9 Best USB Microphones for Vocals – YouTube, Vlogging, Songwriting

Why use a USB microphone when you could choose an XLR?

Well, there are many reasons for why someone may want to choose a USB mic. Finding the best USB microphone for vocals involves balancing features and goals with your working budget.

But one of the best things about USB mics is that they are extremely easy to use. And very close to that benefit is also the added benefit of their plug-and-play design.

To connect an XLR mic to your computer, you need extra parts. You need some kind of audio interface. You also need an XLR cable, and potentially a phantom power source.

But USB Microphones require none of these things. You simply plug them into your USB drive, and go. No fuss, no muss.

But finding a good one, that actually works with your project goals and gives you the level of quality you need, is really important.

That’s why we’ve put together this list of 9 of the best USB microphones for vocals on the market.

Top Pick

Apogee MiC Plus
This professional cardioid condenser microphone blends plug-and-play ease-of-use with professional audio quality, making it an excellent top-choice for a variety of different applications.
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This definitely isn’t the first time that the Apogee Mic Plus has made an appearance in one of our lists! This USB cardioid condenser microphone requires no configuration or setup. Just plug it in, set your gain with the handy built-in preamp, and get to work!

The 5 Top Rated Best USB Microphones For Vocals

Editor’s Picks/Brand
Top Pick: Apogee Mic Plus

Runner-Up: Blue Yeti

Best Budget Pick: FIFINE K668 USB Mic

Best Apple MFi (iOS) and PC: Shure MV51

Best to Catch Your Eye: Neat Beecaster

Our Top Pick: Apogee Mic Plus

Apogee MiC Plus
This professional cardioid condenser microphone blends plug-and-play ease-of-use with professional audio quality, making it an excellent top-choice for a variety of different applications.
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We didn’t pick the Apogee Mic Plus as our choice for best USB microphone for vocals merely for its sound quality, portability, and stylish design. On top of it all, this was an easy choice because of its multiplatform capability and impressive adjustability.

The Apogee Mic Plus is not just our top pick, either. It has been chosen by many USB mic users. This iPhone-sized microphone caters to a wide audience due to its ability to connect to both Windows and Apple devices. What’s even better is that the device comes pre-calibrated to take full advantage of Windows and iOS-based recording and streaming software.

Its sound quality is impressive, up to 24-bit/96kHz. Those are awesome numbers for a USB microphone. The cardioid polar pattern has been optimized for vocal recordings, and limits the pickup of rear and side background noise. The mic features a built-in preamp with 46 dB gain, which can be controlled digitally with a wide array of software packages.

One of the best things about the Apogee Mic Plus, and most other USB vocal microphone for that matter, is its zero-latency recording feature. This can come in handy if you’re a streamer, podcaster, or for whenever you’re holding a conference call. Zero-latency monitoring allows you to hear your own voice naturally, and eliminates the potential echo from other speakers.

For a portable microphone, the Apogee Mic Plus is top of the line in terms of performance. And, it also comes with some cool accessories such as a carry bag and a tripod desk stand, as well as USB and lightning cables for use with any type of device.

Apogee Mic Plus Key Features

  • 24-bit/96Hz
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • 48dB preamp gainer
  • LED indicators
  • Stand and cables included
  • Compact
  • Zero latency monitoring

Runner-Up: Blue Yeti

Blue Yeti Nano USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti is a condenser capsule array mic with multiple pattern selections… making it not only versatile, but also a fantastic all-around high-quality choice for all kinds of different projects.
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The main reasons why the Blue Yeti made our runner-up spot are its design and array of features that make it a Jack of all trades. This is a 16-bit/48kHz microphone that’s more than capable of handling voice recordings in a wide range of situations.

The Blue Yeti features a tri-capsule design with three proprietary 14mm condenser capsules. These are responsible for the impressive adaptability of the microphone. Additional raw specifications include the 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response range, a max SPL of 120dB, and a total harmonic distortion (THD) of 0.5%.

As you can see, the microphone is highly competitive. Even though it may not be the best USB microphone for vocals or any one specific type of recording, the fact that it does it all also matters a lot. To begin with, you can switch between three polar patterns: cardioids, bidirectional, and omnidirectional.

The fact that it’s Windows and MAC compatible is another bonus and makes the Blue Yeti appealing to a wider audience.

Blue Yeti Key Features

  • Multiplatform compatibility
  • 16-bit/ 48kHz
  • 0.5% THD
  • Tri-capsule design
  • Multiple polar patterns

Best Budget Pick: FIFINE K669B

Fifine K669B
Coming in at under $30, the FIFINE K669B is a plug-and-play USB mic that delivers a ton of quality for the price.
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The FIFINE K669B is the best USB microphone for vocals you can buy on a tight budget. It’s a microphone that has an omnidirectional polar pattern and impressive noise cancellation. It can be used for a variety of purposes, such as Skyping, content creation, streaming, and even singing.

With a flat frequency response range of 50Hz to 16kHz, the K669B offers all the essentials at a low investment. This is an extended frequency response which caters to speech. There’s also no need to install any complex software or make any post-purchase calibrations in order to get the most out of it.

Even more impressive thing about the FIFINE K669B is its compatibility with Windows and Mac devices. However, smartphones and Xbox consoles can’t be paired with the K669B.

There are two other things worth discussing. The compact size of this microphone makes it extremely portable. And its simplistic design and handheld build make it very easy to use. It shouldn’t be hard to position the FIFINE K669B either, thanks to the included stand and the omnidirectional pickup pattern.

FIFINE K669B Key Features

  • Stand and connectors included
  • 50Hz – 16kHz
  • Compatible with Mac and Windows devices
  • Omnidirectional polar pattern
  • Compact

Best Apple MFi (iOS) and PC: Shure MV51

Shure MV51
If you’re looking for something unique and eye-catching, then this large-diaphragm condenser mic will likely please both your eyes and your ears!
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Designed under Apple’s MFi program, the Shure MV51 is an Apple-certified USB microphone for vocals. It has a large diaphragm, like most good vocal mics, and features five DSP preset modes. The level of customization is more than impressive, with the presets covering speech, acoustic instruments, loud output-sources, singing, and flat recordings.

Each configuration is one click away as the MV51 makes automatic adjustments to the EQ, gain level, compression, and limiting based on each pre-calibrated preset selected. The front panel is where all the controls are located. You’ll find the headphone volume, gain control, mute button, and mode selection interface.

It’s also worth mentioning that the MV51 has a touch interface. With a pair of good headphones, you can also make full use of the zero-latency monitoring feature. The MV51 is compatible with the standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

When it comes to positioning, the Shure MV51 gives you plenty of options. The sturdy rear kickstand gives it stability and allows you to tilt and direct the microphone for your convenience.

Shure MV51 Key Features

  • Apple MFi
  • Touch control panel
  • Zero latency monitoring
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • 24-bit/48kHz recordings
  • 5 DSP presets

Best to Catch Your Eye: NEAT Beecaster

NEAT Beecaster Professional
This is one of the most unique mics we’ve ever looked at! It’s basically a professional desktop microphone with some great features and a LOT of attitude!!!
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Let’s face it. Not everyone compares microphones by recording quality alone. Sometimes a microphone is more appealing if it has a bit of personality. Personality is just what the NEAT Beecaster offers through its unique design and stylish finish.

The rectangular shape and crane mounting stand make the NEAT Beecaster truly eye-catching. The black and yellow color combo makes it look professional but also fit for a gaming studio setup. What’s cool is that the stand is not there just for added stability. It also acts as the control panel.

On the bottom of the stand are three knobs for headphone volume, mic gain, and the four presets known as “Sonic Selections.” You can use the microphone for mono, stereo, focused stereo, and wide stereo recordings. This is plenty of adaptability for any USB mic.

But the Beecaster is also a lot more than its unique design. The microphone also delivers high-end performance, being capable of recording at 24-bit/96kHz sample rate. On top of that, a pop shield is also included in the package. Although the crane arm is fully adjustable, it never hurts to have a pop shield for minimizing proximity effects.

NEAT Beecaster Key Features

  • Boom arm mount
  • Pop shield
  • 24-bit/96kHz sample rate
  • 3-controls interface
  • Class-A electronics

Who Should Buy a USB Microphone for Vocals?

Microphones for vocals can be used by a different number of people, and in various activities. Singers, voiceover actors, podcasters, content creators, gamers, and even people that take video conference calls on a daily basis are all users that could benefit greatly from microphones that are specially calibrated for vocals.

Add in the USB connectivity, and it’s clear that even more people can use this type of microphone. That’s because a USB microphone does away with the need for other expensive studio gear. Any device that can handle a USB-A or micro USB cable will be enough to ensure compatibility with the mic.

Apogee MiC Plus
This professional cardioid condenser microphone blends plug-and-play ease-of-use with professional audio quality, making it an excellent top-choice for a variety of different applications.
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Sweetwater

Important Features to Consider

  • Cardioid Patterns
    There’s the standard cardioid pattern and then there’s the supercardioid pattern. While a supercardioid pattern may not be the first choice in recording microphones, it is not an uncommon trait in many USB microphones.Unlike the cardioid polar pattern, the supercardioid pattern records at tighter angles. In a way, this adds superior blocking of background noises. But, at the same time, the mic may be harder to position properly. Both are very good options. It’s just that the latter is somewhat harder to use.
  • Connectors
    Most USB microphones come with USB-A connectors. This type of connector is very durable and can be found everywhere. Some USB microphones may come with micro USB connectors. While this may imply a lower cost in terms of accessories, it may raise the maintenance cost of the device.Micro USB connectors are not as sturdy as type A connectors. With that in mind, you won’t be able to tell right away if the micro USB connector on your microphone is good or not. Some are premium quality, while others leave a lot to be desired. Ultimately this decision may come down to personal preference and the already available audio equipment.
  • Accessories Matter
    The majority of USB microphones for vocals, unless you’re talking about premium studio microphones, rarely feature fancy built-in filters.This doesn’t mean that having a good shock mount and at least a pop filter shouldn’t concern you. Microphones that come with these features or accessories usually offer better value for the money. That’s because a pop shield or pop filter is essential for minimizing proximity effects.
  • Multiplatform Microphones
    As you should know by now, not all devices and/or platforms work with the same types of cables. For example, the majority of USB cables that come with microphones won’t fit the Apple lightning port. Look for extra accessories that indicate the presence of or compatibility with the lightning connector (or USB-lightning adapters).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is USB microphone best for recording vocals?

A USB microphone can be the best tool for recording vocals if you want to directly record on a computer, tablet, or smartphone without having to worry about phantom power, a mixer, and other studio gear.

(More interested in live vocal mics? Check out our list of the 14 Best Live Microphones!)

Are USB microphones good?

USB Microphones can be very good and are getting better as technology advances. Today’s USB mics are capable of high-fidelity recordings and may be equipped with many features, such as zero-latency monitoring, EQ presets, compression, filters, and quite commonly, multi-platform compatibility.

(Check out our Best USB Mics For Rap Vocals Here!)

Do you need an audio interface with USB mic?

The main goal of a USB microphone is to make the recording process as simple and as quick as possible for the user. As such, you don’t need an audio interface to use a USB mic. You can plug it directly into your device like you would an external USB drive, camera, keyboard, etc.

(Check out our list of the best mics on the market here!)

Other USB Microphones for Vocals We Reviewed: Mini Reviews

Apogee MiC Plus
This professional cardioid condenser microphone blends plug-and-play ease-of-use with professional audio quality, making it an excellent top-choice for a variety of different applications.
Buy Now on Amazon Buy Now on Sweetwater

USB microphones don’t yet have the variety of traditional XLR vocal microphones. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other good USB microphones for vocals that may interest you. Here are some of the other honorable mentions:

Other Dynamic Microphones

Razer Seiren X
The Razer Seiren X may be lacking in placement options, but it makes up for it in performance and solid engineering.
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The build features a built-in shock mount which reduces vibrational noises. This is highly important given the desk-mounted design. The mic also offers zero-latency monitoring, a wide frequency response range, and a super cardioid pattern that minimizes the pickup of background noise

Key Features

  • 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Supercardioid pattern
  • Zero-latency monitoring
  • Built-in shock mount
  • Compact build

Other Condenser Microphones

Samson Meteor USB Mic
The Samson Meteor is a very eye-catching microphone that can be used by streamers, gamers, and content creators.
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It has a tripod base with foldable legs which give it great stability and multiple positioning options. The flat frequency response captures plenty of detail, and the zero-latency monitoring feature reduces any echo that you may hear during a stream. One thing to note is that the Samson Meteor uses a micro USB cable, which may not be the sturdiest of connectors.

Key Features

  • Cardioid pickup pattern
  • Sturdy zinc die-cast construction
  • Foldable legs
  • Flat frequency response
  • Micro USB connector
The Rode NT-USB is one of the most adaptable studio-quality microphones.
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It features a cardioid polar pattern and comes with a pop shield, a tripod desk stand, a ring mount, and a very long 20’ USB-A cable. Like most other USB studio mics, this too features a headphone jack which will allow zero-latency monitoring.

Key Features

  • Pop filter and desk stand included
  • Flat frequency response
  • Durable build
  • Zero latency monitoring
  • Intuitive controls

Other USB Mics For iPhone

Shure MV5
Rounding out the list, we have the Shure MV5. This digital condenser microphone is an Apple fan favorite due to its direct connection to iOS devices.
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It has three DSP presets calibrated for instruments, vocals, or flat response. What’s even more impressive is the adaptability of the microphone and the automation of the EQ, compression, gain, and limiting features.

Key Features

  • 3 DSP presets
  • Zero latency monitoring
  • Aluminum desktop stand
  • Apple MFi
  • Automatic gain, compression, limiting, and EQ corrections

In Conclusion

Finding the best USB microphone for vocals doesn’t have to be difficult. By looking at the different features, examining the different prices, and weighing the pros and cons, you should be able to figure out which model would work best for your projects and goals.

We absolutely recommend the Apogee Mic Plus if you’re looking for seriously awesome quality, or the FIFINE K668 USB Mic if you’re looking to buy something that will fit into a tighter budget.

In any case, the most important thing to remember is to go ahead and buy your mic and get to work! If you don’t start creating, you’ll never achieve your goals!