Best Microphones For Streaming In 2023

So, you finally decided to do some YouTube videos or Twitch streams of your own. To begin this exciting enterprise, you need a few things, like a funky hair dye, a high-quality camera, and a trusty microphone. Oftentimes, the mics on high-end headsets struggle to compare to others that connect to dedicated peripherals. If you plan to make any content at all, you don’t want your voice to sound like you are playing a Warzone match.


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Choosing the right mic isn’t simply about finding the cheapest price-tag that still offers good value. You have to consider a couple of things, like your environment or your own technological limitations since you might not have the funds to invest in an expensive audio interface.

Best Microphones For Streaming

Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B

Best High-End

Clarity beyond the ordinary.

If you have some cash to burn, then SM7B is a blind buy. This XLR microphone features a rugged construction, comes with a detachable close-talk windshield, and has switch cover plate, making it great for studio settings. Additionally, the SM7B has a great bass rolloff and mid-range emphasis controls further enhance its versatility.

Pros

  • Wide-range frequency response for natural sound.
  • Air suspension shock isolation reduces noise.
  • Advanced electromagnetic shielding against interference.
Cons

  • Heavier compared to some other microphones in its class.
  • Needs a cloud booster to be used with most interfaces.

The Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone is a piece of equipment that has found its place in every major studio, broadcast, and podcast. It has been designed to deliver warm, smooth vocals with consistency. Wide-range frequency response ensures that the natural beauty of the sound doesn’t get corrupted, making every word clear and intact.

In fact, this level of clarity is actually rare for a dynamic microphone, making it one of the few models out there that can be used in both live and studio settings. One of the standout features is the air suspension shock isolation combined with a pop filter, effectively eliminating breathiness and mechanical noise.

Sound is captured with minimal coloration, thanks to the cardioid pattern which rejects any off-axis audio. Additionally, the microphone also boasts advanced electromagnetic shielding, a great choice for protecting your streaming audio from interference from computer monitors and electronic devices.

Blue Yeti X

Blue Yeti X

Best Mid-Range

Precision sound, stream ready.

With features like adaptive LED metering, innovative Blue VO!CE effects, and versatile pickup patterns for impeccable sound fidelity in every session, the Yeti X is a great USB-microphone for streamers on a sensible budget.

Pros

  • 4-capsule condenser array for clear sound.
  • Customizable LED metering and Blue VO!CE effects.
  • Multiple pickup patterns for versatility.
Cons

  • Requires download and installation of G HUB software.

Entering the mid-range segment, the Blue Yeti is the go-to choice for gamers, streamers, and podcasters. It boasts a pretty durable build quality with a streamlined design. You also get customizable LED metering, built-in studio controls, and access to a unique set of vocal effects with the mic.

The Yeti X also boasts a four-capsule condenser array, ensuring a clear, focused sound. Users have the option to switch between four patterns: Cardioid (which is ideal for game streaming), Omni (suitable for group discussions), Figure 8 (perfect for two-person interviews), and a Stereo mode which gives you immersive sound effects. Logitech G also gives you exclusive access to the Blue VO!CE software which allows you to fine tune vocals, eliminate plosives, and add effects like echo or reverb.

The G Hub software also offers customizable LED lighting, which throws in a touch of personalization. Streamers will definitely appreciate the smart knob with a 11-segment LED voice meter which ensures optimal voice levels during live streams. Additionally, the internal shockmount protects the microphone capsules and offers stabilization.

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Blue Yeti X

Blue Yeti X

Best Budget

Great audio on a budget.

With features like adaptive LED metering, innovative Blue VO!CE effects, and versatile pickup patterns for impeccable sound fidelity in every session, the Yeti X is a great USB-microphone for streamers on a sensible budget.

Pros

  • Ultra-compact design for portability.
  • Professional recording quality.
  • Supercardioid pickup pattern isolates voice.
Cons

  • Might require a pop filter for plosives.
  • Potential compatibility issues with non-Razer equipment.

Razer isn’t usually known for its audio prowess, but the Seiren Mini is actually a pretty great USB microphone if you’re on a budget. Sleek design ensures it occupies minimal desk space, making it ideal for those with limited setups. You get an ultra-precise supercardioid pickup pattern which is excellent for isolating your voice from any ambient noise.

Directional pattern captures your voice clearly, making it a solid contender for streaming communication. The Ø 14 mm condenser capsule further enhances its recording capabilities. Given the design and budget, however, users would have to invest in a pop filter or windshield to avoid plosives. It may not stand up to the likes of the other microphones in this list, but definitely holds its own against the contenders in the same price segment.

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS XLR StreamSet

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xSTS XLR StreamSet

Best Headset Microphone

Best of both worlds.

The ATH-M50xSTS offers a fusion of Audio-Technica’s renowned headphones and microphone clarity. Featuring a cardioid condenser microphone for some great voice capture and interchangeable ear pads that offer comfort, this headset is the ideal choice for streamers looking for compatibility with both gaming and streaming.

Pros

  • Combines ATH-M50x headphones with 20 Series microphone clarity.
  • Two distinct earpad styles for user preference.
  • Cardioid condenser microphone for focused audio.
Cons

  • No volume control on the headset.
  • Leatherette pads can cause some heating with the ears.

If you are someone who is not too keen on getting a dedicated microphone, then a headset mic is a worthy choice to consider. ATH-M50X headphones are known to be industry-standard, and are widely used as monitors in a lot of studios, so you know that the audio quality is going to be impeccable already.

The M50xSTS, however, combines the headphone quality with the crystal-clear performance of the 20 series microphones, giving you the ultimate headset mic combination. What’s impressive here is that the headset has a cardioid condenser microphone which makes sure that your voice stands out while minimizing background noise.

A noteworthy feature in this unit is the flexible boom arm that can be flipped up to mute the microphone swiftly and silently. You also get two distinct earpad styles which allows you to choose between the classic M50x earpads which prioritize audio quality, and mesh earpads that emphasize comfort and breathability.

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Rode X XCM-50 Condenser Microphone

Rode X XCM-50 Condenser Microphone

Best Compact

Audio mastery in a compact package.

For those seeking a space-saving solution without sacrificing audio quality, the RODE XCM-50 is definitely the option to go for. This USB microphone boasts advanced voice processing features, including a compressor, high-pass filter, and the renowned APHEX Aural Exciter.

Pros

  • Highly detailed voice reproduction.
  • Advanced voice processing features.
  • Cardioid polar pattern minimizes background noise.
Cons

  • The RODE X Unify software isn?t very user-friendly.

When it comes to compact audio solutions, this microphone from RODE is a stand-out choice. The XCM-50 sports an ultra-compact design, with the ability to pack a powerful performance. Despite the small packaging, it does not compromise on quality and delivers a highly detailed and natural voice production.

The mic also utilizes a cardioid polar pattern which is beneficial when you consider the compact form, adeptly minimizing background noise. Internal pop shielded and shock mounting are added advantages, ensuring that your streaming audio is free from any external disturbances.

But that is not it, the unit also comes with an integrated 360-degree swing mount which allows you to position the microphone for optimal sound capture.

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio 3rd Gen Audio Interface Bundle

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio 3rd Gen Audio Interface Bundle

Best Microphone Bundle

The one-stop solution for your audio needs.

The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Studio 3rd Gen offers an all-in-one audio recording solution. With its precision condenser microphone, intuitive interface, and quality headphones, it’s a top choice for streamers and songwriters seeking professional-grade audio.

Pros

  • Precise cardioid condenser microphone.
  • Quality headphones for clear playback.
  • Intuitive controls on the interface.
Cons

  • Inbuilt preamps could be better, considering market competition.

Worried about the expense pile-up while investing in an audio setup for your streaming needs? Well, the Scarlett 2i2 bundle is a great solution, as it comes with a dedicated interface, headphone monitors, and a great XLR condenser microphone. While you get a typical cardioid pattern which eliminates ambient noise, the USB audio interface also comes with an intuitive “Air Mode” which boosts the clarity on your highs, giving the vocals a more open and brighter sound.

Bundled headphones on the other hand, give a great audio playback, making sure no detail goes unnoticed. As for the streaming aspect of it, the minimal latency and clarity provided by the interface make it a reliable choice for in-game communication and recording sessions. While the unit does handle plosives pretty decently, it is a good idea to get an external pop filter.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do multi-directional microphones impact recording quality?

Like the name suggests, multi-directional microphones, often referred to as omnidirectional or bidirectional mics, capture sound from multiple directions. This makes them ideal for recording ambient sounds or group discussions where audio sources come from various angles. However, they might pick up unwanted background noise in noisy environments.

Typically, cardioid microphones are the go-to choice since most streamers broadcast alone, but it doesn’t hurt to get a multi-directional microphone for when you’re hosting other people as well.

Are pop filters or windshields necessary for recording?

Pop filters and windshields serve different but essential purposes. Pop filters reduce plosive sounds (like “p” and “b” sounds) that can cause distortion. Windshields, on the other hand, minimize wind noise and are vital for outdoor recordings. While not always mandatory, both can significantly enhance audio clarity and quality.

What’s the difference between USB and XLR microphones, and which should I choose?

Typically, most USB microphones are plug-and-play. They directly connect to your computer without needing an external audio interface. They’re convenient for beginners and portable setups. XLR microphones, on the other hand, require an audio interface or mixer but offer higher audio quality and versatility, making them a favorite among professionals.

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