Computer Station Nation is reader-supported.
When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
If you spend an inordinate amount of time on the computer, chances are good that you play at least one multiplayer game. Whether it’s a MOBA, first-person shooter, or indie game, you’ll definitely want a decent mic to be able to coordinate with your teammates—but you don’t need professional equipment to do that. Here are the best gaming microphones on the market for Discord, VOIP, in-game chat, or even Hangouts.
If you’re gaming on a console, things are a little more complicated. The Playstation 4 can handle either 3.5mm or USB solutions. The Nintendo Switch can handle them too, but USB mics will only work while in docked mode.
Of course, there are also the particulars of your setup to remember—a detached wired computer USB mic might not be the most convenient pick if your console of choice is across a den or living room.
Pay attention to what kinds of buttons and switches mics have. Almost all of that stuff can be controlled on your computer or console, but it’s always faster to reach over and flick a mute switch than alt-tab and find the menu option.
Our Top 3 Picks For Best Desktop Microphone For Gaming
Low Latency Desktop Microphone For Gaming
The Elgato Wave:3 is one of the best microphones around because of its “set it and forget it” interface: all you have to do is plug it into your device’s USB input, and you’re ready to record. This condenser mic affords just the cardioid polar pattern.
While this is limiting in some ways, it’s also the most versatile pattern. You can place the microphone virtually anywhere on your desk and it will register your voice. The front of the chassis communicates a few things: microphone recording status, headphone status, and whether the mic is muted or enabled.
Unlike other software we’ve used, the WaveLink interface is exceptional, especially for streamers. This digital audio mixer is neatly designed, so you can quickly organize your audio sources.
A virtual audio mixer gathers different programs from your browser windows and combines them, along with your microphone recording, into a single audio source.
The Elgato Wave:3 shines when it records spoken word content: the high-pass filter combats the proximity effect, resulting in clean vocals. Its integrated Clipguard feature automatically condenses the audio to avoid accidentally spiking the recording.
Pros and Cons
- Low-latency monitoring
- Easy-to-operate onboard level controls
- Free software for blending various audio sources when streaming
- No switchable mic patterns
- No pop filter included
The Blue Yeti X
DSP Free Desktop Microphone For Gaming
This mic brings high quality to a stream-friendly setup. Blue’s mission is to make your gaming experience as efficient and streamlined as possible with its USB microphones. The new Blue Yeti X brings a “four capsule” condenser array, which allows for high quality in a variety of pickup patterns.
It also updates the Yeti’s physical interface, with a single knob that can adjust gain, metering, and blending, and offers live metering via LEDs—perfects when you’re streaming and need a quick indicator of how you sound. The Yeti X offers four recording pattern modes, allowing you to choose which one best suits your given situation.
Cardioid is also ideal for podcasts, as it allows you to record sound which is immediately in front of the mic. Stereo mode acts as one would expect: recording sound from the left and right channels simultaneously to provide a better illusion the listener is in the room with you.
The omnidirectional mode will record 360-degree sound, and the bidirectional will record sound from the front and rear regions of the microphone. Basically, the Yeti X straddles the line between being a recording or gaming microphone and can cover you for either.
Blue Voice audio software is new to the Blue Yeti line, which brings all sorts of customization options. It features effects like de-popper, noise reduction, expander, gate, de-esser, EQ, compression, and limiter, and you can even change the color of the mic’s LEDs. After all, if you’re marketing a device at gamers and Twitch streamers, and you can’t change the LED color, why bother, right? Regardless, the Blue Yeti X offers almost as much versatility as the Yeti Pro, for less.
Pros and Cons
- LED live metering.
- Recording software included.
- Lack of DSP presets not for those seeking EQ/compression baked into signal.
- No pop filter or adapter for standard mic stand.
The HyperX Quadcast
Durable Desktop Microphone For Gaming
HyperX Quadcast offers the best sound with a built-in pop filter. HyperX is known for putting out high-quality gaming peripherals, and the Quadcast is no different. It’s pricey but this mic offers really great sound in an easy-to-use package that can cover a lot of bases.
If you’re in the market for a gaming microphone, this is a great option, but the Quadcast will cover your podcasting or recording needs too. Its gain knob makes adjusting sensitivity intuitive and easy, and you can even set its polar pattern, switching between cardioid, hypercardioid, and bi-directional. Plus it’s built-in pop filter will help you avoid rogue plosive sounds spiking the mic.
If you have a bit more money to spare and want an RGB color scheme, the HyperX QuadCast S is compatible with the Ngenuity software which allows you to make adjustments to the LED light show of your microphone.
The QuadCast S also plugs in via USB-C rather than microUSB. The frequency responses of the two mics are very similar, but the QuadCast S attenuates bass frequencies a tiny bit more than the QuadCast.
Pros and Cons
- RGB Lighting
- Can’t turn lighting off
- Low Resolution
Knowing what you need in a gaming microphone is important for setting expectations. Quality is important, but if you’re not building a recording studio or a streaming setup, the main goal is clear communication. A lot of gaming microphones prioritize the mids and highs in ways that sometimes aren’t accurate, but are meant to make voices sound clear.
Depending on what your needs are, you’ll need to figure out what kind of mic you want, as well. If you’re sitting at a desk playing games, a mic with a cardioid or hypercardioid pickup pattern is probably best. Those varieties do well when what they’re recording is positioned directly in front of the mic.
Depending on what kind of setup you have, your needs will probably change quite a bit. If you’re gaming on a PC, a USB mic is probably your best bet. You don’t need to spring for an expensive XLR mic and audio interface. Ultimately, simpler is better. To see other options, visit Amazon.com