A microphone is an essential device in the recording and broadcasting industry. It amplifies the voice to allow listeners to hear what is being said whether they are part of a live audience or listening/viewing recorded audio and video. Microphones fall in two categories: condenser (found in recording studios) and dynamic (used for stage and live performances). The best and most expensive microphones give the user the highest quality and clearest sound.
The Compact Mic (DPA 4022 Cardioid Condenser)
This little black mic is famous for its portability and its tiny size. However, don't let it fool you with its smallness. DPA 4022 is popular for its sound accuracy, clear frequency, and wonderful reception. It has become a favorite of classical musicians because of these three main factors. The best part is that it can give you a detailed but balanced sound that not all microphones are capable of doing. Although small in appearance, it commands a big price of $2,000 as of April 2011.
The Vacuum Tube ( AKG C-12 VR)
This AKG Vaccum Tube condenser microphone is much sought after by recording engineers. Its classic tube-like appearance has been retained and some components have been optimized to meet current studio recording demands. It can certainly convert any audio to a clean, perfect sound that many high-end audio companies have been looking for. This model has been improved to have better distortion, low self-noise and is less susceptible to hum interference. The AKG C-12 VR is quite expensive. As of April 2011 its retail price is a whooping $5,499.
The Diaphragm Tube (Sony C800G Condenser)
If you truly want to capture accurate vocal qualities, Sony's dual diaphragm mic is the way to do it. Its big size works well with the stability of any kind of audio, resulting in a much clearer and more vibrant sound, perfect for solo vocals. It has its own cooling system to optimize the microphone's operating temperature and neutralize noise and distortion. This is usually used in large recording studios and film post-production houses. The Sony C800G April 2011 price tag is $10,280.
Large Diaphragm Digital Mic (Neumann Solution D)
The Neumann Solution D is the most expensive microphone used for digital recording. It combines the clarity of digital microphone with the dynamic range and signal fidelity of an analog microphone. Its specially-developed synchronization system answers the highest requirements of professional audio recording. The initial investment is high but even a small recording studio can achieve the highest quality of audio recording using only the microphone and recording equipment. It comes with a user-friendly remote control to make changes in microphone settings so much easier. The retail price of this high-end digital microphone as of April 2011 is $17,988.
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