An indispensable tool in any studio, condenser mics allows us to record vocals as well acoustic instruments. Today, many brands offer large-diaphragm FET condenser mics for home studios on moderate budgets. Here are the results of our survey regarding your favorite large-diaphragm condenser mics between $150 and $300 (€100 and €200).
The first mic in our survey is the NT1-A from the Australian brand with Swedish origins. It’s a cardioid mic with a 1" capsule and 100 Ohms of impedance that handles a maximum SPL of 137dB. It weighs 326 grams and it comes with a suspension shock mount, an anti-pop filter, an XLR cable, and a small transport case. The windscreen and leather carry bag are optional.
Audio-Technica, who was first in our survey of dynamic mics under $150/€100 with its AT2020, is the runner-up this time with the AT2035. This model handles up to 158dB SPL (with the 10dB pad on) and weighs 403 grams. It is cardioid and features a low-cut filter at 80 Hz with a 12dB/octave slope. It comes with a suspension shock mount and a carry bag.
Blue’s microphone, which we have tested here, gets third place. It comes with an anti-pop filter, suspension shock mount and a nice wooden case. The Spark can handle up to 128dB SPL, weighs 567 grams and has a cardioid polar pattern.
sE Electronics is also in the top 5 of our survey with the X1, This cardioid mic can handle a maximum SPL of 125dB and has a 10dB pad, as well as a low-cut filter. The mic is sometimes sold in a bundle together with the Project Studio Reflexion Filter at a very interesting price.
The last place among the top 5 goes to the C3000 from Austrian brand AKG. It weighs 320 grams, can handle up to 150dB SPL (with the –10 dB pad engaged) and has a cardioid polar pattern. Its low-cut filter is set at 500 Hz with a 6dB/octave slope. It comes with a universal H85 suspension shock mount.