10 Best Microphones for Rapping Buying Guide

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Rapping is about more than just dressing in a stylish way and writing sick lyrics. At some point, you need to get behind a mic, whether it’s on stage or at the studio. But, laying down 16 bars requires a lot of things with the most important being a high-quality microphone.

If you want to make a hit, you need to use more than just a regular mic, because you’ll want something that can capture the clarity and rhythm of your voice perfectly. Unfortunately, if you don’t know what you’re looking for then you can end up with a mic that doesn’t perfectly capture the cadence of your voice.

With all the options on the market, it can be quite difficult to find the best microphone for recording rap. The good news is there are some really good mics for rapping out there available at different price points. Plus, we decided to do some research for you on what to look out for as well as a list of the best microphones for rapping, complete with comprehensive reviews. Read on for more.

Condenser vs. Dynamic

First of all, mics come in two types: condenser and dynamics mics. Condenser mics are commonly used in the studio because of their transient response and wide range. They also produce a clear output of the original vocals thanks to their exceptional sensitivity. However, they’re less durable than dynamic mics but some manufacturers are trying to improve upon this point.

Condenser mics are further divided into small diaphragm (SDM) and large diaphragm (LDM) models. These offer a rich audio response which makes them ideal for producing high-quality bass. They also have a wider frequency response and can incorporate instruments and vocals seamlessly.

On the other hand, you have dynamic microphones which are far more durable when compared to condenser mics. However, they come with interesting features like a low frequency response.

A majority of the mics that we reviewed are of the condenser variety, and that’s because they’re able to reproduce audio perfectly no matter how fast your flow is.

Why is a Rap Microphone Different from Other Types of Mics?

Most regular mics don’t have the capacity to reproduce rapid rap lyrics which means the end result always comes out different from what you said. That’s why rapping mics come highly recommended because they cancel out all other noises to focus on the sound and cadence of your voice. Of course, there’s a lot more to them than that, which is why we’re going to highlight some of the best features to look out for in a rap microphone.

PLAN - PRICE

Description

Neumann TLM 102 MT Condenser Microphone

Delivers crisp audio


Makes vocals less gritty


Small and portable


Makes it easy to relay and understand vocals

AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII Vocal Condenser Microphone

Offers smooth highs


Superb audio reproduction


Has the ability to lock pickup patterns


Nine pickup patterns

AKG Pro Audio C214 Condenser Microphone

Has a 20dB attenuator


Delivers clean & crisp sound


Durable build


Sturdy accessories

Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Very well-priced


Crisp & smooth audio


Versatile mic


Good for instruments & vocal delivery

Audio-Technica AT4040 Condenser Microphone

Hi-pass filter with a 10dB attenuator


Carry case & shock mount


Offers distortion-free SPL


Wide range of response

Features to Consider When Shopping for a Microphone for Rapping

Here are some of the most important considerations to make when looking for a microphone:

Audio

Even if you’re not an audiophile, we’re sure you can appreciate good audio in a record. That’s what you get from a high-quality condenser mic that’s designed to perfectly reproduce lyrics as they come out, without compromising on lyric speed and accuracy.

Price

Depending on your experience and budget, you might opt for an entry-level model or perhaps a high-end unit. Nevertheless, microphone mics are available in different price points to suit all budgets and without compromising on quality.

Accessories

Accessories are also important because they add to the overall functionality of the mic. It’s better to buy a mic with more accessories than less because then you won’t have to spend money on home studio equipment.

Some of the most important mic accessories to look out for include wire adapters, stand adapters, carry cases pop filter, mic stands etc. Most of these accessories come as part of a customized set which gives you better value for money.

Sound Pressure Level

SPL is short for Sound Pressure Level and it refers to the amount of noise produced by the mic prior to distortion. This is a great feature considering that rappers tend to shout their lyrics passionately which can quickly cause distortion with the wrong mic. Luckily, most rapping mics offer an SPL of 140dB and even 150dB.

Frequency Response

Vocals are undoubtedly the most important aspect of recording rap music while keeping in mind that different mics deliver varying levels of vocal quality depending on the device’s frequency response.

For instance, if you choose a mic that accentuates low frequencies then you’ll get deeper vocals. But if your mic produces a bump in-between 4 and 6kHz then you’ll experience rich and crisp vocals. For a nice balanced tone, look for a mic with a flat frequency.

Most of the rapping mics on this list offer a flat frequency curve according to lab measurements which makes them ideal for producing good sound quality.

Having a Budget

You don’t have to be a millionaire to get a good microphone for rapping anymore because there are plenty of budget options to choose from. However, if good sounding vocals and crisp, clear sound is what you’re after, then you should expect to pay a little bit more.

Plus, if your mic doesn’t come as a complete package with accessories then you’ll have to purchase them separately. This includes essential things like a popper stopper, a stand and a shock mount to name but a few. All told, you’ll probably end up spending a few hundred dollars.

Below Are the 10 Best Microphones for Rapping

Most people don’t realize that rapping is an art and a science. It takes a lot of talent, hard work and dedication. But without the right equipment, it doesn’t matter how good your lyrics are because people won’t be able to fully appreciate your music.

Now that you know what to look out for and consider when looking for a quality rapping mic, here are our recommendations of the best microphones for rapping based on research and user experience.

1- Neumann TLM 102 MT Condenser Microphone

The Neumann TLM 102 MT model is a condenser mic with a nice and compact size as well as a durable build. It’s ideal for use in the studio, on stage and you can carry it around when you’re on the road. It offers sleek black and nickel finishes, and the Neumann logo branded over an elegant silver band.

This mic is simple and easy to use and the package comes with a stand mount and an integrated pop filter to protect it from damage.

It also comes with a large diaphragm and it can handle up to 144 dB SPL, which is impressive. It’s perfect for an artist that wants loud bass and drums, and you can shout out your lyrics as much as you like without losing the clarity and strength of your voice.

Thanks to the mic’s quick transient response you’ll sound super cool at the other end of the booth when using the Neumann TLM102, and it’s all thanks to its ability to highlight and clarify sound.

You’ll also be glad to know that this mic can hold a ~1-inch condenser capsule which can be attached on suspension. This allows it to absorb vibrations instead of transmitting them into your sound. All of this is possible due to a slim pop screen that’s present in the mic.

Pros:

Delivers crisp audio
Makes vocals less gritty
Small and portable
Makes it easy to relay and understand vocals

Cons:

It doesn’t come with a shock mount

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE ON AMAZON

2 – AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII Vocal Condenser Microphone

AKG has been on the market for years and has been constantly improving on its design and performance ever since. It comes with features like a convenient control button that you can use to change between various pickup patterns.

This model is beautifully designed with gold and black finishes, so you’ll definitely look fresh when using it. This mic allows you to save previous settings when you turn off the mic.

Also featured in the package is an aluminum carry case which has a foam-cushioned interior with a durable shock mount that comes with a quick-release mechanism. There’s also a wind sock and a pop filter which makes this a complete package and a great valuable purchase.

This microphone gives you several options as well, including omni, a figure of eight pickup patterns, normal cardioid and narrow cardioid. This means that you can modify your vocal range on either side of the mic. If it doesn’t automatically change your selection then you’ll have to automatically lock and unlock it.

As for the attenuator pad, it offers three options; 6dB, 12dB, and 18dB so that you can record with a wide variety of instruments. You’ll have three cutoff options to choose from: 40Hz, 80Hz, 160Hz, with the latter being the most gradual of the three.

Out of all their previous models, the XLII mic has a drastic peak which accentuates high frequencies while adding a bit of ‘gusto to the audio overall. This mic will also provide you with better physical range which is great.

Pros:

Offers smooth highs
Superb audio reproduction
Has the ability to lock pickup patterns
Comes with three attenuation pad choices and hi-pass filter cutoffs
Features nine pickup patterns

Cons:

This mic is quite delicate

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE ON AMAZON

3 – AKG Pro Audio C214 Professional Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone

Many say that this is the best microphone for recording rap because it’s very well-made and offers all the features you need to produce great music. First of all, it has a shock and scratch resistant die-cast body with a double-mesh grille to keep out stray radio waves and wind noises.

It also comes with convenient control buttons that allow you to change from a high pass filter and a 20dB attenuation pad and vice versa. These buttons have a recessed design which eliminates any chances of switching between them by accident, but they’re still easy to access and use.

This mic features a durable shock mount that’s easy to install as well as a windscreen and chic carry case. You’ll be glad to know that there’s a 10dB attenuation pad as well, which allows the mic to adapt to different voices in order to deliver an authentic result.

The high pass filter helps to clear up muddy instruments and it delivers smooth sound without the use of EQ while offering a nice bass-end. This leads to powerful lyric delivery, although there have been some complaints about the mic’s inability to clearly deliver female vocals.

Pros:

Comes with a 20dB attenuator complimented with high pass filter
Delivers clean and crisp sound
Durable build
Comes with sturdy accessories

Cons:

Female voices can sound quite thin on this mic

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4 – Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

This is a dynamic mic with a classic vintage design and ultra-durable build. It’s a sturdy unit with the ability to handle a fair bit of abuse. Shure offers different packages including one without accessories and another that comes with a cable stand, windscreen bundle, a cable, and an adapter.

This mic automatically rejects any other noises or chatter so that your voice and instruments come through clearly. It is a directional mic like any dynamic model which means it cannot pick up any noise on the back or sides. But it picks up loud sounds perfectly and can deliver a super bass boosted voice while accentuating your voice as well.

With the proximity effect, you’ll get a significant bass boost with a perfectly executed presence peak which makes your words easier to understand and simultaneously reduces feedback.

All in all the SM57 offers excellent performance with both vocals and instrumentals. Sure, this is not the best mic for recording rap when compared to other high-end models on this list but it’s still a decent mic that comes at an affordable price range. In our opinion, this is the best cheap microphone for rapping and it offers a great range when it comes to handling instrumentals and voices.

Pros:

Very well-priced
Delivers crisp and smooth audio
Versatile mic
Performs well for instruments and vocal delivery

Cons:

There have been some negative reviews about the mic’s wind noise distortion

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE ON AMAZON

5 – Audio-Technica AT4040 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The Audi Technica AT4040 is one of the best microphones for rapping as it’s made with high-quality materials and a beautiful matte black finish. Its durable case is foam-padded for even more durability. This mic also comes with a velvet cover to keep it dust-free while traveling with it, and a spidery shock mount for flexible placement.

The only downside to this mic is that it’s a bit difficult to set up and install but once it’s up and going you’ll have a hard time knocking it off because it has a firm stand. It switches from a high pass filter and a 10dB pad which are located at the base of the mic so that you don’t accidentally press it.

This model is a cardioid large condenser mic with the ability to pick up all frequencies with equal efficiency, with a few peaks at 6.5 kHz. The end result is rich and almost ethereal audio quality with a fast transient response and distortion-eliminating SLPs.

It has a maximum input sound of up to 145 dB SPL while the attenuation pad can reach up to 155dB. Meanwhile, the AT4040 offers a dynamic and weighty lower end delivery.

Pros:

Features a hi-pass filter complimented by a 10dB attenuator
Comes with a carry case and shock mount
Offers distortion-free SPL
This mic provides a fast response to deliver an exact duplication of the original audio
Provides a wide range of response

Cons:

There’s no pop screen

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6 – Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone

If you’re looking for the best mic to record rap vocals, look no further than the Rode NT1A unit. This is a specially designed “anniversary package” that functions as the perfect starter package for anyone that wants to start a home studio.

Of course, the mic is the star of the show with a durable metal construction and thin pop screen which is accentuated by the durable metal grille. The capsule is protected by two layers which shield the mic from dust and contact. There’s also a shock mount which reduces vibration shocks and different handling mishaps.

As for the accessories, this mic comes with accessories like a 20 ft. mic cable, a velvet dust cover and a tutorial CD with tips on how to make the most out of the mic. This is a fixed Cardioid mic with a wide frequency response and a presence peak that allows the artist to deliver clear vocals.

There’s a small bump when you reach close to the 120 Hz zone. This makes for more weighty audio that makes the listener feel like they’re in the studio with you. With this mic, your audio will have a flatter response and more depth.

Although it’s an affordable mic, the Rode NT1-A still offers the nuanced performance of high-end models and an impressive noise shattering capability. This means it has a high signal-to-noise ratio that eliminates noise distortion and it delivers clear lyrics and high-quality audio. We highly recommend this as the best budget microphone for vocals.

Pros:

Offers little to no noise distortion
Delivers transparent mids
Comes with all the accessories you need to start your own home studio
Provides neutral and nuanced audio

Cons:

There have been some complaints about the bass bump

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE ON AMAZON

7 – Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone

This beautifully designed and well-made cardioid condenser mic from Rode is cost-effective and offers a variety of useful features. The inside is designed to keep the diaphragm protected from low-frequency vibrations and thanks to the rube condenser design it can handle a lot of low noise.

This is arguably the best microphone for recording vocals especially for beginners because it features accessories as a dedicated flight case to store the mic when you’re traveling; a 7-pin cable to provide constant power and it’s easy to assemble and install thanks to its unique tube component.

This mic has a signal to noise ratio of 82dB which is quite impressive for a tube condenser mic and its audio quality is quite impressive. In fact, we could venture to say that the audio produced by this mic sounds even better than the original rendering. Regardless of how fast or slow your flow is, this mic will deliver stable and clear audio with a considerable presence peak.

Through the mixing process, you’ll be able to deal with any suppressed energy in the tracks. Otherwise, you’ll notice that your vocals have a vast space in which to truly breathe and be authentic. In the end, you get a nice and wholesome sound that’s also somewhat detailed.

Pros:

Comes with a power supply
Features a carry case and dedicated cables
Doesn’t require much EQ
Delivers exciting audio
High-quality design

Cons:

We have nothing bad to say about this mic

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE ON AMAZON

8 – MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

With its gold detailing and black frame, this MXL770 rap microphone comes with features like 10dB attenuator with a dedicated bass button. It’s super easy to set up and use thanks to the sturdy components that are easy to handle.

It comes with a durable and shock resistant carry case with foam lining to protect the mic from shocks due to traveling, and you can place the shock mount in the case as well which is great. Users say that this is the best USB mic for rapping and it has bass-end frequencies which are key to delivering clear vocals when rapping.

This mic has a range of 30Hz to 20kHz with a noise rating of up to 20dBA, and adding a pop filter is a great way to avoid plosives. We were quite impressed with the mic’s maximum SPL of 137 dB, especially considering its price tag and the fact that this is a tiny cardioid mic. The end result is a delivery of natural and warm vocals that make you sound really good no matter how loud you scream on the mic.

Another unique aspect of this mic is the fact that it works great for male and female vocals thanks to the low-frequency richness of the audio. This means that your voice has a natural sound to it and it doesn’t take away from the authenticity of your voice and your lyrics. This is the type of delivery that rappers want when delivering a message because at the end of the day you are an artist.

The low-cut filter can help you to naturally constrict the low end while the attenuator is designed to take the maximum SPL to the next level. There’s minimal background noise to deal with and the bass performance is quite impressive. That’s why this mic can handle difference cadence without muddying the audio and you will end up with super clear audio without breaking the bank.

Pros:

Features low cut filter that’s accentuated by a 10dB attenuator
Great value for money
Delivers crisp and clear audio
Sturdy build
Nice gold and black design

Cons:

There have been some complaints about getting a bit of background noise

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE ON AMAZON

9 – AKG P220 Vocal Condenser Microphone

If you’re looking for a durable mic that can take a lot of abuse on the road without letting you down, the AKG P220 is the way to go. This isn’t one of those frail and delicate mics that just disintegrate after a few uses.

This mic has a thick and heavy-duty metal casing and it comes with a spider shock mount that’s neatly paced into a portable carry case. The attenuator and low cut filter buttons are placed on the front side and are designed in the form of hard sliders which eliminates the chances of accidentally pressing them.

It also comes with a shock mount that screws onto the unit easily in a friction-free way. Plus, you can mount and use the mic according to different configurations and preferences.

You’ll be glad to know that the AKG P220 mic has a wide audible range between 10,000 to 20,000 Hz which means it’s rather neutral. It starts out with a bass roll-off at 100Hz which peaks at 10kHz, while its signal to noise ratio is at a decent 78dB.

This mic is ideal for use in the studio but apparently, it doesn’t work very well when used in a particularly quiet room. It has a maximum SLP level of 155 dB which as we mentioned earlier in the article is quite impressive and it’s perfect for vocals and instruments alike. Lastly, the attenuator on this mic can reach levels of up to 10dB.

Pros:

Delivers ethereal highs and low ends
Very well-priced
Comes with screw-on shock mount
Features a durable carry case for portability
Both the mic and accessories are durable

Cons:

This unit can cause a particularly loud boom when you sing close to the mic

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE ON AMAZON

10 – Audio-Technica AT2035 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The Audio-Technica AT2035 rap microphone is a large diaphragm model that comes at a relatively low price. It offers great value for money considering the build quality and the included features as well. This mic weighs 400g so you know it can take a bit of knocking around when you’re on the road, while the metal grille is guaranteed to keep the inner capsule absolutely safe.

As if that weren’t enough, this mic comes with a dedicated shock mount and a stand adapter for simple, easy and quick installation, but since it doesn’t come with a solid carry case, keeping it clean can be a mission unless you purchase one separately. Like other AT mics, the control buttons are located on the bottom to avoid accidental meddling.

This is one of the best microphones for rapping by any standards because it produces less noise no matter how loud the artist is and it’s all thanks to the cardioid pattern design.

Plus, it’s quite sensitive with a range of 20 to 20,000 Hz which is quite something! Its frequency graph performance is rather flat with a neutral yet small presence peak. It also has a signal to noise ratio of 82dB which is to be expected for a diaphragm condenser mic of this massive size.

On top of that, this mic can handle up to 148cB SPL sound pressure with a 10dB pad pack that spreads the mic’s SPL range to 158dB SPL. This is enough to hit neutral tones whether you’re using microphones or headphones, while the audio reproduction is particularly warm and rich. But the hi-pass filter does compromise some of the mic’s warmth although the pad makes up for this.

Pros:

Features a hi-pass filter with a 10dB pas
Highly sensitive mic
Comes with stand adapter, pouch, and shock mount
Delivers warm and clear audio

Cons:

Due to the sensitivity, this mic tends to attract all kinds of noises

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PRICE ON AMAZON

Conclusion

PLAN - PRICE

Description

Rode NT1-A Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Offers little to no noise distortion


Delivers transparent mids


Comes with all the accessories needed to start a home studio


Provides neutral and nuanced audio

Rode NTK Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Comes with a power supply


Features a carry case and dedicated cables


Doesn't require much EQ


Delivers exciting audio


High-quality design

MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Features low cut filter that's accentuated by a 10dB attenuator


Great value for money


Delivers crisp & clear audio


Sturdy build


Nice gold and black design

AKG P220 Vocal Condenser Microphone

Delivers ethereal highs and low ends


Very well-priced


Screw-on shock mount


Durable carry case


Both the mic and accessories are durable

Audio-Technica AT2035 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Features a hi-pass filter with a 10dB pas


Audio-Technica AT2035 is a highly sensitive mic


Comes with stand adapter, pouch, and shock mount


Delivers warm and clear audio

Well, there you have it – a comprehensive guide of the best microphones for rapping. We’ve walked you through the whole process of purchasing a high-quality mic, including the features to look out for as well as how to make the most out of your mic once you buy it.

As you can see, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to buy a good quality mic, and there are plenty of options out here in different price ranges. But if we were to choose one option from the ones we reviewed it would have to be the Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone.

What do we like about this mic? For starters, it has a nice design and comes with all the features you need in order to put out quality music. This includes a dedicated flight storage case, 82dB signal to noise ratio, a high presence peak and suppressed energy on the tracks.

When combined, these features result in high-quality and exciting audio with authentic sounding vocals and wholesome sound. You’ll also be glad to know that this mic doesn’t require much EQ and it comes with its own power supply.

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