Why are Studio Microphones so Expensive?

Malcolm Tatum

The use of special microphones in recording environments has tended to lead to specialized products that are more expensive than many other forms of microphones. But what are some of the factors that make good quality studio microphones more expensive? Here are some of the reasons why the cost of studio microphones often exceeds the price tags of other types of microphone equipment.

Special applications of studio microphones make them quite expensive.
Special applications of studio microphones make them quite expensive.

One of the most common reasons why a studio microphone is more expensive than other types of microphone equipment is that a number of studio microphones are capable of different types of applications. While some studio microphones are customized for voice capture and others for use with one musical instrument or another, there are a number of brands that are configured to work well with both vocals and music. Because these types of studio microphones can be used for more than one type of recording, they often will cost a little more than studio microphones that are designed for one particular application.

A microphone.
A microphone.

Another factor in the cost of microphones made for studio use has to do with the brand names involved. Just as with many types of products, companies that have been in the business for many years are easily recognized and trusted by the public. Much of this trust was built up over time, and based on the consistent quality of the brands from one year to the next.

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For example, the brand probably built a reputation by providing excellent sound clarity and solid construction that held up well under a great deal of use for an extended period of time. A reputation for conducting extensive quality checks before marketing a product will also help to make the brand more appealing to the general public. Name recognition usually translates into a product that is considered more desirable and safe. This means that the price tag for name brand studio microphones can be a little more than brands that are not as well known in the industry.

A third consideration in the cost of studio microphones has to do with the level of technology that is employed with the product. The fact of the matter is that the use of the latest and the greatest in technological innovation means a higher cost per unit. This is as true with studio microphones as with any other technological product. Over time, the cost will usually settle into a particular niche as newer ideas come along, but may still remain somewhat expensive.

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