With a rising number of podcasts and video game streaming channels, how do you stand out? The right way to do that is the content of your recordings; however, the content is not the only aspect of your success.
Regardless of the high content quality, if the quality of your recording equipment such as a microphone, streaming webcam, headphones or a top-notch gaming PC is low, your streaming sessions can go unnoticed. Fortunately, you are presented with the list of best microphone for streaming, and the features you need to look for in order to ensure a great recording experience and achieve a high-quality sound. (Microphones in gaming headsets are usually not as good as separate microphones. There are exceptions, though.)
Carefully go through the list, make sure that the specs match your existing equipment. The next thing is to choose what fits your needs and requirements best.
How to Choose the Best Microphone for Streaming
Is there anything worse than skipping the step of checking the mic’s compatibility with your gaming PC and finding out that your newly acquired mic can’t be paired with your computer.
If you are not sure, or you are planning on changing your computer soon, look for a mic with a vast range of system compatibility.
It is annoying and off-putting to hear your own voice played back for you a couple of seconds late while you are trying to record a podcast or stream a game on Twitch.
To avoid this, look for zero-latency microphones that offer you a real-time experience of your recording.
Microphone Gain is important as it adjusts the mic’s sensitivity. If you are planning on recording a loud source, or if you are streaming a game where you can expect to make surprising shouts, opt for a microphone with gain control.
The higher the frequency range the better the microphone. Look for microphones with an extended frequency response such as 20Hz-20kHz to achieve flat, consistent audio.
There are unidirectional, bidirectional, and omnidirectional microphones. Which one you choose depends on what you would like to record.
If you are sure that you will only record your voice, there is no need for bidirectional or omnidirectional mics as they might pick up environmental sounds. However, if you are recording in a controlled environment, they may offer you other benefits such as the possibility for head-to-head gaming.
Acoustic panels, different types of mounts, various filters can make sure that the quality of your sound is better, or they can just ensure that you have your recording session with least possible inconvenience regarding the setup, noise cancellation, and more.
There are three microphone types that are great for streaming.
Dynamic microphones are a safe option for streaming. They are great at recording loud noises clearly.
If you are recording in a controlled environment, condenser microphones may be the choice for you thanks to the high audio quality required for podcasts and game streaming.
The third type – ribbon microphone is not so popular; however, it is an expert in capturing high-frequency sounds.
Which one you chose depends on your needs and the conditions you will be recording in.
1. Marantz Professional MPM – 2000U
Although its frequency response could be higher, MPM-2000 records audio of great quality at a very affordable price range, especially among microphones in the same category.
It is a Cardioid mic which makes it great for game streaming, voice-overs, and podcasts even in small rooms with background noises. It Uses an A-D converter and 48kHz/16-bit sample rate for a warmer and better quality sound. It is specifically designed for DAW (digital audio workstation). The Frequency response is 20Hz to 18kHz.
- Studio-quality condenser mic
- 48kHz, 16-bit resolution
- A-D converter
- Comes with a custom shock mount
- Sturdy but light
- No built-in headphone jack- some latency is expected
2. Blue Snowball iCE
Thanks to its price-quality relation, Blue Snowball is one of the most popular streaming microphones there is. Its cool spherical look adds to its popularity as well.
It is really easy to use – just plug it in with a 2.0 USB device without installing additional drivers. Blue Snowball is largely popular among Twitch streamers because it gives you a good quality sound, and is compatible with Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP both Professional and Home Edition. It is also compatible with Mac OSx 10 or higher.
With the addition of a pop filter, it records a clear sound for optimal streaming. The latency response is 40Hz -18kHz.
- Plug and Play
- Easy to use and set up
- Original look
- Requires additional equipment for best results
3. AmazonBasics Desktop Mini
At a low price, AmazonBasics mic offers you a higher quality experience. It is compatible with Windows 7 through 10, Vista and even XP, along with Mac OS, and even Linux, and it is Plug and Play- no need for additional drivers.
It has a unidirectional pick-up pattern and single capsule condenser which make it great for game streaming and podcasts. The only drawback is the 50Hz low-frequency response, as opposed to the optimal 20Hz. All in all, if you want to test the waters of streaming microphones, it is a great one to start with, and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Plug and Play
- Single capsule condenser mic
- 1-year warranty
- 50Hz – 20kHz latency response
4. Razer Seiren Elite
Razer Seiren Elite is a superb choice for your first professional microphone. Its specifications are exceptional, however, many users report bad results. This can be surpassed by adjusting the mic’s settings properly. The best settings for best recording results are 2 channels, 16bt, 48kHz and -12DB. This will allow your mic to show its best features.
Digital and Analog vocal limiter gives your voice a warm and rich sound. The built-in High-Pass filter cancels the low-frequency noise from your environment for clear sound. It comes with a zero-latency 35mm built-in headphone jack.
- Digital/Analog Vocal Limiter
- Built-in High-Pass Filter
- Difficult to adjust settings
5. Samson G-Track Pro
G-Track Pro is one of the best streaming microphones out there because it allows podcasters and streamers to record in high-quality audio. Thanks to the additional 1/4in input you can connect another device such as a sub-mixer for another person.
Because of the Dual 1″ condenser capsule, it is really sensitive and picks up all the subtle changes in your voice that differ you from other gamers and podcasters. It comes with a 1/8in gaming headset output with zero-latency.
It requires additional equipment such as mounts and stands, but it makes up for it by being more than a regular streaming mic.
- Hi-def audio 24bt, 96Hz resolution
- Three pick up patterns
- Dual 1″ condenser capsule
- Mic with audio interface
- Does not come with a microphone stand
6. RODE NT-USB
Rode NT is one of the best studio microphones with USB connection. It comes with a pop filter that ensures that your recording is clear as it minimizes the additional sounds that are produced with sounds like ‘P’ or ‘T’. Mixing those sounds makes your recording intelligible- this is where correctly positioning the filter comes into play.
This mic’s specs are terrific: JFET impedance converter with bipolar buffer, 48kHZsample rate, and 16bt resolution make for a great quality sound. The frequency response is the optimal 20-20000Hz range.
It is really sensitive which is superb in the studio environment; however, it can pick up sounds as far as 15ft away.
- Direct mix control
- Pop filter
- Accessories included
- 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
- Fragile construction
7. Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS
Although it is very light (only about 13oz) the AT2020USB+ mic is really stable on tabletops thanks to the adjustable tripod stand. It has a great frequency response of 20Hz to 20 kHz and a CD sound quality, and 44.1/ 48kHZ sample rate which makes up for great audio quality.
The built-in headphone jack ensures no delay in microphone monitoring. It is perfect for one-man game streaming or podcasts as it uses only cardioid pickup pattern. One of its best features is mix control that allows you to blend the mic with pre-recorded audio.
- High-quality audio
- Built-in headphone jack- zero latency
- Mix control
- Permanently polarized condenser
- Comes with accessories- thread stand and thread adapter, tripod stand, and a pouch
- Picks up environmental sounds
8. Samson Meteor Mic USB
Samson Meteor Mic is one of the most affordable mics out there that still gives a studio quality to your recordings. If you desire a flat frequency response of 20Hz to 20 kHz and a CD sound quality, and 44.1/ 48kHZ resolution, look no further. Its 25mm diaphragm condenser enables rich audio recording.
Since it only comes with a cardioid pickup pattern, it is great for podcasts and game streaming, as well as voice and instrument recordings as long as the sound source is close to the microphone. It picks up some of the environmental noises which can ruin the sound quality, so be sure to keep it near the sound source and position it rightly in order to avoid this. The mic’s fold back leg allows for proper positioning, and the overall design gives it a nice and elegant look.
You can plug it in directly to your computer without the need of installing additional drivers which makes it really easy to use. And if you already have a quality headset you can just plug it in the microphone and be sure that you will hear the sounds without any latency to throw you off.
- Cool appearance
- Extremely small and light
- Great price-quality relation
- Perfect for streaming and podcasts
- Built-in 1/8in headphone jack
- Flat frequency response
- USB connection type
- Picks up environment sounds (e.g. when you are touching the control buttons)
9. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
This dynamic USB Microphone is great for any kind of recording: podcasts, interviews, vocals, music, any kind of field recording with different sound sources, conference calls, and so on. This is thanks to the tri-capsule array that allows for multiple recording patterns. At a press of a button, you can switch between cardioid (podcasts, game streaming…), omnidirectional (conference calls), bidirectional (2-people conversation, e.g. interviews), and stereo mode (field recordings where there are several sound sources).
The Blackout Yeti is as versatile as your imagination can go and be sure that the sound you get is of the greatest quality. This microphone comes with an A-D converter and a built-in headphone jack which do not allow sound latency and ensure that you will hear what you record in real-time. It is extremely easy to use, as all the controls (pattern switch, mute button, mic gain) are right there on the microphone.
There is also no need for additional software-record directly at your computer, and as an added bonus, it is compatible with Windows 7, 8.1, and 10, as well as Mac OS 10.10 and higher. Frequency response is 20HZ to 20kHZ, and bit rate is 16bt.
- Tri-capsule array
- Records sound from any direction
- Zero latency
- Records directly to your PC or Mac
- Various usage
- Built-in 3.5mm headphone jack
- USB connection type
This is the list of top Streaming Microphones right now. Weigh their pros and cons against your needs and pick the right one for you. Consider your field of interest, and how it may develop in the future.
Hopefully, choosing the right mic form this list will help you stand out in the ever-growing world of game streaming, podcasts, and voiceovers.