Best Microphones for Voiceovers

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Harry R

Harry R

I write about recording tech and producing audio content. I'm also an ex-journalist.

Finding a microphone that showcases your voice can be a bit of a trial. There are tons of self-described microphones for vocals out there. 

Finding the best microphone for voiceovers can be confusing a task. 

Finding the best microphone for voiceovers depending on the many types of criteria. Covering budget, requirements, etc. 

Based on my own experience, plus advice from expert sound technicians, this post will help you get the best voiceover microphone and any other equipment, whatever your brief. 

Blue Yeti Pro

First off, the Yeti is an easy pick. It’s an easy to use, legendary USB microphone. However, the ‘Pro’ version is especially recommended for voiceovers as it comes with USB and XLR connectivity. For a USB mic, it has fantastic audio quality. 

We’d advocate XLR for voiceover recording due to its flexibility. The mic can plug into an external preamp or audio interface, providing more freedom for adjusting the sound quality. Like adding FX, gain, additional EQ – something that is unavailable going straight into a USB port.

Features

  • The Yeti Pro provides a whopping 24-bit/192 kHz audio resolution. 
  • Built-in A-D converter – basically a preamp) if you want to use it via a USB route 
  • Four adjustable pattern settings. Cardioid (recommended for voiceovers in a studio). Omnidirectional, stereo, and bi-directional – he is helpful if you want the microphone for other situations. 

Best USB for YouTube/ Twitch – HyperX QuadCast

The HyperX Quadcast mic is everything you could ask for in a USB mic. This is an excellent acquisition for someone considering streaming or recording or uncomplicated at-home voiceover work.

Easy to set up, produces an excellent sound for voiceover recording, and comes with some nice extra kit. It includes an anti-vibration shock mount that is easily attached to any other gear. It also possesses gain controllers and a built-in pop filter.

There’s also a mute function. While various pickup patterns make it easy to switch between stereo and cardioid functions without taking everything apart. 

Features

  • Anti-vibration shock mount
  • Built-in pop filter
  • Mute sensor LED indicator
  • Mount adapter included
  • Compatible with many devices and recording programs
  • 4 polar pattern options
  • Solid but lightweight build
  • Audio headphone jack

Next best USB microphone – Samson G-Track Pro

This is a great USB microphone and is close to the Yeti. It is also slightly more affordable. 

The G-Track Pro comes with a built-in (removable) desktop stand. The mic also includes controls for:

  • Recording select switch (mono or two tracks).
  • A polar pattern switch button.
  • Mic volume.
  • Instrument volume.
  • Headphone volume knob.
  • A master mute button.

This is the higher-end range for USB microphones, coming with a 24-bit/96 kHz resolution for recordings. 

It also has a ‘built-in’ audio interface, albeit not as effective as standalone interfaces. It will save buying a mixer if you prefer to go the USB direct to computer. 

Rode NT1A

The Rode is a great and more affordable studio-quality condenser microphone that works well on voiceovers. Depending on where you get it from, it can come as a package, including a pop filter and shock mount.  

If you need the additional gear, then this could work. However, you might need a stand or audio interface. It is also an XLR-only microphone. 

The extended dynamic range and high sound-pressure level tolerance mean it can handle both shallow sound and any distortion. The Rode NT1-A is a superb microphone that costs surprisingly less than you’d expect. 

Features

  • The mic also incorporates a JFET impedance converter – ensures quality and conversion of your sound waves into your recordings.
  • Large diaphragm 1″ gold-sputtered capsule.
  • Cardioid polar pattern.
  • Ultra low noise, self noise of only 5dB (A)
  • Wide dynamic range.
  • Internal capsule shock mounting.

Mega expensive – Neumann TLM103

Ok, this one is on the pricey side. Neumann has unmatched quality but it comes at a cost. This mic is often used for studio vocals in the studio. 

Why is it so good?

Internally, it is top quality. It does not include a transformer – something that helps remove self-noise and improves the SPL handling. It also helps with feedback suppressing.

Interestingly it is smaller than many of the mics here. This has no bearing on its sound quality. 

Features 

  • Large diaphragm capsule derived from the classic U 87 microphone.
  • Balanced sound with enhanced presence.
  • Cardioid pattern.
  • Transformerless with high SPL capability.
  • Remarkably low self-noise – 7 dB-A.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio

If you are looking for more than just a microphone, the Focusrite could be what you are looking for in the complete package. 

The microphone itself is reliable and inexpensive for a high-end condenser microphone. If you are in need of a feasible mic to record voiceovers, the included CM25 microphone is even pro-level – whatever you think that is. 

What we like here is the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface. This is one of the most popular low-cost beginner audio interfaces you can get. 

It converts audio at 192 kHz and 24-bit, while having two microphone inputs, a separate monitor, and a headphone knob on the interface.

The package includes a pair of HP60 headphones. Quick note, this is often forgotten, but make sure your headphones are ok for recording. Some allow sound to leak into the mic. 

If you are looking for an all-in-one recording package for voiceovers, this could be it. 

Features

  • Scarlett 2i2 USB audio interface.
  • CM25 large diaphragm condenser microphone.
  • HP60 closed-back headphones.
  • 3 metre / 10′ XLR mic cable.
  • Stand clip, for attaching the microphone to a stand.
  • Recording software and effects.

Audio-Technica AT4040 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone

The Audio-Technica AT4040 is an extension of the AT2020. It is a condenser microphone and technical precision allows recording a wide range of sounds without low-frequency distortions.

The big diaphragm is built for recording smoothly and naturally. However, you live in a noisy area, be aware it is very sensitive and picks up the slightest sounds.

Features

  • ELEMENT Externally-polarized (DC bias) condenser.
  • POLAR PATTERN Cardioid.
  • FREQUENCY RESPONSE 20-20,000 Hz.
  • LOW FREQUENCY ROLL-OFF 80 Hz, 12 dB/octave.
  • OPEN CIRCUIT SENSITIVITY -32 dB (25.1 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa.

Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone

The Shure SM7B is a dynamic microphone. It’s cheaper than some condenser mics, but it can reproduce speech almost as well. 

The mic uses a cardioid polar pattern. The package includes three items besides the mic itself – foam filter, close-talk filter, and locking yoke mount. So, one more professional microphone to take a look at.

Features

  • Shure SM7B Vocal Microphone.
  • Swivel (Yoke Mount) Stand Adapter.
  • Shure A7WS Broadcast-Style Windscreen for SM7, SM7A, and SM7B.
  • Shure RPM602 Switch Cover Plate for SM7A and SM7B Broadcast Microphones.

Creme de la Creme – Electro-Voice RE20 

The classic Electro-Voice RE20 is industry standard on voiceover; the RE20 is a classic cardioid dynamic microphone that can handle any kind of voice recording.

Its design and heavy-duty, internal pop filter diminish the proximity effect. 

The internal mount reduces vibration-induced noise. There’s also a bass roll-off switch, so spectrum balance is easily adjustable. 

To be honest this mic is for more than just voiceovers. Electro-Voice’s RE20 will sparkle when used on anything from voiceovers to drums to distant traffic. If you’re looking for a top-level broadcast studio mic with a great reputation, this is one to go for. 

The RE20 has a large diaphragm and a low-mass aluminum voice coil. The diaphragm assembly allows the microphone to reproduce high sound pressure levels (SPL) without distortion or overload.

Combine that with a humbucking coil housed inside a robust steel enclosure, and you get a mic that also resists magnetically induced hum and noise, making it a high-performance microphone for broadcasting studios, vocal booths, and other recording environments that may be overrun with hum and buzz.

We all have a tendency to get too close to the mic when recording. But the RE20 internal pop filter will handle that.

This microphone sports a cardioid polar pattern, so it’s perfect for picking up sounds in front of the mic and reject sounds from the sides and rear.

Features 

  • Variable-D for minimal proximity effect.
  • True cardioid with no coloration at 180-degrees off-axis.
  • Voice tailored frequency response.
  • Studio condenser-like performance.
  • Large diaphragm dynamic element.
  • Humbucking coil guards against line hum.

Checklist for the Best Voice Over Microphones

How much you need to spend  

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get the result you need. The most important factor is sound quality. But it depends on what the recording is being used for. 

Microphone type – condensers

Voiceovers really require a condenser microphone. 

XLR or USB?

First, you need to decide on connectivity. Both digital USB and traditional analog XLR work just fine for voiceovers. 

  • USB is more convenient, good for entry-level voiceover performers. 
  • XLR is more versatile. But is complicated to use.

A USB mic’s significant advantage is running off a USB connection straight to the computer. While XLR needs to link to a mixer.

USB mics are just convenient, and many have great sound. 

But ultimately, XLR will give you more options – but again, it comes down to the end requirement. There’s no point in spending a lot on the functionality you don’t need. 

An XLR connection enables you to use an external device for phantom power. You can choose either a microphone preamp or an audio interface. It means you can adjust gain, add FX, and shape your sound even more rather than rely on post-production. 

You cannot do this with a USB mic.

What is XLR and do I need it?

XLR is an audio interface for microphones. The cable has 3-pin connectors on both ends and goes to an audio interface, mixer, camera, or portable recorder.

The main difference between USB and XLR mics

USB microphones use a built-in audio interface. But the vast majority of mics are XLR, as they tend to be more in demand. 

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