5 Best Budget Microphones for Recording Piano in 2024

Are you looking to capture the rich, resonant tones of your piano without breaking the bank? Finding a microphone that does justice to the complexities of piano music can be a challenge, especially on a budget. Yet, it’s essential for any pianist wanting to record their melodies with clarity and depth. Whether you’re a budding musician, a content creator, or someone who enjoys the intricacies of composition, the right microphone can make all the difference. In our search for the best budget microphones for recording piano, we’ve considered quality, durability, and affordability to help you find the perfect match for your musical endeavors.

When hunting for the best budget microphone for recording piano, there are several key criteria to consider to ensure that you get the most value for your money without compromising on sound quality.

  1. Type of Microphone: Condenser microphones are generally favored for recording pianos due to their sensitivity and wide frequency response, which can capture the nuances of the instrument.
  2. Polar Patterns: Look for mics with cardioid or omni-directional patterns, which are suitable for piano as they focus on the sound directly in front and minimize unwanted noise, or capture sound equally from all directions, respectively.
  3. Frequency Response: A microphone with a wide frequency response can better capture the full range of the piano, from the low bass notes to the high treble notes.
  4. Durability: The build quality should be robust enough to withstand regular use, especially if the mic will be transported frequently.
  5. Ease of Use: Considering the target audience is not technically inclined, the microphone should be easy to set up and operate.
  6. Additional Features: Some mics come with useful extras like shock mounts, carrying pouches, or built-in filters that can enhance the recording experience.

Selecting the best budget microphone will require balancing these criteria against the price to find the microphone that offers the best overall value and performance for piano recording. Now, let’s move on to the listicle review.

SpecificationsAudio-Technica AT2020Samson Go MicBlue Snowball iCEAKG P120Behringer C-1
Approximate Price (USD)$99$40$50$99$50
Microphone TypeCondenserCondenserCondenserCondenserCondenser
Polar PatternCardioidCardioid, OmnidirectionalCardioidCardioidCardioid
Frequency Response20Hz – 20kHz20Hz – 18kHz40Hz – 18kHz20Hz – 20kHz40Hz – 20kHz
Additional FeaturesHigh SPL handling, low noisePortable, switchable polar patternsStylish design, easy to useLow noise, switchable attenuation padProfessional quality, rugged design

This table offers a basic comparison to help guide your decision on which budget microphone might be best for recording piano. Keep in mind that you might also need accessories like microphone stands, cables, and in the case of XLR microphones, an audio interface.

Audio-Technica AT2020

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Brief Intro
The Audio-Technica AT2020 is a staple in the world of budget-friendly studio microphones, boasting a reputation for versatility and delivering clear, accurate sound. Whether you’re an aspiring musician or a seasoned podcaster, this microphone is a great choice if you aim to record piano without breaking the bank.

In my experience, the AT2020 shines when it comes to capturing the dynamic range and tonal complexity of a piano. It features a cardioid polar pattern which is effective in isolating the instrument from unwanted ambient noise, focusing the capture on the sound coming from the front of the mic. While primarily designed as a vocal microphone, its flat, extended frequency response makes it adept at recording instruments too, including the nuanced sounds of a piano.

The build quality is impressive for its price point, with an all-metal construction that feels robust and durable. Moreover, I appreciated the inclusion of a pivoting, threaded stand mount, which made it easy to position the microphone optimally for recording.


  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Output Connector: XLR
  • Sensitivity: -37 dB (14.1 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
  • Maximum Input Sound Level: 144 dB SPL, 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D.
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 74 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa
  • Weight: 12.1 oz (345 g)

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent sound quality on piano recording, capturing both low and high frequencies well.
  • Good ambient noise rejection thanks to its cardioid polar pattern.
  • Solid construction means it can withstand frequent use.
  • Offers exceptional value for its price range.


  • Requires phantom power, which means you’ll need a mixer or interface that provides it.
  • Does not come with a USB option, which could be a hurdle for some home setups.
  • Lacks additional features like a pad or bass roll-off switch that some competing mics in this price range offer.

The AT2020 is generally priced around $99, which is a bargain considering the clean, professional quality sound it can produce. The cost-effectiveness of this mic makes it an attractive option for those looking to record piano on a budget without significant compromise on audio quality.

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

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The Samson Go Mic is a compact and versatile microphone that’s perfect for budget-conscious musicians, podcasters, and content creators. In my experience, this little gem punches well above its weight class when it comes to recording instruments, especially a piano. Its portable design means you can easily position it to find the sweet spot above the keys or near the soundboard of your piano, capturing both the nuanced hammer strikes and the rich, resonant frequencies.

What stands out with the Go Mic is its ability to switch polar patterns from cardioid to omnidirectional, giving you flexibility in how it picks up sound. When recording piano, this can be incredibly useful. The cardioid mode focuses on sound directly in front, minimizing background noise—ideal for solo piano pieces. The omnidirectional mode, however, captures sound from all around, which can be great for recording in a live room or when you’re looking for a more ambient, natural reverberation.


  • Dual Polar Patterns: Cardioid and Omnidirectional
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 18kHz
  • Resolution: 16-bit, 44.1kHz
  • Connectors: USB mini
  • Accessories: Clip for laptop mounting, USB cable, carrying case
  • Compatibility: Mac and PC

Pros & Cons:

  • Highly portable and easy to set up, which is ideal for on-the-go recording sessions or small home studios.
  • Multi-pattern recording capabilities allow for flexibility in different recording environments.
  • Plug and play functionality makes it extremely user-friendly for non-tech-savvy individuals.
  • Its sound quality is remarkable for its size and price, delivering clear and accurate audio reproduction.


  • Lacks the professional depth you might find in higher-end microphones, which might be an issue for advanced recording setups.
  • The build, while compact, may not be as durable as more robust microphones, making it a bit vulnerable to wear and tear.
  • The included stand/clamp could be sturdier to ensure a more secure mount in certain setups.

Given its features and the quality it provides, the Samson Go Mic usually comes in at a very affordable price point, typically around $40-$50. This is a modest investment for any musician or creator looking to record high-quality audio without breaking the bank.

My Opinion:
As far as budget microphones go, the Samson Go Mic offers a great blend of functionality, portability, and quality. Its dual-pattern design is particularly handy when recording an instrument as dynamic as a piano, providing options to capture performances in various spaces and configurations. While it does not carry the prestige or depth of more expensive microphones, it is a smart choice for both beginners and intermediate users who need a reliable, straightforward solution for high-quality audio recording. Overall, its strengths far outweigh its limitations, especially when considering the price.

Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic

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The Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic is a delight for anyone needing a straightforward and effective solution for recording piano without breaking the bank. At first glance, you might be duped by its quirky, spherical design, but make no mistake, this little mic packs a punch where it counts. One of its standout features is how incredibly user-friendly it is. Just plug it into your computer, and you’re ready to go—no complicated setup or additional gear required. When recording piano, the mic captures the full range of the instrument with a surprisingly clear sound that challenges what we expect from a budget microphone. It’s particularly good for budding musicians who want to record their pieces or music teachers creating online tutorials.


  • Transducer Type: Condenser, Pressure Gradient with USB Digital Output
  • Polar Patterns: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 40 Hz –18 kHz
  • Sample/Word Rate: 44.1 kHz/16-bit
  • Weight: 460g
  • Dimensions: 325mm circumference


  • Exceptional ease of use with plug-and-play functionality.
  • Offers clear audio quality that captures piano tones quite well.
  • Aesthetically interesting and comes in various colors to match your setup.
  • Sturdy build quality with an adjustable stand that helps in positioning it optimally.
  • Very affordable, making it an excellent choice for beginners or those on a tight budget.


  • Lacks the multiple pattern selection found in some other models from Blue, which limits its versatility.
  • Absence of an onboard gain control which means volume adjustments have to be made from the computer.
  • May pick up unwanted ambient noise because of its sensitivity.
  • Does not have a headphone jack for real-time monitoring.


One of the most appealing aspects of the Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic is its price. Typically retailing for around $50, it’s a serious contender for the budget-conscious shopper. Given its performance, the Snowball iCE offers considerable bang for your buck.

In conclusion, the Blue Snowball iCE is a fantastic budget microphone for those who need a simple, functional solution to record their piano pieces. It stands out for easy setup, decent quality on a budget, and an appealing aesthetic design. It’s a microphone that meets the essential needs of casual recording and streaming, making it an excellent choice for the digital music enthusiast.

AKG P120 High-Performance General Purpose Recording Microphone

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The AKG P120 is an entry-level microphone that punches above its weight class when it comes to recording a piano. With a solid build and reliable performance, it stands out as a budget-friendly solution for both beginners and seasoned musicians who need a no-fuss, quality recording experience. In my hands-on time with the P120, its ability to capture the wide dynamic range of a piano without distortion has impressed me substantially. It provides a clear and balanced sound that can make an upright piano sing and a grand piano roar, all while maintaining the integrity of the instrument’s nuanced characteristics.


The key to the AKG P120’s impressive performance lies in its technical specifications. This cardioid microphone offers a broad frequency response that’s well-suited for the complex harmonics of a piano. It’s equipped with a 0.66-inch diaphragm that captures sound with a level of detail that’s surprising for its price point. Additionally, it includes a switchable bass-cut filter and an attenuation pad, both handy tools that give you control over the recording process, allowing you to manage low-frequency noise and high input volumes, respectively.


  • Exceptional value for the price, providing professional features in a budget-friendly package.
  • The wide frequency response captures the full spectrum of piano sounds, from the lowest bass notes to the highest treble notes.
  • Robust build quality that feels durable and is likely to withstand frequent use.
  • Sound clarity is excellent for the cost, offering crisp and undistorted audio recordings.


  • It lacks USB connectivity, which means you need an audio interface or phantom power supply, potentially increasing the overall cost.
  • The included accessories are minimal, so you might need to purchase additional mounting hardware or cables.
  • It might not have the same brand recognition or prestige as higher-end microphones, which could be a factor for brand-conscious consumers.


As for the price, the AKG P120 generally sits comfortably in the affordable side of the spectrum. It’s a great deal, considering the quality of performance it brings to the table. However, keep in mind that you may need to account for the additional costs of peripheral devices like a stand, pop filter, or audio interface if you don’t already own them. Considering all factors, the AKG P120 remains a compelling choice for budget-conscious musicians who do not want to compromise on sound quality when recording their piano pieces.

Behringer C-1 Studio Condenser Microphone

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The Behringer C-1 is a dedicated studio condenser microphone that claims to offer premium recording quality on a budget. At first glance, the C-1’s robust build and professional appearance make it quite alluring for anyone looking to record instruments like the piano without breaking the bank.

From my experience, the C-1 has proven to be a competent microphone for capturing the dynamic range and tonal complexity of a piano. It tends to emphasize the warmer tones of the instrument, which could be a plus or a minus depending on your recording preferences. The cardioid pickup pattern is adept at isolating the piano in a room setting, making it a solid choice for home studios where noise from other sources might be an issue.

One would not expect high-end specs from a budget mic, but the C-1 pleasantly surprises:

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 40 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 100 Ohms
  • Connector: XLR
  • Requires +48V phantom power


  • The price-to-performance ratio is impressive; the C-1 delivers decent clarity and sensitivity.
  • The build quality exceeds expectations for a mic in this price range; it feels rugged and durable.
  • It handles high sound pressure levels well, which is great for recording a piano’s varying dynamics.


  • The lack of multiple pickup patterns limits its versatility compared to some competitors.
  • It doesn’t come with its own power source, so you’ll need an interface or mixer that provides phantom power.
  • The microphone may lack a bit of the high-end sparkle that some other, more expensive condenser mics offer.

The Behringer C-1 Studio Condenser Microphone maintains an affordable price point that sits comfortably under $100. This is where the microphone really shines – providing an entry-level cost approach to recording that doesn’t demand deep pockets.

In my opinion, if you’re after an economical solution for your home studio to record piano and you don’t mind a slightly colored sound leaning towards the warmer side, the Behringer C-1 could be a great addition to your gear. It’s notably good for those just stepping into the world of recording or for anyone needing a decent mic on a tight budget. Keep in mind though, the quality it delivers does align with its price – exceptional for its range, but not competing with high-end studio mics that capture subtleties with more finesse.


In conclusion, finding the right budget microphone for recording piano is a balance of quality and affordability. Each option in our list delivers exceptional performance without breaking the bank, catering to various recording environments and piano types. Remember, the best microphone for your needs depends on the specifics of your space, the nature of your piano, and your personal preferences in sound characteristics. Invest wisely and you’ll capture the warmth and richness of your piano performances with stunning clarity.


  1. Do I need a special type of microphone for recording piano?
    Not necessarily special, but you should look for a microphone that can accurately capture the wide frequency range of a piano. A good budget condenser microphone or a ribbon microphone can be a great choice.
  2. Can I use a single microphone to record piano?
    While a single mic can work, using two microphones in a stereo setup will generally capture the depth and breadth of the piano’s sound more effectively.
  3. What is a “stereo setup”?
    A stereo setup involves using two microphones positioned in a way that captures the sound from different parts of the piano, providing a more complete and nuanced audio recording.


John Doe

John Doe

I am John, a tech enthusiast with a knack for breaking down complex camera, audio, and video technology. My expertise extends to social media and electronic gadgets, and I thrive on making the latest tech trends understandable and exciting for everyone. Sharing my knowledge through engaging content, I aim to connect with fellow tech lovers and novices alike, bringing the fascinating world of technology to life.

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