To get our voice heard properly, or to record professional audio we need a good microphone. If you don’t want to buy a XLR microphone that needs a lot of other equipment to work correctly, i suggest you get yourself a nice USB mic. We will list the 5 best USB mics that you can buy today. We included options from all different price ranges so you can buy whatever suits your budget. Let’s get started.
1. Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB
The winner of our best usb mics roundup is a great product from Audio-Technica. Musicians and producers with contemporary technology improvements are no longer limited to record just on the studio settings. Recording now happens on the road, while performing and on tour. For all your recording needs with exemplary quality, I present you the Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB, the absolute best USB microphone on the market, let’s dive deeper into it.
It is definitely not a high-end condenser by any means, but it provides amazing qualities that will fulfill your recording needs. It has a simple metal body featuring a matte satin silver finish. It is really a clean design except for the plastic control part on the front of the microphone, but it is a very solid and sturdy microphone, will last you longer than you thought. Also, it is worth stating that the Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB is a very portable microphone, just like the manufacturers intended.
It is essentially the same microphone as the ATR2500, the only difference is that this uses USB connection instead of the XLR layout, this doesn’t make it adequate for the studio, but down for the road or for your home studio for podcasting, Youtubing, or streaming it is very useful and perfect. It is capable of a frequency response range from 30Hz to 15kHz, while the analog to digital converter supports 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz sampling rate, that is excellent for its class.
In the package with the Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB comes a compact tripod, a simple mount and a USB cable, also on the device you have a built-in 3.5mm headphone jack, that makes real-time monitoring easy.
When it comes to performance, the Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB is better suited for vocals rather than instruments, which does its job perfectly, however, the instrument recording quality is excellent as well, especially with acoustic guitars. It is really a great microphone, but if you want perfectionism, you should buy a pop filter and a shock-mount stand. It is also worth stating that the microphone has a very low noise floor, making it the perfect tool for super clean and quiet voice recordings needed for podcasts and interviews.
If you want the best sound quality overall for every purpose the Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB provides excellence.
2. Samson C03U
Buying a microphone that excels in vocals is really hard these days as the market is bloated with tons of options. We have Samson again providing one of the best microphones for capturing vocals, but not just that, it offers amazing sound, good software, a decent selection of accessories, a flight case, a shock resistant suspension stand, and it is engineered to perfection.
If you value quality the Samson C03U delivers in every aspect, in the package of the product you get the microphone obviously, a USB cable, the microphone stand mount complete with the microphone stand, the carrying pouch, and a CD for the Cakewalk recording software. The microphone overall has an amazing build quality, due to its all-metal body and grille that carries on a substantial weight, it feels like a premium product from the get-go.
Depending on the package you choose, you can also get the shock-resistant stand that has a rubbery cage that is attached to a heavy base, this helps to eliminate the noises if you happen to bump the microphone or the table.
Speaking about the controls, on the rear of the microphone you can find the single button pattern switch that lets you choose between three various polar patterns. Also on the front we have more controls consisting of the low cut filter switch and the switch that activates the ten-decibel pad, that will come handy if you are recording from a source that is way too loud.
When we look at the spec sheet of the Samson C03U, we will see that it offers a 16-bit resolution, with 44.1-48kHz sampling. The Samson C03U will provide the best quality sound for your podcasts, it is the real deal, studio-quality sound with the convenience of the USB connectivity. You are able to select from the pickup pattern abilities that consist of super-cardioid, omnidirectional, and bi-directional pattern, this will give you a great advantage and will prove to be very useful in the long run.
If you want to capture the best vocal quality for your podcasts, voice-overs, streams, or interviews, Samson C03U is the answer.
3. Samson Q2U
Samson is building itself a respectable name ion the pro-audio industry, and rightly, with its wide range of excellent products, that provide excellent value and performance. One such product is the Samson Q2U, that comes with the Podcasting Pack, it is a consumer dedicated product for podcasters, Youtubers, and streamers, it really makes the buyer’s job easier and faster. It is a great hand-held microphone, that comes with a great tripod, it really provides one of the best all-around packages.
Essentially the Samson Q2U podcasting pack is just a USB microphone with useful accessories, like the microphone clip, a small but convenient tripod, a pop filter, XLR cable, and a USB cable. It has a standard hand-held microphone design, that we have come to know and love.
On the bottom of the Samson Q2U you will find a micro aUSB output and an XLR output as well, which makes the device much more versatile, on top of that you will find the 3.5mm audio jack, making it a very basic package of one input, one output interface.
Regarding the controls, you will just find a volume button and an on and off switch, overall I liked the design of the product, the classic design gives it a utilitarian feel, it also has a great build and you will be pleased with it.
Even without the pop filter the spoken sound quality was excellent in this microphone, but I would recommend using the pop filter, if you do not have a fully isolated room. It delivers smooth and deep sounds while still providing the high-end crisp, it is definitely one of the best USB microphones for recording vocals. However, I would not recommend it for recording instruments, but for podcasters and even voice-over artists, the Samson Q2U provides a very clear and deep sound. To achieve the full capabilities of this microphone, you will have to tweak the sound a little, and you will see that the sound has improved even more.
It definitely hits the sweet spot for budget-conscious podcasters, as it provides amazing value for its price. It is very well designed, has a retro style and provides great sound quality.
4. Rode NT-USB
Most of the buyers think they have to sacrifice the sound quality when buying a USB microphone, but the Rode NT-USB proves otherwise. This microphone delivers studio-quality sound, without their price, it delivers amazingly clear audio, it is very easy to set up, there is a pop filter included in the package, and does a pretty good job of filtering the background noises. Rode has just hit the sweet spot with this microphone that I would strongly recommend for Youtubers.
Right from the get-go, as you unpackage the Rode NT-USB you will feel its authority, with its advanced and sleek design in its all-black body, combined with its slim chassis built with high-quality aluminum and great details. It measures at 184x62x50mm and weighs a substantial 520grams, it has a grilled side that is designed to capture sound coming from in front of it.
Inside the device there is a 0.5-inch condenser capsule attached to a solid A/D converter, to gift you the complete condenser experience, in this convenient USB mic package. When looking at the specs we also see that it is a great performer, with a frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz, with maximum SPL of 110dB. You aren’t offered too many controls but they are more than enough, there is a knob to control the volume of the headphone output, and the knob for balancing the sound between microphone input and DAW output, to ensure a monitoring experience without latency. In the box, the manufacturer has included a ‘studio in a box’ tripod stand, a pop shield, 6m USB cable that should be enough, and finally a storage pouch.
Performance-wise, the Rode NT-USB delivers awesome sound, it is exceptionally sharp and even without tweaking for hours right out the box you get the best quality. It has the ability to filter background noises, for example if you are working in a busy office, or your studio is located on a busy street with lots of motor noises, it eliminates all that, this is made possible thanks to its cardioid polar pattern.
The Rode NT-USB, is the definite best microphone for Youtubers due to its design and sound capturing performance.
5. Blue Yeti
We are going to start our best usb mics list with a very popular option. Blue is one of the established brands in the USB Bluetooth market and has provided great products such as Yeti. Blue Yeti, is the bands most popular product that has become apparent thanks to its recording capabilities, mid-range price, and has been a perfect choice for streamers. It is an amazing microphone if you want to just plug in and record, without spending hours and hours tweaking the settings.
The Blue Yeti has an excellent build quality as the exterior has a full metal construction, except the knobs and the thumb screws at the base of the microphone. The base of the microphone is made of the material used on the microphone and combined with the rubber non-slip pads under it, the device will stay put in the same place. A lot of effort is put into the stability of aspect of the microphone, so even if you are a little more hyperactive, there is little risk of knocking it down.
On the bottom of the microphone there is a mini USB port, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a threaded base that allows you to attach the Blue Yeti to any standard microphone stand, you can even latch it to a shock mount to stabilize the microphone even more and prevent unnecessary noise that can happen during recording.
On the Blue Yeti you can find some controls, the knob for headphone volume, the mute button on top of it, and on the other side there is the pattern selection and gain. Blue Yeti has four various audio capturing patterns you can choose from, they consist of the cardioid mode, stereo mode, the omnidirectional mode, and the two-way mode, and these should be more than enough for its price range.
The Blue Yeti delivers 16-bit, 48KHz recording sample rate, a quality that is perfect for podcasters and streamers, but won’t be enough for audiophiles and such. You won’t get the hollow sounds you get from cheap microphones, the sound is natural and warm and records every word with awesome clarity. Also it is worth mentioning that all the patterns worked perfectly and delivered the same natural sound.
The definite best mid-range microphone for streamers that delivers big time.