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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.
Here's a golden opportunity to put Shure's legendary microphone sound and performance in your hands - for an amazingly low price! The SM48 gives you the outstanding sound and durability that Shure mics are renowned for.
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Compatible with Mac or PC
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.
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.