Is there such a thing as the Best Cheap Microphone Under $50? Microphones come in all shapes and sizes these days, and of course, price ranges. Maybe you are setting up a studio at home or another situation where you will need a microphone.
We can’t all afford to buy top of the range microphones. Not in the early days anyway. And even if you could afford one of the top microphones, does the rest of your gear reach the same level? If it doesn’t, the quality of the mic might be lost.
Most studio guys keep a range of cheaper mics around. Some of them can be very good, indeed. Whilst there are some good options for those on a tight budget, there are those that are not so good.
So, let’s take a look at the Best Cheap Microphone Under $50 and find the perfect one for you…
Top 7 Best Cheap Microphone Under $50 2021 Reviews
1 Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic
Blue produces some excellent mics, and the Snowball Ice is certainly a very good mic for the price. The design means it is essentially a tabletop mic. It is made from plastic and has the typical Blue metallic grille at the front with the Blue logo.
The Snowball Ice is a pressure gradient condenser. This means that the sound is exposed to both sides of the diaphragm. It is a cardioid pattern mic and does not use Digital Signal Processing (DSP), which can be a good thing for a recording microphone. If a mic has DSP, it can distort if you push it too hard. Better to apply any dynamics and EQ to a pure signal.
It has the typical Blue design with the mic mounted on its tripod. The mic is able to be angled up and down. However, because of the overall design, it is not easy to get it in exactly the right position for a vocal recording. It is not an ideal scenario for the person being recorded to crouch down a little.
Whilst singers may have some difficulties; it is ideal for interviewing for podcasts or skype or similar activities, which is probably it’s intended use for most buyers. The frequency response is 40 Hz –18 kHz. However, it is not fitted with any controls for gain and only offers 16-bit/44.1kHz, which is maybe not as good as it could be, but at this price point is still acceptable.
It is a decent microphone, but we would recommend a couple of things if you are using it to record vocals. Firstly attach it to a boom stand so that you can position the mic correctly for the vocalist. And secondly, make sure you use a pop filter. Apart from those two issues, which apply to most microphones, it will give you a reasonable sound.
It is, though, as it describes itself, plug and play. No setup required. Good value for value and must be thought of as one of the best value microphones around.
- Well-built with solid materials.
- Produces a good clear sound.
- Positioning can be awkward.
2 Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone
This microphone from Samson has a clever design, which means it can be folded up. This makes it extremely portable and easy to carry around with you, as the ‘Go’ name implies.
The Samson Go is a condenser mic that has a switchable polar pattern between Cardioid and Omnidirectional. This gives it a good level of versatility. The Cardioid gives you the option of solo close mic recording. Or if you have multiple instruments or want to record a complete room, the omnidirectional option allows for that.
Individual voice recording, podcasts, or instruments can all be handled easily and with little setup fuss. If you are using it for vocal recording, then it is likely you will need a pop filter.
The frequency response is not the widest at 20 Hz to 18 kHz, but that seems normal for this type of microphone. The Bit depth is 16-bit, and the sample rate 44.1kHz, with an SPL of 121 dB. However, it does have a ⅛” output for a headphone to offer latency-free monitoring, which is a definite bonus. It also has an LED showing peak gain so you can set the correct level.
It will operate with most Mac and PC computers providing they have a USB connection. And it is supplied with a USB cable, but it is only about four feet long, which is rather short, in our opinion.
It is a very compact little mic that has a built-in clip to attach it. However, this clip might not be the strongest part of the construction.
It produces a very good sound and, at its price point, is excellent value. It does have its limitations in terms of vocal and instrument recording and is probably better for speech, podcasts, etc. Anywhere it can sit on a table will probably the best results.
- Versatile mic with switchable patterns.
- A compact mic that can be folded up at an affordable price.
- It might not be so good for vocal or instrument recording.
3 CAD Audio USB U1 Microphone
The CAD U1 USB is a dynamic microphone with a Cardioid pattern. Designed for various uses, it can either be handheld or used on a table using the supplied tripod stand. It is also possible to use it on a mic stand (which is not supplied). I
But it does have a built-in pop filter. These, though often are not as efficient as an external filter even on expensive microphones. It comes with a ten-foot cable, and the mic has an off and on switch to give you the option of an instant mute if required.
The cardioid pattern makes it ideal for recording vocals as it can separate the main sound and isolate it from external noise, which is then kept to a minimum. It has a wider potential than just vocal recording though, it is also good for podcasts and interviews as well as providing sound for Youtube and other basic videos. However, it may not be very good for recording instruments.
It is a very sensitive mic and really needs a very quiet room to use it without problems because it can sometimes pick up a few unwanted signals.
It will connect straight to your computer via the USB port. However, you may have to download drivers to use this mic, so it is not as plug and play as some of its competitors. But it is Mac and Windows compatible, so it should work fine with your system, but it’s always worth checking.
As a microphone for people on a tight budget, it is a good buy. And it works better for vocal and the spoken word than it does for miking up instruments. If that is your aim at the price point, you won’t be disappointed.
- A decent Dynamic microphone that offers good vocal recording options.
- Very affordable price.
- Is a bit over-sensitive, and other signals can sometimes interfere with it.
4 Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500 Dynamic Vocal Microphone
Let’s have a look at what our friends from Germany can offer the world of the budget microphone. One thing you can be sure about when you look at a Behringer product is that it will be well-made and will do the job required. It will also be set at an affordable price. That is what puts this microphone as a contender for the best Best Dynamic Microphone Under $50.
The Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 is one of those products. It has a rugged build and is ready to be used either in the studio or even on stage. It is a Dynamic mic as opposed to a Condenser, and some people prefer dynamic to condenser mics as they tend to have a higher level of gain. This makes them more suitable for the live performance element.
It has a Cardioid pickup pattern, so it works well with a vocal or placed right in front of a speaker cabinet. Although you can’t totally exclude other sounds, especially on stage, it will focus on the direct sound source.
The frequency range is 50Hz to 15kHz, which is adequate and, at the price point, quite acceptable. And it is fitted with a two-stage pop filter to reduce the level of unwanted plosives. However, it is still recommended that an external pop filter be used for vocals in a studio environment.
It also has a shock mount system, which will help to cut down on handling noise. It also comes with an adapter for a mic stand and has a nice little case for carrying it around.
As we said at the outset, this is a typical Behringer product. Good build and at a very affordable price and producing a good sound. Great value if you are on a budget.
- Strong build with a decent carrying case.
- Good sounding dynamic mic at an affordable cost.
- At the price point, we can think of nothing.
5 Behringer Ultravoice XM1800S- Set of 3
Another option from Behringer and this one a great set of starter mics for a new or growing studio. Set at an unbelievable price point, we wish we could include them as one of the Best Cheap Microphones Under $50. However, there are three of them in the package, so we will have to say they are the Best Set of Three Mics for under $50.
They are dynamic, super-cardioid mics that are ideal for vocals or miking up live instruments, and have plenty of extras built-in. There are mic stand adapters in the very convenient carrying case, and the mics themselves feature built-in pop filters.
These filters are spherical designs that are better at reducing things like wind noise than actual plosives. Nevertheless, they do offer some reduction. The mics also have on and off switches.
They are great in either studio or live stage situations. On stage, they are robust and well-made. And being dynamic mics have a lot of punch to cut through the mix. The sound is clean, and they have low distortion levels. These assets also apply to the studio as well.
They can be used for vocals but also to mic up drums or groups of musicians playing together. The frequency response of 50Hz – 15 kHz is wide enough for most sources and gives a good sound that is balanced. The Supercardioid pattern ensures that background noise is kept to a minimum. It also helps with reducing feedback.
Designed by Behringer in Germany and made in China under strict quality controls, you can be assured of a quality product that is robust and performs well. That is what Behringer does. And with this package of three, they give you the opportunity of having some good mics to start off your collection.
Three mics at this price represent great value. As a vocal mic in the studio or for the stage, it might not be the best you can get, but you won’t find better at the price.
- Good build and suitable for studio or live work.
- Mikes up instruments on stage or in a studio for an affordable price.
- Quality might not be good enough for a higher level of vocal recording.
6 Nady CM-88 Condenser Microphone
John Nady established Nady systems 40 years ago and has since built himself a considerable reputation. Always innovative, the Nady products come with years of expertise and great design features. The CM88 is one example of the company delivering a microphone with a great variety of uses.
This is a small diaphragm condenser mic that can capture vocals and instruments. But it goes so much further than that. It has a tight cardioid pattern that sets it apart from other microphones in its price range. Another thing that sets it apart is that it is especially suited to drum overheads, which very, very few affordable mics are.
That seems to be one of its popular uses by those that use it, but there is another option. It is great with a variety of acoustic instruments, guitar, or piano. The natural ambiance of the mic, in the top end, is not too exaggerated and lets these instruments really sing. The acoustic guitar especially, was exceptional in its reproduction for a mic of this price.
The Cardioid polar pattern takes care of external noise and gives you a high level of gain before feedback becomes an issue.
It has a tough construction that is going to withstand some of the accidental knocks mics can get. It has an aluminum housing, and the XLR contacts are gold-plated to reduce the effects of corrosion and ensure good contact. However, being a traditional condenser mic, it will require +48v Phantom power.
For the price point, this is an excellent mic — a tough build, and it is suitable for overhead miking of drums and cymbals. Plus, as mentioned, it has other uses where it excels as well. This makes it one of the best high quality budget microphones you can buy.
- Great for miking up drums and cymbals but also for acoustic instruments.
- A well-designed robust mic at an affordable price.
- Will need phantom power
7 Peavey PVi 2 XLR Cardioid Unidirectional Dynamic Vocal Microphone
When you think of the name Peavey, you can be forgiven for thinking of robust amplifiers. However, here is a bit more to them than just amps. Their guitars are also highly thought of, and they also manufacture a range of microphones. The Peavey PVi 2 XLR is one of them.
This a Dynamic microphone with a cardioid unidirectional polar pattern. It is a very well-made mic with a rugged steel casing that is going to be able to take a few knocks and bumps. No ostentatious designs, just a plain black glossy finish with a black metal grille.
One extra we always like to see on a microphone with a variety of potential uses is an off and switch. This, of course, also acts as a mute. Not so important in a recording studio environment. But if you are using it in a live situation, it can be.
A further welcome extra is the built-in pop filter. As we always say with these, if you are using it in a studio, you will need an external filter as well. In a live sage situation, though, it will do just enough to clean up the sound a little. Peavey also supplies an XLR cable with the mic, which is a great extra considering the price.
We have to say we are quite impressed with their efforts to produce an affordable mic that has good features and some nice additions.
So let’s find something we don’t like. Not much comes to mind though at nearly two pounds it is quite heavy.
For the price point, it gives a high-quality sound that works well with vocals and instruments. It is durable and versatile and has great sound reproduction. There is not much more you can ask from a budget microphone. Well done to Peavey for producing a mic that can compete as the Best Sounding Cheap Microphone Under $50.
- Good strong build with some nice features built-in.
- Versatile mic at an affordable cost.
- Only that it is a bit heavy.
More Microphone Options
If you’re looking for a microphone for a particular task, it’s well worth checking out our reviews of the Best Dynamic Microphones, the Best Vocal Mics, the Best Kick Drum Mic, the Best Microphones Recording Electric Guitar, and the Best Wireless Microphones currently available.
You may also be interested in our in-depth review of the Best Microphone Preamp on the market.
So, What Is The Best Cheap Microphone Under $50?
Before we started writing this review, we really didn’t think we would find a mic we could really call the ‘Best’ for under $50. We knew we would find cheap, but we didn’t think we would find too much in the way of quality. We speak from a little bit of experience here, having once bought an absolute ‘pup’ for ourselves.
But in this list, every mic has something to offer, and some much more.
We decided we want a mic with a variety of uses. That means it needs to sit neatly on a stand for recording. But also to be able to be handheld for live stage work. We wanted a dynamic mic rather than a condenser, and in the end, it was a difficult decision.
The Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500 is an excellent mic, and we have great respect for them as a manufacturer. Then there was the Behringer Ultravoice XM1800S – Set of 3, which would give us three mics for less than $50 – quite amazing. The Nady CM-88 was very nice, especially for overheads and acoustic instruments.
But we decided that for us the very best affordable microphone under $50 was the …
A very good mic that did all we would want it to do at a very affordable price.