If you are looking to purchase a microphone for computer use, like podcasting and making YouTube videos, you have a lot of options.
Confusing? Yes, it can be.
You also may be a schooled in microphones, but are looking to make a decision between two or three of them.
This list is 10 USB computer microphones that have excellent ratings.
Why use these over the microphone for computer that comes with your device? Or one with a headset? If you are publishing videos, creating podcasts, live or work in a noisy environment, or simply want to Skype with friends, relatives or business associates, then reconsider what kind of microphone for computer you use.
Have you ever been using a cellphone and all of a sudden the voice becomes garbled? Or when you are outside, you can't hear over the cacophony of noise nearby?
Have you had sound cut out, go quiet, or buzz with static? Do you hate it when it sounds like you are spitting every time you say a “p” or a “b”?
It is terribly annoying. For business, it also changes the perception of the work. No one wants to turn their speakers all the way up to hear you, or suffer through skull-cracking buzzing, humming, or loud background noises.
This is why I put this list together. I produce videos and podcasts regularly. My brand depends on it.
If people can't hear me, they will leave my publications. I lose leads and customers.
Would you want to lose customers?
No, of course not.
I get asked a lot what microphone for computer podcasting I recommend. This list includes both high-end and budget microphones. By budget, I mean the best sound quality you can buy at a lower price, NOT the cheapest microphone for computer broadcasting you can find. Let's jump into this list.
Microphone for Computer Use 2015
The Blue Yeti is very popular and for good reason – it is one of the top-selling desktop microphones out there. It has a headphone jack so you can listen to yourself as you record – especially useful if you are singing or doing vocals. Features according to Amazon:
- Tri-capsule array – 3 condesner capsules can record almost any situation
- Multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo
- Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output
- Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls
- Plug ‘n play – Mac and PC compatible
This microphone for computer recording is affordable and offers excellent audio. It is space-saving and easy to use. One of the cool features is that you can switch modes to different uses.
- Cardioid – For podcasts, voiceovers or other exclusive audio captures.
- Stereo – For recording vocals or singing.
- Bidirectional – For recording interviews between two parties, usually just two people.
- Omnidirectional – For recording conference calls, group interviews or group discussions.
Because it is a plug and play USB microphone, it is a cinch to use. It requires no drivers to work. It's flexible, powerful, and easy to use. It's another plug-and-play USB microphone, and doesn't need specific drivers to work. Check out this Amazon link to read reviews and pricing.
If you are not doing singing, interviewing or conferencing, then consider getting the Snowball. Though it does not have all the bells and whistles that the Yeti has, it still has wonderful audio output. It is very popular among podcasters.
And this was the FIRST major upgrade I wanted to try out.
I ordered 1 on May 7 – Defective. When plugged in it would work for about 30min then it would stop recording audio. It would crackle then stop recording. I had 2 skype interviews being recorded it and did it both times with the Blue Snowball.
May 12th had another defective one. This time the stand that extends up to raise the mic would NOT stay put. I would raise it and it would fall. I tried turning it to make it stick… nope…. defective again.
- USB Output: The USB output enables direct integration with a desktop or laptop computer, allowing CD-quality recording
- Dual Capsule Design: The dual capsule design incorporates omnidirectional and cardioid elements to give you a choice
- -10dB Pad: A -10dB pad switch eliminates noise and distortion when capturing signals at extreme volume levels
- Accessories Included: A desktop stand and USB cable are included so you can begin recording right away
Like the Yeti, you can use omnidirectional and cardioid pickup patterns for one-on-one or 360 degree sound capture. Plug and play means no extra drivers to download and install. Some would consider this a great perk – it comes in a variety of colors from white to dark gray.
This tiny but portable USB condenser microphone comes with its own tripod. Though small in size, it is big on functionality and versatility. The chrome body and tripod can be adjusted to tilt, stand or swivel according to how you need it to work for you. The major points according to Amazon:
- Large (25mm) diaphragm condenser for rich audio recording
- Cardioid pickup pattern
- Smooth, flat frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz
- CD quality, 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution
- Fold-back leg design provides optimal mic positioning
Small and tough, it can be folded up and carried around outside the office space. You can take it with you and plug it into an iPad (with an adapter) and use it on the go. It is great for recording music with the band as well as doing a voiceover or podcast. Plug and play design means no extra drivers to download.
This USB Condenser Microphone can record on your computer as well as be paired up with advanced digital recording equipment. Amazon details:
- Side-address studio condenser with USB digital output (Windows and Mac compatible)
- Crystal-clear, natural sound for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, and voiceover use
- Custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response
- Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source
- Low self-noise – perfectly suited for sophisticated digital recording equipment
It has to be one of the easiest microphones on this list to use. It also works seamlessly with audio editing software. The sound it captures is high-quality, crisp and clean. It also cleans out ANY ambient noise, making it sound like you recorded in a state-of-the-art recording studio. There is no headphone jack or buttons to use – which means it does all of the work for you.
Though it is one of the budget microphones that made the list, it is one of the top-selling microphones on Amazon. Amazon's details:
- Dynamic microphone element designed for vocals and instruments
- Cardioid pick-up pattern isolates the main sound source and minimizes background noise
- Smooth, extended frequency response is excellent for singing, speech and instruments
- Built in pop filter minimizes “P-popping”
- On-Off switch for instant mute
Plug and play, so this microphone can be hooked up and used straightaway. It is multifunctional, so you can use it for podcasts (cardioid), as well as singing and playing instruments. It has a built-in feature that takes the popping and snapping out of recordings. Some say that there is a loud buzzing on their recordings when using the microphone. However, when reading the tutorials or user forums, the buzzing can be eliminated by grounding the power source. Overall, it is a fantastic microphone for the price.
- Plug and Play USB Connectivity allows the convenience of digital recording
- Contoured frequency response for clean, instrumental reproduction and rich vocal pickup
- Includes Padded, zippered pouch and USB cable (3m / 9.8ft)
- Monitor Mix Control for blending microphone and playback audio
- Integrated pre-amp with Microphone Gain Control allows control of input signal strength
It is just as good doing podcasts from a home computer as it is doing broadcasts in the acoustical black holes that are large halls. If you want a USB computer microphone that is the next best thing to sophisticated professional mikes, this is it.
- Broadcast sound quality
- 28mm dynamic capsule
- 18-Bit Resolution, 8 – 48 kHz sampling
- Windows and Mac compatible
- Tight Cardioid pattern for superior off axis sound rejection
Not only can you hook it up to your Mac and PC, you can hook it up to your iPad. Get a kit for the iPad and you can have one sweet mobile podcasting station. This mic has a manual volume control, so you have easier control of the volume. It works well with audio software and is easy to set up and use on both computer and mobile devices. It has a special feature to take the bite out of “p” and “b” sounds. The Rode Podcaster can isolate your voice and bring it to the forefront of any podcast.
The Samson Q1U microphone is small but tough. It can take bumps, falls, being stepped on, and more. It is a USB mic, which means it is plug and play. It can plug into Macs, PCs, and mobile devices, including smartphones. Amazon's description and highlights:
- Plugs directly into any computer with a USB input, no drivers required
- Compatible with most computer-based digital audio workstation software
- Super cardioid pickup pattern
- 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution
- Includes desktop mic stand, mic clip, USB cable and carry pouch
- Dynamic handheld mic with USB output
- Compatible with any computer based DAW
- High quality A/D converter with 16-bit, 48kHz sampling rate
- Tripod desk stand included
You can podcast and sing with it as it is great for solos and single-person performances. Though it comes with a ten foot cord, you have to keep it close to your mouth in order to make sure that the sound picks up. It has a super-cardioid polar pattern, which means that it will make you sound like you are the only person in the room. It comes with a stand and a clip, which makes it easy to use even hands off.
The first feature you notice about this mic is that it is shaped kind of like a stealth fighter. A tiny one at that. Like a stealth fighter, it packs a punch that it is unexpected. Here's what Amazon says about this little beauty:
- Frequency response tailored for speech
- Omnidirectional pick-up pattern for 360 degree coverage
- Condenser microphone element for high sensitivity
- Ten-foot USB cable for flexible mic placement
- Low profile for unobtrusive recording
Designed for both one on one and many in a room, this microphone for computer desktops is especially popular among business owners who do conference calls. It is also popular among podcasters and customers who Skype. For podcasting and one on one projects, it is a condenser mic to cancel out a lot of the popping, hissing and background noise that comes with ordinary microphones. If you don't like a big, clunky microphone showing up in your videos, this also great for low-profile audio equipment.
- 14mm diaphragm USB condenser microphone
- Cardioid pickup pattern
- 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution
- Smooth, flat frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz
- iPad and USB bus powered
- Chrome-plated body
- Removable magnetic base for optimal desktop positioning
- Ultra-clear voice capture for Skype, Face Time and voice recognition software applications
This microphone for computer use is designed for portability and size, but there are couple things it cannot do. It is cardioid, which means it only picks up sound from one source. It does not block out all of the noise in the background, some of it is still audible, but you still get a good quality sound capture. It is plug and play, which means it plugs in, quick set up and use, and it works with different audio software programs. Great little microphone for podcasting and videos.
Final word on what I got on a microphone for computer use, podcasts and videos.
I ended up buying the CAD U37 USB Studio Recording Microphone Bundle with Pop Filter and Polishing Cloth. I like this microphone for computer podcasting, making videos and voice overs.
Which microphone for the computer do you use?
What do you use them for?