One cool effect from the advancement of technology is that, now, there are a lot of microphone models available on every price point, from the ones worth thousands of bucks to the ones under $50. This way, beginners have a more convenient way to get started. Don’t mistake the low prices, my friend; these affordable and budget-friendly mics boast very attractive features that may even be able to beat the pricier models.
So, how do we tell if a mic is good for us? First, you need to consider the type of mic that you prefer. There are USB mics and XLR mics, and there are also mics that offer both USB and XLR connections. Second, of course, make sure that it sounds well! This can be seen from the frequency response range, sensitivity, as well as output qualities. Third, the additional accessories. Some mics come along with stands, stand adapters, or carrying cases. Some even include software. These extras certainly make excellent plus points.
So, are you looking for the best microphone under 50? We’ve got the top five models here!
1. Blue Microphones Snowball iCE
Blue Microphones Snowball iCE has always been one of the most popular USB microphones available on the market. It is available around $50, but the performance, quality, and included accessories all make it such a huge value for the money. It is a USB mic, which means that it can easily connect to any PC. It is even plug-and-play on Windows and Mac, so there is no driver to install manually – you can use the mic right out of the box.
Blue Microphones Snowball iCE offers excellent sound quality. It records in 16-bit/44.1kHz, which is decent and meets the industry’s standards. The single condenser capsule performs a very good job in capturing every audio detail. The audio reproduction is very crisp and crystal-clear that it can enhance the sound as you stream your gaming session, conduct an online meeting, or even record music. Blue Microphones Snowball iCE features a cardioid polar pattern and comes with a detachable desktop stand and the USB cable. Blue Microphones Snowball iCE is available in two color variants: black and white.
2. Shure SM48-LC
If you are looking for an affordable and budget-friendly dynamic mic with top-notch performance and quality, Shure SM48-LC should be your choice. It has a standard XLR output, and the polar pattern is cardioid. It is especially tailored for vocals. With a frequency response range of 55 Hz – 14 kHz, Shure SM48-LC performs a very good job in capturing and reproducing lows, mids, and highs as accurate as possible. The midrange is brightened but not excessively, while the bass has a roll-off to reduce the proximity effect.
As a dynamic microphone, Shure SM48-LC’s output is somehow warmer and smoother than a typical condenser mic. Shure SM48-LC also offers long-term reliability with an ultra-solid metal grille and a shock-mounted cartridge for exceptional ruggedness and reduced handling noise. However, you need to keep in mind that the mic may require phantom power, so make sure that you can supply the requirement with your equipment. The bundle includes a stand adapter and a carrying/storage bag.
3. CAD U37
CAD U37 is also one of the best USB condenser microphones available under $50. It typically sounds warm and rich, with a smooth and extended frequency response range, making it very flexible and versatile for different purposes. It is great for vocals, instruments, and speeches. The cardioid polar pattern helps to focus the mic on capturing sounds from a single front angle while rejecting and minimizing background noise. There is a 10dB overload-protection switch that is very handy for preventing distortion when handling loud sound signals, and there is also a bass roll-off switch for attenuating low-frequency noise such as mechanical vibrations from handling, breath sound, and wind sound.
The mic conveniently comes along with a tripod stand and the USB cable. Last but not least, it is also plug-and-play with Windows and Mac platforms!
4. Samson Q2U
Samson Q2U is the answer if you are seeking a truly versatile mic that is compatible with any device or platform. It features both XLR output and USB output. So, you can plug it directly to any audio device as well as any personal computer. Furthermore, it even has an on-board 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack with a dedicated volume control for zero-latency direct monitoring!
The greatness does not end there; the bundle includes a bunch of accessories: a desktop stand, a mic clip, the USB and XLR cables, the Cakewalk Music Creator software, and even a pair of HP20 Playback headphones! Samson Q2U is a dynamic mic. With a 50 Hz – 15 kHz frequency response range and 16-bit/48kHz recording quality, Samson Q2U performs a wonderful job in audio reproduction. With a budget of $50, Samson Q2U is certainly one of the best bangs for the bucks.
5. Behringer C-1
Quite interestingly, Behringer C-1 is another affordable and budget-friendly mic that features both XLR and USB outputs. However, Behringer C-1 is a condenser mic. It requires phantom power to work properly, but don’t worry! It can get phantom power directly from the USB connection! This way, you can have the superiority of a condenser mic without spending extra bucks on getting additional equipment for supplying the required phantom power.
Behringer C-1 records in 16-bit/48kHz and has an extensive frequency response range of 40 Hz – 20 kHz. Behringer C-1 makes a great choice for both studio and live applications, thanks to the 136 dB maximum SPL handling. And, it also comes with some accessories and software. A swivel stand mount adapter and transport case are included, along with the Kristal audio engine, Audacity audio editor, Podifier uploading software, also Juice and Podnova downloading software.