Best USB Microphones to Buy in 2019

As the technology progresses, microphones keep getting better and better each year. One type of microphones that have gained a lot of popularity over the last many years is the USB microphones. Now, we still aren’t at that point where XLR microphones would be replaced by USB ones, but certainly, a lot of people have started using USB microphones at professional work.

The rise of USB microphones was linked to the ease of use. They’re extremely easy to use since you only need to plug them to your computer. They don’t need any extra power source since they drive power via your computer itself. There is less hassle, and less money spent on the product as well.

USB microphones overall are excellent in the getting the job done. In this article, I’ve covered 12 USB microphones that you should consider investing on if you’re looking forward to improving your audio quality

What Goes into these Reveiws ?

I spent hours and weeks finding and researching the best usb microphones. There are tons and tons of microphones in the markets, and I wanted to get you away from the hustle and irritation of finding the right microphone by showing only the top-notch earbuds.

I’ve carefully tested and compared each and every aspect of these microphones including but not limited to noise cancellation, comfort, sound quality, and price in order to help you select the best usb microphone for your everyday use.

Best USB Microphones 2018

bluemicrophonesblueyeti

Type: Condenser
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
Highlights: High-quality recording, versatile, great value-for-money.
Cons: Enormous size, most standard accessories don’t fit.

No matter what list of microphones you stumble upon, you’ll find blue yeti somewhere in the list. It is one of the most used microphones in the market and certainly one microphone that most of the YouTubers have used at some point in time in their career.

The microphone has tons and tons of features to offer. It has multiple pattern selector, gain and mute controls, latency-free headphone monitoring and much more. The quality is comparatively higher than rode podcaster and blue yeti pro which cost more than the Yeti.

Straight out of the box, the microphone is capable of delivering rich and smooth audio. The microphone has multiple patterns and an easy switch to toggle between the available patterns.
Blue yeti’s pattern abilities win it multiple battles in versatility which makes it score a position on top of this list.

Like the name, Yeti feels very solid. Each and every component is tight and feels meticulously designed. Because each and every part feels so well built and solid, the mic is quite heavy from the internal parts. It isn’t an issue since you don’t have to move the microphone every now and then in order to record.

Blue also has a bunch of different variants in colors which means you can get one to fit your unique youtube setup. The Yeti is priced same as the at2020 USB, same as Rode NT USB, but offers value which is far better.

RODE NT-USB

rodentusb

Type: Condenser
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Highlights: High-quality recording, amazing looks and build quality.
Cons: Not enough features for the price.

The audio quality of Rode NT is often compared to be identical to the blue yeti. Now, both of these microphones are equal and good audio quality wise. But the yeti has got too many features which are responsible for it to be on top of charts.

Much like the Yeti, this also comes with its own stand and a pop filter designed to get rid of plosives. It’s an all in one microphone which you can put to recording right after pulling out of the box. The microphone runs on cardioid pickup pattern which means it’s a great option for creating live streams, gaming content and skype calls.

It has live monitoring audio jack to plug in headphones. The microphone also has gain control which comes handy to configure and have control over recording. I love the overall aesthetics of this microphone because it looks so great while maintaining its quality. It feels a bit more robust than yeti. If it wasn’t for the pricing, maybe this microphone would be higher on this chart.

Other USB Microphones I Love

Blue Snowball ICE

blue snowball

Type: Condenser
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Highlights: Bang for your buck, portable.
Cons: No direct monitoring.

The blue yeti comes at an amazing price segment and delivers audio quality despite the low price segment it falls in. Now, don’t start comparing the audio quality with high-end microphones like RODE nt USB.

I don’t personally use the snowball anymore cause I’ve upgraded to a high-end microphone, but snowball was a great rescue when I started making videos. It’s lightweight, has got a removable stand and is very portable.

The only disappointing thing is that it doesn’t allow any option to monitor recording live or configure the gain. If you don’t directly need to edit these right from the microphone, its a good product at an excellent price. If you don’t want to go into the $100 mark but want a decent microphone, this should be your choice for some time until you grow enough to afford a mid-end microphone.

Audio-Technica AT2020 USB

audio technica

Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Highlights: Great recording quality, nice accessories.
Cons: Controls are an awkward shape.


When it comes to audio production, audio Technica isn’t a strange name. They make terrific headphones. This comes from the same people. The microphone sounds extremely good and almost like the blue yeti. Although, it doesn’t come with any pop filter. The absence of pop filter isn’t a deal breaker though. The microphone has gain and mixes controls which work great and help in the overall functionality of the microphone. Because of the slimline design, it might be a bit awkward to adjust to the right setting, but once you find the sweet spot, it’s going to be perfect.

Coming to the sound quality, there is no difference between the audio quality of this microphone put aside NT USB and yeti. Although, I noticed that this microphone does the best job of removing background noise. It is the thereby a good choice for people who don’t have treated rooms. You’ll have to purchase a stand if you’re getting this microphone. The microphone does have an excellent build quality and you’ll feel like holding a premium object when you use it.

Razer Seiren Elite

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 8.59.18 AM

Type: Condenser
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
Highlights: Features, OLED display, versatility.
Cons: Only a one-year warranty


This microphone is especially targeted and marketed for gamers. Although it can work fine for even people who don’t do gaming. It features an awesome design along with the sturdy build. Since it’s aimed for gamers, the audio quality is great as well. It has an OLED display (which isn’t even in Blue spark digital). The display lets you see a gain of your microphone along with current pickup pattern on the microphone,

This microphone works great even if you use it on the go. The microphone has a button to instantly mute recording and it changes color as per it’s current state. It shows green when it’s activated, and red if you mute it. Like the blue yeti, this one also has 4 different pickup patterns.

The design, and sound quality, both are comparable to Blue Yeti and at2020. The only reason why it is down here in the list is that of the high pricing and single year warranty. Also, might not be apparent from the design, it is very heavy.

Samson Meteor

meteor

Type: Condenser
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Highlights: Portable, decent recording quality.
Cons: Ambient noise pickup.

One more microphone in the sub $100 category. Samson is known for its awesome products like a meteor and the Samson Go. It’s a large diaphragm microphone, which might not look good in a setup if it’s properly placed. But, it isn’t lacking audio quality wise. The microphone comes in its own stand, but you can also use it with other stand or boom arms.

The microphone isn’t as big as it looks in the pictures. The microphone is intended to be used on the go. The microphone can fit perfectly in your bag, thanks to its metal construction. You can work on your podcast or videos even when traveling or attending conventions.

You can sort of control the quality to be like a blue snowball, but snowball does a far better job because this one picks a lot of ambient noise and plosives as well. But this part can be ignored for the portability factor. Like Yeti and some microphones, this one also comes with a live headphone jack that lets you hear what you’re recording. If you’re looking for a second microphone for your setup, this one will work great. It is mainly intended to be used on the go when you’re outside of your main setup.

Blue Spark Digital

Screen Shot 2018-09-28 at 9.05.12 AM

Type: Condenser
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Highlights: Great design, build quality, connectivity.
Cons: Expensive.

This post should be called best blue microphones because most of the spots are reserved by them only. But spark digital deserves every inch of appreciation that it gets. The spark doesn’t have XLR connectivity options, but most people searching for USB microphones don't need that in the first place. The product thereby appeals more to people who are focused on plug and play. The recording from this device is very rich and needs almost no editing further.

The microphone has a focus button that boosts the lows when it’s working. I was although hoping for the classy blue filter like in the original spark. Now, I could use a generic pop filter, but it won’t fit into the whole blue aesthetics.

On the front, you get a single dial that functions as a control hub along with a colored LED that indicates what you’re editing. It shows if you’re editing input gain or the volume or if simply muting the microphone. But due to the multi-use, it sometimes isn’t easy to configure the volume of the microphone.

If you own an iPhone or iPad, use GarageBand and you’ll love recording there as well. But, you should keep in mind that your battery will drain very fast.

Blue Yeti Pro

blue yeti blackout edition

Type: Condenser
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
Highlights: Versatile, recording quality, build quality.
Cons: Pricetag is quite excessive!

Blue released their first microphone in 2005, after which they dramatically grew and started working on more microphones. Hence, so many microphones from blue in this list. They didn’t drop yeti totally due to its popularity, but they upgraded it for studio level quality by maintaining the pricing to be affordable for small artists. Since it wasn't being done before, the blue yeti pro was a great success. The sound quality of this device can be compared with Rode podcaster and similar microphone. The microphone is designed in a very clean and neat manner.

Coming under $300 price mark, and offering the sound that it does, its a very good bargain for USB users. The microphone features classy design and superb build quality along with excellent versatility due to its multi-pickup pattern.

The main thing that separates blue yeti and the yeti pro is the pro’s capability to record at higher sample and bit rates allowing for much more detailed sound to be captured. The microphone can be used as both XLR and USB microphone because it has both ports. This offers too many features at one time and you might not need to change your microphone again for coming years.

This is a total value for money microphone. It has XLR output which means you can plug in into more compound setups. It offers multiple pickup patterns and very high sample and bit depth rate.

Some USB Mics that Deserve a Mention

Floureon BM-800

Floureon BM-800

Pickup Pattern: Unidirectional
Highlights: Affordable, durable, decent sound.
Cons: Audible feedback when using 3.5mm.

This one is a rarely appreciated, but good microphone for those who don’t want to spend a lot of money on microphones. Although it’s an XLR microphone, it comes with shock mount, pop shield, USB digital converter and XLR to 3.5mm connector. The box also contains a desk mountable stand which makes things very convenient. And, the sound isn’t bad either.

Based on the price, I was very very skeptical that this microphone can sound good. But, it did pass on my expectations. Although the microphone has some issue of picking up gain if you don’t have a treated room. Ir does overload on plosives and lacks some clarity.

But again, it comes at $30, what more can you expect. The USB converter is a very excellent touch for people who don’t have a USB interface. But, you can’t expect the best audio quality when using it.

Volume is a bit low but you can still hear a very slight, background humm that has the potential of ruining recordings. If you plug the 3.5mm connector, the hum will increase dramatically.

Audio Technica ATR2500

audio technica atr2500

Type: Condenser
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Highlights: Zero latency recording, sound quality for the price.
Cons: Cheap microphone mount/stand.

This microphone works great in one single area, but sadly that area is what counts the most – the sound quality. Microphone seems to record everything with perfection, be it instruments, acoustics or even vocals. Also, don’t use the plastic mounts that come with the box, go with a boom arm that will get rid of thumping noise.

If you use the default stand, it will ruin all recording by picking up sounds from the desk, even very small sounds like scratching will also make it to the microphone. The microphone has a live headphone jack that lets you hear what you record in real time.

The design is normal, made to fit in almost all stands and boom arms. It’s all metal body but due to plastic feeling control panel, the overall look comes down one notch. You get a single LED indicator that tells if the microphone is recording or not.

This microphone is great, but if you can go for yeti, I highly recommend due to the difference in sound quality. If you wish to get the microphone, remember that you’d need a separate stand and that will hike up your overall expense as well.

Audio-Technica 2100

Audio-Technica 2100

Type: Dynamic
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Highlights: Versatile, offers room to grow.
Cons: Design may put some off, loose on/off button.

Unlike most microphones on this list, this one is actually a dynamic microphone. It has dual inputs, both XLR and USB and is suitable for home recordings as well as live performances. If you’re recording in a home, you can use the USB input, while XLR output can be used for live recordings. Dual inputs give you the option of upgrading by adding an audio interface later on. This kind of versatility as you notice comes only inexpensive microphones on this list which makes this microphone a good deal to offer this at lower prices.

The microphone is full metal cased making its build quality feel premium. The only issue is the loos on and off button. I am only worried about the life of the on-off button. I doubt it might get broke later. The sound quality is comparable to Behringer c10 and feels good. Overall a very smart choice.

Apogee MiC 96k

Apogee MiC 96k

Type: Condenser
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Highlights: Compact, great for use on the move.
Cons: Expensive for an iOS-only mic.

People who edit on the move, either be podcasters who have to interview someone on the go or video editor who has to add some sound voiceover here and there, this microphone is a great help. When I tested it, I was hoping it will sound like the Samson Meteor, but holy shit it sounds good. The microphone has a bit of weight to it, which makes you feel like you’ve invested in a good product. The microphone has a very excellent preamp which processes sound so clear and precise, that you won’t need to spend a lot of time in post-production.

The USB cable can also be connected to iMac or iPad (if you have sufficient power). The microphone offers handly control for gain which lets you configure how far or near you want the microphone to pick audio from. The microphone although lacks the live headphone jack. It should be there because it lets you check the recording before you start recording in case you are in an untreated environment.

Also, despite the price, it doesn’t give any accessories, like the BM-800. It produces good sound and is great for portability, but the price doesn’t define the value still. It’s a great microphone if you’re able to afford it.

Erwin Cooper
 

a sound and video production expert who blogs about gadgets & accessories to help you select perfect equipment. The site is supported by commissions I receive from Amazon, please purchase items via my affiliate links to support me and this blog.

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