The best USB microphones

Whether you're streaming or podcasting, we've got you sorted with our best USB microphones guide.

A man recording a podcast with a microphone in front of him

by Isabel Martins |
Updated on

Streaming and content creation has become increasingly more popular over the past few years, including on YouTube and Twitch. More and more people are entering this world, either as a hobby or a serious career undertaking.

And when it comes to vlogging, streaming, or podcasting, both experienced and beginners will know that a great quality microphone is crucial. If you're looking to purchase a new microphone, you're spoilt for choice, with the likes of JLAB, Shure and Yeti offering some of the best models on the market.

Benefits of a good microphone

A great microphone can determine whether you spend hours on the post-production aspect, or whether this time is cut in half. Additionally, if you have a low-quality microphone, there are certain things post-production just can't fix. A top-quality microphone will create excellent audio quality, making the experience for the listener a much more enjoyable one.

Ultimately, no matter what you'll be using the USB microphone for, your goal is to maximise your potential audience reach, and the smoother the audio is, the more likely people are to keep listening or tune in.

We've done all of the leg work for you and have rounded up the best USB microphones that you can purchase right now, for a range of different uses. What's especially great about USB microphones is that they are usually lower in cost, and can help enhance your audio for any Zoom, Skype or Teams meetings.

If you're just starting out and have a couple of questions, make sure you keep scrolling for our FAQs section below. Here, you'll find answers to what a USB microphone is, as well as the different types of microphones out there.

Best USB microphones at a glance:

Blue Yeti X USB Mic

Rode Podcaster

Shure MV7 USB

HyperX QuadCast USB Microphone

Samson Meteor USB Microphone - Chrome

Razer Seiren X - Streaming USB

JLab Audio Talk USB Microphone Plug

Best USB microphones in detail:

Best USB microphone for professionals

If there's ever a microphone built for professional use, it's this one. Boasting four different polar patterns - stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid and bidirectional - it is incredibly versatile and you'll find there's very little it is not suited to. Additionally, due to its four condenser mic capsules, it records some of the best sounding and crisp audio, making it an excellent choice for podcasters, too.

Specifications
Connection USB
Polar pattern Stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, bidirectional
Type of microphone Condenser

Best USB microphone for podcasters

What's excellent about this microphone is that it has been uniquely designed for podcasters. It has an internal capsule shock mounting, which helps remove any rumbles and exterior noise from the audio you want to capture. It also boasts an in-built pop filter that captures any plosives, making the microphone ideal for capturing dialogue or speech.

Specifications
Connection USB
Polar pattern Cardioid
Type of microphone Condenser

Best USB microphone for vloggers and pocasters
Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone
Price: $249.00
Alternative retailers
Adorama$113.00View offer
B&H Photo Video$249.00View offer

As it can connect via USB and XLR, this mic extremely adaptable and easy to connect, both to your laptop and to your mixer board. It hardly picks up any background noise, and the audio produced is incredibly full, rich and smooth. It's excellent for vloggers and podcasts alike as the cardioid polar pattern will only capture the audio you want.

Specifications
Connection USB, XLR
Polar pattern Cardioid
Type of microphone Dynamic

Best USB microphone for live gaming
HyperX QuadCast USB Microphone

Rrp: $139.99

Price: $99.00
Alternative retailers
Walmart$99.00View offer
Target$99.99View offer
HP$99.99View offer
BuyDig.com$119.99View offer

It's easy to see why this is one of Amazon's best sellers. The HyperX QuadCast brings incredibly clear and crisp audio to live gaming, and the shock mount is ideal for anyone who gets truly immersed and a little too animated in their game. It also has some pretty useful features, such as the low-profile gain dial, and tap-to-mute.

Specifications
Connection USB
Polar pattern Cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, bidirectional
Type of microphone Condenser

Best USB microphone for beginners
Samson Meteor USB Microphone - Chrome
Price: $39.00
Alternative retailers
Adorama$24.00View offer
B&H Photo Video$42.99View offer
Walmart$45.00View offer
Best Buy$68.99View offer

Another excellent choice is the Samson Meteor. This microphone is lightweight and compact, making it easily transportable, so if you're always on the move, this may just be ideal for you. It's excellent for any beginner streamers, vloggers or podcasters. We especially love that its legs are adjustable, making it a great option for recording instruments, vocals and speech.

Specifications
Connection USB
Polar pattern Cardioid
Type of microphone Condenser

Best budget USB microphone
Razer Seiren X - Streaming USB
Price: $133.45

Whilst having a great microphone is a necessity, you don't need to break the bank to get your hands on one. As well as being very affordable, the Razer Seiren X is incredibly precise due to its super-cardioid polar pattern, so it will pick up the exact audio you wish and none of that pesky background noise.

Specifications
Connection USB
Polar pattern Supercardioid
Type of microphone Condenser

Recommended
JLab Audio Talk USB Microphone Plug
Price: $59.99

If you're looking for a very versatile microphone, consider the Jlab Audio Talk USB microphone. It has four different polar patterns: cardioid, omnidirectional, stereo and bidirectional, making it an awesome choice for both streamers and podcasters alike!

Specifications
Connection USB
Polar pattern Cardioid, omnidirectional, stereo, bidirectional
Type of microphone Condenser

What is a USB microphone?

This simply means that the microphone will have a USB output, which is super handy as it means you can directly connect the microphone to a computer.

What are the different types of microphones?

Microphones usually fit into one of three categories: dynamic, condenser or ribbon. We've included dynamic and condenser selections in our roundup, as these are better suited for podcasting, streaming and vlogging.

Isabel Martins is a Commercial Content Writer for What's The Best, specialising in technology.

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