Best USB Microphones 2017
At a time where recording podcasts or YouTube Vlogs is becoming ever more popular, home recording has had to adapt to become simpler and more accessible for those who don’t have a full recording set up. Enter the USB microphone. Gone are the days where you would need a lot of equipment to record your voice into your computer. The USB microphone enables you to easily record yourself by simply plugging it in to your laptop, with no extra hassle or any more equipment needed. In the last few years USB microphones have developed a considerable amount. A few years a go there were only a handful on the market to buy and they were of questionable quality. That has now changed. This article will talk about the best usb microphones 2017.
Today the market is full of USB microphones and whilst they will not be able to replicate the sound of the very best studio microphones, they have improved considerably and are very credible. So how do you know which one to buy and which one is the best USB microphone for you? This blog is going to run through the very best usb microphones 2017.
As this is quite a long article, I have put together handy list so you can quickly see what microphones are out there.
Best USB Microphones 2017
#1 Apogee MiC 96k
- Studio quality cardioid condenser microphone
- Designed for vocal and acoustic instrument recording. Also great for recording interviews, podcasts, voice overs, and audio for DSLR video.
- Up to 96 kHz/24-bit HD recording
- Works with iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac
The Apogee MiC 96k is arguably the best usb microphone on the market. Whilst it is more expensive than many of it’s rivals it is certainly worth the price. The quality of the audio it records is very high. As a result it is one of the few USB microphones out there that can compete with the more traditional studio microphones.
Apogee are renowned for making high end audio equipment and having excellent build quality and the Mic 96k is no exception. Furthermore it has impressive statistics, boasting 96kHz/24 bit recording capabilities. In addition, it also looks fantastic with it’s silver and black outer shell.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a high quality, easy to use USB microphone, then look no further than the Apogee MiC 96k. It is arguably the best USB microphone 2017.
Check it out in action
#2 Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
- Condenser microphone with USB output for digital recording
- High quality A/D converter with 16 bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate for superb audio
- Headphone jack with volume control allows you to monitor the microphone signal with no delay
- Mix control allows you to blend your microphone signal and pre-recorded audio
- High-output internal headphone amplifier delivers superior clarity and musical detail as well as more volume overall
The Audio Technica 2020 XLR microphone is generally considered one of the best affordable studio microphones on the market. It can capture high quality recordings at under $200 and is widely used around the world. Audio Technica have masterfully created a USB variant of that fantastic microphone and it does not disappoint.
The 2020USB+ offers the critically acclaimed, award-winning sound of the AT2020, with studio-quality articulation and intelligibility perfect for singer/songwriters, podcasters, voice-over artists, field recorders, and home studio recorders. Furthermore it has some nice little features, such as a built in headphone jack which allows you to directly monitor your microphone signal with no delay. In addition the microphone’s cardioid pickup pattern delivers excellent noise rejection of any unwanted sounds, while its A/D converter with a 16-bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate ensures extremely articulate sound reproduction.
In conclusion the Audio Technica 2020USB+ is one of the best USB microphones on the market. Like the Apogee MiC 96k it has the ability not only to record spoken word to a high standard, but also instruments. Therefore it is a great addition to any basic home studio set up. It really is well worth the money and one of the best USB microphones 2017.
#3 Blue Spark Digital Lightning
- Features Blue’s legendary studio sound quality with Lightning connector for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod®
- Plug ‘n play with GarageBand™ and other recording applications
- Headphone jack for zero-latency, real-time monitoring
- Focus Control switch offers two sonic signatures in one mic
Blue have produced a really great USB microphone with the Spark Digital Lightning. The Blue Spark Digital Lightning is a studio condenser microphone that offers both USB and iPad connectivity, expanding on the sound of Blue’s Spark XLK studio microphone.
What is so good about the Blue Spark Digital Lightning is that it features the same studio-grade condenser capsule and hand-tuned components as its XLR equivalent, meaning that it can support high-fidelity recording and consistence performance in any situation – vocals, drums, piano, speech, location recording and more. Furthermore the Spark Digital Lightning also includes Focus Control, providing two different sonic options. In addition it comes complete with an adjustable desk stand and built-in shockmount and also includes y-cables for each platform with a headphone jack for zero-latency real-time monitoring.
The Blue Spark Digital Lightning is up there with the Apogee MiC 96k in terms of build quality and sound. It is an excellent choice of microphone if you wish to record podcasts, make online calls and branch out into instrument recording.
Check it out in action
#4 Blue Yeti
- Tri-capsule array – 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation
- Multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo
- Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output
- Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls
- Plug ‘n play – Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher) and PC (Windows 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP)
The Blue Yeti is another member of Blue’s fantastic USB microphone range. The Yeti is a lovely looking condenser microphone that has great versatility. Blue describe it as the ‘ultimate professional USB microphone’. Although there is stiff competition from Apogee and Audio Technica it is easy to see why.
The Blue Yeti uses Blue’s proprietary tri-capsulre technology which enables it to capture studio quality recordings. Furthermore it has a multiple microphone pattern selection, giving you the option to record using cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional or stereo. In addition the Blue Yeti has some useful features such as gain control, a mute button and a zero-latency headphone output, meaning you can record and listen at the same time without any annoying delays. Also, the Blue Yeti has a unique positionable design, meaning you can easily place it on your desk for podcast and voice recordings.
In conclusion the Blue Yeti is up there with the very best USB microphones. Most noteworthy is it’s versatility to be able to record using different microphone patterns. At just under $100 for the standard version and just over $100 for the black edition it is also very good value compared with it’s Apogee and Audio Technica rivals. The Blue Yeti is a very good choice of USB microphone for instrument and voice recordings.
Check it out in action
#5 Blue Snowball
- Custom condenser capsule offers crystal clear audio for Skype, Messages and FaceTime
- Record vocals, create podcasts, and add narration to your home movies
- Add crystal clear audio to recordings for YouTube
- Easy plug and play directly to your Mac or PC-no drivers to install
- Ships with desktop stand and USB cable
- Comes in a wide variety of colours
If you are interested in getting a USB microphone the chances are that you will already have come across the Blue Snowball. It is one of the best best selling USB microphones on the market, and it is easy to understand why.
It looks clean and sleek with it spherical head and tripod stand. Furthermore it is ideal for podcasting or online calls. The enables it to easily sit on your desk and capture everything in crystal clear audio.
The Blue Snowball is also quite cheap. Indeed, it can be purchased for $50 making it a risk free investment and great value. However, it will probably not sound as good as the more expensive Apogee MiC 96k, but then again if you are just needing a microphone to record spoken word, the Blue Snowball is perfect.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a microphone for online calls or podcasting, then given it’s price, quality and ease of use, the Blue Snowball could be the one for you.
Check it out in action
#6 Blue Snowflake
- Precision-tuned Blue condenser capsule for high-quality audio
- Proprietary digital converter and preamp
- Ultra-compact design for maximum portability,Plug-and-play driverless set-up and performance
- Compatible:Windows Vista, 7, 8 (or newer),Mac OSX (10.4.11 or higher)
Blue are a market leader in terms of USB microphones and the Blue Snowflake is another fantastic addition to their catalogue. Like the Snowball, the Snowfkale is very reasonably priced at just over $50. It is slick, compact and a perfect size for travelling with and for desktop recording.
The Snowflake is a fantastic little microphone. Most noteworthy is its unique design that enables you to fold out and clip onto your laptop, making it perfect for recording podcasts for or online calls. Its capsule also pivots back and forth and rotates side-to-side for optimal positioning.
The Snowflake is one of the best USB microphones you can get due to it’s affordable price and effective design.
Check it out in action
#7 Audio Technica ATR2100
- Handheld dynamic microphone with USB digital output and XLR analog output
- USB output connects to your computer for digital recording, while the XLR output connects with your sound system conventional microphone input for use in live performance
- Smooth, extended frequency response ideally suited for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, voiceover, and on-stage use
- Built-in headphone jack allows you to directly monitor your microphone output without audible delay
- Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the sides and rear
Audio Technica are a great microphone manufacturer and the Audio Technica ATR2100 is a strong, tried and test USB microphone.
The ATR2100 is a dynamic microphone which is designed as a handheld, although can be easily used with a stand. It has a cardioid polar pattern which will reduce any unwanted sounds form the sides and rear when recording. As such the Audio Technia ATR2100 makes for an excellent podcast and voicer over microphone. The cardioid polar pattern also means it is quite effective for field recordings. Furthermore, it is very good value at just over $50. As such you can buy the ATR2100 knowing you are getting value for money.
In conclusion, the Audio Technica ATR2100 is a well liked, well reviewed, tried and tested microphone. If you are looking for a good value microphone to record vocals with or your podcasts, then it is a very good option.
#8 Cad U37
- Large condenser microphone element for warm, rich recordings
- Cardioid pick-up pattern minimizes background noise and isolates the main sound source
- Smooth, extended frequency response is excellent for singing, speech and instruments
- -10dB overload-protection switch minimizes distortion from loud sound sources
- Bass-reduction switch reduces room noise…side-address design popular with broadcast, TV and recording studios
Cad are not really renown for their quality of microphones. Because the U37 is one of the cheapest USB microphones available at under $40, it would be natural to think it is not particularly high quality. While it is a low cost microphone, it is surprisingly good, especially if you are just looking to do podcast recording
In addition, the Cad U37 has some nice little features, such as a -10dB overload-protection switch minimizes distortion from loud sound sources. Furthermore it also has a bass-reduction switch reduces room noise.
In conclusion the Cad U37 is a very affordable and competent microphone. While it is an affordable price, if you are looking to record instruments the Apogee MiC 96k or Audio Technia 2020USB+ would are both better options.