Streaming and talking come hand in hand when you’re producing content for Twitch and YouTube. However, to keep an audience, you’ll need the best possible solution to keep your speech clean and understandable. Here are five USB microphones we think may suit you down the line.
Respected microphone brand Audio Technica released a fantastic microphone called the AT2020 in 2019. Currently at a 4.4/5 rating on Amazon, this device does a great job of removing sounds from the side and rear. In addition, it comes with a high-quality analog to digital converter, which goes all the way up to 192 kHz for your recording needs. It records in a cardioid pattern, which makes this perfect for capturing one voice perfectly as it doesn’t capture the sides or back. You can also plug in some earphones, so you can test the quality of the audio before recording.
As the cheapest option on this list, the Blue Snowball is best used when you’re playing with a group rather than by yourself. The reason is that the Snowball takes in an omnidirectional feed. While there is a cardioid option, this microphone does a better job of capturing a 360 sense. For example, this would be great for streaming a night of The Jackbox Party Pack or a four-player multiplayer game. This microphone has been around since 2005, so make sure you buy a new one from Amazon or Best Buy if you want to pick it up. As someone new to streaming, the Snowball is a good option as it’s easy to take around with you and set up. It also helps your wallet as this is the cheapest on the list.
The Blue Yeti X is the ultimate USB microphone for professionals. It has four different polar patterns for you to choose from, LED metering to let you know if your voice is peaking, an intuitive multi-function knob to control volume, mic gain, and other functions, and Blue VO!CE, which can alter your voice and add different effects. With a four capsule condenser model, the Blue Yeti X is one of the best USB microphones you can get and it has a 4.4/5 Amazon rating.
The Blue Yeti X can work in four different situations that can be switched on the fly. Cardioid is for direct talking, Omni Mode collects sounds all around the microphone, Bidirectional mode captures two people in an interview setting who sit opposite each other, and Stereo Mode is a forward-facing pattern that takes in the sounds of the environment along with your voice. There are a lot of options with this microphone, and it’s the best on this list.
The Bumblebee II from Neat acts as a great in-between of the Blue Snowball and the Blue Yeti X. While it lacks in patterns, the Bumblebee II provides excellent audio for those who want to pursue streaming and content creation. It’s a cardioid mic (which picks up audio in front of it), and for the price, it provides great quality in voice and tone, especially when the microphone is close to your mouth. There’s an internal shock mount, but it doesn’t do a great job of removing taps from the table. You’ll need to remove the background noise through external audio effects, and we recommend putting the Bumblebee II on a mount, which isn’t included in the box. While it’s not as detailed as the Blue Yeti X, there is a mute button and you can listen back to your audio, and for the price, it’s worth a purchase.
The Roccat Torch is one of the best USB microphones you can get in the market right now, and it’s at a competitive price as well. The capture quality of your voice is fantastic for the price, and alongside the microphone comes a control station. It lets you change your mic into three different patterns (Cardioid, Stereo that works with ASMR content, and Whisper, which helps you with late night streaming sessions), the output volume, and your gain to help you get the best sound quality possible for your situation.
Additionally, the lights on the microphone tell you when you’re recording, the gain level, and the audio pattern you have equipped. It’s the best deal out of the five microphones, thanks to its audio quality and the number of options available.
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