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Best Microphone for YouTube

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Best Microphone for YouTube

Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Microphones for YouTube

It’s no secret that YouTube has taken the online world by storm since its establishment in 2005. In the span of a decade and a half, the daily views on YouTube have climbed to about one billion hours of watched video per day, and hundreds of hours of video uploaded to the site per minute. YouTube is shaping the landscape of content, and a lot of people are aiming to ride the wave. Today, we’re here to help you do just that with our guide on the best microphone for YouTube.

Why do you need a microphone for YouTube? Well, if you’re planning to start publishing videos on YouTube, you need to make sure that your production is top class.

Thanks to the availability of great quality microphones, this is now a possibility even for the most amateur home studio setup. There are now a ton of different, quality options for the best microphone for YouTube, and a look at our list below will be more than enough to get the ball rolling for you.

What is the Best Microphone for YouTube? Our Top Choice.

Our Overall Rating:

4.5/5

Our top pick for the best microphone for YouTube has to go to the Røde NT-USB. Røde is famous for its quality materials and design, as well as its surprisingly affordable prices. While it may not be one of the cheapest microphones around, it’s definitely one of the most reliable options.

Beginners who shy away from expensive microphones don’t have to worry about this one: for its price point, it’s an incredible piece of equipment, definitely at par with more expensive microphones.

The NT-USB’s durability is another one of its fantastic points. Amateur YouTube creators might think that they can put their money into cheaper mics and just upgrade later, but that may not be the right choice.

It’s a better option to simply invest in a quality microphone that will bring you years of great audio to come, and that’s what the Røde NT-USB is. With the proper care, it can weather travel, tours, and all a manner of different events.

What else does the Røde NT-USB have going for it? Its USB connection, quite obviously. This USB microphone is one of the best in the business, and it allows beginners to begin churning out videos with incredible audio quality straight off the bat.

Top quality microphones often require complicated setups, including an audio interface, but not the Røde NT-USB. You can simply plug it in to your laptop or computer and start filming. With the proper adaptor, it’s even compatible with portable devices like the iPad. Definitely a winner in our books.

Thanks to the convenience that the NT-USB provides, more content creators can get started filming their YouTube videos straightaway. If you’re the type who wants a lot of flexibility, convenience, and ease with your recordings, then a USB microphone like the NT-USB is the way to go. It allows you to do away with the complex processes, and exercise your creativity more quickly and efficiently.

While the NT-USB does suffer from a bit of sensitivity, especially when it comes to table noise and keyboard sounds, its sound is nonetheless crisp and clear.

Other USB microphones tend to suffer from a bit of hiss and noise, but the NT-USB has no such problem. Its sound is sharp and detailed, and its cardioid polar pattern allows you to more easily block out background noise.This allows you to record for YouTube, whether it be ASMR, vlogging, or gaming, while maintaining a sound that has full clarity and fidelity.

With USB microphones, the Røde NT-USB definitely leads the pack.

AT A GLANCE: OUR TOP 5 PICKS FOR BEST YOUTUBE MICROPHONES

YOUTUBE MIC UNDER 100:  Audio-Technica AT2020
MOST VERSATILE YOUTUBE MIC: Røde SmartLav+
BEST YOUTUBE MIC FOR DSLR CAMERA: Røde Videomic Pro
BEST YOUTUBE MIC: Røde NT-USB
MOST AFFORDABLE QUALITY MIC: Blue Snowball iCE

What to Look for in a Microphone for Youtube?

The great thing about YouTube is that you can basically create any kind of content you want. Whether it’s original animation, song covers, vlogging, gaming streams, or even ASMR, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find an audience. Viewers aren’t even picky— while quality video is always the best, there’s still a charm to handheld shaky cam footage, or even footage that you’ve taken on your smartphone.

One thing that can put a potential viewer off, though, is your audio quality. While shaky cam footage has its charm, bad audio is just bad audio. There’s no point in sitting through a five-minute video if you can’t understand anything that’s going on, and audio is a big part of that. That’s why most YouTube creators, whether they’re vlogging or gaming, are going to invest in good microphones.

But what should you look for if you want a good microphone for YouTube? What sets the best microphones for YouTube videos apart? Quite a lot of factors, really, depending on your budget and aim. For example, a microphone meant for mostly vlogging will definitely be different from a microphone meant for ASMR, and that microphone would be different from one meant for gaming.

However, regardless of the specific content that you’re aiming to put out, there are still several things that can make or break mics for YouTube. Here are a few of the general characteristics you should be looking out for if you want to add a good vlogging microphone (or any kind of microphone, really) to your YouTube creator arsenal.

Frequency Response

The first thing you’ll need to look at is the frequency range. Frequency response will decide your microphone’s overall sound. It determines the range of sound that your microphone is able to capture, so it can differ slightly if you’re going to be spending more time recording instruments rather than vocals, for example.

If you’re picking mics for vlogging or any other kind of activity that needs focus on your voice, then look for a mic that’s optimized for the human vocal range, which is typically from 85 Hz to 255 Hz, although it can vary.

Pickup Pattern

The pickup or polar pattern determines the “active” area of your microphone, or what parts of your microphone will be recording. If you have a microphone for recording vocals, this is typically set to cardioid, which is the preferred choice since it offers great background noise rejection.

While cardioid microphones are definitely popular, again this will depend on the kind of content you’re looking to create. If you need a vlogging microphone for the outdoors, you can look for microphones with supercardioid polar patterns, which help block out sound more easily and efficiently.

Power Source and Connection

If you’re planning to use your microphone for a ton of content, then you definitely need to think about how you’re going to power it. You can have a vlogging microphone that uses battery power, which you can take around freely no matter where you go.

In a more controlled, home studio environment, however, you can also choose to go with a microphone that operates off of phantom power, sourced through a preamp or mixer. Mics for YouTube are as diverse as the content that’s published on the platform, so make sure that you pick a microphone that makes the most of your resources, as well as fits your desired purpose.

How to Use Your Microphone for YouTube Videos

There are several different types of microphones that you can use for any sort of recording activity. The key to understanding how to use your microphone lies in the connection.

A mic with an XLR connection will require a mixer or preamp to allow you to properly operate it, whereas a USB microphone will make use of a USB connection. Below is a quick guide to setting up your vlogging microphones or other kinds of microphones for YouTube videos.

How to Use a USB Mic for YouTube

  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. Start recording.

How to Use an XLR Mic for YouTube

  1. Connect the microphone to phantom power source (usually via cable).
  2. Connect cable to audio interface (usually via cable).
  3. Connect audio interface to computer if recording via computer.
  4. Turn on phantom power.
  5. Start recording.

Top 10 BEST MICROPHONES FOR YOUTUBE

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
rode nt usb2Røde NT-USB• Convenient setup
• Affordable price
• High quality audio and easy to use
Check Prices on Amazon
at2035-2Audio-Technica AT2035• Great specs
• Durable design
• Quality audio
Check Prices on Amazon
rode videomic pro1Røde VideoMic Pro+• Industry standard for video
• Natural sound
• Portable and easy to attach to most cameras
Check Prices on Amazon
blue yeti pro 4Blue Yeti Pro• Great features for the price
• Durable build
• Easy plug and play connection
Check Prices on Amazon
shure mv7 2Shure MV7• Great for beginner to intermediate users
• Quality audio, especially for the human voice
• Dual connection options
Check Prices on Amazon
rode smartlav plusRøde SmartLav+• Portable and convenient
• Great for outdoors recording
• Can be used with smartphones
Check Prices on Amazon
at2020-1Audio-Technica AT2020• Affordably-priced
• Durable make
• Clean, clear sound
Check Prices on Amazon
blue snowball ice-2Blue Snowball iCE• Great for beginners
• Easy to use and set up
• Cardioid polar pattern blocks out noise
Check Prices on Amazon
rode nt1-a 4Røde NT1-A• Can deliver quality on a budget
• Added inclusions are great value
• Low self-noise
Check Prices on Amazon
akg c214-2AKG C214• Great quality microphone
• For intermediate creators
• Allows for more personalized recording
Check Prices on Amazon

There are tons of different kinds of uses for microphones. Because the technology has advanced so much, there’s pretty much a microphone for almost any kind of recording activity— and especially for YouTube. As diverse as the content on YouTube is, from vloggers to streaming and much more, so too are there microphones available for each purpose.

Vloggers will need a microphone that’s more appropriate for use in daily life, including in situations outside the home studio. Gaming videos, meanwhile, need a more concentrated microphone that blocks out things like keyboard sounds while still maintaining quality audio. Aiming to do activities that require a bit more movement and freedom? Lavalier microphones could be the best choice.

On the whole, there really isn’t a single kind of microphone that will fit the needs of every single YouTuber. There are, however, microphones that are better suited for one purpose or another. When making YouTube videos, a content creator should be able to understand their audience and aims, and that includes the kind of equipment they need.

Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the best microphones for YouTube in the business. These microphones are diverse, ranging from condenser microphones to lavalier mics to shotgun microphones and much more. The list below gives you a look at just how much variety there is in the microphone market. Whether you’re looking for microphones for vlogging, gaming, ASMR, or other pursuits, there’s definitely going to be on in the list for you.

Let's Go Over Each Microphone

The AKG C214 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone that records with fantastic audio quality and richness. Because it needs a preamp, it’s not exactly the first choice for many beginner YouTube content creators. However, creators of YouTube videos who are ready to move on to the next step in their recording journey will find this microphone a great asset.

It has a singular cardioid polar pattern that allows you to keep recording without worrying about background noise or other unnecessary sounds. It’s also got a 20dB pad and a high-pass filter that enables a more focused, personalized recording. This mic can help tailor your audio quality and help you produce a sound that’s unique and wholly yours.

Designed and engineered in Vienna, Austria and produced at AKG’s world-class factories, the C214 is emblematic of the AKG’s top quality and design. The AKG C214’s versatility and range of features and accessories make it one of the best condenser mics to add to developing mic cabinets.

As an XLR microphone, it can have a bit of a learning curve for newer content creators. However, if you’re a more experienced YouTuber, it’s definitely worth the investment for its quality and reliability alone. This is a great mic if you do most of your recording in a quiet studio environment, and thanks to AKG’s world-renowned quality you know your investment is going to last you years.


Røde is definitely a leader in the modern microphone market, and it’s not hard to see why. The company has produced dozens of microphone models at this point, and most, if not all of them, have been winners.

Most beginners who are just putting together their first YouTube videos might be understandably hesitant about purchasing a microphone for YouTube with an XLR connection. The Røde NT1-A thus makes a great next step for anyone who’s upgrading from a USB microphone to XLR. With its 3-pin XLR output and connection to phantom power, it’s a more professional microphone at a reasonable price. For YouTube content creators, the NT1-A is a great next step for amping up your audio quality.

At over USD$ 200, the Rode NT1-A can be a bit of an investment for many amateur YouTube creators, but it’s certainly a worthwhile one. For example, the added inclusions, such as the pop Shield, shock mount, and microphone cable, make setting up a home studio effortless. And in addition to that, the dynamic range and lack of self-generated noise make it perfect for any number of recording activities. 

Though the Rode NT1-A is far from the most expensive microphone on the market, it certainly doesn’t scrimp on quality. It has a warmth of sound, extended dynamic range, high SPL capability, and clarity that puts it on par with some of the priciest mics in the world. With this mic, you won’t have to worry about pesky hiss building up in your recording— the NT1-A is perfectly suited for a variety of recording tasks, and the quality build and reliability ensure that you’ll be able to make use of it for a long time.

When you talk about the best microphones for YouTube, it’s impossible to have that conversation without mentioning Blue Microphones’ iconic Blue Snowball iCE. For many beginners, figuring out how to setup and use a microphone can be intimidating. The Snowball iCE does away with all the frills and pares mic use down to the basics: simply plug in and play.

It’s a USB microphone that’s definitely become an industry favorite in more ways than one. Its unique shape makes it a fun and funky addition to any home studio, and its convenient setup is more than enough reason to put it in this list. The Blue Snowball iCE automatically syncs in with most, if not all desktop recording programs, so you can start recording whenever you want.

That makes it a top choice for first-timers who aren’t ready to put hundreds of dollars into fancy recording equipment just yet. When it comes to value for money, the Snowball iCE vastly outperforms other microphones in its price range. Its cardioid polar pattern and clean, natural sound mean that it’s a clear winner for anybody who wants great sound at a great price. Plus, users don’t have to worry about those tricky plosives, as the Snowball iCE is designed to have a pop filter right behind the grille.

The Blue Snowball iCE is affordable, has a clean, crisp sound, and a one-of-a-kind design. With its cardioid polar pattern, it’s able to capture your voice perfectly, making it a great first companion for YouTube vloggers, gaming, streaming, or even just casual users. The easy plug-and-play USB design allows you to free your home studio of extra equipment and clutter, making for great audio quality and video quality for your viewers.

YouTubers who are on the market for great quality mics under $100 will definitely hear about the Audio-Technica AT2020. With good reason: the AT2020 is a fantastic microphone with incredible sound quality for an affordable price. It’s got a clean, natural sound that performs excellently with both the human voice and instruments.

Not only that, it’s also incredible versatile. While designed for the studio market, it performs great even in home studios, allowing home-based content creators to put together YouTube videos with incredible audio quality. And despite its affordable price, it’s got a hefty build that promises quality and durability for years to come. Instead of using lightweight plastics, the AT2020 has a sturdy, well-formed metal casing that will have you resting easy that your microphone is going to stand up to the test of time.

Not only that, setting up your new microphone for YouTube is incredibly easy. The AT2020 comes a pivoting, threaded stand mount that attaches firmly and allows an easy and precise placement for the microphone. Simply clamp the stand securely to the table, adjust the boom arm to your desired angle, tighten the screws, and attach the mount and microphone to your stand.

The Audio-Technica AT2020’s specs mean that this mic packs a punch for the price, and it’s a favorite for many home studios. Its high sensitivity means that it can pick up unwanted sounds like keyboard clatter. However, with a good mic stand and placement YouTubers filming gaming streams don’t have anything to worry about.

Additionally, vocals on this microphone will sound clean and natural, and will be able to cut through the sound of most instruments. If you’re looking for the best microphones for YouTube videos, this could be it.

While a lot of YouTubers make their content at home, there are equally as many who want to be able to record top quality audio while on the go. A lavalier microphone like the Røde SmartLav+ is the ultimate choice for this, because it allows you to record crisp, clear sound without worrying about bulky equipment. Also, if you do a lot of outdoors content with other people, the SmartLav+’s easy enough to hook up to your phones, allowing you to record with only the bare minimum of equipment.

Lavalier microphones may not be the most powerful microphones around, but they’re your best solution when you need something small and unobtrusive. The Røde SmartLav+ makes recording for camera so much easier. At only 6 grams, it’s lightweight, small, but designed to capture the best possible sound.

The Røde SmartLav+ is a lavalier microphone designed specifically for use with smartphones. This promises many things for users, but most of all convenience. If you’re a content creator who wants to be able to produce quality work on the go, you need something light and compact that doesn’t require any complicated set up. The Røde SmartLav+ is essentially plug and play, and with a jack that fits into most phones it’s the quickest solution for getting quality sound on the go.

The MV7 is Shure’s option for microphone users who are on the tail-end of beginner level and are looking to try out more complicated, yet still user-friendly set ups. While Shure has long been a giant in the microphone industry, many of the brand’s condenser microphones remain a little out of reach for the average user working from a laptop.

The Shure MV7 is a great solution to this, offering two connection options that are great for amateurs who are moving into intermediate-level micing. Not only that, the microphone is designed to be easy to use, allowing for more comfort and convenience in recording. Its great range of benefits makes it no wonder why YouTube content creators are particularly fond of it, and the top class audio quality is just on another level.

Thanks to its USB connection, the Shure MV7 is pretty much the mic that you need for the modern era. It’s the perfect, powerful little companion for recording on the go thanks to its USB connection and the ShurePlus MOTIV app. And with the MOTIV app, you can adjust your audio settings easily both before and after your recording session. The MV7 allows you to record on your laptop, or even on your smartphone or tablet with an adaptor. With that kind of range, the studio is pretty much anywhere you want it to be.

Our Overall Rating:

4.5/5

The Blue Yeti Pro’s somewhat intimidating price point might not make it a first choice for many first-timers, but if you’re planning on investing in quality then picking it up will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make.

The Blue Yeti Pro has a flexibility that allows the microphone to grow with your skill, allowing for easy, basic desktop use as well as more complex combinations with professional recording equipment. Its high resolution also makes for more flexibility with recording, making it a more dynamic choice over the basic Yeti model.

The Blue Yeti Pro is the ultimate USB microphone for both amateurs and professionals. While it may cost a little more than your entry-level mic set, its top-tier recording quality and features make it a great investment. It’s definitely one of the better quality microphones in its price range, and can be a great choice for YouTube content creators who want a mic that feels good and sounds great. Plus, its iconic design make it a great addition to your on-camera setup.

Our Overall Rating:

4.5/5

Røde is known for producing top-quality microphones that are easy to use, durable, and have fantastic sound. The Videomic Pro is a lightweight, compact, and foolproof shotgun microphone that will elevate your videography from good to great. Designed for use on the go, it has easy to find switches and a near-universal size mount that will suit practically any handheld camera or camcorder.

With such a compact size, the Røde Videomic Pro’s portability is one of its strongest features. Taking your mic out into the world however means that you have to contend with issues like battery life. It can be pretty stressful bringing around extra battery packs and making sure that they’re all charged.

Luckily, the Videomic Pro’s battery life can stretch to around 70 hours on a single battery, eliminating the anxiety over whether your mic is going to stop working in the middle of a shoot. It makes use of a standard 9 volt battery that you can find almost anywhere, so compatibility is no problem either.

Our Overall Rating:

4.5/5

Thanks to its smooth, balanced sound and fantastic midrange, the AT2035 is one of the best choices for recording vocals. Its side-address design and cardioid polar pattern mean that you can easily position the mic to capture your voice, while avoiding catching sounds like clicking or typing on the keyboard. Its high sensitivity also means that you can capture the nuances of your voice perfectly, making it the perfect companion for YouTubers at home.

The AT2035 is comparable with several studio-grade condensers, which makes its affordability all the more astonishing. It has a similar SPL, signal-to-noise ratio, sensitivity, and equivalent noise level to the AKG C214, and some of its specs are even better. It produces a natural sound with a tone that leans slightly towards the warm and vintage. It has a crisp and detailed high end, as well as a rich low-end that’s full of depth, making it a great choice for any sound engineer looking to buy their first large-diaphragm condenser.

While it may not be the most affordable mic around for first timers, the AT2035 is one of the top choices in the industry thanks to its incredible quality. It’s at par with many other mics at higher price points, and can give you clear, consistent audio with hardly any need for post-processing. If you spend most of your time creating content in a studio setting, then the AT2035 is a powerhouse when it comes to recording quality. Definitely a top choice for YouTube.

Our Overall Rating:

4.5/5

For its price, the Røde NT-USB offers an incredible recording experience. As a USB microphone, it’s essentially plug and play, allowing even the most amateur of creators to record quality content. Not only that, it’s even compatible with portable devices like the iPad, as long as you have the proper adaptor. With a durable build and a simple yet effective design, it sets the standard for USB mics the world over.

If there’s one place where the NT-USB is meant to shine, it’s in its audio. And shine it does. While the NT-USB does suffer from a bit of sensitivity, especially when it comes to table noise and keyboard sounds, overall the sound is crisp and clear. While other USB microphones tend to suffer from a bit of hiss and white noise, the NT-USB has no such problem. It has a sharp and detailed sound, and its cardioid pattern allows users to block out unnecessary noise while capturing the sound source with full clarity and fidelity.

Overall, when it comes to USB microphones, the Røde NT-USB is leading the pack. Combining a simple yet effective design with top quality sound and an affordable price, the NT-USB stands out from among the many budget USB microphones available on the market today. Its plug and play capabilities and body dials make the learning curve on this mic so much easier, allowing beginners to hit the ground running with their recordings. This versatility makes it a clear winner for YouTube creators who want a powerful mic with an easy set up.

Best Microphones for YouTube Comparison

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
rode nt usb2Røde NT-USB• Convenient setup
• Affordable price
• High quality audio and easy to use
Check Prices on Amazon
at2035-2Audio-Technica AT2035• Great specs
• Durable design
• Quality audio
Check Prices on Amazon
rode videomic pro1Røde VideoMic Pro+• Industry standard for video
• Natural sound
• Portable and easy to attach to most cameras
Check Prices on Amazon
blue yeti pro 4Blue Yeti Pro• Great features for the price
• Durable build
• Easy plug and play connection
Check Prices on Amazon
shure mv7 2Shure MV7• Great for beginner to intermediate users
• Quality audio, especially for the human voice
• Dual connection options
Check Prices on Amazon
rode smartlav plusRøde SmartLav+• Portable and convenient
• Great for outdoors recording
• Can be used with smartphones
Check Prices on Amazon
at2020-1Audio-Technica AT2020• Affordably-priced
• Durable make
• Clean, clear sound
Check Prices on Amazon
blue snowball ice-2Blue Snowball iCE• Great for beginners
• Easy to use and set up
• Cardioid polar pattern blocks out noise
Check Prices on Amazon
rode nt1-a 4Røde NT1-A• Can deliver quality on a budget
• Added inclusions are great value
• Low self-noise
Check Prices on Amazon
akg c214-2AKG C214• Great quality microphone
• For intermediate creators
• Allows for more personalized recording
Check Prices on Amazon

Final Note

Picking the best microphone for YouTube can take a lot of work and research. Not all microphones are created equal, and finding the right model that creates exactly the performance that you need can be a struggle.

Buying any kind of microphone is an investment, so it’s important to take the time and effort to study your options. The above list is just a small sample of all the different models available today. Hopefully, it goes a way towards helping you pick the best vocal microphone for live performance and best microphones for recording vocals.

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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