So you’re looking to buy (or sell) a microphone and you’re wondering what price would be acceptable. Having a good comprehension of microphones and their applications will help tremendously in understanding the cost of a microphone.
How much do microphones cost? Microphone prices ranges from pennies to tens of thousands of dollars. This is because mics range from tiny consumer electrets (well under a dollar) to high-end studio-grade ribbon and condenser mics to highly valued vintage mics (thousands of dollars). Caveats sell for tens of thousands of dollars.
In this article, we’ll discuss why microphones cost as much as they do and take a closer look at real examples of microphone pricing.
Table Of Contents:
- Typical Price Ranges Per Microphone Type
- Price Factors Of Microphones
- Are Expensive Microphones Better?
- Price Ranges With Microphone Examples
- Price Ranges Of Microphone Accessories
- Related Questions
Typical Price Ranges Per Microphone Type
There are thousands of different microphone models on the market today. To go through each of these and provide an MSRP (manufacturer specified retail price) for each would take ages, and likely wouldn’t provide as much practical value to you, the reader, as it sounds like it would in theory.
So instead, I present to you a list of common microphone types along with their price ranges.
In the following list, I am stating the lowest and highest retail prices I find online for each of the microphone types. Expect the price points at the low end to represent the consumer-grade microphones and the prices at the high-end to represent the professional quality microphones from highly reputable manufacturers.
I’ll add links to the microphones that coincide with the price points if they are worth mentioning. Many of the low-end microphones are cheap, low-quality models that I’d never suggest purchasing, so I will not mention them in this list.
So without further ado, the price ranges of common microphone types:
Note that these prices were found by quickly searching common online microphone retailers such as Amazon, Sweetwater, Thomann, Front End Audio, B&H Photo, and Studio Economik.
|Microphone Type||Price Point Low-End||Price Point High-End|
|Moving-coil dynamic microphones||$10||$899
Sennheiser MD 441U
|Passive ribbon dynamic microphones||$65|
t.bone RB 100
|Active ribbon dynamic microphones||$121|
|Small-diaphragm condenser microphones||$27||$6,200
Neumann M 150 Tube (tube microphone)
|Large-diaphragm condenser microphones||$11||$9,990
Sony C-800G (tube microphone)
|Electret condenser microphones||$0.24|
|Tube condenser microphone||$114|
t.bone SCT 700 B-Stock
Brauner VM1S (stereo mic)
DPA d:screet CORE 6060
Schoeps CMIT 5U
Antelope Edge Go (modeling system)
*A note for measurement microphones: many companies, such as Bruel & Kjaer, have much more expensive “microphone calibration systems” than the mentioned Earthworks M50*
Price Factors Of Microphones
Here is a list of the general factors that determine, to some extent, the selling price of a microphone.
- Parts: The specific parts and the number of individual parts of a microphone are a big determining factor of cost. For example, the increased complexity and the cost of parts make active tube microphones much more expensive than passive moving-coil dynamics.
- Part materials: The cost of materials is a factor in microphone price as well. The differences in price between the ideal material and less-than-ideal “good enough” material will vary from part to part.
- Labour/craftsmanship: Many reputable microphone manufacturers (and “boutique” mic shops) manufacture their microphones in small batches or even one at a time. This allows for extreme attention to detail and expert craftsmanship to shine through in their microphones, which produces high-quality and consistent products. These manufacturing techniques costs much more time (and money) than cheaper assembly line types of manufacturing.
- Product testing: Perhaps another part of labour is the intense testing that high-end microphones of reputable companies go through before ever reaching the customer. This, of course, takes time and energy, and warrants more money. Through thorough testing, the microphones can be assured to be performing at their full potential before their first use outside the manufacturing facility.
- Research and development: It’s no mystery that the high-end microphone companies are the ones that tend to be industry leaders in innovation. Buying from high-end manufacturers helps them to continue to develop awesome high-quality microphones. Neumann, Royer, and AEA come to mind.
- Advertising: Whether you like it or not, advertising often needs to be done. Few and far between are the microphone manufacturing companies that do not spend money on advertising.
- Brand name/microphone recognition: Though this may seem silly, brand names do count in the audio industry (and many other industry *cough cough* fashion). Let’s just say that producers (and professional talent alike) will notice if your vocal booth is equipped with a Neumann U87 or an MXL 770.
- Customer support: Many high-quality reputable microphone manufacturers offer excellent customer support, warranties, and repair services. This, of course, also costs money, and sometimes this is made up in the original purchase costs of their microphones.
- Company overhead: Like any brick-and-mortar product-based manufacturing business, they need to make profit on their products in order to pay employees and keep the lights on at their facilities.
Are Expensive Microphones Better?
So the big question is…
Are expensive microphones better? In general, expensive mics “sound” better than inexpensive mics. However, past a certain level of quality the difference in results is not always noticeable to the average ear. Also, ideal mic choice is situation specific, so in some cases, a $100 dynamic mic can outperform a $10,000 tube condenser.
Basically, the sound of a microphone is subjective. Is a top-of-the-line tube condenser like the Sony C-800G better than an inexpensive moving-coil dynamic like the Shure SM57?
Well, if you’re recording Eminem’s vocals in the studio, the $9,990 C-800G tube mic is a much better choice (that’s the actually microphone used on the vast majority of Eminem’s records). However, if you’re miking a snare drum in a live venue, the $100 SM57 is by far the better choice.
So which microphone is better? The Sony C-800G certainly sound amazing, but the Shure SM57 have been used on infinitely more records. Of course, this is an extreme example, but it illustrates an important point: it all depends on the situation.
Many in the audio industry would argue that the prices of many high-end microphones are inflated. Though perhaps they are, refer back to the factors that would explain the high price of a microphone.
That being said, it’s often the case that a microphone that retails at a fraction the cost of a high-end microphone will yield similar results. Similarly, it’s often possible to make a cheaper microphone sound more expensive with proper procession (equalization and compression).
Though this is a vague answer to “are expensive microphones better?” it’s the best answer I’ve got for you.
Price Ranges With Microphone Examples
As mentioned, the price range of microphones is very wide (ranging from pennies to tens of thousands of dollars for a single microphone).
So what kind of microphones can we expect at certain price points? I’ve placed microphones in the following price ranges according to their manufacture specified retail prices (MSRPs).
Please note that the following prices are in USD. I will add links to Amazon to provide pricing examples, so I should also note that MyNewMicrophone is an Amazon Affiliate (if you buy any microphone from the link posted in this article, I will get a commission).
The Price Ranges:
- Less Than $1
- $1 – $50
- $50 – $100
- $100 – $250
- $250 – $500
- $500 – $1,000
- $1,000 – $5,000
- $5,000 And Above
Less Than $1
Though you certainly won’t find any studio microphones in this range, there are certainly mic capsules on the market that only cost a fraction of a dollar.
Small Diaphragm Electret Capsules
Many small electret condenser microphone capsules can be purchased for under $1. These are the most common microphones in the world and are kind of microphones found in consumer electronics like laptops and cellphones.
These cheap capsules are typically made of a back electret capacitor, a simple JEFT, two signal wires, and a protective case. You’ll often find the mics for sale in packages that contain multiple mics since they are so cheap individually.
Cylewet Electret Condenser (featured) MSRP: $0.70
$1 – $50
There are quite a few inexpensive consumer-grade microphones on the market. Most of the companies that are involved with consumer-grade mics are not involved with professional microphones. That being said, some reputable companies (Shure comes to mind) have inexpensive microphones that retail for under $50.
Small Diaphragm Electret Capsules
Some consumer electret microphone capsules, like the one mentioned above, cost more than a dollar. These capsules are often of higher quality or they are simply manufactured with higher labor costs.
These are, again, the simple microphones you’d find in consumer electronics like cell phones and laptops.
Adafruit MAX4466 (featured) MSRP: $6.95
Consumer-Grade High-Impedance Microphones
There are plenty of consumer-grade unbalanced high-impedance microphones on the market. These mics are typically sold as toys or for karaoke systems. Rarely will these microphones cost more than $50 USD.
The signals from consumer-grade high-impedance microphones are not compatible with most professional mic inputs and are not used professionally.
Pyle Pro PDMIK1 (featured) MSRP: $9.60
Low-End Moving-Coil Dynamic Microphones
Many low-end moving-coil dynamic microphones can be purchased for under $50 USD. These mics are often chosen as inexpensive options for jam spaces and mutli-purpose room public address systems.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with these inexpensive bare-bones dynamic mics, but their limitations often yield lacklustre results in professional recordings and sound reinforcement.
Shure PGA48 (featured) MSRP: $43.00
Shure is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.
Consumer-Grade Condenser Microphones
Due to the intricate nature of condenser microphone transducers, it’s difficult to make cheap ones sound amazing. That being said, there are plenty of consumer-grade condenser mics on the market that will work.
You are not likely to find a professional microphone brand with a condenser microphone under $50 USD.
Tonor 516BL (featured) MSRP: $32.00
Consumer-Grade Wireless Microphones
A good professional wireless system will never retail at under $50. However, there are definitely cheap wireless mics on the market.
These consumer-grade wireless mics work well enough in small distances bu should not be relied on in professional settings.
FININE K025 (featured) MSRP: $30.00
Consumer-Grade Lavalier/Mini Microphones
There are many consumer-grade lavalier and small podium microphones on the market. These mics are often built from simple electret capsule (like those mentioned earlier) and send unbalanced mic signals.
Consumer-grade lavs and excellent for Youtube and other video platforms but are often overlooked in professional video environments.
Shure CVL (featured) MSRP: $49.00
$50 – $100
Professional moving-coil dynamic microphones can be mass-manufactured and sold for under $100 while still creating profit for their companies. This is also true for some miniature unbalanced microphones (mostly electret lavaliers).
Ribbon and condenser microphones, which require more attention to detail, often suffer at this price range due to issues with mass-production and lack of testing before sale. That being said, there are plenty of ribbon and condenser microphones that retail in this price range.
High-Quality Moving-Coil Dynamic Microphones
Moving-coil dynamic microphones have relatively simple designs and use relatively inexpensive materials. This makes it easy for manufacturers to make high quality microphones and charge little money for them.
The Shure SM57 and SM58, two of the most popular professional microphones in the world, are moving-coil dynamics that can be purchased for under $100. The SM57 has been used in countless recordings throughout the years and the SM58 has been an industry standard for live vocals since the 1960s.
Shure SM57 (featured) MSRP: $99.00
Related reading: Moving Coil Dynamic Microphones: The In-Depth Guide
Low-End Condenser Microphones
There are condenser microphones for under $100 that work fine. These low-end mics are great for project studios and auxiliary live microphones.
At this price point, the condenser microphones will certainly be electrets and will likely sound overly bright and harsh compared to dynamic mics and higher-end condensers.
Behringer C-2 pair (featured) MSRP: $89.99
Consumer-Grade Ribbon Microphones
The $50 – $100 range is where you’ll start seeing ribbon microphones.
These dynamic ribbons work perfectly fine, but certainly lack the quality of the higher-end ribbon models. This is mostly due to the quality of the materials that make up the ribbon diaphragms and the magnetic baffles around them.
MXL R144 (featured) MSRP: $84.00
Entry Level USB Microphones
Entry level USB microphones can be purchased for under $100 USD.
These mics are at excellent price points for consumer USB mics. They are absolutely an improvement over the sound quality of your computer’s built-in microphone and are typically plug-and-play, making them very easy to use.
Blue Snowball (featured) MSRP: $69.99
Blue is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.
Consumer-Grade Multi-Channel Wireless Microphone Systems
Multi-channel wireless microphone systems can be bought for $100 retail but they’ll all be consumer-grade.
These mics are great for karaoke bars, multipurpose rooms, or home use, but I wouldn’t ever suggest relying on them in professional settings.
NASUM 194 (featured) MSRP: $69.99
Related reading: How Do Wireless Microphones Work?
Many middle-of-the-line lavalier, podium, and other small microphones land in the $50 – $100 range. These mics provide the best bang for your buck in many situations that do not call for pristine audio quality (like professional theatre and film).
Shure WL93 (featured) MSRP: $78.00
$100 – $250
To purchase a decent quality professional microphone, you’ll likely be looking at a price point above $100. There are plenty of great dynamic, lavalier, and USB microphones in this price range.
Most condensers and ribbons under $250 are still lacking in quality, clarity, and consistency that is afforded to their expensive counterparts.
The majority of quality USB microphones on the market fall between $100 – $250. These mics are mostly large diaphragm condensers.
This is a very reasonable price for essentially a microphone and an audio interface (an analog-to-digital converter built into the microphone itself).
The issue with this one mic, one interface design is that it only allows one microphone to be connected to the computer at a time. This is partly the reason why most USB microphones are relatively inexpensive. They do not allow for professional multi-tracking.
Audio-Technica AT2020USB (featured) MSRP: $149.99
Audio-Technica is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.
Low-End Condenser Microphones
Above $100 and below $250 is the price range where we see the lower end of “professional” condenser microphones. This also includes measurement and shotgun microphones, which are typically condensers.
By professional, I mean the microphones are built with better materials, have better specifications, and sound better than their cheaper consumer counterparts. This, of course, is vague at best, and it can definitely be argued that there are “consumer-grade” condenser microphones in this price range as well.
Blue Spark SL (featured) MSRP: $199.99
Low-End Ribbon Microphones
Above $100 and below $250 is the retail price range of lower end of “professional” ribbon microphones.
Toward the $250 mark, it’s totally possible to make a profit on a ribbon microphone made with decent ribbon and magnet materials. However, these low-end ribbon mics with certaily not have the same sound, tone, and overall character as their high-end counterparts.
Golden Age Project R1 MKIII (featured) MSRP: $229.99
High-Quality Moving-Coil Dynamic Microphones
Whereas it’s difficult to make spectacular condenser and ribbon mics that could fit in the $100 – $250 range, moving-coil dynamic mics can be made with excellent quality.
You’ll find many application specific moving coil dynamics under a $250 retail value. These mics are full of design and innovation, and because of the simplicity of the moving-coil transducer, they can be sold for profit at very affordable prices.
Shure Beta 52A (featured) MSRP: $236.00
Many lavalier, podium, and other miniature microphones find their retail price between $100 – $250.
These microphones are typically more than qualified to handle most jobs. Many would likely work great in professional theatre, news broadcasting, and film, though these applications usually warrant higher-end lavs/miniature mics.
Sennheiser MKE (featured) MSRP: $249.95
Sennheiser is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.
$250 – $500
You’ll likely be able to find a quality microphone for under $500. High-quality moving-coil dynamics often fall in this price range while ribbon and [transistor/non-tube] condenser microphones can be produced with excellent results.
This price range has the more expensive USB microphones and contains most of the high quality lavalier microphones.
High-Quality Moving-Coil Dynamic Microphones
Many of the high-end broadcast-spec large diaphragm condensers are in the range of $250 – $500.
In this price range, the magnets, diaphragm and coil element, and overall capsule and body design can be made top-notch.
Shure SM7B (featured) MSRP: $499.00
Some quality ribbon microphones retail between $250 – $500, though they are still far from the best ribbon microphones on the market.
Many of the manufacturers with ribbon mics in this price range are reputable companies. Though far from top-of-the-line, usually you’ll find that these ribbon mics sound great and full of character without the large price tag.
sE Electronics VR1 (featured) MSRP: $499.00
High-Quality FET Condenser Microphones
Many high quality condenser microphones find their retail prices in this range. I specifically mention FET (electret) studio microphones here. Chances are you will not find “true” condensers or tube condensers below $500.
Again, this also includes measurement and shotgun microphones, which are typically condensers.
But electret studio condensers (like the famous Rode NT1-1 pictured to left) can be amazing microphones with superb performance-to-cost ratio.
Rode NT1-A (featured) MSRP: $369.00
Rode is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.
High-End USB Microphones
Though most USB microphones will retail at under $250, there are a few that go for more.
The extra cost potential goes toward the quality of the built-in analog-to-digital converter, along with the capsule and overall mic design.
Rode Podcaster (featured) MSRP: $369.00
High-Quality Lavalier/Mini Microphones
There are many top-performing lavalier, gooseneck/podium, and miniature microphones in the $250 – $500 range.
Many of the microphones in this range are professional standards and are well worth the price, in my opinion.
Sennheiser MKE 2-EW (featured) MSRP: $439.95
Related reading: How And Where To Attach A Lavalier/Lapel Microphone.
$500 – $1,000
For under $1,000, you’ll be able to buy a quality studio, broadcast, or live sound reinforcement microphone. Whether you’re looking for a dynamic (moving-coil or ribbon), or a condenser (transistor or vacuum tube), there are quality microphones for under $1,000.
High-Quality Ribbon Microphones
There are plenty of high-quality ribbon microphones between $500 – $1,000. At this price point, the materials, research and development, production, and testing are likely to be very involved and precise.
Because ribbon microphones are so sensitive, it is worth looking into these more expensive microphones for factors of quality, consistency, and longevity. Many of the high-quality ribbon mics under $1,000 have all three.
Rode NTR (featured) MSRP: $999.00
Related reading: Dynamic Ribbon Microphones: The In-Depth Guide.
High-Quality Condenser Microphones
In this price range, there are numerous high-quality electret condensers and “true” condensers (non-electret capsules). A condenser at this price is generally produced by a very reputable company and is designed for use in professional studio environments.
Once again, this also includes measurement and shotgun microphones, which are typically condensers.
Whether it’s a large or small diaphragm condenser with an electret capsule or non-electret capsule, chances are if it’s in this price range, it’s of superb quality and will yield amazing results.
Neumann KM184 (featured) MSRP: $849.00
Neumann is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.
Tube Condenser Microphones
Between $500 and $1,000 is where we find the “inexpensive” tube condenser microphones.
Many of the tube microphones in this range are made by “boutique manufacturers” that clone or at least design their microphones based on the vintage classics. However, it isn’t likely you’ll find any of the original legendary vintage tube mics in this price range.
Of course, there are original tube microphones in this range as well.
Tube microphones cost a lot to properly design and build. They often even require specialized external power supplies. This, on top of the highly sought after “tube sound” makes tube mics expensive.
Warm Audio WA-251 (featured) MSRP: $799.00
Warm Audio is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You’ve Likely Never Heard Of.
High-End Moving-Coil Dynamic Microphones
$500 – $1,000 is the higher-end of pricing for moving-coil dynamic microphones. There aren’t many above $1,000.
These microphones are typically designed for studio and broadcast use with an emphasis on reducing the inherent pitfalls of dynamic microphones: low output levels, electromagnetic hum interference, and slow transient response, for example. Many of the high-end moving-coil dynamic mics have specially designed humbucking coils, and lightweight diaphragms to alleviate some of the inherent problems with dynamic microphones.
AKG D12 VR (featured) MSRP: $629.00
AKG is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.
High-End Lavalier/Mini Microphones
The high-end of pricing for lavalier, podium, and other miniature microphones is in the range of $500 – $1,000.
These lavalier microphones are typically very tiny and easy to conceal, offer excellent sound capture across the entire frequency spectrum, and are at least somewhat water resistant. If these three qualities are not present, the lavalier is likely not worth the price.
DPA d:screet CORE 6060 (featured) MSRP: $649.95
DPA is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.
$1,000 – $5,000
It’s really only the most reputable brands, or boutique “new vintage” microphone shops that produce microphones that retail for over $1,000. Many legendary but discontinued vintage microphones will also sell in this price range.
At this price range, you’re really paying for a few things. The vast majority of microphones priced above $1,000 are done so for many reasons:
- Continued research and development, allowing for excellent innovation in mic technology.
- Production methods that create one mic at a time or microphones in small batches with precision and tedious attention to detail.
- Rigorous testing and tweaking before the microphone is ever sent to market. This ensure a high standard of quality and consistency across all microphones of a specific model.
- Outstanding customer support and warranty.
- Brand name recognition because nothing says you mean business like several $3,600 Neumann U87AI’s in your soundproofed vocal booth.
High-End Moving-Coil Dynamic Microphones
Very few moving-coil dynamics retail for over $1,000. Even in my research, the featured Sennheiser MD 441U (MSRP of $1,130.00) was never actually for sale at that high of a price and was always under $1,000.
I’ll repeat that rarely will you ever find a moving-coil dynamic microphone that will retail for over $1,000. It’s just too much to ask.
Whether you think slightly above $1,000 is too much or not, it is indeed the high end of moving-coil dynamic microphone price points.
Sennheiser MD 441U (featured) MSRP: $1,130.00
High-Quality Ribbon Microphones
Most high-quality, professional, sought after ribbon microphones are in the 1-2 thousand dollar range, but these ribbon microphones can certainly cost much more (as we see with the featured Royer SF-24 active stereo ribbon mic).
The microphones in this range have been careful researched and developed, are often produced in small batches with incredible attention to detail, and many go through rigorous testing before ever seeing the market.
If a ribbon microphone is truly worth over $1,000 (and practically all priced at this point are), you’re not only paying for an excellent microphone. You’re paying for a brand name, a musical instrument, and helping to fund much of the breakthrough technology in ribbon microphone manufacturing.
The two most popular high-quality ribbon microphones manufacturers are Royer Labs and AEA (Audio Engineering Associates).
Royer SF-24 (featured) MSRP: $4,295.00
Royer is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.
High-Quality Tube Condenser Microphones
You’ll find that many of the tube condenser microphones sell between $1,000 – $5,000 dollars. This goes for new tube microphones and vintage models that have been discontinued.
Many tube microphones warrant this price tag due to their intricate designs and well-tested manufacturing. Tube microphones generally cost more to create than other microphones.
At the higher end of the price range (like the Chandler Limited REDD, pictured above), there are many additional featured in these tube microphones. The REDD, as an example, has an internal preamp with gain control, plus an onboard 10dB pad and polarity reverse switch.
Whether you’re looking for innovation or legendary status, most tube mics in this price range with be amazing microphones for your locker. The reputable companies behind these products ensure the highest levels of quality control and customer service.
Chandler Limited REDD (featured) MSRP: $4,775.00
High-End FET Condenser Microphones
The Neumann U87AI and [pictured] U47 FET come to mind when I think of high-end FET (non-tube) condenser microphones. Each of these microphones, and many others, retail between $1,000 – $5,000 dollars.
This also includes measurement and shotgun microphones, which are typically condensers.
The microphones are highly sought after and are a symbol of professionalism in any studio environment. Their price points are a symbol that you mean business.
Of course, condenser microphones that demand this high of a price are made by reputable manufacturers that ensure the highest level of quality control. These mics are often made one at a time or in small batches with close attention to detail and thorough testing.
Microphones are very sensitive transducers, and the little things in a mic design can make a big difference in the way they sound.
Neumann U47 FET (featured) MSRP: $4,000.00
Neumann is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.
High-End Modeling Microphone Systems
With the rise of digital recording and the power of software, a relatively new microphone technology has evolved: the modeling microphone system.
These microphones (like the pictured Townsend Labs Sphere L22), are used in conjunction with computer software to emulate various microphones. Specifications can be altered (including frequency response and polar pattern) within the software. This is incredible technology and certainly warrants its high price point.
Townsend Labs Sphere L22 (featured) MSRP: $1,799.00
$5,000 And Above
A microphone must have extremely high quality and be innovative to effectively warrant a +$5,000 price tag.
The most famous and rare vintage microphones may sell above $5,000, if a deal can be struck.
Microphones that retail at this seemingly ridiculous price point include the very high-end of ribbon mics, many tube condensers, and some specialty microphones.
High-End Active Ribbon Microphones
There are a few ribbon microphones on the market that sell for over $5000.
Ribbon microphones that truly warrant these price tags are innovative and of the highest quality possible.
The AEA A440, for example, sounds incredibly natural. It features high-quality JFET internal circuitry to amplify its signal and authentic RCA New Old Stock ribbon material to emulate the character of the legendary RCA 44. It has an incredibly low self-noise, a frequency response from 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz, and many other specs that show us it’s one of the greatest ribbon microphones on the market today.
AEA A440 (featured) MSRP: $5,799.00
AEA is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You’ve Likely Never Heard Of.
High-End Tube Condenser Microphones
Whether new and innovative or vintage and legendary, some tube tube microphones will sell for well over $5,000.
New tube condenser microphones are arguably the best mics money can buy. Vacuum tubes may be old technology (largely replaced by transistors), but their sound and character are loved by many engineers, musicians, and listeners.
Vintage microphones, though mostly discontinued, will often sell secondhand for over $5,000. These microphones are highly sought after by engineers, musicians, studio owners, audiophiles, and collectors. Owning a high-end vintage tube microphone is quite a statement in today’s world of audio.
Sony C-800G (featured) MSRP: $11,308.00
High-End Digital Microphone Systems
High-end digital microphone systems are relatively new to the market.
These mics are similar to the inexpensive USB microphones mentioned earlier in the fact that they have built-in analog-to-digital converters and output digital audio.
However, these microphones are of extremely high quality and may indeed by the future of digital recording.
Neumann Solution D (featured) MSRP: $7,999.95
Related reading: Are Microphones Analog Or Digital Devices? (Mic Output Designs).
Professional-Grade Laser Microphones
Last on the list, we have professional-grade laser microphones.
I figured I’d add these to the list for fun. Laser microphones do find application in the studio, live sound reinforcement, or broadcast. Rather, they are used as sensitive instruments for spying.
That being said, they are still considered microphones, and I wanted to show how much microphones will retail for in this article.
Spectra Laser Microphone M+ (featured) MSRP: $52,999.00
Further reading: Recommended Microphones And Accessories.
Price Ranges Of Microphone Accessories
To add to the price of microphones, accessories are often needed to get the most value of a microphone.
The price of microphone accessories depends on the type of accessory (which we’ll list shortly); the quality; the specialization of the accessory (is it a one-size-fits-all or only compatible with a high-end microphone); and the brand name.
The general types of microphone accessories include:
Grilles (5 Dollar To Several Hundred Dollars)
Replacement microphone grilles can range from about $5 to several hundred dollars. Interchangeable grilles are common for changing the frequency responses of lavalier microphones (and are often sold between $10 – $50).
Neumann U87 replacement grille (featured): $415
Related reading: What Are Microphone Grilles And Why Are They Important?
Windscreens (1 Dollar To Several Hundred Dollars)
Cheap foam microphone windscreens will retail at about $1 a piece and many mic specific foam windscreens will run about $10 – $30. There are some windscreens out there that have combined shock mounts and mic stand threads that retail for hundred of dollars, though these combos are not only windscreens. A popular example of a full windscreen with a shock mount if the Rode Blimp, featured to the left.
Rode Blimp windscreen (featured) MSRP: $399.00
Related reading: Best Microphone Windscreens and What Are Dead Cats And Why Are Outdoor Microphones Furry?
Clips (2 Dollars To About 150 Dollars)
Microphone clips (without shock mounting) are often universal and hold dynamic microphones in place. These mic clips are fairly cheap (usually no more than $20). The same is true for replacement lavalier microphone clips. Some of the specialized clips for high-end microphones are closer to $100, though high-end microphones are better off in shock mounts (which brings us to our next mic accessory type).
Neumann SG 287 mic clip (featured) MSRP: $139.95
Shock Mounts (5 Dollars To Several Hundred Dollars)
Shock mounts come in a variety of shapes and sizes to accommodate the various microphones on the market. Many shock mounts are universal and inexpensive while others are specialized and quite pricey (see the featured Neumann EA 87).
Neumann EA 87 shock mount (featured) MSRP: $379.95
Related reading: Best Microphone Shock Mounts and What Is A Microphone Shock Mount And Why Is It Important?
Stands (5 dollars to over 1,000 dollars)
Microphone stands range from tiny stationary desk stand to long boom stands with multiple extensions and counterweights. Microphone stands vary in shape, size, and quality across the very wide price range.
Triad-Orbit SB-1 mic stand (featured) MSRP: $1,039.99
Boom Poles/Arms (10 Dollars To Nearly 1,000 Dollars)
Boom poles (and arms) range greatly in length, weight, quality, weight capacity, and price. Though $150 should buy you a quality boom pole/arm, there are plenty of more expensive options out there.
Fortunately, boom poles and arms are universal. They may only require a thread adapter to work well with nearly any microphone, mic clip, and/or shock mount.
K-Tek K-230CCR boom pole (featured): $935.00
Pop Filters (About 15 Dollars To Slightly Above 100 Dollars)
Pop filters are pretty simple mic accessories. They come in two main types, nylon mesh and metal mesh. They price range of mic pop filters is not very wide. $25 should be enough to purchase a quality pop filter for your microphone.
Note that some pop filters come in combination with some shock mounts. In this case, the pop filter/shock mount combo could certainly retail at over $100.
Neumann PS 20 pop filter (featured) MSRP: $139.95
Related reading: Best Microphone Pop Filters and What Is A Microphone Pop Filter And When Should You Use One?
Cases/Bags (About 5 Dollars To Over 1,000 Dollars)
Microphone cases/bags range from simple zipper bags that carry a single dynamic microphone to military grade hardshell waterproof locking cases. The type of carrying case you’d likely want for your microphones would depend on the microphones you’ll be transporting, how you’re transporting them, and how they’ll be used in the field.
SKB 3025-15 (featured) MSRP: $1,401.99
What is the most expensive microphone brand? There are many professional microphone brands/manufacturers that have expensive microphones. Notable brands on the higher end of the price point include:
What microphone brand has the best value? Because the sound of a microphone is so subjective, it is difficult to assign overall value to any particular mic. That being said, the performance to price ratio of Shure, Sennheiser, and Rode microphone companies are among the best in the industry.
For more information on microphone brands, please read the following MyNewMicrophone articles:
Full List Of Microphone Brands/Manufacturers
Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use
Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You’ve Likely Never Heard Of