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Top Microphones Under $1200 For Pop Vocals
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear

Top Microphones Under $1200 For Pop Vocals


I'm newly registered here on the forum but I have been reading it for years. Super excited to finally be a part of it!

I am looking to upgrade my microphone preferably for under $1200 and am planning on buying it used. I would describe my music as a blend between hip hop and pop with my mixes leaning more towards the pop side. I have been recording on an AKG C214 for years and just recently bought a Slate ML-1 Modeling microphone. I do like some of the mic presets on the slate but it is kind of overwhelming for me and I would rather just have one higher end microphone that fits my voice well.

I tend use a lot of compression on my vocals and also raise the high end a good amount if that is helpful. I also attached a couple tracks of mine in case you want to listen to my voice before making a recommendation. Thank you so much for your help!

Recorded on AKG C214:

Recorded on Slate ML-1:


Last edited by ferrini41; 1 week ago at 03:24 AM.. Reason: Moved to "So Much Gear"
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
"Under $1200" covers a lot more than low-end mics. Suggest you ask this be moved to High End or at least the "So Much Gear' (general gear talk) area.
Old 1 week ago
Gear Addict
Of my small collection, I prefer the beyerdynamic m88 for pop vocals. Up front sound, easy to fit in a dense mix, and only $400.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear
DrSax's Avatar
For $1250 the Soundelux U195 is a great and versatile mic. A lot of mic for the $$$
Old 1 week ago
Here for the gear

If you're looking for a mic with a fine and detailed high end (I'm a light tenor with a lower-mid heavy voice and have always had to hype the high end in mixes), I'd heartily recommend auditioning the sE Gemini series. I have a Gemini II and it's a fine, bright and bold sounding mic.

I upgraded the stock valves in mine to some NOS military spec Philips units which have opened the mic up beautifully. This and my sE Icis (a single valve LDC which is darker sounding than the Gemini) are my main vocal mics, I've had great results from both but would imagine the Gemini would suit your vocals a lot better. My NT1A, a fine budget mic by any measure, is dull in comparison to the sE units.

My vocal on the track below is the Gemini, through a Focusrite ISA 430.

Old 1 week ago
Gear Head
For that money and pop vocals, you can look at a 414, or any of the various C12 and 251 clones. This could be Peluso, Beesneez, Advanced Audio, ADK, etc. Might be worth looking at Telefunken’s new TF series. I had access to a Mojave MA200 for a while and it was killer on pop vocals. The Bock/Soundelux U195 has also impressed me from clips.

Austrian Audio are also in the same vein but as a newer mic, you’d have trouble finding them used.

Vanguard V13 also comes to mind. Lots of options.
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