If you have a computer, there’s a good choice you’re doing some kind of voice recording. Podcasts are one of the fastest-growing mediums, with entry costs low and niche genres sprouting up almost daily. YouTube continues to dominate video streaming, from professional channels backed by television and movie studios, to amateurs entering the market every day. As high-quality music equipment continues to come down in price, the barriers to entry in the entertainment world are decreasing, with aspiring singers and songwriters now able to make their own music without a professional studio and even score a record deal out of a song they recorded in their bedroom.
Then there’s video chat and gaming, which doesn’t need to be recorded, but can be vastly improved by a professional quality mic. As the trend towards remote workers continues, being able to have clear audio when video chatting with colleagues is imperative to your business’ success. The gaming world also relies heavily on microphones, and now that colleges are offering gaming scholarships, putting money down on a new mic is an investment in your future.
Whatever your computer microphone needs are, one thing that unites all these groups is the ability to access an affordable and expert mic that produces clear, crisp and sonically cohesive vocals. What you say on the mic is up to you.
1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
The number one premium USB mic in the world is the Blue Yeti, which makes professional recording affordable. The Blue Yeti features three condenser capsules that can record in almost any situation, meaning you’ll still get a professional quality and clear recording even in the middle of a busy office or living room. The sleek and sophisticated mic includes a gain control, mute button, and zero-latency headphone output. Strong enough for professionals but easy to use for amateurs, the Blue Yeti is a plug and play mic that can record directly to MAC and PCs.
Pros: The Blue Yeti comes with for different recording settings including cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional and bidirectional, which makes it the ideal mic for everything from podcasting, to voice for YouTube, to gaming, video chatting and vocal and instrumental recording for music.
Cons: The Blue Yeti is the most expensive microphone on our list.
2. FIFINE USB Microphone
Plug and play on any PC or MAC with the FIFINE USB Microphone, which works with Cortana, Discord, voice chat and voice recognition, making this a great option for video chat, gaming, and recording. Constructed from metal and sitting on a sturdy tripod stand, the FIFNE is easy to adjust with a tilting knob. It also includes a volume knob that has a loud output and is more sensitive to vocals.
Pros: The FIFINE is a cardioid polar pattern condenser microphone that reduces background noise to help make vocals sound crisp and clear without static interference.
Cons: The FIFINE is not compatible with smartphones or Xbox.
3. CMTECK USB Computer Microphone
Designed for gamers but sophisticated enough to use for recording podcasts, YouTube videos and more, the CMTECK USB Computer Microphone is an affordable and versatile microphone that features a built-in smart chip designed to block out background noise. Like the first two mics, the CMTECK is a plug and play mic that doesn’t require any drivers or installation software and can be used on either a PC or MAC.
Pros: The CMTECK is simple to use and position, with a LED indicator that shows when the mic is muted or live and a flexible gooseneck that makes it easy for users to position the 360 omnidirectional polar pattern mic.
Cons: The CMTECK has a 4.9-foot cord, which is 1 foot shorter than the FIFINE’s cable. It’s not compatible with Raspberry Pi, Linux or android phones.