Because you’re reading this post, I’ll assume you’re a DIY musician, podcaster, or YouTuber on a budget. 

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

After doing a hefty amount of online research and looking at user reviews, here are the five best microphones for under $50 that I could find.

I noted the average star rating on Amazon in the title for each mic. And I included a 4-, 3-, and 2-star review for each (gotta keep things balanced and objective, you know?).

I tried to find reviews that captured the general sentiment of the other users who left the same number of stars.

Updated December 1, 2019

Here’s what we’ll cover:

Marantz Professional MPM-1000 — 4.4 Stars

Marantz Professional MPM-1000

What users are saying:

4 stars: “Perfect for my podcasting needs.”

3 stars: “Standard quality for the price range. Good product for the price point. But its nothing special.”

2 stars: “The MPM-1000 is a great condenser microphone for $50, but you do get what you pay for.”

Specs and features:

Connector XLR
Pickup Pattern / Type Cardioid / Condenser
Frequency response 20 – 20,000 Hz
Capsule size 18mm
Accessories Windscreen, shock mount, tripod stand
Maximum SPL 136 dB (THD ~ 1%, 1 kHz)
Sensitivity -38 dB +/- 2 dB (0 dB = 1 V/Pa @ 1 kHz)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 77 dB
Self-Noise 17 dBA
Impedance Output 200 ohms
Impedance Load 1000 ohms

Final word:

This seems like a decent mic best used for podcasts or anything that’s not too loud, like gentle vocals or plucked acoustic guitar.

Blue Snowball iCE — 4.4 Stars

Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone

What users are saying:

4-stars: “Really good Microphone! I use it to replace the microphone on my laptop. It can be used for Skype, or if you do a podcast or youtube channel. It is quite clear and has a good range of pick up. What I would not use this for is music. It is not a very good vocal mic or instrument mic.”

3-stars: “The sound quality is pretty good, but it can be really frustrating if you use it on the go a lot. Basically, if you wanna use it, try to have the mic in a consistent stationary location so the fragility doesn’t matter as much.”

2-stars: “The sound quality is the best of any mic I own, and probably the best you can get at this price. BUT, it only works about 1/2 the time. The other times, I plug it in, and nothing happens.”

Specs and features:

Connector USB
Color Options White and Black iCE
Drivers Required None
Microphone Capsules Single
Pickup Pattern Cardioid
Frequency Response 40 –18 kHz
Transducer Type Condenser, Pressure Gradient With USB digital output
Sample/word Rate 44.1 kHz/16 bit

Final word:

Okay, so this one doesn’t sound like a good option for recording music. Maybe you could record vocals with it, but if you’re a musician, there may be better options for you on this list.

Shure SM48-LC — 4.5 Stars

Shure SM48-LC

What users are saying:

4 stars: “I own a vocal studio…and we use these in each of our classrooms to teach our [students] how to use a microphone properly. It is a good lightweight microphone. …For younger kids, it’s a great microphone because it’s heavy duty and not cheaply made.”

3 stars: “Sounds fine on its own. My bandmates can tell the difference between a nice [SM58] and this based on lower/muddier output to the PA.”

2 stars: “Very weak sound. One has to stay very close (almost touching the grilles) to get acceptable (not great) volume level.”

Specs and features:

Type Dynamic
Frequency Response 55 to 14,000 Hz
Pickup Pattern Cardioid (unidirectional)
Output Level Open Circuit Voltage: * -57.5 dBV/Pa (1.3 mV), *1 Pa = 94 dB SPL
Connector XLR

Final word:

Shure is a name you can and should trust. So many great singers and artists use their SM58 mic, which is possibly the most versatile mic in its price range. I think it’s one of the best microphones for recording at home.

Think of the SM48-LC as its little brother.

Yeah, maybe not as good when you compare them side-by-side, but it’s also half the price.

Samson Go Mic — 4.3 Stars

Samson Go Mic

What users are saying:

4 stars: “This little microphone puts out MUCH better quality than that of the internal mic of the computer. It is very durable [and convenient] for travel…”

3 stars: “It’s powerful but it was picking up my background sounds too easily and too loudly. Couldn’t adjust it enough for my tastes but it has some remarkable qualities.”

2 stars: “This mic is a great value but they compromised in an important area: the mini-USB connection on the mic body.”

Specs and features:

Connector USB
System compatibility Mac and PC
Pickup pattern Switchable between cardioid and omnidirectional
Resolution 16-bit, 44.1kHz resolution
Frequency response 20Hz–18kHz
Output 1/8″ stereo headphone output

Final word:

This mic is mainly for podcasting or YouTube videos. But, hey, if you’re a good audio engineer, you could probably get some OK sounds from it.

Samson Meteorite — 4.3 Stars

Samson Meteorite USB Condenser Microphone

What users are saying:

4 stars: “All in all, I like this microphone. it’s quite sensitive so you don’t have to put it too close to your mouth. The only flaw for me is that the USB cable is really short.”

3 stars: “The thing is, it will sound quite good, but only if it is pretty close to your face, like about a foot away. Otherwise, the sound will have a hollow, echo-y quality to it.”

2 stars: “I purchased this microphone to address some background noise problems in my office. Doesn’t work at all for that purpose.”

Specs and features:

Connector USB
PIckup pattern / type Cardioid / condenser
Drivers required None
Resolution 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz
Frequency response 20Hz20kHz

Final word:

I’m not too impressed with this one. The design looks illogical and annoying. But it seems like a great option if you’re using it for gaming, Skype calls, or even podcasting.

The Best Mic Under $50 For DIY Musicians

Out of these microphones under $50, I think the Shure SM48-LC easily wins.

If I were going to buy a new mic and I only had $50, that’s the one I would get.

Shure is just so good and the reviews left by actual users are definitely reassuring.

Hope this review helps! For more reviews of musical/recording equipment, you can go here.

One thought on “The 5 Best Microphones Under $50

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