The convenience of recording from a computer and smartphone opens the door to a lot of opportunities. You can upload videos on YouTube, Facebook, and other social media sites, and if you’re dedicated, you can make money out of it.
If you’re doing all these, you need a USB microphone to be connected directly to your computer.
In fact, there are already tons of USB mics out there, so, you might have a hard time trying to pick the right one for you. Or, what you think might be the right one for you, but you can still see better mics when you go shopping.
It’s indeed confusing, yet, you can’t just pick anything from the display.
Don’t worry, we actually made a list of the best USB microphones 2019, just for you. Just keep on reading!
10 Best USB Microphones in 2021
- Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Mic
- Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid USB Mic
- Blue Yeti USB Microphone
- CAD Audio U37 USB Condenser Recording Mic
- Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Mic
- Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid USB Mic
- Rode NT-USB Cardioid Condenser Mic
- Blue Spark Digital Microphone
- Blue 1967 Yeti Pro USB Condenser Mic
- Apogee MIC PLUS USB Microphone
Audio Technica is one of the trusted brands when it comes to microphones. And, Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB is just among the great mics this maker has that is perfect for studio or live stage recordings.
It’s a cardioid mic with two outputs — USB and XLR. USB connection can easily connect the microphone to your computer while the XLR to your sound system or speakers.
Since it comes with a built-in headphone jack you’ll be able to monitor the mic’s output without any delay. The analog-to-digital converter makes excellent fidelity to your recordings. Designed with a low-mass diaphragm, you get a great frequency response, whether on or off the stage.
- For beginners
- This is a great buy
- Has both USB and XLR connections
- You should be closer to the microphone for better recordings
- Very sensitive to pick up even computer keyboard sounds
- Not enough volume for the headphone monitoring
Another cardioid mic from Audio-Technica that still boasts a convenient USB connection is the Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB. It’s packed with most of the features from the Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB including the built-in headphone jack and analog-to-digital converter.
What’s new with the ATR2500-USB is that you can adjust the headphone volume with easy-to-use controls at the front of the mic. The AD converter offers excellent sound fidelity at 16 bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rates. This one is a side-address condenser mic with large-diaphragm for great frequency response.
- Easy to use and convenient at a great price
- Provides clean and clear voice recordings
- Has easy controls on the microphone to adjust its volume
- Up to 48kHz recordings only
- Lack of some bass
- Which some users don’t want
- It’s not a perfect mic for recording instruments
- Good for vocals
If you like a mic with multiple polar pattern options, Blue Yeti USB Microphone is the perfect one for you. It has four pattern selections, including cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo.
Aside from the polar pattern selections, you can also take advantage of the gain control, mute button, and zero-latency monitoring with its headphone output.
Since it’s a USB mic, you can easily connect it to your computer and make podcasts, voiceovers, vocal recordings, interviews, and even conference calls.
You don’t worry about incompatibility since it’s compatible with most Mac and PCs at least with 64MB of RAM. It plugs and plays easily and you don’t need to install any drivers — that is convenient!
- Easy and simple operation
- Yet produce nice sound quality
- Has multiple polar pattern settings
- Can record directly into your computer
- Since it’s a USB mic
- It’s not that portable
- Heavy and bulky
- Dial for shift modes is hard to turn
CAD Audio U37 USB is the most versatile and flexible USB microphone in this list. It’s a large condenser mic that is reliable in delivering warm and rich recordings, particularly for singing, speech, and instruments.
It has a cardioid pickup pattern, which makes it efficient in minimizing/eliminating background noise to record the absolute natural sound of the source.
It has two switches in front — the 10dB overload-protection switch and the Bass-reduction switch. The former has -10 and 0 positions; -10 if you’re recording loud sounds like percussion and loud voices while 0 for recording normal voices and instruments.
The latter, which is the bass-reduction switch has ‘Normal Bass’ and ‘Bass Reduction’ positions. In normal settings, mostly low-noise environments use the Normal Bass. And to eliminate ventilation noise, wind noise and other background noise use the ‘Bass-Reduction’ position.
- Has ‘Bass-Reduction’ switch to achieve clear sound recordings
- Better value for the money
- Easy to integrate with USB-enabled devices
- Monitoring feature is not available
- Recordings may have some latency
- Lack of crispiness in your recordings
A premium quality USB microphone designed for broadcast-quality sound recordings, the Blue Yeti Nano Premium is an excellent buy. It’s the most suitable USB mic that you can use when doing Skype calls, game streaming, YouTube content, and even voiceover.
Featuring a no-latency headphone output with volume and mute controls, this mic is great on any desktop setup.
Comes with plug and play operation, you can easily connect it to your Mac or Windows PC without the need to install drivers. It features both cardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns and supports up to 24-bit or 48kHz sample rates.
If you have a Radius III shock mount or Compass Boom Arm, this mic already comes with standard threading.
- Excellent audio quality
- Has headphone jack with zero-latency monitoring capability
- Comes with both cardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns
- Requires Sherpa app on the desktop to adjust the gain levels
- Polar pattern selection could still be expanded
The third Audio-Technica product on our list, Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is another undoubtedly great product from this popular maker. With a cardioid pickup pattern, it captures the music, vocals, and acoustic audio straight to your computer with its USB connection.
With the same converter and headphone monitoring as the previous two products, it’s as capable as the first two. It offers mixed control of the mic’s output to any pre-recorded audio in your computer. It’s perfect for podcasts, field recordings, as well as home studio recordings.
- With an excellent frequency response
- Delivers clean and warm voice recordings
- Reliable zero-latency headphone output monitoring
- Picks up even unwanted noise from the background
- Tripod included is unreliable
A versatile USB mic like the Rode NT-USB is just what you need for live performances and studio recordings. With a stereo headphone monitor jack that has dials for adjusting computer output and monitor input, this mic has a lot more in store.
As the name suggests, it’s connected via USB to most Mac and Windows PC. This is also useful on your Apple iPad, however, you still need to have a recording app like Garage band and a USB connection kit, like the Apple Camera Connection Kit.
In case you have an SMR shock mount or WS2 foam windshield, you can use this mic to these.
- Exceptional sound quality
- Can easily be connected to computers and phones without issues
- Offered with a reliable pop shield to get a more decent sound
- Some users complain about the huge delay
- Not effective when you’re using more than one recorded track
- Built-in headphone jack could be better
The first studio-grade condenser mic to have both USB and iPad connectivity, Blue Microphones Spark Digital Microphone is something you might want to look into.
It features a studio-grade condenser capsule and hand-tuned controls for high-quality sound recordings in a wide variety of applications. It has a headphone jack that offers zero-latency and real-time monitoring of the output.
Spark Digital offers Focus Control, which provides two different sonic options in one mic with one push of a button. It has a full range of recording capabilities even with iOS devices like iPod touch, iPhone, and some iPads.
It’s a great mic to use, especially for mobile DJs, who sometimes what to create music on the fly.
- Delivers studio-grade sound quality
- Cool design and fairly easy to use
- Extremely mobile
- Can easily connect to some iOS devices
- Bundled mic stand might be a bit bulky
- Too large volume/gain increments
- No shock mount included
Blue 1967 Yeti Pro USB is a three-custom condenser capsule with four pickup pattern options — stereo, cardioid, bidirectional and omnidirectional.
It’s the first of its kind with both 24-bit/192 kHz digital recording resolution and analog XLR output. It has a reliable AD converter chip with a separate analog circuit path for use in advanced preamps and mixers.
Use this mic if you want to have a zero-latency recording since it has a built-in amp. You’ll have direct control over the microphone’s gain, polar pattern settings, and the volume and mute of the mic.
In most recordings, this USB mic gives superb sound quality — four times better than CDs. No wonder Blue 1967 is still used by pros today.
- Allows you to make quick adjustments in the mic
- Well-built and produce great sound quality
- Yet feature-packed
- Can’t process analog and digital inputs simultaneously
- Might not be the right USB mic for the road
- It’s quite heavy
Need an affordable studio-grade and professional USB microphone? Well, the Apogee MIC PLUS USB Microphone might be the answer to your needs. It is a cardioid mic with 46dB of mic preamp gain and PureDIGITAL connection. So, you’ll get a pristine sound quality even up to 24-bit / 96kHz rate.
Since it’s a USB mic, you can easily connect it to a Mac or Windows PC, and if you have an adapter, to iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, as well. This microphone gives you the convenience to record anytime and anywhere without compromising the true tone of your vocals or guitars.
With its headphone output with ‘Blend’ feature, you’ll have real-time, zero-latency monitoring of your recordings.
- Very easy to connect and set up
- Like expensive mics
- It has RAW vocal capabilities
- Able to produce clear and crisp recordings
- Some users find this mic a bit smaller than others
- Not a good choice for studio recording
- But for high-frequency, it is
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST USB MICROPHONE – A BUYING GUIDE
You can just pick any USB microphone out there, there are tons of them, actually. However, if you want to buy a mic with value, you must look for that one product that gives you everything you need. If you go through the specs of each product on the market, you might go crazy.
So, we made a simple guideline on the critical aspects to look for in a USB microphone.
Dynamic or Condenser
You might have known the difference between the two, but, for the purpose of giving you tips, we give this as a reviewer for you. Dynamic mics are self-powered mics, while condenser mics need external power, like phantom power.
However, since we’re talking about USB mics, the USB cable provides that power to the mic.
This means, that nearly all the USB-connected mics are condenser mics that provide a smooth response with a wide frequency range.
Filter switch and Pad switch
These two switches are among the useful controls you need in your USB microphone. The high-pass filter cuts low frequencies to successfully remove all unwanted background noise. The pad switch reduces the gain of the mic, lowering the signal strength — preventing overload or distortion.
This element is the one that reacts to the sound input. Large-diaphragm is the most common configuration, which is more sensitive and picks up low-frequency signals, says The Hub. The small-diaphragm mics are great for acoustic recordings, especially those with lots of resonance and overtones.
Although this is not much of an issue. But, since you’re looking for the best USB mic, you might have seen expensive mics from the list. Getting premium mics is fine, especially if it’s necessary for your application.
However, just to remind you that there are still tons of cheap mics out there that are also great, even better than expensive ones.
So, if you are short on budget, you may check our list for the best cheap USB microphones under $100.
There are advantages and disadvantages of the USB mics compared to the usual condenser and dynamic mics as discussed in this YouTube video. At some point, it’s advantageous to use USB mics for its convenience, plug and play, and more.
Hence, watch the video to get to know about this mic and how you’ll use it in your home studio.
OUR CHOICE FOR THE BEST USB MICROPHONES 2021
Blue Yeti is really a resounding name when it comes to microphones. With its
Blue Yeti USB Microphone, you’ll really know what quality is in terms of vocals and instrument recordings.
However, CAD Audio U37 USB is even better. Not that it’s very affordable, it has also a lot of features not found in other USB mics – not even from those premium mics. Why don’t you check out the product and let us know what you think!