Top 5 Expensive Microphones

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Buying an expensive microphone means laying out some serious money. But, if you are a sound engineer striving for sonic perfection, the investment is worth it. The key is finding a top mic that meets your expectations and matches your hard-earned investment. The top five mics include a wide range of options and features. If you're on a budget, you might want to check out five great mics under $200.

The Earthworks SR-30 is a beautiful-sounding mic. A microphone's frequency response outside the normal range of hearing will allow for a much higher-definition sound; the Earthworks SR-30 provides great overheads and acoustic instruments. SR mics have a transparent sound quality, offering near-perfect polar response and high rejection of sounds at the rear of the microphone, resulting in less leakage and more gain before feedback.

Earthworks commitment to customer service and sound quality is unmatched; the SR-30 (previously the SR-77) is also a favorite of concert tapers for its smooth and accurate recording quality in difficult environments.

The AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII is a great vintage microphone: It's highly prized by collectors and high-end studios for its pristine yet warm and detailed response. It's perfect for vocals and acoustic guitar but also shines when used on guitar amps. Its controller offers nine polar patterns: cardioid, figure 8, and many others.

The C414 XLII is a faithfully reproduced reissue of the AKG C12. The difference is that the C414 has much-improved electronics to bring its noise floor and distortion handling within the range of modern recording equipment.

DPA produces very accurate (and very expensive) microphones. They're a favorite for recording classical music as well as acoustic instruments mainly due to their smooth, accurate frequency response. DPA microphones have a very specific "sound" to them: warm, tight, yet detailed. From the 4011C Cardioid down to the cheaper, more affordable 4061, they all sound phenomenal.

The 4011C is compact: It's very easy to get in the right spot for acoustic instruments, but it's also equally impressive on drums and for the live taping. This is one of the best mics available whenever logistics is an issue.

This microphone is one of the best for recording vocals. TheC800GPAC is also great for recording acoustic guitar: detailed and accurate with a very vibrant low-end. The mic features a 6AU6 vacuum tube alongside a unique Peltier-based cooling system to allow proper tube operating temperature. Electronic-selectable polar patterns and a high -33db sensitivity round out this device, which many refer to as the best vocal mic.

The Solution-D system includes three components: the D-01 digital microphone, a high-quality microphone with integrated preamp; the DMI-2 digital microphone interface, and the RCS remote control software, which operates the microphone itself.

The microphone brings Neumann's quality to life with a 96kHz, high-quality analog-to-digital converter. The Solution D offers cutting-edge technology and is perfect for vocals (or anything, for that matter).