For gaming, Skype, video conferencing, streaming and podcasting, you need a good microphone for your computer with clear sound.
In this article, we will look at the most popular models. The rating includes both simple computer microphones designed for simple tasks, and professional devices for bloggers and vocalists.
Criterias of choice
Price. People have different taste preferences, as well as financial capabilities, besides, some may think the sound quality of a microphone for an inexpensive one is better compared to a product that will cost the buyer much more.
Characteristics. They are important and should be heeded. For example, microphone sensitivity deserves special attention.
Brand. If we consider the products of a single manufacturer, we can identify a number of general characteristics that will be inherent in almost every product. These include signature sound, timbre and color.
Product category. It’s not worth shelling out a tidy sum for a product that belongs to the category of professional equipment when it comes to amateur recordings at home. Also, you should not save when arranging a full-fledged studio. There is a category of products on the market that is recommended for recording instruments, voice, video blogging, radio air, voice acting or streaming.
Listening to TV shows or YouTube channels. In most cases, this moment is practically not paid attention. Gaming headsets can also be used for surfing the Internet and watching videos on the Internet. Sound quality is important, so you should not be lazy and try.
sound. Do not give preference to popular models that help smooth out the sound. Timbre color should also be absent. If possible, when recording vocals, such «smoothing» should be avoided.
Other factors. The case should be made of high-strength material — metal that can easily survive several drops.
Design. Appearance also matters. Preference should be given to neutral tones, those that will not bother.
Equipment. The functionality of the device can directly depend on this. The set may include branded pop filters, as well as holders (racks), however, a high-quality set is rare, so you often have to buy everything yourself..
Samson C01U PRO
An excellent studio instrument. The device is assembled according to the principle of maximum reliability and durability. Sensitive elements are able to capture all sounds and noises with high quality, which makes the unit in demand among vocalists, streamers and recording enthusiasts.
The compact setup rests on a factory-made tripod with secure grips to prevent accidental brushing of the microphone by hand. And in the event of an incident, a durable case is able to successfully transfer the “flight” from the table.
The connection is made via a USB connector. Relatively budget design has an excellent combination of cost and quality factor.
- excellent record;
- suitable for vocalists.
- too much sensitivity.
Which brand of microphone is best?
Among all manufacturers of computer peripherals, microphones are the most popular with our customers:
- Defender (Russia) is the only domestic company in the ranking, has existed since 1990, but already has its representative offices around the world and service centers in almost a hundred cities in Russia. Motto
- Genius (Headquarters — Taiwan, branches around the world)
- Logitech (Switzerland)
- Shure (USA)
- Sven (Finland)
The leader of the rating is an extremely popular device among professionals of all directions. The main feature is the absence of the need for calibrations. The device is ready for use immediately after connection.
Extreme simplicity is especially liked by bloggers, streamers and ordinary players. Excellent sound quality does not require post-processing, you can mount raw files.
The positive qualities also include the possibility of simultaneous recording of two interlocutors without picking up extraneous sounds.
- excellent build;
- excellent functionality;
- quality sound.
Best Inexpensive Computer Microphones
This is a relatively cheap high quality electret model. The gadget is made in a beautiful design, in connection with which it can serve not only as a useful device for recording sound, but also as a stylish accessory. The weight of the device is only 16 g, so it can be easily worn throughout the day. The lowest frequency a device can communicate with is 50 Hz. The limit indicator reaches 16 kHz. This device perfectly perceives the signal, the volume of which is above 58 dB, which is quite enough to clearly hear even the whisper of the interlocutor.
- high-quality sound
- high limit operating frequency
- small dimensions
- long cable
- weak sensitivity
This is a wired condenser model designed for online games, voiceovers, and Skype conversations. This device is equipped with a special support, on which, directly, the microphone is fixed. The gadget has a basic jack-type connector through which it is connected to a PC or laptop. The model has good sensitivity and a long cable for connection.
- fixed on a flexible leg
- ease of installation
- there is no need to install software to interact with the microphone
- omnidirectional cardioid
- the cable is not enough if you connect the microphone to the desktop PC under the table in the slot located on the rear side of the case
The design is particularly simple. This allows you to easily communicate with people via video without perceptible sound distortion. Also, the device can be used as a gaming accessory. The form of execution is desktop. The cost is acceptable, which will allow you to purchase the device as an additional device. It is characterized by the presence of surround sound. Due to the design features, the device is isolated from extraneous sounds. Listening to music in them will be uncomfortable, as the bass is completely absent. A hum may appear in the process of switching to vibration. The remote control has a fairly bright backlight. The bar can be set according to the angle of inclination. This will allow you to choose the most comfortable position for the upcoming conversation. The cable is 1.5 m long. The model is equipped with a standard 3.5 mm jack. Operating range 20-13,000 Hz with a sensitivity of 54 dB.
- great solution for networking
- extraneous noise
- backlight brightness is uncomfortable
- extraneous noise
This model is suitable for creating high-quality audio during streaming broadcasts, recording vlogs, and is also the most favorable solution for talking in games or via Skype. The gadget is equipped with a support that provides a stable position on the table, as well as making it possible to adjust the angle of the device. The device belongs to the omnidirectional type and stands out from the competition with its high sensitivity. The device is connected to a PC or laptop via a long cable with a 3.5 mm jack (mini-jack). The gadget is made of high quality plastic, standing out from competitors with its lightness and long service life. The device interacts with a wide frequency spectrum, which ranges from 50 MHz — 16 kHz, which indicates the purest high-quality sound without extraneous noise.
- support with swivel lock
- the presence of an additional fixative with an adhesive layer
- flimsy cable
This model is attached to clothing or a PC display. It is convenient to use for Internet conferences and vocal recording. The cable length is 1.8 m, which makes it possible to place the device in the place where the user needs it. The model is connected to a personal computer or voice recorder via a 3.5 mm jack. The device does not require phantom power. The weight of the gadget is 40 g. Dialog M-100B stands out from the competition due to its diminutiveness, which makes it possible, if desired, to hide it under clothing. Black coloring and a traditional look are combined with other equipment in the office if you plan to purchase a microphone for work.
- small size
- comfort of operation
- Velcro fastening
- long cable
- poor sensitivity
Asus ROG Strix Magnus
A gaming microphone designed for active accompaniment of video recordings, online games or blog voice acting. Extremely comfortable design looks great in the frame and has enough performance for active use.
Attractive design fully justifies the cost. Futuristic transitions are highlighted with multi-colored diodes, which looks just great.
Thanks to its compactness and attractive design, the device compares favorably with studio analogues of a similar price category. Having made the necessary settings, you can safely go about your business, leaving the hassle of recording from a microphone — the gadget will do everything by itself.
The capacitor element has a sensitivity of 35 dB, and an operating frequency range of 20 to 20,000 Hz. There is also a good suppression of extraneous noise, which has a positive effect on the result.
- excellent design;
- excellent assembly;
- huge functionality.
- noise suppression efficiency.
The best microphones for a premium computer
Lavalier microphone with good sound RODE Lavalier. The Australian company Røde Microphones is not widely known among the masses, which, however, does not prevent it from releasing professional-level microphones. Only two graphs can characterize the Lavalier microphone: directivity, where a perfect circle is visible, and amplitude-frequency response: it is completely even from 100 to 2000 kHz, and further to 10 kHz, the rise is only 2 dB, without peaks and dips. Moreover, the sensitivity of the microphone is a record for «buttons»: -33.5 dB, its potential is sufficient not only for «sit-chat», but also for full-fledged studio work. The dynamic range of the microphone is 85dB. The active impedance matching circuit is assembled on a JFET transistor and built into the microphone head. The microphone, supplied with a waterproof pop filter and a “muff”, has a specific connection: a Kevlar-reinforced cable ends with a proprietary MiCon connector, and an adapter for TRS, miniXLR, and so on is already connected to it, depending on the equipment, including also specific ones (for example, adapters are offered for Sennheiser, Shure, AKG radio systems, which also use “their own” connectors). On the microphone itself, the cable is not soldered, but is connected with a similar connector. In addition to the standard 1.2-meter cable, the company offers an optional three-meter cable. Since MiCon is a threaded connector, the fixation is very secure. The microphone body is extremely «indestructible» — it is made of stainless steel.
- Sound quality
- Low noise level
- High sensitivity
- Detachable cable
- Connectivity Versatility
- Proprietary connectors will require the use of only branded adapters
- Price (and add separately purchased adapters to it)
Trust GXT 252 Emita
This microphone attracts with its complete set: in an aluminum (!) case there is a solid stand, a “spider” suspension, and even a pop filter: a ready-made set “unpack and use” without the need to purchase additional accessories. The directional pattern of the microphone is cardioid, the sensitivity is declared very decent, at -35 dB. The sound is digitized in the format up to 16 bit/48 kHz. As a vocal microphone, this microphone is still rather weak, but one should not have expected anything else from a manufacturer of computer peripherals, and not specialized sound solutions. As an option for podcasts, streaming, video blogging and other types of cancer that plagues the Internet, it is quite suitable. Especially if you prefer not to do it at home, but arm yourself with a laptop and go to a cafe or to nature: you don’t need to dump the entire set into a backpack. After all, it was precisely in the calculation of “going out to people” that the manufacturer provided for a suitcase.
- Rich equipment
- High sensitivity
- Good sound quality for a non-musical mic
- No monitor output and level control
AKG Lyra (C44-USB)
The microphone looks stylish on the outside (so you don’t have to hide it from the frame), and the “stuffing” has the appropriate one: the use of four multidirectional capsules allows you to adjust the virtual “directional pattern”, the sound is digitized as 24 bit / 192 kHz with THD <0.009%. The microphone weighs about a kilogram, its stand is rubberized at the bottom: it will stand securely on any table. The stand bracket allows you to adjust the position of the microphone over a very wide range, as well as remove the microphone altogether to mount it on a stand or on a pantograph - the thoughtfulness of the design pleases. Since the capsules inside are deployed to all four cardinal directions, the microphone is also great for recording dialogues: just switch it to Front & Back mode and place it between the interlocutors to record in a mono channel, or to Wide Stereo mode to record a stereo signal from both sides. In the "Front" mode, it, cutting off the rear hemisphere, can digitize the sound as mono, and in "Tight Stereo", respectively, it writes the sound of the front hemisphere in stereo. As pleasant bonuses, there is a gain control in the analog part of the path and the connection of monitor headphones, in addition, the microphone can work normally via OTG with smartphones and tablets. To summarize: the AKG microphone came out really excellent, especially for the money: able to catch even a quiet whisper, versatile, and even banally beautiful.
- Possibility of mounting on a stand and pantograph
- Sound quality
- Excellent sensitivity
- Ableton 10 Live license coupon included
- Is that the fact that the monitor output does not «pull» high-impedance headphones
Razer Seiren X
- fashion design
- high sound quality
- no outside noise
- comfort of operation
- no proprietary Razer software to configure various tweaks
We have considered the existing types of microphones, now we have to deal with their technical characteristics in more detail. First, let’s talk about the audio interface. Simply put, this is the way the PC and the microphone interact.
Note that the computer only processes digital signals. The microphone, on the other hand, produces an analog version, which is then converted into a digital one in the PC audio card, that is, a discrete version. Unfortunately, in this case, there is a loss of sound quality.
Lavalier microphone MP5 mini USB
To avoid a strong loss of sound quality, it is recommended to choose a microphone that has a direct connection option via the XLR port. These are installed on dedicated audio cards. But, in order not to purchase them, you can buy a headset that has a USB connection method, which has its own built-in audio card (with the exception of cheap models).
The analog version is a connection via a standard mini-jack connector. Connecting through it is not a professional way, but it is great for performing standard tasks.
The best computer microphones for price / quality
A USB condenser microphone for the home studio with the pickup characteristics of professional equipment. An overall diaphragm with a diameter of 16 mm with advanced signal conversion and amplification algorithms made it possible to achieve a frequency response shape close to ideal. Thanks to the diaphragm, the microphone perceives mechanical vibrations of the environment within the range of 40 Hz — 20 kHz, which covers the range of human perception and almost all instruments. Voice correction when recording vocals and voice acting is rarely required. Thanks to the cardioid, it captures sounds in space, preserving maximum detail. If you don’t work in a professional recording studio, feel free to buy a microphone for home use. Such devices are cheaper than advanced analogs, they are practically not inferior in quality, they quickly connect and get ready for work.
- ASIO driver support
- sound pressure — 136 dB
- Transformerless front end reduces self-noise
- all-metal shockproof housing
Trust Mico-USB Microphone
USB model that connects to a PC. According to the characteristics, the design is similar to studio counterparts, based on sound quality. An excellent guide to the world of really high-quality acoustics. Mounting on horizontal and other surfaces is allowed. An excellent solution for sound recording, as well as network communication with friends. Due to the adapter, interference and noise will be blocked. You can connect to any desktop computer. It should be noted that there is no need to look for supporting software. Stand is self-adjusting with a flexible leg. Operating frequency 50 Hz — 16 kHz. The standard connector is 3.5 mm.
- built-in pop filters
- extraneous noise may occur
Small condenser microphone. Connector jack 3.5 mm, sensitivity 62 dB. Frequencies 3-16000 Hz. The connection is very simple. Suitable for Internet communication and for voice recognition using computer programs.
- good sound quality
- just connects
- Suitable for all modern sound cards
This is a wired model that has wind protection, which prevents the penetration of interference into the conversation. The microphone is mounted on a support and can be adjusted to the desired trajectory due to the presence of flexible legs. The gadget will be an excellent solution for equipping large public and telephone centers, and will also be a good purchase for home use paired with a personal computer. For work, there is no need to install additional utilities, you just need to insert the device cable into the AUX slot.
- price-quality ratio
- clear sound
- enough cord length
- poor support stability
This tilt-adjustable omni-directional model is perfect for gamers, Skype chatting, voice recording or musical instruments. The device stands out from the competition with good technical parameters and guarantees high-quality sound transmission.
- no outside noise
- good sensitivity parameters
- adjustable tilt angle
- the mechanism of operation is based on the relationship of the diaphragm with the plates of the capacitor
- flimsy body
The rating of the best microphones for streaming in 2021 opens with a budget, but very popular model from the famous speaker manufacturer.
The design is able to meet the minimum requirements of gamers, streamers or beginner bloggers.
The microphone is connected to the stand with a movable leg, which allows you to set the desired position. To increase convenience, the body has a button to turn off the recording, which is critical in emergency situations.
However, to get a clear sound, you will need to fiddle with the settings of the sound card and software due to the lack of extraneous noise cutoff. Also, after a few months of use, some buyers complain about the failure of mechanical buttons.
- minimum cost;
- neat look;
- convenient mechanism of fastening of a support.
- difficult to set up;
- you need to manipulate the sound card and software.
The best microphones for a mid-range computer
This is a condenser type model with a 16 mm diaphragm that is fixed on a stand. It can be used for interviews, screenings, social media conversations, vocal recording, game chats, or streaming. The tripod stand allows you to place the device on your desktop in the most practical way. An anti-vibration spider type clamp is supplied with the tripod and microphone. The box with the device also comes with a USB adapter with an additional 3.5 mm TRS jack, through which it is possible to connect headphones.
- membrane 16 mm
- USB adapter
- tripod stand
- fashion design
- rich equipment
- poor sound quality
- picks up a lot of extraneous noise
This model attracts users with versatility, because due to the presence of a 4-pin connector and an integrated preamplifier, it is suitable for both personal computers, smartphones and tablet PCs, as well as camcorders. The preamplifier is small in size and is powered by 1 LR44 battery, and an intuitive switch with 2 positions — ON and OFF / Smartphone — is responsible for its control. In the first version, the preamplifier is in working condition and, in addition to increasing the signal level, also matches the output impedance of the microphone with the low-impedance input of the sound card. When working with devices that are adapted to interact with condenser-type microphones, the preamplifier is turned off. This model, of course, will not be a good solution for recording songs or vocal exercises, but for video communication it is an excellent option for a relatively low price. In addition, the user can interact with the microphone wherever the mobile device or tablet PC has access to the Internet.
- there is a preamplifier
- long wire
- comfortable retainer
- rich equipment, which includes a battery, an adapter, a leather case, etc.
- average sound quality
Trust GXT 210 Scorp
The model comes in a small box with a photograph of the microphone and basic information about its technical parameters. The package contains only the user manual. The device is a support and a flexible leg, which is movably attached. The model doesn’t add up. Connection to a PC is carried out via a USB cable, the length of which makes it possible to practically place the microphone on the table and reach the back of the case. The model is quite stable. There is a rubber pad on the bottom to prevent slipping. There are several illuminated zones at the base of the device — profile panels and the model name in the middle. Illumination color is red. The model also has a mechanical shutdown button. The button indication lights up red when the microphone is muted.
- high build reliability
- practical shutdown button
- Silicone feet for stability
- quite spacious sound
- not detected
The RDM-125 is a desktop microphone that comes with a simple tripod that allows it to be placed at arbitrary angles. The microphone itself is not so bad for its price, but the lack of a preamplifier in it has an understandable minus — most likely, you will have to unscrew the gain on the sound card, then struggling with noise and interference. Especially taking into account the wide radiation pattern — on the one hand, it is not so sensitive to the placement relative to the speaker and his movements, but he hears a lot of “extra” too. The sensitivity is declared at -30 dB, but it’s hard to believe: the microphone noticeably «deflates» at a distance from the speaker, you have to keep it close.
- Mounting on a tripod with adjustable angle
- Good sound for this class
- No preamp
- The actual sensitivity is clearly lower than the declared one.
The desktop microphone on an electret capsule with an output impedance of 32 ohms (thanks to the built-in transistor stage) has a flexible stem, so it will be easy to find the right position for it. True, it is worth considering that its directivity is too wide, so it will be very inclined to catch both extraneous noise and feedback from the speakers. Its sensitivity is low, which should be taken into account by those who plan to use the microphone in tandem with built-in sound cards, especially simple ones: there you will have to set the gain to at least 10 dB, and the sound will begin to noticeably clog noise. However, this is a common problem with primitive «inserts», with better sound cards, especially external ones, this microphone is quite good, especially considering the price. Well, in any case, it is better than the built-in microphones of laptops.
- flexible base
- Has an off button
- Low sensitivity
- Tendency to «catch» extraneous noise.
Trust GXT 252+Emita Plus
Professional streamer device of excellent quality. The intricate design has all the necessary additions of the highest level. Comes with a pop filter, spider, tabletop stand and carrying case.
The purest sound is achieved thanks to the cardioid pattern, active noise cancellation.
The sensing element has a full range of perception, which ensures that the speaker can be heard clearly under all circumstances.
In general, the device is a complete set of necessary acoustics for work. Connection to external devices occurs via USB output, which guarantees efficient operation on any computer or laptop.
- two years warranty;
- a complete set of everything you need.
- complete lack of mobility.
What requirements should be placed on microphones so as not to miscalculate with a purchase?
- Suppression of external noise. The microphone should highlight the voice and not pick up the noise of cars on the street, wind, etc. That is why you should pay attention to the frequency of the range: the average person speaks within 100-10,000 Hz.
- Durable construction and cord. The microphone is mobile. It often has to be moved, so its durability depends on the reliability of execution.
- High sensitivityso you don’t have to bring the microphone very close to your mouth.
- Compactness. Especially when there is limited space on the desktop or the need to take the device with you.
- Directionality of the signal. Some models can pick up frontal sound, but do not react to sound from the side.
- sound pressure. A microphone can take a good signal, but it will process and transmit it in terrible quality. This parameter determines how cleanly the signal will be transmitted.
Main technical characteristics
Each microphone, like other devices, has various technical characteristics that are important to consider when choosing. They seriously affect the sound quality of the device.
First of all, it is necessary to say about the frequency range. The bigger it is, the better, of course. But it is important to remember that the speech frequency varies from 0.1 to 10 kHz. That is, if you need to record a voice, then you can choose a microphone just the one that has such a frequency range. In general, a device with a frequency of 65-1300 Hz (hertz) will suffice.
Important! Too large a frequency range is not needed for normal tasks. They can only cause serious interference and deterioration of the sound quality during a conversation.
The next parameter is the so-called sound pressure. It will allow you to understand what the maximum sound of the microphone will be. It is measured in dB, that is, decibels. With the right sound pressure, the sound will go without unnecessary interference, and the interlocutor will hear you well.
Sound directivity is a parameter that will show how sensitive the model is to various noises and other sounds coming from everywhere. After all, we don’t have conversations in complete silence — a TV can work nearby, music can sound, neighbors have started repairs, and so on.
Microphone Podcast Studio
In most cases, microphones are not directional. That is, they are equally good at catching speech and all the noise around. In general, they are perfect for standard computer work, that is, for conferences, ordinary conversations, and games. However, if you need to record a specific sound, you will have to look for a specialized one-way microphone.
Sensitivity is also an important indicator on which the sound quality of the device will depend. It denotes the lowest sound level that this model can catch. Devices with significant sensitivity indicators often capture all the sounds around well. So it cannot be said that such microphones are ideal. It is better to choose something in between.
Elgato Wave 3
The best USB microphone ever.
Elgato Wave 3
The best microphone for games and streaming in our ranking is Elgato Wave 3. The model is suitable for streaming, recording podcasts and individual videos, simple negotiations with teammates. There is a strong steel grille for additional protection of the capsule, a multi-layer noise isolation system, a USB Type-C connector for fast and stable data transfer, and a headphone output.
Elgato Wave 3 features state-of-the-art technology from Lewitt Audio for the best quality, and Clipguard for content creators. It automatically redirects the audio to the second audio channel at a reduced volume so you don’t have to manually correct the resulting distortion. The Wave Link utility is designed for quick setup, and support for nine channels helps the microphone quickly process and mix incoming information.
- Microphone: for computer
- Operating principle: condenser
- Directionality: unidirectional
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency range: 70 — 20000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -25 dB
- Sound pressure: 120 dB / c Clipboard — 140
- Signal-to-noise ratio: 95 dB / s Clipboard — 115
- ADC sampling rate: 96 kHz
- Body material: plastic
- Dimensions: 153x66x40mm
- Weight: 280 g
- Anti-shock suspension («spider»)
- Pop filter
- Detachable cable
If we talk about standard options and the budget is not critical, feel free to buy Rode NT-USB and that’s it. This is what half of the streamers around the world do. The quality of the stream is on top, all viewers are happy.
When you want a little more difficult task, choose Behringer C-1. And we purchase in addition to it the Steinberg UR12 audio interface and XLR cable 3 meters. But in the end, such a set comes out at a cost 40% cheaper than the first option. In the future, you can simply replace the Behringer C-1 microphone itself with any other, and the entire set remains the same.