Best USB Microphones for Podcasting

Microphones

The popularity of USB microphones has exploded over the last decade. With a USB microphone, it’s possible to create quality sound recordings with the plug and play convenience of USB. This article lists some of the most popular USB microphones used for podcasting.

The main advantage of using a USB microphone is that you don’t need additional equipment to record a podcast. You can plug a USB microphone into any USB equipped computer or audio recording device.

The secondary advantage of USB microphones is the cost. There are quality USB microphones available at bargain prices, plus you save the cost of the extra audio device that would be required for an analog XLR connection.

Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone

The Rode Podcaster is a popular option for many podcasters. It is a dynamic microphone that offers great sound. It’s plug and play, so you can take your recording studio on the go with a laptop and this mic. It has a headphone jack, so you can plug your headphones straight into the microphone.

  • Broadcast sound quality

  • USB

  • Dynamic

  • Cardioid polar pattern

  • Headphone output

  • Internal pop filter

Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone

When it comes to price, usability and versatility this microphone can’t be beaten. It’s very affordable, yet it has great sound quality and several high-end features. First off, it is handheld with a convenient on and off switch.

Speaking directly into a microphone that is held close to your mouth creates the best sound quality. Being able to switch the mic off is convenient when you don’t want the sounds on your side recorded.

For those longer podcasts, this mic also comes with a desktop stand and both a USB and XLR cable. This is a dynamic microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern that can be plugged directly into your computer or into a mixer.

This is a convenient and affordable option for getting started and beyond.

  • USB and XLR Outputs

  • Dynamic

  • Cardioid polar pattern

  • Headphone Output

Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone

The Blue Yeti is an extremely popular USB microphone. This microphone has professional sound quality with three condenser capsules. It also has multiple pickup pattern options for vocals, instrumentals, podcasts, or interviews. It has an onboard headphone output, and there are simple controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute, and microphone gain. Ironically, the Blue Yeti comes in 5 color options none of which are blue.

  • USB

  • Condenser

  • Multiple pattern selection - cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo

  • Mute button

  • Gain control

  • Zero-latency headphone output

Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone

The Blue Snowball is a more affordable microphone made by Blue. This USB microphone has a dual capsule design allowing for omnidirectional or cardioid pickup patterns. This is a great introductory and beyond recording microphone. Mignon Fogarty used a Blue Snowball to record her Grammar Girl podcast for years. The microphone ships with a desktop stand and a USB cord. It comes in six colors including blue.

  • USB

  • Condenser

  • Omnidirectional or cardioid pickup patterns

  • Easy setup

Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

This is another awesome choice by Audio-Technica. The AT2020 is a condenser mic with a USB output for digital recording. It has a headphone jack for sound monitoring without a signal delay. It also has a mix control for blending your microphone signal to pre-recorded audio. It also has an internal headphone amplifier for clarity and detail. This microphone ships with a desktop stand and a USB cord. This is a newer version of an old favorite and has gotten a lot of positive reviews.

  • USB

  • Condenser

  • Cardioid

  • Headphone jack with volume control

  • Mix control

  • Internal headphone amplifier

CAD U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone

This is another popular and affordable option.

The CAD U37 has a large condenser for warm, rich recordings. The cardioid pickup pattern minimizes background noise focuses on the voice in front of the mic. This is an easy plug and play USB condenser mic that comes in an array of cool colors. Some of which are gray, black, orange, candy apple, and even camouflage. This is actually a pretty decent microphone that offers a lot of value.

  • USB

  • Condenser

  • Cardioid

  • Eight different color options

  • Affordable

Different microphones will have a different effect on the sound of your voice. Sometimes it is hard to tell which one you are best suited for until trying them out. With that in mind, it’s easy to get started with an entry-level USB microphone and move up from there. Different features, sound attributes, and even aesthetics will depend on what your specific podcasting needs are.