Best Usb Microphone For Mac
Rolled out in 2014 Rode NT-USB microphone is still considered as one of the best USB mics for Mac and PC users. This NT-USB mic records all kinds of sound with smooth streaming. To monitor the sound input, the mic comes with zero latency 3.5mm headphone jack.
Best Usb Microphone For Mac
If you are looking for a budget microphone for your Mac or PC, Blue Yeti Nano comes top of the list. Pick your favorite color with a range of options like a blackout, shadow grey, cubano gold, red onyx, and vivid blue.
This is a budgeted and one of the best USB mics for YouTubers and podcasters. Its 24-bit sound quality, small design, and simple plug and play operation are perfect for smooth and instant streaming with your Mac or PC.
Last but certainly not the least, Samson Meteor portable studio condenser is also one of the best USB mics for gamers. It completes your home studio and is ideal for gaming, podcasting, recording, or streaming.
If you're in the market for a USB microphone, you probably have a specific use in mind. But what works for livestreaming games might be a musical disaster. And the pristine signal you get from a top-flight mic for musicians might provide far more fidelity (and far less convenience) than you need for a podcast. Not all USB mics are the same and thus finding the right one for your needs can be a little tricky.
We've tested lots of USB microphones in several price classes to determine which ones work best for different scenarios. Below are the best mics we've tested, along with a guide to their various uses. Make sure to continue reading after our picks for vital information about how microphones work, too.
Before we dive into the world of USB mics, you should know how most professional microphones work. In a typical recording studio scenario, a microphone is an analog piece of gear that sends a signal to a console or computer through an XLR cable (often through a mixer that can handle multiple microphones at once). The signal from the mic should be more or less pure; EQ, dynamic compression, and reverb are all later steps in production.
Digital mics that use USB cables are a totally different beast. The microphones process and digitize the audio directly. Any editing you do at the computer is to a signal that has already been digitally processed. Also note that the mic dictates the maximum sampling rate and bitrate. Each USB mic is essentially an analog-to-digital converter (DAC), complete with a built-in gain knob. In the analog studio world, that gain knob is often on a different piece of gear entirely; typically pros refer to it as a Mic Pre. USB mics also often have headphone jacks, which is another abnormality.
Outside of the USB mic world, there are several styles of microphone (condenser, dynamic, ribbon) that, combined with the various microphone polar patterns (cardioid, hypercardioid, omnidirectional, figure-eight), produce a wide range of options for the recording engineer. Among USB mics, it's mostly (but not always) condenser mics and (but not always) cardioid patterns.
In addition to a mic, check out the rest of the best podcast equipment you need to get professional-quality audio. Once you're ready to start recording, check out our tips for how to create a successful podcast,
There's a wide price range among USB mics and we've done our best to test models across the entire spectrum. Spending more doesn't necessarily mean you get a better product, but there does seem to be a fairly sensible scale of quality associated with price.
Check what accessories come with your microphone as well. Depending on what and where you plan to record, you might need to buy a separate mic stand, pop filter, or even a shock mount. You can easily spend more than $100 on those three items alone. For some users, a mic that ships with a stand and windscreen or pop filter is the more reasonable choice.
A quick word about a major limitation in the USB microphone world: You can typically only record one mic at a time. This is because, on the whole, USB mics are made less for pro-level setups and more for typical computer-based setups that lack an audio interface to field multiple inputs. All your computer can do without an audio input/output to field the multiple signals is select a single input. There are workarounds, of course, including using recording software that allows you to record multiple mics at once, but the catch is that they all record to the same track. If it's possible to pan one signal all the way left and the other all the way right, in a stereo track, and then after recording, separate the channels of the file and drag them into new tracks, then you have your separation, though you likely want to center them again instead of having each hard-panned left and right. And, besides, that is a lengthy and annoying workaround.
If your goal is to record multiple microphones at once, USB mics are probably not what you need. Look for a USB (or Thunderbolt) audio interface that can receive multiple inputs at once and send them as separate tracks to your recording platform. In this scenario, you almost definitely need XLR mics (the interface handles the digital conversion for you and connects via USB or Thunderbolt, thus eliminating the convenience and need for a USB mic in the first place). The result is a much more pro-level setup than what we're typically discussing when USB mics are part of the equation. But USB mics can still provide solid, high-fidelity signals if you don't need to deal with multiple, simultaneous inputs.
If you want a mic truly built for Mac, Apogee is the way to go. Besides recording as normal when connected to your MacBook, it also has the ability to connect to your iPad or iPhone and integrate with Garageband for optimal productivity. This is a cardioid condenser microphone.
Picking up on all the lingo of a new technical product or field can be difficult and confusing. When it comes to microphones, one of the key things to learn about is the polarity pattern of your potential purchase.
The NT1-A is a super-low noise XLR microphone, with a really rich sound behind it. The pack comes with a shock mount and a pop filter, so all you need is a mic stand and a recorder, audio interface, or mixer to get it up and running.
Most of the podcast microphones mentioned here will be optimal when mounted on a stand or boom arm. Check out our guide to the best boom arms which offer the most flexible and professional-looking setups for mic mounting and podcast presentation.
You can connect an XLR microphone to your computer through an audio interface. To do so, you must first connect the microphone to the interface with an XLR cable. Next, you should attach the interface to your computer via a USB cable.
You can connect a USB microphone directly to the USB port of your computer. They are generally plug-play- microphones and require little setup. On the other hand, an XLR microphone can only be connected to your laptop with an audio interface or an XLR to USB cable.
Dynamic microphones transform sound waves into audio with the help of a moving coil and a magnet located in the middle of it. When sound hits the mic, it makes the coil move up and down. The movement results in a change in magnetic field, which then leads to an electrical signal. That electric signal is then sent to an amplifier and then to a computer.
A condenser microphone needs an electrical charge (from phantom power sources) in order to work. Once they are powered up, any sounds which hits the mic moves between two plates. This movement gets converted into an electrical signal that corresponds to the sound picked up. Afterward, the signals are amplified and sent to a computer or other devices.
The digital mixing software with this microphone is one of its standout features. It allows you to connect eight channels of audio, whether that be Discord, Chrome, or another music app. The audio blends perfectly with the mic audio, so you can live stream with your voice when playing a game and not worry about your voice drowning out due to in-game sounds.
Create unparalleled recordings with your computer using Blue's best-selling family of Yeti USB microphones. Now with Blue VO!CE software, you can craft the perfect broadcast vocal sound and entertain your stream audience with enhanced effects, advanced voice modulation and HD audio samples. Four different pickup patterns offer incredible flexibility so you can record vocals for music, podcasts, Twitch streaming, YouTube videos, or even cryptozoology lectures in ways that would normally require multiple microphones. Whether you're recording at home, on the road, or in the Himalayas, Yeti helps you produce studio-quality recordings every time.
One thing to keep in mind is how much background noise you will have in your recording area: computer fans, HVAC, traffic, etc. Condenser mics pick up more background sound and are best suited for quieter environments. Dynamic mics will sound better in a less than perfect recording area or if you have multiple people speaking into separate mics.
Bidirectional is great for in-person interviews and omnidirectional is great group chats or conference calls. Having all this flexibility in one mic makes it the best choice for new (and experienced) podcasters.
There are actually 2 models of the Blue Snowball. The standard model includes 2 microphone capsules, cardioid and omnidirectional pickup, and an adjustable stand. The other model is the Snowball iCE, which we mention a little farther down in the under $50 section.
Designed as a travel microphone, the Samson Go Mic folds and includes a carry case. Like the Snowflake, it clips to your laptop or sits on the desk. It has a headphone jack for monitoring and has both cardioid and omnidirectional pickup. For the price and size, this microphone is perfect as a travel mic or a good choice for a cheap USB mic.
The Snowball iCE has a single microphone capsule, cardioid pickup pattern (vs cardioid and omnidirectional with the standard Snowball) and a more basic stand. Definitely an upgrade from the built-in computer audio, but otherwise nothing special.