Streaming games, podcasts, interviews live come with a heavy toll on hardware and software demand. But the very first thing that you’ve to check is – get the best microphone for streaming.
As long as audio-visual is concerned, nothing can go worse than poor quality audio while you’re airing live. In this regard, we’ve been concerned equally and done the hectic part of the research.
Therefore, this roundup listing contains 8 of the top-rated microphones that record and stream at the level best. By the end of this discussion, we expect you know which one suits your budget and other requirements the most.
Comparison Table: Best Microphones for Streaming
|Product||Polar Patterns||Built-in Shock Mount|
|Blue Yeti USB Mic||Four||No|
|Samson G-Track Pro||Three||No|
|Blue Yeti Nano||Two||Yes|
|Razer Seiren X||One||No|
|Antlion Audio ModMic||One||No|
Our Top Rated Streaming Microphones for 2020
Hands down to the top-rated pick of this list of best microphones for streaming – the HyperX QuadCast. While up-voting this for the rank, we’ve precisely taken the price-quality ratio into consideration. So, the QuadCast might seem a bit pricey. But let us explain how it’s worth the bucks.
HyperX QuadCast as a recorder covers a wide array of audio types. The list includes vocals, instruments, multi-person podcasts, streaming, voiceovers, and interviews. The reason behind it it’s 4 variations of polar patterns. Therefore, as long as a potential user of a mic, we’re certain that you can put yourself into one or more than one of these chores.
The sampling rate is 48Hz and the bit rate is 16-bit. The condensers that are in there, size only 14mm, which is convenient. Like any regular mics of good quality, the frequency response range is from 20Hz to 20,000Hz. With a sensitivity of -36dB, it can pick up the slightest details of the voiceover or instrument.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the controls. Firstly, it’s the gain control knob that would let you adjust the mic sensitivity. Secondly, it’s the selectable polar pattern knob. From four patterns(stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional and bi-directional), you can choose the right one at a fraction of a second.
The next control feature isn’t a knob actually. In fact, it’s a touch control to mute and unmute the mic. Located at the top part of the mic, you can be aware of the mute/unmute status from the LED indicator. It’s as simple as that!
As long as it’s low and mid-range mics, we haven’t brands to be that much concerned about the mounting. But to our utter surprise, the HyperX QuadCast has got a full-form shock mount made out of elastic ropes. It’s anti-vibration and can completely isolate the mic from the vibrations, impacts, bumps, rumbles, etc.
Along with the mic mount, there is also a mic mount adapter that suits sizes of ⅝ inches and ⅜ inches threaded setups. No matter if it’s a boom arm or a mic stand, you can mount it right away.
The connectivity is just as it is with any other similar mics. It connects to Windows, Mac PS4, etc. You can use it on multiple devices at the same time. On top of that, software such as Skype, Open Broadcaster, XSplit, Mumble can go compatible with HyperX QuadCast without any trouble.
The HyperX holds an entire family for tech enthusiasts that include this HyperX QuadCast mic, the Cloud Fight headphone, an RGB keyboard, and an RGB mouse. We’ve got to discuss the mic for now. But if you ask for our honest opinions, getting those as a combo is a groundbreaking deal.
- 48Hz sampling rate and 16-bit rate.
- It has got three 14mm condensers.
- Four polar patterns- Cardioid, Stereo, Omni and Bidirectional.
- Control knobs for polar patterns, volume, and gain.
- Touch control sensor for muting/unmuting.
- Anti-vibration shock mount made of elastic ropes.
- Isolated from vibration, rumbles, and bumps.
- Suits ⅜” and ⅝” threaded setups.
- No XLR compatibility found.
Blue Yeti USB Mic
Down this listing, you will find another Blue Yeti USB mic that lies within the hundred dollar price zone. But if you take the liberty of raising your budget a bit higher, we’ve got something very extraordinary from the same inventory. It’s called the Blue Yeti USB Mic.
If you’ve been a Blue Yeti fan, let’s put a head to head comparison between this Blue Yeti USB Mic and other Yeti mics within the similar price range.
First of all, it’s the condenser and the pickup pattern. Just like Yeti Pro, it has got 3 different capsules within a way smaller price. This three capsule array will produce a clean and clutter-free broadcast-quality audio for games, YouTubing, podcasting, etc.
And there are four different pickup patterns for you – cardioid, omnidirectional, stereo and figure 8. Therefore, these qualities make it a perfect run for multi-person interviews, podcasts, conversation and anything similar.
You can choose the pickup pattern and a few other stuff right from the controls embedded onto the device body. Apart from choosing the pickup pattern, there is a microphone gain control knob, a headphone volume, and mic mute knob and an indicator LED. See that’s how you’ll be on full power on whatever is going on with the mic and recordings.
On top of that, there’s a stereo mode that picks up sounds from left to right in front of the mic. Such kind of arrangements is good enough for hosting a 3-person interview in the house.
Let’s take a quick break to appreciate a small, but significant feature of this mic, and that’s the adjustable positions of the mic. While you’re not using a stand, you can adjust the pivot of this mic based on where the source is. This will optimize the sound quality for sure.
The audio that you’ll be recording needs monitoring, right? Especially when it’s a live broadcast, it’s quite a compulsory part of the production. In this regard, Blue Yeti lets you monitor every bit of sound that it hears, and that’s 100% latency-free. On top of that, the entire connectivity is hassle-less, plug-n-play. No need to install any driver and go through any step by step installment for that.
Last but not the least, it’s the elegant design that takes its appeal to the next level. It looks like a classic, vintage audio gear that will wind up your recording studio for sure. Plus, there are a handful of colors to choose from.
- 3 condensers capsules for crystal clear recording.
- 4 pickup pattern- Cardioid, Figure-8, Omnidirectional, and Stereo.
- 16-bit depth along with a 48kHz sampling rate.
- USB output without any driver installation.
- It comes with an array of useful accessories.
- Ideal for 2 or 3 person podcast.
- No latency monitoring with real-time sound mixing.
- Positionable pivot design.
- The mic base is a bit large for small desk setup.
Long gone are those days where you had to occupy a preamp or audio interface to connect a microphone to a computer. In 2020, the market is almost saturated with USB microphones that are quite plug-n-play. On top of that, they are quite convenient and can beat many typical microphones to many extents.
The Rode NT-USB is one of those mics that we’re talking about. It belongs to the genre of mics that had been designed to have an integral stand. The stand helps it to fit on any table, and be ready to use just at the notice of a moment.
Rode- the Australian audio giant believes that NT-USB is more than just a podcast microphone. Along with some inner features, we had found some serious reasons to support them in this regard.
Let’s explain why!
Rode NT-USB comes with a cute looking tripod along with an integrated pop shield. Although it doesn’t have a suspension cradle, the nicely built standard mounting pretty much covers the gap up. With that, you can position this mic at any angle within an arc of 180 degrees.
In case you want to attach it to a random plastic tripod or a mic stand, that’s also an easy go. If a pop shield is your necessity for audio streaming, then you can get one and place it between the mounting ring and the mic’s base.
USB mics vs studio-quality mics – this had been a battle of the decade. To meet both ends, Rode NT-USB sports a condenser capsule that is almost of the same quality as any studio-grade microphones.
The USB connectivity options that this mic brings with it is quite the best within its genre. The place where you would connect an XLR cable is the place where you would connect USB in this device. A stereo minijack is also there on the side for housing the headphones. You can control the minijack’s audio output through the conveniently sized knobs.
It connects well to both Mac or Windows. Installing Apple’s Camera Connection Kit, you can also connect it to an iPad.
Let’s be more specific about the audio quality. The polar pattern is Cardioid, and the maximum SPL is 110dB. Just like any regular mic, the frequency range is 20-20,000 Hz.
The next selling point regarding that is the least amount of self-noise that this device has. Recording podcasts, live interviews, and podcasts will reach to pain in the ears of your audience.
- Cardioid polar pattern.
- It comes with a pop shield and a tripod stand.
- 6m cable included connecting to the USB port.
- Zero-latency monitoring with the 3.5mm headphone jack.
- You can mix and control the audio output and source output.
- Connects macOS, Windows, and iOS.
- A good pick for streaming interviews, podcasts, etc.
- Doesn’t come with a suspender cradle.
Samson G-Track Pro
The next pick on the podium is the Samson G-Track Pro, which happens to be a high-end mic in terms of price and all. But once we dug down into the detail features, we found a number of significant selling points of this mic.
Let’s break them down into bite-size chunks!
They call this USB mic ‘More than a mic’ and that’s almost correct. Because, apart from using it as a streaming microphone, you can also record instruments along with vocal records. There is a standard ¼” audio instrument input. You can connect guitar, bass, keyboard and any other instrument that creates recordable audio. Throughout the same feature, podcasters and radio jockeys can add a sub-mixer to record voices of guests/additional persons in the room.
As a matter of fact, Samson had got a number of similar mics in the market, of which Samson G-Track Pro is one. If we keep them all head to head, there are some significant points to note.
First of all, This Samson G-Track Pro is the only mic in the product line with an additional analog sound input that you can mix up with your streaming audio.
Also, it has got all three polar patterns of Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Bidirectional, where a few other models have got only one or two from these three. So, when you’re hosting an interview session with multiple guests, this mic can grab audio input from all of the directions. That’s quite likely for anyone with regular podcasting or streaming sessions, right?
But if we look at the shortcomings, the first thing that appears is the frequency response rate. Where a number of other mics had got a range of 20-20,000Hz, this G-Track Pro has got it from 50Hz to 20,000hz. So, low-frequency sounds are not going to be well streamed with Samson G-Track Pro.
And when it comes to listening to whatever you’re streaming through this mic, you’ve got the ⅛” stereo headphone jack in the act. It sports a zero-latency monitoring feature with level control through the control panel.
The dual 1” condenser capsules are capable of capturing all the details of any sessions and convert them into stream-able audio signals instantly. The 24-bit, 96kHz digital recording resolutions is something that every podcaster would crave for. The audio interface is, therefore, called the all-in-one professional USB microphone interface. And we can’t agree more with that tagline.
No matter if it’s tasks like steaming, music recording, audio recording, podcasting, and any similar chores, the Samson G-Track Pro can be a right suit for you. All you need to do is to enlarge your budget in case you’re thinking of a cheap, low-end microphone that works for amateurs only.
- You can select from Mono or 2-track recording modes.
- Sports a 1 inches condenser capsule.
- Pickup patterns are selectable from three polar patterns.
- 24-bit, 96khz audio recording.
- No driver installation required.
- ¼” input for musical instruments.
- ⅛” headphone output with zero latency.
- Die-cast zinc construction.
- It doesn’t suit iOS devices.
Blue Yeti Nano
‘Blue Yeti’ and ‘Nano’ – audio enthusiasts can already imagine a lot when they hear these two trigger words in one place. To turn the expectation into reality, it’s the mic that meets all of the ‘blue yeti’ standards but in smaller and more compact body size.
Want to know more? Here you go:
Yeti Nano is a dual condenser USB mic that is neither a high-end mic nor a toy-grade one. It’s designed to meet the expectations for every podcaster, YouTuber, Gamer, Voiceover artists, and general voice conversation. 24-bit sound quality, a very compact design, and a plug-n-play USB connectivity – that’s what defines one of Blue Yeti’s top-selling mics.
As you know, there are two polar patterns in this mic. The cardioid pattern is perfect for streaming live or recording solo tracks. Where the Omni-cardioid pattern shifts you towards the ‘in the room’ conference mode.
While you’re recording or streaming live, you want to keep an eye on what’s being recorded by the mic. To check that box, Blue yeti introduces zero-latency monitoring in this device. With the built-in headphone output and the volume control, you can be in charge of the output, all the way. Through that, you can also check the volume or so before you go live on air.
The adjustability had been taken to the next level with the Yeti Nano. Right from the control panel, you can control all three mic volumes, headphone volume, and the pickup patterns. Say goodbye to the hectic days of software control.
We’ve taken a glimpse of the connectivity before. It’s time for the details now.
This USB mic can connect to both Mac and Windows. The entire connectivity is driver free. All you need to do is connect it to the USB port and set the recording device as an external mic – that’s it! You’re ready to speak now.
But it’s not an app-phobic mic at all. In case you want to fine-tune the audio that had been recorded, there comes the Blue Sherpa companion app. It lets you control the audio at a deep level where you can manage the mic gain, monitoring preferences, headphone volume, and the pickup patterns. The app is compatible with desktop/laptop pc, and it’s a very intuitive one. We’d have an honor of mention for the UX/UI design of the app anyway.
Last but not the least, it’s the price. We wonder how Blue Yeti had been able to keep the price point under the 100 dollar range, making sure that it doesn’t compromise the quality.
Although it has not got 3 pickup patterns and XLR output like some other Yeti mics do. But for the price, we’d definitely overlook that. So would any professional audio enthusiasts, we’re sure.
- Dual condenser, cardioid, and Omni-cardioid.
- 24-bit depth with a 48kHz sampling rate.
- Gain control and other controls via the desktop app.
- Plug and play USB mic, no driver installation needed.
- Comes with a broadcasting broad arm.
- A compact footprint with esthetic design.
- Quite a budget-friendly device.
- No XLR output.
Razer Seiren X
You can’t expect anything promising within a low price range as long as streaming mics are concerned. And we were a strong believer of this before we met Razer Seiren X USB mic. Not all of the features are as diverse or high end as other top listed mics, but for the price what it has got, we’d keep it in our list.
Let’s see what Razer has got us in the Razer Seiren X!
At the first impression, the form factors received a token of appreciation from us. The sleek and compact anodized Aluminium design with three color diversity is a good thing for Razer Seiren X. You won’t be expecting this much sleekness from a budget microphone.
We would like to say that it has got multiple pickup patterns, but it has not. The only pickup pattern you’ll find around this model is the Super cardioid pattern. It would be good for recording audio from a tight angle. Nonetheless, the audio that it records is crisp enough to set it up with your YouTube videos, or streamings, etc. Also, we’ve seen significant filtering of the background noise.
There is a shock mount, as you can see. But all it does is, it provides a basic level of protection from vibrations, bumps, etc. Therefore, you can have primitive protection from sound abnormalities.
The frequency response is 20Hz to 20,000Hz, which is convenient. The transient response is also good. Overall, this mic can pick up a wide range of noise and voices provided that it’s coming from the right angle(as it’s not able to record 360).
In case you want to monitor what you’re recording, there is a zero-latency monitoring feature for you through the software. Although it won’t be required once you are done with the basic settings. Specifically, gamers don’t bother too much about it. In case you’re a streamer or podcasters, that might be a necessity. But for professional-grade podcasting, we won’t say this is the best mic out there.
Gamers would find it a quite good fit for their demands of game streaming with a stream of their profile as well. For that, you might have to get the streaming camera as well.
One drawback is, it doesn’t come up with the arm stand or full-scale shock mount. In case you need one, you’ve to spend almost as much money as this mic itself costs.
Having all that said, we still don’t think you can throw it away just because it’s not as feature-rich as the other mics of the list. We would love to call it a rather entry-level mic with all the basic qualities in it. If you’re looking forward to one, Razer Seiren X can be a bang for the bucks.
- Compact, anodized aluminum body structure.
- Single cardioid pickup pattern.
- Records at a right angle with diminishing background noise.
- Zero-latency monitoring.
- A mic for the users with a limited budget.
- Built-in shock mount.
- No serious protection from vibration or bumps.
Antlion Audio ModMic
Antlion Audio ModMic is an attachable mini microphone. Unlike the others on the list, you can’t put it on the mount or on the tabletop. But what you can do is attach it to your shirt or t-shirt and keep on broadcasting and streaming just as you would do with other mics. This particularly suits streamers who won’t just sit on a chair and record. This is more of a moving gadget that will be with you wherever you go within the range.
Let’s talk about the technical stuff out. ModMic 4 lets you turn your favorite headphone into a mic, where the 3.5mm jack is there to connect these two. It has a unidirectional pattern with automatic noise cancellation. Being unidirectional lets it to capture sound from one direction, the ‘upward’. This also lets the noise cancellation feature work accurately.
To set this up to your headphone on PC, all you need to do is insert the 3.5mm jack into the audio/mic port. A simple swap between the built-in mic to the external mic and you’re ready to record. If you an Antilon Y adapter to the blend, you can turn your ModMic into a headphone-mic combo. In this way, it won’t be any less than conventional desktop microphones.
It’s extremely made to be mobile-friendly. So, you can add it to your smartphone, Xbox, PlayStation 4, Wii-U, etc. For using it with Mac, you might have to use an adapter as an extension.
Now, there are two different versions of the same Antlion Audio ModMic here. One comes up with a Mute switch, where the other one doesn’t. For the moment, we’ve got the one without the mute switch. The other one would cost a few bucks more.
The cable length is 3 meters, which we found long enough. No matter if you attach it to your headphones or use it directly to the computer/mobile the length will be good to go.
- 3-meter long cable (non-adjustable).
- Mute switch enabled (optional).
- It comes with a hardshell travel case for safety.
- It can be attached to any headphone.
- Unidirectional recording pattern.
- Automatic noise cancellation.
- Convenient and comfortable to use.
- Connects to Mac, Windows, Smartphones, PS4, Xbox, etc.
- Rigid mic part to steadily use with headphones.
- The recording quality isn’t interview/podcasting friendly.
Picking up the best microphone for streaming comes with a number of things to keep an eye on. To make it easier for you, we’ve crafted a thorough buyer’s guide.
The Polar Patterns
As long as you’re going to use your mic for streaming, we assume that there would be a definite number of persons behind the mic. In case it’s just you, you’ve to go with mics that have a unidirectional polar pattern. Similarly, based on the number of people(direction of audio input), there are other polar patterns such as – Omnidirectional, bi-directional, Cardioid, Figure-8, Stereo, etc.
The Control Panel
While streaming, you are probably going to be engaged in other sorts of work too. So, you can’t gather that much attention to control your mic in detail.
So, what good mic manufacturers do is, they provide you with easy, convenient knobs to control features like volume, mic gain, cardioid pattern, mute/unmute, etc. The more of these controls you have, the better the overall streaming quality would be.
A mic that stands on a desk or stand needs to be mounted properly on a shock mount or so. Why is that? Well, this is intended to be done mostly to avoid unexpected bumps, shakes, and vibrations to take a toll on the audio quality. If the mic comes with a built-in shock mount, then that’s the best. Otherwise, consider getting a shock mount right along with the mic itself.
The parent device that you are going to use can be a Mac, PC, Mobile and even gaming devices like PS4, Xbox, etc. Now, whatever you’re choosing to stream from, should go hand to hand with your mic.
Most of the good quality mics are compatible with almost all of the convenient streaming devices. All you need to do is double-check this fact before buying. Otherwise, you’re going to end up spending another chunk of money to buy the adapter or whatever that connects these two devices together.
Question: Do I need a shock mount to stream live?
Answer: In case the vibrations and bumps around the recording room are meant to be eliminated, then YES. Some mics have their built-in shock mount as well.
Question: Which polar pattern should I go for?
Answer: Based on the number of directions the audio is going to come from, you have to pick up one answer from these many – Unidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional, Figure-8, etc.
Question: Do these mics connect to Mac?
Answer: As long as your Mac has a USB port, it does. But the latest Mac Air and Mac Pro would need you to use a dongle anyway.
Question: Can I use the mics to Xbox and PlayStation?
Answer: Some of them can connect to these devices. Check the feature list for certainty on this factor.
Question: How much would a good microphone for streaming would cost?
Answer: The standard budget for such microphones should be between 100 to 150 dollars. Although there are cheaper ones, we’d suggest you stick to this range for a better return on investment.
We’ve reached the dead bottom of this review on the best microphones for streaming. These 8 mics sport some similar features, where a lot of other features are unique from product to product. Based on what kind of streaming you are up to and what your other products are. In fact, with each of these mics, a handful of other accessories (pop up filters, mounts) are available.
So we are certain if the selection of your streaming microphone goes well, the other technical stuff will follow.