Best Guitar Microphone
Best Guitar Microphone Overall:
There are a variety of components that play an important part in recording great-sounding electric guitar. The instrument itself and the amplifier that it runs through are of course essential to nailing a fantastic tone and sound, but the microphone that is used to capture that signal is just as crucial. While there are many theories as to what type of microphone works best for this task as well as where said microphone should be placed, at the end of the day most experts agree that the best course of action is to experiment until you get a sound that is satisfactory. These are the best microphones for recording guitar overall, with each one listed here offering a SPL handling capacity of at least 115dB, making it able to handle the loud sounds of guitar amplification without being driven into overdrive, they're lightweight with each weighing less than two pounds so they're easy to travel with, and lastly each connects its output via XLR cable.
Neumann’s U87 studio microphone is one of the best known and widely used of its kind, thanks to its classic sound and distinct design. This large condenser microphone is able to capture the full breadth of sound coming from a guitar amplifier, and it is also built with precautions to handle the power that signal contains. Read Full Review
Perhaps more than most other guitar microphones, the AKG C414 XLS provides users with a plenty of options to choose from during the recording process. This mic can switch between a whopping nine different pickup patterns, including omnidirectional, figure eight, cardioid, hypercardioid, and more. Read Full Review
Most ribbon microphones are able to coax an amazing sound out of an electric guitar recording, but the M160 by Beyerdynamic truly stands in a class of its own. The mic’s warm and natural sound, coupled with its compact build, making it an easy choice for those who want their electric guitar recordings to sound impeccable. Read Full Review
Royer’s R-121 is their flagship product, a ribbon microphone capable of producing a realistic and balanced sound that is ideal for capturing the tones that emanate from guitar amplifiers. Additionally, the mic offers a high SPL rating to handle the most cranked up gain that an amp might offer, without driving the microphone signal into nasty distortion. Read Full Review
Just the mere mention of tubes is enough to get most guitar enthusiasts giddy; after all, the sound of tube guitar amplifiers is synonymous with a warm and unparalleled sound. So those who are looking for a microphone to record guitar will find themselves equally excited by the Audio-Technica AT4060, a large dual-diaphragm tube condenser microphone whose sound is wide and precise. Read Full Review
Best Budget Guitar Microphone:
Whether you are operating your own home studio or are a guitarist who has taken studio/live recording into your own hands, having the right microphone to record the guitar is a crucial component to getting a great sound. This tool must be able to handle the loud sounds that amplifiers need to make in order to provide a natural tone, but most also be dynamic enough to capture the full range of sound that the instrument produces. Whichever aforementioned category you find yourself in, budgets can definitely be a concern, especially when there are so many other costs in operating a studio or having a fully functional and superb guitar rig. Luckily, there are several great guitar microphones that exist today that won’t break the bank. We've selected the best budget guitar microphone out there, with each item listed here having a cardioid-based pickup pattern to provide a direct sound while eliminating unwanted background noise. Each has been manufactured with durability and ruggedness in mind, making any of these mics a great option for both live and contained recording environments. Lastly, these microphones easily connect to the rest of your system with commonly-found XLR cables.
Shure’s SM57 is one of the most commonly used microphones in studios and live settings alike. This device is a standard for recording guitar amplifiers; you’d be hard-pressed to find a studio that doesn’t have this mic in its collection. Read Full Review
The Audix i5 is a dynamic microphone that brings a clear and detailed sound to guitars (and many other instruments) in a live setting. With a rugged build ideal for use on the road, this cardioid mic will give you exactly what you need to get your guitar amp signal placed perfectly in the mix. Read Full Review
Sennheiser’s e 609 silver microphone was designed specifically for capturing the sound of guitar cabinets. Based after the build and sound of other classic mics, this device is easy to set up and produces a great sound. Read Full Review
Like its sister the SM57, Shure’s SM58 is a nearly ubiquitous microphone in the recording and performance industries. Though it's often utilized more as a vocal mic, it can actually do wonders for recording guitar signal, thanks to its durable, rugged design and strong presence. Read Full Review
The Sennheiser e 906 is an easy to use microphone that can coax great sounds out of amplified guitars. A switchable presence filter also provides a degree of versatility to the mic’s overall capability. Read Full Review