USB mics are becoming an invaluable tool for the professionals on the go. They have become so popular because of their convenience.
They have simple plug-and-play connectivity with built-in preamps as well as internal analog to digital converters. Therefore, one does not need to buy a lot of equipment to get high-quality recordings on a computer, tablet or smartphone.
USB microphones can be used for various purposes; video conferencing and meetings, recording music, for court reporters as well as investigative journalists for recording interviews.
These mics come in handy to substitute the recordings one would have obtained from professional studios. They are all cost-effective depending on the brand and functionality.
USB microphones enable the user to bypass the computer’s built-in sound card for recording so that you can acquire better sound quality. Such microphones come with the necessary amplification so that the signal is at the right level.
While many other recording microphones may require some added features, USB microphones are very easy to use. Most of them are just plug and play. No need for a sound card or software to record. Despite their simple nature, they can record studio-quality audio that will fit the users’ needs.
Generally, all USB microphones have the following features;
- Easy plug and play
- Works across all platforms (Mac, Windows, and Tablet). They need to have the proper adapters.
- Good quality recording at a significantly low budget.
Our Top Pick – Apogee Hype Mic
Our top pick on this list is Apogee Hype Mic. The Apogee Hype Mic is a studio-quality analog compressor. It has a premium cardioid condenser microphone capsule.
The mic is good for singing, recording acoustic instruments, doing podcasts, voiceovers, interviews, YouTube, live streaming as well as conference calls. Once you purchase the mic, you get premium accessories such as a tripod, pop filters, and a carrying case.
This stands out to be our best pic of the available USB mics in the market as its quality of sound is unmatchable.
Top 3 Picks
Best Rated: Apogee Hype Mic – This is a multifunctional microphone with the best sound quality you will get in the market, thus making it as our best-rated USB microphone.
Best Value: Shure MV88+ – Shure portable videography bundle made it to our best value USB mic as it comes complete with a kit that assures you the value for your money. It is good for outdoor recording as it will come with a windjammer to reduce unwanted wind noise.
Best Budget: Blue Yeti Nano Premium– Based on the budget, we found the Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB microphone best suited for this. It goes for only $29 on amazon.
Comparison Table for the Best USB Microphones
|Apogee Hype Mic||-Analog compressor|
-Premium cardioid condenser
|Shure MV88+||-Stereo condenser|
-Both audio and video recording rig
|Blue Yeti Nano Premium||-Both cardioid and omnidirectional modes|
|Rode NT-USB||-Cardioid condenser|
|Shure MV5||-3 DSP Preset Modes|
|Rode Podcaster||-No DSP|
-Inbuilt zero-latency headphone jack
Purchasing any of the listed items will be dependent on your budget as well as what it will be used for. Quality is always essential when it comes to selecting audio devices. Our selection will help you weigh your option and end up with the best microphone for your recording needs.
If your priority is professional studio-quality recording, we can assure you Apogee Hype Microphone is a sure deal. This is a USB microphone with analog compression for capturing vocals and instruments, streaming, podcasting or even gaming.
Some of the good features you will find with this mic include;
- It comes with a studio-quality analog compressor
- Has a premium cardioid condenser microphone capsule
- It comes with headphone output which has a zero-latency recording
- Pure digital connection with the sound quality of up to 24-bit/96kHz.
- Comes with accessories like tripod, pop filter as well as a carrying case.
This is why it was our top pick
The microphone’s unique analog compression enables vocals like none other. The mic has three compression settings, which gives you a balanced and quality recording thus eliminating much processing and mixing.
When using this mic, you will realize it brings a level of smoothness and warmth to acoustic instrument recording. This is made possible by the varying compression levels that allow the microphone to record the fullest tone of your instrument. The mic is also built for high SPL levels giving good clarity to loud acoustic instruments.
Podcasts, voiceovers, interviews, YouTube, live streaming, etc.
The HypeMic is suitable for all these recordings. The mic can balance audio dynamics for greater clarity and thus enabling users to get quality audio that does not need further ‘processing.’ Also, the mic is compatible with Mac/PC as well as an iOS app.
This mic comes with a blend feature that allows you to record as well as monitor your recordings through a headphone with zero latency.
Once you purchase the microphone, you will also get a carry case, custom pop filter as well as a premium desktop tripod.
- Easy to use, ‘plug-and-play’
2) Shure MV88+
Shure is a well-known brand that manufactures top-notch sound products. Shure MV88+ is a portable videography bundle for professional recording. It is an easy-to-connect device as it can connect to any Apple device through a lightning connector or a USB-C. The device is portable and you are ready to record on the go.
- Compatible with iOS devices as well as android
- Stereo condenser microphone
- Both audio and video recording rig
- Comes with MV88+ video kit, SE215 earphones as well as an amv88-fur windjammer to reduce unwanted noise
Why this microphone is a top pick;
Premium stereo microphone
The recording rig connects directly to an apple or android device offering high-quality sound. As an interviewer or any other creator, these microphones comes through for you.
SE215 isolating earphones
The earphones that come with the microphones help you to monitor your recording. The earphones have a single dynamic driver that gives clear sound with deep bass. The earphones also enable sound isolation thus able to block up to 37 dB of unwanted noise. They also come with a detachable cable system for multiple connectivities.
It has a wide range of use; whether videography, self-recording, audio capture or for desktop set up that is enabled by the tripod stand.
- Can be used for both video and audio recording
- It comes with a complete set of accessories like the SE215 earphones, a windjammer.
- Can connect to both Android and iOS
Does not connect with all the Android devices as some of them do not have enough power to support the USB audio
This is a USB condenser microphone that is designed for quality podcasting, skype calls, voiceovers, or twitch streaming. It is a simple plug-and-play microphone.
- It has both cardioid and omnidirectional modes
- Comes with no-latency headphone output as well as headphone volume and mic mute
- Has a power output of 130mW
- Has standard threading for radius III Shock Mount
Why it is a top pick
Blue Yeti Nano Premium is among our top picks for the available USB microphones in the market. There are specific features that make the mic appear on our top pick list;
Two pick up patterns
The mic has both cardioid and omnidirectional modes that enables it to record in multiple settings. Cardioid mode is perfect for YouTube production, podcasting, vocals and instruments among others. In this mode, the mic captures sound sources that are directly in front of it. Omnidirectional mode enables the mic to be suitable for conference calls with multiple participants.
Blue Sherpa Companion App
With this app, you can fine-tune your sound by managing the mic gain, volume of the headphones and monitoring the pick-up patterns depending on the recording setting.
You can monitor your recordings in real-time using the built-in headphone output to make sure the sound is of the preferred quality
- No-latency monitoring
- Two pick up patterns
- Plug-and-play, thus simple to use
- Real time monitoring
- No gain control on the mic
4) Rode NT-USB
Rode is a well-known brand, and it has come up with this amazing USB microphone that produces studio-quality sound. With this microphone, you are assured to record any kind of vocals with all mainstream recording applications.
- Convenient USB connectivity
- 3.5mm stereo headphone jack which enables zero-latency
- Has a direct mix control between mic input and source output
- It is compatible with Apple iPad.
- It is cardioid
- Comes with a premium pop-filter
Why this mic is among out top picks
Highly versatile side-address microphone
Acquiring this mic enables you to record either singing and musical performances or podcasting and voiceovers.
Compatible with all mainstream recording applications
This includes both Windows and Mac OS computers. You can also use other recording apps that accept an external microphone.
The pop filter enables the microphone to reduce the plosives (sounds that produce harsh sounds like ‘B’ ‘P’ or ‘T’) that are produced during a speech or while singing.
The 3.5mm stereo headphone jack allows the use of earphones to monitor the recordings in real time.
- Comes with accessories such as a USB cable, a pop filter, tripod stand, ring mount and a zip case
- Good budget
- Easy to set up (plug-and-play)
5) Shure MV5
This is an amazing digital condenser USB microphone. Its appearance is equally appealing to the eyes. It comes as a recording kit with SRH240A headphones, MV5 microphone and lightning and USB cables. In other words, you get a whole package for your budget.
This microphone is for podcasters, musicians, or anyone who wishes to record professional audio anywhere as it is portable.
- Has 3 DSP Preset Modes for vocals, flat and instrument
- Build-in headphone output for real time monitoring
- The microphone capsule is custom-tuned for best in-class audio
- Comes with an anodized aluminum desktop stand as well as an integrated thread mount that is compatible with any standard 1/4” camera tripod stand.
- Has a portable design.
- One MicroB-to-USB cable as well as one MicroB-to-Lightning cable
Why it appears on our top picks
All in one kit
Shure MV5 comes complete as a kit. It ensures that the purchase is worth your budget. No matter where you are, you will have the convenience to record. The microphone comes with a SRH240A professional quality headphones as well as both USB and Lightning cables. Also, you will note all these components are easy to connect and use.
The SRH240A headphones are an amazing set. It provides excellent sound reproduction and comfort. It reproduces deep bass with clear mids and highs and thus clarity. You are therefore able to monitor your recordings professionally.
- It is portable
- Relatively affordable and worth the budget
- Comes with both USB and Lightning cables
- It is durable
- Ease of use
- Great sound quality
- Have no pop filters thus may record unwanted surrounding noise.
6) Rode Podcaster – A USB Dynamic Microphone
I suppose so far you have noticed that 95 percent of USB mics are condensers. But did you know there exist some few different types such the dynamic microphones? Rode Podcaster is one of them.
Surprisingly, the majority of people who make use of USB microphones possess basic home studio setups which usually lack acoustic treatment.
Any experienced sound enthusiast will explain to you that without acoustic treatment, it is recommended to go for a dynamic mic than a condenser in order to obtain better sound.
One of the best dynamic USB mics available in the market today is the Rode Podcaster. In addition to being a wonderful microphone, it is one of the few mics that come with an inbuilt zero-latency headphone jack.
For those who are not familiar with this unique feature, it enables you to listen to listen yourself when recording in real time using a set of headphones.
The problem with the majority of USB microphones is that they have a time delay which occurs when the audio signals are being converted from analog to digital when being transmitted into the computer.
People usually hear the time delay through the headphones. This makes it very challenging and almost impossible to record in such as setup.
Rode Podcaster’s inbuilt headphone jack solves this issue by transmitting the audio directly from the microphone to one’s headphones thereby eradicating the delay.
This feature is very useful for such functions as music recording.
- Better sound than condenser USB mics at home studio setup
- Inbuilt zero-latency headphone jack.
- Good for music recording
- Has no DSP
- Comes with a capsule’s shock mount and an internal pop filter
- Lacks a gain knob
USB Microphone Buyer’s Guide
When it comes to online buying, everyone is prone to being conned or personal information being stolen. There have been countless cases of online fraud and everyone is a potential victim. While we may provide a buyer’s guide, it does not give assurance of online safety. However, one can minimize such cases.
Our listed products are from among the top rated on amazon.com. This means most of the purchases might be made online through amazon. There are dangers as well as conveniences that come with online shopping.
First, online shopping is easy and convenient. On the other hand, there are a lot of fraudsters online. Also one is not able to verify the products before they are delivered. Therefore, we always advice that one takes the necessary precaution while purchasing items online.
There are various precautions you can take before making any purchase online.
- First, you must ensure you are buying genuine products. Some of the products put online for sale may not be original.
- Ensures the sellers on amazon are authorized sellers. This will prevent buying of fake products.
- While using amazon, buy only from Amazon.com and should be labelled ‘shipped and sold by amazon.com’).
- Some of the sellers will have ‘fulfilled by Amazon’ under the price. These are not authorized resellers and may end up dealing with unauthorized products.
- You can also check the seller’s feedback to see what other people say.
- Always make payments via Amazon Marketplace.
- Personal information should not be shared online.
- Protect your passwords as well as your system.
Lastly, based on our listing, any microphone you purchase you will be guaranteed of quality services and value for your budget. All the products are prone to breakage if mishandled. Therefore, ensure your items are well taken care of so that you can fully make use of them.