Aside from your voice or instrument, your choice of microphone is the first tone-shaping decision you make when you step into the studio. How do you want that tom to sound? How should the guitar amp feel? It all starts with your mic selection.
From dynamic and ribbon to small diaphragm and large-diaphragm condensers, there are a lot of microphones out there. With that said, some stand supreme over others. Check out our list of the best-selling microphones of 2022 to see what landed on top after the past 365 days.
Here's some wild math for you. If you add up all the home studios, professional studios, practice spaces, live sound venues, etc., in the world, you still won't have an accurate picture of how many Shure SM57s there are in the world. Times that number by three? Closer, but still not there. The SM57 is so essential to daily life that we often forget just how reliable and durable the microphone is.
Shure lands a one-two punch by securing the top slots on our list of the best-selling microphones of 2022. Our second-place mic is the SM7B, a not-so-secret weapon in the recording studio, especially on vocals. Yet, with the popularity of podcasts, the microphone has become iconic in a completely different way for a new audience.
Sennheiser's MD 421 is a go-to for guitar amps, but this dynamic microphone is way more flexible than you might think. The MD 421 also excels on vocals, voiceovers, drums, and more! Accurately capture your source with the mic's full-bodied cardioid pattern and use the five-position bass roll-off control to choose a suitable frequency.
The 635A is a newcomer to our list of perennial best-selling microphones, but there is nothing new about the classic mic itself. Electro Voice has been making the 635A since 1965! This microphone features a omnidirectional polar pattern and an incredibly robust build, which makes it perfect for broadcast situations.
It's just so beautiful, isn't it? By now, you know the story of the famous waffle iron-looking microphone. The Coles 4038
ribbon mic was designed by the BBC and used to great effect by Glyn Johns on sessions with The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Throw two 4038s in the Glyn Johns set-up on drums with another mic in front of the kick, and you're good to go.
There's something to be said about the Neumann U 67
landing at number six on our list of the best-selling microphones of 2022. Many of these top sellers firmly fall in the $100 to $500 range, which means they are more affordable to a broader range of users. Neumann's recent reproduction of its classic tube condenser weighs in at nearly $7500. Sure, it's a hefty price tag, but it's evident that the U 67's magical sound is well worth it.
When Steve Albini asks you for a side-address miking solution, you make a damn side-address miking solution. And that's how the Josephson e22S was born. With its long and slender body profile, this FET microphone can be placed in the tightest of fits and can handle any loud source.
The Earthworks DM20 DrumMic is another first-timer on our yearly best-selling microphone list. Perfect for the studio or the stage, the DM20 is a wonder for close miking snares and toms. Use the RM1 RimMount that comes with the mic to mount it right on the rim of your drums and forgo any mic stands.
It's hard to believe that we're coming up on the 25th anniversary of the R-121. It seems just like yesterday that Royer Labs introduced this ribbon wunderkind and revolutionized how we all miked up our guitar amps. For loads of character that will work on most any source you throw at it, the R-121 is one microphone we keep returning to repeatedly.
Rounding out our list for 2022 is the beyerdynamic M 160. This is another classic microphone known for its use on some heavy-hitting sessions, as it was a favorite for Zeppelin and Hendrix. The M 160 is actually a ribbon mic, but has a hypercardioid polar pattern and warm, silky sound.