Blog

10 Best Microphones for YouTube Videos: An In-Depth Guide

Content

10 Best Microphones for YouTube Videos: An In-Depth Guide

When you have the right microphone, you can easily record quality audio for your YouTube videos without a lot of extra work. Choosing the best microphone for YouTube videos will depend on your unique needs, and we’ll show you what to look for. Get to know pricing, features, and more in our top picks for the 10 best microphones for YouTube videos.


How to Choose a Microphone For YouTube

When shopping around for a microphone, you should consider the equipment, of course, but also your specific needs. You’ll want to keep things in mind like your budget, recording environment, features, and the type of microphone that will work best for your recording needs. Check out our recommendations for how you should choose the best microphone for YouTube videos and our top 10 picks. We’ll also share which mics famous YouTubers use as their go-to. 

What is Your Budget?

First things first: you need to decide how much you're willing to spend on a new microphone. You can find microphones at every price point that can deliver great sound quality, but the more you're willing to invest, the better quality microphone you’ll get.

If you're a YouTuber with experience, it probably makes sense to spend a little more on a mic. You probably already have a good idea of how specific microphone features work and how to use them to improve your audio. 

New YouTubers may want to start with a microphone at a lower or mid-range price point to get an idea of what they really need when it comes to a mic. As your YouTube channel develops, you’ll get a better understanding of how to record, and you can always upgrade to a better mic at a later time. 

Where Do You Record YouTube Videos?

Where you record YouTube videos matters when shopping for the best microphones. Some microphones work better for studio recording, while others have features that make them better for recording on the go. 

Understand where and how you'll be using your mic so you know the features to focus on for your needs. Shotgun mics work great in a controlled studio environment but might not perform as well when recording a YouTube video outside of a studio. 

Lavalier mics work great when recording on the go because of their easy portability. But, they won't necessarily produce the same audio quality as a shotgun mic in a controlled studio environment. 

Which Microphone Features Do You Need? 

Which microphone features do you need? Familiarize yourself with features before shopping for the best microphone for YouTube video creation. Having a headphone jack is important for monitoring audio quality during post-production work. If you do a lot of this, make sure the microphone you select has this feature. 

Additionally, you'll want to know how you can connect your mic to other pieces of equipment (like an audio interface). So, pay attention to whether the microphone you choose is an XLR mic or a USB mic. 

If you're not recording in a closed studio environment, you may want to look at the built-in mic features. Many microphones come with built-in pop filters and automatic noise reduction that come in handy when out in the field recording.

In a studio, built-in features may not be as important. Indoors, you can control background noise better and supplement your mic with additional equipment that includes external pop filters, shock mounts, boom arms, a mic stand, and headphones. 

Types of Microphones to consider for YouTube

USB Mics Vs XLR Mics

Microphones typically come with one of two different types of inputs: XLR and USB. Some microphones are versatile and utilize both types of inputs, which can make them extremely useful depending on your needs. Below are a couple of pros of each type of microphone to help you determine which type is the best microphones for your needs. 

Pros of using an XLR mic:

  • You get a more balanced recording because of the way XLR microphones are wired.
  • XLR mics can connect to audio interfaces and provide more options for adjusting the audio quality. 

Pros of using a USB mic: 

  • You can connect a USB mic to many different devices since USB ports are universal. 
  • No additional recording equipment is necessary for recording with a USB mic - you can plug and go. 

Dynamic Microphones Vs Condenser Microphones

Do you know the difference between a dynamic microphone and a condenser microphone? The two use different polar patterns for recording, which affects your overall audio quality and the amount of work you have to do in post-production. 

Dynamic microphones usually use a cardioid polar pattern for recording. This means that they capture the sound that comes from in front of the microphone and a bit to the sides. This type of microphone will not pick up a lot of sound coming from behind it, which makes it a good option if you're not in a controlled studio environment. 

Condenser microphones are more sensitive. They tend to give a crisper audio recording, which is great for the studio. However, if you're recording on the go, this type of mic might not be the best choice. You could end up with a lot of unwanted background noise in your recording. 

Microphone Polar Patterns

Another important aspect to keep in mind when choosing a YouTube microphone is looking at polar patterns. Polar patterns refer to the directionality of your microphone when it comes to picking up sound. In other words, this describes how sensitively your microphone picks up sound coming from different directions. There are various patterns and each is better suited for different recording environments. To summarize, we’ll list a few common patterns below. You can read our guide on choosing a microphone to get a full in-depth idea of what polar patterns are, how to read polar pattern charts and learn which are most optimal where.

Polar patterns for Microphones for YouTube

Omnidirectional microphones

These microphones pick up sound equally from all directions. This makes them ideal for picking up background noise or recording in a big group setting. 

Cardioid microphones

Cardioids pick up sound best from the front and reject sound coming in from the back of the microphone. These are common among YouTubers and make good YouTube microphones as they don’t pick up background noise as easily.

Bi-directional 

As the name suggests, bi-directional microphones pick up sound from two directions. They pick up sound best from the front and back of the microphones while rejecting sound from the sides. 

You also get super-cardioid microphones and shotgun microphones, which you can read more about in our microphone guide.

We recommend cardioid microphones for recording YouTube videos solo, and often times it’s best to use a cardioid mic for each new person you’d like to record. This will give you more clear recordings of each person and better control in editing. Although, this isn’t always an option and this isn’t always ideal. You can try omnidirectional YouTube mics for group settings and bi-directionals for two-person interviews.

10 Best Microphones for YouTube

We've rounded up some of the top options on the market for the best microphone for YouTube video recording. When choosing these mics, we considered price, functionality, and ease of use. Here’s what we found:

Best Microphones to Record YouTube Videos in a Studio

As we previously mentioned, some mics are better for recording in a studio, while others have features more suited for on-the-go recording. These are the mics we recommend for recording YouTube videos in a studio setting:


Shure SM7B

Shure SM7B YouTube microphone
Shure SM7B

Price: $399

This is a good microphone for studio recording because it has internal features that protect it from interference. It's one of the top choices for YouTubers, especially for recording a vlog or interview-based podcast. This cardioid XLR microphone has a wide range frequency, making it easy to produce great audio for music or speaking. Though a bit pricey, this mic has built-in features that eliminate both background noise and electrical noise transmission. 

Blue Yeti X

Blue Yeti X Good microphone for YouTube
Blue Yeti X

Price: $169.99

The Blue Yeti X records 24-bit/48kHz audio. It’s especially good if you do a lot of post-production work, as it comes with more options when it comes time to edit. This mic features a mute button, which is great if you plan on streaming your podcast or other content. This mic also has a USB connection and can record in four different ways: Omni, cardioid, stereo, and bi-directional. These two features make this mic highly versatile and a good choice for YouTubers of all skill levels. 

Rode NT-USB Microphone

Rode NT USB microphone for YouTube vlogging
Rode NT-USB

Price: $169

Another great choice for studio recording is the Rode NT-USB as its USB functionality allows you to plug directly into your computer to begin recording. This microphone has a headphone jack for easy monitoring during recording and playback listening in post-production. The Rode NT-USB microphone is a cardioid condenser mic that provides you with both volume control and mix control dial. 

Best Microphones For Recording YouTube Videos On The Go

If you do some or all of the recording for your YouTube videos out in the field, you should consider microphones designed specifically for this type of recording. Check out these top picks for on-the-go-recording:

Samson Go Mic

Samson Go Mic for YouTube vlogging on the go
Samson Go Mic

Price: $39

This compact mic makes getting quality audio on the go possible since it can record at 16-bit/44.1kHz resolution. You can adjust the recording modes on the Samson Go Mic and record using either cardioid or omnidirectional pickup patterns. This lightweight mic is easy to transport, and its USB connectivity means you can use it with different types of devices. The Samson Go Mic also features a shock-absorbent pad that minimizes vibrations that can harm audio quality. 

Audio-Technica ATR3350iS

Audio Technica ATR3550iS
Audio Technica ATR 3350iS

Price:$29

This mic is a great option for YouTube beginners or content creators who want to experiment with recording outside of a studio. You get great value for spending very little. Though inexpensive compared to other mics, the Audio-Technica ATR3350iS performs very well out in the field. It doesn't pick up a lot of background noise, even in noisy environments. This mic also comes with an adapter so you can use it with pretty much any smartphone or camera. 

Rode VideoMic Pro

RODE VideoMic pro

Price: $119

This shotgun microphone is designed to be super portable with a light and compact design, and a 3.5mm input that makes it compatible with many cameras and mobile devices. The Rode VideoMic Pro also has a more portable shock mount, which will provide you with more control over your recording and better audio quality overall. When it comes to gain control, the provided settings for this mic are ‑10dB, 0dB, and +20dB. 

Best Microphones to Record YouTube Videos For Beginners

New to creating YouTube content? When just starting out, you don't need top-of-the-line, expensive equipment. Remember, you can always upgrade your mic and use your old microphone as an alternative for recording guests or in the event of technical difficulties. These are the microphones we recommend for new YouTube content creators: 

Blue Snowball iCE

Blue Snowball iCE microphone for YouTube
Blue Snowball iCE

Price: $49.99

With a frequency response of 40-18 kHz, this mic is an inexpensive choice for beginners to record quality audio for YouTube videos. You don't need additional recording equipment as this USB mic plugs directly into your computer. The Blue Snowball iCE is a unidirectional mic, great for recording vocals for podcasts and for doing voiceover work. This mic also comes with an adjustable tripod, which makes studio recording easier. 

Shure MV5C

Shure MV5C
Shure MV5C

Price: $99

This USB mic lets new YouTubers simply plug in and begin recording right away. The Shure MV5C is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems and can also connect directly to iOS devices like the iPhone. The frequency ranges between 20Hz to 20kHz, and the mic has 16 - 24-bit, 44.1 - 48kHz recording quality. Because this mic is so lightweight and portable, you can use it for both studio and on-the-go recording. 

HyperX SoloCast

Hyper X SoloCast YouTube microphone for gaming and streaming
Hyper X SoloCast

Price: $59.99

This is one of the best microphones for YouTube gaming. Although, the HyperX SoloCast is good for any type of content creator, whether you're interviewing someone, gaming, or doing voiceover work. This affordable mic comes with a flexible and adjustable stand to improve audio quality. The HyperX SoloCast has a tap-to-mute feature and uses a cardioid polar pattern to record. The mic connects using a USB input and is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems. 

Audio-Technica AT2020

Audio Technica AT 2020 Microphone for YouTube
Audio Technica AT2020

This is another mic that's great for YouTube newbies because it's pretty affordable but provides great quality. The Audio-Technica AT2020 is a cardioid mic with a frequency response of 20Hz-20k Hz and a permanently polarized condenser. The mic has a mount compatible with many mic stands, so you can easily connect it to additional studio equipment to improve your audio quality. 

What microphones do famous YouTubers use?

Do you want to see some of the mics that we mentioned in action? Check out these famous YouTubers to see how they use some of the mics mentioned here and the audio quality. 

YouTubers who use the Rode VideoMic Pro: 

  • Adam LZ
  • Casey Neistat
  • Robert Blake

YouTubers who use the Blue Yeti X

  • Logan Paul
  • Avxry

YouTubers who use the Shure SM7B:

  • Marc Maron
  • Roman Mars
  • Gary Vaynerchuk


FAQs on Microphones for YouTube

How Do YouTubers Record Audio?

YouTubers will typically use a microphone that is separate from their camera to record quality audio for their podcast. The type of microphone they use will depend on the content they're recording and where the recording is taking place. 

Many YouTubers also use audio editing software to improve the audio quality of their recordings. If you've ever listened to a YouTube video and have been impressed by its clarity and crispness, this was probably achieved through a combination of using the right microphone for the recording environment and applying post-production editing techniques effectively.

How much does a good mic cost for YouTube?

You can get a good YouTube mic at a range of budgets. You can expect to spend anything around $100, but some can go for even less at around $50 and others can cost a few hundred. We suggest creating a budget based on your needs, level of skill, and affordability. From there, you can pick a microphone that suits your needs and fits what you are willing to spend.

Are condenser microphones good for YouTube?

Condenser microphones can definitely be good for YouTube videos, but it depends more on your recording environment and setup. Condenser microphones are more sensitive and ideal for studio environments, especially because they need an external power source. If you're recording on the go, a dynamic microphone might be better as they're generally more portable and better for louder environments.

Conclusion 

There are a number of factors to consider when trying to choose the best microphone for YouTube recording. Make sure you know what you need before choosing the best microphones for your podcast, vlog, or other YouTube content. After you've considered your budget, where you'll be recording, and the features you need in a mic for your YouTube videos, choosing a good mic becomes much easier.


Subscribe to our newsletter

Highly curated content, case studies, Riverside updates, and more.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related articles

10

min read

Top Podcast Companies in Podcast Production & Software (2022)

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.

13

min read

10 Best Transcription Services for Accurate Digital Transcribing

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.

12

min read

The 7 Best Reliable Video SaaS Solutions in 2022

Riverside.fm is an audio-video tool that collapses the pod/broadcast studio experience into your browser. The service captures lossless audio and up to 4K video locally, syncs it, and uploads as you go.