The very best USB microphones of 2023

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Up to date Jan 28, 2023 8:39 AM

Should you’re a gamer, podcaster, vocalist, or different content material creator on the lookout for the quickest choice to get audio to your pc, there’s no faster option to get began than by reaching for a USB microphone. Not like conventional microphones, which require separate amplification and a devoted exterior interface to transform the analog sign to digital, one of the best USB microphones comprise each element required.

Add in the truth that most solely require a single USB cable to function and USB microphones show themselves to be unmatched instruments for creating content material with very restricted gear and a no brainer for cellular content material creation. Many USB microphones additionally comprise built-in controls or include companion software program that permit customers to course of and compress their sound for manufacturing on the entrance finish, which makes them an ideal answer for saving time throughout the enhancing course of. Listed here are our options for one of the best USB microphones you should purchase at this time, in addition to just a few key concerns to remember when making a variety.

How we picked one of the best USB microphones

USB microphones are available a variety of designs—from extremely easy units to all-in-one manufacturing instruments. To make this complete record of one of the best USB microphones in the marketplace we eradicated all choices that didn’t have an ideal status amongst customers and critics. We then took into consideration the next key standards to ensure our picks provide one thing for everybody:

Sound. Not like conventional microphones, many USB microphones are particularly tuned to offer optimum sound readability for the human voice. Past that baseline, some designs permit customers additional customization over that sound by way of using EQ filters, compression, and different results. We chosen microphones with user-customizable sound at any time when attainable, however all of them provide a voice-tailored sound regardless.

Controls. The flexibility to make fast sound changes is essential in content material creation settings, particularly when streaming or podcasting. The entire microphones apart from our funds choose provide onboard controls that permit customers to tweak their settings on the fly.

Model. The entire USB microphones on this record are made by respected, established manufacturers, lots of which have a hand in manufacturing different varieties of audio, video, gaming, or streaming gear. Going with established manufacturers will increase the chance of customer support follow-through and high quality management, each of that are particularly essential when contemplating a crucial piece of content material creation gear like a USB microphone.

The very best USB microphones: Critiques & Suggestions

Greatest general: Elgato Wave:3

Why it made the lower: Manufactured by an {industry} chief in high-quality A/V seize units, the Wave:3 is filled with considerate design options that intention to fulfill a variety of audio recording wants.


  • Frequency Response: 70 to twenty,000 Hz
  • Max Recording High quality: 24-bit/96 kHz
  • System Compatibility: Mac, Home windows


  • Capacitive mute button permits for click-free management whereas streaming
  • Constructed-in clip guard prevents unintended distortion from loud sources
  • Software program permits real-time granular management of a complete combine


  • Mixer software program and onboard controls take observe to make use of
  • Requires USB 3.0 to function

Elgato is well-known within the video manufacturing world for being an {industry} chief in seize playing cards, and because the finest USB microphone general, the Wave:3 packs plenty of the standard, revolutionary spirit, and modern design for which the corporate’s flagship merchandise are identified. Powered by a single USB-C cable and plug-and-play prepared for each PCs and Macs, the Wave:3 provides a clean broadcast-grade vocal sound and analog-to-digital conversion at an especially excessive 24-bit/96 kHz decision. Its onboard controls embrace a multifunctional dial for quantity and headphone management, in addition to a silent capacitive button for fast muting, which is especially handy for reside streaming and gaming functions. A built-in software program clip guard additionally prevents the microphone from ever going “into the purple” attributable to overloads, making certain that recorded content material is production-ready no matter surprising spikes in quantity.

The Wave:3 works seamlessly with Elgato’s downloadable Wave Hyperlink software program, which grants customers entry to a nine-source mixer interface for fine-tuning of a number of simultaneous audio sources like browsers, gaming functions, DAWs, chats, and extra. This makes it an ideal alternative for customers who require flexibility and full management over their audio recording setup in quite a lot of artistic settings from streaming to podcasting. The Wave Hyperlink software program does require a little bit of tinkering to be taught attributable to its complexity and its capacity to mix many alternative sources, and a few customers might have issue configuring it to speak with all varieties of software program. It’s additionally crucial that the Wave:3 is plugged right into a USB 3.0 port to operate correctly as a result of, in any other case, it could partially operate and ship a staticky, unusable sound. 

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Greatest for podcasting: Shure MV7

The Shure MV7 is the best USB microphone for podcasting

Why it made the lower: This podcasting mic from Shure is designed with a broadcast-friendly yoke mount and provides a set of onboard DSP together with ambient noise cancellation to ship crisp and clear voice high quality.


  • Frequency Response: 20 to twenty,000 Hz
  • Max Recording High quality: 24-bit/48 kHz
  • System Compatibility: Mac, Home windows


  • Contains studio-grade XLR output for outboard gear compatibility
  • Distinctive close-talk windscreen provides most deadening of plosives
  • Constructed-in voice isolation and speech-enhancing results


  • Capacitive controls are simple to by accident contact
  • Sound is tailor-made for voice moderately than devices

The Shure MV7, one of the best USB microphone for podcasting, is a rugged and classy USB dynamic microphone that excels at capturing and delivering broadcast-ready vocal audio, making it a superb alternative for podcasting and content material creation, in addition to a high-quality substitute for a pc’s built-in microphone when teleconferencing. Whereas its exterior design takes a number of cues from Shure’s legendary SM7B vocal microphone, the MV7 has its personal factor happening underneath the hood with distinctive options like onboard DSP compression, EQ, and voice isolation that permit customers to sculpt a production-perfect sound earlier than they even press document. Although the MV7 can operate as a standalone USB microphone when plugged into a pc, it additionally options an industry-standard XLR connector that permits it to attach with just about any skilled audio interface (similar to a regular microphone).

The entire microphone’s DSP configuration and sound-shaping is finished through its pc software program, however customers can entry fundamental achieve and quantity controls on the physique of the microphone itself. Whereas that is handy for making on-the-fly modifications when recording is in progress, the onboard controls are capacitive and thus delicate to the touch and, sadly, they’re positioned in an space that customers might seize when making positioning changes. This quirk requires customers to remain conscious of how and the place they deal with the microphone. Additionally, the MV7’s general sound and frequency response are custom-tailored for speech, which makes it improbable for vocal functions however not as interesting to be used on devices.

Greatest for vocals: Blue Yeti X

The Blue Yeti X is the best USB microphone for vocals.

Why it made the lower: The Yeti X’s selectable pickup patterns provide a complicated stage of sound-shaping in accordance with customers’ wants and the acoustics of their house, delivering crystal-clear audio and crisp vocal tones. 


  • Frequency Response: 20 to twenty,000 Hz
  • Max Recording High quality: 24-bit/48 kHz
  • System Compatibility: Mac, Home windows


  • 4 polar patterns to suit quite a lot of recording situations
  • Intuitive two-knob controls with high-resolution stage monitoring
  • Customizable LED lights for a personalised look


  • USB cable can come unfastened whereas transferring the microphone
  • Delicate condenser design might choose up atmosphere

The Yeti X from Blue Microphones is the corporate’s flagship USB microphone, sporting a novel four-capsule condenser design that offers it glorious element seize and excessive sensitivity when in comparison with different USB microphones in its value vary. Whereas this microphone is filled with considerate options that make it well-suited for podcasting and streaming use, its stage of readability and 4 switchable pickup patterns make it top-of-the-line USB microphones for vocals and recording heat and clear vocals in quite a lot of areas.

Utilizing a devoted rear knob, customers can choose between single-direction, bidirectional, stereo, and omnidirectional recording modes, permitting the Yeti X to seize clear vocal audio from a number of sources with out the necessity for further microphones. This operate is especially helpful for recording teams of individuals and capturing conversations with room atmosphere, which makes for a pure and lifelike recorded sound. A entrance array of high-resolution LEDs permits customers to view their achieve at a look and make changes to keep away from overloads, and these LEDs may even be color-customized through downloadable G HUB software program from Logitech.

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Condenser microphones are one of many varieties of microphones usually extra delicate than dynamic microphones, which is why the Yeti X is especially good at capturing the nuance and vary of musical vocal performances. Nevertheless, this elevated sensitivity makes the Yeti X extra susceptible to capturing a excessive ratio of ambient noise from, significantly echoey or noisy areas. Because of this, it’s finest to make use of this mic in acoustically handled areas or rooms with minimal reverberation. The Yeti X additionally encompasses a heavy-duty USB cable that hangs from the underside of the microphone that’s susceptible to falling out throughout use, which will be annoying at finest and disruptive at worst, so customers ought to take care when transferring across the mic.

Greatest for gaming: Razer Seiren Elite

The Razer Seiren Elite is the best USB microphone for gaming.

Why it made the lower: An extremely easy-to-use design and a sound that’s tailor-made for dynamic performances make the Seiren Elite one of the best USB microphone for gaming.


  • Frequency Response: 50 to twenty,000 Hz
  • Max Recording High quality: 16-bit/48 kHz
  • System Compatibility: Mac, Home windows


  • Clear and current stream-ready sound with no adjustment required
  • Zero-latency monitoring permits customers to listen to themselves whereas taking part in
  • Constructed-in limiter and switchable high-pass for constant audio high quality


  • The built-in limiter can’t be turned off
  • Doesn’t document in resolutions above 16 bits

Avid gamers and streamers who wish to take pleasure in a marked enchancment over the sound of a regular gaming headset microphone with out sacrificing ease of use and esthetic enchantment will love the Razer Seiren Elite USB microphone for its plug-and-play performance and clear, sturdy sound. It options only a few onboard controls other than a dual-function mute/document button, a headphone quantity knob, a microphone achieve knob, and a high-pass filter button for chopping out low noise from air conditioners and louder environments. To offer dependable efficiency and endure the vocal outbursts and quantity spikes typically related to aggressive gaming, the Seiren Elite encompasses a built-in limiter that’s at all times on, making certain that the captured audio by no means distorts.

Not like many competing USB microphones that require companion software program to entry their controls, the Seiren Elite excels at user-friendliness and straightforward setup because of its restricted controls and always-on limiter. Whereas this makes its sound interesting and constant for streaming use and a few podcasting functions, some content material creators could also be turned off by the shortcoming to change off the limiter when recording quieter materials, which may end up in extra ambient noise coming by way of. The microphone’s analog-to-digital pattern fee can also be fastened at 16 bits or the standard of a CD. This is kind of a technicality that shall be rendered moot by streaming compression, however this fee does provide marginally much less dynamic vary than the 24-bit normal utilized in trendy audio manufacturing.

Greatest funds: HyperX SoloCast

The HyperX SoloCast is the best USB microphone on a budget.

Why it made the lower: This tiny USB microphone is extremely simple to make use of and prices a fraction of its rivals, making it a handy and moveable alternative for customers who need a barebones setup.


  • Frequency Response: 20 to twenty,000 Hz
  • Max Recording High quality: 16-bit/48 kHz
  • System Compatibility: Mac, Home windows


  • Simple-to-learn streamlined design
  • Appropriate with growth arms and mic stands
  • Built-in tap-to-mute button for streaming


  • Lacks achieve management; susceptible to choosing up background noise
  • Sound shouldn’t be customizable or adjustable

The HyperX SoloCast is among the finest funds USB microphones accessible because of a compact and easy-to-use design that requires minimal setup. It guarantees plug-and-play compatibility with Mac and Home windows programs working quite a lot of streaming software program, and since it consists of no onboard controls besides a single tap-to-mute button, customers don’t have to spend time twiddling with knobs or further software program to function it. The mic is put in by itself freestanding desk mount, however it additionally options a regular thread on its underside for mounting on normal growth arms and microphone stands.

The draw back to the SoloCast’s streamlined performance is that its sound is kind of set in stone, and it doesn’t provide entry to any EQ, compression, or limiting of dearer rivals that permit customers to enhance or custom-tailor their vocal tone. This makes the SoloCast extra more likely to enchantment to customers who’re skilled with enhancing their sound utilizing software program of their alternative and fewer more likely to produce a fascinating sound in acoustically untreated areas or loud environments. Nonetheless, when contemplating its portability and ease of use, it’s onerous to discover a significantly better bang to your buck should you’re on the lookout for one of the best USB microphone on a funds.

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Issues to contemplate earlier than shopping for a USB microphone

Will you employ it primarily for recording or livestreaming?

As a result of USB microphones embrace their very own built-in analog-to-digital conversion and ship their audio on to computer systems, it’s essential to be aware of their most audio decision. Should you’ll be utilizing your USB microphone for creating recorded content material like podcasts or music and also you wish to obtain the very best sound, a microphone with a decision of 24-bits and 48 to 96 kHz just like the Elgato Wave:3 will present high quality on par with that {of professional} audio interfaces. In live-streaming situations, audio high quality normally turns into extremely compressed earlier than reaching the top listener, making USB microphone decision much less of an essential issue. Because of this, many gaming and streaming USB mics are restricted to resolutions of 16-bits/48 kHz, just like the Razer Seiren Elite.

Will you employ it in an acoustically handled house?

In case your house is handled to reduce extra reverberation and echo, a USB condenser mic just like the Blue Yeti X will present a extremely nuanced and lifelike recording. Condenser microphones fall brief in untreated or noisy areas attributable to their excessive sensitivity, making dynamic microphones just like the Shure MV7 a better option for these situations.

Do you require compatibility with skilled outboard gear?

One of the interesting options of USB microphones is their capacity to operate with none further gear, in contrast to conventional microphones. Because of this, they’re normally not constructed with the XLR connectors required to work with outboard studio gear. Within the occasion that you really want the pliability to attach your USB microphone to XLR gear, the Shure MV7 is among the only a few choices in the marketplace that may just do that until you employ an extra interface/converter, such because the Elgato Wave:3.


Q: Does a USB condenser mic want phantom energy?

USB microphones don’t want phantom energy as a result of they’re powered straight through the USB cable itself. Some fashions do particularly require USB 3.0, which provides the next amperage than USB 2.0.

Q: Which is best: condenser or dynamic mic?

Condenser microphones use a skinny, delicate capsule membrane to seize sound, making them the only option for recording nuanced and detailed sources comparable to singing. Dynamic microphones are extra sturdy and are higher at rejecting exterior noise, making them a better option for streaming use.

Q: Are you able to document vocals with a USB mic?

You may undoubtedly document vocals with a USB microphone—the truth is, most of them are designed particularly for that objective. A condenser USB microphone just like the Blue Yeti X is the popular alternative for recording singers attributable to its delicate condenser design, whereas spoken phrase recordings could also be higher with a Shure MV7.

Last ideas on one of the best USB microphones

Discovering one of the best USB microphone to your artistic endeavors relies upon largely on the kind of content material you’re creating and the context by which it’ll be heard. Should you’re on the lookout for a jack of all trades that may deal with streaming, podcasting, and voice recording duties, the Elgato Wave:3 is a well-rounded possibility. Podcasters and streamers might desire the speech-oriented DSP options of the Shure MV7 or the Razer Seiren Elite, that are tailor-made to lower dynamic vary and improve readability in crowded audio mixes. Should you’ll be utilizing your USB microphone for musical vocal recordings, the four-capsule condenser development of the Blue Yeti X will ship among the most nuanced and detailed vocal sound accessible on this product class.