Best Microphones for Recording:acoustic guitar [2021]

 by 

Jay Von K   -  


Updated: December 28, 2020

If you plan to record any kind of music with an acoustic guitar, this guide is a must-read!

Plus, I will even cover mics for guitar duets!

In fact,

if you want to buy the best possible mic for your acoustic guitar, you should definitely keep reading.

Acoustic Guitar Microphones
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But bear with me for a while to explain to you two or three important things you need to know about guitar mics...

To begin with, in this guide you will find both condenser and dynamic microphones. Both can be used to record your acoustic guitar with detail and clarity.

If you want rich sound and you have a quiet environment, go for a condenser mic, but if you want to use your mic in concerts and noisy situations, consider getting a dynamic one.

Secondly, external mics offer you more creative possibilities compared to electro-acoustic guitar magnets, because you can place them in various positions.

That’s why you should consider recording electro-acoustic guitars also with one of the mics mentioned here.

But now let’s move on to check out the best mics out there!

The 8 Best Mics for Recording Acoustic Guitar of 2020 include:

1. Shure SM57

Shure - SM57 Mic Recording Acoustic Guitar
General

Let’s begin our list with a really famous mic: the Shure SM57 is a dynamic microphone that has been very popular around the world for years now…

It comes with a cardioid polar pattern that records the sound source in front of it.

You just have to place it close to your right hand when you play the guitar, and it will do the job!

Sadly, if you also want to record the acoustics of the room you are in (for example if you are in a large room with lots of reverb), it is not recommended to use a dynamic microphone such as the SM57.

Shure SM57 Recording Guitar

Now, let’s move to what makes this microphone so popular!

The SM57 is famous for its robust build quality. It is really hard to do any harm to this mic, that lasts for many years.

Plus, it is very easy to use: you just plug it into an audio interface or a mixing board and it works!

Finally, its price is really low, so it is affordable for everyone!

PROS
  • Well-known and popular mic
  • Value for money
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Easy to use
CONS
  • Doesn’t record the acoustic environment
Compare Prices

On the whole, if you need a cheap and rugged mic, the Shure SM57 is the one for you!

Shure SM57:

2. Shure SM81

Shure - SM81 Mic Recording Acoustic Guitar
General

Our next option on this list comes again from Shure, but this time it is a condenser microphone.

The Shure SM81 is a mid-priced, small-diaphragm condenser microphone that performs really well at recording acoustic instruments.

But what is the best feature of this mic?

Well, the SM81 comes with a flat frequency response, which means that it will provide you with very natural and realistic recordings of your guitar!

Plus it has some extra features onboard: there is an attenuation pad to protect it from potentially loud sound sources, as well as a high-pass filter!

SM81 Mic Recording Acoustic Guitar

The latter can help you avoid unwanted low-end sounds in your recordings! It also features two different settings to choose from.

As you would probably expect from a Shure product, this one has a solid build quality that adds to the durability.

Everything has its downside though, and the problem with this mic is that it is quite an old mic, and it is true that you might even find better (and newer) mics at this price.

PROS
  • Solid build quality
  • Flat frequency response
  • High-pass filter
  • Attenuation pad
CONS
  • Lots of competition in this price range
Compare Prices

All in all, the Shure SM81 is great if you are looking for a mid-priced condenser mic.

Shure SM81:

3. Neumann KM 184 mt

Neumann - KM184MT Stereo Mic Recording Acoustic Guitar
General

In case you haven’t heard of them, Neumann is a reputable brand that makes some of the most famous and most expensive mics on the market.

The KM184 is one of their most popular mics, as it is based on an older model (the KM84) that both musicians and sound engineers have loved for years.

The Neumann KM 184 mt is a small-diaphragm condenser mic that provides you with very detailed and precise sound performance.

KM184 MT Mic Recording Guitar

Many guitarists have praised the ability of this mic to capture the sound of the acoustic guitar with exceptional warmth and fullness.

A swivel mount and a foam windscreen are included in the package.

The Neumann KM184 is also widely used in stereo recordings: that’s why the company also sells a matched stereo pair of these mics that ships with a wooden box!

Sadly, this mic falls heavily on the expensive side, especially if you choose to buy the stereo pair.

PROS
  • Detailed and precise sound performance
  • Warm and full-body response
  • Available in a stereo set
  • Compact size
CONS
  • Pricey
Compare Prices

Summing up, the Neumann KM184 is a great choice for recording an acoustic guitar, but the price tag is pretty high.

Neumann KM 184 mt:

4. Audio-Technica AT4050

Audio-Technica - AT4050 Mic For Recording Acoustic Guitar
General

So, what about large-diaphragm condenser microphones?

If you are a fan of the sound quality of this type of mics, you’ll certainly want to check out the Audio-Technica AT4050.

This mic offers a very rich sound quality, that will accurately capture every tiny sound you make with your acoustic guitar.

Is that enough for you? Because if the answer is no, there’s more!

AT4050 Mic Recording Acoustic Guitar

A great advantage of this mic is the ability to change polar patterns. It incorporates cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure 8 polar patterns that you can interchange depending on how many guitars you want to record.

The AT4050 ships with a shockmount and a carrying case for better portability.

It also incorporates a high-pass filter, along with a 10 dB attenuation pad.

As you have probably guessed, all these features increase the price of this mic, making it hard to afford if you are not a professional in the audio field.

PROS
  • Rich audio quality
  • Switchable polar patterns
  • Useful accessories included
  • High-pass filter and attenuation pad
CONS
  • Pricey
Compare Prices

Overall, the Audio-Technica AT4050 is a high-quality, expensive condenser microphone with versatile polar patterns that can help a lot in multiple guitar recordings.

Audio-Technica AT4050:

5. AKG P420

AKG P420 Mic Recording Acoustic Guitar
General

In case you are looking for a large-diaphragm condenser mic, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on it, I would highly recommend the AKG P420.

This inexpensive microphone comes with three different polar patterns. You can use the cardioid one to record a single guitar, the bi-directional mode for duets, and the omnidirectional to record multiple guitars around the microphone.

Astonishing, isn’t it?

It also comes with useful onboard features, such as a -20dB pad and a high-pass filter, that lets you reduce -12dB at 300Hz.

P420 Mic

The AKG P420 ships in a hard case that you can use to carry it around without worrying about damaging it.

A shock mount along with extra shock mount bands is included in the package.

So, is there any drawback?

Well, this mic falls a bit to the bright side, so you might need some EQ to make it sound fuller.

PROS
  • Value for money
  • Shock mount and hard case included
  • Switchable polar patterns
  • Attenuation pad and bass-cut filter
CONS
  • The sound might be too bright for some people
Compare Prices

All in all, if you are on a low budget, this is an amazing mic to buy, as it won’t let you down at all!

AKG P420:

6. Sennheiser E609

Sennheiser - E609 Mic for Acoustic Guitar
General

I can understand that for most of you who are familiar with Sennheiser products, you would expect an expensive mic when you hear the words “Sennheiser E609”...

Isn’t it true?

Well, you’re wrong!

The Sennheiser E609 is actually one of the cheapest mics on this list!

Sennheiser E609

This mic is a dynamic one, that can be used for multiple instruments, so if you want to record other things except for your acoustic guitar, this is a good mic to buy.

Plus, it is also a good mic for live situations, as it comes with a hypercardioid polar pattern that rejects sounds from instruments that are behind it.

Its metal body adds to the overall robust build quality.

On the other hand, it lacks some detail in sound quality that can be found in other mics.

PROS
  • Affordable
  • Versatile: you can use it for different instruments
  • Hypercardioid polar pattern
  • Solid build quality
CONS
  • The sound quality is not very detailed
Compare Prices

All in all, the Sennheiser E609 is a nice dynamic microphone both for studio and live use.

Sennheiser E609:

7. Rode NT4

Rode - NT4 Stereo Mic for Acoustic Guitar
General

The Rode NT4 is one of the best options if you consider buying a stereo mic.

Stereo mics are particularly easy to use, as you only have to place one mic in a single stand, to capture one or more guitars as well as the acoustic space.

The Rode NT4 is a condenser mic, so it needs phantom power to work, but that can also be provided by a battery, adding to portability.

You can easily carry it around thanks to its compact size and the plastic case it ships with. The case also protects it from any damage.

NT4 Stereo Mic

In general, this mic’s materials ensure robust build quality. You can be sure that it will last for years to come.

The package also includes useful adapters that let you connect it to different devices. Plus, this mic makes it easy for you to split the signal into the left and right channels, allowing you to edit them separately.

Sadly, the Rode NT4 is quite expensive.

PROS
  • Easy to use
  • Very portable
  • Includes adapters
  • Robust build quality
CONS
  • Not very cheap
Compare Prices

In short, the Rode NT4 is a nice choice for those of you who want a single stereo mic for recording one or multiple acoustic guitars.

Rode NT4 :

8. Blue Yeti Pro


Blue - Yeti Pro Mic for Recording Acoustic Guitar
General

Are you looking for an inexpensive versatile mic for your guitar?

Then the Blue Microphones Yeti is the right pick for you!

This is actually a USB condenser mic, that makes using it and connecting it to your computer particularly easy! Note that it is compatible with both Windows and iOs operating systems.

I have recommended this mic for a stereo setup, but it is capable of recording in different modes! You can switch between a cardioid, a stereo, an omnidirectional and a bidirectional polar pattern.

Yeti Pro Mic Recording Guitar Amp

Do you want to know the feature makes this mic unique on this list?

Well, it comes with a built-in tripod: anytime you need it, you just extend the legs of the mic!

As I mentioned earlier, this is a very affordable mic and consequently, you shouldn’t expect it to provide you with the sound accuracy of much more expensive models. But it is still OK for simple tasks

PROS
  • USB connectivity
  • Versatile polar patterns
  • Value for money
  • Practical design
CONS
  • Not the best sound quality
Compare Prices

Overall, if you are looking for a versatile, stereo microphone with USB connectivity, you will be satisfied with the Blue Microphones Yeti.

Blue Microphones Yeti:

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Final Thoughts

Until now, I have presented you with eight different options of mics that you can use to record your acoustic guitar.

So, now it’s your turn.

Take a look at them again.

I am sure that you will find the one that fits your needs.

Pick it and start recording!

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