For those who need a great plug-and-play microphone, the USB mic is the way to go. Forget the preamps; forget the additional hardware and cables. This is just the type of solution that many people need, ranging from podcasters to singers with an in-home studio.
Have a look at our list below to help you find the best USB microphone for you needs. We compare and contrast brands to help make your decision much easier.
Consider Before Buying USB Microphone
here are a few things to consider:
- How You’ll Use It. Do you have an in-home studio that you plan to record tracks on? Are you performing on a stage, transmitting a podcast for your loyal listeners or having a Skype call with your family back home? Maybe you will be doing a little bit of all of these things, so just be sure to match the USB microphone to your needs.
- Price. Expect to pay anywhere between $100-$150 for a more professional microphone, and around $50 or so for a mid-level microphone.
For simple tasks, such as calling people on Skype or using it as you play games, you probably don’t need to spend that much. Check out number nine on our list below if you are looking for a nice little USB mic for your desktop or home computer.
Top 10 USB Microphones Comparison Table
About the USB Mic
Unlike the traditional microphone, the USB mic is designed with a preamp already inside as well as an analog-to-digital converter. You don’t need to hook the mic up to a separate preamp (since it is already equipped with one) and you can simply plug it in to any computer or recording software and start using it.
The Condenser Mic
Most USB mics are condenser mics, but you’ll also find a few dynamic mics on our list above (numbers two and ten).
- Dynamic Mic. These convert sound into electrical energy. This type of microphone has a thin diaphragm attached to a copper coil and when the sound vibrates the diaphragm, it moves the coil up and down to create an electric current.
They slightly resemble ice cream cones and travel well on stage (picture a performer who starts out standing and then moves the mic and their singing to the piano. The dynamic mic rests in a stand and the performer continues singing as they play the piano).
- Condenser. This uses a capacitor to convert sound waves into electrical energy, requiring power to work.
They are more sensitive than dynamic mics, making them ideal in studios, for podcasts, professional interviews and some stage performances.
Top 3 Best USB Microphone Reviews
Look out! It’s a Yeti!
Ok, not really, but it is the Blue Microphones USB Yeti Microphone.
Plug the Yeti into your desktop or laptop and start using it. It doesn’t require any additional software since it will work with the recording program you already have installed.
One great thing about the Yeti is that it has three condenser capsules, which offer you the quality and sound that you would normally find in a studio recording. It has four polar pattern options (cardioid, bi-directional, omnidirectional and stereo) and works well for recording anything from vocals and musical instruments to podcasts, voiceovers and interviews.
If you’re looking for a professional microphone for your home office or home studio where the quality still matters (even though you’re at home), then get the Yeti.
It’s considered the best USB microphone in its price range by many, so give it a try. We promise it won’t eat you!
This dynamic microphone has both USB and XLR outputs, making it very versatile if you have to use it on a variety of computers. Mac or PC…makes no difference. This will connect to both.
If you do podcasts, voiceovers, sing vocals or create videos to upload on YouTube, this is the right type of microphone for you. It comes with all the accessories you’ll need (microphone stand with clamp as well as both types of cables) and it has a headphone jack if you’d like to plug it in to monitor your sound quality and the head reduces pick up of unwanted background noise.
Forget your webcam’s microphone, you need something decent!
Be sure to get a windscreen for the head. They are inexpensive and help reduce the harsh puffs of air that you make when pronouncing Ps and Ss.
Unlike the previous Audio-Technica microphone, this is a condenser microphone that works well for podcasters, voiceovers, home studio recordings and field recordings.
This also has a headphone jack and is compatible with PC or Mac, but it does not have the XLR output like the previous one.
The low mass diaphragm will provide you with excellent frequency response and provides you with crystal clear sound quality.
One flaw that we noticed with this microphone is the instability of the tripod that comes with it. Be extra careful not to bump the microphone while you use it, otherwise it may tip over and cause your microphone to fall down.
No worries, for just a few dollars more, you can purchase a better, higher quality tripod. Problem solved!