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Best USB Microphones for Podcasting & Recording in 2024

Are you looking for a USB microphone that can record high-quality audio for your podcast? We present an overview of the best USB mics available in 2024.
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Last Updated:
December 26, 2023
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Any creator knows that recording studio-standard audio starts with a reliable microphone. A USB microphone is an excellent place to start if you’re looking for a straightforward setup without compromising quality. 

USB microphones are handy for podcasters, YouTubers, and any type of vocal recording. They’re ideal for an on-the-go recording because they don’t require fancy additional equipment to work. With so many on the market, though, how do you choose the best one?

Read on for our recommendations of the best USB microphone for podcasters and creators in 2024. We’ll cover what to consider and review 10 of the best USB mics.

What is a USB Microphone?

Just like a traditional microphone, a USB mic has components like a capsule and a diaphragm. But a USB mic contains two additional circuits that allow it to record using devices like a computer or tablet: an onboard preamp and an analog-to-digital converter.

  • Onboard preamp: Thanks to this feature, the USB microphone doesn't need to connect to a mixer or external preamp 
  • Analog-to-digital converter: Converts the microphone's output from analog to digital. 

The addition of these circuits makes it possible to plug a USB mic directly into a desktop computer or tablet. You can begin recording without any additional pieces of recording equipment.

USB Microphone Types

You can usually find three kinds of USB mics: cardioid microphones, omnidirectional microphones, and figure-8 microphones. Each type records sound differently using specific polar patterns. 

The pickup pattern of a microphone determines the direction that the mic receives and records a signal. Each pattern has advantages and disadvantages when it comes to recording certain types of sound. Understanding the differences will help you choose the best USB mic for your needs, based on your show’s content and the set up of your recording studio. 

Cardioid Microphones

Cardioid microphones get their name from the shape of cardioid pickup patterns, which resemble a heart extending from the front of the mic. 

This type of mic is most sensitive to sound signals coming from directly in front, but will also pick up some sound coming from the sides. Generally, a cardioid mic won’t pick up sound coming from directly behind.

Musicians frequently use cardioid microphones for live performances when accompanied by a band and facing a live audience. In this scenario, the mic will mostly pick up the singer's vocals while simultaneously capturing some of the sounds from the band without picking up sounds from the audience. 

When it comes to podcast applications, this type of USB microphone works well for getting quality recorded vocals spoken directly into the mic from the front. 

Omnidirectional Microphones

An omnidirectional mic indiscriminately records sound from any direction. This USB mic type picks up on sound signals coming from the front, sides, and back with equal strength. Instead of a heart facing out from the mic, picture a mic surrounded by a large bubble in which any sound is recorded. 

If you're singing and playing an acoustic guitar, this type of microphone will pick up your voice and capture the guitar at the same time. However, if you're trying to record spoken vocals, an omnidirectional mic will pick up unwanted background noise more than a cardioid mic, which blocks out any sound coming directly behind the microphone.

Figure-8 Microphones

Figure-8 microphones are also named after the shape of their pickup patterns. They pick up sound coming directly in front and behind, but reject sound coming from the sides. Picture the polar patterns in the shape of an 8, with the microphone at the number's very center point. 

Only a handful of manufacturers make this type of USB microphone. While good for recording in stereo or recording two voices at once, figure-8 microphones don't have many applications for podcast recording. If you're looking for the best USB microphone for recording quality audio for your show, you might want to steer clear of figure-8 microphones. 

What is the difference between a USB microphone and an XLR microphone?

The main difference between a USB mic and an XLR mic is how they connect to other equipment for recording. XLR microphones require more advanced podcast setups with additional equipment, like an audio interface and phantom power source. USB microphones are much simpler and use USB cables to connect to Windows PCs, Macs, and even mobile devices like an iPad or iPhone—great for capturing sound from anywhere. 

Easy to use with a variety of devices, USB mics are great for any level podcaster, especially those who sometimes record on the go. You don't need any additional equipment to start recording using a USB mic. You can invest less in your overall setup and spend more of your podcast budget on a quality microphone. 

Should I get a USB microphone?

A USB mic is a great addition to any podcaster's tool belt, no matter your level of experience or the other equipment you have. You can find plenty of quality USB microphones available at any price point. 

Their main draw: ease of use and price. You can plug them into a computer and start recording immediately, and they're cheaper than a conventional mic, which requires more equipment to record. 

USB microphones are a great starter mic for anyone new to the podcast game. Established podcasters can also use a USB microphone for a more advanced setup, too. A USB mic can help if you have technical difficulties with your other equipment and need a fast solution to continue recording. 

What should I look for in a USB microphone?

The best USB mic will vary depending on how you intend to use it. Consider the following when shopping around for USB mics. 

Polar Patterns

Polar patterns have a big impact on how a microphone picks up sound. Go for an omnidirectional USB mic if you need a microphone that picks up all of the sounds in your studio, like for musical performances. If your podcast mostly involves interviews or spoken vocal recordings, try a cardioid mic that picks up sound coming from directly in front. 

Headphone Monitoring Capability

Many USB mics have headphone jacks with built-in volume control. You can perform zero-latency monitoring using headphones and hear your voice in real-time as you record. If your mic doesn't have a headphone jack, your voice has to travel from the microphone into your computer, through your recording software, and then through your headphones. This could cause a delay and echo effect that makes it difficult to listen to and monitor your recording as you go. 

Condenser vs. Dynamic Microphones 

If you're looking for the best USB mic for your podcast, look for a condenser microphone. A condenser microphone picks up delicate sounds very well, an ideal feature for recording podcast vocals. Dynamic mics are better suited for capturing loud sounds and live performances.

Read more: Dynamic Microphone vs Condenser: Differences & Which to Use

Microphone Features and Controls 

When considering which USB mic will work best for your podcast, pay attention to the different features and controls of each microphone. A mute button is handy if you want to quickly cut the signal of a mic during an interview. Other microphone controls include EQ mode switching ability and pad control. 

Make sure that the USB mic has a good frequency response and can capture the full range of human hearing from 20 to 20,000hz. Pop filters are another feature to keep an eye out for - a microphone with a built-in pop filter will pick up much less background noise and produce a cleaner recording.

7 Best USB Microphones in 2024

USB microphones cost a lot less when compared to the cost of XLR mics and the additional equipment that they require. Below, we’ve highlighted the best USB microphones for different price points and uses.

Start off with the video, which gives you a sample of some of these mics, and then read on for a list of the 7 best USB microphones.

1. Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic

Blue Snowball iCE USB microphone
Blue iCE
  • Price: $49.99
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 40 –18 kHz

This cardioid microphone comes with an adjustable stand but doesn't have a headphone output. It's more affordable than some of the other USB mics out there. However, it doesn't come with more advanced features, like mute and gain control. 


  • Comes with stand and USB cable
  • Good quality recording at a budget-friendly price
  • Easy plug and play setup


  • No headphone jack
  • Stand and height of mic is not ideal for a good recording position

2. Samson Meteor Mic

Samson Meteor
  • Price: $69.99
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz

Samon's Meteor mic is a condenser microphone that uses a cardioid pattern to pick up audio signals. This USB mic offers a plug-and-play setup, and also has mute and volume controls—great for a mic at such a low price point. 


  • Portable with a quick plug-and-play setup
  • Volume and mute controls
  • Has a headphone jack


  • No gain control directly on the mic

3. Blue Yeti USB Mic

Blue Yeti Microphone USB
Blue Yeti

  • Price: $129.99
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
  • Frequency response: 15 Hz - 22 kHz

The Blue Yeti USB mic is a mid-range microphone that gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

It comes with three condenser capsules, and it can pick up four different polar patterns (cardioid, omnidirectional, figure-8, and stereo). This mic also has a headphone jack, volume control, and mic gain control. A trusted name in the audio industry, Blue Yeti is known for delivering quality products. 


  • Flexible microphone with adjustable cardiod patterns
  • Has a built-in gain dial, volume knob, and mute controls
  • Good microphone for recording in quiet places


  • Is known sometimes to pick up background noise
  • Not a highly portable microphone


RODE NT USB microphone
  • Price: $169
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency range: 20Hz to 20kHz

This condenser microphone is fully compatible with all Mac and Windows recording programs. The RODE mic has a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz and on-mic mix control. The microphone also includes a zero-latency headphone monitoring jack, a tripod stand, pop shield, and ring mount. You can spend a little extra on the mic without having to purchase the extra equipment. It’s also a great starter mic for recording music or singing.


  • Comes with a pop filter, stand, and ring mount
  • Offers good quality recording 
  • Has a headphone jack


  • No gain controls directly on the mic

5. Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone

The Shure MV7, the best USB Microphone for Podcasts.
Amazon-Shure MV7
  • Price: $249
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 50 Hz to 16,000 Hz

Many professional podcasters use the Shure MV7 for their programs because of its versatility and features. This dynamic mic comes with built-in automated features, so you can produce high-quality audio without having to manually adjust things like vocal tone and sound levels. The mic is specifically designed for podcasting. It focuses on capturing your voice and the amount of background noise picked up while recording is minimal. 


  • Has integrated software for changing pitch and tone
  • XLR and USB microphone so you can use it in any type of setup
  • Auto mode so you can adjust levels without being a techie


  • Some consider it an expensive mic
Read more: Shure MV7 Review: Is It One of the Best Mics for Podcasting?

6. Earthworks ICON Studio-Quality USB Streaming Microphone

Earthworks ICON top quality USB microphone
Amazon-Earthworks ICON
  • Price: $349
  • Polar Pattern: cardioid
  • Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz

If you're looking for a unique piece of equipment that looks as good as it sounds, this Earthworks microphone might be the best USB mic for you. The stainless steel design looks great. A custom triad-orbit desktop comes with the mic (something you won't find anywhere else). 


  • Impressive audio recording quality
  • Comes with a customizable stand
  • Sleek and modern design
  • Zero latency headphone jack 


  • Considered an expensive mic

7. Apogee Hype Mic

Apogee Hype USB microphone
Apogee Hype
  • Price:$349 
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: NA

If you're willing to spend extra and invest in a more expensive microphone, you can't go wrong with this Apogee mic. The Apogee Hype Mic performs excellently when recording anything from singing to acoustic instruments to podcasts and interviews. The mic offers a headphone jack and comes with premium accessories that include a custom pop filter, a desktop tripod, and HypeMic recording software. The mic is compatible with Windows PCs, and a lightning cable is included so you can easily connect it to any Apple device. 


  • Comes with a pop filter and mic stand
  • Top-notch recording quality
  • built-in analog compression 
  • Zero latency headphone jack 


  • Considered an expensive mic

Best USB Microphones According to Budget

Our list above covers all budgets and if you're looking for a microphone with a specific price tag, read on to see what microphones are best for each budget level.

Budget USB Microphones (Under $100):

Just because you're choosing a more affordable option, doesn't mean that you need to sacrifice quality. These microphones are great options for recording on a budget:

  • Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic
  • Samson Meteor Mic

Mid-Range USB Microphones ($100~300):

If you've got a little more to spend then you can consider these external USB microphones:

  • Blue Yeti USB Mic
  • Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone

Premium USB Microphones (Above $300)

For those who don't have a budget, or are willing to invest these are the best USB microphones over $300:

  • Apogee Hype Mic
  • Earthworks ICON Studio-Quality USB Streaming Microphone

Best USB Microphone For Podcasting

There's a reason so many podcast professionals use the Shure MV7. Packed with so many features, you have to do very little work when it comes to editing your audio. We've selected this mic as the best USB microphone for podcasting because it does all of the work for you! If you pair it with a studio-quality podcasting platform like Riverside, all you have to do is hit record to start capturing professional-standard audio. 

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Best USB Microphone For Live Streaming

The Earthworks ICON Studio-Quality USB Streaming Microphone has many impressive features and is very aesthetically pleasing. We're making this our pick for the best USB live streaming mic. With this mic, you don't just sound great, but you also look great while live streaming because of its unique design. Though on the more pricey side, it's worth the price as you won't have to worry about upgrading your USB mic in the future.

Best USB Microphone For Singing

We've selected the Blue Yeti USB Mic as our recommendation for the best USB microphone for singing because of the versatility and amount of features. You can change how the mic picks up polar patterns, which means you can use it to get great quality if you’re singing solo or with the accompaniment of an acoustic guitar or full band. 

Bonus: FAQs

Are you still trying to figure out whether or not a USB microphone is right for you? Take a look at our bonus FAQ section to learn more about USB mics to help you determine whether or not investing in one is the best move for you. 

Is a USB mic better than an XLR?

A USB mic is better than an XLR mic in the areas of mobility and compatibility: USB mics don't require additional equipment and are therefore easier to set up, transport, and take down. They use a USB connection so they're compatible with almost all devices. 

Can I convert a USB mic to an XLR?

It’s not possible to convert a USB mic to an XLR mic, but you don’t really need to. XLR mics use additional equipment to convert their analog outputs to digital outputs, while USB mics already produce digital outputs. 

Do I need an audio interface if I have a USB microphone?

You won’t need an audio interface if you choose to use a USB mic. You can use USB microphones for recording without any additional equipment, which makes buying one less of an investment overall.

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