Top 5 Best Microphones for Acoustic Guitars in 2021

If you are the person looking for the best microphones for acoustic guitar or for any instrumental music to record, then there are several brands that will be promising to give a fine quality product. Don’t go for the advertisements and their display to make you feel attracted towards unnecessary microphones when you can have the best and finest quality from the market.

I am sharing my experience and reviews about some microphones that I have tried for recording my acoustic guitar, and I will tell you everything that I experienced with the best models so far that gave me satisfactory results.

So let’s start the discussion with my selection of the top 5 best microphones for acoustic guitar.

Best Microphones for Acoustic Guitars

Image Product Feature Price
Top Pick
Shure SM81
Top Pick for Best Microphones for Acoustic Guitars Check On Amazon
Versatile
Shure SM57
Most Versatile Microphone for Acoustic Guitars Check On Amazon
Budget-friendly
Neumann TLM102
Best Affordable Microphones for Acoustic Guitars Check On Amazon
Premium
AKG C451B
Best Premium Microphones for Acoustic Guitars Check On Amazon
Editor’s Choice
Rode NT1-A
Most Popular Microphone for Acoustic Guitars Check On Amazon

Shure SM81

Shure is a famous Microphone company doing business in electronics to deal with clients from all around the world. The microphones of Shure made a fine name in the music industry, and they are producing one of the finest quality condenser and shotgun microphones. One of their top condenser microphones is Shure SM81.

Shure SM81-LC Cardioid Condenser Instrument Microphone
  • 0 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response
  • Selectable low-frequency response: flat 6 or 18 dB/octave rolloff

The Shure SM81 has a small-diaphragm condenser having very fine ratings among the users in providing a clear out the sound with fine quality. The cardioid polar pattern microphone pleases the users with its premium quality output and is very lightweight to be held and easily portable.

The mic has a very decent design, and the built quality is high enough to handle sudden hits or bumps, and it’s even very easily portable. When you look at the microphone, it gives you the feeling of the mics that are used for studio recording, and it’s also great to use for acoustic guitar recording.

Having max SPL (sound pressure level) of 136dB, this microphone has a cardioid polar pattern, and it makes it more sensitive to pick up the nuances of acoustic guitars. The frequency response time of Shure SM81 is 20Hz to 20kHz with an impedance of 150ohms.

The sound quality that you get for recording acoustic guitars is up to the mark, and it’s very much suitable for picking all the tunes from your fingerpicking on the guitar.

I would suggest this microphone to the people who love playing the guitar, mostly to match their vocals and tune in for the acoustic guitars. Such instruments and other equipment for music can be recording with this fine quality microphone.

Pros
  • High quality
  • More sound quality than similarly priced microphones
  • Easily portable
  • Best for acoustic guitar recordings
Cons
  • Natural limitation of not having low frequency

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Shure SM57

As I have mentioned above about Shure company that deals in high-quality microphones, there are more models from this company to lead the market and give a great feeling to the user for recording instrumentals such as Shure SM57.

Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Instrument Microphone
  • Contoured frequency response is clean instrumental reproduction and rich vocal...
  • Professional-quality reproduction for drum precussion and instrument amplifier...
  • Uniform cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main sound source while reducing...

The Shure SM57 is a very versatile mic that is capable of recording almost anything, which makes it very much suitable for recording acoustic guitar as well. One of its most common use is with the electric guitar amplifiers and sometimes also with the vocals.

It is designed perfectly for micing up snares and for use with electric guitar amplifiers. The built quality is reliable as Shure always makes a sturdy and durable microphone to last for years and avoid getting broken in case if the user drops it or gets a bump somewhere.

With the cardioid polar pattern, the SM57 has a frequency response of 40Hz to 15KHz that is equally adept at recording acoustic guitar. Having an impedance of 150 ohms, this mic gives a max SPL of 149db.

I found the sound quality to be very clear and smooth when recording with this microphone. This mic has good gains, and any user with experience on mics would understand the clarity in the sound and its response to the tune.

It is recommended for those people who would love recording instrumentals like acoustic guitars and pianos or for those visual artists who need good quality background music with special effects recorded in them.

Pros
  • Captures strumming and plucking sound very well from acoustic guitar
  • It has good percussiveness and attack while recording
  • Durable and good quality microphone
Cons
  • Reduced focus on sustain and tone

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Neumann TLM 102

Neumann is a German company of quality and professional microphones. This company makes good quality microphones for recording audio sounds. Their mics are one of a kind, and one of the finest microphones that they have produced to be best suitable for playing acoustic guitar is the Neumann TLM 102.

Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone, Nickel
  • Large-diaphragm microphone with cardioid directional characteristic (pressure...
  • Compact Neumann design
  • Very high maximum sound pressure level (144 dB)
  • Slight presence boost above 6 kHz helps vocals to shine in the mix

The Neumann TLM 102 is the best microphone for acoustic guitar and instrumental music having a very affordable price in the market. As compared to other large-diaphragm microphones, this one is relatively smaller and cheap as well.

With its simple design and very interesting feel on the body, this is a good choice to keep when you feel like recording. This mic has no pad switches, and it is made of durable quality that you won’t expect from other low price microphones.

It has a simple cardioid polar pattern with a frequency response rate of 20Hz to 20kHz. The transformerless circuitry draws lots of similarities and provides a clear sound with a decent lift starting from 6khz to include more details for instruments like an acoustic guitar. The max SPL of this mic is 144db.

The sound quality that you will get will be very clear. In my experience, it’s one of my favorite microphones for acoustic guitar and vocals because there is no slip in the voice, and there is not even a single shrill in the sound when recording with this microphone.

It would be a great option for the people who spend their time home alone practicing vocals and acoustic music. For the beginners or learners who are new to the music industry or learning to record and control the music, they should definitely give this mic a try. It’s an amazing choice for various reasons.

Pros
  • High-frequency supports adds detail to a strummed acoustic guitar tune
  • Good for dense music recording
  • It has good dynamic range and clarity to bring out every small nuance of a performance
  • Lightweight Mic
  • High definition audio input
  • Choices of colors
  • Reasonable price
Cons
  • No such cons at this price

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AKG C451B

AKG is a most known brand with some German engineering making great history and records with the use of powerful studio mics. This brand has been developing great microphones, and top singers like Beyonce even use AKG mics for their recordings.

AKG C 451 B Reference Small-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
  • The C451B is an excellent tool for accurately capturing signals rich in...
  • The airy sound, high overload limit of the capsule and electronic circuitry, and...
  • The Best Selling Classic is Back! Precise artistic work deserves precise...
  • A classic by now, the CMS Series CK 1 capsule from AKG was a best seller from...
  • Comprising a range of interchangeable capsules and preamps as well as then...

The AKG C451B is one great choice when it comes to choosing the best microphone for acoustic guitar. Initially, the mic was released in the 1960s, and it has been used ever since until now. With time, many improvements have been made in this microphone, such as the recording level has been increased up to 150 decibels of a sound source without any problem.

The body and design of this mic are very much suitable to be handheld for live concerts and performances, and it still gives the iconic feel while holding it. I found its body to be perfectly shaped that any microphone should be having.

The mic has a good cardioid pickup polar pattern that will result great in rejecting any unnecessary sounds from the background, and it would be very much suitable for micing up with your guitar to record music. Having a frequency response at 20Hz to 20kHz, this mic is very much suitable in case you want good recordings.

Sound quality and clarity are the two main positives that you get from this mic, and it’s always hard for people to choose in case they have a low budget. The mic gives a premium result in recording, but it does have a good price too. For me, the sound recorded with this mic for acoustic guitar is one of the most pleasant and clear recordings.

This mic is recommended for people who are high on budget and want to perform solo. People who love to do speeches, concerts, or anyone who wants to record acoustic, vocals, and instrumentals can use this mic.

Pros
  • Very good for use with the overhead drum to capture rich transients
  • Improved design and better sound quality recording than previous models
  • Increased stability
  • Decent classical design
  • Switchable highpass filter
Cons
  • Bit expensive

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Rode NT1-A

Rode is one of the known brands worldwide for producing and selling one of the finest quality microphones. You might have heard about this brand many times, and you may have seen many of their recording microphones in movies or on TV, or even in podcasts and broadcasting shows. One of their good models is the Rode NT1-A.

Rode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package
  • Large diaphragm 1” gold-sputtered capsule
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Ultra-low noise, self-noise of only 5dB (A)
  • Includes Rode SM6 shock mount, pop filter and dust cover
  • Internal capsule shock mounting

The Rode NT1-A offers great features, and it has been under my personal use for a long time. The NT1-A is a Large-Diaphragm Condenser Mic as a cardioid condenser microphone having a low self-noise level at 5 dB-A. This is a very different and one-of-a-kind microphone to choose from while recording quality acoustic guitar tunes.

You will find the fancy-looking body as Rode has always been producing, and the built quality is also very satisfied with this mic. It can survive harsh conditions.

The mic has a studio-grade pop shield and shock mount with a premium 20′ microphone cable. There is also a dust cover included saving this mic from the environment. It’s classy and made with a satin finish and a nickel-plated body to give it great looks.

It is a cardioid polar pattern microphone with a wide frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. Having a 1″ diaphragm gives a wide frequency response with its transformerless output electronics that give noise-free output while maintaining maximum signal gain. The maximum SPL with this microphone is 137db, and it makes a good source for recording music with acoustic guitars.

You get a great sensitive quality audio recording with this microphone as the low self-noise ensures that even the lowest sound or whisper will be recorded with exceptional details. You will get a clear sound as if you are listening to the sound from the actual source.

This is only recommended for those people who are really dedicated to music and are fond of recording instruments. It will be best suitable to use for recording acoustic guitars, piano, violin, and other such musical instruments.

Pros
  • Gold plated output connectors
  • Sturdy satin-nickel finish
  • Internal shock mounting system
  • Low noise transformerless circuitry
  • Includes shockmount
  • Pop shield
  • Mic dust cover
Cons
  • Not good for recording heavy vocals

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Also check out: Rode NT1-A vs Audio Technica AT2035 Microphone: Which is the best microphone?

Best Microphones for Acoustic Guitars: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What type of mic is best for recording acoustic guitars?

The condenser and dynamic microphones are the best types of microphones that you can get to record acoustic guitar. These mics remove background noise easily and focus only on the sound coming from the source to provide a quality audio recording.

How do I mic my acoustic guitar?

You can place the mic around the 12th/14th fret, pointing the mic towards the soundhole, about 6 to 12 inches away. Adjust the mic near to the guitar so that it gets clear input of the audio tune.

Is SM7B good for acoustic guitar?

The SM7B is a top choice in case you want a dynamic vocal work recording, or you want to record the guitar sounds. This mic is even very good with drum sources like toms.

Conclusion

This was a detailed discussion about the best microphones for acoustic guitar, and I have shared my experience with these microphones with you for a healthy recommendation. All of the mics differ from each other on the basis of frequency response and the patterns they use to record good audio quality. It’s up to you to select which one is the best.

If you are still confused and want my personal recommendation then I will suggest you go with Rode NT1-A as it is my favorite microphone. It is the quietest microphone in the market which has very low self-noise. You can use this mic for both acoustic guitars and vocals in extreme conditions as well.

I would like to know which microphone you are going to pick up. Do let me know in the comments below. Do you have anything else to say? Hit me up in the comments. Till then, check out some of my other best articles:
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