Best USB Microphone
Best USB Microphone
Recording high-quality music required a lot of hard work and equipment in the past. However, things have dramatically changed over the past two decades, and now, you can easily record music in the comforts of your home. The task becomes much easier when you use best USB microphone.
USB microphones have gained tremendous popularity over time due to its simple plug-and-play system along with good quality recordings. You only need a computer or a laptop or any electronic device to plug in the USB microphone and recording whatever you like.
USB microphones come with a built-in digital interface, thus sparing you from the hassle of buying a separate interface and microphone. It is a good option for those who want to record quality music in a low budget.
The kind of sound USB microphones pick depends on the features of a microphone. You may want the microphone to pick one particular sound in the room, or you may want the microphone to pick sounds from all directions.
Below are the common patterns you find in a USB microphone.
• Cardioid Microphone: It focuses on picking only one kind of sound from the front with reduced sounds from the sides.
• Omnidirectional Microphone: It captures the sound of the room as well as the ambient along with the main source of the sound.
• Multi-pattern Microphone: These are switchable microphones and can work both as cardioid and omnidirectional microphones.
Before purchasing a USB microphone, it is important first to ask yourself a few questions.
What are you going to use it for?
Because of the variety of USB microphones available today, it is important first to know the purpose behind buying one. Are you going to use it for your podcasts? Or for recording music or just for gaming purposes. Depending on your use, you can look for various specifications and features of the USB microphone before buying. For example, most USB microphones for gaming usually come with headphone jacks and with low or zero latency (the difference between the time a sound reaches the microphones and the time taken for it to be converted to a digital signal).
In case you wish you use it for podcasts, then it is recommended to buy a USB microphone that has cardioid patterns. Likewise, there are different features you need for a specific purpose.
What is your budget?
The price range that USB microphones come in is very wide. Some microphones may cost as little as $60 and can even go up to $700. So it is best to decide on the use and the budget so that you don’t waste much time looking around.
What recording resolution do you need?
Higher the resolution of a USB microphone higher is the price tag. If you are going to use your microphone for recording music like in the studios, you will need to chip in more money. The better the feature in a microphone, it becomes more expensive. For example, if you need a microphone with more latency, then it costs much higher than others.
Because of the many types of USB microphones available in the market, here is a quick buying guide for those looking to purchase one.
• Compatibility: While most USB microphones are compatible with a lot of devices, some are not. Your computer may have an old operating system that won’t be compatible with the microphone. A USB microphone with iOS compatibility will give you more flexibility.
• Accessories: You need to check the accessory that comes with the microphone. An important accessory is a pop filter that reduces the hindrance of popping noises usually with vocal recordings. The pop filter also protects your microphone against saliva and other dirt.
• Connections: There are USB microphones that don’t have any headphones jack. Headphones are important since you need to listen to your recordings in order to check the sound quality and make necessary changes if any. Having an onboard volume control is a plus point. Some microphones also have XLR connections which you can use in standard studio recordings.
• Format: The format of the USB microphones depends on the purpose of the microphone. Desktop microphones are better in case of recording acoustic instruments or podcasting, while handheld microphones are better for recording interviews and vocals.
• Recording resolution: The resolution of a microphone depends on its ability to convert an analog signal to digital data. The quality of this conversion depends on the sample rate and the bit depth of the audio.
USB microphones can handle a minimum bit depth of 16, while some can handle up to 24-bit depth, which is commonly used in professional studio equipment. A resolution of 96kHz is commonly found.
• Pattern of the Microphone: Microphones come in five polar patterns, each meant for different purposes. Depending on the use, you can choose a microphone with a specific polar pattern.
• Ease of use: It is best to buy a USB microphone that is easy to use. For beginners, it is recommended to look for microphones that work just by a simple plug-in. Otherwise, for those who are experts in handling technicalities, there are advanced USB microphones available.
Browsing aimlessly on the internet looking for the best USB microphone can be mind-boggling. With the variety and the price range, USB microphones come in these days, finding the perfect one can be difficult and time taking.
Given below is a list of the top 5 USB microphones that you can find on Amazon. These three microphones have been selected after thorough research and practical experiences. Read on to pick your favorite one.
The Yeti USB microphone by Blue Mics is one of the top choices for many people because of its versatility and high-quality recordings.
Some of the amazing features of this microphone are:
• Design: Yeti has an innovative design that comes with a desktop stand which allows the microphone to be adjusted and pivoted according to the sound source. You can even mount the microphone on a compass desktop boom-arm.
• Technology: It comes with a tri-capsule array; that is, there are three condenser capsules that can record under any situation.
• Pattern: Yeti is a multi-dimensional microphone- cardioids, omnidirectional, bidirectional and stereo.
• Purpose: Yeti microphone is most suitable for recording musical instruments, podcasting, video conferencing, interviews etc.
• Sound quality: This microphone comes with a high-quality A/D converter with a headphone amplifier, which enables monitoring of zero-latency. This ultimately ensures high-quality audio.
• Tri-capsule technology
• Highly compatible
• Zero-latency monitoring
• Can be a little heavier than most microphones
The Blue Yeti Microphone is a great buy for those looking for superb sound quality with easy controls. This product gives you the best combination of price, quality and performance.
The Blue Raspberry premium USB microphone is one of the best USB microphones you can own if you want to record high-quality audio or music at the palm of your hand.
Some of its amazing features are:
• Design: The blue raspberry is designed to stand, plug-and-play wherever you are. It features a custom-designed dynamic condense capsule that has been developed from high-end studio mics. It is designed to deliver top-quality music on table-tops or from close distances.
• Technology: This microphone features an Internal Acoustic Diffuser-IAD technology, that diffuses reflections and other noises that enter the microphone. It focuses entirely on the instrument or your voice.
• Purpose: Its ultimate purpose is to record music, voiceovers, podcasts, live stream events and many more.
• Sound quality: With a bit depth of 16/24 bit and a sampling rate of 44.1/48 kHz, this microphone gives you professional sound quality, minimizing background noises.
• Internal Acoustic Diffuser Technology
• Highly portable
• Excellent studio quality sound
• Quick to set up and easy to use
• Price can be expensive
The Blue Raspberry USB microphone is a great buy for those looking to record events or podcast and is one of the best vlogging microphones. The price is on the higher side, but it is totally worth the money because of its excellent sound quality.
The Samson Meteor is becoming popular in the market because of its quality sound and cheap price.
Some of its amazing features are:
• Design: The microphone has a chrome-plated finish with legs that fold back and looks excellent on the desktop. The legs can be adjusted according to the direction of the source of the sound. It has one of the largest diaphragms (25mm) among the condenser USB microphones available.
• Pattern: This microphone’s smooth cardioids pattern ensures high-quality sound with minimal background noise disturbances.
• Sound quality: With its 16 bit and 44.1/ 48 kHz resolution, you can be sure of a studio quality recording.
• Purpose: This USB microphone is perfect for podcasting. Its cardioids pattern ensures that only your clear vocals are recorded. It also works well for recording instruments.
• Affordable price
• Perfect for podcasting
• High-quality audio
• Attractive and easy to use
• May not be suitable for live streaming and other purposes.
The Samson Meteor is a great buy for beginners who are venturing into podcasting or recording instruments. Its affordable price and high sound quality make it a very competitive product in the market.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 is one of the top performing USB microphones and is the best yeti alternative. The sound quality and outlook of this microphone are incredible.
Some of its amazing features are:
• Design: This USB microphone is built to last. It comes with a low mass diaphragm which has been custom-engineered to provide extensive frequency response and a superior transient-response. It has a pivoting stand mount that attaches easily for accurate placement of the microphone.
• Technology: It has a side-address studio-condenser microphone technology which is perfect for various home-studio applications or for projects. It has the capacity to handle high SPL’s without any difficulty.
• Pattern: it has a cardioids pattern that improves the isolation of the sound from the source and diffuses the sounds from the rear and sides.
• Purpose: It is a great pick for recording instruments, podcasts and music.
• Accessories: This microphone comes with a stand mount, threaded adapter, threaded adapter and a soft pouch.
• Affordable pricing
• Good quality sound
• Easy to set up and use
• Comes with a pouch for storage
• Does not come with cables
The Audio-Technica- AT2020 USB microphone is excellent in terms of price, performance and quality. It is a great pick for both beginners and professionals.
The quality of sound the Sennheiser MK 8 produces in unmatched. This is the microphone you need for professional studio music recording while sitting at home.
Some of its amazing features are:
• Design: It comes with dual 1-inch diaphragms plated with 24-carat gold. The capsule is shock mounted internally to reduce internal vibration and noise handling.
• Pattern: The MK 8 comes with five polar switchable patterns that ensure the ultimate versatility with a multitude of sound designing options.
• Sound quality: MK 8 offers the best sound quality you can ask when it comes to recording through USB microphones. You can even sign off a sound with your personal handwriting.
• Warranty: This product comes with a 2-year warranty.
• Very attractive with gold plated diaphragms
• High-quality professional sound quality
• Clear and crisp audio
• Wide recording range
• Very expensive
• Not suitable for beginners
The Sennheiser K 8 is expensive and is most recommended for professionals who wish to buy the best home studio mic.
With the increasing trend of recording music or live videos in the confines of your home, it is imperative that you choose the best USB microphone for the purpose. USB microphones are easy to use, handle and setup. They give you excellent quality music without much hassle.
Looking for more buying guides? Check these out!