Best Microphones Under $100 + Why You Don’t Need a $1,000 Microphone
Why I Sold My $3,000 “Professional” Microphone For An $80 Microphone
I would say the proof of how good a usb mic can sound can be heard on this recording (done entirely on this Samson Co1U USB microphone. Remember…no preamp…no audio interface, just this microphone and my MacBook Pro.
This is hands down one of the best microphones you can own for under $100.
Take a listen to my song “Invincible” and judge for yourself. I recorded all vocals on the Samson USB mic directly into my MacBook. Btw, It is out now on the US Dance Music Label 418 Music (#6 Indie Dance Label in the US according to Billboard Magazine, Dec 2017)
It is pretty incredible that I was able to achieve that level of professional quality with an $80 microphone but hey, that is modern technology for you.
Cheap Mics Don’t Equal Cheap Sound
The thing is back then there wasn’t much of a choice as usb mic had not been invented (yes I’ve been aroun for quite some time lol). We had choices of cheap (price and sound) analog microphones, mid-grade and then high end choice like my Neuman.
One day I got tired of the fat and boomy sound I was getting from my U87 and decided to go left field and try a new technology, the usb mic. I have to say that I was shocked that an $80 microphone could produced acceptable sound good enough for a final recording, but it did!
No preamp, no wires other than 1 usb cable, no noise and a tiny price tag for the sound that you can achieve. After all, to get a microphone under $100 and actually sound warm, clean and full was sort of a crazy idea to me and my industry colleagues.
While there is something great about owning a legendary microphone, the technology really is far behind what people want to hear on their recordings today and the price tag just won’t fit most indie artists’ budgets. Keep in mind analog is noisy and to get a great sound you need a microphone preamp and digital audio interface to take advantage of the quality an analog signal can bring.
Personally, I like a clean vocal and simplicity in my setup and that’s what I found when I switched to a digital usb microphone. I don’t record with compression. I add it later on which gives me much better control over my final recording. I also like when I have an idea and then I don’t have to do anything but fire up my software and start recording. There’s no gain staging, no noise, no time wasted when I have a great idea to lay down!
So…What led me to even try a cheap USB mic?
One day I got tired of the fat and boomy sound I was getting from my U87 and I heard from some colleagues that Neumann had a new digital usb mic for around $1,000 but since I owned an expensive mic I wanted to see what a usb mic even sounded like and see how it behaved with my computer.
I went to Best Buy and grabbed the most expensive USB mic they had to offer and that just happened to be the Samson.
I went home and had a go at some test recordings with it and I have to say that I was shocked that an microphone under $100 could even produce an acceptable sound good enough for a final recording…not just acceptable but darn good and comparable to anything I ever did with any of my more expensive analog microphones.
So guess what I did next. I boxed up the Neuman and Avalon and Made $5,000 on Ebay lol.
That story took place in 2007 btw, and I still use the same mic in my home studio. Now in 2020 there are so many awesome mics to choose from that sound amazing and will fit pretty much any budget! I added some links below for you check out some great mics and read their reviews.
I’d love to hear your what you think so Leave a comment below!
Checkout Microphones Under $100
Checkout Microphones Over $100