No one will want to watch your live stream if you don’t have a good audio device to record the sound. That’s where a microphone for streaming becomes important.
If you’re serious about streaming online, purchasing a good streaming mic can go a long way in improving the quality of your content. Be it streaming videogames, music, podcasts, or general interviews, a streaming mic will serve you much better than a mic on even the best headsets out there.
Best Microphones for Streaming
Finding the best microphone for streaming can be a little tricky. You can opt for expensive, studio quality mics that will set you back several hundred dollars and require an audio interface to run, but many affordable USB powered mics now offer similar audio quality performance at a reasonable price.
We’ve handpicked the 6 best microphones for streaming you can buy right now based on their audio quality, form factor, price, and polar patterns. To help you with your purchase and understand the important factors you need to consider, there’s also a buyer’s guide featured after the reviews.
The Best Streaming Mic for Most People
The Blue Yeti is the most popular microphone for streaming for most individuals because of its incredible versatility. It features multiple polar patterns and a wide frequency range of 20Hz to 20KHz, and comes in a variety of colors.
There’s no streaming mic that can compete with the Blue Yeti’s combination of performance, price, form factor, and audio quality. Whether you’re streaming music or videogames, this is the best microphone for streaming out there.
Best Budget Pick
Affordable Startup Streaming Mic
The Zalman is a super affordable and lightweight streaming microphone that is a massive upgrade over headset mics. It is a cardioid mic that takes up very low power, has clips, and is ideal for those individuals looking to start their streaming endeavors.
If you’re looking for a mic that is an improvement over your headset’s microphone but don’t want to spend near $100, the Zalman ZM-Mic1 is the best option out there.
The Blue Yeti is the best microphone for streaming for most people. It’s a combination of competitive pricing and great performance that make this one of the most sought after mics in this niche.
You get a plethora of polar patterns with this mic. These include cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo. This combination makes the Blue Yeti incredibly versatile. You also get gain, mute, and volume controls for the headphones for extra tweaking options on the fly. The frequency response of this mic is 20Hz to 20KHz.
The Blue Yeti is easy to set up and offers excellent performance that can outmatch streaming mics more expensive than itself. It manages to perform in even unideal situations for recording, making it a safe and versatile option for most users.
The one downside to the Blue Yeti though is its tendency to be sensitive to noise. It will pick up keyboard and mouse clicks despite its foam dampers.
As a live streamer for videogames though, this shouldn’t be a problem. It’s the best microphone for streaming out there for more reasons than one. It also comes in various colors to choose from. We especially like the Black, Midnight Blue, and Copper variants.
- Excellent audio quality
- Very versatile
- Competitive pricing
- Neat color options
- Picks up background noise
The Audio Technica AT2020 is an excellent competitor to the Blue Yeti. Originally designed as a studio microphone, this condenser mic was later converted into one for streaming with a USB interface. As with most studio quality audio peripherals, the performance is at high standards, yet the AT2020 doesn’t command extravagant spending.
This is a cardioid mic that has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz. You don’t get any kind of switches with this mic though, so all your tweaking will have to be done before you start your stream. The “Plus” version of the mic does come with these features, but it will cost a bit extra.
This doesn’t prevent it from being a great microphone for streaming though. The sound quality is incredible and can outmatch the Blue Yeti in the right environment. It also comes with a stand mount, a threaded adapt, and a bag for carrying.
- Fantastic audio quality
- Great, sturdy build
- Competitive pricing
- Comes with useful accessories
- No switches of controls on the mic
- Difficult to set up
If you’re looking for a microphone for streaming that is attachable, the AntLion Modmic is an affordable option that performs better than all the other attachment mics out there. Due to its attachment nature, this is a unidirectional mic with a 100Hz to 10KHz frequency response.
Convenience is the name of the game with the AntLion Modmic. Its extremely lightweight and portable design makes it attachable to the side of your headphone like any built-in headset mic, only better. The attachment system is magnet, which we love.
As an attachment microphone for streaming, the AntLion Modmic is simply unparalleled in audio quality. However, it’s still not as good as a standing mic like the Blue Yeti or other options on this list.
The unidirectional polar pattern also means it can pick up sound from anywhere and everywhere, though we found that it’s doesn’t pick up background noise as egregiously as some of the higher quality variants on this list.
- Affordable pricing
- Very convenient to use
- Good quality of sound for an attachment mic
- Not as good as a standing streaming mic
- Requires use of headphones
- Unidirectional polar pattern can be a problem
For it’s form factor and price, the Zalman ZM-Mic1 is a surprisingly good microphone for streaming. This is a cardioid mic with a 2V power and a frequency response of 100Hz to 16,000Hz.
With the Zalman, you don’t get the greatest fidelity, but it’s a significant upgrade to most mics that come with gaming headsets or regular peripherals. You do need the right environment to get this mic working without it picking up background noise, but it still succeeds in providing excellent sound quality for the price.
It works effectively for podcasts and basic streaming, especially as a backup mic in case your main dies or is causing problems. The mic isn’t amazing, but it’s a fantastic budget option for anyone willing to kickstart their streaming endeavors without spending excessively.
- Great value
- Performs better than most headset mics
- Lightweight and portable
- Picks up background noise
- A little quiet
Designed like a tiny lander, the Samson Meteor is one of the most portable standing mics around. This tiny piece of hardware offers excellent quality. This is a condenser cardioid mic that has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz.
The biggest selling point of the Samson Meteor Mic is its great form factor and design. It features three legs that can be folded back when not in use. Pack it in your bag to wherever you’re traveling or place it anywhere you want.
The controls on the mic are rudimentary, but they’re better than many others because, well, they’re there. You get a headphone volume control dial and a mute mic switch, along with various connections on the back.
The affordability of this stand microphone makes it a great budget microphone for streaming. You get the better audio quality of standing mics with it but in a small form factor and a great price. It can’t compete in audio with the more expensive models on this list, but it’s a great solution for those with limited desk space.
- Great tiny, portable design
- Great value
- Folding tripod legs
- Decent audio quality for the price
- Audio quality of other standing mics is better
When Razer released a smaller version of the Seiren Elite, we were skeptical. But this mic has blown everyone away with its incredible audio quality for the price. Razer isn’t known for always keeping their product pricing at a relevant range, but the Seiren X mic for streaming is appropriately priced for how it performs.
This is a super cardioid mic that consumes 5 volts of power, and has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20KHz. You get a built-in shock mount, a headphone monitoring port, a single volume control, and a mute button on the microphone.
The Razer mic is highly portable due to its small size. The mic does tend to pick up some background noise such as mouse clicks and mechanical keyboard clatter. However, its great performance and audio quality make it worthy of an intermediate streamer’s go to tool.
- Great design
- High quality audio
- Highly portable
- Picks up background noise
Polar patterns is what dictates the directional properties of a streaming mic. There are several types of polar patterns, and each one offers a different kind of response to your voice. Most mics will come with just a single type of polar patterns, while some are multi-pattern and will allow you to switch things up for added versatility.
Cardioid microphones are ones that pick up sound only from one direction. They reject sound coming from all other sides, making them the ideal choice for voiceovers and streaming videogames. They are often called unidirectional microphones.
They come in three variations: cardioid, hyper cardioid, and super cardioid. Hyper and super cardioids perform the same function but are more intense in their sound rejection.
Bidirectional mics pick up sound from more than one direction, but not from everywhere. This is usually the front and rear. Such mics are ideal for interviews on a small table or performing duets.
Omnidirectional mics will pick up sound from any and every direction. These are often seen in attachable microphones for streaming. They are great if you will move around a lot while streaming, but they tend to pick up a lot of background noise as well.
Stereo mode allows for use of right and left channels while picking up the audio. They are bidirectional, but they capture a realistic sound image with separate audio going to the left and right channel. They are especially great for recording musical instruments or immersive acoustic effects.
Audio recording quality is the most important factor in your purchase decision. It’s not everything, but it should be the variable with the most weight in your decision. It is true that you can use any microphone to record your voice, but the audience of live streams always prefer clean, clear audio, for which using a dedicated microphone for streaming is the best option.
Cardioid mics are generally the best choice for most streaming content, but you should select one which suits your need best.
Finally, there’s the form factor. Standing mics are the best in overall audio quality and performance, but not everyone has the space for them. Great alternatives include highly portable streaming mic designs such as the Samson Meteor, or attachable variations like the AntLion. The form factor has a loose correlation to audio quality, so keep that in mind.
Why are headset mics considered bad for streaming?
Headset mics are where the manufacturers save the most cost. The emphasis is almost entirely on the sound quality and comfort of the headset, and the mic is only a convenience. They serve e-sport gamers well and are useful for online conferences, but they are not designed for streaming.
For a much better audio quality, a dedicated microphone for streaming is preferred. Streaming mics are professional quality and designed to pick up audio more accurately and cancel excessive surrounding noise.
What type of streaming mic is best for interviews?
A bidirectional streaming mic that picks up sound from the front and back is the best for interviews. Simply place it in between you and the interviewee and start the interview.
What is the importance of frequency response?
Frequency response is quite important if you are a musician or a vocalist, as you will need a wider response to accurately capture the lowest bass notes and the highest treble ones. They aren’t as important for voiceovers or game streaming.