Looking for the best LDC mic under $500 on a limited budget can be daunting research! Luckily, there are some great large diaphragm condenser microphone options under $500 out there, and getting the most bang for your buck given your specific setup and needs is a lot easier if you have a good way to compare LDC audio samples.

To help you out, we’ve rounded up four of our very favorite LDC microphone in the “under $500” category. We put the sE Electronics sE2200a II, the Warm Audio WA-47 JR, the Lauten Audio LA-220, and the Warm Audio WA-14 up against each other on acoustic guitar and male vocals so you can compare them without bias in our blind shootout. (These are all going through the Phoenix Audio DRS8 mk2 microphone preamp.)

The four LDCs chosen for this mic shootout are mics that have come through Sound Pure Studios that we feel really passionate about and feel we can recommend with no reservations, whether you’re just getting started with a home studio or adding to your recording studio collection.

Can you tell which LDC mic is which? Does a clear winner stand out to you?

Once you’re ready for the answers, shoot us an email at shootoutresults@soundpure.com, or give us a call at (919) 682-5552 (you can also reach out to us on Facebook). Also, every mic in this shootout is available for our Try Before You Buy demo program, so you can do some testing for yourself with no obligation to purchase.

The Contenders

sE Electronics sE2200a II

Warm Audio WA-47 JR

Lauten Audio LA-220 FET

Warm Audio WA-14

Why Do We Do Our Shootouts Blind?

Good question! In our own experience as recording engineers and musicians, we’ve found we have unconscious biases that favor one microphone, preamp, instrument, etc. over another based merely on preconceptions and brand associations. We’re often surprised at the results and want to present that same unbiased listening opportunity for you.

Also, we hope you request the hi res files, because YouTube compression affects the audio considerably. And, last but not least, we want to help you purchase the right gear for your exact needs and setup. This is a shootout on one specific recording application, and it can give you some great info, but the devil is in the details! We specialize in the details and are here to assist you with your choice.