Buyer's Guides

Best Microphones for Recording Bass - Make Your Rhythm Section Sing!

It’s not rare that people will discuss one aspect of a song as being its ‘foundation’ in a slightly overstated way. But when it comes to the bass, it really does deserve this moniker. If you don’t record your electric bass properly, you are potentially robbing your track of the roots that bind everything together, especially in genres such as rock, country, indie, and others that use the traditional rock band setup. Hence why choosing the best microphone for recording bass is an important decision.

There are two ways to record electric bass. You can either record your bass guitar directly through a mixing console, audio interface, or DI box (often known as ‘DI recording’, aka ‘direct injection’). Alternatively, there is the traditional method of preamp miking a bass amp. And while traditional methods being better isn’t an objective truism, the general consensus across pro-producers and engineers is that using a great mic with an amp or bass cabinet is the winner to achieve the greatest sound, warmth, fulness, and punch.

So to capture the amp’s sound and get a brilliant-sounding bass track, let’s dive into the best microphones for recording bass on the market in 2023. And don’t worry, you certainly don’t have to be a millionaire to get amazing-sounding bass.

AKG Perception P2

  • Brilliant sound for such an affordable mic
  • One of the most trusted names in the biz

Entering first in our list of the best mics for recording electric bass guitar, is one of the most affordable mics you can get your hands on. But, as is increasingly the case in the last few years, buying an affordable microphone absolutely does not mean you are buying a bad microphone.

Little surprise it comes from Austrian audiophiles AKG. The Perception P2 is a high-performance dynamic bass microphone that is simply brilliant for low-end instruments such as the bass guitar and its accompanying bass amp, as well as kick drums, trombones and more. The cardioid polar pattern reduces crosstalk and feedback. Its durable metal build means it's ready to head out on the road with you, and the integrated stand adapter ensures ease of use.


Shure SM57

  • One of the most widely used mics on the planet at an unbeatable price
  • Tight and detailed sound

At this point a truly legendary microphone, the Shure SM57 comfortably slides into the best microphones for recording bass conversation. In fact, this microphone should factor in any conversation regarding mics, not simply for recording bass guitar, but also recording electric guitar. Especially when you can grab one for £100/$100 or less.

It’s a dynamic mic with a cardioid pattern, has a 40 Hz-15 kHz frequency response, and includes a handy stand adapter and carrying case. Paired with bass amps, expect a tight sound and to be able to hear all the detail when recording. If you also throw in a DI to bring in the lowest frequencies, you’ll have a combination that brings stunning tone and low-end.


Sennheiser e602 II

  • Lovely aluminium build
  • Fast transient response

Time for some German excellence as Sennheiser, also known for their much-beloved headphones, enter the fray. To discuss the best microphones for recording bass and not mention the e602 II would be churlish.

This Sennheiser bass recording mic is most suitable for working with bass guitar cabinets, tubas, bass drums, and a few more bassy instruments. Both solid and light to carry, you won’t have trouble positioning it in your studio setup.


Audix D6

  • Two mic clips and carrying pouch included
  • Pairs brilliantly with bass cabinets

Over to Taiwan now for the Audix D6. It’s definitely worth looking east when considering the best mics for recording bass guitar, as this is a dynamic microphone that will capture those low frequencies in stunning fashion. Also pairs very nicely with kick drums, toms, large percussion, and, most importantly here, bass cabinets.

If you’re after a strong low end with plenty of clarity, the D6 might be the microphone for you. It utilises Audix’s VLM diaphragm, known for accurate and natural sound capture. And because it can handle sound pressure levels of up to 144 dB, it really is ideal for getting the most out of your bass cabinet.


Heil PR40

  • A great mic that happens to be great for both bass and podcasting
  • Captures low frequencies without distortion

Based in Illinois, USA, the PR40 from Heil Sound is the first mic in this list to consider if your best mic for bass considerations goes beyond the affordable mic list above. So for those with a little more budget, the PR40 is a great option as it superbly handles all ranges of frequencies and sound pressure levels without adding distortion to your recording.

Interestingly, it also happens to be a fantastic microphone for recording vocals, and is equally popular amongst podcasters and broadcasters as well as those recording bass guitar. In fact, the film Letters From Iwo Jima taped the PR40 to the side of military cannons, which went on to win an Oscar. So there you go — for Academy Award-winning sound, Heil Sound could be your mic.


Electro-Voice RE20

  • Fantastic vintage aesthetic
  • Heard on hundreds of hit records and film scores

The RE20 from Electro-Voice picked up a gong in 2015 at the TEC Technology Hall of Fame awards, recognised for its amazing contribution to the worlds of recording and broadcasting. And it absolutely gets nominated in this list for being amongst the best microphones for recording bass, being the absolute industry standard that it is.

A true workhorse piece of gear, it also serves as a top microphone for vocals, guitar amps, snare and tom recordings. For bass, its flat frequency response and smooth sound has been enjoyed by countless professional engineers around the world. There is also virtually no proximity effect, something that is almost impossible to achieve with a dynamic mic. We’re in the upper echelons of microphone pricing now, but this is a special mic.


DPA 4055

  • Great mic for either studio or live work
  • Also one of the best kick drum mics out there

Our wildcard entry is the DPA 4055, most famous for recording kick drums. But considering that almost every mic that is good at recording bass will also do so very well with kick drums and other low-frequency instruments, we’re not actually being that kooky by including the 4055.

It excels in both studio and live music settings and is extremely versatile. And, yes, it is the most expensive product here, but rest assured that it is built to last. And you will be deeply impressed by the extremes of frequency that it can capture, with no added distortion or equalisation. If money isn’t a big concern, then DPA could be your people.


Combining microphone and DI recordings

As we established earlier, to get the best and most authentic recording results with bass guitar, you definitely want to record bass with a microphone rather than a DI alone. With that being said, a great cheat code is to combine the two.

Because, even if you have the best microphone money can buy, there are many factors that will prevent you from picking up certain frequencies, such as your setup, room ambience and more. A console or interface happily solves this issue. The mic will capture the gritty, growling sound of the bass amp, which of course many people love. Add a DI signal, and you can also get those deep and clean tones to give you the fullest, tastiest bass sound.

Even the most affordable audio interfaces such as the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 can achieve this with no issues.

So whether you’re a bass player yourself, a producer or an engineer, hopefully, you now feel fully equipped to venture forth into the world of microphones and unleash a brilliant bass sound upon the world. Happy travels in the world of low-end!