- Need a great mic on a shoestring budget?
- Considering a cheap backup mic if disaster strikes?
- We’ve got you covered with our roundup of the 7 best budget microphones under $50!
In the current landscape of podcasting, live streaming, and endless content, it is imperative just to sound good to keep up with the competition. If what you are making sounds cheap or poorly produced, you’re going to have a hard time getting people to actually listen in the first place.
But can you really get a nice-sounding microphone on a budget? Yes, you can!
For $50 or less, you can still get a great mic to use with your DAW or recording software (and even your iOS device), as well as tackle your desktop needs for streaming and podcasting.
Alongside this, there are many that work well for live performance, particularly handheld vocal mics. While you really need these to be sturdy and deliver quality sound for your vocals, you can get that today for very cheap.
In this article, we’re going to explore the 7 best budget microphones that you can buy for under $50.
What are the 7 Best Budget Microphones Under $50?
Our overall top pick for this list is the Shure SM48. It closely resembles its big brother, the legendary SM58 which is the ultimate handheld dynamic mic for vocals.
For those on an unforgivable budget, the Behringer XM8500 cardioid dynamic mic is our value pick.
And for those who need a simple mic to elevate their desktop game, whether for podcasting, streaming, or virtual meets, the Samson Go USB mic is hard to beat.
So, here are our contenders for the 7 Best budget microphones under $50:
- Shure SM48 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone (Our Pick)
- Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 (Best Value)
- Peavey PVi 2 Dynamic Microphone
- Samson Go Portable USB Condenser Mic (Best for podcasting)
- MXL 2008 Large Diaphragm Condenser Mic
- Blue Snowball iCE USB
- Fifine K669 USB Condenser Microphone
1. Shure SM48 Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
The SM48 gives you the outstanding sound and durability that Shure mics are renowned for.
- Built-in “pop” filter
- Perfect for vocalists
- Superior gain
The Shure SM48 cardioid dynamic mic is a great inexpensive mic for live applications, especially for singers.
It is a more basic version of the Shure SM58 which is the industry standard live vocal mic. The SM48 lives up to Shure’s reputation and is a great choice for those on a budget.
- Cardioid pickup pattern for off-axis sound rejection
- Brightened mid-range and bass roll-off to control proximity effect
- Shock-mounted cartridge for reduced handling noise
- Built-in pop filter
- Comes with a stand adapter and storage bag
The Shure SM48 shares many characteristics with its more expensive sibling, the SM58. Both mics have the same form factor, build quality, and basic sound signature.
The main difference is the frequency range as the SM48 has a narrower bandwidth with the high frequencies extending to 14kHz vs the SM58 at 15kHz. The low-frequency range on the SM48 rolls off at 55kHz vs 50kHz for the SM58. For many, this is not a big difference.
Due to this narrower bandwidth, the SM48 may seem to be better with plosives, pops, and proximity effects than the SM58. Partly for this reason, the SM48 is very suitable for live use, be it shows or rehearsals, all for half the price of its bigger and better-known sibling.
Overall, the SM48 is a durable dynamic mic that works great for live applications and is a dream solution for the money, making it one of the best cheap microphones on the market.
2. Behringer Ultravoice XM8500
The XM8500's cardioid pickup pattern captures your lead singer or guitar cab, while rejecting off-axis sound. It exhibits an impressive frequency response of 50Hz to 15kHz, and incorporates a two-stage pop filter.
- Ultra-wide frequency response
A budget option within a list of budget microphones? You bet!
You can get the Behringer XM8500 cardioid dynamic microphone for the price of a meal (with dessert). Behringer has developed a strong reputation for providing valuable solutions to musicians everywhere, and the XM8500 is further proof of that.
If you are severely strapped for cash but still want to rock out, then this Behringer cardioid dynamic mic is for you.
- Smooth mid-frequency presence rise for great voice projection
- Wide frequency response for transparent sound
- High signal output
- Cardioid characteristic for minimal background noise and feedback
- Shock mount system to cut down handling noise
The Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 features a frequency response of 50Hz to 15kHz (with a mid-frequency presence rise for enhanced voice projection), an impedance of 150 ohms, and incorporates a two-stage pop filter.
It is primarily designed for live vocals, but it could also be used on drums and other instruments for home studio recording and demos. Like most handheld vocal mics, it resembles the Shure SM58.
Naturally, the most appealing feature of the Ultravoice XM8500 is its rock bottom price! It may not be as durable as more expensive models but for the price this is a non-issue.
Even if you’re not strapped for cash, this would make a fine backup mic for gigs or studio use. Overall, the Behringer Ultravoice XM8500 more than delivers for the price and is a solid budget choice.
3. Peavey PVi 2 Dynamic Microphone
The Peavey PVi2 Dynamic Microphone gives you astonishingly high-quality sound with a clean, natural tone.
- Superb sound quality
- Unidirectional cardioid pattern
- Rugged case
Peavey has been around for decades and is known for providing great value guitars, amps, and effects. Peavy gear is frequently used in live sound applications thanks to its rugged construction and reliability.
In that line, the Peavey PVi 2 dynamic microphone offers a solution for bands and singers that gig regularly and need gear that can keep up with this lifestyle.
This mic comes with a cable, features an on and off switch, and overall provides good sound for the money.
- Unidirectional cardioid pattern
- On/off switch
- Steel casing
- Low handling noise
- Low-gloss black finish
The Peavey PVi dynamic mic is also based on the iconic Shure SM58. As such, it features a dynamic cardioid design and manages to look a bit different to a SM58, but similar enough so as to not be unfamiliar.
The PVi features a dynamic range of 50 Hz – 16 kHz, a sensitivity of – 50 dBV/pa (3.2 mv/pa), output impedance of 500 ohms, and a silver-plated XLR connector. Additionally, the PVi has a die-cast steel case and an on-off switch.
This mic is widely regarded as a very durable piece of gear, which is a massive plus for live gigging. With the Peavey PVi, you get good vocal sound for the stage, a reduced price tag, and durability that will put you at ease for years. After all, reliability is crucial for a stage vocal mic!
4. Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser
Samson's Go Mic is a super-handy USB microphone that's perfect for recording, podcasting, web-casting, "Skype"-ing, and more - all from your laptop or desktop computer.
- Very versatile
The Samson Go Mic is a USB condenser microphone that’s perfect for the current world we live in.
With this mic you can do all your recording, podcasting, face timing, Zoom meetings and more, by plugging directly into your computer.
The Go Mic features a compact design that can clip to your laptop or sit upright on your desk. The built-in headphone output lets listen as you record, making it a great budget mic for podcasting and the studio.
- USB mic with plug and play for Mac and PC
- Built-in headphone output for zero-latency monitoring
- 20Hz – 18kHz frequency response
- Cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns
- 16-bit/44.1kHz recording quality
The Samson Go Mic features two different polar pickup patterns to meet a range of recording needs. For instance, you can use Flip cardioid mode for a tightly focused pickup pattern. This is handy for recording voice, acoustic guitar, or other close-miked instruments.
On the other hand, if you wish to capture the whole room or a jam with a few friends, you can flip it into the omnidirectional mode to capture sound from all sides.
Besides handling studio recording, the Samson Go Mic compact microphone can clip nicely onto your laptop, making it a great choice for podcasting, voiceover recording, Zoom meetings, and more.
The Samson Go Mic records CD-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz audio and is compatible with both Mac and PC setups. The Go Mic also includes a USB cable and a zipper case. This makes it easy to take with you if you’re doing interviews or recording demos in a practice space.
(For a full explanation of sample rates and bit depth, check out What Sample Rate You Should Use? (+Myths & Misconceptions))
5. MXL 2008 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
MXL's 2008 large diaphragm condenser mic offers simple but extremely effective recording with a large, highly sensitive 32mm condenser capsule, class-A circuitry, and a FET preamp with balanced transformerless output.
MXL has made a name for itself as a trusted company that provides low-cost microphones to meet the needs of folks on a tight budget.
The MXL 2008 mic is further proof of this company’s mission, offering great value for such a small amount of money.
With the MXL 2008, you get a high-quality studio condenser mic for a fraction of the normal cost, making it a solid contender for the best cheap microphone on the market.
- 30Hz – 20kHz frequency response
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Sensitivity of 18mV/Pa
- Output Impedance of 150 ohms
- Max SPL for .5% THD: 130dB
The MXL 2008 features a large, highly sensitive 32mm condenser capsule that helps capture the details and nuances of vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar cabinets, and even percussion.
It features impressive sound quality for such a low price and is backed by Class-A circuitry and a balanced transformerless output for good results in recording studios or live applications.
The MXL 2008 features a signal-to-noise ratio of 78dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted), max SPL of 130dB, and requires 48V ±4V phantom power.
It also comes with a rugged carrying case and a high isolation shock mount, features that are usually present in more expensive mics. Overall, the MXL 2008 offers a simple and effective recording solution for those who need the flavor and flair of a large condenser mic, but cannot afford the pricier options.
6. Blue Snowball iCE USB
Powered by Blue’s custom condenser capsule, Snowball iCE delivers crystal-clear audio quality that’s light-years ahead of your built-in computer microphone.
- Crystal-clear audio quality
- Captures your voice with clear sound
The Blue Snowball iCE USB is a stylish condenser mic made for your desktop setup. With no need for a mic stand (it comes with a tripod and USB cable), the Snowball iCE lets you quickly record vocals or even lay down an acoustic guitar track.
It is also a fantastic mic for podcasting, virtual meets, live transmissions, any other application for the current world we live in.
- Frequency response of 40Hz – 18 kHz
- 44.1 kHz/16 bit recording quality
- Two-year warranty
- Compatible with Mac or PC
- Includes tripod
The Blue Snowball iCE USB custom condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio for several desktop applications like virtual meetings and podcasts.
Convenience is Snowball’s strongest feature. This mic will allow you to start recording in no time once inspiration strikes, and all of this with good audio quality.
The Blue Snowball iCE USB features a cardioid pickup pattern, frequency response of 40 –18 kHz, and is compatible with Mac or PC, with no drivers to install.
It features a sample/bit rate of 44.1 kHz/16 bit comes with a two-year warranty. Overall, this is a cheap and stylish mic to tackle all your desktop needs as well as record quality vocals and guitar quickly whenever inspiration strikes.
Is your mic buzzing? Here are 11 reasons why it might be happening!
7. Fifine K669 USB Condenser Microphone
At an affordable price, the K669's metal construction gives it a sturdy and solid feel. This is a great budget option for a podcasting mic.
The Fifine K669 is a USB condenser microphone that comes with an adjustable tripod desk stand and a 6 ft. long USB cable.
It features a sturdy enclosure and considering the price, it is a good option for recording in the home studio as well as desktop applications like virtual meetings and live streaming. Volume control on the body of the mic allows for on-the-fly volume changes.
- Condenser USB mic
- Cardioid polar pattern
- 20Hz – 20kHz frequency range
- 48kHz sample rate, 16-bit depth
- 30dB (at 1kHz≦1% T.H.D) maximum SPL
The Fifine K669 is an affordable condenser USB microphone that is your all-in-one tool if you’re cash strapped.
It is very affordable, and the durable metal construction tricks you into thinking it’s more expensive than it is. The K669 will look the part on your desktop and be there to conveniently handle all of your streaming and virtual meeting needs, as well as being able to record vocals on the go.
With its built-in volume control, good sound quality and build, the Fifine K669 is one of the best cheap microphones around and performs very well for its price.
Overall, this is a fantastic mic for those that are just starting out and for those that need a quick and inexpensive solution for on-the-fly recording and desktop applications.
Interested in USB mics? Check out USB Vs XLR Microphones (Differences & Which Is Best).