9 Best Mics For YouTube 2024

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Long gone are the days when low-quality videos could be uploaded to YouTube with a chance of being popular. Since the platform’s start, content creators have consistently raised the bar of production quality to a professional level.

While a good camera is part of the equation, high-quality audio is what often separates the professionals from the amateurs. Depending on your style of content, all of the following microphones are superb options for your YouTube videos.

Shure MV7 – Best Overall

Shure MV7

Are you somebody who specializes in talking head content, where you are primarily seated in front of the camera with a microphone? One of the absolute best microphones you can get your hands on is the Shure MV7 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon).

The MV7 takes its inspiration from another, more expensive Shure microphone (which will be covered later). However, this microphone has a few features that could suit any content creator looking to add a bit of convenience to their setup.

For starters, the MV7 is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid pattern. To say that the MV7 is built for use with the voice is a massive understatement here, as the microphone features Shure’s Voice Isolation Technology to provide exquisite focus on the voice while minimizing unwanted environmental noises. 

In terms of audio, the MV7 provides professional-grade quality with 24-bit, 48kHz resolution. Your voice will sound full-bodied, and an included windscreen helps to minimize plosives.

One of the advantages that the MV7 has is the fact that it can be used with either a USB connection or a traditional XLR cable. All USB cables are included, and using the USB connection will allow you to bypass the need for an interface while also unlocking access to Shure’s MOTIV application.

Within the MOTIV application, you’ll be able to adjust the microphone’s preamps, compression, and EQ levels. You’ll even be able to save your settings as presets so that you can significantly cut down on pre-production time. 

If you don’t want to use the MOTIV application, the MV7 does allow you to adjust settings on the microphone itself. There is actually a touchpad on the microphone that will allow you to control your levels without any confusion.

Plus, the MV7 also has a headphone output so that you can always monitor the audio that is coming through the microphone. This has no latency, ensuring that you are always in the know in the heat of the moment. 

While the MV7 is a bit pricier than other options in this article, it provides an excellent middle-ground for those who don’t want to spend a hefty amount for a professional-sounding microphone. It’s also ideal for those who don’t necessarily want to have to shell out the cash for a sound interface, as its USB connection can bypass this need altogether. 

Shure SM7B – Best Premium

Shure SM7B

Have a little extra money to spend and want to purchase the microphone that is considered the industry standard in professional avenues? The Shure SM7B (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) has been and is currently used in professional podcasts, television studios, and live broadcasts.

If you’ve ever felt like your voice sounds thin in recordings, this microphone will make the difference between night and day. This is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid pattern and is incredibly sensitive, which is what has made it so popular for decades. 

Part of what makes the SM7B so special is that its frequency response ranges from 50Hz to 20kHz. In terms of sound, the microphone’s EQ is very flat, which can be shaped using the SM7B’s presence boost and bass roll-off controls.

These controls can be found at the back of the microphone (opposite the side you would speak into). This microphone also comes equipped with a windscreen to help minimize plosives and other unwanted mouth noises.

What’s a little crazy about the SM7B is its sheer capability to handle different levels of audio. The microphone can record up to 180dB, which is excellent for anyone who records instruments and other things outside of the voice. 

With that being said, the SM7B’s legacy is built on the use of voice applications. Artists like John Mayer and Michael Jackson have used the SM7B to record some of their most iconic tracks.

Out of all of the microphones featured in this article, the SM7B definitely has the longest-standing legacy with regard to its reputation. In a way, the SM7B single-handedly set the bar for the type of audio quality that is expected in any professional venture that features the voice front and center. 

While it is the most expensive microphone on this list, the SM7B’s price is actually a bargain when you consider just how smooth its response is. Not only does it outperform its class, but it contends with microphones well beyond this price range.

There are a few things to note, however, with one of them being the lack of a headphone output. However, because you will need an audio interface to use this with a computer, you’ll be able to use the interface or your DAW of choice for monitoring.

Samson Go – Best Budget

Samson Go

Not looking to spend much money in order to get excellent audio quality for your voice? The Samson Go (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) might just be one of the best microphones at its price point.

When this microphone was released a number of years ago, it took the content creator community by storm. Even by today’s standards, the Samson Go’s capabilities are still quite mind-boggling given that it’s such an inexpensive microphone.

The Samson Go is incredibly small, and could easily fit into your pocket if needed. However, it does come with a handy zipper case so you can keep it safe and free of pocket lint.

This microphone uses a USB cable (which is included) to connect directly to your computer. It also has a 1/8” microphone output so that you can monitor your signal in real-time with no latency whatsoever.

In terms of audio, the Samson Go converts its signal to a surprising 16-bit, 44.1kHz resolution. With a frequency response of 20Hz to 18kHz, it is focused primarily in the mid-range of the EQ levels.

One of the more interesting aspects of the Samson Go is that it has 2 modes of operation with regard to its polar pattern. You can use it as a dynamic microphone with a cardioid pattern, or select omnidirectional to act more like a condenser. 

The Samson Go also comes with a mount so that you can attach it to a microphone stand. With that being said, there can be some difficulty placing the microphone where it’s needed when the mount is screwed all the way into a microphone stand.

Another small disadvantage to the Samson Go is the fact that its construction does leave a little to be desired. Its housing is plastic and its steel mesh grille is somewhat pliable, though these are things that are to be expected of a microphone at this price. 

The Samson Go also is not the greatest at eliminating unwanted noises, especially where plosives are concerned. It transfers audio at levels that are fairly hot, which leaves little headroom during setup and post-production. 

With all of that being said, the Samson Go really has no right to sound as good as it does at this price. It is features like the headphone jack and the switchable polar patterns that make the Samson Go an extreme value for anyone who is getting started with their YouTube channel.

DJI Mic

DJI Mic

Does your YouTube channel lean more on the side of vlogging, with plenty of scenes where you might be away from the camera? One of the most popular choices in such cases is the DJI Mic (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon).

The DJI Mic is a wireless lavalier microphone system and is widely regarded as one of the best available for content creators. It’s a little bit more expensive than other options, but its features are well worth the extra cost.

For starters, the DJI Mic comes in a carrying case that conveniently acts as a charging hub for its transmitters and receiver. The case itself can be charged for 15 hours of power, with each transmitter lasting about 5 hours on a full charge. 

The DJI Mic is incredibly easy to set up. All you need to do is mount and connect the receiver to your camera of choice, and turn on the transmitter, which conveniently clips to your shirt.

The transmitters in the DJI Mic system are condensers with an omnidirectional polar pattern. With a frequency response range of 50Hz to 20kHz, the audio that is produced is on par with professional standards. 

One of the advantages of the DJI Mic’s transmitters is that you can connect a lavalier microphone and still take advantage of its wireless function. This kind of flexibility is much-needed for the type of creator that shoots content in a wide variety of different manners. 

Another massive advantage to the DJI Mic is the fact that it can receive signal at distances up to 250 meters. You could leave your camera stationary and walk down a trail facing the other direction and still be okay. 

By far one of the biggest advantages of the DJI Mic is the fact that its receiver has an LCD touchscreen. Not only does it conveniently display your levels, but you can use this screen to manually set your levels without having to access an application.

The other massive advantage of the DJI Mic is the fact that its receiver records audio in 2 separate tracks. One of these is recorded at a lower decibel level to provide extra security in moments where clipping may have occurred during production. 

The DJI Mic is one of the most comprehensive wireless microphone systems that a YouTube content creator could get their hands on. While it is an investment, you can opt for a 1-transmitter model to help cut costs down, though having a pair lets you switch between the two for extra battery time during long sessions.

In general, this isn’t going to cut the mustard for anyone who is looking for an all-purpose microphone that can handle voice as well as musical instruments. However, for the travel vlogger or for those who create talking head-style videos, the DJI Mic can provide extreme convenience and quality to your production.

Rode NT1

Rode NT1

Since 1990, the Rode NT1 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) has become one of the most popular microphones in recording studios. As the industry has shifted, content creators, including podcasters and YouTubers, have turned to the NT1 to provide legendary audio for anything requiring the voice.

The NT1 is a condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern, and a frequency response ranging from 20Hz to 20kHz. In terms of sound, the NT1 has pristine clarity, and, outside of a warmer tone, has a flat response that doesn’t add audible coloring.

One of the best things about the NT1 is the fact that it is extremely quiet, and is quite possibly, the quietest microphone on the planet. By design, the NT1 is ridiculously sensitive but maintains a low noise floor.

Wondering why its low noise floor is significant? Any audio treatment you use in post-production to enhance aspects of its sound will essentially be as clear as possible without the static noise that can be heard with other microphones. 

Because the NT1 is a condenser, it will have no problems picking up even the smallest amount of sound within a few feet of the microphone. While it doesn’t come included, a windscreen is a recommended add-on accessory to help eliminate any unwanted sounds from entering the recording. 

What does come included with the NT1 is a sturdy Rycote shock mount with a pop filter that attaches to the mount. Not only will the microphone be secure on a stand, but the pop filter can help cut down on plosives when talking or singing directly into the microphone. 

Another fantastic aspect about the NT1 is that its internal components have all been crafted by hand. Rode seems to put each NT1 through rigorous testing to ensure that every microphone performs to the standards that the NT1’s reputation is built upon.

One thing to note about the NT1 is that it does require phantom power. However, most audio interfaces and mixers readily provide this feature.

Like the aforementioned Shure SM7B, the Rode NT1 is a microphone that is easily considered one of the industry’s standards in terms of performance benchmarks. The fact that it is reasonably affordable means that anyone can reign in its professional audio quality without having to eat ramen for a month. 

Blue Microphones Yeti X

Blue Microphones Yeti X

Are you looking for a microphone that is superb for streamers and doesn’t require an audio interface or a DAW? The Blue Microphones Yeti X (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) deserves to be on your list of viable options.

Blue Microphones essentially revolutionized the home recording industry with its USB microphones in the early 2000s. The Yeti X only builds on this legacy with some added features that make a streamer’s life much easier.

For starters, the Yeti X is somewhat of a Swiss Army knife with regard to the type of microphone it is. While the Yeti X is a condenser microphone at its core, it has a switch that allows you to choose between 4 different polar patterns, including:

  • Cardioid
  • Bidirectional
  • Omnidirectional
  • Stereo

With this feature, alone, it seems that Blue Microphones has recognized that people use microphones in a variety of different ways, even if they are primarily being used for talking or singing. Being able to choose between these settings means you could use the Yeti X for ASMR or for band practices, and everything in between. 

In terms of its audio, the Yeti X has a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz. Its output audio has a resolution of up to 24-bit, 48kHz quality.

The Yeti X has a convenient knob on the front of its housing that serves multiple purposes, including:

  • Mute function
  • Level control
  • Headphone level control
  • The blending of audio from both the microphone and computer into monitor mix

In addition to this, a series of 11 small lights surround the knob and act as a visual indicator of the microphone’s input levels. This is a fantastic feature as it means you can always ensure you’re avoiding clipping without necessarily having to use a DAW to monitor the same levels.

The Yeti X seems especially primed toward those who have no desire to use a DAW at any time during their production. By using the Blue VO!CE software, you can add different effects to the signal, including reverbs, EQ, and preamps settings.

Overall, the Yeti X is a fantastic choice for somebody who desires a microphone that will plug in and work from the get-go. It comes with a convenient desktop stand and is powered via its USB connection, ensuring you have everything you need right out of the box. 

Audio-Technica AT2020USB-XP

Audio-Technica AT2020USB-XP

The Audio-Technica AT2020USB-XP (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is another fantastic option for those who want a microphone without the need to use an audio interface. This specific model was created especially for content creators and has a few upgrades in comparison to its predecessor models.

On the surface, the AT2020USB-XP is a condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. It has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz and has an impressive output resolution of up to 24-bit, 192kHz audio. 

As you can guess by now, the AT2020USB-XP connects to the computer and is powered completely by a USB connection. It also has a 1/8” headphone jack located near the back of the microphone for latency-free monitoring.

When using the microphone, you’ll find that the AT2020USB-XP’s features provide convenience, as well as a hint of aesthetic flair. The microphone has 2 rotary dials that control the headphone levels as well as the headphone monitor’s blend of microphone and computer audio. 

Another interesting feature of the AT2020USB-XP is that it has a button that will mute the microphone with the softest touch. This helps to eliminate any noise that may occur during a mechanical mute function, especially considering that it’s on the microphone itself.

Nobody enjoys being confused about their microphone settings and looking like an idiot in front of their audience. The AT2020USB-XP has a safeguard in place to prevent this in its ring of LED lights that are blue when live, and red when muted. 

Along with the microphone, Audio-Technica has included a desktop stand and a pop filter that conveniently clips onto the mic. Unfortunately, the stand isn’t adjustable, so you may need to put it on a small stack of books to get the microphone’s sweet spot in front of your face. 

With that being said, you will be able to attach the AT2020USB-XP to any standard microphone stand. A threaded adapter comes included to ensure you can place the microphone however you wish.

Overall, the AT2020USB-XP is a great choice for somebody seeking a USB microphone that produces extremely high-quality audio. The only downsides are that it doesn’t have a gain knob, and the LED lights cannot be turned off if desired. 

HyperX QuadCast

HyperX QuadCast

Since 2019, the HyperX QuadCast has become one of the most popular microphones for streamers. While HyperX is known primarily for its gaming accessories, the QuadCast is an exceptional microphone that rivals those designed for recording studio use.

The QuadCast is a USB condenser microphone that comes with the option of 4 selectable polar patterns via a dial at the back of the microphone. These include:

  • Stereo
  • Dynamic
  • Bidirectional
  • Omnidirectional 

In terms of audio quality, the QuadCast has a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz. It has the ability to produce audio up to 16-bit, 48kHz resolution, and provides a fairly flat response without adding much coloration to its tone. 

Compared to other microphones, the QuadCast has one of the most intuitive designs on the market. The bottom of the microphone is adjustable and acts as the QuadCast’s gain control.

The QuadCast also has a convenient mute function hidden away at the top of the microphone’s housing. Simply touch the top and the microphone will mute, or vice versa.

This microphone also comes with a headphone jack located at the back of its housing. You can use this to check your levels to ensure that you aren’t clipping and that your microphone’s location is in an ideal location. 

The QuadCast is quite possibly one of the most aesthetically pleasing microphones to be found today. When the microphone is live, the entire grille area becomes illuminated in an illustrious red color that is sure to fit any streamer’s aesthetics.

What’s even better is that the QuadCast has an internal pop filter to help minimize plosives. This functions nowhere near the level of effectiveness that a traditional windscreen can provide, but it is a nice touch.

Overall, the QuadCast is a fantastic option to consider at a reasonable price. However, you will need to be mindful of any unwanted noises as the microphone is sensitive enough to pick up mouse clicks and keyboard clacking. 

The QuadCast comes included with a shock mount desktop stand as well as an adapter to affix the microphone to a boom stand. 

Blue Microphones Snowball USB

Blue Microphones Snowball USB

On a tighter budget and looking for a microphone that isn’t necessarily overtly special, but gets the job done? The Blue Microphones Snowball USB (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is worth looking at, especially considering that this is the family of microphones that started the USB condenser microphone revolution.

At the time of this writing, there are a couple of versions of the Snowball available on the market. Where this version shines is in the fact that it has the ability to shift polarity patterns between cardioid and omnidirectional modes.

The Snowball USB has a frequency response range of 40Hz to 18kHz and produces audio at 16-bit, 44.1kHz resolution. In terms of how it sounds, the Snowball USB does favor the mid-range EQ frequencies, with a bit more treble present.

For the most part, the Snowball USB’s shining mode of operation is with its cardioid polarity pattern. Its omnidirectional mode leaves a little to be desired and doesn’t have the best of range.

With that being said, this microphone operates as you would expect a budget microphone to work. It can get the job done, and, perhaps with some post-production work, can sound passable enough for professional quality.

Sure, it isn’t the first choice that people reach for when professional audio is needed. Rather, it’s often reached for out of necessity, and, in turn, has played a central role in some of the most famous home-recorded albums of the early 2000s. 

Along with the microphone, the Snowball USB comes included with a desktop tripod stand and a USB cable. Just plug it into your computer, set your levels, and you’re pretty much ready to go! 

What To Look For When Buying A Microphone For YouTube

Content creators utilize many different methods to produce their YouTube videos. It’s one of the main reasons why YouTube as a platform is extremely diverse in the offerings of videos it provides.

Whether you’re been creating YouTube videos for a while, or you’re just considering getting started, a decent microphone is essential. But, with so many options available, you could have a hard time figuring out exactly which microphone is right for you.

If this sounds familiar, you’ll find the following informational guide points to be of value. You can use these sections to help figure out what your needs are and what might be most appropriate for you.

Knowing what you’re looking for ahead of time makes the research process much easier and concise. Otherwise, you’re wasting precious time with the risk of buying the wrong type of microphone.

Budget

The very first thing you need to figure out is the kind of budget you can realistically work with. Having your budget already defined will provide a set of parameters in which you can find the different kinds of microphones you can afford.

Maybe one of the best things about trying to find a microphone for YouTube is that you don’t necessarily need to spend a ton of dough. This industry niche has gotten extremely competitive in recent years, with manufacturers battling it out to provide quality innovation at an unbeatable price.

Of course, it must be said that you do generally get what you pay for when you are shopping for a microphone. Even so, you’ll find countless examples of no-name brands that have risen the ranks to become highly recommended affordable alternatives. 

In general, if you’re just getting your YouTube channel started, it doesn’t make sense to spend more than $250 maximum. On the other end of the spectrum, a well-established channel with a dedicated audience would fare well to have a larger budget. 

Taking the time to look around at any used offerings can pay off, as used microphones will cost less than their newer counterparts. However, you will need to exercise extreme discretion with regard to its condition and how it operates.

While it’s best to pay for a microphone outright at the time of purchase, some retailers offer financing plans. These are essentially short-term loans with a low (sometimes zero) percentage of interest.

Going this route can help you get the gear faster, and can make sense for those who can generate an income with the microphone of their choosing. Otherwise, you should be absolutely sure that you can afford another monthly expense.

Microphone Type

Once you have your budget defined, it’s time to start thinking about the kind of microphone you need. There are several types that are commonly used among content creators, including:

  • Dynamic
  • Condenser
  • Lavalier
  • Shotgun

Dynamic microphones are often the most common tool for live vocal performances. These aren’t as sensitive as other microphones but can provide durability and excellent sound isolation.

Condenser microphones are much more sensitive than dynamic microphones. By nature, these pick up sound from a larger area than dynamic microphones.

Lavalier microphones are designed to be used in close proximity to their subject. You’ll commonly see these clipped to a shirt or lapel in YouTube videos and news broadcasts.

Shotgun microphones are a type of condenser that is most commonly attached to a camera. Generally, these capture audio in the direction that they are pointed and can cover a respectable distance range depending on the model. 

Cardioid Pattern

Something else to be mindful of is the microphone’s cardioid pattern. This essentially relates to how the microphone reacts and picks up sound.

There are a number of different polar patterns, with the most common for YouTube being:

  • Cardioid
  • Bidirectional
  • Omnidirectional

The cardioid pattern generally only picks up sound from the direction in which the microphone is pointed. While some audio is picked up in the adjacent spatial areas surrounding the center, any sound from the back of the microphone is usually not present.

Bidirectional picks up sound from 2 directions of the microphone. Omnidirectional picks up sound from every direction. 

Consider Your Setup

Maybe one of the most important things to consider when purchasing a microphone is what your setup and production process look like. What does your personal setup look like in terms of your studio?

For decades, the most common tool required to even have a home studio was an audio interface. These allow professional microphones with XLR connections to be connected directly to a computer.

While USB microphones have been around for a while, it’s only been recently that they’ve gained viability and market traction. In fact, the sound quality of many USB microphones is not only equal to, but sometimes rivals their XLR counterparts.

USB microphones provide the ability for plug-and-play functionality without the need for an audio interface. Simply connect it, select it as your main microphone in whatever program you’re using, and you’re ready to go. 

Many USB microphones also come with the option of a switchable polar pattern. This provides even more utility if you need to record things other than voice.

Of course, if you don’t primarily shoot talking head videos, then your needs and setup are obviously completely different. A vlogger who makes travel content could fare well with a shotgun microphone or even a lavalier microphone setup.

Someone who makes outdoor content and spends a decent time away from their camera when recording would benefit from a decent wireless system. This would allow you to record video and audio without having to worry about cables or sound interference caused by distance.

While it’s not nearly as important as performance, you should also keep aesthetics in mind. Many YouTubers take pride in their aesthetics, ensuring that the look of their videos is on-brand with the kind of vibe they wish to portray.

Some microphones come with internal lights that can add an aesthetic flair to any talking head video. These are especially ideal for anyone whose studio already has colored lights for aesthetic ambiance. 

Best Brands For YouTube Microphones

In today’s market, there is a massive range of different microphone manufacturers making products marketed toward content creators. Because of this, even brands that are not generally known for making microphones have found a slice of the market’s share.

Unfortunately, this can be a bit overwhelming for somebody who is not familiar with the microphone market. In these cases, it’s best to at least know what the big, established brands are so that you can compare other microphones with their products.

Shure

In the world of microphones created specifically for voice, Shure is one of the leading brands. Since the 1930s, Shure has been specializing in vocal microphones, with many of their products being considered the industry standard in terms of professional quality.

In fact, there are Shure microphones in every budget level that are often the most recommended out of any other microphone. These microphones are built to last a lifetime. 

Rode

With roots dating back to the late 1960s, Rode changed its name in 1990 and is Australia’s leading microphone manufacturer. What sets Rode apart from many of its competitors is the fact that the company does not shy away from innovation.

Rode was one of the first major manufacturers to begin creating and marketing products designed for content creators. The company has a fantastic reputation for both its studio microphones as well as its line of camera-mount microphones. 

Top Mics For YouTube, Final Thoughts

It’s important to take the time to weigh out the pros and cons of each microphone in relation to the kind of content you create. A microphone purchased with plenty of research done ahead of time ensures that you could end up with the only microphone you would ever need.

Fortunately, as this article illustrates, a high-grade microphone that produces professional audio can be quite affordable. Any of these featured microphones are sure to raise your quality to the next level. 

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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