When it comes to studio essentials, a good microphone is almost second-to-none. After all, the art of finding the right microphone and creating a lethal arsenal is always an exhilarating part of building out any studio. Sometimes, though, you may not have the funds for more expensive gear and need to try out some other options. For those on a budget, Vintage King has put together a list of the best mics under $500.
When it comes to bare bone mics that boast impressive results, it doesn't get much better than the Shure SM7B. This studio classic comes in at inexpensive price tag of $349, but is still known for being used across the recording world, from major broadcast settings to monumental pop albums (See Michael Jackson's Thriller). The SM7B has a great bottom end and is perfect for boosting vocals, snare drums and high hats.
Another studio classic, the Audio Technica AT4033/CL is a cadioid condenser mic that is built with low-noise, transformerless circuitry. With no sonic footprint left behind, this pick for the best mics under $500 is most impressive when used on point-and-shoot targets like bass cabs, kick drums and other percussion instruments.
If you often tear down studio equipment to use in the live setting, the M 88 TG from Beyerdynamic might be the ideal budget microphone for your lifestyle. With a tank-like construction, this dynamic mic has an extended frequency range and features a highly accurate response. Imagine a bright and full sound in the studio and on stage? That's what you get with a M 88 TG.
Don't let the AKG C 451 B's size scare you away from it! These pencil condenser microphones come with an impeccable accreditation as the preeminent modern mic to use on drum overheads. Capturing the magic of each crash and snap, this mic from AKG comes in right under $500, despite using the same exact acoustics of the much acclaimed AKG CK-1.
To sum up the MD 421 II in one word: Reliable. This mic features amazing feedback rejection, making it a natural pick for miking cabinets, and a five-position bass control that makes it a fine fit for other uses. Internal bass tubes offer accurate low-end response, while the mic's glass composite housing and stainless steel body make it extremely durable.