Top 8 Best USB Microphones for Podcasting in 2019

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Podcasting is one of the major pillars of content marketing, right next to YouTube and blogging. It holds a HUGE space in both creative and content marketing worlds right now, and there are many reasons to consider starting a podcast of your own. 

But with that being said, podcasting is unique in that you really need to have a few pieces of quality gear to make it work

Yes, you can podcast with your smartphone… but a little bit of money spent in the right place can really level-up your game by 1000%. 

And the key component to this is the microphone. USB microphones are especially useful for podcasting, because they make it easy to record audio right to your laptop or computer. But if you don’t buy a good one, you may end up having more problems than it’s worth… which is why we’ve assembled this list of the top 8 best USB microphones for podcasting

If you want to succeed at the podcasting game, clear and high-definition audio is an absolute must, because this is the number-one factor that translates the most directly to a positive listener experience. 

So, with that being said, let’s take a moment to look at some of the best USB microphones for podcasting in the market right now. 

Top ​ Pick:

Created with podcasters, streamers, and content creators in mind, this condenser mic is so loaded with features that you’ll need to look at the specs twice to make sure you don’t miss anything! 

The Samson G-Track easily won our top-pick spot, mostly for all of the awesome features it packs in at such a reasonable price. It is truly an all-in-one, professional-grade USB microphone, and literally seems to have been designed with podcasters in mind! 

​Editor's Picks

​Brand

​Top Pick

​​Runner Up

​Best Budget ​Pick

​Best Handheld USB Mic

​Best USB Mic for iOS and PC​

Our Top ​ Pick:

Created with podcasters, streamers, and content creators in mind, this condenser mic is so loaded with features that you’ll need to look at the specs twice to make sure you don’t miss anything! 

It shouldn’t be too difficult to understand why the Samson G-Track Pro earned our pick for the best USB microphone for podcasting. This mic is premium quality inside and out. It’s also one of the few USB microphones that offer multiple recording and pickup modes.

The Samson G-Track Pro is the best among all the USB microphones for podcasting that we’ve reviewed. It has very low latency as well as an option for zero-latency monitoring, thanks to its 1/8” headphone output. The microphone can be used for mono or 2-track recording, and can be configured for one of three pickup patterns. 

One of the best things about the G-Track Pro is its ability to reject off-axis sounds when using the cardioid pattern. Even something as punchy as keystrokes near the microphone are unlikely to show up in your recordings.

The microphone’s durability is not too shabby either. In fact, this is one of the best-built USB condenser microphones, what with its very rugged housing and mount. Obviously, the cardioid pattern will be the most useful if you’re recording a podcast. However, you may be able to get away with using a single G-Track Pro for a podcast that involves two or three people, as even in the omnidirectional pickup mode, the microphone can boost the presence and emphasize the midrange frequencies across various distances.

Samson G-Track Pro Key Features

  • ​Premium build quality
  • Lag-free monitoring
  • Headphones output and instrument input
  • Dual track recording
  • Three pickup patterns

Our ​Runner Up​

Providing exceptional audio clarity and a range of awesome features, this USB mic was a no-brainer for our runner-up.

The Blue Yeti Nano is the smaller and more economical version of the Blue Yeti condenser microphone. This USB microphone is better equipped to handle vibrations. It features a volume dial on the front, both cardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns, and the ability to support sample rates of up to 24-bit/48kHz.

It’s a tiny mic that’s capable of latency-free headphone monitoring. It packs quite a bit of punch too, in the sense that it’s much closer in audio quality to an analog microphone with an XLR connector than most entry-level to mid-priced USB mics. The Yeti Nano can also be used with the Sherpa software if you want to tweak its sensitivity. Unlike its big brother, this mic doesn’t have a dedicated gain knob.

All in all, the Yeti Nano can do just about anything you could ask of a podcast microphone. It has an articulate midrange and clear highs, and it also manages to record deep voices. It does all of this without sounding bassy in any way.

Blue Yeti Nano Key Features

  • ​Cardioid and omnidirectional patterns
  • Great shock and vibration resistance
  • Zero-latency headphone monitoring
  • Dedicated software
  • Good handle on low-register voice recordings

​Best Budget Pick

​This easy-to-use, plug-and-play condenser microphone will give you a definite boost in audio quality at a price that is accessible to even the tightest budgets! 

The Fifine K699 USB podcast microphone is more than just the best condenser USB microphone for podcasting that you can buy on a tight budget. It’s also one of the better options for close proximity vocal recordings. The sound quality is surprisingly good, and the cardioid pickup pattern performs better as you get closer to the microphone. Also worth mentioning is the lack of distortion and feedback. 

As most ideal podcast microphones, the Fifine dynamic USB mic can handle high gain with limited feedback thanks to its larger diaphragm. The mic also does a good job of capturing low register sounds without much need for software tweaking.

You might also appreciate, as we did, the all-metal construction which improves the durability of the microphone. The 6ft cable should be more than enough for most home podcast studios and even larger professional studios. Last but not least, the FiFine K699 microphone is basically a plug-and-play device, which means that you don’t need a phantom power source to use it.

Fifine K699 Key Features

  • ​All-metal construction
  • No phantom power source needed
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • High-sensitivity and optimized for vocal recordings
  • Adjustable tripod desk stand

Best Handheld USB Mic

This handheld dynamic mic from Samson gives you the option of USB or XLR to connect to your interface or sound-board… giving you an impressive array of possibilities at a very affordable price-point.

You might be wondering, what does a handheld microphone have to do with podcasting? A handheld USB microphone could be the best USB microphone for podcasting in a number of situations. The Samson Q2U is a good example of this, as its design is reminiscent of a standard podcasting mic with a desktop mount.

The Samson Q2U is a dynamic microphone that has good live performance qualities, but delivers an even better performance in a studio setting. It has a cardioid pickup pattern and does a great job of rejecting off-axis sound, despite its lower price tag. It also comes equipped with a 1/8” stereo output for zero-latency monitoring and doesn’t require any special drivers or a dedicated external amp to work its magic.

As with all good podcast microphones, the Samson Q2U also has a built-in pop filter. What makes this dynamic mic different than others of its kind is its two connection options. You’ll find that the Q2U comes with both USB and XLR connectors. The sound quality is nothing short of impressive, as the Q2U boasts a narrower frequency response range that is optimized for midrange frequencies.

Samson Q2U Key Features

  • ​Cardioid polar pattern
  • Zero-latency headphone monitoring
  • Optimized for midrange
  • Built-in pop filter
  • USB or XLR

Best USB Mic for iOS and PC​

This bullet mic offers classic styling with the modern convenience of both USB and Lightning Cable connections. It is specifically designed for use with iOS devices!

The Shure MV5 is by far our favorite bullet microphone for podcasting. Yes, it’s a USB microphone, but you can’t argue with the sound quality. Like most ribbon microphones, the Shure MV5 is characterized by its low sensitivity and superior recording detail.

Another awesome detail with this mic is that you can also use it on Windows Systems. This makes it great to use with recording DAWs and software, even if you are running Windows. 

Room noise or off-axis sounds won’t be an issue with this device. The unidirectional MV5 captures little to nothing coming from sources other than the speaker’s mouth. Interestingly enough, the budget-friendly microphone also comes with three presets for vocals, instruments, and flat recording. It’s a bit more versatile than expected, especially given its Apple-only compatibility.

Lag-free monitoring is also an option. The stereo output is great to use during live podcasts. The Shure MV5 microphone can apply its own compression, EQ, and limiting, as there are no dedicated knobs to control all that. The amount of software tweaking should be minimal due to the midrange-friendly tuning of the vocals preset.

Shure MV5 Key Features

  • ​Made for Apple
  • Three preset modes
  • Lag-free headphone monitoring
  • Built-in EQ and compression features
  • Superior build quality

Who Should Buy a Microphone for Podcasting?

There are many categories of people that can make use of a podcast microphone — gamers, podcasters, broadcasters, singers, narrators, voiceover actors, and pretty much any other offshoot. That being said, USB podcast microphones might not be for everyone.

For example, if you’re interested in recording an album, a USB microphone may not be the ideal choice. But, if you plan on interviewing people for a living or recording audiobooks, the plug-and-play functionality alone can be a massive advantage and time-saver.

Top ​ Pick:

Created with podcasters, streamers, and content creators in mind, this condenser mic is so loaded with features that you’ll need to look at the specs twice to make sure you don’t miss anything! 

Important Features to Consider

  • ​Convenience and Quality
    Obviously, the sound quality should be your main concern. But, determining the quality of a microphone is not that easy, since there are many factors that affect it. The good news is that you shouldn’t worry too much about the cable or connector.
    The USB vs. XLR debate shouldn’t be as heated as it is today for the simple fact that most USB mics use the same condenser mic elements as classic microphones. That has a bigger say on the sound quality than any cable or connector.
    To top it all off, most of today’s USB microphones come with a real-time monitoring function that’s good enough for podcasting.

  • ​Polar Patterns
    For all things voice-related, such podcasting, one thing always remains true of all mics — the cardioid polar pattern is superior to anything else.
    A cardioid pickup pattern doesn’t pick up most of the off-axis sounds, such as those coming from the sides, underneath, and behind the microphone. It concentrates on the sound coming from the front, which is of course where the podcaster is positioned most of the time.

  • Build Quality
    Since most podcasts are recorded in studios, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to pay a premium for a rugged microphone housing. Build quality is important, but it shouldn’t trump more important features like the pickup pattern, sound quality, or frequency response.

  • ​The Importance of a Pop Filter
    Most microphones that are designed for voice recordings should come with a built-in pop filter. This type of filter takes care of ‘plosives,’ which are sounds that involve T, K/C, and P (for the English language) and have an explosive-like quality to them.
    The pop filter ensures that everything sounds natural and that any plosives in the dialogue aren’t enhanced or emphasized. This won’t just make the recording sound better on its own, but should also reduce the amount of post-recording tweaking and mixing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What microphone should I use for podcasting?

There are actually quite a few factors that you should consider before making a decision. Everything matters to some degree, from the type (condenser or dynamic) to the pricing. However, there are two constants when it comes to podcast microphones. 

First of all, the microphone should be optimized for capturing and emphasizing midrange frequencies. Secondly, a cardioid polar pattern will almost always be the best solution.

Our favorite USB mic for podcasting, by far, is the Samson G-Track Pro USB Condenser Microphone. This mic gives you everything you need, and seems to have been specifically designed with podcasting in mind. 

Is a USB microphone good for recording vocals?

Contrary to popular belief, USB microphones can be just as good as their XLR counterparts when it comes to recording sound. There isn’t too much signal loss when recording vocals. And, the most important component when it comes to audio quality is not the connector itself, but rather the condenser capsule. USB and XLR microphones can share the same high-end capsule if you look past the entry-level microphones.

What are the advantages of USB microphones for podcasting?

By far the biggest advantage of USB microphones is their ease of use. USB microphones are also known as ‘plug-and-play’ microphones. This is one of the reasons why many amateur and professional podcasters choose them — they’re easy to set up, easy to use, and require less technical knowhow to optimize. Of course, the relatively lower prices don’t hurt either.

Other Podcast Headsets We Reviewed: Mini Reviews

We reviewed a lot more podcast headsets before we settled on our top five picks. Although not all of them were up to our standards, there are five more picks that those who are serious about enhancing their podcast’s production value might be interested in.

Top ​ Pick:

Created with podcasters, streamers, and content creators in mind, this condenser mic is so loaded with features that you’ll need to look at the specs twice to make sure you don’t miss anything! 

Coming up with our top five picks was a fun, but lengthy process. We reviewed more than just the above five USB microphones for podcasting purposes. Needless to say, not all of them could make the top five. Here are three more alternatives that came really close, which we feel are worth mentioning.

Classic-Styled Mics

An affordable and eye-catching solution for your podcast recordings, the Samson Meteor is a large diaphragm condenser microphone. It features a flat frequency response, compatibility with both Windows and Mac, and allows for zero-latency monitoring.

Key Features

  • ​Flat frequency response
  • Lag-free monitoring
  • Sensitive condenser microphone
  • Studio-quality midrange optimization
  • Sleek chrome finish

Other USB Mics

This USB microphone is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. It can be used with a USB or XLR cable, depending on your preference and existing equipment. The off-axis sound rejection is very impressive, as is the extended frequency range.

Key Features

  • ​Handheld dynamic microphone
  • Dual connectors
  • Extended frequency response
  • Lag-free monitoring
  • Cardioid polar pattern

The Rode Procaster has a tight cardioid polar pattern and manages to not just reject off-axis sounds but also enhance the midrange and high frequencies. It has internal shock mounting as well as a built-in pop filter that cleans up the sound and helps maintain speech clarity.

Key Features

  • ​Tight cardioid pattern
  • Stand mount included
  • Rugged housing
  • Built-in pop filter and shock mounting
  • Emphasized midrange

Conclusion

The microphones reviewed here each offer something unique to anybody who might be on the lookout for a decent quality podcasting microphone. 

They have similar features overall, but they are also varied in their own specs... and you get to decide on one that suits your needs the best. If you’re looking for a premium mic, the Samson G-Track Pro USB Condenser Microphone comes out on top, with the Blue Yeti Nano USB Microphone not far behind.  

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