You will have noticed that the plug on a standard microphone does not connect straight to your computer. This needs to be considered when you are searching for the Best Computer Microphones. There are adapters that can turn your standard mic jack into a USB.
Or even better, you can use an audio interface. You plug the mic into the interface. Then the interface into the computer. But, if you are using a condenser mic, make sure the audio interface you use has phantom power.
For many, that is the easiest option. A USB microphone has all the usual parts you expect in a mic, but it also has an analog to digital converter. It will also have a built-in preamp. The converter takes the analog signal and converts it into data. It can then be read by the computer. As simple as plugging it in, open your DAW and away you go.
In terms of the life of a microphone, this is all very recent technology. The microphone has been around for over 100 years. But it was the late 70s and early 80s that technology advanced. It came to the point where an easy way to plug a microphone into a computer was needed. As we know, technology moves fast, and now we have a wide variety of mics that will just ‘plugin.’
So, let’s take a look at the Best Microphones for Computer currently available and find the perfect one for you…
Top 10 Best Computer Microphones To Buy In 2021 Reviews
1 Blue Yeti USB Mic
Using a microphone can often be fraught with potential problems. This applies even more if you are using it to record vocals. It, therefore, makes sense to use a microphone that is flexible and easy to use. The Yeti microphone from Blue is designed to be exactly that. It includes features that allow it to be used in a variety of environments.
To start with, it offers options for polar patterns. There are omnidirectional or bi-directional patterns, which means you can choose which one is best for the circumstances. Omnidirectional will pick up sound sources from all around the mic. Therefore you will get an element of background noise, possibly crowd noise. If that is what you want, that is a good choice.
Bi-directional collects the sound source from the front or back but not the sides. Ideal if you are using the mic for an interview. It also allows cardioid or stereo recording. The three condenser tri-capsule array gives you the variety we mentioned. You can record in just about any situation.
The recording quality is 16-bit/48kHz, which is not the most efficient but adequate. As added extras to facilitate quality recording, there are mute and gain controls. To give you latency-free monitoring via the gain control and built-in amp for the headphones.
With a lot of Blue’s microphones, the stand supplied can be a bone of contention. Some like it, others not. It has its plus points in that it is adjustable to the correct position for interviews, podcasts, and the like. It will, therefore, be ideally suited for sitting applications.
However, for recording vocals maybe is not quite so efficient if the user is standing. Getting a suitable position might be a touch awkward. You can, though, just ditch the stand, and you can attach it to a standard mic stand.
The USB plug goes straight into your laptop or computer. No drivers are required, and it is Windows and Mac compatible.
The build quality is very good and robust, and at 4.43 pounds is just heavy enough to make it stable. At its price point, it is very good value.
- Well-made with some good built-in features.
- Three condenser patterns and a variety of pickup patterns at an affordable price.
- The stand can be awkward.
2 Shure MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone
If you are talking about quality microphones, it won’t be too long before the name of Shure is mentioned. The MV5 is designed specifically for use with computers. It is a very flexible mic that will produce great results from your computer or from a mobile device.
Its medium-sized capsule drivers give a clear sound, whether for podcasting, voice-overs, or vocal tracking. It can also be used for live instruments. It is, therefore, a very multifunctional microphone.
The recording is a step up from the Blue we just reviewed, at an impressive 24-bit/48kHz. It also provides low-latency real-time monitoring via the built-in headphone output. Plus, there is the MOT1V app that you can use to adjust gain and where you can add limiting and compression, as well as adjust the EQ.
It has a frequency range of 20Hz to 20,000Hz. As a further option, you have access to the OTIV app. This is specifically for video and audio capture. Similar sound and level adjustments can be made here as with the MOT1V app. But there is also monitoring on-screen.
It comes with a stand that is adjustable and detachable. This makes for easy use for desktop use. If necessary, it can be removed from the supplied stand and used on a standard mic stand.
However, there is a slight problem with the stand. The mic, when attached to its stand, is five and a half inches tall. The stand is well-made of aluminum, which looks very nice and is of good quality. But the aluminum build makes it very lightweight. This can cause the mic to be top-heavy and unstable and actually fall over if not positioned correctly.
It comes with a micro-USB to USB cable for use with Mac and Windows PC’s and also Android devices. There is also a micro-USB to Lightning cable. That is if you have iOS devices.
This is a typical high-quality mic from one of the best manufacturers. The price point is set, so this becomes a very attractive option when considering the many features.
- It offers many options for recording at a good recording quality.
- Apps that let you adjust settings form sound and video capture at an affordable price.
- The mic is a bit top-heavy on the stand supplied.
3 Audio-Technica AT2020USB
Audio-Technica is a well-known manufacturer of microphones, headphones, and other audio equipment. Founded in 1962 in Tokyo, they, like many other Japanese audio companies, have gained a worldwide reputation for quality products. Their microphones especially are highly thought of, and this model is a good example.
The AT2020 USB+ is the USB version of the well-respected AT2020 mic that is very much a part of Audio-Technica’s success. It carries all the essential similarities that made it such a respected microphone. Add to that the design that makes it easy to use and still delivers that quality. Put those together, and you have a very good mic for use with your computer.
The AT2020 was a mic that allowed condenser microphones to be a little more affordable. The USB version continues on with that legacy.
Like the 2021, this is a cardioid condenser mic, which means it is able to concentrate on a single sound source. The design will reduce the external noise from the rear or the sides. It has a low-mass diaphragm, which gives the mic a better transient response and excellent frequency response. It has a 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz sample resolution.
This mic will give you excellent performance for your voice-overs and podcast. It will also do a great job of recording vocals. It has a 20Hz-20kHz Frequency Response and is fully compatible with Windows and Mac computers.
One good added feature is the built-in headphone jack. This also has volume and sound mixing controls. The mix control allows you to blend the playback volume with the mic for a high standard of monitoring. It comes with a simple tripod stand that is very effective for recording seated and allows full access to the mic.
It has a solid build structure to Audio-Technica’s usual high standards and comes in a little more expensive than some. However, it is worth it because it is a quality mic.
- Good build quality with some very good features.
- Excellent sound from a mic based on the successful AT2020.
- 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz sample resolution could be better.
4 Samson Go Portable Mic
Next on our list of the best computer microphones, we have the Samson Go. This is a well-designed microphone that is, as the name implies, is great for people on the move. It is a condenser microphone that has been designed with two polar patterns. You can switch between Cardioid and Omnidirectional to suit whatever environment is required. This gives it a great deal of versatility.
If you want solo vocal or close-mic recording, then the Cardioid options provide that. If a wider sound collection is needed, it offers an omnidirectional choice.
Perfect for recording multiple instruments or two or three singers at the same time. It has a very clever design idea that allows it to be folded down after use. This compact design is a useful feature and makes this mic especially suitable for podcasts on location or recording situations where you don’t want to be carrying too much equipment around.
If you are using it for vocals, you should remember it has very basic built-in functions. A pop filter will be required. Given that the price point is very affordable, it has some decent features.
A 16 bit 44.1kHz sample rate isn’t the best but quite acceptable, and it has an SPL of 121dB. It has an onboard headphone amp that will let you listen to what you are recording, which provides very good latency-free monitoring. There is also an output that will give you a connection to powered speakers if required.
The frequency response is also at a decent level of 20Hz to 18kHz. To set your levels, there is an LED indicator. There is then plenty to make this little mic an attractive, functional option.
It will work with the majority of Mac and Windows laptops. If they have a USB port, of course. A USB cable is provided, but it isn’t particularly long at just four feet.
It has its limitations, of course, and it is probably more efficient at recording podcasts, voice-overs, etc., than song vocals. Instruments can also be recorded but possibly not at a particularly high quality. It certainly will need to be used in a fixed position and is not suitable to be handheld. A good mic that fulfills a number of functions at a very competitive price.
- Switchable polar patterns make it quite versatile.
- Small, compact, and easy to carry, plus it can be folded away after use.
- Won’t perform so well for song vocal recording.
5 Samson Meteor Mic
Another microphone from Samson who were founded in 1980 in New York and specializes in manufacturing a number of products, including wireless microphone systems. They introduced their first USB mic in 2005 and have now expanded their operations to include Hartke amplification, a brand quite well-known in Bass guitar circles.
Samson manufactures a wide range of mics and accessories under the Samson name, and the Meteor is an example of their many USB mic options.
This is a studio condenser mic with a large 25mm diaphragm, and it has a cardioid pattern. This concentrates on the sound source from the front and eliminates any unwanted sounds. It also helps to reduce feedback. It is, therefore, ideally suited to single vocal recordings. For the Meteor, that is likely to be podcasts, voice-overs, or video soundtrack.
It is nicely built with a chrome-plated body and fold-back tripod style legs; it is, therefore, easy to carry around. Designed to sit on your tabletop for recording, which is a convenient place for use and it is supplied with a mic stand adapter. Therefore, it can be used on a stand or boom arm, which is a better option for vocal recording.
It has a 16-bit, 44.1/48 kHz resolution, and a flat and smooth frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. To assist in monitoring and provide low-level latency, it has a headphone jack with its own volume control. There is no need to download drivers as it is compatible with most laptops and DAW’s. It comes with a USB cable and a carrying pouch.
A decent microphone that is ideally suited for tabletop recording of a single sound source. It is set at a very cost-effective price point, making it an attractive option.
- Well-built with a sturdy stand and boom mic adapter.
- Decent sound reproduction at an affordable price.
- Some will need higher quality.
6 Audio-Technica ATR2100x
People talk about variety in microphones and having multiple uses. This microphone has design points that excel and make it one of the Best Computer Microphones.
The first design point of mention is that it is a dynamic mic as against a condenser. Condenser mics tend to perform better in a controlled studio environment. Dynamic is better for louder noises. Also, there is no need for phantom power or other signal boosting with a dynamic mic.
This mic operates in two ways. As a simple USB mic, you just plug it into your computer through its USB-C plug. It has a very good analog to digital converter with sampling rates at 24-bit/192 kHz. This is better than many of its competitors. It is also fitted with a 3.5mm headphone socket that has its own volume control. This is located on the bottom of the mic.
But it also acts as a basic analog mic. It has a balanced XLR 3-pin that connects to an interface, preamp, or mixing desk. Whichever way you use this mic, it has a cardioid pattern. This is good for vocals as it rejects the unwanted ambient sounds. That improves the clarity of the vocals whilst reducing the potential of feedback.
This mic is designed so that it has a tripod stand that is collapsible. That allows it to be used in a tabletop situation, which is sometimes the best option. But it just clips on in a standard format and can be easily removed and placed on a boom or upright stand.
As it just clips out of its holder, it can also be used handheld. The clip itself comes off the supplied stand, and as it is threaded fits onto the boom or other stand. So no problem if you want to use it for live recording. The mic is compatible for use with Mac and Windows machines and requires no driver download.
It has a tough metal construction as per usual with Audio-Technica and has an on/off switch to give you a mute option if it is ever needed.
The mic is supplied with a USB-C and USB-C to USB-A cables as well as an XLR mic cable. All very impressive, in our opinion. It gets better as the price point is set at a very competitive level — an excellent mic with a variety of options for use.
- Good build with dual connection features.
- Impressive sound and built-in additions at a great price.
7 Blue Snowball USB Microphone
Back to Blue for another one of their uniquely designed microphones. The Snowball displays an interesting design that makes it immediately recognizable.
This is very much a tabletop mic and one that needs to be used with care. It has a plastic build, which makes it very lightweight, so care has to be taken not to knock it over. The plastic it must be said is quite robust, and it has the usual Blue grille made from metal carrying the logo.
It has two condensers and Cardioid and Omnidirectional patterns. This allows some variety in the recording process.
The traditional Blue tripod stand is included, but this time it is a little more stable than some of the other models. It can, however, still be a little top-heavy. The tripod design allows you to angle the mic up and down. That gives you plenty of opportunities to get the angle of the mic right for seated users.
Maybe not so convenient if you want to record vocals. It is simple and easy to use, with no drivers required. Just plug into your computer and use it. It is both Windows and Mac compatible.
Sound performance without being excellent is acceptable. It has a frequency range of 40 Hz –18 kHz and gives a sampling rate of 16-bit/44.1kHz. This isn’t as efficient and doesn’t produce the quality of some microphones. But for the price point, it is acceptable and will give you an adequate reproduction.
If you are going to use it for vocals, then it will need to be attached to a boom or upright stand. It will also need a pop filter.
A decent microphone at a very good price. It won’t win too many awards, but it is ideal for use as a tabletop mic producing acceptable results.
To find out more, please check out our in-depth Blue Snowball USB Microphone Review review.
- It has an attractive, fun design.
- Very good for tabletop use for podcasts, etc. at an affordable price.
- The positioning of the mic is awkward for some environments.
8 Floureon BM-800 Condenser Microphone
This is an interesting, and it has to be said, unconventional design. It takes the tabletop idea for a mic but creates a few more positional options for use. This opens up some further uses.
It has a unidirectional pattern. That pattern picks up sound predominantly from one area and reduces, but does not eliminate some ambient sound. It has a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz. Being a condenser mic, it will need Phantom power.
It has a very strong build and is made of steel with zinc alloy, and the mic weighs half a pound. The stand is a good expandable design that is also made from steel, so it is very durable. The design draws a lot from other disciplines, and the double bracing in the arms adds a lot of strength.
It has an adjustable metal base for attaching to a tabletop. The stand is then adjustable and can be moved to obtain the right position for use. This will make this design suitable for seated users for podcasts, interviews, etc. But it also opens up the possibilities for getting a stable position for vocal recordings. It is also supplied with a pop filter for eliminating the inevitable plosives.
This does not have a USB connection, so to use it with a computer will require an interface. The cable provided is an XLR male to XLR female. It is pre-installed and partly hidden in the tubing of the stand.
It is quite a basic mic, and you will need phantom power. But usually, the audio interface you will need to use to connect this mic to a computer will feature it.
The stand and the mic are well made, and the stand itself is a useful addition. It also comes with some useful extras like the pop filter. A decent little package at an attractive price. But you will need an interface to use it with a computer.
- Good design with an adjustable tabletop stand made with good materials.
- Some good extras included at an affordable price.
- You will need an interface and phantom power for use with a computer.
9 Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio (3rd Gen) USB Recording Bundle
Focusrite is well-known, especially amongst those who have studios at home. They produce a range of products and packages from the very top-end to those for recording at basic levels.
There are problems that can easily confuse a musician or songwriter about to take those first steps into recording. And to set up your home recording rig, what exactly do you need to buy? Of course, they don’t include everything, but in some areas, they have bundles that get you started. This is one of those packages.
One of the first things you need is a mic. If it is a condenser mic, you will need phantom power from somewhere. You will need an audio interface to connect it up to your DAW via your computer, and you will also need the necessary cabling.
It is all here in the bundle, along with a decent set of headphones. The interface houses the preamp and the phantom power, and you can also play guitars, bass, keyboards, or just about anything with a cable, through it. That’s as well as the microphone for the vocals.
The quality of the mic is quite basic, as are the headphones, but this is very much a starter kit to get you going. But, items can be upgraded as you go along.
Focusrite is well-known for the reliability of its equipment. So you can expect that it will do the job you need and for quite a while. It is compatible with Windows 7 and higher, as well as OS 10.10 and higher.
A one-stop solution for recording vocals and instruments to a computer at a great price point, makes it a great recording package for the beginner.
- An all-inclusive package that gets you started recording with a mic to your computer.
- Reliable and good quality gear at a very cost-effective price.
- Some will want a higher level of mic or headphones.
10 Fifine USB Microphone
This condenser mic from Fifine is very much a budget, entry-level mic. It is designed to function primarily as a tabletop mic and has an adjustable desk stand. It comes with video diaries USB cable.
Its best uses are for recording simple voice tracks for podcasts or video diaries. It has a Cardioid unidirectional polar pattern capsule and volume control on the body of the mic. And is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems and has a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz.
The maximum SPL is only 30dB, so it will not be suitable for recording loud voices or instruments. Conversation and narration are what it will be best at.
It has a metal construction, so it is quite sturdy and solid on its stand, which is also solidly made. It does provide a reasonably clear recording. However, it does rely on you being quite close to the mic to only pick up the minimum of background noise.
It doesn’t perform so well if being handled and will then pick up a lot of noise. But for the idea behind the design, users are unlikely to be moving it about for recording podcasts, etc.
If you are looking for a budget microphone that is easy to set up and use, this is worth looking at. It is nothing special sound-wise but records the spoken voice quite well from a stable position.
- An entry-level mic that performs basic tasks well.
- Good build quality at a very affordable price.
- Some will just want a higher spec mic
Looking For Even More Options?
If so, check out our reviews of the Best IOS Microphones, the Best USB Microphones, the Best Microphones Youtube, the Best Microphones Recording Electric Guitar, the Best Dynamic Microphones, and the Best Vocal Mics on the market.
So, What Are The Best Computer Microphones?
These days it is not difficult to record straight to your laptop. The only real decisions are about what you want to record? Is it for vocals or instruments? If its voice is that the singing or speaking voice? There is quite a difference in what sort of mic you will need depending on what you use it for.
Another decision is whether to go for Condenser or Dynamic. If it’s studio recording for sung vocals or acoustic instruments, condensers tend to be better. If it’s for louder electric instruments, then Dynamic mics are often the best choice.
USB microphones are great for their convenience, but you need to check they are iOS compatible. Not all are.
Finally, the bit conversion rate. Some offer 24 others 16 – 24 is obviously better if you can get it.
There are some great options on the list but if we had to choose one we would go for the… Audio-Technica ATR2100x.
A high-quality mic with lots of potential options in its use makes it our choice as the very best of the Best Computer Microphones on the market.