Podcasting has become quite popular over the last couple of years and allows both creators and listeners to explore a huge range of subjects and topics whenever and wherever the mood takes them
For creators, the success of their podcast relies on two main areas: having an interesting topic, and having the right equipment, and when it comes to the latter, a good microphone is crucial.
USB microphones are often considered among the best options for podcasting, but with so many options on the market, choosing the right mic can be a challenge.
Fortunately for you, we have put together the best USB podcasting mics on the market, as well as the tips you need to make a perfect choice.
#1 Blue Yeti
When it comes to the best USB microphones in the business, the Blue Yeti is a model that is on everyone’s must-try list – and it is easy to see why.
Not only does it come at an affordable price tag, but it does so without asking you to compromise on sound quality or extra features, creating a wonderful all-rounder that ticks every box you need.
This is a microphone that shows off its full potential when used by a single recorder in the cardioid pattern, but users also have total flexibility with the option to switch easily between cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo.
This means that you can switch depending on your environment and surroundings; omnidirectional functionality is perfect for conference calls or group chats, while bidirectional works perfectly for in-person interviews – there is no need to invest in multiple microphones for different tasks or types of podcasts, as the Blue Yeti allows you to take care of all these challenges with one easy-to-use unit.
The model also comes with a headphone monitoring jack, a mute button that flashes when active – perfect to avoid the risk of unmuting yourself accidentally – as well as zero latency with no delay and gain control.
You can also choose from a range of colors, allowing you to ensure that your mic matches the rest of your podcast setup.
Some of the most popular colors include silver, blackout, platinum, vintage white, midnight blue, space gray, lunar gray, whiteout, Aztec copper, slate, teal, and satin red.
- Suitable for a wide range of tasks, meaning you need just one mic
- Affordable without compromising on features
- Mute button flashes when active
- Great quality
- Very easy to use
- A little heavy
#2 Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS
Another popular option in the world of USB microphones is this model from Audio Technica, and this is ideal if you consider a headphone jack to be an essential element of your podcast set-up- this is also what helps to separate this Plus model from the slightly more standard model.
One of the key advantages of the Plus is that the unit contains a headphone jack which comes with a mix control dial, as well as a level control – this allows you to blend your voice with pre-recorded audio, and offers a great deal of versatility and flexibility when it comes to recording your audio – you will have the option to lend your speaking voice with music, other voices or general sounds to create the effect that you desire.
In addition, the headphone jack ensures that there is zero delays between what you say and what you hear, and this is important for keeping yourself on track, without the headaches and frustration of waiting for your audio to kick in; this can really cause you to lose your flow and get distracted.
The Plus model also has the added bonus of being a condenser microphone; this means that it picks up background sound with ease, while a cardioid polar pattern ensures that you can also pick up clear sound from the front for total customization.
- Option to blend voice with background noise and other audio
- Very flexible and versatile
- Sound is clearly picked up from the front
- Zero delay between speaking and hearing
- Good price
- Desk stand is not very sturdy
# 3 Rode Podcaster
The Rode Podcaster is something of a new addition to the world of podcasting and equipment – but being the new kid on the block has done nothing to slow down its popularity amongst professional podcasters, and those investing in equipment for the first time.
This is a dynamic, easy-to-use model that boasts a cardioid polar pattern, ensuring that the sound recorded from the front of the mic is always of the highest possible quality; this is particularly important if the majority of your podcasting revolves around you talking and recording, rather than needing to pick up the voices of others or background noise.
Another major advantage of this model is the headphone jack; this comes equipped with full volume control, allowing you to take total charge over the volume levels and sound quality, as well as allowing for latency-free monitoring during your recording.
As an added bonus, this also comes with a handy green light to alert you to the status of the mic; if the green light is on, it shows that everything is plugged in and working as it should, and this can be very useful if you have ever got halfway through a recording only to realize things are not switched on!
- Green light indicates power
- Headphone jack has volume control
- Cardioid polar pattern means front sound is high quality
- Can also be used as an iPad mic
- Sleek, stylish appearance
- Very heavy to use and move
#4 Movo UM700 Desktop USB Microphone
Another top option for USB microphones, the Movo UM700 is a great all-rounder that allows you to take total charge of your recording, and this is a super flexible model that works for your needs, rather than you having to put in extra effort to get the results you want.
The 3.5mm aux input allows you to add your favorite pair of studio headphones, and this means that you are in total control of the playback sound and monitoring, simply by adjusting the volume knob, and this channel can also be used to playback your audio to check for clarity before sending it out into the big wide world, making this super easy to use.
You can also record your podcast safe in the knowledge that your mic will stay in place; a threaded mount allows you to attach the mic to a stand, and this means that you can easily keep your mic in place while speaking.
As an added bonus, you can cycle through four polar patterns with the touch of a knob – choose from stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional to ensure you are ready for any event.
- Can be used with studio headphones
- Four polar patterns to choose from
- Sturdy and durable
- Take control over monitoring and playback sound
- A little pricier than some other models
# 5 HyperX QuadCast – USB Condenser Gaming Microphone
If you are looking for a USB mic that requires minimal set-up, look no further than this impressive model from HyperX; this is also a perfect option if you are fairly new to podcasting or USB microphones, and will have you up and running with your podcast in no time.
The design of this mic is intended to help reduce and mitigate the vibration as much as possible – and this is an important factor when you are trying to record audio for a podcast or stream.
The smallest vibration in the space has the potential to cause serious interference and disruption in your audio, and this USB mic comes with a dual-shock mount to help reduce this, leaving your audio crystal clear.
In addition, the unit offers extra flexibility thanks to a tilting stand which allows you to place the mic in the perfect spot to pick up sound; this is perfect if you are conducting interviews, or need to pick up multiple sources of sound during your podcast.
A mute touchpad is easily located on the top of the mic, making it easy to switch mute on and off whenever you need it, and there is no need for a pop filter thanks to the inclusion of foam behind the frill – perfect for combating those plosive sounds.
- Compatible with a large range of systems
- No need for a separate pop filter
- Designed to reduce vibration for clear audio
- Easy to use and adapt to your needs
- Very easy to mute
- A little pricey compared to other USB mics
Now that we have taken a closer look at the best USB mics on the market, you may be wondering how you go about choosing the best product, and we have put together everything you need to know. If you are interested in other types such as XLR or Dynamic mics check out our guides.
What Is A USB Microphone?
A USB microphone is a device that plugs directly into a computer’s USB port, allowing you to connect it to any system that supports USB connectivity. This means that you can plug it straight into your laptop, desktop PC, tablet, smartphone, or even a TV set-top box.
The main benefit of using a USB microphone over regular microphones is that you don’t need to worry about batteries running out mid-interview, and you also don’t need to worry as much about losing the microphone cable.
There are many factors that make a USB microphone great, but here are just a few things to consider:
This is one of the most important aspects of a USB microphone, and the better the sound quality, the more likely you are going to get high-quality results. If you are recording yourself talking, then you want to make sure that you have a good balance between clarity and volume.
It’s not always necessary to buy a brand new microphone every single time you start a podcast, so durability is another key aspect to consider.
When buying a USB microphone, make sure that you check out the warranty before purchasing and that you purchase something that is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.
Another thing to think about is portability. You don’t necessarily need to carry around a bulky microphone all day long, so make sure that you find a USB microphone that is small enough to fit into your backpack without taking up too much room.
You can spend anywhere from $20 to hundreds of dollars on a USB microphone, depending on what features you require. Make sure that you do your research first and find a USB microphone that fits within your budget.