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The Best USB Microphones

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Your Ultimate Guide to USB Mics

Recording from your laptop’s built-in microphone may work in non-professional settings, but it simply won’t do if you want to produce good quality audio. Too often, these microphones pick up too much background noise and make your voice sound fuzzy or muted. 

They can also pick up static and air popping sounds because they normally have no wind filter. It goes without saying that recording music or videos on your built-in mic could spell disaster.

Which brings us to the point of this guide — if you want to enhance your audio output quality without wasting too much time on learning how to set up an entire sound system, worry not. USB microphones are perfect because all you have to do is plug them into your computer, cellphone, or iPad, and you’re done.

Their ease and utility have made them more popular than ever, especially among individual content creators, so it’s no surprise that USB microphones are everywhere. Take a look at our guide below to find out which of these microphones are worth investing in.


In A Hurry? This is the Best USB Microphone

For the best mic overall, look no further than the classic Blue Yeti, one of the oldest USB mics yet still the best in the game — whether you’re recording music or managing video calls daily. 

While Blue Microphones has come out with modern products over the last few years, its original Yeti model is still an industry favorite and patronized by some of the most famous streamers, YouTubers, and content creators around.

The Blue Yeti contains multiple polar patterns in one microphone – cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo – which allows creators to record all types of audio using one single device where one would normally need multiple.  


At A Glance: The Best USB Microphones

BEST OVERALL
Blue Yeti Mic

A classic for a reason, the Blue Yeti Microphone is our choice for the best USB microphone. Despite being one of the brand’s older models…

BEST HYBRID
Shure MV7 Mic 

The next on our list is considered a classic in many recording circles. Known for its bright, radio-friendly sound, the Shure MV7…

BEST SAMPLE RATE
JLab Talk Pro

When it comes to USB microphones, you really don’t need a huge budget in order to get a high-functioning device. In fact, there are gems…

BEST UNDER $100
Blue Yeti Nano

If you want style, portability, and great-sounding audio rolled into one, the Blue Yeti Nano is what you should buy — particularly if you’re…

BEST PREMIUM
Blue Yeti X Mic

Want a larger microphone that works well in a variety of recording applications? The Blue Yeti X is the older (and bigger) sibling of the Nano…

BEST RGB
HyperX QuadCast S Mic

Gaming aesthetics have evolved over the past few years, but RGB-themed equipment seems to be a trend that’s not going anywhere anytime….

BEST FOR STREAMING
Elgato Wave 3

If you’re thinking of getting the QuadCast S but aren’t too sold on its price tag, then the Elgato Wave: 3 might be just what you need.

BEST FOR PHONE RECORDING
Shure MV5 Mic

Shure has once again proven that they are committed to creating modern audio recording solutions. The tiny MV5, which sits at…

BEST DYNAMIC USB MIC
Razer Seiren Elite

Ever wonder why some streamers have an irresistible quality to their voice? For some reason, they sound like honey to the ears, which…

BEST BUDGET MIC
Blue Snowball Ice

The best USB microphones don’t have to burn a hole through your wallet. The Blue Snowball Ice microphone proves just that.


Is a USB Mic Good?

Can USB Mics Sound Good?

There is a misconception that USB microphones are third-class citizens in the world of recording audio, and that simply isn’t true. USB microphones offer versatility, natural vocal output, and ease of use, often without costing as much as other mic types. 

USB microphones are great at picking up and emphasizing vocals while muting room noise. They’re certainly a step up from built-in computer microphones and can even go head-to-head with microphones that require a separate interface.

What is the Difference Between a USB Mic and a Regular Mic?

USB microphones are essentially plug-and-play. This is because USB microphones have a built-in audio interface and preamp which allows users to simply plug in their USB microphone to a computer and start recording.

The main benefit of a USB microphone over most XLR microphones is setup ease. XLR connections tend to be a little more complicated because they require the use of an audio interface with onboard controls. On the other hand, with a USB microphone, all you have to do is plug the USB cable into your computer or phone.

Most of these mics will have onboard controls on the microphone itself. You’ll often find a mute button, volume control knob, gain knob, headphone volume control, and polar pattern button on the interface. Port types will vary depending on the mic, and they’re usually mini USB, micro USB, and USB-C.

What Do You Use a USB Microphone For?

Anyone can use a USB microphone. Because of their wired nature, they are best for indoor recording applications, such as podcasting, streaming, and vlogging. Its functions usually vary with the mic’s features.

A good example is the Audio-Technica Cardioid Condenser mic. Because it has a headphone jack, a cardioid pickup pattern, an internal headphone amplifier, and an analog to digital converter, many regard the USB Audio-Technica as a streaming-focused mic. The headphone jack allows users to record headphone output. 

In our list of the best USB mics, you’ll find that their main function will vary but all of them can be used in multiple applications.

Can You Use a USB Mic for Studio Recording?

Generally, regular microphones are better for studio recording as having audio interfaces allows engineers to tweak their recording devices better. But that’s not to say USB microphones, especially premium ones, are completely ruled out for studio recording sessions. 

In fact, many USB microphones have excellent recording quality, frequency response, and higher sound pressure levels that make them excellent studio performers. The best USB mics are often great for studio sessions especially because they usually have multiple pickup patterns in one mic, letting you set up a few presets for simpler use. 

Is USB Mic Good for Singing?

Yes, USB microphones can certainly be used for singing. Some of the best USB mics are condenser mics, which are great for picking up subtle sounds thus enhancing your recording quality.

Additionally, some of the best USB microphones come with multiple pickup patterns and recording capabilities, which are an advantage over many XLR mics. The Blue Yeti, for example, has both a cardioid recording pattern and omnidirectional capabilities. 

The cardioid mode can allow you to focus on recording voice, while an omnidirectional pattern records sound from all ends of the mic, which is ideal for capturing multiple instruments at once.

How Much Does a Good USB Mic Cost?

The truth is, there are plenty of reliable USB microphones at almost every price point — don’t let people fool you into thinking only the expensive ones are worth a buy. But if you’re looking for something that can go head-to-head with professional content creators, then shelling out a little money is necessary. 

Based on our research and testing, the best USB microphones are within the $90 – $200 price range, although we do feature one $50 USB microphone below.

One thing you should look at when buying a USB microphone is the accessories included. An external pop filter or windscreen is a great inclusion to have. Many USB mic devices have a pop filter included in the overall costs, while others require you to buy one. A pop filter can be pricey and not every pop filter will be compatible with your USB device. Blue mics are great for this because they also sell pop filters.

Other handy features include a desktop stand, shock mount, micro USB compatibility, and a USB-C connection, all of which can turn a decent microphone into a great one based on functionality alone.


Best USB Microphones

ImageProductDetailsCheck Price
Blue Yeti 2Blue Yeti• Industry-standard microphone
• Multiple pickup patterns
• Warm vocals
Check Prices on Amazon
shure mv7 3Shure MV7• Hybrid connection
• Bright radio sound
• Durable body
Check Prices on Amazon
JLab-Talk-ProJLab Talk Pro • Attractive colorway
• Great for beginners
• User-friendly controls
Check Prices on Amazon
09 Blue Yeti NanoBlue Yeti Nano • Light, compact, and travel-friendly
• Great value for money
• Solid build
Check Prices on Amazon
Blue Yeti 2Blue Yeti X• Classic Blue microphone design
• Comes with a mic stand
• Large size
Check Prices on Amazon
hyperx quadcast s 2Hyperx Quadcast S• Compatible with different gaming consoles
• Stunning RGB colors
• Great sonic quality
Check Prices on Amazon
Elgato-Wave-3Elgato Wave 3• Almost no distortion
• Versatile and uncomplicated sound settings
• Light body
Check Prices on Amazon
Shure-MV5Shure MV5• Unobtrusive appearance
• Vintage design
• Portable
Check Prices on Amazon
Razer Seiren Elite 2Razer Seiren Elite• Clear onboard controls
• Satin casing
• Captures distinct vocal tones
Check Prices on Amazon
10 Blue Snowball iCE_PODCASTBlue Snowball Ice• Pleasant vocals
• Old-school aesthetic
• Incredible sound quality for its price range
Check Prices on Amazon

Let’s Go Over Each USB Microphone

A classic for a reason, the Blue Yeti Microphone is our choice for the best USB microphone. Despite being one of the brand’s older models, the Blue Yeti manages to wow us and pretty much blow other USB microphones out of the water in terms of sound profile, output, and sensitivity.

The design is classic, too. You’ll find it comes with a sturdy build as well as a robust little mic stand mount perfect for propping onto a desk or other flat surfaces. Thanks to its wide frequency response, the mic can capture human voice without having to position the capsule close to your mouth. It can also block out ambient noise successfully.

The best USB microphone should also be functional. The Blue Yeti contains physical controls on the mic itself, including an instant mute button, volume dial, headphone volume knob, gain knob, and polar pattern switches that allow you to move from one polar pattern to another.

The last one, in particular, is something we want to emphasize: the Blue Yeti Microphone features four recording patterns, namely cardioid, omnidirectional, stereo, and bidirectional, which offers users the option to switch between different recording styles depending on the application. Cardioid patterns are perfect for single-subject recordings; in this setting, the mic picks up sound from the front and side of the capsule. 

Pros and Cons of the Blue Yeti Mic

ProsCons
✔ Classic and sturdy design
✔ Affordable
✔ Great software
✔ Four different recording patterns
✔ Uses standard USB
✘ Capsule can be too sensitive

The next on our list is considered a classic in many recording circles. Known for its bright, radio-friendly sound, the Shure MV7 is technically a USB/XLR hybrid rather than a discrete USB microphone.

Technicalities aside, the Shure MV7 is a beautiful device that is able to recreate the natural warmth and tones distinct to the human voice. It’s the more beginner-friendly version of another one of Shure’s more iconic models, the SM7B, which has been used for decades in radio shows and by vocalists.

The MV7 has a few key differences. For one, it’s a lot more compact. It’s also a little limited because it is meant for those at the tail-end of beginner recording. That said, it’s one of the best investments anyone could make if they want to prioritize sound quality in whatever they do, whether it’s streaming or creating YouTube content.

Another huge advantage of the Shure MV7 is the app that comes with it. The MOTIV app lets you tweak your vocals, adding sparkle or depth according to your needs. 

Pros and Cons of the Shure MV7 Mic

ProsCons
✔ Comes with both a USB and XLR cable
✔ Bright sound
✔ Easily replicates mid and high-end tones
✔ Strong build
✘ Expensive
✘ Uses touch controls

When it comes to USB microphones, you really don’t need a huge budget in order to get a high-functioning device. In fact, there are gems out there that cost less than $120, like the JLab Talk Pro.

The JLab Talk Pro possesses multiple pickup patterns and a high sample rate of 192 kHz. At its price, these are pretty incredible specs that can turn any beginner into a pro — sound quality-wise, at least. 

The four pickup patterns allow users to choose between the right sound setup depending on their needs and tastes. This makes it one of the best USB mics out there for those who are still experimenting with finding their perfect sound setup. 

Also, we’re not being shallow when we say how a microphone looks is actually worth something, especially if you plan on creating video content as well. The JLab Talk Pro is easy on the eyes and adds something fresh to the table with its bright blue pop of color. 

Pros and Cons of the JLab Talk Pro Mic

ProsCons
✔ Beautiful design
✔ Four pickup patterns to choose from
✔ Excellent value for money
✔ Straightforward and user-friendly controls
✘ Subpar audio quality

If you want style, portability, and great-sounding audio rolled into one, the Blue Yeti Nano is what you should buy — particularly if you’re hesitant to splurge. At under $100, the Blue Yeti’s younger sibling packs multiple features that make it ideal for budding content creators, streamers, and podcasters.

The Nano has two distinct polar patterns or recording modes, cardioid and omnidirectional, which can be accessed through the microphone’s software. The cardioid recording mode is perfect for delivering full-bodied and natural tones from a single speaker while the omnidirectional pickup pattern makes recording and speaking to a group of people easier than ever.

Despite standing only 8 inches tall, the Yeti Nano looks incredible and sleek, designed with a robust casing that can withstand wear and tear. Its size makes handling the mic easy, and if needed, one can place it inside a bag and take it to the office, a studio, or a cafe.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Yeti Nano Mic

ProsCons
✔ Professional design
✔ Solid build quality for its price
✔ Low latency monitoring
✔ Light, compact, and portable
✘ Offers only 2 patterns

Want a larger microphone that works well in a variety of recording applications? The Blue Yeti X is the older (and bigger) sibling of the Nano and Yeti classic, standing 12 inches tall and weighing 2.8 lbs – its size may be a con for some, but a huge pro for others. 

For one thing, having a larger capsule means your mic will be positioned closer to your mouth, which helps with vocal emphasis and muting room sounds.

Size aside, the microphone performs really well. The sound profile is simple and clean. Users can choose between four different mic pickup patterns depending on the type of recording they want to achieve, much like the Blue Yeti classic version. To get a little technical, the microphone has an output of 24-bit/48kHz. All of these combined make the Yeti X one of the most well-rounded microphones out there no matter what level you’re at.

We were also able to significantly tweak the audio samples using the software that came with the mic – perfect for adding a little sparkle to one’s vocals. If you’re thinking about getting the Blue Yeti Pro but find that it’s a bit too bulky, then the Yeti X is the perfect alternative as it’s narrower by 15mm and has 12.35% less body volume.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Yeti X Mic

ProsCons
✔ Sturdy and robust build
✔ Clean sound profile
✔ Comes with versatile audio software
✘ Bulky

Gaming aesthetics have evolved over the past few years, but RGB-themed equipment seems to be a trend that’s not going anywhere anytime soon (no, really — try to find a streamer on Twitch that doesn’t have RGB backlit equipment). 

But aesthetics are not the only reason gamers seem to gravitate towards the HyperX QuadCast S, an all-metal and satin-black encased USB microphone, though design is a huge part of its charm. The mic is compatible with gaming consoles, including the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. It’s also Discord and TeamSpeak certified, making the device perfect for multiplayer voice chats.

Unfortunately, it is a little expensive for beginners/hobbyists, which you might realize by now is the largest and most profitable market for USB microphones. So, if going professional is something in your horizons, then we recommend putting your money towards something with an XLR cable or at least a hybrid if convenience is non-negotiable.

That said, the QuadCast S is by no means a bad mic, as its advantages make it a worthy option. Its sleek design can add visual excitement to any video, and as for its performance, the microphone offers four standard pickup patterns for capturing natural-sounding vocal tones. Experts and users rave about its audio reproduction quality with good reason. If you want a stylish yet high-quality gaming setup, the QuadCast S should be your first option.

Pros and Cons of the HyperX QuadCast S Mic

ProsCons
✔ PS4 compatible
✔ Beautiful sleek design with RGB lights
✔ Solid build
✔ Solid sound profile
✘ A little pricey

If you’re thinking of getting the QuadCast S but aren’t sold on its price tag, then the Elgato Wave: 3 might be just what you need. Like the QuadCast S, the Wave: 3 is designed with streamers in mind, although it has no shortage of uses outside the realm of gaming content creation.

The Elgato Wave: 3 is a first for the brand that wasn’t always known for its audio recording equipment. However, despite this being their earliest foray into USB microphones, you can’t really tell. Everything from the sleek matte black casing to the physical controls on the mic is solid, classic, and robust. 

This is also a condenser microphone, which is typically more sensitive than dynamic mics in its ability to pick up even the smallest background noise. The good news is that this condenser microphone in particular has uncanny vocal replication capabilities without being too sensitive. 

And while the Wave: 3 doesn’t have the four standard pickup patterns available, it makes up for it with a high frame rate. Recording at 24-bit/96kHz, audio recordings made with the Wave: 3 are flexible and easy to manipulate without distortion. 

Speaking of editing, the Wave Link software by Elgato is a huge advantage that not many other mics have. The software serves as an audio editor as well as a digital mixer that can work with multiple mic recordings from separate audio sources.

Pros and Cons of the Elgato Wave:3 Mic

ProsCons
✔ Lightweight and simple design
✔ Little to no distortion
✔ High frame rate
✔ Uncomplicated physical dials
✘ Plastic material can be flimsy
✘ Only 1 pickup pattern

Shure has once again proven that they are committed to creating modern audio recording solutions. The tiny MV5, which sits at roughly 5.5 inches, is a small beast that allows users to capture audio straight from this generation’s most trusted gadget — the smartphone.

The MV5 is compatible with iOS devices with the help of the Shure Motiv app. It’s not just some flimsy phone app with limited functionality, either. Through the app controls, users can choose between two DSP modes: voice and instrument. Pretty straightforward stuff; the voice mode is ideal for capturing a single subject’s speaking or singing voice, while the instrument mode is built for music.

Additionally, you can opt for more or less compression on the audio file and control your own EQ curve through the app.

Pros and Cons of the Shure MV5 Mic

ProsCons
✔ Compatible with iOS, Windows, and Mac OS
✔ Portable size
✔ Great audio replication and signal quality
✘ Can be too small

Ever wonder why some streamers have an irresistible quality to their voice? They sound like honey to the ears, which makes listening to them and watching them a thousand times more enjoyable. This is the goal that many newbies have, and most are surprised to find that a lot of microphones (especially those of bad quality) don’t do justice to the human voice.

The Razer Seiren Elite is not one of those mics. Those willing to shell out a bit of cash to buy this sleek satin-covered dynamic microphone will find that it’s able to replicate the warmth of the human voice, adding just enough depth that is often lost when recording on cheaper low quality USB mics.

The Seiren Elite also is also visually stunning. Right out of the box, the solid black-all-over design makes this USB microphone easy on the eyes, plus it weighs just enough to feel high-quality without being too heavy. It also comes with a windscreen and a detachable mic stand.

The downside is that there are plenty of other microphones that can do what the Seiren Elite does and more at a fraction of the cost. 

Pros and Cons of the Razer Seiren Elite Mic

ProsCons
✔ Rich and warm vocal tone
✔ Comes with detachable mic stand
✔ Solid design
✘ Middle-of-the-pack sound quality
✘ Expensive

The best USB microphones don’t have to burn a hole through your wallet. The Blue Snowball Ice microphone proves just that. 

This entry-level USB mic is our pick for the best budget recording capsule. With enough tweaking, this portable microphone can offer excellent sonic quality and professional-sounding recordings, all without having to spend too much.

It’s encased in a sleek metal frame that allows it to withstand a little wear and tear, which is super handy if you’re planning to bring this mic with you wherever you go — as it’s meant to be. It’s light and portable but not easy to accidentally knock over when you’re not careful. We also adore its vintage design that adds novelty to any setup.

Pros and Cons of the Blue Snowball Ice Mic

ProsCons
✔ Budget-friendly and amateur-friendly price
✔ Simplifies recording setup
✔ Precise speech recording
✘ Mic stand is too short

Best USB Microphones Comparison

ImageModel NameSound QualityDesignFeaturesPriceTotal RatingCheck Price
Blue Yeti 2Blue Yeti Mic9.59.59.59.59.5Check Prices on Amazon
shure mv7 3Shure MV79.59.59.58.59.3Check Prices on Amazon
JLab-Talk-ProJLab Talk Pro 8.59.599.59.1Check Prices on Amazon
09 Blue Yeti NanoBlue Yeti Nano 9.59999Check Prices on Amazon
Blue Yeti X 2Blue Yeti X9.599.589Check Prices on Amazon
hyperx quadcast s 2Hyperx Quadcast S Mic99988.8Check Prices on Amazon
Elgato-Wave-3Elgato Wave 39988.58.6Check Prices on Amazon
Shure-MV5Shure MV5 Mic8.5898.58.5Check Prices on Amazon
Razer Seiren Elite 2Razer Seiren Elite88.58.588.25Check Prices on Amazon
10 Blue Snowball iCE_PODCASTBlue Snowball Ice88898.25Check Prices on Amazon

Final Note

We hope you found this guide to the best USB microphones helpful. Keep browsing our website to find the perfect microphone for you.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is USB or jack better for microphone?

There isn’t a general consensus on this quality-wise, so you should pick a connectivity mode that works best for the equipment that you already have. If you’re using an audio interface, go for a microphone with a 3.5mm wire. If you prefer digital recording, go for a USB microphone.

Why shouldn’t you use a USB mic?

If you like having the option to make minute adjustments to your audio as you’re recording it, then a regular microphone might be better for you. Another factor to consider is how often you need to shoot outside and how far away your subjects need to be. A USB microphone can be physically limiting in the sense that it’s better for recording at a desk.

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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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