Before we get into the Top 10 USB Microphones, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
I will briefly give a summary of each microphone and then point to a more detailed review or link to amazon. 🙂
Introduction & Criteria
Rode NT USB
Samson Go Mic
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
Introduction & Criteria
With as much research as I’ve done over the past couple of years, I have a pretty good idea of the best USB microphones around. None of these options are perfect, and all of them have drawbacks. All gear will inevitably get good and bad reviews. It’s more a matter of what you’re willing to compromise and sacrifice, and finding the piece of gear that’s Pros outweigh it’s Cons.
That said, I based the Top 10 on a few different factors:
Ease of Use
Bang for Buck
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
1. Blue Yeti
The Blue Yeti tops the list because it somehow manages to combine all of the criteria mentioned above. It’s definitely the best USB microphone on the market hands down, and nothing else really comes close. It’s got 4 polar patterns, gain switch, zero latency headphone jack for live monitoring (What is Latency?), and a mute button, making it an all in one solution for pretty much anything you need. I wouldn’t rely on it solely for vocals or instruments, but it can handle pretty much anything you throw at it.
This baby is the best, so if you want to bypass the rest, and learn more about it, check out my official:
The AT2020 USB is a close runner up to the Blue Yeti. It’s got a slightly better sound quality, but doesn’t make the top spot because of a lack of features as well as Ease of Use. It’s stand leaves a little to be desired.
That said, the AT2020 also does well in nearly any instance, and proves a formidable entry level beast. Learn more about it in:
The Rode NT USB provides great clarity and it’s also very sensitive. Acoustic Sound Treatment goes a long way with this one. It’s great for voice-over and stuff like PS4 live chat, podcasts, streaming on twitch, etc.
Like the Yeti, it’s got a headphone jack with zero latency monitoring, along with dials to adjust the monitoring level and mix between the computer/iPad audio and the microphone input.
I really dig the sound coming out of the Samson Meteor. It’s got crystal clear clarity, which is why it’s ranked so high on the list. I would advise you to employ some Acoustic Sound Treatment with this beast, as it does seem to pick up more background noise than my AT2020.
What’s more, it’s extremely convenient and seems to be built rock solid. I’m loving the fold out stand, and the fact that you can mount it on a separate stand. You will probably want to eventually, as it’s a bit awkward to lean over just to speak into it. It’s rather small sitting on your desk. Interested in learning more? Check out my:
The Samson Go Mic makes the list because of it’s phenomenal convenience factor. It’s absolutely tiny; you will be shocked at just how small this thing is. The defining feature in my eyes is the fact that you can mount it right on your laptop. The mic clip isn’t quite wide enough for a true monitor mount, but the sound quality is really impressive for such a cheap mic. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this one.
The MV5 can be plugged into iPhone, iPad, or Android device. It’s outstanding sound, zero latency headphone output, and 3 settings (vocal, flat and instrument) make it a valuable solution to your podcasting, general voice-over, instrument and vocal recording needs.
If you’re into Grapefruit sized microphones, the Blue Snowball is for you! Lol. Kidding aside, this is another worthy option to consider. While it doesn’t have a mute button or On/Off Switch, it does have 2 polar patterns plus a -10dB cardioid feature which is nice. The build quality is also nearly indestructible and you can also attach it to a separate stand. For more in depth information, check out my:
The Blue Snowflake is portable, easy to set up, and does have a great sound. It’s pretty similar to the Samson Go Mic, as both have mic clip features that do well with laptop screens but not regular monitor screens.
Both are pretty sensitive to background noise, and you must be pretty close to each of them to get the best recording. The sound itself coming from both is very good, and they are extremely portable and convenient.
Check out a cool comparison for more detailed information:
The U37 is about on par with the Meteorite, good enough to make the top 10 but just squeaks in by the hair of it’s chinny chin chin.
It does have it’s share of issues, but still manages to be a viable option. Keep in mind my research is quite thorough. I lay out every potential flaw, which on the surface does make some gear look bad when in actuality you may or may not experience those same problems.
For instance I had no troubles with the Go Mic and Meteor, while others did. Both mics get really good reviews overall. Case and point.
The Samson Meteorite comes in last on the list, as it’s sound is overall pretty good and I really like the design and convenience. It’s a really basic mic, but delivers good sound quality for it’s price. It does pick up more background noise than the others listed here, hence why it’s lower on the list.
I was a bit hard on it in my review, but I still think it’s good enough to make the top 10. Barely though. 😛
The Blue Yeti is the go to option here, hands down. It’s got everything you need:
Versatility. Does well in a variety of applications. Just don’t purchase it with the intent on solely recording vocals and instruments. It can also be used with the provided stand, or with a separate mic stand + shock-mount as well as: a windscreen or pop-filter depending on your preference.
Features. This baby is basically ready to go out of the box. 4 polar patterns, gain switch, zero latencyheadphone jack for livemonitoring (What is latency?),mute button, great USB cable, and elegant design make it perfect for pod-casters who need everything in one place.
It’s solid as a rock. It may look like an industrial sized dildo (or a cool spaceship), but rest assured this beast is strong and durable.
Well rounded sound. Does exceptional with an array of voice types.
Popular. Opinions do vary, but you will find the Yeti at or near the top of many short lists for best USB pod-casting mic.
An array of colors. Comes in Blackout, Platinum , Silver, Space Grey, Midnight Blue, Vintage White, and White-out!
4.5/5 on amazon with over 3,500 reviews. That’s says something.
Stu is determined to help you make sound decisions, and strives to deliver the best and most in depth content on the internet! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, pray, rap, make beats, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His sense of humour, coupled with a knack for excellence and strict attention to detail are what allow him to stand out in an crowded industry.