Best USB Microphone For Rapping & Recording Vocals; Reviews
Here in this article “Best USB Microphone For Rapping” we’ve rounded up 11 best USB mics for recording rap vocals 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.
When it comes to buying a microphone, you want to be sure that whatever you purchase does justice to your voice and brings your rapping talent to the fore. The key to picking the right microphone is not just choosing the microphone that is the right price, but rather searching for the microphone that is right for your vocals too.
Table of Contents
- Best Overall
- Recommended USB Mics For Rapping
- Is a USB microphone good for recording rap vocals?
- USB Microphone for rapping reviews
- 1. Blue Yeti USB Mic
- 2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB
- 3. Fifine Microphone
- 4. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB
- 5. Apogee Hype Mic
- 6. Rode NT-USB
- 7. Samson Meteor Mic
- 8. CAD Audio U37
- 9. Shure MV5
- 10. HyperX QuadCast
- 11. Blue Snowball iCE
- USB Microphone for Rapping - buying guide
- Differences Between USB and XLR Mics
- What is the best USB mic for rapping?
- What Microphone do professional rappers use?
Blue Yeti USB Mic
The Blue Yeti is one of the most ubiquitous USB mics for recording rap vocals. The Blue Yeti USB microphone’s robust build and professional-looking aesthetics would be all for naught if it didn’t sound good. Basically, any USB microphone will improve upon your computer’s internal pickup, but the Yeti goes another level higher with three internal condenser capsules that are highly sensitive and capture a very clear and detailed sound.
Recommended USB Mics For Rapping
|TopTop Top||Blue Yeti USB Mic||Best Overall||Diaphragm: 0.55″ / 14 mm, Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Figure-8, Omnidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Audio-Technica AT2020USB+||Best For Rap Vocals||Sound Field: Mono, Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Fifine Microphone||Best Budget Pick||Sound Field: Mono, Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid||Buy on Amazon|
|Top||Audio-Technica ATR2100||Best With Boom Arm||Sound Field: Mono, Capsule: Dynamic, Polar Pattern: Cardioid||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Apogee Hype Mic||Best Portable Pick||Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Rode NT-USB||Best Condenser Mic||Diaphragm: 0.5″ / 12.70 mm, Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Capsule: Condenser||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Samson Meteor USB Microphone||Best For Home Studio||Capsule: Condenser, Diaphragm: 0.98″ / 25 mm, Polar Pattern: Cardioid||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||CAD Audio U37||Best For Recording Rap||Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Shure MV5||Best Retro Pick||Capsule: Electret Condenser, Diaphragm: 0.62″ / 16 mm, Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Unidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||HyperX QuadCast||Best With 4 Polar Patterns||Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional||Buy on Amazon|
|Top Top||Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic||Best For Plug & Play||Capsule: Condenser, Polar Pattern: Cardioid||Buy on Amazon|
With so many options to choose from, we thought we’d make your buying decision a little easier by sharing our list of best usb microphone for recording rap vocals. From dynamic mics to condenser, there’s something here for everyone.
Is a USB microphone good for recording rap vocals?
Definitely yes. Just be sure to get a Cardioid pattern USB mic that really captures your vocals and forgets the rest of the background noises.
Like all microphones, USB mics come in a variety of formats. Handheld mics are great for recording vocals and interviews, while desktop models are generally better for acoustic instruments and podcasting.
Some USB microphones are compatible with standard mic stands, which makes them ideal for studio-style recording.
USB Microphone for rapping reviews
1. 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
2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB
The Audio Technica AT2020USB+ Condenser USB Microphone is a studio-quality microphone that plugs directly into the USB port on your computer.
It works seamlessly with the modern recording software, this microphone is designed to be used for podcasting, studio recording, rap vocal, and voice-overs.
The Audio Technica is incredibly easy to use. You just plug it into the USB port on your PC or MAC, and it is ready to go.
This microphone is a well-put-together package that comprises everything you might reasonably need for recording vocals or instruments in a streaming or home recording setup.
Although it does not come with a pop shield, even in the more expensive podcasting pack bundle, which also includes a pair of headphones and a boom arm, that’s not a deal-breaker, though, since pop shields are at least cheap to buy separately.
AT2020USB produces crisp and clean sound, compared to a number of models in the same price range, it comes out the winner.
The mic has a steady frequency response that makes it more musical. This is actually the best curve you’ll ever see on a USB mic and it also makes it one of the best usb microphones for rapping.
Other mics in this range tend to use cheaper capsules and end up sounding harsher especially in the higher range. Those imperfections tend to get even more audible due to the digital sampling.
The body of AT2020USB is made of rugged metal intended for durable performance, and indeed, it looks like it can last a very long time.
Even the capsule is protected by a rigid grid. It uses a square USB connector often found on printers.
Quite frankly, it is better than mini-USB, which tends to detach and bend. 10 feet USB cable is included in the package, for which if needed you can easily find a replacement. The package also includes a tripod.
The USB caters for 16-bit A-D conversion (which can accommodate a dynamic range of over 90dB) and a sample rate of 44.1kHz.
As well transmitting the mic signal, the USB connection brings stereo audio back from the computer.
Headphones are plugged into the mini-jack socket on the side of the mic and a thumbwheel potentiometer governs the headphone level, while another adjusts the balance between the direct signal from the mic (for latency-free monitoring) and the computer’s stereo output.
Being a class-compliant device, the AT2020 USB+ needs no additional driver to be used with Apple operating systems (OS X, iOS), and a suitable driver should download automatically for Windows if one isn’t already installed.
- Handy lag-free monitoring
- Brings in pleasant room sound at distance
- Good frequency range
- Plug and play: easy to use
- Requires no additional equipment
- Wobbly tripod stand
3. Fifine Microphone
Out of the box the Fifine 669 comes packaged with everything you need to hit the ground running. That’s the microphone, tripod, and USB connector.
The best thing about the Fifine is how it just works. Plug it into any USB port on your computer for universal plug-n-play. No Drivers or software to install as it works with any Windows, Mac, or Linux computers.
In terms of build, the Fifine feels incredibly solid in hand. It has a metal body with a good weight to it, a nice quality metal mesh and sturdy 1.8 meter cable. It also comes with a handy little tripod and pivot mount to hold it upright when using it.
The Fifine 669 is quite surprising. It does a good job of capturing audio for vocals, instruments, and even background.
You’ll find a volume controller directly on the mic itself, however unfortunately there is no headphone jack.
It’s a pretty small microphone (140×90×50 mm) which makes it practical to transport, and it also won’t take up much space on your desk.
Essentially, Fifine’s K669 USB microphone brings the best of both worlds and seamlessly blends the USB compact portability with all-around performance of a condenser microphone which makes it one of the best cheap usb microphones for rap vocals.
Unlike most entry-level microphones, Fifine’s K669 USB microphone actually has a set of dedicated drivers that form a fairly well-rounded soundstage.
It picks up on ultra-low frequencies and it doesn’t have many problems dealing with super-high gain as far as the highs go.
Overall, its sound quality puts most low-budget microphones to shame; there’s a lot of detail in its tone, the presence leaves little room for improvement, and it generally doesn’t present any major problems in terms of harmonic distortion, static, feedback, and hissing.
This microphone is a high-quality budget one, so it can be considered as an upgrade if you’re using an entry-level microphone that has suffered years of wear, tear, and abuse, regardless of what you’re looking for.
Based on its specs and features, we’d say that this microphone would work best on a desk of bloggers, YouTubers, and podcast people.
Its USB method of operation is highly convenient for these lines of work, and it’s great sound quality will help your voice sound a bit better than it normally would on an entry-level microphone.
- Performs great sonically.
- Decently affordable microphone.
- Very easy to use and install.
- Portable, yet decently durable.
- The mesh grille is incredibly thin.
- USB cabled integrated into the base.
4. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB
The Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB is a great entry-level podcast microphone that will give you professional-quality sound.
The best feature about this microphone (besides the sound quality) is that it has both USB and XLR outputs so you can plug directly into your computer (via USB) or plug into a mixer (via XLR).
It sports an On/Off switch for both USB and analog operation, and low mass diaphragm for accurate response.
It comes with a tripod desk stand with folding legs, and a stand clamp that attaches securely to the tripod or to any regular microphone stand.
The ATR2100-USB shares one major thing in common with all other Audio-Technica products – it places the emphasis on function over form.
That’s something we can all appreciate, in whatever price range we shop. Ultimately, we’d always rather an item that works better than it looks.
In the case of the ATR2100-USB, this handheld dynamic mic not only looks attractive, its also one of the best usb microphones for recording rap.
It’s a bit brighter than some of its competitors, with Audio-Technica opting for a brushed aluminum finish instead of the standard black, with the body featuring nothing more than a power switch and a power indicator LED.
This body is made entirely from metal, as is the grille portion of the head, which is dark gray in color.
Overall, it’s sophisticated and quite rugged, which is more than you can ask for in such a low-priced mic.
One unique feature that sets it apart is that, even though this model is marketed as a USB mic (which, by the way, is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems), it also features an analog XLR output as well, allowing you to plug into audio interfaces and mixing consoles.
This is found on the bottom panel of the mic, which is also where you’ll find a headphone out jack and a volume knob – another pretty unique feature for a handheld dynamic mic.
The XLR connector makes the mic compatible with more audio interfaces and with the PA system also.
When the USB connector is used and the mic is plugged in, the sound output is routed to the microphone and can be listened through the headphones.
The Cardioid Polar pattern helps in reducing the pickup of unwanted sound from the background. Thus, this microphone is suitable to use across podcasting, live performance, studio recording, field recording and on-stage use.
The directionality of the mic helps to pick sounds that you want more and eliminates the sound not needed.
But one should remember that pointing it at the sound resource is very important to capture the clear sound.
- Great sound quality for price
- Both USB and XLR connectivity
- Doesn’t pick up background noise
- Doesn’t pick up too many plosives either
- Stand is a bit shaky
- Flimsy USB connection
5. Apogee Hype Mic
The Hype uses a medium‑diameter cardioid‑pattern capacitor capsule. It can run at up to 24-bit/96kHz and comes with an accessory kit that includes a substantial metal desktop tripod with ’tilt and pan’ mic mount.
The Apogee Hype MiC is much smaller than the majority of its competitors. It’s only 1.5 inches wide (38mm), just under 5 inches tall (124mm) and weighs about half a pound (0.20 kg).
This means it won’t take up too much space on your desk or get in your way, but it also lends itself to smartphone field recording.
For electronic music producers who are always on the lookout for new sounds, the small size and portable nature of the Hype MiC means that you can toss it into your backpack and be ready at a moment’s notice to capture dynamic sounds in any environment.
A metal mesh‑screen pop filter and a semi-rigid woven carrying case that also contains three types of cable: micro-USB to USB-C, micro-USB to USB-A, and micro-USB to Apple Lightning connector.
The mic offers plug-and-play operation with iOS (version 9 or later), Mac OS and Windows, and is fully compatible with Core Audio on the Mac OS platform, meaning that no additional drivers are necessary.
The Blend button on the front face of the mic allows you to adjust mix levels, shifting in various degrees from more mic signal to more playback signal from your recording software.
The status LEDs become level indicators when adjusting gain—they flash red when the signal peaks.
Adjusting the gain is as simple as turning the knob on the front face of the mic.
This one of the best usb microphones for rapping offers three settings for the HypeMic’s compressor: there’s the minimal option, which leaves your sound mostly untouched, there’s the podcasting-recommended medium, and then there’s the broadcast-like max compression, which makes everything sound loud and in your face.
A push switch within the rotary mic gain control selects the compression mode, and another push switch below the LED display adjusts the source monitoring balance in five steps, making it possible to set up zero-latency headphone monitoring of whatever is being recorded with the microphone.
You just have to remember to turn down DAW software monitoring for the track you are recording to avoid hearing the slightly delayed version at the same time as the zero latency version.
- Outstanding combination of sound quality and portability
- Built-in analog compressor
- Simple, intuitive controls
- Zero-latency audio monitoring
6. Rode NT-USB
Rode NT-USB delivers quite a superb sound, thanks to a quality cardioid capsule set in a standard studio fashion, only except the mic provides USB interface.
It sounds very natural, clear and transparent, and does not suffer from those common effects such as popping and sibilance.
The proximity effect is negligible, and it works from a number of angles.
The Rode NT-USB is also less susceptible to vibration noise, even with the stock tripod. For best results, you may consider getting an additional suspension kit and shock mount.
The mic is larger and chunkier than some of its photographs might suggest and its metal construction has the same high-quality feel as Rode’s established studio mics.
The capsule, set in a side-address configuration, looks to be around an inch in diameter, has a fixed cardioid pattern and is almost certainly a back-electret type.
There’s also a free two-year extended warranty if you register your purchase on Rode’s web site.
Control and connectivity comprises a USB port, a stereo headphone mini-jack for monitoring, an overall level control and a control to balance the DAW output with the incoming pre-converter mic signal for zero-latency monitoring.
In addition to the mic itself, the kit includes a long USB cable, a soft storage case, a very chunky curved pop shield and a desktop tripod mount.
The pop shield utilises the locking ring on the included stand adaptor to locate it. It’s also possible to attach the mic stand adaptor to a conventional stand rather than the tripod base.
You can use it with a Mac, a Windows machine or an iPad needs no extra drivers to be installed but you will need Apple’s Camera Connection Kit or similar to interface the USB with an iPad.
The mic also has a detachable pop filter only makes the NT-USB more enticing, of course. This metal shield is designed to combat irritating plosive sounds (the hard ‘P’s or ‘B’s that cause a mic to freak out), and it’s essential for the likes of live streaming or podcasting.
You’ve normally got to buy these separately, so having one right out of the box is a welcome bonus.
In terms of performance, this one of the best usb mic for rap vocals delivers fantastic audio. It’s impressively sharp and is perhaps one of the best standards of sound on a USB microphone. It’s got a talent for filtering out background noise as well.
Rode NT-USB includes all the necessary features for a painless recording. It does not require any special drivers and works well as a plug and play device.
It has two controls on the right side that are meant for monitor volume and the mic’s gain. Underneath, there is a standard 3.5 mm jack for headphones.
- Great sound quality
- Ease of use via USB connectivity
- Integrated pop shield
- Good at filtering out background noise
- Unsteady tripod
7. 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.
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
8. CAD Audio U37
The CAD Audio U37 USB is a very affordable USB condenser mic which allows for direct audio recording via USB cable.
U37 has a 10dB overload-protection switch to minimize distortion from sharp and loud sounds. That would be the top switch on the mic’s body.
And the mic works better with this setting on. Bass-reduction switch reduces room noise down to tolerable.
With this option, HVAC noises are usually cleared away. That’s the bottom switch. At this point, you probably understand that U37 is better than any built-in mic.
The mic comes with a tripod stand and 10′ feet (3 m) USB cable. And you can insert that cable into either PC or Mac as it is compatible with both. Just plug and play. No driver software required.
The built-in pad can also be used to reduce room noise, which large diaphragm condensers are known to capture.
CAD U37 is a standalone side address large diaphragm back electret condenser with a cardioid pickup pattern and USB output.
It’s large diaphragm generally gives an advantage of having a more stable low-end response, which makes it preferable for speech and vocals.
Cardioid pickup helps to capture only what’s in front on the mic while rejecting room and ambient noise.
Standalone designs are responsible for better acoustic characteristics while also reducing mechanical vibrations.
When recording electric guitars through an amp the CAD U37 can get a near-perfect recording.
The output is still fantastic and is not affected by the distance of the amp. The overall sound quality is just as good as some pricier microphones.
This microphone is extremely sensitive. It’s best used in a quiet space and not at a live performance with an audience. Loud environments can affect the quality of the recording.
While a studio environment is best you can still make this work for a loud space.
Post-processing programs can help solve and reduce background noise. Most of these are available for free over the internet.
- Excellent price
- Good sound quality
- Pad and low cut features
- Easy USB connectivity
- LED indicator
- Comes with a stand
- No monitoring feature
- Sensitive to plosives
9. Shure MV5
Shure MV5 is surely capable of producing quality sound. It boasts to have good dynamic range and it can easily handle high SPL without clipping, at the same time producing low amounts of noise.
The hiss you will often hear on cheap or in-built mics is nowhere to be found. Despite the small size, MV5 offers quite sophisticated electronics on board that are responsible for signal processing.
The way it is processed can be adjusted through 3 different DSP presets as well as through a downloadable app, which is nevertheless optional.
Out of the box you get the microphone, stand , a USB cable and a lightning cable. Compatibility wise it connects directly to Mac or PC via USB, and to any iOS device with a lightning port.
Many USB mics are USB only, so the addition of the lightning cable is excellent if you want to use it with your iPad or iPhone.
It plugs and plays on your computer. On your iOS device you install the Shure MOTIV App. You can then use that app to record, and to control the mic, but it will also work in Garageband, your video apps etc.
This amazingly good mic for rap is available in black or gray models, the retro-looking MV5 is a roughly 2.5-inch sphere, with the plastic silver grille facing the front, and connections on the back panel.
Inside the MV5’s enclosure, a cardioid-pattern 16mm condenser picks up the audio.
When connected to the included metal stand, the mic’s height reaches roughly 5.5 inches, but its positioning can be adjusted to a degree, so the height may vary.
Since the overall height is fairly low when placed on a desktop, we found it useful to angle the mic upward to create the shortest distance between the front grille and the speaker’s mouth.
Despite being made of metal, we found the stand to be somewhat lightweight and therefore easy to knock over if tipped slightly or pulled by a headphone cable.
For iOS users, Shure offers its own ShurePlus Motiv app, which works specifically with the MV5 and other products in Shure’s iOS-enabled microphone lineup.
With the Motiv app, you can adjust mic gain directly in-app, change the sample rate, change DSP modes, and individually change compressor, limiter, and equalizer settings.
The physical DSP button lets you cycle through three preset modes — vocals, flat, or instrument — which helps mold the sound based on recording application.
- Quality audio signal with flexible DSP modes.
- Great quality for the price
- Good sound out of the box
- Provides real time monitoring
- High compatibility
- Decent noise levels
- Plastic body does not feel very durable
10. HyperX QuadCast
The QuadCast is an eye-catching microphone. It features the distinctive red and black colors of the HyperX brand, which set it apart from the metallic hues found on most standalone mics.
It all starts with high-quality audio. You will always get better audio from plugging an XLR mic into a mixer, but USB mics are going to work just fine for the vast majority of people.
And if you’re in this “prosumer” segment, the HyperX QuadCast sounds as good or better than nearly any competing device.
The microphone looks a lot like a hairbrush sans-bristles, and it’s held up on a tilting stand with a rather robust dual-shock mount. On the bottom of the capsule is a gain dial to increase or decrease the sensitivity, and on the back is a knob to swap your pickup pattern.
The most visually striking element of the microphone is its bright red illumination when the mic is live and recording. Simply tapping the top mutes the mic and turns off the light.
The mic is built around an electret condenser design, which is broadly the same as the mic on the end of most headset swingarms: A diaphragm translates changes in sound pressure levels into electrical current using a backplate, which holds static charge, and an amplifier.
There’s an electric field between the diaphragm and backplate because the diaphragm is conductive, so when it’s pushed back by sound pressure levels, the electrical field narrows and a louder signal is sent to the amplifier.
When the sound pressure level (SPL) gets quieter, the diaphragm (or three of them in this mic’s case) can move back to their normal position and the electrical field widens again, lowering the signal sent to the amplifier.
You don’t even need a pop filter with the HyperX Quadcast. There’s a foam-like material immediately beyond the grill that does a decent job of breaking up the pressure spikes associated with plosive sounds that can make really distracting loudness spikes or damage more delicate mics.
The HyperX Quadcast is compatible with PS4, PC, and Mac systems via the USB cable.
Even though it’s a long microphone, the QuadCast is fairly thin and lightweight, coming in at 50mm in diameter and weighing only 254g without the stand (710g with).
So, if you do invest in an aftermarket boom arm or an upgraded shock mount, you’ll find that it’s widely compatible with third-party options from beginning all the way to pro level.
- Unique RGB Lighting
- Headphone output
- Good sound quality
- Four polar patterns
- Support for mounts and stands
- Low resolution
11. Blue Snowball iCE
Blue Snowball iCE is a stylish, entry USB mic with an attractive price tag. Unlike the similar-shaped Samson Meteorite, it is not as blatantly hot and it has a detachable USB cable with a solid Type B connector.
The midrange is by far superior and technically, it produces a much more accurate sound than the former.
However, there is literally nothing but midrange. It sounds thin and dark at the same time, and it also produces popping.
Available in black or white, and measuring 12.7 inches in circumference (a roughly 4.2-inch diameter), the orb-shaped Snowball Ice has a plastic cover that exposes metallic grille at the front of the mic, where the Blue logo is, and also on the opposite end.
A status LED is located at the top front face—it lights up when the included USB cable is connected to both the mic and a recording source.
Internally, the Snowball Ice employs a pressure gradient-style condenser with a cardioid pattern.
It has its plastic shell, but it is very heavy duty and hard-wearing plastic, so there shouldn’t be a problem with durability.
There are no external protruding controls or switches. The only noticeable control is the socket for the USB on the back. Otherwise, it is a plain design.
Despite being completely spherical, there’s still threading on the base to accept a standard microphone mount.
The Snowball includes a desktop mic stand of its own, and it’s surprisingly well-built and even has adjustable height.
Three sturdy legs fold out from the base to keep it steady on any hard, flat surface. There are even Snowball-specific shock mounts available, so you can soothe your inner audiophile.
The Snowball Ice is compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10, and Mac OS 10.4.11 and higher, and requires USB 1.1/2.0 (or newer) and 64MB of RAM (or better).
It’s a plug-and-play style option that will be immediately recognized by many recording programs, such as GarageBand.
The mic also delivers solid audio from a distance of about five to six inches, but with the vocalist slightly off-axis and the gain adjusted accordingly.
In this scenario, you still get crisp highs, not much (if any) room sound, and you will get fewer plosives from inexperienced vocalists.
- Solid metal stand
- Small enough to toss in a backpack
- Delivers crisp audio in a cardioid recording pattern.
- No DSP means pure signal.
- Single polar pattern
USB Microphone for Rapping - buying guide
Differences Between USB and XLR Mics
The main difference, which is true of both condenser and dynamic mics, is that USB mics have a built in A/D (Audio to Digital) converter which means that you don’t need an audio interface to digitize the signal from the mic.
There is another important difference with condenser mics. USB condenser mics have a built in preamp that can’t be bypassed.
Most preamps supply phantom power to operate the mic which is usually between 12v and 48v. Because USB only provides 5v this means the mic has to be specially designed to work at this reduced voltage level.
For these reasons a USB and XLR version of the same mic may sound perceptibly different – so much so that some audio engineers and home recording enthusiasts prefer not to use USB mics at all, although their numbers have declined as USB mics have improved significantly in recent times.
What is the best USB mic for rapping?
The line between you and getting the best suitable microphone for rap vocals is understanding exactly the type of mic that you need.
Microphones come in different models, and characteristics all meant for different purposes. The best microphones fall into two categories, dynamic mics and condenser mics with noticeable differences.
Let’s take a closer look at them and see which one suits your needs.
These vocal mics are made with an inductive coil that is connected to the diaphragm, which moves to move the coil.
The movement of the coil in a dynamic microphone is converted into an electric signal, which is then recorded.
This movement is caused by the sound waves produced when you talk or sing. Dynamic mics are the kind of microphones you interact with every day as they are mostly used by stage performers and work well in noisy environments.
The sound quality is a little lower than a condenser, but it should be fine for live performances and decent studio recordings without breaking the bank.
A dynamic microphone is a passive device and doesn’t require an external power supply.
Condenser microphones work a bit different from dynamic ones as they use capacitor plates instead of the inductive coil.
A condenser mic is more sensitive to even the smallest vibrations and produces distorted sound in noisy environments.
A condenser microphone is best used in recording studios and mostly preferred by public speakers and professional singers.
Condenser microphones have active electronics within them that require a +48Volt phantom power supply for them to work.
This can be supplied from most mixing consoles or from an external power unit. Condenser mics are also used for acoustic instruments such as guitars, flute, violin etc.
What Microphone do professional rappers use?
Some top singers and rappers use relatively inexpensive dynamic mics, rather than condenser models, because the dynamic mic gives them a warmer, thicker sound and tends to wear better over time.
On the other hand, a breathy, delicate voice can benefit from the detailed high end of a condenser mic. You will want to make sure you use a Cardioid or Hypercardioid microphone to keep out unwanted sounds and reduce feedback.
This measures the range of sound frequencies the USB mic will pick up.
For your rap vocals, anything between 80 hertz and 15 kilohertz will be adequate. If lower than 80 hz, the microphone may struggle to synthesize the finer nuances of your voice.
Higher than 15 kilohertz and the original sonic quality of your vocals becomes difficult to preserve.
Directly related to frequency response is a microphone’s Response Curve.
A microphone’s frequency responsiveness is at its lowest on the lowest and highest ends of the frequency counts and highest somewhere in between, hence the name response curve.
You must get to know the impedance value of your microphone to help you pick the right one for your rap vocals. The impedance of a microphone is best described as the AC resistance to signal voltages.
This is what controls how audio signals flow. Mics come in either high or low impedance, which is measured in ohms.
The higher the impedance value of your microphone, the lower the quality and the less expensive they are.
Low impedance microphones transmit clearer sound with high quality audio signals and are, therefore, more expensive.
A shock mount is a mechanical fastener that holds your microphone in place, suspending them by elastics.
One of the benefits of a shock mount is that the microphone is isolated from stand vibrations. For instance, if there is a low rumbling under foot, the shock mount can absorb it.
You might not pay attention to the diaphragm, but it’s an essential factor when choosing your vocal microphone. The diaphragm is tiny plates found inside the mic where the sound waves hit before anything else. They come in different sizes.
Large diaphragms have the ability to handle large volumes of sound before they can be distorted. Large diaphragms are very responsive but do not work well when exposed to too much noise. These diaphragms are great for recording sound and mostly used in recording studios for musical production.
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 usb microphone for rapping is the Blue Yeti USB Mic. The microphone comes with 4 pickup patterns. Cardioid, omni, bidirectional, and stereo pickup patterns offer incredible flexibility, allowing you to record in ways that would normally require multiple microphones.
Our next pick for the best mic for recording rap vocals is the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone.
Equipped with a USB output, the AT2020USB+ is designed for digitally capturing music or any acoustic audio source using your favorite recording software. The microphone offers the award-winning sound, with studio-quality articulation and intelligibility perfect for singer/songwriters, podcasters, voice-over artists, and home studio recorders.
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