My New Microphone’s Most-Recommended Microphones


This post acts as a reference for My New Microphone’s most-recommended microphones. The microphones will be listed followed by the articles in which they are recommended.

Note that this list is not suggestive on the best microphones in the world. Those lists, including the 50 Best Microphones Of All Time (With Alternate Versions & Clones) can be found elsewhere on My New Microphone and are linked to throughout this article.

The microphones in this article are simply those that I’ve recommended the most in my writing here at My New Microphone. These mics have shown up more than others in my “best microphones for X” type articles. I would like to consolidate the most-recommended mics here for my own personal reference and to help you make your own decisions about microphone choice in your work.

Without further ado, let’s get into My New Microphone’s Most-Recommended Microphones:


AKG C 414 XLS/XLII

The AKG C 414 XLS and XLII are the modern models of AKG’s successful C 414 line. They are both multi-pattern large-diaphragm true FET condenser microphones.

AKG C 414 XLS (left) & AKG C 414 XLII (right)
  • Debut year: 2009
  • Capsule: AKG Brass CK-12 style
  • Transformer: N/A
  • Transistor: 3059M02020 (complete PCB)
  • Polar patterns: 9 selectable
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 23 mV/Pa (-33 dBV/Pa)
  • Output impedance: ≤200 Ω
  • Self-noise: 6 dBA (20 dB)
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 140/ 146/ 152/ 158 dB SPL (no pad/ -6dB pad/ -12 dB pad/ -18 dB pad)

The AKG C 414 XLS, XLII and the rest of the AKG C 414 family are recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Electro-Voice RE20

The Electro-Voice RE20 is a top-address moving-coil dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern and no proximity effect due to EV’s Variable-D technology.

Electro-Voice RE20
  • Debut year: 1968
  • Capsule: F.01U.110.744
  • Transformer: Custom
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 45 Hz – 18,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 1.5 mV/Pa
  • Output impedance: 150 Ω

The Electro-Voice RE20 is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Rode NT1-A

The Rode NT1-A is a budget-friendly large-diaphragm electret studio condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern.

Rode NT1-A
  • Debut year: 2004
  • Capsule: K67-style electret
  • Transformer: N/A
  • Transistor: Custom JFET inside Rode NT1000 PCB
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 25 mV/Pa
  • Output impedance: 100 Ω
  • Self-noise: 5 dBA
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 137 dB SPL

The Rode NT1-A is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Neumann KM 184

The Neumann KM 184 is Neumann’s product line replacement for its vintage KM 84 mic. It is a solid-state small-diaphragm true pencil condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern.

Neumann KM 184
  • Debut year: 1993
  • Capsule: KK 84 (formerly known as KK 64)
  • Transformer: N/A
  • Transistor:
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 15 mV/Pa
  • Output impedance: 50 Ω
  • Self-noise: 13.0 dBA
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 138 dB SPL

The Neumann KM 184 and the original KM 84 are recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Neumann U 87 AI

The U 87 AI is the modern version of Neumann’s successful U 87. They are both mutli-pattern large-diaphragm true FET condenser microphones.

Neumann U 87 Ai
  • Debut year: 1986
  • Capsule: K870/K67
  • Transformer: 90415
  • Transistor: 2N3819
  • Power supply: Phantom power.
  • Polar patterns: Omnidirectional/ Cardioid/ Bidirectional
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 20 mV/Pa (omni)/ 28 mV/Pa (cardioid)/ 22 mV/Pa (bidirectional)
  • Output impedance: 200 Ω
  • Self-noise: 15/12/14 dBA (26/23/25 dB)
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 117 dB (cardioid) or 127 dB SPL with pad engaged

The Neumann U 87 AI and original U 87 are recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Coles 4038

The Coles 4038 is a classic vintage ribbon microphone that is still in production today. It has a bidirectional polar pattern.

Coles 4038
  • Debut year: 1998
  • Ribbon: 59.7 mm long x 4.7mm wide x 1.8 micron thin corrugated aluminum ribbon suspended in neodymium magnets
  • Transformer: Custom
  • Polar pattern: Bidirectional
  • Frequency response: 30 Hz – 20,000+ Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 2.25 mV/Pa
  • Output impedance: 270 Ω
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 140 dB SPL

The Coles 4038 is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Shure Beta 98H/C

Shure’s Beta 98H/C (and the wireless WB98H/C) are premium cardioid condenser mics. They are miniature electret condensers that are designed to attach to instruments live.

Shure Beta 98H/C
  • Debut year: 2002
  • Capsule: Custom
  • Transformer: N/A
  • Transistor: Custom JFET
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: –56 dBV/Pa (1.6 mV/Pa)
  • Output impedance: 150 Ω
  • Self-noise: 31 dBA
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 155 dB SPL

The Shure Beta 98H/C is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


DPA d:dicate 4011A

The DPA 4011A is a small-diaphragm electret pencil microphone with a cardioid polar pattern.

DPA 4011A
  • Debut year: 1992
  • Capsule: MMC4011
  • Transformer: N/A
  • Transistor: Custom FET in DPA MMP-A PCB
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 10 mV/Pa (-40 dBV/Pa)
  • Output impedance: <200 Ω
  • Self-noise: 18 dBA
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 159 dB SPL

The DPA d:dicate 4011 is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Royer R-121

The Royer R-121 is one of the world’s most famed ribbon microphones. It has a bidirectional polar pattern.

Royer R-121
  • Debut year: 1998
  • Ribbon: 2.5-micron, 3/16”x1.75” offset aluminum ribbon
  • Transformer: Custom
  • Polar pattern: Bidirectional 
  • Frequency response: 30 Hz – 15,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 3.16 mV/Pa
  • Output impedance: 300 Ω
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 135 dB SPL

The Royer R-121 is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Schoeps MK 4 with CMC 6

The Schoeps modular MK 4 capsule with the CMC 6 amp is an excellent small-diaphragm pencil condenser mic with a cardioid polar pattern.

Schoeps MK 4 / CMC 6
  • Debut year: 1992
  • Capsule: modular Schoeps MK 4
  • Transformer: N/A
  • Transistor: Custom
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 13 mV/Pa
  • Output impedance: 35 Ω
  • Self-noise: 15 dBA (24 dB)
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 132 dB SPL

The Schoeps MK 4 and CMC 6 is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Shure SM57

The Shure SM57 is a studio workhorse moving-coil dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern.

Shure SM57
  • Debut year: 1965
  • Cartridge: Shure R57 (Unidyne III)
  • Transformer: Shure 51A303
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid 
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 15,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: -56.0 dBV/Pa (1.6 mV)
  • Output impedance: 150 Ω (310 Ω actual)

The Shure SM57 is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Shure SM58

The Shure SM58 is the industry-standard live vocal microphone. It is a moving-coil dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern.

Shure SM58
  • Debut year: 1966
  • Cartridge: Shure R59 (Unidyne III) (RK143G grille)
  • Transformer: Shure 51A303
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid 
  • Frequency response: 50 Hz – 15,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: -54.5 dBV/Pa (1.85 mV)
  • Output impedance: 150 Ω (300 Ω actual)

The Shure SM58 is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti is the most popular USB microphone in the world. It is a multi-pattern tri-capsule small-diaphragm USB condenser microphone.

Blue Yeti
  • Debut year: 2009
  • Capsule: Custom tri-capsule design (14mm diameter)
  • Polar patterns: Omnidirectional, bidirectional, cardioid, stereo.
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 4.5mV/Pa
  • Output impedance: N/A (16-bit digital output)
  • Self-noise: No spec given.
  • Maximum sound pressure level: 120 dB SPL
  • Sample rate: 48 kHz
  • Bit depth: 16 bit

The Blue Yeti is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Shure SM81

The Shure SM81 is a small-diaphragm pencil microphone with a cardioid polar pattern.

Shure SM81
  • Debut year: 1978
  • Capsule: Shure R104 (capsule + grille)
  • Transformer: Custom
  • Transistor: Custom in PCB
  • Power supply: PS1A (optional)
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 5.6 mV/Pa (–45 dBV/Pa)
  • Output impedance: 150 Ω (85 Ω actual)
  • Self-noise: 16 dBA (19 dB)
  • Maximum sound pressure level:
    800 Ω load: 136 dB SPL (146 dB SPL with pad engaged)
    150 Ω load: 128 dB SPL (138 dB SPL with pad engaged)

The Shure SM81 is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:


Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is a moving-coil dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern.

Shure SM7B
  • Debut year: 2001
  • Capsule: RPM106 (Unidyne III) with Humbucking coil
  • Transformer: N/A
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid 
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 16,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity rating: 1.12 mV/Pa
  • Output impedance: 150 Ω

The Shure SM7B is recommended in the following My New Microphone articles:

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