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Posted on 10/18/2022

The 10 best XLR microphones in 2023

Ever been to a live performance? What you saw them use on stage was an XLR microphone. No other microphone is fit for that purpose. It is also what all recording and radio studios use. This post will outline the ten best XLR microphones in 2023.

What is an XLR microphone?

An XLR microphone is a microphone type that uses XLR cables to transmit audio signals. The name, XLR, is the short form for External Line Return. An XLR cable is the kind of electrical cable commonly used in stage lighting, professional audio equipment, recording studios, live performances, and video equipment. XLR cables are different from other cables in that they have three pins instead of two. This allows for a higher-quality audio transmission.

XLR microphones are known for their high-quality sound and durability. This is because XLR produces a high-quality, clear, and interference-free output due to its low signal-to-noise ratio. As a result, rather than using USB mics, many broadcasters are now looking for the finest XLR microphones for  streaming. XLR microphones are more expensive than other types of microphones, but they offer a higher level of quality, often provide a higher-quality sound and can be used with a broader range of equipment. XLR microphones also typically require more setup and experience to operate effectively, while USB microphones are much easier to start with.

The top 10 XLR microphones in 2023

As we gradually enter 2023, the need for good microphones will not wane. We, therefore, present our list of the top 10 XLR microphones for your studio and performance needs in 2023. 

The Shure SM7B

Image showing the Shure SM7B, one of the ten best XLR microphones

The SM7B is one of the most popular Shure microphones on the market. It’s a dynamic XLR microphone that has a cardioid polar pattern. That means it’s great for minimizing noise and feedback in live settings. It also does have a built-in pop filter to reduce plosives and wind noise.

The SM7B is an excellent choice for both vocal and instrument recording. It has a wide frequency response so you can capture a lot of detail in your recordings. It also has a low impedance, so it can handle high sound pressure levels without distorting.

The SM7B doesn’t have a USB port, so you need an adapter to connect it to a computer. It’s also one of the most expensive microphones on the market. But overall, the SM7B is an excellent performer and well worth the investment.

Audio Technica T2020 

Image showing the Audio Technica T2020, one of the ten best XLR microphones

The Audio-Technica AT2020 is one of the finest XLR microphones available, and it provides excellent performance and sound for instrument and vocal use. It’s simple to understand why this microphone appeals to various audiences, including podcasters and fans of home studios. It is a side-addressed studio condenser microphone, which means that audio enters through the openings on the side of the capsule. 

This XLR microphone accurately captures your audio thanks to its high sensitivity, resulting in a rich, deep, full-bodied sound that will impress you.

The Audio-Technica AT2020 features a low-mass diaphragm that provides a broader frequency response and superior transient responsiveness compared to competing microphones at this pricing point. It is undoubtedly one of the best microphones available, especially for those on a tight budget.

The Audio Technica AT2020 microphone is popular for podcasters, musicians, and voiceover artists. Some of its pros include its low-mass diaphragm, which gives users a wide-range frequency response and a better transient response than other microphones. It also has a cardioid polar pattern that rejects off-axis noise and produces quality sound. Additionally, it is priced lower than many different microphones on the market.

The Audio Technica AT2020 microphone does not have a USB connection and must be connected to a computer using an XLR cable. It is less durable than some other microphones and may not be suitable for rugged environments.

Overall, the Audio Technica AT2020 microphone is an excellent option for those looking for an affordable microphone with high-quality sound.

The Rode PodMic

The Rode PodMic is a great XLR microphone for anyone looking for an affordable, high-quality option. It has no USB connection, so you’ll need to use an adapter to connect it to your computer, but it’s worth every cent you spend on it. The sound quality is great, and it’s easy to use. Plus, it’s a great-looking mic, too.

This microphone has features that will help you get the best sound out of your recordings. Thanks to an internal shock mounting system, the microphone can withstand a certain level of vibrations. The capsule’s air suspension contributes significantly to this. In addition, it has an internal pop filter to reduce plosives. When you combine these characteristics with the cardioid pattern, you’ll get a well-controlled sound in your recordings.

The rich, balanced audio produced by the Rode PodMic offers warm lows with very crisp highs, giving your vocals an impressively professional sound. The wide-range frequency response adds body and depth to your audio, making you sound more natural like when you speak directly to your listeners.

There are far too many reasons to consider this microphone, but if you require a high-quality microphone for spoken words, the Rode PodMic is an absolute must.

AKG P220

The AKG P220 is a professional-grade dynamic microphone that is perfect for use in a home studio. It has a cardioid polar pattern, which aids in noise reduction and isolates the sound source. It also includes a built-in pop filter to help minimize distortion from plosives. The P220 is connected to a computer via an XLR cable and does not have a USB connector. 

The P220 has a price tag of around $200, which makes it a mid-priced microphone. The sound quality is excellent, making it perfect for recording vocals, guitars, and other acoustic instruments. It is also well-suited for podcasting and voiceover work. For its price range, it is impressively rugged and durable. It is also beautifully designed, giving it a vintage look.

Despite its size, the AKG P220 has a low-mass diaphragm that provides a wide frequency response of 20 – 20000 Hz, resulting in highly accurate audio recordings.

Overall, the AKG P220 is an excellent microphone that delivers high-quality sound. It is perfect for use in home studios, and its price point makes it affordable for most budgets.

Marantz Pro MPM1000

The Marantz Pro MPM1000 microphone is a professional-grade mic with no USB connection. This means it must be connected to a computer using an audio interface. The good news is that there are many affordable audio interfaces on the market, and the Marantz Pro MPM1000 microphone will work with any of them.

Once you have the audio interface connected, you’re ready to start recording. The Marantz Pro MPM1000 microphone produces excellent sound and is perfect for podcasting, voiceovers, and studio recording. It’s also great for live performances when you need a high-quality backup mic.

One downside of the Marantz Pro MPM1000 microphone is its price tag. At around $400, it’s not cheap, but it’s worth the investment if you need a top-quality microphone. Overall, the Marantz Pro MPM1000 is an outstanding mic with excellent sound quality every time.

The Sennheiser e835-S 

The Sennheiser e835-S is a handheld cardioid dynamic microphone that is designed for use in live sound applications. It is built with a super-cardioid pickup pattern that helps to reduce noise and feedback and produces a warm, natural sound quality. The mic is also made with a neodymium magnet for high output, and it has an aluminum voice coil that provides an excellent transient response. It comes with an integrated pop filter to help reduce vocal popping, and it has a rugged construction that makes it ideal for touring and live performances. The mic also features a 3-position bass roll-off switch that helps to control unwanted low-end feedback, and it has an on/off switch for easy operation. The Sennheiser e835-S is one of the market’s most affordable handheld cardioid dynamic mics.

The Blue Yeti Pro

An image showing the blue yeti pro, one of our top ten xlr microphones

The Blue Yeti Pro is a microphone designed for professional use. It is a USB microphone, meaning that it plugs directly into your computer. This makes it very easy to use and means you don’t need additional equipment.

The Blue Yeti Pro is a condenser microphone, which means that it captures sound in a more sensitive way than other types of microphones. This makes it perfect for recording vocals or acoustic instruments. The quality of the Blue Yeti Pro’s sound is excellent, making it ideal for recording high-quality audio.

The Blue Yeti Pro is also a great choice for podcasting. It comes with a built-in headphone jack, which allows you to listen to your recordings as you make them, so you can ensure that they are of the highest quality possible. The Blue Yeti Pro also has a built-in mute button, which is helpful if you take a break from recording.

The Blue Yeti Pro is not the cheapest microphone on the market, but its excellent quality makes it well worth the price tag. Overall, the Blue Yeti Pro is a perfect choice for anyone who needs a quality microphone for professional or recreational use.

The Rode NT1-A

An image showing the Rode NT1-A, one of our selected top ten XLR microphones

The Rode NT1-A is a professional-grade condenser microphone popular among musicians and sound engineers. It has a cardioid polar pattern, which aids in noise reduction from the sides and rear of the mic. The NT1-A also has a low-noise transformerless preamp and a gold-sputtered diaphragm, which allows it to produce clear, accurate sound. This mic is also rugged, with a die-cast metal body that can take a beating.

The NT1-A is available for around $269 on Amazon, which makes it one of the most affordable high-quality microphones on the market. It competes with popular condenser mics like the AKG C214 and the Shure SM7B. The NT1-A offers excellent sound quality at an affordable price, making it a great option for anyone looking for a high-quality microphone on a budget.

The Shure MV7 

The Shure MV7 is a dynamic microphone that is designed for use in live settings. It carries a cardioid pickup pattern, which helps to minimize feedback and isolate the sound source. The MV7 also has a built-in pop filter, which helps to reduce noise and distortion. It is available in black and silver finishes and has a price tag of around $100.

The quality of sound that the Shure MV7 produces is excellent. It has a wide frequency response range and can handle high SPL levels without distortion. It comes versatile and can be used for various applications.

Overall, the Shure MV7 is a great microphone that delivers excellent sound quality. It’s priced competitively and has one of the best microphones in its class.

The Electro-Voice RE20

An image showing the Electro-Voice RE20 XLR microphone.

The RE20 from Electro-Voice is a dynamic cardioid microphone. It combines the focused directionality of a dynamic mic with a larger diaphragm for presence and clarity. It is popular for its quality sound and durability. The mic is housed in a cast metal body with a black finish. It has a frequency response of 40Hz-18kHz and can handle up to 160dB SPL—the RE20 ships with a stand mount and pouch.

The Electro-Voice RE20 is a great microphone for vocals and percussion. It has a warm, punchy sound that is well-balanced across the frequency spectrum. The mic handles high sound pressure levels without distortion, making it perfect for live performances. It also excels in the studio, making it a versatile choice for any application.

The Electro-Voice RE20 is priced at around $400, which puts it in competition with other high-quality microphones like the Shure SM7B and the Sennheiser MD421 II. Overall, the Electro-Voice RE20 is an excellent microphone with great sound quality and durability.

Conclusion

In the world of audio, XLR microphones are some of the market’s most popular and well-respected options. This article has outlined ten of the best XLR microphones available as we enter 2023. Each product is highly rated for its sound quality, durability, and versatility. Whether you seek a microphone for live performances or studio recordings, one of these ten options is sure to fit your needs.

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