The 8 Best Microphones for Streaming of 2020

Start your own podcast with these microphones

Most Popular: Blue Yeti

The Blue Yeti microphone is the undisputed king of online content creation. This mic is compatible with Linux, Windows and Apple laptops and desktops, and it doesn't require any additional driver software to use. The three condenser capsules allow for a variety of sound capturing modes for recording in almost any situation. The body of the microphone features a mute button and gain control knob for exceptional control over streaming and recording audio. There is also a headphone jack for zero-latency monitoring of voice and instrument recording. 

The USB power cord works with both USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports and provides all the juice you need to use the Blue Yeti. The mic comes with its own swivel stand for use on desktops, and the stand can be removed to place the mic on a boom arm or custom stand to customize your recording space. The Blue Yeti microphone has a great balance of professional quality recording capabilities and a price point that will fit just about any budget.

Best USB: Rode NT-USB

SB-powered microphones are ideal for folks who either don't have the necessary space for a full XLR set up or aren’t experienced enough for XLR recording. The Rode NT-USB provides studio-quality recording capabilities for music, vocals, and live streaming audio without the need for a phantom power unit. Like the Blue Yeti, this mic features a zero-latency headphone jack for real-time monitoring of your audio stream or recording. It also has knobs for direct control over input gain and output volume. 

This microphone features a cardioid condenser, meaning it is best for single-person use. The Rode NT-USB comes packaged with a premium pop filter, desk tripod, ring mount, storage pouch, and USB cable so it's ready to use right out of the box. It can also be used with compatible shock mounts for even better recording quality. It can be used with both Windows and Apple laptops and desktop computers as well as iPad tablets to record in Garageband or other compatible recording software.

For streamers and content creators looking for professional quality recording at home, an XLR microphone with an interface panel can provide superior control over vocal and music recording. The MXL 770X features a gold-sputtered diaphragm capsule to capture every detail in stunning clarity. It also brings out the crisp sound of higher tones while lending warmth to lower tones for a full, rounded sound. This mic can provide cardioid, figure-eight, and omnidirectional recording patterns for use in just about any situation from streaming video games, recording podcasts and interviews, or full band recording sessions. 

It comes packaged with a shock mount, an integrated pop filter, and a 20-inch XLR power cable for use with 48V phantom power units. This mic is great to mount on either a boom arm or stationary stand for placing in your recording space. The mic itself weighs just a little over 1 pound, making it great for traveling to performance spaces or transporting from home to the studio.

Best Entry Level: Audio Technica ATR2500-USB

The Audio Technica ATR2500-USB is the perfect microphone for those just starting out in streaming or digital content creation. This microphone has USB output and power, so you don't need a separate interface panel or phantom power unit to use it. It also features a zero-latency headphone jack for real-time monitoring and on-board volume controls to adjust sound levels on the fly. This mic has a side-address condenser that helps block room and self-noise, making it ideal for live streaming, recording voice-overs or podcasts. The low-mass diaphragm gives you superior frequency response for both high and low-end tones. 

The included swivel mount can be attached to the provided desk tripod or placed on a boom arm or other traditional microphone stand for customizing your setup. It's compatible with both Windows and Apple computers and can be used with your favorite streaming or recording software for easy integration. This microphone has everything you need to get started as well as a price point that fits tight budgets.

Best Splurge: Shure SM7B

If you're a streamer or content creator with ample recording experience and looking for audio equipment that will push the envelope, the Shure SM7B microphone is a perfect choice. This mic has been engineered from the ground up to provide the very best recording and live audio streaming experience, its flat, wide-range frequency response creates a true-to-life reproduction of both voice and music recording. The SM7B features air suspension mounting to eliminate mechanical sound transfer, and enhanced electromagnetic hum rejection to block noise from computer monitors, recording equipment and even neon lights. 

It has a rugged construction to give you years of reliable use in any setting and has a classic cardioid recording pattern, making it ideal for single-person use in streaming. It comes packaged with a pop filter and windscreen to block harsh vocal sounds. This microphone has yoke mounting with a captive stand nut for easy mounting and removal from stands for precise position control. It doesn't need a phantom power unit to work, but it does require a preamp for greater volume output.

Best Dynamic: Razer Seiren Elite USB

The Razer Seiren Elite microphone is a professional grade dynamic mic that was engineered specifically for streaming. It has a single dynamic capsule that produces warmer and richer voice playback that is more true-to-life than what condenser mics produce. It features a built-in high-pass filter that eliminates unwanted low frequencies like footsteps or voices from another room for clean recording without the need to set up complicated noise gates. The Razer Seiren Elite has a digital/analog voice limiter that prevents audio distortion and clipping for ultra-clean playback and broadcasting. 

Like most streaming mics, it has a zero-latency headphone jack for real-time audio monitoring of echo and distortion for on-the-fly adjustments. It comes packaged with a convenient desk stand but has a ⅝ inch thread so it can be used on a boom arm or traditional mic stand for precise positioning and control. It uses a USB cable for power, so you don’t need to invest in an expensive preamp or phantom power unit in order to use it. 

Best Condenser: Audio Technica AT2020USB

Condenser microphones are great for folks looking to record louder sounds. So if you’re a streamer who gets excited and shows it, the Audio Technica AT2020USB is perfect for you. It uses a USB cable for power, so you don't need any expensive, specialized equipment to get it up and running. It uses a cardioid recording pattern that rejects any noise that isn’t made directly in front of the diaphragm for exceptionally clear audio streaming and recording. It features onboard mixing controls for integrating your voice with pre-recorded sounds for live mixing to create truly unique broadcasts. 

An analog/digital converter creates superb audio playback in high, mid, and low range tones for a well-rounded sound. The included pivot stand can be mounted on the included desk tripod or a boom arm for custom positioning. This microphone has a high output internal headphone amp for exceptional clarity when using the built-in zero-latency jack for real-time monitoring. It also comes with a storage pouch to protect it when not in use.

Best Shotgun: Rode VideoMic

Shotgun style microphones are ideal for field shooting as well as for folks looking to better integrate their video and audio. The Rode VideoMic mounts easily to almost any DSLR camera and connects with a 3.5mm cable for seamless audio integration. The half-inch condenser microphone is designed with a super-cardioid recording pattern for ultra directional recording. This means that anything you don't want to get picked up by the mic won’t show up in your recording. It features a native high-pass filter that prevents noises like traffic and room conversations from being picked up. 

The shock mounting system is made of durable ABS plastic and insulates the microphone from disturbance from movement or accidental bumps. For those who prefer traditional microphone mounting, it has ⅜ inch threading for mounting on a boom arm. It runs on a 9-volt battery, so you don’t have to lug heavy equipment around, and it comes with a windscreen to help reduce unwanted sound. Rode offers a 10-year warranty when you register your microphone.