Quick Hits: Budget Dynamic Mics

Looking for an outstanding dynamic microphone but a little low on funds? Here are a couple of our own personal suggestions for mics that will get you far without leaving you broke!


SHURE BETA58A: You simply can’t mention the Shure BETA 58A without mentioning its very similar and very famous predecessor – the Shure SM58. For those of you unaware, the SM58 is pretty much THE dynamic mic. The next time you ever go to a live concert, there’s a VERY good chance that they are probably using an SM58 since it is essentially the most widely used and seen dynamic mic in the world. It has even been widely speculated that U2’s Bono pretty much recorded everything an SM58. Well, enough about the SM58, let’s get into the BETA 58A. As I mentioned before, the BETA 58A is very similar to the SM58 but has a slightly wider frequency response as well as a better grip. Much like the SM58, the BETA 58A is well known for being the permanent choice in a live vocal mic for several singers and works just as great as a dynamic studio mic. If you’ve never heard either one of these bad boys, the BETA 58A is a bit clearer than the SM58 in my opinion and has a very warm and colorful sound to it that simply can’t be reached by almost any other dynamic mic in this price range. And if you happen to have a good preamp on you, you can even use it to record pretty much almost anything on it, from acoustic guitars to drum kit toms.  Not to mention that they can take one hell of a beating and still work good as new. All, in all, the BETA 58A builds on what was already considered the most popular dynamic mic ever released… you simply can’t go wrong with this one!

Price: $159.00

Works best as: Live stage vocal mic


SENNHEISER e604: If you’re looking to record a full band in your home studio, you’re going to need a few solid drum mics, not to mention one that can fit within your budget. Luckily for us, Sennheiser has developed the e604! My first experience with the e604 was pretty much an accident. A friend of mine was in the middle of recording an entire drum kit and needed some suggestions on some mics that he could use that wouldn’t go beyond his $500 price point. My first suggestion was getting something like four Shure SM57 mics – three for the toms and one for the snare. We went over to our local music shop and before we could find the SM57s, my buddy noticed a three pack of mics that were being sold specifically as tom mics (among other uses… such as snare). For some reason, I didn’t have such a great feeling about Sennheiser; it had nothing to do with actually using them, but similar to the prejudice some people have about off brand cereal, or things of that nature – I just didn’t know what to expect from these three very modestly priced microphones. Well, I’m sure you already know that I was very much surprised when we finally went home and got to use them.  When it comes to recording drums one of the trickiest parts deals with the toms – specifically getting them to sound nice, clear and professional. With the e604, the toms were crystal clear along with plenty of headroom before peaking – an absolute masterpiece! The sound came off crisper than an SM57 and even worked great – as the manual suggested – on wind instruments such as my buddy’s sax which came off very rich and natural. The versatility is definitely in there but if you are looking specifically for a very capable set of tom and snare mics, you most definitely should consider taking a look at the  Sennheiser e604 dynamic microphone!

Price: $139.00 each / $349.95 for 3 pack

Works best as: Tom mic – comes with drum clip


Honorable Mention:

AKG D112

Price: $199.00

Works best as: Kick drum mic

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