Best Computer Microphone

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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.

Our Picks for the Top 3 Best Computer Microphone

Blue – Snowball iCE

Blue Snowball iCE Plug 'n Play USB Microphone for Recording, Streaming, Podcasting, Gaming on PC and Mac, with Cardioid Condenser Capsule, Adjustable Desktop Stand and USB Cable - Black (Electronics) See larger image
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Features:
  • Custom condenser capsule: Powered by Blue’s custom condenser capsule, Snowball iCE microphone delivers crystal-clear audio quality that’s light-years ahead of your built-in computer microphone
  • Cardioid pickup pattern: Captures your voice with clear, focused sound for streaming, podcasting, broadcasting, Skype calls and Zoom meetings
  • Stylish retro design: Record or stream in style with a classic recording equipment design that looks great on your desktop and on camera
  • Adjustable desktop stand: Allows you to position the condenser microphone in relation to the sound source, improving sound quality and saving space on your desktop for the optimal broadcast setup
  • Skype and Discord certified: Whether conducting interviews over Skype, streaming live gameplay on Twitch, or communicating across the globe, you’ll be heard loud and clear on leading VOIP platforms

 

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.

Check it out on Amazon.

Shure – MV5

Shure Microphone (Electronics) See larger image
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Features:
  • Custom-tuned microphone capsule provides superior audio
  • iOS and USB connectivity offers instant setup at home or on the go – no need for additional adapters or connection kits (Apple MFi certified)
  • Record, edit, and share recordings from the free ShurePlus MOTIV iOS app
  • Three onboard DSP preset modes quickly dial in the right sound, or use the free ShurePlus MOTIV mobile app for enhanced recording and editing control over EQ, compression and more
  • Compatible with popular iOS audio and video apps
  • Angle-adjustable desktop stand and integrated ¼” thread mount compatible with any standard camera tripod provide flexibility
  • Iconic, low-profile design measures only 2.5 inches / 7 cm tall (5.5 inches / 14 cm on included stand)
  • Zero-latency headphone output with mute and volume control
  • Please see second image on left for details about the Shure MOTIV x Adobe Premiere Rush promotion and how to redeem your 2-month subscription
  • Compatible with iOS, Android*, Mac and PC

 

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.

Check it out on Amazon.

Blue – Yeti

Blue Yeti USB Mic for Recording & Streaming on PC and Mac, 3 Condenser Capsules, 4 Pickup Patterns, Headphone Output and Volume Control, Mic Gain Control, Adjustable Stand, Plug & Play - Silver (Electronics) See larger image
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Features:
  • Custom Three-Capsule Array: Produces clear, powerful, broadcast-quality sound for YouTube, game streaming, podcasting, Zoom calls and music.
  • Blue VO!CE Software: Craft the perfect broadcast vocal sound and entertain your audience with enhanced effects, advanced modulation and HD audio samples. Advanced Blue VO!CE is compatible with Yeti, Yeti Nano and Yeti X. To access Blue VO!CE, please download Logitech’s free G HUB software.
  • Four Pickup Patterns: Flexible cardioid, omni, bidirectional, and stereo pickup patterns allow you to record in ways that would normally require multiple mics.
  • Onboard Audio Controls: Headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute, and mic gain put you in charge of every level of the recording and streaming process.
  • Plug ‘n Play on Mac and PC: Instantly start recording and streaming on Mac or PC.

 

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.

Check it out on Amazon.

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.

Conclusion

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.

Other Microphone posts

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By Dustin Montgomery

I am the main man behind the scenes here. I have been building computers for over 15 years, and sitting at them for even longer. I currently work from home where I am able to pursue the art of the perfect workstation by day and the most epic battlestation by night.