Headset vs USB Gaming Microphone, Which Is the Best Mic for Gamers?

Headset vs USB Gaming Microphone, Which Is the Best Mic for Gamers?

A high-quality external gaming microphone is crucial when you decide to start live streaming.
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A high-quality external gaming microphone is crucial when you decide to start live streaming. With the various options out there, it seems that choosing the best gaming microphone for a PC is a tedious task. Do you want to narrow down your choices? Whether you select a wireless gaming headset or a USB gaming microphone, the answer depends on your specific needs. 

In this article, we will explain the similarities and differences between these two types of microphones, as this information may help you spend your money wisely.  

What Is a Wireless Gaming Headset?

gaming headset

A wireless gaming headset or a headset microphone is headgear worn on the head and designed specifically for gamers. 

Aesthetic and Functional 

The design of a wireless gaming headset is an all-in-one device that combines a built-in microphone, speakers, and headphones. These types of microphones are popular with gamers and even live streamers because they are known for their high-quality audio, immersive surround sound, noise-canceling features, and comfortable design, allowing for enduring long gaming sessions.

  • Connectivity

This gadget can be connected to your personal computer, laptop, gaming console, or mobile device. These headset microphones use wireless technologies like Bluetooth or Radio Frequency (RF) to transmit audio signals from a gaming device to the headset. Some headphones come with a detachable and extendable coil cable that can be retracted and stretched without easily getting tangled. You can connect your headsets via a 3.5mm plug or a 3.0m USB cable. Check the ports on your controller, console, or your PC before making a purchase. 

  • Designed for Comfort

Wearing a comfortable headset for long periods is important if you decide to live stream your game. Select a wireless gaming headset with thick and skin-friendly ear muffs. Choose a wireless gaming headset with thick, skin-friendly ear muffs. You don't want to feel stiff or have your ears sting while wearing them.

What Is a Gaming USB Microphone?

usb gaming microphone

A USB microphone is a type of mic that connects to a computer or digital device through a USB port. These microphones are plug-and-play, very easy to use and set up, as they don’t need extra equipment or complicated installation. It's a separate mic that usually sits on a desk or table. 

  • Quality

USB microphones can record sound well, which means they're good for various things like streaming, making podcasts, doing voiceovers, and recording music.

  • Ease of Use

USB microphones are usually easy to use because all you need to do is plug them into a USB port on your device to start recording.

  • Connectivity

These microphones connect to your console or personal computer via a USB cord and offer more audio direction options than a headset. 

  • Accessories

Some USB microphones are compatible with the boom arm accessory, which helps you position and move the microphone while you record.

What Is the Main Difference Between a Headset and a USB Gaming Microphone?

Both headsets and USB microphones can be suitable for game live streaming and are capable of noise reduction, although the extent of noise reduction may vary depending on the specific model and features. Unlike a headset, a USB microphone doesn't have speakers to play sound. It only captures audio, so you'll need to connect headphones or speakers to hear what you're recording. Here are the pros and cons of using a headset or a USB gaming microphone:

1. Pros and Cons of a Headset Microphone

Pros:

  • Price and Convenience

The design of a single unit, combining headphones and a microphone, provides users with convenience for playing games and communicating with teammates easily. These headset microphones are often cheaper than USB microphones.

  • Portability

Headset microphones are portable and easy to carry, making them handy for gamers who frequently travel to events or attend LAN parties.

  • Hands-free Operation

You can keep playing games or doing other things without holding anything while talking to your teammates or streaming.

Cons:

  • Audio Quality

Headset microphones offer lower audio quality compared to USB gaming microphones.  

  • Durability

A built-in design of a headset microphone might not last as long as standalone microphones because it's more likely to get worn out over time.

  • Limited Flexibility

Users might want to use different headphones for better sound quality or comfort, but they can't because of how headset microphones are designed.

2. Pros and Cons of a USB Gaming Microphone

Pros:

  • High Audio Quality

A USB gaming microphone provides better sound quality than a headset microphone, making the sound clearer and more detailed.

  • Longevity

USB microphones tend to last longer than built-in headset microphones because they have sturdier and more durable parts that are less likely to break easily.

  • Professional Features

Lots of USB microphones have special bonus features like volume control, mute buttons, and different settings for recording in different places.

Cons:

  • Cost

USB gaming microphones usually cost more than headset microphones, especially the sophisticated ones with additional aesthetic and functional features.

  • Portability

USB gaming microphones are usually bulkier and heavier than headset microphones, making them inconvenient to carry around when you're traveling or on the go.

  • Setup

These microphones are easy to set up but you need a free USB slot on your computer or gaming device, and you might have to install extra software or set it up before you can use it.

Headset or USB Microphone? Which Kind of Microphone Should I Pick?

Both types of microphones have their advantages and disadvantages, so deciding between them might be tough. Here are some questions to help you pick the right one:

Are you a live streamer? A USB microphone gives you high-quality, professional sound that works well with popular streaming platforms.

Do you want your voice to sound clearer and more pleasant to your live audience and your teammates? If you want your voice to sound clearer, more detailed, and professional, and if you're including other teammates in your streaming, you need a USB microphone.

Do you want your game room to look more aesthetic and pro? A USB gaming microphone will appear more sophisticated.

Are you playing a solo game? If you're going to play a solo game, you can choose a basic headset mic for your gaming that also includes noise reduction.

Best USB Gaming Microphones 

best USB microphone

If you think a USB microphone is the right choice for you, take a look at these top recommendations from Maono:

  • PD200X - MAONO PD200X Dynamic USB and XLR Internet Microphone is a versatile microphone suitable for podcasting, live streaming, and recording. It features both USB and XLR connectivity options, a cardioid pickup pattern, and built-in monitoring, providing professional-quality audio recording.
  • DGM20 GamerWave - The MAONO DGM20 GamerWave Condenser USB Gaming RGB Internet Microphone is designed specifically for gamers and streamers, offering high-quality audio capture with RGB lighting effects. It features plug-and-play USB connectivity, a cardioid pickup pattern, and adjustable RGB lighting, enhancing the gaming experience while providing professional-grade sound for streaming and content creation.
  • DM30RGB - MAONO DM30RGB Gaming USB Internet Microphone is tailored for gamers and content creators, offering high-quality audio recording with customizable RGB lighting effects. With plug-and-play USB connectivity and a cardioid pickup pattern, it provides professional-grade sound capture for streaming, gaming, and content creation.   

Also, you can use the following USB headphones with microphone for PC with the Maono USB microphones:

  • MH501 - The MAONO AU-MH501 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones feature 50mm large-aperture drivers for clear, immersive sound quality, suitable for studio monitoring, gaming, and music production. Its over-ear design and soft protein ear cushions offer comfort for long listening sessions. The headphones also come with a detachable cable and foldable design for easy storage and portability.
  • MH601 - MAONO AU-MH601 Studio Monitor Headphones offer professional-grade sound quality for studio recording, gaming, and listening to music. Its aesthetic design and soft ear cushions, provide comfort for extended wear. The headphones also feature a foldable design for easy storage and travel convenience.

Best Headset Mics

USB gaming microphone

The most popular brands for producing headsets for gamers worldwide are the Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset by Logitech and the Arctis Nova 5P Wireless Headset from SteelSeries. Their prices vary depending on the specific model and its features. If you're looking for a comfortable and convenient headset microphone, you'll appreciate one of these wireless microphone headsets:

  • Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset  - Astro A50 Wireless Gaming Headset: The Astro series by Logitech offers high-quality gaming headsets known for their comfort, durability, and excellent sound quality. They are favored by many professional gamers and esports enthusiasts.
  • Arctis Nova 5P Wireless Headset - SteelSeries, a prominent name in gaming equipment, produces a wide range of gaming gear, including headsets. Their headsets are praised for their sleek design, customizable features, and immersive audio performance. Both beginners and seasoned gamers alike enjoy using them. The Arctis Nova 5P Wireless Headset boasts a 60-hour battery life and comes with over 100 game audio presets accessible through a companion app.

Astro series by Logitech offers headsets in three price tiers: entry-level models range from $50 to $100, mid-range models from $100 to $200, and high-end models from $200 to $300 or more. Similarly, SteelSeries provides headsets across three price categories: entry-level models priced between $50 and $100, mid-range models between $100 and $200, and high-end models from $200 to $300 or higher.

Summary

Deciding on the best microphone for gaming live streams is important. Both headset and USB microphones have their pros and cons, making the decision tough. If you prioritize ease and portability, go for a wireless headset mic. If you wish to hear playback of your voice and use a built-in mic at the same time, choose headphones with a microphone for your computer. However, if you want top-notch sound quality and flexibility, a USB mic is the way to go, especially for streaming and creating content. Consider what matters most to you, like comfort and how well it works with your streaming setup, before making your choice.

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