Live streaming on Twitch and services like YouTube has become increasingly popular over the years. Whether you want to show the world your prowess at Fortnite or put on a live podcast, bandwidth is your only limitation these days. Well, that and a good mic.
The best microphone for streaming ensures your voice will be heard loud and clear regardless of your activities. While poor audio quality will drive your viewers away in droves, it is far from the only thing to consider. Our guide touches on several key areas, and we’ve included a microphone with a price point for everyone.
How to Choose the Best Microphone for Streaming
When choosing a new microphone to suit your streaming needs, there are several factors to consider beforehand. Whether you’re shopping for the best XLR mic for streaming or just need a budget-friendly backup, keep these areas in mind.
If you are an audiophile, you already know what frequency response is and why it’s important. All audio equipment has a range including simple USB mics and the best wireless headphones. With the former, the range you need depends on how you plan to use your new microphone.
Frequencies always range from low to high and are measured in Hertz and Kilohertz. For gamers that stream, it’s not quite as important as it would be for a vocalist, but it is something to consider nonetheless. When in doubt, look for a microphone with a wide frequency response range. If you want to go a bit more in-depth on the subject, we’ve got just the thing for you.
It doesn’t matter if you have thousands of viewers or only a handful – it’s all for naught if they can’t hear you clearly. That’s where directional properties or polar patterns come into play. Those patterns vary across the board, so what works for a gamer may not be the best choice for someone doing a live interview or voiceover work.
- Bidirectional – As the name implies, a microphone that’s bidirectional picks up sound from more than one direction. In this case, that’s the front and the rear. This makes it ideal for performers that like to duet or streamers that conduct interviews.
- Unidirectional – Microphones that are unidirectional have multiple polar patterns. Most have three patterns with cardioid, hypercardioid, and supercardioid. Cardioid is the most common polar pattern as it only snags sounds from the front but not from the rear. While cardioid microphones can pick up a little sound from the sides, super and hypercardioid microphones take things a step further. These mics can pick up a little sound from the back, and have a wider 180-degree range from the sides. Needless to say, unidirectional mics are a great choice for gamers.
- Omnidirectional – Do you need a microphone that can handle sound from any direction? If so, an omnidirectional microphone is your best bet. On the flipside, it’s not the best choice for gamers as they can pick up all the background noise (including your keyboard) along with your voice.
- Multi-pattern – If you are unsure of what you might need or want to future proof your purchase to a degree, there is only one option to consider. That would be a multi-pattern microphone as it allows you to choose the properties you need whether it’s a cardioid or the classic figure 8 pattern.
Everyone loves getting something “extra” when you buy tech whether it’s a simple sticker from Apple or something a little more exciting. With microphones, the options are limited although something to keep in mind as they can save you money down the line.
The most popular accessory included with streaming microphones would be a desktop stand. Many come with one out of the box although the quality varies. You still need to pay attention to the thread size as well or see if an adapter is included.
A carrying case or bag is a nice thing to have on hand and can keep your new mic from taking a beating when you travel. Other features you should consider include the pop filters, ports, and software which can extend your mics capabilities.
Best Microphones for Streaming
Last update on 2023-03-29 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
The Best Microphone for Streaming Overall
If you have dreamed of taking your podcasts or streams to the next level, Blue Yeti has just the thing for you. Their USB Microphone comes in a wide variety of colors and is suitable for podcasters, gamers or anyone that wants a high-quality microphone.
Universal isn’t a word we throw around lightly, but one that certainly applies to the Blue Yeti USB microphone. You can select the polar pattern you want between bidirectional, omnidirectional, and cardioid. The Tri-capsule setup allows you to podcast like a pro, take group calls or lay down vocal tracks with ease. Looking to get your game on? It can certainly handle that as well.
Even the best mic for Twitch streaming can be a little bland. Well, that’s not a concern with the Blue Yeti. Despite its name, you can opt for colors like Satin Red, Slate, Platinum, Teal and Space Grey just to name a few. This microphone is also available in different bundles in case you want a Pop Filter or a copy of Ghost Recon.
- Easy to use and setup
- 2-year warranty
- 10 different colors
- 20Hz – 20kHz frequency response
- Knobs feel cheap
Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone
An Excellent Choice for the Studio
The Rode NT-USB is another microphone in the professional class although this one is geared more towards vocalists than gamers. The company has been producing high-quality microphones since the early 90s, and the NT-USB is certainly no exception.
Whether you plan to lay down a track with an instrument or use your voice, Rode’s microphone is perfect for the studio. You can control the input and source output through dials on the side which sit above a 3.5mm jack. The zero-latency microphone has the cardioid polar pattern with a frequency range of 20Hz – 20kHz. It also 16-bit resolution and is powered by a USB port.
Another perk of the Rode NT-USB would be the included pop filter. It slides onto the base of the mic and helps eliminate plosives. That base sports a 3/8” thread so it can be used on a traditional stand or with the desktop tripod.
- JFET Impedance Converter
- Zero-latency monitoring
- High-quality accessories
- 2-year warranty (with registration)
Razer Seiren Mini
A Compact and Practical Streaming Microphone
Razer Seiren Mini is an affordable and highly practical microphone that doesn’t come with a ton of features; however, it delivers a solid voice quality for the price. This is a more basic-oriented device, dedicated to large masses, and not designed for professional use.
With this microphone, you are getting ease of use, practicality, and compact design that makes it suitable for carrying from one place to another. Moreover, this mic offers a sleek design, and is available in black, white, and pink, allowing you to find the best fit.
Razer Seiren Mini features USB connectivity and comes with a stable and sturdy tilting stand. More importantly, it only offers a super-cardioid pickup pattern, which isn’t impressive and makes the pick-up sound field rather directional. However, that is still enough for delivering a decent voice quality.
Moreover, this microphone comes with a 14mm condenser capsule and is capable of recording 16-bit audio, with a 44.1kHz to 48kHz sample rate.
In other words, Razer Seiren Mini won’t impress you. Nonetheless, if you want an affordable, yet decent streaming microphone, this one is certainly a pretty good choice.
- Easy to use
- Sleek looking
- No Razer Synapse support
- Not the best background noise cancellation
Samson Meteor Mic
The Best USB Mic for Streaming
Samson has the distinction of being the only company to make our cut twice. The Meteor Mic is a portable solution for streamers looking for an affordable cardioid microphone. It’s arguably the most portable model on the list, and one streamers on the go will appreciate.
This little microphone is around 3” x 5” x 6” so it won’t take up much space on a desktop. The design is interesting as well considering it has legs that fold back when not in use. Design aside, it’s capable of capturing high-quality audio at 16-bits and 44.1/48kHz resolution. The mute mic and headphone volume controls are nice features to have on hand as well.
Samson’s Meteor mic will work with anything sporting a USB port and has the standard 3.5mm jack on the back. When combined with the best webcam for streaming, your videos will sound and look better than ever before.
- Available in three finishes
- Folding tripod legs
- 25mm diaphragm condenser
- Legs can be an issue with some stands
- Sparse controls
A Highly Versatile and Good-Performing Streaming Microphone
Shure MV7 is a well-built and designed streaming microphone that delivers excellent voice reproduction and plenty of features for its easy use.
With this microphone, you can capture a rich and natural voice, thanks to the dynamic microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern, and perform multiple customizations with its accompanying ShurePlus MOTIV app. To be exact, you can adjust gain, make the compression setting the way you like it, switch EQ filters, and much more.
Moreover, this microphone comes with intuitive touch controls and a built-in headphone output. Also, there is dual USB connection, a special auto mode that helps with its use, as well as full metal construction that offers much-needed stability.
All in all, there is everything needed for good voice streaming. Therefore, if you are after a high-performing microphone that is neck and neck with the best streaming microphones out there, Shure MV7 is a great choice.
- Very good build quality
- Excellent vocal reproduction
- Very good dedicated software
- Simultaneous XLR and USB outputs
- XLR support
Designed to Be Brilliant in your Personal Studio
USB-C condensed Plug & Play mic for PC or Mac that can be used for a wide range of activities (podcasting, streaming, digital mixers, recording, and more). While it only supports one polar pattern (unidirectional) the mic allows users to combine up to seven audio sources while also creating two independent mixes.
The mic supports up to 24-bit/96kHz analog to digital conversion while the proprietary Clipguard technology helps reduce distortion to the minimum. In addition, the mic is fitted with superior circuitry which ensures close-to-perfect audio signal transmission.
Elgato Wave:3 features a professional design, with a U-mount and padded base (it also fits in an articulated stand). In addition, the circuitry is protected by a steel grille that can be easily fitted with an audio filter. Under the grille, there is a premium condenser capsule and a multilayered noise shield.
The mic can be controlled and fine-tuned using the Wave Link app, a piece of software with plenty of features for all sorts of scenarios (YouTube, streaming, or podcasting). There’s also a multifunctional dial that helps you adjust input gain, volume, and set a crossfade.
- Plug & Play use with a USB-C connection
- Superior circuitry protected by a steel grille
- Compact & easy to mount in several positions
- Comes with Wave Link app
- Multifunctional dial that’s easy to adjust
- Up to nine independent input channels
- Only one polar pattern
- It doesn’t have built-in noise suppression
A Great Choice for Podcasts and Voiceovers
The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is a microphone in the lower echelon of the “Pro” class and one that’s well worth your time. That’s due in part to its reliability and clarity which makes it an option when you’re looking for the best mic for streaming.
Audio-Technica has produced the AT202USB in three different varieties with the regular model, the USB+, and the AT2020USBi. The USB+ is a fan favorite thanks to a reasonable price tag and several standout features. There are easy to use independent controls for mixing and headphone volume. It also has a permanently polarized condenser and sports the popular cardioid pattern.
As for the tech specs, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ has a sample rate of 44.1 kHz/48 kHz and frequency response of 20 – 20,000Hz. That’s lower than the G-Track Pro and great if you plan to use your microphone to record and mix audio. If you want something with a little more range, the USBi is 24-bit instead of 16 and has a sample rate up to 96 kHz.
- Easy to use Mixing and Volume controls
- High-Output internal headphone amp
- Pivoting stand mount & Tripod Desk Stand
- Tripod may be too flimsy for some
Samson G-Track Pro
A Workhorse Built to Last
Sometimes you need a microphone that can do it all. That’s exactly what you’ll get with the Samson G-Track Pro and why it’s considered the best microphone for streaming when users need an all-in-one solution. It’s the Swiss Army knife of the mic world, and filled with features you will appreciate regardless of how you plan to stream.
One of the biggest draws for this particular microphone (aside from the overall quality) are its directional properties. The G-Track Pro features cardioid, omni, and bidirectional polar patterns to go along with dual 1-inch condenser capsules. This makes it ideal for both gamers and podcasters alike.
This sturdy microphone is built to last as the die-cast base adds stability while grip hinges allow you to find the perfect angle. Other features to note for the Samson G-Track Pro include volume controls for headphones and instruments. As for the outputs, it has a USB port, a 1/4” instrument input and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
- Multiple Polar Patterns
- Mixing Controls
- Frequency Response 50Hz – 20kHz
- +6dB FS/PA (all patterns)
- Support could be better
- Pricey compared to similar models
Great Option for YouTube, Gaming, or Streaming
If you’re thinking about starting a career as a streamer, podcaster, or YouTuber, you’ll need a high-quality mic to give your voice amplitude and clarity in the online environment. This is where the HyperX QuadCast mic comes in!
While it may be a bit expensive for a beginner, it comes with a wide range of features that will make working with your voice a lot easier. For instance, it has an anti-vibration shock mount that suppresses any unintentional rumbles and bumps, keeping the stream clear and easy to follow.
It also has four selectable polar patterns (stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, bidirectional), so you have full control over the sounds that will be heard on your show. At the bottom, it features a dial that lets users customize the sensitivity as they speak.
Finally, if you want to mute it, you need to tap its head. It also has an LED indicator that shows you when the mic is muted and when it’s active – this way, you prevent spilling the tea online by accident.
- Easy to install and use
- Included anti-vibration shock mount
- Tap to mute functionality
- Four selectable polar patterns
- Built-in pop filter
- Compatible with a wide array of apps
- Headset port
- A bit on the expensive side
- LED can’t be disabled
- It can be a bit too sensitive
- No headset volume when plugged into the mic
V-MODA BoomPro Microphone
Reliable Omni-directional Mic
This one won’t be for everyone, but is a simple solution to a problem that plagues gamers and streamers. If you love your headphones but need a mic, the V-MODA BoomPro will be your new best friend.
This system from V-MODA will turn your favorite set of headphones into a full-fledged headset. You simply need to plug into a 3.5mm port, adjust the mic, and you’re good to go. It’s not the kind of microphone that will wear out easily either considering the arm is made from SteelFlex. It’s durable, and the in-line module lets you crank it up or mute the action as needed.
V-MODA BoomPro will work with any set of over or on-ear headphones provided they have a 3.5mm port. The cable length is listed at 79” which is longer than others in this class. You also have to appreciate the price point which opens the doors to professions outside of the gaming realm.
- Omni-directional mic
- Ease of use
- Expensive compared to a dedicated mic
- Limited features
Blue Yeti X
A Versatile Mic for Professional-Level Gaming
Whether you want to do some Twitch streaming or you’re about to join the team on a quest, the Blue Yeti X is a fantastic option. This USB mic is fitted with a professional condenser with high-res LED metering and a four-capsule array, which make it ideal for high-level gaming sessions. The LED metering (with customizable colors) allows users to monitor their voice level and identify any distortions at a first glance. This way, you don’t have to disrupt the gaming session in order to adjust the mic.
To make things even easier, the multifunction smart knob is easy to use for adjusting gain, headphone volume, or mute. You can also add vocal effects (using the accompanying app) and choose the best pattern (it supports four patterns) for the job.
The Blue Yeti X features a four-capsule array with four different modes:
- Cardioid (for a rich & full-bodied sound) – best for streaming, vocals and instruments, podcasting, Skype meetings, and more;
- Omnidirectional, perfect for conference calls;
- Bidirectional, which is ideal for interviews and overall discussions between two people;
- Stereo – best for when there are multiple sound sources in order to capture a more immersive audio image.
Lastly, the Blue Yeti X supports a bit rate of up to 24bit/48kHz, which allows it to deliver clear and rich audio quality regardless of the type of content (streaming, YouTube, gaming, or vocal).
- Easy to integrate into your gaming experience
- LED metering for real-time adjustment
- Four different modes
- Great sound recording quality
- Extremely versatile
- The use instructions aren’t clear
- It doesn’t come with software for Mac users
An Affordable, yet Feature-Rich Streaming Microphone
FIFINE K683A is a well-performing, metal-built streaming microphone that offers a ton of features and more importantly, delivers very good voice reproduction. This microphone comes with a 16mm capsule and features a super-cardioid pickup mode. Moreover, it is fitted with USB-A and USB-C connectivity and has a 3.5mm jack for your headphones.
In addition, this microphone also comes the package with a foldable tripod stand and pop filter. Also, it features a volume wheel, mute button, as well as LED indicators for easier use.
FIFINE K683A offers plug-and-play functionality and very good voice reproduction, with sensitive high and mid ends. In short, FIFINE K683A is a pretty good and versatile microphone that will help you with your streaming, and above all, it is rather affordable.
- Plug-and-play functionality
- Detachable pop filter