Best Rap Microphone For Recording Vocals 2019

Your voice is the focal point in rap. When recording, you want the best possible microphone for YOUR vocals. Period. There are specific mics that pickup words more accurately than others. You have the power to find the best rap microphone for YOU.


Best Rap Microphone - My Top 3 Picks

There are ALOT of options when it comes to the mic rappers should get. In 2019, this should not be the case. I have been rapping for 16 years solid, and tried way too many mics not to leave some wisdom behind for you.

7 Best Mics For Rap Vocals - Rhymemakers Top Picks

Below I have compiled the seven best rap microphones available to buy right now. There are different needs for different voices. And there are different price ranges and features. You may notice I didn't include any USB microphones on this list. That's because they are garbage trash, and you should avoid them.

Table of Contents

  1. At2020

  2. Rode NT1A

  3. MXL 770

  4. AKG Pro Audio C214

  5. Rode NTK Tube Condenser

  6. AT2035

  7. AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII

  8. Things To Consider When Buying a Microphone

1. AudioTechnica AT2020

After combing through hundreds of Reddit posts and comments for the last 4 years, I have determined this mic is STILL the best ha ha. The champ is here. Highly touted by underground rappers all over the world. This dude wins in price value, sound, durability, vocals, ease-of-use, etc.

Long story short, this mic is a beast. The wide polar pattern makes it ideal for picking up rap vocals. It's the best mic for rap vocals under $100. The AT2020 is a heavy, all-metal studio quality mic made specifically for recording voice.

This is not a USB-Microphone, so it requires an audio interface with phantom power. If you don't want to sound like you're in a tin can anymore. Or if you don't want your voice to come out high pitched like a small child... the AT is my top choice. It has done me well. And I've dropped a few times.

Video review

Rode nt1a microphone.png

This is Reddit's second favorite microphone for raps. The Rode NT1A. I will admit, I don't own this one. But I have used it at the library.

(Pro tip: If you can't afford a mic to record with, go to you're public library. Some of them have microphones you can use.)

Things I like:RODE NT1A gives you a pop shield and shock mount when they ship it to you. Convenient. The reason this mic gets to number two on the list is low self-noise. It's considered one of the quietest microphones in the world at 5dBA. Which just means when it produces less noise while working. That is perfect for recording vocals. Especially lyrics.

Video review


The cool thing about the MXL 770 is the low bass it picks up in your voice. This super inexpensive mic gets ALL of your voice, from the low end to the high-end. Again, this is good for rappers who tend to come out high-pitched or nasally. Many times, that's due to the microphone you're using. (Tell me it's not a USB-Mic please).

The manufacturer MXL even talks about this mic in reference to rappers in the product description. That's usually a good sign for us. Made with hip hop vocals in mind.

Video review


This guy is probably the BEST microphone under $500. It has an actual high-pass filter button built ONTO the device. That is amazing for rap vocals, and just one more thing you don't have to mix in afterwards.

The reason this one drops down to the fourth position, is due to the lack of warmth you get in the voice. It almost sounds kind of metallic or tinny to me. So P's and S sounds seem to be enhanced on the AKG Pro Audio C214.

Video review

5. RODE NTK Tube Condenser

An affordable TUBE microphone! Ahhhhh. The Rode NTK Tube condenser is solid. The only reason it goes to 5, is because it's not made for the purpose of vocals specifically. So, the design has guitars, drums and instruments in mind on top of voice.

If that appeals to you as well, then I would definitely go with this one. Make sure you handle it like a delicate flower though, because it WILL break if you drop it.

Video review

6. Audio-Technica AT2035

An affordable TUBE microphone! Ahhhhh. The Rode NTK Tube condenser is solid. The only reason it goes to 5, is because it's not made for the purpose of vocals specifically. So, the design has guitars, drums and instruments in mind on top of voice.

If that appeals to you as well, then I would definitely go with this one. Make sure you handle it like a delicate flower though, because it WILL break if you drop it.

Video review

7. AKG Pro Audio C414 XLII

An affordable TUBE microphone! Ahhhhh. The Rode NTK Tube condenser is solid. The only reason it goes to 5, is because it's not made for the purpose of vocals specifically. So, the design has guitars, drums and instruments in mind on top of voice.

If that appeals to you as well, then I would definitely go with this one. Make sure you handle it like a delicate flower though, because it WILL break if you drop it. This is for the four words.

Video review

Things You'll Want To Know Before Buying A Mic For Rap

Is a condenser mic better for recording vocals?

Yes, absolutely.

What mic does Drake use?

Sony C800G - Expensive as hell. But if you got the cash, you got the cash. And if that's you... please send me some ha ha.

What mic does Logic use?

Shure SM7B. This is definitely one of the most up voted on Reddit as well. The price tag makes it a difficult purchase, but if you're looking one of top hip hop microphones, you found it.

Best Mic For Rap Vocals Reddit?

I went through every single r/makinghiphop post on Reddit for the last four years. I found the most mentioned/up voted microphones for rap. The Rode NT1A, the AT2020 and the Shure SM7B are the most up voted mics for rap vocals on Reddit.

“I have an AT2020 and I think it's doing a great job considering the low price. I have had no problems with it, so I can recommend it if you're leaning towards that one.”

-Reddit r/Makinghiphop

Dynamic Vs Condenser Mics

What’s the difference?

Condenser microphone = Delicate vocals, In-Studio use

Dynamic microphone = Powerful vocals + Live use + Strong signals

You can still get great sound in a studio with a dynamic microphone. BUT condenser mics are made for in-studio vocals and high frequency sounds. Which is perfect for raps in a home booth.

The major difference is in how they receive your voice and turn it digital. Condenser microphones are delicate. They have a little membrane built in that analyzes the pressure of your sound. Made to pick up accurate, detailed and delicate sounds. Perfect for your rap voice. Condenser mics use something called phantom power. All that means is that it gets power from an external source (mostly 48v from a pre-amplifier). And many pre-amps will list right on the device if they have phantom power or not. This is what creates that insanely high output while still being able to keep the gain (volume) down while recording.

Dynamic microphones use a wire coil thing to pick up sound and are much more durable microphones. You can beat them up pretty good, and they will still be quality. Michael Jackson did Thriller on a dynamic microphone. That’s because his voice worked extremely well with it. For most rappers we won’t be belting out songs and singing like that.


Pickup Pattern - Cardioid

There are four pickup patterns for microphones. Omni-directional, bi-directional, cardioid and supercardioid.

The microphone can either pick up sound all the way around (omni-directional) or pickup what’s right in front of it (cardioid).

For recording rap vocals at home, it is best to use cardioid. Which just means it picks up sound at the front of the microphone only. Cardioid is termed for its heart shape of where on the mic it picks up the sound from.

The mic is created specifically to pick up sound in one direction. It WONT pick up as much sound from behind the mic or the sides.

USB-Mic VS XLR For Rap Vocals

USB plugs into the USB port on your computer. XLR is the name for the three prong connection from the mic to a quarter inch jack on the other end. (most microphones are XLR that aren't USB)

USB microphones are almost always a cheaper, less expensive option than XLR microphones.

I’m going to just be straight up honest here. I have the Blue Yeti AND the Snowball USB mic, and they are straight trash for rap vocals.

Some people will tell you to get a USB-mic like the Blue Yeti or the Snowball. I can understand that, because it’s an all-in-one solution, and they are way cheaper overall. If you just want to get stuff out there, these can work. BUT they won’t sound good. Honestly, you’re going to have to EQ the heck outta those lyrics in order to make them sound HALF decent.

Why though?

The two most common types of microphones used in rap are condenser mics or dynamic mics. The difference between them is in the way they take your voice and convert it into the computer.. Or how they translate an analog signal to a digital signal.

The reason USB mics are lower quality is because of how they convert an audio signal to an electrical signal. These mic’s like the Blue Yeti were built to try and do everything in one. When that happens the quality of all of these processes suffer.

Is The Blue Yeti Good For Rapping?

Say you wanted the best sushi in town. Would you rather go to a sushi restaurant that specializes in sushi? Like they only serve sushi.. Or would you go to a restaurant that serves burgers, steaks, fries, chicken AND sushi? Who do you think will do it better?

A single USB-mic will have to convert the audio to electrical, then convert analog to digital and also amplify the signal as well. Usually that doesn’t work out too well.

Do You Have To Get An Audio Interface? 

Yeah for sure. Unless you’re using a USB mic.

The audio interface takes the sound of your voice (analog) and turns it into digital, so you can play it on your computer.

This ALSO will power up a condenser microphone and give it some juice. This is what allows the microphone to record at ideal ‘gain’ (volume) levels. And what makes it so great for picking up the fine unique characteristics of our voice.

Think of it like a mandatory adapter in order to get from your microphone to your computer. It must exist. But the best part is they aren’t too pricey. $99 will get a solid one.

Mic Stands - Don’t Make The Same Mistake As Me 

At first, I got a full mic stand. That goes from the floor and all the way up. Which is fine. But then I realized I want to do all this stuff at a desk sitting down. For some reason I just feel way more comfortable that way. When rhyming, creating and doing anything. I don’t want to be standing up. So I have it positioned next to my desk like that now.. But it would have been easier if I knew to get a table boom stand instead. One that connects to your table top with a swivel arm. So much better.

Shure SM7B Vocal Dynamic Microphone Review

One of the top hip hop microphones is the Shure SM7B. It is almost unanimous throughout the underground hip hop community that based on quality and price, this is the best option. But it's too pricey to put on my list. I have it here in the honorable mentions' category because it's too good to ignore.

This also comes with a disclaimer.

The Shure SM7B needs a pre-amplifier. It requires an XLR port which you cannot find on any computer. You can get a decent preamp for $99. Then you’re set.

Why is it the good? 

One of my favorite quotes about this microphone:

“I have no window treatments in my room. I have a computer, and a 5 disk array whirring in the background. This thing can cut them out and provide me with a signal so good I don't have to post process it. No joke.”

-Reddit r/makinghiphop

Also Reddit consistently mentions this microphone as the best mic for rap vocals. That’s usually an extremely unbiased review as they don’t have affiliate links and such.

Also Joe Rogan used this microphone to record his podcast for a long time. Which is pretty sick.

Some interesting features:

  • Switchable response controls on the body that allows you turn off low frequency humming like computers and stuff like that.

  • Option called ‘flat’ which is made for in-studio vocals.

  • Don’t need a shock mount.

  • Comes with two windshields/pop filter so you won't need to buy one of those.

This is an XLR mic so you will need an audio interface like the FocusRite Scarlett Solo

In Conclusion:

Get the AT2020 mic to start with. It's inexpensive, high quality, and made with rappers in mind. At the end of the day, hip hop music is an art form. We need to honor it by creating the best possible music for our genre. Please let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, please share this article with your friends and loved one's looking to make some hip hop. Cheers.

Edison EdwordsComment