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April 5, 2024

All-Star Gear: Microphones

Our customers' top-rated mics

With so many microphones and myriad uses for each, every musician has their own method of mic shopping. Some prefer to listen to shootout recordings and compare spec sheets. For others, a trusted recommendation is all they need. And the rest of us are looking for a little bit of both.

In our list of All-Star Microphones, you'll find quotes from happy owners on all manner of mics, from budget wonders great for small projects, to legendary studio staples. No one can predict how a new mic is going to sound in your spaces, on your specific sources -- but these are the models our customers have loved consistently enough to leave solid reviews. Read on for their top-rated picks!
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Neumann KMS 105 Pro Stage Condenser Mic

Neumann KMS 105 Pro Stage Condenser Mic
Our customers say...

"It will change your entire performance for the better. It will add clarity and quality and the words will cut through the mix so everyone will enjoy your show. I use in-ear monitors and I sometimes catch myself listening to them and smiling during a song because this mic sounds that good."
- Denny

"It actually pulls the notes right out of me. After long gigs, my voice is fresh and ready for the next one. No straining at all."
- Peter in Neptune City, NJ

"What a beauty...depth, warmth, details, air, space...I am in love with it."
- Lola in Los Angeles, CA

Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Our customers say...

"I have a baritone voice range and the Rode NT2 I have was a little too muddy sounding for me. I re-recorded a vocal track with the AT4040 and wa-la! It brightened up my voice just perfectly. It's a keeper!"
- Bryce in Wilder, ID

"This microphone will stand up to it all. It has a nice, clean sound to it. It beats most Shure microphones in my opinion and with the correct set up will sound JUST as good as a Neumann."
- Jessimi in Huntington, WV

"Just one of these microphones carefully placed can give you a very natural sounding drum set. Coupled with a Shure SM57, I've gotten one of the best live recording drum sounds that I have ever heard."
- A Happy Owner

Rode NT2-A Variable Pattern Studio Condenser Microphone

Rode NT2-A Variable Pattern Studio Condenser Microphone
Our customers say...

"I've used it very successfully on toms, kick drum, drum overheads, guitar cabinets, acoustic guitars, horns, hand percussion, etc. I own four of them and plan to buy more."
- Glen in Milwaukee, WI

"This mic has such a nice sound. I was originally going to buy the NT1A, but I'm glad I went with this - the different switches record different sounds, and I can truly find the best sound for whatever room or instrument is being used."
- Esther in Centennial, CO

"Sounds so warm and smooth. The quality can be compared to microphones such as the Neumann U87, which is amazing. The best Rode since the NTK, in my opinion."
- A Happy Owner

Audix D6 Large Format Bass Drum Microphone

Audix D6 Large Format Bass Drum Microphone
Our customers say...

"I find it to be better than advertised! I put it on a stand in front of my bass drum head, and with no special adjustments got a great sound at a live outdoor performance."

"I used it in a couple of gigs as well as in the studio and folks, this thing rocks. Not only does it provide a low-end sound (as it should), but it's also clear as a bell."

"This is the best kick drum mic on the market. It gives a very nice attack, but not too much, lots of low-end 'oomph' without any EQ. Just throw this thing inside your kick drum and you are in business!"

Sennheiser e906 Instrument Mic

Sennheiser e906 Instrument Mic
Our customers say...

"Can't say enough about the quality and ruggedness of this microphone. I love the fact you can just hang the mic over the top of the amp. No loss of tone."
- Stephen in Pooler, GA

"Everything I expected. Excellent performance, quality craftsmanship. I use the middle switch setting and it sounds great thru a variety of amps."
- Mark in Oxnard, CA

"Very easy to place -- since the e906 is flat, all you have to do is plug it in to your cable, hang it over your cab, find that sweet spot and just leave it there."
- Robert in Brooklyn, NY

Shure 55SH Series II Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Shure 55SH Series II Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
Our customers say...

"The sound of this mic can be warm for crooners, light or hard for rock. This new 55 is super great for the money...sounds like a thousand bucks."
- Noel in Harrisburg, PA

"Sounds fantastic, looks cool. People comment on its classy look and how balanced out the sound is (crisp, good lows, great response). Amazingly good at reducing on-stage bleed."
- Mike in Austin, TX

"It sounds amazing and clear. Everyone can be a rock star with this mic."

Audix OM5 Dynamic Hypercardioid Microphone

Audix OM5 Dynamic Hypercardioid Microphone
Our customers say...

"This mic is amazing! Gone are my on-stage worries about feedback. And I can hear myself better than ever before -- even over a big band. This mic solved my performance issues, so all I have to worry about is singing."
- A Happy Owner

"It plugs in, sounds great, and has low feedback response. What else are you expecting to find in a microphone?"
- A Happy Owner

"They have superior sound reproduction, no feedback ever, no handling noise at all."
- Ron in St. Louis, MO

AKG C 214 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

AKG C 214 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Our customers say...

"For the money this mic is a great addition to every home studio. I have been very pleased with the sound on both slower and hard rock applications."
- KB in San Antonio, TX

"'Bubblicious' is the first word that comes to mind since this is a mouthful of juicy sound for your ears."

"I've had this microphone for the past month and it has been my main mic for tracking vocals. It has a great tonal quality to it and when coupled with my UA 710 mic pre, I'm able to track solid vocals."
- Terrence in Torrance, CA

Shure Beta 52A Kick Drum and Bass Microphone

Shure Beta 52A Kick Drum and Bass Microphone
Our customers say...

"If you're going to record some bass guitar, or bass drums, this is the mic to purchase. It won't set your wallet back too far, and you can use it as a weapon for those unruly sessions if your drummer is giving you lip. Priceless."

"Honestly, with a little EQ you can get any sound you are looking for out of this mic...By itself, the low end is great, mids are all there, and highs are clean and clear."

"Great quality! A big, sturdy, all-metal mic that is impossible to break and sounds great."

Warm Audio WA87 R2 FET Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Warm Audio WA87 R2 FET Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
Our customers say...

"This is by far the best mic I have [owned] to date. Vocals sit so well in the mix I can't believe my ears! Stop looking and buy now!"
- Brandon in Louisville, KY

"I've worked in the recording industry for years...at studios that had huge mic lockers, and this [is] one of my favorite mics right now. I can use on anything and it just sounds amazing!"
- T in Rockville, MD
All-Star Gear