One of the most important things in a stream is good audio. If you have amazing visuals but bad audio your stream will suffer.
This is where having a decent microphone for your stream comes in. Not all microphones are created equally and there are some things to take into consideration when choosing the right mic for your stream.
Do you want your viewers to see your microphone on camera with you, or would you rather it be in a place nobody can see?
If on camera you are going to want a microphone with some style. Something that is both pleasing to the eyes and makes you look professional.
If off camera you are going to want a microphone that can pick up your voice wherever it’s placed. You’re also going to want one with a small but versatile profile that enables you to put it where you need to without taking up too much space.
Where your stream is set up is going to be the number one consideration when deciding what mic is best for you.
Do you have a quiet space you stream where no other sounds can be picked up or are you set up in a room where things like kids, dogs, fans etc. can be picked up on a microphone?
Your location will determine what type of mic you will need to purchase. Some mics are built for loud situations, while others are made to pick up every little sound in the room.
Condenser vs Dynamic
There are two types of microphones you can get. Condenser and Dynamic. We aren’t going to dive into the technical differences but Condenser mic’s are great for recording vocals in a very quiet room or a studio.
Dynamic mics, on the other hand, only pic up noises that are right in front of them. This makes them ideal for use on stage or in loud areas.
If you have a quiet space you have options. You can choose either dynamic or condenser microphones. If you are in a loud space you will want to get a dynamic mic.
USB Vs XLR
How you connect your microphone to your stream is another thing to take into consideration. There are two types of connections. XLR and USB.
XLR microphones are the industry standard for professionals. Many professional streamers use these microphones and if you can afford a decent one it is a good way to go.
The downside is that XLR mics require additional hardware in order to connect them to your streaming PC.
USB mics are the most convenient way to get your stream up and running. There are no additional devices needed. Simply plug your microphone into your computer and start your stream.
The sound quality from USB mics are amazing. Many streamers prefer USB microphones for their simplicity and ease of use.
For the purposes of this list all of the mics I’m recommending are USB microphones. They are:
You’ve probably seen this microphone before because it’s everywhere. This is a great entry level microphone for streamers.
The microphone is small, portable and sounds amazing. Because of it’s small footprint and ability to capture every sound in the room this is a great option for those not wanting to show off their microphone on stream.
This little condenser mic is a powerhouse. How they managed to fit so much quality and goodness into a microphone and do it all for $60 is a feat.
Ultimately this mic is best for streamers just starting out or those looking for a budget friendly microphone.
The Blue Snowball also features:
- Transducer type: Condenser, pressure gradient with USB digital output
- Polar patterns: Omndirectional or cardioid
- Frequency response: Position 1-3: 40-18kHz
- Sample/Word rate: 44.1kHz/16-bit
- Weight: 460g; Dimensions: 325mm (circumference); Gloss black finish
The blue yeti is a USB condenser mic. It’s one of the most popular with streamers and content creators because of it’s high quality sound, it’s low price point and it’s professional look.
This microphone features a headphone output jack for mic monitoring as well as built in gain controls. This is also a microphone you can show off as it looks fantastic.
It’s also a very versatile and compact microphone, so if you wanted to have it out of your cameras view you totally could.
This microphone is ideal for a streamer who is sitting at a desk, in a quiet room and is seeking premium vocals at a good price.
The Blue Yeti also features:
- Tri-capsule array – 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
- Multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo.Frequency Response- 20Hz – 20kHz
- Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output. Power output (RMS): 130mW
- Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls.
- Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), and requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM(remove existing and upload).
This microphone is one of the most expensive on the list but it is amazing. This dynamic USB mic is a great option for people who stream in a room with a lot of back round noise.
The Rode Podcaster does a fantastic job of isolating your voice to give your stream a crisp, professional feel.
Since it is a dynamic mic it will need to be on stream. This microphone will only pick up audio directly in front of it. It does have a professional look and I think it can really ad to the overall look of a stream.
Perfect for anyone with loud backround noises or someone who wants to isolate their voice for their stream.
The Rode Podcaster also features:
- Broadcast sound quality
- 28mm dynamic capsule
- Windows and Mac compatible
- Tight Cardioid pattern for superior off axis sound rejection
- Includes a 10 foot USB cable and stand mount
In streaming audio is king. While video is the medium, if your audio is bad people will notice and your stream will suffer.
When deciding which of these microphones are best for you consider you want from your stream. What look do you want? What is your budget? Then select the microphone that best fits you.
Jump into different streams and see what different people are using. Chances are they will be using one of the three we’ve been discussing.
Any of the mics here are great additions to any streamers set up. They all will provide you with amazing sound, are easy to set up and look great.