So you’ve started building your home studio and now the time has come to buy a microphone. But which one do you choose? You want to make an investment that will last and be sure that it is best for your needs.

First, there are three types of microphones:

  1. Condenser microphones (with a diaphragm which can be moved) are best for recording louder instruments such as drums.
  2. Dynamic microphones (with a diaphragm which cannot be moved) are best suited to use with amplified guitar or vocals.
  3. Ribbon microphones (which do not have a diaphragm at all) reproduce the sounds around them very well, but also pick up background noise and vibrations like a condenser microphone. These types of microphones work best with amplified instruments and vocals.

Now that we’ve got the technicalities out of the way, we can finally present you with 7 home studio microphones for under $500.

#1: Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B is a classic and one of the best microphones in its price range. The SM7B is a dynamic microphone – it best suits amplified instruments, such as guitar and vocals. This model has an excellent bass range for bright clean singing and aggressive sounding snare drum or kick drum.

It will also give your recordings that “radio” sound when trying to cut through static. The SM7B will make you stand out from the rest of the studio musicians, as this microphone has been best known as Michael Jackson’s favorite.

#2: Aston Microphones Spirit

Aston Spirit best suits home studio recording vocals. Aston Spirit is best suited for singers who sing jazz, rock or soul. It works best on an acoustic guitar and has a rich sound when used with vocals.

This is easily one of the best home studio microphones and is also used by professional singers. The Spirit doesn’t have a flat response, so it allows you to give your recordings some character.

#3: AKG Perception 220

AKG Perception 220 is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone, making it best suited for recording vocals. This model has a cardioid polar pattern that isolates the sound you are recording and thus giving your home studio recordings that “professional” touch.

The outdoor noise makes no difference whatsoever to the recording quality, even if you sing right beside it. This microphone will also stand out among other musicians in the studio.

#4: MXL 990 Condenser Microphone

MXL 990 Condenser Microphone is a great home studio microphone as it suited for recording both vocals and instruments, especially guitar amplifiers. The 3-pattern switch makes this device versatile enough for a number of uses.

The MXL 990 Condenser Microphone is a budget-friendly mic that doesn’t make you lose quality for the price you pay. If you want to give your home recording studio an edge, this microphone should be your top pick from our list!

#5: Rode NT1 Condenser Microphone

Rode NT1 Condenser Microphone is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone that best suits recording vocals. Rode NT1 is also recommended for recording horns, strings, amps and drum overheads thanks to its cardioid polar pattern.

If you want your studio work to stand out from others, this mic will do just that. It is a bit pricey, but that’s because this is a quality product from one of the most popular brands in this industry.

With this mic you will be able to record all sorts of genres – from rap and hip-hop to rock, jazz and blues.

#6: Shure SM57

Shure SM57 is the most affordable mic on this list. It is a dynamic microphone that’s best suited for recording electric guitar amps or drums. The frequency response on this model is tailored specifically for close-miking of guitar amplifiers, brass, woodwind, drums and percussion.

In fact, this is one of the most popular microphones in the world due to its rugged construction and versatility. Due to its frequency response it’s a great mic for recording loud sources such as guitar amps or drums without adding any unwanted coloration.

#7: AKG Perception 170

Last but not least, we have the AKG Perception 170. This is a small-diaphragm condenser microphone that can best suit recording acoustic instruments, such as guitar and piano.

The downside of this mic however is its low output level – you will need to buy an extra preamp or interface with it in order to make good use of it. Despite this, the AKG Perception 170 is still recognized as one of the best studio mics out there!

So there you have it – 7 great microphones for under $500 that will give your home recording studio an edge. If you want to stand out from other musicians in the studio, these mics are what you need!