With so much of the population working remotely these days, it’s no wonder that the USB desktop microphone has become an essential part of so many people’s home computer audio setup.
So, whether you’re recording a voiceover, hosting conference calls from home, filming your latest YouTube vlog, recording a podcast, or live streaming your epic gameplay… our goal with this article is to help choose the best USB microphone in 2021!
Our choice for the Best USB Microphone in 2021:
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti is my current USB microphone of choice, and for a number of reasons.
Price-wise, it’s a mid tier microphone… so yes, there are better and more expensive microphones available… but the ease of setup and use, as well as the quality made this a no brainer for me.
I use this plug and play microphone for zoom meetings, conference calls, vocals, and voice-over recording… and I’ve always been impressed with how great everything sounds.
The Blue Yeti has four available pattern settings: cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo. Each of these settings is specifically designed for maximum quality under different recording scenarios. Yeti’s packaging is top of the line, and it comes with a nice sized adjustable stand that puts it at an ideal height for recording when sitting on your desk.
There are also a variety of colors available. I personally went with the Midnight Blue. If you’re limited on desk space – I highly recommend picking up an adjustable swivel arm studio desk mount (more info below in our best Microphone Accessories section).
Shure MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone
A slightly cheaper, and more portable alternative to the Blue Yeti microphone (for those that value their shrinking desk space)…
The Shure MV5 Digital Condenser microphone is ideal for home audio recording, podcasting, video blogging, and desktop audio chats.
It has 3 DSP preset modes (voice, instrument, and flat), and can record up to 24-bit, 48kHz.
Additionally, it comes with USB Type C to C, and USB Type C to A cables, and a 3-year warranty.
HyperX QuadCast – USB Condenser Gaming Microphone
This is one sharp looking USB gaming microphone. The HyperX QuadCast was definitely built with serious gamers and content creators in mind.
It comes with the same 4 polar pattern recording options as the Blue Yeti, and has similar quick touch features for gain control and muting. One plus over the Blue Yeti is that the HyperX QuadCast comes with it’s own anti vibration shock mount. This is the perfect mic for Twitch users, YouTube creators, and Podcasters.
Looking to get a whole package and stay within a theme?
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
Audio-Technica is well known in the world of sound. In addition to professional microphones, they create highly sought after headphones.
That said, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ USB Microphone is ideal for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording and voiceover use. It has a high-quality A/D converter with 16 bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate.
It also features a built-in headphone jack with volume control that allows you to directly monitor your microphone signal with no delay, and offers mix control that blends microphone and pre-recorded audio.
Audio-Technica’s state-of-the-art design and manufacturing techniques ensure you’re getting a quality product.
The Best Budget USB Microphones in 2021 (under $50)
While we wouldn’t recommend these microphones if you’re planning on doing professional voice-over work or adding vocals to your latest pop hit… they are more than adequate, and will add significant quality to your podcasts, skype and zoom meetings, and YouTube vlog videos!
All of these mics are under $50 USD.
Our choice for the best budget USB Microphone:
Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic
Coming in just under $50 (at the time of writing), the Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic is our choice for the best budget USB microphone in 2021.
The sleek and modern design combined with Blue’s crystal clear recording quality made this our choice.
This Skype and Discord certified USB condenser mic is super easy to set up on Mac or PC, and is available in black or white (though, for some reason, the white model isn’t always under $50).
TONOR USB Gaming Microphone
The TONOR USB Gaming Microphone is a plug and play (no additional software or drivers required) condenser microphone that’s ideal for gaming, streaming, chatting, podcasting, recording, Skype, Voice-over, YouTube video, and more!
For extra versatility, the included shock mount can be unscrewed and attached to a boom stand with 5/8” threaded inserts directly (though you may need an adapter if the threaded insert your stand comes with is 3/8′).
Fifine Metal USB Condenser Microphone
Plug the Fifine Metal USB Condenser Microphone into your Mac or PC, and away you go!
It’s solid sturdy metal construction design with stable tripod stand is convenient when you are doing voice overs or livestreams on YouTube.
The sound quality at this price point is top notch, and it does a good job at picking up vocals while minimizing background noise.
TKGOU USB Condenser Microphone
This simple plug & play USB computer microphone by TKGOU is also a great choice if you’re looking for quality on a budget.
Similar to the TONOR microphone above (is it just me, or does it look almost identical too?), the TKGOU USB Condenser Microphone is simple to setup and easy to use… and it comes with an adjustable tripod stand and dual layer pop filter. It’s also compatible with Mac and PC, however is not compatible with phones, iPads, or XBox.
The Best Microphone Accessories to Complete Your Setup
For many people, choosing their ideal USB microphone is just a first step…
As with most things, there are additional tools/components that can help transform your home computer audio setup into a more convenient and professional studio-like environment.
Let’s take a look at a few microphone accessories that will take your setup to the next level!
InnoGear Adjustable Suspension Boom Scissor Arm Microphone Stand
This InnoGear Microphone Desk Mount Stand is perfect for anyone trying to maximize their desk space… or just like the convenience of simply swiveling their microphone into position!
It comes with everything you’ll need (besides the actual microphone!) to get started… the suspension boom scissor arm, a dual layer pop filter, a high quality wind screen, cable ties, and a shock mount!
This heavy duty suspension boom scissor arm stand is compatible with most microphones – including the Blue Yeti, AT2020, NW800, and the Blue Spark.
*** Blue Yeti owners, one thing to note is that the included shock mount will not fit the Blue Yeti USB microphone.
Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield
Want clearer vocals, and less reflections from your room?
The Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield features a high density acoustic foam front and a vented metal back plate, which allows the microphone to “breathe” and prevents reflections within the arc of the shield. It comes with a standard 3/8″ microphone threaded mount, and includes a 3/8″ to 5/8″ thread adapter.
The two outer panels can be folded inward for storage or for creating a tighter acoustic isolation chamber.
Plus, it can be used in a normal upright orientation or it can be inverted… so that the microphone hangs down inside the chamber.
This simple shield will instantly enhance your vocal recordings.
Aokeo Professional Microphone Pop Filter
If you don’t have one of these, it should be your first mic accessory purchase.
The dual layered window pop screen will immediately soften the hissing on your “S” pronounciations, and block those horrible “plosives” following your “B” and “P” sounds.
The Aokeo Professional Microphone Pop Filter has a swivel mount for easy installation, removal, and location adjustments. The flexible 360 degree arm makes it easy to get the filter where you want it, and the steel metal gooseneck holder fully supports the filter’s weight and keeps it nicely in place.
In this new post-COVID-19 world, with so many of us now working and collaborating remotely… it’s more important than ever to present ourselves in a professional manner – no matter where we are.
A quality microphone is a great step in putting your best voice forward. With this post, hopefully we helped narrow down your search for the best USB microphone in 2021.
Always remember to double check that your computer/laptop and operating system is compatible with whichever USB microphone you choose before purchasing.
How about you?
Did we miss your favorite USB desktop microphone? Let us know what you use in the comments!
Joel Simser is a creative writer, entrepreneur, and all around video maestro. He’s produced original music for commercials and television, lent his voice to various promos and presentations, and edited thousands of non-award winning videos (including a few actual award shows).
As founder of AwesomeContentCreator.com, he authors in-depth guides that teach fellow content creators ways to grow and develop in their industries.