AKG C214 Condenser Microphone
Legendary mic maker AKG has had a winner on their hands for some time now in the C 214 cardioid pattern large-capsule condenser microphone. Created in order to provide a cheaper alternative to the legendary C 414, it's become a top-seller in its own right. With the ability to capture sources rich in transients, such as vocals, engineers regularly reach for the C 214 in a variety of different recording situations. A -20 dB pad switch allows for more headroom when recording a relatively louder source. Also, a low-frequency roll-off switch allows some sonic clean-up of the signal before it even hits your pre-amp. Solidly-built and stylish to boot, the C 214 allows the project studio engineer to capture that classic AKG sound without breaking the bank, and earns our top spot here for condenser mics under $500.