Best Budget Microphone For Streaming & Gaming; Reviews
There are plenty of options on the market, so we compiled a list of the most popular budget USB and XLR mics available to find the best of the best.
There are thousands of different microphone models on the market, and the amount of money you’ll have to spend in a particular model can vary from tens to hundreds of dollars.
Let’s take a look at some best budget microphones for streaming & gaming options that can provide you with a decent audio quality for your live streams.
Table of Contents
- Best Overall
- Budget Microphones For Streaming & Gaming
- Budget Microphone for Streaming reviews
- 1. Razer Seiren X
- 2. Samson Meteor Mic
- 3. Blue Yeti Nano
- 4. Zalman Zm-Mic1
- 5. Blue Snowball USB Mic
- 6. Samson G-Track Pro
- 7. Blue Yeti USB
- 8. USB Microphone Kit MAONO
- 9. Elgato Wave:3
- 10. Fifine K668 USB Mic
- 11. Antlion Audio ModMic 5
- Best Budget Microphone For Streaming & Gaming - Buying Guide
- Features To Consider While Choosing A Good Inexpensive Streaming Microphone
Razer Seiren X
For streamers who need a portable and/or space-saving setup, the Seiren X is a good fit, offering crystal-clear vocals. It’s a small, nicely designed USB condenser mic that will work with just about any device with a USB input. The mic offers a sensible and very usable compromise between full-size, full-price gaming mics both within and outside the Razer fold, delivering great clarity and fundamentally clear and bright recording quality while minimizing setup fuss.
Budget Microphones For Streaming & Gaming
|TopTop Top||Razer Seiren X USB Microphone||Best Overall||Diaphragm: 1″ / 25.40 mm, Polar Pattern: Super-Cardioid||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Samson Meteor USB Mic||Best Portable||Capsule: Condenser, Diaphragm: 0.98″ / 25 mm, Polar Pattern: Cardioid||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Blue Yeti Nano||Best Condenser Mic||Capsule: Condenser, Diaphragm: 0.55″ / 14 mm, Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Zalman Zm-Mic1||Best Headphone Mic||Sound Field: Mono, Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Blue Snowball USB Microphone||Best Retro Mic||Capsule: 2 x Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Samson G-Track Pro||Best Professional||Diaphragm: 1″ / 25.40 mm, Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Figure-8, Omnidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Blue Yeti USB Mic||Best USB Option||Diaphragm: 0.55″ / 14 mm, Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Figure-8, Omnidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||USB Microphone Kit MAONO||Best Setup||Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Capsule: Condenser||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Elgato Wave:3 USB Mic||Best For Beginners||Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Fifine K668 USB Mic||Cheapest||Polar Pattern: Cardioid Capsule: Condenser||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Antlion Audio ModMic 5||Best Noise Cancelling||Capsule Type: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid||Buy on Amazon|
Budget Microphone for Streaming reviews
1. Razer Seiren X
The Razer Seiren X provides delightfully crisp voice audio, a sleek aesthetic, and a compact design at an entry level price point for professional microphones.
It’s an excellent grab for those in need of a high quality microphone for work calls, gaming, streaming, or content creation.
Available in that classic black (with obligatory Razer green accents), a blue and black scheme for the PS4 edition and an additional quartz-pink model, the Seiren X offers a decent range of aesthetic options for a microphone.
And fits nicely within the company’s streamer-focused range of broadcasting equipment which now includes capture cards, lighting and cameras.
Like the majority of gaming-focused broadcast mics on the market, this model sports an electret condenser with a wide diaphragm and substantial shock protection, anchored by a nice heavy stand. Volume and mute controls live on the mic itself.
The Razer Seiren X uses a supercardioid pick-up pattern which just means it focuses on picking up the noise directly in front of the microphone, and reduces background noise coming from behind the mic or from the sides.
This is undoubtedly one of the best budget microphones for streaming & gaming.
This pick-up pattern is optimal for speech and is great for canceling out any audio that may be coming out of your speakers or computer.
The Razer Seiren X has a built-in shock mount that dampens vibrations when the mic is accidentally bumped or moved, greatly reducing unwanted sounds.
The front of the microphone features two controls – one is an illuminated two state button to turn your microphone on or mute the pickup.
You also have a volume control, because the Seiren X has a pass through that allows it to act as the audio playback device of your computer through the 3.5mm headphone jack next to the USB port.
Its compact size also helps with the portability. Although you still need a USB cable to connect it, the supplied cable comes with a reusable strap to keep it coiled, and the base is easily detachable to fit in your bag.
Also, when screwed into the included stand, the mic can tilt roughly 30 degrees in any direction.
- Easy to set up, no additional configuration required
- Small footprint, compact design
- Simple, sleek and stylish design
- Surprisingly stable design
- Reasonable noise cancellation
- Only one polar pattern
2. Samson Meteor Mic
The Meteor is a pretty unique-looking microphone, which has obviously been designed with aesthetics in mind. It has a retro, chrome grille appearance, and sits on three fold-down legs.
Its sensitive cardioid pattern can make a real difference in quality too.
With dimensions of 80 x 49 x 49mm it genuinely fits in a pocket, it’s totally plug and play and it produces sublime recordings.
Built from thick plates of chromed steel and styled like a classic Shure 55SH side address mic, it just oozes retro class and feels incredibly solid too, yet it only weighs 263g.
It’s the clever leg design that really brings a smile to the face, though – it’s just such an elegant piece of engineering.
The three legs fold up to sit flush with the sides of the mic to create a teeny tiny form that can then slip easily into a jacket pocket or bag and that is what makes it one of the best budget microphone for streaming & gaming.
You can also use the legs to hold the mic at a different angle, dropping a couple of legs lower to angle the top more towards or further away from you.
The mic comes in a high-quality black cardboard box with housing to hold everything in place.
This makes it ideal for easy storage when not in use. It also comes with a small draw-string carry bag to help protect the mic from scratches when being put into a case or box alongside other gear or equipment.
On the back is the USB connection port where you connect the mic to your PC/Laptop/Mac with the cable provided in the box.
You can also connect to an iPad using a camera adapter, though this isn’t included with the Meteor as standard.
Also on the back of the Meteor is a 3.5mm headphone port for monitoring your recordings. This means you can set the Meteor as your output, so you can hear both yourself and audio from your computer, or whoever you’re chatting to on Skype.
Behind the grille there is a double layer of fine wire mesh that is plenty sturdy enough to protect the delicate parts inside.
Those parts consist of a 25mm diaphragm condenser capsule with cardioid pickup pattern and flat frequency response along with a “CD quality” 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz ADC and USB interface.
This combination provides a high quality recording experience, with a ridiculously easy setup – just plug into a computer via the miniUSB socket and it will be automatically recognised as an audio input, whether you’re running Linux, MacOS or Windows.
- Easy plug and play setup
- Stylish and portable
- Great audio quality
- Nice design
- No gain control or analogue output
3. Blue Yeti Nano
The Blue Yeti Nano is solidly built and has a nice weight to it with touches of unique styling throughout. You’ll find the stylish black-chrome Blue logo on the upper front of the mic.
The detachable aluminum stand is nicely weighted and painted shadow gray to match the mic. The stand is bold, yet subtle, and has a unique design and stance.
When the mic is in its stand you can easily adjust its angle via two knobs on either side of the mic.
With the mic connected to a computer, the volume dial lights up green. When pressed, it functions as a mute button, and lights up red.
On the bottom of the mic, there’s a quarter-inch thread mount that allows for connecting to various camera tripods—the included 0.75-inch screw-in adapter allows for connection to any standard mic stand.
On the backside, there’s the pattern button, which has two small lights on either side to indicate which pickup pattern — cardioid or omnidirectional — you’ve selected.
The Nano comes with two Blue proprietary, 14 mm condenser capsules, supporting sample rates up to 24-bit/48 KHz. It’s a side-address microphone, meaning that the front of the mic should face you when recording.
Along the bottom, you will find a microUSB plug and 3.5mm low-latency headphone jack as well as standard threading for an optional Radius III shock mount or to connect to a boom arm, which is how I have it set up currently.
The Yeti Nano is beautifully engineered and you can tell that every detail was thoughtfully designed and manufactured with excellence in mind and that is what makes it one of the best budget microphones for streaming and gaming.
Under the hood, the Nano includes a dual-capsule design for capturing audio in either cardioid (for recording narration and podcasts), or omnidirectional (for recording multiple speakers or environmental audio).
The Nano is quite efficient when it comes to selecting cardioid or omni sound, thanks to a super convenient push button on the mic’s back and indicator lights showing which mode you’re using.
The Yeti Nano works with Windows 7, 8.1, or 10, Mac OS 10.10 or higher, and requires USB 1.1, 2.0, or 3.0. It will work with the majority of recording software apps available, with the exception of ProTools.
- Excellent sound quality
- Very portable
- Choice of colors
- Illuminated control dial
- Only two polar patterns
- Front dial feels loose
4. Zalman Zm-Mic1
The Zalman ZM-Mic1 headphone microphone can hardly be considered anywhere near the quality of any of the other fantastic microphones on this list, but this microphone is exactly what you would expect on a $7 microphone, it’s a phenomenal value, and a clear upgrade over a typical headset mic.
The ZM-Mic1 is their solution to a common problem – a typical gamer just wants a good, clear-sounding mic, not necessarily the best mic for YouTube around.
They also don’t want to pay more for a gaming microphone without headphones than they would for a whole headset.
So how does the ZM-Mic1 sound? Better than you’d expect for such a cheap device, and good enough to rival a lot of mics on headsets costing up to $100.
However, it is clearly in a different class. It’s also an omnidirectional-only mic – typical for budget 3.5mm jack microphones.
That means that it will pick up sound from all over the room, and it’s noise isolation, especially compared to the top gaming microphones, is practically non-existent.
- Sounds OK
- Super affordable
- Feels cheap and flimsy
5. Blue Snowball USB Mic
The Snowball is a pretty basic microphone that offers three selectable patterns for sound capture. A simple 3-position slider on the back changes the Snowball to either cardioid, omni, or cardioid with -10db pad.
Cardioid is best for speaking directly into the mic, so it’s for podcasts, Twitch streams, and voice-overs.
Omni captures sounds from all directions, such as roundtable discussions or a live-music session with multiple instruments.
The Cardioid with -10db pad has reduced sensitivity, and level peaks are diminished or eliminated, making it useful for overly loud situations where you want to capture the best possible sound.
The front of the Snowball is beautiful, provided you don’t mind looking at Blue’s retro-inspired scripted logo all the time.
Beneath Blue’s chromed plastic logo is a wire mesh grille and an integrated foam windscreen that protects the Snowball’s two 0.5-inch mic capsules.
Closer to the top of the mic you’ll find an LED that indicates when the Snowball is connected to your computer.
The converters built into the microphone, which has a capacitor capsule, are fixed at 16-bit/44.1kHz and the mic can be used with computers running Windows XP or Mac OS X without the need to install additional drivers.
Inside the host software, the mic shows up as two identical input sources rather than as a single mono source.
Towards the top is an LED that glows when it is connected to a computer. On the rear, there is a USB port. That is the only output. There is no capability for a headphone connection anywhere or a line-out.
The Blue Snowball is undoubtedly one of the best budget microphone for streaming and gaming.
Sound quality is great for most applications like recording podcasts and voiceover. It’s excellent for streaming, light years ahead of what’s possible from a simple headset or built-in microphone.
There’s no denying that a bus-powered USB mic is a very neat solution to recording audio into a laptop or domestic computer system, and this one produces subjectively high-quality results, providing you use it close enough to the source to get a healthy recording level.
- Plug and play.
- Superb for integrating with a computer.
- Choice of Cardioid or Omni.
- Very good sounds for the price, but don’t expect studio-quality recordings.
- Omni mode is more like a wide cardioid pattern with a high presence peak
6. Samson G-Track Pro
The all-black 3.5-pound, 4.5-by-10.5-inch (HW) G-Track Pro ships connected to its desktop swivel-mount stand, which is weighted for more stability.
The mic can be angled upward, making it easy to get the ideal distance from speaker or sound source to capsule.
Behind its sturdy grille, there’s a layer of windscreen foam protecting the dual 1-inch capsules that combine for the various mic patterns.
The G-Track Pro is a full-size, multi-pattern studio mic with a dual-diaphragm, 1-inch capsule offering cardioid, omnidirectional and figure-of-eight pickup patterns.
This is one of the best budget microphone for streaming and gaming for professionals as it has a built-in headphone amp and desk stand, and is the first USB mic that we came across with a built-in 1 megohm instrument input.
It provides recording up to 24-bit/96 kHz, unlike most USB mics, which offer 48 kHz recording, often at a depth of just 16 bits.
Power to run the mic and associated electronics comes from USB so no phantom or other power source is required.
The microphone capsule is a dual-diaphragm capacitor model built around a one-inch capsule skinned with three-micron metalized Mylar, and offers three switchable polar patterns: cardioid, omnidirectional and figure-of-eight.
For instruments, the quarter-inch unbalanced jack on the rear of the mic accepts guitars, basses, keyboards and line-level sources.
Both the mic and the instrument input can be used simultaneously so, for example, a singing guitar player can record separate voice and DI’d guitar tracks at the same time.
However, if you need to mix the two signals to record onto a single mono track, you can do that too — there’s a Mono/2-track switch on the mic body for this.
Beyond being a mic and an interface, it’s also an audio monitor thanks to its single LED light.
While recording, if your vocals begin to peak, the light changes from green to red to indicate clipping. It also turns yellow to indicate you’re muted.
Finally, the G-Track Pro comes with a heavy duty podcasting stand and a 6′ cable. It literally has everything you need to record and stream vocals except a computer.
With the G-Track Pro you’re getting the total package. This thing is a game-changer and a money-saver for just about anyone looking to get into streaming vocals or podcasting. It’s super simple to use and has a high quality build.
- Clean, mids-focused signal.
- Dedicated instrument input can be used at the same time as mic.
- Three selectable patterns.
- Gain knobs for both mic and instrument input.
- No adapter for standard mic stand included
7. Blue Yeti USB
The Blue Yeti USB microphone has been the most popular USB microphones in the last several years and we highly recommend it to someone who is going to use it for singing or rapping.
The heavy 50s-style metal construction – complete with a brilliantly designed large-footprint table stand – lends this microphone an air of seriousness.
One of the stand-out features of the Yeti is the ability to change polar patterns.
The Yeti Blue uses a proprietary tri-capsule microphone array that allows you to switch between 4 different polar patterns, customizing how the Yeti picks up sound.
They are Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, and Stereo.
One advantage of its 5v-powered USB makeup is that the Yeti is able to put many of the most important recording controls on board.
There’s a built-in gain dial, essential if you’re recording quiet or distant sounds and useful for preventing later processing.
It also features a volume knob for the live-monitoring headphone amp, a mute button to pause recording, and the most important control of all: the pattern switch, which selects between the four operating modes of its triple-capsule array.
Blue Yeti has two ports. The first one is of course USB that powers the device and sends the digital signal to the computer.
This model has a standard sampling rate of 16 bit at 48 kHz. The USB cable of around 6 feet long is also included in the package.
The other output port is a 3.5 mm headphones jack, allowing you to hear exactly what’s being captured.
Both ports along with a shock mount thread are located underneath the device; however, the shock mount itself is not included in the package.
This is without a doubt a one of the best affordable inexpensive microphone for streaming, gaming and podcasting.
Blue Yeti sounds surprisingly rich for its cost. It is a sensitive mic so be prepared that it will be picking up both wanted and unwanted sounds alike.
However, a proper positioning along with right picking patterns can help to achieve a good level of noise cancellation. For instance, if the source of noise is behind the mic, you may use a cardioid pattern; if the noise is coming from sides, a bidirectional pattern will be handy.
This is where its functionality turns out very useful. If you play an acoustic guitar, you’ll especially like the stereo mode, which can make it sound much more natural.
The main advantage Blue Yeti boasts over its competitors is the THX certification. In fact, it was the first microphone that actually earned it.
THX warrants for sound quality and guarantees the whole frequency range is delivered just the way it should – and this is indeed so.
On the other hand, many other mics will often deviate from the natural pattern, coloring some frequencies and muting the others.
- Tremendous sound quality
- Multiple recording patterns
- Plug and play – no installation
- Fantastic for the price
- 4 picking patterns
- THX Certification
- Non-standard size, hard to find a fitting shock mount
- Flimsy controls / buttons
8. USB Microphone Kit MAONO
For being so reasonably priced, the AU-A04 offers quite a lot. The package includes the microphone itself, which is a USB-powered condenser and doesn’t require an audio interface to use, a shock mount, boom arm, foam windscreen, and pop filter.
The last two accomplish the same thing, blocking plosives, so you’re free to choose the option you prefer rather than be stuck with one or the other.
This condenser microphone has been designed with a professional sound chipset, which lets the USB microphone hold a high resolution sampling rate of 192kHz/24bit.
The smooth, flat frequency response of 30Hz-16kHz is excellent for singing, speech and Voice over,
There are no onboard controls for volume, mute, selecting a polar pattern, or connecting a pair of headphones for zero-latency monitoring.
The AU-A04 offers a single cardioid polar pattern, which means it records only what’s in front of it and tries to reject outside noise. Everything else has to be configured using Windows sound settings.
The microphone has USB 2.0 data port which is easy to connect with your computer and Linux operating system, and it does not need any extra driver software or an external sound card.
The box keeps the mic protected while transportation and also makes it easier to travel with all your gear.
The MAONO AU-A04 Studio Microphone Kit delivers a full recording setup for a modest price. Moreover, the quality of its capture approDouble shielding USB cable reduces interference. That makes it easy to sound good on a podcast, livestream, video call, or most any other kind of recording.
The boom arm mounts to your desk with a small C-shaped clamp that’s likely to scratch your desk.
The top part features a soft pad to keep the visible surface of your desk safe but the bottom and inner edge don’t.
The two pop filters, on the other hand, work quite well. Since the AU-A04 is very susceptible to “pops”, they’re very necessary accessories.
This USB microphone kit includes a lockable aluminum organizer storage box, which is of a safe and portable design.
aches much more expensive options.
- Comes along with the entire setup
- Crisp clear audio
- Rugged built
- Useful pop filter
- The boom arm and bracket are a bit fragile
9. Elgato Wave:3
The Wave: 3 is a condenser mic with a black eggshell-like finish and a built-in stand with a circular weighted base. The mic and stand measure approximately 8 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide (for the mic), while the base is a little over 4 inches in diameter.
An included adapter allows you to disconnect the mic from the base and screw it into a standard mic stand.
The Wave 3’s design finds an excellent middle ground between looking modern while still hitting the same aesthetic notes as an old-timey microphone.
On the front of the Wave 3, you’ll find one multifunction gain knob that, when pressed, switches to control headphone volume and, when pressed again, switches to control the mic/pc audio mix.
All these functions are beautifully indicated by LED lights harmoniously built into the front face of the microphone. Volume for all three is individually registered via the LED lights above the multifunction gain knob.
Inside this amazing budget microphone for gaming & streaming there is a condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern, which is made to capture the widest range sound frequency.
With a maximum sample rate of 96 kilohertz and a maximum 24-bit of depth, the clarity of sound is fantastically crisp and clear, with excellent depth and tone.
If you have a tendency to get loud, the Wave 3 has proprietary Clipguard technology built into its analog-to-digital converter, which only allows for a maximum of 115 decibels.
That means the Wave 3 automatically soothes overdriven sound waves before sending them to your computer, ensuring that your recordings or streams are distortion free, and that you’ll never redline during recording.
Elgato incorporates two additional sound features in the Wave:3 that you can enable or disable using the included WaveLink app.
The first is a low-cut filter, useful for eliminating some background room sounds or fan noise from your recordings.
The second is an excellent hardware-based limiter called Clipguard. When sounds peak above a certain threshold, the mic instantly switches to a separate hardware signal path in the analog to digital converter that is 20dB quieter. This effectively extends the 95dB dynamic range to 115dB.
From the recommended distance of roughly seven inches, the Wave: 3 delivers a clear, rich signal with crisp highs.
You can get a decent amount of vocal low-end out of it, especially if you move in closer, but due to the lack of a pop filter, that’s not advised.
That said, the built-in padding and protection behind the grille does an above-average job of tamping down plosives.
If you keep roughly seven inches away, even raising your voice doesn’t seem to set off the capsule too much, and most plosives are delivered fairly clearly, with only a hint of distortion in worst-case scenarios.
Whether its live streaming video games, doing voice-overs for YouTube videos, or putting together a podcast on your MacBook, the Wave:3 delivers professional-grade results at a very reasonable price.
- Anti-distortion tech
- Small and portable
- Built-in pop shield
- Great clarity
- Only one polar pattern
10. Fifine K668 USB Mic
If you’re tired of using your computer’s integrated microphone and dealing with the fuzzy distortion and annoying feedback, then the Fifine Plug and Play Home Studio USB computer microphone is just built for you.
Due to its ability to create studio quality audio at an affordable price, the Fifine K668 condenser microphone is a top choice among streamers and gamers alike.
The Fifine K668 is a great budget mic for streaming and gaming which is simple to use and easy to operate. Simply plug your K668 into a USB port on your PC or Mac and you are on your way.
The housing is made of high quality, durable aluminum alloy metal with a silver plate mesh.
The Fifine K668 comes with 1 USB microphone with 5.9 foot audio cable, 1 anti-wind foam cap, 1 metal tripod stand and a user manual.
There is absolutely no software or drivers to install in order to use the Fifine K668. This microphone is capable of working with any audio software you own, such as Audacity.
The Fifine K668 is 8 x 6.9 x 2.6 inches and weighs in at a light 12.8 ounces.
The elegantly designed Fifine K668 microphone works for vocals, music, voice overs, gaming and podcasts, all while producing studio quality results.
Those of you who enjoy creating gaming videos and wish to move on from the fuzzy audio of integrated microphones, will be happy to know that the Fifine K668 will help you create superior audio for your tutorials and gaming walkthroughs.
With no software or drivers to download, the Fifine K668 lives up to its name as a plug and play computer microphone.
Your audio projects will have less background noise and far better tonal range. The Fifine K668 is directional in design, due to its cardioid pickup pattern, which means it can eliminate extraneous environmental noise and record only the source sounds.
In other words, if you are doing a podcast, it will pick up your speech, not the whir of the air conditioner.
It has a smooth, flat frequency response of 50Hz-16KHz–Extended frequency response is excellent for singing, speech and voice over, Performed perfectly in reproduces sound, high quality mic ensure your exquisite sound reproduces on the internet.
- Plug and Play microphone
- Distinctive omni pick-up pattern
- Smooth, flat frequency response of 50Hz-16KHz
- Record directly to your computer
- Wide frequency response
- Not for professionals
11. Antlion Audio ModMic 5
Antlion Audio’s ModMic is a clever idea, smartly executed. It’s a boom microphone you can attach to any pair of headphones, turning them into a gaming/streaming headset.
The ModMic 5 is packed with accessories. You get two 3.5 mm extension cables. One of the cables is longer so you won’t have any problems connecting it to the back of your pc or to the side of your gaming laptop.
The boom mic is a bit thicker and feels sturdier with a stiffer arm that won’t easily lose its shape. The microphone module uses a dual-capsule design, which means there are effectively two mics at the end of the boom arm.
The ModMic 5 has both the unidirectional and omnidirectional capsules in the same unit. This means that you can simply select which type of sound you want to use depending on the situation.
The unidirectional capsule promises to cancel out the ambient noise present in your surroundings to help your voice stand out in conversations while the omnidirectional capsule promises to give a more accurate and high-quality sound with the compromise of more ambient noise heard through the microphone.
You can use a sliding switch just behind the microphone head to switch between using both capsules to capture your voice for clearer sound as an omnidirectional microphone, or using just one to make the ModMic perform as a unidirectional microphone.
There are 2 magnetic bases which let you attach the Mod Mic to 2 pairs of headphones. That adds to the flexibility of the ModMic since you can mount it to two different headphones with different sound signatures and you can simply select the headphone that best suits the game.
There are 3 included extra adhesive tapes in case you want to attach the magnetic base to another pair or if the adhesive of the base mount wears out.
The microphone offers far better voice quality than headphones or headsets with internal or inline microphones.
The unidirectional mode noticeably limits the frequency range of audio, capturing between 100Hz and 10kHz.
Omnidirectional mode expands that to 30Hz to 17.5kHz, broadly improving sound quality, even if it’s more likely to pick up sounds other than your voice in this mode.
If you play a lot of games at home with few distractions, or if you want to record your voice, the omnidirectional mode is your best bet.
Unidirectional mode should be reserved for e-sports events and LAN parties where multiple people will be around you talking.
- Mic is easy to attach, and also to remove
- More convenient than using a desk microphone for voice chat
- Running two cables to your PC can be a hassle
Best Budget Microphone For Streaming & Gaming - Buying Guide
When choosing a new microphone to suit your streaming needs, there are several factors to consider beforehand. Whether you’re shopping for the best XLR mic for streaming or just need a budget-friendly backup, keep these areas in mind.
Features To Consider While Choosing A Good Inexpensive Streaming Microphone
The term frequency response means the range of voice frequencies your microphone can pick up. It is measured in Hz and kHz from the lowest frequencies to the highest.
Typically, the golden standard for frequency response is from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz.
Anything lower or higher than these spectrum extremes is pretty much useless, as the human voice simply cannot produce such frequencies.
A polar pattern, also known as directional property, is the inherent sensitivity to the direction of audio waves.
Simply put, a polar pattern means the ability of a microphone to pick up your voice from different angles. The three polar patterns you need to know are cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional.
Cardioid polar pattern
Cardioid is the most common directional polar pattern, with the highest sensitivity to sound coming in from directly in front of the microphone capsule (0º), practically no sensitivity to sound coming directly from behind (180º), and a reduced sensitivity to sound coming in from the sides (90º/270º).
A cardioid mic is a lot better at excluding background noise and room reflection than an omni mic. Its most common use is actually in music production and live sound reinforcement.
Omnidirectional polar pattern
An omnidirectional polar pattern picks up sound in a 360-degree radius – it is equally sensitive to sound at all angles. Imagine its pattern as a perfect sphere in three directions. This makes omnidirectional microphones ideal for studio recordings where the objective is a natural, open sound.
Bidirectional polar pattern
Bidirectional microphones, also known as figure-of-eight devices, pick up an equal level of sound from the front and the rear, but sound from the side is blocked out, hence the ‘8’-shaped polar pattern.
These microphones will result in a highly realistic sound duplication, as you’re capturing more of the natural ambience of the recording space, alongside the sound source.
XLR Microphones vs USB Microphones
Two of the most common connection methods for streaming, XLR and USB, have some substantial differences.
USB microphones are much more convenient and straightforward to setup. All you’ll need is your microphone, your computer which has USB ports.
There is pretty much no additional setup after you plug your USB mic in. You may or may not need to install drivers on your computer to get it up and running, but compare that to purchasing a preamp, interface, and mixer for your XLR.
Unfortunately, USB mics don’t perform at the level of XLR microphones regarding quality. They typically have harder times picking up nuances in sound.
That being said, most of your viewers won’t notice the “analog tinge” anyway so that added quality may not matter in the long run.
However, USB microphones are notorious for having latency, a major issue if you’re getting into streaming.
For those of you who don’t know what latency is in audio, it’s essentially the delay between the audio being recorded and that same audio being played back.
Using a pop filter cuts out issues on both the high and low ends, making for easier editing of the recording and, ultimately, better sounding demos, auditions, and finished work.
Some voice actors swear by pop filters and would never record without one, but you have to decide what works best for you.
A mic’s form factor is important as you’ll be looking at it every time you’re sitting at your desk, and attachable mics need to make sure they aren’t too distracting either.
Form factor also plays a role in a microphone’s adaptability, as you’ll need to make space for it. As a streamer, your mic will also be in view for your audience, so its appearance is relevant.
As the name suggests, this filter reduces popping noise that is common when you do the rapping. Additionally, this shield also protects your mic from saliva.
Our top pick for the best budget microphone for streaming & gaming is the Razer Seiren X. Designed and tested by top Twitch streamers, the Razer Seirēn X is your key to getting heard in the best way possible.
The Razer Seiren x is the microphone designed specially to elevate the quality of streams. The microphone strategically filters unwanted background noise and features a built-in shock mount to dampen vibrations.
Our next pick for the best budget microphone for streaming & gaming is the Samson Meteor Mic.
Meteor Mic is a portable USB studio condenser microphone for recording directly on your computer. Perfect for your home studio, Meteor Mic is also ideal for podcasting, music recording, gaming, Skype or streaming.
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