Finding the best USB mic for your needs can be a bit of a challenge. Which is why the team at Music Critic have tested the top microphones and reviewed them below for you.
Since the application of the microphone increased drastically, there was a need to change the dynamics of the microphones as well so that they could easily adjust to the increasing and changing applications. If you see around in the world that we live in today you will find out that there are many types of microphones available in the market.
Below is the list of some of the best USB microphones of all times that are available on the market. If you're looking for a more professional mic, see out top ribbon mic reviews.
Best USB Microphone for Recording at Home in 2017
Table of Contents
- Best USB Microphone for Recording at Home in 2017
- 1. Blue Snowball iCE Condenser USB Microphone
- 2. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
- 3. USB Microphone, Fifine Plug & Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone
- 4. eBerry Plug and Play Home Studio Adjustable USB Desktop Microphone
- 5. Kinobo - USB 2.0 Mini Microphone "Makio" Mic for Laptop/Desktop PCs - Skype / VOIP / Voice Recognition
- 6. KLIM Desktop USB Microphone Stand for Computer Laptop PC and PS4
- 7. CAD U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone
- 8. Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone
- 9. Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
- USB Microphone Buyers Guide
- The Comparison
- The ability to convert to digital audio
- Sample Rate
- Bit Depth
- Whether to go for a condenser or a dynamic microphone
- The size of the diaphragm of the microphone
- Polar Patterns of the Microphone
- Cardioid Microphones
- Omnidirectional Microphones
- Multi Pattern Microphones
- USB Microphone Features
- Top Pick
- Premium Choice
- Great Value
- Are USB Microphones Any Good?
- Do USB Microphones Provide the Same Sound Quality?
- What Should I Look for When Choosing a USB Microphone?
- What are the Best USB Microphones?
- What is the Best USB Microphone for Home Recording?
|At a glance: Our top 3 picks|
|Your shortcut to our team's top 3 recommendations|
|Blue Snowball iCE Condenser USB Microphone||Blue Yeti USB Microphone||USB Microphone, Fifine Plug & Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone|
|Click here for price||Click here for price||Click here for price|
1. Blue Snowball iCE Condenser USB Microphone
When talking about the USB microphones most of the people like them because of their ease of use, you just need to simply plug these into the USB jack and start speaking or recording. We all know that the computers come in equipped with a built-in microphone than what is the need of the external microphone. Well, the answer to this question is a pretty simple and easy one and that is the built-in computer microphones are not as powerful and effective as the external microphones.
If you are looking to get that sound of the highest quality for you voice that is way better than your computers microphone the Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid is just the perfect pick for you.
+ It is a custom condenser capsule, so you get nothing less than the best quality audio whether for Skype or FaceTime.
+ Even if you are looking to use it for recording for YouTube it will deliver quite clear audio.
+ You are free from the worry of installing any drivers with this microphone just plug and play is all that you have to do with it.
Why We Liked It -There is absolutely no way that you can find even a single flaw relating to the functionality of this microphone and then the price range at which this USB microphone is available simply makes it one of the very best.
2. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
From talking about the design, all the way through to the clarity in the sound of this USB microphone it is simply one of the best that you will find on the market these days. With all the qualities that you require from your USB headphones and to top that it is also equipped with some additional features makes it a very nice microphone.
The Blue Yeti USB Microphone is a plug and play microphone that you can use to record the best quality recordings directly into your computer without any hassle and straight out of the box. You can record just anything with this microphone since it uses the state of the art tri-capsule technology so you only get studio-quality recordings out of it.
+ No matter what or how the situation is these microphones have the capability of recording just anything and that is because of the tri-capsule array hat this microphone uses.
+ Comes in equipped with four different pattern modes so that you can get all the versatility that you want.
+ Also is equipped with a gain control, a mute button and a headphone jack so you can listen to what you are recording while recording it.
Why We Liked It -If you want the best studio-quality recordings and that too with the freedom of recording just anything regardless of the situation the Blue Yeti USB Microphone is definitely the option to go for.
3. USB Microphone, Fifine Plug & Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone
Talking about the best USB microphones and not mentioning the name of this microphone will be so unjust. One of the best USB microphones that you will find on the market today that have the capability of providing you with all the necessary things that you expect from the very best of the microphones.
The USB Microphone, Fifine Plug &Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone is really good at giving you just the best-quality recordings and that is because of the cardioid pickup pattern that this microphone has to omit all the background noise and giving youthe best vocals.
+ When you talk about the easy to use interface of this USB microphone it is pretty amazing that you just plug and play since they do not require any drivers.
+ Whatever the applications are, whether used in Skype till the YouTube recordings this USB microphone will never let you down a single bit.
+ This USB microphone is equipped with wide frequency response so that you only get a sound that is transparent and brilliant.
Why We Liked It - You cannot overlook a microphone purely because of the quality of its stand. What you want to have in it is the capability of serving the purpose that it is designed for and the USB Microphone, fine Plug &Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone does exactly that and is, therefore, one of the best available out there.
4. eBerry Plug and Play Home Studio Adjustable USB Desktop Microphone
A microphone that will not disappoint you in every possible way, is this USB microphone. The sound quality that you can expect from it is simply amazing and hard to match with most of the other products of the same sort available in the market.
No matter what your application; whether you are hosting your own podcast or you just want to chat on Skype to that new friend you recently met, this USB microphone is largely capable of catering to all your needs, with the utmost of ease.
+ The sound quality that you can expect from this microphone is not far from excellent.
+ Easy to use with its plug and play nature so you do not have to install any drivers for it.
+ It is designed in such a way that it actually gives you crisp and clear sound, as it filters out almost all background noise.
Why We Liked It - Well you cannot count out the fact that the eBerry Plug and Play Home Studio Adjustable USB Desktop Microphone is available at a price of under $10 and therefore is not equipped with excessivefeatures, but it does a great jobregardless.
5. Kinobo - USB 2.0 Mini Microphone "Makio" Mic for Laptop/Desktop PCs - Skype / VOIP / Voice Recognition
A pretty easy to use USB microphone that you just need to plug and play and avoid having to install any drivers for it to work. It is almost impossible to find a USB microphone in a price tag that is as cheap as this microphone.
The Kinobo - USB 2.0 Mini Microphone "Makio" Mic for Laptop/Desktop PCs - Skype / VOIP / Voice Recognition is certainly the worlds smallest USB microphone that is really good for voice detection apps and simple chat on Skype.
+ You will not find any USB microphone in the market that is smaller than this microphone and hence it is the smallest microphone of the world.
+ You do not have to waste any time in in the tallation of drivers with this USB microphone since it comes equipped with a direct plug and play interface.
+ This microphone is an omni directional microphone and hence has the ability of picking up sounds for long distance sources also have the ability of noise cancellation.
Why We Liked It - The Kinobo - USB 2.0 Mini Microphone "Makio" Mic for Laptop/Desktop PCs - Skype / VOIP / Voice Recognition is the smallest USB microphone, and with such an outstanding price tag you will not be able to resist this microphone.
6. KLIM Desktop USB Microphone Stand for Computer Laptop PC and PS4
One of the most effective USB microphones that you will find on the market these days is this USB microphone. It has all the good qualities that you can expect from a USB microphone of the highest quality. Whether you talk about the durability or the sound quality, everything about this USB microphone is just perfect.
The KLIM Desktop USB Microphone Stand for Computer Laptop PC and PS4 is equipped with all the necessary required from a USB microphone. Further, it is also equipped with some features that make it a product that stands out among the other USB microphones. It could easily bestated that this microphone is arguably one of the best USB microphones available at present.
+ It comes equipped with a patented audio filter that actually eliminates all the background noise and what you get from this microphone is just crisp and clear audio. It also comes with pop filter (click here for our full guide).
+ Just plug and play is what you get with this USB microphone requires no software to work with and no hard to find drivers as well, so you can just start using it straight out of the box.
+ Comes equipped with quite a few features such as LED lights, volume control through a switch and also a mute button.
+ When you talk about the durability of this USB microphone, that too is superior, as it is made from reinforced plastic, and the interior is all metal and also reinforced.
Why We Liked It - The KLIM Desktop USB Microphone is compatible with Laptop PC and PS4 and to top that you also get some great features at a very nominal price. There is just no way that you will not love this USB microphone.
7. CAD U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone
Before we go on and look at the qualities that this USB microphone has on offer for its consumers, we would like to shed a bit of a light on the manufacturer of this microphone and that is CAD Audio. The brand having the tagline, "The brand used by professionals", is completely justified by the exceptional products that the company is renowned for making for about over 85 years now. This would also make a great mic for recording karaoke singing.
You will not find a lot of brands that can compete with CAD Audio as far as audio solutions for professionals and performers are concerned. When you talk about the high performance live and studio microphones that are innovative and cost-effective at the same time there is just no parallel to the CAD Audio and the same could be expected from the CAD U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone since it is also one of the product from one of the very best in the business.
+ When you are looking for a USB microphone that is capable of warm and rich recording this is the microphone to go for since it is a large condenser microphone.
+ The pick-up pattern that this microphone uses is that of a cardioid one that actually enables it to minimize all the background noise and isolation of the sound source at the same time.
+ If you are looking to get a microphone that is equally good for singing, instruments, and speech this is the USB microphone to go for since it comes equipped with extended frequency response.
+ An eminent feature that you will find with this microphone is that it is equipped with a bass reduction switch that actually reduces the unwanted room noise.
Why We Liked It - The CAD U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone is pretty amazing and this makes this microphone one of the best of all times.
8. Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone
One of the very best USB microphones by one of the very best in the business, yes you guessed it correctly Samson, one of the leading brands as far as audio solutions are concerned. Samson Technologies is a pioneer when talking about the wireless microphone technology which started back in the year 1980. If you are talking about this company in the world of today it is one of the industry leaders renowned for manufacturing products that are quite known for their durability and fidelity.
Whether you are a recording artist or a performer, an educator or an audio professional Samson Technologies have a complete range of products to satisfy all your needs and that is the reason why it is preferred by people all over the world. The Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone, since being a product of the Samson technologies is one of the very best products as far as the USB microphones are concerned. It has all the necessary things that you will find in the most expensive of the USB microphones and that too at a pretty nominal price.
+ It is probably the best microphone for the production of rich audio recordings since it has the largest condenser diaphragm of 25mm that you will ever find in a USB microphone.
+ No matter how difficult the recording situation is you will always get the best quality recordings out of this USB microphone and that is because of the cardioid pickup pattern and the smooth frequency response that this microphone has.
+ This USB microphone comes in equipped with 1/8 headphone jack so you can easily monitor while recording with absolutely no latency at all.
Why We Liked It -One of the best USB microphones of all times is the Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone that is available at a pretty inexpensive price, and yet still has all the qualities that you will find on a pretty expensive USB microphone.
9. Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
Audio-technica, a company that is pretty well known for producing some very top line products as far as the microphones are concerned. It has been awarded numerous industry awards for producing some of the very best microphones. No matter what the nature of the application for the microphone, Audio-technica has got all the right answers for all these different applications and this is the reason why it is highly preferred by audiophiles all around the world.
Whether it is podcasting or home studio recording, field recording or a voice over, the Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone, since being a product from Audio-technica; one of the very best in the business, it has got all the solutions for you. The durability that you can expect from this productfurther proves Audio-technica's expertise in their products.
+ You are sure to get the best quality recordings with this USB microphone since it is a side-address condenser with a large diaphragm.
+ This USB microphone comes equipped with a built-in USB jack so you can monitor what you are recording quite easily and that too without any audible delay.
+ This microphone comes equipped with easy-to-use controls that are in the front so that you can easily adjust the volume of the microphone as required.
Why We Liked It - With an appealing price the Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone certainly delivers the best in what it is actually intended for.
USB Microphone Buyers Guide
There was a time when recording of audio was considered to be a pretty big task, but thanks to the advancement of modern technology this task is now completed with extreme ease. In modern times no matter how tough the recording situation is you can always come up with quality recording through a good quality microphone.
As is evident from the current market availability, there are a lot of different microphones available in the market and all these microphones are designed to serve a different purpose. It is therefore not wise to jump into the purchasing of a microphone without doing the proper homework and research. In this article, we discuss the qualities and features to look for when seeking out a good USB microphone.
If you have made up your mind that you are going to go for a USB microphone and no other, then you also need to be thorough with your research relating to the matter because you will find a vast variety of USB microphones available on the market and each of these microphones have different qualities and specs on offer for the consumers. You need to be aware of all the different USB microphones available in the market and their qualities as well, only then you will be able to select the best one for yourself. There are some key factors that should always be kept in mind whenever you are going for a USB microphone and these factors are discussed below.
You need to be aware of all the different USB microphones available on the market and their qualities as well, only then you will be able to select the best one for yourself. There are some key factors that should always be kept in mind when you are looking for a USB microphone, and these factors are discussed below.
Under this heading, we will simply compare the USB microphones with the traditional microphones. An important thing that should be kept in mind is that a USB microphone has both advantages and disadvantages when compared to traditional microphones. It is just a matter of your own personal preference and what you actually want out of your own microphone, and what is going to be your application of the microphone that you are purchasing.
One of the advantages that you will find with the USB microphone is the ease of use of these microphones. For most USB microphones it is just a plug-and-play option so that you can start using the microphone straight out of the box without the installation of any software and drivers. You also do not need any additional audio equipment when you are using a USB microphone, unlike traditional microphones. For anyone who has a computer or a laptop and a USB port, the process is simple and plugging the USB connector into the port, will launch the process and enable the USB microphone.
Since USB microphones do not require any additional audio device or a separate interface, therefore, these microphones are really cost effective when compared to the traditional microphones. USB microphones are a great option for any person on a tight budget.
Whilst on the other hand; USB microphones have their own limitations. We all know that the mixing boards and the audio interfaces take the audio quality of the microphone to an entirely different level. When referring to the limitations, however, these devices i.e. mixing boards and audio interfaces are not commonly associated with USB input.
The ability to convert to digital audio
When talking about traditional microphones the analog to digital conversion is done by the audio interfaces or the mixing boards. Such is not the case with USB microphones because this capability comes built-in with the USB microphone. Therefore you have to be very particular about this factor because it will affect three important things of the microphone and later on will have an impact on the overall recording quality of the microphone. The three things that the digital conversion depends highly upon are the sample rate, the bit depth, and the latency of the microphone.
The speed at which the microphone is able to capture the frequencies that are audible to the human ear is referred to as the sample rate. Now you have to be very selective here, in that the USB microphone that you are going for should have at least the sample rate that is standard and found in CD's, and this standard sample rate is 44.1 kHz.
The microphone that does not have a sample rate up to this standard will not be able to provide you with quality recordings. When referring to sample rate found in professional A/V equipment it is generally 48 and 96 kHz and it is because the A/V Equipment is specially designed for the best editing options and the best definition.
Bit depth will actually determine the details and the clarity that you will get from your recordings since it is the number of the bits of information that each sample contains. The bit depth should also be at a minimum of a standard level and that level is 16 bit which is found in CDs. Professional audio and their ability to use the samples is generally of 24-bit depth. This depth is also found in some of the high-end USB microphones.
The latency is the time delay that you will find with the microphones and by the delay, we are referring to the time taken from when you speak into the microphone, to converting it into digit a signal and then being able to hear it in the headphones. The entire time taken from the speaking until the hearing is the latency of the microphone, and if you are using a microphone for the purpose of monitoring simultaneously with recording this is really important. It can be stated in other words that the lower the latency the better the quality of the microphone will be.
Therefore going for a USB microphone that has a lower latency rate is highly important for optimum performance. You will find some USB microphones on the market that have a headphone output on them, and this actually helps in completely eliminating or reducing the latency to a great extent so that you can monitor your recordings in real time.
Whether to go for a condenser or a dynamic microphone
Dynamic microphones are more commonly used for in-house applications rather than in a live stage performance, the latter dynamic mics are the more rugged of the two and can handle large sound sources and at the same time, the dynamic mics are also very good at reducing the handling noise. Hence their use in live stage applications.
Whereas, Condenser mics are usually found with the USB microphones. Since the application of the USB microphones is primarily an in-house or an in-studio one for the purpose of recording, therefore, they use condenser mics that have the reputation of delivering better transient response and also an extended frequency response at the same time.
Although there are some high-end dynamic microphones available on the market that come equipped with a USB port so that you can easily use them, regardless of any application.
The size of the diaphragm of the microphone
Whether it is a traditional microphone or a USB microphone the size of the diaphragm used in both the types is equally important. It is a common conception that the larger the size of the diaphragm used, the better the microphone is going to sound and the recording quality of it. Since the diaphragm of any microphone whether traditional or a USB mic is the first component picking up the sound, therefore, the size of it certainly does matter. If the diaphragm of the microphone is big, it has more capability of picking up lower sound frequencies, compared to microphones that have a smaller diaphragm. It is also said that even the sensitivity of a large diaphragm microphone, when compared with a smaller diaphragm microphone, is much better.
The microphones that have a small diaphragm are really good with the recording of the acoustic instruments such as guitars and also with the instruments that have a really high pitch.
Polar Patterns of the Microphone
Consideration of the application for which the microphone is going to be used it is of great importance, as you do not want to purchase a mic that might not suit your personal application. The different polar or pickup patterns of the microphones are described below.
There is a reason why this type of a microphone i.e. cardioid is actually called a cardioid since the shape of it is like the human heart that is why it is called a cardioid microphone. The cardioid microphones are best known for picking up the sounds from the front only and reducing the sounds coming in from the sides. If you are recording sound in a room and also do not want any unnecessary external room noise, then this type of pickup pattern i.e. the cardioid is just the best choice for you.
When your application of the microphone is such that you want to capture all the sounds in the room or you want to record instruments or even you want to record the voices of several people speaking or singing at the same time, this type i.e. the omnidirectional microphone would be just perfect for you. Since they have the ability to pick up sound from multiple sources and frommultiple directions, they are best suited for the application.
Multi Pattern Microphones
When talking about these microphones with a pickup pattern such as this one, it increases the application of the microphone that you are using. The multi-pattern is pickup is referred to as the microphone that is equipped with both the patterns i.e. cardioid and omnidirectional and therefore are also known as switchable microphones. There will be situations when you want your microphone to have a cardioid pickup pattern and in other situations, you want it with an omnidirectional pickup pattern and if you have a microphone that is capable of providing you with both of these options according to your requirement, it increases the flexibility that you get with your microphone.
Although it can be stated that the polar or the pickup patterns are just a matter of your personal preference and requirements. However, if you are not aware of the options that you have in this regard and for what purpose they are designed, there is absolutely no way that you can select the best option for yourself.
USB Microphone Features
Unlike the traditional microphones, the USB microphones usually come equipped with a number of features and the control switches or the options are there right on the microphone itself which is nowhere to be found with the traditional microphones. Some of the features that you will get with the USB microphones are volume control so that you may have complete command over the output of the microphone. Some USB microphones come with polar pattern switch as mentioned earlier as well. Some USB microphones also have a bass boost switch so that you can get more output from it and others will have a mute button on the microphone to actually cut off the microphones signal.
What you need from a USB microphone completely depends upon you and your personal requirements. When you talk about the features of a USB microphone these are directly proportional to the price thereof.
There are a number of USB microphones available on the market these days and all are equipped with distinct qualities and features but one of the best brands when speaking of the USB microphones that you will find nowadays is known as Blue. This brand is renowned for coming up with some exceptional USB microphones that are not only good with all the applications that they are used for but also are equipped with numerous features at the same time.
The Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphoneis one of the very best of the USB microphones available in the market today and by one of the very best in the business. It has all that you can expect from the very best of the USB microphones. It is a condenser microphone that is why the audio that it has on offer for its consumers is absolutely crystal clear. It is also considered to be avery good microphone for your YouTube recordings. You can just use it directly out of the box since it is easy to plug and play.
One of the best USB microphones that you will find in the market today is the Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid Black that has a lot on offer for its consumers.
When you are stuck with the most difficult of the recording situations and do not have any solution for it do not worry a single bit because this USB microphone has got all the right answers for you and have the ability of exceptional recording even in the most difficult of the recording situations. You can just rest assured about the quality of this USB microphone since it is the product of one of the best brand in the business known as Blue.
The Blue Yeti USB Microphone is one of the best USB microphones of the modern times. It is capable of giving you all the necessary features and outputs that you want of a USB microphone. It is equipped with multiple polar patterns to give you all the flexibility.
It uses tri-capsule technology to give you the very best recordings regardless of the situation. It also comes in with a gain control and mute button to add to the features of this amazing USB microphone. Arguably the perfect choice for anyone looking to get the best quality USB microphone capable of doing wonders.
All that you can expect from the best quality USB microphones comes along with the USB Microphone, Fifine Plug & Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone for Skype, Recordings for YouTube, Google Voice Search, Games(Windows/Mac)-K668.
This USB microphone comes in with a wide frequency response so that you can expect only brilliant sound from it. The pickup pattern that this USB microphone uses is a cardioid pattern so that it only picks up sound from the main source and eliminates all the unwanted room sound. Therefore the audio that you get from this microphone is just crystal clear without any hiccups or unwanted sound.
Whatever you are using the USB Microphone, Fifine Plug &Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone for Skype, Recordings for YouTube, Google Voice Search, Games(Windows/Mac)-K668 for; whether it is recording of the best quality or singing or even the simplest Skype chatting this USB microphone is just amazing and has all the answers to your questions as far as USB microphones are concerned and that too at an amazingly low price.
Are USB Microphones Any Good?
This simply relates to the mere preference that a person has, and these can be good or bad relating to the personal preference from person to person. If we talk about the functionality of the USB microphones when compared to the traditional microphones it is really good and satisfactory.
When talking about the audio quality of the USB microphone it is as good as that of the traditional microphone since the working mechanism of both is almost the same.
As far as the effectiveness of the microphone is concerned, yes the USB microphones are pretty good microphones.
Do USB Microphones Provide the Same Sound Quality?
The answer to this question is a simple yes; the USB microphones are capable of providing almost the same sound quality as that of a traditional microphone the major difference between the two is the difference of application that they are used in. When talking about the traditional microphones they are used in a rather live stage performance application and if you talk about the latter i.e. the USB microphones their application is more of an in-house or in-studio one.
What Should I Look for When Choosing a USB Microphone?
Well, the answer to this question has already been given above but a quick recap and a brief overview of the things that are necessary to look for when going for a USB microphone are given below.
- Its ability to convert to digital audio
- The size of its diaphragm
- The polar patterns that it has
- The features that it is equipped with
What are the Best USB Microphones?
We all know that there are a number of USB microphones available on the market these days and each has different features and specs on offer for its consumers. All the microphones that have the ability to serve the purpose for which they are designed for are considered to be the best microphones and if they are added with some extra features it just adds icing on the cake.
What is the Best USB Microphone for Home Recording?
As has already been stated above, that the primary application of the USB microphone is that of an in-house one so most of the USB microphones that are considered to be good are really good in serving this purpose and that is to provide the best quality for home recordings. If you want to be a bit more specific though; then the USB microphones with extended frequency response are really good for home recordings.
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