The Audio-Technica AT4040 would be the best large diaphragm condenser microphone you could get in terms of what you get for the price.
It sounds great, having the added HPF and PAD switches is a really nice bonus and I would definitely recommend it as an upgrade on any of the budget condenser microphones.
Why is it such a good choice?
It has a very smooth sounding frequency response, especially in the lower frequencies.
It has a boost to the presence and air frequencies, which makes it sound really open.
It has two switches on the back which are: A High-pass Filter, which rolls lower frequencies off at about 80Hz at 12dB/octave, and a -10dB PAD in case you are recording really loud sound sources.
And lastly its build quality is extremely good.
Heil PR 35
This is by far my favorite dynamic microphone for live vocals, you want to know why?…
Because the ports which are used to give the mic its directional properties are much further back than on a traditional mic.
This means that it’s going to be much harder to cover them.
What this achieves is way lower feedback and it doesn’t thin out your voice when singing.
On most handheld dynamic microphones, quite often you see singers covering up the ports and they en up sounding terrible.
Not with this one!
Added to this, it also comes with a low-cut switch.
I don’t think this microphone needs any introductions, it’s been an industry standard for decades now.
It’s mostly used for recording instruments but it can definitely be used for vocals, you only need a windscreen.
Definitely invest in a Shure SM57 since they are cheap and reliable.
They can be used in the studio, at home and even for live performances.
The shure SM57 is built like a complete tank, you could run over it with your car and it will probably work like nothing happened.
Avantone Pro CK-1
It’s definitely not the cheapest Pencil Microphone but I have to say that it’s a great investment.
This microphone comes inside an amazing wooden box and inside this box you get the microphone and not just the cardioid capsule but also the Hypercardioid and Omnidirectional ones included.
The capsules are interchangeable which is awesome for two reasons;
One: Should one capsule break, you can simply replace it.
Two: You will have a variety of patterns available to use.
It comes with a fantastic shockmount, which is a lot better than most of the ones included with small diaphragm condenser microphones.
The Avantone CK-1 comes equipped with a High-Pass filter at 80Hz and a -10dB attenuation switch.
The Behringer C-4 pair are the best option for beginners who don’t want to spend a lot on recording gear.
They are extremely affordable and the quality is surprisingly good when you take the price into account.
Of course, the sound quality can’t be compared to something like the Avantone Pro CK-1 or the Rode NT5, but it’s a great value.
They have a slight boost between 1kHz and 8kHz, this gives you a slightly brighter sound which is especially useful for recording overheads.
They also have a High-pass Filter and a -10dB PAD.
The Rode NT5 are an excellent choice for recording guitars, choirs, drums, pianos, and much more.
The sound quality is outstanding, they don’t color the sound at all.
The capsules on the NT5 can be interchanged.
This really comes in handy if you actually need to replace one that’s broken or if you simply want to use a different polar pattern.
The Capsules available for purchase are the NT45-C (Cardioid) and the NT45-o (Omnidirectional).