Best USB Microphones

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 27, 2017
Need a microphone to use at home but can’t afford a professional one? We can offer a solution. With high-quality specifications and usability, a USB microphone will meet your requirements. Best 5 USB microphones are reviewed below. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
RECORDING PATTERNS
FREQUENCY RESPONSE
RECORDING SAMPLE RATES
FEATURES
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
SIZE
WARRANTY
 
PROS

Innovative technologies applied during Blue Yeti designing allow you to make records using 4 modes without any sound distortion.

CONS

The microphone design might seem a bit bulky.

OUR VERDICT

With its quite professional features, Blue Yeti USB microphone will make your recordings exceptionally high-quality. Moreover, you can choose this model in several colors.

detailed parameters
RECORDING PATTERNS

Cardioid, Stereo, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional

FREQUENCY RESPONSE

20 Hz - 20 kHz

RECORDING SAMPLE RATES

16 Bit, 48 kHz

FEATURES

Adjustable stand, Controls on the body, Headphone jack

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Windows, Mac OS X

SIZE

4.72" x 4.92" x 11.61"; Weight (mic): 1.2 lbs

WARRANTY

2 years

PROS
Its metal body provides Audio-Technica microphone with superb durability. Also, you can easily control the headphones volume with the mic elements.
CONS
Bright LED indicator might be inconvenient to use in a dark room.
OUR VERDICT
With this model of USB microphone, you'll be able to record songs at home or in the studio, as well as use it during live concerts. It is highly convenient and can be connected to pro recording equipment.
detailed parameters
RECORDING PATTERNS
Cardioid
FREQUENCY RESPONSE
50 Hz - 15 kHz
RECORDING SAMPLE RATES
16 Bit, 44.1/48 kHz
FEATURES
USB and XLR ports, Headphone jack, Tripod desk stand
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Windows, Mac OS X
SIZE
7.2" x 2.01"; Weight: 0.6 lbs
WARRANTY
Limited lifetime warranty
PROS
Usability and durability of this microphone is determined by chrome-plated body, 25-mm condenser diaphragms, fold-back leg and transportation bag.
CONS
Fingerprints are noticeable on a chrome body.
OUR VERDICT
High-quality recording features together with retro design will become not only a perfect choice for your needs but also a nice decoration of your interior.
detailed parameters
RECORDING PATTERNS
Cardiodic
FREQUENCY RESPONSE
20 Hz - 20 kHz
RECORDING SAMPLE RATES
16 Bit, 44.1/48 kHz
FEATURES
CD quality recording, Headphone output, No need for drivers, Works with iPad from Apple
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Windows, Mac OS X
SIZE
1.92" x 3.9"; Weight: 0.57 lbs
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
The option to choose the necessary recording pattern and the 360° sound sensitivity will provide you with perfect recordings.
CONS
There is no headset output.
OUR VERDICT
Besides its high-quality features, you'll also appreciate the possibility to use Blue Snowball with your iPad having installed Fire, GarageBand, Blue Fire or other applications in advance.
detailed parameters
RECORDING PATTERNS
Cardioid, Cardioid with -10 dB pad, Omnidirectional
FREQUENCY RESPONSE
40 Hz - 18 kHz
RECORDING SAMPLE RATES
16 Bit, 44.1 kHz
FEATURES
Switch between 3 recording patterns, No need for drivers
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Windows, Mac OS X
SIZE
12.7" in circumference; Weight: 1 lb
WARRANTY
2 years
PROS
Bass-reduction switch is designed to reduce outside noise for better quality of your records.
CONS
There is no on/off button.
OUR VERDICT
Due to special protective modes, CAD U37 USB microphone doesn't distort recorded sounds so you'll get high-quality records on your PC.
detailed parameters
RECORDING PATTERNS
Cardioid, Cardioid with - 10 dB pad
FREQUENCY RESPONSE
20 Hz - 20 kHz
RECORDING SAMPLE RATES
16 Bit, 48 kHz
FEATURES
No need for software, USB cable and desktop stand included
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Windows, Mac OS X
SIZE
7" x 9" x 2.5"; Weight: 2 lbs
WARRANTY
2 years

What is a Usb Microphone

USB microphone is a device capable of converting voice and other sounds into electrical signals followed by the transmission of recorded material to any gadget with a USB port. Having your records on your PC or laptop, you’ll be able to edit them the way you like. In comparison to other types of microphones, this model is lighter and more compact. Built-in sound card of USB microphone is what provides high-quality records. Charging this type of microphone is the easiest thing in the world since all you need to make it work is to connect to a USB port. Nowadays, USB microphone is a widespread occurrence applied during podcast and interview recordings, and online communication.

If you are a gamer who can’t live without online game streaming, best gaming PCs might interest you. And together with one of the reviewed USB microphones, you’ll be able to communicate with other gamers without delays.

What Features to Compare

Recording Patterns

The first thing you should pay attention to when choosing a USB microphone is  its recording patterns. There are four main modes: cardioid, stereo, bidirectional, and omnidirectional. Each of them lets you record sounds at different angles. In other words, there exist microphones of narrow and wide action spectrums. Thus, if your USB microphone supports several recording pattern modes, you’ll have more possibilities to get a high-quality record. Keep in mind that different recording patterns permit you to record a wider range of sounds, be it your voice or musical instrument.

Recording Quality

The quality of your records depends on different factors. The first and foremost is frequency response. The bigger the range is, the more sounds your microphone can identify. Thus, 20 Hz – 20 kHz range is the best choice for it's best perceived by human beings. A recording sample rate is of the utmost importance, too. In general, there are two options – 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz. If you want to record a CD, the first option will suit you better while 48 kHz will be a good choice for adding music tracks to videos.

Compatibility and Size

Choosing your new USB microphone, you’ll probably think about its size. Of course, you’ll make your decision taking into account the size of a room where you’re going to set your new device. However, we dare suggest that you’d like your USB microphone to be compact. That’s why we’ve tried to do our best to choose relatively compact models. Compatibility is a significant feature too. Taking into account various existing software, make sure that your microphone works with the one installed on your PC. The last feature which might interest you is how complicated the installation process is, whether you need any drivers, etc. The simpler it is, the faster you will be able to start working once you connect a microphone to your PC or laptop.

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Blue Yeti

Sound Recording of the Highest Level

Blue Microphones company knows a lot about recording equipment and sound in general. That’s why it does its best to provide customers with high-quality products. Blue Yeti USB microphone is one of them. Possessing almost professional features, this model will let you experiment with sound recording the way you like. It becomes possible due to three microphone cartridges capable of catching more sounds. What is more, four pattern modes allow you to record sound from different angles. The cardioid mode is the best choice for vocal, podcasts, voice-overs recording. Bidirectional and omnidirectional modes are perfect for interviews as they allow you to record sounds coming from various directions. Stereo mode is a cornerstone of this microphone as its purpose is to provide pure sound without distortion.

Review of Blue Yeti USB Condenser Microphone

Flexibility of Application

To get proper sound quality, it is important to set a microphone at a right angle. Understanding this fact, Blue Yeti manufacturer has provided the mic with an adjustable stand so you can turn and tilt it any way you need. 90° tilt range gives you quite a great choice of microphone positions so you can be sure that your records are of high quality. At the bottom part of Blue Yeti there are USB and headphone outputs. We would like to draw your attention to the headphones. Having connected them to the microphone, you’ll hear what you’re recording in real-time and be able to adjust sound recording settings without delay. Moreover, you have all the necessary buttons and switches on the mic’s body. Taking into account all the features Blue Yeti USB microphone offers, we can easily say this mic would suit equally well both professional and amateur users.

Blue Yeti USB Condenser Microphone in the use

A Piece of Advice

The name of this USB microphone hasn't been chosen accidentally. Yeti isn’t a very small device, so you’ll have to clear some space to set it in your room or recording office. Keep it in mind while purchasing the Blue Yeti.

Detailed review of Blue Yeti USB Condenser Microphone

More Products to Consider

Although Blue Microphones company has done its best to provide a clear sound recording with this Blue Yeti model, you can get even purer sound using a foam windscreen for large microphones.

Blue Yeti USB Condenser Microphone application

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Blue Yeti
Blue Yeti
 

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB

Multifunctional Device

USB microphone is supposed to work somewhere near computer or laptop. But what should you do if you need to make records in a studio or give a live concert? Buy another microphone? There’s no need for that with Audio-Technica model. The fact is that it is equipped with two outputs – USB and XLR (both cables are sold with the microphone). The second cable is much longer than the first one and it gives you a chance to connect the mic to a variety of other recording equipment or speakers. Thus, you can record songs at home or in a studio, or perform them live during a concert once you connect the right cable to the right equipment. The classic design enables you to hold the microphone comfortably, and you’ll have a chance to tilt it the way you need anytime. However, if you want to use it at home, for example, during a Skype conference, there is a tripod desk stand which lets you communicate hands-free for enhanced convenience.

Review of Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB USB/XLR Microphone

Interesting Fact

Audio-Technica microphones are an embodiment of high quality and professionalism. Did you know that microphones of this manufacturer were used during Olympic Games in 1996? To be more precise, live streams and award ceremonies were carried out with Audio-Technica microphones. The company has also provided its microphones and other sound equipment for Sydney and Beijing Olympic Games. Grammy is another event that uses Audio-Technica for live performances. Killing two birds with one stone, the company provided singers and entertainers with high-quality microphones and presented itself to the public.

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB USB/XLR Microphone in the use

Useful Tip

The quality of a recorded sound is heard better with headphones. When you listen to what you record, you can understand the reason for distortions and take steps to prevent them during the next record.

More Products to Consider

As it was mentioned above, the headphones will come in handy during sound recording. Check out our review on the over-ear headphones to find out the best ones to use with an USB microphone.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone Review and Sound Test
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB
Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB
 

Samson Meteor Mic

Your Assistant in Communication

Internet has become nearly the first method of communication nowadays. We can keep in touch with people all over the world using numerous programs and applications such as Skype. However, modern technologies are developing dramatically and we’re not always satisfied with the sound a built-in microphone catches. That’s why we tend to buy additional microphones to improve sound quality, and Samson Meteor USB microphone can become one of them. Thanks to USB cable, you can use it with almost every device, and what differs this model from many other mics offered on the market is that you can use it even with iPad! Although you’ll need to buy an additional USB cable, it is still a great advantage. Regardless of the device type you’re going to use this microphone with, you can be sure that sound quality will be great anyway. Thanks to 25-mm condenser diaphragms, Samson Meteor can catch every word and transmit it to your interlocutor without distortion.

Review of Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone

Retro

If you glance at all microphone models represented on the market, what will you say about their look? Well, all of them are different. What's so special about this one? Its style is retro! The chrome-plated body attracts attention and you feel like a jazz star when you sing. Besides its outstanding design, the manufacturer has also taken care of the microphone’s usability. Thus, fold-back legs let you put Samson Meteor on a desk or another surface. And if you need to take it to a recording studio or another place, a transportation bag will allow you to do so safely.

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone in the use

More Products to Consider

Of course, chrome body looks beautiful and attractive. However, there is a drawback – it is easily dirtied with fingerprints that are rather visible on the microphone’s surface. That’s why we recommend you to use a microfiber cloth to keep your Samson Meteor clean and shiny. By the way, the cloth is soft enough and doesn’t scratch the mic, so even several years after the purchase, your equipment will look as if you’ve just bought it.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Review: Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone
Samson Meteor Mic
Samson Meteor Mic
 

Blue Microphones Snowball

Professional Features

If you want to get a high-quality sound record on your computer, you definitely need a high-quality microphone. However, it’s not always possible to connect a professional mic to a PC. That’s why USB microphones have been invented. Blue Snowball mic is a wonderful example. Possessing fairly professional characteristics, it will catch a fairly wide range of frequencies and record sounds without distortion. Additionally, you are able to make records in one of three recording patterns which are cardioid, cardioid with -10 dB pad, and omnidirectional. We'd like to bring your attention to the fact that this model of USB microphone is compatible with both Windows and iOS systems. Besides, you can also use it for making records via your iPad. Taking into account these features, we can claim that Blue Snowball will meet your requirements in regard to recording voice and instruments. By the way, you can do everything you need in this field for a relatively low price.

Review of Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone

Color of Your Mood

We are all used to the fact that the majority of computer accessories are of two colors – black or white. But with Blue Snowball USB Microphone you’ll be able to diversify this drabness if you want. Available in seven colors, it will suit any interior and embellish your room or studio. A round shape of the mic paired with a glazed body makes the colors even brighter. However, if you prefer a classic look, feel free to choose among white, brush aluminum, or gloss black colors.

Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone in the use

Need to Know

Before recording the final version of a song or another piece, make sure that all equipment works the way you need. Calibrate the microphone and listen to several rough versions in order to prevent possible distortions. Doing this, you’ll be sure that your final record won’t fail to meet your expectations.

More Products to Consider

When we communicate with our friends or colleagues via Skype, getting a clear video image can be very important in some situations. Take a look at our best webcams review to learn about the finest models on the market, that will provide you with the ultimate HD quality.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Blue Snowball USB Microphone Review / Test
Blue Microphones Snowball
Blue Microphones Snowball
 

CAD U37

Affordable Quality

Would you like to have maximum quality for minimum price? Well, CAD USB microphone is what you’re looking for then. This model is best for video conferences, Skype communication and any kind of streaming. Let’s consider what you’ll get on buying a CAD microphone.

  • As there is no necessity to install any software or drivers, you can start using the mic as soon as you connect it to your PC or laptop.
  • The best frequency response of 20 Hz – 20 kHz allows you to record a great variety of sounds perceptible by humans.
  • Tripod stand which comes in a box will come in handy in case you communicate via the Internet a lot. For example, if you have your own YouTube channel and need to chat with your subscribers frequently, it will be a comfortable option. The stability of a microphone will add to the sound quality.
  • The microphone is equipped with switches to provide better sound quality. An overload-protection switch rids your record of distortion caused by loud sounds. For example, you can fearlessly sing high notes and be sure your voice isn't going to sound rattling. A bass-reduction switch eliminates room noise and prevents distortions connected to close vocalization.

Review of CAD U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone

Why USB Microphone?

In comparison to familiar microphones, USB ones are more convenient to use. First of all, in the majority of cases, you don’t need to install any software to start working with it. All you need to do is connect it to your PC or laptop. Done? Now you can sing, record audios, stream videos, or communicate via Skype! Keep in mind that you can use such microphones anywhere you find a USB connection. Need to use it in another city, during a vacation, in a hotel? No problem! Another advantage is a built-in sound card that improves sound quality greatly.

CAD U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone in the use

More Products to Consider

On one hand, USB cable as a source of power supply is pretty convenient taking into consideration the fast development of modern technologies. On the other hand, it has a specific length which might limit your movements while working with it. A high-speed extension cable can become a solution and provide you with the freedom of movement.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
CAD U37 Review and Sound Test - CAD U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone Review
CAD U37
CAD U37
 

Sources:

1. Sam Mallery Using a USB Microphone with an iPad, В & H.

2. USB Microphone Buying Guide,  Sweetwater. September 5, 2016.

3.  USB Microphone Buying Guide, The HUB.  June 11, 2015.

4. Alan Henry  How to Choose the Best Microphone for Your PCLifehacker. March 24, 2014.

5. Microphone, Wikipedia. August 13, 2016.

6. Wilmarie Groenewald How to Use a USB Microphone on a PC, Techwalla. 

7. What is a USB Microphone? wiseGEEK.

8. Sam Ash Music USB Microphones for Recording, SPOTLIGHT. January 26, 2016.

9. Buying Guide for USB Microphones for PCs and Notebooks, eBay. April 14, 2015.

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