10 Best USB Condenser Mics

Dave Mostert
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For Recording Your Music: Find the Perfect One for You

If you are into music recording, there is no way around having a high-quality USB microphone in your collection. It’s a must. And in this article, I am going to show you the ten best condenser mics on the market today.

NameCategoryProduct
Blue Snowball iCE USB MicBest OverallBlue Snowball iCE USB Mic
USB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording MicrophoneBudget PickUSB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone
Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone,BlackUpgrade PickRode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone,Black

1. Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic

Our rating: 9 / 10

Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic

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Pros:

  • * Easy to use

If you’re a YouTuber, podcaster, or streamer, then you know all about how important your microphone can be. It’s critical that you find a decent quality one, especially if you’re going to be making a lot of videos or streams.

You might not know it, but the Blue Snowball iCE is one of the best cheap USB condenser microphones available. It’s not that much more expensive than many other options, and it outperforms those ones in many ways.

The first thing you’ll notice about this cheap microphone is how simple it is to use. You just plug it into your computer, turn it on, push the red button on the front, and you’ll be good to go.

2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

Our rating: 8 / 10

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Smooth, clean audio quality
  • So easy to set up and use
  • Great value for the price
  • Works quite well with vlogging
  • Can be used for podcasting
  • USB jack built-in to save you from a dangling mess of wires

Cons:

  • Not good for more high-decibel audio
  • Was not designed specifically for voiceover, podcasting, or filmmaking, thus listener feedback and opinion vary

One thing that’s great about recording with the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB microphone is that it’s excellent value for the price. While there were certainly some drawbacks, the pros completely overshadow them in our opinion.

For one, this AT2020 USB+ mic is pretty lightweight, coming in at about 1 lb, and it comes with a tripod stand. You don’t need to buy anything else to use it effectively. Just plug it into your computer and you're ready to record. It’s very easy to use, with an integrated headphone jack and an accurate volume control.

3. Marantz Professional MPM-2000U

Our rating: 8 / 10

Marantz Professional MPM-2000U

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Pros:

  • Made by a high-quality, well-respected brand
  • Uses a large diaphragm mic capsule
  • Also includes a stand and mic cable
  • Good sound at a fair price

Marantz prides itself on the fact that it only makes the best products, and the MPM-2000U is no exception. This Condensed Microphone has been made to the highest quality standards to ensure that it can be used for every situation. With a built in USB interface, it is the best USB Condenser Mic on the market and is ideal for use in a podcast or vocal recording. This is the kind of microphone that you can take with you and use anywhere so you can capture any moment for as long as you’d like.

When you purchase this product, not only will you receive a quality microphone, but also you will receive the shockmount and USB cable. The shockmount will keep it safe from any kind of impact damage and will also cut down on handling noise. The cable has a length of about 3 feet so you have lots of room to move while recording. MPM-2000U comes with a 1 year warranty, just in case there’s any kind of issue that you need to be addressed.

4. Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

Our rating: 8 / 10

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

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Pros:

  • On-board headphone jack for easy direct monitoring
  • Compatible with Windows and OS X operating systems
  • Integrated volume controls
  • Simplified control scheme
  • Extremely durable

This mic from Samson is a good choice for anyone that’s looking for a great sounding, budget condenser microphone that’s USB compatible, and includes a headphone jack for easy monitoring.

Samson is a well-known name in low priced mic hardware, so the Go Mic looks and sounds a lot more expensive than it is. The mic can pick up sounds that are incredibly quiet, which can provide a cleaner, better sounding overall recording. In fact, it reproduces frequencies way beyond our hearing limit.

The omni-directional pickup pattern allows you to record in any direction without having to worry about dead spots. The mic itself has superb sensitivity. It also tracks very well at fast tempos, so it does great for recording fast movements such as the high-hat.

5. Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser Microphone

Our rating: 8 / 10

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser Microphone

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Pros:

  • Dual Highpass filters
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Comes with base stand
  • Has a pop filter
  • Two gain knobs
  • bundled with Audacity recording software

Cons:

  • The plastic used is low quality.
  • Somewhat annoying noise when the gain is too high.
  • A bit expensive

The Samson Meteor Microphone has the capability to record audio whether it’s with a Mac or a Windows PC. You can connect it to your computer via the USB port, and it’s compatible with a number of recording applications such as Garageband, Pro Tools, Audacity, and Adobe Audition, as well as other multi-tracking software.

The Meteor Mic also has two different gain settings so you can tweak the sound in Audacity recording software. And it comes with a stand so you just have to set it up on the table and it’s ready to go. It also comes with a handy pop filter.

What we liked most about this product is that the quality is pretty good, especially for the price, and it’s very easy to set up. The only drawback is the plastic used. This could be better.

6. USB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone

Our rating: 8 / 10

USB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone

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Pros:

  • Captures your voice very well
  • Affordable
  • High build quality
  • Excellent customer service

Cons:

  • May require a software upgrade for some
  • Not too much space to maneuver

Any aspiring YouTuber knows that setting up a proper recording space and the right equipment are key to making high-quality videos. With the right equipment, YouTube videos can be as good as traditional television and movie productions. This microphone will get the job done without you breaking the bank.

It’s a great option if you’re just starting out and want to test the waters before spending a large sum of money on an expensive mic. The microphone’s metal mesh is impervious to pops and other extraneous sounds. The foam windscreen protects it from wind and the echo filter prevents it from picking up your voice and the room’s echo. The product is also quite sturdily built with a metal frame and a sturdy stand.

7. Razer Seiren X USB Streaming Microphone: Professional Grade

Our rating: 8 / 10

Razer Seiren X USB Streaming Microphone: Professional Grade

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Pros:

  • Built-in shock-mount
  • High-quality pick-up pattern
  • Low-distortion design
  • Anodized aluminum finish
  • Available in a variety of different colors
  • Professional grade condenser mic
  • Quiet operation
  • Affordable price point
  • Sleek profile
  • Wide frequency response

This is a good quality microphone that is easy to set up. Most people didn’t have a problem getting it working and many feel like it was one of the easiest mics they have ever set up. It produces pretty good quality sound and works well for streaming. If you have a computer that’s not that new, you may need a separate card to get it to work and not everyone who bought it ended up liking the quality of the sound, but most people feel the sound quality is good when it’s being used for streaming. Overall it’s a decent quality mic and is fairly reasonably priced.

8. Blue Yeti USB Mic

Our rating: 7 / 10

Blue Yeti USB Mic

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Pros:

  • You get dynamic and condenser capsules for various recording situations
  • Easy to set up and use
  • The quality is suitable for professional work
  • Very quiet

Cons:

  • Requires high-quality recording software
  • When recording in two channels, there are slight delays in the recording

Blue has one of the most recognized names in the recording industry and the Yeti USB mic is a must-have for any home recording studio. This desktop mic offers four different pickup pattern settings, easy plug and play audio, and some of the best sound quality in the industry.

The Yeti is a USB microphone that records in four different patterns. This makes it very versatile, and you can do most your recording and voiceover work with this one mic.

The three pick up patterns you can select from are cardioid, stereo, and omnidirectional. The stereo pattern is great for recording two-person interviews or capturing a larger group of people for a speaker or presentation.

9. Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone,Black

Our rating: 7 / 10

Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone,Black

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Pros:

  • One of the best value-for-money mics available
  • Comes with free software and free instructional videos
  • Can be used with several different recording software
  • Extremely versatile

Our top pick is the Rode NT-USB because of its versatility, portability, excellent sound quality, and the number of applications it can be used for.

This cardioid condenser microphone is the ideal companion for your notebook PC. It's a USB mic that doesn't require any installation, and can be directly connected to several popular recording programs including GarageBand, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, and Cubase. It also gives you flexible control, which is why it works well with software designed for live streaming and video conferencing.

The Rode NT-USB has a warm, detailed sound thanks to its 16-bit/48kHz resolution. The directional pickup pattern and narrow head design allow for a clear, mono recording. The audio is rich and detailed with a full-bodied mid range.

10. BC Master Microphone

Our rating: 6 / 10

BC Master Microphone

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Pros:

  • Good value pack
  • High-quality sound
  • Versatile for voice recording and many other applications
  • Impressive frequency response
  • Easy to use
  • It comes with a convenient storage case

Cons:

  • No user guide
  • Pick-up pattern could be better

This 100% brand new and high quality built-in microphone is a great product for your price-point. It’s simple to use, and can be mounted both horizontally and vertically.

Its best feature has to be the clear crisp sound quality that you can only experience with a top-notch audio device. I also liked the fact that it records crystal-clear audio, even if you’re using it from a distance. In addition, the AC adapter that it comes with is specifically designed to give you the optimal performance. I have to say, I was really pleased with the overall build quality, and feel that the product delivers excellent value for money.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best USB condenser microphone?

The Rode Microphone is arguably the best USB condenser microphone you can buy right now. It comes in at a reasonable price, and still offers a significantly better experience than most of the competition. It has been reviewed as the best microphone for Google Hangouts, and The New York Times has endorsed it as a choice for home recordings.

Luckily for you, Rode also offers standard XLR and USB mics, meaning you can actually get it in either format. It comes with a pop filter, mount, tripod stand and storage pouch. The build quality is excellent, and it looks truly professional. As this is a condenser microphone, it does require phantom power to work; most computers and most mixers will not have this.

Are USB condenser mics good?

From a quality perspective, yes, they are very good.

The gap lies in whether they’re good for you.

If you’re a gamer on PC, or if you want always-on Skype-quality sound in the far reaches of your home, then yes, they are good for you. If you need to capture an in-game explosion because you’re creating an audio clip to post on youtube, then yes, they are also good for you.

But, just because you are creative and want a high-quality microphone doesn’t imply that you need a USB condenser.

Are USB microphones good for recording music?

USB microphones are very popular with up and coming independent artists. They’re relatively cheap and extremely flexible… and they can also be used with a wide variety of studio recording software.

So, yes, USB microphones are definitely good for recording music. But, is that all you can do with them?

The short answer is: no, of course not. In reality, a USB microphone can be used for a whole range of home recording. In fact, there are many things you can do with a decent USB microphone that you simply cannot do with a traditional microphone.

Let’s start with the obvious. You can plug any USB microphone directly into your computer, fire up your recording software of choice, and you’ll be ready to record and edit in minutes.

Do USB condenser mics need phantom power?

Not all USB condenser mics need phantom power to work.

Some USB mics come with a USB connector that accepts a current and converts this into analog electrical signals. This makes it unnecessary for you to connect them to a power source for them to work.

Conclusion

There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for the best USB condenser microphone for YouTube videos. The main things to consider are sound quality, versatility, ease of use, and price. This guide will help you make the right decision for your needs.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Blue Snowball iCE USB MicBest OverallBlue Snowball iCE USB Mic
USB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording MicrophoneBudget PickUSB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone
Rode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone,BlackUpgrade PickRode NT-USB Versatile Studio-Quality USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone,Black