Last updated on July 27th, 2020 at 12:50 am
It’s very important that you properly mic a choir with the right type of microphones. The process is different compared to setting up for a lead vocalist or band as you’re working with a unified sound of voices, instead of individual singers. The price ranges do vary a lot with choir microphones, but if you’re looking for more affordable options, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of our picks for the 5 best budget choir microphones that are available.
All of the mics we are going to talk about on this list is under $200. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- 1 Factors to Consider When Miking a Choir
- 2 Our Picks for the Best Budget Choir Microphones
- 3 Final Thoughts
- 4 More Articles to Read:
Factors to Consider When Miking a Choir
Size of Choir
It’s important to consider the size of the choir you’re working with as it will determine how many microphones you’re going to need. Most of the time, if there aren’t too many people, you can get by with at least two microphones to accommodate all of the voices. However, if you’re working with a larger choir or require more gain before feedback, you’re going to need more mics. A good set-up at this point would be to have one microphone per section (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass). Keep in mind, much larger choirs may require more than one microphone per section.
A good way to set up everything for maximum gain before feedback would be to get all of the microphones as close to the choir as possible. In this case, capturing the presence of the choir is more important than trying to accurately represent every individual voice. Everyone is working as a unit to produce a beautiful unified sound. Make sure to have the best singers closest to the microphones as they’ll be the people leading the rest of the choir. Try to arrange it so that weaker singers are farther away from the mics so the microphones can capture the best sound possible. They’ll still be able to contribute by supporting the choir with their voices, we just need to make sure that the best voices are being picked up first on the microphones.
Visibility of Microphones
Another factor you need to consider is the visibility of the microphones when setting up for a choir. It’s especially important when it’s for a live performance. You can set-up your mics to hang from the ceiling, making them not visible to the audience or use long stretch microphone stands. There are also microphones that already have a low-profile design that works great with choirs. When setting up the mics for a choir, the microphones will be farther away from the singers. This is so you can achieve a more filling sound that isn’t focused on just one person. Since it’s going to be a little farther away, it’ll be less distracting and shouldn’t be in the way. Try to make them unnoticeable to the crowd.
The Setting of Performance (Live or Recording)
When miking a choir for a live performance, having low-profile microphones is going to be ideal. You’re also going to want to set up the mics to be less visible to the crowd like we mentioned in the previous section. Small-diaphragm condenser microphones are excellent options for live settings as they’re low-profile in design but able to capture the full sound of the choir.
If you’re setting up the microphones to record a choir in a recording studio/session, visibility of the microphones won’t matter at all. In this situation, it’d be a good idea to take advantage of larger diaphragm microphones to record the choir’s sounds. There’s less worry of having the microphones visible, having more of a priority of capturing the best sound possible.
Alright, now that you have an understanding of what you should consider when miking a choir, here’s our list for the best budget choir microphones under $200.
Our Picks for the Best Budget Choir Microphones
1. Shure CVO
The Shure CVO is a great choir mic that’s affordable with a very low-profile design. It’s a hanging overhead condenser microphone that is mounted on a flexible holder, with an integrated memory wire that allows you to aim the mic in any direction. This makes it much easier to place and adjust the microphone(s) in the most ideal positions to capture a choir’s sound.
It does have a cardioid directional pattern, which helps provide a clean sound without any background noise or interference. The Shure CVO can even capture the quietest sounds on stage, thanks to its cardioid capsule. This microphone comes equipped with CommShield Technology, which protects the mic from any interference that other nearby wireless devices and nearby radio signals can cause.
You will find that this microphone has a 25ft. XLR cable, giving you a lot to work with when setting up. It has a superior Shure design that’s rugged and dependable. There are also two color options to choose from, either black or white. Last but not least, it comes available with snap-fit windscreens (4 pack), great for situations where the choir has to perform outdoors. Overall, a great affordable microphone that does an excellent job of capturing the full sound of the choir. You’ll be surprised at what this little mic is capable of doing.
The Peavy VCM 3 choir microphone makes it onto our list for its capability of capturing an entire choir while having a very low-profile design. Peavey designed this microphone to be suspended above choirs, ensembles, and stage areas so you can rest assured that it’ll work great with your choir. It’s a mic with a cardioid pickup pattern that has a tailored smooth frequency response. Thanks to its cardioid pickup pattern, the VCM 3 does an effective job in suppressing feedback and unwanted noise. It’ll definitely enhance your choir’s mix to a high-quality sound that’ll fill the space.
It comes with a flexible steel-spring hanging adapter that facilitates the positioning of the microphone when it is suspended by its cable. The cable that comes with this microphone is a0 33ft. small diameter cable, giving you some space to work with while also being barely noticeable in your set-up. To top it off, it has a nice windscreen so you can use it in outdoor performances. Do keep in mind that this mic does require phantom power to use. The cable connects to a compact output module that will adapt the smaller QG-type connector to a standard 3-pin XLR. The adapter will run on 9V-52V phantom power.
We definitely recommend checking out the VCM 3 Choir microphone from Peavey. For its extremely small design, we have to commend how impressive it is at capturing the full sound of an entire choir.
The Rode M5 is a pair of matched small diaphragm condenser microphones that do an excellent job of capturing a choir’s sound. These mics are highly sensitive to the environment thanks to its cardioid polar pattern while also having very dependable noise protection. Since it has a cardioid polar pattern, it’ll be focused on picking up the sound that it’s pointing towards. Because of this, the sound it picks up will be more consistent on the choir, and less sensitive to sounds that are coming from the rear of the mic. All of the subtle details of sound from the choir will be captured by these pairs of microphones.
Since this is a matched pair of mics, the sensitivity is within 1dB of each other. This ensures that the level of sound capture is consistent between the two microphones.
It has a nice compact design that is low-profile and makes it easy to position for a choir’s performance. The build quality is definitely noticeably better than other budgets small-diaphragm condenser mics. It’s quite impressive to see how solid and rugged the M5 microphones are coming at such an affordable price. They also come with windshields that are great for outdoor use and Rm5 stand mounts for easy set-up.
Overall, the M5 mics are great options for choirs. They’re capable of working well in both live performances and recording situations. It’s surprising to see microphones produce such a detailed and clean sound, all at a very affordable price.
To learn more about the Rode M5, check out this very informative video by Consordini on YouTube:
The U853R from Audio-Technica is a low-profile hanging condenser microphone that produces a very nice sound. It’s a great mic to use to capture clear sounding overhead audio of the entire choir. Just like the other mics we’ve already mentioned, the U853R has a cardioid pickup pattern. The mic produces a natural sound and superior gain before feedback. It’ll capture sound more accurately while doing an excellent job at rejecting outside noise. You also don’t have to worry about radio frequency interference, thanks to its UniGuard RFI-shielding technology. Its UniSteep filter provides a steep reduction on low-frequencies, improving sound pickup while not affecting any voice quality.
This microphone also accepts interchangeable elements, which include cardioid, hypercardioid, and omnidirectional polar patterns.
Like we already mentioned, it’s a low-profile microphone that is designed to be suspended over choirs, instrumental groups, and theater stages. It has a low-reflectance finish, minimizing the visibility of this mic. They include a compact adapter that will allow you to plug the U853R into a standard XLR cable. It also comes with a steel hangar and a windscreen. And just like other choir microphones, you’ll have two color options of black or white. Do keep in mind that this microphone does operate on Phantom Power.
Overall, the U855R from Audio-Technica is an excellent microphone for capturing the sound of a choir. It’s definitely one of the higher-quality budget options for choir microphones that are under $200. If you’re looking for a mic that’ll do a good job at enhancing your choir’s sound at an affordable price, definitely check it out.
The LyxPro SDPC-2 paired Stereo microphones make it onto our for its useful features, good sound, and very affordable price. This nice package comes with 2 SDPC-2 Pencil Condenser Stick microphones that accurately capture sounds. The polar pattern of the microphone is interchangeable thanks to the three included capsules for each mic. You’ll be able to change between omnidirectional, cardioid, and supercardioid polar patterns. All you have to do is change the capsules the mics are equipped with. You’ll be able to customize how each mic picks up sound, allowing you to adjust accordingly to your needs.
You’ll be able to use this microphone on various choir sizes. They work great overhead, capturing a good blend of the choir, not just a select few. These mics also respond well to EQ adjustments, and with a little bit of tweaking, you can avoid any feedback. The mics have a low-profile design that won’t catch the attention of the crowd. It does come with two windscreens for outdoor use, two smooth-tilt microphone clips to use with a mic stand, and an aluminum carrying case for easy transport. The carrying case is alright, definitely not premium quality, but you will find that each piece of equipment fits securely in place.
Overall, The SDPC-2 Stereo microphone pair from LyxPro is an amazing value. You normally would have to pay a lot more for a mic with interchangeable polar pattern capsules. The fact that you can get it for such an affordable price is incredible. If you’re looking for a full packaged but affordable choir microphone, definitely check out the SDPC-2 microphones.
Well, there you have it, our list for the 5 best budget choir microphones that are under $200. While of course, you would have a superior sound quality and features from more premium mics, but you will also be paying a lot more. Each microphone we have recommended on this list does an incredible job of capturing the beautiful unified voice of a choir while remaining affordable for most. Do keep in mind that you’re probably going to need to have at least a set of two microphones, regardless of which one you decide on. This will ensure that you can capture the full sound of the choir, having every section covered. How you set up the microphones for your choir is just as important when it comes to achieving an amazing sound.