Best Microphones for Streaming, Gaming and Live Chats in 2021

Best Microphones for Streaming, Gaming and Live Chats in 2021 intro image

Once upon a time, we all thought a simple headset with a tiny mic was enough for gaming with our friends. 

DR

“Going A!!” and “Planting!!” we shouted.

There was no thought in our heads about getting a better-quality mic for streaming and gaming – which is fair enough. 

Back in the day, good-quality mics seemed like a luxury, and if PewDiePie could go on for so long without buying one, why should we? 

Nowadays, with online games such as Among Us, Destiny, Rainbow Six, and Borderlands gaining more and more popularity, it’s essential to get a decent microphone for streaming. Even D&D, which has been considered basement-level gaming for years, has made its way into the online mainstream – trust me, this requires clear communication. It seems people have started posting their Dungeons and Dragons campaigns live on Twitch more and more, and there’s no better time than the present to invest in a mic. 

Of course, gaming might not be up your street, but what about all the Zoom and Teams calls you’ve been taking recently? Enough of the “Krzhhh… Thank you for… Krzhhh. And have a… Krzhh… day!” I say, “enough!” *slams down staff.*

Microphones for streaming, gaming, and live chats have become an essential part of a decent PC setup. However, with such a massive variety of choices, how do you know what is worth spending your money on? 

Can We Write Your Speech?

Get your audience blown away with help from a professional speechwriter.
Free proofreading and copy-editing included.

Well, that’s what I’m here for. Allow me to introduce you to the ten best microphones for streaming, gaming, and live chats!

Why Does Having a Good Streaming Microphone Matter?

It doesn’t matter if you’re recording in a room you soundproofed with your old duvets or if you decided to rent a recording studio. The fact of the matter is that if you want good-quality audio, you’ll need a good microphone.

In streaming, many people tend to focus on the quality of the video instead of the audio. I can’t tell you the number of times I have clicked away from something I was watching just because it had awful audio quality. I’m sure you’ve done it, too.

When you’re in the zone streaming live, and suddenly you start screaming at the microphone and can’t toggle your gain, it’s a literal pain in the ears. 

Having a decent microphone bumps up your views and can make your audience grow. Most of the time, when we’re listening to someone online, we don’t think about the sound until it’s noticeably bad, and that’s when the flood of comments will wash you away. 

When your stream chat is filled with opinions on your audio, it takes away from what you’re doing. After all, the whole point is to enjoy yourself and get people to feel a part of something, right?

Good-quality microphones also come in handy in other instances. If you’re a musician and want people to hear the total capacity of your voice, there are great streaming microphones that can give you that expert sound you’re after. You can also record instruments with some of the microphones on this list, such as the SM7B. 

Some people also like to use their microphones for podcast recording, but I recommend you check out the thorough review we did on the best mics for podcast recording if that’s what you’re into. Knowing you’re not here for that and you are probably dying to know the top ten quality mics for streaming, let’s jump straight in!

Best Microphones for Streaming at a Glance 

If you’re in a rush, here are the top ten microphones for streaming in 2021:

Rated five stars everywhere online, the Blue Yeti is the go-to microphone for many streamers. Whether you’re an experienced YouTuber that has been streaming for years or just getting into it, this is the most versatile, user-friendly, and affordable mic out there!
 
  1. Top Pick – Yeti Professional USB Microphone for Recording, Streaming, Podcasting, Broadcasting, Gaming
  2. Best Cheap Microphone for Streaming – JLab Audio Talk Microphone PC USB Connection, Plug, and Play
  3. Best Streaming Microphone for Mac – Elgato Wave: 3
  4. Best Microphone for Game Streaming – HyperX QuadCast S
  5. Best Beginner Streaming Microphone Razer Seiren Elite
  6. Perfect Microphone for Streaming on Twitch Movo UM700 Desktop USB Microphone
  7. Best Condenser Mic for Streaming Rode NT-USB-Mini
  8. Best Microphone for Streaming on PS4 Epos B20
  9. Best XLR Microphone for Streaming Shure SM7B Microphone
  10. Best Streaming Microphone Under $100 – Audio-Technica AT2020+

10 Best Microphones for Streaming – Review Section

The time has come to give you our kick-ass reviews on the best microphones for streaming. We have also prepared a buyer’s guide at the end of this article, which covers some in-depth technical specifications you should be aware of when buying a mic. 

1. Yeti Professional USB Microphone for Recording, Streaming, Podcasting, Broadcasting, Gaming – Top Pick

Blue Yeti USB Microphone for PC & Mac, Podcast, Gaming, Streaming and Recording Microphone, with...
  • Custom three-capsule array: Produces clear, powerful, broadcast-quality sound for YouTube, game streaming, podcasting, Skype calls and music
  • Four pickup patterns: cardioid, Omni, bidirectional, and stereo pickup patterns offer incredible flexibility, allowing you to record in ways that would normally require multiple microphones
  • Onboard audio controls: Studio controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute, and microphone gain put you in charge of every level of the recording and streaming process

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufacturer: Blue Microphones | Brand: Blue Microphones | Model: 988-000100 | Color: Blackout | Material: Metal | Connectivity Technology: USB | Connector Type: USB | Power Source: Corded Electric | Number of Batteries: 1 Lithium ion | Battery Life: N/A | Item Weight: 58.90 oz. | Hardware Platform: PC | Polar Pattern: Multipattern | Warranty: 2-Year manufacturer warranty

If you read our best podcasting microphone review, you’ll probably recognize this unique USB microphone from the get-go. We couldn’t help but include it here, too. After all, it’s been a number one choice for podcasters and YouTubers for years. 

It’s incredibly affordable and not a complete eyesore, unlike many mics currently sold on the market. It comes in various colors, so if you find that important, the Blue Yeti doesn’t necessarily have to be blue. For those who couldn’t care less about the visual appeal of their mic, you can save some cash by choosing a cheaper finish. 

The Blue Yeti is a USB mic, making it extremely easy to plug into your computer, whether that’s a PC or Mac. Just make sure you have Mac OS 10.13 or higher or Windows 10 or higher! It won’t prompt you to install any software if you want to run it straight away. 

Perhaps the only con of this mic is the large size. It stands at almost a foot tall, and it’s pretty heavy. However, it gives you the feeling of a sturdy device that isn’t designed like a toy. It has an all-metal body and can be detached from its desktop stand and mounted on a boom arm or mic stand. 

What’s great about this mic is that you can toggle your sensitivity by adjusting the gain button at the back of the device. You have greater control over other settings from your mic’s body, like different recording patterns (omnidirectional, bidirectional, stereo, and cardioid). Thus, you can customize your audio ASAP. The Blue Yeti is a fantastic mic for both beginners and professionals, proving great Yetis do exist.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Great value for money
  • Easy to set up
  • Perfect for newbies
  • Condenser mic
  • Detachable
Cons
  • Pretty large

2. JLab Audio Talk Microphone PC USB Connection, Plug, and Play – Best Cheap Microphone for Streaming

Sale
JLab Talk USB Microphone | USB-C Output | Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Stereo or Bidirectional | 96k...
  • Desktop Style High Performer: Meet Talk, an intermediate, desktop-style high performer microphone with three studio-quality condensers and a 96kHz/24BIT resolution to put your sound at ease for better...
  • Professional Grade Recording: Talk features a studio-quality resolution of 96kHz/24BIT to ensure the recording is clear, detailed, and delivers great dynamic sound range for everyday use. Great for...
  • 4 Directional Pattern Modes: Talk features four directional pattern modes: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Stereo, and Bidirectional. Great for individual or business calls, voiceovers, podcasting, music...

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufacturer: JLAB | Brand: JLAB | Model: MTALKRBLK4 | Color: Black | Material: Aluminium | Connectivity Technology: Auxiliary, USB | Connector Type: USB, 3.5 mm Jack | Power Source: Corded Electric | Number of Batteries: N/A | Battery Life: N/A | Item Weight: 26 oz. | Hardware Platform: PC, Camera | Polar Pattern: Unidirectional, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional | Warranty: 2-Year

Looking at the mic and the available specs on Amazon, even an inexperienced eye can spot this mic as a pretty good deal. 

First off, its most obvious benefit is its tiny price tag. For this price, it’s a smashing deal! The next thing you can easily spot is the fantastic tripod desk stand included in the price, saving you some money on purchasing a separate stand for your desktop. 

When it comes to building quality, of course, you can’t expect a tank for this price, but it compensates with other features. There’s a sneaky little mute button at the bottom of the microphone, which is easy to access, as well as a switch between pickup patterns. 

There are two polar patterns to choose from. The cardioid will make it light up in blue, while the omnidirectional will make it light up in bright green light. It’s a great competitor to the Blue Snowball mic series and makes an excellent choice for a compact streaming mic that sounds velvety-great. 

If you want to take a look at some of the best portable microphones, it’s a shame not to look at our detailed review!

Pros
  • Free tripod
  • Easy access settings
  • Cardioid and omnidirectional patterns
  • Quick-access mute button
  • Volume and gain control on the body
  • Portable
Cons
  • Many plosives – use with windshield

3. Elgato Wave: 3 – Best Streaming Microphone for Mac

Sale
Elgato Wave: 3 – USB Condenser Microphone and Digital Mixer for Streaming, Recording, Podcasting -...
  • Condenser capsule with a tight cardioid polar pattern captures speech with precision
  • Use the Wave Link app to control Wave: 3 and up to 7 other audio sources, plus create 2 independent mixes
  • Up to 24-bit / 96kHz analog to digital conversion delivers lush detail

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufacturer: Elgato | Brand: Elgato | Model: 10MAB9901 | Color: Matte Black | Material: Alloy Steel | Connectivity Technology: USB | Connector Type: USB-C | Power Source: USB | Number of Batteries: 1 A battery | Battery Life: up to 30 hours | Item Weight: 20.64 oz. | Hardware Platform: PC | Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Unidirectional | Warranty: 2-Year

Despite this being an almost 100% plastic mic, there is still a pretty good feel. This beauty has a metal desktop stand, ensuring your mic is kept in place. 

The Elgato Wave 3 is extremely user-friendly and doesn’t require you to install any software. You can even plug it into a Mac and have it working instantly. Once you do that and have it switched on, you can check the front of the mic and notice the three light indicators. 

You can easily adjust your microphone gain, headphone volume and mix between mic level and computer playback. There is a lot to like about this microphone. The only flaw I can point out is the plastic design. However, this microphone doesn’t feel like a toy and is an excellent mic for streaming games or other content! The microphone won’t clip if you get excited while streaming and playing a game, which is super important for people who are streaming and don’t have the option to fix their audio in post.

Pros
  • Windows and Mac connectivity
  • Desktop stand included
  • USB mic
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Easy access settings
  • No hassle when setting up
Cons
  • Cheap-feeling and plastic

4. HyperX QuadCast S – Best Microphone for Game Streaming

HyperX QuadCast S – RGB USB Condenser Microphone for PC, PS4, PS5 and Mac, Anti-Vibration Shock...
  • Radiant RGB lighting with dynamic effects: Personalize stunning RGB lighting and dynamic effects for an eye-catching shot of customizable style.
  • Built-in anti-vibration shock mount: Isolate the mic and suppress the sound of unintentional rumbles and bumps with the elastic rope suspension.
  • Tap-to-mute sensor with LED status indicator: Use the convenient tap-to-mute functionality to prevent an audio accident along with the help of the LED mic status indicator. If the light is on, the mic...

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufacturer: HyperX | Brand: HyperX | Model: HMIQ1S-XX-RG/G | Color: RGB | Material: N/A | Connectivity Technology: USB | Connector Type: USB | Power Source: Corded Electric | Number of Batteries: N/A | Battery Life: N/A | Item Weight: 21.16 oz. | Hardware Platform: PC, PS4 & PS5 | Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional and Stereo | Warranty: 2-Year

I have been so hyped to review the HyperX QuadCast S microphone for quite some time now. Let me introduce you to a state-of-the-art streaming mic that not only does the job but looks deliciously good while using it! 

When you unbox your very own HyperX, you’ll find it comes with a built-in shock mount that’s ready to go, as well as a desktop stand which you can easily remove and replace with a microphone stand. 

This microphone for streaming has easy-access gain control at the bottom, which you can rotate sideways if you want it adjusted. At the top, you can find a huge mute button, which will instantly switch off the radiant light coming from your mic. 

The HyperX mic has latency-free monitoring, but if you’d like to turn it off for any reason, you won’t be able to do that, which is the only drawback with this streaming mic. 

You’re not just buying a streaming mic. You’re choosing a solid piece of equipment that you can use for anything, all depending on your imagination! The microphone has four pick-up patterns: stereo, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and cardioid polar patterns for all of your upcoming endeavors.

Pros
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Easy mic gain control
  • Four pickup patterns
  • USB mic
  • Suitable for PS4 and PS5
  • Internal pop filter
  • Shock mount included
Cons
  • Tap-to-mute sensor can be heard

5. Razer Seiren Elite – Best Beginner Streaming Microphone

Razer Seiren Elite USB Streaming Microphone: Professional Grade High-Pass Filter - Built-In Shock...
  • Professional Grade - Single dynamic capsule ensures minimal electronic interference for a richer, warmer and true to life broadcasting experience
  • Built in High-Pass Filter - Cuts out unwanted low-frequency vibrations (footsteps or the rumbles of an air conditioner) to provide only the cleanest recording signals
  • Digital/Analog Vocal Limiter

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufacturer: Razer Inc. | Brand: Razer | Model: RZ19-02280100-R3U1 | Color: Classic Black | Material: Aluminum | Connectivity Technology: USB | Connector Type: USB | Power Source: Classic Black | Number of Batteries: N/A | Battery Life: N/A | Item Weight: 27.6 oz. | Hardware Platform: PC | Polar Pattern: Unidirectional | Warranty: 30-Days

If you want an instrumental microphone that’s also beginner-friendly, the Razer Seiren Elite will genuinely step up your audio game. It serves as an excellent microphone for streaming modeled after the Shure SM7B – but comes twice as cheap! 

While streaming, you can use the easy-access volume and gain buttons on the mic body, so you can make your necessary corrections as you go along. Another incredible feature of the Razer Elite is the built-in high-pass filter, which includes ultra-clean recording. You don’t have to worry about high-pitched sounds or trying to level your excitement during streaming. 

There is no additional software necessary to install this device, making it extremely easy to set up. It’s one of the best microphones for streaming because it has excellent background noise rejection, which is needed when gaming, tapping on a keyboard, and clicking your mouse.

Pros
  • Dynamic microphone
  • Plug and Play
  • Zero-latency monitoring
  • Easy access volume and gain
  • Luxurious design
  • Built-in desktop stand
Cons
  • Pretty pricey

6. Movo UM700 Desktop USB Microphone – Perfect Microphone for Streaming on Twitch

Movo UM700 Desktop USB Microphone for Computer with Adjustable Pickup Patterns Perfect as a Podcast...
  • ADJUSTABLE PATTERNS: With four polar patterns, you can record almost any situation with just one mic. Choose from stereo for realistic sound, cardioid for concentrated a pickup, omnidirectional for...
  • BROADCAST-QUALITY AUDIO: Three-capsule array captures 48kHz/16 Bit broadcast quality sound resolution for no-latency and features a powerful frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz
  • 1-YEAR WARRANTY: We’ve got your back! Our products are designed to ease your technical woes, not add to them. Our friendly US-Based support is here to help

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufacturer: Movo | Brand: Movo | Model: UM700 | Color: Black | Material: Metal | Connectivity Technology: USB | Connector Type: USB | Power Source: USB | Number of Batteries: N/A | Battery Life: N/A | Item Weight: 36.8 oz. | Hardware Platform: Laptop, PC | Polar Pattern: Unidirectional, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo | Warranty: 1-Year

If you’re looking for an incredibly affordable high-performance mic that goes on for cheaper than the Blue Yeti and looks pretty similar, you can save some cash by getting the Movo UM700. 

When you first open the mic, you’ll notice it’s attached to a base. There’s no need to worry because that desktop stand is easy to remove. I love this mic for streaming mainly because of the accessibility of the settings.

On the front, you have a volume dial and mute button. At the back, just within reach, you can control the gain of your microphone for streaming, as well as the omnidirectional, bidirectional, cardioid, and stereo pickup patterns. This is an excellent feature if you’d like to include more people in your conversation all around or have someone chat in front of you, so don’t feel like you can only use this microphone for streaming. 

The Movo UM700 Desktop USB microphone has a lot more potential. The UM700 not only looks great, but it also feels and sounds good, which is an absolute bargain!

Pros
  • Four pickup patterns
  • Easy-access controls
  • USB mic
  • Windshield included
  • Desktop mount included
  • Extremely affordable
  • Professional quality sound
Cons
  • The cord can be damaged easily.

7. Rode NT-USB-Mini – Best Mini Condenser Microphone For Streaming

Rode NT-USB-Mini USB Microphone with Detachable Magnetic Stand, Built-in Pop Filter and Headphone...
  • RODE NT-USB MINI: The NT-USB Mini is a compact, studio-quality USB microphone designed for recording direct to a computer or tablet.
  • EASY SET-UP: It features a class-compliant USB output for direct recording to a computer or tablet. No drivers or software are needed, and no external power required to operate.
  • IDEAL FOR: Delivers professional-sounding audio in any application, from recording vocals and instruments, to podcasting and voiceovers, to gaming and live streaming.

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufacturer: Rode | Brand: Rode | Model: 400400025 | Color: Black | Material: Metal | Connectivity Technology: USB | Connector Type: USB | Power Source: Corded Electric | Number of Batteries: N/A | Battery Life: N/A | Item Weight: 19.4 oz. | Hardware Platform: PC, Tablet | Polar Pattern: Unidirectional | Warranty: 2-Year

Looking for the best mini condenser mic that won’t take up too much space but will work as a professional mic? Believe it or not, it exists, and it’s called the Rode NT-USB Mini! It has a metal and nylon body and a metal grille and comes attached to a mic mount with a 360-degree rotation. 

The Rode NT Mini is a USB-C mic that you can also attach to a mic stand. All you have to do is remove the rubber band and attach a ⅝ threading ring and voila – you have the option to put it on a mic stand, too! At the front of the mic, you can find the headphone volume control that doubles as an on and off button for zero-latency monitoring. 

What is remarkable is that this is a fantastic competitor to other condenser mics on the market, such as the Blue Yeti. The sound quality is better, and it even has zero-latency monitoring, which the Blue Yeti doesn’t have for the same price. 

You can use the Rode NT USB on Windows, Mac, or even a tablet as soon as you plug it in! The Rode NT isn’t packed with tons of different settings. Instead, it’s simple and does one thing with great perfection – it delivers incredible-quality sound!

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • USB-C output
  • Desktop stand included
  • Zero-latency monitoring
  • Professional-sounding audio
  • Affordable
  • Built-in pop filter
Cons
  • Relatively short USB cable

8. Epos B20 – Best Microphone For Streaming On PS5 and PS4

Sale
EPOS Gaming B20 Streaming Microphone - 2.9m Cable USB-C Computer Microphone for Gaming - PC & Laptop...
  • STUDIO-QUALITY MICROPHONE - Effortlessly captures your voice and gaming audio.
  • HASSLE-FREE USB CONNECTION - Plug-and-play for ease of use.
  • INTEGRATED AUDIO CONNECTION - Audio controls are right at your fingertips.

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufacturer: EPOS Gaming | Brand: EPOS Gaming | Model: 1000417 | Color: Gray | Material: Aluminum | Connectivity Technology: USB | Connector Type: USB Type-C, 3.5 mm Jack | Power Source: Corded Electric | Number of Batteries: N/A | Battery Life: N/A | Item Weight: 39.68 oz. | Hardware Platform: PC | Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omni, Stereo | Warranty: 2-Year

The PS5 came out recently, so you’re probably already looking for the best streaming mic to pair it with. Stop your search right now. Say hello to the Epos B20, a beautiful USB-C type microphone with a modern design that came out in 2021. It’s fresh out of the oven! I’ve got your back.

For such a short amount of time, it managed to score 4.4 out of 5 stars with users, which is incredible! You can mount it on a stand with the ⅜ adapter or use the minimalistic desktop stand. 

The mic is handy for streamers because it has many valuable settings within arm’s reach, so you don’t have to interrupt your gaming to access your audio software and fix your audio internally. 

You have your volume knob and mute button on one side and the gain and pickup pattern on the other. This streaming microphone has four pickup settings: stereo, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and cardioid, so you aren’t tied to using it as a streaming mic exclusively. It’s a great purchase, especially for PS5 and PS4 enthusiasts. All you have to do is plug and play!

Pros
  • Four pickup pattern settings
  • Toggle settings within reach
  • USB connection
  • Easy to use
  • Sleek and sturdy design
  • Professional quality
Cons
  • More costly than others on this list

9. Shure SM7B Microphone – Best XLR Mic For Streaming

Sale
Shure SM7B Vocal Microphone
  • ONE MICROPHONE FOR EVERYTHING - Studio Recording, Home Recording, Podcasting & Streaming. The SM7B Is Trusted By The Worlds Leading Vocalists, Podcasters & Streamers.
  • STUDIO VOCAL RECORDING - The SM7B’s Dynamic Cartridge With Smooth, Flat, Wide-range Frequency Response Produces Exceptionally Clean & Natural Reproduction Of Both Music & Speech.
  • PODCAST & BROADCAST - Found In The Top Podcasting Studios Around The World, The SM7B Air Suspension Shock Isolation & Pop Filter Eliminate Both Mechanical Noise And Breathiness. So Words Get Through...

Last update on 2021-09-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufacturer: Shure | Brand: Shure | Model: SM7B | Color: Black | Material: N/A | Connectivity Technology: Wired | Connector Type: XLR Connector | Power Source: Does not require phantom power | Number of Batteries: N/A | Battery Life: N/A | Item Weight: 32.45 oz. | Hardware Platform: PC | Polar Pattern: Unidirectional | Warranty: 2-Year

Who says you need separate microphones for everything? The Shure SM7B is a great multifunctional mic, perfect for podcasting, home recording, and professional broadcasting. It is also one of the best microphones for streaming. What makes it so good? 

Many professionals use this microphone and tend to say the Shure SM7B sets the gold standard for a streaming and broadcasting mic. In terms of the build, this is an all-metal mic with a good amount of weight. 

The back of the microphone has two toggles. One is a low-cut switch, and the other a mid-boost button. Both are neatly protected by a cap that comes in the box. Aside from the cap, you also get a few other accessories, such as a more oversized windscreen filter, which protects against plosives and high frequencies. 

Sadly, this mic doesn’t come with a desktop stand, so you will need to purchase a boom arm or mic stand as well. 

This is a professional-grade microphone for recording almost anything. This includes your voice, instruments, and more, so you’re investing in a durable and solid piece of equipment.

Pros
  • Additional windscreen
  • ⅝ to ⅜ stand adapter
  • Professional XLR mic
  • Cardioid mic
  • Dynamic mic
Cons
  • Pricey but great value for money

10. Audio-Technica AT2020+ – Best Streaming Microphone Under 100 Dollars

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone, With Built-In Headphone Jack & Volume...
  • Condenser microphone with USB output for digital recording
  • High quality A/D converter with 16 bit, 44.1/48 kilohertz sampling rate for superb audio
  • Headphone jack with volume control allows you to monitor the microphone signal with no delay

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Manufacturer: Audio-Technica | Brand: Audio-Technica | Model: AT2020USB PLUS | Color: Black | Material: Metal | Connectivity Technology: USB | Connector Type: USB | Power Source: Corded Electric | Number of Batteries: N/A | Battery Life: N/A | Item Weight: 13.76 oz. | Hardware Platform: Wide array including Windows, Mac, or Linux | Polar Pattern: Unidirectional | Warranty: 2-Year

The Audio-Technica AT2020 may have come out in 2004, but it’s so famous for its durability and affordable price that it remains one of the best budget microphones for streaming. Bear in mind the AT2020 is a cheaper XLR version, so if you’ve decided you want to step up your mic game and want something user-friendly, there is a USB version of this mic for anyone who can’t invest in a mixing console straight away. 

The USB version of AT2020 is a bit more expensive, and all that’s different is that it comes with a USB output cable which you can unplug at any point and switch to the XLR version of this microphone. The AT2020 is a sensitive condenser mic that will pick up high and low frequencies. While giving volume to your voice, you might want to add a windscreen or pop filter to your cart to minimize the plosives in your recording. 

This version allows you to upgrade in the future if you want, while at the same time having an excellent-quality microphone. There are also two handy buttons on the front – one is your headphone volume control, and the other is a mix control. Both buttons allow you to blend between prerecorded audio and your mic signal. Isn’t that nifty?

Pros
  • Condenser USB mic
  • Volume and mic signal control
  • Sturdy and reliable
  • Affordable
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows
  • Free mount, protective pouch, and tripod
Cons
  • Windscreen needed to prevent plosives

Choosing the Best Microphone for Streaming – Buyer’s Guide

Here are some basic streaming microphone 101s that every buyer should be aware of before purchasing a mic. After you go through this section, there will be little you don’t know about mics!

Connection Method

When buying a microphone for streaming, make sure you know what to look for. Do you want to connect it straight to your computer or laptop – get a USB mic? They are made to be plugged in and played and won’t cost you any additional money. 

The XLR mic, on the other hand, will need a few more accessories to operate and won’t be plugged straight into your computer. This will cost you a bit more money and can take a while to get used to, but it produces amazing-quality sound! You can also plug them through a mixing board so that you can control every tiny element of your sound directly on the mixer.

If you want to learn the ins and outs of XLRs and USB mics and their difference, check our in-depth article on the best podcasting mics. We go in-depth about the different mic connections and how they influence the quality of your audio!

Frequency Response

Frequency response describes how your headphones or microphone responds to different-level frequencies, high or low. Note that some frequency responses in certain microphones will be tailored to expect a specific frequency. That’s how you can spot a mic made to record drums, for example. 

The mic will automatically flatten the frequency response because it’s expecting a certain level of decibels coming through. Most mics are tailored to our voices, but if you have a high-pitched voice and tend to scream into your mic during gaming, make sure your mic can handle those decibels! So when you’re screaming in your mic during a game, and you hear that annoying clipping sound, that’s when you know your mic can’t handle high-frequencies. 

Polar Pattern

There are three common types of pick up patterns around the head of your mic, which determine how the mic will perceive your voice depending on where you’re standing:

  • Omnidirectional – This means the entire area around the mic will be picked up when recording.
  • Unidirectional – As you might have guessed, unidirectional mics only pick up sounds from a single (“uni”-one) direction at full level, while the sound received from all other directions of this axis is significantly reduced. 
  • Bidirectional – It is also called “Figure-8.” It picks up the front and back of the mic but muffles the sides, perfectly capturing a conversation with two people without using multiple mics. 
  • Cardioid – The front of the mic is the most sensitive, while the sides gradually drown out the voice. You practically only use 180 out of the total 360-degree range of the mic, and your voice is being picked up on the front and sides, while the back is practically switched off. 

Type of Streaming

There are so many different types of streaming. I hardly know where to start. Usually, if you have been looking for the best microphone for streaming, you’re probably planning on making your live streams from the comfort of your home to either YouTube, Twitch, or another platform. 

Live streams are now compatible with TVs, computers, tablets, and various kinds of gaming consoles. Often, apps aren’t even necessary! All you need is a fast Internet connection and apps that you can install. 

Location

The location of your podcast isn’t hugely important if you have the right microphone and tools (which you do now that you’ve read this article), but you can’t go wrong by doing some soundproofing here and there. If you’re experiencing an echo in your room, try putting a carpet underneath where you’re recording to isolate the sound. Acoustic foam works too. In reality, not everyone can cover an entire room in their homes in foam, so acoustic panels might be a better option. You can always rent a studio if that’s your thing, and that could be an excellent investment!

Before You Go…

I hope this article has given you a good idea of the pros and cons of the best microphones for streaming! If you want to look at more options, for example, the best microphones for YouTube and the best microphone stands, feel free to browse around!

Best Selling Microphones for Streaming

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

myspeechclass.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. As an Amazon Associate we earn affiliate commissions from qualifying purchases.

Cite this article as: Jim Peterson, "Best Microphones for Streaming, Gaming and Live Chats in 2021," in My Speech Class, September 15, 2021, https://www.myspeechclass.com/microphone-streaming.html.