USB microphones have gained incredible popularity in recent years. They become an indispensable part of gaming, streaming and more. Universal Plug’n’Play connection makes their use easy and affordable for any user.
Today there are excellent microphones at very affordable prices. As well as top-end models that have earned their popularity for their durability and sound quality.
With this review of the best USB microphones, you can decide which microphone meets your needs and capabilities.
USB-microphone Nady USB-24M allows you to start recording speech, vocals, instruments immediately.
The USB microphone does not need a sound card. The lack of hardware signal monitoring during recording solves the problem of the self-excited path in the speakers.
Inside the microphone is an integrated chip AKM AK5371, two-channel ADC + USB interface, working in 16-bit 44/48 kHz.
There are integrated electronic volume control and mute, signal/noise 84 dBA.
The microphone is designed for a wide audience of fans and enthusiasts who are looking for ways to raise the sound quality of their Youtube videos.
After purchasing Nady USB-24M such users celebrate a huge leap in quality. Compared to recording on the built-in microphone of a laptop or cell phone.
The membrane is not very large and not very sensitive, so the lack of a Lo-Cut filter is not so terrible. But the pop filter is shown to the microphone in many ways.
Hardware monitoring, like in M-Audio Avid Vocal Studio, is not provided here. But you can turn on the software monitoring of the signal from the microphone by means of Windows.
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Nady USB-4B is a surface USB condenser microphone.
Nady USB-4B is a so-called surface microphone, which is placed in front of you at a distance of 30-50 cm.
The microphone does not obstruct the speaker’s face or cover the check screen. This is important, for example, in video communications.
Nady USB-4B is designed for meeting rooms, schools, institutions as well as home and office use.
The microphone design includes several rubber elements to reduce vibration. Firstly, it has removable rubber feet on the backside.
Secondly, the rubber base is all over the lower surface. And third, there’s a rubber capsule suspension inside the microphone itself.
There’s also wind protection in the kit. The first foam layer is glued to a protective metal mesh. The second layer is on the capsule itself.
The whole structure of the microphone is completely metal. The body is cast, heavy enough, so the microphone stands steadily on the table. In the center, there is a button, which has colored LED backlighting.
Greenlight means work, red light means to muffle the microphone temporarily, i.e. MUTE. When you press it, a small click will be heard on the receiving side, as the button with the “click”.
Under the button, there is a USB chip of the controller with built-in codec 16 bits 44/48 kHz.
The sound quality is generally suitable for speech transmission. The vibration isolation from the surface is good enough. The wind protection feels very good. There are no sound problems with explosive consonants. Noise is medium, broadband and not annoying.
AKG Lyra is a universal USB condenser microphone.
AKG Lyra is made in a retro design with beautiful metal mesh. If you wish, it can be safely put in the frame when shooting blogs and thus diversify the interior.
The base of the microphone is made of aluminum 4 mm thick. Thanks to its lightweight and rubber lining, the microphone stands well on the table.
Specifications give information about the four capsules and a fairly powerful amplifier. You can connect to it almost any model of headphones to check the signal without delay.
A short printed manual is included so you can start working right out of the box. By the way, the microphone does not need drivers and works in any operating system.
Unlike most similar models, AKG Lyra can be used not only on the table. If you are a musician, you can unscrew the stand and place the microphone on a standard floor stand.
For the leading internet streamers, you can install a pantograph microphone.
But the most interesting thing about the model is the ability to record two people or stereo recording of a live event. AKG Lyra has 4 modes that can be selected from the back panel.
In standard scenario or in personal use you can choose only the front. When recording an interview or broadcasting two presenters, the second mode will fit the front + rear. If there are more sound sources, you can select one of the stereo recording options.
Apogee Hype Mic – USB
Apogee Hype Mic – USB is a new generation handheld electret USB microphone.
This microphone is not only compatible with Mac and iOS devices, but also with PC.
Besides, Apogee Hype Mic – USB has a headphone output.
It provides hardware monitoring of recorded sound.
This feature will be relevant for those who plan to use the novelty with no standard mini-jacket for headphones.
Finally, the Apogee Hype Mic – USB can record audio in resolutions up to 24 bits/96 kHz.
Apogee Hype Mic – USB comes with two cables (Lightning to micro-USB and USB to micro-USB).
It also features a rack mount, a table tripod, and a transport case.
It also comes with a software kit that includes the DAW Ableton Live 9 Lite and a collection of T-RackS Classic plug-ins.
Antelope Audio Edge Go
The Antelope Audio Edge Go is a USB modeling microphone.
Studio equipment manufacturer Antelope Audio announced the release of modeling USB microphone Go.
The model comes with a set of emulations of popular studio microphones. They can be used in real-time.
Sound simulation in the Edge Series is based on strict measurements of original classic microphones.
Antelope Audio Edge Go is a condenser microphone with a large aperture. It has a built-in preamplifier and high-quality FPGA FX ADC.
The model has 3 directional diagrams. Eight, cardioid, omnidirectional. The frequency range is 20 Hz – 20 kHz.
To process the signal received on Edge Go, you can choose the frequency response of 11 different models of microphones and use 22 extra effects.
Effects and emulations are controlled from a computer via specially developed software. For easy monitoring, the model also has a headphone output. It the microphone kit there are a desktop stand, pop filter, mount, USB-C/A cable and case.
Blue Yeti X
Blue Yeti X is a USB microphone for broadcasting.
Blue introduced Yeti X, a new USB microphone for broadcasting and podcasting. The model has Blue VO technology! CE technology, allowing to use of effects and presets for voice processing.
Users have access to a gate, deserter, equalizer, bass filter, compressor, and limiter.
Blue Yeti X is a condenser microphone with four 14mm capsules and 4 directional diagrams. Cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo.
The model can work with loud sound sources with the largest sound pressure level up to 122 dB. This microphone has a multifunction knob.
Thanks to it, you can adjust the signal gain level. You can also change the volume of the plug-in headphones and the balance of PC sound and voice.
It also allows you to turn the microphone on or off and use a signal level meter. The headphone amplifier, like the microphone, has a frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
The signal-to-noise ratio of the amplifier is 100 dB, kg+noise is 70 dB (0.03%). Yeti X can operate with sample rates of up to 24 bits of 48 kHz. It does not need any extra equipment.
HyperX Quadcast is very easy to configure.
The microphone comes with a monolithic stand with an adjustable position and height. It comes with shock absorbers that combat shocks to the table on which the microphone is mounted.
The microphone has a headphone input, a standard 3.5 mm jack. When you first connect the HyperX Quadcast to your computer, it will be selected as the default sound output device.
So do not be afraid of the sound from the speakers or headphones connected to the soundcard disappears. Of course, in Windows settings, everything can be returned.
On the top edge of the microphone, there is a touchpad that you can touch to silence the microphone.
It’s a convenient feature if you live at home more than one person, and someone comes to you or asks for something. To keep it on the air, just touch the microphone lightly and it will turn off.
With a USB cable, Quadcast connects to Xbox, PS4, PC, and Mac. No extra drivers need to be installed. The microphone uses the standard driver that each device has.
The Beyerdynamic Fox is a USB condenser microphone for bloggers.
The Beyerdynamic Fox microphone is based on an electret capsule with a cardioid directional pattern.
It does not need a sound card or installs drivers for its work. Simply plug it into the USB connector and it will be picked up by any operating system.
Stand and wind protection are included. There are even a built-in sound interface and adjustable headphone output.
The microphone can be connected to iOS and Android mobile devices. Bloggers who don’t like programs and settings will love it all.
In addition to the included desktop stand, you can also mount the microphone on a rack.
The membrane diameter of the microphone is 16 mm. The recording level can only be adjusted with the High/Low switch.
The two change knobs are just the monitoring section of the built-in USB sound card. The first Mix knob adjusts the signal ratio between the phonogram and direct monitoring.
The second Volume knob adjusts the volume in the headphones. The MUTE button mutes the microphone. All levels should be adjusted before recording.
The recording level itself is quite low. Of course, this is a plus for beginners – it is almost impossible to overload the microphone on the recording. But the signal does not rise above -6 dB. The best result on the timbre of the voice is achieved from about 10 cm.
The microphone has a rather smooth characteristic at low medium frequencies with the rise of the presence area. Speech and vocals are recorded very well.
AVerMedia AM310 kit includes the microphone itself. It also has a reliable and stable desk stand with rubberized feet and universal mounting, USB cable, and instructions.
The microphone weighs 485 grams – not a bad average weight for a condenser microphone. The body is made entirely of metal, except for the plastic silver bezel.
The material is pleasant to the touch and to the eye.
The AM310 has a 3.5mm headphone jack on the back so you can control recording in real-time. There is also a PC/Monitor mode switch.
Use it to check your voice or send it directly to your listeners’ PCs. Once connected to your PC, the microphone will detect as an output/playback device.
In the front, there is a rotating aluminum headphone volume control that has a second purpose. By pressing it, you can mute the microphone.
Above the knob, there is a small LED indicator that allows you to check the status of the microphone. Blue is the microphone on, red is the microphone off.
The weight of the desk stand is 500 grams, it consists of several parts:
Base – the microphone is kept on the table due to it. It is a thick plate of metal on four rubber legs. From above it is covered with rough plastic.
Metal tube with locknut (allows you to center the microphone after fixing it) – screwed into the base.
Fixing the microphone consists almost entirely of metal, with a couple of plastic elements. It allows adjusting the microphone angle. To do this, simply loosen the lock nut and rotate the microphone so that it points perfectly at the sound source.
Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic
Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic is a condenser USB stereo microphone equipped with two capsules.
The microphone is equipped with a USB cable and a mounting element for mounting on a rack. The round case is made entirely of metal, the membranes are covered with metal mesh.
Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic uses two capsules, which are located on the XY system.
The capsules are deployed at an angle of more than 90 degrees and are located above each other.
The diameter of the used membranes is 16 mm. For convenience, a red LED power indicator is also provided here.
The microphone uses AKM AK5371 integrated chip. This chip is a dual-channel ADC with a USB interface that supports 16-bit 44/48 kHz modes.
There are integrated electronic volume control and mute, signal/noise 84 dBA.
As there are no special drivers available, the volume control is available through the operating system. Change is made in 1 dB steps from +24 dB to -31 dB.
The sensitivity of the microphone is enough to record speech from a distance of a couple of meters. This microphone allows you to send a well stereo effect, source position, and room reverberation.
Recording close to the microphone levels out the stereo effect. It makes recording indistinguishable from recording on an ordinary single-membrane microphone.
But, when recording voice at close range, you should take into account the peculiarities of the microphone. You can also additionally use a pop filter. All explosive consonants will be underlined. They will lead to a characteristic marriage in the recording.
The Audio-Technica AT2020USB condenser microphone is the ideal solution for those who need a personal recording.
On your laptop, for recording podcasts, at home. The Audio-Technica AT2020USB is ready to go almost immediately, with no sound card or extra cords required.
Don’t forget to stock up on a sturdy microphone stand and closed earphones for monitoring during recording.
The big plus is that the microphone is ready to go right away. No extra cords are needed. But, do not forget that the condenser microphone’s sensitive membrane is vulnerable to shock.
Besides, at least a floor stand of the Crane type will be required for proper use. A pop filter against explosive consonants and saliva particles is also highly desirable.
To avoid vibration from the computer or the floor surface, a special spider holder instead of a simple standard one will not be damaged.
The microphone has a fairly advanced control panel and ASIO driver. Drivers to the device come out quickly. There are versions for all operating systems of the Windows platform. For macOS, drivers are not required.
When recording, you can hear the cut-off filter working well. There is no noise without any processing, and this is a plus when recording speech and podcasts.
The sensitivity of the microphone is good, it’s enough to record speech. At the same time, the microphone is quite resistant to overload. Diagram – cardioid, the sound from the working company in the dead zone does not get to the recording.
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