Best Streaming and Podcasting PC Mics Available Windows Central 2020
Thanks to the bloody Covid-19 coronavirus that we all hate, many of us are working from home right now, and some of us for the first time. This means meetings over Skype or Slack, rather than in person. Social distancing and all that jazz, you know? Many laptops come with built-in mics, but let's be honest — most of them suck. As such, there is a range of excellent USB PC microphones that can facilitate better sound quality so you can ensure your co-workers (or indeed, co-gamers) can hear you loud and clear.
- What I use: Samson Q2U
- Great desk mic: Blue Snowball ICE
- More pickup patterns: Blue Snowball
- Better sound: Blue Yeti Nano
- High-end: Blue Yeti X
- Samson Flagship: Samson G-Track Pro
- RGB your mic: Razer Sieren
Blue's microphones are legendary. This recent addition to the lineup comes with an adjustable tripod for hands-free use on a desk, complete with a condenser capsule and crisp, high-quality cardioid sound recording. It's versatile enough for music recording, podcasting, game streaming, or just high-quality work conferencing.
Wait, isn't this exactly the same as the other Snowball but more expensive? Actually, no! For the most part, it has many of the same features, but the ICE Snowball only supports cardioid (front-facing audio pickup). In contrast, the Snowball regular can also do Omni-directional (all-around pickup), which might be better for group recording sessions, you know, after the virus subsides. The sound quality is also arguably a little better.
Blue's legendary "Yeti" microphone range got a new addition recently, in the bite-sized "Nano" format. It's far higher-quality in sound repro than the Snowball line, and you'd hope so for the price. It's also lighter than its full-sized cousin, making it a better option or stands and mic arms.
This is the flagship Blue Yeti for the modern era, and even has a customizable LED ring to match your branding if you're recording or streaming on-camera. La-di-da. This Yeti comes with all the same features as the Nano, with boosted features, and a quad-capsule mic array for crystalline quality.
One for the pros, the Samson G-Track Pro has lots of on-mic controls and dials to tailoring your experience with more precision. This microphone is really intended for higher-end user scenarios, including music production and the like, and it's way too heavy for regular microphone arms. If you're in the market for some serious musician-ing, though, this won't steer you wrong.
Sweet on the ears
My personal recommendation falls on the Samson Q2U, for its affordability and quality. You can check out what it sounds like on my podcast (shameless plug), listening out for the British guy. While it lacks versatility in some respects, for most content creation purposes, it is excellent, as a no-nonsense instant-action USB option complete with a tripod and a pop cover. I also use mine with a microphone arm/clamp, and its lightweight makes that easy to do as well.
If you want something premium, I'll always recommend the Blue Yeti line, having used them myself for many, many years (until I wanted something physically lighter). The microphones are just on another level for the price point, peeking up into more professional-sounding audio clouds. A great subset of features and options also helps this mic kick it up a notch, if you want something more pro than the Samson Q2U.
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