Procuring a good microphone is highly important in case you are a rap artist. Since there are no other instruments, therefore, your vocals are the only things that will get you connected with your audience. In this guide, we’ll discuss the best microphones for recording Rap vocals.
The market is flooded with different types of microphones, all of which might seem suitable for your needs. We are well aware of how tough it is to zero in on one particular microphone and be sure about it. We have curated a list of some of the best microphones along with their pros and cons.
10 Best Microphones for Recording Rap Vocals
|The RØDE NT1A||Rode||4.6/5||Check Price|
|MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser||MXL||4.6/5||Check Price|
|AKG C214||AKG||4.4/5||Check Price|
|Audio Technica AT2035||Audio Technica||4.6/5||Check Price|
|Neumann TLM 102 MT||Sennheiser Pro Audio||4.7/5||Check Price|
|Audio-Technica AT4040||Audio-Technica||4.5/5||Check Price|
|Rode NTK Tube||Rode||4.4/5||Check Price|
|Shure SM57-LC||Shure||4.7/5||Check Price|
|Neumann U87||Neumann||3.8/5||Check Price|
|The Sony C800G||Sony||5/5||Check Price|
The RØDE NT1A
The RØDE NT1A has, over time, become the most well known and community loved Mic for its Professional, Industry Standard performance, and its Bang for the buck price. It is a Cardioid Condenser Microphone with a 1″ wide diaphragm, producing noise levels as low as 5dBA, which is on par with the most expensive mics out in the market.
Paired with a pop filter and a Universal Audio Apollo Twin as the audio interface, you’re good to go. The exceptional Audio Quality it offers along with an Extended Dynamic Range, gives the recording a very warm tone, which goes perfectly with your 808’s and Basslines.
RØDE also pairs the NT1A with the M1 live performance microphone, which is a staple for stage performances. The RØDE NT1A will set you back by $229.00 for the complete package and another $99.00 for the M1 and, with a 10 Year warranty out-of-the-box, is highest on my recommendations.
Users do complain about hissing noises (or static) in real-time playback over headphones, but it’s not recorded over.
- An improved and efficient range of accessories which is great for rap artists.
- Low noise floor.
- A more effective condenser microphone that has a 1- inch capsule and a self-noise of only 5 dB and a transparent midrange.
- No filter.
MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser
Next in the list of Best Microphones for Recording Rap Vocals is the MXL 770. Its price makes it one of the most affordable microphones with excellent features on this list. Its solid bass makes it an ideal microphone for rap artists.
It is equipped with a low frequency, which makes it fit to be used by both female and male rappers. Its low-cut filter can help rappers utilize their voice in a much better way by tightening the low end. One of the main highlights of this product is the impeccable sound quality it produces.
- Clear sound and a multipurpose diaphragm.
- The frequency range between- 30Hz and 20 kHz.
- Unbeatable price range.
- Low-end sounds.
- Can pick up a little background noise.
The AKG C214 is the mic to-go if you are looking at a long-due upgrade. With the sonic characters of the pricier C414 XLII and an all-metal die-cast body, the C214 is one of the premium mics in the mid-range budget.
It has an integrated suspension, switchable 20dB attenuator, and a bass-cut filter for close up recording, making it viable to be used in small stages and live performances. The microphone has a moderate self-noise level of 13dBA, which will require correction in Post. It is famed for recording very pleasant sounding vocals in a very versatile set of playback styles.
It does suffer from high sensitivity to high pitched sounds. The mic does not come with a pop filter or mount out-of-the-box, and you will need to invest in those further down the line.
It is a worthy upgrade with the exceptional recording quality and a decent price point. It is endowed with several features similar to the AKG C414 and comes at a price lower than it. The C214 has several key features like the 10dB attenuation pad and the high pass filter, which makes it a favorite amongst rappers, especially male rappers, as it provides their vocals with an amazing bass-end.
Regarding its design, the overall look is highly attractive and is scratch and shock-resistant. The Mic is the first choice of all those rappers who do not want to empty their pockets and still get a good quality mic.
- High-pass filter for instruments as well.
- Shock resistant, solid built.
- Perfect for male rappers with a sound pressure level of around 156dB, which gives it a thick vocal track.
- Amazingly well-priced.
- Female rappers might find their voices to be thinned down.
- C414 has slightly better features than this model.
Audio Technica AT2035
The AT2035 is designed for both studio use as well as live performances. It has an in-built switchable 80Hz high pass filter with a 10dB pad and a slightly higher 12dBA noise level. Audio Technica does, however, provide custom plugins on Audacity to reduce these noise levels.
It comes paired with a shock mount and a pop filter, which is an absolute steal for the price point. The sounds are balanced clear, thanks to the high pass filter. It has the absolute best dynamic range among mics of its price range. The build quality of the Mic is really good, made out of high strength plastic with a brushed Aluminium look and weighing in at about 403g.
The mic is, however, prone to high bass response and will require tweaking in post. For anyone starting out in the rap game, this is an absolute recommendation to understand and get a feel of recording on studio mics.
The Audio-Technica pull another versatile budget device from their hats, which can be used from home studios to professional studios. The AT2035 produces an output that is warm and decadent, which is why it finds a spot on this list.
- The AT2035 is a large-diaphragm device.
- Weighing about 400g, it comes with a metal grille that prevents damage so that it can be carried with ease.
- It comes with a shock mount to grip the Mic.
- The AT2035 has a fixed cardioid pattern, with a frequency range of up to 20,000 kHz.
- It is quite sensitive and ensures minimal noise distortion.
- The signal to noise ratio of the product is good for balanced output.
- Its audio reproduction is quite something, thanks to its ability to withstand pressures of 158dB.
While this device is not quite in the premium range, it is still ideal for entry-level rappers who may have a light budget, to begin with. So at its price range, the AT2035 is hard to compete with.
- Clean sound
- Accessories provided include- the shock mount, stand adapter, and pouch
- Robust looking
- High-sensitivity makes it produce more noise
Neumann TLM 102 MT
When we talk about Neumann, we enter the real premium range of microphones which are out and out vocal in nature. The TLM 102 is an absolute essential for seasoned rap artists owing to the features that come with it. With the ability to capture the most minute variations in voice, pick a wide range of frequencies and replicate the audio cleanly is what led this product to make it to this list.
- The TLM 102 comes in solid black and nickel finishes.
- It has an A grade build quality.
- Though it’s a bit delicate, its portability due to a compact size makes up for it.
- TLM 102 is a large-diaphragm cardioid mic.
- It has a high pressure bearing ability so it can be used with vocals, perfectly.
- Instruments such as acoustic guitars can be used with it, thanks to its ability to produce clean and highlighted voices.
- It prevents the voice from sounding sibilant.
- It contains a tiny condenser capsule that absorbs vibrations before they hamper the quality of the voice, thus replicating the input flawlessly.
Although the product can be out of budget for some, it is still inimitable, especially for professional rappers looking to burst onto the scene. Neumann TLM 102 MT is one of the best professional rapping microphones running in the market. If you can afford it, you will benefit from its varied features and accessories.
- Compact and travel-friendly.
- Sharp and clear sound.
- No shock mount feature.
Coming next in the list of best microphones for recording rap vocals is AT4040. Audio-Technica trumps all others when it comes to sound. They are renowned for producing top-quality microphones with excellent audio standards at affordable prices. The AT4040 is a value for money product. It is unorthodox in the sense that it is a condenser microphone, which is also robust.
- It comes inside a sturdy carry case in matte black, which gives it a premium look and feel.
- It contains a velvet cover that prevents dust from settling on it.
- The Mic contains a 10dB pad and a high pass filter, the switches of which are placed such that they don’t get pressed accidentally.
- The AT4040 has a large cardioid pattern peaking at 6khz, which helps it pick all frequencies efficiently and add gravitas to the voice.
- Its fast frequency response prevents distortion, and it has a maximum sound input, extending up to 155dB.
- The audio output requires minimum equalization by the user.
- It adapts to the full gamut of instruments, as it is extremely versatile, has excellent pressure bearing capability and fine sensitivity.
One might assume that these innumerable features would come at a hefty price, but no. It lies well within the affordable range, giving the more expensive brands a tough competition making AT4040 a prudent buy.
Rode NTK Tube
A promising device for rappers from Neumann’s with a moderate price tag, the Rode NTK is another high-quality product. It’s a sturdy device with characteristics that can give even the most expensive microphones, a run for their money.
- The interior of the device is designed in a way to protect the diaphragm from vibrations.
- Parts of the Mic are easily replaceable, which is handy.
- It has a strong flight case and a built-in power supply.
- The Rode NTK contains a tube condenser.
- Noise distortion is minimum, and the signal to noise ratio is about 82 dB, which is quite high.
- The output of the device is well balanced, and its compression requires much less equalization, thus generating a wholesome sound capturing every minute detail.
- It supplements the input voice notes with sufficient power, which adds a sparkle to the voice so that the true emotions behind the lyrics can be reflected.
Thus with a moderate price tag, the Rode NTK is just at par with the heavyweights and very suitable for rappers who’ve just started out.
The Shure SM57 is one of the frontrunners in the rapping world, wildly popular amongst artists. Though a bit older than the rest of the devices on the list, its Versatility makes it stand out as it can be used almost anywhere.
- Shure SM57 is a robust device that comes with a vintage design.
- It is a dynamic mic that is highly durable and can withstand damage preventing any after-effects.
- It is available with or without cables and a USB adapter.
- The SM57 is a dynamic cardioid microphone.
- Rappers prefer the product owing to its noise-canceling properties from sides or back.
- It has the ability to record extremely loud sounds.
- It prevents feedback, makes the words more comprehensible, and adds bass to it, which makes for stunning output.
So, though the product may be a generation older than the rest, it is certainly worthwhile for making beautiful compositions of rap even today.
Coming to the more premium range of microphones, U87 is an absolute choice of Mic for many of the industry’s top-rated stars like Lil Uzi and Travis Scott. The reason for the popularity is the German engineering and absolute reliability it offers – U87 will rarely ever give out.
It gives a unique warmth to the sound that allows it to sit well in the mix and also gives a signature style to artists. Its Versatility is unparalleled and can sit well with many styles of playback. A low 5dBA noise level and a large-diaphragm makes it one of the best mics available in the market.
Though it is an expensive mic, the price is justifiable for the recording experience that it provides.
The Sony C800G
No list about the best mics can ever be complete without mentioning the mythic C800G. It uses Sony pioneered Tube technology to record extremely crisp, warm, and true-to-life audio. The mic also has an inbuilt cooling system, which might sound overkill, but when you use a large-diaphragm with Vacuum Tubes, you do need a cooling system to prevent this beast from overheating.
It has the lowest, 73dB signal-to-noise ratio. The biggest names in the industry like Drake and Eminem have been using this Mic for long. It does, however, come at a premium price with the recoding kit even going up about $9000. Sony has stopped selling the Mic online.
There are cheaper alternatives, prominently the Peluso VTB by the Peluso Microphone Lab. It was engineered with Sony C800G’s sound quality in mind and went for $1391.00 brand new.
Best Microphones for Recording Rap Vocals – Accessories
Just getting a mic for studio recordings is hard enough; you need to pair the Mic with certain accessories. As Rap is all about the vocals, the most primary accessory is the Pop filter. It eliminates the pop sounds caused by the fast-moving air hitting the diaphragm.
Shock Mounts help in isolating the Mic from vibrations around and is an absolute necessity. An optional add on is a Sound Reflection Filter, which is a cheaper alternative to sound isolating your studio.
So these best Microphones for Recording Rap Vocals. If you are new to rapping, you must know how buying a microphone for rapping is different from buying a normal microphone for regular use or a specialized mic for recording.
The goal of rapping mics is to especially pick up rap vocals canceling all the other unrequited sounds. You need to pay attention to details like the sound quality, sound pressure level, accessories it comes with, and whether you require a condenser or a dynamic mic.
Each of the best Microphones for Recording Rap Vocals listed above suit different needs and types of music. The importance of buying the right kind of microphone cannot be stressed enough if you are a rapper. When you are spitting the bars, you need a microphone that will aid you in attaining optimal performance and effects.