This blog is contributed by Professional Music Technology, the UK's leading instrument retailer with over 25 years experience and 16 locations nationwide. PMT's megastores are packed to the rafters with the latest Guitars, Drums and Hi-Tech gear and they have everything a musician needs from leading brands in the industry.
The Unsigned Guide has partnered with PMT to offer members an EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT using the code "THEUNSIGNEDGUIDE" at checkout. Head over to now to see what they have on offer. (*Discount applied at checkout. Offer excludes sale items or orders using finance packages.)
If you’re a singer, there’s nothing worse than turning up to a gig to find the in-house vocal microphone has a grille that’s caved in or, even worse, covered in spit and sweat from the last band that performed. It’s unhygienic for a start and you can never rely on how good the equipment is going to be when you turn up.
So, with that in mind, it’s always best to have your own vocal microphone on you. You know where it’s been, you know you can rely on it and you know it’s not going to be shoved under an armpit or drenched in someone else’s sweat as part of their Avant Garde vocal performance!
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a fortune on a vocal mic to get a decent sound, so we’ve collected 6 of the best mics under £150 that’ll provide you with a great onstage sound and help make sure you don’t get someone else cold sore after a performance!
1. Wharfedale DM5.0S Dynamic Microphone with XLR Cable - £30
At just under £30, the is a great choice for those who are on a budget, or those of you just starting out on your vocal journey. If you’re only just starting your first band, or you’re only doing back up vocals, you don’t need to spend a lot of money straight away to get a high-quality sound – which is where the Wharfedale DM5.0S comes in.
The high SPL and supercardioid pickup pattern helps reduce feedback and distortion and the on/off switch ensures you can kill the signal in between songs or when you’re not singing. Best of all, with this package you get a high quality XLR cable so you can hook up to any PA you want.
2 .Audix OM2 Dynamic Vocal Microphone - £75
Next up we have the . This robust vocal microphone is easily one of the best microphones under £150, as it not only sits comfortably at £75, but is capable of providing both high quality live vocals and warm home studio recordings.
The build quality is exceptional and has been designed for the rigours of tour use, so it’s going to put up with many years of (ab)use whilst providing you with warm, clear and precise sound in any application.
There’s feedback resistance as standard, a tight uniform pattern helps isolate your vocals from any instruments on the stage and the 50 Hz - 16 kHz frequency range ensures you have a full-bodied sound with low bass and tailored mid-range – ideal for recording vocals at home or in the studio.
This is a fantastic vocal microphone for all styles of singing, that specifically shines when hooked up to small to mid-sized PA systems.
3. Sennheiser E835 Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone - £83
At under £83 the sits comfortably in our best microphones under £150 and still remains firmly in the budget friendly bracket. The Sennheiser E835 can comfortably handle high sound pressure levels, making it a better choice for those who can really belt out the vocals or those who have a more distorted or ‘screamo’ style.
If you move around a lot on stage, you’ll appreciate the use of a cardioid pick-up pattern which provides consistent sound quality across varying distances and can easily pickup sounds when you move off axis – you don’t have to put your mouth right on it to get a decent sound, so it responds well to vocal dynamics when you pull away. Handling noise is isolated and the hum compensating coil helps to reduce any unwanted feedback that might creep in – a great option for rehearsal rooms, live use and recording at home.
4. Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone - £90
Next is probably the most famous and widely used vocal microphone of all time – the . This is not only one of the best microphones under £150, but the world’s best-selling dynamic microphone relied upon by professionals, venue owners and vocalists all over the world. If you’ve ever seen a live gig, chances are the singer is using one of these – not bad considering it’s only £90.
The frequency has been specifically designed for vocals and offers a brightened midrange with bass roll off, bringing out the best sound possible whether you’re on stage or recording vocals at home. A uniform cardioid pickup pattern also isolates your voice which minimises any background noise and cuts out feedback that can sometimes occur from amps or onstage monitors.
The built-in spherical wind and pop filter cuts out any of those unwanted plosive sounds that can creep in and the internal shock mount system keeps the capsule safe if you drop the mic or smack it into an amp when you’re swinging it around – it happens!
If you want the industry standard live vocal microphone that won’t let you down, the Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone is the one you need.
5. Shure Beta 58A Dynamic Microphone - £138
Ok, so we’ve covered the industry standard vocal mic with the SM58, but when you want to give your vocals the deluxe treatment, you can’t get much better than the . This has been specifically designed first and foremost for vocalists who need a more detailed top end and world class clarity and detail.
This has been crafted with a Neodymium magnet for high signal–to–noise output, so you can crank the microphone safe in the knowledge that you’re not going to get a load of hiss or horrible background noise when you want to bust out the high notes. There’s also a built-in advanced pneumatic shock mount system that helps to minimize transmission of mechanical noise and vibration that can sometimes occur when you’re in a room with lots of instruments playing, or when the microphone is connected to a stand.
The hardened steel mesh grille helps keep the capsule completely safe and the built-in pop shield ensures those plosive sounds don’t affect the mix.
In addition, due to the high quality supercardioid pattern, you can achieve high gain before any feedback starts to affect the sound and the superior rejection of off–axis sound makes it a fantastic option for recording lead vocals or even acoustic guitar at home or in the studio – there’s not a lot this microphone cannot do.
6. Shure 55SH-II Dynamic Microphone - £145
If you want the iconic look of the famous mics from the 50s and 60s and a microphone that will not only bring warmth and clarity to your voice but bring a whole load of on-stage presence, the is the best choice. This legendary ‘Elvis Microphone’ – which garners its name thanks to the fact Elvis Presley used a similar style back in the 50s, may look as vintage as they come, but its packed with modern features for today’s musician.
The frequency response has been specifically tailored for speech, live vocals and even instrumental music, so you can easily record with it in a studio scenario. For those who like to grab the mic when it’s on a stand, the self-tensioning swivel mount will be appreciated as the mic will tilt 45 degrees forward and 80 degrees backward so you can move around and hold the mic just how you like it.
The cardioid directional pattern ensures the microphone performs extremely well, picking up your vocals clearly, even in a room full of instruments on stage or in the rehearsal room.
This is not only one of the best microphones under £150, but one of the coolest looking microphones around.
Need to see a ? Visit today or call in to your to speak to any of our PA and microphone experts about your live and studio needs.