If you’re looking for a desktop USB Microphone for your PC or Mac, it can be easy to find yourself overwhelmed by the vast amount of options. No two USB Microphones are the same, so there are a few things you’ll need to consider before choosing the right desktop microphone for your computer. Whether you’re starting a Podcast, Live-Streaming, Gaming, creating YouTube videos, recording vocals, or conducting business meetings; this DJ City guide is sure to help you choose a USB Mic that will suit all your needs.
- RODE NT-USB Mini- Best Value
- Blue Yeti Pro – Best Overall
- RODE NT-USB
- AKG Lyra
- Samson Go Mic – Best Portable Option
- Shure MV5
- Mackie EM-USB
- Samson Meteor Mic
- Samson G-Track Pro
- Rode Podcaster MK2 – Best USB Podcast Mic
The first thing you need to do is figure out what exactly you’re going to be using your PC microphone for. Generally, USB computer microphones are used for applications such as podcasting, vlogging, gaming, streaming, online chats, group calls, voice-overs, and even vocal recordings. Although we’d definitely recommend a higher-level professional condenser microphone for most studio recording purposes. However, if you’re just getting started; you’ll definitely be able to achieve some quality results with one of the following USB Mics!
Starting out as a gimmick that seemingly would never be able to compete with professional microphones; USB mics are catching up and gaining popularity. So although they’re not quite on par with their more expensive counterparts, there’s definitely an argument for their place in a studio recording environment!
Like any piece of equipment, and especially when it comes to microphones; you get what you pay for. So it goes without saying, the more expensive USB Mics are generally going to give you a better result in terms of quality and performance. But again, depending on your intended use, your ideal pc microphone might not necessarily be the most expensive. For instance, if you’re looking for something super compact and portable for on-the-go recordings; you might sacrifice some of the quality found in a bigger microphone, but you’ll find they’re cheaper options. The good news is, USB microphones for your PC or Mac aren’t usually too expensive and are more often than not a cheaper alternative to professional XLR mics. Adding to that, the difference in price between entry-level and higher-end USB mics isn’t too bad either.
Mac, iPhone or PC Microphone
Whether you have a PC or a Mac; both computer-types support USB connectivity, so you shouldn’t have any trouble connecting any of these USB mics to either. Although, there are a couple of options that will also work well with your iPhone or iPad. A great option to consider if you’re looking for something versatile that’s going to work not only on your desk but while you’re on the move with your mobile device!
Type of Microphone
Typically, most USB microphones for your PC tend to be Condenser Mics. Condenser microphones offer highly sensitive recordings and are ideal for vocal recordings. But we’ve made sure to include at least one USB Dynamic Microphone to cover all grounds.
Depending on your intended use, you might want to consider the type of polar pattern your USB microphone offers. Some also offer a switchable polar pattern so you can easily switch depending on your desired application.
Firstly, and by far the most common polar pattern of USB microphones is Cardioid. With a Cardioid microphone, it’s only going to record the source that’s right in front of it. So it’s the perfect cardioid type for a desk environment where you’re only concerned with recording the voice of the person sitting in front of it.
The second polar pattern is Omnidirectional. An Omnidirectional microphone works by picking up sound in all directions. Whether you’re in front, behind, above or below; this is an ideal solution if you’re looking to record all the sound from your room. Perfect if you’re recording a number of people and only have the one microphone.
Finally, Bi-Directional or Figure 8 polar patterns only record what’s in front of behind the microphone. Not as common in a USB microphone although some microphones do offer this option.
The Best USB Microphones for your PC or MAC in 2020
RODE NT-USB Mini – Best Value
Dethroning its predecessor, the Rode NT-USB Mini brings high quality to an insanely compact USB Microphone. Delivering crystal-clear and professional audio directly to your computer or tablet; it’s the perfect USB mic for gamers, podcasters, musicians, streamers, and content creators.
Tailored specifically to deliver warmth and presence, the NT-USB Mini will sound amazing regardless of what you throw in front of it. So whether you’re recording dialogue, vocals, guitar, or anything else; you’re guaranteed to get first-class sound. What’s more, the NT-USB Mini features a studio-grade headphone amp as well as a high-quality 3.5mm headphone output with volume control. So you’ll be able to easily monitor the volume of your audio directly from the mic. There’s also a switchable zero-latency monitoring mode that helps to eliminate distracting echo while you’re recording.
Finally, the NT-USB Mini is incredibly easy to set up and use. Sporting simple controls, an in-built pop filter, and a class-compliant USB output; your NT-USB Mini is sure to work seamlessly with both computers and tablets. Simply plug into your Mac, PC, iPad, or other Tablet, and hit record! It’s also incredibly affordable, which is why we’ve named it the best buy in terms of PC microphones for 2020.
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency Range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Input SPL @ 1% THD: 121dB (A-weighted, as per IEC651)
- Bit Depth: 24-bit / 48kHz
- High-quality condenser capsule that delivers warmth and presence for a clear, professional sound in all recording applications.
- Directional cardioid polar pattern optimized to reduce room sound and focus on the subject, be it dialogue, vocals or instruments.
- In-built pop filter for reducing plosives.
- Integrated 360-degree swing mount for quick and easy positioning on a desktop, mic stand, or studio arm.
- Unique detachable magnetic desk stand that provides excellent isolation from knocks and bumps and is quick and easy to remove.
- Class-compliant USB output that works seamlessly with computers or tablets, no drivers or software needed – just plug in and hit record.
- Zero-latency headphone monitoring eliminates distracting echo.
- Studio-quality headphone amplifier with precision level control.
- Steel and reinforced nylon resin construction, stylish matte black finish, and compact, modern design.
Blue Yeti Pro – Best Overall
Synonymous with USB Microphones, and for good reason. The Blue Microphones Yeti Pro is one of the most renowned USB Microphones on the market. Capable of producing recordings that are of near-studio quality, the Yeti Pro features Tri-Capsule technology with 4 available pattern settings. So it’s no surprise the Yeti Pro is the best pc microphone on the market. Allowing you to easily record quality audio regardless of your application. Whether you’re recording music, vocals, podcasts, or interviews; the Blue Yeti Pro will easily adapt to your individual needs. Complete with controls for pattern selection, headphone volume, microphone gain, and instant mute, all available on the front of the unit.
Above all, the Blue Yeti Pro is a versatile USB microphone that you’ll find on almost all best USB microphone lists. So if you’re after the best quality around, and are happy to pay a slightly higher price; then it’s a great option to consider.
- Microphone Type: Condenser
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Bi-directional, Omni, Stereo
- Diaphragm Size: 3 x 14mm capsules
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
- A/D Resolution: 24-bit/192kHz
- SB microphone for convenient plug-and-play capture on Mac and PC
- Versatile tri-capsule system for optimizing the sound to sources
- Built-in headphone output makes it an all-in-one solution
- Custom base for desktop use plus a standard threaded mic stand mount
- Can record in stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional modes
- Flexible system makes it like having multiple microphones in one
- 24-bit/192kHz resolution recording performance
- PreSonus Studio One Artist for recording, editing, and more
- iZotope Ozone Elements for sweetening your vocals
- Templates for podcasting, voice-over, songwriting, vocals, and more
Before the release of the NT-USB MINI, the Rode NT-USB would have claimed the top spot. It’s one of the best USB microphones on the market. So there’s a good reason it’s our most popular USB Microphone. A truly versatile USB/PC microphone, the NT-USB is ideal whether you’re recording vocals, instruments, podcasts, business meetings, voiceovers and so much more. Offering 16-bit / 48kHz resolution, the NT-USB offers great quality audio for a desktop USB microphone. As well as not only being compatible with PC and Mac computers but also iPads using the camera connection kit.
The NT-USB also features a zero-latency headphone monitoring jack, so you can monitor your microphone in real-time while recording. To top it off, the NT-USB comes with everything you need to get started including a nifty stand for your desk, storage pouch, and a pop filter to help reduce unwanted noises making it into your recording.
At an extremely affordable price, with sound quality that competes with professional microphones; you can’t go past the NT-USB.
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Resolution: 16-bit
- Address Type: Side
- Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Maximum SPL: 110dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)
- Pop shield, Tripod desk stand, ring mount, storage pouch, and 6m (20’) USB cable included
- 3.5mm stereo headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring
- Direct mix control between mic input and source output
- Compatible with Apple® iPad
Another newly released USB pc microphone, The AKG Lyra is a USB Condenser Microphone built with content creation in mind. Perfect whether you’re creating podcasts, YouTube videos, music and more. While you enjoy 4K-compatible, Ultra HD audio quality. Featuring cutting-edge AKG Internal Element Overload Prevention, an internal shock mount, and built-in sound diffuser. While also automatically reducing noise and improving signal levels, giving you optimal performance.
One of the great features of this mic is its four-capsule Adaptive Array; offering versatile capture modes so you can quickly dial in professional sound no matter where you’re positioned. Front mode on the Lyra allows you to isolate your target source from distracting background noise. Back and Front mode captures and blends music together on all sides. While Tight Stereo mode captures audio in true stereo, providing discrete left and right audio.
Finally, the AKG Lyra is a super affordable microphone, and you can’t go wrong if you choose to pair this with your PC for your content creation purposes!
- 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution audio pairs well with 4K video
- 4-capsule microphone array provides superior audio coverage and 4 polar patterns
- Easy-to-understand polar pattern labels make setup a breeze
- USB connection suits users of all skill levels
- 3.5mm headphone output enables real-time monitoring (20Hz–20kHz)
- Momentary mute switch deadens unwanted sounds such as sneezes
- ’50s inspired body design and detachable base look classic
- Durable metal body resists to wear and tear
Samson Go Mic – Best Portable Option
Although it’s not going to give you the best quality audio out of the microphones on this list, it will certainly impress. The Samson Go Mic is a further expansion to the already diverse line of Samson USB microphones. Creating a versatile portable recording solution that clips to your laptop or sits unobtrusively on your desk. Additionally, you can plug and play the microphone straight into your Mac or PC, without the need for any additional drivers. With an extensive range of functionality, the Go Mic is not only perfect for recording music, podcasts or field recordings. But also ideal for voice recognition software, iChat, webcasting and even Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
Overall, sporting a custom and compact design, the Go Mic is the perfect pc microphone solution for recording with your laptop on the go.
- Portable USB condenser microphone
- Mac and PC compatible, no drivers required
- Custom, compact design that clips to a laptop or sits on a desk
- Perfect for recording music, podcasting and field recording, voice recognition software, iChat, VoIP and web casting
- Switchable cardioid or omnidirectional pickup patterns
- 16-bit, 44.1kHz resolution
- Smooth, flat frequency response of 20Hz–18kHz
- Stereo 1/8″ headphone output for no latency monitoring
- Includes USB cable, cable clip and carry case
- Samson Sound Deck Noise Cancellation Software (Mac OS X/Windows) available for purchase
Another great pc microphone, the Shure Motiv MV5 allows you to connect and record via either Lightning or USB directly to your phone or computer. Offering the versatility to record for vocals, instruments, podcasting, video chatting and more. Sporting three DSP modes, headphone monitoring options, as well as a convenient stand. It’s also extremely portable so you can take it with you whether you’re at the desk or on the go. Plus, if you’re after a complete recording kit, we stock the MV5 in the Shure Mobile Recording Kit bundle. So you’ll have everything you need to start recording right away.
- Flexible 24-bit/48kHz digital microphone for your computer or mobile device recording rig
- Onboard DSP preset modes accommodate podcasting, voice-over, and vocal or instrument tracking
- Midsize microphone capsule delivers clear sound that sounds great on a wide range of sources
- Detachable aluminum stand makes desktop mounting easy and convenient
- Integrated headphone output provides real-time, low-latency monitoring
- Includes micro-USB to USB cable for use with Mac, Windows PC, and Android devices
- Includes micro-USB to Lightning cable for use with iOS devices
Brand new as part of Mackie’s microphone range debuted at NAMM 2020, the EM-USB Utilizing a cardioid polar pattern, the EM-USB rejects unwanted sounds behind the mic. So you’ll pick up less unwanted room ambiance that’s commonly found in typical bedroom studios. Sporting a single USB-C connection, the EM-USB gives you simple plug-and-play functionality. While the 3.5mm headphone output allows for convenient headphone monitoring directly from the mic itself.
What’s more, all the controls you need are clearly accessible from right in front of the mic. Including gain, headphone volume, and mic mute. The EM-USB also comes complete with a tripod desk stand, mic clip, and USB-C cable. So you can start recording straight out of the box.
- Perfect for Podcasting, Live Streaming, Voice-Over
- Cardioid Polar Pattern Reduces Ambient noise recording
- 3.5mm Headphone Out with Volume Control
- Adjustable Gain and Selectable Mute
Samson Meteor Mic
Sporting a massive 25mm diaphragm, the Samson Meteor boasts a clean frequency response, cardioid pickup pattern, and 44.1 – 48 kHz resolution. Ensuring you enjoy high quality and clean recordings from this budget USB mic. What’s great about the Meteor Mic is that you can also use it on your iOS and Android Devices.
For around the $100 mark, the Meteor is a versatile condenser microphone with a number of great features. So you can’t go wrong in using it as a computer microphone for your PC or Mac.
- Large, 25mm diaphragm USB studio condenser microphone
- Works with iPad using Apple’s Lightning USB Camera Adapter or Camera Connection Kit (30-pin)
- Cardioid pick-up pattern
- 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution
- Smooth, flat frequency response of 20Hz–20kHz
- Stereo 1/8″ headphone jack for no latency monitoring
- Headphone volume control with microphone mute switch
Samson G-Track Pro
The Samson G-Track Pro is a USB Condenser Microphone; featuring an instrument input and mixer for recording two independent audio channels at one time. Capture your audio at 24-bit/96kHz and enjoy extremely detailed, high-resolution audio. While plug-and-play connectivity and it’s straight forward design mean its the perfect choice for musicians, podcasters and streamers. With the G-Track Pro, you can record professional audio, straight out of the box.
Equipped with dual 1″ (25mm) large-diaphragm condenser capsules, the G-Track Pro captures the detail and nuance of your voice or instrument. While offering three selectable pickup patterns (cardioid, omnidirectional and bi-directional), providing flexibility for any project. Additionally, you’ll find the Mic gain control on the front panel, so you always get the best signal level.
What’s unique about the G-Track Pro is that it also acts as an audio interface. Including a 1/4″ input for your keyboard, guitar, or other line input. Overall, the Samson G-Track Pro is a versatile USB Microphone. Perfect for vocalists, podcasters or content creators looking to record on the fly.
- All-in-one professional USB microphone with audio interface
- Dual 1″ (25mm) condenser capsules
- Cardioid (unidirectional), bidirectional and omnidirectional pickup patterns
- Smooth, flat frequency response of 50Hz–20kHz
- 24-bit, 96kHz resolution
- USB microphone for connecting to any Mac or PC device
- 1/4″ instrument input for connecting guitars or line level devices
- Record Mic and Instrument input simultaneously
- 1/8″ stereo headphone output with level control for zero-latency monitoring
- 3-color Power/Clip/Mute LED
Rode Podcaster MK2
The RODE Podcaster Mk2 is a broadcast-quality USB studio microphone aimed at Podcasting. Offering a dynamic, end-address solution that combines broadcast-quality audio with the simplicity of USB connectivity. Allowing you to record directly to a computer, without the need for an additional interface. Honing their microphone technology since its inception, the Podcaster MK2 gives you top-notch sound quality with a user-friendly interface. As a result, the Podcaster is a truly convenient studio mic, that gives you everything you need as a modern-day podcaster.
Including audiophile-quality 18-bit resolution and 48kHz sampling A/D converter; the Podcaster mic processes all the AD conversion internally. Acting as its own interface and allowing you to enjoy professional-quality audio.
Additionally, the Podcaster mk2 features a headphone output on the body of the microphone. Providing zero-latency monitoring, so you can hear exactly what you’re recording, free of delay or echo. On top of that, RODE has integrated an internal pop filter into the Podcaster mk2. Minimizing those unwanted plosives sounds that can overload your mic and distort your audio output.
Above all, if you’re looking for a USB Podcast Mic, the Podcaster MK2 takes the cake!
- Broadcast Sound Quality
- 28mm dynamic capsule
- 18-bit resolution, 8-48kHz sampling
- Windows and Mac compatible
- Internal capsule shock mounting
- 3.5mm stereo headphone output with volume control built-in to the body