In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking 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 even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: January 26, 2021
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Whether it’s about starting your podcast or it’s for your rap sessions in the studio, almost every entertainer and public speaker has already thought about buying a microphone. It amplifies the voice and can give it a fuller sound. Finding the right recording microphone among the many on the market is not that easy, and the prices can bite.
However, you don’t have to spend over the limit to get a microphone. You can actually find the best microphone under 50 dollars. Which mic is the right one depends on what you need to use it for. Should it be a USB type that can be connected to the laptop? Is the warm sound of a condenser microphone an option? Or is a sturdy dynamic microphone a better choice for you? We have prepared a microphone review which features 8 models. We’ll show how they differ in sound frequency, polar pattern, sensitivity, among other essential features.
"The ZealSound model is a condenser microphone that can be used for streaming and for recording podcasts or vlogs in the home studio.Omnidirectional device.-38 dB sensitivity.7-9 hours playing time on a full charge."
Blue Designs, better known as Blue, manufactures microphones, among other things, which are particularly popular with YouTubers. It also makes microphones for those in the professional audio sector. One of their most popular models is the Blue Snowball iCE. It’s a cheap USB microphone that is not only convincing in terms of sound but also looks.
In keeping with the name, Blue Snowball iCE, the packaging is reminiscent of the Antarctic. It’s in blue and white, with a product picture and lots of information.
In addition to the microphone, you will get a table stand, a USB cable, and an instruction manual. The spherical Blue Snowball iCE is relatively heavy at approx. 400g and looks extremely robust despite its plastic housing. In addition to the black model shown here, the microphone is also optionally available in white.
The protective grille and the chrome-plated blue logo are made of metal, as is the 5/8″ thread for the table stand. This thread is standardized and therefore fits almost all tripods and mounts.
According to the datasheet and product description, the device has a frequency range of 40 to 18,000 Hz. That may not sound like much at first. However, it is perfect for the actual purpose – voice recording.
Except for the plastic caps on the legs, the table stand is made entirely of metal and provides a stable hold for the mic. The USB cable comes with transparent insulation through which you can see the innards. Not functional, but definitely chic!
What we liked:
The included table tripod is completely made of metal and therefore is very stable. The whole construction is ready for use in next to no time. It’s easy to set up, and has a great background noise reduction. We also enjoy its design – it would look really good if you’re making videos.
What could be better:
Due to the design, you get a lot of room reverberation when the distance is too much.
The Samson Go Mic is a small USB microphone that is nicely packed in a matt black cardboard box. The lid slowly lifts as you unpack it. The feeling of unpacking it is the same as a woman must feel when she unwraps a diamond ring!
The dwarfy mic is packed in an imitation velvet plastic bed and beams out nicely. The packaging also contains a small case, USB cable, and a software CD. You may see it as the best pc microphone under 50 for you.
The Go Mic is a handy USB microphone with good recording quality. It’s practical for everyone who always has their laptop or web book with them and needs a significantly better recording quality than integrated microphones. It’s suitable for offices that want to record conference meetings, the hardcore IP phone caller, or the hobby podcaster.
The dimensions of the Go Mic are 70.5mm x 43.5mm x 23mm. The microphone part is inextricably linked with a metal clamp that is supposed to hold the (top) side of a laptop screen. No space was wasted and a screw thread was milled into the bottom. Handy when a mic stand or table tripod is nearby. Despite the small size, you don’t have to worry about breaking off a component, everything makes a solid impression.
On the left side, there is a slider that switches between “cardioid” and “Omni” or reduces the level by -10 dB. Opposite is the USB port and a headphone output.
The small LED on the front not only shows you the operational readiness (green) but lights up red when the signal is overdriven.
What we liked:
Working with the Go Mic is always a great feeling. Quickly installed, it provides good sound for quick-shot recordings beyond annoying cheap mics and headsets. It has rather practical clamp for laptops and tripod to place the mic on the table. Samson Go Mic is a convenient device that requires very small space and comfortable to be taken with you everywhere.
What could be better:
There is no pop protection available. So, caution must also be exercised here. Especially when it is clamped on the top of the laptop screen, as the advertising suggests.
The ZealSound model is a condenser microphone that can be used for streaming and for recording podcasts or vlogs in the home studio.
The microphone has a USB connection and can be operated via plug-and-play. You can connect it to any PC, laptop, and game consoles. It can be used as a table microphone with an accompanying tripod or in the hand.
In addition to laptops and PCs, the ZealSound is compatible with various PS4 game consoles. It is compatible with operating systems such as Windows, Android OS, and iOS. It’s our best desktop microphone under 50.
The tripod can be aligned in different directions. It is supplied with a pop filter, a 3.5 mm long USB cable, and a USB charging cable. With its weight of 7.2 ounces and a size of 143 x 30 mm, it is well suited for transport. This specialized model is probably the best recording microphone under 50 on the market.
What we liked:
The device comes in beautiful finishes. It's available in gold, rose gold, and silver. It's our best podcast microphone under 50. Very easy to set up and start recording, doesn’t require additional accessories and provides clean sound.
What could be better:
Connecting it to the computer takes some time, due to short cables.
The BM-800 from the Chinese manufacturer ZINGYOU is an all-around positive surprise. For a very reasonable price, you get an all in one set from Zingyou which produces a clear and impressive sound. The microphone is quite well made and serves its purpose. You can use it to stream daily and get good feedback.
The model includes an anti-wind foam cap and has an XLR connection. Constructed from aluminum, the alloy body is light. The device has a frequency range between 20Hz and 20kHz. There are missing lows in the voice. It may be enough for some, but you could get problems in some applications. However, the frequency range is wider and lower than many other affordable mics. It’s our best budget microphone, for rapping.
What we liked:
This condenser microphone produces good, clear sound. It's the best microphone for rapping. It has very stable arm that won’t require adjusting during recording sessions. It also comes with protective cap for better recording.
What could be better:
Cable that comes with it is rather flimsy and feels unreliable.
This reliable cardioid microphone is the perfect choice for your everyday amplification needs. It’s suitable for Karaoke at home or at that party with friends.
Integrated spherical filter and cardioid pickup pattern reduces explosive breath sounds and wind noise. They help separate background noise and deliver clear sound. It’s ideal for daily or occasional use, such as live concerts, talk shows, podcasts, recording sessions, etc.
The AmazonBasics vocal microphone can be started immediately. This is thanks to its easy connection to any amplifier or speaker with an XLR port. It has a rugged zinc-die-cast housing, matte enamel finish, moisture-resistant steel mesh head, and switch. These make it an easy-to-use, high-performance microphone.
This piece of technology covers a multitude of uses with robust functionality. It’s easy to transport on tour or use in the studio. This AmazonBasics vocal microphone delivers crisp, professional sound quality when you need it most. Its quality is in no way equivalent to its price. It’s an under $30 microphone with great value.
What we liked:
The AmazonBasics dynamic microphone offers rich and reliable sound quality when used for voice amplification purposes. It has great sensitivity and precision in recording studios. Its housing quality is also impressive, as well as how easy it is to set up.
What could be better:
It doesn't seem sensitive enough. But for the price, you can't ask for more. Also, there are complaints the sound seems pitched to one side but it's not very noticeable.
The FIFINE K669B is an under $30 microphone that is made entirely of metal, including the upper mesh. The microphone is a capacitor, but it does not require phantom power. It is designed to be used in computers. You can only connect it to a computer, notebook, or Playstation 4 through a USB port, taking the necessary power from the same USB port.
Its pattern is cardioid. It is unidirectional, recording only your voice and avoiding environmental noises as much as possible.
It is the easiest microphone to use. You simply connect it to a USB port and voila, you can use it with your favorite software.
It includes volume control, which allows you to physically vary the volume without interfering with the recording.
The included pivoting tripod allows you to adjust it perfectly to your need. Wherever you want to use it, the microphone will perfectly capture your voice. Its excellent frequency from 20hz to 20Khz gives it extraordinary sensitivity.
It’s suitable for voiceover artists, streaming broadcasters, and YouTubers.
What we liked:
Its unidirectional cardioid type prevents environmental sounds from leaking into your recording. It’s very good for gamers who stream or play online with friends. Volume control knob is very convenient to reach.
What could be better:
You have to keep the mic close to you to avoid background noise
The XIIVIO USB Gaming Microphone is a condenser microphone and is suitable for recording gaming live streams for YouTube or other voice recordings.
With its USB 2.0 connection, it connects via plug-and-play with PC, laptops, or the Playstation 4. The microphone is not compatible with mobile devices such as smartphones or the Xbox game console. It is suitable for speech recognition software such as “iChat” or “VoIP” and is recognized by the live stream software from OBS, Switch, or Discord.
The XIIVIO USB microphone is a cardioid type of microphone that picks up the user’s voice and blocks out background noise. The device comes with a tripod and the volume can be adjusted directly on the microphone. It doesn’t have a headphone jack. Its case is made of metal and the accompanying USB cable is 4.9 feet long.
What we liked:
This mic’s design is one of the best things about it – the tripod holder is reliable and protective foam reduces noises. Long cable is one more benefit for laptop users. The recorded sound is very clear and fits for streamers and podcasters.
What could be better:
Installing mic on tripod limits the angle at which you can work with it.
Looking for a karaoke microphone that will appeal to everyone? You could well bet on the Bonaok Q37. Its sound quality is suitable for karaoke with friends and family.
The Bonaok Q37 comes with a micro-USB to USB cable, a 3.5 mm jack cable, and a case, which is rather generous in this price range. It also has a microSD card port and embeds Bluetooth technology. It is compatible with the vast majority of phones and tablets.
One of the peculiarities of this product is that it is equipped with a 2600 mAh battery which ensures a good runtime.
It can be used as a Bluetooth speaker, and you have three-volume buttons (voice, echo, music).
Finally, if you are buying as a gift, colors are abundant for all tastes: from pink to gold to sober black. It has an attractive finish and doesn’t look like a cheap microphone. The price variations between each color are minimal.
What we liked:
The Bonaok Q37 is arguably one of the easiest karaoke microphones to use – just turn on Bluetooth on your phone and connect to mic. Thanks to its good battery life and pleasant sound, it is perfect for children who love singing, as well as adults who want to relax or make car trips fun. This mic supports SD-card to record you singing.
What could be better:
The maximum volume could be a little higher. This however is a detail that will not be a problem when caught up in karaoke singing.
Things to Сonsider
Should it be just a USB mic for a podcast recording or a dynamic type for karaoke? The purpose for which the devices are bought determines which ones are the right ones. And not every device is suitable for every accessory, especially considering the price range we are looking at here. We’ll guide you to make the right choice without ending it in the trash
What to expect from a cheap microphone?
Admittedly, cheap microphones generally cannot stand up to professional types. But they offer the needed features for beginners and some hobby use.
With cheap microphones, don’t expect a frequency range below 20 Hz and higher than 20,000 Hz. The lows, as expected are not recorded well as products in the higher range will. But, regardless, they are still ideal for hobby activities and karaoke, for example. However, there are equally great models with features that beat many so-called high-end microphones. For example, the 20Hz-20kHz frequency range of the ZINGYOU BM-800 and the Fifine K669B beat the range of other higher-priced models on the market. This makes them ideal for podcasting, voice recording, and more.
What budget mics can be used for
Microphones differ depending on the purpose. But the budget mics have their limitations. Presenters at radio stations use speaker microphones that are higher than this price range. Musicians and singers work with resilient dynamic equipment and additional sound amplifiers at live events. TV reporters use directional microphones for their reports to block out ambient noise. Clip-on microphones with radio communication are common in film and television. They are very small and can be attached to clothing.
However, budget microphones are no better than hobby activities and other endeavors that are not really professional.
Some areas of application of budget microphones at a glance are:
For YouTube/Twitch livestreams and recording
For PC connectivity/online education
For gaming sessions with friends
For rapping, etc.
Below are some of the best manufacturers of the best budget mics.
ZealSound: ZealSound is a sound technology product manufacturing brand whose aim is to make headphones that have quality craftsmanship, extraordinary sound, with natural style. Most of their products are made of wood as this is the best for sound amplification. Some of their best budget microphones include the ZealSound Studio Recording Microphone.
Samson Technologies: Samson Technologies is headquartered in the US and started making audio equipment in 1980. Today, it’s a leader in the industry and manages three brands, Samson Wireless, Samson Audio, and Hartke. They have more than 250 products in 140 countries. It’s not known for cheap microphones, but the Samson Go Mic is certainly one.
Blue Microphones: Also an American company, Blue is an audio production brand currently owned by Logitech. They design and produce mics, headphones, recording equipment, and music tools for all professionals, musicians, and audio hobbyists. Some of its best cheap under $50 microphones include the Blue Snowball iCE Microphone.
Features to consider while buying the best microphone under 50 dollars
In this subsection, we will look at some things to consider before buying a microphone for under $50.
There is a device type that best suits every purpose. These are the best-known capsule types found in budget microphones and their areas of application:
The condenser microphones
Condenser microphones are usually used for recordings in the studio, indoors, or at home recording. They are among the most common types of microphones and their market share is almost 90 percent. The design enables precise recordings: the devices are sensitive and process voices and instruments true to detail. These microphones are often installed in a microphone spider or on a microphone stand. This microphone – which is not suitable as a handheld microphone – reacts to small movements with background noises.
There is a thin membrane inside the microphone behind a perforated metal plate. Opposite it is a counter electrode which, together with the membrane, forms the device’s capacitor. It can be powered by phantom power put under tension. When sound waves hit the membrane, it begins to vibrate. The distance between the counter electrode and the membrane changes. This leads to a change in capacitance in the capacitor. Electrical impulses arise and from there get into the mixer or the computer. Samson Go Mic and Blue Snowball iCE are good examples of under $50 condenser microphones.
Pros and cons of a condenser microphone
Pros: Sound quality of the microphone: voluminous and warm Low mass membrane High sound quality thanks to natural recordings More sensitive response to sound waves
Cons: Not suitable as a handheld microphone Greater sensitivity against background noise Sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and humidity The electret condenser microphone
Dynamic microphones are useful for live performances on stage. They are considered to be resilient and are less sensitive to temperature fluctuations than condenser microphones. They overdrive less and are less sensitive to ambient noise or loud sounds, for example from drums. However, the recordings in the upper treble frequencies do not sound as fine as the good condenser microphones.
Most of the microphones of this type have a moving coil capsule that works similarly to a loudspeaker. The micro head is located on the back of the membrane copper coil. It lies in the field of a freely oscillating magnet. Sound waves hit the membrane and move the coil. The movement in the magnetic field creates a voltage and electrical signals are generated. This technology comes without additional phantom power out.
Pros and cons of dynamic microphones:
Pros: No additional power supply required Robust against external influences Less prone to feedback No regulation necessary
Cons: Limited transmission range Less detailed, especially in the uppermost treble frequencies
The USB microphone
USB microphones are standard amateur equipment and are often used for YouTube recordings and private podcast productions. They can be connected directly to the computer, laptop, or mobile device and are immediately ready for use. The recordings can be further processed directly in use. Both dynamic microphones and condenser microphones can have a USB port.
The microphone is compact and has a low price. It combines a microphone, amplifier, and audio interface in one.
Integrated systems and USB transmission cannot keep up with quality XLR systems and additional equipment. Listening in and setting the sound recording is less precise and not possible at all with some USB devices. These microphones can only be expanded to a limited extent with other systems.
Pros and cons of a USB microphone:
Pros: Easy setup Digital processing possible live Low purchase price Compatible with almost all operating systems
Cons: Sound quality lower than with high-quality XLR systems Setting and listening to the recording is often imprecise Not compatible with effects devices and external preamps.
A crucial question before buying a microphone is: How compatible is it with other devices? The microphone can be connected directly to a PC using a USB or jack plug. For higher quality devices with XLR connections such as the AmazonBasics Dynamic Vocal Microphone and the ZINGYOU BM-800, the user needs an additional mixer or audio interface. How good the sound is also depends on the connections. In addition to USB and XLR cables, there are jack, cinch, and radio link connections.
Yes, they are cheap microphones. But they are not designed to be used for a couple of months. A good budget-friendly mic must be reliable, durable, and have good longevity. It’s great if your chosen model has a 100% satisfaction guarantee in the form of a 30-day money-back policy. As for the warranty, 2 years is enough for you to have the value of your money’s worth.
What is the polar pattern? We could say that it is basically how the microphones listen, detect, and take the audio signal. Knowing and understanding the polar pattern of your microphone will allow you to better adapt to each situation.
Omnidirectional: Omnidirectional microphones are those that capture sound with equal gain from any direction. They detect the signal in its entire circumference, capturing everything that surrounds them. The disadvantage of these microphones is that by covering the 360° range, they sometimes capture unwanted noise or instruments (in the case of an orchestra, for example).
Cardioid: This polar pattern is unidirectional. The front of the microphone points is where it will pick up the signal, as its sensitivity range is at the front. It will take the sound to the sides less. This makes it ideal for capturing point sources and rejecting others.
Supercardioid: These microphones are more directional than the cardioid. Although they have a similar polar pattern, the difference is that they have a smaller pick-up range towards the sides, but some signal may leak at the back.
Hypercardioid: This type of microphone features a front pick-up angle that is even tighter than that of a super-cardioid microphone. It allows for greater rejection of unwanted noise. In turn, they are more sensitive to sounds coming from the back.
Bidirectional: A bidirectional microphone has a polar pattern in the shape of a number eight. It has two pickup lobes, one in the front and one in the rear. It is designed to pick up audio in the same way from the front as it does from the rear, without picking up sounds from the side. They are usually used to record two opposing sources, they are common in guest interviews on TV, radio, and podcast.
Dimensions and weight
Large dimensions and high weight are factors that add nothing practical to the device. So, it’s always better to choose lightweight models that are not more than 300 grams. The dimensions depend on the type of mic, so choose a moderately sized product.
The materials used determine the device’s durability, longevity, price, and weight. A mic made of aluminum alloy is usually very light. However, for more sturdiness, choose models made of steel or zinc like the AmazonBasics Dynamic Vocal Microphone. However, the downside is with high weight. Plastics, wood, copper wire are also common materials used in cheap mics.
Microphones sound very different. Good frequencies for voice recordings are the upper mids at around 20,000 Hertz. The mids are often raised in devices for vocal and voice recordings. The better this area can be heard, the easier it is to understand the speaker. The reason: Most consonants in Western languages are in this frequency. If you have a darker voice, you should use a microphone with a bright sound and vice versa.
Modern USB microphones offer more technology than it initially appears. Many have an integrated sound card. This allows headphones to be connected directly to the USB microphone. The following accessories and services are also helpful for podcast production.
Shock mount: The studio microphone must stand securely and be protected from vibrations. Such a holder decouples from the microphone disruptive noises that can arise from structure or footfall noise during a recording. This prevents loud rumbling in the audio signal. The device is clamped into the elastic suspension of the spider, in which it swings freely. For example, it can consist of a zigzag elastic band.
Windscreen/Popscreen: Sounds like “b” or “p” can cause unpleasant, popping noises during a recording. The so-called wind or pop protection, a kind of filter in front of the device, keeps the air and wind noise out. In studio microphones, it is used to protect the device and its sensitive condenser membrane from the moisture that occurs when speaking and singing.
Microphone stand: A bracket on a tripod ensures a secure stand. Microphone spiders too can be attached to it. An adapter that securely connects the bracket, the shock mount and the tripod may be required. The tripod is often used together with a boom with which the device can be positioned precisely. It is securely attached and the distance between the sound source and the microphone can be precisely maintained. As a rule of thumb, there is a hand’s breadth of space between the device and the speaker.
Pop protection: Some sounds can be annoying during recording: A recorded “p”, “t” or “k” sounds like background noise. This is because, with these so-called explosive sounds, air builds up in the mouth and is expelled with one blow. This causes unpleasant, loud sounds, also known as pop noise. Accessories such as a foam cover or a pop screen help against it.
You can clean a condenser and dynamic microphone by using a dry and soft toothbrush to scrub its grille. Ensure the microphone faves downwards during cleaning. For dynamic models, you can clean it with a disinfectant wipe.
If you want the best cheap mic for rapping, our recommended model is the ZINGYOU BM-800. The model is constructed from aluminum. The alloy body is light and it has a frequency range between 20Hz and 20kHz.
Thanks to technology and widespread use of microphones in homes uses, microphones are now getting cheaper because of the demand and increase in research. In a nutshell, the following is our final verdict.
Our Editor’s Choice for the best microphone under 50 dollars is Blue Snowball iCE. This device has a frequency range of 40 to 18,000 Hz. It’s a cheap USB microphone that is not only convincing in terms of sound but also looks.
The Best PC Microphone Under 50 is the Samson Go Mic. The mic is a handy USB microphone with good recording quality. It’s practical for everyone who has their laptop or web book with them and needs a significantly better recording quality than integrated microphones.
The Best Podcast Microphone Under 50 is the ZealSound Studio Recording Microphone. The ZealSound model is a condenser microphone that can be used for streaming and for recording podcasts or vlogs in the home studio. It features a USB connection and can be operated via plug-and-play.