Best Microphones For Voice Overs

best microphones for voice overs

Last Update: October, 2019

Different microphones serve different purposes. If you’re here, the reason you need or want one is to be able to do voice-overs. These types of microphones are different than the ones you would need to use in a recording studio or sound booth.

There are specific qualities you will need if you are searching for a microphone to do voice-overs.

They are also a better quality than just any microphone you would record with because they may pick up background noise, which you don’t want. Here are a few examples of voice over microphones below:

Microphone

Summary

Rode NT1-A

Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone

This microphone is perfect for not only recording voice-overs, but guitar and percussion as well. Above all, it has a 10-year warranty which shows Rode’s confidence in its products.

Audio-Technica AT4040

Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

This microphone has the traditional condenser design that you might find with regular studio microphones. Features a wide dynamic range which allows for a versatile experience in recording.

MXL990 Condenser Mic

MXL 990

This microphone is great for analog and digital recordings. You’d love the sleek, old-school design and built-in preamp for the best professional quality sound.

Blue Spark Condenser Mic

Blue Spark Blackout SL XLR

This small microphone packs a punch with its large-diaphragm cardioid condenser and 20dB pad. Fans love it for podcast and radio recordings.

AKG C214

AKG C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

This microphone comes in two different sizes and styles based on if you need it for vocals or your instrument and is great for recording up close.

Pros:

  • Long dynamic range
  • Versatile for voice and music
  • Comes with pop-shield and mount

Cons:

  • May have issues with the microphone to its connections

More About The Rode NT1-A

These microphones have been around since the nineties and like many other technologies, have grown to become a reliable standard in the industry. You can get studio-quality sound without the studio price.

With its dynamic range, you can use this microphone for all your recording needs. Not only can it be used to record singing, but you can also incorporate and record your instruments as well. This microphone has some of the lowest level of self-noise and is one of the quietest on the market.

This microphone comes with a pop-shield and mount so you can set up an area for your home-based or office-based studio. The pop-shield is designed to focus on your voice and to allow your microphone to be more user-friendly. You can also get a perfect set-up with the help of the 20-foot cord that comes with it.

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Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020

Audio-Technica AT2020

Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Electro Voice RE-20

Electro Voice RE-20

Pros:

  • Large diaphragm preferred by musicians
  • Consistent and reliable
  • Little to no low-frequency distortion

Cons:

  • Requires 48v of phantom power

More About The Audio Technica AT4040

The Audio-Technica utilizes the natural qualities of sound to its advantage with its wide diaphragm. It’s ultra-sensitive to your voice for recording, yet manages to keep outside noise at bay.

Many musicians and producers prefer this microphone because of its sonic consistency and low frequency. It also holds up really well with digital systems. For live work, you can use this with confidence knowing that your voice will be clear and crisp for your listeners. It will provide the kick you need to cut through a heavy mix.

This microphone comes from a company that has been in the music and recording industry for decades. Their reliability and quality of microphones have been consistent over the years.

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Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020

Audio-Technica AT2020

Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Electro Voice RE-20

Electro Voice RE-20

Pros:

  • Built-in preamp
  • Old-school design gives it a unique feel
  • Can be used on analogs

Cons:

  • Works best with phantom power

More About The ​MXL990 Condenser Mic

The MXL990 provides an excellent and clear tone when you’re recording. It has a wide range, but it won’t pick up unnecessary noise. You can also adjust the sound of your voice by re-positioning it, which makes it versatile and mixes things up a bit.

It also has a built-in preamp which makes it easier to produce professional quality results. This, paired with its large diaphragm, makes it appealing for both digital and analog recording.

With this mic, you also have the ability to plug it into your laptop. This makes it an excellent mic to travel with if you needed. The mic is also durable and if slight damage is done to the outside, it may not damage the internal parts at all.

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Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020

Audio-Technica AT2020

Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Electro Voice RE-20

Electro Voice RE-20

Pros:

  • Comes with storage box and mount
  • Great for streaming and broadcast
  • Well-priced for its value

Cons:

  • Amp sold separately

More About The ​Blue Spark Condenser Mic

This is a microphone that would be great for podcasts and radio recordings. It has a smaller sized shell, yet still has the large-diaphragm cardioid condenser inside. This is to ensure that you will be able to record your voice without having any background noise come through.

This mic also minimizes any local sound. This means that if you are sitting at your desk and need to shuffle papers, it won’t carry over to the recording. It also has a USB connection for laptops. Keep in mind, a USB-connected mic needs a program to run off. This program is going to be an important factor on how your sound comes through.

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Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020

Audio-Technica AT2020

Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Electro Voice RE-20

Electro Voice RE-20

Pros:

  • Great for on and off stage
  • Bold sound and versatility
  • Decent price and value

Cons:

  • Crisp sound is best at close range

More About The ​AKG C214

This microphone is durable and can travel with you wherever you go. What’s awesome about this microphone is its versatility. It can be used in the home or on stage, if you are a solo instrumentalist. Because it can be used on stage, it is designed to filter out nearby distracting sounds.

This mic is also reasonably priced and comes with a travel case and mount so you can set up anytime and anywhere.

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Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020

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Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Electro Voice RE-20

Electro Voice RE-20

How to Choose a Microphone for Voice-overs

There are many features of a microphone for voice-overs and what you choose is largely based on your needs. Here are some things to consider when purchasing yours.

Price

If you are just starting out in your voice-over recording career, the price is definitely going to factor in. You may want to try something that is a bit cheaper, so that you can test out the features and decide if you are going to record for the long haul. As you gain experience, you can always upgrade, based on your likes and dislikes.

Gear

Another thing to consider is whether or not you need gear, also known as an additional setup. A lot of the condenser microphones out there work off phantom sound. You may need an amp. It may be easier or more convenient for you to choose a microphone that comes with the amp, the mount and any other gear you might need. Check and see if the gear is sold with the microphone before purchasing.

Microphone Type

A condenser microphone is what you will want to buy, because this is the type of microphone that is going to give your voice that crisp and clear sound. This is also the type that can eliminate or buffer against any background noise so that you come across sounding strong. This way, there are no distractions.

If you are one for convenience, consider getting a microphone with a USB connection. This can easily plug into any USB outlet allowing you some flexibility on how you use it. Phantom power requires a type of amp and if this doesn’t bother you then you’ll want to make sure you get an amp that provides good quality for sound. Keep in mind, when using USB cables, the program that recording on will play a huge part in the quality of your recording.

If multiple people are trying to record on the same microphone at the same time, a uni-directional microphone might not be your best choice. An omnidirectional microphone may better suit you instead. This allows you to accept sound from all directions in the room.

This saves you from having to move the microphone around. Moving a microphone while recording will most likely compromise your sound so you definitely want it to be set up to your specifications before you begin recording.

Cardioid

This microphone is the most popular style of a condenser and unidirectional microphones. A cardioid mic will pick up sound that is coming straight at it. Because it buffers sound from the back and sides, it won’t pick up external noises that may be close by to you. This is a great feature for voice-over because the main focus of this mic is your voice if you are speaking directly into it.

Another variation of this is the super-cardioid. This microphone functions in the same manner as the cardioid, but it filters out even more external noises coming from around the sides and the back of it.

Wind Screen

Having a windscreen or a pop filter will make for a much more user-friendly user experience. It will eliminate noises made by your breath, the clicking of your tongue, and it can soften the harsh edge of certain words.

Setting Up and Testing a Microphone

One thing you will always have to do no matter what condenser microphone you choose, is to set it up and tweak it until you get the sound you want. These mics can be set up in different ways depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, so you may spend a bit of time getting it perfect. Many factors must be considered for the overall tone you’re trying to record.

High-Quality Cables

When you test a microphone, make sure you have high-quality cables that carry as true and balanced of a signal as possible. Try not to use ¼ inch connections and instead use an XLR connection. This will provide the highest quality signal from your microphone.

Frequency Response

Many condenser mics out there are considered large-diaphragm mics, which means they are designed to pick up a lot of lower tones. This could be a male voice, bass instruments, or any other sound on the lower spectrum of the frequency that other microphones may struggle to pick up.

A lot of these microphones can be adjusted based on the tone you need to amplify. However, you will have to tweak it until it is just right. Keep in mind that the angle of the microphone in relation to your mouth will also play a large role in frequency response for any microphone.

For example, if you tilt the microphone to the side, the frequency response will differ than if you speak into it straight on. This can be augmented or diminished, based on the pole pattern of the microphone.

Sensitivity

You will want to test your mic in the area you have chosen to record in. Some may do a better job of keeping out external noises than others. If someone is mowing the lawn while you record, you’ll want to make sure that isn’t carried over to your recording.

The sensitivity also goes for your voice. You will want to practice how loud you speak. Talking too loud into the mic may create a blurry or muffled sound. You want it to sound crisp so that people will understand what you’re trying to convey.

It may also be wise to add a windscreen or pop-filter to mute latent noises made by your breathing or actual wind. These also mute the harshness of the “s” sound when you are speaking.

Try Before You Buy

If you know someone who has a condenser microphone, ask if you can test it out. If you are at a brick and mortar store, they will usually have some set up for you to try out. This is a great way to figure out exactly what it is you’re looking for in a mic before you purchase it.

Testing a microphone before purchasing is important, because recording your voice for something is a personal thing. It is a way for you to express yourself and in a way is an extension of yourself.

A flashy and expensive mic might not be the one that makes your voice sound the way you want it to. You want a microphone that will compliment your voice and make you sound the clearest that you can.

Why Microphone Preamps Are Necessary

Preamp is short for preamplifier. This is necessary for an ideal source of sound. A lot of condenser microphones come with a built-in preamp, but it may benefit you more to have an external one as well.

This additional tool will aid in lowering the external noises even further. It will also give you more control of the final sound that you are trying to reach.

A good preamp can make up for any deficiency in the source input, which in this case would be your voice. If your voice carries more bass, a preamp can richness to the bass of your voice and also supplement the high tones that you’re lacking.

Another important job of the preamp is to make up for any deficit in the space you’re recording in. If the area you’re recording is small, a preamp will provide the bold sound of recording in a larger area.

When recording, you want the richness of your true voice to come through. By testing out different sounds and listening to your recordings, you will be able to figure out exactly how you want to sound.

Conclusion

By choosing a condenser microphone, your voice can come through strong. Additionally, you can achieve the perfect sound of either your voice or your instrument in any room you choose.

Your choice of microphone is going to be what you use to enhance what is already there. Whether you are creating a podcast, recording music, or creating voices for characters, there is a condenser microphone out there for you.

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