female podcasting using a USB microphone

A Guide to the Best Budget USB Microphones: Top Picks, Buying Advice

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USB microphones have become essential tools for creating good content. To produce quality content with excellent audio and great video quality, podcasters, streamers, gamers, and musicians need more than just the built-in microphones from their headsets, smartphones, laptops, or tablets.

These mics offer a blend of convenience, quality, and affordability, making them accessible to both beginners and seasoned professionals. It’s not hard to find a good USB microphone. In fact, in 2023, statistics show that the global market for professional microphones will make 3.04 billion U.S. dollars in revenue. With a myriad of options available, choosing the best budget USB microphone can be daunting. This guide aims to simplify your decision-making process by highlighting top picks, providing detailed specifications, and offering expert buying advice.

Best Budget USB Microphones: Quick List

  1. Joby Wavo Pod - Best Microphone for Beginners
  2. Razer Seiren X - Best for Gamers
  3. Blue Yeti  - Best in Versatility
  4. Rode Podcaster  - Best for Professional Podcasters
  5. AKG Lyra - Best User-friendly Microphone
  6. PreSonus Revelator - Best for Sound Quality
  7. Maono GamerWave DGM20 - Best Budget USB Microphone for Gaming
  8. Maono PM450S  - Best Budget USB Condenser Microphone

Detailed Reviews of Top Picks

1. Joby Wavo Pod - Best Microphone for Beginners

Specifications:

Mic Type: Condenser

Connectivity: USB-C

Pickup Pattern: Cardioid

Features: Plug-and-play, built-in pop filter, adjustable gain control

Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

Reason to Buy:

✅ Excellent audio quality for the price

✅ User-friendly design

Reason to Avoid:

❌ Limited pickup pattern options

Detailed Description: The Joby Wavo Pod stands out for its affordability and performance. Ideal for beginners, it offers a cardioid pattern that effectively isolates the speaker's voice from background noise. Its plug-and-play capability ensures easy setup, making it a great choice for those new to audio recording.

2. Razer Seiren X - Gamers’ Choice

Specifications:

Mic Type: Condenser

Connectivity: USB

Pickup Pattern: Supercardioid

Features: Compact design, built-in shock mount, zero-latency monitoring

Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

Reason to Buy:

✅ Compact and stylish design

✅ Excellent noise rejection

✅ Reason to Avoid:

✅ Limited to supercardioid pattern

Detailed Description: The Razer Seiren X is tailored for gamers who need a reliable and stylish microphone. Its supercardioid pickup pattern ensures that your voice is heard clearly over any background noise, making it perfect for streaming. The built-in shock mount and zero-latency monitoring add to its appeal.

3. Blue Yeti - Best in Versatility

Specifications:

Mic Type: Condenser

Connectivity: USB

Pickup Pattern: Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8, Stereo

Features: Easy setup, multiple pattern selection, gain control

Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

Reason to Buy:

✅ Simple and reliable

✅ Versatile recording modes

Reason to Avoid:

❌ Larger footprint

Detailed Description: The Blue Yeti is a staple in the world of USB microphones, known for its reliability and ease of use. With multiple pickup patterns and straightforward controls, it's an excellent choice for users who need a hassle-free recording experience. Its robust build and solid performance make it a popular choice among content creators.

4. Rode Podcaster - Best for Professional Podcasters

Specifications:

Mic Type: Dynamic

Connectivity: USB

Pickup Pattern: Cardioid

Features: Built-in pop filter, zero-latency monitoring

Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

Reason to Buy:

✅ Excellent for voice recording

✅ Durable build

Reason to Avoid:

❌ Limited to cardioid pattern

Detailed Description: The Rode Podcaster is specifically designed for podcasting, offering a cardioid pickup pattern that isolates the speaker's voice from ambient noise. Its dynamic capsule ensures clear and natural sound reproduction, making it a top choice for professional and aspiring podcasters alike.

5. AKG Lyra - Best User-friendly Microphone

Specifications:

Mic Type: Condenser

Connectivity: USB-C

Pickup Pattern: Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8, Stereo

Features: Multiple recording modes, easy-to-use controls

Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

Reason to Buy:

✅ Multiple pickup patterns for various recording needs

✅ User-friendly interface

Reason to Avoid:

❌ Bulkier design

Detailed Description: The AKG Lyra is a versatile microphone that adapts to different recording environments. Whether you're conducting interviews, recording music, or streaming, its multiple pickup patterns ensure optimal audio capture. Its intuitive controls make it accessible to users of all levels.

6. PreSonus Revelator - Best for Sound Quality

Specifications:

Mic Type: Condenser

Connectivity: USB-C

Pickup Pattern: Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8

Features: Built-in DSP, multiple patterns, easy integration with PreSonus software

Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

Reason to Buy:

✅ Superior audio quality

✅ Versatile pickup patterns

Reason to Avoid:

❌ Slightly higher price point

Detailed Description: The PreSonus Revelator is a powerhouse for those who prioritize audio quality. Its multiple pickup patterns and built-in DSP effects make it a versatile tool for various recording scenarios, from podcasts to musical performances. Its integration with PreSonus software provides added flexibility for audio editing.

7. Maono GamerWave DGM20 - Best Budget USB Microphone for Gaming

best budget USB microphone

Specifications:

Mic Type: Condenser

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz

Pickup Pattern: Cardioid

Connectivity: USB

Features: RGB lighting, built-in pop filter, real-time monitoring, touch mute button

Accessories: Detachable stand, USB cable, user manual

✅ Reason to Buy: Stylish design with RGB lighting, real-time monitoring, built-in pop filter

❌ Reason to Avoid: Limited to USB connectivity, single polar pattern

Price: Approximately $41.99

Notable Features: RGB lighting, built-in pop filter, touch mute button

Description: The Maono GamerWave DGM20 is designed for gamers and streamers, featuring vibrant RGB lighting and real-time monitoring. Its built-in pop filter and touch mute button provide a seamless recording experience.

8. Maono PM450S  - Best Budget USB Condenser Microphone

best budget USB microphone

Specifications:

Mic Type: Condenser

Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz

Pickup Pattern: Cardioid

Connectivity: USB 2.0

Features: High-resolution audio (192kHz/24bit), touch key mute button, real-time monitoring with zero latency, built-in gain control, LED status indicator

Accessories: Shock mount, pop filter, USB cable, tripod stand

✅ Reason to Buy: Excellent audio quality, easy plug-and-play setup, durable build

❌ Reason to Avoid: Limited to USB connectivity, single polar pattern

Price: Approximately $169.99

Notable Features: Real-time zero-latency monitoring, touch key mute button, durable metal construction

Description: The Maono PM450S offers high-resolution audio with user-friendly features, making it ideal for content creators, podcasters, and musicians. Its durable build and included accessories enhance recording quality and ease of use and it’s the best budget microphone USB condenser you can get, with accessories for a reasonable price!

Other Best Quality USB Mics:

9. Audio-Technica AT2020USB-XP 

Specifications:

  • Mic Type: Condenser
  • Connectivity: USB
  • Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
  • Features: High-quality audio, compact design
  • Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

Reason to Buy:

✅ Great value for money
✅ Reliable performance

    Reason to Avoid:

    ❌ Limited features

      Detailed Description: The AT2020USB-XP offers exceptional audio quality at an affordable price, making it a great value option for those starting in content creation.

      10. Mackie EM-USB 

      Specifications:

      • Mic Type: Condenser
      • Connectivity: USB
      • Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
      • Features: Integrated gain control, headphone output
      • Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

      Reason to Buy:

      ✅ Excellent for podcasting
      ✅ Affordable

        Reason to Avoid:

        ❌ Basic features

          Detailed Description: The Mackie EM-USB is a budget-friendly option for podcasters, offering essential features and solid performance without breaking the bank.

          11. IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio 

          Specifications:

          • Mic Type: Condenser
          • Connectivity: USB
          • Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
          • Features: Compact design, high-quality audio
          • Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

          Reason to Buy:

          ✅ Portable and convenient
          ✅ Great for voice recording

            Reason to Avoid:

            ❌ Limited to speech applications

              Detailed Description: The iRig Mic Studio is perfect for those who need a portable and high-quality microphone for speech applications, such as voiceovers and interviews.

              12. sE Electronics Neom USB 

              Specifications:

              • Mic Type: Condenser
              • Connectivity: USB
              • Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
              • Features: Professional-grade audio, durable build
              • Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

              Reason to Buy:

              ✅ High-quality audio
              ✅ Professional features

                Reason to Avoid:

                ❌ Higher price point

                  Detailed Description: The sE Electronics Neom USB offers professional-level features and audio quality, making it suitable for serious content creators.

                  13. Shure MV7 - The Expensive Mic for Youtubers in Untreated Rooms

                  Specifications:

                  • Mic Type: Dynamic
                  • Connectivity: USB/XLR
                  • Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
                  • Features: Built-in headphone monitoring, touch panel controls
                  • Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

                  Reason to Buy:

                  ✅ Excellent for untreated rooms
                  ✅ Dual connectivity

                    Reason to Avoid:

                    ❌ Expensive

                      Detailed Description: The Shure MV7 is designed for content creators, youtubers, and podcasters who need high-quality audio in untreated rooms, offering both USB and XLR connectivity for versatility.

                      14. Rode NT-USB 

                      Specifications:

                      • Mic Type: Condenser
                      • Connectivity: USB
                      • Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
                      • Features: Integrated pop shield, easy setup
                      • Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

                      Reason to Buy:

                      ✅ Reliable performance
                      ✅ Integrated pop shield

                        Reason to Avoid:

                        ❌ Limited features

                          Detailed Description: The Rode NT-USB is a classic choice for those seeking reliable performance and ease of use, featuring an integrated pop shield for improved audio quality.

                          15. IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD 2 - Perfect for Mobile Recording or Podcasting

                          Specifications:

                          • Mic Type: Condenser
                          • Connectivity: USB
                          • Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
                          • Features: High-definition audio, portable design
                          • Accessories: Desktop stand, USB cable

                          Reason to Buy:

                          ✅ Portable and versatile
                          ✅ Great for mobile recording

                            Reason to Avoid:

                            ❌ Limited to mobile recording

                              The IK Multimedia iRig Mic HD 2 is ideal for podcasters and broadcasters who need a portable solution. Its high-definition audio and compact design make it perfect for recording on the go.

                              USB Microphones Overview

                              Here’s a quick rundown of our top five honorable mentions for USB microphones under $200:

                              1. Rode NT-USB Mini 
                              2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB-X
                              3. Austrian Audio MiCreator Studio 
                              4. Sennheiser Profile
                              5. G4M Dynamic Broadcast Microphone with USB 

                              Top 5 Best Budget USB Microphones and Honorable Mentions:

                              1. Rode NT-USB Mini

                              Notable Features:

                              • Compact design
                              • Built-in pop filter
                              • Headphone output

                              Pros:

                              • Excellent sound quality
                              • Easy to use

                              Cons:

                              • Limited pickup pattern

                              Detailed Description: The Rode NT-USB Mini is a compact and powerful microphone, ideal for desktop use. Its built-in pop filter and headphone output make it user-friendly, while its audio quality rivals more expensive models.

                              1. Audio-Technica AT2020USB-X

                              Notable Features:

                              • Studio-grade audio
                              • Compact design

                              Pros:

                              • Excellent for studio use
                              • High-quality audio

                              Cons:

                              • Limited features

                              Detailed Description: The AT2020USB-X is perfect for studio recording, offering high-quality audio in a compact and affordable package.

                              1. Austrian Audio MiCreator Studio

                              Notable Features:

                              • Expandable design
                              • High-quality components

                              Pros:

                              • Versatile and expandable
                              • Excellent audio quality

                              Cons:

                              • Higher price range

                              Detailed Description: The Austrian Audio MiCreator Studio stands out for its expandability and high-quality components, making it a great choice for those looking to build a comprehensive recording setup.

                              1. Sennheiser Profile

                              Notable Features:

                              • Plug-and-play setup
                              • High-quality audio

                              Pros:

                              • Simple and efficient
                              • Reliable performance

                              Cons:

                              • Limited advanced features

                              Detailed Description: The Sennheiser Profile is perfect for those who need a straightforward, reliable microphone. Its plug-and-play setup ensures hassle-free use, and its audio quality is excellent for the price.

                              1. G4M Dynamic Broadcast Microphone

                              Notable Features:

                              • Dynamic design
                              • Superior sound quality

                              Pros:

                              • Excellent for broadcasting
                              • Durable and reliable

                              Cons:

                              • Bulky design

                              Detailed Description: The G4M Dynamic Broadcast Microphone provides superior sound quality and is built to last, making it an excellent choice for broadcasters and podcasters alike.

                              Honorable Mentions:

                              1. Samson Q2U

                              Notable Features:

                              • Handheld design
                              • Dual connectivity (USB/XLR)

                              Pros:

                              • Versatile use
                              • Durable

                              Cons:

                              • Basic features

                              Detailed Description: The Samson Q2U is a versatile handheld microphone with dual connectivity, making it suitable for various recording scenarios.

                              1. Rode NT-USB+

                              Notable Features:

                              • Enhanced design
                              • Integrated pop shield

                              Pros:

                              • Reliable performance
                              • User-friendly

                              Cons:

                              • Higher price

                              Detailed Description: The Rode NT-USB+ builds on the success of its predecessor, offering improved features and reliability for users who need a dependable microphone.

                              1. Subzero SZC-500-USB

                              Notable Features:

                              • Beginner-friendly
                              • Affordable

                              Pros:

                              • Easy to use
                              • Great for beginners

                              Cons:

                              • Basic audio quality

                              Detailed Description: The Subzero SZC-500-USB is ideal for beginners, offering a user-friendly and affordable option for those new to recording.

                              1. SSL Connex

                              Notable Features:

                              • All-rounder design
                              • High-quality audio

                              Pros:

                              • Versatile use
                              • Excellent sound

                              Cons:

                              • Limited advanced features

                              Detailed Description: The SSL Connex is an all-rounder microphone that offers high-quality audio and versatility, making it suitable for various recording needs.

                              1. Shure Motiv MV5

                              Notable Features:

                              • Desktop design
                              • High-quality sound

                              Pros:

                              • Great for desktop use
                              • Reliable performance

                              Cons:

                              • Basic features

                              Detailed Description: The Shure Motiv MV5 is designed for desktop use, offering reliable performance and high-quality sound for everyday recording tasks.

                              1. Audio-Technica AT2040USB

                              Notable Features:

                              • Noise isolation
                              • Studio-grade audio

                              Pros:

                              • Excellent for noise isolation
                              • High-quality sound

                              Cons:

                              • Higher price

                              Detailed Description: The AT2040USB is perfect for studio environments, providing excellent noise isolation and high-quality audio for professional recordings.

                              1. Mackie Chromium

                              Notable Features:

                              • Versatile design
                              • Integrated features

                              Pros:

                              • Highly versatile
                              • Built-in features

                              Cons:

                              • Bulky design

                              Detailed Description: The Mackie Chromium is one of the most versatile USB microphones, offering a range of built-in features and high-quality audio for various recording needs.

                              Best Budget USB Microphones: Buying Advice

                              When shopping for a budget USB microphone, several factors come into play. Here are some key considerations to help you make an informed decision:

                              1. Purpose:
                              • Identify your primary use for the microphone. Are you podcasting, gaming, streaming, or recording music? Different mics cater to different needs.
                              1. Pickup Pattern:
                              • Cardioid: Ideal for solo recording, reducing background noise.
                              • Omnidirectional: Captures sound from all directions, good for group recordings.
                              • Figure-8 and Stereo: Useful for more advanced recording scenarios.
                              1. Connectivity:
                              • Ensure the mic is compatible with your devices. Most USB mics are plug-and-play, but some might require additional drivers or software.
                              1. Build Quality:
                              • Look for durable materials, especially if you plan to transport the mic frequently.
                              1. Features and Accessories:
                              • Built-in pop filters, shock mounts, and stands can add value to your purchase.

                              FAQs

                              1. How to choose the best budget USB mic for you?
                              • Consider your primary use, required features, and budget. Research reviews and test samples if possible.
                              1. Which mic brands should I look out for?
                              • Reputable brands like Audio-Technica, Blue, Rode, Shure, AKG, and Maono are known for quality and reliability.
                              1. What types of budget USB microphones are there?
                              • Dynamic and condenser mics are the most common. Condensers are more sensitive and suitable for studio use, while dynamics are more robust and versatile.
                              1. What extras do you need for a budget USB microphone?
                              • Pop filters, shock mounts, and stands can enhance your recording quality and ease of use.
                              1. Other features and controls you should consider?
                              • Look for gain control, headphone monitoring, and multiple pickup patterns for more flexibility.
                              1. Is it worth getting a USB microphone?
                              • Yes, USB microphones offer convenience, good audio quality, and affordability, making them a great choice for various recording needs.
                              1. Are cheap microphones worth it?
                              • Yes, a wise consumer will always look forward to value for their money. While some cheap microphones can offer decent quality, it's essential to research and choose models that provide good value for money.
                              1. Is an XLR better than a USB mic?
                              • XLR microphones generally offer better audio quality and flexibility but require additional equipment like a mixer or an audio interface. USB mics are more convenient and easier to use because it’s just plug-and-play and easy to assemble.

                              How to Choose the Best USB Mic

                              When choosing the best USB microphone, consider the following factors:

                              • Purpose: Determine your primary use for the microphone.
                              • Budget: Set a budget and look for options within your price range.
                              • Features: Look for features that match your recording needs.
                              • Build Quality: Ensure the mic is durable and built to last.
                              • Brand Reputation: Consider reputable brands known for quality products.

                              Accessories to Complete Your Setup

                              To enhance your recording experience, consider investing in the following accessories:

                              • Pop Filters: Reduce plosive sounds and improve audio clarity.
                              • Shock Mounts: Minimize vibrations and handling noise.
                              • Stands: Provide stable support for your microphone.
                              • Headphones: For monitoring your recordings.
                              2 males podcasting using a USB microphone

                                Final Thoughts

                                Choosing the best budget USB microphone depends on your specific needs and preferences. Hopefully, this guide has helped you make a decision for which microphone is perfect for you. By highlighting the top picks and detailed information about the specs and what to look for in an ideal microphone, we hoped it helped you make an informed decision. Whether you're podcasting, gaming, streaming, or recording music, there's a budget USB microphone out there for you. Grab yours now from Maono!

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