Whether you’re recording instruments for a track, voices for a podcast, or just want your voice to come through much more clearly on Skype or Google Hangouts, there are a plethora of USB microphones out there. Here are a few of our favorites!
« Blue Yeti is still my pick for best USB microphone — not just for the Mac but for anyone starting out doing anything, including podcasts, audiobooks, live streams, videos, and more. It plugs right into your device, no audio interface needed, sounds great out of the box, and has a few simple options if you need to adjust for particular circumstances, like two people sharing one mic. Of course, it can’t beat a high-end XLR mic and interface, but at a tenth or less the price, it sounds so good you’ll probably think twice, hard, before considering those higher-end purchases. It’s the mic I used for years, still, travel with today, and always recommend to anyone who asks. » — Rene Ritchie, 10-year podcast veteran and host of iMore show, MacBreak Weekly, and VECTOR
Excellent sound isolation
The Rode Podcaster is a very simple, but elegant USB microphone that Lory Gil has been using with great success for years. « I use the Rode Podcaster bundle. It’s easy to set up, sounds great, and the boom stand mounts to my desktop so I can swivel it into range when I need it. The Rode is specially designed for voice, so it has warm tones with even bass and the cardioid pattern isolates my voice so there isn’t too much background noise being picked up. » — Lory Gil, Managing Editor of iMore
A smaller Yeti
Blue Yeti Nano
Blue’s newest USB microphone takes a lot of what people love about the Blue Yeti and shrinks it down (both in size and price) into a pretty compelling product. Both its cardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns support sample rates up to 24-bit at 48Khz and it’s included stand keeps it stable while recording so you don’t get any noise from the microphone moving around.
Great for singer/songwriter
Functioning much like a traditional XLR microphone, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB is ideal for the singer/songwriter in you who loves to record digitally. Being a cardioid microphone, the AT2020USB performs best when recording sound from a single source located in front of the microphone. What makes the AT2020USB so great for musicians is its ability to easily fit into shock mounts and mic booms, allowing you to position the microphone perfectly in your space.
Compact and affordable
Although the Meteor is only meant to capture a single sound source, it does record all of its audio at a 16 bit, 48kHz sample rate, which means you’re getting great sounding audio every time you sit in front of it. It’s lightweight and quite compact, allowing you to transport the Meteor anywhere you need to go, so you never have to worry about sounding bad when you’re on the road.
Budget Blue Microphone
The Snowball has become a beloved microphone for the budget podcaster, myself included, because of its low price point and versatility. It has three different modes: cardioid, which is great for single person recording; omnidirectional, a fantastic option for multiple-person recording; and cardioid -10 dB, allowing for great noise reduction, which is perfect for video calling.
Sound your best
A USB microphone for your Mac makes video calls, streaming games, or recording any sort of audio easy and simple. Just plug them in and start recording!
Much like Rene has said the Blue Yeti is the best all-around microphone for most Mac users. It’s four recording modes offer an incredible amount of versatility, meaning regardless of what you’re trying to record, you should be able to get a high-quality recording. I have personally used my Blue Yeti to record podcasts with multiple guests, record guitar and vocals on a musical track, and every day for multiple Skype and Google Hangouts over the past couple years and I have never been disappointed.
Of course, if you need something cheaper and smaller than the Yeti, The Samson Meteor is the perfect compact USB microphone. It’s small enough to fit on any desk, records in high-quality, and even has a headphone jack for real-time audio monitoring.