With the growing popularity of podcasts, more and more producers are in search of the best USB microphone. This type of microphone has become more readily available due to this. Before we discuss the best USB microphone for your rig, let's first discuss what you will need to look for.
What To Look For To Get The Best USB Microphone
There are a few specs on microphones that you will be looking for to help get the USB microphone you need. These aspects include:
- Microphone Type: There are 3 different type of microphones that will vary on how the mic needs to be handled.
- Frequency Response: Since you will be primarily using this microphone for voices to use in your podcast, you will not need as large of a frequency range. The typical human voice will fall between 85 Hz to 255 Hz.
- Polar Pattern: There are 6 different microphone patterns This will help know the sensitivity of the mic.
- Weight: If you are going to bring your mics with you to do your podcast from different locations, you will certainly want as lightweight of a mic as possible.
Now that we have discussed what aspects we will be using to select our best USB microphone, let's take a look at some of the most popular mics available. (The following links contain affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I get paid if you click though and make a purchase).
Most Popular USB Microphones Available
Blue microphones are known for many things, but their shape is certainly one of those. This mic looks cool and has fantastic quality. The system requirements on these are for an Intel Core Duo+ and at least 8GB of RAM. Use with Windows 7+ or OS X 10.6.4+. If you are truly serious about setting up your podcast, this mic will give great quality sound.
This Audio-Technica mic is lightweight and great quality. The system requirements are Windows 7+ for windows users and OS X 10.6+ and iOS 7.02+ for Mac users. For a great microphone, this price is very competitive.
Rode is another one of the major reputable brands for making great sounding microphones. One cool additional feature that is very noticeable with this Rode mic is that it comes with a unique pop screen. Rode advertises that this mic is compatible with all mainstream recording DAWs on both Windows and Mac.
Much like the other Blue microphone on this list, this mic has a really unique design as this brand typically does. It also comes with a cool looking pop filter. This mic will be a more affordable price than the previously mentioned Blue mic, but the frequency range is not as wide. However, the frequency range is still well within the typical human voice range. The mic requires at least 64 MB of RAM, and at least Windows XP or Mac OSX 10.4.6.
This Rode microphone is made of great quality and durability. However, that comes with a higher price tag than most of the mics on this list. This mic is requires at least Windows 7 SP1 and at least OS X 10.9.
This lightweight, great response Samson microphone has to be on this list. Additionally, this mic has a pretty cool design to it. Samson advertises that no drivers are needed to use this mic, and that you can "plug and go."
While this Samson microphone is a little higher on the price range of these mics, it has tremendous versatility. The only other downfall we found is that the this mic is a little heavier. The quality and features of the mic make it a great choice for the price that it is.
Shure is very well known to have good quality microphones at a competitive price, and this mic is no different. Along with that, the mic has a really cool vintage design to it. It is compatible with at least Windows 7 SP1 and at least OS X 10.8 or later.
This Samson mic may not be the flashiest looking option on this list, but it is definitely one of the best prices. The frequency range is well within the human voice making this an excellent option for the best USB microphone for your podcasts.
M-Audio makes a lot of great recording equipment. This bundle mic might be more on the average price on this list, but it includes headphones as well. The system requirements are for at least Windows 7 SP1 and at least OS X 10.10.5.
Benefits Of Using A USB Microphone For Podcasts
Is it a necessity to use a USB microphone for podcasts? Absolutely not. However, if you are using a USB microphone, you can bypass the need for an audio interface. An audio interfaces is more beneficial for multiple channels that you need to control the volume by using a preamp before it goes to your DAW. When we are using just the human voice, a USB microphone will be perfect.
USB microphones tend to be cheaper than other types. This doesn't necessarily mean that they are of lesser quality. It entails that the mic might be built a little simpler. In general, running a podcast will be cheaper than the equipment needed for recording. For example, you also won't need any hardware like audio compressors or studio monitors. Instead, you will want to make the rig as simplistic as possible for transportation. For studio monitors, you are most likely going to want to use headphones.
Role Of The Computer In Selecting The Best USB Microphone
You might notice that unlike other microphones that use XLR inputs, like the mics on these vocal and guitar mics, USB microphones have system requirements. This may or may not seem odd to you based on your tech knowledge. To word it as simply as possible, since the microphone is being plugged in directly to your computer, your computer needs the ability to be able to read the data that the microphone is sending. If you were to use an XLR microphone that plugs into the audio interface, the interface is what is reading the data.
Accompanying Products Needed To Go With The Best USB Microphone
If you are going to be creating podcasts, the equipment you need is different than if you were going to record a band. We have already touched upon some items that you don't need due to the method of recording these, but what is exactly required? At the root of it, you will need a great USB microphone of course, and you will also need a desktop or laptop computer, some sort of DAW, and headphones.
With the DAW you are using, it doesn't have to be as extensive as the DAWs used for recording full bands, a free or cheap program such as Garage band will be sufficient. If you have any questions at all, we can always be contacted on our contact us page found here.