10 Best Tube Microphones For Vocals In 2023

What sets artists like Jimi Hendrix, Bing Crosby and the Beatles apart from modern day music artists?

Well, probably lots of things. But among those differences is the fact that all these classic acts recorded their music using old-style tube condenser microphones.

These large valve-regulated old mics have largely been replaced by solid state devices in the modern music industry, but many people yearn for the good old days.

The convenience and practicality of solid-state devices is hard to overlook, but at the same time, old school tube microphones have a lot to offer.

They have a signature warm, full-bodied sound and can have some pretty distinct frequency and pickup characteristics, which can be hard to replicate on high tech modern devices.

Many people simply adore this ‘vintage’ sound, which has contributed majorly to their popular revival in recent years.

The halo effect that is inherent to these 20th century mics can be very appealing for musicians and artists who want to set their work apart.

Yet, as with so many other things in the world of music recording, knowing what to look for in a good tube condenser mic can be a real wormhole.

In this comprehensive review we’ll discuss the features and specs to keep an eye on and give you all the knowledge and tools you need to choose the best tube microphones for vocals, for yourself.

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Warm Audio WA-47 Large-Diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone

[amazon box=”B078J28H56″]

If you want a tube condenser microphone that truly pays homage to the glory days of this technology in the 1950s and 60s, then this is it.

The designers clearly aimed for a retro vibe and have overachieved. This is such a stylish design that it even deserves its own elaborate wooden presentation box to store it in.

This is  a complete package, which is handy for those people who don’t want to go scrambling around for all the accompanying accessories.

In this package, you get the [amazon link=”B078J28H56″ title=”Warm WA-47″ link_icon=”amazon” /] itself, the external power supply unit, a stylish mount to attach it to stands, the presentation box, and the required cables.

This is a large diaphragm model, which means that it is a sensitive device perfect for capturing all the nuances of recorded music.

This is great for its signature big and bold sound, a sound which has been present on all previous versions of this model as well.

  • Wide dynamic range
  • Stylish, ‘retro’ design
  • Multi-pattern device means you can select from 9 different polar pickup modes
  • Ultra-low self-noise
  • Warranty included
  • Premium product with a premium price-tag
  • Other models may have a larger dynamic range

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “Warm Audio WA-47 Review”

Avantone CV-12 Multi-Pattern Large Capsule Tube Condenser Microphone

[amazon box=”B001U7ANU4″]

High-quality tube condenser microphones are often thought to be reserved for professional artists and studio set ups exclusively. This wonderful offering from Avantone shows that this is not always the case.

It offers some of the same high-quality, even frequency response and tonal characteristics that you would expect to find only in a professional setting.

The specs and features on this [amazon link=”B001U7ANU4″ title=”Avantone CV-12″ link_icon=”amazon” /] tube microphone are very impressive.

For example, it has a large input dynamic range, from 20 Hz TO 20 kHz. This overlaps very well with the standard audible range for humans.

This means that no matter what your vocal range is, you can be sure that the Avantone amp is going to correctly register your vocals.

This good-looking mic is designed specially to appeal to lovers of vintage music.

It takes its cue directly from the aesthetically pleasing, large bodied mics of the 50s and 60s, but it makes this level of quality accessible at a much more reasonable price-point.

For lovers of old-time classics, this is a mic for you.

The large buttons and simplistic dials are designed to perfection, and the mic comes with its own shockmount and power supply unit, casing and even a stylish wooden box for storage.

What’s more, the workmanship of this product is beyond question.

It is precision machined out of brass and deserves to be treated with respect, by loves of classic music recording.

  • Precision machined out of brass
  • Stylish design and premium packaging
  • Comes with its own power supply
  • Influenced heavily by old vintage tube microphones
  • Other models have a broader dynamic response
  • Relatively small diaphragm size

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Video: “Taylor Swift Microphone – Avantone CV-12 Tube Microphone Review -“

Rode K2 Multi-Pattern Dual Condenser Valve Microphone

[amazon box=”B0002PSCQ2″]

Often people can’t decide whether they want an omnidirectional microphone or a unidirectional version.

Different situations can demand different solutions, so wouldn’t it be better to have one single piece of kit that can do both jobs?

Well that’s exactly what this brilliant piece of kit from Rode can do. This is one of the special features you may want to look for in the best tube condenser microphones for vocals.

The [amazon link=”B0002PSCQ2″ title=”Rode K2″ link_icon=”amazon” /] mic is a multi-pattern mic. This means you can select from a number of different pickup patterns at the flick of a switch.

This includes an omnidirectional setting and the famous cardioid pattern, as well as figure 8 pattern. This gives you the freedom to design the optimum audio set up for your requirements.

This is not the only standout feature from this product. It also has a very even frequency response over the entire input range. This is true in all operating modes, including the omnidirectional and cardioid modes.

What’s more the internal circuitry in this model is class A, which contributes to the ultra-low noise and dynamic range of this mic. This means you won’t hear any annoying static or phantom noise when you listen back to your recording.

What’s more, when you buy this product you get guaranteed peace of mind, because it comes with a 10-year warranty once you register your microphone!

  • Wide dynamic range
  • Multi-pattern device means you can select from 3 different pickup modes
  • Ultra-low self-noise and class A circuitry
  • 10-year warranty included
  • Premium product with a premium price-tag
  • Other models may have a larger frequency range

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “Rode K2 Mic Test (Hip Hop and R&B Vocals)”

MXL V69M HE MOGAMI Heritage Edition Diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone

[amazon box=”B0178DOTA8″]

This is another device which definitely merits inclusion on a list of the best tube microphones for vocals.

In fact, this tube condenser microphone is specifically designed with lead vocals in mind. This tube mic borrows the technology and general principles from the famed studio models popularised in the 60s.

This helps deliver a satisfying, warm sound that most people of that generation will recognize.

The [amazon link=”B0178DOTA8″ title=”MXL V69M HE MOGAMI” link_icon=”amazon” /] has a very premium feel, which runs through the design of the microphone itself, as well as all the supporting equipment.

The sharp, silver finish is very aesthetically appealing.

The sputtered gold diaphragm is a tried and tested technology that easily follows the bounce of music and responds in perfect time to acoustic changes.

This is actually a dual-triode design which is relatively rare and helps deliver that much-admired vintage tone.

It also has extremely low self-noise, which is partly as a result of the transformerless design and partly due to the circuitry engineering.

This package also includes the power supply, a shockmount and even a pop filter to aid you in your recording.

  • Stylish, ‘retro’ design
  • Ideal for lead vocals
  • Cardioid polar pickup pattern
  • Multi-pattern device means you can select from 9 different polar pickup modes
  • Ultra-low self-noise with no in-built transformers
  • Includes a shockmount and pop filter
  • Not suitable for recording multiple singers or bands
  • Maximum input frequency is only 18 kHz

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “KAOS Gear Review – MXL V69 Mogami Edition”

BadAax GT-2B Diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone

[amazon box=”B00GFG198K”]

This is another multipattern option that affords the user the flexibility to choose their own pickup pattern, and therefore tailor their recording experience to suit their own peculiar needs.

The GT-2B is the result of years of audio engineering and countless rounds of optimization.

The end result means this product has very low inherent self-noise and has a broad and even frequency response.

Thanks to the lightweight, gold sputtered diaphragm at the heart of this condenser tube, it has excellent dynamic response characteristics.

Unlike with some digital recording devices, you will never miss a beat or suffer from annoying audio pile up.

One of the advantages of the [amazon link=”B00GFG198K” title=”BadAax GT-2B” link_icon=”amazon” /] is that it comes with some very premium accessories included as standard.

For instance, you can create the optimum recording environment by using the accompanying windscreen or ‘pop-filter’ to prevent you from getting too close to the mic.

It also includes the universally popular shock mount, a TPS100 power supply and the required XLR cables.

What’s more, they all come in a very attractive and sturdy protective aluminum case, which has its own combination lock.

This means you don’t have to worry about other jealous musicians stealing your mic when you’re on the road!

  • Stylish, aluminum design
  • Comes with all the required accessories, in a sturdy protective carry-case
  • Versatile microphone with 3 different pickup patterns
  • TPS100 power supply
  • Includes a shockmount and pop filter
  • On the pricier end of the spectrum
  • Maximum input frequency is only 18 kHz

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Audio-Technica AT4060 Cardioid Condenser Tube Microphone

[amazon box=”B0002D01MW”]

The beating heart of every tube condenser microphone is the internal diaphragm, so it pays for brands to spend a lot of time and effort perfecting this component.

That’s exactly what the manufacturers of this product have done, making it one of the best tube microphones for vocals available anywhere on the market.

The diaphragm of this [amazon link=”B0002D01MW” title=”Audio-Technica AT4060″ link_icon=”amazon” /]  is a 2-micron thick sputtered gold piece which undergoes a special aging process to make sure that this fragile piece remains reliable and responsive even after years of service.

This is one of the things which makes the sound quality from this microphone so superior. This is combined with the cardioid polar pattern which is ideal for stunning vocal performances.

Once you pair this with precision engineered, nickel plated brass baffle, the huge dynamic range and the extensive testing procedure that each tube undergoes, its clear to see why this product is so popular among those who work in the recording industry.

  • Exact device undergoes extensive individual testing
  • Precision engineered diaphragm
  • Long-term reliability
  • Broad dynamic range
  • On the pricier end of the spectrum
  • Needs separate power supply

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “AKG 414 vs. Audio-Technica 4060 | VO Mic Comparison”

MXL V67i Tube Dual Diaphragm Tube Condenser Microphone

[amazon box=”B001ECQOKS”]

One of the features that vintage recording enthusiasts are passionate about is style, and that is something that the [amazon link=”B001ECQOKS” title=”MXL V67 ” link_icon=”amazon” /] has in abundance.

The shiny gold design is bound to make an impact and can be somewhat controversial, as is the premium green trim.

This is another complete package, that includes everything you need to get this mic up and running. This includes the XLR cables, a windscreen, shockmount and the essential power supply unit.

This is relatively simple to assemble and set up, so you can be bursting out a song within minutes!

The dual capsule design to this means that you can take advantage of either warm, fuzzy tonal sounds or the clean, bright tones that are more popular in modern recording sessions.

It is easy to switch between these two modes with just the flick of a switch.

Top artists will appreciate the sensitivity and versatility of this premium recording device.

  • Exact device undergoes extensive individual testing
  • Dual capsule design allows two tonal modes: warm and bright
  • Extreme sensitivity
  • Stylish gold-plated design
  • On the pricier end of the spectrum
  • No multi-pattern features

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “MXL V67i (Warm) Female Vocal Demo”

Warm Audio WA-251 Tube Condenser Microphone

[amazon box=”B07MT5B1MK”]

This device plays clear homage to the original vintage devices of the 60s, and this is reflected both in the appearance and the underlying engineering.

As the name suggest, the [amazon link=”B07MT5B1MK” title=”Warm Audio WA-251″ link_icon=”amazon” /] is designed to capture the warm, full bodied tones that we associate with the recordings from the 60s.

Instead of paying big bucks for the original valve machine, this more affordable replica will give you the same satisfying results.

It comes with all the equipment you would expect, include a mount and a power unit, and it even has its own fancy presentation box so you can show it off to your friends in style.

This is capable of directional pickup in three patterns, so you can use it to focus on the lead singers or pickup the total sound of a band or group, as the situation requires.

  • 3 polar pattern modes
  • Gives a warm tone to any recorded sound
  • Replica of 1960s technology
  • Comes with shockmount, cables, power supply and presentation box
  • Exact replica of 1960s technology, doesn’t dramatically improve on that design
  • Limited multipattern features

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “PPA Unfiltered: 13 Warm Audio WA-251 Sound Samples & Impressions”

MXL Genesis HE Heritage Edition Tube Microphone

[amazon box=”B0178DORTG”]

This is objectively one of the best tube microphones for vocals, as decided by Pro Audio. This accolade is not to be taken lightly, and there are a number of reasons why it has won such praise.

It delivers superb sound quality over a very broad frequency range, bringing all those vintage, warm sounds to our ears.

The large 32 mm sputter diaphragm is really responsible for such professional results.

This allows the [amazon link=”B0178DORTG” title=”MXL Genesis HE Heritage” link_icon=”amazon” /] microphone to pick up even the lowest sounds with extreme clarity, and the old-fashioned, hand wired circuitry adds its own unique blend of warmth to the final sound.

The cardioid polar pattern, as well as a few other internal tricks, help to ensure that the vocals always stay above any other tracks, and helps minimize any unwanted self-generated sound.

There is little or no EQ required with this model.

  • Designed to offer perfect vocal recording
  • Delivers a glowing, warm sound
  • Sensitive 32 mm, 6-micron thick sputtered diaphragm
  • Little or no EQ required for recording
  • Is not optimized for recording instruments
  • No multipattern features

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

AKG Pro Audio P820 Tube Condenser Microphone, Multi-Pattern

[amazon box=”B002P5T3NI”]

This is a fitting product to conclude out our list of the best tube microphones for vocals.

It has many of the same features already encountered in other devices, including a broad dynamic range and the choice of multiple polar modes.

However, unlike in many other ‘vintage’ models, the [amazon link=”B002P5T3NI” title=”P820″ link_icon=”amazon” /] embraces new technology and incorporates it seamlessly with the old-world valve technology.

For example, you can choose the polar modes remotely using a controller, and there is a switchable bass-cut filter to remove any unwanted rumble or footfall noise from the final recording.

  • Stylish, modern design
  • Choice of 9 polar modes
  • Can use filters to remove unwanted sounds
  • Blends new and vintage technology
  • Doesn’t have the signature ‘vintage’ aesthetic that many people like
  • No pop-filter included

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Video: “AKG Perception P820 Tube condenser microphone, Multi-Pattern Large Diaphragm”

What To Look For In The Best Tube Microphone For Vocals?

There are lots of things to learn about when you are committed to buying a tube style condenser microphone, and somethings all the specs and new terminology can be somewhat confusing.

To help you wade through all the marketing babble and focus on what is really important, you should look out for these few features.

First of all, the directionality of the microphone is important. Some microphones are non-directional or omnidirectional, meaning they pick up sounds equally from all directions.

This is ideal if you are recording an informal podcast or a band jam session.

If you want to focus specifically on one singer, then you should get a directional microphone. There are lots of different ‘polar’ modes, but cardioid is the most common.

If you want to retain some flexibility, it might be best to choose a multidirectional microphone which allows you to switch between modes.

You should also choose a microphone with a broad dynamic range, and one which has lots of sonic headroom.

You want to choose a microphone which is responsive at the frequencies you will be using most, so make sure you think fully about how you intend to use the tube microphone.

The quality of the diaphragm is also a determining factor. Choose a sensitive version which is unlikely to degrade over time.

There are lots of other features that may make a given product more attractive. For example, some microphones come with a power supply, cables and mount, but with other mics you may have to buy all these accessories separately.

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Buying a tube microphone might be one of the best decisions you ever make. They are returning to popularity with a vengeance, as people re-embrace the warm, full tones that makes vintage music so great.

The products on this page represent some of the best tube microphones for vocals you can buy anywhere in the world.

They each have their own specific advantages and disadvantages, but suing the recommendations given here you should be able to compare their specs and features, to see which one is most suitable for your intended purpose.

Tube microphones might not turn you into Taylor Swift, but they can add a depth and warmth to your recordings that other microphones just can’t.

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Juan Stansbury
Juan Stansbury

I'm Juan Stansbury, author and owner of Homerecordio – your ultimate destination for everything about homerecording. With hands-on experience, courses, workshops, and industry research, I offer tips on selecting the best equipment, and mixing and mastering your recordings to achieve professional-quality results at home. Join me on this journey to explore the world of homerecording and music production.

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