When it comes to streaming, you want a microphone that offers simplicity and clarity. Whether you are just streaming to make professional content or just for fun, the best microphone can massively improve your video sound quality.
You may be tempted to use a gaming headset instead of going through the trouble of finding the best mic for streaming.
So what is the best mic for streaming? The exponential rise of streaming as a potential career and just doing it for fun has led to growth in demand for microphones.
If you are looking for a mic for streaming, we walk you through some of the best microphones for streaming.
Why do you Need a Mic for Streaming?
A traditional gaming headset can allow you to chat with others in the stream or have video calls. If you want to get into serious streaming, you need to get a dedicated mic.
It is no surprise that a great microphone is so important when streaming. When you need the sound to be excellent for your podcast or streaming audience, the most important thing to worry about is the sound coming through the speakers to the audience.
And for this, you need a microphone that will match the quality of great speakers, thus a dedicated mic is what you will need.
Decent standalone hardware will provide a wider range of frequency responses compared to a traditional headset microphone. This will allow the microphone to pick up all the gradation in your voice giving you great audio quality.
With varying pickup patterns, microphones make it easier to eliminate or reduce all the background noises that might be emerging from your gaming keyboard or gaming PC.
What is more, some mics can allow you to switch between different pickup patterns so that you can focus entirely on your own voice with a cardioid pattern or bi-directional pattern.
How to Choose a Streaming Microphone
So how do you choose a streaming microphone and what are the specific features should you pay attention to? Consider the below factors when choosing a mic for your streaming activities.
This is a feature accountable for the direction in which the audio sound is recorded. Directivity is also sometimes known as a polar pattern and is typically the ability of a mic to pick up your sound from different angles.
By this, we mean the suitability of a mic to record the loudest and quietest voices without any distortion. For more natural sound, consider a mic with a wider frequency response. This also means the high voices will be distinguished clearly and the bass will be present.
In mics, sensitivity is expressed in dB, and the lower the dB the better the mic in recording quiet audios.
If you are new, it is better to consider USB mics because they are cheap and don’t require an additional interface.
But if you are an experienced streamer, you should give preference to a high-quality mic such as the XLR microphone.
Traditional table mics come with a stand that you can fix to a flat surface. But a microphone for streaming doesn’t need this feature since they tend to take up a very small space on the workstation. So you will be better off getting a lavalier model, particularly if you intend to have several persons involved in streaming.
A pop filter includes layers of tinny nylon that protect your mic from explosive sounds. For streaming purposes, avoid getting a metal pop filter.
Should I use Cardioid for Streaming?
Cardioid microphones are types of mics where sound is picked up from sides and the front but not the rear. This makes them ideal microphones for streaming as well as musical performance and voice-over. They are designed to isolate undesirable ambient sound and other unwanted audios from the back of the microphone, thus making them the most common choice for streaming since they block sounds like the clatter of your keyboard or loud fan.
Is a Condenser Mic Better for Streaming?
Both dynamic and condenser microphones can be used for streaming as they ensure your voice is clear with the lowest background noise. However, condenser microphones are better suited compared to dynamic microphones because they let you stream clear sound while eliminating background noise and disturbance.
Condenser mics make up a huge chunk of the market for streaming microphones and it is not difficult to see why. In addition to recording clear sound, they are also sensitive enough to capture even quiet audio, which is great if you are streaming in a quiet setting.
Best Mics for Streaming
Now that we have covered the nitty-gritty of choosing the right microphone for your streaming activities, let’s now dive deeper into reviewing the best mics on the market today for both streaming and gaming.
1. lgato Wave 3 – Best mic for streaming and gaming
Known for being the best mic for both streaming and gaming, the Elgato Wave 3 is small in stature, coming in slightly over eight inches when fixed on its stand and six inches if you are looking at the mic itself. It is trimmed virtually entirely in black and weighs only 590g, meaning you won’t need too much power to hold its weight.
Elgato has paid closer attention to the gaming and streaming market with this model, which has been well-received since debuting. The Wave Link proprietary software offers the audio mixing and routing functionality that very few streaming mics favorites offer on the market. The software can create numerous virtual audio devices, which you can direct sound to from your PC.
In terms of performance, the Wave 3 delivers a crisp, natural sound, as well as giving your voice a bit of a “bite” compared to streaming and gaming microphones.
Generally, the Elgato Wave 3 is an incredible streaming and gaming microphone that sounds great and has amazing features tailor-made for content creators.
- Clipguard technology for preventing sound distortion
- Use the Wave Link application to control Wave: 3 and seven other audio sources
- Superior circuitry for seamless audio signal transmission
- 42-bit/96kHz analog to digital conversion
- Condenser capsule featuring cardioid polar patterns
2. Blue Yeti USB – Best Overall Streaming, Podcasting, YouTubing, and gaming
The Blue Yeti is one of the most popular microphones in the streaming world that delivers a near-perfect blend of price and performance, making it ideal for not only streaming but also YouTubing, podcasting, and gaming.
It is incredibly affordable and it comes with cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional capture patterns, which means you can record your audio in just about any environment.
Since it is also a USB mic, setting up the Blue Yeti is pretty easy and you will also appreciate the fact that it has a gain control and comes in a variety of different colors.
It is ideal for both advanced and fledgling streamers/gamers/podcasters thanks to its great features and incredible performance.
Touted as a hybrid of the Original Yeti and the Nano, the Blue Yeti USB is sturdy and has an LED-lit panel that monitors your volume levels instantly.
Its sound quality is top-notch and is clear why this mic is still loved by podcasters, streamers, gamers, and YouTubers all over the world.
- Polar patterns cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and Stereo
- Connectivity USB
- Up to 48 kHz/24-bit recording sample rate
- Frequency response rate of 20-20,000Hz
- Smart knob controls
3. Epos B20 – Best Looking Microphone for Streaming
This B20 streaming mic from Epos comes with potentially handy features that allow you to stream your content with ease and without breaking the bank.
It is almost 9 ½ inches long and 4.4 inches wide with a metal grille covering around the top panel as well as the top thirds of both sides.
Its control knobs are situated on the sides, which is somewhat unconventional, with a headphone volume button and mute button on the front of the mic and a four-way mode button and a gain knob on the back, fairly out of sight.
The mic is mounted on a dark metal table stand featuring a circular base and a tinny neck on the left, thus revealing a screw mount for when using the microphone on a boom arm.
The mic also uses three condenser capsules that you can set to 4 different pickup patterns, namely cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo.
Additionally, it samples at 24-bit/48kHz with 50-20,000 kHz frequency response. Any streamer will appreciate this microphone’s flexible construction as well as the onboard adjustment knobs, although podcasters can also take advantage of its multiple polar patterns.
- Multi-pattern recording microphone
- High-quality build and sleek design
- Integrated audio connection
- Easy USB connection
- Choose from four pickup patterns
4. Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone – Best Hybrid USB/XLR
The MV7 from Shure is a mic known for perfectly blending USB and XLR connections as well as its capability for recording high-quality sounds. And with some useful features, it can make your streaming a lot easier than you would imagine.
As a dynamic microphone, the Shure MV7 delivers a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20,000 kHz, making sure it picks up every sound the human ear can capture and probably a fair bit more than a human ear can hear.
Moreover, it also offers a sensitive resolution with a 48 kHz sample rate as well as 24 bits depth. You can get loud with this microphone thanks to its maximum sound pressure level of up to 132dB.
It is a sturdy, metal microphone built for ease of use. It comes with a cardioid pickup pattern, which can allow you to focus on your sound and avoid background sounds. The built-in headphone jack allows you to monitor your voice.
You will find useful support for both USB and XLR connections, allowing you to use your favorite DAW or just hook it up to your computer on the go.
The controls panel on the microphone enables you to monitor mix, dial in the gain, and headphone volume levels, or simply mute the microphone.
- Frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz
- Dynamic microphone
- Maximum SPL 132dB
- Single polar cardioid pattern
- Sample rate of 48kHz
5. Blue Snowball Ice – Budget
At less than $100, the Blue Snowball Ice is an extremely affordable streaming microphone surprisingly from a company known for producing high-end microphones.
It features multiple microphone pickup patterns and cardioid polar patterns. Despite its price, this mic has some great features and is very popular amongst streamers.
The Blue Snowball Ice is ideal for a range of projects, including podcasting, streaming, and YouTubing and that is why it has earned our choice for a budget streaming mic.
Available in white or black, this mic measures slightly over 12 inches in circumference and features a plastic cover that reveals a metallic grille front-side and also in the rear end.
The mic offers solid sound from a distance of 5 to 6 inches, and the gain is attuned accordingly.
Refreshingly, this mic doesn’t require need any software, not even a single driver, thus setting it up is extremely simple. And in the absence of additional polar patterns or a mute knob, all you need to focus on is placing it.
But since the Blue Snowball Ice is at the lowest end of the pricing spectrum, it doesn’t come with overflowing features. For instance, it does not have a gain control, no mute, and no polar pattern knob. Instead, all you receive is a mini-USB cable to connect to your PC.
Although this lack of great features may feel like a limiting factor in terms of performance, the simplicity that comes with stripped-down features is welcomed to newbies.
- Mini-USB cable
- Removable stand
- Cardioid polar patterns
- Frequency response range of 40Hz to 18 kHz.
6. HyperX SoloCast – Best budget mic
HyperX has produced several mics over the years aimed at streamers, but the SoloCast model is surely doing everything it was designed to do.
Extremely compact, this microphone has increasingly grown in popularity over the years and is targeted at streamers and gamers specifically.
Costing below $100, the SoloCast is also amongst the best budget streaming microphones on the market today. The cost is pretty decent when you remember it is a product of HyperX.
It performs almost similar to Blue Yeti microphones, only that the latter is quite expensive.
The microphone measures about 5 inches tall, so don’t expect to find a lot of features and hardware. Nevertheless, the lack of enough hardware means the mic is still sturdy.
Its frame is made of black matte plastic, but other than that, it is what you see is what you get. The mute button is located atop the grill. Also due to size, the button is a bit finicky and hard to locate the sweet spot to trigger it without causing feedback from tapping the microphone too hard.
- Adjustable stand
- Boom arm and microphone stand
- Multi-device compatibility for PC, Mac, PS4 or PS5
- Tap-to-Mute button
- Plug N Play sound recording
7. Rode NT-USB-Mini – Best Mic for Beginners
The Rode NT-USB Mini mic is one of the best microphones for streaming and among the best over mics on the market. Although the brand behind this product, Rode, is known for manufacturing on-camera video mics, it has shown that it is ready to cater to amateur and pro streamers with the NT-USB Mini microphone.
Priced slightly under $100, this mic is not only best for beginners; it is also one of the most affordable streaming microphones you will find today.
However, due to its price, it has very limited control options while the static stand makes it harder for on-the-go applications. It is short and stocky with considerable weight.
Thankfully, the mic floats on a base that can rotate 360 degrees, giving it versatility since you can mount it on just any stand including a desk or an overhead arm.
It is readily available, which can be attributed to its lower price and can be found in any major retailer. In terms of price, the NT-USB Mini sites are right in the middle of the Blue Yeti and HyperX.
If you are taking your first steps in the world of streaming and podcasting, this microphone is a great starting point.
- USB connection
- Cardioid directional patterns
- Integrated headphone output
- Great audio quality
8. HyperX Quadcast S – Best Microphone for RGB
Now, this is quite a fun USB mic. It has rainbow LED lights just beneath the grille and is long and tube-shaped, made from a long-lasting all-metal casing.
It comes screwed onto a shock stand, which prevents external vibrations and handling noise from feeding into your computer. But since it is bolted, you can’t remove the mic from the shock stand.
The bottom of the mic features a matte knob so you can easily adjust the gain, while the top features a touch-sensitive mute button.
In terms of compatibility, the HyperX QuadCast is compatible with Mac and PC as well as PS4 and should be compatible with just about any platform that utilizes a microphone input. But the Ngenuity software is designed for PC.
The dial on its rear allows you to switch between four polar patterns namely cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo depending on your recording needs.
Also, depending on your recording needs, you may need to place a pop filter on the HyperX QuadCast S, but the built-in pop filter is equally great.
The microphone records clear sound and features a neutral frequency response with de-emphasized bass notes to reduce the proximity effect.
- Built-in pop filter
- Four polar patterns
- Compact design
- Clear sound recording
9. Audio Technica AT2020
The Audio Technica AT2020 is among the rarest streaming microphones that deliver good audio quality at a very low price. It can reproduce the subtle variations in voice applications and thanks to its attention to detail, it can also record acoustic guitars as well as any other acoustic instrument.
Most importantly, it works great in-studio setting as well and is the perfect starter mic for a developing or new studio.
When it comes to design, the microphone features a simple construction that is ideal for on-the-road uses. It is compact and weighs just 1 ½ pounds despite its all-metal build.
It is a cardioid polar pattern condenser mic, which makes it ideal for studio streaming. The Sound Pressure Level of the AT2020 is at 144dB, which means it can easily record louder signals with very slight distortion.
Generally, the AT2020 is a well-built microphone that features some useful accessories at an affordable price. It provides solid performance for a condenser mic and if you are on the market for a new streaming microphone, you should seriously consider the AT2020.
- Clear sound recording
- Low mass diaphragm
- Versatile microphone
- Great transient response
10. Razer Seiren Mini
Coming in a wide range of colors including white, black, and pink, the Seiren Mini microphone is pill-shaped with an integrated desktop base that can swivel to angle depending on your positioning or angled at any side like a joystick.
The top half of the microphone is a speaker grille with a sunken mini USB port on the back panel. The front side of the microphone features a small status LED to signal if the mic is connected.
Behind the speaker, is grill is a 14mm condenser capsule, which offers a super-cardioid pattern as well as a frequency range from 20Hz to 20 kHz. It has a sample rate of up to 48kHz and a depth of 16-bit.
PC users can take advantage of Synapse 3, which comes with basic mic controls. Any control in the software can be accessed via whatever recording platform you use.
- Synapse 3 PC-only software
- Super-cardioid polar pattern
- Compact and transportable