The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Worthwhile dirt cheap mic(s)?
Old 5th June 2017
  #1
Lives for gear
Worthwhile dirt cheap mic(s)?

Not thinking even home studio probably, but something really cheap for just rough demos etc....is there anything below about $50 that's notably better than the $6.95 karoke style mics? This is one of the few sites I found that seems to think so... The Best Microphone for an Under $50 Budget | Mic Reviews

That $20ish CAD is kind of the thing I was thinking but don't know if there would be any diff between that and the toy mics (if that's not one itself even). Anyone w/experience on any of these or something similar?

EDITs for clarification:

- to be used on laptop, no AI, so condensers are out.
- new only; I don't buy used.
Old 6th June 2017
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
zero64's Avatar
 

The best mics under $50 are the ones you spot by watching Craigslist (or whatever its local equivalent is for you) closely. I've seen SM57s and low end SDCs (Apex, MXL) for $50. They usually don't last long at that price, but if you're patient they do come up.
Old 6th June 2017
  #3
Lives for gear
 
celticrogues's Avatar
 

The iSk Pro Audio Pearl is pretty great for $30.

-Mike
Old 6th June 2017
  #4
Lives for gear
Appreciate the replies. I'm still researching Wow a condenser for $30...I confess I'm skeptical but if it's even half-decent that'd be quite a bargain....although it apparently doesn't come w/the cord, which is another $10-15, plus shipping costs. Not a big deal per se, but when you're looking at dirt cheap...... maybe I'll just take my chances at Best Buy lol
Old 7th June 2017
  #5
Gear Nut
 
twinned's Avatar
Your money would be far better spent on the ISK pearl than at Best Buy. Have you looked at monoprice's cables? They're great value.

Do you have an audio interface?
Old 7th June 2017
  #6
Lives for gear
Again by the time you add in cables and shipping you're talking about $50, which may be the cutoff after all for something even for rough demos..guess that's what I'm wondering
Old 7th June 2017
  #7
Gear Nut
 
twinned's Avatar
If you're willing to spend about $50 the only viable option I'm aware of is the BLUE Snowball. You would probably get better results with a used sm57 or pearl, but if you don't already own an audio interface these are out of the question.

On the other hand, if you're worried $50 is too much, you might be best off using your phone/computer's internal mic if you have one. For rough demos, it will suffice. I doubt a $20 mic will offer any meaningful improvement. It will likely even sound worse.
Old 7th June 2017
  #8
Lives for gear
 
GZsound's Avatar
There are a couple of decent mics that don't cost much. GLS ES57 and ES58 mics are a great bargain at $30 each. Samson C02 condensers for $60 each are pretty cool mics. And Craigslist can be a great place to buy good mics for cheap.
Old 7th June 2017
  #9
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by twinned View Post
if you're worried $50 is too much, you might be best off using your phone/computer's internal mic if you have one. For rough demos, it will suffice. I doubt a $20 mic will offer any meaningful improvement. It will likely even sound worse.
Having tried the computer internal mic thing, I know that's simply not true. Even a karoke $6.95 mic would probably sound better than that and surely won't sound worse. Those internal things are horrific (not that I would expect much anyway).

Again I am not looking for anything more than very modest quality for very modest needs. I care little about specs etc. Basically sound decent, don't give me a lot of static, buzzing etc in the background (as I've heard can be an issue w/some) and don't break 6 mos down the road. I guess I am/was hoping for about a $20-30ish range for something like that. Oh and I don't have an AI currently so I would prefer a USB mic. Yeah I could by an adapter but again that cuts into the whole point of spending little......

Might be a pipe dream but figured it can't hurt to ask/look. I might give one a shot and if it doesn't pan out, I haven't lost much.
Old 7th June 2017
  #10
Lives for gear
PS those suggesting specific mics, this is experience talking right?
Old 7th June 2017
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Phil Cibley's Avatar
 

I see lots of used AudioTechnica and Shure PZM style mics on Ebay for $20
or less. Nothing could be easier for recording rehearsals, etc. Just put 2
on the floor in front of the band and you're all set.
Old 7th June 2017
  #12
The AKG P4 and AKG P5 are awesome.
Old 7th June 2017
  #13
Lives for gear
Thx but I don't buy used audio gear....

I was at Target and decided to mull over to where they have what little they have...there is a Samson M10 dynamic for $19 I might give a go. Includes cable and adapter (it is actually an XLR mic), so that's basically total cost. Looked but saw little in the way of reviews/etc online.
Old 7th June 2017
  #14
Lives for gear
 
GZsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
PS those suggesting specific mics, this is experience talking right?
As far as my post is concerned, yes. I have and do run sound for national bluegrass bands with GLS ES57 microphones on instruments. And I get great compliments on the sound.

Normally, bad sound is caused by the loose nut on the mixer.
Old 8th June 2017
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by GZsound View Post
As far as my post is concerned, yes. I have and do run sound for national bluegrass bands with GLS ES57 microphones on instruments. And I get great compliments on the sound.
Thx

Quote:
Normally, bad sound is caused by the loose nut on the mixer.
For me normally the bad sound is caused by the loose nut on the other end of the mic lol - but thx I'll keep in mind
Old 8th June 2017
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by twinned View Post
On the other hand, if you're worried $50 is too much, you might be best off using your phone/computer's internal mic if you have one. For rough demos, it will suffice. I doubt a $20 mic will offer any meaningful improvement. It will likely even sound worse.
I think my iphone sounds better than something like a 57 as long as you don't overload it. If you need to record a really loud source that might not work, but for something like acoustic/singer-songwriter demos it should definitely be an improvement over any $20 mic.
Old 8th June 2017
  #17
Lives for gear
 
esldude's Avatar
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...droid--390-810

I have one of these and it really works. It is pretty flat from 18 hz to 20 khz. Reasonably low distortion. Sounds truthful as long as you don't overload it. Not that easy to overload as it is rated to 127 db input. Plugs into smartphones, tablets and some laptop computers. Some Android devices chop off everything above 8 khz. Apple phones and tablets give you the full range. $16.25 for it.

I would suggest buying the extension cable and note it uses a TRRS cable and input connection.

So don't know exactly what you have in mind, for talking, podcasting or even lite music recording it will do pretty good for peanuts. Takes EQ well if you want to emulate vocal mikes with a bit of color. It is not USB, but you don't need anything else to make it work.

I haven't used one of these lavalier mikes, but it also will work with tablets and phones while likely having decent sound.
https://www.parts-express.com/audio-...hone--240-5510
Old 8th June 2017
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill5 View Post
Thx

For me normally the bad sound is caused by the loose nut on the other end of the mic lol - but thx I'll keep in mind


The non-electret small diaphragm Chinese condensers seem great for the money. I've got a Gear4Music one, this Nady CM90 is probably similar:

https://www.amazon.com/Nady-Small-Di...dp/B00013BMT4/
Old 9th June 2017
  #19
MXL V67g...still one of the best cheap LDCs.
Old 9th June 2017
  #20
Lives for gear
Argh, dummy me didn't realize I don't have a mic jack on this laptop, d'oh. Gotta get a USB adapter. (This is not for "smart phone" use)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
MXL V67g...still one of the best cheap LDCs.
Old 12th June 2017
  #21
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Cad tsm 411 and the AT Pro63
Old 13th June 2017
  #22
Old 13th June 2017
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Fast_Fingers's Avatar
 

Behringer XM8500. Good enough for male vocals, and fighting against feedback. I'm guessing you have a Focusrite 2i2 or some simple USB interface.
Old 14th June 2017
  #24
Lives for gear
 
M.S.P.'s Avatar
I bought a couple of the Pyle sm57 copies that were stupid cheap.... and they werent bad at all really, just unbalanced (but moddable to balanced).
Old 14th June 2017
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Try an EV 257a or b. Sound pretty close to a Sennheiser 421. They go on ebay for 50 or less.
Old 14th June 2017
  #26
Gear Addict
 
Gitaarwerk's Avatar
I have a Samson dynamic mic. They are great for the money. I wanted a cheap all round mic. It costed me about 25 euros ;-). Its very solid, perhaps not as indestructable as shures, but the money is a quarter
Old 19th August 2017
  #27
Lives for gear
 
dickiefunk's Avatar
I picked up my Sennheiser E838's for Β£40 brand new when they were being discontinued. They go for even less secondhand now!
Old 19th August 2017
  #28
Old 19th August 2017
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
I don't buy used audio gear...
That's crazy talk.
Old 20th August 2017
  #30
Lives for gear
I was in a thrift store in a small town on an island this past week end

They had a box with some random electronics in it, sifting through I found an AKAI RMS20. Pretty crappy mic, but I have another one so for $2 what the hell right? Now I can have crap in stereo.

Then I find a mic shaped like a 58, standard live mic, but it has "Cardioid Electroylic Condenser" and nothing else printed on it. XLR male connection, pretty heavy, so for another $2 what the hell right?

I start poking around, unscrewing it, and see that it takes a AA battery (So I'm thinking AKG C1000 ish maybe?"

Two days ago, I get home and start shooting it out...

SM7? Beat it

421? Beat it

57? Hahaha! Not even close

414c? Sounded about the same!

I've tested it on vocals and guitar cabs, it handles SPL like a champ, when signing it is VERY sensitive to the singer's orientation, proximity effect for sure, but if you can maintain your posture....wow

For guitar's it's frigging amazing! A-B ing with a 57 and 421 was shocking! It cleaned up any excess mud while delivering detail and meat that neither the 57 or 421 or the two together could match.

So if this thing had ANY brand markings on it at all I would recommend it, but there is NOTHING printed on it ANYWHERE,

It gave superior detail, clarity and perfectly contained low end when tested against the 414 on all sources....IF positioned correctly...this thing is going to get a major workout this week, we'll see how things end up

But for $2? GODDAMN!
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 57 views: 18337
Avatar for FFTT
FFTT 21st January 2014
replies: 1104 views: 224747
Avatar for Audio Atelier
Audio Atelier 5 days ago
replies: 2091 views: 343453
Avatar for 2mmi
2mmi 1 day ago
replies: 70 views: 97934
Avatar for MicheleS76
MicheleS76 4 weeks ago
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
πŸ–¨οΈ Show Printable Version
βœ‰οΈ Email this Page
πŸ” Search thread
πŸŽ™οΈ View mentioned gear
Forum Jump
Forum Jump