Nowadays, USB microphones are becoming more and more prominent each year. Although we don’t think they’re quite at the level of replacing the XLR connected condenser microphone to audio interface setup yet, we know of numerous singers, podcasters and other vocalists who use USB microphones professionally for many different types of uses and environments. It’s easy to use because you receive the power straight from your computer and plug-n-play it with merely the USB (it stands for Universal Serial Bus, if you were wondering) cord — less hassle and they’re relatively inexpensive, too. Let’s get down to the top 10 best models to see what you have to work with.
It was a pretty easy choice when it came down to it. Run any query on a popular search engine and you’ll find the Blue Yeti to be included in all of the best USB microphone articles and most likely at the top at that. Blue mics was extremely intelligent and precise when they designed this. It’s obvious they wanted to appeal to a larger market (which I guess should be the case if you’re creating a product) by trying to cover most important aspects with a microphone. You firstly have a multiple pattern selection (choose between cardioid, bidirectional or omnidirectional and stereo – which you select will rely on what you’re doing with the mic, controls on the front of the unit (gain control, mute button, and a headphone out), and not to mention a few choices when it comes to colors and aesthetics. The audio quality of the Yeti is also superb. Most people will definitely not be able to tell you’re using a USB microphone, especially one with this price, regardless of your use. I know some home-studio rappers who use this and if you’re podcasting this is one of the best since it sits snugly right on your desk.
The name Apogee Electronics always entails high-end gear. This is another studio-quality mic, but the HD recording is eye-popping at up to 96 kHz \ 24-bit. The Apogee MiC Plus is this works well with iPhones, iPads and the like, so if you’re looking for a mic to record that way this is your best bet. You can also hook it up via USB with an adapter which is why we’ve included it in here. It can be used in the traditional microphone studio setup with a stand and pop filter, and I’ve heard of numerous semi-pro artists use it for recording. Spans across pretty much any use here, so regardless of your application you’re good to go.
Here’s another super popular USB microphone out there that we’re huge fans of. This is another pretty popular brand when it comes to microphones and for good reason. The Samson Meteor is relatively similar to the Yeti in terms of build and size. What’s even better is that it’s a bit cheaper than the Yeti, too. You’re getting a pretty large diaphragm for a big recording surface area (25mm), cardioid pickup, and a folding mechanism for some easy travel or storage. The audio quality is up there as well, coming in at a max of 16-bit, 48 kHz (would’ve liked 32 but beggars can’t be choosers, especially at this price). Another cool feature is the fact that it can plug into your smart device (you’ll need Apple’s converter) so if you record that way it’s a plus.