Three Features You Need in a Performing Microphone

If you want to “wow” your audience at your next performance, the first thing you’ll need is a quality microphone in your hand.

Man singing to a crowd
Like so many other devices it takes to pull off a quality show, a good microphone can help you wow the crowd.Shure

That ear-piercing screech of audio feedback is the last thing you want an audience to hear, though all too often it’s the first thing coming from the speakers as someone adjusts the sound. Feedback and poorly placed, cheap microphones go hand-in-hand, but this doesn’t take a sound tech or $500 to fix. A quality performance mic does wonders to make your voice sound good while minimizing the feedback. Here are three things that matter when shopping for a new performance microphone.

Dynamic vs. Condenser

Shure SM58-LC Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone
This popular dynamic microphone is the industry standard for reasonably-priced performance mics.Shure

A quality dynamic microphone is less sensitive, less prone to feedback, and more likely to project just your voice without picking up other background noise. Most quality condenser mics have a good pop filter as well.

Cardioid Polar Pattern

Behringer Ultravoice XM1800S Dynamic Cardioid Vocal and Instrument Microphones, Set of 3
This mic offers a quality inexpensive vocal mic option, a real plus when buying multiple mics.Behringer

A cardioid polar pattern picks up sound waves primarily from the front of the microphone, the direction from which you’ll be singing or speaking. It focuses on amplifying what’s directly in front, which enhances the vocal while minimizing other surrounding sounds.


Sennheiser e945 Supercardioid Dynamic Handheld Mic
Here’s a product with a reputation for durability as well as quality.Sennheiser

No one wants to spend a bunch of money on a microphone that quits when it gets knocked around. While most folks don’t go around dropping their mics, when you accidentally do, it’s nice to have them still work for you. And mics are prone to abuse. Get one with a reputation for durability.