Old School Microphone

Old School Microphone

Old School Microphone. I am a self-professed ‘Retro-freak’ and I just love anything related or surrounding old school and retro look. 

Please see my full disclosure policy in the about page for details. This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). 

For this test, I’m using my Focusrite Scarlett preamp as my source tester and I have turned off all DSP features so I can hear exactly what each of these microphones has to offer.

What is the best Old School Microphone?

The best retro vintage and old school microphone to buy is, probably the Shure 55SH Series 2. The sound quality, build quality, and the overall feel is just perfect.  

#1 Shure SH55
(The Elvis Microphone)

  • Microphone Type: Dynamic.
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid.
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz-15kHz.
  • Output Impedance: 150 ohms.
  • Color: Silver.
  • Connector: XLR.
  • Weight: 1.38 lbs.
Old School Microphone
Old School Microphone

Shure SH55 -
Old school microphone

Old School Microphone Everyone loves an old school looking mic like the Shure SH55. I bought this one for a good friend, who is a bit of a crooner. The beauty of this mic is that it has old-school charm, but with a very modern sound.

The Shure SH55 sounds very much like the Shure Beta 58a and the reason for the similarity is that it uses the same capsule, which is more crisp and modern sounding than the older SM58 and with a hotter output. So yeah, you can buy this classic looking mic and get a modern sound with a nice tight super-cardioid pattern.

I wondered if the cage-like basket would muck up the polar pattern of the capsule and if internal reflections might be a problem, but there don’t appear to be any of these downsides in use. What’s not to love?

Find the best price here Shure SH55

Old School Microphone

#2 Heil Sound The Fin

  • Output Connection: 3 pin XLR
  • Element Type: Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 18 kHz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Rear Rejection @ 180 degrees off axis: -30 dB
  • Impedance: 600 ohms balanced
  • Output Level: -55 dB @ 1 kHz
  • Weight: 24.9 oz
  • Max SPL: 142 dB
  • Lamp Power: 48 volt DC phantom
Old School Microphone

Heil Sound The Fin -
Old school microphone

I wish I could give this Heil Sound The Fin 5 stars but I can’t. I’ll start with the good: The sound is pretty crisp [in general], and it looks great aesthetically. It comes in a very cool case and the unboxing process was very satisfying.

The first thing “wrong” with it is that the ‘popping’ sound from pronounced T’s and P’s is really unacceptable on a mic of this level. My $40 Shure SM48 has a better built-in pop filter than this $200+ mic. Yes, I can put a windscreen in front of it, but that’s going to mess with the aesthetic, which – let’s be honest – is the reason you’re even considering this mic.

A second thing that you should know is that it doesn’t light up without a phantom power input. That fact is buried in the long description of the product page and I wish it had been made more clear.

There’s a great comparison video on YT by Amy Westney that compares this Heil Sound The Fin vs. a Shure Super 55 [which is, in general, a cheaper mic] that I wish I had seen before making the purchase. I’d recommend giving that a watch before making a final decision on buying this.

Find the best price here The Fin

#3 CAD Audio - CADLive A77

  • 30 Hz – 15 kHz frequency response
  • 500 ohm impedance
  • -48 dBV (3.56 mV)
  • 1Pa sensitivity
  • maximum SPL of >150 dB
  • Weight: 1 pound



Old School Microphone
Old School Microphone

CADLive A77 -
Old school microphone

CAD makes great mics (I have a few mics plus, USB condenser mic as well) and I was delighted to have the opportunity to try out their new CAD Audio CADLive A77, which is intended as a live vocal mic. Everyone will have their particular preferences when it comes to vocal mics, however, CAD Audio CADLive A77 is a fantastic all-around performance mic which should please a wide range of vocal types for a variety of live venues.

The mic itself has a great feel in your hands, a very natural diameter, and a slight taper. It is neither excessively heavy nor too feather-weight. It has a good balance which is comfortable to hold for lengthy performances.

The sound is rich and warm with a strong tolerance for many different vocal types and styles. There are a variety of “proprietary features” purported on the box whose overall purpose admittedly sounds like a bit of marketing…. but whatever they are, the end result is a satisfying and pleasing result for live vocals. 

For the price, both seasoned musicians and amateurs looking for something utilitarian yet versatile this will give you more than your money’s worth in performance and sound. I would certainly purchase another 2-3 in lieu of seeking a higher-priced SURE handheld. As an additional note, a travel-ready bag is included for the mic which is of surprisingly high quality!

Find the best price here CADlive A77

#4 AKG D112 MkII

  • Dynamic Microphone
  • Frequency Response: 20 – 17000 Hz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Impedance: 210 Ohms
  • Maximum SPL: > 160 dB
  • Connector: XLR
  • Sensitivity: -55 dBV/Pa
  • Weight: .63 lb.

AKG D112 MkII -
Old school microphone

AKG D112 MKII is a dynamic mic. Which can handle extremely high sound levels. Perfect for recording vocals and instruments. Dynamic mics are almost unaffected by extreme changes in temperature and even humidity.

When it comes to frequency response, D112 MKII is pretty broad. It is specifically created for kick drums. But the D112  has a wider frequency range that makes it perfect for other low-end instruments like bass guitars.

It makes such deep smooth and clear bass tones, you will fall in love forever with the AKG D112 MkII 
The recordings it does are so good you don’t really need to adjust anything after recording it except maybe throw a limiter and comp for your mix, I just love its sound.

Find the best price here AKG D112

Old School Microphone

#5 MXL CR77

  • Type: Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 50 Hz-14 kHz
  • Polar pattern: Super-Cardioid
  • Sensitivity: -52 dB re 1 V/Pa
  • Impedance: 400 ohms
  • Size: 65mm x 180mm/2.56 in x 7.09 in
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs/635g
  • Metal Finish: Black and Black Chrome
Old School Microphone

MXL CR77 -
Old school microphone

This is a very cool looking mic, resembling a vintage RCA 77 DX. As some have noted, the output is a little lower than say a Shure SM-58, but it still works fine if you adjust the input attenuator on your mixer.

It’s a hyper-cardioid mic which means you do have to be on-axis for it to sound good. It wouldn’t be a good candidate for using a single mic to pick up a quartet unless you gave each singer an individual mic. I’m getting good gain before feedback using it on one voice.

Did I mention it looks great? Given its reasonable price, I think this is going to become very popular with folks who want a retro look.

Find the best price here MXL CR77

#6 MXL V67G

  • Diaphragm: 6 micron gold-sputtered
  • Capsule Size: 32mm/1.26in.
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz – 20kHz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sensitivity: 15 mV/Pa
  • Impedance: 200 ohms
  • Output: Transformer-balanced
  • S/N Ratio: 74 dB (Ref. 1 PA A-weighted)
  • Max SPL for .5% THD: 130 dB
  • Weight: 1.3 lbs/589.67g
Old School Microphone

MXL V67G -
Old school microphone

Let me start off by saying this; I heard that MXL V67G microphone wasn’t for podcasting… WRONG! This Microphone has blown me away at how good it sounds compared to higher-priced and specked ones. I have a Shure SH55 for podcasting which is amazing, but I needed another mic for my friend but I didn’t really want to go over any budgets.

I broadened my horizons and lucky for me I saw this gem, and boy what a surprise, when mixed correctly this microphone has the same quality as a $150+ microphone.

Recorded multiple checks to see if my hearing was alright and sure enough they were working great. So to anyone who wants to record vocals or pretty much any other thing, this is a great cost-efficient microphone, that won’t empty the bank and sounds spectacular. Thank you MXL for making the V67G it’s a great budget microphone.

Find the best price here MXL V67G

#7 Blue Spark SL

  • Transducer Type: Condenser, Pressure Gradient
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 34.9 mV/Pa at 1 kHz (1 pa = 94 dB SPL)
  • Output Impedance: 50 ohm
  • Rate Load Impedance: Not less than 1k ohm
  • Maximum SPL: 136 dB SPL (1k, THD 0.5%)
  • S/N Ratio: 73 dB-A
  • Noise Level: 16.4
  • Dynamic Range: 119.6 dB
Old School Microphone

Blue Spark SL -
Old school microphone

Very impressed with Blue Spark SL in comparison to my Shure SH55 mic.

Based on the original Spark, this studio condenser microphone, Spark SL excels at delivering detailed and transparent sound to your recordings with a new level of versatility and sound quality. Featuring a new streamlined build, refined sonics, and versatile switches, Spark SL will transform your creative space into a professional studio.

I do not own this mic but I have had the opportunity to test it several times in my friend’s studio, he is a Vocal coach and professional Podcaster, so he does a lot of daily work on it.

It has a very clear and unpolished sound to it. Looks is amazing if you love something that has that old school charm, but still wants great quality. One of the better mics out there and really versatile.   

Find the best price here Blue Spark SL

Next we have 3 Old School Microphones with USB

#8 Shure MV51 USB

  • Mic type: Electret Condenser
  • Pickup pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
  • The A/D converter supports up to 24-bit audio with a 48kHz sample rate
  • Features 5 DSP presets: Speech, Singing, Acoustic, Loud, Flat
  • Supports headphone monitoring, and onboard touch panel controls
  • The mic is powered through the USB/Lightning connector. No batteries needed
Old School Microphone

Shure MV51 USB -
Old school microphone

I tested the Shure MV51 by connecting to my 2018 MacBook Pro and using QuickTime and Zoom to record simple audio clips.

As all the other reviewers say, this mic is built like a tank. Weighs 1lb in an all-metal casing, really nice input and output jacks, the touch panel is responsive and everything just feels like it was built with care and pride.

Voice quality. I have this about 5-6″ away from my mouth, with 50% gain, in neutral mode and my voice sounds really clear. Finally, a setup that I can comfortably say it does exactly what I was looking for, which is crystal clear audio. And by crystal clear, I mean crystal clear to a fault.

Since the Shure MV51 is a condenser mic, it will literally pick up everything that remotely resembles a sound wave. My toddler banging toys around the hallway or whining? Yep. Someone washing their hands? Yep. Talking in the other room? Yep. Birds chirping outside while my window is closed? Yep. BUT my voice is still super clear! Yay!

Find the best price here Shure MV51

#9 Blue Yeti Nano USB

  • Power Required/Consumption: 5V 150mA
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz
  • Bit Rate: 24-bit
  • Capsules: 2 Blue-proprietary 14mm condenser capsules
  • Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Omnidirectional
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 4.5mV/Pa (1 kHz)
  • Max SPL: 120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz)
Old School Microphone

Blue Yeti Nano USB -
Old school microphone

Fantastic microphone for recording and gaming.

It’s pretty much as good as its big brother the YETI, but the problem with the YETI has always been that it is just to damn big. Now, this fella is just the right size and a lot nicer if you ask me, it’s smaller and Lighter and fits on a mic stand (easy to position). Yes the YETI has some extra features but not enough to make choose it over the YETI NANO USB.

This Golden version will fit perfectly into every Retro setup.

Find the best price here Blue Yeti Nano

#10 Samson Meteor USB

  • Element Type: 1″ (25mm) Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid (unidirectional)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz–20kHz
  • Max SPL: 120dB
  • Bit Depth: 16-bit; Sample Rate: 44.1kHz/48kHz
  • USB Digital I/O
  • Headphone Output: 1/8″ (3.5mm)
Old School Microphone

Samson Meteor USB -
Old school microphone

Let me start off by saying I love how small this mic is. I mean it’s really small it will fit in your hand easy.

This Samson Meteor USB mic doesn’t require nearly as much space as a YETI or Shure. It works well as a portable mic. Also, I appreciate the fact that it comes with a really long cable. Far too often you get short cables with electronics which sucks.

I’m using Windows 10 and the mic was instantly ready to use. No-fuss. I also powered up my PS4 to see if it would work with it and it actually did.

The quality of the mic is slightly better than my Yeti nano. It’s a bit more bass-heavy than my Yeti which is nice. My voice is more clear and pronounced. So for me, this mic is actually better than my old Yeti Nano which I paid a little over a hundred dollars for.

Find the best price here Samson Meteor

#11 Bonus - One Holiday Way

  • Haunted microphone plays spooky vintage radio sounds as its lights and “On Air” sign flash on and off
  • Creepy enough for adults but not too scary for kids. Perfect for a haunted house or other attraction!
  • Takes 3 AA batteries (not included). Sound activated. Size: 12″ tall x 6″ long x 5″ wide

One Holiday Way -
Old school microphone

Just a fun little prop to decorate your office or game room. Add a spooky touch to your Halloween decor with our haunted talking retro microphone decoration! Complete with flashing lights, this microphone sounds like a spooky old radio station. It also makes a great prop for a haunted house or other attractions.

Find the best price here Holiday

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