Today we will cover the best USB microphones available in 2021. There are many uses for USB microphones. These reviews will cover USB microphones used for different purposes like recording or professional studio use, vocals (both singing and speaking), voice-overs, and for podcasting and streaming.
Here are the best USB microphones 2021:
- Blue Yeti Pro
- Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
- Shure MV51
- Sennheiser MK 4 digital
- Rode NT-USB
- Samson G-Track Pro
- Apogee MiC Plus
- CAD Audio U37
- Samson Go Mic
- Rode Podcaster
1. Blue Yeti Pro
A tried-and-true classic
The Yeti Pro USB microphone made by Blue is one of the best USB mics on the market, and probably is the one you think of first when you hear the words ‘USB mic’. Most USB mics aren’t super high-quality compared to mics that require XLRs, but the Yeti Pro is about as high-end as you’ll get. That being said, it’s top-rated and has many great features.
The Yeti Pro is a versatile condenser mic with both USB and XLR (5-pin) compatibility with the primary use of it being used with USB. The Yeti Pro has 3 capsules to allow you to choose from 4 polar pickup patterns (omnidirectional, stereo, figure 8, and cardioid) for different recording purposes and situations, and also includes a direct headphone input on the actual mic so you can monitor without latency. It also has a mute button to mute the mic.
If you buy from Sweetwater, you also get a copy of PreSonus Studio One Artist, iZotope Ozone Elements, and some quick start templates to get you going in your music making journey.
The Blue Yeti Pro was my first ever microphone and it was really great for the first mic I ever had. I was very satisfied with how it handled frequencies, and with its wide frequency response range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, it brings bright and detailed audio nuances to your recordings.
The Yeti Pro comes on a stand that fits on your desktop pretty easily, but it can also be removed for you to use the mic on another stand. To operate the mic, it’s a very easy plug and play process.
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The Blue Yeti Pro is extremely versatile and is definitely a very good USB mic for recording vocals onto a computer or for streaming. Anyone can easily use this top USB mic and get great results from it without having to install additional software or even use an audio interface. I highly recommend it to anyone, from beginners to experts, as it is flexible enough to record various situations but also sounds great with simple setups.
2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
A sleek model with great sound quality
The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is another higher-end model that also sounds fantastic and is one of the best USB mics for vocals. The AT2020USB+ is based on the design of Audio-Technica’s top-end mic, the AT2020. The USB+ adds the ease of functionality and handy features of a traditional USB-powered mic.
The AT2020USB+ offers the clear, balanced tone of the original AT2020 and captures all the nuances in vocals that help your recordings and performances stay detailed and rich in character.
Similar to the Blue Yeti Pro, the AT2020USB+ has a built-in headphone jack and a volume control to allow you to listen to your audio signal without any latency issues. Another feature that it has that is incredibly handy is the mix control. The mix control blends the audio post microphone and the pre recorded audio. The microphone itself is a cardioid pattern, making it one of the best USB microphones for singing or just for recording in general.
Sound wise, the AT2020USB+ sounds extremely high-quality and does not add any coloration to the audio signal. The frequency response is 20 Hz to 20 kHz, which is plenty for both singing and speaking. Additionally, like the Yeti Pro, the AT2020USB+ also comes with a stand that will fit well on a desktop.
Many people say that the AT2020USB+ sounds a lot warmer than the Yeti Pro, which is the result of Audio-Technica’s many years of developing their signature sound. The AT2020USB+ is also a lot smaller than most USB mics, making it easier to transport. The USB+ is another plug and play USB mic that doesn’t require any audio drivers to be installed.
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The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is a fantastic model for the price. If you want something pretty affordable with a great sound, the AT2020USB+ is definitely a good choice to consider. I would say it is one of the best USB microphones for recording podcasts or for recording voice-overs because it’s warm and natural sounding without being too muddy or boomy.
3. Shure MV51
The best USB mic for rapping
Shure is one of the best companies for microphones, and the Shure MV51 is an amazing USB mic for rapping as well as for studio purposes, whether it be for recording or talkback use. The Shure MV51 is a side addressing condenser mic that works perfectly in a desktop setup, or you can use the included adapter to use it with a traditional mic stand.
The MV51 is both USB and iOS compatible, so you can easily connect it to your phone or computer with its included cables. It doesn’t require any driver installation so you can plug it in and start recording.
Other features that the MV51 boasts are different DSP modes for common recording scenarios (recording vocals, guitar, voice-overs) including a DSP free mode, a microphone mute button, a headphone volume button, and a headphone jack for latency free monitoring.
The MV51 is designed after older Shure microphones with the grille design and also has a cardioid polar pickup pattern, making it great for addressing from a sitting position, perhaps at a desk doing podcasts.
The stand arm of the mic is adjustable to some pretty wide angles, so while it is a small microphone, it can be angled perfectly to line up with the audio sources, or it can be attached to a normal mic stand. Don’t let the design of this mic fool you – the ‘buttons’ on it are actually a touch sensitive screen. The whole microphone is made out of metal, not plastic, so it’s extremely durable and sturdy enough for rough use.
As for sound, this thing sounds great, so great that audio recorded with it needs very little processing. It has a frequency response range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, which is more than enough of a wide frequency range for things like podcasting or voice-overs. I’ve found that the MV51 works the best with rap vocals.
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The Shure MV51 is a fantastic USB condenser mic that is perfect for rappers who need to record their vocals on the go. It is also a very suitable USB mic for podcasting or even streaming while gaming.
4. Sennheiser MK 4 digital
Highest-quality USB mic
There aren’t very many USB mics out there that you will find for over $200, but the Sennheiser MK 4 digital is one of these rare higher-quality USB mics. The Sennheiser MK 4 digital is compatible with computers and iOS devices through USB connection.
The MK 4 digital is the USB version of the MK 4 XLR mic that Sennheiser offers. The MK 4 digital is a large diaphragm condenser mic and has a cardioid polar pattern. It’s powered by Apogee’s PureDigital technology which essentially is a high-fidelity audio converter. You can plug it in and use it right away without having to install any drivers, which is very convenient.
It has a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, so you won’t be lacking any quality or quantity in frequencies. The mic gives you a bright, warm sound with rich bass and smooth highs and doesn’t leave out any nuances. It can also be described as being very vivid-sounding. The MK 4 digital was made to give you the best sound quality for a higher price range rather than trying to focus on fancy features, so there are no special controls or features on this USB mic, it’s just a plug-and-play mic that sounds absolutely amazing.
Even if you’re not too pleased about the price being a little bit higher on the price scale, you will forget about the price once you hear this incredible mic. It’s flexible too, and was designed to fit into many different recording and performing situations without you having to change the settings of the mic or do anything drastic.
|Image credit: Sennheiser Check Price on Amazon||
Being a high-end USB mic, the Sennheiser MK 4 digital is the perfect mic for project studios but will also be great for small, stationary stage performances where a condenser may be needed.
I strongly recommend it to those who don’t plan to upgrade their mic from a USB mic to an XLR mic since it is really high-quality. Because of its simple, buttonless design, the MK 4 digital would also be great for beginners or those who might be technologically challenged.
5. Rode NT-USB
Clean and crisp bang for your buck audio
The Rode NT-USB is another condenser mic powered by USB that is definitely one you should consider adding to your studio or gaming setup, whether it’s for podcasting, gaming, or making music. When you buy the mic you get an all in one package that has a pop filter, stand mount, desktop tripod stand, and a storage case, so you can get set up for recording quickly and easily.
The Rode NT-USB is definitely one of the best budget USB mics out there. It’s similar in design to the Sennheiser MK 4 digital, but has some added features that are definitely handy when podcasting or streaming. For starters, the NT-USB is a condenser mic with a cardioid polar pickup pattern. It’s compatible with Mac and Windows as well as iOS devices.
It features a stereo headphone jack and level and mix controls. The stereo headphone jack allows you to monitor your audio signal while recording by allowing you to plug directly into the NT-USB. This makes for latency-free monitoring. The level control allows you to change the volume of the headphone feed you’re getting, and the mix control allows you to dial in the ratio of pre recorded audio to post recorded audio, so you can hear yourself and blend the mix to your taste.
As for the sound, it’s very clean and crisp, partly thanks to the frequency response range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Brightness is a big characteristic of a lot of Rode microphones and this one definitely has it. The design of the NT-USB is very durable and well-structured. Although I personally wouldn’t use the included tripod stand, it could work in some situations. The tripod is pretty much the only weak link in the package.
|Image credit: Rode Check Price on Amazon||
The Rode NT-USB is a nice choice if you want a mic that offers plenty of bang for your buck. You’ll be getting clean, bright audio on your songs, podcasts, and live streams without having to do much vocal editing otherwise. I recommend this one for someone who needs a workhorse that sounds great in any situation.
6. Samson G-Track Pro
Everything you need at your fingertips
The G-Track Pro by Samson is a complete recording solution for your needs. The G-Track Pro is unlike a lot of USB mics on the market due to the fact that, along with being a USB mic, it has an instrument line input and a small mixer that enables you to record two audio sources at once.
The G-Track Pro is a large diaphragm condenser mic that is sensitive enough to capture every nuance in your voice or instruments. There are three different polar pickup patterns you can choose from on the G-Track Pro: cardioid, figure 8, and omnidirectional, making it perfect for intimate duets or vocals with an accompaniment, streaming, or podcasting with just yourself or you and a couple other people.
A mic gain control is available for you to adjust the gain as needed while recording, and a mute button is also featured. The instrument input can be used for guitar, piano, etc, or you can use it to connect another mixer to record more channels. An instrument volume knob controls the gain of the instrument channel separately from the volume of the mic itself.
A mono/2 track switch allows you to choose between recording both inputs on the same track or 2 separate tracks. A headphone jack is also built into the mic and there is a headphone volume knob for latency-free monitoring at any level.
The frequency response is 50 Hz to 20 kHz, which is plenty of room for different voices and instruments, and overall the G-Track Pro sounds clear without sounding too shrill.
|Image credit: Samson Check Price on Amazon||
The Samson G-Track Pro is an absolute beast of a USB mic with its many features. It is extremely affordable and definitely is considered a steal with all the features you get.
I recommend you get this mic if you’re just starting out and have no gear yet since this mic has everything you’ll need with its built-in audio interface, mixer, and line input. If you don’t plan on getting super serious with buying and upgrading your gear, the G-Track Pro can easily be your main microphone for streaming, podcasting, and more.
7. Apogee MiC Plus
A cheap, portable recording solution
The Apogee MiC Plus is another cheaper recording solution that makes recording on the go pain-free. The MiC Plus is a USB condenser mic with a cardioid polar pickup pattern. The Apogee MiC Plus is small enough to fit in your pocket, making it perfect for traveling with. It has a plug-and-play design and is compatible with pretty much any USB-compatible device, but namely iOS devices and Apple and Windows computers.
The MiC Plus has an input gain control for adjusting the proper gain for your recordings, and if you push the gain control, it mutes the mic, making it ideal for podcasting or streaming. There are 3 lights on the MiC Plus that indicate gain level, mic status, and Blend mode. Blend mode allows you to plug headphones into the bottom of the mic and blend the sound of the audio going into the mic with the audio coming out of the mic, so you can monitor your voice in real time without any latency.
The design of the MiC Plus is very solid and sturdy, it’s made out of metal and doesn’t feel cheap or poorly made at all. As for the sound, the MiC Plus sounds amazing. Apogee used their PureDIGITAL technology to integrate the mic with a mic preamp and D/A and A/D converters to ensure that you get the highest quality possible of audio recording with very low background noise.
The frequency response range of the mic is 20 Hz to 20 kHz, plenty good for recording vocals, and with this mic, the vocals sound extremely natural yet vivid. There is no harshness or any shrill tones, and the audio sounds very transparent and flat, without coloration of any kind.
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While the Apogee MiC Plus isn’t the cheapest option here, it is still a fairly cheap option compared to XLR mics. The MiC Plus sounds a lot better than a lot of mics on the market and is one of the better sounding ones on this list. I recommend it if you especially like to travel and take your music gear on the go.
8. CAD Audio U37
Classic warmth in a modern mic
The CAD Audio U37 is a USB condenser mic clearly modeled after the Neumann U 87 Ai condenser mic. Like the U 87 Ai, the CAD Audio U37 brings warmer tones that provide that classic sound and feel that only vintage mics can do. In a USB mic this is a rare occurrence, and with the U37 being under $100, it’s a phenomenon.
The CAD Audio U37 is a cardioid polar pickup pattern mic and has a large diaphragm, making it great for singing as well as podcasting and the likes. The U37 is feature packed compared to a lot of USB mics. It features a -10 dB overload protection switch to minimize distortion from extra loud audio sources if you need to record things like screaming vocals, an extra loud guitar amp cabinet, or a drum set.
It also has a bass reduction/high pass filter switch to roll off the low end frequencies of your audio source that make recordings sound muddy, boomy, and it also helps to reduce room noise if your audio source wasn’t close enough to the mic when recording. These features are especially handy when you have limited recording, mixing, and editing software.
As for the design, the CAD Audio U37 is made out of all metal and comes with a tripod stand and a 10 foot USB cable. The mic itself seems very sturdy and well made. It has a frequency response range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The warm tone the U37 gives really sweetens vocals of all kinds, so this would be the perfect USB mic for the studio.
|Image credit: CAD Audio Check Price on Amazon||
The CAD Audio U37 mic is a great option if you want to incorporate some vintage warmth to your vocals to give your songs or podcasts a classic feel. I highly recommend this mic as it’s both very affordable and it brings some pleasant coloration to audio signals. I would recommend this mic to beginners as well due to it being very simply designed.
9. Samson Go Mic
Great for on the go recording
At first glance, you may not realize that the Samson Go Mic is actually a microphone, as it looks more like a handheld digital recorder. In theory, however, the Go Mic is a handheld digital recorder, it just plugs into a computer first.
The Go Mic from Samson is an extremely small microphone, small enough to fit in your pocket. The custom compact design of this mic also enables it to be clipped to the top of your laptop screen to be used while video chatting, or it can sit out unassumingly on your desk, so it really is extremely ideal for people who use a gaming laptop to stream from, or for people who do voice-overs.
It has plug-and-play operation, so the setup is very simple. The Go Mic also has some other features you may not expect for something this small. The Go Mic has switchable polar patterns, cardioid or omnidirectional, and it has a frequency response range of 20 Hz to 18 kHz, so you’ll be able to get very high-quality audio out of it no matter how you use it to record. It also has a headphone jack and a -10 dB pad for when you’re recording louder sources that may clip.
The sound of the Go Mic is very natural and doesn’t seem to be colored, it’s transparent but still has a good amount of liveliness to it. I am very impressed by the size and audio quality of this mic. In terms of design, it has nice features but because it is so small I imagine it’s not extremely durable, so it will be a mic that you should take caution when transporting or using to prevent any damage from occurring.
|Image credit: Samson Check Price on Amazon||
The Samson Go Mic is an awesome microphone that you will be sure to love if you are an avid traveler who enjoys recording and making music, podcasting, streaming, or doing voice-overs on the go. It sounds really nice, and with it being under $50 it’s a great bargain with all the features you’re getting. I think it would be a good mic for those who want to test the waters before buying more expensive equipment.
10. Rode Podcaster
A dynamic mic made for podcasting
The Rode Podcaster was made specifically with podcasting in mind, as the name of the microphone suggests. The Rode Podcaster is a dynamic USB mic that allows you to easily record broadcast-quality audio to your computer without having to go through an audio interface.
Dynamic microphones are typically used for things like broadcasting due to their excellent noise cancellation technology, but there are definitely way more USB condenser mics out there than USB dynamic mics.
Getting into the Podcaster mic’s details, you get audiophile-quality audio, and for less than $250, that’s a great deal. It has a hi-fi analog to digital (A/D) converter and processes all audio through the converter internally, completely bypassing your computer’s sound card which is much lower quality.
The Podcaster has a headphone jack on the end of it to allow you to plug into the mic for latency-free monitoring purposes, but there is no headphone volume control. However, the Podcaster does have an internal shock mount system that reduces handling noise and rumble, as well as an internal pop filter to tame plosives and other unsavory mouth sounds that may add distortion to the audio signal.
As for the sound, Rode’s signature sound is usually pretty bright and vibrant. Some say Rode’s mics can sound a bit too harsh or thin in the higher frequency range but I’ve never had this problem, and the Podcaster sounds bright yet natural to me. The frequency response range of the Podcaster is 40 Hz to 14 kHz, which is considerably smaller than a lot of the mics on this list, but it should still be a fine range for doing voice-overs, streaming, and podcasting. If you find that it’s lacking in the high end, a high shelf filter will fix that.
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I highly recommend the Rode Podcaster to those of you who are into podcasting, streaming, and recording voice-overs. You get audiophile-quality audio for a great price and a plug-and-play connection that makes recording fun and easy. Anyone who is new at recording should be fine using this mic and navigating the features with its ease of use and simple functionality.
Now that you know what some of the best USB mics are thanks to these USB microphone reviews, you can pick the right one for your setup, whether you’re in the bedroom, radio station studio, or music studio. I personally suggest Rode as the brand you check out first as they especially have some really awesome USB microphones for streaming, podcasting, singing, rapping, and more. Be sure to check out our future articles as well!