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It’s time to speak up, I can’t hear you over the sound of the terrible built in mic you are still using from your headset!
It is time you find the best PC microphone to complete your setup and start sounding more professional in your Zoom meetings, or at least sounding more clear to the poor chap on the other side of the screen who you keep destroying in your game.
Here we are going to outline the top 3 options for the best overall computer microphone.
- 1 Our Picks for the Top 3 Best Computer Microphone
- 2 Blue – Snowball iCE
- 3 Shure – MV5
- 4 Blue – Yeti
- 5 Common Microphone Definitions
- 6 Conclusion
Our Picks for the Top 3 Best Computer Microphone
Blue – Snowball iCE
- Custom condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio for Skype, Messages and FaceTime
- Record vocals, create podcasts, and add narration to your home movies
- Add crystal clear audio to recordings for YouTube. Frequency Response: 40 –18 kHz
- Easy plug and play directly to your Mac or PC-no drivers to install
- Snowball iCE is a USB 2.0 device (USB 3.0 compatible as per USB 3.0 backward compatibility specification).Sample/word Rate: 44.1 kHz/16 bit
- Note: Refer the User Manual before use.
This mic is going to be a great option for just getting something else going on besides the default mic on your headphones. It is USB and does not sport a lot of extra features. Plug it in and get the job done.
It is apparently Discord an Skype certified – whatever that means.
For those a bit more curious, it features 1 condenser with a Cardioid polar pattern.
Shure – MV5
- Apple MFi (Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) Certified for direct connection to any iOS device without the need for any additional adapters or connection kits
- 3 DSP Preset Modes (Vocals, Flat, Instrument)
- Automatically applies gain, EQ, compression and limiting for optimal results
- Built-in headphone output for real-time monitoring
- Custom-tuned microphone capsule provides best-in-class audio
- Available in 2 colors gray with black foam and black with red foam
- Included anodized aluminum desktop stand and integrated thread mount compatible with any standard 1/4″ camera tripod thread
- Low-profile, portable design measures only 2.5 inches / 7 cm tall (5.5 inches / 14 cm on included stand)
- Includes one (1) MicroB-to-USB cable and one (1) MicroB-to-Lightning cable
This is a great mid-range microphone option. It has a few color options, and the nice stand from which it can detach and be more portable. That is interesting because it supports Apple MFi which can connect to your iOS device without the need for extra cables or connectors. Perfect for on the go recording.
This mic also includes a headphone port on the mic which allows for “zero-latency” monitoring, something that can be quite useful in a large variety of situations.
For the extra curious, this mic has 1 condenser with a Cardioid polar pattern.
Blue – Yeti
- Tri-capsule array – 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation.
- Multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo.
- Gain control, mute button, and zero-latency headphone output.
- Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls. Signal to Noise: 100dB
- Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher), and requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM(remove existing and upload).
One of the most popular microphones for streamers is the famed Blue Yeti. This could be overkill for some situations, but how would you know unless you buy one?
Having personally used one of these microphones for long amounts of time, I can assure you the quality is there for both the sound and the build of the physical microphone.
The only thing I can add here is if you are serious about this mic, you will want to pick up a Pop Shield to dampen those “P” sounds when you are speaking.
For the extra curious, this mic has 3 condensers with Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, and Stereo polar patterns. Epic.
Common Microphone Definitions
Polar patterns – A polar pattern is how a microphone receives sound from a specific direction. A few types are listed below.
Cardioid – Also Known As Unidirectional, is the most common type of polar pattern which has the most sensitivity at the front of the microphone, and the least sensitivity at the back.
Bidirectional – Also Known As the Figure 8, this pattern picks up sound equally from the front and rear, but has the least sensitivity on the sides.
Omnidirectional – This polar pattern picks up sounds equally from all directions (360-degrees).
XLR – External Line Return is what XLR stands for. It is the way a mic outputs signal (aka hooks up to stuff). It is prized for producing the highest quality sound. You usually need some extra equipment to go with the mic to start using it.
USB – Universal Serial Bus is what USB stands for (you knew that right?). This is going to hook straight into your computer, just like every other USB device you have ever used.
Frequency response – This refers to the way a microphone responds to frequencies. For example if you have a lower frequency response, then your sound might come out more with more bass.
Bit-Rate / Sample-Rate / Bit-Depth – These settings are something that you should be able to set from your computer and controls the quality of the recording. For most individuals 44.1 kHz at 16 bits is going to work fine. To read more in depth on this topic, check out this article.
Shockmount – A shock mount is a device that holds the microphone and helps isolate it from any vibrations that it could potentially pickup from what ever it is attached to. This could help for example if your computer is sitting on your desk with the mic.
Pop Shield – This is also known as a pop filter or pop screen or wind shield, and helps reduce the impact of strong air, or popping sounds, when bursts of air hit a microphone. Imagine your self saying the word “Pop” into a microphone with a lot of air behind it and how it would sound. This shield helps.
Zero-Latency Monitoring – This is a feature on some microphones that allows you to have a separate line direct to your headphones, rather than going through the computer and then to your head phones which would increase latency. There is a much more in depth article that explains this here.
Gain – This is the ability to increase the signal of the microphone. It is a pretty standard feature.
Condenser Microphone – Best for capturing voices. You will find these in most studios.
Dynamic Microphone – Best for capturing loud sounds, probably not what you are looking for here.
If you are looking for a general purpose all around microphone for your computer setup (working or gaming) then I think you are going to be pleased with the above options. However, if you are like me and need to explore every single option, then feel free to hop on over to Amazon and continue your search.