Best Microphones for Streaming and Podcasting in 2021

Best Microphones for Streaming and Podcasting in 2021

Tired of your off-brand headset or webcam mic not being able to keep up with your stream? That’s okay. From USB mics to XLR mics, the boom of the streaming era has brought us some amazing options for all voice needs! Whether you are using OBS Studio, Streamlabs OBS, XSplit, or something else, you can find a mic here to make your stream or videos sound professional.

If you already have the best Vlogging Camera or a Webcam for YouTube Streaming, it is time to upgrade your microphone. Even, every gamer, podcaster, YouTuber, Online Yoga trainer, singer, or teacher of online classes want to deliver a clear and noise-free sound to his audience. In this buying guide, we have compiled a list of the best streaming mics, what features you should have in a mic, and the best tips to set up a camera for streaming. In the end, we have answered frequently asked questions for an amazing streaming experience.

Three main components you should consider when buying a new streaming mic:

1. Make sure it is compatible with whatever software you plan on using, as not all mics work the same across different recording programs. If you’re unsure, try doing a Google search of “mic name” + the software you use.

2. Your mic should be compatible with your computer (USB, XLR, etc.), and it should come with any necessary drivers to run on your OS of choice (Windows or Mac).

3. You need to consider what kinds of things you’ll be using this mic for– is this for streaming? YouTube videos? Podcasting? If you’re unsure, ask yourself what kind of content you want to create.

*Note: The following recommendations aren’t exactly based on price, but rather a combination of sound quality and usability factors. For example, a shotgun microphone would be very expensive and difficult for most streamers to use effectively, especially if they haven’t used one before.

​What Microphone Do I Need for Streaming?

Answer: We recommend the Shure MV7 for streaming, podcasting, gaming, recording, etc.

The MV7 offers brilliant sound quality and is essentially future-proof. It was created for anyone with high standards who need incredible audio clarity at an affordable price; this includes musicians, podcasters, or gamers. The Shure MV7 is perfect for any form of versatile vocalizing (i.e., singing) because of its condenser capsule that solely concentrates on vocals and eliminates ambient noise. The convenience of the low profile also makes it perfect for different use cases like singing into a guitar amp or close to your computer’s microphone input jack without knocking anything over! 

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Best Microphones for Streaming, Gaming, and Podcasting

Here is the list of most recommended microphones for streamers, gamers, and podcasters.

1. NZXT Capsule

NZXT Capsule - Best USB Streaming Microphone

Features:

  • Best entry-level microphone for streaming
  • Capsule made from solid aluminum and brass
  • Adjustable desktop stand
  • Noise reduction technology to reduce ambient noise during recordings
  • Cardioid recording pattern
  • 16-bit 44.1/48kHz resolution
  • High-quality A/D converter
  • Direct plug-and-play with no drivers required
  • Includes USB cable
  • Available in black or white

NZXT advertises this mic as a high-quality USB microphone perfect for streaming, live commentary, and more. But what makes it the best mic for streaming on a budget?

Because the capsule is made from solid aluminum and brass instead of plastic, it has improved durability. It also has better sound suppression to reduce ambient noise while you’re recording.

It’s also very similar to the Blue Snowball iCE, which costs about $60 or more. It has a built-in desktop stand and comes with a USB cable rather than requiring you to purchase one separately.

Though it lacks some of the features of higher-end microphones, this is an excellent choice for people who are just getting started and aren’t ready to invest hundreds of dollars into equipment.

Downsides: The only downside is that there’s no built-in pop filter, which can make your voice sound harsh and undesirable. You’ll either want to use external filters or invest in a separate shock mount and pop filter if you’re going to go with the NZXT capsule.


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2. Shure MV7 XLR/USB Dynamic Podcasting Microphone 

Shure MV7 XLR - Best Microphone for Podcasting

Features:

  • XLR and USB compatibility
  • Cardioid pickup pattern
  • Built-in pop filter for reduction of plosives (hard p, b, t sounds)
  • Includes mic stand with shock mount and USB cable for direct connection to computer
  • Includes microphone clip that allows you to attach it to a boom or desktop arm
  • Can be used on guitar and bass cabinets and other musical instruments
  • Best for: Podcasting, YouTube videos, livestreaming (e.g. Twitch), Skype calls

The Shure MV7 is a dynamic podcasting microphone that has a cardioid pickup pattern. This means it’s good at capturing the sound of your voice while also rejecting background noise.

The MV7 is a USB mic, meaning you don’t have to purchase a separate audio interface or preamp before connecting it to your computer. This makes it a very convenient tool if you’re just getting started and want an all-in-one solution without having to do a ton of research.

It’s also very versatile. It comes with a standard mic stand, but you can attach it directly to your desk using the included shock mount and USB cable. You’ll need to purchase an amp or digital recorder separately if you want to use this for other applications such as recording instruments or live performances.

In terms of sound quality, this is a great side-address mic for beginners, but it’s still capable of producing professional-quality sound. While its overall bass response is not as strong as higher-end mics, the MV7 sounds much warmer than other USB microphones in this price range.

If you’re looking to get into podcasting or broadcasting, the Shure MV7 is a solid premium USB microphone that’s great for beginners as well as professionals.

Downsides: Though you can use it with an amp or digital recorder, it does not have XLR output, so you’ll need an external USB interface or digital recorder if you want to use it for professional recording.


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3. Audio-Technica AT2040 Hypercardioid Dynamic Podcast Microphone 

Audio-Technica AT2040 - Best Microphone for gaming

Features:

  • Comes with a rugged carrying case and XLR Cable.
  • Microphone Type: Dynamic Hypercardioid
  • Low self-noise of 5 dBA for sensitive radio mics.
  • 10dB pad on mic line-level inputs lets you turn down the signal from strong sound sources such as musical instruments or sound systems, so you can adjust the gain without experiencing the distortion that can be introduced by weaker signals.
  • Switchable 80Hz high-pass filter and 10dB pad help reduce low-frequency noise such as air conditioners, traffic, and other background sources.
  • Unidirectional noise-canceling to reduce feedback and background noise
  • Efficient, wide frequency range that is perfect for close-miking applications.
  • High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide maximum versatility.

The Audio-Technica AT2040 is a large-diaphragm cardioid mic that’s great for people who want to broadcast or record music in studios, clubs, and other live venues. It has a switchable 80Hz high-pass filter and 10dB pads so you can adjust the frequency response to your specific needs. This allows you to capture clean, clear audio in most settings.

It’s also very durable and built like a tank with its all-metal body. While it doesn’t come with an external USB preamp or shock mount like some other dynamic podcasting mics on this list, its sound quality and durability make it a great choice for people who are serious about streaming and recording music. What I really liked about this mic is that you’ll get the crisp sound quality at a price under $100.

The AT2040 is a cardioid dynamic mic, which means it’s better for reducing background noise than capturing the sound of your voice. You’ll need to be very close to this microphone in order to get clear audio. It also doesn’t have a built-in USB cable or desktop stand like other dynamic mics on this list.


4. HyperX QuadCast S Switchable Microphone

HyperX QuadCast S

Features:

  • 4 recording settings (cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo)
  • High-quality microphone for streaming and recording
  • Ideal for podcasters, gamers, YouTubers and
  • Compatible with PC and Mac
  • Plug-and-play – no drivers or complicated setup required.
  • Affordable price point

A great choice for professional gamers, the HyperX QuadCast is a mid-range USB microphone that’s versatile and easy to use for streaming on twitch or YouTube. It’s made by one of the most reputable gaming companies on the market, so you can be confident that it will work well with your computer.

It has four recording settings that allow you to switch between cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo for different recording applications. This makes it a great choice for podcasters and gamers who need something versatile enough to capture multiple sound sources in one place.

It produces clear, rich audio with the cardioid setting, but its other modes are more of an acquired taste depending on your needs.

Downsides: Doesn’t have a built-in stand or shock mount, so you’ll need to buy those separately. It’s also important to note that this mic does not have an XLR input so it can only be connected directly to a computer through USB. You will need an external USB preamp or digital recorder if you want to use it to record professional audio.

5. Razer Seiren V2 Pro

Razer Seiren V2 Pro

Features:

  • Studio-grade digital desktop microphone
  • 3 custom-tuned 14mm condenser capsules
  • Analog/digital converter for high clarity recording
  • Includes studio-grade pop filter and shock mount to reduce noise and stand vibrations.
  • Compatible with PC (USB) and Mac (Thunderbolt)
  • Aluminum base for reduced weight and increased stability
  • Adjustable height, position, and angle

The Razer Seiren V2 Pro is one of the best microphones for streaming on PC. It is a USB studio-grade digital desktop microphone that has three high-quality custom-tuned 14mm condenser capsules. It also comes with a built-in analog/digital converter to ensure you’re getting the highest level of clarity possible when you use this mic. 

It also has a zero-latency headphone output with volume control, so you can hear every word you say while recording. The Razer Seiren V2 Pro is an all-in-one recording solution for small streaming studios, giving you the crisp in-game audio and clear voice chat you need to get your stream and videos to the next level.

This makes it great for people who are looking to record music or podcasts in professional studios. If you want something versatile from your microphone, this is the recommended option you can buy for under $150.

Downsides: The Razer Seiren is a great mic, but it’s optimized for recording instruments and voiceovers with its single condenser capsule. It comes with an additional three-capsule Neodymium magnet array, but the only way to get a four-capsule configuration is by buying the XLR version of the Seiren.


6. FIFINE K658 RGB Dynamic Mic for PC

FIFINE K658 - Best RGB Mic for PC

Features:

  • High-resolution audio chipset providing superior sound quality with low noise
  • Built-in pop filter reduces vocal popping and breath sounds
  • Cardioid pickup pattern isolates the main sound source while reducing background noise
  • Desktop stand and USB cable included for quick set up (plug & play)
  • Metal grill and body

If you’re a gamer, podcaster, or YouTube personality who wants to add another level of immersion to your videos and broadcasts by making yourself sound better, then the Fifine K658 microphone may be for you. This premium-grade microphone is designed with gamers in mind. It’s also an excellent choice for singers and podcasters.

The sound recording quality is exceptional for a mid-range microphone that costs under $60. The high-definition voice pick-up pattern makes it ideal for gaming, which is why it’s listed as one of the best mics for streaming and gaming by the popular expert review site TechRadar. It features a metal grill and body, a built-in pop filter, and a sturdy weighted base.

The high-resolution audio chipset provides superior sound quality with low noise. Its cardioid pickup pattern gives better feedback and background noise cancellation than most other mics at this price point (under $60). It comes with a desktop stand and USB cable. All you need is plug and play; no need to install any software.

Overall, the Fifine K658 is one of the best microphones for streaming because it delivers high-quality sound at an affordable price. It’s also versatile enough to use in your home, office, or studio for recording instruments, vocals, podcasts, or voiceovers.

Downsides: The only downside is that the bass roll-off is a bit high, so it’s not as good for recording instruments or vocals. The sound quality is great for non-acoustic sources, though.


7. Blue Yeti X USB Microphone for PC & Mac

Blue Yeti X - Best Streaming Microphone for Yoga, and Fitness Classes

Features:

  • Four different pattern settings (cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo)
  • Built-in amplifier for use with instruments or vocals
  • Three different capsules (dynamic, condenser, bi-directional)
  • Headphone jack and gain control let you hear your recordings before sharing them
  • USB connection to Mac or PC works with most recording software

If you’re looking for the absolute best microphone for streaming Yoga Fitness or Singing classes, then the Yeti X is it. It has four different pattern settings that allow you to record just about anything in addition to being one of the best mics for streaming on Twitch, YouTube, and other online broadcasting platforms. The Yeti also comes with a built-in amplifier, which makes it a versatile voice recording solution for musicians, podcasters, gamers, teachers, and anyone who wants studio-quality sound.

It comes with three different capsules that let you record vocals or instruments in cardioid mode (with full isolation from other sounds), bidirectional mode (with excellent rear rejection), or omnidirectional mode (for maximum room coverage).

Each capsule has its own preamp with gain control, so you can dial in the perfect recording level without adding any distortion. It also comes with an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) with a bit depth of 16 and a sample rate of 48 kHz. That’s able to capture every nuance of your voice or instruments.

The Yeti is a USB condenser mic that comes with a built-in headphone jack and gains control so you can hear exactly what your recordings sound like before you share them. The design of the mic is very elegant, making it great for podcasting or streaming from an Apple Mac computer.

Downsides: The Yeti X is a mid-range mic, so it’s not ideal for beginners or casual users. For this kind of money, you could even buy two of the best microphones for streaming.


8. Elgato Wave:3

Elgato Wave 3 - Best plug-and-play streaming microphone for gamers

Features:

  • Plug-and-play streaming microphone for gamers who use Mac or PC
  • Three different pickup modes (cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional)
  • The built-in mixer allows you to control mic volume and game/voice balance
  • Auxiliary input lets you plug in your favorite headset or earbuds
  • Voice Focus reduces background noise like dog barks or heavy bass lines  

The Elgato is the best streaming microphone for casual gamers who want to quickly get set up with high-quality voice chat, in addition to broadcasting gameplay. It’s one of the most compact mics for Twitch and it features a mixer that allows you to control your mic volume, game/voice balance, and more. You can connect a headset to the Wave:3 and control it using your preferred mixing app. This is ideal for new streamers who use a mobile device or laptop that they want to broadcast from.

There are three different pickup modes on the Elgato: cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. In cardioid mode, you get reduced background noise and feedback when speaking into the mic in front of you. The omnidirectional setting does not reject any ambient sound at all, allowing you to capture sounds from all around you if necessary (like during a group gaming session). Bidirectional mode lets you chat with other players while still hearing the game audio.

For beginners who want a plug-and-play solution for streaming, the Elgato is a good choice. It’s also packed with some nice features like a headphone amp and Voice Focus technology that minimizes loud noises like dog barks and other background noise sources.

The Elgato doesn’t have multiple polar pattern settings, so it’s not ideal for recording instruments or multiple people speaking in different areas of the room. For that, you’d do better with one of our best studio condenser mics.


9. TONOR Q9 USB Microphone Kit

TONOR USB - Best Microphone Kit for Streaming

Features:

  • 3 recording patterns (cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional)
  • Three built-in 16W speakers
  • Auxiliary input for headphones or earbuds
  • Comes with a tripod stand with two mounting options (table stand and mic clip)  
  • Built-in 16 bit/48kHz USB audio interface with zero-latency monitoring
  • Bass boost and normal recording modes

The TONOR Q9 is the best budget USB microphone for professionals, gamers, YouTubers, podcasters, musicians, broadcasters, or anyone who wants to have a high-quality mic that will stand the test of time. It features three recording patterns (cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional) so it’s great for recording instruments or multiple people simultaneously. The noise-canceling on this mic is superb as well–it can reduce background noise by nearly 100%.

If you are looking to record music using the Q9, it comes with 45mm condenser capsules so your vocals will resonate nicely through your headphones or speakers. It also has two 3W speakers built into the mic so you can play games while listening to your game audio through the Q9 instead of headphones.

When recording music, there are also two modes you can choose from: Normal and Bass boost. The former is more accurate for vocals, whereas the latter is designed specifically for instrumentals like guitar or piano where lower frequencies need emphasizing. A 16-bit/48kHz sampling rate ensures that your audio files will be high quality when exporting them later on in post-production.

The TONOR Q9 comes with everything you need to get started at a very reasonable price–a tripod stand + table stand, USB cable, and carrying case (for taking the mic on the go without scratching it). There’s also an auxiliary input if you want to plug in your favorite headphones or earbuds, but this is mainly for the Bass boost mode.

The only downside to this mic is that it’s not compatible with Macs, so it’s best if you are using a PC or looking to buy an inexpensive mic specifically for streaming, webcam use, YouTube videos, etc.

Downsides: Not compatible with Mac or iOS devices, so it’s best if you’re using Windows or looking to buy one specifically for streaming, webcam use, YouTube videos, etc.


10. Rode Lavalier GO Professional-Grade Wearable Microphone

Rode Lavalier GO Professional-Grade Wearable Microphone

Features:

  • Lightweight and well designed – delivers clear audio quality
  • Great for recording videos or streaming online
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Cardioid polar pattern reduces background noise by 90%
  • Noise Suppression – Reduces fan/computer noise behind the mic by 50dB
  • Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Condenser Microphone best for Twitch Streamers
  • Professional Grade Lav Mic / Ideal for Twitch Streamers

If you are looking to buy a good microphone but don’t want to spend more than $100, the Rode Lavalier is your best bet. Designed specifically for gamers who stream or do YouTube videos, this lapel mic is perfect if you want to capture high-quality audio even in noisy or windy environments. It’s also perfect if you want to be able to move around while streaming because it’s a wearable mic.

The Rode Lavalier connects to your computer via USB and comes with its own stand and table stand so you can set up the mic in front of your monitor almost anywhere. It also comes with a 5-meter long cable so you can sit far away from your computer without having to worry about the mic cutting out or picking up the background noise.

Streamers and YouTubers will probably like the easy setup–you just attach the mic to your clothing (lapel, shirt, etc) and plug it into your computer. There’s no complicated software or setup; all you need is OBS Studio or any other streaming program and you’re good to go! Lavalier’s cardioid polar pattern makes for high-quality recordings as well as reduces outside noise by 90%. This is perfect for streamers who want to be able to play games while still being heard over their fan/computer noises.

What makes the Rode smartLav+ different from other lapel mics for streaming is that it comes with a built-in recorder that allows you to record directly to your iPhone or iPad. This means that even if you’re on the move, you can still record high-quality audio without having to stop and set up a computer.

Downsides: Not the best option if you’re looking for a mic to use with your phone or tablet, and not great for music. It’s mainly a streaming microphone that will work well if you want high-quality audio when gaming/streaming from a computer.


11. Samson G-Track Pro Professional USB Condenser Microphone 

Samson G-Track Pro Professional USB Condenser Microphone

Features:

  • Comes with its own stand and table stand for versatility
  • The mic is omnidirectional – records sound from all directions
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Comes with desktop stand & table stand for versatility
  • 20-20,000Hz Frequency response

The Samson G-Track Pro is a condenser microphone that is one of the best microphones you can buy as a streamer as it’s very affordable and compatible with most streaming software such as OBS, XSplit, Twitch, etc. It also comes with its own stand so you don’t have to worry about buying one, and it’s easy to set up as well.

The G-track Pro features a cardioid polar pattern which means your voice is directed towards the mic and it won’t pick up any outside noise. The Samson also has a headphone jack so you can monitor what you’re recording in real-time without having to worry about latency issues. The microphone comes with a 20-20,000 Hz frequency response and can capture up to 144dB SPL.

Downsides: The stand isn’t great quality so you’ll want to buy something else if you’re going to be moving it around a lot. It’s slightly more complicated to set up than other mics and you might run into some issues especially when using it with OBS.


12. ROCCAT Torch Studio-Grade USB Microphone

ROCCAT Torch Studio-Grade USB Microphone

Features:

  • Studio-Grade USB Microphone w/ LED monitor for quick settings
  • Comes with 3 EQ settings and 4 sensitivity levels
  • Built-in headphone jack for no latency monitoring & accuracy
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, & Linux
  • Cardioid polar pattern reduces background noise by 80%

The Roccat is a studio-grade condenser microphone that comes with its own stand and table stand so you can place it almost anywhere. The microphone has 3 EQ settings, 4 sensitivity levels, and 7 polar pattern options all of which are easily adjustable through the LED monitor on the front of the mic. It also comes with its own volume control which means you won’t mess up the settings when adjusting your volume.

The Roccat features a cardioid polar pattern which is the best pattern for streaming/recording as it cuts out most of the background noise. It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, & Linux and can record in CD quality at 16-bit/48kHz. It also comes with a built-in headphone jack that allows you to monitor in real-time and reduce or eliminate latency issues.

Downsides: The only downside to this mic is the fact it doesn’t come with a stand so you’ll have to buy one separately. It’s probably on the more expensive side but if you’re looking for good quality at an affordable price, then this is your best option.


13. Razer Seiren Mini USB Streaming Microphone

Razer Seiren Mini USB Streaming Microphone

Features:

  • All metal construction with rotating shock mount
  • High-quality XLR output
  • Headphone jack with volume control to monitor your microphone directly. No latency!
  • A/B combination port for daisy-chaining another set of studio monitors or playback device (e.g TV)

This is probably one of the best microphones for streaming. It has an all-metal construction and frequency response that doesn’t pick up too much background noise, which can be extremely useful in home studios or rooms with lots of clutter.

It has a built-in headphone amplifier that allows you to monitor your microphone input in real-time. You can also plug in powered monitors with the A/B combination port which is very useful for streamers who are just starting out and need to put up their microphones on stands.

The best thing about this microphone is that it’s very versatile and can essentially be used for voice-overs, livestreaming, podcasts, music production, and much more. You can always use a pop filter or foam windscreen to reduce any harsh plosives as well as background noise if you don’t already own one.

Downsides: Some people may not like the relatively close distance between the mic and your mouth (12 inches). You can always move it closer or further away, but it might be a bit of a hassle to adjust depending on what you’re doing at that exact time.


Terms to Know

1. Dynamic Mics

Dynamic microphones are typically the most durable types of microphones, which is why you’ll usually see dynamic mics being used on the stage for live performances. They do have limitations in terms of sound quality compared to condenser mics, but they are much better than USB microphones in this regard.

2. Condenser Mics

Condenser mics are typically more sensitive compared to dynamic microphones, which makes them ideal for recording vocals in a studio setting. They do have their limitations as well regarding sound quality, but they produce significantly better results than USB microphones. You’ll need an audio interface or preamp before you can use these as well since the XLR output from these microphones doesn’t have a power source.

3. USB Mics

These are typically plug-and-play devices that will work with any USB interface, which makes them extremely easy to set up. Just make sure you look up reviews on your mic of choice before buying since some USB mics produce significantly better results than others. Most USB mics are either dynamic or condenser mics, but you’ll still need an audio interface to use them as well.

4. Shotgun Mics

Shotguns are the most directional type of microphone and they’re usually used for voice-over work due to how sensitive they are. Most shotgun mics require an XLR interface as well since the XLR output doesn’t have a power source.

Polar Pattern vs Pick Up Patterns

A microphone’s polar pattern denotes its sensitivity to sound coming from different angles relative to its position. Omnidirectional mics are typically the most sensitive because they pick up sounds equally well from all angles, whereas uni-directional mics (also known as cardioid) pick up sounds best directly in front of them. Bidirectional microphones are mostly used for voice-over work and are not really ideal for streaming purposes.

Plosives

These are defined as the burst of air that comes out whenever you say ‘P’ or ‘B’ words. These can be reduced by softening your p’s and b’s when speaking into the microphone, using a pop filter (which is essentially a metal mesh that goes in front of the mic), or any kind of sponge/foam windscreen to reduce the strength of the plosives.

Best tips to set up a microphone for streaming

*Note: following tips are based on my personal experiences so they might not work for everyone.

  1. Use an audio interface or preamp if you’re using a condenser or shotgun microphone since most USB mics don’t need one. The basic Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 is what I use at home personally since it’s plug-and-play and allows me to use multiple mics at the same time without having to set anything up.
  2. Make sure you position your mic correctly since even a few centimeters difference can make a noticeable difference in sound quality. Also make sure your headphone volume is controllable, which can allow you to hear what the microphone sounds like directly after setting it up.
  3. Make sure you listen through good-quality headphones whenever possible since most cheap earbuds don’t accurately reproduce low frequencies, which can make it difficult to know how your mic sounds like. Avoid using the speakers on your computer/laptop if possible since they’ll usually distort the sound by default (unless you’re using a USB DAC).
  4. You can use EQ on your software to make up for any deficiencies in the microphone. It’ll be easier to hear how it sounds with a flat EQ, but if you want to make any adjustments feel free to do so since the sound will change based on personal preference.
  5. Avoid putting compression or reverb directly after recording since that might change the sound quality significantly even if it’s subtle. It might be useful to use transparent compression (such as Ozone 6) when streaming since any changes will be extremely minimal for viewers, but adding reverb might not be ideal depending on your stream setup.
  6. Avoid using any kind of noise gate or threshold reduction since that can affect audio quality by changing how loud you need to be before the mic will pick up your voice properly. It’ll probably make things more difficult in general unless you’re an advanced user since most gamers won’t know what’s causing their microphone issues until someone tells them.

If anyone has anything else they’d like included feel free to let me know and I’ll add it in if possible!

Important features in a Streaming microphone

Price

The price is usually an obvious factor since not everyone has the same budget. You can find microphones for as cheap as $20 or as expensive as several hundred dollars if you go to a music/pro audio store, and there’s no reason to spend more than necessary unless you’re using your mic professionally.

Noise-canceling/reduction

Some USB microphones include noise reduction technology that cancels out any noise that the mic picks up (such as background noise). It’s useful to look at reviews or ask around before deciding on one since most people don’t know how effective it is in practice.

Compatibility

Make sure your microphone is compatible with all of your software programs and devices if possible since not all USB mics are created equal. Some might only work with specific versions of Windows, for instance, so be sure to check beforehand whenever possible. 

Frequency response

This applies to both analog and digital mics and denotes the range of frequencies it can pick up at different volumes relative to its own sensitivity. Most studios use A/D/A converters that can pick up the full frequency range to preserve as much detail as possible, but most consumer USB microphones won’t have close to the same quality.

Pop filter

If you’re using a condenser microphone it’s important to get one with proper pop filtering since directional mics will only work properly if they don’t pick up plosives. It’ll reduce sound distortion by reducing how much air pressure is transmitted through the mic whenever you say things like “p” or “b”.

Mic mount

The standard way of holding a USB microphone is by having it stand on its base (similar to what an external speaker does), which allows you to adjust its position relatively easily without having to worry about balance issues. Having a boom arm might be useful if you’re sitting in one place for hours at a time since it’ll help reduce fatigue, but it usually isn’t worth the extra cost.

Direct monitoring

This allows you to hear what’s being recorded rather than through your speakers/headphones, which is important if you ever need to make quick adjustments since it’ll reduce the time between recording and listening to what you’ve done. It’s not usually a necessity for streaming or recording yourself, but it can be extremely useful in specific situations so I’ll mention it whenever possible. 

FAQs About Streaming Microphones

Is it better to use USB or XLR?

Answer: USB is alright, but XLR is by far the better option.
USB protocols are subject to transmission errors, which can cause problems during recording sessions. This doesn’t happen with analog cables like XLR because the signal is transferred straight up without any data degradation. XLR cables are more reliable and you don’t have to worry about having your USB lose connection halfway through a podcast or stream session.

How much should I spend on a microphone?

Answer: If you’re a voice actor who’s never owned a microphone before, and you want up-close and personal recordings of yourself to add depth and authenticity to your voiceovers. If so, $50 is good for one which should be enough to get by with unless you’d like more features such as noise cancellation or wind protection. If instead you use the microphone in combination with other equipment such as an iPod, iPad, CD player, or video camera and would like it to match your current setup then go ahead and spend $100-$200.

What’s is a good sample and bit rate for a microphone?

Answer: If you’re recording vocals, I’d suggest at least a 16-bit resolution and 44.1 kHz sample rate since this is optimal for capturing high frequencies (vocal range). For voiceover work with heavy amounts of noise like dialogue, 8-bit depth can be adequate if you use gentle compression that targets mid-highs (i.e., accentuates the vocal range).

Do I need a microphone boom arm, shock mount, or pop filter?

Answer: No need for a boom arm or shock mount if you’re into podcasts or voice-over. If you’re singing, then yes. All microphones need to be isolated from potential vibrations in order to function optimally. Pop filters are great for controlling plosives (p’s and b’s).

Where to put mic when streaming in twitch?

Answer: Place the microphone at the end of your pinky to ensure proper placement. Too close to something will distort noise, too far away prevents a strong proximity effect on vocals which you want for games. If singing instead of talking, hold the mic still about 6 inches from lips.

How to set up a microphone for streaming

Answer: Every microphone has a different voice pickup pattern, so it’s important to be aware of where your mic picks up sound from the best. The left side is usually for console gamers since they are on their right side and facing away from their webcam, center screen often gets picked up by the center mic on some headsets or cardioid mics.
The right side is often used by those people who operate their camera with their left hand and chat with the other player off-screen using Teamspeak or Skype, doing so allows them to hear both video and audio that way as well as allowing you to see both players faces easier. You can also use two microphones at once if you have a hardware mixer

Conclusion

A good mic is an investment and it’s something that can benefit your content in the long run, so always try to buy the best one you can afford at the moment. This list shouldn’t be taken as a definite list of course since there are other mics out there that may fit your needs better, but it’s a good starting point.

If you’re just starting out in streaming and don’t want to break the bank, it’s safe to start with a USB mic like the blue snowball. It isn’t the best-sounding mic but it does produce good enough sound that would benefit the average streamer. After doing live-streaming for a few months, you can then upgrade to a better mic like the Yeti.


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Abdul Rehman
By Abdul Rehman

Hi, I'm Abdul Rehman and I'm the Blog Editor of VloggingBlog.com! Owing to my love and passion for tech gadgets, I started this blog to help others by sharing my knowledge on how to start a successful YouTube channel through blogging about techniques, tips, tricks, tutorials and reviews of relevant products that will help you create awesome videos easily!



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