Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a feeling of euphoric relaxation caused by certain sounds. Sounds such as whispering, light taps, rain, or many other types of sounds have been known to produce these desirable effects. Although ASMR doesn’t necessarily occur in everyone, ASMR is valuable to many of those who do experience the related sensations.
There are many online creators who make videos dedicated to producing ASMR experiences in their audience. For those interested in creating this type of content, the microphone you choose can make a huge impact on how effective your videos are at producing ASMR effects.
If you are looking to make these types of videos without breaking the bank, here are some of the most affordable plug-and-play microphones that are perfect for ASMR content!
The Neat Widget A, Widget B, and Widget C are incredible microphones for their price. The Neat Widget mics are cardioid condenser microphones. Cardioid microphones pick up signals from directly in front of them, isolating the recorded sound from environmental noise like your computer fans, air conditioning unit, or the cars outside the window.
Condenser microphones are highly sensitive, which makes them an excellent option for creating ASMR content.
When Neat originally released these mics, they were over $100 apiece. Now, a few years later, Neat has dropped the price all the way down to $30. The Neat Widget mics are very easy to use. Simply plug in the USB and it pretty much works directly out of the box.
This microphone is without a doubt the best value on this list and a perfect option for anyone looking for a cute mic on a budget.
The Blue Snowball is an omnidirectional condenser microphone, which means it can pick up a signal from any direction. This mic is highly sensitive, much like the Neat Widget listed above.
The Blue Snowball is a staple in online video production. Known for its decent quality and affordable price, the Blue Snowball is a fairly good option for those who are running on a tight budget. Thousands of online creators rely on their Blue Snowball every day to create high-quality content.
Personally, I would pick up the Neat Widget over the Blue Snowball since the price drop, but if you are looking for an omnidirectional microphone for less than $80, this is a good option.
The Blue Yeti is a big upgrade over the Blue Snowball. The Yeti is the most versatile mic on this list, with the ability to switch between cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, or even stereo pick-up patterns. Stereo is a particularly important feature for ASMR creators who might want to present a more dynamic field of sounds. A lot of the best ASMR videos use stereo imaging to move sounds around in a dynamic and interesting way.
The Yeti has adjustable sensitivity build onto the hardware, however, it does next to nothing when turned. Essentially the Yeti can just be set to the lowest sensitivity and it will still end up being highly sensitive. Luckily, sensitive mics are great for ASMR.
The AT-2020 USB+ is a condenser cardioid microphone, much like the Neat Widget mics, but with significantly higher sound quality and superior frequency response. The only sacrifice you make with this microphone is that you don’t get access to a stereo setting. You do however get to use one of the best quality microphones available in USB format.
The AT-2020 USB+ is the best mic that you can buy for less than $200. If you are looking to make ASMR videos and have the $150 in your budget for this mic, it is definitely worth it. Unlike the other microphones on this list, you actually find AT-2020 microphones in professional studios, making the AT2020 USB+ the most professional option while not requiring extra equipment to record.
The best way to record ASMR is by using a dual microphone set up. Although these mics are only $100, they require an audio interface that can cost anywhere from around $100 to $250. Many ASMR artists use binaural setups, which means setting up two matched microphones to create your stereo image.
These microphones come with interchangeable modules allowing you to have cardioid, super-cardioid, or omnidirectional pickup patterns. After buying the interface and mics, your purchase will be somewhere between $200-350, but if you are serious about ASMR you should consider buying a pair of matched mics to elevate your content.
Whether you are just getting started as an ASMR artist, or you are an ASMR veteran, there are some very affordable options to produce high-quality content. There are a lot of microphones claiming to be great for podcasting and ASMR as a marketing ploy, however, as a professional audio engineer, I can assure you, the mics on this list are the real deal.