Live vocal mics must meet a few fundamental requirements in order to maximise a singer’s performance. They must first go to work. The stage may be a dangerous place for microphones, filled with unknown liquids, sticky chemicals, and mishaps just waiting to happen. Similar to a steam room, your friend’s old van that drives you from gig to gig may mist up, but it’s hardly a health spa. Vocal mics must be durable and dependable in order to withstand life on the road.
Mics must produce great-sounding live vocals as well, for the singer’s benefit as well as that of the audience. The sound they hear through their in-ear monitors will determine whether they perform with confidence and vigour or with fear and self-doubt. Whichever one we like to hear, we already know. A vocal performance should ideally glitter with detail and clarity, but not if that means the microphone is also picking up a variety of other instruments and distracting on-stage noises. A compromise might be necessary since some live vocal microphones are simply too sensitive to be used on a stage in real life.
Last but not least, pick a boundary microphone with a pickup pattern that complements your stage presence (i.e. your tendency to dick about). A supercardioid will be fantastic at rejecting off-axis noise, but if you sing while constantly moving away from the mic, that will also include your vocals.
Shure SM58-CN Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone with Cable
- The SM58-CN variant includes the SM58 cardioid dynamic vocal microphone, 25-foot XLR-male to XLR-female cable, A25D swivel stand adapter and storage...
- Performance tested, industry standard
- Uniform cardioid pick-up pattern for maximum gain before feedback and excellent rejection of off-axis sound
The standard in the field is the Shure SM58 dynamic microphone. The iconic SM57 received a grille in 1966, making it more suitable for live voices. Since then, the SM58 has consistently shared the stage with the biggest artists in the world. This includes metal bands, rappers, pop artists, and rock legends that rely on it to provide authentic vocal sounds while withstanding the rigours of touring. The SM58 is a microphone for the masses; it is not elitist. You could find it at an opera house or a karaoke bar because to its robustness and affordability.
The construction is of a robust quality. You receive new tyres instead of a new microphone if you run a truck over this. The tough construction is renowned, but what about the sound? The sound source is isolated by the cardioid pickup pattern of the device. This also lessens any nearby ambient noise and enables significant gain before feedback occurs. Additionally, the internal shock mount will lessen handling noise, which is unquestionably crucial for live performances.
Additionally, a spherical filter is included to lessen wind and plosive noise. It has warmth and clarity thanks to the presence peak. It has an SPL of 94dB, a frequency range of 50Hz–15kHz, and an XLR connection. They do. In fact, many vocalists, like Chris Martin of Coldplay and Bono of U2, use them as their preferred recording microphone.
The SM58 is a dynamic microphone that falls “straight down the centre” in terms of specifications. With its accommodating cardioid polar pattern, you can change your distance and angle while maintaining isolation of your voice. The audience will be able to recognise the frequency range of 50Hz to 15kHz because they have probably heard this microphone for the majority of their life. Basically, you can pick up an SM58 and feel confident if you’re searching for a live vocal mic and don’t want to overthink it. This is the Best Live Vocal Microphone in 2023.
Audio-Technica AE5400 Cardioid Condenser Handheld Microphone
- The ultimate vocal performance instrument
- Pristine sound quality demanded by the most discriminating microphone user
- Same large-diaphragm element as the renowned AT4050 studio microphone; true condenser design
What a lovely thing it would be if some live vocal performances could match the sonic richness of studio recordings? Lemmy, god rest his soul, isn’t really what comes to mind; Lana Del Rey is. The Audio-Technica AE5400, which is essentially an AT4050 studio microphone expertly reinvented for the stage, aims to do that.
The same large-diaphragm component, ready to capture every delicate shade of sonic deliciousness, sits at its core. The AT4050 is side-address, whereas the AE5400 has been ruggedized with a steel body for live use. Of course, the form factor is completely different. In order to prevent RF interference and noise, it also has an integrated windscreen, an internal shock mounting, and a bespoke transformer. To eliminate low-frequency rumble brought on by handling, wind, and other unwelcome background noises, a switchable 80Hz high-pass filter, also known as a low-cut filter, is present. As a result, the vocal can sit more comfortably in the mix by removing the low end, regulating the proximity effect, and minimising plosives.
Even a 10dB cushion is included to prevent loud vocalists from causing the AE5400 to become distorted. Some engineers are hesitant to employ sensitive, delicate condenser mics for live performance, favouring their more robust dynamic relatives instead. The AE5400 is a seductive package for sophisticated gigs where sound quality really counts thanks to its additional controls available to control any unwelcome liveliness and its cheap pricing. This is the Best Live Vocal Microphones in 2023.
Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone
- Iconic chrome-plated design with vibrant blue color additions
- Tailored frequency response for natural vocals and speech
- High gain-before-feedback and excellent off-axis rejection
Some pieces of musical gear, including guitars, amps, and even some microphones, attempt to appear vintage and real. That’s not something this mic needs to accomplish. It is. Simply observe it. Of course, some of the internal workings have altered, but overall, everything remains the same. There is nothing better if you want to give your performance or studio a touch of old nostalgia. A fantastic sound is delivered by contemporary technology inside a traditional form.
This dynamic microphone has a cardioid polar pattern. Although it was made for vocals, it also does well with other studio instruments. But where it really shines is in the vocal performance. It responds to frequencies between 50 and 15,000 Hz. It is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid pattern that is ideal for live performance but may also be used in the studio. This is essentially a vocal mic. Additionally, it will manage some instruments fairly effectively. It offers a 60Hz to 17kHz frequency response, excellent off-axis rejection, and a high gain before any feedback manifests.
A tough-looking die-cast metal housing with a 1950s-style aesthetic that has been chrome plated. It has a brief blue flash to help create the desired mood. No idea why? It appears to be durable, as most microphones are. However, this one appears to be able to dole them out as well. It has a self-tensioning swivel mount. It will swivel through a 45° forward and an 80° backward angle. The microphone is packaged in a zip-up storage bag.
Don’t drop it in your foot; it’s 7.5 by 2.18 by 3.1 inches and weighs almost two pounds. I’ll let you know who will fare worse. Not the mic, I assure you. Since it is too hefty to hold, a stand is definitely the best option. We believe that someone else tried that. There is a pop filter to eliminate those undesirable plosives and fricatives underneath that heavyweight grille. A method for mounting shocks internally is also present.
sE Electronics – V7 Studio Grade Handheld Microphone Supercardioid
- Frequency Range-40hz to 19khz
- Neodymium Magnet
- Aluminum Voice Coil
The sE Electronics V7 is our top choice for travelling vocalists because of its incredible blend of sound quality, dependability, affordability, and added roadside conveniences. This mic is straightforward, reasonably priced, and it appreciates a strong performance. Its all-metal structure will withstand years of abuse onstage, allowing your vocals to take centre stage every performance. The dent-proof, corrosion-resistant steel mesh grille is surrounded by a bevelled strip, which prevents the V7 from rolling away when it is placed on an amp cab or stage floor, among other ingenious design elements. The integrated windscreen and pop shield are the corporate red of sE Electronics, but the manufacturer has kindly included a black version in the box as well, just in case.
The value is impressive to start with. The V7 is one of the more reasonably priced microphones on this list, but it has high-quality parts like a supercardioid capsule and neodymium magnet that make it suitable for high output, isolated vocals. Additionally, a broad frequency spectrum between 40Hz and 19kHz is picked up by it. This is because the magnet also comes with a thin aluminium coil.
If only there were more advantages for touring artists, the mic would be sufficient just on its own. A zinc-containing lightweight, strong alloy serves as the material for the body. To avoid corrosion, the XLR connection is gold plated. Additionally, in a nice addition, the edge has flat bevels so the microphone won’t slide off when you set it down. This mic was carefully worked out by sE Electronics. Because of this, notable musicians like Chris Stapleton and Billie Eilish will be using it.
Although we prefer the red windscreen, it also comes with a black one if that’s what you want. There is also a variation with a chrome body for a more upscale look.
Sennheiser E835 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone
- Cardioid pickup pattern: Provides good signal isolation and feedback rejection, enabling higher sound levels to be obtained
- Balanced frequency response: Maintains signal quality when moving on and off axis during performance
- Gentle presence boost: Ensures vocal clarity and projection
This list’s top spot may have equally well gone to the Sennheiser e 835. The e 835 from one of the most well-known microphone manufacturers is comparable to our initial entry in terms of cardioid pattern and frequency response (though a bit wider). It is excellent enough for some of the top artists in the world yet reasonably priced for just about everyone. So, we’ll repeat ourselves: The Sennheiser e 835 is a high-quality microphone that you can trust if you don’t want to overthink it.
You inquire if it is resilient. Given that Sennheiser offers a 10-year warranty on the e 835, it is safe to assume that they are confident in the mic’s long-term reliability. And so are we. You’ll be fine if you decide to support Sennheiser in the Great Mic Wars. We won’t support a cause. To outfit your entire band, you can get the e 835 in a bundle of three. Additionally, an on/off switch is available for it. Sennheiser also has the Sennheiser e 935, a high-output model with a neodymium magnet, which is a worthy rival to the BETA 58A.