One of the necessities of recording audio is a good microphone. However, the great studio microphones you read about can be really expensive and definitely break your home studio budget. You don’t need a whole mic cabinet for a home studio and you definitely don’t need one that requires a bank loan if you are just starting out. Here are several microphones that you should definitely take note of when you are shopping around for your first microphone.

1. Audio Technica AT2020

AT2020 Studio Microphone

The Audio Technica AT2020 is their entry level large diaphragm condensor microphone. It is probably one of the cheapest large diaphragm condenser that you can get from a big brand microphone manufacturer. The basic package comes with a stand mount and soft pouch so you should consider getting a shockmount and pop filter separately. You can also consider upgrading to the AT2035 which is their next level up or the AT2050 which features a switchable pickup pattern between cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure–8. [get the price]

2. Shure SM58

SM58 Vocal Microphone

If you are recording rock or metal vocals then you can also consider a dynamic microphone. The Shure SM58 is the defacto dynamic of the audio industry. It isn’t the most glamorous in the recording studio but if you’re all about loud screaming vocals, a dynamic microphone might get you better results than an expensive condenser microphone. If you perform live, this is a great workhorse live microphone too.  [get the price]

3. Rode NT1


Rode NT1 Microphone Kit

Rode makes some really great microphones with very project studio friendly prices. The Rode NT1 is a revision for the highly recommended NT1A. The NT1 Kit comes with everything that you need to get starting including a shockmount and an integrated pop filter. Just be sure that you getting the newer NT1 which is black and not the silver NT1A. [get the price]

4. SE Electronics X1 Vocal Pack

SE Electronics X1 Vocal Pack

SE Electronics is a brand that might not sound like a big brand manufacturer like Shure or Sennheiser but they definitely make great microphones. Their microphone kits are really impressive as they throw in a lot of useful accessories at a ridiculous price. The vocal pack comes with a shock mount and a pop filter. You can also upgrade to the studio pack which comes with a Reflexion Filter X to minimise the acoustic effects of your room. [get the price]

5. MXL V67G

MXL V67G Studio Microphone

The most eye catching of the lot with its gold grille and green body. The MXL V67G has often been consider that it sounds more expensive than its price tag. Some even like it more than the much more expensive U87 but that really depends on your voice or instrument. Give it a trial run if you get the chance. [get the price]


Your first microphone will be the microphone that you spend the most time with and will eventually know it the best. It's not important if your first microphone is an expensive microphone or not. Getting a great recording is most significantly affected by microphone technique rather than the quality of your microphone. A decent condensor from this list should last you a really long time and possibly your entire recording career. Always remember to have fun.

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