13 min. read

The Best USB Microphone for 2023

It's time to get vocal with the best USB microphones you can find.

Are you looking to upgrade your equipment or start recording some amazing audio content? You’ll definitely need one of the best USB microphones for that!

USB microphones have made recording audio content wherever you are much simpler, all thanks to their portable and plug-and-play nature. To make sure you choose the right microphone for your needs, you’ll need to consider the kinds of projects you want to use it for. Are you recording music? Starting a podcast or YouTube channel? Or perhaps just gaming and streaming?

How We Picked

  • Audio Quality

    USB microphones have decent sound quality because they still rely on a wired connection. To reduce issues like latency, you need to purchase one with good quality drivers.

  • Size and Range

    Most microphones can capture audio frequencies ranging from 80 Hz to 15 kHz. For a USB microphone, a 30 Hz to 18 kHz frequency range is satisfactory. As for size, larger microphones have larger diaphragms, allowing them to pick up even the lowest sound frequencies.

  • Internal Storage on Connected Device

    The ability to save recordings to the device to which your microphone is connected depends on this feature. If you record a lot, get an external hard drive for backup.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    Expensive microphones tend to offer better audio quality and a premium feel. However, there are several affordable microphones that’ll support your recording requirements.

Our Top Picks

Best Pick

Blue Yeti

A microphone with great sound quality that supports all your recording projects.

The Blue Yeti brings beginners and professional voice recorders a premium experience with its great recording quality, enhanced effects, and HD audio samples. With a quick setup that’s easy-to-use and lightweight that brings great portability, you’re able to quickly plug in your USB cable from your mic to laptop, and you’re good to go. Whether you plan on recording solo or with others, the Blue Yeti supports four different audio patterns to suit any recording requirement.

Buy Now

Whatever your project, wherever you are, the Blue Yeti guarantees the best sound quality.

Runner Up

Joby Wavo POD

Capture crisp and clear sound whether you’re recording solo or with others.

The Joby Wavo POD, which has the pop filter installed on the mic, produces a clear, crisp sound. Its cardioid and omnidirectional audio patterns make it the perfect podcast microphone as you’re able to produce solo or group recordings. It supports USB-C and USB-C to USB-A and features a 3.5mm headphone jack. With a frequency range of 20Hz - 20kHz and a 24-bit depth, the Joby Wavo POD is the perfect choice for podcasting, streaming, and voice-over recording projects.

Buy Now for $98.28

This microphone is every podcaster's best friend.

Most cost-effective

Blue Snowball Ice

The best microphone if you’re looking for high audio quality paired with affordability.

The Blue Snowball Ice USB microphone is affordable and easy to use. With a high audio quality of 44kHz and 16-bit, it only supports a cardioid audio pattern and is perfect for broadcasting, solo podcasting, video/movie narration, Skype and Zoom calls, and streaming. It has an easy-to-use plug and play set-up and comes with an adjustable stand that allows you to comfortably position your microphone. The Blue Snowball Ice USB microphone is known to be used and trusted by millions of creators.

Buy Now

Affordable and perfectly suited for the solo podcaster, streamer, and voice-overs.

Almost made the cut

JLab Talk

Easy to use, affordable, and suited for any kind of recording project.

The JLab Talk is the perfect microphone for just about everything, from streaming and podcasting to recording music! Its four audio patterns — omnidirectional, bidirectional, cardioid, stereo — make this microphone versatile enough for any recording project. With its quick plug and play feature, you’re able to simply connect your USB cable to the mic, plug it into your laptop, and begin recording as soon as inspiration strikes! The JLab Talk has a sound resolution of 96kHz and 24-bit, bringing you great audio quality.

Buy Now

If you’re looking for affordability and versatility, JLab Talk brings both!

Everything We Recommend

Best Pick

Blue Yeti

A microphone with great sound quality that supports all your recording projects.

Buy Now

Runner Up

Joby Wavo POD

Capture crisp and clear sound whether you’re recording solo or with others.

$98.28

Buy Now

Most cost-effective

Blue Snowball Ice

The best microphone if you’re looking for high audio quality paired with affordability.

Buy Now

Almost made the cut

JLab Talk

Easy to use, affordable, and suited for any kind of recording project.

Buy Now

Who This Is For

The USB microphones listed here are for content creators, YouTubers, musicians, podcasters, narrators, or anyone interested in purchasing a USB microphone that offers high audio quality, versatility, easy usage, and, importantly, affordability.

Is a USB microphone worth it?
If you’re looking to do some serious vocal recordings for your podcast or YouTube channel, then a USB microphone will be worth the purchase. Many gamers, live streamers, and narrators have found USB microphones to be pretty useful too for enhanced audio quality. Owning a USB microphone also offers great portability, as they are easy to simply plug into your laptop wherever you are to start recording. In addition to this, they are small and light enough to carry wherever you go.
Can I record a podcast with a USB microphone?
Yes, you can record a podcast with the right USB microphone! The right USB microphone would be one of high audio quality that supports multiple audio patterns such as omnidirectional, bidirectional, and cardioid patterns. For group podcasts, the omnidirectional will capture voices from all sides of the mic. With the bidirectional, you’re able to comfortably record one-on-one conversations as voices are captured from the front and rear end of the mic, and with the cardioid, you’re able to record solo podcasts.

To enhance your podcast audio quality, it’s best to purchase a pop filter to filter out any disturbing background noises, pops, or sibilant speech sounds. One pop filter is great for solo recordings. However, purchasing two for either side of the mic will be necessary for one-on-one conversations to capture smooth audio quality from both speakers.
Does the size of my microphone affect the sound quality?
Yes, the size of your microphone diaphragm affects the mic frequency and sensitivity to sound. The diaphragm receives all the sound waves. With this being said, you’ll want to purchase a microphone with just the right size that’ll deliver a wider frequency range and higher frequency sensitivity, lower background noise, etc.
To conclude, the size of your microphone depends solely on how you intend to use it and the frequency levels you seek.

Why You Should Trust Us

We take pride in bringing you the best quality products at an affordable price. Hence, we picked out the best USB microphones suited to different needs so that you’re able to make an informed decision about audio quality, and features, and one that will suit your budget.

How We Picked

With every content creator in need of better audio quality in mind, we made sure to list every USB microphone feature that makes USB microphones worth the purchase. We started with the most important feature — audio quality. We’ve picked microphones with little to no background noise and highlighted the importance of pop filters to enhance the quality of your audio.

The USB microphones listed here include knobs for gain adjustment and volume control, enhanced sound effects, and voice modulation so that the overall quality of your sound is in your hands. With audio quality comes the size of the microphone and its frequency range and bit rate to ensure everything you’ve recorded has been received, encoded, and stored precisely. The USB microphones listed here have a bit depth of between 16 – 24, and a frequency response of 20Hz – 20kHz.

With the constant debate around price and quality, we ensured our selection of USB microphones brings you the best recording experience at reasonably low prices. While our best pick might be the most expensive USB microphone on the list, we made sure that the features and audio quality it offers bring great value for your money!

Our Picks For You

Best Pick - Blue Yeti

Best Pick

Blue Yeti

A microphone with great sound quality that supports all your recording projects.

The Blue Yeti brings beginners and professional voice recorders a premium experience with its great recording quality, enhanced effects, and HD audio samples. With a quick setup that’s easy-to-use and lightweight that brings great portability, you’re able to quickly plug in your USB cable from your mic to laptop, and you’re good to go. Whether you plan on recording solo or with others, the Blue Yeti supports four different audio patterns to suit any recording requirement.

Buy Now

Who It’s For

Whether you’re an avid podcaster, frequent live stream host, gamer, or even a musician in the making, the Blue Yeti is your best bet! With great recording quality — a frequency response rate of 20Hz - 20kHz and a bit rate of 16 — your vocal recordings are guaranteed to bring you the best results.

Why It’s Great

The Blue Yeti has four great audio patterns — bidirectional, cardioid, omnidirectional, and stereo — to bring you great versatility in your recording projects. Record solo with the cardioid, one-on-one interviews with the bidirectional, group recordings with the omnidirectional, and music with the stereo! The cardioid audio pattern is also great for gaming, streaming, and voice-over recordings. Wherever you’ve planned to record, the Blue Yeti has a light weight of 3.4 pounds, which can be easily carried around, and an easy microphone-to-laptop setup process that’ll have you recording in no time!

Potential Flaws

Although the Blue Yeti produces great audio quality, the omnidirectional mode is quite sensitive to background noise as it quickly detects pops, bumps, and slight noises. To avoid this, purchasing a pop filter for better group recordings will be your best bet, as this accessory is not included with the Blue Yeti microphone.

Other Features

The Blue Yeti might be more expensive than the other USB microphones listed here. However, it would be worth the investment if you’re looking for great audio quality and versatility. For easy control of your mic, it has a mute button to pause between recordings, a volume knob, a gain knob to control sensitivity, and a button to switch between the audio pattern you desire. It features a headphone jack and is available in a wide range of colors: silver, black, midnight blue, pink dawn, satin red, teal, and white mist. The Blue Yeti is compatible with Windows 10 or higher and macOS 10.14 or later.

Product Specifications

Audio patterns: Bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo, cardioid
Connection type: USB
Port: USB-C
Size and weight: 11.6 x 4.9 x 4.7 inches, 3.4 pounds
Sample rate: 48kHz
Bit rate: 16-bit
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Compatible with Windows 10, macOS 10.14, or later versions.

Runner Up - Joby Wavo POD

Runner Up

Joby Wavo POD

Capture crisp and clear sound whether you’re recording solo or with others.

The Joby Wavo POD, which has the pop filter installed on the mic, produces a clear, crisp sound. Its cardioid and omnidirectional audio patterns make it the perfect podcast microphone as you’re able to produce solo or group recordings. It supports USB-C and USB-C to USB-A and features a 3.5mm headphone jack. With a frequency range of 20Hz - 20kHz and a 24-bit depth, the Joby Wavo POD is the perfect choice for podcasting, streaming, and voice-over recording projects.

Buy Now for $98.28

Who It’s For

The Joby Wavo POD was created for all content creators looking for the crispiest and cleanest sound quality! With a pop filter included, this microphone is guaranteed to produce clear sound without any unwanted noise coming from your surroundings.

Why It’s Great

With a frequency range of 20Hz - 20kHz and a bit depth of 24, the Joby Wavo POD allows you to switch between cardioid and omnidirectional audio modes to better suit your recording requirements for the day! Another feature that makes this microphone great is its extra screw mounts that allow you to attach additional devices or accessories such as boom arms to make your content creation a breeze!

Potential Flaws

Without the pre-installed pop filter, the Joby Wavo POD fails to capture much bass and picks up on sibilant speech sounds. If you’re looking to record some music, the Joby Wavo POD might not be suitable for this. We’d recommend purchasing a USB microphone with a stereo audio pattern.

Other Features

In addition to its podcast-friendly audio patterns and installed pop filter, the Joby Wavo POD also includes multiple screw mounts, a headphone jack, and a multifunction knob that controls your mic and headphone features such as volume, mute/unmute, and gain adjustment. It has a weight of 2.25 pounds and is compatible with all laptops. Users also have the option to purchase an extra pop filter for one-on-one interviews or discussions so that no voice is distorted by pops, sibilant sounds, or unwanted noise.

Product Specifications

Audio patterns: Cardioid and omnidirectional
Connection type: USB
Port: USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A
Weight: 2.25 pounds
Frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz
Bit depth: 24-bit
Pop filter pre-installed
Multiple screw mounts
Headphone jack included

Most cost-effective - Blue Snowball Ice

Most cost-effective

Blue Snowball Ice

The best microphone if you’re looking for high audio quality paired with affordability.

The Blue Snowball Ice USB microphone is affordable and easy to use. With a high audio quality of 44kHz and 16-bit, it only supports a cardioid audio pattern and is perfect for broadcasting, solo podcasting, video/movie narration, Skype and Zoom calls, and streaming. It has an easy-to-use plug and play set-up and comes with an adjustable stand that allows you to comfortably position your microphone. The Blue Snowball Ice USB microphone is known to be used and trusted by millions of creators.

Buy Now

Who It’s For

The Blue Snowball Ice is definitely the best affordable pick for those looking for a USB microphone that can deliver high audio quality and fit within their budget.

Why It’s great

It has a cardioid audio pattern that captures your voice clearly for streaming, narration, podcasting, broadcasting, and meetings on Zoom or Skype. It has a bit depth of 16 and frequency rate of 44kHz, and is known to be suitable for a wide range of vocal projects. Although a pop filter is not included with the Blue Snowball Ice, it has a built-in screen behind the mic grille surface to improve audio quality and eliminate any unwanted sounds.

Potential Flaws

The Blue Snowball Ice is limited to a cardioid audio pattern, so it is only suitable for solo vocal recordings — this means that if you’re a podcaster looking to do occasional group discussions and interviews, you might want to purchase a microphone with an omnidirectional audio pattern. Another potential flaw is the height of the mic stand — it doesn’t reach high enough to be aligned with the speaker's mouth, so you might need to crouch down when speaking. In addition, a pop filter will need to be bought separately for an improved elimination of pop or sibilant sounds, as the mic can easily pick up the background noise. The Blue Snowball Ice also does not include any voice effects or headphone output.

Other Features

The Blue Snowball Ice is compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10, and macOS 10.4.11. Available in two color options — black and white, its retro design includes a status LED that lights up as soon as you connect your USB cable to the mic and device. With easy plug-and-play, you’re able to connect your microphone with your computer in no time to begin recording!

Product Specifications

Audio pattern: Cardioid
Connection type: USB
Weight: 1 pound
Frequency range: 44kHz
Bit depth: 16-bit
Pop filter: None
Compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10, and macOS 10.4.11

Almost made the cut - JLab Talk

Almost made the cut

JLab Talk

Easy to use, affordable, and suited for any kind of recording project.

The JLab Talk is the perfect microphone for just about everything, from streaming and podcasting to recording music! Its four audio patterns — omnidirectional, bidirectional, cardioid, stereo — make this microphone versatile enough for any recording project. With its quick plug and play feature, you’re able to simply connect your USB cable to the mic, plug it into your laptop, and begin recording as soon as inspiration strikes! The JLab Talk has a sound resolution of 96kHz and 24-bit, bringing you great audio quality.

Buy Now

Who It’s For

The JLab Talk is affordable, easy to use, and suited for anyone from beginners to pros! With its multiple audio patterns, you’re able to record anything from podcasts to music.

Why It’s Great

This microphone is great for solo recordings or streaming that capture your voice clearly, omnidirectional or bidirectional for group recordings or one-on-one conversations, and stereo for music recordings. It has a sound resolution of 96kHz/25-bit that enhances your audio quality for game streaming, YouTube videos, voice-overs, and music recordings. The screw-on tripod allows you to easily adjust the height of your microphone.

Potential Flaws

Although the JLab Talk supports all kinds of recording projects, the omnidirectional and bidirectional audio patterns tend to echo and make voices sound flat and hollow, and they easily pick up background noises. A pop filter might need to be bought separately for the best results when using these audio patterns.

Other Features

The JLab Talk USB microphone has an adjustable stand that allows you to adjust the mic to your comfort. It supports headphones and USB-C cables, and has a knob that allows users to easily switch between audio modes, mute, and unmute. Record audio with great quality in no time with its ease of use and quick plug-and-play ability. The JLab Talk microphone is super affordable, however, it's slightly higher than the Blue Snowball Ice microphone.

Product Specifications

Audio patterns: Cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional, stereo
Connection type: USB
Port: USB-C
Size and weight: 9.9 x 7.6 x 7.6 inches; 14.6 ounces
Sound resolution: 96kHz / 24-bit
Supports headphones
Screw-on tripod
Pop filter: None

Care and maintenance

Just like any other device, the care and maintenance of your microphone is important so that it can support you for a great number of years! A few tips to consider are avoiding breathing into your microphone. Not only can this affect the quality of your recording, but it can also potentially damage your speaker. When recording, the best distance to be from your microphone to avoid breathing into it too much is between two and 12 inches.
To prevent damage caused by moisture, it’s best to store your microphone in an area that isn’t exposed to moisture or humidity. If you’ve accidentally spilled water or any liquid onto your microphone speaker, use a hair dryer on a cool setting to dry, pat dry, or leave in rice overnight as the rice absorbs the water.
One of the main reasons for damaged USB connectors is dust or any other residue inside. The device you’ve connected it to will usually show you an error message that indicates your USB might be damaged. The best way to test this is to plug it into another device to check if it works, and if not, the problem lies with your USB connectors. Cleaning dust from your USB port is made simple by using compressed air to blow out the dirt. In the case of your USB port having any grime or sticky residue inside, it’s best to use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to gently clean it. If dirt or dust is not the issue, it might be a wiring problem that will need repairing.