz high-pass filter, the mic has reduced proximity effect so you can sing close to it and still have the crispest highs. The best part is, the sound coming out of the device is full-bodied and cuts through the mix without coloring or sounding harsh. If you want your recordings to be natural and genuine this is the microphone to get and use as it does justice to all voices alike.

● With an improved condenser mic capsule, the Audio-Technica AE5400 microphone has
added built-in features to reduce handling noise
● The Condenser microphone has a large diaphragm that makes the device serve much
more like a studio condenser
● This versatile microphone can be attached to almost anything as it has a 10dB pad that
supports sound sources that are up to 157 dB loud
● Perfect for live and studio vocals as well as amplifiers and various musical instruments
● As long as you do not drop your mic often, it is going to serve you well for a long period
of time

Shure KSM8 – Dynamic Microphone

Fresh technology for the best live performances – The Shure KSM8

Reduced proximity issues, reliable device and great sound for live vocals. These are just some of the best things that describe Shure KSM8 – one of the best stage microphones money can buy. A pioneer in the industry, this microphone features a relatively new technology that improves the user experience ten-fold. It does not matter how close or far away from the mic you stand, the sound is never mudded or thinned. The gadget has a wider sweet spot that lets you experiment and the proximity effect is maximally reduced. And, if the price is an issue, you should know, what is inside the mic is definitely worth it.

● The Shure KSM8 dual diaphragm design moving coil capsule is a fairly fresh technology
that reduces the very well known and disliked proximity effect to an almost non-existent
issue
● With more freedom of movement and positioning as well as a consistent sound, you can
focus less on the device and more on your craft
● Because of the special capsule design, the microphone requires more attention when
handling but is still a reliable and long-lasting item
● Thanks to the refined engineering by Shure the mic will serve for a long time if taken
care of properly which is the same for all their stage microphones
● With no power requirements and a frequency response rate of 40Hz to 16kHz the gadget
is easy to use and rewarding to work with

Stage Microphones Under $1000

Shure KSM9 Dual Diaphragm – Condenser Microphone

The mic that provides maximum comfort to every performer – The Shure KSM9

Each musician needs that one microphone that ‘’gets’’ them. That picks up all the of your unique voice nuances and considers each aspect of performing, in a studio and live. Shure KSM9 does just that. It is on top of the competition and always delivers the clearest sound. It is the mic to have! With dual diaphragms and low proximity effect, there is no way a talented voice will ever sound off-key through the mic. So, grab the gadget, arm yourself with it, and deliver the performance of a lifetime!

● With the option to switch between Cardioid and Supercardioid polar pattern modes you
almost feel like having two different stage microphones in one device
● The KSM9 is Shure’s premier live vocal mic and, thanks to its quality construction and
transparent sound, it is highly sought after
● A shock mount system reduces the handling noise of the mic and a 3-stage grille
minimizes pop and breath noise while performing
● The mic can handle sibilance issues with no extra effort on your part
● This is a microphone that can deliver clear sound in a studio as well as on a stage, it is
one of the best professional studio microphones out there

Neumann KMS 105 – Condenser Microphone

The condenser microphone that the stars use – The Neumann KMS 105

If you are looking for a device that a lot of people refer to as the best live performance mic available in the market then Neumann KMS 105 might be just the answer for you. After all, it is what many successful professionals in the industry use! With a clear and natural sound and highly rated noise and feedback rejection the mic is suitable for most singing styles. From jazz to pop and everything in between, if you are in search of a microphone that makes one’s voice shine, you are checking out the right mic right now!

 

● Firstly known for the impeccable studio microphones, the Neumann name and prestige
carries over to live mics as well. This device is one of the best proofs out there!
● The supercardioid polar pattern in the KMS model makes sure that sound is rejected full
180° behind the gadget
● Thanks to electric compensation that has 120Hz high-pass filter the proximity effect of
the mic is very well managed
● To achieve the highest potential of the mic you should possess a PA system with good
mic preamps
● The microphone picks up on the finest of nuisances and is best used for the more lyric
types of music genres

Earthworks SR40V – Condenser Microphone

The condenser mic that musicians never give up – The Earthworks SR40V

When a performer searches for a microphone, he/she is looking for something that produces crystal clear sound, is durable and can work for both, live performances and recordings. Earthworks SR40V is that and so much more. It is easy to handle and delivered to you with a 15-year warranty – quite a rarity with stage microphones. You can be sure that this device is going to serve you well and long. And even though there is not one mic that fits all, the SR40V model is rarely given up. It may be one of the most expensive stage microphones but performers stick to it, through years and years of concerts and studio albums. Just because it is the top dog in the game.

● The model has an incredibly flat frequency response across the vocal range, there is
never a need to EQ the mic
● It is impossible to find a live performance microphone with wider frequency response
range than the Earthworks SR40V has
● Perhaps the best quality of the gadget is that it produces a studio quality sound on the
stage
● To appreciate the quality of sound that the mic produces it is suggested to have an
excellent signal chain from the microphone preamps to the FOH speakers
● Naturally, as the mic is produced by the best, it has a low handling noise at all times

Manufacturers featured in this article:

  • http://www.shure.com
  • http://www.sennheiser.com
  • http://www.audio-technica.com
  • http://www.bluedesigns.com
  • http://audixusa.com
  • http://www.neumann.com
  • http://earthworksaudio.com

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