The Top 7 Best USB Microphones of 2018

USB Microphones hit the markets a decade or so ago and it’s kinda funny that so many sound and microphone enthusiasts were either indifferent or quick to write this off as a gimmick. Fast forward to today and here we are writing a review of the best USB microphones on the market. Even though they are still not at the level of XLR-connected professional studio microphones, these plug and play USB mics are always evolving and have honestly come a long way. A few of the microphones on our list are rumored to have been used severally by professional singers, vocalists, and podcasters. So, today, we present to you the best USB mics capable of a wide and diverse range of studio tasks.

Top 7 Best USB Microphones comparisons

PictureNameTypePriceRating
Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone USBCheck it on Amazon (4.4 / 5)
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone USBCheck it on Amazon (4.6 / 5)
Blue Yeti USB Microphone USBCheck it on Amazon (4.4 / 5)
CAD U37 USB Studio Microphone USBCheck it on Amazon (4.1 / 5)
Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone USB Check it on Amazon (4.4 / 5)
Blue Snowball USB Microphone USB Check it on Amazon (4.5 / 5)
Blue Snowflake USB Microphone USBCheck it on Amazon (4.2 / 5)

Choosing the Best USB Microphone: Things to Consider Before Buying A USB Microphone

A lot of factors will need your consideration while shopping for the best USB microphone. We’ll briefly break this down into a few bullet points below.

 

Budget

Budget comes top as the most important factor. While you’ll easily get smaller, portable mics that won’t burn a hole through your pocket, the higher you tend to go up the quality ladder, the higher you may need to spend. All of these will then depend on how much is specified for the USB microphone in your budget.

 

Use and applications

There is a wide range of areas in which you can use different mics. Some are best when it comes to singing, some are great for vocals while some are great for gaming internet chats and so on. Most of the USB microphones on our list can easily handle a wide range of applications. However, you’ll need to spend more if you’ll be getting one that can at least handle different types of tasks professionally.

 

Pickup patterns

There are different polar patterns with different advantage. Cardioid, bi-directional, omnidirectional, and different polar patterns are available to choose from depending on your preference. For most applications that will involve vocals, cardioid patterns are the most popular since it will pick up only the sound from the direct single source.

 

What to Look For In the Best USB Microphones

Microphones just like other gadgets would often have several features that will go a long way to determine the quality of their performance. At this stage, we’ll briefly discuss those features you should look out for when shopping for the next USB microphone addition to your home studio.

 

We start with the sample rate. Your USB microphone should be able to handle at least 44.1kHz, standard CD rate. This sample rate is okay for recording and it is good your microphone is equipped. The Rode NT-USB USB delivers up to 48kHz of sample rate and is suitable for singing, podcasting as well as voice-overs.

 

The bit depth is another thing to consider. The bit depth refers to the bits of information in each sample which is the recording resolution or detail. The minimum depth for your USB microphone should not be less than the 16-bit used in CDS.

 

Polar Patterns are the specific patterns and directions from which the recorded sounds are picked up. Cardioid patterns pick up sounds from the front and so are suitable for recordings since most undesirable room noises are rejected. Omnidirectional picks sound from all directions while multi-pattern mics such as the Blue Yeti Microphones are switchable between these different patterns for the ideal recording patterns.

 

The best USB microphones should also have buttons and knobs for different controls for optimal use. These may include mute controls to cut off mic signals, monitor mix, low-cut filter to cut out low frequencies and much more.

 

These above are the most important features you should look out for in your USB microphone as these will determine the quality of its basic performance.

1. Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone

Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone

Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone

Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)

 

Some USB microphones excel in different areas of use. While some are singled out as the best USB microphone for voice over, some are known for their excellence as the best USB mic for rapping. However, if you are looking for a versatile plug and play USB microphone that excels all round, the Rode NT USB Microphone comes top of our list. Record music, use it for vocals, just about anything and this beast in a small body will handle it perfectly.

Features and Specifications

  • On-mix Control:  this gives you the simplicity of fine-tuning the balance between live and backing tracks to your preference with the simple turn of a knob.
  • Ultra low noise to filter out annoying self-noise
  • Comes with the trio of tripod stand, pop shield as well as ring mount
  • Stereo headphone jack for sound monitoring and control

Pros

  • Unparalleled and excellent sound quality
  • Ultra low noise beautiful design
  • Tripod stand is firm and does not vibrate annoyingly
  • Comes with a pop shield
  • The mic has an extended response

Cons

  • It has no mute button, aside from this, the Rode NT USB easily beats any other mic to gain a spot on our list of the best USB microphones.

 

2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020USB

Audio-Technica AT2020USB

Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)

 

Every microphone enthusiast would definitely know the famous Audio Technica AT2020 condenser microphone due to its popularity arising from it excellence and performance. The Audio Technica AT2020USB+ was done to replicate this excellence in a single plug and play microphone and believe it when we say it has lived up to its expectations. It seems to be tilted towards music lovers and it can easily be touted as the best USB microphone for singing. Let’s check out the very great features on this mic to see why it is loved by many home studio experts.

Features and Description

  • Microphone Type: Condenser microphone
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid pickup pattern
  • Headphone jack for sound monitoring and control
  • Mix control feature that allows you to blend your microphone signal with previously recorded audio.
  • Frequency response: 44.1 to 48kHz

Pros

  • Sturdy build and design
  • Crisp and clear sound
  • No additional equipment needed for use, simply plug and play
  • Budget-friendly price

Cons

  • It comes with a tripod that is not that sturdy and strong.

 

 

3. Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)

 

It’s hard not to fall in love with the famous Blue Yeti USB mic. This microphone has probably the highest price to value ratio of the best USB microphones in our list and it is hard to find a list of the best USB mics without the Blue Yeti on the list and often times on top. This condenser microphone is quite affordable and reproduces sound in a manner that is almost as professional as possible. This is definitely the major reason why the Blue Yeti seems so popular among home studio enthusiasts. Let’s have a look at some of the features that make the Blue Yeti a top choice among its populous fan base.

Features and Description

  • Microphone Type: Condenser Microphone with a tri-capsule array that can record almost all situations.
  • Polar Pattern: Multiple pickup patterns, cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo pick up pattern.
  • Controls: Comes with a mute button, gain control and zero-latency headphone output.
  • Connectivity: USB connectivity compatible with a diverse range of Windows and Mac OS operating systems.
  • Design:Sturdy metal design

Pros

  • Rich and excellent sound reproduction
  • Multiple pickup patterns that include stereo mode
  • Quite affordable for the great value it offers
  • The Blue Yeti mic does not require additional setup for use
  • Comes with a headphone for output monitoring
  • It is THX certified for quality performance

Cons

  • It is not easy to find a fitting shock mount because of its non-standard size
  • The controls and buttons seems flimsy

 

4. CAD U37 USB Studio Microphone: The most affordable best USB Microphone

CAD U37 USB Studio Microphone

CAD U37 USB Studio Microphone

Our Rating: (4.1 / 5)

 

The CAD brand of microphones are not particularly known to offer such great qualities but this particular CAD U37 qualifies to be one of the best USB microphones currently in the market. The quality and performance of this easy-to-use plug-and-play USB mic are aided by its great affordability, a factor that has made it the preferred choice of many as a quality voice over the microphone for use in home studios in many areas that may include podcasting, Skype calls, YouTube, gaming and much more. Let’s check out what the CAD U37 has to offer in the next part of this guide.

Features and Description

  • Microphone Type: Condenser microphone with a large microphone element for rich and warm recordings even in environment with no acoustic treatments.
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid pickup pattern for great background noise rejection.
  • Bass-reduction switch feature that aids the isolation of noise from the environment
  • Excellent frequency response that is both extended and smooth for both vocals and musical recordings.
  • Compatibility: It connects easily with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
  • Design: Exclusive plastic design that makes it both lightweight and cheaper than most other USB mics.

Pros

  • It is very affordable.
  • The sound quality is wow, despite the pricing.
  • This CAD microphone offers great value to cost ratio.
  • It is easy to use due to the plug and play USB connectivity.

Cons

  • It is sensitive to plosives
  • Absence of monitoring feature

 

5. Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone

Best USB Microphones

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone

Our Rating: (4.4 / 5)

 

The Samson Meteor Mic is another USB microphone that has been able to win over a lot of fans over time. This mic has remained popular as one of the best choices when it comes down to the best USB microphones. It seems similar to the Blue Yeti in terms of build and functionality only that the mic costs less than the Blue Yeti. The mic has got some pretty nice features and we’ll check those out right now.

Features and Specifications

  • Microphone Type:  Condenser Microphone
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid Pickup Pattern
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz of flat, smooth frequency.
  • Design: chrome-plated body with foldable legs for easy positioning and transport
  • Headphone volume monitoring and control
  • Standard CD-quality resolution
  • Gain control and Mute features

Pros

  • It reproduces sound in a quite excellent manner
  • The design is beautiful and attractive
  • It can easily connect to most devices even with the iPad
  • The mic is portable and quite affordable

Cons

  • The Samson Meteor USB mic is great for voice overs but not quite so for musical recordings
  • The fold-out stand may be a problem when mounting the mic on a larger surface.

 

 

6. Blue Snowball USB Microphone

Blue Snowball USB Microphone

Blue Snowball USB Microphone

Our Rating: (4.5 / 5)

 

When your search for very good microphones for recording voice involves getting one of the best USB microphones for one of the most affordable prices ever, then this quality USB mic from Blue Microphones may yet be another option you’ll seriously need to consider. Although cheaper than the Blue Yeti, the Blue Snowball offers great sound quality rocking a beautiful aesthetic design that looks super-beautiful on your desk. It’s lightweight and comes in almost ten different colors. Podcasters, Youtubers, gamers and more could use this as one of the best voice-over mics although it still does well with musical recordings too.

Features and Specifications

  • Microphone Type: Condenser Microphone
  • Polar Pattern: A dual capsule design for both cardioid and omnidirectional patterns
  • USB output for direct integration to produce CD-quality recordings
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz to 18kHz
  • Design: sleek shiny aluminum exterior design
  • Accessories: comes with a USB cable as well as a desktop stand for stress-free recordings

Pros

  • This sound quality is great
  • The setup is easy and stress-free
  • Midrange is superbly accurate
  • The USB mic is quite affordable

Cons

  • The USB is the main input and output source
  • There’s no software included for audio recordings.

 

 

7. Blue Snowflake USB Microphone

Blue Snowflake USB Microphone

Blue Snowflake USB Microphone

Our Rating: (4.2 / 5)

 

The Blue Snowflake USB mic rounds up our list of the best USB microphones and this microphone does not disappoint despite its relatively low cost and great affordability. The Blue Snowflake is one of the best recording mics and whether you’d be doing YouTube videos, gaming, internet chatting or voice-overs, the Snowflake can handle all of these. The design is very portable and can snugly fit on your laptop with its clip. Although it looks small, the Blue Snowflake does a great job and it’s got some pretty nice features.

Features and Specifications

  • Microphone Type: Condenser Microphone
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid pickup pattern
  • Frequency Response: 35Hz to 20kHz
  • Recording resolution: 16bit, 44.1kHz
  • Built-in adjustable folding for easy positioning

Pros

  • Great sound recording quality
  • Portable and easy to transport around
  • The design is beautiful and sleek
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Does not have any headphone port

 

 

Verdict

Your choice to pick among these best USB microphones will depend majorly on your budget. All seven microphones on our list will easily fulfill your needs in an excellent USB mic. However, our top choice will be the Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone which seems almost flawless except for the lack of a mute button. The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+, as well as the Blue Yeti and all the others, are top USB mics you’d hardly regret buying.

 

Conclusion

You’ve seen it all as we present the best USB mics of the current moment to your fingertips. Of course, we would make adjustments if a newer product gets our attention. It’s not as if there are no other good mics aside this though but you should understand how difficult it can be to rate the best seven in the midst of a thousand or more products. To help with your home studio recording equipment packages, a perfect USB mic like any of these on our list will perfectly fit in. they are affordable and can help take your recording experience to a professional level.

 

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