Beginner's Gear Guide: Microphones

Beginner's Gear Guides: Microphones

Looking for the right microphone for your project? Find it with this guide.

Eventually, just about everyone needs a microphone. Maybe you're a budding home studio producer looking to capture the perfect vocal track, or maybe you just need a simple USB microphone for podcasts, livestreams, or gaming at home. Maybe you're a music teacher looking to record your students' performances. Or maybe you're putting the finishing touches on a killer live PA system.

No matter what kind of musician, audio engineer, or producer you are, our microphone guide has something for everyone: inexpensive project studio microphones, time-honored recording studio classics, staple microphones for stage performances, and all the stands, cables, clips, mounts, and windscreens you need to complete your rig.

Need help picking out the perfect microphone for your project? Give us a call at 1-800-ZZOUNDS for expert advice and gear recommendations.

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Project Studio Microphones: Budget-friendly picks
In the home project studio, building a mic collection is all about balancing your needs with your budget. If you're ready to start tracking vocals and instruments at home, check out these do-it-all condensers, tough dynamic mics, and even USB microphones that can plug directly into your computer without an interface.
Classic Recording Microphones: What the pros use
It's hard to go wrong with these time-tested favorites. Large-diaphragm condensers like the AKG C 414 lend their unique character to vocals, while small-diaphragm condensers like the Neumann KM184 are known for accuracy on cymbals, acoustic guitars, and more. Dynamic mics like the Electro-Voice RE-20 or Shure SM7B are classics for broadcast voiceover, and they're also indispensable when recording guitar amps.
Stage Staple Microphones: Our picks for live performance
We've got mics to meet the needs of any live performance venue: handheld dynamics and condensers that are ideal for reinforcing speech and vocals, dynamic instrument microphones, wearable clip-on and headset microphones for performers and presenters that require mobility, wireless systems -- plus stereo microphones for no-hassle live recording setups.