Choosing the right microphone for Podcasting, Alexa Flash Briefings or anything else can be a daunting task if you don’t have any prior experience in the audio realm… heck, even if you do there are too many options out there to just go to Amazon and hit purchase.

 

In this series, we want to take a look at what’s out there. We are going to start with a budget mic because if you’re just starting out, this may be the way to go. I want to start with two sub $100 mics. The budget-priced Behringer Xm8500 and the Audio Technica ATR200.

Behringer: Ultravoice Xm8500

We start with the “Behringer: Ultravoice Xm8500 Dynamic Vocal Microphone” … this may also win an award for longest name as well. The reason I wanted to test this microphone out is the price of $19.99 on amazon.com as of the writing of this article. I went into this expecting disappointment… Now this microphone only uses a XLR cable does NOT have a USB option so you’ll need an audio interface to connect it to your computer. Here’s a few to check out and we’ll cover these in another post.

Here is an example of the audio quality while talking.

by XM8500

Accessories

  • Travel Case
  • Mic clip

Audio Technica ATR2100-USB

Now we move on to the Audio Technical AT200
This is the first USB mic I ever used actually and I’ve really enjoyed it for the most part. This mic has a current price of $79 on amazon.
This is a USB mic as well XLR which which is nice. I used this with my MacBook Pro and it worked right away when I opened Logic Pro X or Garage Band. Just select this mic in the settings, adjust the volume and you’re good to go! It has a headphone jack for monitoring your audio through the mic, but I prefer to monitor through my computer or an audio interface.
The volume wheel on the mic seems to adjust my computers master volume so I didn’t mess with that either.
It also comes with a travel case, but in addition it has a portable stand! Now I don’t really recommend using this stand if you’re the type that talks with your hands or your doing tutorials as it picks up the sound each time your hand hits the table. BUT, in a pinch and for traveling this is a really nice addition.

Accessories

  • Table Stand & Clip
  • USB Cable
  • XLR Cable

Here is an example of the audio quality while talking.

by atr2100

Final Thoughts…

I bought the ATR back in 2015 and it’s been a pretty good mic. I did, however, drop it once and it can break up and cause a little additional fuzz now. I’ve dropped my Shure SM58 a thousand times and never had an issue. But when building our new Podcast studio I decided to go with 2 of the Behringer mics. We plan on using these out in the wild and so far they’ve been really good. If one of those breaks it won’t break the bank. And when I need to record really high-quality audio for music I use a totally different type of mic we’ll get into in another post.

 

So in conclusion, I recommend both. If you want to plug directly into a computer without an audio interface then check out the ATR… but stay tuned next month as we will be checking out a very popular mic that could beat them both…

About The Author

Sean McKenna

Sean McKenna

Head Sounder

Co-Founder of SoundUp Now, Father, musician and also Batman.

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