Audio Technica AT2020
The AT2020 is the quietest of all the mics here. I mean when blocking out background noise, almost silent. It sounded good enough but sometimes a little thin. You’ll hear that in the spoken word recordings. The fullness of the lower frequencies didn’t come through as much but for your voice that may be a good thing. In fact, I would really recommend this for vocalists my acoustic guitar recording sounded great too although not as full as the King Bee. To my surprise in blind tests the AT2020 came out lower every time because of the competition. The AT2020 has the highest MAX SPL, which means the mic can take some loud sounds. Belt it out with this mic without worrying about distortion. This mic also has an excellent reputation for durability.
Neat King Bee
The King Bee by NEAT is the most sensitive mic of all these the original recording was the loudest. But not in a bad way. I felt it brought more low end to the table. It does have the widest frequency response of all the mics here even acoustic guitar recordings and spoken words sounded fuller the King Bee scored second place for a vocalist and almost all the blind tests I did with myself and other listeners. But upon repeated listens I dropped it to third place. This mic seems to have the most durable build quality of all the mics in the roundup it’s heavy and the materials feel top-notch. Now the look of it may not be for everyone but I kind of like it also comes with its own shock mount you’ll need it because of the square shape I know the box isn’t that important but WOW the presentation on this mic is amazing!
The MXL 770 is a very quiet mic. Silence sounded well silent and it scored top marks on most of the blind tests! It’s super smooth and I didn’t really find any problem frequencies with my voice or the guitar recordings. I really couldn’t believe the results from this mic. I never would have predicted its performance. Just WOW! It’s almost like it neatly hid all the problems and just let the most beautiful sounds come through. This mic is a great value considering you get the shock mount included as well. I love this mic and I have a feeling I’ll be using it again and again.
The AKG P120 performed very well after hours of listening blindly, I started choosing it over others in this roundup. Once I added effects to my vocals I could hardly distinguish it from the MXL which scored top marks in this roundup. Guitar recordings and spoken word sounded full. Bass and treble were clear and separated. AKG has an excellent reputation and has been around for a very long time. If you want to be safe with your choice this is the mic to choose.
Scarlett Studio Bundle
So what about those mics that are included in bundles? well, I tested the Scarlett Solo bundle mic and well, it was pretty good. It was a little thin in sound compared to the others. I missed some of the fullness of the King Bee and the quietness of the Audio Technica but it’s totally usable. It’s a good enough mic to start with but you’ll eventually want to upgrade. The scarlet solo bundle is $219 and it comes with an audio interface and headphones.