6 Best USB Microphones For Voice Over Artists; Reviews

The best USB microphones for voice-over can make a world of difference when it comes to the quality of your voice acting work, vocals, narrations, and other projects.

If you’re just starting out as a voice actor, you want to be able to deliver professional quality work to clients and directors. Knowing what the best USB voice-over microphone is could save you plenty of time and money.

To help you with that, in this article, I have reviewed and ranked the best microphones for voice-over work based on a variety of factors, including audio quality, budget, durability, and more.

Best USB Microphones For Voice Over Artists

Comparison Table

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Are USB mics good for voice-over work?

The USB microphones combine top-quality recording with a simplicity that makes them easy to set up and use, even if you’ve never handled a dedicated mic before. 

While some can be even better with additional software, usually all you need to do is plug and play.

USB mics don’t need an audio interface.

A USB mic has built-in hardware that converts an analog signal to a digital signal, whereas an analog mic relies on an A/D Converter to transform the audio.  

USB mics are actually condenser or dynamic microphones with an integrated analog to digital converter.  So, you won’t need an audio interface.

USB mics are affordable.

USB mics are affordable and give comparable sound quality to XLR mics. Many on the market even come with USB and XLR hookups.

USB mics are portable.

USB microphones are powered by the computer, eliminating the need for a phantom power source. 

This cuts down on the amount of gear you have to haul around when you are recording. The mic, the stand, the cable, and the computer are all you need.

Compatible with smartphones & tablets.

If you’re someone looking to capture uncompressed hi-fi audio directly onto your phone or tablet, then USB microphones are the way to go. All the USB mics for voice-over in this list are plug-and-play compatible with iOS and Android devices.

1. Blue Yeti USB Mic

Microphone Specs:
  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
  • Diaphragm Size: 3 x .55″ (14mm)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 120dB SPL
  • Requirements – Mac: macOS 10.10 to higher
  • Requirements – PC: Windows 7 or later
  • Dimensions: 11.6″ x 4.9″
  • Weight: 3.4 lbs. (with stand)

The Blue Yeti is a great option for anyone who just wants to plug in and start their voice-over recording without spending hours tweaking audio settings.

With its traditional look and simple design, the Blue Yeti makes you feel like you’re in the studio, even if you’re recording at home or on the road. 

The front of the mic has a mute button and a volume knob for easy access and adjustment. On the back, there’s a gain knob and a switch for four directional pattern modes — cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo.

There’s no difficult set up with the Blue Yeti, either. You literally take it out of the box, plug in the USB cable from your mic to your computer, and you’re ready to go.

Recently I used the Blue Yeti to record voice-over for my friend’s YouTube channel and integrated music onto those commentaries seamlessly, with professional results.

Blue Yeti is very impactful for voiceovers, but I would highly recommend a pop filter, which is relatively inexpensive.

Why We Recommend it for Voice Overs

The Blue Yeti’s 20Hz–20kHz full-range pickup, four switchable polar patterns, and breathtaking 24-bit/192kHz resolution make it an excellent option for all your voice acting needs. 

Moreover, it’s also a stereo microphone. The stereo mode of this mic is great for recording multiple voice-over personalities and lending realism to musicians with instruments. 

I really loved the Yeti microphone’s mature speech pickup for voice-over work. 

It even comes bundled with a software suite with PreSonus’s Studio One Artist DAW and iZotope’s preset-packed Ozone Elements which gives you additional freedom to trim and join voice-over clips and clean up unwanted noise from your original recording.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Good recording quality with multiple modes
  • Affordable for a beginner voice over artist 
  • Plug and play – no installation

Cons

  • No multi-head setup

2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

Microphone Specs:
  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: .63″ (16mm)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 144dB SPL (1kHz at 1% THD)
  • Dimensions: 6.38″ x 2.05″
  • Weight: .85 lbs.
  • Included Accessories: Tripod Desk Stand, USB Cable, Mic Stand Adapter, Soft Pouch

The Audio Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser is one of the hottest microphones on the market for voice-over artists, thanks to its deep, rich sounds with extended frequency response, making it the ideal microphone for vocal use. 

Not only does it perfectly suit tasks like podcasting or voiceovers, but it also achieves quite a professional performance with vocals and even instruments.

The body of AT2020USB is apparently made of rugged metal intended for durable performance, and indeed, it seems it can survive a good amount of abuse.

This USB microphone utilizes a tripod desktop stand, perfect for desktop use with podcasts, or for recording voiceovers.

The mic utilizes a medium-weight diaphragm with a permanent cardioid polarization to offer a massive amount of flexibility. 

The Audio Technica AT2020USB+ comes packed with a few great features. The first one is their headphone preamp, offering a latency-free monitoring experience. 

They also offer mix control for blending your microphone signal and pre-recorded audio, and lastly, the volume control is another essential, as every situation is different and this allows you to bypass the need for an intermediary device or preamplifier.

Why We Recommend it for Voice Overs

The AT2020+ delivers in every aspect that you want a good quality cardioid condenser mic to offer. 

The vocals are clean, crisp, and very direct. The mic really gives a very airy sound which, added with a preamp or compressor plug-in of choice, is the perfect combination a good vocal is looking for.

The microphone’s USB output allows you to bypass an audio interface and plug directly into your computer where the digital signal can be recorded and mixed using your favorite recording software.

Pros

  • Sturdy build
  • Crisp and clean sound
  • Good frequency range
  • Plug and play: easy to use
  • Requires no additional equipment

Cons

  • Tripod could be better
  • Its a permanently polarized condenser mic

3. RODE Podcaster USB Microphone

Microphone Specs:
  • Microphone Type: Dynamic
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 1.1″ (28mm)
  • Frequency Response: 40Hz-14kHz
  • Max SPL: 115 dB SPL
  • Dimensions: 8.46″ x 2.2″
  • Weight: 1.34 lbs.
  • Included Accessories: Stand Mount, USB Cable

The Rode Podcaster is a dynamic USB mic that delivers all the benefits of USB connectivity with the performance of a dedicated speech mic. 

The Podcaster comes in a familiar, broadcast-style shape, with a grille wrapping around the top end of the mic. 

Internally, it employs a shock mount to keep the 28mm neodymium dynamic capsule from picking up vibrations, as well as an internal pop filter.

The cardioid-pattern Podcaster’s frequency range is from 40Hz to 14kHz, with a fixed 18-bit resolution and a sampling rate range of 8 to 48kHz—you can adjust it in your computer’s or software’s settings menu.

Podcasting, YouTube videos, speech recognition software, corporate videos, and any other production application that require a basic yet professional voice-over microphone will benefit greatly from the Podcaster. 

The Rode Podcaster has the appearance and feel of a high-end microphone. Because of the internal shock mount, it’s extremely heavy. 

It also contains a built-in pop-filter that neutralizes most plosives up close, so you don’t need a separate pop-filter.

Why We Recommend it for Voice Over

The Rode Podcaster is an end-address mic, which means it doesn’t have a receiver in the front. This means you can talk right into the top and receive the cleanest sound.

Also, the tight cardioid pickup pattern and mesh body from the front reject off-axis sounds coming from the sides.

The best thing about the Rode Podcaster is its USB plug-and-play. Normally, dynamic microphones like this need a lot of power and have to run through phantom power enabled devices like mixers. 

However, this isn’t the case with the Podcaster. Connect the microphone directly to your computer so you don’t have to go through an audio interface or mixer.

This certainly is one of the best dynamic USB microphones for voice-over artists.

Pros

  • Great design & robust build
  • Rich low-end tone
  • Built-in shock mount and pop filter

Cons

  • There is no gain control 
  • There is no microphone stand included

4. Samson G-Track Pro USB Microphone

Microphone Specs:
  • Microphone Type: Dual back Electret Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Figure-8, Omnidirectional
  • Diaphragm Size: Dual 1″ (25mm)
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 120dB SPL
  • Dimensions: 10.5″ x 4.5″
  • Weight: 3.52 lbs.
  • Included Accessories: Desktop base, USB cable

If you’re someone in need of a decent voice-over microphone to use with your favorite editing software, but don’t want to break the bank, then the Samson G-Track Pro USB mic could be the answer.

This microphone is built like a tank: solid metal, solid/heavy metal base and a heavy gauge metal mesh cover to protect the dual 1-inch capsule. 

It comes with a heavy-duty metal desktop stand, a metal mic mount (for use with mic stands), and a better recording resolution of up to 24-bit 96 kHz. 

It sports multiple polar patterns: cardioid, a figure of 8, and omnidirectional.

Its three knobs control mic gain, instrument gain, and monitor volume, and a three-color LED indicates power, clip, or mute. 

Latency-free monitoring is provided via the Monitor switch, which routes the direct mic and line/instrument inputs directly to the headphone out, along with the DAW mix. 

G-Track Pro can handle up to 120 dB and has a 50 Hz–20 kHz frequency response, with a sensitivity of +6 dBFS.

Why We Recommend it for Voice Overs

When used within a quiet room, the audio was crystal clear, rich across bass, mids, and highs and all in all could easily pass for close to studio quality to the untrained ear. There is hardly any popping sounds if held a reasonable distance away.

The G-Track also exhibits a very low noise floor, meaning there’s virtually no perceptible circuit noise from the unit itself. 

I used the G-Track Pro in the cardioid polar pattern for voice-over work and I found my vocals to be full with nice rounded bass, clear mids, and a crisp top end. 

I preferred the vocal quality when my mouth was about 3 or 4 inches from the mic in a cardioid pattern, which yielded a nice radio DJ quality with good bass.

Pros

  • Clean, mids-focused signal.
  • Dedicated instrument input can be used at the same time as the mic.
  • Three selectable patterns.
  • Gain knobs for both mic and instrument input.

Cons

  • Sensitive to ambient noise
  • Quite heavy

5. Shure MV51 USB Condenser Mic

Microphone Specs:
  • Microphone Type: Electret Condenser
  • Mono/Stereo: Mono
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 1″ (25mm)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 130dB SPL
  • Dimensions: 5.5″ x 2.5″
  • Weight: 1.26 lbs.
  • Included Accessories: USB Cables, Lightning Cable

Shure’s MV51 USB microphone looks retro but is loaded with modern capabilities. Beneath the grille, the MV51 is a condenser mic utilizing a one-inch capsule in a cardioid pattern.

Out of the box, you get the microphone, 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.

On the back, you have the connection port, and also a headphone port for real-time monitoring. 

This will allow you to record yourself along with backing tracks and hear yourself at the same time.

On the front of the MV51, below the grille, you have this touch-sensitive panel of controls, backlit with LEDs. It’s really nice and intuitive. 

You can adjust the level of the headphone (orange LEDs) and mic gain (green) right here on the mic.

Why We Recommend it for Voice Overs

Shure MV51 does a great job when close-miking vocals, as long as the voice artist stays on axis. 

The low end produced by this mic is very clean and it extends deeper than that of competing models. 

The large diaphragm is best suited to vocal applications but the five DSP settings offer alternate uses; Speech, Singing, Acoustic Music, Loud Music/Band and Flat.

The DSP’s include various levels of gain, compression, and EQ except for the flat mode, which goes out without any processing. 

Motiv app has access to all of the above settings and includes some additional features, namely compressor, limiter, EQ, and wind reduction.

Like most vocal microphones, the MV51 shines at close range. The manual advises a distance of five to 30 cm for speech and we found it worked best at the closer end of that scale.

Pros

  • Plenty of features
  • Switchable DSP modes
  • Mute button
  • Headphone monitoring
  • Very clean low end

Cons

  • Cables are a bit short
  • Kickstand is too low
  • Pricey

6. Rode NT-USB Condenser Mic

Microphone Specs:
  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Mono/Stereo: Mono
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 0.5″ (12.7mm)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 110 dB
  • Weight: 1.15 lbs.
  • Included Accessories: Pop Shield, Stand Mount, Tripod, 6m USB Cable, Protective Zip Case

Rode NT-USB is one of the best USB mics for voiceovers. It brings exceptional USB quality without the need for special drivers or any additional 3rd party equipment. 

It also comes with a well-fitted pop shield and a decent mount, for no additional cost.

Sleek and reassuringly solid thanks to its narrow metal body, the Rode NT-USB is a good-looking piece of kit. It also has the build quality to match. 

With a side address and a cardioid polar pattern, it’s aggressively geared toward voiceover, singing, and instrumentals.

For voice-overs, the microphone delivers with no lack of bottom-end warmth or top-end clarity and no obvious tonal anomalies. 

The pop shield does a good job, allowing you to get close in and exploit the low-end from the proximity effect.

Why We Recommend it for Voice Overs

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 a USB interface. 

It sounds very natural, clear, and transparent, and does not suffer from those common effects such as popping and sibilance.

The microphone uses a lightweight diaphragm to capture the soundwaves with extreme precision, while also maintaining a high transient response, all of which lead to a rich, deep, and accurate recording.

It also has a built-in headphone port with volume control and a monitor-mix knob as well, you can fine-tune what you hear in your headphones while you are recording.

The monitor is quite loud, especially on the highest setting, so you’ll have no problem hearing yourself during the recording. 

Overall, if you’re serious about voiceover and fancy dabbling in music as well, this is the ideal microphone.

Pros

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Extended response, crispiness
  • Low noise
  • Thoughtful design
  • Free pop-shield, decent stand

Cons

  • Only one polar pattern
  • Unsteady tripod

How To Choose the Best USB Mic for Voice Over?

The key to picking the right USB microphone is not just choosing the microphone that is the right price, but rather searching for the microphone that is right for your voice.

Of course, there are many elements to making a high-quality voice recording, not just the microphone. But a mic is perhaps the easiest element for us to control and improve. 

1. Pick a sensitive mic.

As a voiceover actor, you likely want to choose a mic that picks up the most detail in your voice. 

Generally, a good microphone for voice actors will have high sensitivity. If you’ve set up your recording space properly, your best choice is a highly-sensitive mic that can record sharp vocals and capture your voice’s full texture. 

2. Dynamic vs Condenser mic for voice over

In general, condenser microphones are the preferred choice for voice actors.

A dynamic mic uses electromagnetism to convert sound into an electrical signal. It is less sensitive and will pick up less detail than a condenser mic, so it tends to be used for live performances rather than studio recordings. 

However, if you’re recording in a home studio with poor soundproofing, a dynamic mic can reduce the amount of extraneous background noise in your recordings.

Dynamic microphones are great for getting warm-sounding voice recordings.

Condenser microphones are great for getting clear and natural-sounding voice recordings.

3. Are USB condenser mics good for voice-over work?

There are USB mics that are also condenser mics. USB mic plugs directly to your computer’s USB port without any additional equipment, making it very convenient if you do most of your projects at your home studio or if you’re always on the go with your laptop. 

This mic type captures an above-average sound which is not bad for an entry-level voiceover project. However, USB microphones are not as versatile as regular microphones because they are dependent on your computer. 

However, USB mics are a considerably more affordable option for voice actors who are just starting out.

4. Frequency Response

Be sure to look at a mic’s frequency response, or how well the mic reproduces the sound it’s picking up as measured in Hertz (Hz). 

Healthy adult voices usually fall between 110–210 Hz, with 110 Hz representing deeper voices. 

A good microphone for voice recording will have a frequency response range of around 80 Hz to 15,000 Hz, more than covering the typical range of human voices.

5. Pick a mic with the cardioid polar pattern.

This is the best pattern to use in pretty much all voice-over work. Cardioid microphones reject sound from behind so are best used in rooms that are un-treated or don’t sound particularly good.

6. Avoid handheld mics for voice-over work.

A stage mic or handheld mic is not well-suited for voice-over recordings. Your microphone should have a stand and leave you hands-free to prevent any external sounds caused by movement.

A handheld mic will pick up noise from movement, making for a less clean recording. You want a stable, hands-free set-up so that the only thing you’re recording is your voice. 

Conclusion

So now you know which are the best microphones for voice-overs. The important lesson here is that most microphones will work for recording speech and spoken word—it just depends on what kind of sound you want to achieve.

A big part of the sound that you get is also down to the room and mic positioning. When recording voice-over you want to have the mic at least 5 inches from the speaker’s mouth if you want to get a natural sound. 

With a dynamic mic, you can get closer—one to two inches—and use the proximity effect to get an artificial warm sound.

Written by:
AJ Mani
AJ Mani

AJ has been intimately involved with music for more than 25 years as a composer, electronic musician, guitarist, writer, music software developer, and keyboard technician.

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