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Best Tube Microphones for Perfect Audio on Any Budget

It’s hard to imagine using anything other than a microphone when recording music, voice-overs or even podcasts. Microphones are the lifeline of any audio-based project because they are responsible for capturing sound. The quality of your recordings is dependent on the quality of your sound source, which means you need to make sure that you’re using the best mic possible every time you create something.

This is why many of today’s best-selling microphones are tube mics. These mics feature a transformer that uses magnetic fields to transfer power from the source to the diaphragm, making them sound clear and crisp, even when high volumes are used in the recording process.

How to choose Best Tube Microphones for Perfect Audio on Any Budget:

What equipment do you need? You will need a microphone and a digital audio interface to achieve the best audio recording with your tube mic. If you are looking for the best tube microphone, go for a condenser vs dynamic microphone.

What is your budget? A good tube microphone begins from $100 to $500, depending on its features like its sensitivity, number of inputs/outputs and whether it has a pop filter or not.

What are you going to use the microphone for? A condenser microphone is best for recording vocals, instruments, acoustic musicians and other instruments.

What are the features that you need? While it is a matter of choice whether you want a tube microphone with XLR connectors or balanced outputs, some common features include phantom powering input, preamps and phantom power output.

What is the best tube microphone? The best tube microphones depend on your budget, requirements and what you are going to use it for.

5 Best Tube Microphones Reviewed

Sale
Warm Audio WA-47 Large Diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone
Warm Audio WA-47 Large Diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone
Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone with 9 Polar Patterns; Wood Presentation Box; External PSU
$749.00
Sale
Warm Audio WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone
Warm Audio WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone
Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone with 3 Polar Patterns; Wood Presentation Box; External PSU
$699.00
Avantone CV-12 Multi-Pattern Large Capsule Tube Condenser Microphone
Avantone CV-12 Multi-Pattern Large Capsule Tube Condenser Microphone
The Avantone CV-12 is truly a gorgeous looking and sounding microphone; The rugged CV-12 microphone body and capsule assembly are precision machined of brass
$499.00
Sale
Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone
Large 1 inch capsule with gold plated diaphragm; Class A valve circuitry; Ultra low noise; Frequency Range 20Hz - 20kHz
$579.00

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Warm Audio WA-47 Large Diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone:

Sale
Warm Audio WA-47 Large Diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone
31 Reviews
Warm Audio WA-47 Large Diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone
  • Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone with 9 Polar Patterns
  • Wood Presentation Box
  • External PSU
  • Shockmount

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The WA-47 is a large diaphragm tube microphone that provides outstanding sound quality, even on the most sensitive tracks. Its 4″ diameter gold-sputtered, neodymium magnet transducer offers a frequency response of 50Hz – 20kHz, making it possible to record with full fidelity and clarity. The WA-47 includes shock mount and pop screen for safe handling.

The Warm Audio WA-47 is a large diaphragm tube condenser microphone aimed at recording applications where the sound quality must be absolutely pristine. This quality is achieved by offering a large gold sputtered 4″ neodymium magnet transducer that has a frequency response of 50Hz – 20kHz. This frequency range makes it possible to record with full fidelity and clarity. It includes both a shock mount and pop screen for safe handling.

Pros:

  • High quality, high fidelity sound.
  • Built-in shock mount for reliable recording.
  • Consistent noise rejection across all sources.
  • Fully manual audio control from the front panel to obtain perfect performance with vocals or acoustic instruments.

Cons:

  • Can not be used as the main microphone for recording rock or similar genres of music.
  • Upside down flag – you need to hang it over the edge of a table, etc., to avoid embarrassing situations when handling.
  • Unpleasant weight (although appropriate for the quality of sound and build quality).

2. Neumann U67 Collector S Edition Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone:

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Neumann U67 Collector’s Edition is a unique microphone that is modeled after the original 1967 version of the same name. It has also received a special gold lacquer treatment to make it look like its predecessor. The head is made of cast iron making it more stable with larger dissipating surfaces for higher sound pressure levels.

The capsule is a double-backplate design that is very robust and gives the microphone more than enough sensitivity for anything it may be used for. The entire microphone has two switches that allows the user to switch between either a 0dB attenuation or -20 dB attenuation depending on what they need out of the microphone.

Pros:

  • Beautiful, vintage sound that is great for anything from vocals to instruments.
  • The best of its kind on the market, and the only one on this list to be completely made by hand.
  • Heavy duty build with an industry-standard design so it can take some brutal studio abuse. *Low self noise so you don’t need any expensive preamps to get great results.

Cons:

  • Requires a power source
  • Might not be able to switch between sources without significant effort
  • Does not contain a built-in headphone jack or mute button.

3. Warm Audio WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone:

Sale
Warm Audio WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone
13 Reviews
Warm Audio WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone
  • Large-diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone with 3 Polar Patterns
  • Wood Presentation Box
  • External PSU
  • Shockmount

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Your choice should depend on the situation and your personal preferences. For example, if you’re recording vocals or an acoustic guitar, a tube microphone is what you want! It’ll keep all those rich textures intact so that the audio quality is as high as possible. The Warm Audio WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone is one such great option- it’s perfect for any audio recording because of its neutral, transparent sound.

The Warm Audio WA-251 tube condenser microphone captures full, rich sound that’s true to the source. The mic is incredibly transparent, meaning that it will capture the tone of whatever you’re recording. It sounds clear and can capture subtle details in your acoustic guitar or vocals that add such depth and character that they become the focus of your track.

Pros:

  • Budget Friendly.
  • In-Depth Sound.
  • Durable design.

Cons:

  • Slightly muffled recordings.
  • Requires a tube amplifier to sound at its best.
  • Plug and play feature may not work with some computers. Requires USB connection.

4. Avantone CV-12 Multi-Pattern Large Capsule Tube Condenser Microphone:

Avantone CV-12 Multi-Pattern Large Capsule Tube Condenser Microphone
62 Reviews
Avantone CV-12 Multi-Pattern Large Capsule Tube Condenser Microphone
  • Audio Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz Max SPL: 136 dB Connectivity: XLRPattern and type Capsule: Tube Pattern: Multi-pattern...
  • They will meet or surpass the performance and specifications of some much higher priced mics
  • The Avantone CV-12 is truly a gorgeous looking and sounding microphone
  • The design, character and performance are comparable to some of the finest vintage tube mics of the 1950' & 1960', but at a...
  • The rugged CV-12 microphone body and capsule assembly are precision machined of brass

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Avantone CV-12 is a large-diaphragm tube condenser microphone with a 12AX7A vacuum tube, a transformerless circuit with Class “A” amplification, and a multi-pattern selector switch. The CV-12 has been designed to provide sonic excellence for live vocals and instruments.

The Avantone CV-12 was an affordable price, which is decent for a microphone of such size and quality. I did quite a lot of research before choosing this product that was capable of providing professional recordings, especially vocals and guitar sound.

Pros:

  • A true stereo microphone with a balanced XLR connector.
  • It’s perfect for recording studio, live streaming, or answering phone calls.
  • Ergonomically designed for comfort even when wearing glasses.
  • Cassette adapter and XLR cable included.

Cons:

  • Supplied a shockmount stand rather than a microphone stand
  • The sensitivity is not very sensitive for picking up the slightest nuance of the performer.
  • It’s difficult to find any documentation about frequency response and other technical specs online or in the manual.
  • For less experienced studio engineers, it may take some time to get used to using an active mic. This is because CV-12 requires phantom power from an external power source, which might not be available at every studio.

5. Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone:

Sale
Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone
46 Reviews
Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone
  • Large 1 inch capsule with gold plated diaphragm
  • Class A valve circuitry
  • Ultra low noise; Frequency Range 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Wide dynamic range

Last update on 2021-12-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone is a professional-level microphone option for those looking for high quality audio in audio recording, podcasting, or live streaming. This microphone comes with a variety of essential features that make it simple and easy to use. The NTK Premium uses XLR/TRS inputs and outputs as well as an easy-to-use microphone stand mount that can be set up just about anywhere with ease.

The Rode NTK Premium Tube Cardioid Condenser Microphone features a hybrid design that combines the enduring warm audio of a tube preamplifier with the exceptional clarity of a condenser microphone. The included tube is ideal for giving users even more control over their sound and allows you to customize the dynamic response of the NTK Premium to fit your preferences. This microphone comes with an on/off switch, which helps reduce noise and interference from other devices in your home or studio.

Pros:

  • Perfect for recording
  • Clear high end response
  • Natural sound reproduction
  • Good for vocals and acoustic instruments.

Cons:

  • The top is too close to the microphone’s diaphragm, compromising sound quality.
  • Wires and cable are not included in the package.
  • Push button connector for easy mic and cable connections is too delicate for daily use.

Conclusion:

The microphone is the most crucial part of your studio. Without it, you are unable to record vocals or capture acoustic instruments – so it’s important to have a mic that suits your needs. In the world of pro studios, condenser microphones are the norm. However, many home studios don’t have access to this sort of equipment or knowledge – and what’s worse – they don’t have the budget for it either.

If you’re not a professional vocalist or an expert musician, you’re going to need a top quality mic. To achieve this, you’ll need to invest in a microphone which is built with semi-conductor technology. You can’t go wrong with a USB or XLR mic for this purpose as you’re guaranteed to achieve professional results every time.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide on tube microphones – as we feel it’s one of the best budget choices out there. You can find tube mics in the $100-$200 price range – and they’re perfect for home recording enthusiasts. You’ll need to pick up a microphone preamp to go with your tube mic – so add this to the cost when deciding how much you’re willing to spend.

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