If you’re reading this you are probably looking to upgrade the microphone you use for gaming or streaming. Maybe you run a youtube channel and record gaming commentaries? or you are a Twitch streamer that is looking for a better microphone so you can better interact with your audience and stand out from other low quality streamers and youtubers. Audio plays a very important role in the overall production quality of your videos or streams because that’s how you interact with your subscribers/followers/audience. Although most laptops and smartphones come with a built-in microphone you can use to record, the difference in quality between these built-in microphones and a dedicated microphone is huge since the audio quality of built-in microphones are usually not high priority when creating these devices! Investing in a professional microphone will ramp up the quality of your videos and/or streams, make you stand out from other low quality youtubers and/or twitch streamers and will make viewers stick around longer. We have listed the best gaming microphones and streaming microphones for your budget.
Cheap USB Gaming Microphones
If you’re just getting started making gaming videos and/or commentaries on youtube or you’re a starting streamer on twitch you probably don’t want to sink a lot of money into it equipment yet, we understand. This category is well suited for beginners on a smaller budget (under $50) and will list the best cheap USB microphones within this budget. These microphones will provide the best bang for your buck and are a huge leap forward in audio quality compared to the built-in microphone of your laptop or smartphone without breaking the bank.
The first microphone in our ‘cheap microphone’ category is the Fifine USB Studio Broadcast & Recording Condenser Microphone. The Fifine USB Microphone is incredibly easy to set-up: just plug the microphone into the USB port of your PC, laptop or Mac and you’re ready to start recording. No installing drivers or other software! The microphone has a 12-inch microphone core, built-in sound card and a distinctive cardioid polar pattern which makes it ideal for gaming, streaming, commentaries and voice overs. The mic has a durable aluminum alloy metal construction and a steel mesh look. The microphone is shipped with a adjustable tripod stand, anti-wind foam cap (which also filters air circulation out of your recordings) and a 75 inch USB cable.
The CAD U37 allows you to record studio quality audio directly to your computer via plug and play USB. Compatible with both Windows and Mac OS you can simply plug the microphone into your desktop or laptop and start recording. The CAD U37 side-address condenser microphone is a great choice for use as a gaming microphone and a streaming microphone. The U37 has two switches on the front of the mic. The first switch allows you to quickly adjust the microphone sensitivity so the sound quality is clear for loud voices or sounds. The second switch on the U37 mic is designed to reduce picking up deep-bass sounds. Put this switch in ‘Bass Reduction’ to remove ventilation noise or other room noise. The wide frequency and focused pickup pattern are ideal for desktop recording such as gaming commentaries and is very easy to setup with the supplied desktop mic stand.
It’s never been easier to record high quality sound for youtube, twitch, podcasts or any other sound project! Simply plug the microphone directly into your Mac or PC and start recording – no drivers or other software to install. The snowball iCE USB microphone delivers audio quality that’s light years ahead of your computers built-in microphone. The custom cardioid condenser capsule offers crystal-clear audio for your gaming commentaries and twitch livestreams. The sound quality of this mic is by far the best of the ‘cheap microphones’ category and is highly recommended to improve the sound quality of your videos and/or livestreams. The Snowball iCE ships with desktop stand and USB cable.
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Intermediate USB Gaming Microphones
If you’re getting more serious about gaming commentaries or twitch streaming and want to improve the audio quality even further while still on a relatively small budget this is the right category for you. This category features the best microphones under 80 bucks. These microphone usually come with more features and settings so you can have more control of your audio recording process and better internal hardware to produce high quality sound. Microphones in this category are also of better build quality so they are more durable and also come with accessories like adjustable tripod stands to change the position of the mic.
Create studio quality recordings with Blue Microphone’s Snowball, the worlds first professional USB microphone. The Snowball uses Blue Microphones award winning dual-capsule and circuit design to produce crisp professional quality recordings that are free of feedback and distortion. The microphone has three different pattern modes for versatile recording:
- Cardioid mode: best suited for when the sound source is directly in front of the microphone such as commentary or live streaming of games
- Cardioid mode with -10 dB PAD: same as normal cardioid mode except with a -10 dB attenuation to help you capture louder sounds with high fidelity
- Omnidirectional mode: this mode picks up sounds equally from all directions. This mode is best suited for when you want to capture the ambience of ‘being there’
The microphone features a red LED indicator which glows red when the mic is powered. The snowball microphone has a hassle-free setup, plug the microphone into your computer’s USB port and you’re ready to start recording (no drivers or other software necessary). The mic is shipped with an adjustable tripod and USB cable.
The meteor mic is the perfect solution for recording professional quality audio at home. The Samson Meteor Mic has one of the largest condenser diaphragms (25 mm) of any USB microphone currently available. Thanks to it’s cardioid pickup pattern, smooth frequency response and wide frequency range the Meteor Mic will give you professional audio results no matter what you’re recording. The microphone also has a 1/8-inch headphone output for no latency monitoring and a volume knob for complete volume control. The mic also has a mute switch to give you complete audio privacy while your live streaming to twitch or youtube. The mic does not need any drivers so you can start recording right out of the box on any computer. The microphone is shipped with a USB cable and carry pouch.
The Blue Microphones NESSIE delivers studio sound quality at an affordable price point. This microphone will automatically adapt to whatever you’re recording, applying professional studio processing combined with a built-in pop filter and internal shock mount, to produce expertly finished sound without you needing to do any additional editing. The built-in pop filter and shock mount reduce hard plosives and disruptive rumbling and vibrations. While the adaptive processing, including EQ, de-esser and level control automatically smooth and refine your audio recordings in real time. The mic also has three flexible recording modes which are optimized for richer vocals or an option for raw audio for manual post-production. The NESSIE USB microphone also has a no latency headphone output for direct monitoring of your recordings. Headphone volume and instant mute are located directly on the microphone for quick and easy access. The microphone’s head is flexible so you can adjust the position of the microphone to the sound source if needed. And of course the microphone is plug and play so you can plug the microphone into your computer’s USB port and start recording without needing to install any drivers.
Professional USB Gaming Microphones
Now we are finally moving into the professional USB microphones. If you are serious about making great videos or live streams on youtube, twitch and others one of these microphones is a must have for your recording setup. These microphones deliver the highest possible quality and increase the overall production quality of your videos and/or live streams. The mics in this category give you a lot of flexibility with recording settings and modes so you can take full control of your audio recording process. For this category we have set a maximum price of $220 which is still great value for the money.
The Yeti USB mic uses Blue Microphone’s proprietary tri-capsule technology to produce crystal clear studio-quality recordings. The microphone features four different pattern settings so you can optimize the microphone settings for different situations. With its controls for headphone volume, microphone gain, pattern selection and instant mute you are in charge of every level of the recording process. The mic comes equipped with 3.5 mm headphone jack so you can listen to what you’re recording in real time with zero latency. The Yeti USB microphone requires no installation of drivers or other software – plug the microphone into the USB port of your PC or laptop and you can start recording. The microphone ships with an adjustable stand, USB cable, instructions and is backed by a 2 year limited warranty.
The new AT2020 USB microphone offers studio quality articulation and intelligibility. The AT2020 USB plus features a built-in headphone jack with volume control so you can monitor your recordings without any delay. The microphone’s cardioid pickup pattern and wide frequency range ensure extremely articulate sound reproduction which is perfect for commentaries or streaming. The mic also has mix control which allows you to blend your microphone signal and pre-recorded audio for gaming commentaries. When you plug the mic into your computer’s USB port the mic lights up with a bright blue led and you’re ready to start recording – no need to install drivers or other software. The AT2020 plus usb microphone ships with a tripod mic stand, 9 foot long USB cable and a soft carry pouch.
The Yeti Pro is the first microphone in the world that combines 24-bit/192 kHz digital recording resolution with XLR output. The microphone has three different custom condenser capsules and four different pattern settings. This allows the Yeti Pro to record with up to 4x the clarity found on CDs. The mic features a cutting edge A-D converter chip and separate analog circuit path for use with professional preamps and studio mixers. You also get a built-in headphone amplifier for no delay monitoring and direct controls for mute, pattern selection, headphone volume and microphone gain. The mic ships with a custom base (including a threaded mic stand mount), USB cable and a stereo XLR breakout cable.
And that concludes our guide to finding the perfect gaming or streaming microphone for your budget and needs and we hope you have found the perfect microphone for you! We HIGHLY recommend you also add a pop filter to your shopping card if you pick a cheap microphone that ships without one.
We hope you enjoyed our guide! If there are any gaming/streaming microphones you feel we missed in our guide please share it with us. If you know someone that is looking for a new microphone to start or improve their youtube channel, or somebody that is looking for a new microphone for his Twitch.tv stream. Feel free to share this guide with them so they can choose the best microphone for their budget and needs.
Found the perfect microphone and now looking for a capture card to help you record high quality videos and/or streams? Check out our buying guide for finding the best capture card.