Gear of the Year 2016 – The Best Microphone

Today we’re looking at our favourite microphones of 2016, both our highly commended and winner impressed us in pretty much equal measure but the audience vote decided the result…

Highly Commended Microphone – Shure KSM8

highly commended microphone shure

Price £417
Contact Shure Distribution 01992 703058


The KSM8 microphone attempts to rectify a couple of issues that its grandad, the SM58 has – notably, low-end build-up which can make the mic sound boomy on vocals.And according to Mike Hillier, it does the job well: “The KSM8 is battling for your attention, you owe it to your voice to at least give it a try.”

Winner – Audio Technica AE2300

best microphone audio technica

Price £249
Contact 0113 277 1441
Web –

We reviewed this dynamic mic alongside the ATM230 and whereas the latter mic is more suited to recording percussion, the 2300 is voiced as
a more flexible ‘instrument’ mic, which Audio-Technica claims “excels on guitar cabinets, brass and percussion”. Reviewer Mike Hillier compared the microphone directly to a Shure SM57 and a Heil PR 20.

“The AE2300 has perhaps the smoothest attack of the three, with a strong crack and more air around the top of the instrument. The AE2300 has a trick up its sleeve – it comes equipped with a low-pass roll off built in, focused around 6kHz.

Engaging this switch and recording the guitars again produced a much more focused sound, with less fizz, but still a brighter, more airy sound than either the SM57 or the PR 20. The guitar’s barky upper-mids now sounded more similar to the PR 20, and with the switch engaged, the AE2300 was easily our favourite of the three mics.”


Mike concluded: “The AE2300 is particularly versatile, and the addition of the switchable low-pass roll off makes it a perfect candidate for guitar cabinets. It is going to be hard to replace, and could find its way to the front of the queue for guitars in our studio from now on.”

Check back tomorrow for the next category