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To learn more about our cookie policy, please check our Privacy Policy. In other words, the low frequency response remains beautifully lush, even if the singer moves (and some singers need to move in order to express themselves). So up next, I’ll show you 6 of the best options under $500. Condenser microphones are more responsive to the "speed" and nuances of sound waves than other types of studio mics, versatile enough to record everything from a rock drum kit to a string quartet. The MXL 770 is an affordable and versatile cardioid … Our bestseller. The best small-diaphragm condenser microphones bring us into a pretty niche-specific type of mic to review today. Should you buy a large- or small-diaphragm condenser? This website uses cookies to improve your experience. Because of their consistent pickup patterns, small diaphragm condensers are excellent to capture choirs, ensembles and orchestra in stereo (or even surround). Note that the distinction between small and large diaphragm is common only to condenser microphones. What about polar patterns - should you opt for a cardioid, omnidirectional, or perhaps a multi-pattern condenser mic? The widening pattern at low frequencies, for instance, mollifies the proximity effect. USB Condenser Microphone with Tripod Base, Mic Stand Mount, Pop Filter, USB Cable, and Carrying Case, Stereo Pair Series 180 Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphones in Wooden Box - Matte Black, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic with 80Hz Highpass Filter, Pad, and Gold-plated XLR (pair), USB Microphone with 16-bit/44.1kHz Resolution, Selectable Pickup Patterns, Headphone Output, and Software - Mac/PC, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic with Gold-sputtered Capsule, 80Hz and 160Hz Highpass Filters, 10dB and 20dB Pads, and Gold-plated XLR - Stereo Pair with Mic Clips, Wind Screens, Stereo Bar, and Metal Storage Case, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone with Lockable Pad, 3-position Low-frequency Response Switch, Swivel Adapter, Foam Windscreen, and Carrying Case, Stereo Pair Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphones, Small-diaphragm Matched Pair Cardioid Condenser Microphones, Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone for Use with Slate Digital VMS Virtual Microphone System, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone with 40Hz-20kHz Frequency Response, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic with 80Hz Highpass Filter, Pad, and Gold-plated XLR, Small-diaphragm Single NT5 Cardioid Condenser Mic, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Drum Mic with Gooseneck, RimMount, and Windscreen, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic (Pair), Small-diaphragm Cardioid Instrument Microphone with Gold-layered Mylar Diaphragm, Transformerless Preamplifier, Pad, Highpass Filter, Stereo Microphone Adapter, Stand Adapter, Windscreen, and Carrying Case - Stereo Pair, Cardioid Condenser Microphone with Highpass Filter, Magnetic Piano Mount, and 9" Gooseneck, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic with Gold-sputtered Capsule, 80Hz and 160Hz Highpass Filters, 10dB and 20dB Pads, and Gold-plated XLR, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Mic with Switchable 20dB Pad, Small-diaphragm Supercardioid Condenser Microphone with Clip and Cable - Violin, Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone with Cardioid Polar Pattern and 10dB Pad - Stereo Pair, Black, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Instrument Microphones with Gold-layered Mylar Diaphragm, Transformerless Preamplifier, Pad, Highpass Filter, Stand Adapter, Windscreen, and Carrying Case, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone with Selectable Pad and Highpass Filter, Two Small-diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphones with Stand Clamps, Windscreens, and a Vinyl Case, Stereo Pair of Cardioid Condenser Microphones, Stereo Pair Series 180 Small-diaphragm Omnidirectional Condenser Microphones in Wooden Case - Matte Black, Small-diaphragm Stereo Pair Omnidirectional Microphones for Critical Recording Applications, Small-diaphragm Supercardioid Condenser Microphones (x2) with Holders and Cables - Piano, Series 180 Small-diaphragm Cardioid Studio Condenser Microphone with Windscreen - Nickel, Small-diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone with Cardioid Polar Pattern and 10dB Pad- White (stereo pair), Series 180 Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone with Windscreen - Matte Black, Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone with Cardioid and Omnidirectional Capsules and 10dB Pad - Stereo Pair, Nickel, Handheld Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Stainless Steel, Small-diaphragm Matched Stereo Pair of Omnidirectional Condenser Mics, Small-diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone, Omnidirectional Small-diaphragm Condenser Measurement Microphone, End-address Cardioid Condenser Mic with 15dB Pad, Small-diaphragm Supercardioid Condenser Microphone with Clip and Cable - Acoustic Guitar, Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone with Cardioid Polar Pattern and 10dB Pad - Stereo Pair, Nickel, Small-diaphragm Matched, Serialized Stereo Microphones (pr), Small-diaphragm Supercardioid Condenser Microphone with Clip and Cable - Cello, Earthworks Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphones, DPA Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphones, Audio-Technica Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphones, Rode Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphones, Shure Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphones, Telefunken Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphones, Neumann KM 184 Stereo Set Small-diaphragm Cardioid Microphones - Matte Black, sE Electronics sE7 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Matched Pair, Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone, sE Electronics sE8 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Stereo Pair, Shure SM81 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, Samson C02 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Stereo Pair, Rode NT5 - Matched Pair Compact Condenser Microphones, Slate Digital VMS ML-2 Small-diaphragm Modeling Microphone, Blue Microphones Ember Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, sE Electronics sE7 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, Rode NT5-S Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, Earthworks DM20 Small-diaphragm Condenser Drum Microphone, PreSonus PM-2 Small-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Matched Pair, Shure KSM137 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Stereo Pair, Audio-Technica ATM350PL Cardioid Condenser Piano Microphone, sE Electronics sE8 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, Audio-Technica AT4033/CL Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, AKG P170 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, DPA 4099 CORE Instrument Microphone with Violin Mounting Clip, Warm Audio WA-84 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Stereo Pair (Black), Shure KSM137 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, AKG C 451 B Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, Audio-Technica AT4041SP Studio Microphone Pack, Schoeps Colette Series Stereo Set MK4 Modular Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone Pair with Cardioid Capsules, Neumann KM 183 Stereo Set Small-diaphragm Omnidirectional Microphones - Matte Black, Earthworks QTC50mp Omnidirectional Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Matched Pair, DPA 4099 CORE Stereo Instrument Microphone Set with Piano Mounting Clips, Neumann KM 184 Cardioid Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Nickel, Soyuz 013 FET Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone (Stereo Pair), Neumann KM 184 Cardioid Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Matte Black, Sennheiser e 614 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, Warm Audio WA-84 Premium Stereo Package - Multi-pattern Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Nickel, Earthworks SR314 Cardioid Condenser Handheld Vocal Microphone - Stainless Steel, Earthworks QTC40mp Omnidirectional Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Matched Pair, Sennheiser MKH 50 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, Earthworks M23 Omnidirectional Small-diaphragm Condenser Measurement Microphone, Shure SM137 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone, DPA 4099 CORE Instrument Microphone with Guitar Mounting Clip, Warm Audio WA-84 Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Stereo Pair (Nickel), DPA 4099 CORE Instrument Microphone with Cello Mounting Clip. 1. Early condenser microphones of the 1930s and 40s had to use large diaphragm capsules to overcome the noise of the tube electronics. Small diaphragm microphones can have excellent low end response and can also be used for bass instruments, although most pop engineers prefer the extra “lushness” of a large diaphragm microphone for bass-heavy sources. Stage feeling in the studio. This is also a reason why most home music producers buy large-diaphragm condenser microphones as their first studio microphone. The Neumann KM 184 is the successor to one of the most beloved small-diaphragm condenser microphones in history, the KM 84. In reality, many small diaphragm microphones for audio recording (as opposed to measurement mics) use slightly larger capsules. Also, the cardioid pattern widens considerably at low frequencies. A Sweetwater Sales Engineer will get back to you shortly. Small diaphragm microphones are “realists”. But that is just a rule of thumb. 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