Updated on Mar 15, 2022
Finding the best ASMR microphone is an essential step to delivering high-value content through your channel. Whether you're a beginner looking for the best place to get started, or a veteran of the ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) space looking to upgrade your equipment, you've come to the right place. Microphones are what we know best, and in no time, you'll have all the facts laid out in front of you to help guide you on your ASMR microphone purchase.
We will start by running you through our list of favorite microphones for ASMR, and then we’ll discuss different recording techniques & what components we consider to be most important in an ASMR microphone. Our list caters to all budgets, but if you're looking for more high-end choices ($400+), skip on ahead to either the Shure SM7B or Neumann TLM 102.
The Audio-Technica AT2020USB is listed as our best choice overall, as it offers the greatest balance between price and quality. Being one of the most popular microphones for podcasters, the AT2020USB works incredibly well for capturing vocal recordings, whether speaking, singing, or whispering.
The Audio-Technica AT2020USB is a side-addressed microphone, meaning rather than speaking into the top, the condensers pick up audio from the sides. The USB capabilities of this microphone allow you to plug it into your laptop for significant convenience. It also comes with a headphone jack with volume control for delay-free monitoring.
The tone of this microphone on higher frequencies is incredibly crisp, which is why it’s my preferred ASMR microphone. The results when recording whispered ASMR sound natural and present as if you weren’t even listening to a recording.
Overall, the versatility and crisp sound of the Audio-Technica AT2020USB paired with the convenience of plug and go make it easy to see why it's so popular. As we've said in other articles, this microphone is very well priced for the value it brings. And if you sing or play guitar, you'll quickly find it has more uses than one.
The Stellar X2 is one of the best ASMR microphones for the price to quality ratio. There are better XLR options on this list if you have the budget for them, but you can't beat it for the mid-level price range. You're getting a carefully tuned sound with balanced and natural frequencies, avoiding any harsh sounds and leaving only the pure, raw sound of your voice.
If you're here, then you know a good ASMR microphone should be able to perfectly translate the audio you're recording in its rawest form to get that "chill" effect. The high quality diaphragm the Stellar X2 uses helps us achieve that thanks to the high-grade brass and Japanese imported mylar.
The result is higher sensitivity, allowing you to reproduce subtle sounds. You're also getting the benefit of low noise circuitry, so if you're making those quiet more ambient videos, you won't need to worry about high pitch noises from your microphone corrupting the audio.
As for the quality of the microphone itself, you can trust the construction is very durable. The Stellar X2 uses a high strength iron body with a metal grill that protects the capsule so that it will last you a lifetime. I've had the pleasure of using this microphone on many occassions and I absolutely love it for this price.
The Blue Yeti series is one of the leading brands of USB microphones, offering a massive level of brilliance with the simplicity of plug and go. Just like others on this list, this ASMR microphone was designed to be used with your computer, saving you time and money on your high-quality recordings.
The Blue Yeti comes in a few shapes and sizes, depending on your budget. What they have in common are their multiple polar pattern modes. What does this mean? Polar patterns control the sides of your microphone that can record audio; for example, a cardioid pattern only records from the front of the microphone, while omnidirectional patterns record from all sides of the microphone capsule. The ability to control the polar patterns on your condenser offers massive versatility.
In terms of sound, the Blue Yeti is very sensitive and produces crystal clear audio, with the ability to process a range of sounds thanks to their wide-frequency response. Because of the omnidirectional capabilities, purchasing two of these microphones will make binaural recording significantly easier since we don't have to worry about the proximity effect (more on that later). Lastly, the Blue Yeti offers a headphone jack for real-time monitoring.
The Shure SM7B is easily the best microphone for vocals, thanks to the superior engineering done by Shure. It's no surprise that a microphone as versatile and powerful as this one is also one of the best ASMR microphones on the market. When it comes to anything vocal-related, the Shure SM7B is shure to find its way into the conversation, as the balanced frequencies on this microphone blow most others straight out of the water!
The Shure SM7B uses a detachable close-talk windscreen, perfect for getting up close and personal to the microphone capsule and speaking with a soothing voice. The dynamic cartridge utilizes a flat, wide-range frequency response for clean, natural reproduction of your audio. The mid-range emphasis with low bass roll-off significantly boosts your vocal clarity.
Though a bit pricier than others on this list, the Shure SM7B has some essential features for use as an ASMR microphone, from the mentioned windscreen to the internal pop-filter and cardioid pattern. Another neat feature is their electromagnetic shielding which defeats any hums from electronic devices included your computer. This choice will be best for those who can spare the higher cost for the best quality sound.
The Rode NT-USB is an incredibly popular USB microphones offering the signature high-quality standards by Rode at a consumer-friendly price. As with all Rode products, the Rode NT-USB excels in the design department, with high-standard internal components, unlike some other microphones in the same price range.
I’ve been a fan of Rode ever since I was younger and purchased my first mid-range condenser microphone from them. They focus on staying lean & being the best at what's most important- your sound. They don't need fancy features or tons of versatile components; rather, they keep it clean and offer a single, professional-sounding condenser within their capsule. It may be boring to those who want a feature-rich microphone, but the quality is what matters most when it comes to finding the right ASMR microphone.
The sound is superb; I couldn't say enough great things about it. From the low noise to the well-balanced higher-end frequencies, you'll find the Rode NT-USB pulls the best out of your audio. On top of that, they offer a free pop-shield, to protect your audio from plosive sounds (like B, P, and T) & a desktop stand.
The Neumann TLM 102 is the most expensive microphone on this list, but also the best choice for your next ASMR microphone if you can afford it. This professional studio-worthy condenser microphone offers the highest level of clarity on this list with incredibly low self-noise. Neumann is the leading brand for studio microphones, so let's discuss why the Neumann TLM 102 is so great.
If you were to walk into (almost) any recording studio, you're bound to find Neumann's everywhere. This is for a good reason. They make the best condenser microphones, without a doubt, and while some may say it's overkill, they're the best choice for an ASMR microphone. The high sensitivity with low self-noise is best-in-class, offering massive enormous depth to your audio for the most natural-sounding track.
The balance on the high-end frequencies is unmatched. When you whisper into this microphone, it brings up the lows and mid-range frequencies to give a more balanced, natural sound. This gives the effect of you being in the same room as your listeners. The goal for any ASMR pro is to put your audience at ease and not let them hear anything that reminds them they're listening to a recording.
The Neumann TLM 102 is one of the more affordable models from a legendary microphone company. If you’re willing to stretch your budget this high, you will find this to be the best ASMR microphone on the list.
The Audio-Technica AT2005USB is one of the best vocal mics, offering massive flexibility with their USB & XLR capabilities. Like the AT2020, this ASMR microphone is popular amongst the podcast community, and aside from the impeccable sound, it offers other great features for recording great audio.
For a microphone that’s generally found for under $100, the Audio-Technica AT2005USB has incredible quality for vocal applications, whether it be podcasts or ASMR. The cardioid pattern protects your recordings from unwanted sounds out of the sides & rear, while the low-mass diaphragm offers excellent frequency response for pristine audio depth.
The Audio-Technica AT2005USB is equipped with a headphone jack for latency-free monitoring so that you can listen to your audio in real-time. This makes experimentation much easier, and hearing your voice during recording sessions helps keep you on point. This is an excellent microphone for the price, and like our #1 choice up top, it's entirely underpriced for the quality it offers.
The Samson Go is the most budget-friendly option on this list, and thanks to the small size, the most travel-friendly as well. I love Samson microphones, and with the high sensitivity you get from the "Go" model, it makes for such a powerful ASMR microphone. Don't be put off by the massive visual difference between this little mic & the others on this list. The Samson Go is small but powerful, and we specifically tested ASMR recordings on it before including it on our list.
One of the first notable features about the Samson Go is that they offer both Cardioid & Omnidirectional pattern modes, the first of which capture audio through the front & the second which captures audio from all angles. This versatility will allow you to experiment and find the best settings for your ASMR audio.
The extended frequency response handles the high-end frequencies easily, balancing them with the lower & mid-range for smooth-sounding audio. The Samson Go will be an important choice for beginners with a smaller budget. While I would still recommend stretching up to the Audio Technica AT2005USB, there is no harm in starting with this powerful condenser mic. After all, you can't go wrong with a Samson.
The Binaural Recording Technique is used by some ASMR pros to simulate the acoustics of a three-dimensional environment. The result of this sound is said to be as if the speaker was in the same room as you. This effect will require some extra setup, but if you execute it properly, it will offer the chance to make yourself stand out in the best way.
An essential piece to recording the binaural technique is using two (condenser) microphones. These are the "ears" of your audience, so to speak. Though we recommend experimenting with different placements, a great place to start is to have them the same distance as two human ears. You must think ahead about your setup & make sure you can support two microphones before buying them.
When you begin whispering into the ASMR microphones, it's essential to maintain some level of distance. A common mistake in both the studio and on stage is putting their mouth within an inch of the capsule. As we'll discuss momentarily, condenser microphones are extremely sensitive and will work best a few inches away.
The biggest risk you face when too close to the microphone is triggering what’s known as the Proximity Effect. This refers to an increase in bass frequencies the closer the microphone is to its sound source (you). This effect is particularly noticeable on cardioid microphones but non-existent when using omnidirectional microphones. Once again, experiment a little bit until you've found the best distance.
If you're not studied up on microphones, then you might be wondering what all this talk about condenser microphones & dynamic microphones is, and how it impacts your choice when buying an ASMR microphone. The difference is in their engineering, using different recording sound waves and various features to protect your audio. While you can generalize these two types of microphones, each model is different and has its unique pros and cons. This is why you'll find our list contained a few dynamics along with the many condenser microphones we mentioned.
Condenser microphones are known for their high sensitivity and low self-noise. Because of the low-mass diaphragm often found in these mics, they're able to capture a very wide range of frequencies, most often 15kHz to 15Hz. A microphone that can accurately record both the high and low frequencies will produce an output with incredible depth. Due to the intimacy of your voice in ASMR, you can benefit significantly from using a condenser for your ASMR microphone.
Dynamic microphones often focus on mid-range frequencies and contain a few features for protecting your sound. Unlike the condensers, which may require a few extra components (sometimes included) for maximum quality, dynamic microphones commonly utilize built-in pop filters and spherical winds. These features protect your audio from plosive sounds & other hissing generated by your whispers. They're also more often than not using a Cardioid polar pattern, which mutes any audio coming in from the sides or rear of the microphone capsule. If you're unable to find a noise-free environment, consider using a dynamic for your ASMR microphone.
The last essential piece to consider is where you're recording. Finding the best room in the house will make an incredible difference, especially if you're using a condenser as your ASMR microphone. While high microphone sensitivity improves your audio quality, it can easily pick up noise from other rooms or outside. This is one of the biggest challenges people face with home studios, so consider it at great lengths.
The next piece worth thinking about is the acoustics of your room. If you have flat, solid walls in a relatively empty space, you'll have stronger reverberance & echoes entering your ASMR microphone. While this can give your sound some character, it isn't easy to work within production. Ambient noises cannot be removed (without harming your recording) by a digital audio workstation. This will once again be up to your judgment. If you don't plan to layer on effects after recording, maybe a room with solid acoustics is suitable for you. Otherwise, consider somewhere that will absorb those sounds, such as a well-furnished area in the house.
Your journey towards finding the best ASMR microphone doesn't have to be challenging. Microphones are much more complex than most people give them credit for, and hopefully, our breakdown was able to simplify this for you. There are a lot of factors to consider and a lot of experimenting with being done. But with enough patience & the right equipment, you will be well on your way to recording the best ASMR on the internet.
If you choose an ASMR microphone from this list, let us know down in the comments! We would love to know how it's working for you and listen to any audio you send us. Furthermore, we're always open to arguments on what we've suggested (or haven't suggested), so let us know your thoughts on that as well! Good luck.
Posted on Nov 16, 2020
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