YouTube has undeniably become one of the leading platforms for content. From the podcaster to the expert voices in the games industry, if you’re serious about production, you have a presence there.
Finding the best microphone to make you sound crystal clear has never been simpler. With the industry bods making stellar microphones that can stand up to professional level studio quality, there’s a lot to like.
XLR, Lavalier and USB microphones all have a place – but which should you invest in? Here’s our rundown of the top 6 best microphones for Youtube in 2020:
Highly versatile: The Rode NT-USB will record any kind of vocals and work with all mainstream recording applications
Convenient: The USB connection allows you to plug and play
Zero-latency monitoring: Built-in 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
Direct mix control: Mic input and source output speak to each other for high-quality sound
Great accessories included: Pop shield, tripod desk stand, ring mount, storage pouch and 6m USB cable
Incredibly sensitive: As a condenser mic, the Rode NT-USB will pick up sounds you will struggle to hear in the room
It is hard to fault the Rode NT-USB. Intuitive mixing and producing crisp, clear sound make the professionals want to cash in too. The Rode NT-USB will accentuate your voice and has incredible low noise capabilities.
The long lead makes set-up incredibly adaptable to your recording space. Matched with the added pop-shield and tripod stand, you get a lot for your money. Made from a solid metal construction, the Rode NT-USB is built to last and will handle the odd impact and scrape.
For its price, the Rode NT-USB has gone above and beyond to bring you the finest quality USB mic.
Excellent sound quality: Crystal clear recordings with the 24bit/192kHz bit sample and wide frequency response 30hz to 16kHz
Minimal background noise: The cardioid pickup pattern captures accurate and pristine sound
Simple set-up: USB plug and play connectivity. Desktop recording is made simple with no extra drivers needed
Compatible: The Sudotack professional microphone is compatible with most mainstream operating systems
Accessories: Shock mount, anti-wind foam cup, stand, USB A to B cable and pop filter to reduce unwanted sounds and plosives
Minimal versatility: The Sudotack professional microphone is not compatible with XBOX or Android mobile phones. You will need an Apple Original OTG Adapter to connect your iPhone
Incredibly sensitive: You will pick up background noise on your recording that you will not hear with your own ears!
If you want a professional sound and you’re on a budget, the Sudotack Professional Microphone is the one for you. With its easy set-up and plug and play USB feature, you can be recording within minutes.
Perhaps better for users who want an entryway microphone, the Sudotack will give you a good quality sound for most of your YouTube needs. Where it fails, is the manufacturer’s lack of instruction to gauge frequencies. Other than that, the Sudotack is an excellent condenser mic and will not break the bank!
Performance-minded: Designed for live performance streaming, podcasting and professional studio applications
High-quality sound: Cardioid polar pattern isolates desired sounds and minimises background noise for a crystal, clear recording
Large-diaphragm: Picks up low noise for a smooth and natural sound
Excellent versatility: Features high SPL handling and wide dynamic range
Superior isolation: Custom shock mount included
Incredibly sensitive: You will pick up sounds unhearable by the human ear in your recordings!
There is so much to like with the Audio Technica AT2020USB+. Not only is it a cardioid condenser microphone, but it is also great for those that want to upgrade from a USB to an XLR setup. You will capture crisp, clear recordings with the innovative large-diaphragm design. With the included shock mount, you are getting your money’s worth too!
Great for capturing live performances, streaming and podcasting, the AT2020USB+ is a versatile piece of kit. With its mid-range price, it is one of the most affordable and professional sounding microphones on the market.
Broadcast quality: Professional-grade Lavalier Mic with TRRS Jack for optimal recording quality
High-quality sound: The Rode SmartLav+ features an omnidirectional condenser capsule to capture the desired sound
Discrete: Features a discrete 4.5mm miniature microphone for on-the-fly recording
Industry-standard design: You won’t be able to stretch or snap the Kevlar reinforced cable
Compatible: Works with most mainstream software and applications that will accept a ⅛” input including your mobile device
Additional costs: You will need to purchase the Rode App before use
Time: You will need to take your time with the set-up to get the best results
The Rode SmartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone packs a punch. For those that like a discrete mic that offers broadcasting quality, this is definitely the one for you. Perfect for recording voiceovers, podcasts and live streaming, the SmartLav+ can simply plug-in to your phone, tablet or notebook.
Some users have struggled with the Rode App, which has undoubtedly had an impact on their experience. Overall, the SmartLav+ is excellent for those on the go that want to get the most out of their recordings. The SmartLav+ is a worthy investment for those beyond the novice stage.
Professional quality: Leading the pack, the VideoMic Pro+ houses the best-in-class Rycote Lyre suspension system
Ultimate capture: Digital switching ensures that you capture the audio signal at the source – reducing post-production and editing time
Flexible: Features an automatic power function as well as a plug-in power option. The mic will turn off when unplugged from the camera – perfect for the “run-and-gun” shooter
Easy battery replacement: Features a built-in battery door or use the Micro USB
Jack location: Due to its placement, the plug will stick out towards your face while recording
Perfect for the “run-and-gun” shooter, the Rode VideoMic Pro+ is an incredible piece of kit. It features excellent digital controls that capture the audio signal at its source well. Your time in post-production is limited as a result.
With its removable cable, rechargeable battery and included Rycote Lyre suspension system, this is a standout, professional-quality microphone. If you are an active YouTuber who likes to go out in the field with your DSLR or camcorder, this is the one for you. With its mid-range price, it’s an investment worth considering.
Superior design: With professional recording, broadcasting and sound reinforcement at the forefront, the AT4053B meets the most critical acoustic requirements Minimal background noise: Features a hyper-cardioid polar pickup pattern – improves sound isolation Clean signal: Innovative direct-coupled, balanced output
Expensive: High-range price
Engineered for those that take their recording seriously, the Audio-Technica AT4053B Hypercardioid Condenser Microphone is a cut above the rest. Sharp, clear and responsive, this microphone handles dialogue, vocals and music impressively.
Featuring a 10db pad to give you optimal control over your recordings, the AT4053B is a well-thought-out product. Lightweight and adaptable, this mic is great for interviewing, podcasting, streaming and in the studio. With its hypercardioid polar pickup patterns, unwanted clipping and background noises are a thing of the past.
You will struggle to find a mic of this quality anywhere else for its high-end price range.
Producing content for YouTube from the novice singer to the professional recording artist needs good quality equipment. A condenser mic will allow you to record the best quality sound at a price. Fortunately, with a wide variety of USB microphones on offer, you can record crisp, clear vocals at a fraction of the cost.
If you use are recording from your computer, most USB microphones simply plugin and you’re ready to go. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your budget and what level of sound you want to produce in your videos.
What to look out for when buying a microphone for YouTube?
First off, what is the type or style of video you want to make? If you are looking at producing voice-overs or live streaming, you may want to consider a voice-over or live-streaming mic (USB or XLR studio mic).
If you are out and about or want a discrete mic set-up, you may want to consider a Lavalier microphone. Simply clip the mic onto your top and hit record. If you are more of a vlogger, run-and-gun shooter or prefer the sit-down interview style, you may prefer a shotgun mic.
Can I just use my camera or laptop mic for YouTube?
In all honesty, it depends on the sound quality you want to produce. After all, it’s your content!
If your aim is to stand out in the YouTube community, you will want to invest in a quality microphone. Don’t worry though – you don’t have to break the bank to get the best sound! With that in mind, if you’re just starting out, get to know the process. How does YouTube function? What are other people using?