In this article we’ll look at five cheap but excellent studio microphones for voice over, narration, foley or ADR recording. I’ll only be looking at microphones in the $200 to $400 (at the time of writing) range.

As explained in Recording Audio, condenser microphones, like all microphones, use a diaphragm. The larger the diaphragm, the better the low level sounds. However, the smaller the diaphragm, the louder you can go.

In a studio environment, you must have total control over room tone, noise, reverb, etc. Ideally you need a ‘dead’ environment.

Sometimes, you might need to record music instruments or some foley. There are two ways to deal with this: Either have only one microphone doing double duty, or have different microphones for different jobs.

The two kinds of microphones you’ll need are:

  • Condenser microphones
  • Dynamic microphones

There are no rules regarding the choices of condenser vs dynamic microphones but here are some rules of thumb:

  • Condenser microphones have more ‘depth’ for recording human voices
  • Dynamic microphones can withstand moisture and abuse, which make them ideal for stage recordings or foley
  • Musical instruments vary greatly, and each kind of instrument might need a matching ‘mate’ when it comes to a studio microphone. This is extremely subjective, and is beyond the scope of this article.

Here are five budget studio microphones that will do the job for a small post-house or studio (no particular order):


VO: 1-A Harlan Hogan Signature Series Microphone


Rode NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Microphone


Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone


Rode NT2A Vocal Condenser Microphone


Shure SM57-X2U Cardioid Dynamic Microphone with X2U XLR-to-USB Signal Adapter

This last microphone is a general purpose dynamic microphone, with a USB attachment. It’s not expensive, and is a tough mic to have in a tight spot.


In addition to the microphone, you might need the following accessories (some of these come with the microphone kit):

Stands – like the On Stage MS7701 Tripod Boom Microphone Stand, On Stage DS7200B Adjustable Desk Mic Stand, or the Musician’s Gear Die-Cast Mic Stand.

Pop Filter – like the Nady MPF-6 6-Inch Clamp On Microphone Pop Filter or Nady SSPF-4 Spider Shockmount with Integrated Pop Filter.

Shock-proof mount/holder – like the ISK SHM-9A Studio Microphone Shock Mount Clip Holder.

Portable Booths – like the The Porta-Booth Pro. If your talent is going to be unavailable for ADR, this might be a life-saver.

One reply on “5 Budget Studio Microphone Options for Post Production”

  1. I run a recording studio since more than 20 years, own some of your above recommended studio mikes, but for field recording with the very mobile BMPCC I highly recommend another studio mike: the Soundman in ear OKM classic with phantom adapter A3, delivering line signal for the little poor BM input. Find more infos here:

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