Best USB microphones in 2022
If you have decided that you need a microphone for your set up – whether that’s for podcasting, video conferencing, working from home or even streaming, a quick search on Amazon will reveal plenty of choices. Many cheap microphones will be packed full of dubious online reviews stating how they are the best thing ever and when you actually buy one and it arrives, you will wonder if it just you that is getting awful sound from it.
Things will depend on your system, your room and even what’s in it. You will have seen popular YouTubers no doubt with sheets of foam glued to their walls to dampen the sound. These are the kinds of extremes you will go to if you want that perfect audio, but if you are just looking for a quality boost from the mic on your phone or your laptop, you have come to the right place.
The advent of USB microphones have made things oo much easier. Once the best mics came with simply an XLR connection that you didn’t have a hope of connecting to Windows or macOS without extra equipment such as an audio interface mixer.
These days, plug one in as you would any other peripheral, and with a quick settings change, you will be chatting to your friends or even Cortana within seconds.
Audiophiles will tell you that USB mics can never be as good as a pure XLR connection, and while that may well be the case, for the majority of us, it won’t matter. A good USB mic will be good enough for all the instances above and even things like recoding instruments with a minimum of post-processing.
Products at a Glance
Best USB microphones in 2022
- Awesome sound
- Build-quality that would survive a nuclear war
- Four audio patterns for all situations
- Too heavy for a lot of stands
- Difficult to find a cheaper shock mount than the official offering
- Warm audio tones
- More compatibility with accessories than the Yeti
- You probably won’t use the tripod
- Looks sublime
- Sounds sublime
- Is sublime
- Very expensive
Will my microphone work with Windows 10?
This will come down, seemingly to how much you spend, otherwise, it is hit or miss. Any of the big brands, and certainly the mics listed here will work with minimal effort. Any USB mic that uses the generic Windows 10 driver, which is still broken after all these years, will only record audio at such low levels as to be totally useless. We can’t believe it hasn’t been sorted out yet, and it may well never be, but stick to the known brands, and you should be fine.
If you really do want to go for a cheaper option, there is a workaround here but it involves extra software and settings, so we aren’t recommending that as a route you go down.
Can I monitor my incoming audio with no latency even though it’s a USB connection?
You can, because all the mics here have an onboard headphone jack with allows you to get to the signal before USB can add some tricky old latency too it. It’s another wire snaking across the place, but if you are recording vocals it is a Godsend of an option on all three.
Any one of these microphones will do a fantastic job for you, right up to the standard of recording vocals for a track you are thinking about releasing. The Hype Mic is terrific but too expensive for us to justify making it our Best Pick. Most people are not going to want to spend that much on one, but if you want the best sounding and have the cash, pick it up immediately.
I’m choosing the Blue Yeti as our winner. The sheer volume of satisfied users can’t be wrong. The Audio Technica has some advantages, but the Yeti is just so damn cool, sturdy, and sounds so impressive. If you have only ever heard audio recorded from your phone or your webcam, this will really open your eyes, and indeed ears.
It comes in a range of nice metallic colors that are always being added too as well as some limited editions. The fact it also comes in a couple of different guises to suit different budgets is nice too.
Basically, if you buy a Blue Yeti, you won’t need another USB microphone for a very long time indeed.