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Best Studio Microphones Under $200 a Month

The Best Microphones Under $200 a Month

Recording at home? Don't let a small budget stop you from stocking your studio with the best microphones around! With zZounds' monthly installment plans, you can split the cost of that new mic into 4 or 8 easy payments. In this buying guide, you'll find our picks for the best microphones under $200 a month -- from Neumann, Shure, Audix, Sennheiser, AKG, Rode, and BLUE.
Best Neumann Microphones Under $200 a Month
Don't let the small size of the Neumann TLM 102 fool you -- it's a monster of a mic! With a slight presence boost above 6 kHz, this cardioid large-diaphragm condenser yields "that Neumann sound" on vocals and just about everything else. Try the larger, lower-noise Neumann TLM 103 for a brighter top-end sound, courtesy of its wide, smooth presence boost starting at around 4 kHz. Upgrade to the TLM 103 Anniversary Edition microphone to score the matching Neumann shock mount and case.

With a gentle boost around 9 kHz, the legendary Neumann KM184 is the acoustic guitar microphone. Thanks to SPL handling of 138 dB, this classic cardioid small-diaphragm condenser also shines on loud sources like brass and percussion.

Shop Neumann mics available on 8- or 12-Payment Plans »

Neumann TLM102 Studio Microphone
or 8 payments of $87.50
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Neumann TLM103 Studio Microphone
or 12 payments of $91.67
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Best Shure Microphones Under $200 a Month
If you're recording aggressive rock/rap vocals -- or a powerful opera singer -- the Shure SM7B is a solid bet. Capable of handling 180 dB SPL, the SM7B loves loud vocalists, and it's also an industry-standard mic for voiceover. Shure's KSM series of premium studio mics includes the KSM32 and KSM42 large-diaphragm cardioid condensers -- both heavy hitters for tracking vocals.

Next time you're at a concert, look above the drum kit. You're likely to see a pair of Shure SM81 small-diaphragm condensers hanging there. These workhorse cardioid mics are known for their outstanding transparency and realism on drums.

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Shure KSM32 Studio Condenser Microphone (Champagne)
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$424.95
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or 4 payments of $137.25
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Best Audix Microphones Under $200 a Month
A smash hit since its 2002 release, the rugged Audix D6 has gained a reputation as the modern bass drum microphone for rock and pop. The Audix drum mic packages are serious values -- the kits we've chosen here all include a D6 for your kick, plus a selection of Audix condensers and dynamics to cover the rest of the drum kit.

What's the secret to recording pristine piano? The Audix SCX-25A. Only 4 inches long, this "secret weapon" mic's one-inch capsule has the realism and small footprint of a small-diaphragm condenser, and the flattering response of a large diaphragm. Place a pair inside a grand piano, and their wide cardioid pickup patterns will capture this majestic instrument in all its glory.

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Audix DP7 7 Drum Microphone Package
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$809.95
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Audix DP5a Drum Microphone Package
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$594.95
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Best Sennheiser Microphones Under $200 a Month
Capable of handling sound pressure levels (SPL) up to an astonishing 150 dB, the mighty Sennheiser MD 421 microphone is a go-to cardioid dynamic for loud sources like guitar amps, rack toms and powerful vocals. Its 5-position bass roll-off switch makes it super-versatile. Need a high-SPL dynamic mic that's less bulky than the 421? Clip the Sennheiser e604 on tom or snare rims.

On the condenser side of the mic closet, you'll find the Sennheiser e914. With 3-position pads and bass roll-offs, these versatile pencil mics deliver incredibly natural sound on drum overheads, orchestras, or anywhere else you'd use small-diaphragm condensers. For vocals, try the affordable Sennheiser MK4 -- Sennheiser's first side-address large-diaphragm condenser.

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Best AKG Microphones Under $200 a Month
If you've spent much time in recording studios, you know the AKG C414 microphone -- a classic large-diaphragm condenser known for its accuracy. Its smaller siblings are the AKG C214 and AKG C314 -- both excellent options for the home studio. Designed for versatility, the C314 offers 4 polar patterns as well as a switchable -20 dB pad, and even an overload indicator LED to help you see when you'll need to engage that pad switch on a loud source.

Also coming in at under $200 a month on zZounds' payment plan is the AKG P820 tube condenser microphone, new to AKG's Perception/Project Studio series. The P820's remote-control unit lets you choose from 9 pickup patterns -- omni, to cardioid, to figure-8 bidirectional, with 6 intermittent patterns to help you dial in the sound you're going for. For tracking drums, try the AKG Rhythm Pack -- it includes the classic AKG D112 kick drum mic, plus 5 more mics for the rest of the kit.

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Shop all AKG microphones »
Best Rode Microphones Under $200 a Month
Rode microphones are much-loved studio workhorses, and with zZounds' payment plans, you can score one for under $200 a month. For sources where you might use a pair of small-diaphragm condensers -- like in front of an acoustic guitar, above a choir, inside a piano or over a drum kit -- try the Rode NT4 stereo condenser mic for incredibly easy placement.

For tracking vocals, a tube condenser like the Rode K2 or Rode NTK can help capture detailed tracks while adding a bit of tube character to your digital studio. The NTK is a fixed-cardioid design, while the K2 gives you a continously variable polar pattern to give you more flexibility in the studio.

Then there's the Rode NTR ribbon microphone. A newer Rode offering, the NTR can reproduce detailed high frequencies in ways that many ribbon mics fall short. Try this mic on sources where you'd use a condenser and see what kind of flavor you get.

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Rode K2 Tube Condenser Microphone
or 4 payments of $174.75
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Rode NTR Premium Active Ribbon Microphone
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Best BLUE Microphones Under $200 a Month
Baltic Latvian Universal Electronics, better known as BLUE, has a few microphones made to fit any home studio artist's budget. zZounds customers love the Bluebird, the Baby Bottle, and the Spark -- all fixed-cardioid large-diaphragm condensers well-suited for recording vocals and more.

From Blue's enCORE series of live vocal microphones, the enCORE 300 handheld condenser pulls double duty for stage and studio. When your trusty old handheld dynamic seems too squawky, the enCORE 300 can deliver a wider frequency response and a more transparent sound. Try it for miking up an acoustic guitar!

Shop all BLUE microphones »

Blue enCORE 300 Vocal Condenser Microphone
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BLUE Spark Studio Condenser Microphone
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1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as You Pay installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as You Pay plans.

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2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference.

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3. zZounds gets you your gear fast

At zZounds, you‘ll get your gear fast and, usually, with free delivery. Because we have warehouses in New Jersey, Nevada and Mississippi, nearly 95 percent of Americans reside within our two-day shipping zones. Combine this with the fact that many of our best-selling products qualify for free two-day delivery and you get expedited shipping without the additional cost.

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4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

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5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

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close [x]
Available on
orders $249+
learn more

Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

close [x]
on most orders $29+

Just $1.99 on
smaller orders

Really heavy stuff might cost you a
little more

learn more

Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
We don't collect sales tax. Bonus!
Only NJ residents pay tax during checkout.
close [x]

A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
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Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!