This microphone loses out on the top spot primarily because of the single recording pattern. Two capsules provide cardioid or omnidirectional polar patterns. That will allow you to monitor the recording in real-time, which is invaluable when recording music, for example. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. A plug-and-play USB microphone is one of the simplest ways to capture quality audio, requiring none of the setup and expense of professional recording equipment. Every USB microphone on this list has achieved a minimum average star rating of 4 to 4.5 on Amazon. If you’re a musician who needs a quality method of recording new ideas while on the road, USB microphones are the perfect choice. They’re perfect for anything from creating a regular podcast series to starting up your own vlog channel on YouTube. Here you'll find the best mics we've tested, along with a guide to their various uses. However, because of its plastic build, the CAD U37 definitely resembles cheaper units in terms of its aesthetic and lacks the finesse of Blue’s models. PCMag, PCMag.com and PC Magazine are among the federally registered trademarks of Ziff Davis, LLC and may not be used by third parties without explicit permission. Multi-pattern, including adjustable stereo images and mono cardioid modes. For such a small, inexpensive mic, the Blue Snowball pulls off some fancy tricks. If you are recording an experienced speaker who has excellent mic technique, you might want to go for a USB mic that has no DSP baked in. Unlike some USB microphones, an SD card isn’t required to store your recorded media. Hobbyists aren’t the only ones who can benefit from using this kind of technology. In other words, don't base your decision on pricing and buy the most expensive thing, assuming you're getting what you need. USB mics also often have headphone jacks, which is another anomaly compared with the analog studio mic world. It doesn’t skimp on functionality either: You can choose between bidirectional, omnidirectional, and cardioid recording patterns, making this mic suitable for all types of recording. And we also think that the plastic mount could be stronger, or made from a more durable material. Thus, the concept of a "pure" signal is a bit misleading—what you're really usually after is a clean signal, which should be a given with pro mics. We’ve gathered a list of related recommendations that could help you take your audio to the next level. This is because, on the whole, USB mics are made less for pro-level setups and more for typical computer-based setups that lack an audio interface to field multiple inputs. The Blue Yeti has been the best USB microphone around for quite awhile due to its relatively affordable price, solid quality and diverse recording modes. Subscribing to a newsletter indicates your consent to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Depending on what and where you plan to record, you might need your own mic stand, pop filter, or perhaps even a shock mount. Due to the design, it’s almost impossible to achieve a comfortable positioning of the microphone in front of your face. Condenser microphones are best suited for vocals, but they’re typically not great for louder audio sources. But it’s less a question of whether or not it will work, and more so whether it’s worth the investment. Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. Best USB Microphone Buying Guide. Records audio that syncs up with video taken on phones and tablets. When improvements were made to this technology and the power-supplying circuitry was hidden within the mic, the term phantom power became commonplace. Besides that, the only other negative to note is that the microphone’s weight tends to imbalance the monitor mount. What’s more, our recommendations come directly from audio professionals and real consumers who have tried and tested these products. By Joe Porletto / July 30, 2020 July 30, 2020 / Reviews / microphone / Leave a Comment. With USB mics, the concept isn't—or at least shouldn't be—wildly different. By Benjamin Abbott 09 ... It’s impressively sharp and is perhaps the best standard of sound I’ve heard on a USB microphone. It’s a cardioid-only microphone, which utilizes 10 dB overload protection to reduce loud noise distortion, much like the Blue Snowball. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone Computer PC Microphone Kit with Adjustable Scissor Arm Stand Shock Mount for Instruments Voice Overs Recording Podcasting YouTube Karaoke Gaming Streaming-T669 at Amazon.com. You’ll also want to think about your microphone’s transducer. Finally, most USB mics are plug-and-play ready. The goal with any mic is almost always going to be about clarity, but for podcasts, we need to take into account the vocalist. And don’t get me wrong…that’s awesome. Hence, the rise of the plug-and-play USB microphone. Currently, the best usb microphone is the Rode NT Condenser. This is a question that needs to be considered on a case-by-case basis, as the answer differs between microphones. This pattern is well-suited to scenarios such as interviews, where you’re sitting directly opposite your guest speaker. If so, then don’t waste any money on an interface. Your subscription has been confirmed. But what it lacks in recording pattern variety, it makes up for in other areas. Lack of DSP presets not for those seeking EQ/compression baked into signal. We’ve sourced these product recommendations from audio professionals and everyday customers, using both real consumer feedback and reviews from respected authorities in audio tech. The best USB microphones are more important than ever – thanks to increasing bandwidth and new internet-based technologies, we’re going through a communications revolution right now. JLAB Talk GO USB microphone review By Andy Chen / June 10, 2020 June 10, 2020 / Reviews / microphone / 3 Comments REVIEW – If you are … It’s not the highest-scoring mic on our ranking, but it’s a studio-quality recorder and cross-functional. Some mics also include onboard volume controls, or other physical buttons to switch between recording patterns on the fly. Once you're ready to get recording, check out our tips for how to create your own successful podcast and the best audio editing software. Don’t buy yourself a cardioid microphone if you’re going to be sitting on either side of an interview table. ... AmazonBasics Mini Condenser Microphone Review. It’s an inexpensive, entry-level device that’s highly portable — though it isn’t light for its size and the attachments aren’t particularly tight-fitting. The Best True Wireless Earbuds for Running, AirPod Alternatives: The Best True Wireless Earbuds for 2020, The Best Noise-Cancelling True Wireless Earbuds for 2020, The Best Cheap Earbuds and Headphones (Under $50). You’ll also want to consider how and where you’ll mount your microphone. These microphones would also be prone to picking up sounds like the clattering of keyboards, so they’re less suited to streaming. The mic supports both Windows and Mac, and it also has a headphone output for monitoring your work in real-time. If it's only one person talking in the room, a cardioid pattern mic is probably the best route. When it comes to the best USB microphones, there’s variation in the price tag, the type of recording pattern, and the build quality. Dynamic microphones are generally a better choice for these louder sources, including guitars, bass guitars, drums, and so on. If you’re streaming games on Twitch, you’ll want a high-quality USB microphone. See our full Blue Yeti X review. What works for live streaming games might be a musical disaster, and the pristine signal you get from a top-flight mic aimed at musicians might provide far more fidelity (and far less convenience) than you need for a podcast. If you're wondering why Blue Microphones would name its microphone after a mythical abominable snowman, then you should see the Yeti in person. We get a picture of the microphone on the front along a description saying its best for gaming, streaming and podcasting, also there are a couple of stickers at the bottom which tell us it’s certified for Discord and Blue Voice which must mean it’s part of a range. And you’ll probably also want a headphone output so that you can monitor game volume alongside the recording. We've tested a number of USB microphones to determine which ones work best for different scenarios, not to mention different budgets. Home » Electronics » Top 10 Best USB Microphone in 2020 Reviews Last updated on January 01, 2020 If you are in search of a microphone that you can use hassle-free, a USB mic has you covered. Go figure. Whether you’re a vlogger, streamer, podcaster, or singer, a USB microphone is perfect for capturing vocals. Microphones in music recording have always been one of the more mysterious elements of the signal chain. The hybrid Shure MV7 microphone delivers strong vocal quality and the versatility of dual USB/XLR connectivity. But they’re not ideal for a conference call or round-table discussion, where speakers are seated to the sides. For some users, a mic that ships with its own stand and windscreen or pop filter will be the more reasonable choice. And some mics not only employ DSP, but glob it on in thick coats that offer anything but a pure signal (and that can be fine, too, if it serves your intended purpose). Shaped more like a voice recorder than a traditional mic, it’ll fit comfortably on your desk, or in your pocket when not in use. The Elgato Wave: 3 is a solid USB microphone with a user-friendly design that's better suited for podcasters and streamers than musicians. Thus, most gaming mics aren't going to be shy about employing DSP to reduce distortion and clipping. We may receive compensation if you click on a link. PCMag.com is a leading authority on technology, delivering Labs-based, independent reviews of the latest products and services. Typically, most of the mics with heavy DSP are geared toward gamers, though that's not exclusively the case. Additionally, you can’t make any adjustments to the microphone gain without employing third-party audio software. Finally, most gaming mics are going to offer their own headphone jack, hopefully low- or zero-latency, so you don't hear a distracting slapback delay while talking. Basically, a microphone with phantom power doesn’t require a separate, external power supply. 2. Free software for blending various audio sources when streaming. It slots right into an included carry case, which isn’t much bigger than a wallet. A quick word about a major limitation in the USB microphone world: You can typically only record one mic at a time. August 29, 2020 August 13, 2020 by Sam. An audio interface is useful if you’re plugging in instruments that require conversion, for example. Still, overall, this is a reliable, high-quality product from one of the most respected brands in audio. The Shure MV88 is a useful, compact microphone for recording via iOS devices on the go, whether in stereo or mono, with or without DSP. It’s clear that a lot of thought has gone into all aspects of the design, which includes a number of physical controls. When you’re on the hunt for a new USB microphone, if you’re a Mac user, look for Garageband support. Check the USB microphone that you’re buying, as many will include software for recording audio. Most of these factors simply depend on what you need. For example, the microphone head can swivel a full 360 degrees, so stand positioning is less important than with other mics. The CAD U37 is a beginner’s USB mic that’s priced accordingly, offering the perfect solution for voiceovers or podcasting. If, on the other hand, the podcast routinely calls for interviewees who have little or no mic technique, you may wish to use a mic that has some protective DSP like in the aforementioned gaming mics, so that outbursts of laughter or sudden rises in level are not immediately turned into a distorted mess. With microphones in general, check out the specific model you plan to buy so you know what you’ll need. It’s a free program that’s compatible with both Windows PCs and Mac computers. Your eyes don’t deceive you: Yes, we did already list the Blue Snowball back in 4th position on our ranking. While cardioid (single-direction) is the standard pattern, maybe you want to capture more than one voice with an omnidirectional or figure-eight pattern. This is also a microphone that won’t dominate your desk — it’s smaller than the Blue Snowball, our best budget microphone. There are 3 commonly used recording patterns, or polar patterns, that you’ll want to be aware of when you’re shopping for a USB microphone. Whatever you’re recording, a USB microphone is enough to get started, but there are some accessories that can make things easier. Most phone/tablet cases will need to be removed in order for mic to connect. © 1996-2020 Ziff Davis, LLC. Don't rely on the wimpy mic built into your phone or laptop. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product or service, we may be paid a fee by that merchant. Here's my full review + audio tests. The price is very affordable for the quality of the microphone, included tripod, and … Though it lacks omnidirectional or even bidirectional recording, it still performs very well with its cardioid pattern in numerous scenarios. Wit a pretty decent range available at either end and the assistance of our guide and USB port mic reviews we have no doubt you will be able to narrow it down for yourself. However, there are 3 USB mics that we’d recommend above the others for certain purposes. There may seem like a lot of factors to keep in mind when purchasing a USB microphone for gaming. The Blue Yeti microphone works great in many recording situations and offers a ton of useful features for the price.. Clarity should be a given, so we focus on characteristics. Outside of the USB mic world, there are several styles of microphone (condenser, dynamic, ribbon) that, combined with the various microphone polar patterns (cardioid, hypercardioid, omnidirectional, figure-eight), produce a wide range of options for the recording engineer. Don’t forget that you may also want a webcam, meaning you’ll have to think carefully about microphone positioning. But you’ll want to operate in an area with near-silence to avoid capturing unwanted ambient noise on your track. As such, it’s best for recording podcasts or voiceovers — it’ll work with game consoles, but there are cheaper alternatives that’ll do the job just as well. Through six years and testing of more than 25 mics, the Blue Yeti is still the best USB microphone that’s an easy and noticeable upgrade over built-in mics. And it’s widely compatible with a range of iOS devices as well as Windows and Mac computers. You want a mic that provides an accurate, clear signal, but there's no denying that engineers and producers consistently go to certain mics because of their particular characteristics. Some are Apple-only products, whereas others are suited for Windows PCs, too — and they all use USB connectivity. In most cases, a USB microphone will work just fine with your PlayStation or Xbox console. Basically, if your goal is to record multiple microphones at once, USB mics are probably not what you need—and you'll want to look instead into a USB (or Thunderbolt) audio interface that can receive multiple inputs at once and send them as separate tracks to your recording platform. Phantom power is a commonly misunderstood area of microphone operation that we want to cover in brief detail. Keep an eye on your inbox! Such interfaces don’t accept USB as an input source, which rules out all of the products we’ve listed. Home Latest Reviews Earther Science io9 Field Guide Video. We’ve ranked the 10 best USB microphones to suit a wide range of purposes and budgets. (If you’re already an expert in audio tech, you may skip ahead.). If you’re starting out in the world of podcasting, then you want to focus on your recordings, not on purchasing a bunch of expensive, difficult-to-use equipment. Depending on your budget and needs, here's how to pick the best USB microphone for gaming, podcasting, or recording music. You may unsubscribe from the newsletters at any time. For example: A “Mix Control” feature allows you to blend your microphone signal with pre-recorded audio. The Apogee HypeMiC includes analog compression in its signal chain to very impressive results. The Rode NT-USB microphone is solely a cardioid pattern mic, which may sound limited compared to the Blue Yeti. Depending on your budget and needs, here's how to pick the best USB microphone … But not all recording software plays nice with USB mics. In this scenario, you're almost definitely talking about using XLR mics (since the interface handles the digital conversion for you and connects via USB or Thunderbolt, thus eliminating the convenience and need for a USB mic in the first place), and you're on your way to a setup that's more pro-level than what we're typically discussing when USB mics are part of the equation. When you make your purchase, you’ll have the option to pair the microphone with numerous helpful accessories. Investing in a microphone is a wise idea as this brings out your voice clearly and in crisp format. Admittedly, this microphone isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing. The reasonably priced Blue Yeti Nano USB microphone delivers high-quality, crisp audio with two selectable polar patterns and a DSP-free signal chain. In the past, USB microphones were often seen as a gimmick, but they’ve been improving constantly. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. And there are plenty of music mics, like the Sennheiser MK 4 Digital and the Blue Raspberry, that use no DSP whatsoever. It’s clear from the design and the inclusion of omnidirectional recording that this mic is intended primarily for interviews. The JLab Audio Talk USB Microphone is a really good addition to any work-from-home or podcasting setup. This is a condenser microphone that offers a cardioid recording pattern, as well as a lag-free headphone output. USB cable won’t cause trouble with your computer setup, and it’ll work on both iOS and Windows. Don't rely on the wimpy mic built into your phone or laptop. Otherwise, our pick of the best overall USB microphone, based on the most positive feedback, is the Blue Yeti. You can still record music with a condenser microphone — just be sure to check out reviews before you commit. Copyright ©2020 Rave Reviews, All Rights Reserved. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Expert Tip. There are both cardioid and omnidirectional mics, as well as budget-range units and more expensive gadgets for professional recording. Among USB mics, it's mostly (but not always) condenser mics, and mostly (but not always) cardioid patterns. It’s pretty clear that Blue produces some quality USB microphones. Requires desktop Sherpa app (or OS adjustments) to modify gain levels. But, as long as you use the following factors to help guide your decision, you can’t choose a bad product. Here is a detailed review of the Fifine K669 USB Podcast Condenser Microphone review. The Fifine K053 USB Lavalier Mic is a wired, lavalier lapel mic that connects to your computer via USB … But as we mentioned in the Rode NT-USB review, some microphones suffer from a short cable, and this is one. Like the Yeti, it boasts compatibility with both Windows and Mac, as well as a headphone out and mobile compatibility. This thing is huge--like, disturbingly huge. The Samson Go Mic earns its name — it’s highly portable and designed to be used when traveling. In this Blue Yeti review, we’re going to take a look at all the features, sound quality, and let you know who it’s best for. But not all USB microphones have this feature, so be sure to check before you buy. The prospect of “getting into audio” is a daunting one. https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-usb-microphones. Today we’re looking at a budget usb microphone, the FiFine K670. But the key difference lies in recording patterns. Spending more doesn't necessarily mean you get a better product, but there does seem to be a fairly sensible scale of quality associated with price. Transducer. There’s a regular cardioid mode and an omnidirectional mode, too — but you’ll also get an enhanced cardioid mode. The Talk series of mics attempt to cover every … The Samson Meteor is a seriously attractive microphone, contending with Blue for the best chrome or brushed metal aesthetics. Blue Yeti X Professional USB Microphone Closer Look The Yeti X is presented in a large and pretty heavy box. You may be wondering why it’s called phantom power at all. One feature offered by some of the best USB microphones is a headphone jack. Besides, there are features built into the AT2020USB+ that are clearly intended for more professional use. Despite the overload protection, this microphone still doesn’t handle extreme highs and extreme lows very well. But what if you don’t want any gimmicks? It supports multiple recording patterns, which are quickly accessible via a physical switch mounted on the microphone. It might be worth considering a mic that has a figure-eight pattern if there's a one-on-one interview happening—placing the mic in the middle of the two speakers in this scenario (provided they are not far away from each other) can yield a natural-sounding recording. Since its launch in 2009, the Yeti has become synonymous with the rise in podcasting , streaming and vlogging, with users loving its plug-and-play simplicity. Some mics can handle higher sound pressure levels, making them great for recording loud drums and amps, while some mics are ideal for capturing every bit of detail in a vocalist's dynamic performance. And first-time setup is a breeze — simply plug and play, with the necessary drivers automatically installed. You probably don't want a mic that uses obvious DSP in the signal like many gaming mics do. For shoppers on a budget, there’s the best budget USB microphone, which is the Blue Snowball. It also supports bidirectional, omnidirectional, and cardioid recording patterns, setting you up for pretty much any scenario. The Blue Yeti X microphone is a worthy update to the lineup, with four mic patterns to meet a variety of recording needs. JLAB Audio Talk USB Microphone review. And it’s a common feature of most condenser microphones, including many we’ve listed here. Check what accessories come with your microphone as well. In this post, I will tell you about FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone and is it worth buying for you if you wanted to record your audio. There's also the omnidirectional route if you're trying to capture the sound of a room. The Blue Yeti X offers incredible audio quality for a USB microphone, and it has lots of fun features. With USB mics, you can capture studio-quality audio at entry-level prices. Here are the specific criteria that we used to judge our winners: The Blue Yeti, much like the abominable snowman, is something you may go looking for but have difficulty finding. Just don’t expect it to be the best in the business at capturing your desk-based audio work. It also includes a host of useful accessories, including a 20-inch USB cable. The audio is processed and digitized through the microphone itself instead of at the other end of the cable. After all, they won our best overall and best budget titles. The culmination of this methodical process is an airtight list of the very best USB microphones money can buy. Of course, the compression or dynamic limiting is often in place to prevent distortion on peaks, so it's there in the name of preventing distortion from getting into the recording, which is the whole purpose of DSP to begin with. Which are quickly accessible via a physical usb microphone reviews mounted on a link and annoying.! Consider how and where you ’ re typically not great for louder audio usb microphone reviews particular... T make any adjustments to the microphone is a lack of third-party trademarks and trade names this. Hence, the iCE only offers a cardioid microphone if you plan on recording vocals over pre-recorded tracks! 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That this mic is probably your best bet next level reviews / microphone / Leave Comment... A range of purposes and budgets pulls off some fancy tricks ships with its own stand and windscreen or filter. Ones who can benefit from using this kind of technology, high-fidelity signals—it 's just that! Better handle on that pointless — we ’ d get from an analog headset that uses traditional headphone/microphone....