In addition to being a private violin teacher and having a degree in music from USC, Alecia started writing music-related articles and product reviews six years ago and has enjoyed this experience greatly. She likes to learn new instruments and write new compositions in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners can enjoy really good music.
Last updated: February 22, 2024
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You might think that any old microphone will do the job when it comes to laying down a new rap track, but that just isn’t the case. You need to make sure that you have the best microphone for rapping. Otherwise, you are not going to get the sound you want to really make a name for yourself.
There are lots of different things to consider when you are looking for a new microphone for rapping. When we were putting together our comprehensive list, we first looked for models that consistently catch and record fast syllables and different tones, which are essential for rapping. We also looked for models that are best used at home while also looking for mics that work best in a studio setting. We also made sure to look for microphones that can be used for live performances as well, since that is what rapping is all about, after all.
This model is a condenser style microphone. It has a wide frequency range of 20Hz-18kHz. The cardioid polar pattern makes it a good option for studio use. It has high sensitivity and a low amount of self-noise. Its 200 ohms impedance rating makes it easy to use with a variety of sound systems.
Why are we impressed? If you are in the market for the best overall microphone for rapping, then this has got to be at the top of your list. This model is designed to record in a cardioid polar pattern, which makes it a great option for use in a recording studio. It could also be used as a live microphone under the right circumstances, thanks to its durable build.
This model is also quite sensitive. It has a relatively large frequency range that can record the lowest frequencies and quite high frequencies as well. Its mid-range impedance rating allows it to be utilized with a wider range of recording equipment, making it a good option for both amateur and veteran recorders.
What negatives must you be aware of? This is a wonderful microphone. Its only real issue is its equivalent self-noise, which is rated at 22 dBA. This puts it as the highest on our list, which might limit you a bit when it comes to recording quieter sounds. You might have to do a bit more editing and processing to remove any extra feedback from your recording at these lower levels. Though the final product will sound great, it might take more work than you are used to.
This model is a condenser-style microphone, which is set up to use a cardioid polar pattern for sound recording. This makes it a good option for studio use. Its frequency range is very good, from 20Hz to 18kHz. Its equivalent self-noise is very low, which allows it to pick up smaller, more delicate sounds.
What are its best features? Cardioid-style mics are great for use in the studio and on stage, thanks to how they record. They are perfect for picking up on sounds right in front of them while blocking out background noise. This also makes them an ideal solution for use in a home studio that hasn’t been soundproofed in any way. If you are looking for a great cardioid microphone, then this is your best bet. It does a wonderful job of only picking up on the sounds near its front, making it a great option for the home rapper.
This model also comes equipped with a wonderful pop filter to make sure all of your syllables are nice and crisp. The low self-noise is another nice touch, as is the very large frequency range.
What could be improved? One thing that we noticed with this particular model is that you need to be quite close to it in order to record correctly. While this is to be expected to a degree with a cardioid style condenser microphone, this model seems to take it more to an extreme. Luckily, as long as you bear this in mind, you can get some great recordings with this otherwise wonderful model.
This model is a condenser mic that is set up to use a cardioid polar pattern. It has an extremely low equivalent self-noise rating of a minuscule 5dBA. It also comes with an easy to use filter and tabletop stand, which makes it ideal for use in a home studio. This model also features a very large frequency range.
Why did it make our list? This mic is perhaps the best model for home use. It is a cardioid style condenser microphone, which, right off the bat, makes it an excellent option for home use. What really makes this such a good choice for use at home is that it comes with everything that you need to start recording right out of the box. The tabletop stand is easy to use, and the pop filter is really well made. These two factors make it very easy to use even if you don’t have any soundproofing done in your home.
Something else that really sets this model apart from its competition is its extremely wide frequency range. This model is one of the only ones on our list that can record between 20Hz and 20kHz. This exceptional sensitivity to frequency makes it an awesome recording device, wherever you decide to set it up.
What is not ideal about it? The biggest issue with this model is that it has a very low impedance rating. While this might not seem like that big of a deal to anyone that is just getting started, regular recorders will know that this will limit you a bit with the type of sound equipment and recording software you can use with the mic. Thankfully, you should be able to get a good sound out of the right setup, but you need to be sure to check your other equipment since this mic might not be up to the challenge of high-level recording tools.
This condenser style microphone can be utilized in a variety of polar patterns. With a flip of a switch, you can easily toggle between cardioid, figure eight, and omnidirectional based on your recording needs. This model has a middle of the range impedance rating of 200 ohms. This model also has a very large frequency range.
Why did it make our list? While many mics for rapping are usually designed to the only record in a cardioid fashion, it might not be a bad idea to get a model that can be used in a variety of manners. This microphone can easily be switched between three different recording styles, which include cardioid, figure eight, and omnidirectional. This versatility will allow you to really experiment with how you want your sound to come together. It will also open the opportunity to bring in other rappers as well so that you can collaborate with other artists with ease.
To go along with this versatility, this model can also be used at extremely low and extremely high frequencies. It can be used at 20Hz or up to 20kHz. This is also a very easy microphone to set up, thanks to the fact that it comes with all of the necessary cords and connectors for quick use right out of the box.
What is not ideal about it? This is one of the better microphones out there. It has a lot to like about it, but this doe not, unfortunately, include the provided pop filter. This filter is extremely flimsy and doesn’t really do its job all that well. You will be better suited to buy a different model in conjunction with this mic. This will, of course, add a bit to the purchase price.
This condenser style microphone allows you to toggle between different polar patterns. You can easily switch between using omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-eight recording patterns to better suit your needs.
What stands out? If you are using a home setup, the odds are that space is at a premium. The last thing that you want to have to deal with is a mic that takes up a ton of space. That is part of the reason that this is such an intriguing option. This model is quite compact. Even if you decide to get a stand for it, it is easy to fit into tighter spaces.
Another high point for this model is that it can be used in a variety of recording styles. You can easily switch between cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-eight recording styles. This makes it easier to practice different sounds and to record styles so that you won’t ever feel like you are limited in your songwriting and rapping.
What cons did we manage to find? For this microphone, its biggest drawback is its level of self-noise. It operates around 20dBA, which puts it as the second-highest level on our list. Though you won’t notice this on louder and more bombastic tracks, it might mess up smaller details that you want your listeners to pick up on. This could be a great microphone for someone with a louder style but might not work for someone that wants a quieter level of music.
This condenser style microphone can be used to record lyrics in a cardioid pattern. It has a relatively low amount of self-noise and is quite sensitive. Its frequency range cannot be used to record lower frequencies, however.
Why did it make our list? This cardioid style condenser microphone is a good option for anyone that is just getting started in the world of rapping and recording. Since it is priced very fairly, it doesn’t represent nearly the same level of investment compared to some other microphones out there. This makes it a good choice for someone new to the game while still offering some pretty outstanding features.
For instance, while many other models will need their own power source to operate correctly, this mic can be plugged directly into your computer, which makes for a quicker setup at home. Its low self-noise rating is also ideal for anyone that hasn’t soundproofed their recording are too since it will limit the amount of feedback you will hear from the mic.
What is not ideal about it? While this mic has a lot going for it, especially if you are just getting started recording and don’t want to break the bank, it does have one glaring issue. Though this model is great for use for a wide range of frequencies, it cannot go down to lower levels. This can make it very difficult to record everything that you want in the studio, especially if you are looking to get lower frequencies sounds onto your track.
This dynamic style microphone can be used in a cardioid recording pattern. This model is well suited to use for live performances, thanks to its durable design. It will also use less power than a condenser model mic as well. This microphone is built to be used with a higher-level sound system, thanks to its impedance level of 500 ohms.
What are its best features? While many of our other models in this list could be used for live performances, this model is the only one that has been designed for this style of use. This dynamic microphone is built to be extremely durable. It is also adept at picking up louder sounds. Both of these facets are key components to the overall puzzle of rapping in front of an audience. The cardioid polar pattern also adds to this since it will limit the amount of crowd noise picked up during your set.
As with many dynamic mics, this model is very easy to setup. In fact, it can be used either as a wired or wireless microphone. Since it doesn’t require any additional power to convert and amplify your voice, this makes it a great choice for anyone that likes to roam the stage while they perform.
What could be improved? There is a lot to like with the microphone, especially if you are looking for a mic to use during your live sets. The problem with this model is that it is only designed for this type of use. This dynamic microphone would not do well in a recording studio unless you are only going to be recording very loud vocals or instruments. Its sensitivity is very low, which means that it will miss out on more nuanced tonal shifts and quieter verses, thanks to its limited frequency range.
Things to Consider
Though finding a new microphone for rapping might seem like a daunting task, don’t worry! We have taken the time to put together this comprehensive buying guide that will allow you to shop with confidence. We have also answered several frequently asked questions as well, so be sure to read through those as well if you need any more information.
Features to consider when choosing a microphone for rapping
In this section, we will take you through everything you need to know to find the best microphone for rapping to suit your needs and style.
When it comes to finding a microphone, there are two basic types that work best for rapping that you can choose from, which include the following:
Dynamic – If you close your eyes and think about a microphone, the odds are that you are going to think about a dynamic model. These microphones were the first type ever invented, making them a popular option for many artists. This is especially true for live performers since this type of microphone is outstanding for loud sounds and loud places. They are also a whole lot cheaper than any other type since they don’t require any power to actually amplify someone’s voice. Of course, this type of microphone does have its limitations, as they are not well suited to recording more delicate sounds such as subdued vocals or quiet music. The Audio-Technica ATR-1500 is a great example of this type of mic.
Condenser – This type of microphone is relatively new, especially when compared to a dynamic model. These mics are great at picking up more subdued and intricate vocals and sounds, which makes them an awesome option for recording in a studio or at home. They are, however, a bit more expensive than dynamic mics and will require their own power source to actually operate. The MXL V69M EDT is an excellent option if you are looking for a condenser microphone.
When we talk about sound, we are usually only worried about decibels, which is how loud or quiet something is. For recording or amplification purposes, however, you need to take another sound measurement into account, which his hertz. Hertz is the measurement of the frequency or pitch of a sound. For people, our auditory range is 20Hz to 20kHz (also known as 20,000Hz). The larger the frequency range of a microphone, the better it is at picking up on different sounds and their pitches, basically. It should be noted, however, that sounds at either end of a microphone’s range will not be recorded or recreated as well as those more towards the center of the range.
If you are in the market for a microphone that can capture the entire auditory frequency range, then the Rode NT1-A-MP or the MXL 770X are going to be your best bets. If, on the other hand, you want to focus in on a certain frequency range, then the CAD Audio GXL3000 is a good option.
Basically, the polar pattern of the microphone is the direction that it can record sound from. This is an important consideration, especially if you are just setting up your recording studio. You want to make sure that you get a model that works with your setup. There are several different options out there, which include:
Cardioid – Though the name sounds complicated, these types of microphones are also known as directional mics. These microphones are great for studios since they are most sensitive to anyone facing the mic while excluding sounds from behind it. They also have a reduced sensitivity to any sounds coming to form the sides.
Figure-of-eight – These microphones allow for more than one person to record at a time, as they pick up sounds in a figure-eight pattern on either side of the microphone.
Omnidirectional – As the name would suggest, these microphones are equally sensitive in any direction. This makes them an excellent option for a live recording session where you have rappers and musicians working together.
Combination – If you are an artist who likes to experiment with different sounds and techniques, then this style of microphone might be the right option. Combination mics allow you to switch between different polar patterns with the flip of a switch, which will make it that much easier to fine-tune your style and sound.
Anything that uses electricity to operate is going to create a bit of noise itself. Some microphones, however, create less background noise than others. When you are recording, especially if you are looking for your mic to pick up on lower dB sounds, you need to make sure that you have a model with a lower equivalent self-noise. Otherwise, your recordings might be distorted.
In basic terms, the lower the self-noise, the less you will have to worry about unwanted alterations to your recording vision. If that is what you are looking for, then the Rode NT1-A-MP is a good choice. It has an equivalent self-noise level lower than 5dBA, which is the lowest on the market. This makes it a great choice for keeping your recordings limited to only what you want.
As the title would suggest, the more sensitive a mic, the better it is at picking up on sounds and amplifying them. When exposed to the same sound source, different mics will produce different output levels based on their sensitivity. The higher the sensitivity, the less pre-amplification you will need to bring the sound to a useable level for a mixer. The less the sensitivity, the more pre-amplification you will need.
Any condenser style microphone will do a good job of picking up on any and all sounds that you want to hear in your recordings. Perhaps the best model is the MXL 770X, which has a -35dB rating. This rating makes it a good option for picking up lower-level sounds without having to use a preamp in the recording process.
In audio terms, impedance is the AC resistance of audio signal voltages. In the case of a microphone, you need to make sure that the impedance matches or is lower than the input impedance of the preamp. This output and input are measured in ohms. A professional mic’s impedance should be in the range of 50 ohms to 500 ohms. Some mics might have an impedance outside of this range, so you just need to be sure that the output impedance is lower than the load impedance. That way, you will get the right level of sound input and output you desire.
The MXL V69M EDT has an impedance rating of 200 ohms, which puts it directly in the middle of the range listed above. This will help to make it easier to get a preamp that works well with the microphone since it should be compatible with more models. Of course, if you want a mic with a higher impedance rating, then the Audio-Technica ATR-1500 and its 500-ohm rating are the perfect picks. If you desire a lower impedance rating, then the Rode NT1-A-MP, which is rated at 100 ohms, is a good option.
When searching for any new sound recording equipment, you cannot just consider each piece on its own. A recording system is just that, a system. In order to use it correctly, you need to be sure that all of the different components can connect with each other and “communicate” correctly. Otherwise, you will have a tough time putting down your tracks and creating your vision for your next rap album or recordings. As such, you need to carefully consider the different connectors that you are going to use for your microphone so that it connects correctly to the rest of your setup.
If you are just getting started, then you can get any type of connector that you desire. You just need to make sure that all of the other equipment you buy works with your connector type of choice for your microphone. On the other hand, if you are adding a new microphone into an existing system, you need to search for a model that uses the same type of connector. Otherwise, you will need to purchase a separate connecting cable. While this isn’t the biggest deal, it will add a bit more to the purchase price. You need to bear that in mind before you make your final decision.
One of the last but still important considerations you need to think about with your new microphone is the overall dimensions. Depending on the amount of room you have to record, you will need to be sure to get a model that fits your space. Obviously, if you have a larger area, this will be less of a consideration than if your recording booth is limited in its size.
If you have a smaller space to keep all of your equipment, then you will want to shoot for something like the CAD Audio GXL3000 would be a good option. Since it doesn’t take up a ton of space, you can easily fit it into a smaller recording studio.
Since a drum is generally going to be used to create louder sounds, the best microphone to use for recording these beats would be the Audio-Technica ATR-1500. Since this model is a dynamic microphone, it is designed for recording louder sounds, like those of a drum. This would also make it the best choice for amplifying a drum set during a live performance as well.
While all of the models that we looked into could most definitely work for your home studio, the Rode NT1-A-MP is probably your best option. Since this microphone already comes equipped with a pop filter, it makes it that much easier to get set up at home and will allow you to more quickly lay down your tracks as quickly as possible.
Of all the different mics that we looked into, the MXL V69M EDT is by far the best overall. This mic features a wide frequency range, mid-range impedance level, and is also highly durable. Its design lends itself to use in a studio, but it is well-made enough to take on the road. If you are looking for a microphone to step up your rap game, this is your best bet.
The Stellar X2 is an awesome option for anyone that wants a strictly cardioid polar pattern for recording. It comes with a great filter, is highly sensitive, and also has a very low self-noise rating while also utilizing a wide frequency range.
If you are in the market for the best microphone for rapping to use in your home, we highly recommend that you check out the Rode NT1-A-MP. This model comes with everything you need to lay down some tracks in your home studio, from an easy setup stand and filter to an extremely wide frequency range.