Whether you need a mic for podcasting, recording vocals, recording instruments, interviews, Skype – whatever – USB mics are a fast, easy and usually cheaper alternative to high-end studio hardware. We will go over quality, both sound and design, ideal usage, portability, and lots of other goodness in this top 10 list.
The Audio-Technica cardioid dynamic microphone offers both USB and XLR outputs, making this mic ideal for at home users, and musicians. It has a headphone jack so users can directly monitor the mics output and we found that it works really well with one drawback – there’s no pop filter. T’s, P’s and B’s really distorted our audio, but you can purchase a filter if you are worried, but we found that positioning the mic on the included tripod stand, just a little further away from our mouth minimized this popping effect greatly.
If you’re looking for a great quality portable USB microphone, then we suggest you highly consider the Samson Meteor Studio Microphone. It has three sturdy fold-able legs and sits at just 6-inches tall, and there’s also a screw mount on the bottom to attach to mic stand. Don’t expect studio quality audio, especially for its relativity low price, but performance wise, this is a great mic. Voices are very clear, and anyone using a non-expensive mic say for podcasts, is gong to notice a huge difference with the Samson.
8Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
This Audio Technica ATR2500 mic is ideal for podcasting, home recording, or voiceover use. It is simple to plug up and start using straight out of the box – brownie points for simple setup. Some people might actually think it is too simple. The mic itself feels really durable as it is constructed out of metal, and it comes with a pivoting stand mount that can be attached to a mic stand. And because it has a cardioid pick up pattern, this mic is really great at picking up vocals and leaving background noise out of the recorded audio.
The CAD U1 USB Dynamic Recording Microphone is perfect for first timers, as well as anyone looking for a mic to use at home. You’re not going to get studio quality audio with this microphone because of its price, but for that price you’re still getting a lot. Dynamic means this mic is good for recording vocals or instruments to your computer, and its cardioid pick up pattern is going to leave out background noise for smooth, clear sounding audio.
The CAD U37 microphone works pretty well. First off it is a condenser mic, which is commonly used in studio recordings because they have a much greater frequency response, so it has a louder output and is more sensitive to loud sounds, but we found it too sensitive and background noise bled into our audio. But with some computer tweaking and utilizing the mic’s Bass Reduction feature, some background noise was minimized. So if you’re looking to do some serious real recording but want to stay in this price range, check out our #2 spot.
We find this microphone to work so well that it really belongs in a sound booth. We mostly say this because, for us, this microphone is super sensitive. Is your mom ironing clothes in the room down the hallway? This mic will catch it. Despite picking up little noises like mouse clicks, performance wise this is a great mic. Voices come in loud and clear, and it has an adjustable gain which slightly helped reduce our background noise. This is definitely a powerful tool if you’re looking to set up interviews or podcasts.
4Audio-Technica AT2020USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
Step one, open AT2020 microphone box. Step two, plug AT2020 mic into PC’s USB port. Step three, be amazed by how easy it is to start using, and also be miffed that a mic in this price range can produce such amazing sound. Not only is it packaged well, it also looks great, and sounds even better. We immediately noticed how simple is was to plug this mic in and start recording vocals. It’s a very basic design, with just the USB port to account for. But what really matters is the sound quality, and our AT2020 delivered with every use.
If you can no longer stand your computer’s built-in microphone and you’re looking for a replacement, we suggest the Blue Snowflake USB Mic. There are USB mics that are a better value than this one, but it looks so cool and is highly portable. Sound quality is pretty good with this mic, though we did get a lot of low audible ambient noise in our audio. Recording wise it’s almost too good and we had to tweak our audio levels as to avoid hearing every breath we took. And this small mic is surprisingly weighty and sturdy despite its appearance.
We now understand why so many Internet users rave about the Snowball mic. For starters, its build is really sturdy and it plugs directly into the computer with no fuss. With this mic you’re going to like how easy it is to use, and you’re going to love that you didn’t have to shell out tons of money. Its a really simple piece overall and the sound quality is really good. If you’re not interested in technical details, then the Snowball’s plug and play feature is its greatest asset.
There are several reasons with the Samson Go Mic is number one on our list. First, it is extremely compact and highly portable, making it ideal for people who are either on the go, or need a microphone that takes up the least amount of space as possible. It is also the cheapest microphone on our list, and just because it doesn’t cost a ton, doesn’t mean you’re giving up high quality. We tested this microphone using Skype which was a breeze – the mic plugs right in and can be used immediately. Since it is strictly USB, both PC and Mac users will benefit.