Perhaps you are looking for a microphone? Why not use the headphones that came with your headphones instead?
You’re right, and I can’t really blame you; the microphone of your headphones will never be as good as a dedicated microphone.
When recording yourself—whether speaking, podcasting, or mostly singing—microphones are a necessary tool, especially one with good quality and not the one that you find on your headphones.
If you’re setting up a home studio or just need a microphone to improve the sound of your stream but don’t want to spend a fortune, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I’ll highlight my picks for the best mic under $200.
Let’s start right now, without further ado.
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Best for Streaming
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Best For Podcasters
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Best For Home Studio
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Top 5 Best Mics Under $200
5. JLab Talk Go – Best Budget
Let’s begin the list straight away with a choice that is way less than $200.
This microphone is made by a well-known company that is well-known in the audio industry for producing products that are as affordable as possible, whether they are headphones, earbuds, or microphones and that’s none other than the JLab.
The JLab Talk Go is a fantastic, affordable microphone that will benefit regular computer users. Having said that, nobody is preventing you from using it, even for different purposes. Yes, it’s really great.
The JLab Talk GO USB Microphone is packaged in a nice blue box with a foldable desk tripod, and a 1.5-meter USB-A to USB-C connection.
Due to the silicone feet on the desk stand, it is simple to change the microphone’s height and position without worrying about it slipping.
The microphone is reasonably portable and light. It has an internal foam pop filter, a plastic grille over the microphone capsules, and a metal chassis. Because of how uncomplicated the outside appearance is, it won’t annoy colleagues during a video meeting.
I adore the design that Jlab came up with for this. The blue color adds a nice touch to the design and it is quite modest.
Regarding performance, it is outstanding. Although it is far better than the built-in or the microphone on your headphones, don’t anticipate anything groundbreaking for the price.
It is a great choice for your daily Zoom meetings. It will pick up your voice in a good and clear manner.
- Transducer Type: Condenser, Pressure Gradient With USB digital output
- Polar Patterns: Cardioid or Omnidirectional
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
4. Elgato Wave 3 – Best for Streaming
When it comes to streaming, the term Elgato has been heard a lot.
For individuals who want to start a streaming career, the Elgato Wave 3 offers a distinctive, portable design that will suit most streamers’ styles.
The Elgato Wave 3 is an extremely specialized item that is built and delivered for a certain part of the microphone market
In terms of design, the Wave 3 appears far more costly than it is. If I hadn’t put it on a list of under $200 microphones, you’d think it was a high-end model, It looks just as good as that.
It has a completely utilitarian design and a pretty nice matte finish. Additionally, it has a distinct, small form that complements the taste of individuals seeking to start streaming or vlogging right away, since it won’t draw unwanted attention.
A sturdy steel grille is used, providing smooth sound diffusion, in addition to having a beautiful construction
This microphone is a USB microphone in terms of connectivity, which makes sense why.
It features USB Type C plug-and-play capability and an audio jack output connector for zero-latency monitoring, allowing you to hear what your viewers are hearing.
It guarantees flawless audio signal transfer with zero distortion in terms of performance. Your audience will be grateful that you have such a wonderful microphone.
- Transducer Type: Condenser Microphone With USB C
- Polar Pattern: Unidirectional
- Frequency Response: 70Hz – 20kHz
3. Hyperx QuadCast – Best Gaming
The term HyperX appears on nearly every chart when it comes to gaming hardware in general, and it is frequently promoted as the best choice.
We are all familiar with HyperX because of their headphones, mouse, keyboards, and other products, but who would have thought microphones as well?
HyperX gained notoriety after the Quadcast lineup was released. You can see how fantastic these microphones can be by having the opportunity to sit next to industry leaders like Blue Yeti, Shure, Audio Technica, etc.
The majority of people find this microphone design to be quite intriguing, but there are other benefits as well. Simply put, this microphone isn’t just a “pretty face” there lies more behind it.
Since we’re talking about the design, this microphone definitely grabs your attention.
You will see right away that HyperX continued their aggressive black and red color scheme onto their microphone, setting it differs from more traditional microphones.
The microphone’s body is made of metal, which is beneficial for its long-term endurance and gives it a sturdy feeling.
The mute sensor and the anti-vibration shock mount steal the show here, though.
Yes, this is a sensor and not a button, by simply touching it you will be able to mute and unmute your microphone.
In terms of performance, this is a true “killer” be it that you use to stream your favorite games to the public or just use it to communicate with your teammates, yes it will be beneficial whether you play on console, PC, and so on.
Its versatility is huge thanks to the Polar Patterns it features.
QuadCast is not limited only to a single polar pattern or two instead it includes stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional. This is great when you think of the price it comes with.
- Transducer Type: Three 14mm condensers
- Polar Patterns: Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
2. Blue Yeti – Best For Podcasters
There is just one microphone that is more favored than the others when it comes to podcasting, and that microphone is Blue’s Yeti.
Although Blue is not a brand we hear much about, however, you can be sure to see them when it comes to microphones because their Blue Yeti is now ruling all internet charts.
Since its first release in 2009, the Blue Yeti has been synonymous with the advent of vlogging, podcasting, and streaming, with users praising its ease of use and exceptional performance.
Because Blue Yeti is a straightforward plug-and-play USB-only desktop microphone, there is no requirement for the user to set up a different audio connection or any kind of software.
In terms of design, it does not come in blue as the name implies, but it does have a really nice-looking black matte finish.
Don’t lose your hopes yet there are a bunch of colors you can choose from one that also includes a blue nano color.
The general construction and design of this microphone are pretty robust, and it will blend in with the other equipment when used for podcasting. However, you should be aware that it is somewhat weighty because it is intended to rest firmly on the desk.
Due to coming with 4 polar patterns, it is one versatile microphone, still, I can see most podcasters sticking to the cardioid one.
Still, the performance it offers is difficult to beat, particularly at this price point. If you’re considering launching a podcast show, don’t pass up this bad boy.
- Transducer Type: Condenser
- Polar Patterns: Cardioid/Omni/Figure-8/Stereo
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz.
1. Audio-Technica AT2020 – Best For Home Studio
When it comes to setting up a home studio, the name Audio Technica will always be figurative, be it headphones or any type of audio equipment.
This time, however, we’ll have a closer look at their highly praised AT2020 entry-level microphone, which has long been a fan favorite.
This microphone has a reputation for being somewhat of a “powerhouse,”, and it’s not just some hollow claim, at least that’s what the audio community says.
Given the price, it seems like a great deal and offers a lot of useful functions. Undoubtedly, this is going to be a fantastic microphone in the proper setting.
The AT2020 is difficult to fault as a low-cost, all-purpose condenser microphone. However, It’s unfortunate that the microphone doesn’t come with a shock mount, but I can understand that Audio Technica tries to keep the manufacturing cost at a minimum. Fortunately, the stand mount that is included is enough.
It is as sturdy as they come in terms of construction, and it has a very simple design that declares, “I mean business and am not here to seem showy or flamboyant.”. Something we’ve noticed with other Audio Technica products is that they prefer to keep their products simple.
It is available in a cardioid pattern, which has advantages, particularly for recording. It is the most prevalent polar pattern and is most responsive to sound coming directly from in front of it, rejecting any sound coming from the rear.
Because it’s a pretty good vocal microphone, I decided it was the best option for a home studio. It can also be used for live applications because of its high SPL level.
Don’t misunderstand me; this is still an entry-level microphone designed for simple home studio use.
Expect nothing close to the ground-breaking performance that a Shure premium microphone can provide.
- Transducer Type: XLR Connector, Condenser
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency Response: 40-20,000 Hz
Picking The Right Under $200 Microphone: Buyer’s Guide
Before buying a microphone there are a few things you need to consider, you don’t want to make a hasty purchase.
Polar Patterns of Microphones
When it comes to microphones the Polar pattern term is something that you hear quite often.
The three-dimensional area surrounding the microphone capsule where it is most responsive to sound is known as the “Polar Pattern”, which describes the directionality or pickup pattern of a microphone.
You will find mostly the following patterns on a microphone, however, most microphones are designed with a specific pattern while some of them have multiple polar patterns, you must pick the one that will suit your needs the most.
The Six Main Polar Patterns:
- Ultra directional
- Figure of 8
The range of sound that a microphone can reproduce and how its output varies within that range are both determined by frequency response.
A suitable option for a vocal mic would be one with a frequency response range of roughly 80 Hz to 15 kHz. However, you should opt for a range that begins lower, at about 50 Hz, when miking snares and toms, and for a bass drum mic, you should aim for a low end of 40 Hz or even lower, down to 30 Hz.
Wireless or Wired Microphone
Due to the simplicity and ease of use that a cable connection offers, many musicians and sound engineers favor wired microphones. Users of wired microphones never have to worry about battery life or frequency selection.
Modern digital wireless systems, on the other hand, are extremely accurate and dependable because quality is no longer a concern. The two major problems may still be reliability and simplicity.
Wired microphones are simple and dependable to use if you don’t mind a cable.
Construction and Design
It’s not only about looking good with your microphone, but you want it to produce good sound and the design and the construction of a microphone sure affects its acoustics and performance.
Microphones come in a few various designs with the more prevalent designs being the:
- Carbon Microphones
- Externally Polarized Condenser Microphones
- Prepolarized Electret Condenser Microphones
- Magnetic Microphones
- Piezoelectric Microphones.
Next, I’d want to focus on the price when purchasing a microphone, not simply because this is a list of options under $200, but it is a concern in general when buying a microphone.
It is often recognized that the more expensive something is, the better it is. Despite this well-known fact a microphone for under $200 is still a good choice.
Some folks simply enjoy using a microphone for their pastime or other unimportant activities. Simply said, they don’t want to go overboard and damage their bank by purchasing a four-digit $ microphone.
The mics I’ve listed above are all excellent values for less than $200; they won’t perform as well as high-end models, but they will definitely do the task at hand.
We’ve now reached the end of the article, and I hope the buying guide was useful in providing you with good basic knowledge about microphones.
But I mostly hope that you found the mics in the list to be appropriate for you. I made sure to include microphones for a variety of functions rather than just high-end models, so that every one of you may find one that matches your requirements.
Despite your decision and the use of a microphone, you should still conduct further research before making a purchase to ensure that it will truly work for you. This is especially important if you’re on a tight budget which is the case here.
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This pretty much covers everything, until next time, happy reading.