Being entertaining or extremely talented in a specific game aren’t the only requirements needed to become a top-tier streamer. Interacting with your audience and charming them with your smooth voice is also another aspect to consider.
Most headsets come with a microphone attached, but while they’re decent enough for in-game communications and VoIP calls, they fall short when it comes to creating a nice listening experience. Headset microphones tend to pick up a lot of static sounds and are infamous for making that “buzzing” noise we all know.
To use their silky voice to its fullest without spending a fortune, most streamers prefer USB microphones that create close to a studio level audio experience for the viewers. If you’re new to the microphone market, picking one up from the sea of options could be quite a challenging task.
Here are 10 of the best microphones that managed to steal the hearts of the streaming community.
Razer is quite good at innovations and improvements. The company truly stands by its motto “ For Gamers. By Gamers” by continuously coming up with new quality of life upgrades.
The Razer Seiren X may be the smallest USB microphone on the market. It’s extremely portable and is the go-to choice of gamers who are constantly on the move.
Even though it’s quite small, it delivers almost the same audio experience of its bigger Seiren brothers. It also features a shock mount that absorbs the small sounds that come out when you hit your knee on a desk or put down your drink too aggressively, for example.
If you have a mechanical keyboard, however, you may want to go a bit easier on the keys since Razer Seiren X tends to pick up some ambient sound. Despite its one drawback, it’s definitely one of the strongest contenders in its price range.
Pros: Good sound clarity, portable.
Cons: Picks up ambient noise if it’s loud enough.
If you’re on a tight budget but still want to deliver a great listening experience to your viewers, the Blue Snowball could be for you.
It’s one of the most recommended USB microphones in the streaming scene both for being a budget option and for the sound quality it provides. The microphone comes with its own height adjustable stand and offers cardioid and omnidirectional capture patterns.
It certainly lacks the flexibility of having multiple capturing patterns, but to be fair, the two patterns it offers are more than enough to deliver a great experience.
Pros: Cheap, height adjustable.
Cons: Offers two capturing patterns.
The Yeti could be considered the big brother of the Blue Snowball. It basically takes whatever Blue Snowball does and does it better. But it also costs more.
Blue Yeti offers four different capturing patterns and comes in four different colors. The microphone has easy-to-reach controls and offers a great audio experience.
It does everything so well that Blue Yeti has become the microphone to challenge for all the producers in its price range. The only downside of this microphone could be the slight ambient noise it picks up, but finding a microphone that doesn’t do that without breaking the bank is rather impossible.
Pros: Wide range of capturing patterns.
Cons: May also pick up loud ambient noise.
HyperX often uses already successful formulas and improves upon them. The company certainly improves upon the form factor of its rival microphones in its price range since it comes with a fantastic shock mount to prevent vibrations coming up to the microphone.
While its high-quality shock mount is a huge plus, the microphone certainly delivers a lower audio quality when it’s plugged in fresh out of the box. It requires a lot of customizations to match the other microphones in its price range. If you’re a tech-savvy person and don’t mind a challenge, the HyperX Quadcast can be the best microphone in its price range. But if you don’t want to do any customizations, this one may not be for you.
Pros: Great shock mount, highly customizable.
Cons: The audio quality out of the box is a bit subpar.
Interacting with viewers is one of the keys to become a successful streamer. Viewers like being heard and contributing to discussions. The Seiren Emote features an 8-bit emoticon led display that can showcase emoticons.
The emoticons that appear and when they get triggered can be customized with the streamer companion app that Razer provides. You can even set certain keywords that your chat can use.
Apart from a revolutionary innovation, the microphone also features an interchangeable gooseneck and a built-in shock mount while offering a super cardioid capturing pattern.
Be careful with customizing this microphone, though. A raging emoticon may greet you when you happen to die for the 100th time in that tough-as-nails quest.
Pros: Provides a new way of interacting with viewers.
Cons: Only offers a single capturing pattern.
G-Track Pro is one of the few microphones in its price range that literally does everything. It’s quite hard to find its weakness since it provides a wide range of capturing patterns while assuring a high audio quality with a decent shock mount.
The greatest feature that separates the G-Track Pro from its competition is that you can plug-in another microphone or any other audio source with it without any problems. The mic itself is basically a two track audio mixer. This makes it a great choice if you happen to stream with real-life guests or also have a podcast.
The next step above this microphone would be studio-quality setups, but those belong to another world and require a lot of effort to set up while being too expensive.
Pros: Great audio quality with a decent build.
Sometimes there are just more important things than being perfect. Being compact and easy to use can be two of these things. If you’re looking for something that gets the job done while saving a couple of dollars, the Blue Yeti Nano won’t disappoint you.
It’s one of the more compact microphones on the market and also offers a great audio quality considering its price range. On top of being compact, the Blue Yeti Nano is also quite light and requires basically no configuration to start.
Expecting a form factor like this without any drawbacks would be mad. The microphone only offers cardioid and omnidirectional capturing patterns, which are actually more than enough if you aren’t planning to do anything studio grade.
Pros: Compact, light and super easy to use.
Cons: Only offers two capturing patterns.
If we’re talking about anything audio related, Turtle Beach will come up one way or another. The Stream Mic is one of the go-to choices of console streamers since it’s fully compatible with both PS4 and Xbox One.
The microphone is fully customizable with its provided software, but it may take some time to find that sweet spot of audio quality.
If you’re a console streamer and looking for an all-in-one solution to your microphone needs, you can’t go wrong with this one.
Pros: Great interface with high customizability, great name.
Cons: Out of the box sound quality is not the best and some tinkering may be needed.
If you value looks as much as audio quality, Rode NT may be the pick for you. The microphone has that studio quality look and gives the impression that it’s out of a radio studio.
The looks aren’t the only thing Rode NT has to offer, though. It offers great audio quality and comes with a pop shield alongside a tripod desk stand. The only downside of the Rode NT is its single capturing pattern option. But if you aren’t an audiophile, noticing its effects could be quite hard.
If you’re looking for something that looks nice and offers a good enough audio quality, you can’t go wrong with Rode NT.
Pros: Comes with a pop filter, decent audio quality.
Cons: Only offers one capturing pattern, its tripod is a bit shaky.
Blue microphones need no explanation. The company managed to make a name for itself in the microphone industry by making reliable products that offer high audio quality. Most microphones in different price ranges often get compared to the respective Blue microphones in that range.
The Yeti X continues to improve upon the already successful formula of Blue. It features a LED panel that can be used to monitor your volume levels. The microphone is highly customizable and allows quick adjustments with its smart knob.
The noise reduction on the Yeti X is quite advanced as well and it even eliminates the sound of a running fan, which may come in handy during hot summer days. If you’re looking into buying something and not worrying about it for another five years, this microphone may be the one for you.
Pros: Amazing audio quality, a LED panel that shows volume levels and great customizability.
Cons: The buttons on the microphone may be too loud for some’s liking.
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