USB microphones are the first choice of podcasters and Youtubers for studio recordings. These are If you are new into this world of podcasting or video recordings, USB microphones are the best mics to buy. They are easy to use, very affordable, and deliver good results.
The best part of having a USB microphone is its simple plug and play setup. You don’t need a complicated intermediary device, simply connect the USB cable into your PC, and you are ready to go. These mics are available with great variety.
In this article, we will look at some of the best USB microphones in 2020.
Best USB Microphones in 2020
We have compiled a list of great options for USB microphones, let’s review each option in detail.
Blue Yeti USB Mic: The Best USB Microphone Overall
- Multi pickup patterns
- Three capsule array
- Retro style look
- Great audio output
- Affordable microphone
The Blue Yeti is one of the most popular USB microphones and with a reason. It’s a professional multi-pattern condenser microphone that offers great value at a very affordable price.
The Yeti delivers broadcast-quality audio that is perfect for podcasting, Youtube video recordings, or any other studio recordings. The mic levels up the audio recordings to a professional level.
The USB mic features a special three-capsule array that produces clear and powerful audio.
Blue Yeti comes with a simple setup process. It provides easy access to adjustments for the speaker while on the mic. Whether you need to adjust gain control, the volume of headphones, or pattern selection, you can adjust everything right on the mic.
What distinguishes the Yeti with other mics in this price range is its multi-pickup pattern. The four basic patterns: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, and Stereo pickup covers all of your needs for almost all types of studio recordings.
Overall, it’s a sturdy option with great build quality. The Blue Yeti has an amazing on desk presence that gives an aesthetic appeal to your recordings as well. It’s a bit heavy and large, so it’s not a very portable microphone. Yes, there are better options out there, but it’s the best USB microphone so far in this price range.
Razer Seiren X: USB Microphone With Quality and Performance
- Good audio sensitivity
- Supercardioid condenser mic
- Rejects off-axis sound
- Foldable stand
The Razer Seiren X is another good USB microphone that you should consider. The Seiren X is a condenser microphone that is excellent for studio recordings, live streaming, podcasting, and a lot more.
It’s a condenser microphone with extended frequency response. It picks up the different levels of audio very effectively.
The microphone is a super-cardioid microphone that means it’s more of a directional mic and picks up the audio from the front; rejecting the noise from sides and background. That results in a clear sound with less distraction, even in a noisy environment.
The Razer Seiren X delivers loud and clear sound. It’s not a small mic, but it comes in a pretty compact format and looks decent on the desk. The mic comes with a built-in shock mount that prevents accidental bumps or vibrations from affecting your audio quality.
Overall, it’s a sturdy option with a very reasonable price.
CAD Audio U37: A Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
- Large Diaphragm Mic
- Noise reduction switch
- Comes with light indicators
CAD U37 is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone that is a good option for studio recording, singing, or instrument recordings.
It’s a large-diaphragm microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern. That means it picks up sound right from the front, ignoring the background noise. It isolates the main sound source giving your audio better clarity and richness.
The microphone offers an extended frequency response. For improving the audio, it gives you the 10dB noise reduction switch to minimize the distraction and also a bass reduction switch to control the low room noise.
The blue light indicator on the microphone indicates when it is recording the audio. Overall, it’s a budget-friendly microphone with a rugged build and reasonable quality in this price range. The microphone comes with a sturdy stand that is fully adjustable.
Audio-Technica AT2020: High-Quality USB Condenser Microphone Under $100
- High-quality AD Converter
- Provides audio mixing control
- Adjustable boom arm
If you are willing to increase your budget, then Audio Technica AT2020 is a very suitable option for all types of studio recordings. This one is also a condenser microphone with a USB setup.
The mic is designed for content creators who are looking for an easy setup with good sound quality.
The microphone comes with a high-quality A/D converter that converts the audio into digital signals. The mic allows real-time monitoring of your audio with its headphone jack, and you can adjust the volume without any delay.
It comes with a special Mix option that allows you to blend the pre-recorded sound files into your microphone signals.
The AT2020 is a good quality microphone that delivers superior clarity and detailing to your audio signals. The extended frequency response makes it an excellent choice for home studios, voiceovers, or content creators of different types.
The microphone comes with a very adjustable studio boom arm. You can rotate it to 360 degrees for easy and precise placement of the mic. The boom arm is fully adjustable with its joints and thumbscrews. You can clamp it securely on your desk or any flat surface to prevent vibrations or bumps. Overall, while it is an expensive microphone, it is reasonably priced when you consider its features and audio quality.
Blue Snowball iCE: Budget-Friendly USB Microphone
- Affordable price
- Aesthetically appealing.
- Adjustable stand
If you have a low budget and can’t afford mics like the Blue Yeti or AT2020, then nothing beats Blue Snowball Ice. This one is also a condenser microphone with a crystal clear audio quality. It comes with an easy plug-and-play setup that makes it an excellent choice for beginners.
The mic comes with a cardioid pickup pattern that makes it a good choice for live streaming, skype call, and podcasting. The Snowball Ice comes with a very sturdy stand that helps you place the mic in a good position. The adjustable metal tripod stand looks great and covers very little space on your desk.
A useful feature of the mic is its LED indicator. A small red light blinks when the mic is recording to let you know when it is on. Even when you have the mic on a tripod, it is fully adjustable. The microphone stands on a ball that can rotate back and forth. You can fix the mic as per your comfort level.
The Snowball Ice has a very sturdy look. It has a recording resolution of 44.1 kHz at 16 Bit that is a bit less than Blue Yeti that is 48 kHz. Even with that resolution, it gives excellent sound quality.
The mic does not come with a pop filter. It does well without one, but you can add a pop filter if you don’t want the puff sound effect while recording. Overall, it’s a good quality microphone at an affordable price.
HyperX QuadCast: Best USB Gaming Microphone
- Multi-pickup Patterns
- Decent look
- Extended frequency response
- Provides full control
HyperX QuadCast is a quality microphone that works well for podcasting, live streaming, gaming, or other kinds of studio recordings.
It’s a very decent looking mic that comes with a long USB cable. The mic comes with a sturdy stand. You can adjust the handle for the right positioning. The mic also comes with a shock mount to reduce the impacts of movement on your audio quality.
The microphone allows access to all adjustments and control right on the mic. At the base, you would see the small dots that help you to adjust the volume control.
Like Blue Yeti, the mic comes with four pickup patterns that make it a very multi-purpose mic. The four patterns are stereo, cardioid, bidirectional, and omnidirectional patterns. These patterns allow you to use the mic for multiple purposes. You can do voice overs, interviews, discussions, and a lot more with its multi-pickup patterns.
The microphone uses three condenser capsules for picking up clear and detailed sound. The top of the mic is touch-sensitive. You can mute the mic anytime during recording by simply touching its top. The mic will glow in a nice red color when recording.
Overall, it’s a great quality microphone with lots of useful features for studio recordings. The price is little more than our other options on this list, but you can certainly consider it if you are looking for a good quality mic and are ready to pay a little more for the quality.
Buying Guide of a USB microphone
Here are a few things you should consider before buying a USB microphone.
• Purpose of Application
One of the first things you should consider is what you are going to do with the mic. There is no one best for everything. Once you have narrowed down your needs, choosing a good mic will be easier. For example, podcasting requires an average quality mic, and you can make use of a budget-friendly mic with good sound quality.
For interviews, you need a little more sophisticated model, and a nice USB condenser microphone will do the job. For voiceovers, you may need a multi-pattern mic with ease of use. There are some gaming or streaming microphones that are designed for that very purpose.
USB microphones are available in different price ranges. You can get a decent USB microphone like Blue Snowball Ice under $50. And you can go up as high as you can afford. The quality of audio goes up with the price as well. That does not mean you have to buy a very expensive microphone. Even a budget-friendly microphone can do the job well again; it depends on what you are doing with the mic. For video recordings, instrument recordings, singings, you may need a more sophisticated setup.
• Microphone type
The type of microphone depends on what you are going to do with them. Generally, mics are divided into two categories of a condenser microphone and a dynamic microphone. Condenser microphones are designed for studio recordings. They deliver a better and consistent frequency range.
Dynamic microphones are good for recording loud and strong sounds, especially in live performances.
• Pickup Pattern
Different microphones are designed to pick up the sound in different ways to suit different applications. The most popular pattern is the cardioid pattern. Some condenser microphones offer multi-pattern for picking up audio, and they are very versatile. Overall, if you can afford multi-pattern mics, they are the best option because you can make use of them for so many purposes.
Looks are important if you are recording videos or live streaming with the mics. The microphone should blend in your overall studio setting. It should be aesthetically appealing.
The mic should have a sturdy stand. Some mics come with a tripod, with a stand, and some even have an extendable boom like arms like Audio Technica.
Whatever it is, it should be sturdy, so you don’t have to worry about adjusting the mic in the right direction. Shock mounts are used to keep it safe from vibrations and accidental bumps.
Portability mattes if you are going to travel with the mic. A compact mic with a foldable stand will be easier to pack in your handbag. But if you don’t plan to take the mic out of the studio, even a large mic would do the job.
USB mics are very functional for a studio setup. They are easy to handle even for beginners, and the audio quality is nothing short of perfection. All options in our list of the best USB microphones in 2020 are carefully chosen for your convenience. You should always consider your objectives and the price you are willing to pay for the mic. Overall we choose Blue Yeti as our best choice for studio recordings.
The HyperX QuadCast is also an excellent choice, but it is a bit expensive. If we compare the Blue Yeti and HyperX QuadCast both are multi-pattern condenser microphones and allow you to adjust the setting as per your requirements. With that said, the Blue Yeti takes the edge as being the better value for money than the HyperX QuadCast.
Also, you might want to get yourself a shock mount to get the most out of your microphone. A shock mount helps remove vibrations from your desk that might be picked up by the microphone.
Also Read: – Best Microphone Shock Mount
New to the world of podcasting? Getting a USB microphone for your podcast is a great stepping stone to launch your podcast, but there is much more that goes into a well produced podcast. Check out our beginner’s guide to podcasting to learn about everything you need to launch a podcast.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.