Best USB Microphones of 2019 – Home Studios, Podcasts, & More

Are you interested in doing podcasts and becoming the number one hit on the internet? Or maybe you are a music artist with the desire to become the next big thing in the industry. Whatever your aspirations may be, investing in proper recording equipment will go a long way toward making these dreams coming true. 

Apart from a high-quality audio interface and adequate studio headphones, there is one last essential that you will need: yes, we are talking about a proper microphone. As current market trends suggest, your best bet is investing in a USB microphone that may support your music and broadcast recording requirements. Bearing this in mind, choosing the right one may depend on a few critical features.

In order to help you, we came up with a list of the best USB microphone offers to give you a better insight into what it takes to make the right decision!

Comparison of the USB Microphones

Product

Rating

Price

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Silver

Best Overall

Rode NT-USB

Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone

Runner-up

Samson Go Mic

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

Best for the Money

Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone

Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid - Black

Best USB Microphone for Vocals

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser Microphone, Chrome

Best USB Microphone for Podcasting

Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone

USB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone for Laptop MAC or Windows Cardioid Studio Recording Vocals, Voice Overs,Streaming Broadcast and YouTube Videos-K669B

Best USB Microphone Under $50

Blue Yeti Nano

Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Mic for Recording and Streaming - Shadow Grey

Best USB Microphone Under $100

What Are The Best Uses for a USB Microphone?

A USB microphone is a versatile product that has more than a few effective uses. When we say microphone, the first thing that comes across most of our minds is recording; however, the best models can be used for much more than that.

Vocal/Instrumental Recording​

First and foremost, you can get great use out of it if you are a musician in a band that wants to release their first few tracks. By plugging in a USB microphone to an audio interface or a mixer, you will be able to record impeccable sound at the flat frequency response and with great bass control, thus getting excellent results. In our opinion, the best USB microphones for music recording that are offered at a fair price are manufactured by Audio-Technica.

Interviews​

These are just perfect if you enjoy doing interviews. A good USB microphone that is omnidirectional will allow you to capture great sound and all the details of the interview, allowing you to gain popularity, especially if it was with someone that your target audience loves.

Podcasts​

Last but not least, it would be a shame not to mention doing podcasts or live streaming. These are quite popular, yet hundreds of people decide to do their live broadcasting shows without the right equipment. If you want to be successful and have the best results, a USB microphone may allow you to do so. It offers great integration and simple connectivity, which are crucial for doing podcasts from the comfort of your home.

What Makes These The Best of the Year?

There are a number of features that highlight a worthy USB microphone. Apart from the design, it is the ability to convert to digital audio, sample rate, latency, and of course bit depth.

Design​

The first thing that you want to consider is the design of the USB microphone. If your budget is more flexible, try to get one with a steel casing and a windscreen that will allow both better durability and a warmer sound. Other than that, you should look for a USB microphone that is portable and comes with a yoke mount, especially if you want to do podcasts, as this will allow better positioning and remove proximity effects.

Ability to Convert to Digital Audio

This one may come as a surprise, as many people think that conversion is not done inside a microphone, and they are right if we are talking about a traditional one. When it comes to USB models, these come with the ability to directly convert analog to digital; how effectively one model does this may determine whether it is worth your attention or not.

Latency​

One of the most important things is latency, which basically represents duration from the time that you speak to the time that analog audio is converted. As you might expect, the shorter the latency, the better the microphone is.

Bit DeptH​

What you also need to consider is the bit depth, which is responsible for sound precision and clarity. The professional standard sits at 24-bits. 

Sample Rate​

Sample rate determines how well the microphone will capture certain frequencies. Once again, while the professional standard ranges between 48 to 96 kHz, you will be fine with at least 44.1 kHz, as long as you are not going to record some complex vocal/instrumental music.

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Here are the best USB microphones:

  1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
  2. Rode NT-USB
  3. Samson Go Mic

Review of the Best USB Microphones

As we have mentioned above, USB microphones have taken over and are now much more popular than traditional ones. This is for a few reasons, and apart from the fact that analog-digital conversion can be done almost instantly, these are more portable and offer better overall control over the given sound.

With this in mind, we will present you a few of the best USB microphone offers, featuring models for people who are on a tighter budget, as well as those who have a more flexible budget and want only the best quality. 

Blue Yeti USB Microphone - Silver

PROS

  • Offers crystal clear sound.
  • Attractive and compact design.
  • Features a zero-latency headphone output that ensures faster analog-digital conversion.
  • Comes with a number of different patterns that will allow you to capture high-quality sound in any given environment.
  • Compatible with a variety of different mix and master software, as well as many operating systems, including the latest versions of Windows and macOS.

CONS

  • Doesn’t have a pop filter.
  • Not the sturdiest product out there.
  • There have been problems with customer service, which could certainly be more effective.

If you are looking to get the best USB microphone for your money, and you have not yet decided whether you will be using it for the purpose of music recording, interviews, or podcasts, we see the Blue Yeti USB mic as the best choice out there. It comes at an affordable price and offers a number of patterns that will ensure great performance in almost any environment.

What Recent Buyers Report

Most customers are satisfied by the innovative features that the Blue Yeti USB Mic offers, of which the zero-latency one is often claimed as the most important. Once you plug in headphones, the sound is instantly converted; this makes a huge difference, especially if you are doing live podcasts and streaming shows. Also, the four cardioid patterns work great and allow recording in any given environment.

Why it Stands Out To Us 

We would agree with customers that this microphone offers crystal clear sound and superb performance, compared to some other mics that are either cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, or stereo. The fact that this microphone is a 4-in-1 and can be used for more than just music or podcast recording is what makes it the best overall choice in our opinion.

Technically speaking, the characteristics of the Blue Yeti are perfect for home studios. It can sit on the desk, and a producer can record a range of instruments or vocals without worrying much about the mic’s position. The large diaphragm allows you to record at a distance without gathering too much noise or losing richness of tone.

The Blue Yeti is also the only mic that can record in stereo -- ideal if you’re recording drums, or a live performance, and want the feeling of “being there” in the room.

First off, the Blue Yeti is huge. It’s almost a foot tall on its stand and 5 inches wide. This makes it rather impractical for mobile use or field recordings, despite the fact that its stereo mode would be useful for that.

Secondly, while the Yeti has lower noise than the Samson Go Mic, it is still no match for the Rode NT -- dubbed the world’s quietest microphone. If you’re recording soft instruments, or need high quality samples for a film production, you may want to budget a little more for the Rode.

Who Will Use This Most 

The answer to this question is not as simple, as this microphone is adequate for almost anyone that wants a good microphone in their recording equipment. The fact that you can record vocals, instruments, podcasts, and interviews with it makes it accessible to anyone. On top of all that, the price is quite affordable, making it the perfect choice if you are just starting out.

Bottom Line

It is safe to say that the Blue Yeti USB Microphone is a great example of what a product of this kind should feature. It offers great sample rate, zero-latency (with headphone output), a compact design, and a crystal clear sound that will make you a star!

Runner-up:
Rode NT-USB

Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone

PROS

  • Easy to use and features simple button controls.
  • Great build quality and should last you a couple of years of heavy use.
  • Features a pop filter that is there to ensure no irregularities are present in the sound.
  • Includes a zero-latency headphone output to support better analog-digital conversion.
  • Offers great background isolation no matter if you are in a professional studio or at home.

CONS

  • Doesn’t have the best monitoring.
  • Mounting ring is made out of cheap plastic.

If you are looking to get a versatile USB microphone that is ideal for recording vocals and you don’t have the money to invest in the high-end models, the Rode-NT USB is a great alternative. It has a great design, a cardioid pattern and a fine analog-digital conversion rate, making it a good choice if you are a beginner starting out.

What Recent Buyers Report

Looking at what recent buyers have to say, we notice that they were satisfied with the ability of this microphone to capture crystal clear sound to the slightest details. Apart from that, the background noise was another thing that was claimed as highly important. Still, the major concern seems to be the fact that this mic is not as portable.

Why It Stands Out To Us

There are a number of reasons why we see the Rode-NT USB Microphone as the second best model on the market. First of all, the wide frequency response and a fine sample conversion rate along with the zero-latency output allow for a fast analog-digital conversion with no delay. Other than that, the captured sound is of great quality.

I admit, I was surprised when I first saw this microphone. Rode makes some of the best studio mics on the market. What exactly are they doing releasing a USB mic -- a market traditionally reserved for beginners?

The answer is quite obvious. As home production becomes more common, there’s a growing demand for studio quality recording with the convenience and portability of a USB mic. The NT offers the most realistic sound, and has the lowest noise of any USB mic on the market.

The NT is virtually silent. It’s also smoother on the low-end, capturing a more realistic sounding voice. Musicians and producers who have worked before in a professional studio will be more familiar, and a lot happier with the performance of this mic.

The NT-USB seems to have it all. It’s smaller and more portable than the Yeti, yet captures a higher quality sound, suitable for professional productions. Plus, it is the only mic that can record on iPad in addition to Mac & PC.

The only real downsides are that it lacks stereo recording, and it’s more expensive. On the other hand, the NT-USB is about as professional as you can get without switching to an interface + broadcasting mic.

Who Will Use This Most 

It is a fact that this microphone can be used for both recording music, interviews, and podcasts, but if you were to ask us, we think that it is the best choice if you are going to do voice-over shows and streaming.

Bottom Line

We do see this microphone as an exceptional choice if you are on a somewhat lower budget and don’t want to miss out on the pros that the USB models allow, such as instant analog-digital conversion and crystal clear sound.

Best for the Money:
Samson Go Mic

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

PROS

  • Fold-up design.
  • Plug and play for easy use.
  • Zero-latency monitoring to support faster conversion.
  • Two polar patterns, including cardioid and omnidirectional.
  • Wide flat frequency response that will ensure good analog-digital conversion and crystal clear sound.

CONS

  • Low signal output.
  • Not very impressive customer support.
  • Doesn’t have the sturdiest build of them all.

We always like to emphasize the importance of getting the best quality for the money invested. When it comes to USB microphones, this Samson model is certainly a worthy investment.

What Recent Buyers Report

The main highlights of this product reported by the customers are that this mic does great when it comes to isolating noise and allows a good quality of sound for the given price, whether you are recording using the cardioid or omnidirectional pattern.

Why it Stands Out To Us

Well, apart from the fact that the design is not the sturdiest, there are a number of positive points we want to make about this mic. First of all, the pop-up filter does great when it comes to isolating noise and removing irregularities. Apart from that, this mic features an effective conversion rate; once you plug in the headphones, there shouldn’t be any delay.

Samson is a budget audio company that makes surprisingly high quality gear for the price. The Samson Go Mic is no exception, featuring a full frequency range, a sturdy metal design, and a handy clip that can be attached to a computer monitor or function as a stand.

It’s perfect for gamers, podcasters, and YouTube producers who want to upgrade from their built-in microphone. The Go Mic is significantly higher quality, picking up richer highs and lows. The optional “omnidirectional” mode means it can pick up sounds all around it -- ideal if you’re conducting an interview, or recording demos with a band.

While it packs in a lot of utility for the price, it doesn’t quite make the cut for studio recording, or voice-overs for a professional film. It’s a bit noisier compared to the Yeti or Rode. In test run videos, you can hear a subtle layer of static under the voice. While this usually goes unnoticed in podcasts and video blogs, it would be quite present if you were recording, say, an acoustic guitar.

Lastly, you would need to upgrade to get those boomy low frequencies heard in movie trailer voices, or radio DJs. The Rode and Yeti can deliver something closer to that, or you can opt for a full-blown broadcasting mic.

Who Will Use This Most 

In our opinion, this microphone is ideal if you are always on your feet going around doing interviews and podcasts.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, we found this product to be a USB microphone with good quality and a fair price, making it the ideal choice for anyone who is starting their recording adventure.

Best USB Microphone for Vocals:
Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone

Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone, Cardioid - Black

PROS

  • Easy to set up.
  • Compact portable design.
  • Easy to use with the plug and play.
  • Offers high-quality sound and conversion with almost no delay.
  • Features a good pop filter that will prevent background irregularities from messing with the sound.

CONS

  • Not as sturdy.
  • Weak cardioid pattern.
  • Customer service is nowhere near ideal.

If what you are looking for is a USB microphone ideal for recording clear vocals, this Blue Snowball model is the perfect choice for you.

What Recent Buyers Report

Given the price that this mic is offered for, this product is proclaimed by customers as one of the best choices out there. Apart from almost no background noise, customers are more than satisfied with the fact that it is easy to set up and use.

Why it Stands Out To Us 

What primarily drew our attention was the extremely low price and a custom condenser capsule that allows an exceptional quality of sound. Other than that, we were pretty satisfied with background noise isolation and the effective pop filter.

Who Will Use This Most 

This mic is intended for those that enjoy doing narrations and voiceovers. It is not ideal if you are recording music or live podcasts.

Bottom Line

For the price of this product, and given the good features, there is a good reason why this Blue Snowball Ice Microphone has a place on our list. Good quality sound and simple to use mechanics are everything you need for effectively recording vocals.

Best USB Microphone for Podcasting:
Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser Microphone, Chrome

PROS

  • Efficient pop filter.
  • Easy to install, USB connection.
  • Great sound quality with almost no background noise.
  • Handy mute button to control sound during live podcasts.
  • Sturdy 25mm diaphragm to support the condenser capsule.

CONS

  • Stiff volume control.
  • Noise in the headphones.
  • Mute button doesn’t completely isolate the sound.

As we have mentioned above, investing in a proper microphone for podcasting is a smart decision if you have an idea for your own unique show. Hence, this Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser is an excellent choice for all of you with an innovative mindset, plus the time and energy to put into podcasting!

What Recent Buyers Report

From what it seems, most customers were satisfied with the design of this microphone as well as the excellent sound quality and sensitivity, especially given the modest price tag. Other than that, this Samson model is highly appreciated for its efficient analog-digital conversion and background noise isolation.

Why it Stands Out To Us 

We are more than satisfied with the fact that this microphone has a sturdy build and offers handy and simple monitoring, which is done through a volume knob (that is a bit stiff) and the mute button. Also, with a good flat frequency response and a sample bit of 44.1-48kHz, the conversion is done with almost no delay.

Who Will Use This Most 

This would be ideal for people who enjoy doing podcasts and are looking to create their own streaming show. On the other hand, this condenser mic is not the best for vocal or instrument recording.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, we have to say that the Samson brand has once again outdone themselves with exceptional sound quality and a sturdy design with this mic, making it worth every penny for anyone who is into podcasting.

Best USB Microphone Under $50:
Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone

USB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone for Laptop MAC or Windows Cardioid Studio Recording Vocals, Voice Overs,Streaming Broadcast and YouTube Videos-K669B

PROS

  • Impressive sound quality.
  • Handy volume knob.
  • Good for voice-overs.
  • Easy to use and setup.
  • Features a sturdy tripod.

CONS

  • Low sensitivity.
  • Lacks mute button.
  • Customer service is not the best.

Being on a tight budget is never a comfortable thing, especially if you want to have fine recording equipment. If that is the predicament you are in, the Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone may be a good alternative until you make your way through and earn more money for options of higher quality.

What Recent Buyers Report

From what we can see looking at recent buyers reports, this mic is of great quality, taking into consideration the price being asked. Apart from the sturdy build, it offers good sound and recording quality, which is essential if you want to do voice-overs.

Why it Stands Out To Us 

While it does lack better sensitivity, we were won over by the handy and compact design, as well as the fact that it offers a solid frequency response and can capture good cardioid sound quality, without too much background noise. 

Who Will Use This Most 

Anyone with the idea to do voiceovers and add narrations to YouTube videos will find a use for this very low-priced product.

Bottom Line

Considering the price and the build quality of this Fifine microphone, we have to say that it has earned its place among the best USB microphone offers on the market. If you are a beginner and you don’t have much to start with, you will not regret making this model a part of your recording equipment.

Best USB Microphone Under $100:
Blue Yeti Nano

Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Mic for Recording and Streaming - Shadow Grey

PROS

  • Attractive and sturdy.
  • Easy to use and set up.
  • Good sound isolation.
  • Great analog-digital conversion.
  • Offers excellent sound quality for podcasting and streaming.

CONS

  • Software is tricky to use.
  • Smaller than its competitors.

Last but not least on our list of the best USB microphone offers, this Blue Yeti Nano comes at a more than reasonable price and offers excellent performance.

What Recent Buyers Report

Customers were mostly satisfied with this microphone, highlighting the fact that there should be certain build improvements, mostly due to it being too small and unable to provide powerful sound output. Other than that, this product has received great feedback when it comes to sound quality and sensitivity.

Why it Stands Out To Us 

We are satisfied with many things, including the fair price, attractive design and of course an efficient analog-digital conversion rate. Spend a minute searching for USB mics and you’re bound to come across The Blue Yeti. This mic is extremely popular, and the go-to for musicians getting their feet wet with home recording.

Who Will Use This Most 

This is ideal for people that plan on doing podcasts, live streaming, or voice overs for their YouTube videos.

Bottom Line

Much like other Blue Yeti models, this one offers great value for the asking price and stands among the best podcast microphones on the given market.

Pros and Cons of USB Microphones

As with any product, there are certain pros and cons that need to be highlighted in order to make the right decision.

Advantages

Here are some of the best features about USB mics:

Portable and Compact

In most cases, USB microphones are easily portable and great to take on the road with you. This comes in handy if you are doing interviews or live podcasts and you don’t want to be limited by your location.

Sound Quality

The sound quality is much better than if you were to use the mic built into the computer or a traditional mic that uses more of an additional audio interface in order for the sound to be efficiently converted. Also, the background noise is almost non-existent (with good models).

Affordable​

Last but not least, it is easy to find USB microphones of great quality without having to break your budget.

Disadvantages

Here is the main disadvantage of USB mics:

Connectivity

There are two potential problems related to connectivity. First of all, with most models, the cable is not long enough, which can present a problem if the area you are working in is spacious. Along with that, you can’t connect a USB microphone to an audio interface (mixing board), which is a problem if you want to create music tracks without any irregularities, and you want to achieve the best results with the least time and money invested.

Conclusion

It all comes down to your preference and your budget. Even if you are not flexible with money, that doesn’t mean that you need to end up with a low-quality USB microphone. Invest extra time in searching for one with compact and portable design, zero-latency output, good frequency response, and an efficient pop filter, and we guarantee that you will be off to a great start.

Personally, I would go with either the Samson Go Mic or the NT-USB, depending on your budget. The Samson Go Mic is a massive upgrade from any built-in microphone. Plus, just given how handy and portable it is, the Go Mic is the kinda tool you’ll keep using, even if you upgrade later. The Rode NT-USB fills the other end of the spectrum, providing the highest possible quality within a USB mic.

In a nutshell, the Samson Go Mic gives you the most bang for your buck. The Blue Yeti is extremely popular for home studios, and the Rode NT-USB is the only way to get full-blown studio quality recordings without buying studio gear. The Blue Yeti occupies an uncomfortable space in between. In my opinion, most users who are considering the Yeti could either save their money with the Go Mic or jump straight to the NT-USB and avoid having to upgrade later.

People Also Ask

In order to buy a product, you need to be well-informed on its purpose and features. In order to help you, we prepared a few answers to common questions related to USB microphones.

What is a USB Mic? 

USB microphones are electronic devices that are essential if you want to have good recording equipment. Unlike the traditional ones, most models are easily connected to a computer through the plug-play method, making it simple to capture sound and stream it over to your target audience. 

How Does a USB Microphone Work?

The most important features of any USB microphone are the polar pattern that it includes and the condenser capsule that ensures that the sound will be precisely captured. USB microphones (connected to a computer) usually include a number of innovative monitoring features such as zero-latency headphone output or a mute button that will allow you to achieve full control over the recorded sound. USB microphones allow you to record high quality audio straight to a digital audio workstation (DAW) like Garageband, Logic or ProTools.