Microphone technology has advanced quickly in recent years, and USB microphones have replaced traditional microphones in everything from recording podcasts to music. USB microphones have helped turn the once tedious task of converting analog sounds into digital files a simple task that doesn’t require any additional audio equipment. With that in mind, we’ve compiled the Top 10 Best USB Microphones.
What to Look for When Buying a USB Microphone
- What to Look for When Buying a USB Microphone
- 10. CAD GXL2400 USB Microphone
- 9. Aitesco Lavalier Clip-on Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone
- 8. Fifine Plug & Play Condenser Microphone K058
- 7. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Condenser USB Microphone
- 6. Tonor USB Professional Condenser Microphone
- 5. eBerry Plug and Play Adjustable USB Microphone
- 4. Fifine Plug and Play Microphone K668
- 3. Fifine Metal Condenser USB Microphone
- 2. CAD U37 USB Studeo Condenser Recording Microphone
- 1. Blue Yeti Blackout Edition
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There are a few considerations that go into buying a USB microphone, and it is our hope our Top 10 Best USB Microphones will make this process simple for you. Without doing the proper research, it’s easy to make a purchase that doesn’t match your needs. When buying a USB Microphone, you need consider your purpose for the microphone, what frequency response you need, and of course what your budget constraints are.
Purpose: Microphones come in two types: condenser and dynamic. Condenser mics are ideal for human speech and singing, but for most musical instruments you’ll want a dynamic microphone. We will be review primarily condenser microphones in this article.
Frequency Response: A microphone’s frequency response refers to the range of frequency it is able to pick up. This range is measured in hertz and kilohertz. For vocals, you’ll typically want a microphone that picks up between 80 hertz and 15 kilohertz. For louder instruments such as those used for drumsets need to operate on a lower frequency.
Budget: Last but not least, the price range for USB mics can vary wildly. It’s important you go into buying a microphone with a set budget and realistic expectations. There are ample microphones that provide high quality recordings that won’t break the bank.
10. CAD GXL2400 USB Microphone
An excellent value for anyone looking to record a podcast or stream gaming, the CAD GXL2400 is a sturdy condenser microphone designed to pick up the spoken word. This unit has a frequency response that tops out at 18kHz which is ideal for its purpose. There have been complaints of this unit developing a popping and crackling noise when recording, but these reports are uncommon.
- Excellent for podcasting and gaming, includes noise reducing shock mount
- Not ideal for most musical recording, potential issue with degrading audio quality
9. Aitesco Lavalier Clip-on Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone
The most basic of USB microphones, this clip on microphone is designed as a budget conscious option for using Skype and Youtube videos. The clip-on functionality and the lack of a stand limits this microphone in what it can do. Despite it’s budget design, this unit has a frequency response that tops out at 16kHz, putting it with the range of acceptable audio microphones.
- Budget friendly, acceptable for informal voice recordings
- Below average recording quality, not suitable for recording music
8. Fifine Plug & Play Condenser Microphone K058
The Fifine Plug and Play Condenser Microphone is another good option for voice recording podcasts, home studio recording and field interviews. While not as sturdy as the CAD GXL2400, this unit is more mobile and versatile. The Fifine Plug and Play is entirely driver free, meaning it will work with any PC without needing additional software.
- Versatile, Good for voice recording
- Not suitable for recording music, less sturdy than similar models
7. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Condenser USB Microphone
A top of the line option, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is a top quality USB microphone ideal for any voice recording. This microphone has an incredible frequency response that tops out at 48kHz. This high level of quality is matched by a price tag that is five times the other models we’ve reviewed. By most accounts, the AT2020 has a much longer than average life expectancy which can help cushion the blow of the higher cost.
- Excellent performance, long life expectancy
- High price tag
6. Tonor USB Professional Condenser Microphone
The Tonor USB Professional Condenser USB Microphone is another great option for recording podcasts and audio files. This unit is a good mix of performance and value. An easily transportable stand and plug and play compatibility makes this one of the more versatile options. This Tonor microphone also offers a much more robust warranty than most of the other microphones reviewed.
- Versatile, decent voice audio, budget friendly, strong warranty
- Weaker performance than most similar options
5. eBerry Plug and Play Adjustable USB Microphone
The eBerry Plug and Play Adjustable USB Microphone is one of the few options available with a built in stand. That makes this a strong choice for a home office or permanent studio, but it’s less ideal when on the go. While the quality is on the lower end, it’s also one of the most inexpensive. The lower quality isn’t limited to the audio as the casing and stand itself is flimsy.
- Inexpensive, plug and play capable
- Immobile, flimsy stand
4. Fifine Plug and Play Microphone K668
The second Fifine microphone on the list, the K668 is a stripped down, more budget friendly version of the K058 reviewed above. The specifications are nearly identical, with the K668 coming in a more inexpensive case. Setting it apart from many other condenser USB microphones is its distinct omnidirectional pickup pattern, which allows a much larger area that the microphone can pick up sound in.
- Versatile, Good for voice recording, Plug and Play
- Not suitable for recording music, less sturdy than similar models
3. Fifine Metal Condenser USB Microphone
Lightweight and compact, the Fifine Metal Condenser USB Microphone is highly portable and lightweight despite maintaining a level of quality that matches many of the other microphones we’ve reviewed. In fact, with a frequency resolution of 20hz to 20kHz this unit has a better range than most of its competitors. This microphone does run into issues when the user isn’t within a few inches of it, however.
- Excellent performance coupled with compact size
- Limited recording range
2. CAD U37 USB Studeo Condenser Recording Microphone
Straddling the range between budget microphones and the very best, the CAD U37 comes with a sturdy stand and heavy duty casing. Despite it’s resiliency, the microphone is streamlined and the the stand easily folds up making this microphone highly portable. Also setting this microphone apart is its 10dB overload-protection switch, which minimizes audio distortion coming from loud sound sources. While this microphone is capable, it’s frequency response isn’t any better than some of the budget models.
- Highly portable, sturdy build
- On the higher end of the price range, average quality
1. Blue Yeti Blackout Edition
One of the top USB microphones available, the Blue Yeti Blackout Edition is a condenser microphone with high enough quality that it is able to handle most instruments as well. For this, the Blue Yeti relies on its Tri-capsule array. The tri-capsule array is made up of three individual condenser capsules that provides great flexibility. Unlike most of its competitors, the Blue Yeti can alter its own recording pattern, including switching from omnidirectional to stereo. With this high performance comes with a potentially high price tag.
- High quality recording, able to do some musical recording
- At the top end of the price range