Best Rapping Microphones for Rappers on a Budget

In this buying guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best rapping microphones out there. For an aspiring rapper, which mic you use may be one of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to studio and live performance gear. Cheap mics are everywhere! Without a reliable, clean-sounding mic that fits the tone of your voice, and one that’s geared towards recording vocals, your records and mixes will just be sub-par – and there is no room for that in the highly-competitive music industry.

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In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top 3

5 of the Best Rapping Microphones for Rappers on a Budget

Audio-Technica AT2020

Audio-Technica AT2020
Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR Microphone, Black
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The AT2020 is widely considered one of the best value studio condenser mics out there. The cardioid polar pattern is most sensitive from the front, and rejects sound from behind. This enables it to hone in on a single source like a rapper’s voice. This would be a great rapping microphone for someone who wants a mic with a flatter frequency response.

Features

♦ Type: Condenser
♦ Polar pattern: Cardioid
♦ Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
♦ Self-noise: 20 dB SPL
♦ Studio use
♦ Neutral sound
Additional specs

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MXL 990

MXL 990
MXL 990 Condenser Microphone with Shockmount
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The MXL 990 is up next on our list of the best rapping microphones in the budget category. This mic is generally considered to be a brighter mic. The 990 has a distinct bump in frequnecy response between 5 khz and 15 kHz, which will add to clarity. This mic may be better suited for female rappers since female vocals have a higher pitch in general. The MXL 990 also comes in several varieties such as the Blizzard Edition and Blaze Edition.

Features

♦ Type: Condenser
♦ Polar pattern: Cardioid
♦ Frequency response: 30 Hz – 20 kHz
♦ Self-noise: 20 dB A
♦ Studio use
♦ Brighter sound
Additional specs

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Shure SM58

Shure SM58
Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The Shure SM58 is a highly-regarded vocal mic that is used for live performances around the world. It’s received much praise for its reliability, durability, and ruggedness alongside its wonderful tone. The SM58 has a frequency response that is designed to sound good with the human voice, male or female. Its frequency response range is also designed to filter out any sound that is higher than the voice. This mic has a cardioid pattern like most of the others on this list.

Features

♦ Type: Dynamic
♦ Polar pattern: Cardioid
♦ Frequency response: 50 Hz – 15 kHz
♦ Live use
♦ Brighter sound
Additional specs

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Rode NT1-A (Best Rapping Microphones – Top pick)

Rode NT1-A
Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

When it comes to self-noise, the Rode NT1 and NT1-A have the lowest at their price point. This alone makes them both great studio mics. The NT1 and NT1-A differ, however, in their frequency response. The NT1 is more of an honest mic, with a flat and neutral response up until around 4 kHz. The NT1-A is a warmer mic since it has a boost in response between 100 and 240 Hz. This means the NT1-A will be a good rapping mic for a male rapper with a deeper voice.

Features

♦ Type: Condenser
♦ Polar pattern: Cardioid
♦ Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
♦ Self-noise: 5 dB A
♦ Studio use
♦ Warmer sound
Additional specs

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AKG D5

AKG D5
AKG D5 Vocal Dynamic Microphone
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

The AKG D5 is another contender in the live rapping microphone category. This mic is a big competitor to the Shure SM58 for live vocals. Like the SM58, it has a frequency response that is designed to sound great with male and female vocals. The D5 differs from the SM58 in the polar pattern department though. The D5 has a supercardiod pattern, meaning it is even more focused on sounds coming from the top. There is a tradeoff though – it is slightly more sensitive from the bottom.

Features

♦ Type: Dynamic
♦ Polar pattern: Supercardioid
♦ Frequency response: 70 Hz – 20 kHz
♦ Live use
♦ Brighter sound
Additional specs

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How to Pick the Best Rapping Microphones

With so many mics out there, it can be hard to make a good choice. On top of that, each individual will have slightly different requirements. Here are some things to consider when buying the best rapping microphone for your specific needs.

Live vs. Studio Use

A mic used in a live situation will have a different design when compared to a mic used in the studio. Many live mics are dynamic microphones, and many studio mics are condenser microphones.

best rapping microphones recording studio

The control room of a large recording studio.

Performance mics are designed to be dropped, thrown, and swung around on stage. They are made to withstand the abuse. Studio condenser mics, however, are not. You’ll need to think about where you’ll use your rapping microphone most and make the right choice.

Polar Patterns for the Best Rapping Microphones

For rappers, a mic with a cardioid polar pattern will be the best. A cardioid mic is one that is most sensitive to sound from the front. This means it is able to focus in on a single sound source.

Polar pattern cardioid

A typical cardioid polar pattern. Mics with this polar pattern would be most sensitive from the top.

Frequency Response

Frequency response refers to how the microphone changes the sound. Some mics sound brighter than others – meaning there is an emphasis on higher frequencies in the treble range. Some mics sound warmer – meaning they have an emphasis on lower and middle frequencies.

For rappers, a warmer mic may be ideal since it puts emphasis on lower vocal frequencies. But, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone’s voice is the same. The best-sounding rapping microphone may be different depending on the rapper’s voice. To get around this problem, you can use a neutral, flat mic, and apply EQ as needed after the recording is done.

Best Rapping Microphones: Wrap Up

If you’re looking for the best rapping microphone for your specific situation, you should consider how you’ll use the mic, it’s polar pattern, and how it’s frequency response will effect the way your voice sounds.

  • For live settings, go with a rugged mic that has a good track record.
  • For vocals and vocals only, a cardioid or supercardiod mic will work well as it is able to focus on one sound source – your voice.
  • Make sure you consider the frequency response curve, which can usually be found on the manufacturers website. Go with a curve that will enhance the natural characteristics of your voice.

That’s all for this buying guide. I hope this helps you make a great decision in your search for the best rapping microphone for your situation.

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