If you are a podcaster looking to do quality audios or videos on a budget or an aspiring singer looking to record and review your voice, you are well on your way to growing your talent with just a computer, an audio editing software, and one of the best USB recording microphones.
With the advancement in technology, honing your craft has just become easier and more affordable. The studio setup, which was once exclusive to serious artists or well-funded hobbyists, can now be easily replicated at home.
To help you with your search for quality, entry-level studio equipment, let us walk you through some of the best USB recording microphones available in the market today.
AMZtronics Home Studio Dynamic Cardioid Vocal USB Recording Condenser Microphone
This black and gold USB microphone is made of aluminum alloy metal. Its body is fitted with accessible and adjustable volume and echo buttons. AMZtronics Recording Condenser Microphone is Windows compatible.
This device has a frequency response of 30Hz to 20kHz, and it is designed for speech, vocals, and instruments. With the USB recording condenser microphone comes a USB and 3.5mm cable, a 180-degree rotatable tripod stand, a mic clip, a wind cap, and a user manual.
- A steal for its price. Its quality is at par with some of the more expensive brands.
- For laptops, notebooks, and tablets with only one 3.5mm combo headphone/microphone port, you might need a headset Mic Y Splitter Cable.
- It is also not compatible with Mac.
CAD GXL2400 USB Microphone
The CAD GXL2400USB is a silver USB microphone designed for gaming, podcast recording, and video calling, among others. It features an Akos™ capsule that offers a full range of sounds. It also has a 20Hz to 18kHz frequency response. This plug and play USB studio microphone is compatible with PC and Mac computers and comes with a black shock mount, a desk tripod, and a translucent USB cable with silver braiding.
- It offers good value for its price. At par with, if not better than, some of the more expensive USB microphones. The sound is crisp and clean, and very little background noise is picked up. It also has great treble.
- It’s easy to setup and use.
- The microphone’s USB port is positioned at the base of the microphone, which leaves the USB cable bent uncomfortably.
- The stand is too small to support the microphone. You need to position it right to keep it from tipping.
Samson Q2U Handheld Dynamic USB Microphone Recording and Podcasting Pack
This grey, die-cast, dynamic microphone features digital (USB) and analog (XLR) outputs, making it suitable for on-stage and in-studio applications. It is compatible with PC, Mac, and even iPads and iPhones, as well as a wide range of digital audio workstation software.
In addition, it has an on and off switch, which conveniently allows simultaneous live setting performance and computer recording, as well as a 3.5mm stereo headphone jack with accessible volume control.
The Samson Q2U dynamic USB microphone has a frequency response of 50Hz to 15kHz and a sensitivity of -54dBV/Pa. It comes with a desktop stand, a mic clip, a 2.25m USB cable, a 3m XLR cable, Cakewalk Music Creator software, and a user manual.
- It performs as well as or better than most microphones in its range. The frequency response is good.
- It is versatile. Because it has both XLR and USB outputs, you need not get separate mics for computer recordings and on-stage performances.
- The mic allows easy access to volume and monitoring control.
- The mic could have come with a windscreen or pop filter as well as a storage case.
- The stand cannot support well the weight of the mic. It is not stable and made of plastic.
- The headphone jack has quality issues.
Design: Of the three USB microphones, AMZtronics’s black and gold USB microphone has the most sophisticated look. Samson Q2U Handheld Dynamic microphone looks pretty much like a basic dynamic microphone. CAD GXL2400’s USB Microphone leaves nothing to be desired as well with its matte silver body, black shock-mount, and transparent USB cable.
Getting past the look of these microphones, there’s certainly something to love about Samson Q2U Handheld Dynamic microphone’s 2-in-1 function. In this day and age of multi-purpose and compact gadgets, it certainly is ahead of the other two microphones.
Quality: As for audio quality, all three microphones make great entry-level microphones at their price point. In fact, they prove to be better options compared to some of the more expensive USB microphones available.
Worth mentioning is AMZtronics’s high sensitivity and ability to record aggressive vocals, CAD GXL2400’s great background cancellation capacity and great treble, and Samson Q2U’s overall good audio quality for either mobile recordings and on-stage performances.
Ease of use, assembly, or setup: As most USB microphones, all three are easy to use and setup. But Samson Q2U Handheld Dynamic Microphone takes the cake. Compared to AMZtronics Recording Condenser Microphone, it runs smoothly on both Mac and PC—even iPads and iPhones—and most computer-based audio workstations; while AMZtronics microphone is only Windows compatible. What sets it apart though is the headphone output that’s great for zero-latency monitoring.
Price: As for the price, Samson Q2U Handheld Dynamic Microphone is the most expensive; CAD GXL2400, second; and AMZtronics USB Recording Condenser Microphone, the least expensive. Samson Q2U Handheld Dynamic Microphone is approximately double the price of the two other brands’ USB recording microphones. But considering Samson Q2U’s 2-in-1 functionality, it’ safe to say they are on the same level.
Easily, Samson Q2U Handheld Dynamic Microphone beats the other two USB recording microphones. It looks pretty much simple, but it’s a gem. It is compatible with most digital and analog applications. Plus you have easy access to volume and monitoring controls. For its features and audio recording quality, it’s still a bargain despite the price tag it comes with.
But if you don’t see yourself using the analog recording feature and paying extra for it, either CAD GXL2400 or AMZtronics Recording Condenser Microphone will be perfect for your needs. GXL2400 for either Mac or PC owners; and AMZtronics for PC users.