Having a microphone for streaming is essential for your gaming setup. You’ve got to ensure that your voice is clear throughout the broadcast, and it matters for any game where communication is involved. Whether you desire to be a podcaster or need the rest of your team in the game to hear your commands clearly, you’ve got to have the best microphone for streaming.
Generally, USB microphones are the most popular option and have popped up everywhere in recent years. Therefore, you’ve got many choices available. We do believe that XLR mics still provide the best quality and sound, but they are more expensive and can be quite a challenge to set up in your home.
Therefore, when it comes to picking the right microphone, you should consider where and how you want to use it. If you’re going to be in a high-traffic area, noise-canceling qualities are ideal so that the background sounds aren’t picked up. Also, you should understand that some microphones are going to use different polar patterns. Therefore, it’s wise to factor that into your decision, as well.
What Are Some Polar Patterns?
Before we get into the top five microphones for streaming, it’s a good idea to know a bit about the various polar patterns. We’re going to talk about them during our reviews. The most common include:
- Cardioid: This records in front of your microphone, which works well for streaming, voice-overs, and vocals.
- Omnidirectional: You can pick up sounds from any direction, which is ideal for multi-person interviews.
- Bidirectional: With this option, you can capture audio from behind and in front of your microphone. This works best for one-on-one interviews.
- Stereo: That one works well for ASMR recordings, such as those that make you feel something physical while you listen.
Blue Yeti X Review
If you’re looking for a suitable microphone for podcasting and streaming, the Blue Yeti X is ideal. Blue mics are some of the most popular, but the X version is a hybrid of the original and Nano Yeti. It’s quite sturdy and now features an LED front panel to help you check volume levels with a quick glance.
- ✓ LED front panel
- ✓ Special software for more flexibility
- ✓ Toggle off background noise
- ✗ Noisy buttons
- ✗ MicroUSB (not regular USB)
- ✗ Not suitable for Mac users
Of course, the sound quality is ideal, and many professional streamers use it. Though you may be on the fence between this and the original, consider that the X version has four different condenser capsules, and the original only has three. You’re also going to get more customized options, as well as adjustments on the fly with the smart knob.
The biggest change you’re going to see is the software through G Hub. If you download it, you can preset filters and even create your own. This allows you to sound more modern or chatty. You can also flip the toggle to reduce noise from around the house. That works well if the AC kicks on or you’ve got a loud household. Since the Yeti X could pick up nearby sounds and doesn’t feature noise-canceling technology, this is ideal. If you’re looking for a non-XLR mic, this might be the best option.
Antlion Audio ModMic Review
Are you someone who prefers the hands-free devices, such as the Bluetooth headphones that go around your ear? If so, then you’re going to like the Antlion Audio ModMic. For those who have an excessively cluttered desk, this is ideal. You don’t have to make room for a standing microphone or make the workspace more cluttered. It can stick to the side of the headphones, just like it was built into the headset. However, it has much better audio quality. The magnetic attachment also ensures that the setup is a breeze.
- ✓ Convenient
- ✓ Easy to setup
- ✓ Attaches to any headphones
- ✗ Excessively long wire
- ✗ Plastic arm
- ✗ Might sound distant or hollow to other people
Many small mics for headsets don’t have good audio, but that’s often because they’re attached to the headphones. The headphone sounds are prioritized over mic quality, but this product doesn’t have that issue. It was designed to be a great microphone and nothing else. While it might not produce sounds like stand-alone mics, it’s going to sound better than anything attached to headphones.
Razer Seiren X Review
If you desire something that is portable and compact, the Razer Seiren X might be ideal. It’s much smaller than the original version, but it still packs the same audio quality. The microphone sits on your desk and is about as tall as a can of soda. Of course, you’re going to like the built-in shock mount because it helps absorb any undesirable spikes from a kick to the desk or knocking something off. You’ve also got one control for the volume with a mute button included. Therefore, it’s slick and unobtrusive while still maintaining its aesthetic appeal and being streamlined.
- ✓ Great clarity
- ✓ Portable
- ✓ Shock mount built-in
- ✗ Singular polar pattern
- ✗ Picks up background noises
- ✗ Odd orientation for USB cable
This mic features zero-latency monitoring. It’s just a flashy way of saying that you can monitor it in-stream and in real-time without dealing with annoying echoes.
Of course, there are a few downsides. For one, this mic can pick up a lot of ambient noises, such as keyboard clatter. It’s still feasible and great as a streaming microphone, but we did want some noise-canceling features from Razer since it does have a great cardioid polar pattern. However, you do still have an amazing recording quality and finish.
Samson G-Track Pro Review
Those who like to podcast might find the Samson G-Track Pro to be the best choice. With so many USB microphones on the market, it can be hard to pick just one. Still, this version outpaces the competition. This condenser mic features multiple polar patterns, a sturdy build, a shallow noise floor, and great sound quality. Therefore, it works well for anyone who is into music, podcasting, or streaming.
- ✓ Durable and long-lasting
- ✓ Sound quality is excellent
- ✓ Plug-and-play setup
- ✗ Flimsy controls; can’t tell if mute button is engaged easily
- ✗ No shock mount included; might be able to contact manufacturer
- ✗ Takes away a USB port; problematic if you need a headset and have things hooked to computer
The good news is that it’s a plug-n-play option, so you don’t have to install any drivers. Of course, the controls are easy to use. To the left of the microphone is the bi-directional, cardioid, and omnidirectional toggle. On the right, you can choose between two-track and mono.
Its mute button is at the top, so it’s easy to reach for and press while you’re doing something. Then, you’ve got the microphone and instrument settings to change the sound quality. The volume button is at the bottom.
Keep in mind that this is more than just a microphone. It’s also an audio interface with a standard instrument input. This allows you to connect a keyboard, bass, or another line-level device. Therefore, it works great for singers and much more.
HyperX QuadCast Review
The Quadcast from HyperX is an excellent choice for streamers who want a clear-sounding and easy-to-use microphone. Though it doesn’t have the best sound quality when compared to some of the others listed here, it has a lot of features and a great design.
- ✓ Built-in shock mount
- ✓ Four polar patterns
- ✓ Compatible with multiple devices
- ✓ Tap-to-mute feature
- ✗ Can’t change red lighting
- ✗ Inaccurate gain control printing
- ✗ Mute area can get smudged
The shock mount is built into the piece and is one of the biggest reasons to get it. Generally, shock mounts are sold separately and can be about half the price of the actual microphone. They are necessary to prevent your mic from picking up thuds and bumps while you’re streaming. Another great feature is the touch-sensitive muting button, which is at the top of your microphone.
With some brands, the switches and buttons make loud noises, which can be problematic when you’re recording. This one is silent, so it is a thoughtful addition to the mic.
Though appearances aren’t often the first thing you think of, you’re going to like this version. It has a red honeycomb effect, which looks great on any desk.
When it comes to picking the best microphone for streaming, there are many options. Each one listed here has its good and bad points, but they all do what they claim to do. Still, you want one with a built-in shock mount because you’re going to be multitasking as you’re playing games or recording podcasts.
Though you want something sleek, you probably don’t want it to be a bright color, especially if you can’t turn it off. Also, you want simple controls that allow you to focus on what you’re saying.
With all that said, we think the best mic is the Blue Yeti X. While it did have a few minor drawbacks, you can customize the lighting or turn it off when it suits you. Plus, it has the smart knob to adjust everything (volume, gain, and more). You’re focused on creating or playing instead of how to get your microphone to do what you want.