While computers on the market tend to come with internal microphones capable of picking up the sound of your voice, they’re often poorly suited for even the most pedestrian video chat, not to mention recording your Pulitzer-worthy podcast or fronting a 12-hour session of Fortnite.
Let’s face it, we all need a little help from our mics, and below are our picks for the 7 best computer mics, for all your audio-ins and outs.
Blue Snowball Condenser Microphone: $44.99, Amazon
Here’s another desktop mic that makes recording quick and easy, with the added benefit of a sleek design that harkens an era when audio was king. Simply mount Snowball iCE on the included adjustable stand, plug the USB cable and start recording.
The mic also comes with an optional pop filter that eliminates sounds caused when fast moving air hits the mic. While not necessary, it’s a nice addition if you’re seeking professional grade content.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone: $129, B&H
With a design that may make you think you’re spinning 45s in a smoke-filled radio booth, the Blue Yeti USB Microphone employs a tri-capsule design that is capable of capturing your audio in up to 16-bit/48 kHz resolution.
Depending on your sound source, you can select between stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, or bi-directional polar patterns for optimal results. The mic also comes in a variety of colors and includes an integrated headphone amp with an independent gain control for latency-free monitoring. It’s intended to simplify the recording process and is suited for professionals and hobbyists alike.
Audio-Technica AT2020 USB+ Desktop Pack Kit: $199, B&H
The Audio-Technica AT2020 Kit has similar specs to Blue Yeti’s microphone, with the added benefit of a full set of accessories (including reflection and pop filters), making this kit ideal for singer/songwriters, podcasters, voiceover artists, field recorders, and home studio recordings.
The RFDT-128 Desktop Reflection Filter and Mic Stand from Auray features high-density acoustic foam and a perforated aluminum screen that absorbs and blocks room noise and reflections that can commonly occur in acoustically untreated rooms, so you can record professional level audio without the need for soundproofing.
Fifine Technology USB Microphone, Fifine Plug & Play Home Studio USB Condenser Microphone: $21.99, Amazon
Here’s a no-frills mic from Fifine Technology that, while on the lower end of the cost spectrum, still embodies a major improvement when compared with your computer’s internal microphone.
The plug and play home studio condenser mic has a smooth, flat frequency response of 50Hz-16KHz that’s excellent for singing, speeches, and voice-overs. And with a USB hook-up, all you need to do is plug it in.
THRONMAX MDrill Zero USB Condenser Microphone: $69.90, Amazon
THRONMAX Microphone's MDrill Zero is a sleek product that requires no complicated drivers to operate. Simply plug it into your computer's USB port with the included USB cable, and you're ready to record.
The MDrill is designed for gamers, streamers, and YouTubers, but is also great for musicians and vocalists… not to mention conference calls, meetings, and interviews. Either way, the 8kHz 16 Bit resolution will give you professional audio results.
Miktek Audio PROCAST-SST: $199.00, Full Compass
The ProCast SST is another quality USB studio condenser microphone, with the distinction of several professional upgrades, including an integrated radio style boom and a mixer section offering two inputs, which can be used to connect multiple mics.
With an on-board 24 Bit audio interface, this piece is like a portable studio equipped to record live interviews or music with multiple vocal tracks. Each input features a Mic/Line switch, Clip LED, a 60 mm studio quality fader and a mute switch.
Sennheiser PC 131 Binaural Headset: $54.05, Amazon
The only headset on our list, the Sennheiser PC 151 Binaural mic is designed for gamers, though is also perfectly suited to video chats, and other recording needs. Say you’re a telemarketer with cash to burn, this piece is a sure-thing with its stereo audio, single-sided cable jack, and in-line volume control and mic mute capability.
Verdict: Best computer microphones
For the best overall value, we highly recommend the Snowball Condenser Mic from Blue. Not only does it have a sleek design but you’ll also be hard pressed to find a piece of better quality for under 50 dollars.
If you have a bit more to spend and need something that records studio-grade audio from multiple sources, the Miktek Audio PROCAST-SST from Full Compass has the extra specs that make the additional money spent worthwhile, when compared to the cost of soundproofing a studio.
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