So, which is the best mic for streaming? Live streamers no longer need to use the built-in microphone on their computer or headset. Streaming mics are the standard recommendation from most streamers. Setting them up couldn’t be easier, and they come in many shapes and sizes with a wide range of prices.
Therefore, you should prepare to add an external microphone to your setup if you’re broadcasting live on any live streaming platform. It may be tough to tell one microphone from another on the market nowadays. This article will help you make an informed decision regarding microphones.
Which Is Better for Streaming, a Headset Mic or Standalone Streaming Mic?
A headset mic will work if you don’t have a better microphone. However, a standalone mic is superior in terms of quality and range.
Headsets have several additional drawbacks. First, headset microphones are more likely to pick up plosive sounds since they are so near to your lips. Those popping sounds you hear when someone uses a hard “P” or “B” sound in their speech are known as plosives.
Eliminating them with a pop filter attached to a standalone microphone is considerably simpler. Furthermore, the mic will catch any head motions or mic position modifications and sound dreadful with the mic connected to your head.
Keep utilizing the headset mic if that’s all you’ve got and can’t walk away from it.
However, if you’re looking for a streaming microphone, we highly advise using a standalone mic. Even a low-end USB microphone like a Blue Snowball Ice will sound superior compared to a high-end gaming headset’s microphone. They will notice the quality improvement!
Roundup of the Best Mic for Streaming Options
|Overall Best Mic for Streaming||HyperX QuadCast – USB Condenser Gaming Microphone|
|Best Streaming Mic for Professionals||Razer Siren X USB Streaming Microphone|
|Most Versatile Mic for Streaming||Logitech for Creators Blue Yeti X USB Microphone|
|Best Dynamic Mic for Streaming||Shure MV7|
|Best Condenser Mic for Streaming||Elgato Wave:3 – Premium Studio Quality USB Condenser Microphone for Streaming|
|Streaming Mic With Best Design||Logitech for Creators Blue Baby Bottle XLR Microphone for Streaming|
|Best Plug-and-Play Mic for Streaming||Logitech for Creators Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone|
|Best Budget Mic for Streaming||HyperX SoloCast – USB Condenser Gaming Microphone|
Things to Consider While Looking for the Best Streaming Mic
When selecting a microphone for live streaming, the following are four features that you should consider.
We refer to the range of speech frequencies a microphone can take up as its frequency response. For example, if you’d want to know how fast something is moving, you may measure it in hertz (Hz) or kilohertz (kHz).
The 20 Hz–20,000 Hz frequency response band is often widely recommended in frequency response. Because the human voice cannot create frequencies that are lower or higher than these spectrum extremes, anything that falls outside these ranges is essentially meaningless.
The polar pattern denotes a component’s innate responsiveness to the propagation of sound waves, often referred to as its directional attribute. In layman’s terms, a microphone’s polar pattern refers to its capacity to pick up your speech from various directions. The cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional polar patterns are the ones you need to be familiar with.
Cardioid Polar Pattern – A traditional cardioid microphone catches the sound coming from the front. A cardioid microphone insulates the rear of the microphone, which prevents the transmission of undesirable background noise and any other undesired noises. They are the most popular option for live broadcasting because of their ability to filter out distracting noises like a roaring fan or the clicking of a mechanical keyboard.
Super-cardioid and hyper-cardioid subtypes of the cardioid architecture have a smaller sound sensitivity angle and a stronger capacity to reject ambient sound than other cardioid subtypes. On the other hand, positioning and aiming these microphones correctly is more difficult.
Omnidirectional Polar Pattern – A microphone with omnidirectional sensitivity will pick up sound equally well from any direction. This indicates that they can take up sound uniformly from all 360 degrees. One of the positive aspects of using an omnidirectional microphone is that it is not necessary to focus directly on the source of the sound. However, in addition to picking up your voice, it will also pick up any unwanted sounds in the background.
Bidirectional Polar Pattern – We refer to the method of sound capture used by bidirectional microphones as the figure eight method. This means that a microphone with a bidirectional pickup will pick up sound from both the front and the back of the device. For example, a microphone that can take up sound in both directions is known as a bidirectional microphone. This kind of microphone is extremely helpful for live streaming interviews.
XLR and USB are the two most prevalent ways of connecting a microphone to a streaming service; nevertheless, there are significant distinctions. To begin, you will not be able to directly connect an XLR microphone to your computer. Instead, to connect an XLR microphone, you must invest in a mixer or audio interface. Finally, you will have more control over the sound, which will result in improved sound quality in its entirety if you make this extra expenditure.
Second, XLR connections are more sturdy and long-lasting than USB connections, which means that XLR cables have a longer lifespan. However, because of their long lifespan, XLR microphones are the most costly option currently available on the market.
Last, you shouldn’t overlook microphones based on TS, TRS, or TRRS. For example, you may plug your microphone into mobile devices, tablets, and computers using this type of connectivity. These microphones often provide a sound quality that is inferior to that of XLR microphones. Because of this, TS/TRS/TRRS mics are the ones that you should use for mobile streams.
We refer to a noise protection filter for microphones as a pop filter, also known as a pop screen and a pop shield. Its primary use is in recording studios, where it aims to eradicate any popping noises that may result from the airflow coming into contact with the microphone. Using a pop filter on your microphone will result in your voice being heard more clearly by the audience.
Top 8 Mics for Streamers
1. HyperX QuadCast
Overall Best Mic for Streaming
- Built-in pop shield
- Clear sound
- LED lighting
- Low price
- Easy to set
- Built-in Shockmount
- We couldn’t find any drawbacks to this particular product
The Quadcast S’s major selling point is the abundance of built-in functionalities often available only as expensive add-ons to other streaming mics. For example, in a controversial Warzone fight or a noisy Discord discussion, the built-in shock mount protects the microphone from picking up any inadvertent bumps. A built-in pop filter is also a welcome addition, as we’ve had a hard time getting our rinky-dink pop shield to remain in the right place when mounted.
The microphone’s touch-sensitive mute button is also superb. When recording, mute buttons and switches might generate a high-pitched sound. Not at all. The Quadcast S is a great choice for live streaming equipment because of its sound quality, pricing, and a slew of other useful features.
More or less equal in terms of specs, the S offers a 20Hz-20kHz frequency response, a 16-bit file rate, and three 14 mm condensers with four different polar patterns to last year’s Quadcast. Although our plosives sounded a bit blown out, the sound quality of our voice is rather decent. Multiple coworkers have commented on how much louder we were than the rest on conference calls, which you can easily remedy by lowering the gain.
HyperX Quadcast S utilizes Ngenuity software to control all RGB functions, which is far from software features. You may obtain a description of each polar pattern by adjusting factors like the microphone’s volume level.
In conclusion, the HyperX Quadcast S is an ideal microphone for gamers or streamers seeking a simple mic that is simple to use and has a good sound. The manufacturers designed this with gamers in mind. However, the sound quality of the Quadcast S is quite on par with that of the Yeti X; also, the design and feature set of the Quadcast S are very compelling.
View on Amazon: HyperX QuadCast
2. Razer Siren X
Best Streaming Mic for Professionals
- Portable, compact design
- Brilliant cardioid performance
- Great high-end reproduction
- Competitively priced
- Easy to setup
- Picks up keyboard clicks
The Razer Seiren X does not take up much space as other microphones do. Instead, it looks like an extraterrestrial obelisk from a science fiction movie perched on your desk. Yet, it’s not even that much larger than a can of Coke. Because of this, it is perfect for broadcasting on platforms like Twitch, where viewers need to be able to see the streamer in addition to them playing the game.
There are a few major selling points to discuss, which we expect from a company like Razer. For example, we could mitigate vibrations to a significant degree thanks to the shock mount that is incorporated right in.
The ‘super-cardioid’ polar pattern is the next one on the list. This feature is supposed to limit the amount of background noise and zero in on your voice. Even if it is not entirely successful, the work makers put in was not in vain.
In closing, considering its cost, it offers a satisfactory value. Although other, more costly models are available, such as the Seiren Elite or the Seiren Emote (the latter has an 8-bit LED screen that can display emoticons and other symbols), this particular model is still our top pick.
In conclusion, the Seiren X is an excellent choice for streamers that want a setup that is either portable or takes up a small amount of room. That’s because it delivers crystal-clear voices. However, while having a “super-cardioid” polar pattern, it can pick up clicks from the keyboard and mouse.
View on Amazon: Razer Siren X
3. Blue Yeti X
Most Versatile Mic for Streaming
- Best sounding Blue microphone
- LED front panel
- Relatively cheap
- Easy to connect
- Polar pattern switcher
- Flexible Blue Voice software included
- Buttons are a bit noisy
The new LED-lit front panel of the microphone makes it easy to see your volume settings at a glance, and the audio quality is still excellent. With the built-in 3.5mm connection, you can adjust gain, headphone levels, and mix modes with this ‘Smart Knob’ feature. As a result, you have full control over your headphones’ level and how loud you sound to others.
On the Yeti X, you may choose between four distinct pickup patterns by pressing a solitary button on the back of the device. Cardioid for capturing and broadcasting; Omni-directional for huge calls with several participants; bi-directional for two-person podcasting, and binaural for ASMR.
In terms of sound quality, it’s easy to see why many experienced podcasters and streamers choose this microphone. You can clearly hear your voice in recordings because of its amazingly broad dynamic range.
The stand with this microphone performs an excellent job of holding it in place on a desk, despite the microphone’s size. It also performs a good job of preventing feedback-inducing vibrations from entering the microphone. However, a boom arm with some kind of suspension is your best chance for further reducing this.
The Yeti X is available in various colors to match most PC configurations and desktops.
In conclusion, there is a reason why we mention Blue microphones in nearly all of our lists. Unlike the original Blue Yeti, this model crosses between the Nano and the first generation Yeti. However, it has more advantages than any of the other types. For example, despite makers releasing all the new microphones, the Yeti X remains a solid recommendation for anyone needing a high-performance audio device.
View on Amazon: Blue Yeti X
4. Shure MV7
Best Dynamic Mic for Streaming
- Excellent vocal clarity
- USB/XLR combo
- Easy to use software
- Dual outputs
- Detailed sound reproduction
- Physical buttons might have been better
The Shure MV7 proves that not all microphones are created equal. Even if it costs more than the other items on our list, you may spend the extra money. The XLR and USB connectors on this dynamic mic make it versatile.
Suppose you’re looking for a more professional sound. In that case, you may use it in conjunction with your preferred DAW or connect it to your laptop via USB and use it while on the road. If that’s your thing, you can even do both simultaneously. These two features in one mic are a great value.
The Shure MV7 has a lot more to offer. Adjusting volume and gaining control of the microphone are made easier by controls situated right on the microphone. So if you’re looking for a long-term companion, look no further than this. With a sampling rate of 48 kHz and a 24-bit depth, you receive a considerably better sound than conventional microphones.
With the MOTIV app, you can make real-time sound levels and tone changes without becoming bogged down in unnecessary complexity. A rookie like you will be able to get the hang of things. Additionally, you’ll spend less time in post-production due to this. Anyone can benefit from this microphone, whether they’re just starting in podcasting, have been streaming games for a while, or are hoping to record music.
In conclusion, when it comes to podcasting and live streaming, there aren’t many better options than the Shure MV7. Especially if you’re seeking an XLR/USB hybrid microphone that can be used first with a USB audio interface and then switched to an all-XLR configuration. So, if you’re a content producer who wants to improve their production values but can’t or won’t spend the pro-grade money, this is your solution.
View on Amazon: Shure MV7
5. Elgato Wave:3
Best Condenser Mic for Streaming
- Clear audio
- Digital mixer
- Simple mounting
- Built-in limiter
- Works well with other Elgato streaming gear
- Single polar pattern
There are times when all you need is a microphone that you can simply put in and get a good sound on, and the Elgato Wave 3 is precisely that. So the process of setting it up is as simple as it gets; all you have to do is connect it to your computer using a USB port, and you’re good to go.
When compared to using an XLR microphone, there are no additional cables or programs that need to be figured out by the user. In addition, a port is conveniently located on the back of the device for you to listen to your recording while wearing headphones.
You may be concerned that the Elgato Wave 3 won’t have a good sound quality due to how simple it is to operate, but there is no need for you to be concerned about this. The sampling rate is 96 kilohertz, and the bit depth is 24 bits. This results in an incredibly high audio resolution.
And, during a particularly stressful part of the game, you could accidentally speak a little too loudly or go a little too near to the microphone. Nevertheless, thanks to the Clipguard, it will eliminate any distortion. It’s too bad there’s only one cardioid polar pattern. However, the good news is that it has everything streamers and podcasters really need. An additional unexpected benefit of the Wavelink software is that it simplifies the process of audio mixing.
In conclusion, when it comes to live streaming microphones, you can anticipate Elgato to have a microphone like the Elgato Wave:3. You may mix up to eight audio channels into your broadcast using the Wave Link software that comes with this microphone. With just one polar pattern, the Wave:3 is less adaptable than other microphones.
View on Amazon: Elgato Wave:3
6. Blue Baby Bottle XLR Microphone for Streaming
Streaming Mic With Best Design
- High output
- Very quiet
- Resistant to mechanical noise
- Unusual and attractive styling
- Very affordable for this level of quality
- Catches button sounds
This is a cardioid condenser microphone with a pressure gradient. The mic contains a huge diaphragm capsule inside a single membrane. It has a 6-micron mylar film with gold and aluminum sputtering. The makers have engineered everything about this microphone to provide the best possible results.
You’ll be blown away by the clarity and precision of this handcrafted capsule. Unfortunately, its proprietary circuitry makes it one of the quietest microphones on the market.
This mic has a 20Hz-20kHz frequency response and an SPL of 134dB, allowing maximum volume levels from voices and guitars via cabinets and drum sets. It’s a condenser microphone. Hence it needs 48 volts DC.
Using the Baby Bottle, we can confidently record singing, percussion, and other acoustic instruments. As far as we can tell, this microphone is “crisp” and does well with transients, such as those produced by percussion.
It is necessary to place and angle the mic carefully to avoid an overly harsh or edgy sound from the source. However, sources also worked well in mixes, cutting cleanly through the other elements. However, a more distant location in a great acoustic sounded fantastic. Though it only had one bracket, the Baby Bottle proved impervious to sounds made during use.
In conclusion, The Baby Blue Bottle is a unique high-performance microphone that comes at an affordable price and provides a characteristically sharp sound and a ‘big diaphragm.’ Unfortunately, the high-output circuitry of this device has extremely low noise levels. As a result, it lowers the demands made on the microphone preamp.
View on Amazon: Blue Baby Bottle XLR Microphone for Streaming
7. Blue Snowball iCE
Best Plug-and-Play Mic for Streaming
- Solid metal stand
- Small enough to toss in a backpack
- Mid-century looks
- Great sound
- Ideal for streamers
- Just one polar pattern
You’ll notice immediately that the Blue Mics Snowball is a little bigger than you’d think, especially if you’ve purchased it online and haven’t seen one in person. Because of its size and weight, it has more authority and is less likely to be pushed over.
Even while it doesn’t have the firmness you’d expect from a weighted stand, it does an excellent job of holding the microphone in place on your desk. You may also use the Snowball with a larger tripod or boom arm if you’d like.
A three-way button on the mic’s rear lets you select between the Snowball’s three pickup patterns. There’s a cardioid, which concentrates the microphone’s attention on the region directly in front of it – i.e., you – and rejects sounds not directly in front of it.
It’s possible to go even closer to loud instruments like guitars or singers using a 10 dB pad. That’s because it lessens the microphone’s sensitivity and lets you get closer to the sound source. So the mic picks up all surrounding sound in the third mode, which is omnidirectional. This is ideal for fast and dirty band practices or round-table recordings.
In terms of the frequency range, the Snowball only covers 40Hz to 18kHz, but for the price, you can hardly expect more, and for the great majority of users, this is more than enough.
In conclusion, Blue Snowball iCE is a steal. It won’t show any damage no matter how hard you hit it. But, despite being repeatedly stuffed inside bags, it will still be suitable for its intended use. In addition, it has the appearance of Codsworth, which has attracted us.
View on Amazon: Blue Snowball iCE
8. HyperX SoloCast
Best Budget Mic for Streaming
- It sounds nearly identical to QuadCast Mic
- Great price
- Portable design
- Clear audio
- No gain control on the mic
Are you new to the streaming game and not yet ready to make the financial commitment necessary to purchase an expensive microphone? You don’t need to worry about a thing. The HyperX SoloCast is a wonderful, beginner-friendly choice that you can purchase very cheaply.
Sometimes you have to compromise sound quality to have a lesser price, but this one does not need to worry about that. For example, its larger and more costly sibling, the HyperX Quadcast S, has a sound that is comparable to this one.
It’s possible that the HyperX SoloCast doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a more costly device, but it certainly gets the job done. The word “solo” is included in the name of this polar pattern since there is just one cardioid polar pattern. This indicates that it functions most effectively with a single voice, making it an excellent choice for those who want to use it for streaming while gaming or recording videos.
It is also simple to transport because of its compact size and straightforward plug-and-play USB-C configuration. This makes it ideal for use when traveling. So, for example, suppose you want greater control over the audio. In that case, you could be better off increasing your money to get a microphone with additional functions. You will not get knobs or buttons with the SoloCast; you will just have the tap-to-mute capability.
In conclusion, the HyperX SoloCast is the most astounding microphone released not too long ago and built to be affordable. This new generation of headphones delivers an audio performance comparable to that of its more expensive brethren. It focuses on sound quality rather than the vast extraction of features, which is at an excellent value for the consumer.
View on Amazon: HyperX SoloCast
Frequently Asked Questions About Mics for Streaming
USB and XLR mics are two of the greatest options for streaming. While plug-and-play is more convenient and less expensive, the latter gives better sound quality and is closer to what you’d hear in a professional recording studio. For streaming, you can get high-quality USB and XLR microphones on our list that won’t let you down.
Most pro streamers use the HyperX QuadCast.
Most Youtubers use Rode or HyperX microphones.
Setting up a mic for streaming is very easy. You’ll need to follow the steps that come with the manufacturers and then proceed.
How to Position a Mounted Microphone Boom Arm?
You need to use a boom arm to bring your microphone to your lips as near as possible to produce the best sound quality. For example, you may attach a microphone boom arm on either side of your desk for easy access. The boom arm may be readily adjusted so that it does not hinder your field of view after you fit it. To avoid repeatedly bumping your hands against the boom arm when typing, ensure there is adequate area for your hands to maneuver beneath the boom arm.
How to Position a Free Standing Microphone?
If you do not have a boom arm using the provided desktop base, you should position the mic 6 to 12 inches away. Because you’ll have to increase the gain on your microphone if you’re farther away, you could not get the best sound and pick up the background noise. However, when speaking into a side-address or front-address microphone, the microphone has to be positioned toward your face in such a manner that you are speaking into it.
How to Position a Headset Microphone?
Make sure the microphone is about an inch away from your mouth, just next to your chin, while utilizing a headset microphone. It should not be put directly in front of your lips to prevent hearing breathing noises or garbled music. Instead, you should position the microphone toward your mouth if it has a label on the front.
Your condenser or dynamic microphone should be roughly 4 to 12 inches away from your mouth and chin to get the best possible results. If you place the microphone at too close of a distance, it will only pick up the low-frequency noises in your voice. If you use a dynamic microphone, you won’t have a lot of wiggle room.
Suppose the volume of your voice is too low. In that case, you may improve the recording quality by moving the microphone farther away from your mouth and turning the gain knob up. However, there is a possibility that the ambient noise in the room, such as the noise from the computer fans or the air conditioner, will be picked up by your microphone.
If you use a headset microphone, you should position it to the side and approximately an inch away from your mouth to get the best results.
In the end, the guidelines presented before are only a rule of thumb. Because everyone has various rooms and voices, it is essential to try out numerous configurations to find the one that works the best for you before going live.
The three most important things to consider are the polar patterns, frequency response, and connection methods of microphones used for streaming. For example, you can often find an XLR connection on the best streaming microphones, which have a frequency spectrum of 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
An XLR mic, on the other hand, necessitates using an extra audio interface or mixer to connect the microphone. USB microphones and condenser mics also have good audio quality.
So, if you’re looking for the best microphone for streaming in 2023, we recommend the HyperX QuadCast.
But, if you’re looking for something that doesn’t put a dent in your pocket, go with the HyperX SoloCast.
We compiled a list of 8 excellent mics for you to pick from, and your selection should consider your streaming requirements and your available budget.
Also, here are some suggestions for the best gaming chairs and some of the best L-shaped gaming desks to complete your streaming setup!