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Is cooking your thing? Then you must love the BBQ experience. The process of grilling a marinated meat may use up some of your energy, but when people lick their fingers while enjoying the meat makes it rewarding and worth the hustle. Unfortunately, though the grill may make us a delicious meal, it is not easy to clean it. Marinade sticking to the grill is inevitable, and scrubbing it away is like an uphill task. Thanks to the advent of technology; with the innovation of grill mats, we have a solution for our sticky grills. With these mats, you also get to cook more fiddly foodstuffs like onions and bell peppers. But you shouldn’t just go for any mat. For excellent results, consider getting the best mat. Here is a detailed review of the best grill mats on the market today. You may need to continue reading for insight.

 

Top 10 Best Grill Mats Review:

1. Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat –Non-Stick Set of 2

If you are searching for a superior mat compared to the others, then your search ends here. Its temperature peak is 600 degrees and comes with a free smoke mat and BBQ grill. If you love barbequing, you will love this mat because you can use it for over 1,000 other side uses. It also comes with 50 more uses than the ordinary grill mats. It is no wonder that Kona BBQ mat is popular with many users, including professional chefs and top amateur grill masters worldwide.

Its thickness is 0.39mm, 4X thicker than the ordinary mats. As a result, they make the tenderest chicken and juiciest steaks ever known. Also, for any thin-cut vegetable, it Sautee easily. What’s amazing about this mat is the fact that it is easy to clean and comes with a 7 – year guarantee. You, therefore, need not worry about accidental overheating. You enjoy value for your money.

Highlighted Features:                                                                         

  • A unique design ideal for gifting
  • Superior to ordinary grill mats
  • Over 1,000 other side uses
  • Comes with 50 more uses other than barbequing
  • 0.039mm thickness
  • Cleans easily and makes your grill to look shiny new
  • 7 – year warranty

2. Grillaholics Grill Mat – Set of 2

Are you aware that Chris Kimball and Rachael Ray recommends this grill mat for top results? It is ideal for top grillers and is among the list of BBQ grill accessories that come with top-notch quality. You get to enjoy its services for long. Its design is trendy, making it perfect for gifting.

Could you be tired of always dealing with a messy grill? Then this mat got designed for you. It gets made with a heavy-duty material to prevent your food from sticking or falling between the grill’s grates. You may think that thicker mats are better, but you are wrong! There is the ideal thickness size that makes them leave flavors intact and grill marks on the meat. What’s exciting is the fact that this mat comes with this ideal thickness. You also need not worry about your grill type; this mat goes with all kinds of grills. Besides, cleaning them is no hustle; you can even use your dishwasher.

Highlighted Features;

  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Ideal for gifting
  • Perfect size for barbequing
  • Can use on any grill
  • Top-notch quality

3. Aoocan Grill Mat – Set of 5 Heavy Duty BBQ Grill Mats

Is barbecue your favorite? Then you will love this mat. You will have to say goodbye to the smoke from oil dripping on to wooden carbon. You will also need not worry about food sticking to your grill or falling through the grates. The smoothness with this mat will leave no food stuck. You may be wondering about cleaning this mat, but it’s like a downhill task. You only need to use clean water after barbecuing, then sundry it. What’s interesting about this mat is its ability to withstand high temperatures. The mat will not burn at 500 degrees Fahrenheit!

If you are concerned about this mat’s security, it gets certified by LFGB and FDA and is harmless to your food. The thickness resists heat perfectly and leaves your food tasting better. Do you also bake or microwave your food? You can use this mat to prevent food from contaminating your device. You also get refunded all your money back if not satisfied with this mat.

Highlighted Features;

  • Multipurpose
  • Easy to clean
  • Optimal security
  • High-quality
  • Money-back guarantee

4. RENOOK Grill Mat Set of 6 – 100% Non-Stick

The mat comes with a thickness that resists heat and leaves your flavor and grill marks intact. They come as a set of six, and you can customize them to fit any shape or size. You can also use it as a baking mat. What’s incredible about this mat is the fact that you don’t experience any food sticking to your grill, and you get to enjoy its services for many years.

Materials used in its making are strong and FDA approved. The mat poses no risk to any food, and you, therefore, need not worry about your food’s safety. You can also reuse them for over 100 times in grilling, baking, or roasting. Cleaning them is no hustle, and you can also use your dishwasher. If you are not satisfied with the results from this mat, you need not worry. The manufacturer will refund all your money. With this amazing mat, your grill will always look new.

Highlighted Features;

  • Top-notch quality
  • 100% Non-stick
  • Made with FDA approved materials
  • Reusable over 100 times
  • Dish washable
  • Refund guarantee

5. Chef Caron Non-Stick BBQ Grill mats – Set of 2

The mat is 17 – inches in length, and comes with a 0.25mm thickness, explaining why it’s a perfect grilling accessory. If you are looking for a mat, you can clean with ease; then, you may need to consider this incredible mat. It gets made with extra PTFE layers for easier usage and cleaning. What’s amazing about this grill is the fact that you need not buy grate cleaning tools.

It gets designed to prevent food from sticking on your grill or burn on its grates. You also get to prepare foods you couldn’t get before on your grill — for example, small seafood and chopped vegetables. You need not worry about your grill type; this mat is ideal for all. If it doesn’t fit the size of your grill, you are free to cut it to fit. With this mat, you enjoy value for your money. You get replaced with another one or refunded all your money if not satisfied with this mat’s results.

 Highlighted Features;

  • High quality
  • Easy to clean
  • Used on all grill types
  • Non-stick
  • 100% refund guarantee

6. Atiyoc BBQ Grill Mat, Non-Stick and Heat Resistant Mats

Are you looking for a BBQ mat that will maintain the food’s flavor and nutrition? Then this mat was made for you. While using this magical mat, you don’t experience flare-ups from dripping grease. The mat prevents them, and this explains why meat grilled on these mats doesn’t dry or char. What’s exciting is the fact that this mat will lessen your grill’s cleaning job as it prevents it from being messed up while barbecuing. Having been made with a premium PTFE-Fiberglass coating and 100% PFOA-free materials, you need not worry about any safety issues.

Storing these mats is no hustle; thanks to their folding ability. You can roll them up while storing to save space. Besides, the material used in their making is sturdy, and you get to enjoy services from these mats for many years. They come as a set of 5 for optimal use. If you don’t get satisfied with the results from this mat with 18 months, you get a full refund.

Highlighted Features;

  • Maintain nutrients and flavors
  • Maintains your grill clean
  • Safe to use
  • East to store
  • 18-month guarantee
  • Easy to clean

7. PhatMat Non Stick Grill Mesh Mats XL –Set of 2

It comes with a 19 – inch length, making it ideal to use in most REC-TEC, Pit Boss, Traeger, Camp Chef, Grilla, and Green Mountain smokers. The grid gets made with heavy-duty material and comes with a mesh design. You don’t experience any smoke while using this mat, thanks to its non-stick ability. You can also use this mat to make healthy smoking cheese, vegetables, jerkies, and salsa. If you love smoking food, you must have this accessory.

Your grill stays clean while using this mat as no food can go through the grates. What’s exciting is the fact that these mats are easy to clean and maintain. They are also easy to use and ideal for both your outdoor and indoor kitchen. If you are wondering about their quality, they are pro-chef-approved. Besides, you get a free meat smoking guide as a bonus when you buy these mats.

Highlighted Features;                                                                      

  • Ideal for all grill smokers
  • Grill protection
  • Pro chef-approved
  • Easy to clean
  • A free meat smoking guide

8. KITMA BBQ Grill Mat, Set of 6 Non – Stick Backing Mats

It comes as a set of 6 made with a heat resistant coating of Teflon and Fiberglass. You need not worry about your food’s safety as it contains no silicone, PFOA, or other dangerous chemicals. Besides, they get approved by the FDA. You will love the longevity of these mats, thanks to their 0.2mm thickness. They also resist high temperatures of up to 5000 F. They are therefore ideal for all grill types.

Thanks to the mat’s shiny surface, it is anti-sticky and doesn’t allow even the smallest morsels to pass through the grates. You can also reuse the mats for over 100 times. If they don’t fit your grill or oven, you can cut them to fit. You will also love the fact that cleaning them is easy. You only need to use a detergent in water and wipe them, or simply use a dishwasher. The mats come with many purposes. You can use them for barbecuing, as baking mats, or as oven liners.

Highlighted Features;

  • FDA approved
  • Durable
  • High heat resistance
  • 100% non-stick
  • Reusable
  • Easy to clean
  • Multipurpose

9. SMAID Grill Mat Non-stick BBQ Grill Baking Mats

Are you looking for a BBQ mat that will leave grill marks on your food and maintain its nutrients? Then you may need to consider this mat. Its thickness withstands heat to a maximum of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. With its thickness and the fact that they come as a set of 4, you get guaranteed its services for a long time. The mats’ 100% non-stick ability ensures that you enjoy a healthier and tastier meal. You need not use fats or oils while using these mats. You can also use it for preparing other foods like eggs, pizzas, sauces, or cheese.

The material used in making these mats is high quality and 100% PFOA-free, explaining why they last long and pose no health risk. Cleaning the mats is like a downhill task, and you can also use a dishwasher. If you are not 100% satisfied with these mats within 30 days, you get refunded your full amount.

Highlighted Features;

  • Top-notch quality
  • 100% non-stick
  • Durable
  • Easy to clean
  • Multipurpose
  • Safe to use for food
  • A 30 – day money-back guarantee

10. LauKingdom Grill Mat Set of 5 – 100% Non-Stick BBQ Grill Mats

The mat offers a delicious meal and is safe to use. Thanks to the PFOA- free materials used in its making. It is FDA-approved and withstands heat up to 5000F. The fact that you can reuse this mat over 100 times for various purposes like roasting, grilling, and baking makes it worth having. Food made on this mat retains its taste attributed to its 0.2mm thickness.

You may ask if it suits your grill. You can use it on gas, charcoal, electric, smoker, charbroil, propane, or Big Green Egg grills. Since it is 100% non-stick, you need not worry about your grill getting messed up while grilling.

If it doesn’t fit the shape or size of your grill, oven, pan, stove, or tin, you can cut it to fit. Its smooth surface makes food tastier and healthier. Cleaning it is simple! The mat comes with a 2 – year warranty. If you are not satisfied with the mat, you only need to email the manufacturer.

 Highlighted Features;

  • Health safe
  • FDA-approved
  • Reusable
  • 100% non-stick
  • Multipurpose
  • Easy to clean
  • A 2 – year warranty

11. Glotoch Express Grill Mat – Set of 3 Non Stick BBQ Grill Mats

It comes as a set of three mats, with one being a mesh mat. If you have been looking for a mat to serve all your grilling need, then you should consider this mat. You get to cook any food you wish; from the tiniest veggies and fruits to the various whole meat dishes. You might wonder whether this mat suits your grill. You need not to; it is ideal for all grill types. If your grill is smaller than this mat, you can cut it to fit. It works better than any grilling baskets or pans.

The mats are safe to use; thanks to the free-PFOA heat resistance fibreglass material used in its making. It gets coated with a PTFE coating that attributes to its non-stick feature. You need not worry about food passing through your grill’s grates with these mats. The manufacturer gives a lifetime guarantee. If you are not happy with the results, you get free to contact the manufacturer’s customer service for a solution or refund.

Highlighted Features;

  • High quality
  • Safe
  • Multipurpose
  • Keeps the grill clean
  • Lifetime guarantee

12. YRYM HT Copper Grill Mat Set of 5-13”x15.75”Grill Mats

It is a mat you should get interested in if you prefer oil-free diet. Materials used in its making are the top-notch quality with non-stick features. No food passes through the grill’s grate with this mat, explaining how it helps maintain your grill clean. You also shouldn’t worry about its maintenance as it is easy to clean. You can also use a dishwasher to clean it. You also can customize it by cutting it to fit the shape of your grill.

If you are questioning the safety of this mat, it gets approved by the FDA. Food cooked on this mat is not only tasty but also healthy. You can cook any type of food because the mat withstands temperature up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also ideal to use in any grill. The mat comes with a free oil brush, liquid pen, and bottle dispenser to assist in your outdoor barbecue. Because of their sleek design, they are perfect for gifting.

Highlighted Features;

  • High quality
  • Non-stick
  • Made with safe materials
  • Approved by FDA
  • Multipurpose
  • Easy to clean
  • Resists temperatures up to 5000F

13. Looch Grill Mat Set of 6 – 100% Non-stick BBQ Grill & Baking Mats

The mat gets designed as 100% non-stick, explaining why you get able to use this mat without grease. If you are tired of grilling mats that last for a few months, this mat will serve you for many years! Thanks to the high-quality PTFE-Fiberglass coated material used in its making. It is also approved by the FDA and is PFOA-free; meaning it contains no silicone or other harmful chemicals. Are you fed up with dealing with a messy grill after barbecuing? Then this mat was made for you. It allows no food or oil to pass through the grates. As a result, your grill remains clean.

Thanks to the advent in technology, this mat is heat resistant and can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Washing this mat is easy, and you can use a dishwasher. You can cook various food on it, and is ideal to use on any grill.

Highlighted Features;

  • 100% non-stick
  • Safe and sturdy material
  • Withstands heat up to 5000F
  • FDA-approved
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Ideal to use in all grill types

14. 4PCS BBQ Non Stick Black Grill Mats and 3PCS White Food Mesh Net

Could you be searching for a mat that leaves grill marks on the food and retains the original taste of food? Then you should consider this mat. It is a 15.75 by 13 – inch mat made with high heat resistant fibreglass material coated with PTFE. You can use it up to a maximum temperature of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The mat does not allow any food particles or juices to pass through the grill’s grate. It leaves your grill clean.

On purchase, you receive these mats as a set of four. Two are solid mats while the other two come as mesh mats. It is a perfect combination for a successful barbecue! You will also get a 17 x 17 – inch mesh tent to cover your food as it waits to get served. The mats are ideal to cook other foods like eggs and veggies. They also have other uses like as a baking mat. You can use them in any grill and are simple to clean.

Highlighted Features;

  • High quality
  • Safe materials
  • Easy to clean
  • Multipurpose
  • Mesh screen tents

15. Kaluns Grill Mat, Best BBQ Mat

If you want to keep your grill looking new and shiny at all times, then you may need to get this grilling mat. It comes as a set of three made with high heat resistance materials. Amazingly, these mats withstand heat up to 6000F. You can also reuse them many times and offers services for many years. Could you be searching for the safest mat on the market? Kaluns mat gets made with a heavy-duty material coated with PTFE that attributes to its non-stick ability. Food prepared on this mat is tasty, healthy, and appealing due to its grill marks.

Cleaning this mat is no hustle. You can even use a dishwasher. What’s interesting is the durability of these grilling mats. They are also ideal to cook other food types like eggs, small veggies and fruits, onions and shrimp. They are renowned to last the longest compared to other mats. The manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty if not satisfied with the mats’ results.

Highlighted Features;

  • High quality
  • Easy to maintain
  • Protects your grill from being messed up
  • Made with safe materials
  • 100% non-stick
  • Reusable
  • Ideal to cook other foods

 

Factors To Consider Before Buying a Mat for Grilling

 

But you just can’t go into the market and buy any BBQ mat. You may end up with a mat that will cause you more harm than good. For a perfect mat, you should consider some factors before buying. The following factors will enable you to choose the best grill mat

  • 1. Size

You wouldn’t want a mat that is too small for your grill. You will miss out on most benefits. Though oversized mats can get cut to fit, it is easier, cheaper, and convenience to use a mat that fits your grill perfectly. Before buying one, ensure you take the measurements of your grill.

  • 2. Non-sticking Coat

Food that sticks on the grilling mat does not look pleasing and may lose its taste. Besides, it makes it difficult to clean the mat. Consider a mat with a non-sticking coat.

  • 3. Temperature Resistance

Consider mats that can resist high temperatures, but not beyond 500 degrees Fahrenheit for safety reasons.

  • 4. Correct Thickness

Many people think that the best grill mats are the thick ones. Unfortunately, if a mat is too thick, the heat gets distributed unevenly. A thin mat always burns the food. Consider a mat with an average thickness of about 0.25mm.

  • 5. Friction Coefficient

Consider the mat’s texture. Smooth mats are better than the rough ones because they grill easily and are easy to clean. Rough textured mats are difficult to maintain because they trap in tiny food particles.

  • 6. Certification

An approved mat is risk-free and safe to use.

  • 7. Cost

Consider your budget. Though it does not mean that cheap mats are bad quality, mats made from the best materials come at a price.

  • 8. Availability

Though most grilling mats last long, consider a mat you can get easier when you need to replace your old one. Mats that have to be shipped from miles away may inconvenience you and especially if it has a problem to get rectified. You will waste more days of shipping it back for replacement. Go for a grilling mat that you can access from the store next door.

  • 9. Purpose

consider if you need the mat for cooking a particular type of food or all foods. Also, do you need the mat for grilling only or other purposes like placing it as your oven or baking mat? If you are the type that loves cooking all sorts of food, go for a multipurpose mat. Consider a mat you can cook other foods as you grill or roast your meat.

  • 10. Durability

You wouldn’t want a mat that will last you a few months while you can get one that lasts for years. You may go for a cheaper mat because of your budget but will only last for a short time, making it expensive in the long run because you’ll have to buy another one. Consider a mat that will serve you for long.

 

Benefits Associated with Mats for Grilling

You may know what to look for when purchasing a mat designed for grilling, but are wondering why you should use one. Best Grill mats come with a bunch of benefits. Are you eager to know? Then check out the following;

  • Because of their non-stick feature, they cook easily and are easy to clean.
  • With these mats, juices from food get restricted from entering into the grill. As a result, there is no smoke or flare-ups. The grill, therefore, stays clean.
  • Grilling mats are convenient and hygienic because they come with no special preparations and are made from safe materials. Besides, cleaning them is easy.
  • Grills contain grates that allow tiny pieces of food to pass through. As a result, it is difficult to cook certain types of food. But with these mats, you get to prepare even the tiniest of foods like small vegetables and fruits.
  • You can use these mats for various purposes. For example, grilling, baking, or roasting. They work like a frying pan; if you need to fry an egg you can use a mat for grilling.
  • Grilling mats get made to resist high temperatures. Some can withstand temperatures as high as 500 – 600 degrees Fahrenheit. If the food you want to grill requires high temperatures, a good grilling mat will come in handy.
  • If you value the original taste of your food’s flavor, then what these mats can do will excite you. Grilling mats maintain the food’s juices and do not alter the taste. You may also love the grill marks on your food.

It is now clear on what to look out for when getting a ma for your grill. The insight into their benefits as described above may have prompted you to own. Unfortunately, you may get stranded because you don’t know how to use a mat for grilling. No need to fret; check out the following.

 

How to Properly Use a Mat for Grilling

First, always ensure that your mat is clean, then lay it on the cooking grate. The mat contains a continuous surface, and nothing can fall through your grill’s grates. It opens room for more cooking space. Utilize well by cooking other food as you grill your meat. For example, onions, shrimp, small fruits, and vegetables. Avoid using grilling mats inside the house during summer, and especially in ovens and stoves. You may not get comfortable round such high temperatures. Instead, take your stove or oven to the backyard and grill anything you want like a homemade pizza.

When you own a grilling mat, try making a grilled breakfast. Don’t always consider dinner when you think of grilling. Besides, if you grill your breakfast in the backyard, you will enjoy the cool environment before the sun rises. But for pancakes and eggs might need more help to prevent them from sticking. Melt some butter first. Also, don’t just stop at breakfast; grilled lunch is also delicious! When using a grilling mat, avoid skewering your veggies. If need be, try using precooked veggies as topping for your grilled food. Make the grilling experience fun by trying out various food.

After grilling and enjoying your finger-licking grilled meal, you should ensure that your grilling mat is clean. Are you wondering how to clean a mat for grilling? Then check it out herein below;

 

How to Clean a Mat for Grilling

You need not worry about maintain grilling mats because cleaning them is simple. First, take a paper towel and wipe off excess fat and grease on the mat after grilling. Then put detergent in water and wash them until all traces of fat and food particles are gone. Then rinse them in clean water and put them out in the sun to dry. Alternatively, if you have a dishwasher, just place them inside. But you should be careful where you place the mat in your dishwasher. Ensure that the mat gets placed on your dishwasher’s upper shelf. Depending on what you were grilling, sometimes you may just need to wipe the mat clean with a wet cloth.

But mats designed for grilling have not been a common thing in the past. Technology has resulted in many innovations, including these mats. Many people are still struggling with the concept of using these mats and have a lot to ask. In this regard, the following are frequently asked questioned and their answers to help you get more insight into grilling mats.

 

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q1: Is a Grilling Mat Healthy to Use?

Grill mats get made with fiberglass coated with PTFE. The material combination works out great in preventing any food from sticking. It is also used in all non-stick cookware. Both materials are also approved by the FDA as safe to use. But it doesn’t mean that just because PTFE is harmless when ingested accidentally you are free to mishandle the mat. Manage the mat well to avoid it chipping off or getting burnt. When a mat melt, it releases an irritating fume. It is important to look out for grilling mats approved by FDA and contains a PFOA-free label.

  • Q2: Where Should a Grilling Mat Get Placed on the Grill?

When you put on, a grill becomes ultra-hot. You should ensure that your grill’s temperature has evened out before placing the mat on your grill. You should, therefore, wait for a few minutes after putting on your grill. Place your hand 5 – inches above the hot grate to determine if the temperature is okay to put your mat. If you can hold your hand on that position for 4 – 5 seconds, then it’s okay to place your mat. Put it on your grill’s grates and start cooking. Ensure that your mat is big enough to cover the size of your grill for optimal use and benefit.

  • Q3: Which is the Best Mat for Grilling?

Any mat made with safe fiberglass material and coated in PTFE is an ideal grilling mat. Best grill mats also withstand high temperatures of about 500 degrees Fahrenheit. They are also big enough to cover your grill’s size. If they are oversize, you can cut them to fit. A perfect mat for grilling should not allow food to pass through the grill’s grates.

It should be of the right thickness of about 0.25mm to help retain the food’s original taste as it enables the grill marks to appear on the food. Go for a mat that can get used multiple times and for a long time. An excellent mat also comes with various uses. Go for a mat you can use to cook other foods and use in other places like in an oven and all types of grills.

  • Q4: What Utensils are Safe to Use around My Grilling Mat?

Grilling mats come with a non-stick coating that’s susceptible to scratches. You should, therefore, avoid using sharp and hard objects on the mat. Avoid metal tongs while handling your food on the mat. Consider using objects or utensils made from wood. For example, a wooden tong or spatula.

  • Q5: Is it Safe to Wash My Grilling Mat in a Dishwasher?

All mats designed for grilling are safe to wash in a dishwasher. But before putting it in the dishwasher, ensure that it has cooled down and you’ve wiped it clean.

 

Final Verdict

As illustrated above, mats made for grilling contribute greatly to how our food taste and its appearance. They also help in maintaining our grills clean. But you just can’t pop into a store and buy a mat. As described above, there are factors you need to consider first. Best grill mats are durable and made with a safe fiberglass material coated with PTFE. They are non-stick and comes with multiple uses. If you are looking for a great grilling experience with multiple benefits, you should consider getting yourself a grilling mat. In case you get confused on what mat to pick, use the above list as your starting point.

Whether you want to make high-quality audio recordings of yourself singing at home or playing a musical instrument, you’d need to choose from the many audio interfaces available on the market. Looking for a budget-friendly audio interface? Then, you’ll need to go for the best audio interface under $500.

Now you ask, “Do I even need an audio interface for my home recording?” The simple answer…yes.  An audio interface is at the heart of a home recording system and so, if you and your band are looking to create a record, a high-quality audio interface will make it more special.

In this article, we have highlighted the best budget audio interfaces that are worth considering for a professional home studio. We’ve also added a comprehensive buying guide to make it easy for you to choose the best audio interface under $500 that will suit your tastes and pocket better.

Let’s begin…

Top 10 Best Audio Interface Under $500 Reviews:

1. PreSonus Studio 1824 USB Audio Interface

When it comes to audio interfaces, the PreSonus brand gains our respect for their high-quality products and great attention to detail. The Studio 1824 isn’t left out as it has many similar functions with well-known mixing boards. If you’ve got a project studio, this USB audio interface is custom-made for recording multichannel drums and full bands. You’ll also enjoy extra monitoring versatility and have more room for processing external effects.

To make working with virtual instruments easier, this audio interface comes with a MIDI I/O for your keyboard controller. That’s not all…thanks to the PreSonus control room integration included with the UC Surface software and Studio One Artist plus a DSP-based monitor mixer, you’ll get to experience zero-latency monitoring.

Just getting started with the sound recording? Then, the PreSonus Studio 1824c has got everything you’ll need to hit the ground running – – all you need to add is music. If you’ve also been into recording for a while but would like an upgrade to your existing interface for better performance or more I/O, the Studio 1824c won’t let you down as well. So, are you a DJ, mobile musician or an electronic musician and you don’t want to sacrifice build and audio quality for portability? Then, the PreSonus Studio 1824c audio interface will exceed your expectations.

Key Features:

  • A 6-in, 6-out audio interface.
  • All-metal knobs and chassis.
  • An A/B function for switching between mixes.
  • It comes with high-quality XMAX microphone preamps.
  • It comes with recording software; Studio One Artist, Studio Magic Plug-in Suite.

 

2. Focusrite Scarlett [3rd Gen] 18i20 USB Audio Interface

Focusrite’s Scarlett audio interfaces always merge superb sonics and audio versatility at a budget-friendly price point, and the 18i20 helps to prove this further. With the 3rdGen 18i20, you’ll get a rack-mountable interface that helps to serve as the brains behind an admirable production studio. On the front panel, you’ll find a speaker switcher, dimmer, the dual headphone outputs and a talkback button. We like the fact that Focusrite was able to neatly place the solid knobs and buttons on the 18i20’s front panel without having anything looking out of place

On the front is an easy-to-read LED metering which is a nice touch for you to check and set levels quickly. For the inputs, there’s a total of eight pres along with two combi jacks on the front that can also double as dual instrument level-in and six extra combi jacks on its rear. With this audio interface’s 18 inputs and 20 outputs, you’ll get a crystal-clear and distortion-free sound for your vocals, voiceover, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, drums, and other string instruments.

The 18i20 has been built to handle everything you throw at it and so, you can set up a band recording session, powerful project studio or complete production studio for a radio or TV commercial work at an affordable price.

Key Features:

  • It comes with 8 best performing mic preamps with an adjustable Air mode.
  • It features 2 high-headroom instrument inputs for synths, bass or guitar plug-in.
  • It comes with 4 monitor outputs with anti-thump technology and speaker switching.
  • Onboard talkback functionality with a built-in, front panel talkback mic.
  • It comes with 8-balanced line inputs for connecting synthesizers, drum machines, and other line-level sources.
  • High-performance converters for recording and mixing up to 24-bit/ 192kHz.

 

3. Behringer U-PHORIA UMC1820 Audio Interface

The U-PHORIA UMC1820 from Behringer helps to show that you won’t need to break the bank just because you need a high-quality audio interface. It features eight XLR/TRS inputs and high-quality Midas preamps with two on the front panel and six on the rear. Each of these inputs also comes with signal and peak LED indicators, a PAD button switch, a line/instrument button switch, and a gain control knob. There are also additional controls that you can use for monitoring on its right side that makes for a more flexible lineup.

We also like that the UMC1820 is compatible with both Windows, Mac systems and all major DAWs includingAvid Pro Tools, Ableton Live and Steinberg Cubase. As one of the best audio interfaces under $500, the UMC1820 displays solid performance and can handle hot instrument pickups quite easily. For a clean, flawless and distortion-free vocals, its MIDAS preamps ensure this is possible and delivers on its promise of zero-latency direct monitoring with no noticeable delays or lags.

Although it might not deliver the same crystal-clear audio like the other entry-level audio interfaces on our list, it offers the most inputs and outputs making it an ideal choice if you’re looking to multi-mic some instruments or put some band demos in place for your live recordings.

Key Features:

  • An ADAT I/O for recording instruments and microphones.
  • An Audiophilic 24-Bit/96 kHz resolution for a professional sound quality
  • It’s compatible with popular recording software including Avid Pro Tools, Ableton Live, Steinberg Cubase and so on.
  • It can stream 18 inputs and 20 outputs of ultra-low latency audio to computer systems.
  • It comes with 8 state-of-the-art, MIDAS designed Mic Preamplifiers with a +48 V phantom power.

 

4. Roland OctaCapture USB 2.0 Audio Interface

 

Among the many special features of the Roland OctaCapture are its 10 audio inputs of which 8 out of them are well-balanced microphone inputs. When used with your PC, it can record all the available inputs of your tracks allowing for extra versatility in post-production. This means you can re-adjust the volumes, mute a cough or perform any kind of equalization without having to affect the other recorded audio at the same time.

The OctaCapture also allows for gating and onboard compression and you can route its four virtual monitor mixes to any of its analog outputs. Take advantage of its in-built 40-bit DSP [digital signal processing] and use it to custom monitor mixes to your speakers, headphones or recording devices. You’ll quickly appreciate the control and speed you get with the Octa-Capture to configure your channels and monitor mixes despite its gentle learning curve. If you’re someone who recognizes the value of templates in your DAW, then you’ll instantly see the benefits of programming the Octa-Capture accurately.

Have you ever wondered if you could have the same audio interface on the road and also for your home studio? Well, the great sound quality and excellent versatility the Roland OctaCapture offers will make this a reality.

Key Features:

  • It comes with 8 Premium Mic Preamps and Compact I/O for clear audio quality.
  • It features an Auto-Sens function that brilliantly sets optimal input levels for all preamps
  • An extremely low-latency and streaming driver.
  • Features 4 independent software-controlled Direct Mixers for creating custom monitor mixes.
  • It supports all major DAW platforms on Mac or Windows.

 

5. M-Audio AIR 192 USB Audio Interface

You deserve a crystal-clear sound production no matter how big your recording studio is and thanks to its excellent crystal preamps, the M-Audio AIR 192 audio interface delivers on this guarantee. The Crystal preamps leave you guaranteed perfect performance capture and the best sound possible from your microphone. This audio interface uses very clean A/D converters for a 24-bit resolution digital audio and with its huge dynamic range, it picks up on every nuance of your recording. It doesn’t matter if you plug your guitar directly into it or you plug in a microphone, you can rest assured of amazing sound quality.

Looking at this sleek audio interface, you’ll see that it was designed with high quality and portability. Besides its beautiful recordings, you’ll also enjoy clean audio outputs with zero-latency monitoring through either your headphones or stereo outputs. It’s also quite easy to use with a nice and solid central knob and responsive onboard gain controls. With its fast USB connection, you won’t be held back with clicks or pops when you’re recording and there is even a direct monitor mode that helps keep you in time.

This is a perfect audio interface choice if you’re looking for a professional-standard recording that allows for synths, microphones, instruments and MIDI gear without the troubles of renting a full-sized studio.

Key Features:

  • Features a 24-bit/192kHz resolution for professional recording and monitoring.
  • It comes with Crystal preamps and ultra-pristine A/D converters for unmatched audio recording quality.
  • Features LED meters for dialing in the perfect level.
  • It comes with a MIDI input/output for connecting any external MIDI gear.
  • Features a rugged metal chassis for easy volume adjustment.
  • A USB/Direct knob for balancing between the input signal and the computer signal.

 

6. IK Multimedia iRig Stomp I/O USB Audio Interface

The IK Multimedia’s iRig Stomp I/O is the brand’s latest addition to its audio interface products that merge an MFi-certified audio interface with a MIDI input/output for your devices with a flexible floor controller unit. That’s not all…it also comes packed with many vocal, guitar and recording apps that provide you with enough room for in-depth creative capabilities from the beginning. With its wide variety of effects, virtual amps and more, you’re guaranteed an impressive sound quality that could even seem better than most expensive audio interfaces.

On the top half of its upward-facing front panel is a solid, non-slippery rubber surface that holds your device in place. The iRig Stomp I/O unit can even function as a standalone MIDI controller without you having to use it with your computer or iOS device and so, you can get to control other MIDI devices in your rigs without hassles. Indeed, this audio interface is easy to use and might look quite simple but it’s quite versatile and amazingly powerful.

So, if you love the sound of IK’s virtual amps and effects but would want them to sound their best on stage then you should go for the iRig Stomp I/O as it delivers crystal-clear studio audio quality even on stage.

Key Features:

  • Features 4 stomp switches and an in-built expression pedal.
  • A 24-Bit, 96 kHz audio interface with neutral combo input.
  • It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, Mac, and PC.
  • It comes with optional expansion jacks and MIDI I/O for more advanced setups.
  • Extra two 1/4 inches switch/pedal controller inputs.

 

7. Apogee One Audio Interface

The Apogee brand is well-known for excellent sound quality and the One isn’t any exception with its 24‑bit audio that’s up to 48kHz and mic preamp with a phantom power of 48V. One interesting feature of this audio interface is its in-built omnidirectional microphone which automatically means you won’t need to buy or carry a separate microphone around plus it’s ideal for recording a jam-session while recording the direct instruments as well.

The One audio interface’s mic preamp is based on the brand’s best technology that’s mostly found in its more expensive interfaces with great phantom power and 62dB of gain. We like the fantastic output from the headphone/speaker and how it provides plenty of headroom and volume to allow you pleasurably listen to high-resolution audio. Apogee’s DACs are considered to be of the highest quality and to be at the front line and although the One audio interface doesn’t have the same DACs or preamps as the rest of Apogee products, it still delivers high quality that makes it better than other audio interfaces at this price.

The One is an ideal choice if you’re a music producer in a recording studio that wants to focus on getting down song ideas as they come and also hear the sound on multiple speakers when mixing.

Key Features:

  • A 2 in x 2 Out audio interface with an in-built microphone.
  • A USB 2.0 connection for Mac or PC with a 24-bit/96kHz AD/DA conversion.
  • It allows for direct monitoring and complete input/output control.
  • Features die-cast aluminum chassis.
  • It delivers Apogee’s renowned sound quality.

 

8. Native Instruments Komplete 6 Mk2 Audio Interface

The Native Instruments brand is known for always modifying and updating its range of audio interfaces and the latest is the Komplete Audio 6 audio interface which is meant for you if your monitoring and recording needs are varied. On its upper surface is a large output volume dial that you’ll find helpful when you want to change the monitor volume without using its front panel knob. You might find the 5-LED meters of this audio interface a little unsophisticated but we believe the absence of complex dancing lights has to do with power efficiency.

This audio interface has two headphone outputs with separate gain controls which is ideal if you’d like to do some recording, monitoring and also hear what’s going on at the same time. You also get to record up to 192kHz/24-bit resolution with very low latency. The result? An impressive, crystal-clear sound. Bundled with NI’s software; Monark, Komplete Start, Replika, Mod Pack, Solid Bus Comp, Live 10 Lite, Maschine Essentials, and Traktor LE3 – – you’ll get to cover all the performance and recording bases you need when making beats, DJ’ing, producing tracks or doing all three.

So, if you’re looking for a decent amount of I/O without leaving a hole in your pocket then, the Komplete Audio 6 is your must-have.

Key Features:

  • Record audio in flawless quality up to 192 kHz/ 24-bit.
  • Allows for connecting a whole setup of 4 analogs in/out, 2-digital in/out and MIDI in/out.
  • It comes with all the software needed to record and build tracks, plus synths, effects and so on.
  • A 2x headphone out with high-power output and individual volume controls
  • Features USB 2.0 Bus-Power with no need for additional power supply.

 

9. Audient iD14 High-Performance USB Audio Interface

The Audient brand is renowned for its extensive mixing consoles with high-quality industry microphone preamps. Many users tend to praise the clarity and quietness of their mic preamps including their excellent digital to analog conversion abilities. The Audient iD4 isn’t excluded as it features one of the brand’s best mic preamps along with a JFET instrument input for simultaneous instrument and vocal recording. It also comes with two headphone outputs which are both helpful and a great feature considering its price.

With the audio interface’s ‘Scroll Control’ technology, you can have hands-on control of the parameters in your DAW by using the control knob to control everything from the audio interface. This unique feature allows for easier command of the controls that are normally difficult to fine-tune using a mouse and together with the ID4’s two Class A microphone preamps, they all come together to deliver an excellent sound.

If you’re searching for a scalable and versatile audio interface with impressive sound quality, then, the Audient ID4 should top your list as it features the best-sounding preamps that you’ll find within this price range. If you’re also a songwriter or singer looking to start your own home studio then this is an excellent choice as well.

Key Features:

  • A 2-in/2-out USB audio interface.
  • Features a 1 x class-a Audient console mic preamplifier
  • It comes with a 1 x discrete JFET instrument input
  • Features high-performance converters
  • ID Scroll Control mode
  • Features zero-latency monitoring with monitor mix and pan

 

10. MOTU M4 USB-C Audio Interface

MOTU is best known for its classy audio interface hardware and Digital Performer DAW and the M4 is one of their innovations. The M4 audio interface is compact, affordable and powerful and comes with the same ESS Sabre32 Ultra™ DAC Technology that’s usually found in more expensive audio interfaces. This audio interface delivers an amazing Dynamic Range of 120 dB on its main outputs. Its headphone output is driven by the ESS converters, which matches popular dedicated headphone amplifiers that cost hundreds.

Thanks to the brand’s skillfully-made USB drivers which provide world-class, ultra-low 2.5 MS Round Trip Latency, the M4 delivers excellent speed that you can use to monitor live inputs through your computer. You’d agree that nothing is more critical than attaining optimal levels when recording and mixing. The M4 also features a full-color LCD with clear, detailed level meters for all its inputs and outputs. There are also two extra TRS line inputs on the rear, along with an additional pair of outputs and a dedicated blend knob that you can use for controlling the balance between your computer mix and the live inputs.

So, if you’re looking to monitor and capture your audio with flawless clarity and enjoy feedback and professional-level volume control to get the perfect sound then, your search ends here.

Key Features:

  • An ESS Sabre32 Ultra™ DAC technology for excellent analog sound
  • An ESS-driven headphone output
  • A class-leading speed (ultra-low latency) for host software processing
  • Class-leading metering for all inputs/outputs with a full-color LCD
  • A 2x mic/line/hi-Z guitar inputs on combo XLR/TRS

 

11. Rode RodeCaster Pro Podcast Production Studio

If you’re looking for a digital recorder and mixer that’s rolled into a brilliant all-in-one audio interface and would deliver excellent sound quality, then the RodeCaster is the one you’re looking for. that delivers superb audio quality. The RodeCaster Pro is a unique audio interface that’s designed with podcasting in mind and merges four monitoring headphone outputs, four XLR microphone inputs, eight programmable pads for sound effects and jingles and Bluetooth plus USB connections for your mobile devices.

There’s a microSD card slot on its rear that allows you to do a whole stereo recording without you having to use a computer. It features a bidirectional USB-C connector as well that accepts input from your computer while sending the sound out to your desired editing software simultaneously. Whether you decide to hook the interface up with your phone using Bluetooth or USB, the RodeCaster makes it quite easy for you to record high-quality interviews with someone else who’s at a remote location.

So, if you’re recording live remotely or want to step into professional audio production and broadcasting then, that’s what makes this portable broadcast production device shines.

Key Features:

  • Features an integrated podcast production studio with 4 class A mic preamps.
  • It comes with eight programmable pads
  • Bluetooth enabled.
  • Has 8 faders to control the audio levels.
  • Records 24-bit/48kHz audio directly to microSD card or computer via USB.

 

12. Tascam US-16×08 USB Audio Interface

With 16 channel inputs and 8 channel outputs offered by the Tascam US-16×08 USB digital audio interface, there’s enough I/O for full band recording in its price range. 8 out of the 16 channel inputs are Ultra-HDDA mic preamps along with XLR connectors that deliver the quietest and cleanest operation plus phantom power located on the front of the unit with 2 line/instrument inputs. The remaining 6 inputs are ¼-inch TRS balanced line-level inputs that work perfectly for mic preamps, electric drums, keyboards or any other source of line-level.

With its in-built DSP mixer, the audio interface provides a low-latency digital mixing with compression and 4 bands EQ available for each input. It also provides 4 custom stereos mixers if you need to record a whole band.

The US-16X08 audio interface is also versatile and can be used as a stand-alone preamp to provide Midi I/O for your whole studio.  It doesn’t matter if you’re you’re mounting it with the included rack ears or using its comfortably-designed angled desktop stand, the US-16×08’s analog I/O is perfect for all music recording applications.

Key Features:

  • Comes with 8 Ultra-HDDA microphone preamps
  • A 16-in/8-out interface with up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution
  • Comes with 8 1/4-inch well-balanced line inputs, 2 adjustable to instrument level
  • A DSP Mixer for Low-latency monitoring with EQ and compression
  • Comes with high-quality audio components for 125dBu EIN and 105dB S/N ratio

Things To Consider When Buying Audio Interface Under $500

When you’re ready to go for the top-rated audio interface under $500, there are some things you should expect. Here they are:

  • 1. I/O Options

Audio interfaces come with several types of inputs/outputs and so, it’s essential for you to precisely know what you’re looking for. You can help yourself out here by deciding on the number of guitars, microphones, synths, drum machines, samplers, or any other instruments you’re looking to record all at once. To plug them into your interface, you’ll also need to know the types of inputs you’d need to use at any time.

Most audio interfaces come with two inputs at least, that work for line-level signals, instruments or microphones. For example, if you’re looking to use plenty of microphones then, you’ve got to get plenty of preamp-equipped inputs as well. If you need one or two vocal mics and have a synth rig, you can make use of an audio interface with a couple of channels equipped with preamps plus seven line-level inputs or more.

Outputs also differ in their layouts as well, however, it’s possible that if you’re a solo artist, you might need a separate headphone output and at least some stereo outs for your studio monitors. If you’ve got a full band, you should find an audio interface with extra headphone outputs as that will work best for multiple performers or you could decide to buy an extra headphone amp instead.

  • 2. Versatility

Besides the I/O options, you’ll need to ensure that your audio interface is as versatile as it can be as this will help you record on the go. You can check if the audio interface you’re considering has got any of these features as well:

  • MIDI inputs for MIDI controllers.
  • A DI input for your guitars and other live instruments.
  • Mic input for your microphone.
  • Line inputs for your guitars and other line-level gear.

 

  • 3. Connectivity

Among the best things to have in your audio interface is the choice of connectivity. Most budget-friendly interfaces run on standard USB 2.0 which is still quite acceptable. However, some modern interfaces put this USB 2.0 standard to the limit. Some interfaces claim faster connections through USB-C, USB3, Ethernet or even Thunderbolt. However, USB 2.0 is still great for your home studio and any other recording needs you might have as a beginner. All you’ll need to do is to ensure that your computer comes with the right ports that you can use to connect to the audio interface you’re considering.

  • 4. Internal Hardware

Microphone pre-amplifiers and A/D converters are the centers of every audio interface. Most brands use their standard preamplifiers, an example is Roland’s Octa-Capture technology. They took the device straight from their well-known mixers and integrated them into the audio interface. If you’ quite serious about music recording and you’re looking to get the best precise recordings of the highest quality possible then you’ll need to go for a top-rated pre-amplifier.

  • 5. Design

At this price level, most interfaces have been designed to be used on a computer and so, can be placed next to your laptop without taking up much space. However, there are now audio interfaces that have got rack-mounted designs and can fit perfectly into a rack and then be easily screwed to the sides. So, while shopping in this price range, a rack will be an ideal way to put your audio equipment in order and have everything that’s not a mixer or amplifier put in it.  If you’ve got a big studio and you’re running racks, then buying a rack-friendly audio interface will be the best way to go for you.

  • 6. Software

If you want to get more professional with your music recording, there are some professional DAWsout there including Ableton Live, Apple Logic, Avid Pro Tools and so on. You could also consider virtual instruments or plugins to make for more enhanced sound production. Most interfaces come packed with recording software which is usually entry-level versions of plugins and/or DAWs. Let’s take the PreSonus audio interface on our list as an example. It comes with the entry version of the brand’s suite of software plugins like iZotope’s Neutron Elements and DAW. Native Instruments’audio interfaces come with a lot of its sound design tools, effects, software synths and an entry version of Ableton Live 10.

What Is an Audio Interface?

An audio interface is a hardware component that improves and expands the sonic abilities of a computer. Some audio interfaces will give you the ability to connect instruments, professional microphones and any other kind of signals to your computer and also output various signals. Besides augmenting your inputs and outputs, audio interfaces also greatly enhance your computer’s sound quality. Each time you record new audio or listen through headphones and speakers the audio interface helps reproduce a more precise representation of the sounds.

Audio interfaces remain an important component in a computer-based audio production. You can use them for recording voice-overs, podcasts and music, sound design and other video post-production. So, when you need a more efficient level of audio performance from your computer, more expert-level microphones or you need to route instruments and other kinds of signals into or out of your computer, you’ll need an audio interface for that.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Q-1: Is an Audio Interface the Same as A Sound Card?

Well, an audio interface and a sound card do the same basic job which is to get sound in and out of your computer so that you can process, edit and turn the sound into a digital signal and back again. It’s safe for us to refer to an audio interface as an external sound card as you can record and playback with your computer just like you would with a sound card – – the audio interface just takes you a step closer towards sounding more professional.

Q-2: Do I Still Need an Audio Interface If I’ve Got a USB Mic?

It’s easy to get confused here if you tend to think of an audio interface as a box with several inputs for instruments, mics, and outputs for headphones and speakers. However, a USB mic can effectively act as an audio interface too. It’s a mic that comes with an audio interface and so, all you’ll need to do is to plug the USB lead of the mic into another USB port for it to work. That’s all, you won’t need any other equipment. It could feature a headphone or just be a recording mic and then, you’ll have a full input and output tool.

Q-3: What Is the Best Audio Interface Under $500?

When it comes to finding the best audio interface that works for you, you’ll need to know what you want to use it for and also how much you can afford. Fortunately, we’ve listed the 12 best audio interfaces under $500 that you can choose from in this article for you to go through and make the ideal choice for your audio production needs.

Q-4: What Is the Purpose of an Audio Interface?

Among the main advantages, an audio interface has over on-board sound cards is its physical size and easy access plus an extensive range of input types that can be built into the unit. Also, audio interfaces generally have higher audio quality than standard onboard sound cards and some even feature MIDI if you’re looking to connect a keyboard controller as well.

Q-5: How Many Inputs and Outputs do I Need on My Audio Interface?

This will depend fully on the kind of work you’ll like to do with your audio interface. If you want to record with many expert-level microphones, you’ll need to go for an interface that comes with plenty of XLR inputs for your microphone. If you’re looking to record maybe, voice-overs for video production, then you should go for an interface that features only one XLR input.

Also, if it’s DJ’ing with your computer that you’re after, then it’s ideal for you to go for an audio interface that features four line-level of outputs – – two will be used for sending the mix from your stereo to the sound system and the other two outputs will be used to privately signal songs.

Q-6: What is the Phantom Power of an Audio Interface?

Asides being called phantom power; it’s also called “+48V.” Some microphones will need a little flow of electricity to work while others can pick up the sound without using any power. So, when a microphone is plugged into a device that supplies it with electricity, it’s referred to as ‘phantom power’. Many audio interfaces that have mic inputs also supply phantom power but since not all kinds of microphones will need phantom power, these audio interfaces also have a switch that you can use to turn it on and off.

Final Verdict

Audio interfaces have a natural price progression which is; the more you spend, the more you get. The audio interfaces under $500 are ideal choices for personal use in your home studio and even if you’re looking to use them on the go. All the audio interfaces that we’ve mentioned in our article are perfect examples of professional audio interfaces and so, there’s no reason to break your bank for an audio interface especially as a beginner.

In the end, we’re sure that whatever your choice of the best audio interface under $500 might be, it will provide you with a flawless recording pleasure for many years.

Getting started in the home recording business is both exciting and tedious. The best part is that you’ll have a chance to take your production career to another level. The stressful part, on the other hand, is that you’re clueless about the type of recording gear you’ll require. Now, if you’re new in the world of home studio recording, then one of the gadgets you’ll definitely need to think of is the best condenser mic under 100.

Of course, getting started in home music recording means that you’ll have a tight budget and you’ll be quite shy to splash big money to get expensive production gadgets. Taking the condenser mic as an example, these recording gadgets come in all sorts of shapes and sizes to meet different recording applications. Without the right answer, finding the absolute best microphone will be absolutely difficult.

Top 12 Best Condenser Mic Under $100 Reviews:

 

Thankfully, with experts such as we, finding a high-quality microphone at an affordable price range will be quite easy than you initially thought. In today’s guide, we’re going to discuss 13 best-selling mics that will suit most budget customers getting started in the music recording and production platform.

 

1. Blue Yeti Blackout + Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Bundle

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Taking pole position in our list today, we have the Blue Yeti Blackout USB Microphone. The reason why this mic has made it at the top is how Blue has managed to team up with Ubisoft to table this Yeti microphone as part of a package containing Assasin’s Creed Odyssey Bundle. So, with this microphone, you’ll not only use it in the music sector but also as part of your gaming gadgets when playing the epic Assasin’s Creed game.

Also, by looking at it, one can easily tell that this microphone is a high-quality bundle. With the gain control and the mute button at your disposal, this mic will allow you to record any sound quite easily without worrying about any voice distortions.

YouTubers, Podcasters, and musicians alike have not been left out here. That’s because this microphone has three condenser capsules that will allow you to record and stream any content. Designed with a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz, a sampling rate of 48kHz, and a signal to noise response of 100dB, this microphone is the ultimate best for twitch streaming, voiceovers, podcasting, music recording, and Skype calling among other uses.

Pros

  • It’s compatible with most computers.
  • Comes with a stand for easy desktop use.
  • Doesn’t require any software to connect.
  • The headphones’ input jack plus mute and volume buttons are available.
  • Perfect for gaming, streaming, recording, and Skype calling.

Cons

  • Sound quality playback is a little bit digitized.
  • Sometimes the game code comes when it’s already expired.

 

2. Audio-Technica Condenser USB Microphone

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Coming second in this list, we have the Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Condenser Microphone. Now, if you happen to take a closer look at this microphone, you’ll realize that there’s a lot to love about it. First, Audio-Technica has managed to strike the golden balance between affordability and performance. Second, they’ve put versatility at the front row by designing a microphone that suits every occasion.

So, with those two factors, the Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Condenser Microphone is a perfect entry-level racehorse that suits almost any category. Its design, which comprises of a custom-engineered diaphragm and a metal housing, makes it one of the best microphones in the market.

About its performance, this microphone has a superb frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz and a decent audio quality of 16 bits with a sampling rate of 44.1/48 kHz. It has a headphone jack and a variety of controls such as mix control and volume control to help you capture the best signal. Its easy USB tethering makes this mic quite universal as it’s able to work with almost any iOS and Windows software versions ranging from Mac OS X, Windows 2000, XP, Vista to Windows 7.

Pros

  • Entirely made from metal.
  • Wide dynamic range makes it quite versatile.
  • Comes with a pivoting threaded stand.
  • Compatible with most Mac OS and Windows versions.
  • Delivers superior clarity when recording music.
  • Its low-mass diaphragm offers an excellent transient response.

Cons

  • The stand is quite tricky to adjust.
  • It occupies a lot of your desktop space.

 

3. MAONO USB Microphone with Studio Headphone Set

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Whether you’re a beginner or an intermediate YouTuber, gamer, podcaster, producer, or a home studio recorder, the MAONO USB Microphone is one of the best budget condenser mics that will give you practically everything you’ll need to accomplish your music recording endeavors. The reason why this mic has appeared so early in our list is the fact that it doesn’t come alone.

The package actually comes with an assortment of other recording accessories such as wired headphones, a table mounting stand, a pop filter, and a foam mic windscreen among other essentials. Apart from the rich package, the MAONO USB Microphone has not failed to impress. Designed with a professional sound chipset, this mic is capable of achieving a high-resolution sampling rate of 192 kHz/24bit with a decent frequency response of 30Hz-16 kHz.

Like it’s not enough, MAONO has added a 16mm electret condenser transducer and a magnet ring to give you a decent bass response while picking crystal clear audio with reduced interference. Its USB 2.0 data port is another major selling point that allows this microphone to work with major PC and Mac OS software versions without any interference. With a sensitivity rating of -38dB+/-3dB, this condenser mic is ready to accomplish any type of recording tasks with great enthusiasm.

Pros

  • Perfect noise reduction capability.
  • Has a high sampling rate of 192kHz/24bit.
  • Doesn’t require any software to connect to a computer.
  • High sensitivity allows it to capture low voices.
  • Comes with a dedicated mounting clamp and headphones.

Cons

  • Sometimes the mic comes with the wrong USB cable.

 

4. miniDSP USB Measurement Calibrated Microphone

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Quality condenser microphones are becoming easy to find in recent times. The miniDSP UMIK-1 Calibrated Microphone is among the top-selling mics that have debuted with a loud thud. From being super affordable to housing some of the best features in the acoustic world, this microphone is perhaps one of the most reliable mics that will suit customers working on a tight budget.

One of the greatest features of this mic is its slender body. Despite having a thin diaphragm, this microphone has surprised most recording enthusiasts with its low noise and great accuracy making it the best choice for recording, gaming, YouTubing, Podcasting, and Skype communication.

Like it’s not all, this mic is compatible with a wide range of acoustic software such as Smaart, REW, and Dirac Live among others. Its excellent frequency response of 20 Hz – 20kHz +/-1dB cannot be ignored either as it allows this mic to work with both vocals and instruments when recording. Packed alongside a dedicated USB cable, a mini tripod, and a windscreen, the miniDSP UMIK-1 is an entry-level mic that will never put your home recording endeavor to shame.

Pros

  • Compatible with a wide range of acoustic software.
  • Has a high-frequency response.
  • It’s easy to download the calibration files.
  • Doesn’t require any software to pair with your PC.
  • Comes with a tripod stand for easy desktop use.

Cons

  • The USB cable is quite short.

 

5. Razer Seiren X USB Streaming Microphone

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Razer is probably one of the last brands one would think of when looking for a condenser microphone. That’s because this brand specifically deals with gaming peripherals such as gaming keyboards, mice, and PC headphones. In recent times, however, this gaming giant has diverted from its ordinary gaming endeavors to focus more on high-definition audio with the results being the Razer Seiren XUSB Streaming Microphone.

As their latest offering, this condenser mic has immense irresistible qualities that have made it among the best in the market. For beginners, this mic has a sleek and non-obstructive design that provides the perfect contact between you and the audience when performing. Its built-in shock mount works tremendously well in cushioning any vibrations when recording.

Its frequency response is on the higher side while the built-in background voice reduction feature ensures that any distracting noises are reduced to zero when performing. By pairing this microphone with the rest of the Razer Seiren X gaming peripherals, gamers, streamers, and music producers alike will enjoy super accurate results with a bit more precision.

Pros

  • Shock mount technology reduces any vibrations in case it’s knocked over.
  • Sleek design reduces any interference when recording.
  • Zero-latency monitoring reduces any echo effects when streaming.
  • The anodized aluminum chassis gives this mic a superior look.
  • USB connectivity makes it compatible with a variety of devices.

Cons

  • Sometimes, it picks unwanted sounds.
  • The noise reduction function needs some minor improvements.

 

6. MXL Mics 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone

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Perhaps one of the reasons why the MXL Mics 770 has dominated the audio market is becauseMXLMics is a well-respected brand with years of an incredible experience. You see, the audio recording market is limited and every brand, whether old or a newcomer, is determined to deliver something unique. However, for the case of MXL Mics, this brand has done the opposite where they’ve laid tremendous focus on consistency rather than provide customers with irregular mics with new flashy features.

Although it’s a smaller division of a huge brand, Marshall Electronics, this microphone has proved to be a reliable piece of music peripheral for both seasoned professionals and newbie musicians. First, it has a small diaphragm that lets you keep perfect eye contact with the audience.

The bass-roll off switch and the FET preamp switch are two features that have really advanced this mic to the very top. That’s because the two work together to clarify muddy sounds while offering an immaculately balanced output to suit a wider dynamic range. It also boasts of an impressive frequency range of 30Hz-20kHz and an excellent sensitivity of 15mV/Pa making it a perfect mic for not only vocals but also for use with a wide range of acoustic peripherals.

Pros

  • It has a great frequency response of 30Hz-20kHz.
  • It has a bass roll-off switch for superior sound clarity.
  • Available in Black, Sky Blue, and Vintage White color options.
  • Works well with both vocals and acoustic instruments.
  • The package includes a storage case.

Cons

  • It captures unwanted sounds such as wind sound.
  • The shock mount feature needs some improvements.

 

7. TONOR USB Cardioid Computer Mic Kit

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Although the TONOR USB Condenser Microphone is a relatively unknown brand, its perfect combination of performance and cool appearance have left most heads turning and eyes wide open. Their decision to design the large 24mm diaphragm with a cool champagne finish has been impressive as it not only captures both low and wide sound frequencies but it also does it with a bit of style and elegance.

Its impressive frequency response of 20Hz-20KHz, a sampling rate of 192kHz/24Bit, and an expandable dynamic range are some of the features that have made this condenser microphone to excel in the streaming, gaming, podcasting, and recording categories.

The TONOR USB Condenser Microphone has an easy plug and play option that allows you to work with any PC, Mac, or PS4 consoles. Other than that, this condenser mic doesn’t come alone. That’s because TENOR has included a rubberized anti-shock mount, a desk clamp, and a double-layered screen on the package to make things more authentic when recording.

Pros

  • It has a large stylish diaphragm.
  • Rubberized shock mount prevents any mechanical vibrations.
  • Has a very high-frequency response.
  • Perfect for all types of gaming, recording, and voice over activities.
  • Can be plugged and used in any computer.

Cons

  • Some echoes are visible.

 

8. Marantz Pro Studio Recording Condenser Microphone

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A quality condenser microphone is not easy to find at a moment’s notice. However, some brands have managed to deliver authentic microphones with considerable differences one of which is the Marantz Pro MPM1000. At the heart of this mic rests an 18mm pure aluminum plated diaphragm.

Although it looks sleek, this condenser capsule is responsible for this mic’s high-frequency response that ranges from 20Hz to 20 kHz. It’s also responsible for this mic’s high sensitivity of 38dB ± 2dB and fast transient response that combine to give you a pristine studio-quality recording right at the comfort of your home studio.

Other than its immaculate features, the Marantz Pro MPM1000 doesn’t come alone. This condenser microphone comes with some backup accessories that include a windscreen, a shock mount, a tripod stand, and an XLR cable. With such a deal, you won’t have to spend any more money buying extra accessories when pairing this mic with the rest of your recording peripherals.

Pros

  • Shock mount accessory guarantees super crisp sound without any distortion.
  • Has a high sensitivity of 38dB ± 2dB.
  • Comes with a windscreen for a more reinforced audio quality.
  • It’s versatile enough to be used for gaming, podcasting, and recording.
  • The XLR cable is long enough.

Cons

  • It captures a few background noises.
  • The XLR cable doesn’t fit tightly.

 

9. Samson C01U Pro USB Studio Condenser Microphone

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The Samson C01U Pro USB Condenser Microphone is one of the highest-rated mics in the audio market today. What’s intriguing about this microphone is that there’s nothing high speed about it and the design looks as generic as the rest of the midfield mics. However, performance has always come first in this no-nonsense brand something that has made this microphone to outshine most of its closest rivals.

One feature that has been at the heart of its impressive performance is the 19mm large diaphragm. With its hyper-cardioid polar pattern and internal shock mounted advantage, this mic will capture every bit of sound you throw at it with ultimate clarity with just a few spills from the surround sounds. It also offers an excellent frequency response of 20Hz-18kHz and an audio resolution of 48kHz giving you nothing less than high-definition recordings when streaming, podcasting, producing, or gaming.

About compatibility, the Samson C01U Pro isn’t too picky or fuzzy. With its USB connectivity, this mic can be paired directly to any computer without worrying about it misbehaving. It also comes with a 1/8” headphone output that offers zero-latency monitoring to make it easier for you to listen to yourself when recording.

Pros

  • Designed with a full metal body.
  • Has a decent frequency response of 20Hz-18 kHz.
  • Super cardioid pickup pattern delivers crisp sound with less distortion.
  • There’s a headphone output for easy monitoring when self-recording.
  • Shock-mounted diaphragm prevents any unwanted vibrations.

Cons

  • The mic’s handle can break if mishandled.
  • Sometimes it can make static sounds.

 

10. Zoom iQ7 Stereo Microphone for iPhone/iPad

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The Zoom iQ7 is one of the tiniest condenser microphones in the recent audio market. Although it looks tiny and quite binary, this microphone is loaded with smart features one of which is its great compatibility with all iOS devices. With a weight of just 4.8 ounces, this mic is pocket friendly and can be carried to any location of your choice to capture music audio, voiceovers, and other recordings of your choice.

At the heart of this mic, there are two independent microphone elements one of which is directional and the other bidirectional. Since they can be tilted left to right, adjusting these tiny mics to 90°allows them to focus on individual sound while a 120° tilt gives them a wider frequency response of the surrounding ambiance.

In addition to impressive performance, the Zoom iQ7 is compatible with a wide range of iOS apps such as Voice Memos, GarageBand, iMovies, and Instagram among others. By downloading the Zoom app in your device, you can enjoy a variety of smart effects such as reverb, a six-band equalizer,and high-quality audio recording in AAC and WAV formats.

Pros

  • The AAC and WAV recording formats provide clearer sounds.
  • The M-S audio recording capability is quite excellent.
  • It’s compatible with a wide range of iOS audio apps.
  • Extremely lightweight for easy carrying.
  • Can be tilted to focus on individual sound or surrounding ambiance.

Cons

  • The quality of sound is not excellent.

 

11. Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality Microphone

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To say that Rode NT-USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone lies in the budget segment would be an understatement. Although it’s an affordable offering, this microphone has a lot of exclusive features most of which are present in a variety of high-profile mics. Among them is the large diaphragm that has a decent frequency response of 20Hz – 20kHz that allows it to handle a wide range of musical performances.

It’s also fitted with zero latency 3.5mm headphone jack that lets you pair the mic with your earphones for a better listening experience when recording. The 20 ft. USB cable is something else Rode prides as it’s long enough to prevent any restrictions when working around this mic.

Just like it’s the norm with most other mics, the USB connectivity allows this mic to be paired with any Windows or Mac OS computer not forgetting most iOS devices. When it comes to packaging, the Rode NT-USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone doesn’t come alone. It comes with a tripod stand, a pouch, and a stand mount with a 3/8” thread for easy mounting on your desktop.

Pros

  • It has a long 20 ft. USB cable.
  • Has a wide frequency range.
  • The SM6 Shock Mount cancels all external noises with enthusiasm.
  • The sound captured is crystal clear.
  • It has a pop shield and a stand included.

Cons

  • Unfortunately, some parts are made of plastic.

 

12. FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone 

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The last mic that has bulldozed its way on this list of the best USB condenser mic under 100 is the FIFINE T669 Studio Condenser Microphone Kit. While most microphones in this price range come with the mic alone, the FIFINE T669 packs an exclusive list of peripherals that include a scissor arm stand, a double pop filter, a desktop shock mount, a USB cable, a tripod stand, and a microphone.

When it comes to the performance, this microphone takes advantage of its large diaphragm to take care of both low and high-frequency sounds ranging from 20Hz-20kHz. It also delivers studio-quality crystal clear audios when recording, podcasting, YouTubing, and gaming making it a reliable mic for both intermediate and professional needs.

The FIFINE T669 doesn’t stop there. Its cardioid polar pattern combines perfectly with the pop filter and the adjustable studio scissor arm stand to capture crisp high-quality sounds while resting on your desktop. The USB cable is another exclusive bonus that allows you to connect this mic to any computer without requiring any special software.

Pros

  • Can be used with any computer of your choice.
  • Has an independent volume knob.
  • The large diaphragm has an excellent signal-to-noise ratio.
  • The arm stand is easy to adjust.
  • Offers a 2-year limited warranty.

Cons

  • The quality of sound is quite distorted.

 

Things to Consider When Buying a Condenser Microphone

 

Following the advancement in technology, the need for high-quality condenser microphones has continued to fluctuate. The reason for this is due to the high-quality construction of these microphones that allow them to handle mammoth tasks in the gaming, YouTubing, Podcasting, recording, and audio voiceover platforms.

Now, knowing what you need is easy. But, when it comes to perusing through the different features and requirements, things get a little bit tricky. Due to this reason, this guide has offered to discuss a variety of factors that you’ll need to be keen on when choosing your favorite condenser mic. Please read on.

  1. Microphone Type:

Now, when I mention the type of condenser mic, what I’ll be focusing on is the size of the diaphragm. You see, condenser microphones usually come in two major types which are those with large diaphragms and those with small diaphragms.

Large diaphragms on their side are best used for vocals because they have a better frequency response. They also give you warmer sounds with less self-noise making them the best for capturing those lower notes.

On the other hand, small diaphragm microphones are usually thin and cylindrical. They too have a consistent frequency response and a more improved transient response due to their tiny diaphragms. They’re usually affordable and work wonderfully when linked with a good sound source.

Finally, microphones with small diaphragms are considered to be more honest. Since they can handle loud volumes pretty well, they’re the best to use alongside acoustic instruments such as drums, guitars, and wind instruments.

  1. Frequency Response:

Another factor you’ll need to consider when choosing a condenser mic is the concept of its frequency response. Moving back to physics, the frequency response is a scientific way of analyzing the pitch of a note. Sound frequency is measured in Hertz (Hz) where 1Hz represents the number of sound waves that pass through a medium in one second.

With this in mind, you must check your microphone’s frequency response graph to determine whether it’s best to use for your situation. Most professional microphones strive to capture sounds at different frequencies ranging from 20Hz to 20 kHz.

While most mics will strive to deliver crisp, accurate, and studio-quality sounds, some will pick and miss a bit of low or a bit of high. Due to this reason, it’s very important to keep a closer eye on the frequency response to ensure that you get the best condenser mic under 100 that will meet all your recording needs.

  1. Polar Pattern:

This is our next factor that demands critical consideration when choosing a mic. A particular condenser mic might win your heart with its outstanding features and great looks. But when it comes to its pick up patterns, you start to notice that its directionality isn’t matching your recording needs.

Now, microphones come in two major types of polar patterns that are the cardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns. Mics with a cardioid pick up patterns means that they can only pick up sounds coming directly in front of them while rejecting sounds coming from behind. These types of mics are considered the best, especially among beginners, because they have great noise reduction capability especially if you’re recording in an environment with immense sound reflections.

On the other hand, omnidirectional microphones are designed to pick sounds both from the front and from the back. These mics are great for recording a group of singers or percussionists. Since they do allow some noises to seep through, they’re best recommended for professional recorders and producers with great recording rooms/studios.

  1. USB vs Non-USB:

This is another factor you need to be really keen on when choosing a condenser microphone. In most cases, USB cables draw power from your device to keep the microphone working. Now, a normal condenser microphone will require around 48V to operate. Since a USB cable can only output around 5V, there will either be insufficient power to operate your mic or your device will be drained too quickly in an attempt to power the mic.

In this regard, it’s wise to do your calculation beforehand to determine whether you’ll go with a USB cable or an XLR cable. The best thing about an XLR cable is that it draws its power from a preamp, a mixing console, or an audio interface. While this solves much of your devices’ power issues, you need to ensure that you have a preamp or an audio interface ready before buying a microphone with an XLR cable.

  1. Impedance:

Impedance is usually a measure of a microphone’s receptiveness to AC current and audio signals. Measured in Ohms (Ω), this measurement is very critical because it shows you how well a microphone can retain its audio clarity when used with longer cables, usually 16 ft. in length. When shopping for a mic, always look for those models with a low impedance of around 600Ω and below.

  1. Proximity Effect Sensitivity:

Some factors such as this are considered to be silent but very influential when choosing a microphone. When doing a professional voice over, podcasting, or just singing, you might notice that some performers will tend to drift away from the mic. If your microphone lacks a proximity effect sensitivity, then there will be notable inconsistencies in the quality of sound delivered.

Therefore, to prevent such inconsistencies, you need to ensure the specific condenser mic you’re getting has this feature to ensure that there’s even results in the quality of sound delivered regardless of whether the performers are 3” or 15” away from the mic.

  1. Shock Mount:

The last factor you have to check on is the availability of a shock mount. The best thing about this factor is that most microphones come with a shock mount already included in the package. Although that’s a huge advantage, it’s always recommended that you buy an extra aftermarket universal shock mount with more advanced features.

 

What Is a Condenser Microphone?

 

Now that we’ve discussed a lot about condenser microphones, how much do you really know about them? In most cases, microphones come in two major variations which are the condenser mics and their close cousins, the dynamic microphones. Dynamic microphones are considered to be traditional and quite primitive in terms of their design.

Since their design allows them to withstand very high sound pressure levels, these microphones are usually ideal for recording loud sounds in music concerts and live performances in stadiums. But, when it comes to studio recording, dynamic microphones may fail to suit this strategy since the weight of their diaphragms may struggle to pick low frequencies and produce an accurate representation of such sounds.

In this regard, a condenser microphone automatically becomes the perfect option when it comes to audio recording as you can’t afford to shout the way you would if you were in a live concert. While dynamic mics have very heavy diaphragms, condenser mics have very thin diaphragms that allow them to capture quieter sounds (with low input fidelity) with a high degree of accuracy.

But how do they do that? Well, it’s pretty simple. First, condenser mics have diaphragms made of very thin metal usually gold-sputtered mylar. Besides this metallic plate, there’s another piece of metal called a backplate.

So, for the mic to offer a detailed sensitivity and fidelity response, an electric current is passed through the two metal plates allowing the microphone to capture low-frequency sound waves. Since electricity must be present for these microphones to work, you need to find a reliable source of power that can either be via USB cable, XLR cable, or batteries.

 

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q1: What’s the Difference Between Condenser and Dynamic Microphones?

 

Although they’re considered closer cousins, both of these mics have a very different working mechanism. Dynamic mics on their side work in a similar fashion as audio speakers. Their diaphragms are made of either plastic or polyester film. A metal coil is attached to the diaphragm then suspended between two magnets. So, when this mic detects some sound, the diaphragm vibrates causing the metal coil to move up and down between the magnets creating an AC current that mimics the sound being produced.

On the other hand, a condenser microphone shares a similar working principle as a capacitor. The diaphragm is placed close to a metal plate. When the two are charged with static current, the diaphragm, usually made of thin metal, starts to vibrate producing an electric current that mimics the sound being produced.

 

Q2: How Far Should I Be From a Condenser Microphone?

 

Whether it’s singing, podcasting, or voice-over recording, maintaining proper distance or proximity from your microphone is usually very important. In most cases, vocals are considered to be high-frequency sounds which are normally directional. This means that the further away you are from the microphone, or maybe if you happen to turn your head away from the mic, the more the microphone

will struggle to capture your voice. This results in a dull sound being produced.

Therefore, to maintain proper sound consistency, you should position your condenser mic about 6-14-inches away from your mouth. On the other hand, coming too close to the mic’s diaphragm isn’t recommended either. Since these mics are too sensitive, there will be a lot of boominess and distortion in your voice. In this case, you can use a pop filter for assistance.

 

Q3: What is Phantom Power?

 

In simple terms, phantom power is the amount of DC voltage that’s needed to power your condenser microphone. In most cases, this DC voltage ranges from +48V, and its mostly derived from your audio interface or preamp.

 

Q4: Are Condenser Mics Good for Vocals, Drums, and Acoustic Guitars?

 

If you’re looking to capture a decent range of frequencies, a condenser mic with a large diaphragm is the best to consider in the case of vocals. On the other hand, if you’re using an acoustic guitar alongside other music instruments, a small diaphragm condenser is the best to consider.

 

Final Thoughts

This segment of the best condenser mic under 100 is quite interesting for several reasons. The list has pretty awesome, well-stocked, and quite versatile mics that prove to be efficient despite being in the entry-level market. They have a lot of dynamics and heart thumbing features that make them the best for both intermediate and professional home studio setups.

While the low price is usually synonymous to low quality, you shouldn’t allow the price to scare you as the most respected brands in microphone technology are also considering producing high-quality microphones at affordable prices.

As I conclude, I would like to recommend you to peruse through our list of the best condenser mics to know which mics will work well in your specific situation. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide section which you can follow when making an informed choice.