If you’re looking to take a dive into the wild world of streaming, there are two essential pieces of equipment: a good webcam and a microphone. The latter in particular is especially important, as poor sounding audio can severely kneecap your stream. It’s hard to keep your audience focused if it sounds like you’re talking to them down a tin can tied to a piece of string.
To help ensure your vocals are coming through crystal clear, we’ve rounded up a few microphones that’ll make a great addition to your streaming setup.
If you’re buying on a budget and want something under the $100 mark, Razer’s Seiren Mini is a good option. This compact mic lives up to its name by being small and unobtrusive, making it a good addition to a setup with minimal space.
This super-cardioid mic does a pretty decent job of blocking background noise to give you cleaner vocal recordings and has a sample rate of up to 48kHz with a bit rate of 16 bit. When it comes to streaming, you wouldn’t want either rate to be lower than that.
The trade-off for its small size and the price tag is that it doesn’t feature a headphone jack, mute button or control dials. Thankfully, it’s a pretty easy mic to get a handle on and its sound quality is more than reliable enough that it’s easy to overlook those shortcomings.
A perennial favourite for streamers, YouTubers and podcasters, the Blue Yeti is a fantastic all-rounder USB microphone.
There’s a good reason everyone loves this mic. It’s incredibly user friendly to set up and use, making it a good place to start with for a first-time streamer. The Blue Yeti is pretty much ready for plug-and-play right out of the box, with control dials that will let you adjust the microphone’s gain, pick up pattern and headphone volume on the fly.
Most importantly, the Yeti sounds great. With three capsules and multiple patterns – cardioid, omni, stereo and bi-directional – it gives you plenty of options for how you want to record, while also helping you focus or widen its sensitivity to fit your needs.
From green screen backgrounds to studio decks, Elgato is known as a go-to brand when it comes to streaming gear. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Elgato’s reliability and quality extend to its range of streaming mics.
The Elgato Wave:3 is a cardioid condenser microphone that sounds excellent, allowing you to record professional sounding audio with a sample rate of 96kHz and a bit rate of 24-bit.
This USB microphone includes control dials for volume, gain and mix, along with a capacitive mute button. Pair it with Elgato’s own audio mixing software, Wave Link, and you’ll be ready to hit that record button in no time.
The HyperX QuadCast S is a USB microphone that literally stands out when compared to its competition. Like every other PC peripheral under the planet, the QuadCast incorporates RGB lighting into its design, so can add an extra bit of flair to your stream’s video.
Outside of that aesthetic gimmick, it’s a good sounding microphone, with a sample and bit rate of 48kHz and 16-bit. You can adjust its multiple capture patterns and includes onboard control for gain and headphone monitoring. Its built-in shock mount will also help to dampen any vibrations if you happen to knock into your desk mid-stream.
Compared to some of the other mics on this list, you’re paying a bit extra for that RGB feature. But if on-camera visuals are a big part of your stream, it could be worth the investment.
In the grand scope of microphones, you really can’t go past Rode. The Australian brand is well-established as one of the best suppliers of microphones around, for both professional and casual use.
The NT-USB more than lives up to that quality. This user-friendly USB mic is ready to go straight out of the box, so you can start laying down some premium quality audio right away.
The Rode NT-USB includes built-in control dials, so you can adjust your monitoring level and mix on the fly, with a sample and bit rate of 48kHz and 16 bit. It also comes with a pop-filter, so you don’t need to worry about picking up one separately either.