The best live vocal microphones can either be used by musicians or speakers and many others. Use it as a professional singer or even when you’re just belting out your best notes on the karaoke machine. Speak without straining your throat while lecturing a large class or holding a meeting or you can simply use a microphone for better quality personal voice recordings. No matter what your purpose is for a live vocal microphone, it would always be better if you could choose the best one – sound and built quality, price and performance-wise.
So what exactly should you be looking for in the best live vocal microphones? Should you always be looking at the price tag or would you rather invest on a more expensive microphone that’s guaranteed to be powerful and durable? It’s really a matter of preference but no matter what your budget is, you can always find one that will be suitable to your needs. You just need to know what features and characteristics to look for.
- 1 Top 10 Best Live Vocal Microphones
- 2 Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone (with On Off Switch)
- 3 Behringer ULTRAVOICE XM1800S Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphones, 3-Pack
- 4 Shure SM48-LC Vocal Dynamic Microphone, Cardioid
- 5 Behringer XM8500 Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone
- 6 Blue Microphones enCORE 100 Studio-Grade Dynamic Performance Microphone
- 7 Shure BLX24/SM58 Wireless Vocal System with SM58 Handheld Microphone, K12
- 8 Rode NT1A Anniversary Vocal Condenser Microphone Package
- 9 Pyle-Pro PDMIC78 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone
- 10 Pyle-Pro PDMIC58 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone
- 11 Audio-Technica ATR-1100 Unidirectional Dynamic Vocal/Instrument Microphone
The Features and Characteristics of the Best Live Vocal Microphones
When shopping for the best live vocal microphones, there are certain features and characteristics that you should take into consideration. Here’s one thing to remember: the price tag doesn’t always dictate quality. Even a $500 microphone can be considered useless if it is unable to deliver the performance you are looking for. Say, you found a regular-looking mic for $200, you cannot always assume that it’s better than a $20 one for the main reason that the more expensive mic might be meant for something else. For the sake of this post, the best live vocal microphones will be discussed – to be clear, these are microphones that are meant to be very good for vocals, whether singing or speaking. It’s just a bonus if a microphone does well for instruments too. Here are some characteristics and features you should be considering before finally making your purchase.
- Price and Packages– If this hasn’t been emphasized enough above, then it is worth mentioning again. The amount you are willing to spend on a live vocal microphone determines what you are getting. Spend about $100, then you can already get the Shure SM58S which is one of the best vocal microphones you can find in the market. Your $10 will still take you somewhere as the Audio-Technica ATR-1100 is quite an impressive mic too. You can also try to find great deals such as packages.For example, the Behringer ULTRAVOICE XM1800S sells for just about $40 but there are already three mics that come in the package. The Shure BLX24/SM58 Wireless Vocal System includes a microphone and a microphone system so you won’t have to worry about inferior audio equipment in your performance or lecture venue.
- Sound Quality – Unless you plan on singing karaoke in the privacy of your bedroom or you’ll just be holding little meetings in front of your kids, then you probably don’t need to care much about sound quality. However, especially if you will be speaking or singing live in front of a small or large audience, then you need to have a mic with natural and clear sound.
- Reduction of Background Noise and Feedback – You will see the label unidirectional on some vocal microphones. This means that the microphone picks up the sound that’s directly in front of it. The cardioid pattern feature contributes greatly as well in background noise reduction and noise handling. Feedback can be very annoying, not to mention embarrassing especially when you’re in front of a large audience. Most microphones of today have off-axis rejection features to prevent that.
- Durability and Portability – You want a microphone that is not disposable. Even if it’s only worth $10, it should at least give you a few years’ service. The durability of a microphone is highly important because you don’t want one that fails on you especially in the middle of a performance or a lecture. Portability is also important too. The mic should be compatible with other audio sources that you need to connect to, even better if it already comes with its own cable. Most microphones also have storage cases or pouches that come with the package for added convenience when you need to bring it along with you outside your home or studio.
- Added Features and Functions – There are vocal microphones that have built-in on and off switches. While this may seem like a minor feature that not everybody will require, it is actually very helpful especially if you want an instant mute feature when you’re on stage. No need to cover the microphone when you need to talk to someone else. There are also some microphones that are not only made for vocals but for instruments as well. This comes in very handy especially if you intend to use high quality vocal microphones for recording or when you’re performing with a band.
Top 10 Best Live Vocal Microphones
The Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone (with On Off Switch) easily claims the top spot on this list as it has been reviewed by numerous critics and websites greatly. Over 400 customers generously provided their positive feedback on this microphone as well which makes it one of the most in demand best live vocal microphones one can ever own. You can get more than your money’s worth with this microphone! With the reputable Shure brand, you can be sure that you’re making a great choice on this mic whether you’re looking for something that has excellent sound quality or impressive durability that guarantees years of use (and even occasional abuse).
Though you can find a model without an on/off switch, this feature is actually a very important one that you can find on the Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone. It allows you to instantly mute your mic which is essential especially if you’re performing or speaking on stage. The Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone is especially designed for vocals. It frequency response, midrange and bass gives you much control and great sound quality. Furthermore, it has a uniform cardioid pattern that minimizes background noise and has the ability to isolate the main sound source. Furthermore, handling noise is cut down with its pneumatic shock-mount system. You will also appreciate that it features a pop and spherical win filter that’s built-in to the mic. Rugged and high-performance, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything that comes close to the power that the Shure SM58S Vocal Microphone can provide.
If you’re on a tight budget, Behringer will once again save your day with the Behringer ULTRAVOICE XM1800S Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone that comes in a pack of three. Behringer, a German brand, is one of the leaders when it comes to audio equipment and they are consistent in providing equipment that’s affordable for the general population without sacrificing the quality of the product. Best if you’re in a band since there are three best live vocal microphones that come in the package, you’ll also appreciate how this set comes with a carrying case that will keep your mics protected and stored securely while in transit.
On the more important aspect though, you will love how the Behringer ULTRAVOICE XM1800S Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone is great when it comes to sound quality whether you’re using it for live performance or even in the studio. While this cardioid mic works great on vocals, many customers who use this attest to the fact that it does well on instruments too. Ultra-low distortion allows crisp and clear sound quality and its extremely high signal output lets your voice out so beautifully. Feedback is one of the most common problems that live performers have to face, but not with the Behringer ULTRAVOICE XM1800S Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphones which feature exceptional off-axis rejection. For its price and incredible features, there’s really no wonder why this microphone is one of the highly reviewed ones of its kind that you’ll ever find. Whether you decide to use this live, in the studio or even for podcasting purposes, you are definitely making a great choice with the Behringer ULTRAVOICE XM1800S.
Latest customer reviews and prices of Behringer ULTRAVOICE XM1800S Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphones
Another Shure, but this time far more affordable that the top model on this list, the Shure SM48-LC Vocal Dynamic Microphone is definitely a great choice whether you’re looking for a microphone for spoken word, lead vocals or back-up vocals. For the model without an on/off switch, you can shell out a few dollars more to get that on/off feature if you like. Highly rated by so many customers who were pleasantly surprised at how outstanding and powerful this microphone is despite its price, you can be pretty sure that the Shure SM48-LC Vocal Dynamic Microphone will be your reliable best live vocal microphones that should last for many years to come. In fact, many say that this model is such an underrated one because it is better than what you can expect.
To prevent feedback and minimize background noise, the Shure SM48-LC Vocal Dynamic Microphone features a cardioid pickup pattern. It frequency response is especially made for vocals though you can also use this microphone for instruments. Noise handling and exceptional ruggedness are expected, thanks to its shock-mounted cartridge. If you’re a heavy breather when speaking or singing or if you will be performing in open-air venues, you’ll love how the Shure SM48-LC Vocal Dynamic Microphone already has a built-in pop filter. Furthermore, you can easily bring this microphone along with you wherever you’ll be using it from studio to studio or from venue to venue as it already comes with a supplied stand adapter and a storage bag.
The second Behringer on this list is another highly reviewed one with an almost perfect 5-star rating from over 500 customers. Again, it is very affordable, you can already enjoy endless hours of speaking or singing on this microphone. Once again, brilliant and super clear sound can be expected from the ultra-wide frequency response these best live vocal microphones can offer. For excellent voice projection, you will appreciate the smooth mid-frequency feature of this dynamic microphone. Furthermore, noise is handled quite well by its shock mount system. Extremely high signal lets your voice stand out which is always an expected feature from Behringermics. Background noise and annoying feedback can be prevented, thanks to its cardioid pattern feature. It already has an effective spherical wind and pop noise filter built-in to the mic, but for open-air venues, it is recommended to use a mic windscreen which will only cost you an extra couple of dollars.
The Shure SM58 is one of Shure’s more popular (and more expensive) microphones; however, customers say that the more affordable Behringer XM8500 Dynamic Cardioid Vocal Microphone is very comparable to the Shure mic. If you’re on a tight budget and you need a mic that won’t only do its job but will ensure that it does it so brilliantly, you are getting the value for your money with this Behringer. Furthermore, it is good to mention that this model has been in the market for years now. Many customers can attest that it is rugged, durable and reliable and you can expect it to work great not only for vocals but for instruments as well for many years to come.
Blue has come out with several microphone models that are all so impressive that customers can’t help but provide their positive ratings and reviews. The Blue Microphones enCORE 100 Studio-Grade Dynamic Performance Microphone, in particular, is available in Dynamic Vocal, Dynamic Instrument, Active Dynamic and Condenser models that you can choose from depending on your needs. Since this list is for the best live vocal microphones, the dynamic vocal model of the Blue Microphones enCORE 100 rightfully earned its spot. The selling point of this microphone is how it can come up with super clear, detailed and natural vocals unlike no other. It cardioid polar pattern feature makes it the best live vocal microphones that cancels background noise even on high volumes, as well as prevent the annoying feedback sound. No need for extra pads or filters as the propriety capsule mount can handle noise quite effectively.
The Blue Microphones enCORE 100 that comes with a soft-lined storage pouch and a soft-grip microphone clip is perfect for the travelling musician and the speaker who holds lectures, seminars, meetings and more in different venues. It is very durable and sturdy. In fact, it is made with high quality stage-ready, heavy-gauge barrel materials with a reinforced grill and hardened metal-plated finishes – you can expect this mic to work for you for many years to come. All these come at a reasonable price. Whether you plan to use it in the studio or for live performances, you are getting every penny’s worth with the Blue Microphones enCORE 100.
Latest customer reviews and prices of Blue Microphones enCORE 100 Studio-Grade Dynamic Performance Microphone
More than just a microphone, the Shure BLX24/SM58 Wireless Vocal System with SM58 Handheld Microphone, K12 is a microphone system. The SM58 is the mic that comes with it, a more affordable yet equally impressive version of the first mic on our list, the SM58S. Most of the time, live performers or speakers who choose to bring their own microphone to a venue can already expect a microphone system where they can plug in their mic. However, there are some instances when a mic system in a venue isn’t good enough or may fail at times. For easier operation and a guaranteed no-fail performance, a wireless vocal system will be great. No need for cables that will make you trip plus the guarantee of amazing vocals thanks to the reputable Shure brand, you will definitely enjoy many years of using the Shure BLX24/SM58 Wireless Vocal System with SM58 Handheld Microphone, K12.
The package includes a wireless receiver, handheld transmitter, microphone clip and a zippered padded case. Frequency matching is quick and easy and only 2 AA batteries are needed for up to 14 hours of uninterrupted use (battery status on LED display). Operating range is up to 91 meters.
Wide frequency range, tailored frequency response, cardioid polar pattern for effect background noise cancellation and feedback prevention – the SM58 microphone that comes with this package surely has everything you need. Considering this package is not just the best live vocal microphones but an actual vocal system, you are getting a bargain out of the Shure BLX24/SM58 Wireless Vocal System with SM58 Handheld Microphone, K12.
Latest customer reviews and prices of Shure BLX24/SM58 Wireless Vocal System with SM58 Handheld Microphone, K12
The Rode NT1A Anniversary Vocal Condenser Microphone Package is not exactly your typical live vocal microphone. In fact, it is the only one on this list that’s a condenser and not a dynamic mic. It is made for studio use; however, there are many customers who are starting to use this microphone for live performance as well. The Rode NT1A Anniversary Vocal Condenser Microphone Package is a brilliant microphone for recording that comes in a complete package. It comes with a shock mount, studio-grade popshield and an XLR cable. It also has a drawstring pouch where you can store the best live vocal microphones should you bring it along with you outside of the studio.
For incredible sound quality, the Rode NT1A Anniversary Vocal Condenser Microphone features a large 1 inch capsule with gold plated diaphragm. It has a cardioid polar pattern feature for effective noise cancellation. In fact, self-noise is only at 5 dB.
The Rode NT1A Anniversary Vocal Condenser Microphone Package is a very sturdy microphone. Aside from the brilliant sound quality it can produce, it is rugged and can handle use for hours on end and even a bit of occasional abuse. Just register you microphone on the website and enjoy an extended 10-year warranty.
The Rode NT1A Anniversary Vocal Condenser Microphone Package is well praised by many users through the years. At the moment, it boasts of an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars on ratings from customers. It might not be the cheapest mic, especially if you’re just looking for one for live vocals, but it’s great to know that you can use this in the studio as well!
Very highly reviewed not only by customers but hundreds of other users, amateur and professionals, from other websites, the Pyle-Pro PDMIC78 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone is a very affordable microphone that you will enjoy using for live performances. Just a small fraction of the price of other microphones of its kind. It does its job well considering its price, and you will surely get performance that’s way beyond your money’s worth. Not exactly comparable but very competent!
The Pyle-Pro PDMIC78 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone features a unidirectional element with microphone sensitivity of -54db (+/-)3db(0db=1v/pa @ 1khz). They are very sturdy best live vocal microphones that you can expect to use for many years to come. Its body is made with very durable zing alloy metal and it comes with a 15-foot XLR (F) ¼-inch (M) microphone cable with 600 ohms output. It also has a steel mesh ball-shaped grill.
For its price, you won’t really expect much from the Pyle-Pro PDMIC78 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone; however, hundreds of customers through the years were pleasantly surprised. If you’re on a tight budget and you’re looking for a mic that you can use for recording, this will even be a great choice. Whether you plan to use in the studio or for a live performance, it really does well in producing professional quality sound – a value that is definitely way beyond its price!
Latest customer reviews and prices of Pyle-Pro PDMIC78 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone
Another very popular budget live vocal microphone with the #1 Best-Seller badge and generously rated by almost a thousand customers with great feedback, the Pyle-Pro PDMIC58 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone is definitely the microphone that gives you the bang for your buck.
Though it doesn’t have an on and off switch, you can’t really complain because for its price, you are already getting way beyond the value of your money. The features of the Pyle-Pro PDMIC58 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone are very similar to the PDMIC78 that we covered right before this; only their appearance seems to differ. Its moving coil dynamic allows you to get brilliant sound with high gain before feedback. Since it is a unidirectional microphone, it effectively cancels background noise as it is designed to pick up sounds right in front of it – perfect for vocals. What’s even better is that it features an XLR input for even high quality sound for your live performances.
Very durable and expected to last for many years to come, the Pyle-Pro PDMIC58 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone is made with zinc alloy metal construction and a steel mesh ball-shaped grill. Whether you will choose the Pyle-Pro PDMIC58 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone or the PDMIC78 model is purely just a matter of preference. Both are impressive and affordable, only the looks differ!
Latest customer reviews and prices of Pyle-Pro PDMIC58 Professional Moving Coil Dynamic Handheld Microphone
This list ends with yet another impressive and very affordable dynamic microphone that’s great not only for vocals but for instruments as well – the Audio-Technica ATR-1100 Unidirectional Dynamic Vocal/Instrument Microphone. It is already an established fact that Audio-Technica is a reputable brand when it comes to audio equipment. They have great earphones and headphones, speakers and more; it is just right that they have good microphones too.
Do not expect sound quality that’s up to par with hundreds of dollars’ worth of microphones but you will be impressed that the Audio-Technica ATR-1100 Unidirectional Dynamic Vocal/Instrument Microphone is quite comparable to more expensive ones in terms of audio quality. These best live vocal microphones do quite impressively in cancelling background noise and producing good enough vocals. It is very simple too. Just plug in the mic into the input jack on your recording device, amplifier or mixer and you’re good to go. No worries about lost cables because a 10-foot (3 meters) detachable cable with a 3.55mm mini-plug is already included in this microphone.
Durable and will last for many years of usage, whether you’re using this for live performances or in the studio, just like the hundreds of very satisfied customers, you too will enjoy the Audio-Technica ATR-1100 Unidirectional Dynamic Vocal/Instrument Microphone. You can’t really complain about this mic!