What is the Best Microphone for Voice Over Work?

Choosing a Voice Over Microphone

Microphone selection when starting as a voice over actor can be very tricky. There are quite a number of microphone options you can choose from, but one has to be smart in choosing one of the most important equipment you would need as voice over actor.  You can’t buy a mic based on its looks, or just because it is expensive (or less expensive), choose one that matches your requirements.

Blue Snowball Ice
Blue Snowball Ice

There are microphones that are easy to use, being plug and play, but can still give you high-quality audio with your computer. One highly recommended for beginners is the Blue Snowball Ice. The Snowball is an extremely sturdy yet stylish microphone. It has a USB interface, so you don’t need to deal with the complexity of extra cables, preamps, and stand-alone audio interfaces. Priced around $49 – $59.00, the Snowball can be a good microphone to start with, but of course, at this price, do not expect the same studio quality recording gear.

High-end microphones typically used in professional studios would cost thousands of dollars but it boasts superior quality features.  If you wish to invest a little more than $100.00 in your start-up mic, there are other alternatives  from low to mid-range cost that can still provide professional grade recordings.

Below is a list of the top 5 microphones that are highly recommended by voice over talents, studios and tech sites. We’ve also found the best rates online where you can purchase each microphone.

We start the list with Sennheiser MKH-416.  The Sennheiser MKH-416 is the more expensive option in this lot, with price ranging from $1000 to $1299.  It is a shotgun mic commonly used in professional studios and television sets.  It offers excellent directional control in a compact design with high consonant articulation and rejection of feedback. The RF-design yields low noise levels and high immunity to humidity and moisture

Sennheiser MKH-416
Sennheiser MKH-416

What users like about it?

  • Great sound quality
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use

Best price we have found on the MKH-416

 

Audio Technica AT2020 is a cardioid condenser microphone specifically designed for vocal and general instrument capturing, making it suitable for project/home studio applications. It is priced is around $100 to $185, so it is a cost effective professional quality condenser mic.  It is recommended for voiceover work as it gives a rich, round and commercial sound similar to what you will get from a large diaphragm condenser mic. The cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of your sound source.

Audio Technica AT2020
Audio Technica AT2020

What users like about it?

  • Compact
  • Good audio
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile

Here’s the best price we’ve found for the AT2020

Another microphone option is the Rode NTK.  Normally tube mics cost around $3000, Rode NTK is the less expensive model of its kind, priced at $529.  It is large-diaphragm condenser mic that gives a warm sonic character.  It can take the beating for loud recordings without distorting the sound. It also features microphone features a custom built, Mu-metal transformer which results to a quiet, noise-free output at high gain levels.

Rode NTK
Rode NTK

What users like about it?

  • Durable
  • Good audio
  • Versatile
  • Compact

The best price we could find online for the Rode NTK

 

In almost all top microphone lists you will find the model Rode NT1-A.  It is a large diaphragm condenser microphone that has a self-noise level of 5 dB-A making it a perfect voice over mic. This neutral sounding mic is best for recording vocals and provides high quality voiceover recordings. It is also known as a flat mic because it is one of the quietest on the market.  The price ranges from $230 to $350; a great price for its features and quality, making it a good choice for your first voice over microphone.

Rode NT1-A
Rode NT1-A

What users like about it?

  • Good audio
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile
  • Durable
  • Lightweight

Here’s the lowest price on the Rode NT1-A we could source.

 

Neumann TLM103 is the less pricey sibling of everyone’s favorite, Neumann U87.  Priced at about $1,099.95, it addresses the voiceover need to have Neumann quality microphone without breaking the bank.  Though still less flexible than a U87, it still has a broad range and perfect for professional broadcasters to the more demanding home studio needs. What voiceovers love about this mic is its ability to pick up every nuances of the voice, and not just the prominent sound. The self-noise level of the TLM 103 is so reduced that even the smallest signals are reproduced almost noise-free. It is capable of handling sound pressure levels up to 138 dB without distortion.

 

Neumann TLM103
Neumann TLM103

What users like about it?

  • Durable
  • Great sound quality
  • Easy to use
  • Compact
  • Versatile

The cheapest price online for the Neumann TLM103

So that ends our top five list…

What is the best microphone to use for voiceover work… there are different types, sizes and models to choose from and the best one will be the right one for you. You should consider the following before making a decision:

  • Your Studio – How is the acoustics in your room or recording booth? Have you done sound-proofing?
  • Your Voice – How full or thin your voice is? What type of voiceover recording work do you intend to do?

And as every microphone may react differently, an important thing to consider is testing different types and models of microphone and find out how it reacts to your voice.

Apart from deciding on your first microphone, you would also need other accessories to improve the quality of your recordings, like widescreen, shock mount and reflection filter.  You also have to bear in mind that unless you give your vocal booth or studio (that spare closet or that little corner in your room) the proper room treatment, or equip your system with a good recording software you are still unlikely to truly benefit from the great qualities of your microphone.  It may burn your pocket at the start, but you will surely reap the rewards once you start recording professional quality voice overs.


Categories

Finding Voice Over Jobs

Where can you find v....

Starting Out In Voiceover

Learn about what you....

Voiceover Marketing

Get ideas on how to ....

Your Tools and Technology

Find out the best to....
top