Here at Sound On Sound, we're constantly being asked which mic is the best in any given price range, but in reality it's very difficult to choose just one, especially when it comes to vocal recording, as different mics suit different singers. Factors other than the mic being used, such as mic placement and room acoustics, have a significant effect on the end results achieved. So click the article links below, ask questions or share your expertise in the Microphones Forum, and don't miss out on those 2nd-user mic bargains in the SOS Readers Ads.
MIC TESTS — this link takes you to a current list of around 200 microphones that SOS has tested in the magazine.
The term 'phantom' was coined because no additional wiring is needed to carry the power from the power source to the microphone it is 'magically' passed along the microphone cable using the same wires that carry the audio signal.
Phantom powering is only possible with balanced wiring systems (the cables have two cores and one outer screen) and most studio mixing consoles have their own internal phantom power supplies that feed their microphone inputs. Depending on the mixer, the phantom power may be globally switched or switched per channel. Separate phantom power supplies are available (some running from multiple batteries for mobile use), and all serious microphone preamplifiers also have integral phantom powering.