Discover the Best USB Microphone: 2019 UK Guide

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Best USB Microphone

Quick Summary 

Do you consider yourself to be an up and coming musician? If so, you should wholeheartedly understand the importance of putting together a sufficient and efficient home recording studio.

Although there are numerous devices, which will be needed for your studio, you should definitely put a little extra into your microphone purchase.

Your microphone is not only responsible for transmitting your vocals, but also your instruments. When setting up your studio, you will definitely want to try and opt for USB model. This will provide you with added convenience and easier connectivity.

Within this guide, you will learn about the best USB microphones on the market.


In a hurry? Here are our top picks for the best USB Microphone


Editors Pick - Audio-Technica AT2020

Best USB Recording Mic - Rode Podcaster Dynamic 

Best USB Studio Mic - Blue Microphones Yeti

Best USB Computer Mic - Samson Meteor

Best USB Mic for Vocals - Shure PG42USB

Best Value Cheap USB Mic - Samson Sameteorite

Best USB Mic for Macs - Apogee Mic 96K

Best USB Mic for Rapping - AKG C214

Best USB Mic under £50 - Audio-Technica MB2K

Best Professional USB Mic - Rode NT-USB

Top 10 USB Mics

Title

Price Range

Rating (1-5)

Brand

Audio-Technica AT2020USB

Under £100

4.5

Pyle Logo
Rode Podcaster

Under £160

4.4

Rode Logo
Blue Microphones Yeti

Under £100

4.5

Blue Microphones Logo
Samson Meteor

Under £50

4.3

Behringer Logo
Shure PG42-USB

Under £100

5.0

M-Audio Logo
Samson Sameteorite

Under £50

4.2

Behringer Logo
Apogee Mic 96K

Under £210

4.9

Blue Microphones Logo
AKG C214

Under £250

4.7

Focusrite Logo
Audio-Technica MB2K

Under £50

4.8

MXL Logo
Rode NT-USB

Under £150

4.8

Rode Logo

Editors Pick

1. Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Condenser 


A microphone does not have to cost an arm and a leg to enhance your voice, which is why many musicians will rely on the Audio-Technica AT2020.


This microphone is designed with a low-mass diaphragm, which will extend the frequency response. 

This is a much better alternative than having to place your lips right up against the microphone.


The cardioid polar pattern will aid in reducing external pickup sounds from all side, even the rear.


This will definitely improve isolation, so your audio recordings will come out perfect. This affordable microphone is suitable for home studio and project applications.

Pros

  • Sturdy mount with a screw fitting
  • Heavy duty construction and feels great in your hands
  • Background pickups are drastically reduced
  • Extremely affordable
  • Frequency of 20/20000 hertz

Cons

  • Does not come with a stand
  • Requires an audio interface with phantom-powered XLR input


Overall, the Audio-Technica AT2020 is a high-quality USB condenser microphone. It will perfect your voice recordings and eliminate a large portion of the external noise pickup.


For the price, you will not be able to beat the AT2020, so if you are on a small financial budget, be sure to invest in this microphone.


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Quality mic with a reasonable price tag!" - By Silvester
"Perfect microphone for studio use or beginners" - By Ashley Bradley

question

FAQ's

Q: Do I need phantom power for this product?

A: No. It gets it's power via the USB. 

Best USB Recording Microphone

2. Rode Podcaster Dynamic Large-Diaphragm 


Over the years, the Rode Company has established itself as one of the leaders, within the microphone market.


This company has delivered a variety of different microphones and the public has received the majority of them very well.


The Rode Podcaster definitely fits into this category. Although this model is a little expensive, it can undoubtedly deliver an impressive performance, which will satisfy almost any musician. 

The unit is equipped with a 3.5mm stereo headphone output, so you can listen to the music you make, as it is recorded.

At the same time, you should realize that this USB-bus powered microphone is compatible with Windows and Mac computers.


Musicians with this device will be able to experience broadcast quality sound with amazing clarity. One of the most impressive aspects of all is the 10-year warranty, which covers the unit.


This addition definitely helps to justify the slightly more expensive price tag. This unit is also equipped with its very own microphone stand. More pros and cons can be found below.

Pros

  • Deliver broadcast sound quality, which will be sure to satisfy all
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac computers
  • USB-bus powered
  • Equipped with a 3.5mm stereo headphone output
  • Volume controller is built into the body
  • Comes with an extensive full 10y-year warranty
  • Comes with USB cable and stand

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • No pop filter


At the end of the day, the Rode Podcaster is an excellent microphone, which will thrill most musicians.


The mic is great in all areas and is undoubtedly the best USB recording microphone, which will not break the bank. Be sure to check it out in greater depth today!


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Superb USB microphone!" - By G. Fraser
"This is a brilliant microphone. I bought this one for a work ..." - By Rob Griffiths

Best USB Studio Microphone

3. Blue Microphones Yeti

As a musician, who is currently building his or her own studio, you should understand how important your microphone would be.


There are numerous mics on the market, but few of them are perfect for studio work. This is why you should check out the Blue Microphones Yeti USB Studio Microphone.


This microphone is available in an abundance of different colors, including silver, black and platinum. 

The Yeti has established itself as one of the best-selling USB microphones on the planet and this is no coincidence.


When you purchase this mic, you will also receive the PreSonus Studio One Artist multi-track recording software. The iZotope Nectar Elements vocal production program is also included.


The software and microphone are both compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems. If you intend the record podcasts, music, or interviews, this microphone is an absolute must. More details will be provided below.

Pros

  • An excellent overall value, which comes with an abundance of items
  • Works excellent with Mac and Windows operating systems
  • iZotope Nectar Elements and Studio One Artist Recording Software included
  • Available in several different styles
  • Delivers excellent audio quality
  • Clarity is great and will satisfy all musicians
  • 4 Modes – Stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional and bidirectional

Cons

  • Minor vibrations can be picked up frequently
  • A little too sensitive


It is truly hard to complain about this specific microphone, which comes with an abundance of accessories and software.


For the overall price, the Blue Microphone Yeti is definitely a steal! For that, you should be sure to check it out for yourself today.


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Fantastic rich sound, superb bargain" - By David James
"Its a good bit of kit and I am happy with the level of recording certainly." - By Michael J. Roberts

Best USB Computer Microphone

4. Samson Meteor USB Microphone

If you are searching for a USB computer microphone that will withstand the test of time, you should definitely consider the Samson Meteor.


This microphone is designed with a cardi

oid pickup patter, which will reduce external noise pickups.


The Samson Meteor is equipped with a headphone volume knob, which is conveniently located on the front panel. 

This will allow the musician to make volume adjustments, without having to lay the microphone aside. 


The tripod stand offers optimal position adjustments, so you can place it on a piano or computer desk. This design is also great for acoustic guitar recording applications.


The condenser diaphragm measures in at 25 millimeters, which is larger than most of the competitor brands.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • Includes a tripod stand, which can be used for guitar and piano recording
  • Available in silver and titanium black
  • 16-bit 44.1/48 kilohertz resolution
  • Equipped with a headphone volume and mute switch
  • Includes a carrying bag
  • Compatible with PC and Mac computers

Cons

  • Not compatible with Windows 8 or 10 operating systems


Overall, the Samson Meteor is a very high-quality USB microphone that offers a superb sound quality. It is very solid and will fit wonderfully in your hands, while you are recording.


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Great quality of sound and build" - By Phlute
"Great mic for the money far better than the on board mic with the laptop" - By John Norton

Best USB Mic For Vocals

5. Shure PG42USB

If you’re a singer, you likely understand the importance of recording your vocals perfectly.


Vocal music can be astoundingly beautiful and it doesn’t need to be accompanied by instruments.


Of course, you will need to equip yourself with the best USB microphone for vocals, if you truly wish to excel in this musical genre.

This is why you will want to take the time to check out the Shure PG42USB Microphone. This mic comes with a handy carrying case, which gives the ability to take it with you where you go.



Although the microphone is specifically designed for vocals, it is absolutely brilliant for guitars and other instruments, as well. The USB connectivity allows the musician to easily setup this microphone and begin utilizing it right away.


 Although this one might be a sub microphone, it undoubtedly delivers a professional sound. More pros and cons will be provided below.

Pros

  • An overall great value
  • Specifically designed for vocals, but great for instruments as well
  • The shock mount helps to prevent vibrations, so only your voice is transmitted
  • The included USB cable is 3m long and will provide you with an abundance of moving room
  • The unit also comes with an incredibly handy carrying case
  • Equipped with a -15 dB switchable attenuator

Cons

  • Slightly costly
  • No additional accessories


All in all, there are numerous microphones, which will serve this purpose, but the Shure is undoubtedly one of the best for vocal musicians.​


It is slightly more expensive, but it is a necessity for musicians, who want to show off their vocal range. If you fit into this category, you should do yourself a favor and check out this USB microphone today!


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Pleasantly surprised!" - By Robert Byrne
"Worth the Price" - By J. D. Wurtz

Best Value Cheap USB Mic

6. Samson Sameteorite

Are you looking for an immensely affordable USB microphone? There are numerous out there, but only one will prove to be the best value cheap USB microphone and it is undeniably the Samson Sameteorite USB Condenser Microphone. 

The microphone delivers a 16 bit and 44.1/48 kHz resolution, which will prove to be a satisfying surprise. The unit also offers a flat frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, which is capable of paralleling the performances of much more expensive models.


If you’re worried about the outer style of the microphone, you can easily opt between two individualistic styles. At the same time, the microphone can be powered by an iPad or with the USB bus.


Another impressive feature is the cardioid pickup pattern. This will give you the ability to move around in front of the microphone, while singing. More pros and cons can be found below.

Pros

  • An incredibly affordable microphone
  • Cardioid pickup pattern is great and delivers a little-added freedom
  • USB bus powered
  • Flat frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz parallels more expensive models
  • 44.1/48kHz resolution is wonderful and delivers a great performance
  • Setup couldn’t be easier

Cons

  • Might be a little too basic for some


When it comes down to it, there is a lot to like about this incredibly affordable USB microphone.


Despite being much more affordable than the others, the microphone can match the performance of the most expensive models. If you’re looking for an affordable, yet brilliant microphone, this one cannot be ignored.


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Great microphone with great sound - and great value for money." - By Dan Wade
"Great little microphone" - By Amy Horder

USB Mic for Mac

7. Apogee Mic 96K

The Apogee microphone 96K is designed with a high-quality cardioid condenser, which will produce a crisp sound.


You do not have to configure the Apogee, just plug it in and begin your vocal recording. This is a professional USB mic for Mac and iOS devices such as the iPad and iPhone.

The great thing about the Apogee microphone is that it is so compact is size that it will fit perfectly in your front pocket.


The 96K is designed with the musician in mind, because it is embedded with a volume knob that is conveniently located on the left side of the device. The LED light will glow green, when in use.


The pure DIGITAL connection will reduce interference and static that can potentially occur during movement.

Pros

  • No configuration process required
  • Compatible with iOS 7 and later
  • Suitable for podcasting, studio, and instrument recording
  • 24-Bit/96 kilohertz
  • Includes a tripod stand
  • Includes a USB, iPhone, and lightning cables

Cons

  • More expensive than the competitor brand
  • Does not have a built-in headphone jack, which would be utilized for live monitoring


Overall, the Apogee Mic 96K has a solid construction and suitable for amateurs and professionals.


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Great 'plug and play' professional Mic - works a treat!" - By Jaime Tanna
"It's a great mic and has a nice clear recording" - By Fabian Mizzi

Best USB Mic for Rapping

8. AKG C214

Rappers need a unique microphone, in order to truly perfect their skills. If you want to show off your abilities to spit rhymes, you will want to make sure to invest in the best USB microphone for rapping.


The AKG C214 should not be ignored. It is a downright brilliant microphone and will satisfy your needs, as a rapper. 

The device comes with a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, which will be more than sufficient for this specific purpose. Although this microphone is designed for vocal purposes, it is good enough to serve others, as well.


This microphone comes with a carrying case, which makes it incredibly and effortlessly transportable. The shock mount helps to ensure that unwanted vibrations are not transmitted to your recording software.


This microphone also comes with a switchable 20 dB attenuation pad. More pros and cons can be found below.

Pros

  • Cardioid pickup pattern is great and gives the musician plenty of freedom
  • Frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz is right on the money
  • Large diaphragm condenser
  • Specifically designed for an impressive vocal delivery
  • Comes with a convenient carrying case
  • Shock mount helps to reduce vibrations
  • Durably built and designed for last

Cons

  • Just a tad bit expensive


If you’re truly serious about excelling as a rapper, you will definitely want to check out this microphone. It is an absolute must for the aspiring rapper! Be sure to check it out in greater depth right now!


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Excellent microphone!" - By Sally
"Seems to cope with volume better than I have experienced with other" - By Mr. MC Crook

Best USB Mic under £50

9. Audio-Technica MB2K

If you are looking for a microphone that will not break the bank, but will provide you with the utmost sound quality, then you need to be looking at the Audio Technica MB2K.


This microphone can really ensure that your sounds record to the very best quality possible.


If you want to end up with a professional sound recording, then this is the microphone for you.

The unidirectional dynamic is great for off-axis rejections and feedback control. The frequency response was designed specifically for instrument pickup.


The all-metal microphone ensures great durability. The neodymium magnet construction provides maximum output and the fastest transient response possible.


The XLRM connection is designed to prevent corrosion, which will greatly increase the life of your microphone. The magnalock on/off switch provides a silent operation.


As soon as you take this microphone out of the box and hold it in your hand, you are going to know that it was constructed to be very durable.


This microphone was designed specifically for instruments and vocals. This really is the best USB mic under £50.

Pros

  • All-metal construction ensures complete durability
  • Great with vocals, amplified instruments, or acoustical
  • Unidirectional designed is great for eliminating feedback
  • Neodymium construction allows great output and transient response

Cons

  • Does not provide all the features that a more expensive microphone


Overall, the Audio-Technica MB2K is designed to provide reliability, durability, and a long service life.


Amazon Customer Reviews

"This fit the bill as it is well constructed and the recorded sound is amazing." - By P. Bailey
"Great mic!" - By David Westbrook

Best Professional USB Mic

10. Rode NT-USB

Whether you are a professional podcaster or just a beginner, you need a good quality microphone.


This will ensure that your voice carries over the best, while you are broadcasting. However, there are so many different microphones on the market, each offering different features.


How do you know which one to choose? Well, the Rode is the best professional USB mic that can offer you tons of benefits.

This USB microphone is compatible with Windows or Macintosh computers. This is an amazing feature, because some microphones are only compatible with either Windows or MAC, not both.


The fact that the microphone is compatible with MAC means that you can even use it with your iPad. With the Rode NT-USB, you can take your show on the road wherever you go.


The USB connection allows you to record straight to your computer without the requirement of an additional interface. The internal pop filter reduces all those plosive sounds that normally overload microphones and cause distortion.


The microphone is equipped with a neat volume control knobs that are conveniently located on the left side of the device.

Pros

  • 2-year warranty gives consumers a piece of mind
  • Capable of being used with Windows or Mac computers
  • Take your show on the road with iPad compatibility
  • No additional interface needed for operation
  • Equipped with convenient headphone volume knobs
  • Includes a tripod stand

Cons

  • Slightly more expensive than the competitor brand


Overall, the Rode NT-USB microphone is designed to withstand the test of time. It offers a high-quality sound, plus it looks more expensive than its genuine price tag.


Amazon Customer Reviews

"Great product, wide range of applications." - By Mrs. Celia Bellis
"Outstanding USB microphone..." - By Stephen

Buyers Guide

What is a USB Condenser Microphone?

In many ways, it isn’t much different from a traditional microphone. It has all of the same components, like the diaphragm and the capsule. However, it comes with a few additions that make
it stand apart.


There are two new circuits on the USB mics; a preamp and an A/D converter (analog to digital). The preamp means that it is not necessary for the USB mic to be connected to a mixer or an external preamp, which makes it more compact and complete in some regards.


The fact that it comes with A/D tech means that you can plug it into a laptop and computer and have recording software read it.
USB condenser mics are, in many ways, much more convenient than traditional ones.

What Makes a Good USB Microphone?

The first thing I like to look for is iOS compatibility, but that’s because I am an iPhone user. There are quite a few models out there that only work with Android, so you need to keep a sharp eye out for this to avoid being disappointed when it arrives.


A mic with multiple settings can be pretty handy, especially if you are using it for a range of purposes. Things like both a stereo and cardioid mode are beneficial for changing things up, and making your device more versatile.


For example, stereo mode is perfect for capturing the acoustic
guitar and realistic sounds, while cardioid is suited to podcasts and streaming games. Having the choice between omnidirectional and bidirectional is also nice, because this is another aspect that offers flexibility.


Omnidirectional settings allow the mic to pick up sound from every
direction, which is great for ambience and a live band feel. Bidirectional records both front and rear, suited for recording interviews or duets.


You need something that is good quality and reliable so that you know it is going to last, but also toensure that you get clear and detailed sounds out of it.


Your best bet is to go with a brand you  trust, and put a little extra research in if you are left feeling unsure. Otherwise, all of the features below are part of what makes a good USB microphone.

Intended Use

What are you going to be using the mic for? Will you be recording acoustic sounds and mixing them up on your computer, or are you going to be streaming video games and recording podcasts?


The intended use plays a pretty massive part in which mic you should get, and the section above details some of the differences in use. For example, a stereo mic is perfect for acoustic sounds, and a
cardioid mic is best for streaming.

Difference Between USB and XLR Mics

The XLR mic is the traditional model that professionals will tell you is better than the USB counterparts. Is this really true, though? I would say no, as there are plenty of quality USB mics on the market that do an incredible job.


They even tend to use the same condensers as XLR models. What’s the difference though? Find out below:


  • The USB mic only needs to be hooked up to your computer; the XLR has a three-pronged connection that is a little more complicated.
  • XLR mics are usually a lot more expensive than the USB ones.
  • XLR mics usually have more features and better quality than the USB models, but this is not always the case.
  • The USB mics are way more portable than XLR ones, but they are also less customisable.
  • If a USB mic breaks the whole thing needs to be replaced, you cannot change individual parts
    like an XLR model.

How to Use Your USB Microphone

Using it is actually really simple, although it will vary according to who makes it. However, there are some basic steps you can follow for getting started with your mic:

  • Plug it into your computer or laptop using the USB cord provided
  • Allow it to be used as the primary sound source on your computer
  • Follow any on-screen instructions from the manufacturer
  • Link it up to any software that you use for sound and recording

It’s that easy, and it doesn’t take much time to get started with using your mic. It’s one of the nice things about them, that they remain simple and without too much complication to use.

Polar Patterns

This is also known as the pickup pattern, and there are several different types in microphones. I’ll be going through the main three so that you have a clear idea of what there is to choose from:

  • Cardioid. These have a heart-shaped pickup pattern, and they collect sounds from the front, with reduced pickup from the sides. You can even get semi-cardioids that have an even
    narrower field.
  • Omnidirectional. These really capture the sound of the room, as well as the source of the primary sound. It’s also great for recording multiple voices or instruments because it picks
    up sound from multiple directions.
  • Multi-pattern. These are fantastic because they allow you to switch between cardioid and omnidirectional as needed. This makes them versatile, as well as suited to a whole range of
    scenarios. Certainly one of my top choices.

Budget

What you have to spend is as important an aspect as any, because your budget shouldn’t be overspent just because the mic you think you need is the most expensive on the market.


In actual fact, there are loads of fantastic quality mics out there for really affordable prices; you just need to know where to look. Right here, actually, since I have collected a whole range of affordable, reliable, and high-quality mics that will definitely suit your needs. Take a look without worrying about overspending.

Conclusion

Well this really was  a long one. We hope the reviews above in this epic guide will aid you in choosing the best USB mic for your given needs.

As always we would like to hear from  you with your own opinions on what makes a great USB microphone, so please feel free to leave your comments below.


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