USB Microphone: A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right One

Apr 19, 2023 | Equipment & Gear, Software & Tools

USB Microphone
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A USB microphone is a type of microphone that connects to a computer or other device via a USB port. It is a popular choice for podcasters, gamers, and musicians who want to record high-quality audio without the need for additional equipment or complicated setup.

USB microphones come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price points, making it easy to find one that fits your needs and budget. They can range from basic models with simple features to more advanced options that offer multiple polar patterns, built-in headphone jacks, and other useful functions.

When choosing a USB microphone, it’s important to consider factors such as sound quality, compatibility with your device, and ease of use. Some microphones may require additional software or drivers to function properly, while others may have limited compatibility with certain operating systems or devices.

Overall, a USB microphone can be a great investment for anyone looking to improve the quality of their audio recordings or live streams. With the right microphone, you can achieve professional-level sound without breaking the bank or spending hours configuring your setup.

My Pick

I understand the importance of having a high-quality microphone for clear and crisp audio. After trying out several options, I found my perfect match in the Blue Yeti USB microphone. Its versatility, ease of use, and exceptional sound quality make it a top choice for many professionals and beginners. In this guide, I’ll share my experience and knowledge to help you choose the right USB microphone for your needs.

The Blue Yeti USB microphone is considered by many to be the best microphone in its class due to several reasons.

  • offers excellent sound quality with its 3 condenser capsules that can record in various modes such as cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo, providing versatility for different recording situations.
  • built-in headphone jack, allowing you to monitor your audio in real-time without any latency, which is important for podcasting, streaming, and other audio recording activities.
  • very easy to set up and use, as it can be connected directly to your computer via USB, making it perfect for beginners and professionals alike.
  • highly durable and well-built, ensuring that it can withstand heavy use and last for a long time, making it a reliable investment.

Overall, the Blue Yeti USB microphone is a great choice for anyone who wants to achieve high-quality audio recording, whether it be for podcasting, streaming, or any other audio recording activity.

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Best USB Microphones

As a professional podcaster and voice-over artist, I know how important it is to have a high-quality USB microphone. Whether you are recording a podcast, streaming on Twitch, or conducting a virtual meeting, a good USB microphone can make all the difference in the world. After testing and using various USB microphones, I have compiled a list of the best USB microphones currently available on Amazon. Below are my top picks based on sound quality, ease of use, and overall value.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

If you’re looking for a high-quality USB microphone for your home studio, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is a great choice. With its studio-quality sound and easy-to-use features, it’s perfect for podcasters, singers, and voice-over artists.

Pros

  • The built-in headphone jack with volume control allows you to monitor your microphone signal with no delay, making it easy to record high-quality audio.
  • The mix control allows you to blend your microphone signal and prerecorded audio, giving you more control over your recordings.
  • The cardioid pickup pattern delivers excellent off-axis rejection, ensuring that your recordings are clear and focused.

Cons

  • The microphone doesn’t come with a stand or shock mount, so you’ll need to purchase those separately if you don’t already have them.
  • The microphone is a bit on the heavy side, so it may not be the best choice if you need to move it around a lot.
  • The microphone’s USB cable is a bit short, so you may need to purchase an extension cable if you need more length.

The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is a high-quality USB microphone that delivers excellent sound quality and a range of useful features. With its built-in headphone jack, mix control, and cardioid pickup pattern, it’s a great choice for anyone looking to record high-quality audio at home.

One of the things I love about the AT2020USB+ is its built-in headphone jack. This makes it easy to monitor your recordings in real-time, so you can make sure you’re getting the best possible sound. The mix control is also a great feature, as it allows you to blend your microphone signal and prerecorded audio, giving you more control over your recordings.

That being said, there are a few downsides to the microphone. For one, it doesn’t come with a stand or shock mount, so you’ll need to purchase those separately if you don’t already have them. Additionally, the microphone is a bit heavy, so it may not be the best choice if you need to move it around a lot. Finally, the USB cable is a bit short, so you may need to purchase an extension cable if you need more length.

Overall, however, I think the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is an excellent USB microphone that delivers high-quality sound and a range of useful features. If you’re looking for a microphone for your home studio, I highly recommend checking it out.

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JOUNIVO USB Microphone

JOUNIVO USB Microphone

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly yet high-quality USB microphone, the JOUNIVO USB Microphone is a great option.

Pros

  • The 360-degree position adjustable gooseneck design makes it easy to pick up sound from any direction with high sensitivity.
  • The mute button and LED indicator make it easy to control your microphone and know when it’s working.
  • The intelligent noise-canceling technology ensures that your voice comes through crystal clear, even in noisy environments.

Cons

  • Some users have reported a slight static noise when using the microphone, though this may be due to individual setups.
  • The mute button produces a clicking sound that can be picked up by the microphone, which may be distracting to some users.
  • The microphone is not compatible with Xbox, Raspberry Pi, or Android devices.

The JOUNIVO USB Microphone is perfect for anyone looking for a reliable and affordable microphone for streaming, podcasting, or vocal recording. The 360-degree position adjustable gooseneck design ensures that you can pick up sound from any direction, and the intelligent noise-canceling technology makes sure that your voice comes through crystal clear. The mute button and LED indicator make it easy to control your microphone, and the USB plug-and-play feature means that you can start recording right away without any drivers. While some users have reported a slight static noise, this may be due to individual setups, and the microphone is not compatible with Xbox, Raspberry Pi, or Android devices. Overall, the JOUNIVO USB Microphone is a great option for anyone looking for a budget-friendly yet high-quality USB microphone.

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TONOR USB Microphone

TONOR USB Microphone

If you’re in the market for a USB microphone, the TONOR TC30 is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • Plug and play with no additional drivers required
  • Cardioid pickup pattern for natural sound and background noise suppression
  • Easy to install with no assembly required

Cons

  • May pick up more background noise than expected
  • No mute button or software to adjust threshold
  • Not compatible with phones or Xbox

The TONOR TC30 USB microphone has been a great addition to my home office setup. The setup process was incredibly easy and I was up and running in no time. The sound quality is clear and natural, making it perfect for video conferencing, podcasting, and streaming.

However, I did notice that the microphone can pick up more background noise than expected, so it’s important to adjust the settings accordingly. Additionally, there is no mute button or software to adjust threshold, which may be a downside for some users. Finally, it’s important to note that the TC30 is not compatible with phones or Xbox.

Overall, the TONOR TC30 USB microphone is a great option for anyone in need of a reliable and easy-to-use microphone for their home office or streaming setup.

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Blue Yeti USB Microphone


Blue Yeti USB Microphone

If you’re looking for a high-quality USB microphone, the Blue Yeti is definitely worth considering. It’s perfect for a range of uses, from podcasting and music recording to streaming and Zoom calls.

Pros

  • The custom three-capsule array produces clear, powerful, broadcast-quality sound that’s perfect for a variety of different uses.
  • The Blue VOICE software is a real standout feature, offering advanced vocal effects, modulation, and HD audio samples that can really elevate your recordings.
  • The four pickup patterns give you incredible flexibility, allowing you to record and stream in ways that would normally require multiple microphones.

Cons

  • The microphone is quite large and heavy, which may make it difficult to position or transport.
  • The onboard audio controls can be a little finicky, and it can take some time to get used to using them effectively.
  • The microphone can be quite sensitive to background noise, so you’ll need to make sure you’re recording in a quiet environment.

Overall, I’ve been really impressed with the Blue Yeti USB microphone. It’s easy to set up and use, and it produces great sound quality that’s perfect for a range of different applications. Whether you’re a podcaster, musician, or streamer, this microphone is definitely worth checking out.

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CGS-M1 USB Microphone

CGS-M1 USB Microphone

If you’re looking for a compact and easy-to-use USB microphone for your remote work, online class, or video calls, then the CGS-M1 USB microphone from C G CHANGEEK could be a great option for you.

Pros

  • The omnidirectional polar pattern captures crystal-clear audio equally from all sides of the microphone, making it perfect for recording audio for your webinars, vlogs, tutorials, and more.
  • The built-in USB sound card is compatible with all PC (Windows system) and MAC (MacOS) computers, and also works via USB hub. Install the microphone just in a second.
  • The 360 degree adjustable gooseneck can be shaped as you want to put the microphone in an ideal position. No cord and base needed-Compact design for keeping an organized space. Extremely light (43g) and very small-so you could put it in the computer carrying bag.

Cons

  • Some customers complained that the gooseneck was too soft that could not hold the shape. However, the manufacturer has improved the rigidity of the gooseneck in 2021 Version, it can stay at the place as you need.
  • Not as reliable as some high-end models.
  • Some customers reported a slight echo compared to other microphones.

The CGS-M1 USB microphone is a great choice for those who need a compact and easy-to-use microphone for remote work, online classes, and video calls. With its omnidirectional polar pattern, it captures crystal-clear audio from all sides of the microphone, making it perfect for recording audio for your webinars, vlogs, tutorials, and more. The built-in USB sound card is compatible with all PC and MAC computers, and you can install the microphone in just a second. The 360 degree adjustable gooseneck allows you to shape the microphone in an ideal position, and the compact design makes it easy to carry around.

However, some customers reported that the gooseneck was too soft to hold the shape, but the manufacturer has improved the rigidity of the gooseneck in the 2021 version. Additionally, some customers reported a slight echo compared to other microphones, and it may not be as reliable as some high-end models. Overall, the CGS-M1 USB microphone is a great value for its price, and it can help improve the quality of your audio for your remote work, online classes, and video calls.

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Buying Guide

When shopping for a USB microphone, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you get the best product for your needs. Here are some features to look for:

Microphone Type

There are two main types of USB microphones: dynamic and condenser. Dynamic microphones are durable and resistant to feedback, making them a good choice for live performances or recording loud instruments. Condenser microphones, on the other hand, are more sensitive and provide a wider frequency response, making them ideal for recording vocals or acoustic instruments.

Polar Pattern

The polar pattern of a microphone refers to the direction that it picks up sound. There are three main types of polar patterns: cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. Cardioid microphones pick up sound from the front and reject sound from the sides and rear, making them ideal for solo recordings. Omnidirectional microphones pick up sound from all directions, making them a good choice for group recordings. Bidirectional microphones pick up sound from the front and rear, making them ideal for interviews or duets.

Frequency Response

The frequency response of a microphone refers to the range of frequencies that it can pick up. A wider frequency response is generally better, as it allows the microphone to capture more detail and nuance in the sound. Look for a microphone with a frequency response that matches the type of recording you plan to do.

Connectivity

Make sure that the microphone you choose is compatible with your computer’s operating system and has the necessary ports and cables to connect to your computer. Some microphones also come with additional features, such as headphone jacks or mute buttons, that can be useful for recording or live streaming.

Price

USB microphones can range in price from less than $50 to several hundred dollars. While a higher price tag may indicate better quality, it’s important to consider your budget and the features that are most important to you when making a decision.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phil Tucker

Phil Tucker

Digital Marketing Expert

Phil Tucker is a digital marketing expert specializing in Search Engine Optimization and Website Design. He founded Be Famous Media in 2012, a digital marketing agency located in Lynchburg VA, that helps businesses across the United States increase their online visibility and attract more customers.

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About The Author

Phil Tucker

Phil Tucker is a full-time blogger and digital marketing expert. Join Phil and thousands of monthly readers on MrPhiLTucker.com to learn how to grow your online visibility and generate more revenue.

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