8 Best Computer Microphones of 2019

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The plug-n-play USB computer microphone has come a long way from those early models. The good ones have an array of useful features to help perfect your audio recordings. Best of all is that they’re plug-n-play, which means you plug them in and you’re good to go. That means no drivers or complicated settings to worry about. But why bother with a PC mic if you already have one built-in?

It’s a fair question, and the answer makes a lot of sense. The built-in mics of laptops, tablets, phones, and other smart devices are subpar. You may think they sound okay because you’ve gotten used to them. The difference in sound quality and versatility, though, is night and day.

Budget
best-budget-computer-microphone
CMTECK USB Desktop Mic
4.8/5.0
Mic Type: Desktop
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Plug-n-play, mute button, LED status indicators, noise cancellation, value.
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Best Value
best-value-computer-microphone
MAONO AU-A04 USB Computer Mic
4.6/5.0
Mic Type: Home Studio
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Plug-n-play, clear sound, shock mount, table clamp, pop filter, anti-wind cap.
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Top Pick
top-value-computer-microphone
Rode NT-USB Studio Mic
4.8/5.0
Mic Type: Home Studio
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
All-metal build, plug-n-play, pro sound, mic stand, ring mount, pop filter, pouch.
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Benefits of a Computer Mic

There’s no need to get wordy here. Below are the 7 significant advantages of a computer mic:

  • USB mics share the same components of traditional products
  • Superior sound quality compared to built-in mics
  • Affordable compared to other mic types
  • Plug and play simplicity; no extra equipment needed
  • Super-easy to use, even at the entry-level
  • Flexibility: can use the same mic on multiple devices
  • Computer condenser mics are perfect for speech (see below)

You’ll never stand out from the competition if you rely on a built-in mic. Computer microphones will take your audio to a whole new level, especially condensers. Consider one of these if you’re serious about recording vocals, podcasting, vlogging, and interviews, etc.

Computer USB Microphone Checklist

Make a checklist of must-have and would-like features and characteristics for your computer mic. Start with what you want the microphone for—specifically. Also, read any user reviews about the product, and keep in mind your reasons for wanting it. Set a maximum budget to narrow down your choices. Other things to contemplate are polar pickup patterns, size, weight, and portability, etc.

Do you want a headset type mic or something with a stand that sits on a desktop? Many of the better products have video tutorials or reviews, so be sure to check those out too. Finally, confirm that the mic is compatible with your computer, or another device, and its operating system (OS).

About My ‘Computer Microphone’ Guide

There are so many computer microphones on sale today. Choice is good, but when there are so many products, it gets overwhelming. That’s especially true for the uninitiated. I’ve scrutinized over 30 of the best-selling USB mics for PC, Mac, and smart devices. I also considered the opinions of industry experts and user feedback. The result is a shortlist of 8 of the current best computer mics available.

The first 3 USB computer mics are the Editor’s choice for Best Budget, Best Value, and the Top Pick. The rest are by price order. Use the table below to help navigate the page.

Computer Microphones Comparison Table

1. CMTECK USB Omni PC Condenser Mic | Best Budget

CMTECK USB Omni PC Condenser MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The Best Budget pick goes to the CMTECK USB omnidirectional PC condenser mic. It’s a desktop microphone with a 7.9-ounce stable base and an extra-long, flexible 360° gooseneck.

  • Best feature 1: Desktop mic with flexible gooseneck
  • Best feature 2: Suitable for multiple applications
  • Plus points: Plug-n-play, mute button, LED status indicators, noise cancellation, value
  • Minus points: No physical volume/gain controls, awkward shape base

CMTECK G006 USB Desktop Mic Highlights

Mic Compatibility: Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7, Vista, XP, Apple Mac OS X, and Sony PS4.

The CMTECK desktop USB condenser mic is cheap but not in quality or performance. It feels sturdy for a product in its class and should stand up well to knocks and mishaps. It’s an affordable upgrade to any built-in mic. Set up and use is effortless thanks to plug-n-play simplicity. An Omnidirectional pickup captures sound from 360° that gives users the freedom to move around.

Extra features include a useful mute button and LED status indicators. Green means ‘connected,’ Flashing Green is ‘working,’ and Red tells you the mic’s ‘muted.’ There’s also a blue LED that exists only for visual attraction. It’s easy to turn off if it bothers you. The mic has a built-in CMTECK CCS 2.0 Smart Chip that does a reasonable job at blocking background noise.

Consider this desktop microphone if you want more flexibility and better sound than your built-in mic. It’s an excellent value product for use with Skype, FaceTime, YouTube, Twitch, and gaming, etc.

The Not So Good

There’s no physical volume dial on the unit, but you can adjust it via the computer software. The triangular base is attractive, but may prove awkward to place on desktops that are tight for space. Both these cons are minor observations and do little to detract the overall value of this mic.

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Tech Specs
Brand: CMTECK
Color: Black
Material: Plastic
Mic Type: Desktop condenser
Connection: USB
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 4.3 x 13.8”
Product Weight: 7.4 oz.
Warranty: 15 months
The Pros
Desktop mic with a wide base
Long, flexible 13.4″ gooseneck
Long, 5ft cable
Suitable for multiple applications
Plug-n-play simplicity
Noise-cancelling technology
Handy mute button
LED status indicators
Value for money
The Cons
No physical volume/gain controls
Awkward shaped base

2. MAONO USB PC & Mac Cardioid Mic | Best Value

MAONO USB PC & Mac Cardioid MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The MAONO AU-A04 USB PC & Mac computer mic kit makes the Best Value slot. There’s a lot in the box to help you get the most out of this popular plug-n-play condenser microphone.

  • Best feature 1: Exceptional value studio mic kit
  • Best feature 2: Fully-adjustable scissor arm
  • Plus points: Plug-n-play, clear sound, shock mount, table clamp, pop filter, anti-wind cap
  • Minus points: Pics up some background noise, no carrying case

MAONO 192KHZ/24BIT Mic Highlights

Mic Compatibility: All Windows PCs, laptops, Apple Macs, and iPhones. Phones need an on-the-go (OTG) adapter (not included in the kit).

The setup of this microphone not only looks fantastic, but it’s also highly practical. The fully-adjustable scissor arm easily attaches to any tabletop to allow for precise positioning. That means no more leaning into mics mounted on tiny tripods. The included metal shock mount prevents vibrations from reaching the mic’s diaphragm. And the pop filter stops p-pop sounds from ruining your audio.

Using the A04 Microphone

MAONO’s 192KHZ/24BIT Mic is a superb choice for a variety of voice applications. That includes speech, voiceovers, vocals, podcasts, and gaming, etc. The foam windscreen—along with the isolation mount and pop shield—ensures the mic delivers the clean audio. It has impressive sensitivity, crisp sound, and a pleasing bass. And its magnetic ring works well for anti-interference.

There are lots of helpful reviews where real users talk of their experience with this microphone. Most agree that it offers excellent value and delivers on its promises for a product in this category.

The Not So Good

The default volume setting for the MAONO studio mic is set at 100, which is loud. It picks up lots of background noise, and keyboards may compete with your voice. The way to reduce this is to set the volume to around 50%, which is still loud enough for most applications. There’s no storage/carry case either. Okay, it’s not a portable setup, but a storage box would have been welcome nonetheless.

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Tech Specs
Brand: MAONO
Color: Black
Mic Type: Studio Condenser
Connection: USB
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Response: 30 Hz–16 kHz
Sampling Rate: 192 kHz, 24-bit
Sensitivity: -38dB+/-3dB
Package Dimensions: 17.2 x 8.1 x 3.5”
Kit Weight: 49.6 oz.
Warranty: 30-day return
The Pros
Exceptional value
Full home studio mic kit
Table clamp w/ rubber protection
Adjustable scissor arm
Plug-n-play simplicity
Crystal clear sound
Metal shock mount
Pop filter
Foam, anti-wind cap
The Cons
Pics up background noise
No carrying case

3. Rode NT-USB Studio Computer Mic | Top Pick

Rode NT-USB Studio Computer MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

A Rode favorite product wins the Editor’s Top Pick. This is the company’s NT-USB Studio Computer Condenser. It’s a highly versatile side-address mic with an effective cardioid pickup pattern.

  • Best feature 1: Versatile mic for voice and vocal applications
  • Best feature 2: Adjustable, onboard controls
  • Plus points: All-metal build, plug-n-play, pro sound, mic stand, ring mount, pop filter, pouch
  • Minus points: Plastic stand, picks up a little background noise

Rode NT-USB Microphone Highlights

Mic Compatibility: Windows PCs, Apple Mac OS computers, and iPad

Rode’s NT-USB Plug-n-Play Studio Condenser Microphone looks and feels like a high-quality product. That’s not surprising considering it has an all-metal body and metal grill. On the side of the body are two useful dials. One controls the mix and monitoring level, and the other the headphone volume. The carrying pouch is soft but still offers some decent padding to help protect the mic.

Other accessories include a mic stand, ring mount, metal pop shield, and a long 19.6ft (6m) USB cable. It’s a quality kit overall that provides everything needed to start recording out of the box.

Using the NT-USB Computer Mic

The sound quality is clean and pleasing to the ears with both voice and vocal applications. I can’t rate it high for overly loud vocals or singers who need to scream, though. Likewise, it’s not the best option for loud instruments as there’s evidence of audio clipping. Other than that, sound quality is nice for mainstream music. It also excels for podcasts and voiceovers, etc., in quiet recording environments.

The Not So Good

The stand is made from average plastic and doesn’t offer any shock absorption. That means the mic picks up bumps to the table through the stand. It’s not a biggie, but something to be mindful of all the same. Lastly, there’s evidence of a little background noise. It’s not a major concern if the recording environment is kept free from audio distractions.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Rode
Mic Type: Studio condenser
Connection: USB
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Resolution: 16-bit
Frequency Range: 20Hz–20kHz
Maximum SPL: 110dB
Package Dimensions: 7.2 x 2 x 2.4”
Product Weight: 18.4 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Versatile mic for voice and vocals
Adjustable, onboard controls
All-metal build
Plug-n-play simplicity
Pro-quality sound
Mic stand
Ring mount
Metal pop filter
Padded carrying pouch
Long USB cable
The Cons
Cheap, plastic stand
Picks up a little background noise

4. ZAFFIRO Affordable PC Computer Microphone

ZAFFIRO Affordable PC Computer MicrophoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5

The ZAFFIRO PC Computer Microphone is the least expensive product on this page. It can’t compete with costlier models, but it’s still a vast improvement on built-in computer mics.

  • Best feature 1: Low-budget-friendly desktop microphone
  • Best feature 2: Weighted base for added stability
  • Plus points: Clear audio, plug-n-play, broad compatibility, ON/OFF button, sponge cover
  • Minus points: Misleading mute button, cheap materials

ZAFFIRO PC Microphone Highlights

Mic Compatibility: Windows desktop PCs, laptops, Apple Macbook, iPad, and smartphones.

This highly-affordable computer mic has a 360° omnidirectional pickup pattern. It’s quite good at minimizing ambient noise, better even than some pricier models. The clean sound quality surprises many users considering its low cost. Some compare it favorably to the Blue Yeti USB that retails at ten times the price. These are exaggerated claims, but it gives you a sense of overall user satisfaction.

The ZAFFIRO PC microphone comes attached to a weighted base for added stability. It’s 360° flexible, 10.3” gooseneck lets you adjust the mic to the ideal height and angle. It’s worth considering if you need a mic for speech applications. They can include things like Skype, Yahoo Chat, etc. It’s even passable for YouTube recording and Discord if you’re into gaming.

The Not So Good

The mute button is an ON/OFF control. I think there’s been some misleading advertising as many buyers assumed it had a mute function. Thus, it’s not ideal for podcasting. That’s because of the sound caused by turning the mic on and off if you only want to pause the audio. The plastic materials look and feel quite cheap. Still, that’s one of the reasons this mic sells for the price it does.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Zaffiro
Mic Type: Studio condenser
Connection: USB
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Sensitivity: -58dB ±3dBF
Frequency Response: 30hz-16000hzR
Package Dimensions: 10.3 x 3.2”
Product Weight: 6.6 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Budget-friendly desktop mic
Weighted base for added stability
Clear audio for its class
Plug-n-play simplicity
Wide device compatibility
ON/OFF button
Sponge cover
Ant-static noise chip
The Cons
Misleading mute button
Cheap plastic materials

5. Fifine USB Home Studio Computer Mic

Fifine USB Home Studio Computer MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

This is the Fifine Home Studio USB Computer Microphone. It’s another plug-n-play, budget-friendly mic that connects straight into Windows and Mac computers.

  • Best feature 1: Travel-friendly design
  • Best feature 2: Solid, all-metal build
  • Plus points: Plug-n-play, clear audio, adjustable mic stand mount, pop filter
  • Minus points: Tends to clip/distort, short on features, no carry case

Fifine USB Studio Computer Mic Highlights

Mic Compatibility: Windows PCs and Mac OS (not Xbox or smartphones).

The mic has its USB cable and metal mount pre-attached. You get a small desktop tripod in the box, but without any shock absorption. The mic’s build quality is surprisingly solid, given its price. It sports an all-metal construction and a traditional mic design. This is a lightweight product that’s easy to pack and travel with if you’re mobile. It would have been even better if the cable detached.

The sound quality is light years ahead of built-in mics, though it’s not perfect (see below). It does an okay job at canceling ambient noise too, though it will pick up a noisy keyboard. This mic is better for talkers rather than singers. It’s worth considering for anyone who needs decent audio for Yahoo, Skype, YouTube, and Discord, etc.

The Not So Good

Fifine’s USB mic is not a good choice for singing or talking loud close up. There’s just too much clipping (distortion) with those applications. For general purpose speech, though, it’s worth every cent. The Fifine USB studio mic doesn’t have a mute button, power switch, headphone jack, or a carrying case. Something must always give with cheap mics, either in build or features. It’s the latter in this case.

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Tech Specs
Brand: FIFINE
Mic Type: Studio condenser
Connection: USB
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Sensitivity: -55dB 2dB
Impedance:
Frequency Response: 50Hz–16kHz
S/N Ratio: More than 36dB
Dimensions: 8 x 6.9 x 2.6”
Product Weight: 16.96 oz.
Warranty: 2 years
The Pros
Lightweight, travel-friendly
Solid, all-metal build
Plug-n-play simplicity
Adjustable mic stand mount
Pop filter
Clear audio
The Cons
Tends to clip/distort
Short on features
No carrying case

6. Fifine Multi-Use USB Mic K670 for Mac and PC

Fifine Multi-Use USB Mic K670 for Mac and PCView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

Meet the K670, another best-selling USB budget condenser microphone from Fifine. It’s a large-diaphragm studio mic that comes with everything in the box you need to get up and running.

  • Best feature 1: Exceptional value microphone
  • Best feature 2: 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Plus points: Plug-n-play, clear sound, volume control, stand adapter, desktop stand
  • Minus points: Cheap mic clip, noisy headphone amp, no mute, no ON/OFF button

Fifine Multi-Use USB K670 Mic Highlights

Mic Compatibility: Windows PCs and Mac OS computers.

The mic’s body is all-metal with a metal mesh grill. On the front is a handy gain dial to control the volume. On the back of the body is a 3.5mm headphone jack. That’s useful for anyone who needs computer playback and latency-free monitoring. Accessories include a sturdy adjustable stand and a mic stand adapter.

The sound produced by this microphone is clean and clear for multiple applications. It’s perfect for speech and even shines with vocals, though a tad harsh at higher frequencies. Overall, though, it’s impressively crisp. It sounds great with guitars as well, especially acoustics. The Fifine K670 USB is an excellent choice as a first-time external mic or as an upgrade from a headset microphone.

It may not be the best choice for podcasters and gamers, but it is workable. For those two applications, however, a mic with a little less background noise will serve the purpose better.

The Not So Good

It’s not fair to be overly critical considering the mics metal build and affordable cost. The cheap plastic mic clip is a big letdown, though. A more serious gripe is with the noisy headphone amp, which is quite extreme. Lastly, there aren’t any mute or ON/OFF buttons. That’s more of a ‘would-like-to-have’ complaint than an actual design flaw at this price.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Fifine
Mic Type: Studio condenser
Connection: USB
Polar Pattern: Unidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Sensitivity: -46±3dB @ 1kHz
Frequency Response: 50Hz-15KHz
Output Impedance: 2200Ω
S/N Ratio: 66dB
Maximum SPL: 120dB
Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.4 x 3
Product Weight: 31.68 oz.
Warranty: 2 years
The Pros
Exceptional value microphone
3.5mm headphone jack
Plug-n-play simplicity
Crisp, clear sound
On-body volume control
5/8 to 3/8 stand adapter
Adjustable desktop stand
The Cons
Cheap plastic mic clip
Noisy headphone amp
No mute or ON/OFF buttons

7. Blue Yeti USB Windows PC/Mac Microphone

Blue Yeti USB Windows PC/Mac MicrophoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

No computer microphone review page would be complete without a Blue Yeti. It’s a gorgeous-looking mic and available in around 10 colors. Let’s look at why this one continues to be such a bestseller.

  • Best feature 1: Multiple (4) polar patterns
  • Best feature 2: High-quality build
  • Plus points: Plug-n-play, sounds fantastic, onboard controls, wide compatibility, feature packed
  • Minus points: Not portable, cheap buttons

Blue Yeti USB PC/Mac Mic Highlights

Mic Compatibility: Windows PCs, 10, Win 8, 8. 1, Win 7, Win Vista, Win XP Professional & Home, Mac OS X computers that are 10. 4. 11 or higher.

The Blue Yeti has an all-metal body and a robust metal mesh grill. The stand that comes with the mic is equally as impressive with a nice weight about it. On the bottom of the Yeti is a 5/8” mic stand mount, the USB port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The front on-body controls include a headphone volume dial and a useful mute button. On the back are the gain dial and a polar pattern selector.

Blue Yeti’s Four Polar Patterns

The 4 polar patterns available include stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. The stereo is especially useful for capturing wide-sounding vocals and musical instruments. The cardioid polar pattern is popular for multiple applications and vital for quality podcasts.

Conference calls, live bands, and choirs, etc., work best with the omnidirectional pickup pattern. And the bidirectional pattern picks up sound equally from the front and rear while ignoring the sides. It’s the least used, but it still has a place. Two-person interviews and duets are great examples.

Blue Yeti’s Sound Quality

Mics like the Blue Yeti don’t become bestsellers because they look pretty, though it helps. The reason this puppy sells so well is that it sounds great across all polar patterns. It’s also feature-packed and lets users fine-tune the mic to meet their exact requirements. There are settings for interviews, guitars, voice, and gaming, etc.

The Not So Good

This mic is large and heavy, and thus not very portable, but then it doesn’t claim to be travel-friendly. Even so, heft is something to think about if you’re mobile. Two of the buttons—volume and gain—feel borrowed and not part of the mic’s otherwise exceptional build. They function fine, but Blue should have been consistent with its construction.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Blue
Mic Type: Studio condenser
Connection: USB
Polar Pattern: Multi pickup
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
Max SPL: 120 dB
Bit Rate: 16-bit
Max Sample Rate: 48 kHz
Package Dimensions: 4.9 x 4.7 x 11.6”
Mic Weight (W/O Stand): 19.2 oz.
Stand Weight: 35.2 oz.
Warranty: 2 years
The Pros
Multiple polar patterns
High-quality build
Adjustable & durable stand
Plug-n-play simplicity
Sounds fantastic
3.5mm headphone jack
Gain control
Mute button
Volume control
Wide compatibility
Choice of recording modes
Long USB cable
The Cons
Not portable
Cheap buttons

8. Razer Seiren Elite Computer USB Microphone

Razer Seiren Elite Computer USB MicrophoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

The final review is for Razer’s Seiren Elite. It’s advertised as a USB streaming dynamic mic with a built-in HPF or high-pass filter. It’s quite expensive, but is it worth the price? You decide.

  • Best feature 1: Built-in high-pass filter
  • Best feature 2: Built-in shock mount
  • Plus points: Plug-n-play, clear audio, noise rejection, onboard dials, sturdy desktop stand
  • Minus points: Loose dials, no dial marking, no shock absorption, expensive

Razer Seiren Elite Computer Mic Highlights

Mic Compatibility: Windows PCs and Apple Mac OS.

The Razer Seiren Elite has an all-metal body and grill. Its preinstalled desktop stand is also metal and has a heavy base. At the side of the body are three controls. The top dial is for the headphone volume adjustment, and the one beneath that is the gain control. There’s also a mute button directly under the gain. At the bottom of the mic are its USB port, a high-pass filter, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

The sound is clear, and there’s no noticeable background noise. That includes keyboard bashing. It’s aimed mostly at gamers as a streaming mic and for podcasters. It serves those purposes well. It doesn’t have universal appeal, though, and is not the best choice for vocals or instruments.

The Not So Good

The dials on the side of the mic are welcome and function as they should do. The problem is that they’re wobbly and feel like they could fall off at any moment. Another issue with the dials is that they’re void of any markings. That means you can’t see where the gain or volume is set. The mic offers no kind of shock absorption either. Lastly, the price is high when you consider its limitations.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Razer
Mic Type: Gaming condenser
Connection: USB
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Response: 20Hz–20kHz
Max SPL: 120 dB
Bit Rate: 16bit
Max Sample Rate: 48 kHz
Dimensions: 8.9 x 3.5 x 2.7”
Weight: 33.6 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Quality, all-metal build
Sturdy, all-metal desktop stand
Built-in high-pass filter
Built-in shock mount
Plug-n-play simplicity
Clear audio
Excellent noise rejection
Headphone volume control
Gain adjustment dial
Mute button
The Cons
Loose dials
No dial markings
No shock absorption
Expensive considering limitations
0/50 ratings