6 Best Mic Preamp For Vocals – 2021

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Best Mic Preamp For Vocals

Even if you buy a high-quality microphone, it cannot give you the best sound if you don’t have preamps. These control the frequency to help you enjoy a crisp and clean sound. In the sound engineering industry, finding the best preamp for vocals is essential. Due to the advancement in technology, you can get a good preamplifier even if you have a low budget. We will review some of the best mic preamps for vocals to help you find an ideal one. Before we start, this comparison table should give you a clue of what our discussion is all about.

Comparison table

Product Channels Weight Call to action
Focusrite Octopre 8 15.43 pounds Check price here
Grace Design M101 1 4.41 pounds Check price here
ART Pro MPA II 2 12.13 pounds Check price here
Behringer Ultragain Pro MIC2200 2 5.07 pounds Check price here
DBX 286s 1 5.07 pounds Check price here
Presonus blue tube DP 2 4 pounds Check price here


Introduction to mic preamps and how to choose the best one

A microphone preamp is often used in different environments like home studios and recording studios. Musicians looking to clarify their sound make use of mic preamps. It is also a useful device that comes in handy during news broadcasting,

Since microphones transmit weak signals, they cannot produce high-quality sound independently. That is why mic preamps are used to solve this issue. These devices not only enhance the signal but also minimize unwanted noise. Mic preamps have diverse functions that make it easy for you to manipulate sound according to your preference.

Due to their relevance, you should consider adding a mic preamp in your mixing setup. It is also a crucial investment for musicians who perform live. Mic preamps come in different forms, and being able to distinguish each type can help you achieve your specific needs with ease. They are divided into categories like the solid-state, tube, digital, and hybrid preamps.

Choosing an ideal mic preamp can be challenging for new musicians due to the wide array of options available. You should, however, start by determining your specific requirements before you start shopping for one. If you want to achieve a particular sound, you should consider a solid-state or tube model. If you want a versatile and powerful mic preamp that offers a lot of functionality, you should compare the individual models available in the market.

Your budget should also guide you into choosing the right mic preamp for vocals.  You need to compare the specifications of different models to ensure that you get the most value for your money. Let us look at the best mic preamp for vocals.


Focusrite Octopre

Whether you are professional or amateur in the music industry, you can always benefit from this mic preamp. It is a high-quality device that comes with all the necessary features to help you clarify sound. It comes with eight high-quality channels that have enabled it to win industry awards.

Focus Octopre also contains a light pipe output that can support up to 110db. It is a flexible model that offers ADAT outputs to help you expand your interface. It is also equipped with anti-clip technology. Even if you expose this mic preamp to harsh output spikes, it does not affect the quality of your sound negatively. Each of the channels can sport 10db pads, preventing overdrive. Most customers are also impressed by the LED input meters of this device. They are generously distributed, thus making it easy to craft sound accurately. You can still use the mic preamp in a gig venue or environments such as a bar or club.

Apart from vocals, you can also use this mic preamp to track drums, keyboards or guitars. The generous headroom can accommodate your ribbon, condenser, and dynamic mics. It also features phantom power for any mic that needs it.


  • It comes with a useful LED display
  • It offers versatility
  • The mic preamp handles high output levels without clipping
  • Easy setup


  • Some people find it costly

Grace Design M101

From humble beginnings, the company behind this model has managed to grow at a consistent rate and become one of the best producers of mic preamps. Grace Design Company is now a well-known and respected producer of several musical devices suitable for studios and gig venues. It is known for producing reliable preamps, and this specific model reflects this.

The mic preamp comes with an aluminum faceplate and steel casing. It is well constructed to give you many years of service. One of the things that you cannot miss about this model is its high level of functionality. Grace design mic preamp comes with an instrument input and a phantom power switch. You also get a standard power switch and ribbon control from this model.

Most professionals choose this model over the others because it is not only a high-quality device but also an affordable one. Grace Design M101 delivers high-quality output and balance. The manufacturer creates it in such a way that it can bring out the real sound of your microphone. The mic preamp for vocals can offer a gain boost of up 75db. You get clear sound without any unwanted hiss even on the high end. It eliminates any undesirable output and clipping issues.



  • It comes in a stylish design
  • The mic preamp is solidly made
  • It has an impressive sound-enhancing capability


  • It lacks a polarity reverse switch


If you have been in the industry for a while, you may have come across devices from this company. The manufacturer is known for producing high-end equipment and prices them reasonably to accommodate musicians with different budgets. It specializes in making vacuum tube preamps for vocals. These devices from Applied Research Technology are not only versatile but also deliver high-quality sound.

This specific model comes in a robust construction. You will like the housing of this mic preamp. It is suitable for a fast pace venue, such as a concert. The mic preamp also contains numerous features that enhance sound. Since it features a 48V phantom power function, you can use it with condenser mics. You can also use it for stereo or dual-mono requirements due to the incorporation of variable input impedance. This feature varies the performance of ribbon and dynamic microphones and gives you flexible mic voicing. It also provides minimal noise at low gain settings.

The technology used in designing this model makes it ideal for sound engineers and musicians of any level. It is a user-friendly preamp that comes with an impressive price tag. The device operates at a high plate or low voltage to deliver a wide variation of tone. You can use the output meters to check the output and input levels of the mic preamp. It also contains LED displays that come in handy during live mixing.


  • It is a powerful and versatile preamplifier
  • Robust construction


  • It does not produce the best sound when used with ribbon mics

Behringer Ultragain Pro MIC2200

Boost your output by choosing a high-quality mic preamp for vocals. Whether you make use of DAT recorders or hard disk recorders, you will enjoy the performance of this mic preamp. Though it is a 2 line unit, it boasts low noise levels. It also comes with a built-in vacuum tube that adds clarity and warmth to your output.

When you use this preamp with any mic, you should expect a clear and crisp sound from it. It also comes with an LED feature that offers precise cutting. This mic preamp contains a 48 V phantom power and soft mute to prevent switch-on thumps. The phantom power also adds warmth to different types of microphones, such as condenser mics.

You can easily switch or tune the high pass filter included. If you experience any phrase related issues, you can correct them using the switchable phase reverse. This is a suitable device for live and studio applications.


  • It comes with high-quality components
  • The rugged construction of this mic preamp enhances durability
  • Low noise operation
  • Contains excellent output and input connectors


  • Some professionals find the manual extremely basic

DBX 286s

One of the pioneers in the recording industry is DBX. This company is known for producing the best mic preamp for vocals. They first began with providing single signal audio devices but later expanded their product range. DBX continues to shine by offering high-quality models such as DBX 286s. This adds clarity and unrivaled quality to vocals. Most of the voiceover artists and singers find this a crucial piece to add to their kit.

This comprises of 4 different studio vocal processors which you can use together or separately. It performs well since it fine-tunes your output while at the same time minimizing unwanted sound. Like most of the models we have discussed, this also features 48V phantom power. You also get additional features such as input gain control and a reliable high pass filter to help you get rid of low-frequency hum or wind.

You can make use of the overeasy compressor to smoothen out any uneven acoustic tracks. The HF detail control can help you add crispness to different tracks while the LF detail control adds an element of depth to your vocals. It also contains ratio controls that minimize headphone leakage. DBX 286s offers high precision manipulation that is difficult to achieve from choosing some of the mic preamps for vocals.


  • Delivers great precision and clarity
  • It is affordable
  • It contains an enhancer which increases the definition of frequencies
  • The status LEDs give you a visual guide to achieve the desired sound


  • It lacks an on/off switch

Presonus blue tube DP

Even though the manufacturers of this specific brand have not existed longer than some other companies, they have managed to be one of the leaders in the music industry. They specialize in live sound hardware and software as well as audio equipment. Apart from mic preamps, they also produce monitors, mixers, speakers, and processors.

When we focus on this specific model, the first thing that captivates us is its stylish design. Presonus Blue tube has a blue faceplate and illuminated input meters. Since it can support both solid-state and vacuum tube mics, most people find it quite versatile.

It is a compact mic preamp that can deliver numerous tones. The mic preamp also features a high pass filter, polarity reverse switch and minus 20db pad to regulate hot input signals. The manufacturer also equips it with instrument inputs making it suitable for serious gigging. It delivers high headroom, smooth highs, and deep lows.

Apart from its performance, the construction of this mic preamp is impressive. It has a rugged case that makes it easy to move around. Since it also comes in a small size, you can easily carry it inside your gig bag or mount it in a regular rack tray. Choosing this model over the rest can help you enjoy a high level of functionality. If you intend to hit numerous basses using a single unit, you should consider choosing Presonus Blue tube DP.


  • Has a stylish design
  • Varied functionality
  • It produces a warm, smooth sound without any noise


  • The outputs are unbalanced

Final thoughts

If you are serious about your music profession, you need to produce the sound that is up to the recommended recording standards. The best mic preamp for vocals can help you achieve this since it enhances the signal to help you enjoy a well-balanced sound. We have discussed some of the best mic preamps available for vocals. Apart from going through the specific reviews, you have to consider your current situation as well as your end goals for you to choose the best mic preamp.

Hi, I'm Red, the Chief Editor of Red Diamond Audio.