4 Best Violin Microphones (Budget to Recording)

If you’ve been on the hunt for the best violin microphone then I’m happy to say I can help you out.

Maybe you’re looking for a great microphone to take with you on stage or maybe you want something to help you record your music.

Either way, I’ve found some brilliant microphones that will do the job perfectly.

It’s safe to say that fantastic violin microphones are pretty hard to come by, so I thought I’d put this list together to help you out!

These 4 microphones are my favorites at the moment so let’s find the ideal one for you.

Snapshot: 4 Best Violin Microphones

  1. Audio-Technica PRO 35Best Overall
  2. The Feather Violin Pickup by Myers Pickups
  3. AKG Pro Audio C414 XLSBest for Recording
  4. Kremona KNA VV-3 Violin PickupBest Budget Option

Choosing a Great Violin Microphone

Best Violin Microphone

As I said, choosing a great violin microphone isn’t the easiest of tasks.

The violin has a unique sound and so not every microphone will be suitable for your instrument.

When you’re in the market for a violin microphone, you should be mindful of its polar patterns, proximity effects and sensitivity.

Don’t freak out!

I’m going to lay it all out for you in simple terms. Polar patterns basically explain how much sound is picked up from different angles and proximity effect happens when the microphone is in close range of your instrument; the microphone exaggerates sounds with lower frequencies (e.g. low notes played on the G and D string).

When I’m shopping for a new violin microphone, I avoid anything with high proximity effects as I want to be in control of the dynamics myself rather than relying on my microphone, if that makes sense.

It’s also important to find a microphone with the right level of sensitivity, especially if you will be using it to record your violin.

If a microphones sensitivity is high, you’ll need less preamplification, and vice versa.

You don’t have to be an expert in polar patterns or proximity effects to find the perfect violin microphone, that’s what I’m here for!

So, now that we’re done with our little music-tech lesson, let’s find you a microphone!

The Best Violin Microphone in 2020

1. Audio-Technica PRO 35 Review – Best Overall

Audio-Technica PRO 35 Cardioid Condenser Clip-on Instrument Microphone
  • UniMount clip permits accurate positioning, provides shock resistance and protects element
  • Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source

The Audio-Technica Pro 35 is a favorite amongst violinists. It’s not too pricey and its perfect the perfect piece of equipment for taking to gigs or recording in a studio.

Electronics

Okay, here comes the sciencey stuff!

Just kidding, I’ll try to keep the jargon to a minimum.

The Audio-Technica Pro 35 has a cardioid polar pattern. What that does is it focuses on the sound waves coming directly towards it and essentially ignores anything else.

Have you ever mic’d up your violin and noticed it sounded a bit muddy or confused?

Cardioid polar patterns essentially stop this from happening. Because this mic clips on right next to your F holes, it picks up a really true sound.

The easiest way to describe it is that your violin will still sound very much acoustic, just amplified in all the right ways. This mic also has an extended frequency response which means it provides a really rounded sound.

It pickups your violins upper register really well so the transition between low and high notes is very even.

Hardware & Mounting

I love that the Pro-35 clips straight onto my violin, it’s much easier than having to stay perfectly positioned in-front of a standalone mic on stage. It’s also shock resistant so if you’re like me and you’re not a fan of standing still, you’ll love this guy.

I know the idea of clipping something to your violin might give you heart palpitations but don’t worry, it’s super gentle.

It hasn’t scratched or damaged my violin at all, so that’s a plus. The pro-35 also comes with a 1.8 meter cable which is a pretty good length for me.

However, if you do need a little more space to move you can always pick up an extension.

Sound Quality

I know, the struggle is real when it comes to mic’ing up your violin because nobody wants that horrible synthetic sound. This mic has everything that I’d usually look for.

It gives you a lovely, well rounded sound and doesn’t distort the sound of your violin at all. I can totally sympathize if you’ve had experience with violin microphones sounding muddy or confused. This was actually the first upgrade I bought and I couldn’t believe the difference in sound quality.

The pro-35 just translates the sound of your violin so perfectly!

Spec Summary

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 50-15,000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: -45 dB (5.6 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
  • Dynamic Range: 115 dB, 1 kHz at Max SPL (wired only)
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 64 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa
  • Phantom Power Requirements: 11-52V DC, 2 mA typical (wired only)
  • Weight: 0.3 oz (8 g)
  • Cable: 6.0′ (1.8 m) long (permanently attached to microphone), 0.10″ (2.6 mm) diameter, 2-conductor, shielded cable

The best violin microphone for either on stage or in the studio, perfect for professionals

Final Thoughts on the Audio-Technica PRO 35

The Audio Technica Pro 35 is by far the best violin microphone on the market right now. It’s not overly pricey and gives you such a fantastic sound quality. I think it would be ideal for any performer to use on stage or for recording in a studio.

2. The Feather Violin Pickup by Myers Pickups Review

The Feather Violin Pickup with Flexible Micro-Gooseneck by Myers Pickups
  • Myers Pickups introduces their new lightweight powerhouse. So light that we named it The Feather. So compact that it can be positioned on a multitude of instruments without modification or permanent...
  • Fully equipped with an internally powered, active preamp to produce the richest sound your instrument can deliver! Power-source (included) is pre-installed and each pickup is meticulously tested...

This is another of my favorite pickups. The clue is in the name, it’s feather-light and incredibly good quality. So, if you plan on using your mic for hours on end, the Feather Violin Pickup by Myers Pickups is the perfect option.

Electronics

The Feather Violin Pickup is really brilliant. Like the Audio-Technica Pro 35, it has a cardioid polar pattern so it’s great for isolating and amplifying the sound of your violin. I think the Feather would be ideal for someone who plays in a band or anyone who needs to use their microphone for longer periods of time.

It has an internally powered, active preamp system which is fantastic considering it’s so light. I prefer microphones that include a preamp, especially if I’m traveling because it saves me from carrying around extra equipment.

Hardware & Mounting

The Feather by Myers Pickups has some pretty cool features. I love that you can just clip the little preamp onto your belt or pocket, it’s so handy for taking on stage.

It also has a 6 inch, flexible micro-gooseneck which you can bend and move until you’ve found the perfect spot for the microphone. The mic itself clips onto your violin’s tailpiece the same as the pro 35 and it’s really easy to manipulate until it’s right over your F holes (the sweet spot).

The clip itself is really nice and subtle too, it’s not too distracting whiles you play. Plus, it has corck and rubber pads to prevent any damage (thank god). I don’t have anything bad to say about this mic at all! 

Sound Quality

The sound quality from the Feather pickup is almost exactly the same as the Pro-35, to be honest. It’s really great at picking up the sound straight from your violin and ignoring anything else.

It picks up a very rounded sound and there’s no jarring when you play the lower notes. The only reason the Feather didn’t take first place on my list is purely because of the price.

However, I do love how lightweight it is, so it’s definitely worth the extra money if that’s something you’re looking for.

Spec Summary

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Mounting: Patented Saddle Clip, Feather Clip and Suction Mini
  • Pickup: Active
  • Cable: 48” lightweight signal chord
  • Weight: 4g

A fantastic, feather-light violin microphone, perfect for longer gigs!

Final Thoughts on the The Feather Violin Pickup by Myers Pickups

I love this violin microphone! As I said, the only reason it didn’t take first place is because its sound quality is exactly the same as the Pro 35, so you’re really only paying more for a lighter model.

Even though I’ve used the Feather myself and I love it, I couldn’t find detailed specs anywhere, so I didn’t want to say it was the best violin microphone without being able to back myself up!

3. AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS Review – Best for Recording

AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS Instrument Condenser Microphone, Multipattern
  • Engineered for highest linearity and neutral sound for beautifully detailed recording of vocals and any acoustic instrument
  • Nine selectable polar patterns for the perfect setting for every application

If you’re searching for a great microphone to record your music, you’ll love the C414. It’s an all round, amazing microphone for recording and you can use it with any of your stringed instruments, guitar or voice as well!

Electronics

The C414 is a brilliant piece of professional recording equipment. It has nine different polar pattern options – cardioid, figure of eight, hypercardioid, omnidirectional, and wide cardioid.

I usually stick to cardioid because I think it’s the best for violin but you can always experiment and see what works for you. If you’ve got a little music studio, you may not need to tune out much ambient noise!

This mic also has three different switchable bass-cut filters to reduce wind-noise, subsonic noise or proximity effect. In my opinion, being able to reduce proximity effect when recording violin is a godsend.

I hate it when my lower register sounds more amplified than the higher notes in recordings, it’s so frustrating!

Hardware & Mounting

Unlike the other two violin microphones that clip straight on to your instrument, the C414 is a standalone mic.

I prefer using standalone microphones for recording because I feel like they give me a much better sound. Clip on mics are great for going on stage but I like to use something a bit more sturdy for recording.

Of course, the C414 is quite a bit pricier than the other mics on this list but I think you really get what you pay for when it comes to recording equipment. Alongside your new microphone, you’ll get a universal shock mount, a pop filter, a windscreen and a metal carrying case.

I mean, that’s basically everything you need, right?

Sound Quality

Everyone I know absolutely love this mic. I actually found out about it when I was recording some vocals in a studio once. I had been on the hunt for a great microphone for recording my violin and when I asked one of the guys at the studio he pointed me towards the C414.

This microphone is just so fantastic. It sounds amazing whether you’re recording violin, vocals or guitar (those are the only things I’ve used it for so far). I’d highly recommend this guy if you’re serious about recording!

Spec Summary

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid, figure of eight, hypercardioid, omnidirectional, and wide cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20 – 20000 Hz
  • Sensitivity: 23 mV/Pa
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 88 dB-A
  • Weight: 300g

The favourite microphone amongst professionals and producers for recording violin

Final Thoughts on the AKG Pro Audio C414 XLS

I can’t fault the C414. I know it’s quite pricey but if you’re looking for a studio quality microphone for recording your violin then it’s definitely worth the money. The C414 is a favorite amongst sound techs and professional violinists so it’s ideal for recording!

4. Kremona KNA VV-3 Review – Best Budget Option

Sale
KNA VV-3 Detachable Passive Piezo Pickup for Violin and Viola
  • Lightweight, wood-encased sensor delivers the natural sound of your instrument
  • Solid ebony, cork-lined 1/4" Carpenter jack holds firmly to the instrument via an adjustable cork-lined clamp

If you’ve got a tight budget then don’t worry, you can still find a fantastic violin microphone (or should I say, I can still find you a fantastic violin microphone). I used the Kremona KNA for years and it certainly served me well.

You’re going to love it!

Electronics

This guy is fitted with a Piezo passive pickup meaning it doesn’t need a battery pack, you just plug it directly into your amp. However, it does give off a much better sound if you run it through a preamp first.

Although the Kremona KNA isn’t exactly a microphone, it’s a great option for anyone with a tighter budget. In my opinion, you’re much better off buying a pickup than a cheap microphone for your violin.

I still have a Kremona KNA in my violin case on the off chance I get invited on stage (because that always happens).

Hardware & Mounting

The Kremona KNA is secured to your violin with a cork-lined clamp. Clamping something to my violin isn’t exactly my favorite thing in the world but I’ve never noticed any scratching or damage.

Plus, I love how discrete it looks despite being clamped onto the side. The pickup is encased in ebony and looks pretty slick. It has a little sensor, covered in maple that you insert between the foot and arm of your bridge to pickup the sound.

You can probably guess that this guy isn’t the easiest thing to install, but you’ll get used to it!

Sound Quality

Given how inexpensive the Kremona KNA is, it actually gives off a fantastic sound. Obviously it’s not quite as good as the Pro 35 microphone, but it certainly does the job. It’s great for amplifying your natural acoustic sound and really ads to your performance, I’d say.

I’m in love with this pickup and I have been for so long!

Spec Summary

  • Polar Pattern: N/A
  • Mounting: Cork-lined clamp and maple encased sensor
  • Pickup: Piezo passive
  • Cable: N/A
  • Weight: 45.3g

Best budget microphone for violins

Final Thoughts on the Kremona KNA VV-3

Now, I know this the Kremona KNA isn’t exactly a microphone but it’s definitely the best budget option. You simply can’t find a good quality violin microphone for under $100 (trust me, I’ve tried some and they’re all awful).

I think you’re much better off going for a pickup like this one than buying a cheap violin microphone that only makes you sound worse!

Fantastic Violin Microphones for Everyone

Well, I hope my list of the best violin microphones has helped you to find the ideal option for you.

Whether you plan on recording your next album or playing a concert, I hope you’ve sound a fantastic violin microphone for the job. Unfortunately, I think that when it comes to microphones you get what you pay for.

So, if you’ve got a pretty tight budget, grab yourself a pickup like my favorite one from Kremona and then you can save up for a great mic.

That’s what I did!

Further Reading: