The Top 10 Best Microphones for YouTube Videos [ Updated ]
Finding the best microphone for your specific youtube channel can be tricky. That's why Youtubers change their mic very frequently as they hike up in their career. I've personally changed more than 30 microphones for my usage. I've tested more than a hundred microphones while setting up home studios for my clients. I thereby know the in's and out's of microphones (you're in expert hands).
If you wish to produce quality youtube videos, you need to take care of the audio. Audio is a vital element of the video. Your eyes can endure 144p videos, but it can't handle an HD video with lousy sound. A lot of people who start doing youtube invest a good amount on DSLR, but they forget about the second part of the equation - audio. For a professional grade video, you need good audio. Fortunately, there are a lot of manufacturers out there. There is always a microphone which will fit your budget and quality expectations.
|Blue Yeti||Discount Link|
|Rode NT USB||Discount Link|
|Samson GO||Discount Link|
|Blue Snowball||Discount Link|
|Audio Technica At2020||Discount Link|
|Audio Technica At2100||Discount Link|
|Rode VideoMic Go||Discount Link|
|Rode VideoMic Pro||Discount Link|
|Sennheiser MKE 600||Discount Link|
|Zoom H1||Discount Link|
|Zoom H4N Pro||Discount Link|
|Rode Smart Lav||Discount Link|
In this article, I've not only mentioned the best microphones for youtube, but I've also mentioned some other important factors which would profoundly help you in making the right purchase. If you're in a hurry, you can check the table above or jump straight to microphone listing. But I highly recommend reading the pre-purchase tips.
Youtube Microphones: Youtube is home to a huge variety of content creators. We have vloggers, tutorial videos, prank videos, normal in home videos, voice over style, podcasts and much more. Make sure you purchase a microphone which is right fit for you.
- USB/XLR Microphones for Youtube
- Camera Microphones
- Multi Purpose Microphones
- Things You Should Think Before Purchasing
USB/XLR Microphones for Youtube
1. Blue Yeti
You’ll find this microphone on the top of pretty much every top 10 microphones list. There are tons of reasons why this microphone receives so much praise. Yeti has a very thick metal body and would look huge on your table (seriously massive). This mic has been used and appreciated by a lot of YouTubers. This microphone has been around for quite a while and has received tremendous amounts of love. A lot of people know “blue” as a brand, only because of this microphone (or snowball).
This microphone has three capsules inside which enables it to record in 4 pickup patterns. Those patterns are cardioids, bi-directional, omnidirectional, and stereo. These features are pretty much all you can hope for. The sound quality from the Yeti microphone is undoubtedly best in the class. As mentioned above, yeti has a complete metal body. Blue yeti has a live headphone jack so you can monitor what’s being recorded. Like other microphones, this microphone is plug and play as well.
The microphone has one switch on the back to switch between the recording modes. Another switch to configure your gain. There is a LED in the front through which you can monitor whether or not the microphone is mute. You can also control the volume of headphone via the volume controls.
The blue yeti provides a lot of features and controls on the microphone. I particularly like the mute button feature as it instantly mutes the microphone from the microphone front itself. It has come conveniently to me in several live streams.
2. Rode NT USB
The microphone deserves a lot of praise for its versatility and studio quality audio performance. NT USB is aimed at the users who want start recording from the comfort of their homes. The microphones run on cardioids pickup pattern and is a side addressing microphone. Like other USB microphones, Rode NT USB microphone is a plug and play microphone, which means that all you need to do is just plug it in and start recording. You don’t need any external instruments or accessories to record with the microphone. It captures audio up to the 16bit/48khz resolution. The microphone also gives you the capability to listen what’s being recorded via the live headphone jack. NT USB has no issues in compatibility and can be used without any hassle with both Windows and Mac, on the plus side, it can also be used with Apple iPad if you have USB camera connection kit.
Rode supplies a bunch of things in the box itself to help you get started without hassle. Inside the box, you get an all metal pop shield, desktop stand, stand mount, zip case, and a 6m long USB cable. The microphone produces clear and neutral audio that goes quite well with most of the voices and instruments. The microphone also has a “Direct Mix control” which allows you to select the level between source input and mic input for monitoring via the live headphone jack. Overall, it’s quite simple to setup and reasonably easy to work with. If you need to record voice over videos or podcasts, this microphone will do the job like a pro.
3. Samson GO
This one is the cheapest microphone in this list. But don’t judge it for its price and size. You’ll discover that it offers quite a lot more than what you can expect at this price range. This microphone is cutest and smallest microphone that I’ve used so far. Surprisingly, it is metal bodied, and measures around 70.5 X 43.5 X 23mm. The microphone employs two back to back, cardioid capsules. What this means is, it offers two recording modes – cardioid and omni pattern. You also get a mic storage clip, which has an awesome swivel joint that lets you set your microphone at whatever angle you require.
When you’re not using the microphone, it can be folded back, and the whole thing goes into a zip-up storage pouch. The microphone also has a standard European microphone thread, which means that if you need, you can screw it into a microphone stand. The microphone connects to the computer via a USB cable. The microphone offers way too many features for its price and size. You also get a live headphone jack to monitor whats being recorded. There is a three position slide which helps you glide between cardioid and omni patterns. When the slider is in the middle, you get to record on cardioid mode at 10db. Although there is no gain control, you can configure it in the software.
The microphone is ideal for recording voiceovers, gameplays and podcasts. You can also record normal videos if you don’t sit quite far away from your computer.
4. Blue Snowball
Snowball is a proper condenser microphone, and like most of the USB Microphones, it is plug and plays as well, with its sound card built right inside it. You don’t need any extra accessories, just plug-in the microphone, open audacity and start recording right away.
The microphone offers two recording patterns, and there is a switch on the back that lets you jump between these two. Inside the microphone, there are two twin capsules. The cardioid pattern will help you record with a -10db for loud sources like musical instruments, the standard cardioid pattern, is for close up vocal and then there is omnidirectional which is ideal when you’ve got a room full of people.
For its price, I was surprised by its sound quality. The standard cardioid sound is bright and bassy. The background noise was minimum, and it is much cleaner than a lot of those cheap condenser microphones which are used along with a reasonable mixer.
The omnidirectional mode reaches quite deep into the room, thereby increasing the background noise. You shouldn’t expect to hear distant objects. But with proper handling and post-processing, that can be achieved as well. The only downside is, you can’t record on the same computer at the same time while blue yeti is recording.
5. Audio Technica At2020
At2020 is an affordable and versatile condenser microphones that run on cardioid pickup pattern. From its appearance, it looks as if it has a large diaphragm. Although it is has a 16mm back-electret capsule, which translates to the fact that it has a medium diaphragm. The design of this microphone is straightforward, and the microphone body has no buttons. Audio Technica didn’t pack a lot in this microphone. The body has no buttons, and on top of that, the box comes with a threaded stand mount, pivoting mount, and pouch (no wire). You’re most likely not to use the mount given in the package and purchase an external one instead. The microphone has been around for a long time and lures the budget conscious buyers. The success of this very microphone inspired Audio Technica to produce the successors Audio technical AT2035, and At2050 models.
It might look like it is a top addressing microphone, but it is a side addressing microphone. It offers 20khz frequency response. Its frequency response puts in on par with average large diaphragm microphone. A lot of users reported that this microphone has a reasonably flat response. It has a dip at the low end at around 70khz. The microphone has a warm sound without any harshness. The microphone thereby is suitable for both females, males and even acoustic instruments. You get very minimal proximity effect. If you are concerned about your microphone sounding boomy, this microphone would be an excellent fit for you. A lot of users use this microphone to record acoustic guitars.
6. Audio Technica At2100
This microphone has an awesome metal body and feels quite decent. The grill feels sort of plastic, or maybe it is just coated in plastic. The microphone also has an LED light on its front which indicates when the microphone is connected to the USB port and is receiving enough power. There is an on/off switch feels somewhat flimsy.
The bottom of the microphone has a USB Port which connects the microphone to computer. You also get a live headphone jack to monitor what is being recorded. You also get to control your volume via the volume control. You also get an XLR plug so that you can plug in your microphone into an amplifier, preamp or a mixer.
But, the headphone jack doesn’t work if you have connected the microphone via the XLR connection. It can work if you connect via XLR cable, and USB cable is connected via a charger. It can also work if you connect via XLR cable and plug your USB cable into your computer.
It has a cardioid pickup pattern thereby the background noise is minimum. It picks up some keyboard noise if you type on the keyboard at the same time. It offers a frequency response of 50khz-15khz which is quite good for starting a voiceover or podcast. Audio quality from this microphone is crisp and clear enough to record acoustic guitars.
The best part about this microphone that it works as both USB and XLR microphone. You can either use it for podcasting or connect it to XLR cable if you need to place microphone far from the computer.
7. Rode Videomic Go
Some of its salient features include being a high-quality microphone which requires no batteries, lightweight, and a two-year warranty. The microphones come with basic stuff such as a shock mount, windshield, cold-shoe mount with 3/8 thread and 3.5mm mini-jack output jack. The microphone undoubtedly delivers crisp, clear and directional audio and is easy to use. The microphone has been made to focus only what is on its front which reduces the surrounding and background sound and makes sure that the subject is quite isolated from any distracting background noise.
You also get an inbuilt shock mount which would help you isolate any bumps or vibrations which would otherwise have slipped into the video along with the recorded audio. It is constructed from a single piece of thermoplastic and provides superb acoustic suspension which is not possible to get from the traditional elastic solution. It is durable and won’t wear, snap or sag.
The best part about the microphone has to be its ease to use. It has no switches or settings that you need to configure. It is powered entirely by your microphone’s external input and thereby requires no battery to work. This ensures that you never run out of the battery on a video shoot.
Overall, a good microphone for those who want to do vlogging, or interviews. I like the fact that it doesn’t require any batteries, or charging to work and also it works very well in ignoring the background noise. If you already have a DSLR and want to equip a microphone on top of its head, this one would work reasonably well.
8. Rode Videomic Pro
Videomic Pro got upgraded from the previous models which had a ½ condenser capsule that provided quality audio. It has a brilliant 1/8 stereo mini-jack connector which outputs in mono form to both right and left channels. The microphone is also capable of delivering low self-noise of just 14DB. Surrounding sound is minimized because of the supercardioid pattern to ensure that your recording is focused on the subject which is in the front of the camera.
The company claims that the shock mount is built from a single piece of hard-wearing thermoplastic and is Rycote lyre-based. It separates video mic pro capsule & electronics from the mount which provides excellent isolation from external factors that sometimes result in unwanted vibrations and rumble in the recorded audio. The suspension is finely built, and won’t snap, sag or wear out.
The filter and level controls are easily accessible on the front of the microphone along with power, and selectable high-pass filter at 80 Hz. This filter prevents low-end noise ( such as traffic, or air conditioners ) from being recorded. Apart from this, the -10db is ideal for recording comparatively loud audio sources like motorsports, live music, interviews, or the situations in which subject is very close to the camera. You also get a +20 dB level boost which is best designed to be used along with DSLR camera. Users can reduce camera’s preamp level which in turn reduces the amount of noise generated from the camera equipment ( camera’s audio circuitry ).
The microphone uses a standard shoe-sized mount which enables for on-camera usage with ease. It has a 3/8 thread at the base of the mount which means it can be mounted on boom-pole as well. The video mic pro is powered by a battery which means that you need to carry some backup batteries along while recording to ensure continuous recording. However, one 9v battery provides 70 hours of recording.
9. Sennheiser MKE 600
Sennheiser MKE 600 is to your go-to microphone if you need professional audio without reading a lot of technical info on blogs. It stands out as one of the best shotgun microphones due to amazing production sound, as well as ease of use. Shotguns from Sennheiser have been widely used on soundstages worldwide for a long time. The company knows a lot when it comes to audio production. The size of the MKE 600 provides you the capability to either attach it on top of your camera or attach it to a boom arm. It doesn’t matter whether you have a vast production set or a tiny space, the shotgun can always manage to get superb audio without any problem.
Some of the best features of this microphone include Its flexibility to be used both as camera mounted microphone or on a boom arm. Excellent background noise suppressing gives you outstanding audio.
The short size of this microphones gives you the ability to get it into tight spaces and get high-quality audio. A camera mounted or boomed, MKE 600 never fails to deliver world-class audio.
The microphone reduces off-axis sounds without affecting your audio even by an inch. Despite how much you want to soundproof your production unit, there is going to be some noise after the shooting starts. You have to deal with a lot of background noise. Once you start using this microphone, it would be your new favorite microphones.
The microphone claims and delivers single thing – clean and high-quality audio. They have been the industry standard for a reason. The microphone offers a ton of features regarding build ( full metal body ) and audio quality. It doesn’t matter what the environment of the set is, MKE 600 would always get you clear sound. For all this, it needs a battery power or phantom power, but it’s worth it.
Multi Purpose Microphones
10. Zoom H1
Colored in black, the H1 handy recorder from Zoom is versatile and easy to use digital audio recorder that can comfortably fit in your palm. The microphone was the reason for the later released microphones H2, and H3n, and brings the professional audio recording to a more affordable and compact form. The microphone is perfect for podcasters, journalists, musicians, and youtubers. H1 records superb quality MP3 and WAV files to deliver quality audio. H1 records on an X/Y pickup pattern but is not very useful in removing background noise. The background noise can, however, be removed via free audio recording program like audacity. You also get a built-in speaker so you can listen what you record.
H1 records your audio on a microSD, or microSDHC flash memory card and supports up to 32GB cards. The company includes 2gb memory card so you can test all the features and recording. H1 records Mp3 audio at rates up to 320 kbps, and WAV audio at rates up to 24bit/96khz. The whole device runs on single AA battery which can provide maximum 10 hours of usage.
The interface is simple and provides one-button recording along with a backlit LCD which shows vital information. The rear side of the recorder features easy controls for automatic level control, low cut filter and format selection. Physical controls are also provided for record/playback, and input level functions, so you don’t need to navigate through complicated menus to find what you need.
The microphone gets connected to the external microphone via a 3.5 mm input. It also lets you connect your favorite speakers or headphones via a 3.5 mm jack. You also get a high-speed USB 2.0 port which helps you transfer your recorded audio files to your PC or MAC. It also has a threaded tripod mount socket which enables you to mount it on a tripod or stand.
11. Zoom H4N Pro
On one side, Zoom H6 is the best possible digital audio recorder for professionals, but it is also quite expensive. The Zoom H4n is nothing but a more comfortable version of H6 and is capable of recording high-quality audio with versatility. The main difference between Zoom H4n and Zoom H6 is that H6 has more XLR inputs and is capable of more recordable tracks and microphones. Both of these microphones although record at the same bit rate and high sampling frequencies.
H4n Pro uses MP3 and WAV playback formats. You can also convert the WAV files to MP3 to compress the audio file size. This is an important feature because H4n by default only comes with a 2gb storage space which would be easily filled for an hour of live recording in WAV format. You can add external card up to 32GB.
The best feature of this device is four-track recording. What this means is, you can mix and layer tracks to create a stereo landscape which isn’t achievable via single track recorders. You can add extra microphones via XLR/TRS inputs. It is ideal for music live performance as you can add instruments as well. It also comes with tuner and metronome which is essential for a songwriter or musician.
H4n can also be connected to video cameras to record quality audio which makes it a brilliant tool for amateur filmmakers and podcasters who need superb quality audio to match video quality. The H4n is also an excellent tool for foley artists who want to create a sound effect for their video films. The microphone is excellent for creative professionals who won’t spent $300 on Zoom H6. It isn’t fancy or versatile, but can still capture high-quality recordings.
12. Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Microphone
The Rode SmartLav+ can be used with your android or apple device which is designed to output high-quality audio on the go. The lavalier microphone can easily clip on lapel or shirt. It has an omnidirectional, sensitive condenser capsule which captures the audio from all sides of the microphone. Hence, the design leads to efficient, and hands-free recording of interviews, speeches, and dictations.
The SmartLav+ comes with a Kevlar-reinforced cable which has been strain tested up to 10kg thereby ensuring reliable performance. The microphone uses grey color sleeved TRRS connect to connect to your smartphone or tablet. It plugs in the headphone output and works with most of the audio recording applications. The microphone also features increased sensitivity and high signal to noise ratio. The package comes with foam pop shield, cable management, and small cable pouch.
It works with almost any audio recording app right from the headphone input. You can record, edit and publish your audio tracks from the Rode Rec app which is available for Apple iOS. The provided foam shield reduces the wind noise and voiced plosives. Microphone clip along with the cable management ensures neat microphone securing to clothes. The small pouch helps you carry your recording device anywhere you want.
Things You Should Think Before Purchasing
This can be first and most important criteria if you're just starting out. It is logical. You're only going to start; you don't know if it's going to be profitable or not. Thereby, all of the YouTubers begin with an entry level microphone.
Interesting fact: Jacksepticeye started his youtube channel with the microphone inside his webcam.
There is a quite big range of microphones when divided by price point. In this article, I've covered microphones of all price ranges to make sure that you find one that fits your budget.
2. Microphone Usage Scenario
This is the most crucial question that you should be asking yourself before you continue reading further. Youtube is a huge platform, and there is a huge variety of content available. It is essential that you grab the microphone that is fit for your needs. Once you figure out what purpose you need the microphone for, you should understand the type of microphones.
USB Microphone: Quite popular due to ease of use and a wide range of applications. USB Microphones are plug and play. This means that all you need to do is plug them into your computer and you're ready to record. There is no need for any additional types of equipment. They are great for filming at, or near your computer. This can include videos like podcasts, gaming, walk-through, interviews, tutorials, voice overs and much more.
Camera microphones: If you film outside ( vlogging or travel ), this is the microphone you need. These are shotgun microphones placed on top of your DSLR.
Lavalier microphones: They're the little clip microphones placed on t-shirt/shirt in news or interviews. These are also used in seminars, speaking performances and more. This microphone might not be very common, but they can be useful for you if you want your microphone to be hidden ( like in prank videos ).
XLR Microphones: Youtubers usually upgrade from USB microphones to XLR microphones after they start making money. XLR Microphones can be used to record songs or videos where you don't have to be very far from the computer table. Unlike USB Microphones, XLR microphones need extra equipment to get up and to run.
3. Additional Accesories
There is much more that goes into using a microphone apart from the microphone. This includes things such as pop filters, shock mounts, microphone stands, and wind shields.