The audio quality of your microphone is crucial not only for gamers but also for live streamers. While it’s not necessary to get a studio-level and expensive mic, it is still advisable to look for one with better quality. The best microphones for streaming are those that work better than the tiny plastic arm connected to your headset.
It still important to note that aside from audio quality, it is also necessary to consider the price, ease of use, as well as set-up options before making your choice.
But before we go to the factors of consideration for the best choice, let’s first highlight the five best products on the market.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls
This product designed for critical home/project/professional studio applications
This product is ideal for project/home-studio applications with affordable
Samson Meteor Mic USB
This product is the universal solution for recording music on your computer and perfect for your home studio, ideal for Skype, iChat or voice recognition software.
Blue Snowball USB Microphone
This product is ideal for professional studio - record both vocals and instruments. Mac and PC compatible
How to Choose the Best Microphones for Streaming?
To serve as a guide in your search for the best microphones that you can use for streaming, here are some vital factors to consider during the selection process.
1. Quality of recording
While audio quality should not be the be-all and end-all when it comes to selecting the best microphones for streaming, it still plays a major factor in picking a good choice. After all, it is essential to get a mic, which sounds good. Prior to buying, make it a point to test and research the sound quality of the mic. Test it in multiple setups and various settings.
Also, try to test it with cardioid recording pattern, if that’s possible and available. You can use this pattern for recording only those in front of the microphone. It’s also the setting that you’ll most likely use for live streaming and gaming. You can use this test in determining the amount of keyboard clicks or background noise the mic can pick up. This factor, therefore, is essential in gauging whether the mic is the best based on the quality of its sound.
2. Form factor
You might think that this factor is unnecessary in finding the best mic because you won’t be buying it for fashion, but note that it still matters. Note that you’ll be looking at it each time you sit on your desk, especially if you pick a standing mic. Keep in mind that you also need a mic, which is not that distracting.
That said, you need to assess the form factor and design of the unit prior to buying it. Make sure that it looks good on various settings – keyboards, monitors, PCs, etc. Find out how it looks and performs in various environments. Also, keep in mind that being a streamer, the microphone you choose will be visible to your audience, making it necessary to pick one with a good appearance and form factor.
Each one has a different set of requirements – whether it is for their desk or overall setup. That said, you need to find a microphone, which is adaptable enough that it will still function well no matter what kind of scenario you put it to. The mic should produce a high quality sound regardless of the circumstance. It should be capable of adapting to whatever function you intend it to perform, allowing you to play games comfortably without hampering its sound.
The mic shouldn’t put a hole on your pocket. You may want to spend more just to get the kind of quality that you prefer, but note that it’s possible for you to get more for less. All it takes is to spend time conducting a research, so you’ll find affordable options that don’t sacrifice quality.
Top 5 Best Microphones for Streaming Reviews
Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Blackout Edition
Blue Yeti USB Microphone is one of the best microphones for streaming as it produces the richest and most professional sound output. Such is possible because it uses a tri-capsule array featuring three condenser capsules, giving you the opportunity to record all kinds of sound you decide to throw at it. It also utilizes four distinct pattern settings, thereby ensuring that even beginners will get the chance to produce professional sound recordings by just flipping a switch.
In terms of features, Blue Yeti delivers a lot. It has zero latency headphone monitoring, a small mute button, which is a huge help during those instances when you have to take a rest and clear your throat, as well as a headphone volume control. Furthermore, it features a knob at the back, which you can use in directly controlling its gain. It also has an omnidirectional mode. You can use this specific feature to pick sounds from all directions.
You can also take advantage of the cardioid pattern to focus on sound directly in front. It is not as flashy as the capsule count but you can expect its solid metal stand to perform an excellent job in placing the mic at mouth level.
- Plug and play capability - Mac and PC compatible
- Sound quality has excellent depth and detail.
- Allows you to tune the mic to a certain setting quickly
- Features a headset jack, allowing you to get immediate feedback on the actual sound just by plugging in a pair of headphones
- Not ideal for those looking for a portable and subtle unit
- Has wobbly plastic knobs, making some worry about how durable the mic is
While the Blue Yeti is too large, making it a bit uncomfortable to use on portable applications, it is still a good buy because it delivers the richest and most professional sounds. It is also affordable.
Audio-Technica AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone
In your search for the best microphones for streaming, you will most likely come across units from Audio-Technica as this is one of the most popular brands in this category. One of Audio-Technica’s most popular units, to date, is the AT2035 Large Diaphragm Studio Condenser Microphone. This mic is a large and flexible diaphragm cardioid condenser type, which you can use for various functions – critical home projects, live performances, professional studio applications, etc.
You can expect it to deliver exceptional details in terms of sound plus showcasing a low noise. One of the highlighted features of this mic is the switchable 80Hz high-pass filter. It also comes with a 10dB pad. Both these features allow the mic to handle high levels of sound pressure effortlessly. It has a rugged construction plus it performs excellently. It also features a protective pouch, as well as a shock mount designed to protect it from any potential damage.
You will also notice that the mic’s internal circuitry extensively uses surface-mount components as a means of conserving space. Furthermore, it has two capsule diaphragms sputtered with gold. Both are designed in such a way that they promote long-term stability in terms of performance.
- Rugged construction, making it possible for it to last long
- Flexible in the sense that you can use it on various functions
- Has protective features – the protective pouch and customizable shock mount
- Made from one of the most prominent brands in the industry – Audio-Technica
- Delivers a smooth and natural sound, as well as low noise level because of its huge diaphragm
- While it is a good mic if you want to record in a studio, there are some feedback issues when used for live performance as it tends to pick up background noise.
Still, this unit is one of the best mics in the industry. It’s also reasonably priced plus it guarantees to deliver crisp and clean recording sound quality.
Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio Microphone
Audito-Technica really never fails to deliver when it comes to producing mics for streaming. The brand’s AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio Microphone, for instance, continues to receive great reviews because of its positive performance and highly functional features. This unit is a no frills mic, which features a soft zip-up vinyl case and a basic stand mount. It comes with a polar pattern, a fixed cardioid without any switches on the filters or pads.
While having smaller diaphragms than other units, it does not necessarily mean that this mic performs less. In fact, you can still expect it to deliver warm and solid sounds. Furthermore, it has lots of bass extension. The mic has a solid and rugged construction, making it ideal for long-term use. It has a thick cast metal, as well as a tough and solid wire mesh designed to protect and screen the capsule.
Aside from that, you will notice that it comes with a nicely padded storage pouch, which ensures that you can still protect the mic. Furthermore, it has a wide dynamic range and high SPL handling, which indicates that it is one of the most versatile devices in the market today.
- Has excellent build quality
- Delivers a full-frequency response
- Not that boomy when used on low end
- Promotes clear sound reproduction
- Produces great and professional sounds
- High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility
- Tends to have high self-noise
- Does not work that well in isolating sounds
The issues, though, are just minor considering the many positive things that you can get from it. Audio-Technica AT2020 is indeed a good choice if you’re looking for an affordable mic with high audio and sound quality.
Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone (Chrome)
While being referred to as a studio mic, the Meteor Mic from Samson Technologies, which is around ten ounces in weight, is actually a portable and compact device. If you don’t fold it, it will appear exactly the same as a chrome studio mic, which is at least 6 inches tall. If you fold it up, you can liken it to a 4-inch plasma grenade. The good thing about this device is that it works perfectly for those who are on a budget but still delivers all the sound capabilities that you need if you’re a podcaster or home musician.
The mic is also capable of producing sounds with a quality, which is better than average. It has fairly average specs and a frequency response, which is within the hearing range of humans. Furthermore, it has a cardioid pickup, which lets you capture acoustic instrument or your own voice without unnecessary noise. The mic works ideally for podcasts and voiceovers but note that it also delivers an impressive quality when recording music.
The mic also features a headphone jack. You’ll also notice a volume dial, which you can find in front. Other highlights of the mic is its quick-mute button, which also features a LED indicator, built-in desk stand, and a chrome-plated body.
- Delivers high quality sounds - Meteor Mic has one of the largest condenser diaphragms (25mm) of any USB mic available.
- Portable and compact
- Has an adjustable desk stand
- Promotes an easy plug-and-play setup
- Ideal for the budget - conscious who want to get more features without spending too much
- Does not have analogue output or gain control
- The chrome-plated body tends to attract smudges easily.
The good news is that this microphone from Samson Technologies is inexpensive but without sacrificing its sound quality, performance, functionality and features. It also works well for podcasters and home musicians.
Blue Snowball USB Microphone (Textured White)
In your search for the best microphones for streaming, it’s advisable not to leave the Blue Snowball USB Microphone behind in your list of options. In terms of design, you will notice that it has literally the same shape as a ball. The bottom part of the mic features a threaded metal hole, which you can use to attach the integrated tripod base. You will also notice that it comes with the chromed plastic logo of Blue.
Beneath the logo comes an integrated foam wind screen, as well as a wire mesh grille, designed to protect its mic capsules. You will also notice a LED on top, which indicates each time the mic is connected to your PC. It looks cool but beyond its appearance, take note that it also has lots of useful features. Among these features are the two microphone capsules integrated into the unit, both of which deliver its sonic flexibility.
Note that the unit sticks to monophonic recording. Also, it dedicates the utilization of a capsule to an omnidirectional cardioid pattern. You have the option to switch the capsules based on your specific recording requirements. It has excellent audio quality, including clear and crisp speech.
- High quality recording - Professional studio quality performance, record both vocals and instruments
- Easy to use features
- Stylish and cool design - With plug and play design, no software required
- Versatile, compact and lightweight
- Has switchable mic patterns designed for various recording applications
- Lacks more intuitive labels for the recording mode switch
Still, you will realize that this mic is a good investment. Aside from being stylish and extremely sturdy, you will also enjoy using it because you can easily plug it into the USB port of your PC without hassle.
Finding the best microphones for streaming shouldn’t be that hard because you actually have several options. However, you can’t just pick any of the mics introduced to you. Check the features of each option in your list. Also, you have to assess your specific needs. Ask yourself where you intend to use the unit. That way, you can find the best microphones for streaming that you can use specifically based on your intended purpose.