Best 15 USB Microphones for Home Recording and Podcasting!

With so many microphones on the market it might be tough to know which one to choose, especially considering that some have USB or XLR connectivity, different pickup patterns, etc.

Whether you’re into podcasting, doing YouTube videos or recording music at home, you will need a good microphone to get started, and the easiest way to do this is by getting a USB microphone.

In this post I will tell you about the microphones I think that you should be considering as well as giving you a list of the three most cost-efficient ones at the end.

1. Blue Snowball

Blue Microphones are very popular and for good reason.

These are high-quality microphones which sound great, work really well, don’t take up much space and even look cool at a very affordable price.

The Blue Snowball is no exception to this rule.

It’s a plug ‘n play USB Condenser microphone, meaning that in order to be used you simply need to connect it to your PC and voila, that’s it.

This microphone features two microphone patterns; Cardioid and Omnidirectional while also providing another Cardioid setting with a -10dB PAD which helps if you’re recording a loud source.

Having these patterns allows for extra versatility, depending on your recording needs.

The Blue Snowball is a microphone mostly used by podcasters, voice-over artists and YouTubers, but it’s also a great starting point for anyone who is interested in doing some Home Music Recording.

With over 3000 positive reviews on Amazon, you know that this microphone is an excellent choice, especially for anyone on a budget.

Features

  • Cardioid, Cardioid with -10dB PAD and Omnidirectional Patterns.
  • Includes adjustable Mic Stand
  • Mac and PC compatible
  • Frequency Response: 40- 18kHz
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz/16-bit

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

2. Blue Yeti

Another excellent Blue microphone is the Blue Yeti.

This is a definite step up when compared to the previous Blue microphone on this list. It’s also their most famous microphone.

Featuring a multitude of patterns to choose from, like cardioid, omnidirectional, stereo and bidirectional, the Blue Yeti is incredibly versatile.

It is an excellent microphone for podcasters, YouTubers and Voice-over artists, but it is also an outstanding microphone for recording music.

This microphone also comes with a Gain control, mute button and a zero-latency headphone output.

The reason the Blue Yeti is a great option for recording music is, apart from its great sound quality, that it can record in stereo.

When recording acoustic instruments like acoustic- or classical guitar, we usually do this using two pencil condenser microphones which, when combined, give us a stereo recording.

This can be achieved by just using the Blue Yeti.

When considering all the patterns this microphone provides, I think it’s fair to say that the Blue Yeti is the most versatile USB Microphone available, especially for the price.

Features

  • Tri-capsule array—three condenser capsules inside
  • Multiple pattern selection—cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional & bidirectional
  • Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output
  • Perfect for podcasting, voiceovers, game streaming, interviews, conference calls and music recording
  • Plug ‘n play—Mac and PC compatible
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz- 20kHz
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz/16-bit

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

3. Blue Snowflake

The Blue Snowflake is a microphone designed to fit on top of your PC/ Laptop screen, which means that it’s a small and compact microphone, ideal for recording on the move.

This microphone literally fits in your pocket, it’s that small.

While it may not be my top recommendation for anyone who truly wants to record good quality music, it’s definitely a great microphone for anything voice related or for recording while travelling.

It’s not as versatile as the Blue Yeti and Blue Snowball for the simple fact that it only offers a cardioid polar pattern.

Features

  • Perfect for podcasting, voiceovers, game streaming, interviews and conference calls
  • Plug ‘n play—Mac and PC compatible
  • Easy to attach to any screen
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 35Hz- 20kHz
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz/16-bit

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

4. Audio-Technica AT2020 USB

Anyone who knows anything about the recording industry knows the name Audio-Technica.

They make some of the best microphones available on the market.

The AT2020 is the go-to condenser microphone for almost every beginner who wants to be able to record good quality music at home.

The USB version of the AT2020 features a built-in headphone jack with volume control that allows you to directly monitor your microphone signal with no delay.

It also offers a mix control that blends microphone and pre-recorded audio.

It’s a great microphone for singer/songwriters, podcasters, voice-over artists, field recorders, and home studio owners.

It’s not as versatile as the Blue Yeti for the simple fact that it only has one polar pattern; Cardioid, but the recording quality is absolutely fantastic.

Features

  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Included Pivoting Stand Mount and protective pouch
  • Mac and PC Compatible
  • Built-in headphone jack
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz- 20kHz
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz – 48kHz/16-bit
  • Mix and Volume Control

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

Note: If you’re torn between the Blue Yeti and the AT2020, then this article I wrote where I compare both of them is for you.

5. Fifine 669B

This is a Plug and play USB Cardioid Condenser microphone with a 5.9-Foot included USB Cable which is designed for Voice-over work as well as for recording anything voice related like podcasts and YouTube videos.

Since this microphone is extremely affordable, the recording quality will obviously not be as good as the one of the AT2020 or the Blue Yeti.

But considering that it sells for just ¼ of what both of those microphones do, it’s a great investment for anyone on a tight budget.

It also has a volume knob on the front which allows for easy volume control.

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Mac and PC Compatible
  • Pivot mount allows vertical and horizontal fix
  • Volume dial for quick adjustment
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz -20KHz
  • Sample Rate: 48KHz/16-bit

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

6. Maono AU-A04

The first thing that immediately jumped to my attention is this microphone’s sampling rate, since it’s 192kHz/24Bit which is much higher than on all the other microphones on this list.

This microphone is excellent for anything voice related like singing, voice-over and podcasting.

You can purchase a package, which I would recommend, that includes the microphone, a really nice shock mount, a boom arm, a foam windscreen and a pop filter.

This microphone doesn’t offer a volume control, a mute button or a headphone jack, and only provides a cardioid polar pattern.

Since this is a very affordable microphone, not providing these features is completely reasonable.

For anyone who is interested in podcasting, streaming, doing voice-overs, etc. the Moano AU-A04 offers everything you need.

Features

  • No mute button
  • No headphone jack
  • No volume control
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz-16kHz
  • Sampling Rate: 192kHz/24bit

Want to learn more? Check it out on Amazon.

7. Rode NT USB

The Rode NT USB is an excellent Condenser USB cardioid microphone.

Just like with the Audio-Technica microphones, Rode is also known for making extremely high-quality equipment at reasonable prices, the Rode NT USB is no exception to this.

It comes with a pop filter, which is extremely good, a tripod desk stand, a ring mount and a storage pouch.

The two controls on the side are for the headphone volume, which comes in handy when you want to do zero latency monitoring, and the Direct mix control between mic input and source output.

This microphone is ideal for recording singing and musical performances in addition to spoken applications such as podcasting and voice-over.

If you’re considering purchasing this microphone because you want to record music with it, absolutely go for it. It’s one of the best ones on this list for music purposes.

It works on Windows and Mac OS based computers, as well as the Apple iPad.

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Pop shield, Tripod desk stand, ring mount, storage pouch and 6m (20’) USB cable included
  • Includes Headphone Jack
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz -20KHz
  • Sample Rate: 48KHz/16-bit

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

8. Rode Podcaster USB

Usually microphones designed for vocal use are condenser microphones, but the Rode Podcaster is a Dynamic microphone, which means that it will be less susceptible to ambient noises.

The recording quality of this microphone is top-notch providing an excellent analogue-to-digital conversion internally.

This microphone can be used for almost anything you want, but it’s most commonly used for podcasting and any other voice related application.

If you’re looking for the best podcasting microphone, look no further.

But, if you want to recording instruments, then I’d recommend something like the Blue Yeti of the Audio-Technica AT2020 instead.

If offers a headphone jack for zero latency monitoring purposes with volume control, while also housing an already built-in pop filter which will reduce unwanted plosives by a lot.

Still, an extra pop filter could be used if needed.

Features

  • Dynamic Microphone
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sampling Rate: 8-48kHz/18 bit
  • Frequency Range: 40Hz – 14kHz
  • Headphone output with volume control

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

9. Blue Spark Digital Lightning

The Blue Spark Digital Lightning is based off the original Blue Spark.

It offers both USB and iPad connectivity, which makes it very versatile.

It houses high-fidelity components which are excellent for capturing great recordings and getting consistence in the performances.

On the back it comes with the “Focus Button” or the “Focus Control” which with just one press of the button allows you to switch between two different tonalities.

In general, you are going to use the normal mode for most of your recordings, while focus mode is more geared towards recording vocals.

Why is this so interesting?

In most home studios the sound treatment is almost non-existent and a lot of people claim that the focus mode allows you to sound great even when recording in a poorly treated room.

Features

  • Works with USB-equipped Mac or PC
  • Lightning Connector for iPhone, iPad and iPod
  • Headphone jack for zero-latency, real-time monitoring with volume control
  • Focus control switch offers two sonic signatures in one mic
  • Adjustable desk stand and built-in shock mount

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

10. Marantz MPM- 2000u

The Marantz MPM- 2000u is a cardioid condenser microphone designed to record directly into your DAW at studio-grade level.

The build quality on this microphone is pretty good, the only thing that doesn’t seem to be as good is the grille which felt better on the AT2020 and the Blue Yeti.

Still, considering the price, it’s an excellent microphone which you simply need to plug in and that’s it. You can now record without the need of installing any drivers.

The MPM- 2000u is the top of the line of all the Marantz USB microphones and it really does provide some great audio quality.

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sampling Rate: 48kHz/16 bit
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz – 18kHz
  • Includes shock mount, USB cable and carrying case

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

11. Samson Meteor

The samson Meteor is very similar to the Blue Snowball.

It is a good microphone for home music recorders as well as podcasters and voice-over actors. It is also commonly used with skype and discord.

The look of this microphone is very futuristic since it includes a fold-back leg design which looks fantastic. It reminds me a bit of R2-D2, to be honest.

This microphone comes with a 1/8-inch headphone output for no latency monitoring and a headphone volume knob as well as a mute switch.

If you don’t want to use the legs on this microphone, you could simply use the integrated mic stand adapter to mount it onto a boom or desktop stand.

Since this microphone and the Blue Snowball are so similar, there is a question that needs to be answered… which one should you get?

If you intend to only record onto your PC using the USB port, the I’d recommend saving the small money difference and to go with the Blue Snowball.

If, however, you want to have the option to record onto an iPad, definitely get the Samson Meteor.

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Sampling Rate: 44.1 – 48kHz/16 bit
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Works with iPad using the Lightning USB Camera Adapter
  • Stereo 1/8″ headphone jack for no latency monitoring.

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

12. Samson Q2U

The Samson Q2U, just like the Rode Podcaster, is a Dynamic cardioid Microphone. This means that it should keep ambient- and handling noises to a minimum.

What differentiates this microphone from every other previous microphone on this list that that not only does it provide USB connectivity, but it also has an XLR output.

What does this mean?

Not only can this microphone be used to record directly onto your PC by connecting it to a USB port, but it also means that it can be connected to any Audio Interface, any Mixer or a PA system to be used as a regular XLR microphone.

The Samson Q2U provides USB and XLR outputs, as well as a 3.5mm headphone output for zero-latency monitoring.

This means that you can hear yourself while you perform with no latency or echo as well as being able to hear the mix that’s playing back from your computer.

When you purchase it you get the microphone as well as an extended desktop stand with a mic clip, a pop-filter and the USB and XLR cables.

Features

  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Reponse: 50Hz–15kHz
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz/48kHz at 16bit
  • USB and XLR Output
  • Headphone Output

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

13. HyperX QuadCast

The first thing you’ll notice when looking at this microphone is that it has this “gamer” look to it, which I understand if you don’t like.

But don’t dismiss this one so quickly, because it packs some serious audio quality while also providing some additional perks.

It has four polar patterns which are; Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid and bidirectional.

This means that it’s excellent at recording spoken word, as well as singing, instruments, and more.

If you have another cardioid microphone, then you can set this one to bidirectional and record using the mid-side recording technique, which will yield a much better stereo image.

It also comes with a good quality shock-mount which should keep the vibrations from reaching the capsule, avoiding unwanted noises.

Built into this microphone comes a pop filter which should help keep the plosions to a minimum. If for any reason you find yourself having trouble with this, just place any regular pop filter in front of it.

Lastly, it also comes with a built-in headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring.

This microphone is mostly aimed at gamers who want to stream their gameplay online, but it can definitely work for podcasters as well as home recording musicians.

Features

  • Anti-Vibration Shock mount
  • Tap-to-mute sensor
  • Four Polar Patterns
  • Mount Adapter Included
  • Built-in headphone jack
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz/16bit
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

14. Blue Yeti Nano

The Blue Yeti Nano would be the smaller and more compact version of the Blue Yeti Microphone, which means that it’s also going to be a bit more affordable.

Instead of featuring the same four pickup patterns that the Blue Yeti does, the Yeti Nano only has two; the Cardioid and the Omnidirectional pickup patterns.

The recording quality is great and its intended uses are; Podcasting, voice-overs, skype calls and music recording, even though I would much rather get the Blue Yeti for this last one.

The setup for this microphone, as well as every single one on this list, is very simple; Connect and use, no extra divers required.

On the front you can see the volume control which makes adjusting it easy.

Not only does the Blue Yeti Nano provide a no-latency headphone output, but also controls for headphone volume, mic mute, and pickup pattern.

Features

  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz/24-bit
  • Headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring
  • Mute Control
  • Two Pickup Patterns

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

15. Audio-Technica ATR2100

Just like the Samson Q2U, the Audio-Technica ATR2100 is not just a Handheld Dynamic microphone that has a USB output, but also an XLR one.

This means that even though it only has a cardioid pickup pattern, it ends up being a very versatile microphone because it can be used both for recording directly to your PC through USB, or it can be connected to a PA system, an audio interface or a mixer, using the XLR Output.

Dynamic microphones are much better at reducing handling noise as well as ambient noise.

Choosing a dynamic microphone might be a wise choice if you want to reduce a bit of the ambient noise without having to install sound treatment.

On the bottom you will also find a headphone output for direct monitoring with a volume control.

When you purchase this microphone you also get a tripod desk stand, a mic clip, USB and XLR cables.

Features

  • Dynamic Cardioid Microphone
  • Headphone Output with volume control
  • tripod desk stand, a mic clip, USB and XLR cables included
  • Frequency Response: 50-15kHz
  • Sample Rate: 44.1kHz/48kHz-16bit

Interested? Check it out on Amazon.

Most Cost-Efficient Options

Of course, this will depend on your needs, but here are my top three choices when it comes to what every mic has to offer compared to how much they cost.

Nr.1: Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti comes out ahead because not only does it provide some excellent recording quality, but the fact that you can choose between four different pickup patterns can’t be ignored.

If you have the budget, then I’d strongly recommend you get the Blue Yeti.

Nr.2: Audio-Technica AT2020 USB

Even though this microphone doesn’t provide different pickup patterns, the recording quality is excellent.

If you are certain that you only need a cardioid microphone, then get the Audio-Technica At2020 USB.

Nr.3: Fifine 669B

Even though I absolutely recommend the previous two microphones over this one, one fact can’t be ignored; It sells for ¼ of what both the Blue Yeti and the AT2020 sell for.

If you’re on a very tight budget and are looking for a reasonably good microphone to get started, get the Fifine 996B, no questions asked.

Conclusion

All of the microphones on this list will help you get good quality recordings.

One thing to consider is why you’re purchasing one and what you’re going to use it for;

If you plan on doing podcasts or YouTube videos, then even though it might sound great to purchase an expensive microphone, you probably won’t get the most out of it.

BUT this changes when you are thinking about using it to record music at home.

Here you will not only require a higher-quality one, but also having those extra pickup patterns can help you out a lot.

I hope that this information was useful!

Have a wonderful day!

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