Find the the best USB microphones to record podcasts, voiceovers, or music that elevate your audio quality.
Sure, your AirPods or Mac's built-in microphone may be adequate for FaceTime calls and zoom meetings. But if you want to record podcast episodes or YouTube videos with professional quality, you need a USB microphone that can capture sounds with clarity and richness.
No matter the type of content creator you are, here are the best USB microphones.
Best USB microphone on a budget: Audio-Technica ATR2100X-USB
For those looking for a microphone that can deliver fantastic sound quality without breaking the bank, you might want to consider the Audio-Technica ATR2100X-USB. It is easy to use and surprisingly affordable.
This mic has a simple and sleek design, with a black metal body and a silver grille. It works with various devices you might use to record, from a Mac to a mixer.
You can choose from USB-C, USB-A, or XLR connections and switch between them easily with the included cables. It has multiple ports and cables to ensure compatibility and flexibility.
The mic comes with a small stand to set it on a desk. Alternatively, you can attach the mic to a boom arm or a shock mount instead.
There are more expensive mics with better sound and features, but this mic is adequate for most podcasters and YouTubers who record vocals.
You can buy the ATR2100X-USB from Amazon for $79 — a bargain for its quality.
Best USB microphone for recording music: Rode NT1 5th-Generation
If you want to record your songs in your home studio with clarity and richness, the Rode NT1 5th-Gen produces high-quality audio to make your musical masterpieces stand out.
This microphone has a large diaphragm that captures rich and detailed sound. It also has a 32-bit floating point feature that prevents clipping or distortion at any volume.
You can record with the highest available fidelity, up to 24-bit/192KHz, which is ideal for high-resolution and lossless audio formats that audiophiles and music lovers would appreciate.
The Rode NT1 5th-Gen comes with a shock mount and a pop filter, which help eliminate unwanted noise and plosives when singing your heart out.
For musicians who want flexibility and control over their audio recordings, this mic has a hidden USB-C connector inside the XLR port. This way, you can switch between analog and digital recording modes.
You can get the Rode NT1 5th-Gen for $249 from Amazon.
Best USB microphone for manual controls: Blue Yeti X
The Blue Yeti X puts you in charge of your sound. You can see your voice level on the high-res LED voice meter and tweak it with the Smart Knob.
The Smart Knob lets you quickly adjust settings, like your mic gain, mute, and headphone volume. This way, you can get the best sound quality and avoid unwanted noise.
The Yeti X has a sample rate of 48 kHz and a bit rate of 24-bit for high-quality audio performance. In addition, it has four condenser capsules that offer four polar patterns: cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo, which gives you the flexibility to capture sound in different ways.
This mic is plug-and-play, and no software is required. But you can use the Blue VO!CE software if you want to fine-tune your sound. It has presets and advanced settings for EQ, compression, de-esser, noise reduction, and more.
The Yeti X comes with a desktop stand that lets you adjust the mic angle as you like. The mic has an internal shock mount that protects it from vibrations and bumps, ensuring a clear and clean sound.
The Blue Yeti X retails for $169.99 on Amazon, but look out for frequent promotions.
Best USB microphone for LED lighting: Cherry UM 9.0 Pro RGB
The Cherry UM 9.0 Pro RGB is a stylish USB mic that combines excellent sound quality with RGB LED lighting.
The mic has a ring of lights around the grille that can switch colors and patterns to match your mood or style. The lights can enhance your video presence, especially if you have other RGB accessories to go with it.
The lighting is not only for aesthetics but also for convenience. You can turn the lights off if you want a more discreet look, but they can also serve a purpose. For instance, they change to red when you mute the mic, so you can avoid leaving it on accidentally.
There are convenient mute and gain controls to adjust the sound level. You can tap the top of the mic to mute it or use the gain control knob to fine-tune the input volume. The mic also has a headphone jack for no-delay monitoring.
This mic has a smooth metal body and a copper base giving it a refined and elegant look. It sounds bright and clear with few adjustments and looks sharp with or without the RGB LED lighting.
The Cherry UM 9.0 Pro RGB allows you to switch between four polar patterns: cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo. These features let you use it for various purposes, such as solo or group recordings or gaming — all with a touch of flair.
You can light up your next recording session with the Cherry UM 9.0 Pro RGB, which retails for $119 on Amazon.
Best USB microphone for flexible setups: Shure MV7
The Shure MV7 is a USB mic that can adapt to different recording setups. Whether working from a basement studio or in a hotel room, this mic gives you the tools to customize your sound quality.
You can choose from various mounting options like a mic stand, a tripod, or a boom arm. Also, you can adjust the angle and position to ensure it captures your voice clearly and accurately.
The Shure MV7 lets you choose between USB or XLR connections, depending on your preference and equipment. You can also plug your headphones into the mic and listen to your sound in real time.
With the touch panel interface on the mic, you can quickly control your settings with a swipe of your finger. You can adjust the mic gain, headphone level, and mute with just a touch.
If you want to fine-tune your sound further, you can use the ShurePlus MOTIV app to customize your audio. You can select from several EQ filters, use the auto-level mode, or create presets for multiple situations.
Best USB microphone for beginners: Tonor TC30
If you are starting with podcasting or voiceover, you might be overwhelmed by the choices and prices of microphones. You also might not want to deal with complicated setups and software that can make you give up before you even start.
The Tonor TC30 is a plug-and-play microphone that works right out of the box. You don't need to install any drivers or software to make it work with your device.
Although this is a very affordable USB mic, it comes with everything you need to get started — a shock mount, a mic stand, and a pop filter. The mic does not have buttons or controls, so you don't have to worry about messing up your audio settings.
The Tonor TC30 is a condenser mic that lets you record clear vocals for your podcast or voiceover. It records in stereo, which gives your voice more depth and balance.
For beginners who want a simple and reliable microphone with handy accessories, the Tonor TC30 is an excellent option.
You can get started with the Tonor TC30 for $29.99 from Amazon.
This is a working list of the best USB microphones, so keep an eye out for updates as new contenders take the top spots in our roundup.