Sennheiser MD 421-II Dynamic Cardioid Microphone
The Sennheiser MD421 II is a dynamic mic that's designed to handle really loud sound sources, so much so that the they don't even list the max SPL of the mic. They just mentioned that 160dB may cause some issues, but it's a sound level that's very hard to find in real world situations.
With its high SPL handling and its five position bass roll-off switch, this mic can capture any sound source, from loud snare, to guitar and bass amps - used by pros like Kurt Cobain, Elton John, Owl City and many more. Interestingly, this mic also works really well with vocals, specifically for rap, scream, shout and other loud vocal styles.
- Type: Dynamic
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency Response: 30 to 17,000 Hz
- Impedance: 200 ohms
- Maximum SPL: 160 dB
- Five position bass roll-off switch
- Power Requirements: None
While this mic is being marketed as a drum mic, many found that it works really great with vocals, specifically loud male singers of rock, rap, metal and similar styles. Some even describe the MD421 as the mic that they'll choose in case they have to pick just one mic to work with. Industry standard and indestructible are two big words that were dropped by users who are very impressed with the mic. Experts can't recommend Sennheiser MD421 enough, saying that it is one of the most reliable and versatile workhorse microphones on the market today.
There are few specific complaints about this mic, but there are some who reported that it does not match certain vocal styles. But they still recommend it because you get so much use out of it.
If you are planning on recording vocals mostly for rock music and similar musical styles, or if you're looking for a versatile high SPL dynamic mic for recording, then get the Sennheiser MD421.
We were recommending the MD421 II for recording vocals until November 2017 and the only reason it came off our recommended list is because there are now more highly rated options that you can see in our guide to The Best Studio Mics For Vocals.