The best USB microphones are the perfect tool for recording directly on your computer. They decrease the amount of equipment that you need to purchase for your home studio. And, they are usually affordable and portable. Truly, the USB microphone is the best option for a musician just beginning their recording career, are an online gamer, or are someone who wants to learn about digital recording.
If your interest is peaked, and you want to learn more about USB microphones, then read on. This article has all of the answers you seek.
Top 10 Best USB Microphones of 2023
1 Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS Microphone
The best USB Microphone that I could find is the Audio Technica AT2020USB PLUS Microphone. Audio-Technica has been around since 1962. The company was founded in Tokyo, Japan. They originally manufactured stereo cartridges. But, they then expanded to stereo styluses, microcassettes, headphones, and most recently microphones. I discuss another Audio-Technica microphone in this article.
Continue reading . . .
Audio-Technica’s AT2020 USB microphone is one of the top in the industry for a number of reasons. It has the sound of professional studio equipment. But, it comes with a foldable tripod desk stand, which makes it useable in your home office. The sensitivity is unparalleled. Plus, the headphone input for the AT2020 USB is lag-less. You will be hearing the sound being recorded as you record. For versatility and functionality you can’t beat the Audio-Technica AT2020 USB.
2 NEAT Microphones Widget B Desktop Microphone
NEAT Microphones makes great microphones for gaming and microphones for recording. In fact, this company has only been around for about five years, but they have still made revolutionary products. Their King Bee, Worker Bee, Beecaster, Bumblebee, and Widget lines of cheap USB microphones are extremely popular. NEAT Microphone’s slogan is “everything you hear is true” and their high-quality products prove that the slogan is true.
Plus . . .
NEAT Microphone’s Widget B Desktop Microphone illustrates what makes this company’s products so great. One word of warning before I go on: do not expect the Widget B to be a mini USB speaker. The product is quite large. However, it’s unique and stylish design—and crystal clear sound—more than make up for its size. The Widget B has a full spectrum frequency response, from 20 Hz (Hertz) to 20,000 Hz. It also comes with an internal pop filter, shockmount, and adjustable height. For anyone looking for a USB microphone for recording, this is the product for you.
3 Rode NT-USB Versatile Microphone
Rode is an Australian audio company. They are housed in downtown Sydney. Rode began its journey in 1967 with the name Freedman Electronics. The founders, Henry and Astrid Freedman, moved to Australia and set up the shop. In the beginning Freedman Electronics created loudspeakers, amplifiers, and other electronics. But, in 1990 Freedman Electronics set up Rode, a division that specializes in manufacturing affordable microphones, including cheap USB microphones.
That’s not all . . .
Rode’s NT-USB is a studio quality USB microphone for recording. It has a side-address, which makes its positioning as you record more versatile. The frequency range is full spectrum (20-20,000 Hz). Rode has also designed the NT-USB with a stereo headphone jack that has no latency. What you hear is what is being recorded. Finally, the NT-USB is compatible with every type of electronic device. This includes, Windows and Apple products, and even the iPad.
4 Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Skipper Wise, the musician and entrepreneur, founded Blue Microphones in 1995 with Martins Saulespurens. Originally, Blue Microphones was a niche manufacturer out of California. However, that has changed in recent years. Today, the brand creates condenser, ribbon, dynamic, and USB microphones. You will also find microphone preamplifiers, accessories, and headphones available from Blue Microphones. Even though Wise and Saulespurens sold the company to Transom Capital in 2008, the high-quality of the brand’s products has not changed.
In fact . . .
Blue Microphone’s Yeti has set the industry standard for mini USB microphones. The Yeti has been around since 2009. However, the Yeti has continued stay relevant because of its many great features. It is compatible with Windows and Mac computers. It has a zero-latency headphone output and mute button. Plus, you can select whether to record in the cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, or stereo patterns. This flexibility in recording and the tri-capsule array make for one of the best microphones for gaming of all time.
5 Blue Spark Digital Lightning Microphone
Blue Microphones created one of the best USB microphones for podcasting with the Yeti. As mentioned in my review of the Yeti above, Blue Microphones was founded in 1995. The founders Skipper Wise and Martins Saulespurens sold Blue Microphones to Transom Capital in 2008, but that hasn’t stopped the brand from creating great USB microphones. And, mini USB microphones are not the only product the company makes. You will also find any type of microphone you may be looking for from the brand.
Keep reading . . .
Blue Microphone didn’t peak with the Yeti. Their Spark Digital Lightning Microphone is also one of the best in the business. This is a perfect USB microphone for podcasting. Also, its compatibility is unmatched. It does not need drivers to be used with an iPad, Mac, PC, or programs like GarageBand. Blue Microphones has included a Focus Control switch, which allows for two sonic signatures from the same microphone. Finally, the built-in controls make this an easy USB microphone for beginners to use and enjoy.
6 Blue Snowball USB Microphone
Blue makes sure high-quality products, that it is no wonder that they have a number of USB microphones on this list. Blue’s history of excellence goes back to 1995 when they were founded by Skipper Wise and Martins Saulespurens. As mentioned above, initially Blue was a niche microphone manufacturer. They made great microphones for gaming, but they were not a major player in the industry. However, all of that changed with the rise of YouTube and other online personalities. Blue’s affordable and cheap USB microphones quickly began gaining steam.
And, that’s not all . . .
Blue’s Snowball is a classic-looking USB microphone for recording. It’s not all look either. It has studio-quality sounds in addition to its timeless design. The USB microphone comes with a -10cB pad, which eliminates any noise or distortion from your recording. Plus, the Snowball package comes with a desktop stand and USB cable. So, you have everything you need to get started recording. Finally, the dual capsule design ensures that you have a choice between omnidirectional and cardioid elements of your recording. For versatility and affordability choose the Blue Snowball.
7 1byone USB Microphone
1byone gets the prize for the most interesting name on our top ten list of USB microphones. The company does not only focus on creating great USB microphones for recording online. Instead, you may know 1byone from their health and wellness products. Their blood pressure readers and body fat scales all are staples in the health and wellness industry. But, 1byone does not limit themselves to a specific type of product. You will find TV accessories, home security, kitchen, beauty, 3C, outdoor, and another household technology on their website. So, if it is a type of technology, you can assume that 1byone sells it.
However . . .
Let’s look at 1byone’s USB Microphone with tripod. It is a solid, durable, and stable product. Because it is designed to capture the entire range of the human voice, this is a great USB microphone for recording. And, the zero latency headphone jack means that you can hear exactly what you are recording in real-time. The 1byone USB microphone can be set to uni-directional or dual-directional recording. Therefore, you can use it to record a group or a solo artist. If you want a solid, dependable USB microphone for recording online, then this is the product for you.
The final Blue product on our top ten list is the Snowball Gloss Black USB Microphone. Blue has been making great microphones since 1995. Today, the company manufactures microphones, headphones, and accessories. So, everything you need to record or listen to music, you can find from Blue. Blue also has seven different models of microphones for sale. You can choose form the famous Yeti, raspberry, snowball, mikey, snowflake, spark, or tiki.
Today . . .
We will be discussing the gloss black version of the Blue Snowball. It has a condenser transducer type, with an included pressure gradient and USB output. Also, this is a great version of a mini USB microphone. It is small enough to fit on a desk or table. The omni-directional and cardioid recording direction options make it versatile. Additionally, the -10 dB pad reduces static and distortion at the extreme volume levels. So, you don’t have to worry about recording very low or high sounds. One thing to keep in mind with this beginner-oriented product is that it does not come with many features and requires at least 64 MB of RAM.
9 MAONO USB Microphone
MAONO means vision. It is a word that the founder of MAONO, Alex, learned when he spent time in Africa. He named his company MAONO to illustrate the way the vision drives his use of technology in his products. MOAONO specializes in professional audio products. They make innovative and affordable USB microphones, sound enhancement products, and accessories for the younger generation of YouTubers and podcasters.
Also . . .
MAONO’s USB Microphone represents the best the company has to offer. It is designed specifically as a USB microphone for podcasting. So, this means that it’s sound is a perfect representation of the human voice. The flawless reverb chip and driver-free USB sound card ensure a great sound. You have to have a computer with at least 64 MB of RAM. However, the MAONO USB Microphone will work with PC or Apple products. Also, it uses a cardioid pattern for recording, which is great for direct and rich sound. It will not create as much presence in other recording modes, but MAONO’s product’s cardioid pattern is the perfect complement for people who like to stream, chat, or Skype online.
10 Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone
Samson Technologies began in 1980. So, they have been around a lot longer than digital technology. In fact, Samson began as a designer of wireless microphone systems. That first iteration of the company only employed two people. Today, Samson Technologies has grown to a worldwide company that specializes in creating products that revolutionize the recording industry. They make wireless systems, PA cabinets, Portable PA systems, Mixers, USB/MIDI controllers, as well as microphones.
That’s not all . . .
Samson’s microphone lineup is extremely impressive. Actually, you will find USB, dynamic, condenser, ribbon, drum, install, head worn, and lavalier microphones for sale from the company. But, it is the Samson Meteor Mic that we are concerned with right now. The Meteor Mic is a studio quality condenser USB Microphone for podcasting. If you like large condenser diaphragms, then the Meteor Mic is for you. It has one of the largest condenser diaphragms in the industry. This, in combination with the cardioid recording pattern, mean that all facets of the human voice are picked up by the microphone. Plus, its solid and durable stand design means that the Samson Meteor Mic is more than just a good sounding product, it looks and feels great as well.
Best USB Microphone Buying Guide
There may seem like a lot of factors to keep in mind when purchasing a USB microphone for gaming. But, as long as you use the following factors to help guide your decision, you can’t choose a bad product.
The transducer is an extremely important part of the USB microphone—and, in fact, any microphone. It converts the sound wave into an electric signal, which is the entire job of the microphone. So, you want to make sure that you purchase a USB microphone with the correct transducer type for your needs.
There are a few different transducer types available for microphones: Dynamic, Condenser, and Ribbon. Dynamic transducers use a diaphragm, voice coil, and magnet to generate an electrical signal. This type of microphone is great for its durability, but it is not as sensitive a transducer as the other two types.
Ribbon microphones use an electrically conducting ribbon that is put between two magnets. The thin ribbon vibrates, which sends the sound wave to the magnets who then turn the wave into an electric signal. Ribbon microphones can only pick up sound in front of and behind themselves, which is not a great choice for USB microphones.
The most common type of transducer in USB microphones for recording is the condenser. It uses a sound-sensitive capacitor created by an electrically-charged diaphragm. The space that is created as the diaphragm moves back and forth is what creates the electrical signal. This type of microphone is extremely sensitive and can record from any direction.
Polar patterns refer to the direction that the microphone picks up the sound waves. Some USB microphones may pick up sound in a certain direction, such as in the front or back. However, some pick up sound waves from all direction quite well.
There are two main types of polar patterns for USB microphones: cardioid and omnidirectional. Cardioid microphones pick up sound in a heart-shaped pattern. They capture the sound in front of the them the best but will capture some ambient sound from the sides and rear.
Omnidirectional microphones records in several different directions at once. This type of polar pattern is perfect for recording a lot of ambient sounds or room noise.
You may want to consider a USB microphone for recording that will use multiple polar patterns. Often these types of microphone are more versatile because they give you more recording options. All you have to do is choose what type of polar pattern to use in any recording situation, flip a switch, and you are ready to go.
When purchasing any type of recording equipment, you want to make sure that it will pick up or play back a full spectrum of sound. Read these articles for more information about how frequency effects amps and portable audio recorders.
The best USB microphones will have a frequency range of around 20-20,000 Hz. This is about the spectrum of human hearing, which means that the USB microphone you purchase will be able to record any sound the human voice can make or hear. If you are a podcaster or acoustic playing, a full spectrum is especially important.