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Best microphone for streaming 2022

Blue Yeti X Review
Blue Yeti X Review (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Blue Yeti X is often recommended if you're wanting to spend a little and need to communicate with friends and guildmates. It's also a fantastic microphone for streamers, thanks to included features, sound quality, and ease of use. It's also not too expensive.

Best overall: Blue Yeti X

Blue Yeti X

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Blue Yeti X

The best for streamers who don't want any hassle

Reasons to buy

+
Latency-free playback
+
Great sound quality
+
Bi-directional, omnidirectional, and stereo
+
USB interface
+
Compatible with microphone mounts

Reasons to avoid

-
No XLR support

Streaming to an audience requires you to be entertaining to watch, good (or not so good) at games, and a microphone to capture your voice. A cheap headset with a built-in microphone would suffice, but it won't provide the best experience for viewers who tune in. To take your streaming game to the next level, you need to purchase a microphone that offers a far superior sound quality.

The Blue Yeti X is one such microphone, and it happens not to cost a small fortune. The excellent sound capture results in crisp audio to allow your audience to hear everything. It's also straightforward to use — there's no need to purchase an elaborate sound system thanks to the USB interface. Simply plug and talk.

The Blue Yeti X sounds excellent and won't blow your budget

If you're not a fan of using the included stand, which only raises the microphone slightly off the desk, the Yeti X can be hooked up to a microphone mount or arm. This will allow you to configure the microphone in a custom setup. You might also want to pick up a pop filter for even better sound quality.

Whether you're an enthusiastic gamer, part-time streamer, or a "filthy casual," the Blue Yeti X is a microphone worth purchasing for the sound quality alone.

Runner-up: Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

Source: Audio Technica (Image credit: Source: Audio Technica)

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

A stunning, affordable microphone

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent audio
+
USB interface
+
Compatible with microphone mounts
+
Affordable price

Reasons to avoid

-
No built-in pop filter

Audio-Technica makes some great microphones, and the AT2020USB+ is a stunner. In fact, it's hard to believe this thing costs what it does. Just like the Blue Yeti, you can plug this microphone into your PC using a USB cable. You can also hook up your favorite pair of cans to hear what the device picks up.

Using the cardioid polar pattern allows the microphone to better capture your voice alone, more effectively shielding it against distortion from the unit's sides or rear. The AT2020USB+ is ideal for podcasting, gaming, field recording, and home studio recording, depending on what you plan to use it for. Just don't expect to use XLR cabling and equipment with this mic, unless you buy the non-USB version, of course.

Premium sound: Aston Stealth

Aston Stealth

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Aston Stealth

This is one killer studio microphone

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in Class A preamp
+
Excellent audio recording
+
Four switchable voicings
+
Passive and active modes
+
Sleek solid design

Reasons to avoid

-
Large and heavy
-
Expensive

Aston is a British brand specializing in microphones and audio equipment. The Aston Stealth is the company's attempt at creating a microphone for streamers and gamers, packing in all the advanced features you'd expect from an Aston mic, including profiles that alter more than just EQ values.

Using an XLR interface, you can hook this thing up to your available mixer, and the sleek black design looks great with any PC setup. It's also built like a tank, designed to take a beating or two should you decide to use one in a live stage environment.

Should you be looking out for a new premium condenser microphone, the Stealth is a cracking studio solution that can easily take your audio to the next level. It'll likely be overkill for most gamers and beginner streamers, but when you're ready to move up to premium equipment, the Aston Stealth should be shortlisted.

Gamer's delight: HyperX QuadCast

HyperX QuadCast

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

HyperX QuadCast

Almost perfect

Reasons to buy

+
Solid design
+
Headphone output
+
Good sound quality
+
Four polar patterns
+
Support for mounts and stands

Reasons to avoid

-
Can't turn lighting off

HyperX is a reliable brand that produces some killer PC accessories and gaming hardware, including some excellent headsets. The company's first attempt at a standalone microphone resulted in the HyperX QuadCast, and you should consider it for your gaming setup.

Not only does it look solid and is durable enough for use on the go, but the QuadCast also offers excellent audio recording capabilities, a total of four polar patterns to choose from, and supports most mounts and stands out there, depending on dimensions. The only downside may be the red RGB lighting, which cannot be disabled.

Portable pick: Razer Seiren V2 X

Razer Seiren V2 X

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Razer Seiren V2 X

Affordable, portable, and packed full of features

Reasons to buy

+
Solid design
+
Great portability
+
USB-C
+
Headphone output
+
Built-in shock mount

Reasons to avoid

-
Only one pickup pattern
-
Stand doesn't offer much height
-
Not much room for a pop filter

When you find yourself switching locations frequently and need a microphone that can be taken along for the ride, the Razer Seiren V2 X is one you can rely on. Thanks to its built-in shock mount, this microphone can quickly be attached to different mounts without much hassle. It has a super-cardioid pickup pattern, which is more focused on your voice and does a solid job of isolating background noise.

Throw in zero-latency monitoring through headphones, and you've got a great package at a great price. Usually, with Razer hardware, you'd expect to pay a small premium, but this microphone is rather affordable. The only things holding this microphone back are the ever-so-slightly lower quality compared to some of the other offerings here, as well as an adapter to attach a boom arm.

Value pick: AmazonBasics Desktop Mini

AmazonBasics Desktop Mini

Source: Amazon (Image credit: Source: Amazon)

AmazonBasics Desktop Mini

When you only need a basic mic

Reasons to buy

+
Basic
+
Affordable
+
USB interface
+
Easy to use
+
Sounds good

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as good as other mics
-
No zero-latency monitoring

The AmazonBasics Desktop Mini microphone is surprisingly good. You wouldn't think it would be worth considering the price, but the online retail giant has shocked us with other products. This mic is no exception. It's not the best-sounding microphone out there, but you shouldn't expect that.

The affordable price is matched by an easy-to-use USB interface that lets you simply plug and speak. That's also a highlight if you're just starting out and don't fancy diving into the deep end when it comes to audio equipment. But when you want to get serious with streaming, you'll want to invest in a better microphone.

Bottom line

The Blue Yeti X is a reliable microphone that offers high-quality recording for any streamer. That said, it's not the best solution for every streamer, which is where our alternative picks come into play.

When you're ready to go full-time with streaming, a microphone like the Aston Stealth would be a solid purchase. It sounds incredible, offers some advanced recording features like profile switching, and will work with most mixer setups.

With a great microphone from our list, all you need is a webcam. We rounded up the best webcams for Twitch to compliment your streaming setup.

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.