The Best Microphone For YouTube

Last Updated on

Finding the best microphone can be a challenge when you are not an expert in audio. Luckily, there are a ton of great options when it comes to finding the best YouTube microphone. Best of all, you are able to pick one up for a reasonable price. This article is written specifically for anyone looking to pick up a mic for recording YouTube videos. It will act as a complete buyers guide for selecting the best mic for YouTube. 

While there are enough options in microphones to make your head spin, we like to keep it simple by focusing on a few considerations and narrowing down the options from there. If you are on a very strict budget, we've written a guide on the best vocal mics for under $50 (we recommend going with the condenser option if you are recording at your desktop). We'll quickly go over the consideration you need to make when selecting the best YouTube mic and then get right down to our recommendations. Enjoy! 

Blue Snowball iCE
Samson Meteor Mic

BEST 

Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS

Product

Blue Snowball iCE

Samson Meteor Mic

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS

Features

  • Easy USB plug and play 
  • Cardioid polar pattern 
  • Tripod desktop stand 
  • 44.1 kHz/16-bit
  • Budget friendly 
  • USB Plug and Play 
  • Cardioid polar pattern  
  • Headphone monitoring with volume adjustment 
  • Mute button 
  • 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution
  • USB plug and play 
  • Multiple polar patterns 
  • Headphone monitoring with gain control and mute button
  • 48 kHz/16-bit
  • Most popular microphone 
  • USB plug and play
  • Cardioid polar pattern 
  • 16 bit 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate
  • Headphone monitoring with gain and mixing control

Headphone Monitoring?

Mute Button?

USB Plug and Play?

Peer Rating

4.4
4.4
4.5
4.6

Considerations for Selecting The Best YouTube Mic 

As mentioned above, we like sticking with three categories for selecting the best microphones. Sound quality, ease of use, and durability. Through rating each mic with these criteria we believe you will end up with a mic that sounds great, is easy to use, and will last. Let's quickly discuss what you need to look for:

  • Sound Quality
    While it's difficult to actually get close to replicating a studio quality mic without actually being in a studio environment with a $1000 mic, there are a few contenders who come surprisingly close. While it is difficult to actually know how a mic sounds without testing it for yourself, there have been a few industry leaders with a reputation for delivering studio quality sound. Without getting too technical, there are a number of factors you can look for. You'll definitely want a condenser mic. These will give you a higher fidelity sound and are designed for capturing the fine details of vocal recordings. You'll also want a cardioid polar pattern. These will help minimize any background sound from ruining your recording. 
  • Ease of Use
    Some of the more technical readers will wonder why we are recommending USB mics while at the same time being very concerned with studio quality sound. The short answer: ease of use. USB mics offer simple solutions for those just looking for a high-quality mic they can use to record over their YouTube videos. If you are wanting the best sound possible, you'd want to go with a mic connected with an XLR. However, this will introduce an entire world on additional equipment and considerations - best left for someone with a large budget. All of the mics we suggest are easy to use, plug and play options. Just plug them in and go (for the most part, take note of any exception below). 
  • Durability 
    There is nothing worse than investing your hard earned money onto a mic that breaks down within a year. The build quality of the mic is very important. Especially with condenser mics with their fragile electronic equipment. While with some mics, the build quality will sacrifice portability, we have also provided options for those looking to transport their mic wherever they go. 

Key Takeaways 

  • Condenser mic with cardioid polar pattern 
  • USB plug and play 
  • Durable enough to protect fragile electronics

You should also consider any additional features. For instance, having the ability to monitor the output of the mic using headphones can be hugely beneficial to prevent any distortion or volume fluctuations. 

Top Picks For The Best Microphone For YouTube 

The following mics were selected for their ability to be the best microphones for recording over YouTube videos. They are listed below in order of price! Enjoy!

Blue Snowball iCE


93 %
Rating
Blue Snowball iCE

FEATURES:

  • Easy USB plug and play 
  • Cardioid polar pattern 
  • Tripod desktop stand 
  • 44.1 kHz/16-bit
  • Budget friendly 
Blue Snowball iCE

Our most budget-friendly recommendation. The Blue Snowball iCE is a perfect USB plug and play mic for those on a budget. It will deliver the same high-quality audio recording capabilities as other condenser mics on our list, without any of the additional features such as multiple polar patterns, or headphone monitoring. The audio quality is professional, give you a clear recording at high fidelity. 

Keep in mind that this mic is the bare-bone option that will still give you professional level audio quality. It lacks any headphone monitoring features or onboard controls. There aren't many negative things to say about this mic. Everyone who uses it loves the audio quality. It will work perfectly for recording vocals in your YouTube Videos. 

It doesn't require any additional drivers for installation and comes with a desktop tripod stand. The build quality is fantastic. You will probably be surprised at how heavy the mic is. Unfortunately, quality weighs a lot sometimes. This is also our recommendation for anyone looking to get setup with a beginner friendly podcast setup.  ​Have a look at what another reviewer had to say:

In terms of ease of use, quality of sound, and price, it's a real winner. 

The Test Pit 


Bottom Line: The perfect mic for anyone looking to get a professional sounding Youtube mic without any additional add-on features. Be careful if you run Windows 7 - there have been reports of people having trouble getting Windows 7 to recognize the mic. 

Samson Meteor Mic

93 %
Rating
Samson Meteor Mic

FEATURES:

  • USB Plug and Play 
  • Cardioid polar pattern  
  • Headphone monitoring with volume adjustment 
  • Mute button 
  • 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution
Samson Meteor Mic

Similar quality to the Blue Snowball iCE the Samson Meteor Mic produces professional sound quality at a reasonable price. The notable difference comes in the form of headphone monitoring. For an additional $25, the Samson Meteor allows you to monitor your recordings using the low-latency headphone jack. Like it's more expensive counterparts, the Samson Meteor also has a volume control for the headphone output. 

Another notable feature is the ability to plug directly into a tablet. Other mics may require a powered USB hub, but the Meteor connects seamlessly to your Ipad. Great for those looking to make videos on their iPad. 

The sound quality is just as competitive as the other mics on our list with many professionals using it for their primary or secondary mic.  Where it does beat out its competitors is in portability. The mic folds down into a nice discrete package that can be easily transported around. If you are primarily going to be making videos on a laptop, this may be a great option for you.

Bottom Line: A portable, high-quality sounding mic with headphone monitoring. Best for anyone making videos using their tablet or laptop! 

Blue Yeti USB Microphone


96 %
Rating
Blue Yeti USB Microphone

FEATURES:

  • USB plug and play 
  • Multiple polar patterns 
  • Headphone monitoring with gain control and mute button
  • 48 kHz/16-bit
  • Most popular microphone 
Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Next up, the hugely popular Blue Yeti USB Microphone. To cut straight to the chase (the reason it is so popular) - sound quality! It is the only mic in its class that can boast of producing studio quality sound. The sound quality rivals those of the professional studio quality Shure SM7B. This mic is best for those recording videos on their desktop and for those looking for the highest sound quality possible (for a reasonable price). 

In addition to the exceptional sound quality, the mic offers many features that you will appreciate. The headphone monitoring is great for hearing what you are recording live. Additionally, although it may seem like an inconsequential feature, the mute button can be a life-saver. It can be extremely frustrating having to edit out unwanted sounds because there was no way to mute your mic.  Finally, you are able to manual adjust the gain on the mic body, another handy feature for easy recording. 

The Blue Yeti is also the only mic out of the bunch to offer multiple polar patterns. This is perfect for anyone looking to record sounds other than their voice. You are able to capture the sounds of the room using omnidirectional polar patterns, or an interview with another person using the bi-directional polar pattern. 

The build quality is very solid. This, unfortunately, results in the mic being cumbersome to transport, but it definitely helps its lifespan.  Have a look at another review:

Whether you're recording a podcast, an interview, or a concert, the Yeti's THX-certified sound quality, integrated gain control, and four recording modes (including stereo) make it a top choice for a USB microphone.

CNET

Bottom Line: The best condenser mic in town! If you are looking for the best, this is it! 

Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS

93 %
Rating
Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS

FEATURES:

  • USB plug and play
  • Cardioid polar pattern 
  • 16 bit 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate
  • Headphone monitoring with gain and mixing control
Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS

A great competitor to the Blue Yeti - the Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS. It features the same options as the Blue Yeti with a competitive sound quality. Although, it does offer a mixing control on the body of the microphone itself. This feature allows you to adjust the volume of your live recording and your pre-recorded signal.

Like the other mics, it comes with a tripod stand and carrying bag. Making it a reasonable option for transporting around. It also comes with a shock mount to prevent any bumps or nudges from being picked up during recording.​

Additional features aside, the sound quality is exceptional. If you are not completely sold on the Blue Yeti, this is the next option we'd suggest. It is the closest thing you will find to studio quality without spending over $200. 

Like the other mics on our list, it is extremely easy to use. It does not require any additional drivers to be installed and we have not come across any compatibly issues. Have a look at some customer feedback:

I purchased a used AT2020 USB, to set up a home studio. I record vocals and voice overs and wanted a quality mic. I am totally impressed with the recordings I've made with this mic! Not only is it easy to set up and use, but the sound quality is excellent. Highly recommended!

Alex Beth 


Bottom Line: Next option after the Blue Yeti. A fantastic condenser microphone! 

About the author

Glen

My name is Glen. I've been in the audio world for over 15 years. I love reviewing audio equipment and solving audio related problems.

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: