Mic preamps are frequently overlooked recording gear when in reality, they are very useful.
Yes, you can record a microphone with an audio interface, but for more sound control and options, you should use microphone preamps.
They have great features that are useful to record vocals, instruments, or amps.
What’s The Best Mic Preamp?
So, if you record with a microphone a lot, here are some of the best mic preamps you can use to record professional-sounding tracks.
1. Warm Audio WA73
Amazing mic preamp and EQ in one box.
Warm Audio WA73 is not only a fantastic mic preamp but it’s also a great analog EQ. It has a simple interface but you can record high-quality sounds with this device.
This is a single-channel preamp with mic and instrument inputs, phantom power, and four EQ bands. First, you have a HPF of up to 300kHz and three additional knobs for low, mid, and high frequencies.
2. Focusrite Scarlett OctoPre Dynamic
Perhaps the best microphone preamp in this price range.
Focusrite makes one of the best audio interfaces on the market but they offer amazing mic preamps too, namely OctoPre Dynamic. This is an eight-channel preamp with lots of great features.
Apart from that, each channel has a dedicated compressor which is one of my favorite features. Additionally, you get a phantom power, a nice meter for volume control, and other cool options such as sample rate, sync, and more.
3. AEA RPQ2
One of the best mic preamps for vocals.
Marketed as a ribbon microphone preamp, AEA RPQ2 is much more. I have used it for a couple of years and I’m amazed by the sound quality and overall features.
It’s a two-channel mic preamp and each channel offers mic gain, output, low-frequency cut, and one EQ band. Also, it has a DI input and phantom power to record condenser microphones.
4. Audient ASP880
A very powerful mic preamp for home recording studios.
Audient ASP880 is a beautiful piece of gear and one of the best preamps for vocals. Each channel has its own controls and features which makes it a very diverse and easy-to-use equipment.
First of all, it has the option to choose a sample rate and two DI inputs for recording DI signals. And for each channel, you can control options such as phase, HPF, engage PAD mode, control gain, and much more.
5. Behringer ADA8200
Excellent and affordable preamp for microphones.
If you want a cheap mic preamp then Behringer ADA8200 might be the best for your home studio. It has an eight-channel, records in 24-bit depth, and offers phantom power.
Every channel has a mic and line inputs, line outs, and a gain control knob. It also offers options such as sync, clocking, and everything else you need to record high-quality sounds with a studio mic.
6. Golden Age Pre73
Single channel mic preamp with useful features and great sound.
Golden Age Pre73 is another amazing and simple mic preamp that can do a lot of things. I had the pleasure to record vocals and guitars with it and Pre73 worked just perfectly.
In general, this is a mic preamp/DI with a +48 phantom power and a polarity reverse option. EQ-wise it offers two types of high pass filter and air boost which enhances frequency around 30kHz.
Having the best mic preamp in your studio is essential if you mostly use microphones for recording and this list will help you to choose the one suited for your needs.