Gaming microphones used to be just be these little headsets you’d buy at your local electronics store. Nowadays however, we have many great options, and buying a microphone for gaming will give your voice a step up when it comes to one of the most important parts of the process as a whole — communication (both to your teammates or even your enemies if you need to talk some smack). Whether you’re in need of a simple solution to replace your headset mic (that really isn’t ideal for sound quality in general), or perhaps prefer to game with a high-quality pair of headphones and need a microphone to accompany your setup, we found 10 of our favorite models here to recommend you today. Many of these will also work for those who stream, record, or partake in any other side projects that need a mic.
Finding the best gaming microphone
- Money: Budget will always steer us in a particular direction, especially if you’re in need of a simple solution without a few bells and whistles. We found a range of microphones for gaming in this article, going from $50 or less all the way to a few hundred bucks. The following factors may entail you start saving up if you don’t have the cash now, or if you’re in need of just something to portray your voice to other gamers, we recommend just grabbing something in your price-range.
- Type of microphone: Similar to a few of our other guides on task-specific needs, such as our vlogging microphones or even mics for YouTube articles (since those are recording uses but also streaming), we’ll spell out a few options that you have when it comes to the types of microphone you can buy, in particular for gaming.
- USB microphones: By far the most popular choice for gamers, USB mics are very convenient since you basically just plug them into your computer and you’re good to go (all USB mics are compatible with Mac, PC or even laptops, just as long as you have a USB port of course). They come in many different shapes, sizes, and price-points, so a majority of our picks down below will cover a range of different USB microphones for gaming.
- Condenser microphones: Technically USB mics are ‘condenser mics’, but in this bullet-point we mean studio condensers that don’t connect with USB but instead use something called an XLR connection. These aren’t as popular for any computer use, since they have a little more that go into them, and are instead preferred by musicians who record and need tip-top quality. We do know a few gamers, in particular those who stream, podcast, or anything that involves actually recording, prefer XLR connected studio condensers since they give us more power and better quality. You’ll need phantom power (an external device to power up the mic, since USB mics get their power straight from your computer), and a few other accessories, such as mic stands or pop filters (USB mics have these built-in or come with them in the box). But if you’re one to want to stand out from the rest, we recommend going this route instead of a simple USB mic.
- Gaming setting: Are you gaming on a PC in an office or your bedroom? Playing PS4 or Xbox in your living room? On-the-go on your smart device? This will definitely dictate the type of mic you buy because those on a desk will need a solution that remains stationary near or on their desk, while those in a living room will need to be creative depending on how you like to game (being able to keep the mic close to you). If you’re on-the-go and have some more versatility with a smart device such as a phone or tablet, there are some better options for you out there as well.
- Additive features: This is always last in our microphone guides because ‘additive’ doesn’t necessarily mean “I really need this”. For those who just want a mic to stand at their desk and capture your voice, you won’t need some of the following popular features we’ve seen in higher-priced mics: attenuation switches, bass roll offs, multiple polar pattern switches, gain and volume control on the mic itself, included carrying cases, or any microphone bundles and packages that come with accessories you may want (typically with studio condensers).
The top 10 best microphones for gaming
Samson G-Track PRO
Up first as our recommendation as the best gaming microphone is a brand new USB mic made by Samson, a quite popular brand in the budget-friendly mic world. This one however has made a name for itself, and we personally were able to test it out at the NAMM show (our Samson G-Track PRO review can give you some more details). Coming with a large-diaphragm (25mm) dual 1″ capsule for a big pickup pattern to grab our voices well, this one is a condenser microphone so it’s specialty is capturing what’s in front of it and rejecting the back and sides — perfect for those gaming and need a little desktop microphone to sit by your side while you game. However, you can also use its ‘polar pattern switch’ in case you need to change how it picks up sound, depending on how you position or really use this thing — change to you want to pick up in all directions (perhaps recording more than one person in a room?) or even birectional to do front and back if needed.
What really makes this pick stand out from the others is sound quality — you have a higher-end resolution recording (for USB mics, especially without audio interfaces, at least) at 24-bit/96 kHz for more than enough clarity for any game you’re on. You additionally have some gain control on the mic itself if you need to adjust your voice level on the fly, as well as headphone volume knob if you plug your phones directly into the mic itself. The Samson G-Track PRO is a high-end USB microphone to start our list of the best microphones for gaming strong — it’s a heavy-hitter in the desktop USB microphone game at the moment.
Up second is another one of our favorite USB models in the market, and continues to keep our best microphones for gaming in the USB category (for now). First and foremost if you’re debating on either this pick or our previous G-Track PRO, their retail prices are the same but if a particular website out there on the net is selling either for cheaper, we say go for that one. The AT2020+ is very similar in regards to features and specs — a condenser cardioid mic type and pickup pattern, nifty desktop stand in the box, and plug-and-play with no need for driver installation to get to using it right after removing the packaging.
The only draw here is the slightly less bit depth at 16-bit instead of 24-bit with the G-Track PRO, but for gaming, that isn’t a completely noticeable difference. The only time we would keep this as a priority is if you’re recording music with the mic as well. Especially if this one is cheaper, the Audio-Technica AT2020+ is another solid mic for gaming we love.
Rode NT1-A Bundle
Now we’ll get into a higher-priced option but if you have the cash, this is a more studio-friendly option that blows any USB mic out of the water as the best microphone for gaming. We recommend this one for gamers even though it’s a studio mic because it’s still within the budget-friendly option of not getting too ‘crazy’ in terms of build or sound quality that’s better for recording artists but can still bring a very high-quality audio for gamers. With a great large 1″ gold-plated diaphragm and very dynamic range with low self noise (only 5 dB), the NT1-A is a warm and professional sound to its recording and streaming.
You will need a mic stand since it doesn’t just rest on our desktops like the others, but if you can invest in a stand and some accessories this is a next-level option for gaming. The link we’ll provide you is to a bundle that gives us a shock mount and pop filter. The Rode NT1-A is a great pick for gamers if you wanted an even further step up from regular USB mics.
What’s a microphone guide that has to do with computers, games, or even USB mics in general with a Yeti mention? As this used to be one of our go-to USB mics in the game, the G-Track PRO took over due to the bit-depth and cheaper price. If you do want to get up to the G-Track Pro’s resolution you’ll have to get the Yeti PRO which is more expensive. Regardless, the Blue Yeti is still a viable option as the best gaming microphone due to the legendary reputation it has (and cheaper price if you want to save some money as opposed to our previous USB mic picks).
Here are the highlight specs and features — a built-in desktop stand, gain control on the mic, color options to buy, multi-pattern (being able to switch the polar pattern for pickup style as previously explained), driver-free operation, and the ability to buy a few of their mounts in case you aren’t into mini desktop stands. For example, you can buy their Blue Compass, which is a boom arm (typically used for podcasters but very useful for gamers, too) that mounts to the bank of your monitor and hooks above your head. This will maximize some more space in your gaming environment. The Blue Yeti is a mention due to the high amount of reviews and overall stability it will bring our gaming gear setups — grab it if you want one of the best USB mics out there in the world. Standard Yeti’s go to 16-bit/48 kHz while the Pro hits 24-bit/192 kHz.
eBerry Plug and Play
Let’s talk super cheap, and when we mean super cheap, we mean basically an add-on for carts and the best gaming microphone if you need just one thing — being able to provide listenable audio to the people you’re gaming with. This doesn’t take into consideration fancy features like polar patterns, audio resolution (it’s at least better than a phone), fancy mounts or special connectivity. This one is for those who may have broken their headset mic and need a quick and simple solution for finding your gaming voice again. It is indeed at least USB connective and doesn’t rely on the dinky 3.5 mm we’re all familiar (at least what I grew up with when I used to buy these from Best Buy when I was a kid).
The neck is adjustable so you can fit it to your liking, and the small size is super convenient for putting it in an existing gaming setup and fitting it snug on to your desk. Compatible with both Mac and PC, the eBerry Plug and Play is a mic for gaming for those who need the one thing microphones are supposed to do — portray our voices to teammates and enemies.
Razer Seiren Elite
Let’s get back to something high-end and within the USB world as the best microphone for gaming. Razer is a brand that screams high-end gaming gear, so the name alone will give us confidence that we can trust the investment for this one. The look alone of this USB microphone is slick, and although the appearance isn’t always a priority, can be for some — we love the sleek black finish of this, and the material it’s built of is very high-quality with no cheap plastic that will break easily. There’s a built-in high-pass filter that aids in the sound quality by cutting pesky low-frequency noise that times occurs in streaming environments (think rumbles from nearby fans or air conditioners, or perhaps cars outside). You also have both volume and gain control on the mic itself, similar to the G-Track PRO and Yeti.
On top of the high-pass filter (you can switch it on and off if you need to, but we’d keep it on at all times), there’s a digital/analog limiter that also combines to reduce distortion. Pair this up with a resolution of 16-bit/48 kHz, we have a standard high-quality sound for being heard in our games quite well. If you want a step up from the other USB mics (no, the G-Track PRO still wins in the resolution numbers department) in regards to overall build and extra features that make sure your voice is clear and noise-free, the Razer Seiren Elite is another great pick as the best microphone for gaming if your budget allows.
Here’s another highly affordable traditional studio condenser microphone to use for gaming. We chose this due to the obvious affordability but also reputation it has within the mic game. The 770 is known for it’s very balanced sound, rugged body to last as a long-term investment, as well as it’s custom -10 dB attenuation switch (reduces the output level in case you’re one to yell and scream, or perhaps you want to record some instruments on the side) and bass frequency roll off switch. The box typically comes with a shock-mount for reduction of vibrations (you’ll need to buy a pop filter and mic stand as well) and a carrying case if you plan on traveling to game.
Note that you’ll have to buy some phantom power on the side to power this baby up, but all in all we feel the MXL 770 is another one of the best gaming microphones if you wanted a different spin to your mic and may want to make some music on the side. If you take the time to look around, this is also a popular microphone that’s included in bundles depending on the accessories that you need (such as a traditional mic stand or even boom arm stand for your monitor).
Blue Snowball iCE
The next few gaming mics we’ll recommend to finish the list will focus on ultra-portable USB microphones in case you’re a mobile gamer, or perhaps just want a small and simple solution for the desk. Blue’s other famous mic here is the Snowball iCE, and although not as powerful or stacked in terms of specs as the Yeti, brings us a nice punch for the size. Great for all types of recording and streaming with both Mac and PC, the Snowball iCe is cheap in price, comes with a cardioid polar pattern like most popular condensers (no polar pattern switch here), and also comes with a convenient tripod desktop stand for easy placement in your gaming setup.
The sample rate isn’t as high as some higher-priced USB mics, but still gets the job done with a very high 16-bit/44.1 kHz which is feasible for any gaming environment. Weighing in at only 460 grams, the Blue Snowball iCe is one of our favorite affordable and portable picks as the best microphone for gaming. It’s available in black and white.
Samson Go Mic
We’ll get to the end of our list with one of the most popular portable USB mics out there in the Samson Go Mic. Mimicking the near size a wallet, it actually does fold into a smaller, leather case that can squeeze into some pockets and most backpack spaces for easy traveling. If you’re one to game on a laptop wherever you may be, such as the airport, coffee shop, different rooms of the home or anywhere else you find the urge to game, you’re covered here. The price is also very affordable, just slightly less than the Snowball iCe’s retail price, so if you’re debating on the two in regards to a mobile USB mic, we’d say grab what’s cheapest. This is because the Go Mic does have the same resolution as well as similar features such as being Mac and PC compatible, comes with the needed pickups and having a cardioid pickup pattern.
However, the Go Mic also has a switchable omnidirectional pickup patterns which may be of use to you. The versatility of this gaming mic however is just simply hard to ignore — mount it with the little case on top of your laptop and you’re good to go, or use it as a microphone for streaming, music, chats and more. The Samson Go Mic is huge in the microphone game for a reason. In case you’re gaming on your phone and want a super portable smart device mic, you can read our Go Mic Mobile review, which they’ve just come out for this year.
Coming in as a traditional ‘studio-grade condenser microphone’, this is one of the cheapest mics we’ll recommend for really any type of use, especially gaming. You’ll also be needing to purchase either an audio interface or a device that provides phantom power of the standard 48 volts. This package however does come with all of the necessary accessories to get going right out of the box once you do find a power source — scissor arm stand (like the Blue Compass), shock mount, clamping kit, pop filter, and XLR cable. The reviews back up this mic’s effectiveness, albeit keeping the price in mind — you’re by no means getting anything ‘professional’ here (like the Rode mic we previously recommended).
Still, we’d grab this if you didn’t want a USB mic and instead of a more traditional studio-type of condenser microphone that uses the traditional phantom power and doesn’t rely on USB to power up. The needed accessories are also great since it comes with a friendly price-tag to combine everything we need aside from power. If you’re a beginner musician this may also be a great bang-for-your-buck, but gamers only can still benefit from the Neewer NW-700.