This is part 2 of our ultimate guide to large diaphragm condenser microphones. If you have just landed here, then you may want to read part 1 first, where we cover a few basics about large diaphragm condensers, and pick the best budget condenser microphones available. Or, you may want to skip straight to part 3 if you have a larger budget and want to buy a top of the range condenser microphone instead.
Although we found some great budget condenser mics, if you can increase your budget a little then these mid-priced microphones will offer so much more in terms of recording quality.
Have you heard the old recording studio truism “garbage in, garbage out”? Remember that your mic is the source of your recorded signal. It is where the recording chain begins. So if you start with a signal from your mic that is noisy or distorted then you will be stuck with these problems through the whole recording process. No matter how good your recording software is, it is so much easier to pick the right microphone and get it right up front.
Having a little more to spend can also get you additional features such as switchable pickup patterns, high pass filter options and switches to adjust the frequency response. So if you are ready to raise the bar a little, here are 9 of the most popular and well-reviewed large diaphragm condenser microphones in the $100-$300 price category.
Mid-Range Condenser Microphones
- Audio Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone
- Stellar X2 Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser XLR Microphone
- Rode NT1-A Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
- AKG P420 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
- Blue Spark SL Large-Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone
- AKG P220 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
- Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- Blue Microphones Bluebird SL Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
- Further Reading
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Audio Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone
Stellar X2 Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser XLR Microphone
Most low-cost condenser microphones have a noticeable harsh and bright tone that makes them hard to sit in a mix and can sound fatiguing over time. The Stellar X2 is different in that it has a carefully tuned capsule and circuit to produce a sound that is very smooth and easily sits in any mix without the tinny harshness of low-cost condenser microphones. The Stellar X2 employs a low noise transformerless JFET circuit with uses high-quality components such as German capacitors and high tolerance parts. The K67 style capsule is made from Japanese imported Mylar and is gold sputtered with our proprietary technology. The upshot of all this, is a microphone with a high output signal, extremely low distortion, low self-noise, and a very balanced sound. Read more about the Stellar X2 …
Rode NT1-A Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
The Rode NT1A is a perennial top-selling mid-range large diaphragm condenser microphone. Rode is a definitive microphone brand, and the NT1A is renowned for its low self-noise so you will get recordings with more of what you want to capture and absolutely minimal hiss. Well priced for an absolute classic, and nicely packaged in this edition with shockmount and pop filter in the box. Discover more about the Rode NT1A …
AKG P420 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
The AKG P420 Microphone is a versatile mid-range condenser mic that you can use for a range of recording situations. It offers three switchable polar pattern that fits both studio and live application. You can select the Omnidirectional setting to record the ambience (or audience) and the Figure-8 for recording two sound sources facing each other. The Figure-8 is great to use for duets and podcasting. Lastly, the cardioid pickup pattern is the standard recording setting for solo vocals or instruments. Read more about the AKG P420 …
Blue Spark SL Large-Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone
The Blue Spark SL is an iconic looking microphone that performs as well as it looks. The Blue Spark is renowned for its transparent sound with superb detail and rich harmonic content. It has a custom-designed cardioid condenser capsule excels at capturing all your most creative moments. It incorporates a high-pass filter and -20dB pad for ultimate versatility. Plus it works brilliantly with home studio audio interfaces. Find out more about the Blue Spark SL …
AKG P220 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
The AKG P220 True Condenser Microphone provides a warm and clear sound for lead vocals, piano, acoustic guitar, and woodwind instruments. The AKG P220 Condenser Microphone features a 1″ large, gold-sputtered diaphragm that prevents shorting to the back electrode when exposed to extremely high sound pressure levels. This cardioid mic picks up sounds arriving from the front, making it suited for vocal recording and onstage performance. Plus, the 155dB SPL handling prevents distortion from creeping into your sounds. Another good all-rounder. Read more about the AKG P220 …
Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Blue Microphones Bluebird SL Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
As you can see, there is plenty of choice of microphones in this price bracket. But if you are still not sure you want to spend this much, or if you think you really want to push the boat out and have a bigger budget, then do check out parts 1 and 3 of this guide, mics sub $100 and mics in the $300-$1000 category.
>>> Part 1: Best Budget Large Diaphragm Condenser Mics
>>> Part 3: Best High-End Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphones
Finally, if you are confused by any of the specs, then to help you out we have a more detailed technical article that covers all the different types of microphones there are, and what all the spec jargon actually means, so that you can make a meaningful comparison. Happy hunting!