7 Best microphones for piano recordings (updated 2020)

Piano covers on YouTube have become a separate industry with high competition level. Nowadays it is probably possible to find a cover for every single song. Some of them become almost as much popular as the original versions. To be honest, many of them sound better than the originals. However, some sound worse.

What is more, the piano ballads are known and loved by many people. If you are a professional singer and write your own songs then it is much easier to create a new sing by just plying in on the piano. Lots of young artists became recognized by prominent music labels because of it.

The piano music itself has been keeping its positions throughout the centuries. Starting with the greatest composers and musicians, such as Mozart or Bach, ending with modern pianists, such as Brian Crain. The audience is still enjoying the beautiful melodies that the piano can bring to us.

Through piano music, it is possible to express the full range of emotions – doesn’t matter if it’s sadness, love, joy, hate, and so on. It can be used as a separate track to listen in your free time to enjoy or as the background music to accelerate the concentration.

Thus, it is crucial that your microphone can absorb and record all the sounds when you play the piano. It’s a special type of microphone with augmented sensitivity. There are different options for different types of budgets and you can find the one that suits you and record your small (and big) masterpieces.

best pick
Neumann TLM 102

Neumann TLM 102

runner up
TONOR Cardioid Condenser Microphone

TONOR Cardioid Condenser Microphone

budget pick
Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

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  • compact Neumann design
  • very high maximum sound pressure level
  • slight presence boost above 6 kHz
  • professional sound chipset 
  • gold-plated 24mm large diaphragm 
  • advanced 100cm suspension microphone stand 
  • flat, wide-range frequency response 
  • exceptionally clean and natural reproduction of both music and speech
  • bass rolloff and mid-range emphasis 
  • improved rejection of electromagnetic hum

Neumann TLM 102

The TLM 102 represents the next generation of Neumann studio microphones. Despite its compact size, the TLM 102 combines all the features of Neumann technology. Harmonious proportions, classic design, and a glossy ring ensure that the microphone will attract any attention.

Neumann TLM 102The TLM 102 has very impressive sound characteristics. The microphone is equipped with a new large aperture capsule (cardioid). The largest sound pressure level of 144 dB and fast transient characteristics allow you to sound pianos and other music sources. But, the most important benefits of TLM 102 are revealed when recording and sounding vocals and speech.

The slight rise in the midrange above 6 kHz provides excellent voice intelligibility in the mix. To minimize structural noise, the microphone capsules are “tied” to the body using an elastic mount. The pop filter integrated into the protective grille effectively protects against explosive consonants.

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TONOR Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Another great mic of a studio-quality for your piano recordings. The prominent feature of it is that it has the gold-plated large-diaphragm condenser cartridge which brings the mic the ability to capture an extremely wide range of high and low frequencies.

pianomic2 This way you will be able to record the compositions of different complexity and no sound will be lost during the recording process. With the smooth 20Hz-20KHz frequency response, low distortion, you will get the best sound quality possible. For instruments recording, these are very powerful characteristics.

The sampling rate is 192kHz/24Bit. With this advanced microphone chip, you can pick up a wider range of nuances so your instrument is recorded properly (and your voice as well).

This microphone also has a 100 cm suspension microphone stand that is made of thick, high-quality all-metal material, sturdy and durable. 3 bracing pieces make the bearing capacity more outstanding and the stability stronger. It also comes with a professional metal shock mount, a more durable structure, that can prolong the life of your microphone and remove unwanted low-frequency rumble.

Since it is a USB microphone you can easily connect it to your computer or laptop and place it nearby the piano. With USB 2.0 data port, TC-2030 microphone is compatible with both Windows and Mac operating systems and in most cases, you don’t need any additional drivers to start recording.

Another great bonus here is that the microphone comes with a 2-year warranty which is rare for microphones (usually they come with only 1-year warranty). During the last 5 years of sales, the mic has collected more than 10000 positive reviews from buyers. This brand truly strives to meet the expectations of the consumers.

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Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

You will be surprised how natural all the sounds, recorded with the usage of this microphone, sound. Because the mic has a flat, wide-range frequency response the quality is maintained at a high level, allowing you to record instruments, vocals, and speech.

graphic display of response setting comes together with a graphic display of response setting. Another known problem for those who have already tried to record instruments or vocals is that the abundance of monitors around can provoke an electromagnetic hum. In this case, the mic has an improved rejection of such hums so you can stop worrying about it.

pianomic3Mechanical noise transmission is isolated with the help of the internal air suspension. The highly effective pop filter eliminates the need for any add-on protection against explosive breath sounds, in cases when you are recording vocals along with your piano (or it eliminates the plosive sounds from instruments as well).

What is more important, the mic has a captive stand nut what makes it easy to adjust it for any position and record sound from your piano at different locations. For example, if you are filming a YouTube cover then you will need to set the microphone in another way than when you are just doing the recording for the studio.

The frequency range is 50 – 20000 Hz. It is a dynamic microphone which means it also works well for the recordings made in big rooms and halls.

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AKG Pro Audio P220

The AKG P420 is a studio condenser microphone designed to work with a wide variety of sound sources. It can be used to record both vocal and electric guitar as well as piano.

It has three switchable directional charts: cardioid, omnidirectional, and eight. The large double aperture of 1-inch diameter offers the benefits of high sensitivity, low intrinsic noise, and the most correct bass reproduction.AKG P420

The integrated high pass filter in the AKG P420 and a 20 dB mute attenuator ensure the cleanest possible sound recording at close range. Even if it has a high sound pressure level (up to 155 dB).

The housing of AKG P420 is made of a zinc-aluminum alloy and its diaphragms are protected by a stainless steel impact mesh.

The microphone kit includes a robust metal carrying and storage case, a shock-absorbing spider suspension, and an XLR microphone cable.

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Maono AU-PM422

Maono AU-PM422 is a professional USB-connected condenser microphone. It provides high-quality recordings of musical instruments and vocals. The microphone comes with a shock mount, pop filter, and wind filter. They will allow you to record high-quality music in almost any environment.

Maono AU-PM422Body of Maono AU-PM422 is made of durable metal, capable of protecting the inner stuffing from damage. With USB connection and Plug&Play support, the microphone does not need any drivers to start working and is compatible with Windows and Mac OS.

The model comes with a mounting bracket and a desktop clip. They will allow you to mount the device to a table or other flat surface.

Maono AU-PM422 microphone uses cardioid directionality. It improves the isolation of the sound source and 16mm capacitor electret converter. Sound is recorded in the range from 20 to 20000 Hz and has a sampling rate of high resolution to 192 kHz/24 bit.

In general, getting a good recording microphone for your piano for such a low price is a bargain itself. In case you are looking for something to start with or you need an additional microphone you can always purchase this one without wasting great sums of money.

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Audio-Technica AT4053B

The AT4053B is recommended for vocals, pianos, and other instruments. So this microphone is an excellent choice for piano recording. The AT4053B is a universal instrument microphone.

Audio-Technica AT4053BThe production of tapes for this microphone uses a new technology company Audio-Technica – MicroLinear.

It minimizes the distortion of the tape. It helps prevent distortion and reduces the accuracy of sound transmission.

Unlike conventional ribbon microphones, this model requires 48 V phantom power used for active electronics. This brings the new models closer to condenser microphones in terms of output level.

The output connector for this model is a 3-pin XLR balanced microphone. Included with the AT4053B is a holder, soft protective case, and carrying case.

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MXL 770

The MXL 770 is a microphone with the latest microphone technology. At its low price, it is equipped with professional features.

There are all attributes of the studio microphone – phantom power, condenser microphone with a 6-micron, 20mm “gold” aperture. It provides a good dynamic range. It sounds good in the upper range. Equipped with a high-quality FET preamplifier with balanced output.MXL 770

This microphone will be a good tool for you for digital and analog recording. The microphone is professionally designed by Marshall Electronics to guarantee free recording for DJ’s product market.

The main advantage of this microphone is its price. The MXL 770 is great for recording musical instruments, including pianos.

The MXL 770 is not only the best performing microphone for recording musical instruments, but also for voice recording. It gives you a clear and clear voice by separating the background and good hard bass.

FAQ for buyers of microphones for piano recordings

Which type of mic is the best for piano recordings?

Condenser microphone. The best choice is the set of two microphones placed symmetrically a little bit above the piano strings.

Where should I place a microphone while recording? 

Everything depends on your piano size. If you have a regular synthesizer, then you can place the mic on it using the tripod or use the microphone mount stand to fix it above the piano so the sound is captured better. If you have a regular piano or even a grand piano then it is better to place the microphone closer to the strings of the instrument since the sound comes from there. In case you are recording the voice and the music at the same time it is better to keep the mic closer to where you are, otherwise, you risk not to be heard. Or the mic must be highly sensitive and better omnidirectional.

How do I switch the mic while recording? 

It is not easy, since most of the microphones are usually connected to a PC, but you can’t place the piano too close to it. You can always buy additional cables which will allow you to move your mic to wider distances.

How to record a piano at home? 

The bigger the room the better. Once again, place the microphone close to the strings. You can even use 2 microphones for better sound recording.

Do I need any special equipment for piano recordings?

In most cases – no. Just when choosing a microphone pay attention if it is suitable for live instruments recording. Most of the times the manufacturer mentions it in the description.

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