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The Best Microphone for Streaming

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Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Microphone for Streaming

If you’re someone who’s put some thought into beginning your own streaming career, you’re probably looking at all the equipment you need starting with the best streaming microphone.

A quality microphone for streaming is what will help you keep your audience interested and engaged while they enjoy your gameplay. Of course, many gaming headsets will come with their own built-in mic, but there’s nothing quite as good as a dedicated streaming microphone that can get your enthusiasm across perfectly and immerse your audience in the experience.If all of this sounds confusing for a first-time streamer, don’t worry. To make it easier for you, we’ve put together a list of the best microphones for streaming. With a range of quality and affordable choices, this list is guaranteed to make finding the best microphone for streaming for you easier than ever. Read on, and find out which of these streaming microphones will make the perfect addition to your live streaming, podcasting gear, and even the overall audio quality of your streaming experience.

Which is the Top Streaming Microphone?

Editor's Choice

The Best Microphone for Streaming
Best Overall
The Best Microphone for Streaming
Best Multi-Purpose Condenser Microphone
The Best Microphone for Streaming
Best Premium Podcast Mic
Audio-Technica AT2035

The Audio-Technica AT2035 is the perfect streaming mic for those who are looking into professional quality.

Røde NT1-A

The Røde NT1-A is a versatile streaming mic that has function, features, and accessories that are well-worth the price.

Shure MV7

The Shure MV7 brings the best of a USB and XLR mic together without sacrificing quality, design, and functionality.

Sound Quality: Design: Features:
Sound Quality: Design: Features:
Sound Quality: Design: Features:

Let’s Go Over Each Top Streaming Microphone

The Best Microphone for Streaming

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Our top choice for the best streaming mic is the Audio-Technica AT2035. With a frequency response of 20Hz to 20,000Hz, it has a rich, detailed sound that captures and flatters the human voice perfectly. Its low self-noise, side-address cardioid polar pattern, and overall high-quality audio make it a perfect option for streamers.

The AT2035 has much better specs than many other microphones in the same price range and can last you years thanks to its durable build and fantastic engineering. As an XLR microphone, and one priced at around $200, it may not be the best option for beginners. However, if you’re an established streamer who wants to make content that stands out, then the AT2035 is definitely the microphone for you.

Pros and Cons of the Audio-Technica AT2035

ProsCons
✔️ Rich recording quality
✔️ Well-suited for vocals and voice overs
✔️ Comes with a shock mount
✖️ Pricey

The Best Microphone for Streaming

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Røde has established itself as one of the greats in the microphone industry, and the Røde NT1A is a good example of how it’s managed to do that. With a crisp sound and incredible clarity, it’s incredibly flattering for nearly any type of audio source. It’s got a very low noise floor, so you don’t have to worry about this mic capturing its own noise. Thanks to its focused cardioid pattern, the NT1A can block out off-axis sounds easily. 

At around $230, it’s not the cheapest mic around, but it more than makes up for it with its incredible quality and inclusions like a pop filter, built-in shock mount, and microphone cable. This is a versatile mic that can capture most sounds, so streamers who have plans to branch out can count this microphone as a great investment.

Pros and Cons of the Røde NT1-A

ProsCons
✔️ Multi-purpose microphone
✔️ Very low noise
✔️ Excellent build quality
✖️ Pricey

The Best Microphone for Streaming

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The Shure MV7 is a compact yet versatile mic for streaming or standalone microphone that can deliver great performances for both amateurs and professionals alike. It’s armed with both USB and XLR connectivity, bringing convenience and comfortability in any kind of recording situation.

Since it has two connection options, newbie streamers can start off with the MV7’s easy-to-use, plug-and-play USB connection. If these streamers decide to have a more professional audio setup, they don’t have to buy a new mic anymore as they can just simply switch to the MV7’s XLR connector. Thanks to this dual option, beginner and intermediate content creators will have no problem leveling up their skills and audio.

The MV7 produces audio that’s rich, bright, smooth, and clearly defined. Further audio adjustments, such as sparkle and depth, can also be done using the ShurePlus MOTIVE app. By using this mic together with the app, you can create your ideal professional sound without having to do too much editing during post-production.

It also comes with an LED-lit touch panel that has a gain level control, monitor levels, and a mute option. While the MV7 may have a somewhat steep price, it’s well worth the investment if you’re a streamer that’s aiming for a serious upgrade.

Pros and Cons of the Shure MV7

ProsCons
✔️ Has XLR and USB connection
✔️ Easy to use
✔️ Delivers great vocal clarity
✖️ Steep price
✖️ No mic stand included

The Best Microphone for Streaming

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

Blue Microphones’ mics are favorite options for streamers around the world, and it’s not hard to see why. With affordable prices but incredible quality, it’s easy to see why Blue Yeti microphones are so well beloved.

The Blue Yeti Pro is perhaps the best example of this. It’s incredibly well-made and versatile, with USB connectivity and a dual XLR breakout cable. This means that you can use it in your favorite home studio set-up, or on the road with your laptop. 

This quality mic for streaming has multiple recording modes that you can adjust according to your preference and no latency, making it ideal for live streaming or interviews. A plug-and-play compact microphone that can fit just as well in more complex audio set-ups, it is absolutely a game-changer for streamers everywhere.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Yeti Pro

ProsCons
✔️ Zero-latency monitoring
✔️ Comes with a mute button
✔️ Has four recording patterns
✖️ Better with a mic arm

The Best Microphone for Streaming

Sound Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

The smaller, more affordable sibling to the fan-favorite Blue Yeti Pro, the Blue Yeti Nano is a premium USB condenser microphone that was designed to bring high-quality sound into your home computer set-up. Coming in at a little under $100, the Blue Yeti Nano is a favorite for many beginner streamers thanks to its affordable price, simple set-up, and top-quality sound. 

For the price, it has great quality sound, and the compact size of the Blue Yeti USB Nano makes it an easy addition to any gaming set-up. It might not hold up against more powerful mics, but if you need a good beginner option, this might just be it.

By using this mic together with the app, you can create your ideal professional sound without having to do too much editing during post-production.

It also comes with an LED-lit touch panel making it incredibly useful on mic gain control, monitor levels, and mute function. While the MV7 may have a somewhat steep price, it’s well worth the investment if you’re a streamer that’s aiming for a serious upgrade.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Yeti Nano

ProsCons
✔️ Great for streaming gaming content
✔️ Affordable price
✔️ Has a headphone volume knob
✖️ Requires desktop app to modify gain control

What to Look For in a Microphone for Streaming?

When it comes to picking the right microphone for streaming, buyers have to look at specific criteria. A good streaming microphone will be able to block out unnecessary background noise like keyboard sounds and, while still maintaining the quality and fidelity of the audio.

Because commentary is such an integral part of the streaming experience, you’ll also want to look for a microphone that has various mic controls that can capture the warmth and detail of your voice without those tricky plosives for optimal audio quality. Plus, there’s also the set-up to think about. Will you want to go for a USB microphone, XLR mics, or something more complex?

Whether streaming is something you want to do as a side hobby or something that you want to keep investing time, money, and effort into, sifting through the best microphones for streaming requires doing a bit of research. Here are the three things you should be looking out for when you start exploring your microphone options:

Frequency Response

Frequency response is what you basically call the sound range that a microphone is able to produce. Most microphones will have a frequency response from 20Hz to 20,000Hz, but it’s important for buyers to look at how the sound output varies within that range. This is because the frequency response will help determine the sound signature and tone of the microphones you’re looking to buy.

Generally, a frequency response anywhere from 80Hz to 15,000Hz will be enough to capture the human voice, but be sure to do a little more research on your preferred microphone’s frequency response chart. While streaming doesn’t quite require the precision and sensitivity that high-end vocal microphones have, you’ll still want to look for a microphone with a frequency response that can flatter your range for good audio quality.

Polar Pattern

Polar pattern is one of the most important aspects of looking for the right microphone for streaming, and one glance at a gaming set-up will tell you why. If you’re doing live gaming on your PC, chances are that you’re going to be making use of your keyboard — a lot. Aside from avoiding interferences in the digital signal quality of their devices to their mics, gamers will want to keep unnecessary noise like keyboard sounds out of their commentary, which is where polar patterns come in.

Polar patterns determine the ‘shape’ of how your mic is able to capture noise. There are six main polar patterns: cardioid polar pattern, supercardioid polar pattern, hypercardioid polar pattern, figure-8 polar pattern, ultra directional polar pattern, and omnidirectional polar pattern. To capture practically 360 degrees of sound around the mic, go for an omnidirectional microphone so it can pick up omnidirectional polar patterns. Cardioid polar patterns are seen as the best though for streaming microphones, as it captures all the detail of your voice while blocking out unwanted noise from the ‘back’ of your mic. This allows your streaming microphone to capture your voice and commentary, without background noise.

Connection

Finally, one of the most important things any streamer will want to look out for when picking streaming microphones is the connection method. There are two main types of connection methods that you’ll be looking at: USB and XLR.

USB is the easiest one, and will most likely be familiar to most gamers as it’s a plug and play mic. You’ll find this option on a lot of dedicated streaming models, as well as more affordable mics. USB microphones are easy to use and set up, but may not last as long as XLR options.

The second type of connection method is XLR. XLR connections will require connection to an audio interface or preamp via XLR cable, which would then be connected to your computer via USB. It’s thus a little pricier than USB mics. However, the high price point is more than made up for thanks to the durability and advanced audio processing of XLR mics. If you want your set-up to last you for years, then an XLR mic is well worth the investment.


What Type of Microphone is Best for Streaming?

Finding the best streaming microphone can be quite daunting already with all the factors that you have to consider. Aside from those important matters, the biggest decision that you have to make when buying is whether you should get a USB microphone or an XLR one. 

A USB mic equips the microphone, preamp, and audio interface into one body. USB microphones are described as plug-and-play mics because you only need to connect them to your computer and you’re good to go. On the other hand, an XLR microphone uses an external preamp and audio interface. Unlike a USB microphone, XLR microphones won’t function by just plugging them into your PC. Aside from the microphone itself, you also need to purchase a sound interface and sometimes, a preamp as well. 

A USB mic is extremely affordable, making it ideal for beginners, solo streamers, or gamers on the go who are looking for a budget microphone. They have good audio, but most of the time, you are not fully in control of how your voice sounds thus, it will require more mic monitoring. Meanwhile, XLR microphones require less mic monitoring as it allows you full control of your voice and provides more mic controls you can set up according to your preferred settings. Seen as a more professional microphone by streamers, XLR microphones tend to be on the more expensive side as additional audio gear is needed to complete the setup and may also have upgrades, which overall can be costly.

When it comes to choosing between the two, it can depend on your budget, preferred microphone type, and most importantly, your desired audio quality.

Once you’ve chosen the type of microphone, there also lies a decision between condenser and dynamic microphones. Both the tone reproduction and audio quality between the two types are important to consider as if the streaming microphone sounds weak or lacking in detail, it could affect the overall outcome of your stream.

Most audio and recording professionals recommend a condenser microphone over a dynamic microphone as they capture sharp and clear audio. However, they have their cons as well. While it captures audio in a crisp manner, it is also quite fragile as it can pick up a lot of surrounding noise, especially if the room isn’t acoustically treated or if the recording isn’t done in a professional studio. In the right environment though, condenser mics sound amazing as they can pick up detail and have a wide frequency response. 

As for a dynamic mic, it has a sound that’s rugged and fairly tight. Additionally, dynamic mics are also less fragile than condenser mics. It can also handle loud spikes in volume and do a good job of rejecting unnecessary noise. Although, compared to condenser microphones, a dynamic microphone’s audio depends on the diaphragm and the audio interfaces used along with it.

Budget is also one notable aspect when deciding which one to use for streaming and podcasting between these two microphone types. Condenser mics are usually more expensive than dynamic mics. If you have the budget and if you’re going for a higher frequency range and clearer vocals, you might want to get a condenser-type mic. If you’re on a budget and want low sensitivity and background sound rejection, dynamic-type mics might be your best bet.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Connect the microphone to a phantom power source (usually via cable).
  2. Connect the cable to audio interface (usually via cable).
  3. Connect the interface to the computer if recording via computer.
  4. Turn on phantom power.
How to use USB microphones for streaming?
  1. Make sure the provided USB cord is plugged into your microphone.
  2. Plug the other end of the cord into your laptop or computer and make sure the microphone is switched on.
  3. Identify and select your microphone as the audio input source in your computer.
  4. Download your microphone’s program if needed, and set up your mic accordingly.
  5. Once the audio output is set up, start recording.
Are cardioid mics good in reducing background noise?

Cardioid mics are a common choice for live streaming mics as they can isolate unwanted ambient sounds, as well as other unnecessary sounds from the back of the microphone. A lot of microphones these days are equipped with several polar patterns, allowing you to switch the audio pattern to a cardioid mode or another that suits your stream best.

Professional content creators on YouTube use a variety of microphones. A vast majority of them opt to use a USB mic as they’re pretty easy to use, the most popular one being the Blue Yeti X. 

Equipped with a four-capsule array, the Blue Yeti X also comes with a quick mute button, output level adjustment, a built-in headphone jack, and can be used with the Blue VO!CE audio software that provides users with their own custom sound. This Blue Yeti X microphone is also popular for recording podcasts.

As for professional musicians on YouTube, a number of them use the Shure SM58 as it’s designed to highlight vocals. This mic is an XLR output mic so an interface is needed to be able to use it. The Rode NT1-A, another XLR output mic, is a popular choice as well, especially for capturing clean vocals.

Streamers use a variety of popular mics. In our guide, we listed the Blue Yeti Nano and Blue Yeti Pro which are popular with streamers and gamers, but there are other mics as well. 

The USB-powered mic Elgato Wave 3 is a popular microphone for streaming. A cardioid microphone, the Elgato Wave 3 is good for those who have robust online streams with multiple audio sources. The Elgato Wave 3 has onboard controls such as physical gain control, mute switch, and physical volume control. Moreover, it can be used with the Wave Link software that acts as a digital audio mixer. 

If you’re someone who needs to mix multiple audio channels such as game audio, sound effects, and music, and uses software such as OBS or XSplit, the Elgato Wave 3 with Wave Link software is a great choice as both a streaming mic and gaming microphone. You can also pick up the Wave 1 instead if you’re tight on budget. It offers the same features as the Elgato Wave 3 and only lacks some controls but aren’t significant drawbacks to stop you from using it as a live streaming mic.

May it be a compact mic that makes use of a USB audio interface or an XLR mic, which may need stereo connectivity, Twitch streamers look at streaming mics that can clearly isolate their voice amidst ambient sounds whenever they conduct live streams.

A mic that has a feature of headphone volume controls today’s game streamers on Twitch as it lessens the need to do any on-the-spot mic monitoring for when a voice channel or audio signal is becoming too loud or inaudible. With this, the headphone jack-equipped Blue Yeti X USB mic is yet a viable candidate. However, the Shure SM7B is one of the most commonly preferred XLR mics in the Twitch community.

Every person has a different desk setup and every desk setup may require a different microphone. If you want to create a professional setup on your workstation or if you want to make your stream sound better, you’ll need a couple of valuable pieces. A boom arm can be clipped to the side of your desk, allowing you to have your mic within reach and also easily stow it away when not in use. 

An important accessory to have, especially if you’re streaming games, is an anti-vibration shock mount. This prevents vibration from traveling through your boom arm or your microphone stand. If your mic doesn’t have an internal pop filter, you can get one to reduce the sound of air leaving your mouth. A pop filter can also prevent plosives and prevent your microphone from being grubby when you’re up close.

Is the Shure SM7B good for streaming?

Thanks to their incredible quality and durability, Shure has pretty much established itself as one of the best microphones in the industry. The Shure SM7B has a rich yet neutral low-end, with no distortion and clean, balanced bass. Eliminating unwanted sounds and background noise is easy with this microphone, as it has air suspension shock isolation, a pop filter, and a cardioid polar pattern.

The Shure SM7B also has electromagnetic shielding to avoid capturing hum from computers and other equipment. This XLR mic will require a preamp or audio interface to be used properly. At around $400, it is a pricey mic, but it’s definitely one of the best options around for a streaming microphone or podcast microphone.


Final Note

With recorder and live streaming likely to grow in popularity, aspiring streamers should think carefully about the type of equipment they’re willing to invest in. Your audience will want the whole package, and that means you shouldn’t settle for a low-quality microphone or just any mic, like a lavalier microphone, that hat might ruin the listening and viewing experience because it wasn’t intended for said application.

We’ve presented a few of what we believe are the best microphone models for any kind of streamer — whether you’re a beginner just building your Twitch audience, or an established favorite who’s looking to upgrade. Pick your mic, map out your set-up, and get ready to captivate the world.


The Best Microphone for Streaming

Editor’s Choice

Audio-Technica AT2035

Our top choice for the best microphone options for streaming is the Audio-Technica AT2035. With a frequency response of 20Hz to 20,000Hz, it has a rich, detailed sound that captures and flatters the human voice perfectly. Its low self-noise, side-address cardioid polar pattern, and overall high-quality audio make it a perfect option for streamers.

The AT2035 has much better specs than many other microphones in the same price range and can last you years thanks to its durable build and fantastic engineering. As an XLR microphone, and one priced at around $200, it may not be the best option for beginners. However, if you’re an established streamer who wants to make content that stands out, then the AT2035 is definitely the microphone for you.


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Ash Burnett

Hailing from Chicago, IL - Ash made his break into journalism at the age of 23 writing music reviews for a local website. Now in his late 30's and after being pulled closer towards the technical side of the music and live gig industry, he founded Shout4Music to write thorough microphone reviews.

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