It’s always fun to do microphone tests and let you pick the one you like best. After you listen, rate them according to your preference with “1” being your favorite.
The test is not only non-scientific, it is not even done very well. For starters, there is room noise, just like most podcasters have. Great care has not been taken to perfectly balance the levels. (I’m not even sure how to do that with voice.) The levels were normalized in Adobe Audition, but again, no processing was applied. It would be best if all mics were set side-by-side with the same passage being recorded at the same time into a multi-track recorder, but I don’t have my studio set up for multi-track, so each read is unique.
Each mic is connected to a dbx 286s mic processor, but the processing is disable. There is no compression, limiting, gating, or equalization on any mic. The only function used in the 286 is the mic preamp. The output of the 286 is connected to the line input of the Presonus 16.4.2 mixer. The output of the mixer is connected into an M-Audio Delta 1010LT sound card.
Listen to each cut several times before you make your selections. Your ears can fool you. Try listening over speakers and over headphones, if you have that option.
The microphones used in this test, in alphabetical order by model number, are the Audio Technica AT2005-USB ($59), AKG D-5 ($99), Telefunken M82 ($399), Heil PR40 ($327), and Electro-Voice RE20 ($449).