In this shootout, we’ve rounded up 4 different types of microphones and put them head to head on female vocals with a little help from Ayisa Adderley of the band Eyes Eat Suns. The contenders include:  The Shure SM7B, the AEA R44 CXE, the Manley Ref C, and the Neumann U87Ai. We feel that each type of microphone does a good job at representing the core strengths and characteristics of each type of microphone. Each mic is run through a Millennia HV-3R preamp.

The four mics chosen for this 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.

For copies of the hi res files, shoot us an email at, 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

Shure SM7B


Manley Ref C

Neumann U87Ai

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.