Sterling Audio ST51 Review: The Best Budget Condenser Microphone 2022?

Are you looking for microphones on a tight budget? Then you won’t want to miss out on the Sterling Audio ST51 condenser microphone, which is now on sale. In terms of low-cost condenser microphones, the Sterling Audio ST51 is one of the better alternatives available. It has a big diaphragm and uses a field-effect transistor (FET). The Sterling Audio ST51 is a wonderful introductory microphone that is known for its warm sound. It is a reasonably priced alternative for beginners and home studio owners.

The Sterling Audio ST51 is a well-built microphone with a good, light, and sturdy body. It has a black nickel-plated, all brass body with a metalized front and a metalized body. The ST51 diaphragm is made of 6-micron material, as opposed to the 3-micron material used in the ST66, ST59, and ST55 models. Most Sterling Audio mics are variations on the Groove Tubes type, but this one does not seem to be one of them.

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✅ Sterling Audio ST51 Large Diaphragm FET Condenser Microphone (Standard)

Great vocal pick-up with low background noise pickup! Love this mix it’s cheap and very awesome !!!! – I picked up this mic on the advice of a friend for podcasting. It is awesome!! Don’t forget to get a pop filter! You need to position it close to your mouth, not a problem if you have a boom (i.e. within 3 or 4 inches if you don’t get claustrophobic 😛 ) and the sound is fantastic!

Sterling Audio ST51 Class A Fet is a Condenser Mic, not a Dynamic Mic. There is a major difference, which means it uses a Phantom Power connection to work. I purchased this Mic a few years back and it is a workhorse for me in my studio. It took a lot of abuse from many different performs and it still works where my Dynamic mics give up after some idiot intentionally drops it trying to make a statement and then get the bill. This is a great mic and well worth the dollars I originally gave for it.

I concluded that I just liked the sound of the ST51. It was a bit warmer than the small diaphragm microphones. Its cardioid pickup pattern did not feedback easily, and its signal-to-noise ratio was good enough that I could increase the gain significantly. This allowed more distance between the audio source (me or my instrument) and the microphone. I found that I could better work the dynamics of the ST51, and also sing duet harmonies with my band using just the single mic.

I also tested the ST51 as an instrument microphone. Again I found that the larger diaphragm renders a warmer sound while recording my guitar or a violin.

Cymbals sound natural and not too bright, have great warmth, and very evenly pick up the overall sound of my kit. Through in the close mics and it all sounds GREAT! Perfect for budget/home studio drummers/engineers in my opinion.

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✅ Don’t forget to use with Pop filter

Easy to mount and has great coverage on the mic – The hardware is very strong and is well padded both on the clamp and the screw so that it will mount securely onto a mic stand without marring the stand finish. It also stays exactly where you put it. The gooseneck adjusts easily, and yet also stays exactly where you position it. The black double nylon screen material is good-looking, has good tension (no wrinkles), and does a good job of removing plosives.

Many cost-efficient pop filters have a flimsy gooseneck, but not this one. It stays where you put it, prevents plosives from hitting the mike, and has a sturdy clamp. What more could you ask for?

You should also learn what affects the sound quality of your recordings the most? And understand how to choose the best mic for your home recording studio or for music production.


  • Clean sound
  • Accurate recording
  • Easy to use
  • Not as responsive in the high end, so it is less prone to sibilance
  • Warmer sound that other folks might consider a bit “muddy”
  • Well constructed solid electronics. It has a solid body and wind screen to protect the diaphragm
  • Great price for the quality


  • For home studios or beginners only
  • Not recommended for professional studio use
  • The XLR connection (for reasons unknown) is sensitive to bad XLR cables resulting in terrible line noise if the cable is bumped. A dedicated cable is needed to pair to this mic.
  • The mic clip that comes with the ST51 is of cheep soft metal. This quickly became stripped so that it doesn’t securely mate with any mic stand. I.e. you cannot trust this mic to other band members who do not respect the clip.
  • The mic is heavy so that it takes a robust stand and clip to secure it.

Editor Rating

Sound Quality80%
Ease Of Use95%
Worth It?100%

Budget Buying – Cheap Condenser Microphone

It is often compared to the Audio-Technica AT2020, which is not a large-diaphragm condenser but is a comparable-priced device in the same category. The ST51 needs phantom power and performs best when used with a recording device. The Sterling Audio ST51 is a microphone that is best suited for capturing acoustic sounds and voices because of its warm quality. It consistently produces a very dry and flat recording. Despite the fact that it is mostly used for male voices (as is the case with most microphones in this price range, it seems), female singers have been generally pleased with its overall performance as well.

Its sensitivity of 32mV/Pa means that it is capable of picking up even the smallest bump in any area of the recording studio. The Sterling Audio ST51 is noted for its ability to generate amazing results when the EQs are properly adjusted and the highs are adequately enhanced. In addition, it should be mentioned that ST51 has developed quite a reputation among voiceover artists.

The ST51 does the job I thought I was going to need the ST55 for.

The clarity and response is quite good, my recordings pick up things i didn’t even notice when playing. The bass reproduction is very good, maybe a little too good.

I recorded a female country vocalist with it today and the vocals were so warm and true. i almost am afraid to edit now. worth every penny!!!!

I have three other supposed to be higher end mic’s and they don’t have the clarity or sound as crisp as this mic. Every since I have purchased this mic. I have not used any other mic. It sounds good in padded and open rooms recording vocals or whatever. I strongly recommend using this mic. you will get the sound you want without it costing a lot of money!

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