Best Omnidirectional Microphone 2023; Reviews
Here in this article “Best Omnidirectional Microphone” we’ve rounded up 9 best omni mics for recording, streaming, gaming, iPhone of various types, specifications, and budget. Below, you’ll find in-depth reviews of each, as well as an elaborate buying guide to pick out your favorite.
Whether you’re looking to purchase recording equipment to start a podcast, record an EP or make a documentary, you realize the importance of having the right equipment. If this is your first experience with a project of this caliber, you may be overwhelmed by all the Omnidirectional microphone options and information available.
Before you start blindly purchasing cameras and mics, you should do some research to discover which type of equipment is right for your project.
Omnidirectional microphones can sometimes get overshadowed by the newer unidirectional mics, but they offer a lot of advantages. If you’re trying to decide whether Omnidirectional mic is right for you keep reading to learn more about omnidirectional mics and their full range of capabilities.
With so many options to choose from, we thought we’d make your buying decision a little easier by sharing our list of best omnidirectional microphone from dynamic mics to condenser, there’s something here for everyone.
|TopTop Top Top||Blue Snowball USB Microphone||Best For Zoom||Capsule: 2 x Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Blue Yeti USB Mic||Best For Podcast||Diaphragm: 0.55″ / 14 mm, Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Figure-8, Omnidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Rode SmartLav+||Best Lavalier||Diaphragm: 0.10″ / 2.54 mm, Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||TONOR Conference USB Microphone||Best For Conference||Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Stereo & Bidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Samson Go Mic||Best For Mac/Pc||Multipattern||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||AKG Pro Audio C414 XLI I||Best For Recording||Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Figure-8, Hypercardioid, Omnidirectional, Subcardioid||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||JLab Audio Talk USB Microphone||Best USB Mic||Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Stereo & Bidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Movo HM-M2||Best For Interview||Capsule: Dynamic, Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top Top||Shure VP64A||Best Budget Pick||Capsule: Dynamic, Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
Table of Contents
- What is an Omnidirectional Microphone?
- Omnidirectional Microphone reviews
- Best Omnidirectional Microphone - Buying Guide
- Features To Look For In A Good Omnidirectional Microphone
- Advantages Of An Omnidirectional Microphone
What is an Omnidirectional Microphone?
Omnidirectional microphones are microphones that pick up sound with equal gain from all sides or directions of the microphone. This means that whether a user speaks into the microphone from the front, back, left or right side, the microphone will record the signals all with equal gain.
This is in contrast to unidirectional microphones, which pick up sound with high sensitivity only from a specific side.
Omnidirectional microphones have a polar plot which is circular, because it records sound from all directions, 0º to 360º, with equal gain.
So whether a user speaks into the microphone from any direction or angle, the same gain will be achieved.
Omnidirectional microphones are advantageous over unidirectional microphones in that they allow greater flexibility in the directionality of sound pick-up.
This means, a user can speak into any side of the microphone and it will still pick up good gain from all sides. This can be very useful in applications where sound needs to be recorded from multiple directions.
Omnidirectional Microphone reviews
Best For Zoom
Blue Snowball USB
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.
The omnidirectional mode picks up its sound from any direction. This makes this microphone suitable for a variety of uses. Studio use, of course, for vocals, but it will also handle louder sources like drums or guitars.
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 omnidirectional microphone for streaming, gaming and podcasting.
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
Best For Podcast
Blue Yeti USB Mic
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.
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
Best Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone
The Rode smartLav+ is a lavalier microphone for your Apple or Android mobile device that is designed to deliver high-quality audio recording.
The smartLav+ clips on to your shirt or lapel, and the sensitive, omnidirectional condenser capsule captures the sound equally from all sides of the microphone.
This design lends to effective, hands-free recording of speeches, interviews, dictations and more.
Being an omnidirectional microphone, it doesn’t matter whether you point it upside down or sidewise, etc. as long as it’s close enough to the source.
Due to the absence of proximity effect, an omnidirectional capsule is also less susceptible to the shock or handling noise.
The smartLav is compatible with iOS devices, including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch over several generations, but it is also for use by Android users, too, thanks to the TRRS connection.
Overall, the RØDE SmartLav+ delivers on its promise to give you great quality sound and improves on the sound from your phone’s microphone and it also minimises wind and ambient noise as well, and that’s what makes it one of the best omnidirectional microphone for iPhone and smartphones.
It’s extremely easy to use. It really is plug and play so you don’t need to fiddle with any of the settings to make it work and deliver exceptional sound. It’s an extremely versatile microphone that you can use with your phone and with your DSLR camera.
- Sounds crispy and natural
- Low self-noise
- Great quality for the buck
- Works with all smartphones
- Comes with a short cable
Best For Conference Room
TONOR Conference USB Mic
The microphone has an omnidirectional pickup pattern with a pickup distance of 11.5 ft, making it easy to capture the most subtle sounds from 360° directions and transmit the sound more loud and clear. Participants can hear each other without raising their voices.
The device is equipped with a dual-capacitor anti-jam core that captures the most subtle sounds around it, fully loud and clear.
This microphone is perfect for large conference meetings where people conduct meetings over an internet network by using Skype/GoToMeeting/WebEx/Hangouts/Fuze and other softwares.
You can also use it for court reports, seminars, remote training, business negotiations, video chats etc.
The microphone is compatible with all operating systems – both Windows and macOS. You just need to plug the microphone to start recording.
If there is no response after inserting the mic, please go to the microphone setting of your computer and select the mic as the INPUT device.
The microphone is constructed of sturdy and durable metal material and the base is fitted with an anti-slip mat which keeps it stable on desktop during use.
It is small, convenient and does not require much space when in use. Connected with a 2m nylon shielded wire, it effectively eliminates signal interferences to achieve the best recording results.
The mic features a backlit mute button. You can quickly mute your microphone. The built-in blue indicator light will notify of the status. The mic remains muted until you press the button again.
- Easy to use
- Simple plug and play
- Great for large meeting rooms
- Powered by the computer, eliminating the need for a phantom power source
- Little room for adjustment
Best For Mac/Pc
Samson Go Mic Direct
- Capsule: Condenser
- Diaphragm: 0.39″ / 10 mm
- Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
- Frequency Range: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
- Sample/bit rate: 44.1kHz / 16-bit
- OS Support: Windows, macOS/OS X
- Dimensions: 1.7” x 0.74” x 1.7
- Weight: 1.03oz
The Go Mic is roughly the size of a Bic lighter. At 2.8 by 1.7 by 0.9 inches and 3.7 ounces, it’s a tiny microphone that won’t take up much space in your bag.
The clip stand fits around the mic for compact stowing when not in use. The stand is a minuscule, ergonomic wonder—it has rubber feet so that it can be placed flat on a desktop with the mic hinged off to the side.
Or you can flip the stand over to clip it on the top of your laptop screen. If neither of these options work for you, the included nut adapter on the stand can be used to mount the mic onto a standard mic stand. All of this fits inside a tiny, flat carrying case.
The Go Mic Direct from Samson is a USB condenser microphone that features an ultra-compact design and plugs directly into your Mac or PCs USB port without a cable, and without blocking the other ports.
It records at CD quality 16-bit, 44.1 kHz resolution and is great for podcasting, recording music, recording sound for YouTube videos and much more. It’s also great for Skype, FaceTime and voice recognition applications.
Behind the windscreen rests two 10mm capsules that are internally shock-isolated and can record both cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns.
The pattern switch is found on the interior side of the mic housing. Here users can choose between cardioid, cardioid with a 10dB pad, or omnidirectional pattern.
The LED indicator is useful for notifying users of power supply and clipping; it blinks red when noises are too loud.
Additionally, the outer edge of the recording module houses two inputs: one for a 3.5mm headphone plug and another for mini-B USB power supply.
For this microphone you don’t need to find the proper XLR connector and adapter or with a sustainable USB interface. The Samson Go Mic truly is a plug-and-go option for you if you don’t need top-notch studio recording quality and prefer ease-of-use.
For the price, it’s hard to complain about the Samson Go Mic—it’s a tool of convenience, and it does what it needs to do well enough and is easy to use.
- Cardioid and omnidirectional patterns
- Lightweight, portable
- Value for money
- Plug and play
- Easy to get pop sounds, especially given the lack of DSP
Best For Recording
AKG Pro Audio C414
AKG’s C414 is one of the most popular and widely used microphones in the world today. You’re likely to see one in every major studio. It has become a professional studio standard.
The microphone is equipped with nine selectable polar patterns, three attenuation levels and three switchable bass-cut filters, the C414 XLII remains one of the most versatile condenser microphone for recording vocals, drums, and acoustic & amplified instruments in the studio or on stage.
Although the design is basic, the beautiful gold grille found on the C414 XLII, makes this microphone appear quite flashy when in the studio.
You shouldn’t judge a microphone by its look. However, if you’re running a small startup studio, the impression of your clients and collaborators seeing the sparkling C414 can be a valuable thing.
The base of the C414 is solid and heavy, quite frankly, it’s built like a tank. Underneath the grille is the precious heart of the C414, the 2nd generation CK12 nylon capsule, responsible for the sound of the C414.
The C414 is a large-diaphragm, multi-pattern capacitor microphones utilising a gold-sputtered diaphragm where only the front side of the diaphragm is coated, the aim being to avoid electrical shorting between the diaphragm and backplate at very high SPLs.
The pickup pattern can be switched in five steps to encompass omni, wide cardioid (not available on previous C414 models), cardioid, narrow cardioid, and figure of eight.
A tiny system of green LEDs below the switch illuminates whichever option has been selected, and the current selection can be temporarily locked by pressing and holding the rocker selector switch for three seconds.
Pressing again for three seconds, or switching off the phantom power, unlocks the setting.
The same pattern-selection LED doubles as a clip warning light, and turns red for around one third of a second 2dB prior to clipping.
The C414 gives the user considerably more control over how it picks up sound than most microphones. For example, most mics feature one volume pad, but the C414 gives you three: -6dB, -12dB and -18dB.
Engaging any of these will lower the output by the specified amount, which is helpful for avoiding overloads when recording loud sources like horns, drums and guitar cabinets.
Also, whereas most mics only give you a single option for cutting low-frequency pickup, the C414 offers three filter settings: 40Hz, 80Hz or 160Hz.
The first two filters provide a 12dB/octave slope, while the 160Hz setting has a gentler 6dB/octave slope.
The filter can be helpful to reduce low-end distortion when recording bass-heavy sources, and can be useful for reducing proximity effect, wind noise, or plosives.
The ability to switch between polar patterns on the C414 is what makes it so incredibly useful, but it is the sound quality and character of this microphone which ultimately seals the deal.
The C414 has become renowned for its high-end clarity and sound character. This is what makes the C414 XLII particularly popular as an amazing noise cancelling vocal microphone.
- New switching system with LED indicators.
- Additional wide cardioid polar pattern.
- Improved technical spec.
- Excellent accessories included.
- Grille is a bit fragile
Best USB Microphone
JLab Audio Talk
The JLAB Audio Talk USB Microphone is a desktop-style microphone with three condensers and a 96kHz sample rate.
The style and coloring of the Talk is very sleek and attractive, a muted grey body with bright blue highlights.
The mic fins feel like standard aluminum while the body seems to be made of molded plastic.
There are two dials on the front of the Talk. The large dial chooses the mic’s directional pattern and also functions as a quick mute button.
An LED ring around the large dial lights up, blue for volume, green for gain, and red for mute.
The Talk also offers a number of pattern options — cardioid, omni, stereo, and bidirectional
What these pattern options do is allow you to change the direction in which the microphone picks up audio with the turn of a knob.
If you’re just sitting in front of the mic, for example, the cardioid setting will only pick up sound coming from that head-on direction.
This is undoubtedly one of the best omnidirectional USB microphones for gaming, streaming, podcasting, interviewing, conferencing and more.
In case you wanted to record a roundtable discussion with multiple participants, you’d change the pattern to omni and the mic will then pick up the audio coming from all directions.
Stereo is optimal for music recordings, and if you’re just interviewing a person sitting across from you, the bidirectional pattern will pick up voices coming from the front and back of the mic.
At around half a pound without its tripod attached, the Talk is much lighter than many other USB mics.
The mic stands at about 10″ x 7″ x 7″ when in use on your desk with the included compact, foldable tripod, lending itself to portability.
- Good starter mic
- Great Price
- Portable design
- Not many features
Best For Interview
The HM-M2 is a dynamic, handheld microphone designed to aid on the field interviews. It features an omnidirectional pickup pattern that ensures uniform all-round sound pickup.
As part of its design, it does not need to be powered by external phantom power.
To further make it ideal for its purpose, it has an in-built pop filter that reduces plosives from anyone speaking in close proximity to it and also cuts down on wind noise that may be prevalent on some field projects.
This microphone is specially designed for speech so its frequency response range is optimized just for that.
It is ruggedly designed for easy handling and movement while its discreet finish makes it blend well into shots. It comes with a carrying pouch and promises durability through loads of projects.
This is one of the best omnidirectional microphone for interviews as its omnidirectional polar pattern responds to sound from all directions, enabling reliable audio capture even if the mic isn’t pointed toward the subject.
Its appearance is professional with a body built from a durable die-cast aluminum alloy and coated with a black matte finish for a discreet appearance on camera.
The microphone has an XLR jack and requires no need for an extra battery or phantom power.
- Isolated microphone capsule
- Internal pop filter
- Aluminum alloy construction
- 1 year warranty
- XLR jack is a bit tricky
Best Budget Mic
The VP64A is a high-output omnidirectional handheld dynamic microphone designed for professional audio and video production.
It combines exceptional performance and comfortable feel with a handsome on-camera appearance.
The 7-7/8″ (200 mm) long Shure VP64A is ideal for close-up use and can be used outside as well as indoors.
The omnidirectional pickup pattern provides uniform pickup on or off axis, eliminating the need for critical microphone positioning.
This great inexpensive omnidirectional microphone also features a tailored frequency response with an upper midrange presence rise that adds crispness and clarity to speech. The cartridge utilizes a neodymium magnet for higher output and increased signal-to-noise ratio.
An internal rubber isolation mount protects the microphone cartridge and minimizes handling noise. A water-resistant mesh grille allows the microphone to be used during the most challenging weather conditions. The supplied windscreen further reduces “pop” and wind noise.
The cartridge utilizes a neodymium magnet for higher output and increased signal-to-noise ratio.
An internal rubber isolation mount protects the microphone cartridge and minimizes handling noise.
A water-resistant mesh grille allows the microphone to be used during the most challenging weather conditions. The supplied windscreen further reduces “pop” and wind noise.
- Neodymium magnet for increased output
- Tailored frequency response
- Omnidirectional polar pattern
- Internal isolation mount
- Water-resistant mesh grille
- May give a weak response
Best Omnidirectional Microphone - Buying Guide
These are microphones that capture sound from all angles. Because of their non-directional design and zero rejection, these mics capture nuances better, resulting in a more natural sound.
You can use these mics in studios and other venues (like old churches) with great acoustics, and can also be used for live recording of multiple instruments, as long as the noise level is low.
Features To Look For In A Good Omnidirectional Microphone
Types of Microphones
There are three main types of microphones used in recording studios:
- Dynamic mics
- Ribbon mics
- Condenser mics
Dynamic mics have three major components: a diaphragm (also known as a membrane), a voice coil attached to the diaphragm, and a magnet that surrounds the coil.
Sound entering the microphone causes the diaphragm with its attached coil to move in relation to the sound entering the mic.
The surrounding magnet causes the coil to create electrical energy. Because the coil moves with the sound waves, dynamic mics are also known as moving-coil mics.
A condenser mic works on a different principle than a dynamic mic. It uses a condenser, also known as a capacitor, to convert acoustic energy into electrical energy.
This capacitor has two plates, one of which acts like the diaphragm in a dynamic mic.
The diaphragm vibrates when sound hits it, and this changes the distance or capacitance between the two plates, creating an electrical signal.
Ribbon mics work in a similar way to dynamic mics, except that the diaphragm and voice coil are replaced with a strip of extremely thin aluminum foil. The surrounding magnet causes this ribbon of aluminum to move in response to sound waves.
The main reason is that they are quite expensive compared to other types of mics.
Ribbon mics are also quite fragile; you should never blow into a ribbon mic as the aluminum ribbon can be easily damaged.
Counterintuitively, ribbon mics are frequently used on loud sound sources like electric guitar amps or as close mics for trumpets or other loud brass instruments, or with screamer vocalists.
Also, a ribbon mic should never be connected with phantom power on; it is a sure way to damage the mic.
The proximity effect is an audio phenomenon where the low-frequency response increases the closer the mic is to the sound source. If you have ever spoken into any mic you’ve noticed how much louder and deeper your voice gets as you move the mic closer to your mouth.
Rap and hip hop artists use the proximity effect frequently in their recordings to get a rich deep vocal tone.
Cardioid mics exhibit the proximity effect more than other mics. To reduce this effect, many mics have a user-selectable high pass filter that allows you to cut off the low frequencies, usually at 75 Hz or 80 Hz.
Every microphone has a signature and part of that signature is its Frequency Response. Frequency response determines the basic “sound” of the microphone.
It is determined by the range of the sound (from lowest to highest frequency) that a microphone can reproduce and how that sound varies at different frequencies.
The most common response curves you are likely to see are flat and tailored.
Microphones pick up sounds through their diaphragm, a thin material that vibrates when it comes into contact with sound.
This vibration converts sonic energy into electrical energy. The size of the diaphragm affects the microphone’s sound pressure level handling, sensitivity, dynamic range and internal noise level.
Sound Pressure Level (SPL)
Most microphones are able to handle a certain amount of sound level before they start to distort. That level of sound is known as the sound pressure level (SPL) and is measured in decibels (dB).
A mic’s SPL limit is generally not an issue until you want to record a loud sound source at close range.
Advantages Of An Omnidirectional Microphone
Omnidirectional microphones offer a lot of advantages to users but only in the right situations. For anyone who is using their mic outside, omnidirectional mics are superior to unidirectional ones because it can diminish the distracting sound of the wind.
The unidirectional mic can very clearly capture wind noise, making it difficult to hear what is actually being said into the mic and diminishing the overall recording quality.
The most obvious advantage of an omnidirectional microphone is its ability to capture noise from every direction.
The greatest advantage of an omnidirectional microphone is its ability to eliminate the proximity effect, which is a term for the additional bass a microphone picks up based on how close the speaker is to the mic, improving the overall quality.
The rear ports are also to blame for the plosive “P”, “T”, and “B” sounds that can occur when a talker is too close to a unidirectional microphone. Though an omnidirectional mic can also be “popped”, it is much more resistant than a unidirectional mic.
As an omnidirectional mic hears equally well in all directions, it works whether it is right side up or upside down. While using a microphone upside down rarely happens with handheld designs, it is a common occurrence with tiny clip-on lavalier mics.
Our top pick for the best omnidirectional microphone for zoom, streaming, gaming and more is the Blue Snowball USB. The mic comes with dual capsules and three settings (cardioid, cardioid w/-10dB pad, & omni), the Snowball USB mic is perfect for podcasting and music recording.
The Blue Snowball USB mic finally gives you a USB microphone that’s not only easy to use, but that also sounds as good on your desktop as it does in a professional recording studio.
Our next best omnidirectional microphone is the Blue Yeti USB Mic. Its Cardioid, omni, bidirectional, and stereo pickup patterns offer incredible flexibility, allowing you to record in ways that would normally require multiple microphones.
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