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Looking for the perfect MXL mic? We rank the top 3.

MXL microphones is the professional audio division of Marshall Electronics, founded by Leonard Marshall in 1980. A MXL mic offers great value for podcasters looking for an attractive, high-quality mic at an affordable price. But which MXL mic is best for your podcast? Read on to find out!

#1

MXL 990

by MXL

Connection
XLR
Endorsments
1 hosts
#2

MXL 770

by MXL

Type
Condenser
Connection
XLR
Endorsments
3 hosts
#3

MXL R144

by MXL

Type
Ribbon
Connection
XLR
Endorsments
3 hosts

Help finding the perfect MXL mic

The first MXL mic was the MXL 2001, released in 1998, followed by the MXL 2003, in 1999. Popular with musicians and performance artists looking for quality on a budget, the MXL 2001 & MXL 2003 disrupted a market dominated by pricey competitors like Shure, Sennheiser, and Neumann.   Over time, MXL’s reputation has grown alongside its product line—today, there’s an MXL mic suitable for every conceivable application. Despite MXL’s focus on value, they are endorsed by many professional musicians and entertainers like B Real (Cyprus Hill) & Bootsy Collins (Parliament-Funkadelic). Since MXL makes a huge variety of microphones, WhatPods is here to help you figure out which mxl mic is right for you and your podcast!

Microphone Basics: Condenser vs Dynamic

If you’re considering an MXL mic, you’ll first want to consider which type of microphone will work best for your podcast. WhatPods recommends either a condenser or dynamic microphone for recording spoken word. While either can sound great in the right situation, condensers tend to be more difficult to work with, as they tend to pick up background noise and require a dedicated audio interface or preamp with phantom power. Dynamics are easier to work with and don’t require phantom power, but they are sometimes faulted for sounding a bit dull and lifeless beside the rich sound of highly sensitive condenser microphone.

MXL Condenser Microphones

While podcasters looking for the simplest solution might consider a dynamic MXL mic (see below),  MXL has built its reputation on the clarity and warmth of its condenser microphones and these mics shouldn’t be overlooked for high quality podcast recording. Condensers do require an audio interface with phantom power (or something like the MXL Mic Mate Pro) and they thrive in a studio setup where background noise isn’t an issue. Handling noise can also be an issue, so consider a shockmount essential for most conderser mic setups.  For podcasters looking for vivid, lively podcast recordings that can compete with Roman Mars’ dulcet tones, condensers are a great choice and worth the additional setup. Looking for a condenser microphone? Click here to view models by popularity. Need a large diaphragm condenser microphone? View the best models here.
MXL 990 Condenser Microphone
This MXL mic continues to be a favourite among podcasters and working musicians alike. Priced well-below $100, the MXL 990 is one of the best values around. It features a large condenser capsule with great frequency response and comes equipped with a mic clip and shock-mount to reduce handling noise. The MXL 990 uses a standard XLR hookup and requires a preamp or audio interface with phantom power to supply gain.
MXL 2003A Large Capsule Condenser Microphone
The upgrade pick, the MXL 2003A is for the uncompromising podcaster who demands the very best vocal recordings. Featuring a highly sensitive 3-micron gold-sputtered diaphragm and a cardioid pickup pattern, the MXL 2003A is ideal for voice recordings, but since it is so sensitive, it works best in soundproofed studio environments. Podcasters who record in noisy or untreated environments should consider a dynamic MXL mic (see below). Like the MXL 990, the MXL 2003A uses a standard XLR hookup and requires a preamp or audio interface with phantom power to supply gain.
MXL TEMPO - USB Condenser Microphone
For podcasters looking for a simple podcasting solution, MXL offers the Tempo: a USB condenser mic that records directly into your computer, without the need of an additional preamp or audio interface. While WhatPods doesn’t recommend USB recording in every situation (it can be flaky and noisy at times), the MXL Tempo is a reliable and inexpensive solution for those in need of a quality USB recording option. With a small desk-stand included and a built-in headphone jack for simple monitoring, the tempo might be the easiest MXL mic for new podcasters to get started with.

MXL Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic microphones are the easiest kinds of microphones to deal with and tend to be the best choice for beginners and podcasters who don’t have access to soundproofed recording studios. But that doesn’t mean dynamic microphones don’t sound great—they do!—and they have other advantages too. Since these mics don’t require an additional power source (phantom power), they tend to be easier to setup and more flexible in terms of which equipment you pair with them.  Plus, if you think you’ll be recording in an echoey place or with multiple mics in the same room, a dynamic MXL mic is a great choice. The downside of dynamic microphones is that they don’t sound quite as lively and realistic as a great condenser mic, but since dynamic mics are easier to work with they tend to deliver more consistent recordings. For podcasting, WhatPods recommends the following MXL condenser mics:
MXL BCD-1 - Live Broadcast Dynamic Microphone
A popular MXL mic for podcasters and broadcasters, the MXL BCD-1 is an end-address dynamic microphone designed for simple high-quality voice recording. Solid construction and a built-in swivel mount makes the MXL BCD-1 a reliable choice for pairing with a desktop boom arm (like the MXL BCD-Stand). This MXL mic also features strong noise rejection, a built-in shockmount, and a stylish metal grill (designed to reduce internal reflections.) All of which makes the MXL BCD-1 a solid choice for recording at home, in the studio, and beyond.
MXL POP LSM-9 - Premium Dynamic Vocal Microphone
A colorful choice for podcasters looking to stand out—this unique MXL mic series offers an inexpensive alternative to the popular (but plain) Shure SM58. A handheld XLR dynamic mic, the MXL POP LSM-9 is great on the stage or in a mic stand at home, featuring low handling noise, good noise rejection, and a solid all-metal construction. Consider this MXL mic for multi-mic podcasting setups in need a of a splash of color. Available in Blue, Magenta, Yellow, and Green

MXL Podcasting Bundles

MXL Visual Podcasting (VPS) Bundles
Curious about video podcasting? MXL is one of few companies that offer a dedicated video podcasting solution. Winner of Best of Show Award from Radio World at NAB 2018, the VPS bundles add the Marshall CV502-U3, a USB-powered high-definition POV camera, to the complete audio recording solution offered in the APS bundle (above). VPS bundles also feature the MXL BCD-1 Live Broadcast mic, MXL BCD-Stand, and an MXL Mic Mate Pro to convert XLR to USB. To complete the package, an included MXL USB Hub makes it simple to connect multiple USB inputs to your computer. Available as a Solo or Duo packable.

Conclusion

Podcasters looking for great sound on a budget should consider an MXL mic. Featuring solid construction, quality components, and a vintage feel, you’ll find an MXL mic on the desk of many of your favourite podcasters. WhatPods recommends the MXL 990 or the MXL BCD-1 for most podcasters, but the cheap and colourful MXL POP LSM-9  is simply too fun to ignore.