best microphone for streaming 2022

Alex from the Rock (Licensed)

4 of the best microphones for streaming

You want a mic that will deliver clean, crisp sound.

 

Rachel Kiley

Internet Culture

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Bad sound quality can ruin a viewing experience even more quickly than bad picture quality, which is why it’s important to have a quality microphone for streaming. You want a mic that will deliver clean, crisp sound and keep an audience from feeling like they’ve been transported back to an era of webcams and tinny built-in computer microphones.

But choosing a microphone for streaming can be challenging if you don’t know where to start. Where the quality USB microphone market used to be pretty much cornered by Blue microphones, more and more brands have come out with both direct competitors and other mics that manage solid quality and ease of use.

One of the main things you’ll want to look for in a microphone is what directional pattern capabilities it has—in other words, how it goes about picking up sound. Most mics allow for cardioid patterns, which prioritize sound coming from in front of and behind the mic, but still capture some from behind. For streaming, this is probably what you will want to use, even if your mic allows you to switch between other options. But if you need to pick up sound differently—say, equally from all sides—make sure to check what your mic of choice is capable of before you buy it.

Now, on to the actual mics. We’ve looked through the reviews of some of the most popular microphones for streaming in 2022, and picked four great options depending on your needs. 

1) Blue Yeti—Best Overall Streaming Microphone

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Amazon

Just because the competition is stiffer these days doesn’t mean Blue Yeti isn’t still one of the best options out there. It keeps things simple with a clean design, a mute button, and a volume knob on the front of the mic for easy adjustments while streaming, as well as a gain knob on the back. 

It offers multiple polar pattern options via a switch on the back of the mic should you need that sort of versatility, but its plug-and-play capabilities make it easy to use with just about any software right out of the box. It’s also a sturdy microphone that doesn’t damage too easily, which is a bonus if you plan on traveling with it or get a little too enthusiastic while streaming, as microphones tend to be made up of delicate internal parts.

While we’re recommending the standard, tried and true Blue Yeti, the X model offers even better sound quality at a slightly higher price, and the Nano is a great budget option although it sacrifices non-cardioid polar pattern options to get there.

Price: $129.99

2) Shure MV7—Best Versatile Microphone

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Amazon

If you want to do more with your microphone than just stream, the sound quality might be the most important factor for consideration. That’s where the Shure MV7 comes in. 

Shure mics have always been a difficult sell to streamers because they generally require XLR cables, which generally have to be run through a separate audio interface before reaching your computer. While this brand has long been creating quality studio mics, the Shure MV7 is its first microphone with both USB and XLR capabilities, meaning you can plug it directly into your computer and record, but you can also access greater sound quality and control should you eventually decide to invest in additional equipment and take advantage of the XLR capabilities.

The ShurePlus Motiv software will help you get your sound settings just right either way, including an Auto Level Mode that stops you from blowing the sound out if things get too loud. It does only function as a cardioid mic but reportedly excels at isolating voices and discarding background noise for a clear recording.

Price: $249.00

3) HyperX QuadCast—Best Looking Microphone

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Amazon

Showing off the cool gadgets that make up your streaming setup is definitely a part of the game, and the HyperX QuadCast’s RGB lights make it a microphone to be envied by viewers and fellow streamers alike.

But in addition to providing flair for the screen, it also provides solid sound quality for the price point, even rivaling Blue Yeti according to some. Like Blue Yeti, it offers four directional pattern options, but also comes with a shock mount to prevent nearby vibrations from impacting your recording. It is worth noting that Mac users don’t have access to all of the light customizations that PC users will with this mic, but it’s compatible with both.

Price: $104.98

4) Movo UM700 — Best Budget Microphone

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Amazon

While investing in a quality mic is worth the money if you have it, sometimes pinching pennies is more important. The Movo UM700 is a sub-$100 microphone for streaming that doesn’t quite match the sound quality of the others, but still gives you a lot of bang for your buck.

Despite the lower price tag, this mic offers four directional patterns and comes with a built-in stand so you don’t need to buy extra equipment to just plug it in and go. It has both a volume knob and mute button on the front, with the latter including a light that lets you know whether you are muted or not, and its small footprint will help conserve desk space if that’s a priority for your setup as well.

Price: $79.95

 
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