Shure Beta 98HC Miniature

Miniature Condenser microphone

The Karma K-Micro burst onto the scene as a really, really cheap microphone - their first run sold for 99 cents per mic! Offering a wide frequency response, a cardioid pickup pattern, and limitless possibilities due to it's small size, the Karma K-Micro is a steal at it's current price of $26 (sold as a matched pair). Perfect for drums (overheads and spot-micing) as well as guitar amps, the K-Micro falls short for room micing and live recording.


  • Low Price - $13 per microphone in pairs
  • Wide Frequency Response
  • Small Size


  • Frequency Response: 50Hz to 13kHz
  • Max SPL: 145db
  • Cardioid Polar Pattern
  • Cost: $13 (Sold individually, or as a pack of matched pairs for slightly more).
The K-Micro has an advertised frequency response of 50Hz to 13kHz, which isn't too bad for a cheap microphone; it sounded great when tested on toms and snare, as well as for drum overheads.

One great feature of the tiny K-Micro is the ability to put it virtually anywhere you'd want it; I was able to use a small piece of gaffer's tape to place the microphone on the high-hat stand of a drum kit for an unobtrusive hat mic; I also was able to stick it in a large drum kit's tom set without disrupting the large cymbal pack directly above (tip: a Sennheiser 409 clip holds them perfectly). So, logistical success aside, how do they sound? Simply, surprisingly good. Really good, in fact! My favorite use for these little guys was on toms. Sound quality was tight, refined, and robust when used on toms.

The K-Micro on guitar amp was also another surprise. With good tone reproduction and an impressive low-mid range texture, it made all but the loudest guitar amps sound fantastic. For drum overheads, it works equally well, but for me, the mics needed a little EQ and a touch of compression to sound great.

The area where the K-Micro really didn't do very well was room micing and live recording. For PA recording, it sounded slightly hollow; the bass response overpowered the mid-range, and with extension to 13kHz, the mic was lacking the sparkle of other mid-range microphones.

OK, so does this mic and mics like it...

by liltalker

Need an external pre-amp and/or mixing board, or would an XLR to 1/8" to iMic work. What are the pros & cons of phantom powered vs the type of direct-into-USB type mic that is available for $35-100. I mean I understand that the quality of the large condenser mic is inherently much more sensitive an instrument, but am I losing that quality by taking it directly into the computer? I'm running a Mac G3 B&W Tower running 10.3.6, and planning on using GarageBand to record, mix, burn and/or send voiceover work. I don't have the budget right now for any real hardware apart from more memory, maybe an iMic, maybemaybe good microphone (can borrow decent video XLR in the meantime)

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