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The popularity of streaming has attracted so many newcomers to the activity that the question of choosing the “right” equipment has become one of the most discussed in the electronics industry. Today, the editors of Expertology bring you a special review in a rating format dedicated to the most important tool of a streamer – a microphone.

Our experts have identified the best-performing models in the gigantic market diversity, focusing on different categories of streamers – interviewers, gamers, podcasters and others. But first, we will still devote a few words to the topic of choosing the best microphone for streaming and the criteria by which you need to select a model just for you.

How to choose the best microphone for streaming

So, there is an important feature in choosing a good microphone. The principle “the more expensive and branded, the better” does not work here (well, almost). Because you have to choose a microphone, guided strictly by where and how it will be used. Because for a normal recording of a live stream on the street in a crowd of people, this is one thing, but for a high-quality transmission of the voices of the presenter and guest in a cozy studio, it is completely different. And only after that you can give preference to one or another brand. Consider the main characterizing factors and for which streamer activity they are most important.

frequency range

This is the sensitivity of the microphone to certain tonalities. It is measured in hertz and kilohertz. In fact, it means how many sounds, high and low, the microphone can generally recognize. The larger this range, the better. But chasing exorbitant values, and laying out the amount of your annual budget for the device, is also pointless.

Here, for whom this parameter is important, it is for those who are engaged in vocals. It is not so important for a game streamer to convey the tone and one and a half of those expressions with which he accompanies battles in Dota2.

Orientation

This parameter reflects the sensitivity of the microphone to sound, depending on the location of its source. Everything seems to be clear, but there are many nuances. There are unidirectional, bidirectional and omnidirectional microphones.

Unidirectional, in turn, are also divided into cardioid, hypercardioid and supercardioid. Cardioid – the most popular with streamers. They are highly sensitive to sounds coming from the front only. It’s worse on the sides, worse in the back. A normal working option for a conversational streamer, podcaster. Hyper- and super-cardioid microphones have acceptable sensitivity up to 180 degrees in the front, but “stall” in the back. Well suited for a gamer who, in the heat of battle, can strongly and sharply deviate back and forth, recline in an armchair, roll back a little.

Bidirectional microphones, as you might guess, are equally good at picking up sounds from the front and back. An ideal choice for an interview a la Yuri Dud. Well, or for vocals in a duet.

Omnidirectional microphones pick up sound equally in 360 degrees. It would seem that you can buy one and not bother, but it’s not. Omnidirectional is not suitable for a podcaster, as it will treacherously clearly inform the audience that mom has entered the room to call the streamer to eat. This is a microphone specifically for recording the sounds of the “environment” – crowds, institutions, nature, etc.

Even such an explanation may leave doubts in the choice, especially if you have not yet decided what kind of streams you will broadcast. In this case, you can buy a multi-directional microphone. It allows you to switch direction as needed. But it is better to make a specific choice, for many reasons.

Additional accessories

The configuration of the microphone is a secondary matter, but a few words should also be said about it. Perhaps the most important thing is the pop filter. This is a device that levels out the redundancy of the sound artifacts of the human voice – breathing, whistles, and those same sound jumps when pronouncing the sounds “b” and “p” (that’s why it is called that). As a rule, it looks like a rounded “screen” in front of the microphone itself. In studio shooting, this accessory immediately catches the eye, and non-specialists mistake it for the microphone itself.

Another important accessory is a stand or mount. It’s good if this accessory is “native”, but often other manufacturers make it better. A good bonus is a carrying case, but here you definitely shouldn’t pay too much attention, since the main thing is the microphone itself.

So, we figured out the basic principles of choosing a microphone for streaming, and now we go directly to the rating.

Rating of the best microphones for streaming

Nomination Place Name Price

Rating of the best microphones for streaming

one

SVEN MK-150

290 ₽

2

Trust Mico USB

2 190 ₽

3

Maono AU-A04

4 449 ₽

four

SAMSON METEOR Mic

5 990 ₽

5

AKG Lyra (C44-USB)

8 990 ₽

6

HyperX QuadCast

12 988 ₽

7

Blue Yeti

11 490 ₽

eight

RODE NT

17 475 ₽

9

RAZER SEIREN ELITE

19 490 ₽

ten

AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020USB+

21 490 ₽

SVEN MK-150

Rating: 4.3

SVEN MK-150

We start with the simplest and cheapest microphone of the well-known SVEN trademark. Its price is so ridiculous that the reader may have doubts about its performance. In fact, our experts included this model in the review specifically for beginners, for the first attempts at writing in live broadcasts. The proportion of streamers who initially got carried away with this business, and then became disillusioned and abandoned, is very high. Therefore, for the very, very beginning, you should not buy equipment worthy of Joe Rogan.

What is this microphone. Firstly, it is very miniature – it can be attached to the buttonhole of a jacket (not to be confused with the buttonhole on military clothes) or to another convenient place on outerwear. Yes, this is exactly the same “button” that you often heard about, but did not know why such a name. Strictly speaking, this is not even a buttonhole, but a clip, which is even better, since it makes it possible to fix the microphone not only on clothes. Here, just in case, for general development, you need to understand that a tiny microphone does not automatically mean cheap. There are buttonholes for tens of thousands of rubles.

Now let’s go through the dry specifications. This is an electret microphone with a circular pattern, 2200 ohm impedance, -58 dB sensitivity and a frequency range from 50 to 16 thousand Hertz. It connects to the receiving device with a simple standard 3.5 mm jack through a standard 1.8 meter cable.

The microphone weighs 23 g. The case is made of black plastic. It is fastened with a plastic clip, it can also be installed permanently on a monitor or pieces of furniture with standard adhesive tape.

There is one feature with this model. It has a lot of rave reviews about high sensitivity, but there are also exactly opposite opinions. Therefore, it makes sense to assume that the quality control of this particular model from the manufacturer is very “loyal”.

In conclusion, we would like to say that there are many other models of other form factors in the SVEN microphone line, which also cost a few hundred rubles and are generally suitable for the first attempts at streaming.

Advantages

  • high sensitivity (there are exactly opposite opinions);

  • simplicity and reliability;

  • indestructibility.

Flaws

  • unreliable “native” fastening.

Also Read: 12 Best Karaoke Microphones

Trust Mico USB

Rating: 4.4

Trust Mico USB

The second position in the ranking of the best microphones for streaming according to Expertology is another budget condenser microphone, but from a different brand – Trust. And this is no longer a buttonhole, but a desktop version on a tripod stand. It is very inexpensive compared to other studio microphones, but 10 times more expensive than the previous “crumbs”.

The dimensions of the microphone are 43x130x35mm. Weight – 150 g, assembled – 258 g. Made in a discreet but pleasant design, plastic case, black with soft-touch coating. Mounted on a folding tripod with a lock. The latch itself also has a stroke of about 270 degrees for the most convenient placement of the direction of the head. All materials are of high quality, the assembly is solid, neat.

You can connect the microphone to the receiving device via a 1.8 meter cable. The cable connects to a USB adapter, which also has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

The technical characteristics of the device are as follows: circular pattern, impedance 2.2 ohms, frequency range from 50 to 16 thousand Hertz, sensitivity -45dB.

In terms of application, this is still an entry-level model, but still one of the best in this price category. Among users, there are complaints about noise, which other users immediately fend off, they say, you need to be able to adjust. In general, it can be recommended for game streaming.

This model comes with a 24 month manufacturer’s warranty.

Advantages

  • high-quality sound recording;

  • comfortable placement with reliable fixation;

  • quality materials and assembly;

  • soft-touch body coating.

Flaws

  • there are complaints about noise, but their objectivity is not indisputable.

Maono AU-A04

Rating: 4.5

Maono AU-A04

Now we bring to your attention a very inexpensive microphone with unexpectedly good characteristics and equipment. MAONO Technology Co., Ltd. is a young Chinese company founded in 2014 and quickly gained consumer confidence with its obviously serious approaches to the development and production of microphones of various types and classes.

Here it’s worth starting the description with a complete set, since the set of accessories in the delivery set alone will tell a lot about the responsible approach of the manufacturer. So, in the branded package we will find: the microphone itself, a foam windshield, a long 2.5-meter USB cable for connecting to a computer, anti-vibration mounting, a pop filter, a miniature telescopic stand, a metal stand stand.

Now let’s clarify the role of each of the important components of the configuration. The USB cable is equipped with Type A and Type B connectors at the ends. The very fact of the USB connection indicates that this microphone does not need an external sound card, and the problem of background noise, which is a frequent “companion” of microphones connected via a standard 3.5 mm minijack connector, is also automatically solved.

If the foam windshield will not surprise anyone in the kit of even the cheapest microphone, then a full-fledged pop filter is already a clear advantage, since it is more than useful in studio work for streaming and recording podcasts.

I was pleasantly surprised by the presence of anti-vibration mounting. This is a special accessory in the form of a circular base, where the microphone itself is inserted, and shock-absorbing inserts dampen vibrations, preventing unwanted sound “artifacts” – this is already a relative rarity for microphones of this price category.

Even in terms of installation, the developers have thought of everything as it should be – a solid stand provides for height adjustment due to the telescopic design. The rack itself is attached to a metal stand. The stand, in turn, is quite large in diameter and massive, so the stability of the assembled microphone during recording is beyond doubt.

Finally, a few words about the technical parameters of the microphone unit itself. Its polar pattern is cardioid. Maximum sound pressure – 120 dB, sensitivity – -38 dB; range of recognizable frequencies – from 30 to 16 thousand Hz; signal-to-noise ratio – 70 dB. The “heart” of the device is an electret capacitor transducer with a diameter of 16 mm.

The impression is slightly spoiled by not the most reliable fastening to the rack, but the only problem is the fragility of the bolt itself, and if it is replaced, the problem is solved. Some users note that the microphone sometimes shows hypersensitivity, but this moment can be easily eliminated through the settings in the standard program.

Advantages

  • a rare combination of affordable price and worthy characteristics;

  • quality materials;

  • carefully thought out design;

  • rich equipment with a pop filter and anti-vibration device;

  • no background noise;

  • no external sound card required.

Flaws

  • slightly flimsy mounting bolt;

  • sometimes hypersensitive – easy to change the settings in the software.

SAMSON METEOR Mic

Rating: 4.6

SAMSON METEOR Mic

As number three in Expertology’s list of best streaming microphones, we’ll look at the SAMSON brand. Under this brand comes a very high quality audio equipment. Produced in China.

Here we again make a sharp price jump up, but the microphone is worth it. Its appearance is already impressive – polished metal prevails in the materials – double chrome plating, metal meshes, rubber pads on the legs so that the microphone does not ride on the table. The design surprisingly combines hi-tech and retro, respectively, it will look great in the frame. In addition, against the background of other models, its price still looks very attractive – about 6,500 rubles, but can vary greatly depending on the configuration and point of sale.

Now about the characteristics. This is a 25mm large diaphragm condenser type microphone. Directional pattern – cardioid. The range of a confident response in frequencies is from 20 to 20 thousand Hertz. Connected via USB interface. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack with no latency tracking.

Of the microphone controls on its front there is a mechanical monitoring volume control (it does not affect the recording level) and a Mute button. There is also a well-marked activity indicator. Behind – two ports: USB for connection and 3.5mm for headphones.

The microphone is easily recognized by the operating system as a USB device with audio input and output. That is, in fact, you also get an external sound card.

The packaging is as luxurious as the device itself, reliable, comfortable and beautifully designed. The minimum package also includes a mini-USB cable, carrying case, documentation.

We emphasize once again, since this is important – the adjustment wheel serves only for headphones. This model does not have its own recording level control, and this state of affairs may not be convenient for everyone. But for streamers who record podcasts, this is a great option.

Advantages

  • good recording sound quality;

  • membrane condenser 25 mm;

  • the ability to monitor the recording without delay;

  • actual performance of the role of an external sound card;

  • spectacular appearance;

  • quality materials.

Flaws

  • there is no own adjustment of the recording level.

See also: 15 best microphones

AKG Lyra (C44-USB)

Rating: 4.6

AKG Lyra (C44-USB)

Another USB streaming microphone, already much more serious in terms of technical characteristics and twice as expensive as the Maono AU-A04. The AKG brand itself, representing the prominent Austrian company AKG Acoustics GmbH, which has been specializing in the production of audio equipment since 1947, quite deservedly causes the trust of users.

The package bundle of this model is not so rich, but it is the microphone itself and its configuration that are important here. The first thing worth emphasizing is the presence of as many as four capsules. They are, of course, smaller than if there was one capsule in such a case, but they significantly expand the scope of the microphone and the recording method. The first and most obvious is the double-sided recording, which makes it easy to write interviews and podcasts.

The AKG Lyra has four modes, which are switched by a mechanical rotary knob on the body. The first one is basic, it means one-sided recording of the source right in front of the microphone. The second is the Front & Back mode – recording sources from the front and back. Tight Stereo mode records sources on the sides – most often two interlocutors sit on the same side of the table, and the microphone is placed on the table in front of them in the middle. The fourth mode – Wide Stereo – surround sound recording of the entire surrounding space. I must say, the Wide Stereo mode really creates a spectacular 360-degree scene, which is especially realistic in headphones.

The sound of the microphone can be listened to in real time during recording. For this, it has a 3.5 mm headphone output. The sound is sent directly from the capsule. We’ll warn you right away that only headphones with gentle resistance are suitable here, since the device will not be able to swing the heavy studio “ears” normally, the volume will simply not be enough. The best option is typical headphones with an impedance of 32 ohms.

Now let’s go through the key technical characteristics of this model. The range of perceived frequencies is from 20 to 22 thousand Hz; high signal-to-noise ratio – 98 dB; maximum sound pressure – 129 dB; resistance – 16 ohms. Connects to a computer via a 2m USB Type C cable. The lower frequency limit is for listening only, as the High-Pass filter automatically cuts lows below 100Hz, which is good.

Among the shortcomings of this model, one can indicate the selective penetration of noise when connected to mobile gadgets. On stationary PCs and laptops, in the vast majority of cases, this problem does not occur. Another point – it is better not to use the Mute button during recording, as it gives a distinct and not very pleasant click into the recording.

Advantages

  • reputable brand;

  • 4 capsules;

  • universality of application in different genres and directions;

  • High-pass filter;

  • runs on Linux OS;

  • the highest sensitivity (some users will regard this moment as a disadvantage);

  • direct 3.5 mm headphone output for listening to the air without delay;

  • connection via USB Type C.

Flaws

  • somewhat sensitive to USB power noise

  • no overload indication.

HyperX QuadCast

Rating: 4.7

HyperX QuadCast

Now let’s take a look at the HyperX branded streaming microphone, which is bright in every sense. This series is produced by a division of the world-famous American company Kingston Technology.

This model is great, in particular, for gamers who lead game streams, because of its spectacular appearance, but on the other hand, it needs some refinement to adequately transmit the sound that is needed. The fact is that this is an ultra-sensitive condenser microphone that captures literally everything around. This makes a powerful first impression, but in practice provokes problems – all extraneous sounds will get into the air, especially the noise of the active cooling of the computer. This problem can be almost completely eliminated by adjusting the settings.

On the other hand, for the same game streaming, this model provides high-quality depreciation. Not for everyone, especially beginners, it is obvious that during an active intense game, a gamer will inevitably hit the table by accident or intentionally, and if it were not for the shock absorbers, all these sounds would also go on the air.

The key technical characteristics of the model are as follows: the range of perceived frequencies is from 20 to 20 thousand Hz; omnidirectional cardioid pattern, circular, switchable; resistance – 32 Ohm; sensitivity – -36 dB; the signal-to-noise ratio is 90 dB.

The microphone is connected to the computer via a standard USB cable 3 meters long. No special drivers are needed – a standard driver in the operating system on a PC, Mac, PS4 or Xbox is enough.

There is a 3.5 mm mini-jack for direct connection of headphones and listening to the broadcast without delay. The upper edge of the device is touch-sensitive – touching it mutes the microphone in the same way as the conditional “mute” button.

There is a separate cardioid switch on the body with which you can adjust the angle of sound capture. By changing the position, you can muffle the sounds from the sides, if they are undesirable, eliminate the echo in an acoustically unprepared room.

This microphone does not need a pop filter – the internal foam polymer material under the grill effectively copes with pressure surges that create the same “pop effect” when pronouncing consonants.

Advantages

  • high sensitivity (partly even too much);

  • ease of setup;

  • recording quality;

  • no pop filter needed;

  • no special drivers required;

  • touch surface with “mute” function;

  • standard 3.5 mm headphone output;

  • cardioid switch for adjusting the angle of sound capture;

  • stylish and effective appearance.

Flaws

  • hypersensitivity.

Blue Yeti

Rating: 4.7

Blue Yeti

Now in the ranking of the best microphones for streaming according to Expertology, we will even consider something almost legendary. This is not the most expensive, not the most “pathetic” microphone, but at one time it was certainly almost the most discussed in the streamer and video blogging environment. This is the Blue Yeti manufactured by the American specialized company Blue Microphones. Actually, this is a subsidiary of an even more famous developer of high-quality electronics – the Swiss company Logitech International SA

It’s worth mentioning right away that there is only a name from “Blue” in the nomenclature, but in fact, this model has as many as ten colors of body trim! This is a big plus for those streamers for whom it is important to design the workspace in a certain strictly uniform style. Its dimensions are 295x120x125mm, weight – 550 g. The case is metal. Connects to the receiving device via a USB interface using a detachable cable, which is included in the delivery. There is a headphone jack.

From a strictly technical point of view, Blue Yeti is a condenser multi-directional microphone with a frequency range of 20 to 20 thousand Hertz, a sound pressure of 120dB, a sampling rate of 48kHz and a 16-bit ADC. Its direct functions include high-quality studio stereo recording, you can also easily adjust the sensitivity, headphone volume, mute the microphone and switch the polar pattern.

From everything described, it is clear that the Blue Yeti is a universal device. For streaming, it is good in addition to quality, also because it can easily be made bi- or omni-directional or with cardioid polarity. It is equally suitable for a professional gamer and for recording clean vocals – here the Tri-capsule technology will provide a professional level. Of course, it’s also great for podcasters.

This model has a two year manufacturing warranty.

Advantages

  • professional level;

  • universality;

  • many colors of the case;

  • ease of installation and configuration.

Flaws

  • no pronounced cons were found.

Also Read: 12 Best Lavalier Microphones

RODE NT

Rating: 4.8

RODE NT

Now, as part of our rating, we will consider another, no less remarkable model than the Blue Yeti, but a little less hyped in the streamer and video blogging environment. This is a microphone manufactured by the Australian company RØDE Microphones LLC. A professional model that is equally suitable for both a top streamer and a musician.

Microphone dimensions – 184x62x50 mm, weight – 520 g. Metal case, black color. It connects to a computer via a USB interface, the length of the standard cable (removable) is as much as 6 meters. There is a headphone output. Installation on a tripod stand with lock. The controls are located above the 3.5mm headphone jack.

Key technical parameters of the model: capacitor principle of operation, unidirectional, cardioid pattern, ADC sampling frequency and bit depth – 48kHz and 16bit, respectively. The frequency range is from 20 to 20 thousand Hertz. Maximum sound pressure level: 110 dB SPL. Dynamic range – 96dB. JFET converter with 2-pole output buffer.

As is clear from the above, this is a microphone of a much narrower “specialization” than the universal Blue Yeti – it is unidirectional. The diaphragm is located in a lateral position parallel to the microphone body. It is great for any studio work: recording an instrument, vocals or high-quality conversational streaming.

The package includes the microphone itself, a detachable cable, a tripod stand, a carrying case, a pop filter, and documentation.

Advantages

  • professional level;

  • zero delay;

  • quality recording;

  • reliability;

  • equipment.

Flaws

  • not marked.

RAZER SEIREN ELITE

Rating: 4.9

RAZER SEIREN ELITE

Finally, in our ranking we come to perhaps the most interesting solution in the world of streaming microphones. And it is interesting even if it is a manufacturer. This is RAZER – one of the most “ideal” gaming equipment companies, consisting of real fans. And we present their latest creation – SEIRĒN ELITE game streaming microphone.

This is the most expensive microphone in our review, but it is a serious thing not for fun, but for live eSports or serious commercial streaming, when the slightest flaw in the sound at the climax can infuriate the audience, lead to a drop in donations and unsubscribes, and also directly affect for promising advertising contracts. Against this background, such a financial investment does not look so burdensome.

Dimensions of the device – 90x685x226mm, weight – 783 g. The case is deep black, it looks extremely stylish, although the design is not too catchy. Mounted on a regular rack, connected to a computer USB port, the kit includes an additional adapter from microUSB to USB, a 3-meter connection cable and a windscreen nozzle.

Let’s go through the main technical characteristics. This is an omnidirectional condenser microphone with a sensitivity of 120 dB, a frequency range of 20 to 20 thousand Hertz, and a maximum impedance of 16 ohms.

One of the most important features of the Razer Seirēn Elite (however, some other models in the ranking are not deprived of it) is the ability to monitor sound with zero delay. To do this, you need to connect the headphones directly to the microphone. This is extremely important for team gaming so that team members hear each other’s voices instantly, and not with a lag of 5 seconds, as is the case with ordinary sound cards.

A well-thought-out design with a Pro-grade dynamic capsule, combined with a limiter and filter, guarantees such a rich vocal tone that was previously achievable only on much more high-tech equipment, inaccessible to the average consumer.

Advantages

  • brand;

  • style;

  • quality and reliability;

  • assembly;

  • delay control;

  • Pro-grade dynamic capsule.

Flaws

  • rare complaints about the inconvenient location of the controllers.

AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020USB+

Rating: 5.0

AUDIO-TECHNICA AT2020USB+

The studio microphone of the AUDIO-TECHNICA trademark continues the rating. This is something much more interesting and more serious previous models. Namely, equipment, although of the lower segment, but still of a professional class.

Microphone dimensions – 52x162x52mm. It weighs 386 g. Made in a laconic but respectable design. Body in black. Connects via a 3 meter long USB cable. There is a headphone output. Installation – desktop, on a tripod with a lock.

This is a cardioid condenser microphone. The impedance is 32 ohms. The frequency range is from 20 to 20 thousand Hertz. The sampling rate is 44.1/48kHz. On the case there are independent elements for adjusting the volume in the headphones and mixing.

Among streamers and all those involved in this kind of studio work, this model has proven itself to be reliable, capable of transmitting sound clearly, with sufficient characteristics for professional recording and sound mixing. Formally, it is positioned as a studio microphone for vocals, but it can often still be found with podcasters and voice actors.

This AUDIO-TECHNICA lineup has a few more solid samples, and if the characteristics of this model seem insufficient to you, you can look at the USBi model. It is capable of recording sound in 24 bits and has a maximum sampling rate of 96 kHz. But that model will cost, of course, more expensive.

Advantages

  • clear sound recognition;

  • reliability;

  • convenient location of controls;

  • professional class;

  • built-in headphone amplifier.

Flaws

  • flimsy tripod included.