Best USB Microphones

Are you into recording music, creating content for podcasts, or taking down notes during interviews or fieldwork? If you answered yes to one or all of these questions then you already know how important having a reliable USB microphone is.

microphone

Seeing that you have stumbled into this article, we assume that you are on the lookout for the best USB microphones. Well, look no further as we are here to dish out a list of products we consider the best of the best as to what USB microphones have to offer.

Read on to learn more about these products.

Top 5 USB Microphones of 2019

The insurgence of several more manufacturers caused an increase in the number of models of USB microphones. Because of this, choosing the right one becomes more and more difficult.

Thankfully, we are here to dish out our list of the best USB microphones. Read on to learn more about these products and maybe you can find one that best suits your needs.

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Product

Specs

Availability

Feature 1

 

Razer Seiren Elite

 

Feature 2

16 bit/48kHZ Resolution
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Feature 1

 

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

 

Feature 2

High quality A/D converter with 16 bit, 44.1/48 kiloHertz
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE
Feature 1

 

Blue Yeti

 

Feature 2

Tri-capsule array – 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
CLICK HERE FOR PRICE

 

1. Rode NT-USB

Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone,Black
$169.00
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11/30/2021 12:14 am GMT

The first entry on our list is the Rode NT-USB. This product offers top of the line specs with versatile features that are suitable for any type of person needing a USB microphone. Whether you are want to post youtube covers or podcasts, this product may be the one for you.

The Rode NT-USB is a studio type USB microphone that is supported by several platforms from both the Windows as well as Mac OS. You can also make use of this microphone on several software intended for recording music or voiceover, such as Rode Rec and GarageBand. With this, you can record your covers in pristine quality without any hassle.

The product is equipped with zero latency stereo drivers coupled with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Through this, you can monitor the audio output in real time. With this, you can also tinker on the monitoring level between the recording device and the microphone.

Providing better stability with the Rode NT-USB is a small yet sturdy stand. With this, you can place it on any flat surface, be it a desk or table and be assured that it remains stable. It also has a pop filter which seamlessly fits on to the microphone’s base. These features help the Rode NT-USB achieve a stable and efficient placement during recording.

What bogs down the Rode NT-USB in our opinion is the bulky form. Other than that, the Rode NT-USB is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to have a reliable and basic USB microphone.

Things you might like:

  • Zero latency drivers
  • Stable base
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac OS
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack

Things you might not like:

  • Bulky form

 

2. Apogee MiC 96k

Apogee MiC 96k Professional Quality Microphone for iPad, iPhone, and Mac
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Up next on our list is the Apogee MiC 96k.  The product is one of the most compact and low profiles USB microphone you can buy in the market right now. Despite the small form, the USB manages to provide consumers with top of the line specifications.

One of the highlights of the Apogee MiC 96k is the high resolution at which it can record. To be specific, it can record high-quality audio output at 96 kHz, thus being named Apogee MiC 96k.

It is yet another studio type USB microphone which is also a cardioid condenser microphone which is compatible with any audio device or computer powered by Mac or Windows OS.

It has what the manufacturer calls as PURE DIGITAL USB connection. This feature further enhances the recording capability of the microphone, allowing you to record audio at high quality.

The Apogee MiC 96k is equipped with the manufacturer’s cardioid polar pattern which is intended for high-quality vocal recording as well as recording for acoustic instruments.

To make things durable and kept stable, the Apogee MiC 96k is equipped with a steel mesh housing on the capsule of the microphone. The body flaunts a die-cast zinc construction to further solidify and strengthen the build of the microphone.

In terms of controls, the Apogee MiC 96k is equipped with a control knob for adjusting the level of volume of the recording. This allows accessible access to volume control compared to others that you only do on the computer.

If you want to get your hands on the Apogee MiC 96k, make sure to shell out some more cash as it does come with a relatively high price tag. Nonetheless, the high price is justified with the durable build as well as the top-notch features the Apogee MiC 96k has.

Things you might like:

  • Cardioid setup
  • 96k resolution recording
  • Steel mesh housing
  • Die-cast zinc body
  • Accessible volume control

Things you might not like:

  • Expensive

 

3. Razer Seiren Elite

The next entry on our list is one of the most versatile USB microphones you can buy in the market right now. We are talking about the Razer Seiren Elite. This alone makes the product one of the best USB microphones.

The Razer Seiren Elite boasts of an affordable package that can be used for a wide array of applications and uses. Gone are the days when you have to buy a high-end USB microphone to do all these things. With the Razer Seiren Elite, you get a bang for the buck microphone that does all the job.

The product is marketed for gamers, the Razer Seiren Elite gives you the freedom to switch between 4 recording polar setups with a simple move of a control knob. These 4 polar patterns are cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional as well as stereo. These 4 patterns allow the Razer Seiren Elite to become one of the most versatile USB microphones in the market right now.

What makes this unit stand above the rest is the inclusion of a built-in headphone amplifier. This amplifier is compatible with any headphones donning a 3.5 mm jack. In addition, the Razer Seiren Elite is also equipped with a zero latency output which is directly plugged to the mic. This feature allows a  more precise and accurate monitoring of the recordings.

In terms of controls, the Razer Seiren Elite is convenient and user-friendly. It is equipped with 5 controls. These controls allow access to the polar pattern selector, mic volume level control, volume for master headphone, a mute button as well as an OLED display.

To aid in minimizing the noise of the recorded sound, the unit comes with a shock absorbing mount. In addition to this, it also has a pop filter to minimize the amount of hissing noise. For secure storage and carriage, the package comes with a carrying case.

With all these features being mentioned, the Razer Seiren Elite is truly one of the best USB microphones of the year. If we were to nitpick, we would say that the design needs some overhauling as it is rather run of the mill for our taste.

Things you might like:

  • 4 polar pattern
  • Easy access control knob
  • Built-in headphone amplifier
  • Shock absorbing mount
  • Pop filter
  • Reasonable price

Things you might not like:

  • Boring design

 

4. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone, With Built-In Headphone Jack & Volume Control, Perfect for Content Creators
$149.00
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
11/30/2021 12:31 am GMT

The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is an excellent option when you want to record music digitally or when doing voice-overs. The company that manufactures it has a reputable image among critics and consumers as it constantly churns out excellent products with premium quality specifications.

Audio Technica by this point is a popular go-to brand for anyone who is into the recording. In fact, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is one of the best selling USB microphones as of 2017 according to several websites and audio pages.

The product is highly intended for those who want to record music. This is because of the presence of a cardioid condenser design and setup.

Make no mistake, while the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is highly marketed to musicians who want to record content, the product can also be used to record a wide array of applications such as podcasts, site recordings as well as voice-overs.

The product is equipped with a built-in headphone jack that gives you access to control of volume. The efficient headphone jack achieves microphone monitoring without any delay. Added to this, the product is also equipped with a mix control that allows you to manipulate and blend the signal of the microphone along with pre-recorded audio.

The microphone comes with a cardioid setup. This pattern gives off an excellent off-axis rejection. It is also worth noting that the AD converter produces a precise and accurate sound reproduction.

One of the downsides of the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is that it only has a resolution up to 16 bit.

Things you might like:

  • Headphone jack
  • Mix control
  • Cardioid pattern setup
  • Efficient axis rejection

Things you might not like:

  • Low-resolution output

 

5. Blue Yeti

Capping off our list of the best USB microphones is the Blue Yeti. The Blue Yeti remains to be one of the most popular USB microphones among those who require a multi-pattern setup intended for recording or even streaming.

The Blue Yeti is generally one of the most versatile USB microphones you can find in the market nowadays. The product boasts of a reliable resolution of 16 bit. While this is rather low for some, this is the standard resolution for most recordings making it one of the most sought-after USB microphone for recording music and podcasts.

Featuring a tri capsule technology as well as a total of 4 pattern settings, the Blue Yeti further solidifies why it is an all around USB microphone. The pattern settings are cardioid, bidirectional, stereo as well as omnidirectional. These settings can be conveniently changed with a touch of a button.

The tri capsule technology is built within the microphone in order to produce a rich and well-detailed sound output. You get full control of the recording process because of the presence of controls for headphone volume, mute button as well as microphone gain.

It is also worth noting that the Blue Yeti comes with a 3.5 mm headphone jack which gives you access to monitoring the recording process without any unnecessary delays and stutters. The headphone jack is easy and convenient to use. You just simply plug it into a computer and voila! You are set to go.

In terms of compatibility, the Blue Yeti is supported among Windows and Mac OS platforms without any issues.

If you want to get your hands on the Blue Yeti, you have to prepare to shell out more cash as it dons a high price tag.

Things you might like:

  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac OS
  • Easy access controls
  • Multi-pattern setup
  • Tri-capsule technology

Things you might not like:

  • Expensive
  • Low resolution

 

So these are all the best USB microphones this year. Make sure to check out these products when you are on the lookout for USB microphones. Among these products, you might just find the right USB microphone that caters to all your needs.

How important are wired microphones?

USB microphones share the same components as with any traditional microphone, the only difference is the addition of two added circuits. These are the onboard preamp as well as the analog to digital converter.

The circuit is responsible for the wireless connection. Moreover, the analog into the digital converter, as the name implies, is responsible for changing the output of the mic from previously analog to digital. Because of this, the microphone can be directly plugged to a receiving device such as a computer which is then read by a software for recording.

The addition of these two unique components makes it easier and convenient to digitally record any sound picked up by the USB microphone.

What are the different applications of USB microphones?

Aside from recording covers or doing vlogs for posting in social media, USB microphones can be used in a wide array of scenarios. These are the different applications for USB microphones:

Podcasts

If you are planning on expressing your thoughts and ideas through sound recordings then you can do this through podcasts. Setting up podcasts can be complicated and complex and USB microphones play a major role in achieving success in producing podcasts.

Interviews

Gone are the days when people used to record interviews in writing. Modern technology paved the way in making interviews convenient and easy. You can do interviews and record them through USB microphones.

Quick reference recordings

Whether you are constantly on the move and traveling around, note taking can take up a huge amount of your time. If you want to record your thoughts or maybe take note of important details while moving around, USB microphones can do the job with more convenience and mobility.

Voiceovers

The quality of the audio output is very crucial for voiceovers. Voiceovers, whether for movies, for documentaries or any content that requires so needs a reliable and high-quality output that can record audio in optimal clarity.

USB microphones can be used when doing voiceover work. While the degree of noise canceling is not at par with more advanced microphones, USB microphones can still do a decent job.

USB Microphone Buying Guide

Choosing the right USB microphone does not require highly advanced knowledge in regards to microphone technology. However, there are some features and factors that you should check out prior to buying your USB microphone.

Connections and Controls

It is important to take note of the connections and controls that are included in the USB microphone. This is important since this may affect how you can use the USB microphone.

For example, USB microphones usually come with their headphone jack. However, some USB microphones chose to do away with this. You might be needing a headphone jack depending on the task and recording device you are using.

Another important set of controls are the volume controls. This inclusion allows you to modify the volume you project on to the USB microphone. It basically controls how soft or how loud you sound when picking up audio.

Other useful connections include XLR connections.

Transducer

The transducer is another key component you should be checking on the USB microphone. Transducers are one of the components responsible for accurately picking up the sound on the microphone. They can affect the dynamic sound being recorded on the microphone.

Format

Much like traditional microphones, USB microphones do come in several formats. There are USB microphones that are handheld. This type of microphone is extremely useful when doing abrupt recordings and interviews.

Desktop formats are intended for recording instruments or when doing accurate voice-over work.  It is also worth noting that desktop types generally have better hardware and thus pick up a more clear and accurate sound.

Resolution

As mentioned above, there are components within the USB microphone that are responsible for converting analog sound to digital. The degree of quality of this conversion depends on o the audio sample as well as the bit rate.

This is regarded as the resolution of the sound being picked up. Normally, the best USB microphones pick up a resolution of 96 KHz and can have a bit rate of 16 bit to 24 bit.

Price

Price is another distinguishing factor for any USB microphone. There is a wide array of prices available for different USB microphones however not all of these are built to the same degree of quality.

Generally, USB microphones are cheaper compared to the other types of microphones. You just have to be wise and choose one that offers more bang for your buck.

Software Compatibility

Since USB microphones are usually connected to computers or smartphones, you must check whether the USB microphone is compatible with the software of your audio device. This is important since not all USB microphones are equipped with the right drivers to be able to pair with the audio device.

For example, Apple, being a unique yet highly specified their devices can be, their devices are not always readily available for pairing with a USB microphone. Because of this, you need to check on the packaging or on the label whether the USB microphone is IOs ready or not.