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With the ever growing popularity and prevalence of podcasts and videos, it’s likely you’ll find yourself in need of a good quality microphone sometime in the future. Whether you’re an aspiring or established podcaster, business owner, video gamer, or just an artistic soul looking for some great audio recording, there are options out there to fit your needs and budget.
Of course, many people look down on computer USB microphones, claiming their analog XLR counterparts are superior. Fortunately, this simply isn’t true! Over the years, USB condenser microphones have become more rugged, durable, and available, along with great sound quality, and can be picked alongside XLR microphones.
Today, with the right budget, cheaper mics can achieve the good quality as any others on the market, while coming in a variety of styles and price ranges for your different needs.
Our Top 3 Picks of Best Cheap Microphone For Podcasting
Fifine USB Microphone
Good Built Quality Cheap Microphone For Podcasting
Starting our list is a great, moderately priced beginner mic! This mic is plug-and-play, meaning no expensive (and sometimes hard to find) drivers required.
It’s portable, has omnidirectional noise canceling, and records directly to your computer, making it perfect for podcasts or gaming.
Out of the box, the Fifine comes packaged with everything you need to hit the ground running. That’s the microphone, tripod, and USB connector.
The best thing about the Fifine is how it just works. Plug it into any USB port on your computer for univeral plug-n-play. No Drivers or software to install as it works with any Windows, Mac, or Linux computers
The Fifine K669 is a solid, inexpensive cardioid condenser microphone that does well for any real-time audio recording like podcasts and live-streaming.
Whether you’re on the move or at home, the small footprint and easy plug-and-play setup make it easy to get recording wherever you are. If mic monitoring (aka built-in headphone jack) is important to you, you’re better off looking elsewhere or the K670 as this doesn’t have one built-in. Otherwise, the solid metal construction and clear vocals make this a no-brainer entry-level, affordable mic.
Pros and Cons
- Affordable price
- Metal construction is excellent giving it a sturdy and solid feel.
- Easy to set-up
- It picks up noise when comes to handling or adjusting the microphone itself.
- It has a built-in cable.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Plug And Play Cheap Microphone For Podcasting
Number two on our list, this mic is a bit more professional. At $129.00, the Blue Yeti is known for its quality and its hefty price tag. However, you get what you pay for with this one.
It has three settings; omnidirectional, bidirectional, or cardioid, making it a versatile tool for any situation. Best of all, it has an easy mute button for podcasters who may be using multiple mics for different people.
One advantage of its 5v-powered USB makeup is that the Yeti is able to put many of the most important recording controls onboard. There’s a built-in gain dial, essential if you’re recording quiet or distant sounds and useful for preventing later processing.
It also features a volume knob for the live-monitoring headphone amp, a mute button to pause recording, and the most important control of all: the pattern switch, which selects between the four operating modes of its triple-capsule array.
Pros and Cons
- Tremendous sound quality
- Multiple recording patterns
- Plug and play – no installation
- No multi-head setup
- Lack of DSP presets not for those seeking EQ/compression baked into signal.
Rode NT – USB Mini
Zero Latency Cheap Microphone For Podcasting
Rode’s answer to the Blue Yeti Nano. Meant for more of a mobile recording solution than a fixed setup, the NT-USB Mini has more limited onboard controls than larger mics. But what it lacks in controls it makes up for in terms of focusing on sound recording.
With an integrated pop-filter and built from steel and reinforced nylon resin, the mic itself is a solid device that won’t pick up a lot of extraneous sound. It also benefits from a heavily-weighted mic stand so it can withstand audible shocks if you accidentally bump the desk or table.
A year after launch, Rode introduced free software (Rode Connect) that seamlessly connects up to four NT-USB Minis to a single computer, providing a simple way to balance levels, mix, record, and apply utilitarian effects to multiple speakers in the same room.
While already ideal for podcasters, the addition of ‘virtual’ and ‘system’ channels means you can also record people on Zoom calls as well as pre-recorded materials or soundbeds, making it great for streamers as well. As a compact, mobile option, the Rode NT-USB Mini is one of the best USB microphones for the money.
Pros and Cons
- Weighted mic stand limits audible bumps
- Zero-latency monitoring mode
- Compact and mobile
- Limited onboard controls
- Fixed pattern
Overall, all of these mics are great options depending on your needs and budget. If you’re a beginner, check out some of the lower and mid-priced options that sound right for your situation, and for those looking for podcast studio-quality sound, there’s no shortage of options out there.
In fact, modern USB mics use the same mic elements as their studio XLR brother and sisters; the only difference is that the signal is converted immediately from analog to digital in a USB mic, instead of later on in your computer.
In this past this may have caused poor quality, but technology has advanced enough that you no longer need to be concerned. Most folks are familiar with the ever-present Blue Yeti mic, but below are some other cheap podcast mics you might not be aware of.
Don’t shy away from USB mics because of the stigma some people put on them! They are a perfect option for many people, and are only becoming more popular and more accessible as podcasts and let’s plays become all the rage. I recommend the Blue Yeti as a great option for anyone who just wants to plug in and play without spending hours tweaking audio settings.
Maybe you too can become a professional podcaster with one of these great mics! To see other products, visit Amazon.com