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How to shop for microphones

Need a microphone? Don't know where to begin? Let's start by looking at the different types of mics and what they're good for. 

Dynamic microphones

Rugged dynamic mics are perfect for live performances. Most models have a size and shape that works for handheld or stand-mounted use. Some are designed to capture the sound of drums or other musical instruments. Simple and versatile, they don't require batteries or "phantom" power. They'll plug into just about any kind of PA system or recording gear.     

Wireless microphones

Wireless mics are good for performers and speakers who need to move around and engage the crowd. Form factors include handheld, headset, and clip-on (lavalier). Wireless mic systems include a mic, a transmitter, and a receiver. You'll need one with a radio system that works well in your locale. Please contact a Crutchfield advisor for help. To learn more, read our wireless microphone buying guide.

USB microphones

USB mics are great for podcasters and other internet content creators who are looking for a simple, portable setup. All you need is the mic and your computer. USB mics can also be used to improve the sound of your voice in a Zoom meeting or Skype call.

Some models pick up sound from one direction only. Others can pick up sounds from the front and back or all around. If you need an easy way to monitor your recordings, look for a mic with a built-in headphone jack.

Condenser microphones

Condenser mics are great for a home recording studio. Large-diaphragm condenser mics are often used to record vocals. Small-diaphragm mics are a great choice for instruments, such as the acoustic guitar. Condenser mics require a power source (usually phantom power from a mixing board or recording interface). 

iPad/iPhone microphones

Looking for a mic with a Lightning connector? Take a look at our selection of iPad/iPhone microphones.

Mic cables

For reliable performance, use high-quality XLR cables with your microphones.

Mic stands

If you're going to take your show on the road, don't skimp on your mic stands. Cheap ones will fall apart on you.

Pop killers

Pop filters help your recording in two ways. The soften the sound of plosive consonants. And they keep your singer from getting too close to the mic.


XLR adapters can help you connect your mic to just about any gear you're likely to encounter. One that's particularly handy for podcasters is this XLR-to-USB adapter.