Streaming has become one of the most popular activities, hobbies, and even professions on the internet. Without a microphone to stream with, you literally can’t do it, but even those who have something super cheap won’t come across as legitimate. That’s why we wanted to spend today writing a guide on some of our favorite microphones for streaming, and ensured we covered a bit of everything in regards to budget, types of microphones, shapes, sizes and personalities. But first let’s highlight some factors to keep in mind before you start shopping around.
Finding your microphone for streaming
Budget of course is always a factor for anything in life, but today we especially want you to keep in mind not only how much money you’re willing to spend, but also need to spend. If you’re doing this for fun with some friends and/or family and want to share your experiences, you don’t need to get all crazy with microphones and extra gear. However, if you indeed want to start a serious channel and get going on a potential long-run of a streaming endeavor, we recommend making an investment since this is your number one priority — sound quality.
In our opinion, the type of microphone is something to keep in mind as well. For streaming in particular, we recommend condenser microphones, because they offer the clearest quality for ‘recording environments’. This is due to their internal builds and sensitivity that focus on capturing detail as opposed to other types of mics that may concentrate on picking up sound while also rejecting outside ambient noise. With a condenser, you’ll have to be wary of your environment and that there isn’t any unwanted noise that will leak into the mix. We also recommend looking into USB microphones since they’re becoming more and more popular today and advancing in quality. Otherwise, you can grab a ‘traditional condenser’ which entails an ‘XLR connection’, but with that you’ll need some additional gear to power them up.
Speaking of additional gear, we lastly want you to keep in mind what else you’ll need to spend some money on. We’re talking headphones, audio interfaces, microphone pop filters, mic stands, cables, sound proofing (if you want to get nuts), and more. We did include a microphone package down below but just one, so that guide may interest you if you want to find a package that will get you extra gear and save money at the same time.
The best streaming microphones
Blue Yeti Pro
Up first, our best microphone for streaming comes to be the The Blue Yeti Pro, a versatile, high-resolution USB and XLR true dual system microphone. This mic is designed to capture 24 bit/ 192 Khz resolution on your desktop and channel them to your recording equipment or really just straight into your PC via USB connection. It comes with four different pattern settings and three custom condenser capsules. The output of the Yeti Pro is highly detailed and sharp and is therefore great for different recording scenarios such as studio, home, or even in other streaming environments you may find yourself in — some of the best in a USB mic in our opinion.
Considering that it produces a high-quality audio output, this type of microphone is used by the world’s top streamers — we guarantee you more often than not even the biggest streamers have used or have heard of the Yeti Pro before. It has a reputable design that is engineered to deliver rich and quite detailed sound from podcasts, music projects, game streaming, and voice overs. It comes with an adjustable design so that you can position the mike in the best placement possible with the little built-in stand, otherwise you can convert it to a traditional studio microphone and place it on a mic stand if that’s what you fancy. It’s four pattern settings are omnidirectional, bi-directional, stereo and cardioid. It is worth noting that it is a zero latency microphone, making the Blue Yeti Pro one of the best microphones for streaming on the planet if you wanted an easy, desktop USB connected solution.
Apogee MiC Plus
This is another studio quality USB microphone that offers various connectivity options for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac devices or just your normal PC if you stream cross-platform. It is engineered to record any sound you want and produce a solid quality output. It comes with a professional cardioid condenser microphone capsule and makes use of a pure digital connection that gives it a sound quality of up to 24 bit / 96 kHz audio resolution (not quite as high as the Yeti Pro but it’s cheaper so you can choose what’s worth it). It is also designed with a digitally controlled 46dB microphone preamp gain for greater precision and power.
When it comes to connectivity, you just plug it in and start recording with no configuration required. The Apogee MiC Plus size is ideal as it can fit in your pocket for easy portability so it will be especially useful if you’re on mobile. Its high-sensitive capsule gives it a wide dynamic range that captures any streamer out there. The sound produced is great for the cost; however, compared to the Yeti Pro some may say it isn’t “as good” in regards to sound quality, but it’s just about 92 kHz you’re missing. The smaller size and compatibility with other devices may attract you to this instead. The ability to record from any environment makes this microphone an ideal choice for streaming.
This is another great model we are going to put in our basket of best streaming microphones. It makes use of a low mass diaphragm, which is dedicated to handling the superior transient response and extended frequency response. It also has a rugged construction design, which makes it a durable and long-lasting asset for your studio.
With its great versatility, it is ideal for streaming as well as for home and studio project applications. Its element is made of a fixed charge black plate with a permanently polarized condenser, while the polar pattern is the cardioid type. The frequency response range is between 20 to 20,000 Hz with a sensitivity of –37 dB. Most people who have bought and reviewed it simply say that it is durable and easy to use with a great sound quality especially for a price like this. Most who have tried it do not hesitate to recommend it to a friend especially considering the budget-friendly price. Just another one of our favorite picks as the best streaming microphone in the market. The Audio-Technica AT2020 offers a wide dynamic range, and it is good at handing high sound pressure with ease.
The Rode NT1-A is one of our favorite condenser microphones ever, and in our opinion worth every cent you spend when buying. What makes it an ideal microphone for streaming? Well, to begin with, it is an industry standard that is capable of delivering the required extended dynamic range with clarity used in studios across the world. It is not affected by external noise and has a 5 dBA self-noise level. This makes it one of the best studio streaming microphones as it is very quiet yet with a great amount of sensitivity to capture great detail in your voice.
With the low self-noise, it is a perfect vocal microphone for many applications within the home, studio or any other studio recording environment. It comes in a large 1” capsule design with a gold-plated diaphragm and a cardioid polar pattern. It is also engineered with an externally biased true condenser and an internal capsule shock mounting. It comes with a 10 year extended warranty when you register the microphone. With such a warranty, this Rode NT1-A is definitely worth checking out.
The Rode NT-USB can be another great choice for streaming in the higher-end USB microphone category. It is a versatile studio quality USB microphone designed with a 3.5 mm stereo headphone jack for handling zero latency monitoring. We’ve seen it used for various applications such as instrumentation, streaming, song recording, voice-overs, and podcasting.
This versatile microphone is readily compatible with the majority of mainstream recording applications for Mac OS and Windows based PC. Using GarageBand or Rode Rec, you can connect it to an Apple iPad, although you will be required to use a USB connection adapter. What will be included in the box is a tripod desk stand, pop shield, ring mount, USB cable and storage pouch. The active electronics used in the Rode NT-USB are a JFET impedance converter with a bipolar output buffer and a 16 bit 48 kHz A/D converter, making it another streaming microphone gem.
Half way through our guide, now, If you are looking for the best microphone for streaming and need a super high-end traditional condenser, you should take a look at the Blue Bluebird. From the same creators of the Yeti, this is a large diaphragm studio condenser microphone that delivers modern crystal clear sound. Its 20dB pad and high pass filter makes it ideal for capturing the true tones of your voice. It produces excellent extended upper clarity, smooth mid frequencies and rich lows. It is engineered using the latest technology with refined Sonics and versatile switches.
This streaming microphone has a gold sputtered Mylar diaphragm that gives it the ability to produce superior resonance even at high frequencies. It also comes with a sculpted rear black plate that guarantees a balanced sound output. An onboard switchable 100 Hz high pass filter has also been included. The Blue Bluebird is a great choice for your streaming microphone needs and is definitely high-end and more advanced than others, so we only recommend this for those who are serious about their streams and want a long-term investment here.
Focusrite SCARLETT Studio
This may be the choice that you need to complete your home recording studio and streaming setup. As stated previously, we included a package in here to give you some options, as this is one of our favorite bundles that includes more than just a microphone for streaming. It makes use of a USB audio interface and comes with a CM25 large, durable diaphragm condenser plus a three meter XLR mic cable and stand clip. Background noise is blocked by the closed back headphone design. The Focusrite SCARLETT Studio is a great package for streaming as it has extremely low latency and gives you headphones if you’re in need of those as well.
The two natural sounding Scarlett preamps included in the interface provide it with an even gain. The frequency range response of the Focusrite SCARLETT Studio is 20 Hz – 20 kHz with a plus or minus of 0.25dB. It is easy to use and beautifully designed with high-quality, clear sound. Those who have bought it describe it as having amazing quality for the right price, and most say they would definitely recommend it to others especially if you’re in a lower-budget setting such as a home studio or a starter streaming setup. You cannot go wrong with all these features when looking for a microphone for streaming and want to save some money on extra gear as well.
Looking at the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+, you will find it is great for the price. Some even count it among the best streaming microphone for the studio or even a simple home environment. It comes equipped with a USB output and is engineered to capture acoustic audio or music in a true digital way. It is compatible with your favorite recording software. This mike can be used by voiceover artists, streamers, field recorders, songwriters, singers, podcasters, and home studio recorders.
It is designed with a built-in head phone jack equipped with volume controls. It is thus possible to monitor and control the mic signal with no delay. You can also blend pre-recorded audio with microphone input using the mix controls. Its internal components are engineered in a perfect way to ensure that voice reproduction is high quality. The production process follows reliable standards that have been used to come up with this long-lasting Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ microphone.
Blue Snowball iCE
Perhaps this is what you have been looking for—a streaming USB microphone that lets you just plug and play without even the need to install drivers at a super low price. Even with this simplicity, expect to get the some great high-quality sound for streaming and recording. It is engineered with a customized cardioid condenser capsule that allows it to produce decent quality, clear audio that rival others in the USB mic game.
The system requirements for both Windows and Mac are quite minimal. For Windows you will require: Windows 7, 8, 10, USB 1.1/2.0 (or newer) and 64MB RAM (or higher). For Macintosh you will need Mac OSX (10.4.11 or higher), USB 1.1/2.0 and 64 MB RAM (minimum). It comes with an adjustable stand, making it easier to change the direction. The sleeker size is also great for those may need to travel or simply take it to different streaming environments you’ll find yourself in. The Blue Snowball iCE is also readily compatible with your favorite software and another great pick as the best microphone for streaming if you needed something simple that does one job — capture audio without a huge price tag.
AmazonBasics Portable USB Condenser Microphone
Last but not least, it seems as if Amazon is making everything these days. However to our surprise, we have a great mic here that’s a super (and we mean, super) low-priced option to end our guide on mics for streaming here. This is portable USB condenser mike that is ideal for streaming. This is because it has an excellent high quality sound when recording. It is quite good for various uses such as streaming, podcasting, voice-overs, recording, instruments, vocals, and home movies. Its sound pick is omnidirectional, so it is able to pick from any direction. Another good thing about this mic is that it is plug-and-play. No need for drivers—you just connect and start recording.
It is compatible with a wide range of computer operating systems such as Windows XP, Windows 7, Vista, Windows 8 and the other higher versions. It will work with Mac OS as well as Linux based systems. It is designed to clip easily onto a laptop with a secure placement. For storage or portability, you can rely on its travel friendly carrying case. Most importantly with this model however is it’s ability to fold into a nearly wallet-sized, travel-friendly shape. The AmazonBasics USB will be a great choice with an affordable price for your streaming needs.