If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with a beautiful singing voice, then you’ve probably considered ways to share that gift with the world. Auditions can be hard to land, and if you don’t live in a major city there may not be that many opportunities for you to be noticed. Thankfully, with the internet at your fingertips, showcasing your voice can be done on sites like YouTube and millions of viewers can experience you singing.
But, before you go and record yourself on your phone, you want to consider the equipment you are using and how that can impact your performance. Low-quality recorders and microphones can significantly alter the tone and pitch, making you sound more like a novice than a pro. So, what is the best microphone for singing, and which one is right for you?
This top of the line product is crafted by one of the biggest names in sound, Shure. From their phenomenal headphones, to their quality microphones, Shure leads the industry for recording tools and equipment. Frequently used by big named artists during performances and recording, this is one of the best options out there for you to make your YouTube debut. Eliminate noisy feedback and instead focus on the melody with the SM58, a guaranteed microphone that is also extremely durable.
Now, you may be thinking that top of the line also means top dollar, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that this microphone comes at a very affordable price-point. You’ll be able to sing like the professionals, but on the budget of a student, when you opt for the Shure SM58. If you’ve been asking yourself “what is the best microphone for singing live?”, this should be your go-to choice.
While handheld microphones can make you feel like a pop star, you may want to consider stationary microphones that sit on your desktop. Given that you are planning on making videos, you will likely spend long hours sitting and eventually your hands are going to get tired. The NT1-A from Rode is just that, a stationary mic that you can set up in any environment in order to capture high-quality recordings. What makes it perfect for YouTube is that it is able to pick up low-level sounds, so you don’t need to disturb your neighbors by belting out Adele at midnight.
Great quality and clear recordings are just some of the reasons why YouTube singers opt for the NT1-A. Not only do you receive a microphone, but it also comes with a pop shield and an impressive 20 ft. mic cord. Although it is a pricier option, it may be worth it to the performer who is genuinely seeking to make a career out of their talent.
Blue Yeti USB
If you’re looking for the best USB microphone for singing, this option from Yeti is one of the most impressive on the market. Compatible with both Windows and iOS, it’s a plug and play device that requires no downloading or driver installation. As a bonus, not only will it be great for singing, but you can use it for all your YouTube needs, whether you are making a podcast or simply talking to your audience. It’s a dynamic and versatile microphone that is packed with useful features, all wrapped up in a very affordable package.
Known for its flexibility, the Blue Yeti allows you to have more control while recording and you can actively adjust the settings to help reduce things like feedback. Not only that, but the control for sensitivity is extremely easy to use, allowing you to adjust based on your own pitch and volume. At its current price-point, it is unlikely that you will find another USB model that performs as well as the Blue Yeti, and for that reason, it is absolutely worth taking a look at.
Another well-known brand in the music industry, Sennheiser is always being recommended for both their headphones as well as their microphones. Although they are more expensive than some of the other choices on this list, there is a good reason for that jump in price. Known for being the absolute best dynamic mic available, this is a true professionals dream when it comes to both quality and clarity. Not only with the MD421 make your voice sound angelic, but its ability to take on more than just vocals is what truly makes it stand out.
If you happen to also create your own music and play instruments as part of your singing, the MD421 is guaranteed to impress. Its dynamic range is able to capture all parts of the song, and the audio is so clear that reworking and mastering is a breeze. Flexibility and versatility are the main reasons why this has continued to dominate the charts, and if you want to know what is the best microphone for singing and recording music, Sennheiser is worth the extra money.
Blue Snowball iCE
As much as we would all love to be able to drop hundreds of dollars on a fancy AKG microphone, for most people starting out on YouTube that simply isn’t realistic or part of your budget. If you are new to making and recording music, you are going to need to build yourself up before you begin investing in that really expensive equipment. But, having a small budget doesn’t always mean you have to sacrifice completely, and if you are looking for the best cheap microphone for singing then the Blue Snowball iCE is going to be the perfect model for you.
Coming in at well under $100, this cardioid mic will look great on your desk and its small size packs a powerful punch. Its unique features include the ability to record only what it’s pointed at, making it a good fit for those who aren’t recording in a soundproof studio. Instead of capturing cars driving by, or your neighbor mowing their lawn, the Blue Snowball iCE will focus on your voice, creating great quality recordings every time.
Choosing Between the Different Types of Microphones
Those who are new to the world of microphones may feel overwhelmed when browsing the options that are available. There is certainly no one-size-fits-all approach, and instead, you will need to make some important decisions to ensure you get the correct type. All microphones fall under two main categories, either condenser or dynamic, and then they are broken down into subcategories from there. The most popular option for YouTube recording is typically condenser because they pick up higher frequencies better and they are generally lighter and more compact. This doesn’t mean that dynamic mics should be ruled out, however, as dynamic mics don’t require a secondary power source (otherwise known as “phantom power”), in order to amplify the sound.
Another main difference between condenser and dynamic microphones is the overall price points. High-quality condenser mics can easily cost well into the thousands, making them unaffordable for most who are performing on YouTube. Dynamic mics, on the other hand, truly max out at the $500 mark, with most models being significantly under that number. This makes them much more affordable for beginners, and can get you started on your singing career without putting you in debt.
Going deeper than just the two main categories, there are also some important sub-categories to be aware of; mainly USB mics. A more recent addition to the world of sound recording, USB mics are becoming increasingly more popular among YouTube performers. Working from home and not having access to a studio means you likely don’t have a lot of extra equipment, which is why USB mics are perfect. Plugging directly into your computer or laptop, you can begin recording right away without having to download, install, or set up a variety of other programs and devices. Since they are incredibly easy to use, and their lower price makes them one of the best cheap microphones for singing.
The world of microphones is vast, and answering the question “what is the best microphone for singing?” can lead to a very long and complicated answer. This is why it is important to really understand what you are looking to accomplish, and whether or not you are simply recording your voice or if you need to record instruments as well. For the average YouTube performer, a USB mic is going to be your best choice, especially if you are just starting out and aren’t looking to spend a fortune. But, as you progress, you may end up wanting to upgrade your equipment so that you can better showcase your talents.
Every mic listed here is truly one of the best currently available on the market, and have been recommended and reviewed by a number of popular YouTubers. By starting here, you are guaranteed to find something you love, and that will help to bring your YouTube singing career to new heights. A great voice is important, but having the right equipment to capture that sound makes a world of difference, and that is why finding what the best microphone for singing is can be so invaluable to your career.