The best USB microphones 2024: top standalone mics with USB connectivity

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
best USB microphone against a pink TechRdar background
(Image credit: Future)

The best USB microphones are a vast improvement and should be part of your setup if you care about the way you sound. While any mic will do for Skype or Zoom calls with family and friends, if you’re serious about making YouTube videos, Twitch streams, or professional conferencing, then you need one of these USB mics.

It’s so easy to connect with people these days thanks to the increasing bandwidth available and improving internet-based technologies. All you need to telecommute, stream, or podcast, is a computer, a microphone, and an internet connection. You can do it from anywhere in the world. But, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing, you need to sound clear and present, and you can only do that with a top-notch USB microphone.

To help you find an excellent standalone microphone with USB connectivity to meet your needs, we collected our top picks for all sorts of budgets and needs. While we don't have stand-alone reviews for all of these picks, we have either already tested them or are in the process of doing so. So, you can rest assured that we've put them through their paces. 

Read on if you want to improve the way you sound online with one of the best USB microphones. Be sure to check out the best PC gaming headsets as well to complete your streaming or gaming rig.

The best USB microphones 2024

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Blue Yeti against a white background

(Image credit: Blue)
The best USB microphone overall

Specifications

Polar pattern: Cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo
Bit and sample rate: 16-bit/48kHz
Frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz

Reasons to buy

+
Multiple pattern modes
+
Great for podcasting

Reasons to avoid

-
Audiophiles might be disappointed

The Blue Yeti is one of the most popular mics out there for podcasters and it’s easy to see why. With stereo and bidirectional modes, this is one of the best USB microphones on the market for recording one-on-one interviews or group conversations. With 5v of power from its USB connection, the Blue Yeti has several essential controls built into the mic, including a gain dial, live-headphone monitoring with volume control, and a pattern switch. 

Its quality was clear and full in every test we gave its multiple patterns, though you may want to invest in a pop-shield for the best possible results. The major downside of the Blue Yeti is that everything is being recorded through a single mic rather than a multihead design. For most users, this will hardly be a problem, if it’s even noticed at all, but it might be an issue for audiophiles. Blue has a smaller-profile Yeti Nano as well for the more budget-minded, though it isn’t as feature backed as its Bigfoot older brother.

Read our full Blue Yeti review

Jlab Go Talk against a white background

(Image credit: Jlab)

2. Jlab Go Talk

The best cheap USB microphone

Specifications

Polar pattern: Cardioid and omnidirectional
Bit and sample rate: 24-bit/96kHz
Frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz

Reasons to buy

+
Sound quality is decent, clear
+
Very stable stand
+
Headphone jack for direct monitoring

Reasons to avoid

-
Sudden volume gain
-
Very sensitive to vibrations

There are cheaper USB mics than the Jlab Go Talk. However, this is the best one to get if you're on a budget, boasting great specs like hi-res 24-bit/96kHz recording, two polar patterns, and a very stable stand with 360-degree articulation. It also comes with physical controls like press to mute and turn to adjust volume as well as a headphone jack allows you to do direct monitoring, which means you’re hearing the audio directly from the mic so there’s no latency.

During our testing with this mic, it delivered great sound quality, its omnidirectional pattern sounding the same on all the sides. Being a budget option, it isn't perfect. The background noise and vibration rejection could be better, and it has this sudden jump in gain, getting exponentially louder at the highest volumes and much quieter at lower volumes. But, it's still a better mic than the one you’d have on a laptop or your phone. This is a terrific option for someone who’s just starting out with their streaming channel or a podcast.

Razer Seiren Elite against a white background

(Image credit: Razer)

3. Razer Seiren Elite

Premium USB mic for the discerning Twitch streamer

Specifications

Polar pattern: Cardioid
Bit and sample rate: 16-bit/48kHz
Frequency range: 50Hz - 20kHz

Reasons to buy

+
Easy setup
+
Features ideal for streamers

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited options for a Razer product

If you play a lot of PC games, you’re likely very familiar with Razer hardware already so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they make one of the best USB microphones for professional Twitch streamers on the market. Razer’s Seiren Elite USB microphone sports a single capsule design with a built-in filter and limiter, making it a great mic for any broadcasting setup. The high-pass filter cuts out low-frequency background noise like whirring fans on the back of your PC while the vocal limiter automatically adjusts the gain and volume if there’s a sudden change in volume. 

Those who are well acquainted with Razer peripherals might be surprised by the limited customization features of the microphone. Plus, it does not integrate well with Razer’s Synapse software, so don’t expect it to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the Razer ecosystem.

AKG Ara against a white background

(Image credit: AKG)
The best USB microphone for vocals

Specifications

Polar pattern: Cardioid, bidirectional
Bit and sample rate: 24-bit/96kHz
Frequency range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz

Reasons to buy

+
Full if bottom-heavy sound
+
Plug-and-play
+
Very affordable

Reasons to avoid

-
No gain control
-
Very sensitive to bumps and vibrations

Getting a mic from AKG doesn't have to be expensive, thanks to AKG Ara. This affordable option from the popular acoustics engineering brand is very easy to use as well, making it a great option for beginner users on a budget. That doesn't mean that it's not good for professionals, either. Even as a more stripped-down mic, the AKG Ara offers a lot of value for the price. 

We found during testing that it's got a full, if a little bottom-heavy sound, that will pick up all the frequencies that you want for your voice, which you can edit later. That makes it one of the best USB microphones for vocals, especially if you're looking for something affordable. Its lack of gain control and sensitivity to physical vibrations keeps us from considering this the perfect budget USB mic. But, it’s still a damn good one.

Read our full AKG Ara review

HyperX Duocast against a white background

(Image credit: HyperX)
The best USB microphone for podcasting

Specifications

Polar pattern: Cardioid, omnidirectional
Bit and sample rate: 24-bit/96kHz
Frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz

Reasons to buy

+
Audio quality is fantastic
+
Has a shock mount and boom arm adapter
+
RGB lighting 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not competitively priced
-
Ngenuity software is cumbersome to use

A great entry-level USB microphone that sounds great and has plenty of personality, the HyperX Duocast is a fantastic option for those who are serious about getting started with content creation. However, we really love it for podcasts as well, thanks to its ominidirectional polar pattern, which works great if you have guests when recording episodes. Plus, based on our testing, its sound quality is fantastic, which means you'll sound great on all your episodes.

It's not one of the cheapest options on this list, but you're also getting a lot of bang for your buck here. Not only does it come with RGB lighting that should sync beautifully with your other HyperX RGB peripherals, but it also comes with a well-designed shock mount and boom arm adapter, for recording flexibility – again, making it great for podcasts. If you want the best USB microphone for podcasting, this should be the first one to consider.

Read our full HyperX Duocast review

Elgato Wave:3 against a white background

(Image credit: Elgato)
The best USB microphone for streaming

Specifications

Polar pattern: Cardioid
Bit and sample rate: 24-bit/96 kHz
Frequency range: 70Hz - 20kHz

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful, vintage design
+
Solid stand and mount
+
Effective at minimizing vibrations and background noise

Reasons to avoid

-
Control software acts up sometimes

Elgato Wave:3's beautiful vintage design is just the beginning. This is a high-quality mic with a solid stand and mount with an almost 360-degree articulation as well as controls to mute, tweak input gain, and crossfade between mic and PC mix. There are also light indicators for gain level.

Of course, there's more to it than its premium build quality and funky rectangular design. This USB mic is pretty effective at minimizing sound pick from the side and the back, as well as minimizing vibrations and background noise. That's on top of having amazing sound quality. The Wave Link software is finnicky, but it is pretty versatile, letting you tweak things like how loud your stream mix is and add effects like reverb and pitch shift. This is one excellent USB mic for streaming.

Read our full Elgato Wave:3 review

HyperX QuadCast S against a white background

(Image credit: HyperX)

7. HyperX QuadCast S

The best USB microphone for gaming

Specifications

Polar pattern: Stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, bidirectional
Bit and sample rate: 16-bit/46kHz
Frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound quality
+
Customizable RGB lighting

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly expensive

The HyperX QuadCast S might be eye-catching and RGB-enthusiast approved, but it’s more than just a great addition to your RGB trimmed setup. It delivers great sound, four polar patterns, and a highly effective shock mount in its superb metal build – not to mention, features like a built-in pop filter, included mount adapter, and multi-platform compatibility. 

All that makes it worth that albeit higher price. Of course, if you are an RGB fan, you’ll appreciate that it has gorgeous RGB lighting right on the mic itself that’s customizable via HyperX NGENUITY software. 

Shure MV7 against a white background

(Image credit: Shure)

8. Shure MV7

The best USB dynamic microphone

Specifications

Polar pattern: Cardioid
Bit and sample rate: 24-bit/48kHz
Frequency range: 50 Hz to 16,000 Hz

Reasons to buy

+
Detailed sound
+
Great build quality
+
Very versatile

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The stunning and premium Shure MV7 is absolutely amazing for streaming and podcast, but it's also the best USB mic if you're looking for a solidly-built dynamic microphone for your recordings. Even if you're a professional musician, you'll adore this enough to record with it, thanks of course to its XLR output and the fact that it’s inspired by the legendary SM7B. It also comes with excellent software.

We're still in the process of testing this mic, but we're already impressed. Its sound reproduction is very detailed, and when recording on manual, you're getting four EQ options, adding to its versatility. Plus, you're also getting headphone monitoring. Overall, you're getting what you'd expect from one of the most established mic manufacturers out there. 

AKG Lyra against a white background

(Image credit: AKG)
The best USB condenser microphone

Specifications

Polar pattern: Cardioid, bidirectional, tight stereo, wide stereo
Bit and sample rate: 24-bit/192kHz
Frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz

Reasons to buy

+
Great sound quality
+
Premium build
+
Four polar patterns

Reasons to avoid

-
Physical controls could be better

AKG has been making top-of-the-line microphones since before computers could fit inside a room. So, when the company tossed its hat in the USB mic ring, we knew it had to be good. And, while it is a little pricey compared to the competition, it’s more than worth it.

Resembling one of the company’s most famous mics, the AKG Lyra has a lot of style with its retro aesthetics. Of course, its performance is just as stellar with full bodied sou