Live streaming is now bigger than ever. And you might be thinking – I want to start live streaming too, but what microphone should I use?
It’s important to come across clearly to your audience, and that’s why you should use a mic that will capture your voice with clarity. With that said, here are our 12 best microphones for streaming!
In a hurry?
Our top picks of streaming mics are:
Best microphones for streaming
1. Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone
- The most popular streaming microphone.
- Wide-range frequency response for super clear vocals.
- Minimal noise from breathiness and monitor hum.
The Shure SM7B is one of the most popular streaming microphones on the market today. Not only does this dynamic microphone give you excellent audio, but it also looks great on camera. Plus, the XLR connection makes it super easy to set up.
You can expect smooth and warm vocals with the SM7B. It’ll capture your voice with clarity thanks to a 50Hz to 20kHz frequency response. So, whatever you’re going to say, your audience is going to hear it.
Do away with breathiness thanks to the air suspension shock isolation and inbuilt pop filter. Unwanted sounds stay out of the mix this way, and the words you want people to hear stay in.
Its cardioid pattern means that your vocals will be the only thing the SM7B captures – rejecting any off-axis audio. This means you can chat comfortably on stream with minimal colouration to your vocals.
Plus, electromagnetic shielding reduces hum from studio equipment – so your streams will be as noise-free as possible.
Ideal for live broadcasts, it features an easily adjustable cradle – so you’ll always have the right position. And its rugged design means you’ll be using it for the whole duration of your streaming career.
Shop now | Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone
2. Rode NT-USB+ USB Condenser Microphone
- Ideal mid-range choice for streaming.
- Built-in APHEX-powered internal DSP.
- Zero latency headphone output with controls.
The Rode NT-USB+ is a USB Condenser Microphone which is an ideal mid-range choice for streamers. It has a wide range of onboard processing abilities as well as an included pop shield.
With the NT-USB+, pristine sound quality is guaranteed by a number of its premium features. This includes a high-gain ‘Revolution Preamp’ and a wide-ranging 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response.
As well as this, the NT-USB+ is loaded with APHEX-powered internal DSP. This lets you apply a range of audio-enhancing effects straight from the mic. These effects include a high-pass filter, noise gate, compressor, and even a range of Rode signature effects.
You’ll find this mic super easy to use. The USB connection allows you to plug and play in a matter of seconds – whether you’re streaming from a computer, tablet, or mobile.
You can monitor with zero latency using the headphone output, which has onboard controls for both mix and level. So you’ll always be able to check how you sound at any given point.
The NT-USB+ will capture you and nothing else. This is thanks to its tight cardioid pattern – rejecting any background noise that might be in your house or studio.
It comes with a pop filter and desktop stand too. So, you can capture minimal plosives and get it set up straight away without having to buy any extra stands.
Shop now | Rode NT-USB+ USB Condenser Microphone
3. Elgato WAVE:3 Microphone
- Vocal capture with onboard mixing capabilities.
- ClipGuard technology ensures clean audio at all times.
- Wave Link app provides extra control and integration with other Elgato devices.
The Elgato WAVE:3 Microphone is not only a premium USB microphone but also a digital mixing solution. This is a great all-in-one solution for streamers looking to add that extra something to their broadcast vocals. Plus, it’s on the more affordable side, while still boasting a range of advanced features.
It has excellent sound quality, using premium components from Lewitt Audio. This results in an extended 70Hz – 20kHz frequency response and 24-bit/96kHz processing, which ensure nuanced and detailed vocal capture. And the cardioid polar pattern ensures focused vocal capture with minimal background noise.
If you’re afraid of unwanted distortion or plosives, the WAVE:3 might be for you. Its ClipGuard technology reroutes the audio through a second path at a lower volume when input levels clip. This means you always have consistent capture – even with sudden changes in dynamics.
With its multi-functional single dial, you’ll find the WAVE:3 is easy to use too. This puts you in control of microphone gain, headphone volume, and your direct mix. Plus, you can stop your audience from hearing you at any time thanks to a silent mute button.
You can even integrate the WAVE:3 with Elgato’s Wave Link app, which allows you to transform your workflow and control up to eight devices at once – ideal for complex streaming setups.
Shop now | Elgato WAVE:3 Microphone
4. SubZero SZC-600 USB Condenser Microphone
- Plug-and-play technology for a quick setup.
- Great pick if you’re on a budget.
- Onboard mute button and headphone output.
The SubZero SZC-600 USB Condenser Microphone is one of the more affordable microphones on this list. But that doesn’t mean it sacrifices sound quality. If you’re a streamer on a budget, this might be the microphone for you.
It ensures excellent, clear sound quality thanks to its 16-bit recording capture and 24-bit playback. As well as this, it has a comprehensive frequency response ranging from 20Hz to 18kHz. Both assets combined mean that everything you say on your stream will be reproduced with the utmost clarity your audience deserves.
The SZC-600 is designed to be easy to use too. With a built-in sound card, you can simply plug it into any USB port – whether that’s of a computer, tablet, or smartphone – and get streaming.
Onboard features also make it easier to deliver a great stream. The mute button means you can quickly stop your audience from hearing you if you need to go off the mic for any amount of time. And the headphone monitoring plug lets you hear what you sound like going straight into the mic.
With the SZC-600 USB, you get a convenient cradle mount. This is easy to attach to any stand – whether a boom arm or a tabletop tripod. The blue finish will also look excellent on camera.
Shop now | SubZero SZC-600 USB Condenser Microphone
5. Audio Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- Affordable with a professional sound.
- Great option if you already have an audio interface.
- Handles unexpected dynamic changes well with high SPL handling.
The Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone is ideal for getting professional quality at home – especially if you already have an audio interface. It’s great if you have a lower budget but still want great audio for your streams.
It has a cardioid polar pattern that captures your voice and reduces the amount of noise picked up from background sources. For vocal isolation, this is superb and ensures you end up with rich and accurate vocal capture for live streams.
For even better audio, the AT2020 can handle up to 144dB SPL, which is great if you know that you might end up screaming in a middle of a stream. And you can capture that scream in supreme detail with a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response. This is also thanks, in part, to the 16mm low-mass diaphragm.
The AT2020 is fuss-free and easy to use. Its built-in stand mount allows for both easy and precise positioning – vital when in the middle of a long streaming session. And its Lo-Z balanced output ensures great sound, no matter the audio interface you plug it into.
If you’re looking for an affordable option that will still give you premium results, the AT2020 is a great choice. It looks pretty sleek too.
Shop now | Audio Technica AT2020 Condenser Microphone
6. Sennheiser Profile USB Condenser Microphone
- Multiple onboard controls make mixing easy.
- High-quality condenser capsule captures audio with clarity.
- Plug in and play and get streaming right away.
The Sennheiser Profile USB Microphone will make your streams all the better with minimal effort. It’s on the cheaper side while still delivering premium audio capture.
The sound quality is ensured by its high-grade capsule engineered in Germany. This results in a warm and full-bodied sound for your vocals. And the 20Hz – 20kHz frequency range will give your speech the clarity it needs, with every little detail being captured.
You’ll get minimal background noise too. It has a focused cardioid polar pattern that rejects off-axis noise. So, the only sound being heard by your viewers is your voice.
As well as brilliant audio quality, the Sennheiser Profile is made to be super easy to use. It features onboard controls to mute, adjust the gain, and adjust the mix. There’s also an LED ring indicator – so you will know if you’re clipping straight away.
The USB connection means you can simply plug in the Profile and get streaming with it. So, no outboard gear is needed. And the built-in stand allows you to place it on your desk and use it right away. Though if you want to use a stand, there are options for thread mounting.
This is an ideal choice if you want to get your mic out of the box and start creating straight away. You won’t have to wait around to start the stream of your dreams.
Shop now | Sennheiser Profile USB Microphone
7. Electro-Voice RE20 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone
- Premium option for professional streamers
- Easy to get great results with minimal effort
- Variable-D technology lets you move around the mic without colouration
The Electro-Voice RE20 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone might be more on the expensive side, but this is justified by its stunning sound that’s fit for any professional streamer.
This has an XLR connection, so it’s great combined with your audio interface. And the dynamic capsule means you don’t need to use phantom power with it.
Great sound quality is guaranteed with the RE20’s Acoustalloy diaphragm and low-mass aluminium voice coil. And despite being a premium option, it makes it easier than ever to sound great with minimal effort.
Variable-D technology means you can move around the mic without any off-axis colouration; so you don’t have to sit completely still when you’re expressing yourself on stream. Plus, the built-in pop filter lets you get up close and personal without fearing for plosives.
Because it uses a dynamic capsule, the RE20 is hard to distort or overload, so it’s great for high SPLs. If you yell a lot on mic, this might be something to consider. There’s also a roll-off switch for the lower frequencies if needed.
The frequency response of the RE20 is from 45Hz to 18kHz – ensuring audio capture with clarity. And the cardioid polar pattern means your voice is the only thing it captures, with rejection from the sides and rear enhanced by the side grilles.
Shop now | Electro-Voice RE20 Dynamic Cardioid Microphone
8. Neumann BCM 705 Cardioid Dynamic Broadcast Microphone
- Premium option designed specifically for broadcast purposes.
- Hypercardioid directional design ideal for close-range speech.
- Light treble boost for clean and concise speech.
The Neumann BCM 705 is a dynamic microphone designed specifically for broadcast. It’s on the pricier side, but you’d find it hard to get a better vocal sound than from this.
Because of its hypercardioid directional design, the BCM 705 is an ideal choice for recording speech at a close range, making it great for streaming. It also combines a wide frequency range from 20Hz to 29kHz with a rated impedance of 200 ohms, so your voice will always sound as intended.
Adjustments have been made to the mic specifically for broadcast purposes. There’s a built-in light treble boost which improves speech to be both clean and concise. It also has an adjustment for the bass frequency and this helps avoid lower frequency emphasis.
One worry with using mics repeatedly is that it will get difficult to clean. Luckily with the BCM 705, you can twist off the headgrille for cleaning purposes. It also has an integrated pop screen which – as well as preventing pops, clicks, and plosives – helps keep the microphone clean over time.
This is a dynamic mic, so doesn’t need phantom power, and has an XLR connection – great for use with audio interfaces. And because this is designed for broadcast, you’ll get the ideal speech reproduction you need for streaming.
Shop now | Neumann BCM 705 Cardioid Dynamic Broadcast Microphone
9. Shure MV7 USB/XLR Podcast Microphone
- Voice isolation technology allows for perfect sound in imperfect rooms.
- Use with the ShurePlus MOTIV app for advanced sound sculpting tools.
- Connections for both USB and XLR, with the option for smartphone connection.
The Shure MV7 is a USB/XLR microphone specially designed for speech. This microphone is like the SM7B’s younger sibling – having many of the same features but at a more affordable price.
The MV7’s main selling point is its ability to get perfect sound in imperfect rooms. This is thanks to its voice isolation technology – a unique pickup pattern that will stay laser-focused on your voice, great if you’re streaming from home and your sonic environment is less than ideal. So, you can get studio-quality sound with minimal effort.
It also gives you a range of sound sculpting tools to play with via the ShurePlus MOTIV app. This allows you to optimise the way your voice sounds even further ’til you get it just right. One of these settings is voice tone, which lets you choose whether your voice will be ‘dark’, ‘natural’, or ‘bright’.
You get lots of scope for flexibility with the MV7, too. It has both USB and XLR connections, and you can even connect it directly to your smartphone using an AMV-TG cable.
And when you’re in the midst of streaming, it’s easy to adjust your settings. This is thanks to the onboard touch panel which features a range of useful controls, including headphone monitoring via the 3.5mm jack output.
Shop now | Shure MV7 USB/XLR Podcast Microphone
10. Rode Podmic Dynamic Podcasting Microphone
- Built-in pop filter for smooth vocals.
- Sleek and compact build that looks great on camera.
- Optimised to work with the Rodecaster Pro mixer.
The Rode Podmic is a dynamic microphone that will get the best out of your livestream vocals. It’s optimised to provide that classic ‘radio’ sound, so you come across with clarity to your audience.
It has a cardioid polar pattern that prevents background noise and a frequency range of 50Hz to 13kHz. This means you’ll get focused capture that delivers every last nuance of your voice. Even in less-than-ideal recording environments, the PodMic is made to shine.
The Podmic also has a built-in pop filter which minimises plosives. This means you can get up close and personal while always guaranteeing smooth delivery to your audience. Plus, the internal shock mount reduces vibrations.
It’s also made to look great on video. With a sleek design and compact form factor that won’t get in your way. And it’s made to go the distance too, with a hard-wearing stainless steel mesh grille and a robust all-metal body.
It has an XLR connection, so it’s great if you already have an audio interface on hand. Plus, Rode have optimised this mic to work brilliantly with their Rodecaster pro mixer. This means you can get great audio for your streams with ease.
Shop now | Rode Podmic Dynamic Podcasting Microphone
11. Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone
- Most affordable streaming mic on this list.
- Unique vintage design looks great on stream.
- Included desktop stand and USB connection make setup easy.
The Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone is the most affordable streaming mic on this list. But despite its low price point, this mic offers awesome sound quality, making it a great choice if you’re just starting out on your streaming journey.
It uses a custom cardioid condenser capsule that delivers crystal-clear vocal capture. The cardioid pickup pattern ensures your voice is the one thing that’s heard, while the 40Hz to 18kHz frequency response captures every nuance of your speech.
The Blue Snowball iCE is super easy to set up thanks to the included tripod desktop stand. And USB plug-and-play connection means you can get it ready for streaming in a matter of seconds.
This mic also has a unique vintage look to it. For your streams on webcam, this mic will look right at home.
Shop now | Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone
12. AKG Lyra USB Microphone
- Four capsules make it extremely versatile.
- HD audio thanks to 24-bit/192kHz converters.
- Allows for zero latency monitoring.
The AKG Lyra USB Microphone is a versatile mic with a multitude of uses. Any streaming setting you put it in – it will thrive. Whether you’re streaming on YouTube or podcasting, you can achieve the best possible sound for your environment thanks to four capture modes: Front, Front and Back, Tight Stereo, and Wide Stereo. Just toggle between these capsules and you’ll have perfectly tailored audio.
There’s also an AKG Internal Element Overload Prevention for smooth, even audio and an internal shock mount and onboard sound diffuser to reduce any unwanted noise.
The Lyra has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, and 24-bit/192kHz converters ensure supremely high-resolution sound.
Even better, the headphone output lets you monitor your sound with zero latency, whilst easy-to-use, innovative controls let you start capturing your audio straight away. Just plug in and play, you won’t need any additional equipment with this mic.
Shop now | AKG Lyra USB Microphone
What to consider in a streaming microphone
There are a lot of elements to consider in a streaming microphone, but the most important is the polar pattern. The more focused a polar pattern, the more focused a mic will be on your voice. It’s also worth checking how your mic handles off-axis colouration so you know you can still get focused and consistent capture while moving around the mic.
Another important thing to consider is the capsule type used. Condenser capsules will often have wider frequency ranges and a wider dynamic range. This can result in clear audio, but you might have to be more careful when setting levels to avoid clipping.
Dynamic capsules, on the other hand, are great at handling high SPLs. So, if you know that there will be sudden changes in volume to your voice on stream, they might be a good option.
The microphone frequency response is also important. The wider the frequency response, the more detail you’ll have for your vocals. But I’d recommend not getting too hung up on this as there are plenty of other factors you should consider, and a narrower frequency response doesn’t necessarily mean the vocal delivery won’t be as clear.
You’ll want to check the connection type before buying too. If you already have an audio interface you don’t need to worry too much – you could use either USB or XLR microphones. But USB connections are great if you don’t have an interface. These allow you to plug straight into your computer and get streaming. And they often have onboard controls for changing your sound – great for improving your vocals on the fly.
Pop filters are important to consider for streaming. This is so you can record close to the mic without risking pops and plosives. You can buy these separately but some mics have them built in, which can be perfect for getting optimal speech sound.
You should check for additional software too. For example, the Shure MV7 has the Shure Motiv app which allows you to change a range of presets on the microphone. This can be useful for switching sound profiles for different contexts – or just dialling a great vocal sound without much effort.
What type of microphone is best for streaming?
The best microphone for streaming will have a focused pickup pattern and will be able to handle close-proximity vocals. Whether a microphone uses a dynamic or condenser capsule is down to your personal preference. So, in general, look for vocal mics with cardioid polar patterns that have built-in pop filters.
What microphone do most YouTubers use?
Most YouTubers use the Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone. This is a popular choice because of its clear sound, sleek design that looks great on camera, and USB connectivity. Yet, though this might be the most popular microphone for YouTubers, this shouldn’t put you off exploring other options.
Which mic should I use for Twitch?
The Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone is the most popular microphone for Twitch streamers. And this wouldn’t be for no reason. However, there are lots of good microphones that you can use for Twitch. You should consider what your personal needs are, what your budget is, and what features you want your mic to have. Does it have an onboard mute button, for example?
There’s a wide range of microphones available for streaming. Whatever your budget or needs, hopefully, our compilation of the 12 best microphones for streaming has something for you!
Want to know more about microphones? Check out our Sennheiser Profile USB hands-on review or the history of the legendary SM7B.