5 Best USB Microphones Under $50

Dave Mostert
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First things first: USB mics are different from XLR and standard XLR mics in that they have a single USB cable that carries power, controls signal, and transfers audio from the mic to your computer.

In contrast, standard XLRs are used in studio recording and are equipped with a 3-pin connector that carries power and output audio.

USB microphones have a single input and provide two outputs: one for the mic itself and one for headphones. Whereas headphones are not included with the purchase of a standard XLR microphone, they come with every USB model.

NameCategoryProduct
USB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording MicrophoneBest OverallUSB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone
USB Computer MicrophoneBudget PickUSB Computer Microphone
Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser MicrophoneUpgrade PickSamson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

1. USB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone

Our rating: 9 / 10

USB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone

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Pros:

  • Built to be durable
  • Easy to use
  • Cool things to buy under 50 dollars
  • High resolution audio
  • 3years warranty
  • Use for streamer, YouTubers, Radio and conference room
  • Mic can clip at the front
  • Also use for video interview, Youtube channels, radio broadcast, podcast, gaming, Skype recording and more

Cons:

  • You may have to fine tune at times to avoid hearing reverberation
  • Not suitable for serious vocal recordings
  • Lower quality than more expensive mics

While everyone has a camera in their phone nowadays, why not up the ante and get a microphone for your phone as well. A microphone for your phone is an awesome, cost-effective way to boost the quality of your audio and video. This one is high on the list because for a great price you get plug and record for your iPhone, Book and almost any other audio device. The sound is of very high quality and it's plug and play. This is a great way to get professional sounding audio without having to pay thousands of dollars for the equipment.

Another reason this microphone is high on the list is it has been well reviewed, has an excellent value for its price and comes with an amazing warranty.

2. Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic

Our rating: 9 / 10

Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Simple plug and play system
  • Superb bass clarity and sensitivity
  • Ideal for gamers, voice overs, and home recording

Cons:

  • Not the most durable mic
  • Not suitable for high-performance applications
  • Some trouble with the volume dial

Blue has long been making waves in the audio industry, especially when it comes to microphones. The iCE USB Mic instantly became a favorite when it was launched a while back. Now, newer versions have gone over the earlier designs and improved them tremendously.

This microphone offers you a mesh grill design and a portable control box that makes it a breeze to get started using this microphone. The Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic has a sensibly designed plug-and-play system, with just a single USB cable to use. It’s ideal for gamers, voiceovers, and podcasting, or any other times when you need to make quality recordings.

The Snowball iCE gives you high quality audio for a very small price. It’s simple to use and can be used with a wide range of other equipment, such as a Mac or PC. A simple knurled gain control also makes this recording process completely hassle-free.

3. USB Computer Microphone

Our rating: 8 / 10

USB Computer Microphone

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Pros:

  • Plug & play compatibility
  • Comes with volume and mute controls
  • Compact, lightweight design
  • No software required
  • Omnidirectional design

Cons:

  • Heavier sounds or loud noises may trigger the mic to click
  • Wind noise could also be an issue during recording

Our number one pick goes to the Samson Meteor, a great entry-level microphone that’s perfect for making videos and voice recordings. The Meteor can capture crystal clear audio and boast of a cardioid polar pattern. It’s also extremely lightweight at 7 inches and has a compact design that makes it easy to transport.

The Samson Meteor is a simple USB microphone that can be used with just about any computer and/or the Mac, which is what makes it so great for beginners. The microphone itself comes with a built-in volume dial and mute button for quick and easy functionality and the best part is that you don’t need any additional downloads or programs to use it.

The only drawback of this microphone is that it’s not the best choice for outdoor recording. It’s best suited for indoor recording due to the fact that there’s no wind guard to keep the noise in the background at a minimum.

4. Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

Our rating: 8 / 10

Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone

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Pros:

  • Very good bass, mid-range, and treble
  • You can customize the gain between 3 levels
  • Nice variation of sound quality
  • Decent breath sounds
  • Ideal for sending YouTube videos to friends
  • Produces excellent sound quality for little money
  • A large number of adaptors are provided

The 3.5mm plug may not fit into your tablet or smartphone

When there are inexpensive microphones that can produce amazing quality, there is no reason to pay extra when you can get a great mic for a fraction of the price. We really love this Samson Go Mic, capable of providing the same quality sound as more expensive microphones.

It is capable of providing 100dB SPL sensitivity and boosting sensitivity of 12dB at bass, mid-range, and treble. The wide gain range allows you to control the signal at between three levels, unlike many other less expensive models. You can then customize the gain to ensure a clean, clear, and pleasant audio.

5. TONOR PC Microphone USB Computer Condenser Studio Mic Plug & Play

Our rating: 5 / 10

TONOR PC Microphone USB Computer Condenser Studio Mic Plug & Play

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Pros:

  • Award winning sound quality
  • Tripod stand and pop filter included
  • Reasonable price

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best USB microphones?

If you're still looking for the most reliable USB microphone, we highly recommend the Audio Technica AT2020USB. This is an affordable microphone that's perfect in every way for most people!

What is the best cheapest mic?

The Samson Meteor is a new USB microphone that has become a popular choice among budget mic users over the last few years. Featuring a small case and easy-to-use interface, this small-diaphragm condenser mic is starting to make a name for itself in home studios and podcaster circles.

The Meteor features a small-diaphragm dual-capsule design meaning that it can capture both a wide and focused image of a given sound at once. Unlike condenser mics that require phantom power to operate, the Meteor is plug and play. Simply plugging in this mic to your computer will provide you with a mic that is ready to record immediately. This mic is also much more forgiving of background noise and recording levels than many other mics on the market.

Are USB mics any good?

The question of whether or not USB mics "sound good" will vary depending on a user's perception of what sounds good. If your musical preference is for very boomy and high-end, then a USB mic may not be for you. Similarly, if you're a rap mogul who needs that deep bass sound, this setup probably won't cut it. But, for the average Joe or Jane coming out of an average home studio, you'll be surprised at how good USB mics sound.

Some of the most well-known recording artists in the world have made studio albums using nothing but USB mics and their computer (even the famous Dr. Dre). Apple owns one of the most popular USB mic manufacturers, and has long touted their target "Mac-only" customer as a target demographic.

Are XLR mics better than USB?

For the most part, yes they are. An XLR microphone will deliver a stronger and louder audio signal. XLR microphones are capable of delivering a far superior sound quality than the same microphone using a USB connection. In fact, as far as physical connections go, an XLR is almost always the better option.

However, this doesn't mean USB microphones are worthless. In fact, USB microphones are perfect for most home and office environments. For the average user, an XLR microphone is overkill.

So, if you're an average user looking to record your voice for Skype, singing, etc., then USB microphones are a respectable option. Even for a professional user, there's a time and a place for USB headsets.

When used in the appropriate setting, a USB microphone is a viable option for great audio.

Conclusion

After searching for the best USB microphone for the money and evaluating each one for their price I came up with the 5 below. I have tested each microphone below and found them all to be suitable for studio applications at home.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
USB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording MicrophoneBest OverallUSB Microphone,Fifine Metal Condenser Recording Microphone
USB Computer MicrophoneBudget PickUSB Computer Microphone
Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser MicrophoneUpgrade PickSamson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone