Modern technology has made the world smaller. Whatever you do, you can easily communicate in real-time with someone across the globe. But to do that well, you’ll need to invest in the best streaming microphone.
Whether you’re live streaming on Twitch, YouTube, or gaming with someone thousands of miles away, the quality of your audio plays a big factor in whether your reasons for streaming succeed or not. And if there’s one universal principle that success runs on, it’s that it demands you invest in it.
That’s why in the case of your streaming efforts, you need to invest in the best streaming microphone.
What is a Streaming Microphone?
Okay, so you’re wondering what a streaming microphone is. It’s pretty simple, really. A streaming microphone is a microphone you use to broadcast your voice live over the internet. The trick with going live is that there’s no time and room for polishing up the quality of the audio you are broadcasting. That is what necessitates that you get a microphone that will afford you excellent sound with little effort.
So what makes for a good streaming microphone?
Two of the biggest qualities you need to look out for in a streaming microphone are a high-frequency response rate and zero or near zero latency. The high-frequency response enables the mic to pick sound clearly, while the zero-latency ensures that your audience hears you in real-time.
Your Burning Streaming Microphone Questions Answered
Especially if you’re a newb to the world of streaming, you have a number of burning questions concerning your accessories. Particularly concerning the best streaming microphone and how to broadcast your voice clearly to your audience.
Why can’t I simply use my onboard microphone for streaming and gaming?
You’ve probably invested in a good computer and some pretty sweet accessories like a cool headset. You’re good to go, right? Not quite yet, you’re not.
Although your well-equipped computer and headset do have built-in microphones, they pick up too much noise. No one wants to hear you clicking away on your keyboard. Nor do they want to hear the whirring sound of your air conditioner.
A dedicated streaming microphone ensures that you only stream the audio you want -- your voice.
Does my PC have any bearing on the performance of my streaming microphone?
Yes, your computer does have some impact on your microphone. Getting the best streaming microphone won’t do you any good if your PC can’t handle streaming well. In order to get the best streaming experience, it is advisable that your computer have at least:
On the software front, you will need:
For a more detailed guide on how to get started streaming, this article by Tom’s Guide is an excellent resource.
How much should I expect to spend on a streaming microphone?
After having spent a lot of money on getting set up for streaming, you may be worried that getting the best streaming microphone will burn another big hole in your pocket. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that streaming microphones aren’t that expensive.
To put in perspective, you can get an excellent one for as little as $20, while some high-end ones can even set you back $1,000. Most of these expensive ones are overkill, though.
Why Should You Trust this Best Streaming Microphone Review?
So why should you even trust the efficacy of this review? Well, because you should. After all, we took a lot of time researching the specs and features of each microphone to determine if it can stand up to the task.
Secondly, we considered the reviews of your fellow streamers. Who else is more qualified to give an unbiased view than the actual users themselves. So yes, this is an unbiased and trustworthy review.
Let’s move on and get you the best streaming microphone, shall we?
The Best Streaming Microphone -- It’s Game On
Ready to get your game on? Without a good mic, you’re not. So let’s get that sorted.
1. Blue Yeti Pro
- Three custom condenser capsules and four different polar pattern settings: Cardioid, Stereo, Bidirectional and Omnidirectional
- Cutting-edge A-D converter chip and separate analog circuit path for use with professional studio mixers and preamps
- Built-in headphone amplifier for zero-latency monitoring, and direct controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, mute, and microphone gain
- 15 Hz - 22 kHz frequency response. Headphone Amplifier : Signal to Noise 114dB. Yeti Pro is not capable of simultaneous analog and digital operation. To ensure proper operation, only connect the digital (USB) or analog (XLR) connectors at any given time. In the event Yeti Pro becomes unresponsive, simply unplug all connections for 10 seconds and re-connect your Yeti Pro with the desired output cable.
- 192 kHz/24 bit Sample/Word. Proprietary capsule design to capture sounds with detail and articulation
Blue has made a name for themselves in the audio world with their iconic Blue Yeti microphone. The Blue Yeti Pro is another great mic you need to consider as you look for the best streaming microphone to add to your rig.
The Blue Yeti Pro comes with the same tri-capsule technology that made the Yeti famous. But it goes a step further by also offering four microphone pick-up patterns and an XLR interface -- just to name a few. As for the polar patterns, the Blue Yeti Pro comes with cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and shotgun. That makes the Blue Yeti Pro a very versatile microphone you can use in many situations and settings.
One of the other features that made the original Yeti a hit is the fact that it is super easy to use. The Yeti Pro carries over that tradition as it is a plug and play microphone. Other added features include a headphone jack, gain control, and the ability to use both USB and XLR connectivity.
The Blue Yeti Pro also comes with a high-quality 24-bit/192KHz sampling rate and an ultra-wide 15 Hz - 22 kHz frequency response rate. This gives the mic exceptional sensitivity when it comes to capturing sound in detail. All these features make this mic stand out from the crowd, making it one of the best streaming microphones on the market. For $230 to $280, this 4.0 out of 5 stars rated streaming microphone may be a bit pricey, but if you have the money, it’s definitely worth it.
2. Rode NTG2
While shotgun mics are not very common in streaming, they do a pretty good job. The Rode NTG2 is one such shotgun mic.
The Rode NTG2 is an XLR condenser microphone for professional use. You will find that it does a fantastic job of picking up only your voice and giving you excellent audio projection. That is one reason it is fast becoming popular among YouTubers and podcasters. Twitch users are also falling in love with it because it can easily be mounted above your monitor, freeing up desk space for other accessories.
When it comes to audio quality, however, this is where the Rode NTG2 shines. The NTG2 offers a vast frequency response that goes from 20Hz all the way to 20kHz. Apart from that, the mic comes with the option of a high-pass filter at 80Hz. That ensures high-quality audio by eliminating low-end noises like the humming of your air conditioner or, worse, the sound of your computer’s fans and keyboard.
The feature-rich Rode NTG2 only has one flaw -- it’s pricey. Coming with a $250 to $300 price tag, this 4.3 out of 5 stars rated mic will make a big difference to your streaming rig. Be sure to get your Rode NTG2 from an accredited dealer though. Otherwise, failure to do that will result in a null warranty.
3. Razer Seiren Elite
One of the biggest names in the gaming industry is Razer. They make phenomenal gaming PCs and beautifully designed accessories. The Razer Seiren Elite is a great example of the Razer mark of craftsmanship.
The Razer Seiren Elite is a professional-grade streaming mic that has features galore. This is one dynamic microphone that has gaming and streaming in its DNA, probably making it the best streaming microphone you can get. One of its strengths is that it was designed to eliminate one of streaming’s most significant challenges -- latency. Latency is the short delay in the transmission of audio. It makes your audience or other gamers hear you a few seconds after you speak. With the Razer Seiren Elite, this is not an issue; your voice is served in real-time.
Other features you will enjoy from the Razer Seiren Elite are the high-pass filter, the digital and analog vocal limiter, and its easy-to-use plug and play functionality. You’ll also enjoy the fact that the Razer Seiren Elite is not as prone to electronic interference as other mics are.
This is definitely a 4.5 out of 5 stars streaming microphone that is worth its weight in gold. Fortunately for you, it doesn’t cost that much but comes with a friendlier $150 to $200 price tag. If that seems a bit too steep for you, Razer has an iteration that doesn’t have as many features but still provides exceptional audio streaming for $75 to $95.
4. Audio Technica ATR2500
Audio-Technica is a powerhouse in the audio and accessories industry. They make some legendary mics that users just serenade with praise. The Audio-Technica ATR2500 is one such.
If you are looking for a quality streaming microphone on a budget, the Audio-Technica ATR2500 might be your solution. It's is a side-address cardioid condenser USB microphone that also features a headphone jack for easy monitoring. What you’ll really love about this mic are the easy-to-find and use controls located on the front.
One of the features that put this mic in the running for the best streaming microphone award is that it’s a high-quality AD converter with a 16 bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate. It is not the best on the market, but considering the build quality of the mic and the $80 to $95 price tag, the Audio-Technica ATR2500 gives you more bang for your buck. This mic definitely deserves its 4.2 out of 5 stars rating.
5. AntLion ModMic
If budget, space, and cash are a major factor in determining the best streaming microphone for your setup, you’ll love the AntLion ModMic.
The AntLion ModMic is an attachable microphone, meaning you connect it your headphone like a built-in headphone mic. The magnetic attachment is strong and easy to use, so your “boom mic” will always stay in place, no matter how rigorous you play. Although the ModMic functions like a headphone mic, the fidelity of the audio is far much better. That is because it was built specifically to be an excellent mic as opposed to built-in mics, where the sound of the headphones has priority.
The AntLion ModMic may be bone of the cheapest streaming mic on our list, but it does have some useful features for streamers. Features like a unidirectional polar pattern and a mute function that help it earn a 3.8 out of 5 stars rating. That and its $45 to $70 price tag.
6. Focusrite Scarlett CM25
The Focusrite Scarlett CM25 is a bit of an oddball in this mix, primarily because it requires a preamp and an interface. Definitely no plug and play here. This mic needs a bit of setting up, and using it requires knowledge of the interface.
The Scarlett CM25 microphone features a large diaphragm cardioid design, making it exceptional at picking up soft speech. Being one of the most loved setups for home studio owners, the Focusrite Scarlett CM25 comes as part of the Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio kit bundle, so you won’t have to worry about purchasing the preamp and interface separately.
If you love producing music as much as you do gaming, then this could be the best streaming microphone for you. Especially with its super-low latency and amazing sample rates of up to 24-bit/192 kHz, this mic can really make streaming pleasurable. Add the fact that it also comes with USB connectivity and is compatible with both Windows and Mac, and you have yourself a near perfect bundle -- 4.7 out of 5 stars near perfect. As for price, the Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio kit will set you back $200 to $250. Not bad for a bundle that gives you the freedom to do what you want with your audio.
7. Samson G-Track Pro
The Samson G-Track Pro is considered the best streaming microphone by its adoring fans. Perhaps they are right.
The G-Track Pro is a multi-directional microphone that has more features than a Swiss Army knife and is also built to match. Concerning the mic pick-up patterns, the G-Track Pro comes with cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional polar patterns. These features make it a very versatile microphone -- a Jack of all trades, if you may. But unlike Jack, this mic does it all well.
Another factor that makes the G-Track Pro a fan favorite is the exceptional build quality. It is one mic Samson built to last -- like a tank from top to bottom. It also comes with a headphone jack for latency monitoring. The G-Track Pro is definitely a mic that has earned its 4.0 out of 5 stars rating. Especially since it only costs $120 to $200.
Which is the Best Streaming Microphone for You?
So which mic on this list should you take home with you? Of these seven mics, which one is the best streaming mic for you?
Well, it all depends on you. If you feel you are technically inclined and can manage the Focusrite Scarlett Solo Studio kit, then that’s probably the sweetest deal for you. However, if you are looking for a plug and play solution, then may I recommend the Razer Seiren Elite.
Whichever mic you end up picking on this list, one thing is certain -- the difference will be very noticeable. So go ahead, take your pick and take it for a spin.