Whether you’re a vlogger or comedian, if you’re on YouTube to create content for the masses to consume, it goes without saying that you need some quality hardware for your videos. Capturing video and audio using your smartphone doesn’t cut it. Smartphones don’t have the video or audio quality that you’d need for editing and consumption.
Although a lot of people do tend to focus on getting a great camera for their videos, a lot of them tend to skimp on the microphones, since most think that lapel mics are good enough. The truth is, they’re not. There is no singular best microphone for YouTube, but here are some of the best options.
Best USB Microphones for YouTube
1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti has become the de facto choice for most YouTubers, and for a good reason. Priced at $128 on Amazon, it’s one of the best microphones you can get, even if you’re on a budget. Also, it also comes in a range of colors, so you aren’t limited to choice.
Regarding build quality, the Yeti can solidly contend for the title of best USB microphone regarding build quality.
Regarding picking up sound, the Yeti rivals some of the best YouTube microphones out there. It picks up even the most minute of sounds. That also means that you’ll want a quiet area to record your videos.
Another advantage that the Yeti has is the different sound profiles you can record from. You can choose between Cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo. So, depending on whether you’re a streamer or a vlogger, for you, this is likely to be the microphone for YouTube videos.
Regarding ports selection, the Yeti is fairly modest. It has one USB port, to provide power. A 6 foot USB cable is provided with the package, so you’re set there. Another port is the 3.5 mm headphone jack output, which you can either hook up to your computer, or to your headphones so that you can hear exactly what’s being captured.
- 4 different recording patterns
- Sturdy build quality
- Backed by Blue’s legendary reputation in audio
- Beautiful design
All in all, the Yeti is a worthy contender for being one of the best microphones that you can get at this price range, offering features that aren’t even found in higher end microphones.
2. Apogee MiC 96k
If you’re a vlogger, then the chances are that you won’t be sitting quietly in your room to record your videos. You’ll be out and about, trying to capture different facets of your life to share with your viewers. That’s where you need the best microphone that you can use on the move.
That’s where the Apogee Mic 96k comes in. The Apogee is specifically designed to be used with iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices. It’s also compatible with Mac and Windows so that you can edit on your PC as well.
Regarding features, the Apogee has two ports, a USB port for power and a 3.5 mm headphone jack for audio output.
The sound quality is clear and crisp, it a good microphone for YouTube production and editing. The construction is also rather solid, so you don’t have to worry about the occasional bump when you’re vlogging outdoors. The metal construction is a nice and welcome departure from other microphones for YouTube videos that you’d find in this segment.
- Connects with iOS and MacOS
- Extremely portable
- Sound quality is clean and without distortion
If you’re someone that works extensively with iOS and MacOS, and need a quality microphone on a budget, then it’s worth checking out the Apogee MiC 96k. It’s on Amazon for $200, and if you’re lucky, you can snag a deal as well. The only thing that you might have to be slightly worried about is the fact that it doesn’t have any bundled software, so that might make setup a little difficult for people who aren’t used to it.
3. Razer Seiren
Razer is a brand that’s known for high-quality gaming peripherals, and the Seiren stays true to their lineage.
Priced at $179, it’s a great microphone at this segment. Boasting some great features and good build quality, this is the best YouTube microphone to get if you’re into the streaming segment, and truly want to complete your Razer peripheral collection.
As far as the best microphone for YouTube game streaming is concerned, this ranks highly at the top of the affordable segment.
In stark contrast to usual Razer peripherals, the Seiren does not feature Razer’s signature Chroma RGB LED scheme, but the understated looks make it look more professional.
There’s a small LCD screen on the Seiren which shows the battery and recording status. Another icon on the far right shows the recording pattern, since this can switch between different recording modes.
Regarding ports, you have the usual 3.5 mm headphone jack, along with a standard USB Mini-A cable. It also comes bundled with Razer’s Synapse software, which allows for easy setup of the microphone.
When it comes to performance, the Seiren does adequately well in all of its recording profiles, from Cardioid to omnidirectional. The casual, conversational sound is something that many of its cheaper competitors have failed to reproduce. This is definitely a best budget microphone that you can consider buying.
- Multiple recording profiles
- LCD with relevant information
- Sturdy build quality
- Competitively priced
Although it doesn’t have a full-size USB-A port, this is one of the best USB microphones that money can buy.
4. Audio-Technica AT2035
Audio Technica is a brand that needs no introduction to quality audio peripherals. They’ve been producing some great hardware, and the AT2035 continues that trend.
It’s no small claim to say that this is the best mic for YouTube, right up there with the best.
If you’re on a budget, the Audio-Technica AT2035 is a good deal, pricing itself at $150 on Amazon.
The condenser setup of the AT2035 works reasonably well for recording. It produces high-quality sound, and has a self-noise rating of only 12 dB, which is completely unheard of in microphones even at higher price points.
The shock mounts do a brilliant job in eliminating ambient noise, such as the clicking from your keyboard when you’re recording. So, if you’re looking for something that can handle your typing and ambient noise well, the AT2035 is worth taking a look at.
Setup for the microphone is easy and straightforward. It also supports XLR, so if you’re looking to get high quality audio, ensure that you get an XLR compatible cable to make the most of this microphone.
The frequency response for the microphone is great, tuned to strong mediums and large bottom ends. The high end is soft, but not so. It was tuned this way so that it adds some presence to your vocals and high pitched instruments.
- Great mid and bottom range frequency response
- XLR compatible
- Competitive pricing
- Shock mounts provide great noise insulation.
- All in all, the Audio-Technica AT2035 is one of the better microphones out there. It’s priced competitively at this range.
This model is as good as it gets in the specific price range. You’d have to try to believe how awesome it is!
5. MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
The MXL 770 is a microphone that is on the cheaper side of budget microphones, coming in at only $75 on Amazon.
This is a Cardioid microphone, so it’s great if you’re looking to do some streaming inside your house, or want to capture clean audio for your voiceovers. If you’re strapped for cash and need a good recording microphone, then the MXL 770 is a surefire choice for you to take.
The sturdy and solid build of the microphone inspires confidence, ensuring that it doesn’t feel like something that’ll break after a fall or two to the ground. The black color is also understated and nice. This is a welcome change from the more overstated designs that we’ve seen from some other brands.
The 770 has a small diaphragm condenser, making it great for use if you have a recording environment which is somewhat noisy. The smaller condenser isn’t as effective at picking up small noises, meaning you won’t have to fine-tune the audio too much to remove ambient noise.
These features make the MXL 770 the best recording microphone out there on a tight budget.
- Excellent ambient noise reduction
- Sturdy build
- Affordable price
- Great aesthetic design
- XLR plug
- Wide recording range
- Excellent for vocals and string instruments
Overall, the MXL 770 is a brilliant microphone to look into if you’re looking into getting started in Youtubing, providing a great all-round experience at a competitive price.
6. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is another USB microphone by Audio-Technica, one of the leading brands for audio hardware.
The AT2020USB+ is a Cardioid Condenser microphone. Priced at $149, it shares a segment that has a lot of other compelling offers to try out. But the AT2020USB+ firmly stands its ground, being one of the best microphones for singers and musicians looking to make a mark on YouTube.
Regarding port selection, there’s a full-size USB port for power and a 3.5 mm headphone jack for audio output.
The Cardioid recording pattern is perfect if you’re looking to get some game streaming or voiceover work done. The smaller diaphragm is also great at canceling out ambient noise, allowing you to record only what you want. So, if you have a crowded recording environment, then it pays to look into this microphone.
Overall, this is a good microphone for YouTube, providing a relatively wide range of uses at a compelling price point.
- Smaller diaphragm is great for canceling ambient noise
- Competitively priced at $149
- Backed by Audio-Technica’s world-renowned standards
- 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate ensures high sound reproduction.
All in all, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ makes the budget microphone market even more difficult to choose from, with excellent build quality and strong performance. If you’re looking for something to help create YouTube videos, then this is something that you should be taking a look at. At this price point, it’s very difficult to argue against it.
7. Blue Snowball USB Microphone
In the world of microphones, Blue is a name that is regarded as one of the best. With the Blue Snowball, they attempt to break into the market of entry level microphones.
Much like the name, the Snowball resembles a black snowball. It features three different recording patterns, Cardioid, Omni, or Cardioid with -10 dB pad.
If you’re someone that is looking to a lot of game streaming and voiceovers, then this is a microphone that you should be looking at. Coming in at a cool $63 on Amazon, this is a compelling option.
The Snowball stands on a three-legged mount, but if that’s not enough for you, there are some shock mounts that you can look at to reduce the sound that reaches the mic when you’re typing on the keyboard.
Overall, the build is expected at this price point. Solid glossy plastic makes it feel sturdy, but it’s not the metal that we see on its bigger brother, the Yeti. For ports, there’s the USB-B for power, and 3.5 mm headphone jack for audio output. This is another best budget microphone.
- Three different recording patterns
- Extremely affordable
- Aftermarket shock mounts available
- Backed by Blue’s legendary reputation
The Blue Snowball may sit in the entry segment of the market, but being a Blue product, it’s no slouch. It offers a wide range of recording patterns, making it suitable for a huge audience looking to make their first YouTube videos. If you are looking for something to get you started, this is a great first purchase.
8. Focusrite Scarlett Studio (2nd Gen) USB Audio Interface And Recording Bundle With Pro Tools
Microphones rarely come with tools to help you with audio production and editing, which is why the Focusrite Scarlett Studio USB Audio Interface and Recording Bundle is so special. You’ll be paying a small premium, what with the bundle priced at $200. But with the amount of hardware and software packaged, we’d have to say that this is a pretty good deal.
The Scarlett Studio comes with everything you need to get started with audio production. You get a large diaphragm condenser microphone, which is a good microphone for YouTube, provided you have a relatively quiet recording environment.
There’s also the Scarlett Studio interface, which connects right to your computer. Depending on your preference, you can either use the bundled software, or use something else, like GarageBand.
Finally, you also get a pair of closed back headphones, which will help you listen to the audio you’re editing.
The best part about the Scarlett Studio is that it’s user-friendly for even the most un-tech savvy of people. If you want to get started with audio creation, and don’t have an idea of how to do it, then the Scarlett Studio is a good place to get started.
- Comes with microphone, headphones, and interface
- Bundled with easy to use software
- Incredibly user-friendly
- Large-diaphragm microphone helps capture clear audio
If you’ve got $200 to spare, and genuinely want something that can give you a leg up on audio production, then the Scarlett Studio can be a great tool to get you started.
What to Look for in The Best Microphones for YouTube?
The landscape of microphones is tricky, since the specifications can be somewhat confusing to deal with. But here are a few hints that can point you in the right direction.
For one thing, think about your use case. Are you using it for streaming or voice overs? Do you need a microphone that you can easily carry? What kind of audio are you planning to record?
For streaming, you’ll want a Cardioid microphone that can easily capture your voice, without capturing ambient noise around you. But if you’re doing some music production, then it makes sense to buy a microphone can record in an omnidirectional format, since you will have a band that placed around the microphone.
1. Metal Or Plastic Construction?
Also, take a look at the build quality. Plastic mics are cheap, but they’re prone to breaking more easily. If you are planning to move the mic around regularly, it makes sense to get something that has a metal construction. This way, the occasional bump or thud won’t be as painful for you.
If you’re someone that does a lot of vlogging outside of the house, then you want a microphone that can easily be carried around and placed wherever required. That also means that your microphone needs to have a battery.
2. Pick A Condenser That’s Suited To Your Requirements
Another thing to note is the condenser size. Small condensers and diaphragms are great at removing ambient noise, since they aren’t as sensitive, but they’re also bad at picking up small fluctuations in human voices. If you need something that heavily relies on the quality of your voice, then it makes sense to buy a microphone with a larger condenser. But keep in mind that you’ll want to keep your surroundings quiet. Large diaphragm microphones can pick up smaller noises easily.
3. Shock Mounts and Self Noise
If you do game streaming, then you’ll be on the keyboard a lot. This means that you want a microphone with a good shock mount, so that the vibrations and noises from your keyboard don’t filter to the microphone.
Microphones with low amounts of self-noise are great for every scenario, since they don’t produce too much noise themselves. Make sure you look for the lowest decibel self-noise rating that you can find.
Finally, also take a look at the accessories. Most of them come with some form of cables, but there are some that come with a carrying case. Carrying cases are godsends when it comes to traveling, since you don’t have to worry about the microphone getting bumped and bruised everywhere.
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