You might think that a microphone for use with a choir would be the same as any other mic. However, that is not the case.
We are fortunate in that we have a member of our family who performs and records with a choir. She spoke of the problems. The size of the choir obviously has an effect. A group of half a dozen is far easier to work with than fifty.
In the larger case scenario, sound balance is important. Certain members of the choir will be naturally louder than others. When it comes to sound reproduction, balance is the key. With a choir, it is not just about how good the mic is. It is also about its placement.
Put a great mic in front of a large choir, and you will hear nothing from those at the back. Some choirs use what they call a Centraverse mic. These provide quality reproduction and can also be positioned in a variety of places, including as an overhead, and always capture a great result.
There are some requirements you must-have if you are to be able to use the choir mic effectively. We will look at those in greater depth later.
So, let’s take a look at the Best Choir Microphones currently on the market and find the perfect one for you…
Top 6 Best Choir Microphones You Should Buy In 2021 Reviews
1 Rode M5-MP Matched Pair Cardioid Condenser Microphones – Best Overhead Choir Microphones
Australian manufacturer Rode is well-known for producing great mics at a reasonable cost. These are sold as a matched pair, which is very important when it comes to recording something like a choir.
The idea behind this is that they can be used over the source. Hanging mics over a choir can then be set at differing angles. This helps to create a wider sound and better stereo array. This, of course, will not only apply to choirs but to any situation where overhead mics might be useful, such as cymbals over a drumkit or recording a room.
Simple and sturdy…
The half-inch cardioid design is simple enough. They create very little noise and capture frequency ranges that are suitable for voices as well as instruments. And they can be used on a standard mic stand.
They are well-made and have a matte black ceramic coating to give them an attractive finish. You also get a mic stand mount and windshields to remove any ambient noise. The frequency range is 20Hz to 20kHz.
So let us return to the reasoning behind them being a matched pair. The idea is that they are manufactured one following the other. Not closely together, but actually following each other. The thinking is that they will have an almost identical reproduction of sound. They are then tested to ensure that their frequency response across the full bandwidth, as well as their sensitivity, is the same.
Paired to perform…
Being identical in sound reproduction offers no problems with regard to sound capture. But it can make mics more expensive when manufactured and tested in this way. Rode has overcome the obstacle, and these are set at a great price point for two mics.
You get a certificate confirming they are a pair that match. That is how important Rode views this issue. This certificate will also confirm that the sensitivity is less than 1dB between them.
Quality at an affordable price…
Certainly, these are a great place to start our search. Great manufacture of an excellent product at an attractive price. However, they do not come with XLR cables. Plus, being condenser mics, they will require Phantom power.
- Matching pair with the same specifications.
- Well-made with a very attractive price tag.
2 Behringer C-2 Studio Condenser Microphones, Matched Pair – Best Budget Choir Microphone
Behringer is a German company that produces a wide range of musical equipment. They are well-known for producing some good quality equipment at very attractive prices. This pair of matching mics is another good example of what they do.
They include a nice design feature that you don’t often see on mics at the price point. We’ll go back to that later.
Like most Behringer products, these are basic mics designed to get the job done. They are cardioid pattern mics with a low mass diaphragm that gives an excellent frequency response. Since they are condenser mics, they will need Phantom power.
Studio or live recording…
They have some nice built-in features to reduce any potential noise. The XLR connections are gold-plated, and they use a transformer-less FET design.
Being matched, they have a variety of uses, and choirs are just one. They can also be used for recording in stereo in studios and also for live situations. Additionally, they can operate as either a support or the main audio source.
They are though particularly useful for recording choirs. The cardioid design ensures that the sound field is reduced to the target source. And unwanted sounds from the back and rear are rejected. The cardioid design will also help to reduce feedback.
So what is the nice design feature they have?
They are one of the few mics at this price point that includes a -10dB pad and a high-pass filter. This is excellent, although unfortunately, you can’t use them at the same time.
If you are on a budget, these are a very good matching pair of mics. They haven’t got some of the features of more expensive mics, but then not everyone needs that or can afford it.
- Nicely designed with good frequency response.
- High-pass filter and a -10dB pad included at an attractive price.
- High pass and the pad are selectable on the same switch, so they can not be used at the same time.
- Some may need some extra features.
3 Shure CVO-B/C Centraverse Overhead Cardioid Condenser Microphone – Best Value for the Money Choir Microphone
You have decided that you need a mic for your choir, then it is a safe bet that the first company you look at is Shure. After all, they have produced a high quality mic for just about every occasion, so why not for a choir.
And with this mic, they have included a number of very useful extras, as we shall discuss.
We mentioned earlier about centraverse microphones, and this is one of them. They can be placed in a variety of positions but are quite often hung over the top of a choir. This can either be done with a ‘Decca Tree’ stand (insanely expensive), or they can be suspended from the ceiling or other fittings in the roof.
We don’t need to talk too much about the quality of the build. Shure’s reputation precedes it. They are all tough and ‘road-ready.’ Even the box it arrives in isn’t easy to open. The Shure CVO-B/C carries on the rugged tradition.
This mic is designed to work with ensembles. The 70–16000 Hz frequency response is designed so that it is perfect for collecting fast transients. This makes it a superb choice to suspend over a choir.
Get rid of interference…
In today’s world, just about everyone has a smartphone. In a group of maybe fifty in a choir, how many do you suppose have their phones on?
This mic is fitted with CommShield Technology. It eliminates any unwanted interference from radio frequencies that might just destroy a recording.
High quality at a user-friendly price…
When you are looking at options, you may be a little worried about the cost of something that excels. Not with this mic. Whilst one mic may be enough for a small ensemble or choir, larger groups will need more than one.
Fortunately, the price point on this mic makes it attractive enough for a large group without breaking the bank. The price point, along with the quality of performance and the build is typically Shure.
So what is the extra feature?
How about a twenty-five-foot XLR cable? That is something you don’t get every day and is included in the price.
A great mic from a respected manufacturer at a very attractive price. What more do you need?
- Outstanding quality of build and performance.
- A centraverse microphone designed mic at a very attractive price.
- As with all condenser mics, it will need Phantom power.
4 Audio-Technica PRO 45 ProPoint Cardioid Condenser Hanging Microphone – Best Compact Choir Microphone
Next, in our Best Choir Microphones review, we move on to another major player in music circles, Audio-Technica. Founded in 1962 in Tokyo, they are another Japanese company with a big reputation. They are possibly better known for their consumer sound products. But their mics are also manufactured to a high standard.
This is a microphone with a wide variety of uses but may be especially suitable for a choir. This is another mic that has a special design feature that creates options. And as most recording engineers agree, the more options, the better.
High volume, no problem…
If you’re looking for a microphone to hang over your choir, this is something to consider. It has a smooth and flat frequency response of 70-16,000 Hz and an SPL of 134 dB. That equips the mic to handle high volumes.
This is a condenser mic with a low-mass design diaphragm and a cardioid polar pattern. It has a gooseneck adapter. This allows you to easily direct the mic at the exact point of sound source you wish. It does not need an external power source as it has in-built electronics.
It also has an attached cable with a length of twenty-five feet. The non-microphone end is equipped with an XLR so it can be plugged into your audio interface, preamp, or mixing console. However, if you need a longer cable run than twenty-five feet, just attach another standard mic cable (XLR) to extend it to however much you need.
The attached cable has been given a useful shielding, which will eliminate any external interference from radio waves. Especially mobile phones.
Special design feature…
This particular feature will suit some and not others. This mic is actually quite tiny, measuring just 2.25 by 0.5 by 0.5 inches.
That means it could be used as a ‘clip-on’ mic for interviews or podcasts, or video logs. A million miles away from choir use makes it a mic with a variety of versatile options. It could easily be suspended over a choir with the right fittings, though. So it is eminently suitable for both environments as well as a number of others.
It is set at a reasonable price point that makes it an attractive option and easily one of the best microphones for recording a choir you can buy.
- Flat and smooth frequency response with a high SPL.
- Well-made with a gooseneck adapter.
- Some might find it a little small.
5 Beyerdynamic MC930 Small Diaphragm True Condenser Cardioid Microphone – Best Premium Choir Microphone
Founded in 1924 in Germany, Beyerdynamic is another manufacturer of microphones with a sparkling reputation. From loudspeakers for cinemas in the ‘new’ medium of cinema in the 1920s to the first dynamic headphones and then beyond. Beyer has seen and done it all.
The Beatles, Abba, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder have all used their mics. And their equipment has been used at the Olympic Games and World Cups. Impressed? You should be.
They tend to work at the high-end. Their prices usually match that professional level. For some, they are out of reach. For those that can afford it, you are buying total quality.
Do the Beyerdynamic MC930 matched pair of microphones maintain the Beyerdynamic standard?
You are about to find out…
The MC 930 is a matched pair of condenser microphones with a cardioid pattern. They have the added advantage of having a low-pass filter at 250 Hz. And switchable pre-attenuation at 15dB.
The frequency response is an impressive 40 – 20,000 Hz. The SPL of 140 dB is high and particularly useful in environments where there might be a sudden increase in volume. A choir is a good example of where that may be useful.
Stereo sound in varied environments…
This pair of microphones can be used for high quality stereo pairing. They will perform well in a variety of potentially difficult recording situations. Furthermore, they have an excellent signal to noise ratio.
They can work in specialist environments. Acoustic guitar and piano especially, with their need for precision and accuracy. In any environment where overhead mics are required, they are also impressive. This is what makes them particularly good for choirs.
But they are also good for use in live situations. They allow volumes to reach higher levels before feedback occurs, so solving a lot of live sound issues.
What’s in the box?
The build quality is excellent, as you would expect. In the package are the two microphones, windshields, and elastic suspension cradles. It is all delivered in an impressive case for protection during transportation.
So, do they measure up to the Beyerdynamic standard we all expect? Of course, they do. This is one of the world’s leading microphone manufacturers. That is what they do. You expect high standards, and they deliver.
Use them to record just about anything…
In recording mode, they may not be as bright sounding as some Beyer mics. But they are a veritable workhorse of a microphone. Suitable for a wide variety of applications but especially for choirs.
Not the cheapest, of course, but easily one of the best. We would certainly look at these as one of the Best Choir Microphones you can buy.
- Great performance with excellent performance features.
- Well-built with a nice padded travel case.
- The price might be too high for some.
6 Shure MX202B/C Condenser Microphone – Most Versatile Choir Microphone
So to complete our look at the best microphones for choirs currently available, we return to Shure. This is a little more expensive than some Shure mics. But it does have a special design feature which we will discuss later.
This is a small mic specifically designed for use as an overhead. It will work well in concert halls, as well as theaters or lecture rooms. The build quality is typical Shure. Strong and reliable.
Power already built-in…
It is a condenser mic with Microflex and an in-line preamp, and it comes with an adapter for the mic stand. It has a gooseneck fitting. That is excellent for getting exactly the right direction and angle for sound capture. It also comes with a thirty-foot cable.
The design has been created to provide a balanced output without a transformer. This reduces the risk of noise that can sometimes occur when using long microphone cables. They have a negligible level of interference from radio frequencies or any electromagnetic hum.
They have a wide frequency range that will accommodate a variety of uses and will produce excellent reproduction in all of them. This takes us to our previous comment about the special design feature.
More than one polar pattern?
Normally a microphone will have one polar pattern included to support the prime function of the mic. The Shure MX202B/C Condenser Microphone has cartridges that can be changed. They include Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Supercardioid, which can be selected and inter-changed depending on what you want to record and how?
When confronted with a particular recording requirement, you simply change the cartridge to suit. This ensures that you get the perfect polar pattern for any sound source.
Perfect for choir recording…
Designed especially to be suspended over the sound source, this is a great mic for use by a choir. It must, therefore, be included as one of the best mics for a choir.
- Strong build.
- Specially designed or use as an overhead mic.
- Interchangeable cartridges offer a wealth of sound recording options.
Best Choir Microphones Buying Guide
Just where do you put a mic to record or amplify a choir? If you think it is as simple as it is to record a single vocalist, think again.
If you have a group of any size at all, you will need multiple mics. Putting a mic at the front on its own will not do the job. All you will get is the front singers and not the back or the sides.
Using an overhead (or two, or more) is vital, but even then, you need the right position and angle.
Where to place a choir mic?
Ideally, you might need two at the front, one at each side, and two overheads. Each recorded to their own channel. That way, you can mix the results together to replicate the actual sound you are hearing. This obviously depends on how many are in the choir; smaller choirs may require fewer microphones, maybe two at the front and two overheads only.
What will the mic need?
Going back to our earlier statement. What are the requirements you will need to get the best mic for a choir?
A wide frequency response and a high SPL would be an advantage. Also, bear in mind that you will need lengthy cabling. Therefore, a mic that can handle extra long cable without noise is a must.
Furthermore, the mic needs to be easily erected in an overhead position, so quality high boom stands (the best but more expensive option) or roof/ceiling attachment will be necessary. Decca Trees are the professional option for orchestral and choir recording, but they are overkill in terms of size and cost for most situations.
A few other things…
Stability is essential, which is why most people use smaller mics because they tend not to fall over. But as long as they are well-fitted with a good stand, that shouldn’t be a problem. Also, always place the boom arm on any microphone stand directly in line with one of the legs; it provides a lot more stability than having the mic stands legs off-center.
If you are working with children, they need to be ‘child-proof.’ In other words, able to take a few knocks from inquisitive little hands, which may occur. This can be difficult, but weights or canvas bags filled with chain placed over the legs of the microphone stands will make things a little more child and microphone friendly.
There is a good range we have looked at, all with their own plus points. If you follow a few basic rules, then you can achieve a great sound.
Looking for more superb microphone options?
Then check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Vocal Mics, the Best Interview Microphones, the Best Wireless Microphones, the Best Dynamic Microphones, and the Best Condenser Microphones currently on the market.
So, what are the Best Choir Microphones?
Well, we are going to push the boat out here a bit. Normally we would try to be a bit conservative price-wise. But in this case, we’re going for what we think is the best regardless of the price.
We would therefore pick the…
A great pair of mics from a great manufacturer. They will give you the highest quality recording possible and, if looked after, will last a lifetime. Highly recommended.
Until next, may your music always make you merry.