Best Microphone For Voice Over

Talk about a dynamic media file, the impact of a powerful voice over cannot be described by words. The voice speaks for itself after all! You have managed to create a high definition video with a lot of effort. Would you want a poor quality voice over to mar the effects? Obviously not! This is what makes voice over equipment so crucial.

Voice over equipment you might need include headphones, microphone, the microphone stand or shock mount, acoustic treatment tools and pop filters. So, let’s get to the most important piece of equipment here- the microphone. To pick from the best voice over mics, you should first ask yourself few questions about the budget, pre-amp set up available, availability of phantom power and other similar considerations.

To ease your confusion a bit, here is a list of the 4 most popular voice over microphone options in the market.

The best microphones for voice over:

To make your voice over sound powerful and clear, we know how important a mic can be. Cardioid mics are known to give you the best of both worlds by combining the benefits of figure-8 and omnidirectional models. This hybrid pattern is one of the most popular and so we have compiled here a catalogue of the 4 best cardioid mics each with different additional features.

Microphone modelNotable specs
Rode NT1-A Vocal Condenser Microphone1” capsule, Polar pattern- cardioid, Output impedance- 100ohm
Apogee MIC SE Electronics sE2200a II C Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser MicrophonePolar pattern- cardioid, 1” diaphragm
Blue Microphones Bluebird Cardioid Condenser MicrophoneCardioid condenser mic, High pass filter, Output impedance- 50ohm
Neumann M 147Cardioid polar pattern, Output impedance- 50ohm, Transformerless output

Now let’s get into the detailed specifications and review of each of the above-listed product to throw some light and ease your decision making process.

Rode NT1-A Vocal Condenser Microphone

First look:

With perfect styling, this mic comes with great features and an impressive performance along with good looks as well. This one features a 1” inch capsule and a diaphragm that is gold plated. The overall construction of the mic, as well as the mount pattern, looks a lot like its predecessor NT1. The final touch of nickel which replaces the lacquer finish in NT1 is one main difference you would notice in the looks.rode mic review

Performance overview:

For professional recording in the studios, this is one of the most popular ones on the market. The wide dynamic range offered by this product is one main advantage. You need not worry about the noise levels which are almost negligible in this. The self-noise level is 5dB (A). The NT1A was released as an upgraded version of the NT1 not just in terms of the external looks but also some of the main features of the product.

Besides having a better frequency response, the internal circuit has also been tweaked. The frequency range specified is 20Hz to 20kHz and this one stays true to the specs and covers the entire range without much difficulty. The internal capsule shock mounting of the mic offers a vibration free clear and detailed sound recording. This one needs phantom power. The package comes as a complete solution as it has the microphone, a pop shield which is removable, cable (20ft long XLR), SM6 shock mount and a dust cover to secure your microphone.This microphone system comes with a 3-pin XLR output and thus it makes a great choice for a large scale studio set up.

Pros:

  • It comes as a complete package. So you do not have to hunt for a suitable shock mount or pop filter.
  • The pricing of the product, with all the high-end features you would look for in a voice over mic makes it an economic purchase.
  • The warranty of the product can be extended by 10 years if you register your product on the manufacturer’s website

Cons:

  • The impressive response of the mic is both a pro and a con. Sometimes it might pick even the slightest background noise if any.

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Apogee MIC SE Electronics sE2200a II C Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone

First look:

Revamping the first 2200a model slightly here is a black one which looks sleek. It is new with its features and looks alike. This one has remained a popular choice among various artists globally due to its unmatchable performance in this segment. The non-reflective matte finish black microphone comes also as a combo along with matching black pop filter, and shock mounts as well.

se2200 mic reviewPerformance overview:

Though the model is available in both multi-pattern and cardioid versions, we are here considering only the cardioid version of this. One of the best aspects about these mics is the craftsmanship displayed in the capsule. Intricately crafted by hand, the brass capsules at the core are what make these unique, giving it a vintage vibe in its performance and standard. Along with the product, you would be able to purchase a shock mount that comes with innovative quick release fixture making it easy to mount the mic. So you would not be spending time on setting up the whole unit. It wouldn’t require any type of adjustments either. The pop filter comes attached to the isolation pack for the shock mount. The curved design of the pop filter efficiently shields all external noise.

Pros:

  • The vocal isolation feature of this product is what allows it to deliver crystal clear sound recording.
  • The background noise filtering performance is impressive.
  • All types of tones can be reproduced in naturally in this.

Cons:

  • The pop filter included with the isolation pack though comes as a convenient one, is definitely not the best in filtering.

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Blue Microphones Bluebird Cardioid Condenser Microphone

First look:

This large diaphragm mic looks nothing like an ordinary microphone. Its unique “blue” body with gold-tone Mylar diaphragm makes this one stand out in the crowd. Be it for vocals or instruments, you have here a mic that would definitely impress you with its performance.

Performance overview:

bluebird voiceoverThe quality of the recording is great with this product mainly due to the high pass filter it has. This also makes it a favorite in the instrument studios for guitarists. For acoustics, the depth and the details in the sound are caught precisely. The true tones in electric guitar performances are captured equally well. With this mic, you get rich low frequencies, clear upper frequencies, and smooth mid ones. The -20dB pad delivers crystal clear sound effortlessly. The resonance for the high frequencies is pretty good and this is one thing that makes the vocals clear in the mix. For enhancing the sound precision, there is a Class-A circuit under the hood. Whether you want the high pass filter mode or the -20dB pad, you can easily and quickly set it while you perform with the convenient toggle switch included.

Pros:

  • The cardioid pattern in this one is one of the most defined polar patterns. This allows intricate sound capture and rejection of the off-axis sounds.
  • Given the wide frequency range, with a couple of these mics, you would easily be able to record a drum kit jamming session with ease.
  • No more rumbles being captured from the instruments as there is a precise high pass filter.
  • When toggled to the -20dB pad, it makes it easier to handle loud sound sources
  • The testing strategies of this brand are some of the best in the industry. Each mic being sold comes with a stringent set of tests and this would mean that you get the highest quality delivered.

Cons:

  • The ultra-sensitive diaphragm sometimes leaves out few sounds when the vocalist is too close to the mic. A short distance when maintained, however, the performance can’t be beaten.
  • Fitting the shock mount in this model might be a tad bit difficult till you master the knack of it.

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Neumann M 147

First look:

If you are looking for a very professional option, here is one mic that you can buy without a doubt. Winning the trust and acclaim of all its users, this classy one comes with top-notch features built in an elegant silver body. The smooth nickel finish on the mic adds a unique flair to the looks.

Performance overview:

If you are looking for a professional microphone with wide frequency range and a flat response this one is a great choice. Voice and instruments can both be delivered with pristine quality. The iconic K47 capsule included is what makes this one perform equally well in the entire frequency range. The self-noise here is surprisingly low thanks to the transformerless output of the device. If you ever wondered how this mic is so sensitive in capturing vocals and instrument tones, it can be credited to the design of the product in such a way that it can capture “air” in the cardioid much more effectively than most of its competitors.

Pros:

  • It delivers a stereo like output with its refined spatial characteristics.
  • This is one of the best microphones that work perfectly in combination with an instrument amplifier delivering the richest sound output.
  • Every Neumann user would tell you how impressive the K 47 capsule is and this one which is found in some of the classic models is found in this model as well.
  • The product comes as a package that includes the mic cable and an aluminum case for the mic. The power supply module also comes along and this is one convenient aspect.

Cons:

  • The price of the product might be one factor that stops many from buying this one. but remember that if you are buying for a large studio and if you are looking for a versatile mic that can perform equally well with all the instruments, this one is worth every penny spent.

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Voice Over Mic Buyers Guide

Broadly speaking, voiceover microphones could be of two main types- condenser and dynamic. The other classification could be based on the input/output interface and ports. For professional studios, the traditional XLR cable ones are chosen. But then for standard input ports, you might need an additional interface in between. Those that come with XLR input ports and USB interface for the output would make it easy to be connected to a computer. There are those that come with direct audio inputs and these are definitely not the best choices to pick. If you are looking for something that comes with its own audio interface, you have the USB mics.

If you are looking for a more convenient solution without the need for spending on intermediate interfaces, USB mics are the best low budget options. Those microphones that you would find in most studios – be it to record singing or instruments are the condenser mics with the large diaphragm. The detailing of the recorded sound with this type is pretty impressive. For radio stations, where high frequencies would not require a high amount of detailing, there are dynamic broadcast mics.

Once you have decided the above basic characteristics you want in the mic then come the other factors like the actual room set up, shock mounts, and other stationing accessories you might need along with it. Collectively put together, you would be able to make a good decision.

Best Microphone For Voice Over – Final Word

With microphones, the fact to remember that even the best of the devices would not give the desired output if you have a bad set up and the bad set of accessories that go with it. So your investment would involve the whole setup including the vocal booth or instrument room ambiance and noise control facilities. So, plan a budget accordingly. The first 3 models in our list above fall in the affordable category of microphones. The last one is a pricier option but it is a worthwhile investment due to the impeccable performance it offers. This is why it is famous in popular studios. Hope this clears some of the questions in your mind and help you buy your voice over microphone without a second thought.