9 Best vintage microphones

The first microphone was invented as a telephone transmitter by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. It was a liquid device that was not very practical. In 1886, Thomas Alva Edison invented the first practical carbon microphone. It is not necessary to say that back in the days these microphones had a totally different appearance from one we know today. Then a new generation of mics have come and they became widely used all around the globe.

You have probably seen it on the pictures or famous movies – how singers use these beautiful silver microphones that look awesome on stage. Elvis Presley was famous for having a one. Marylin Monroe was singling her famous “I wanna be loved by you” to American soldiers in Korea with one of those famous microphones.

Basically, this legendary microphone became an icon wide known to the public. Comparing to it, the contemporary microphones look bleak and boring even though they have more powerful characteristic for most of the time. But let’s be honest, sometimes you want also to look great because to really entertain the public you need also to look interesting, not only to sound. Or, maybe, you are just a fan of vintage-looking microphones? Well, in this article you will find the best vintage microphones presented at Amazon today.

Retro Microphone and Swing Stand by Pyle

retromic1Amazing atmosphere of your performances with this vintage microphone. With this item, your show will be complete and make an amazing impression on the audience. It is not only a microphone but also a vintage stand and together they make a whole picture. Just because this product comes not only with a microphone but with a stand as well, the price is a little bit higher.

And of course, the fact that this mic looks vintage doesn’t mean it’s going to sound like one. On the opposite, the item includes the latest technology in the sound industry. Enjoy today’s latest sound processing features with the classic and iconic styling of the Golden Era. You can also tilt your mic during the performance. Since it is made of a shiny high-gloss polished material, it will give a profound impression to the public.

Additional system features include integrated cable management, XLR (3-Pin) connector cable, height adjustable swing arm, along with a solid cast-iron base. What is more, you can rotate the microphone on 360 degrees. It gives you the chance to experiment on the stage without fear of losing the sound.

The height of the mic is also adjustable. Adjustments can be made by twisting the simple screw-type control knob. The mic pole stand is made of aluminum. The interesting fact here is that when you rotate the mic around and when you let go of your grip it automatically goes back to its original position, so you can, for instance, walk on the stage, return and the mic will be ready to capture the sound.

The frequency response of the mic is 50Hz-12kHz, the sensitivity is -52±3dB, the impedance is 600 Ω±30%.

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Classic Retro Dynamic Vocal Microphone – Old Vintage Style Unidirectional Cardioid Mic with XLR Cable by Pyle

Another retro vocal mic for those who would like to acquire a more affordable item. If you thought that buying a retro microphone is a waste of money and expensive, this mic will prove you’re wrong. It will surely add that vintage-style charm to your performances. Or you can even use it during your studio sessions – for example, if you are recording a retro album – this item will help you to better feel the atmosphere and catch the right mood.

retromic2The professional classic dynamic vocal mic has a built-in pop filter that eliminates the popping sound caused by the mechanical impact of fast-moving air giving you more clear audio. It also includes 16′ ft. XLR cable. Once again, the retro-looking microphone will surprise you with a high signal output, an integrated low noise circuitry, 30Hz-15kHz ultra-wide frequency response, -50dB (±3dB @ 1kHz) sensitivity, and 600-ohm output impedance to ensure a crystal clear audio.

The microphone is also omnidirectional so you can sing and move the mic as you like – it will still capture the sound. The cardioid heart shape pickup pattern that is most sensitive in the front and rejects sound from other directions making it perfect for live stage performances, karaoke, or even the recording in the studio, how it was mentioned above.

The mic has an adjustable angle so you can manipulate it in the way you need it. What is more, it is compatible with almost all the mics’ stands presented on the market today. With an internal cartridge shock and self tension swivel mount, you can tilt microphone back and forward, adjusting it to your height and face. The item is available in 3 colors: red, black and silver.

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Shure 55SH Series II Dynamic Microphone (the Elvis Microphone)

retromic3If Elvis Presley has always been your idol and you’ve been dreaming of looking like him then this microphone will get you closer to your dream. Once again, we see an excellent item by the Shure company. It’s been an icon for decades when other famous audio companies didn’t even exist on the market yet.

Unidyne Vocal Microphone features a signature satin chrome-plated die-cast casing for a pure vintage look and feels with modern acoustic components to meet today’s performance standards. This product perfectly reflects the peak of Shure’s glory, saving its famous design for years.

This microphone, however, has a  cardioid (unidirectional) polar pickup pattern that minimizes sound pickup from the rear of the microphone. It helps to avoid, probably, one of the most annoying aspects of all the microphones – the noise in proximity to speakers. With this one, you can safely get closer to any audio devices not fearing that it will cause a whistle.

It also can perform in adverse acoustic conditions where omnidirectional microphones cannot. A self-tensioning swivel mount permits tilting through 45 degrees forward and 80 degrees backward, so you can adjust it to your preferences.

Also, be careful with leverage that switches off and on the mic. It is placed in the front of the mic so it is easy to accidentally push it during the recording/singing live. But this particular microphone works definitely better for live purposes. You can also use it in your studio to add the old-school atmosphere to your recording process.

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Monoprice Memphis Blue Classic Dynamic Microphone

retromic4This microphone looks a little bit more massive than the previous ones. So those, who appreciate maybe a heavier style but would like to stick to the classic – this might be your choice. You could probably see that in the past some blues and jazz singers were using those on stage since it enhances the impression of a stage presence.

The item also brings excellent sound. It has the modern dynamic microphone technology with a super-cardioid polar pattern. The internal microphone element is shock-mounted to prevent handling and stage noise from interfering with your performance or recording. It is a known aspect that during your live performances various noises may occur, such as breath or clapping. This mic prevents this noise to get into the output.

What is more, the mic has the die-cast zinc metal housing which makes it damage-resistant and gives it a long life. High output dynamic cartridge gives you a really powerful and juicy sound. The feedback during the performances is reduced. The mic also has a switch on/off button which doesn’t make popping echo when you use it.

A super-cardioid polar pattern allows you to sing in proximity to other audio devices without distortion and noises. The internal microphone element is shock-mounted to prevent handling and stage noise from interfering with your performance or recording. The item is quite budget, so it could be a good long-time investment.

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CAROL CLM-101 Professional Super-Cardioid Microphone Retro Vintage Look – The Classic Elvis Microphone

As you could probably notice, vintage microphones don’t cost much. The reason is they are mostly used in live purposes rather than studio recordings. And usually those shows are not very serious so it really doesn’t make any sense to spend that much money on the mic. However, this list is not about the best budget microphones, so now we are going to look at a more professional and powerful item.

retromic5This is a classic Elvis microphone by Carol company which has been on the market since 1975. These guys definitely have an experience in making a good audio gear. The superb, capturing capability of CLM-101, the classical live stage performance microphone, does really replicate near to the original sound by two high sensitivity capsules. The ultimate creed of the company is to bring the professional sound to your live performances and take them to the next level.

The microphone includes a shock mount which absorbs all the noises from the audience during your speech and vocals. Thanks to the super-Cardioid pickup pattern, your sound will always stay clear and focused. As in the previous cases, you can always tilt the microphone and adjust it to the position which is convenient for you.

And if it plays any significant role for you while choosing the mic – this product won the Taiwan Excellence Award 2017. The frequency response is 50 Hz ~ 12,000 Hz, sensitivity is -66 ± 3dBV/µbar. Be careful while singing live with this microphone because in some cases it can have quite strong feedback.

The switch type of CLM Series is Carol’s unique technique, which has a good effect on inhibiting acoustic shock when the switch is turned on and off. The technology was so effective and popular that lately it was patented in many countries all around the world. The high sensitivity of the mic provides the sound which is the closest to reality. Your performance is going to look professional and well-prepared.

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Shure Green Bullet 520DX Dynamic Harmonica Microphone

Well, this one item really looks vintage. It has a little bit different style than the previous mic that we observed in this article, however, it doesn’t make it worse. On the opposite, the Shure company again made an authentic product which will definitely find its costumers on the market and make them happy both with the appearance and the sound quality it provides.

retromic6This microphone has a dark-hazel color like the retro microphones in the 40s and 50s. It is a wired microphone, but you can always fix it on the stand mount. It also has a volume control knob, so you can adjust this microphone to any vocal situation and right during the performance.

The microphone has a high impedance and it is omnidirectional which means a high sensitivity. It can provide a realistic sound as an output, but be careful about background noises and feedback. Also, if you want this mic to work as a PC microphone you will have to get an adaptor because this one product has a 1/4″ inch connector.

Rugged, dynamic cartridge with an improved response is provided by this microphone. Before usage, you will need to connect it to the amplifier. In case you want to get a classic blues harp sound you can connect it to the guitar amplifier. The volume control on the microphone should be turned down before plugging it into an amplifier. As you move away from the amplifier, the volume can be turned up.

Then, adjust the microphone’s volume control knob during performances as needed. For example, you can do it when you switch from playing rhythm to lead or to place the microphone on standby between sets. To avoid feedback, maintain as much distance as possible from monitors or loudspeakers. Adjust the volume of monitors or loudspeakers at the mixing console so that no feedback is present when the volume control knob on the harmonica microphone is at its maximum setting.

The frequency response of this item is 100 to 5,000 Hz, which is lower than the regular microphones, that’s why you need to be aware of the kind of sound you would like to hear on your vocal performances. This one is perfect for the old-styled blues concerts. Output Level (at 1,000 Hz): Open Circuit Voltage ­38.0 dBV/Pa (13 mV)* — *1 Pa = 94 dB SPL. This is a dynamic microphone, so it works better for live performances, not for the studio recordings.

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Nady PCM-200 Professional Classic Style Dynamic Microphone

retromic7At first sight, it may seem that this item doesn’t really differ from those that we observe in this article before, though, if you take a closer look, it has its unique style. It looks softer comparing it to other vintage microphones and its size is smaller. Besides, it comes right in the microphone case so you don’t need to buy a separate one.

The price is rather affordable and the quality is decent. This dynamic mic could become a perfect finish for your jazz or blues performances. It also has a high output dynamic cartridge that brings your powerful and full sound in a professional manner. You will get a tailored sound with a presence peak for distinct lifelike vocals.

Cardioid pickup pattern helps to eliminate the background noise and capture only the sound of your voice and reduces feedback. A switchable low-frequency roll-off eliminates noise, integrated mic stand threads, and a pop-free locking on-off switch so you can turn the microphone on and off from the stage. What is more, it is really convenient that the microphone comes with a case, since you will definitely need one for live performances.

The frequency response is 60Hz – 16kHz. The sensitivity is -54dB, ±3dB. In fact, this item has almost the same features as more expensive microphones but it costs less. In general, this item is rather for semi-professionals who don’t really want to spend a lot of money on equipment but still want to have a better quality of the sound.

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FAO Schwarz 1003436 Bluetooth Vintage Microphone with Built-in Speaker

FAO microphone is here to add diversity to this list. This item really does differ from the previous ones and looks a little bit more authentic. As they say, each unique product will find its customers. This mic has built-in speakers that allow you to sing along right during the recording or the live stream using music coming out of the microphone. What is more, it gives you the possibility to take the mic everywhere with you so you won’t even need a PC to make a recording – you can use only a smartphone. Probably, bloggers who travel a lot but still have to record new videos will find this item quite valuable.

retromic8This is a budget microphone. It looks exotic and very vintage so if you’ve been looking for a mic just to have fun this is your choice. The design is sleek and luxurious to hold. Moreover, it is a Bluetooth mic, so you can connect it to your device via Bluetooth and sing your favorite songs with a retro atmosphere. It was styled after pill microphones such as the ubiquitous and renown brand from the 50S and 60S but this time it also includes modern technologies to make it usage fun and easy.

Keep in mind that it is rather a karaoke microphone for partying with your friends, for example. Trying to make serious records using this item is a quite dubious decision. It was made rather to simply enjoy singing. Rock out by yourself, impress your friends with your singing talent, or bring the microphone to parties. The mic supports a qualitative Bluetooth connection. Or it can be useful for recording covers using different karaoke apps. As an advantage, it will give you the possibility to have back vocals on the background right during the record.

If, for example, you have a retro party this item could be a cool piece for that, especially if you are going to sing karaoke. Use it in karaoke contests, or even as a substitute for a microphone or megaphone for making announcements. The built-in speaker acts as a standalone mic system, with or without music. So, summarizing all the points – this one product is purely for fun, not for professional records.

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Heil Sound PR-77D Vintage Microphone

In contrast with the previous model, this one is much more expensive and way more powerful. It is not the most popular brand on Earth, though it looks very cute and it is a qualitative vintage-looking microphone. If you want to look cool and fashionable and also have and superior sound quality on your recordings, then Heil Sound PR-77D is your choice for sure.

retromic9In fact, this company may not be the most famous on the market but it dies manufacture decent microphones. If you check YouTube you will definitely find some positive reviews. The purple color of this item complemented by silver makes it a perfect mic for being placed in your videos doesn’t matter if those are gaming streams or YouTube vocal covers.

On the back of the mic, there is the leverage that allows you to choose from music or voice settings. Depending on you’re recording music or voiceover, you can flip that switch. There is also an XLR input on the lower back of the microphone. It is an on-desk type of microphone, so it is quite easy to adjust it and just put it on the table right in front of you.

Even comparing this model to other products of this brand, it has a much better sound so the investment of money is justified.  It is a large-diaphragm microphone designed to provide focused directionality, full-range response, and a vintage appearance for use in a podcast, broadcast, recording, and live stage applications. Its design, however, is based on the popular retro RCA mics from the 50s and 60s, but with the modern touch.

Its cardioid polar pattern delivers 40 dB of attenuation 180° off-axis, resulting in a tight pickup area and minimized bleed. The voice position rolls the audio off at 120 Hz at -6 dB per octave while the music selection removes the filter and the entire audio spectrum of 60 Hz to 16 kHz is present. The item comes in the package together with an XLR cable.

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