USB microphones are not only convenient, they also contain all the elements and performance capabilities of traditional microphones. As such, if you’re thinking of investing in a mic for whatever reason, you may want to consider going for a USB model.
Uses of USB Mics
In addition to containing all the elements of traditional microphones (diaphragm, capsule, etc.), USB mics also feature 2 additional circuits: an onboard preamp that eliminates the need to connect a USB microphone to a mixer or external preamp, and an analog-to-digital (A/B) converter that changes the mic’s output from analog (voltage) to digital (data). Thanks to the A/B converter and the design of USB microphones, these gadgets can be connected to PCs and laptops and utilize the “plug and play” of USB ports.
The beauty of USB mics is that they have many different uses the most common of which are discussed below.
USB mics can be used in situations such as panel interviews where the interviewee is addressing a gathering of people. These microphones help to eliminate the need to use several pieces of gear and mountains of cables during such kinds of interviews.
Another use of USB microphones is the creation of podcasts. A USB microphone reduces the work involved in creating podcasts to a simple 3-step process. Just plug in a mic, record your podcast, and share it with your audience!
- Sound Recording
Artists or producers in the music industry can highly benefit from USB mics. These gadgets provide a quick and painless way of recording music. The best part is that USB mics are easy to setup and portable which means the recording can be done anywhere ranging from a music studio to the backseat of a car.
USB mics can also be used in online games or other types of games where players are required to speak into a microphone.
Most USB microphones deliver exceptional sound quality. These makes them perfect for voice-over work, as good sound quality is mandatory in voiceovers.
Now that you’re aware of what a USB mic is and its various applications, you’re probably more than willing to invest in one. This is where the following best USB microphone list comes in handy. It consists of 7 amazing microphones with a good price point, excellent sound quality, solid performance, and some of the best features in USB microphone technology. So, keep reading to determine if the perfect USB microphone for you is in this list.
1. The Professional Condenser Sound Podcast Studio and USB Microphone from Tonor
Tonor’s Professional Condenser Sound Podcast Studio and USB mic is one of the cheapest USB mics on the market right now. But despite its asking price, the mic has nothing but good qualities – the best of which is a design that picks up both vocals and instrument. As a result, the mic can be used for a variety of applications including desktop recording, music production, podcast creation, and more. Additionally, the mic has a good combination of features, which include:
One of the best features of this Tonor USB Condenser microphone is an adjustable 360-degree swivel head. The microphone head also allows a 90-degree tilt. Thanks to this flexibility, you get to enjoy custom recording that ensures accuracy and quality sound in all sorts of setups.
Generous Recording Distance
Another good feature of the Tonor USB Condenser studio mic is a generous recording distance of 10ft in a quiet room. This distance eliminates the need for sticking close to the mic during use, which in turn provides a comfortable user experience. This feature also allows for the recording of multiple instruments at once.
- Good vocal quality
- Comes with a desktop mic stand
- Can handle a wide range of uses
- Works well with both Windows and Mac computers
- Can work on a standing orientation or clipped set up
- At a frequency response of 50HZ – 16HZ, the microphone covers a good range of audible frequencies
- Lightweight construction makes portability possible
- Is super easy to use thanks to a simple plug and play design
- Picks sound from all directions which means you’ll have to be careful of where you use the mic to avoid recording unwanted noises
2. Blue Microphones Snowball iCE USB Microphone
Made of brushed aluminum, the Blue Microphone Snowball iCE is a sturdy, stylish, high-performance USB mic that delivers one of the best audio qualities you can expect from microphones in its price range.
It has a novel dual capsule design with cardioid and omnidirectional elements that give it superior sound output. Also included in the microphone’s design is a 10dB pad switch that eliminates distortion and noise whilse ensuring the capture of signals at low volumes.
- Delivers rich, crystal clear audio
- Ideal for both chatting and recording
- Records vocals, instruments, and live music (both solo and from bands)
- Offers 3 recording modes cardioid, cardioid-10dB, and omni
- Compatible with both PC and Mac
- Improves audio quality on several platforms including Skype, Google Talk, Messenger, Yahoo, and Windows Live
- Comes with a USB cable and desktop mic stand with an adjustable height of 5-6.5 inches
- Requires no extra drivers
- Mastering the available controls takes a while as recording modes are labeled 1, 2, and 3, instead of their respective functions
3. Auna 900 USB Cardioid Studio Condenser and USB Microphone
The Auna 900 Cardioid Studio Condenser and USB microphone not only offers quality audio but also provides durability that will last for a long time. The microphone features a sturdy metallic body, a 16mm electric capsule, and steel basket that provide the mic with the ruggedness to handle both light and heavy usage. Whether you use the Audio MIC-900 at home, at the studio, or while on the road, you can rely on the microphone to provide reliable service for long period of time.
As for the audio quality, the mic combines a sample rate of 16-bit/48HZ and a cardioid pattern to ensure pristine sound quality in all uses. Also included is a shock mount that reduces acoustic vibrations to prevent unwanted noise.
- Has a stylish matte black finish
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac
- Although this mic does not come with its own stand, it has a design that allows for easy mounting on any standard microphone stand
- The mic’s USB cable is 3m long which means you can work with a wide range of microphone stand set ups
- Comes with a protective bag
- The mic is specifically designed for speech and signing and is therefore not a good fit for someone looking to record instruments. However, the mic creates the perfect starting material for podcasts and song production.
4. BTSKY™ BM-800 Condenser Sound Recording Microphone and Mic Shock Mount
The BTSKY BM-800 Condenser Sound Recording Microphone not only has the classy design and look of professional microphones, it also produces the kind of great sound normally found in high-end microphones. Therefore, if you’re a professional singer, music producer, podcaster, etc. looking for excellence in a USB microphone, this BTSKY BM-800 could just be the perfect fit for you. Its best features include:
A tailored frequency response whose main purpose is ensuring a nice clean sound to your recordings.
A Neodymium magnet that offers a high signal-to-noise ratio. This magnet basically, helps to achieve great sound with low noise.
A shock mount that prevents noise from vibration while reducing the amount of handling noise at the same time.
- Can be mounted on all the standard microphone stands
- Allows for use of a sound card to further enhance the mic’s sound effects
- Is made of light materials (zinc alloy & steel) which make it extremely portable and easy to handle
- Can be connected to amplifiers and sound mixers
- Sturdy construction
- Comes with an anti-wind foam cap
- In order to use the mic, you’ll have to buy a Phantom 48V power supply
- Uses a unidirectional pickup pattern unlike most of its competitors that use an omnidirectional pattern
5. Rode NT-USB Microphone
The Rode NT-USB is a well-designed, good sounding microphone whose versatility makes it a good fit for anyone looking for a mic for spoken applications, musical performances, or recording of songs. Also a high performer, the microphone features a cardioid pattern capsule (with maximum handling level of 110db) that does a great job of picking up quality sound.
Additionally, the Rode NT-USB has a couple of unique features that set it apart from the other models in its price range. These include a premium pop-filter which minimizes plosives (B, T, and P sounds pronounced loudly that they come out with a harsh sound) during singing or speech; and on-board mix controls that allow you to quickly alter the sound quality to a level that suits your specific need be it podcasting, voice-over recording, or any other application.
- Records vocals, instruments, and speech
- Comes with several accessories including an adjustable mic stand clip, desktop stand, a pop shield, dust bad, a long 6m
- USB cable, and ringmount
- This USB mic is compatible with PC, Mac (using the GarageBand music studio), as well as iOS devices, which support
- RODE Rec or any other recording app that accepts external microphones
- Can be angled anywhere between a 180-degree arc
- The included tripod is quite small
6. Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone
The sliver-themed, tri-capsule Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone is one of the most advanced and versatile mics in the industry. This is all thanks to an innovative design that combines 3 capsules and 4 patterns (cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, and bidirectional) to offer the ultimate performance and versatility to suit all USB microphone uses. Also included in the design is a zero-latency headphone output that allows you to listen to what you’re recording in real-time.
- Features a heavy metal construction for enhanced durability
- Function buttons enhance ease of use
- Allows for live-monitoring through volume knob
- Ideal for recording live performances
- Thanks to a frequency response of 20HZ to 20HZ, the mic can capture the full range of sounds that the human ear can process
- Can be adjusted in relation to the sound source
- With a weight of over 2 pounds, this Yeti USB mic is not the most portable microphone on this list. However, the mic can be folded down or completely removed from its base to ease transportation.
7. Samson Meteor USB Microphone
The first thing you’ll love about the Samson Meteor USB microphone is its design. It has a retro class look with a clever fold-back leg design (3 foldable legs) that offers a few benefits. These legs give the mic stability, fold away for easy storage and portability, and even allow you to adjust the mic’s angle to the optimal position of a variety of uses ranging from instrument to speech recording.
Other noteable features of the mic include:
The cardioid pickup pattern, which captures pristine vocals and recordings.
Smooth frequency response that ensures professional audio results with each use.
Headphone jack for zero latency monitoring.
- Can be used on Skype, iChat, and other voice recognition software
- Sturdy and durable thanks to its thick plates of chromed steel build
- Mic-mute button included
- Rubber grips on each leg prevent sliding
- Does not offer as high a sampling rate as some other models
- The microphone’s body smudges easily
So there you have it! These 7 USB microphones are highly recommended and it’s time you ditched your old traditional microphones and start creating your song and audio recordings the best way. Provided you choose a model that meets your needs, you can be sure that you’ll not regret making the purchase.