Best Vocal Microphone Under $500: RØDE NT2-A Review

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4.5/5 on March 6, 2019

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The best vocal microphone under $500 is the RØDE NT2-ABuilding up your own home recording studio when you’re on a budget can be a challenge, especially when you want the best quality money can buy. It’s not impossible to achieve this as there are many well-known artists who use equipment that’s easy on the pocket.

If you’re looking for the best vocal microphone under $500 –  well-priced yet of excellent quality – you’ve come to the right place. Here we will give you the lowdown on the RØDE NT2-A vocal microphone.

Don’t worry, it’s definitely possible to aid your talent optimally by purchasing the best vocal microphone in this price range. You don’t have to spend thousands to get incredible recordings in your studio.

 


The RØDE NT2-A Microphone

 

RØDE is an Australian-based company founded in 1967 as Freedman Electronics. The company manufactures audio software, microphones and equipment. RØDE developed the first NT series in the early 1980s, perfecting the microphone internally with Australian parts.

 Best Vocal Microphone Under $500: RØDE NT2-A Review
 Best Vocal Microphone Under $500: RØDE NT2-A Review
Amazon Rating
MSRP$398.99
Lowest Price$398.98Amazon See it
BrandsRØDE
TypesMicrophone
ModelNT2AANNIV
Weight1.9 pounds
Product Dimensions15.5 x 5 x 11.25 inches
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The company’s manufacturing suppliers were based in China but later moved to Australia to upgrade its microphones. To start distributing their devices, RØDE started cold calling musical recording studios in Los Angeles. This resulted in the company’s very first international order of 100 NT2 RØDE microphones.

Since the development of the NT2 microphone, it has undergone numerous upgrades. They now use Australian internal parts instead of the original Chinese components. This resulted in the new RØDE NT2-A mic. During this change the quality of the microphone improved, yet the price remained virtually the same as it;s predecessor. That is one of the reasons this model is so popular.

The RØDE NT2-A is essentially a condenser studio microphone with multiple polar patterns. It can be used to record various instruments but is mainly used for recording vocals.

 

Who is this product for?

 

The NT2-A has multiple switches to change up the polar pattern of the microphone. This makes it an excellent tool for recording numerous sounds coming from different directions, such as group vocals and drum overheads. It’s also suitable for piano players and solo vocalists.

This mic can be used for a number of musical projects. It’s mainly suitable for aspiring singers who work on low budgets but want to build up their own home studios, but it’s also brilliant for professional studio producers and students who are studying sound engineering.

It’s not really suitable for anyone who doesn’t recognize or understand how microphones work in terms of their polar patterns and frequencies. However you’ll find a multitude of tutorials and write-ups about how to identify the best microphones to suit you and your vocal and recording abilities if you’re new to making music.

The RØDE NT2-A is a mountable microphone which makes it quite difficult to use as a handheld device as it has a wide frame and it’s quite heavy. It can be used for live performances but mostly it’s used for studio recordings rather than stage productions.

 


What’s included?

 

The NT2-A has been upgraded quite significantly over the years, not only externally but internally as well. You can now choose between a 40 Hz or 80 Hz low-cut frequency, which is mainly used to filter out movement or background noise.

You can also switch between cardioid, omnidirectional or figure-of-eight polar-pattern modes to customize where you want your sound to come from and how many sounds you will be recording at once. With these new added switches to the upgrade, you’re able to quickly customize your sound without spending time on the technical side of your sound production.

As an added extra, the new RØDE NT2-A comes with a pop shield and an SM6 shock mount that cradles the microphone. They help filter out any unwanted bumps, low-frequency rumbles and background noise.

It also comes with an added DVD tutorial on:

  • How to properly use the NT2-A
  • How to place the microphone
  • Tips on how to record vocals and various instruments in the studio

What makes this microphone so brilliant is even though the new and improved NT2-A comes with added accessories, the value of it is virtually the same as the older version. Here is a detailed un-boxing YouTube video of what you will get when you purchase this microphone package:

 


The Best Vocal Microphone Under $500 – Overview and Features

 

The new and improved RØDE NT2-A has a large 1″capsule and is a condenser studio microphone. Its durable exterior makes it suitable for almost any environment. The head of the microphone also has moisture control (as do most vocal microphones these days).

The NT2-A is sturdy when clipped into the shock mount so there will be no issues in the recording studio in terms of noise from movement of the mic. This product can be set up through any audio interface which make it ideal for computer-based recordings in a home studio.

All internal and external components are manufactured in Australia to an extremely high standard. This helps you identify the authenticity of your microphone.

Features

  • Solid cast metal construction
  • Nickel-plated
  • Locking ring at the base for shock mount installation
  • Steel mesh screening
  • Rectangle shaped frame
  • Polar pattern switches on the side panel
  • Adaptor port
  • Heavy duty SM6 suspension mount
  • 6m microphone cable
  • Dust cover for storage

Specs

  • Pressure gradient
  • Frequency range of 20-20,000 Hz
  • Output impedance of 200 ohms
  • Gold HF1 sputtered capsule
  • Adjustable polar pattern between omnidirectional, cardioid or figure-of-8
  • Pad adjustments of – 0dB, -5dB, or -10dB
  • Condenser transducer
  • High-pass filters

How to use the NT2-A microphone

The RØDE company was kind enough to include a detailed DVD tutorial which will be included in the package you purchase.
If you still have trouble deciding whether or not you should get one, then take a look at this YouTube Video:

As an added bonus this tutorial shows also you how to set up your own home studio.

 


Alternatives

 

The RØDE NT2-A is not an expensive piece of recording equipment at all, which makes it perfect for home studio use and vocalists on a budget. However due to its technical nature there may be a more affordable and user-friendly alternative that you can use.

For an entry-level microphone you could use the MXL 990. It’s also a condenser microphone that comes with everything you need such as a sturdy shock mount, a carry case, and adaptor. The MXL 990 is used for digital as well as analogue type recordings. It’s just as resourceful as any other condenser microphone, only with fewer components.

The MXL 990 doesn’t have as many polar pattern adjustments as the RØDE NT2-A but it definitely caters more for the novice home studio recorder. The MXL 990 can be used for:

  • Acoustic guitars
  • Drum overheads
  • Vocals
  • Various other instruments

So you could try the MXL 990 microphone as a starter and perhaps work your way up to using the RØDE NT2-A somewhere further down the line.

 


Conclusion

 

Having the ability to record vocals in your home studio, whether it’s you singing or you’re recording another talented vocalist, is a true privilege we have. However, without the correct equipment your goal of sharing your music with the world would not be possible. Using the incorrect studio equipment would be detrimental to your new budding career as a vocalist or producer.

Finding equipment on a budget is easy, as the RØDE NT2-A is an extremely versatile microphone to have in your home studio.

So whether you’re looking to become the next Beyonce or if you’re just looking to record your own music as a part-time hobby, you’ll still want top-notch sound quality. Get hold of the RØDE NT2-A microphone and let your journey begin.