The 9 Best Microphones For Streaming | Musician Nerd

Updated on Mar 23, 2023

If you're looking for the best microphone for streaming, then you've come to the right place. Our team of experts has been working in the audio industry for years, setting up equipment for podcasts, radio shows, recording studios, and of course, live streaming. Whether you’re streaming your own show or need a gaming microphone for Twitch, this guide will have you covered.

A lot goes into finding the best microphone for streaming, such as cost, ease of use, and quality. Unlike musicians, we don't often encourage podcasters & streamers to go all out on a $1000+ microphone, as it's beyond overkill and perhaps not even practical. Instead, there are a lot of brands, both old and new, that have developed products for this specific purpose.

Today we'll run you through the list of our favorite choices. We'll dive into each option and discuss how it stands out from the others on the list and who it's best designed for. Whether you're on a tight budget or simply looking for the most high-end choice, this list will have the perfect microphone for you, including many used by professionals you know & love.

The Best Microphones For Streaming

Our Picks

Best Overall

1. Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is my personal favorite microphone for streaming, one that I would recommend to anyone with a higher budget. The audio quality exceeds any other microphone on this list, tried and tested by industry professionals. From the moment you get the SM7B powered up and start talking, you'll understand why it's our best overall streaming microphone.

Shure SM7B Being Used As A Streaming Microphone
Shure SM7B Being Used As A Streaming Microphone

If you've ever watched the Breakfast Club, H3, or Joe Rogan, you might've seen this used as a podcast microphone. This is because the Shure SM7B was originally designed for broadcast purposes, and tailors to every detail of one's voice. You are guaranteed to sound exquisite when you use this microphone for streaming.

The reason for this pure & polished detail comes from the air suspension shock isolation & internal pop filter. These eliminate mechanical noises as well as breathiness. When you remove these unwanted sounds, all that remains is your words, with solid clarity. As a supercardioid microphone, the Shure SM7B is designed only to record what's fed directly through the front of the capsule while muting the rest. However, the icing on the cake is the electromagnetic shield that defeats humming noises from nearby devices, whether it's your modem, computer monitor, or amplifier.

This high level of detail has been taken advantage of for every sort of vocal application. We even see it used as an ASMR microphone. However, its history is much greater. With modern music, we see the Shure SM7B used for recording hip hop vocals, but Michael Jackson also used it back in the day for his Thriller album! Talk about versatility!

Overall, if you want the best microphone for streaming, no matter the cost, then give the Shure SM7B as serious look. One caveat is it will require some extra equipment for powering, as we discuss in this article, Why Is The Shure SM7B So Quiet?

Check Price On Amazon

Read Our Review: Shure SM7B

Best Alternative

2. Blue Yeti Series

The Blue Yeti is one of the most popular microphones on the market right now. If you watch a lot of videos, you'll notice it's arguably the most popular YouTube microphone, especially for smaller channels that can't invest in the most high-end equipment.

Blue Yeti Can Plug And Play Capable For Streaming Microphones
Blue Yeti Can Plug And Play Capable For Streaming Microphones

The Blue Yeti is popping up all over the place, thanks to the affordable cost, high-quality sound, and ease of use. We've chosen it as the best microphone for streaming because of the many different features that allow even a novice to take full advantage of and stream great sound.

The first major advantage of using this streaming microphone is, of course, the USB connection type. Unlike XLR microphones, which may require extra equipment to connect properly to your recording device, you can plug the Blue Yeti straight into your computer and go!

This streaming mic uses three condensers, with a frequency response rate of 20Hz to 20kHz. This is the standard wide-range response we look for to capture the full depth of your audio. This means you're getting studio sound at a reasonable price.

The Blue Yeti also offers multiple polar pattern modes. This versatile feature allows you to control what part of the microphone audio records audio. The more sides you "open up," the more shape your audio will have. However, if you're recording in a more noisy environment, you can shift to Cardioid mode, isolating your voice from your surroundings.

Lastly, this 1.2lb microphone offers on-mic gain controls, a mute button, and zero-latency headphone monitoring, allowing you to listen to the playback as you live stream and control the sound as needed; an essential feature any streaming microphone should have. Far and wide, at this price point, the Blue Yeti is one of the best microphones for streaming.

Check Price: Blue Yeti

Read Our Review: Blue Yeti USB

3. Audio Technica AT2020USB+

The Audio Technica AT2020 is another highly versatile microphone that can be used for just about everything. We've found it to be the most effective microphone for streaming, but if you're into more musical applications, you're in luck.

Audio Technica AT2020 With Stand For Streaming Microphone
Audio Technica AT2020 With Stand For Streaming Microphone

As a unidirectional condenser microphone, the Audio Technica AT2020 finds a great balance between capturing high-quality audio without picking up all the background noise. It is side-addressed, allowing you to suspend the microphone in an upright position while singing into the side of the capsule. This feature offers a wider surface area for picking up both vocals and music.

A friend uses this microphone in our virtual meetings, and many streamers enjoy it for speech purposes. However, some of your streamers might be more interested in the music capabilities. The Audio Technica AT2020 is by far one of the best microphones for acoustic guitar, as well as the drums thanks to the high SPL and wide dynamic range, allowing you to record loud sound sources with very complex sound waves (like the vibration of your guitar & drums) with absolute ease.

This is one of the most popular, high-quality, and affordable microphones for streaming on the market. They offer two variations of this microphone, one that can connect with an XLR cable, and another via USB.

Check Price On Amazon

Read Our Review: Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser

Budget Choice

4. Blue Snowball iCE

The Blue Snowball iCE is a very affordable alternative to the top choice in this list. It's also one of the more unique microphones that we see rising in popularity in the under $100 market.

Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic Streaming To Laptop
Blue Snowball iCE USB Mic Streaming To Laptop

Similar to its older sibling, the Blue Snowball iCE is a very popular streaming microphone for those who are starting out and can't spare a lot on their equipment. Luckily, even with a microphone like this one, you're still going to produce great-sounding audio. It's very simple to use thanks to the plug-and-play features that USB microphones provide us.

The 40Hz to 18kHz gives us a smooth frequency response with high-quality sound. You'll also have the choice to switch between cardioid & omnidirectional polar patterns, which correlate to recording sound through the front or from all sides of the microphone capsule. Using the Omnidirectional mode can record more audio depth, while cardioid will help you prevent background noise.

While many streamers won't need this feature, there's also a -10dB pad set, reducing sensitivity so that you may record louder sound sources. Overall, the Blue Snowball iCE makes for an amazing budget-friendly microphone for streaming.

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Best Software

5. Elgato Wave:3

The Elgato Wave:3 is a less popular streaming microphone that I give a lot of special attention to, thanks to both the quality and rich features. This premium microphone was designed specifically for creators working with multiple sound sources, which can be very helpful for streaming.

Elgato Wave:3 With Digital Mixer For Streaming
Elgato Wave:3 With Digital Mixer For Streaming

In terms of the microphone itself, the Elgato Wave:3 uses a steel grille for exquisite sound diffusion, which also adds to the mic capsule's durability. The u-mount microphone stand suspends the mic capsule offering high-quality shock suspension, preventing any handlings noises, even if you kick or bump into your desk. The onboard controls include a zero-latency monitoring headphone jack & gain control.

My favorite feature, which I've included on this list, is the Wave Link software. Wave Link allows you to stream with up to 9 sound channels at a time, including your microphone, your game audio, extra sound effects, and maybe some music for gamers. And similar to what we'd get in a recording studio, you'll be able to control each channel as you see fit. This software can prevent a lot of time in production when putting together the audio for your videos.

Overall, the Elgato Wave:3 is an amazing streaming microphone developed specifically for this purpose. The software, on-mic controls, and capsule quality offer you everything you could need to stream with your best audio.

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Read Our Review: Elgato Wave:3

6. Audio Technica AT2005USB

The Audio Technica AT2005USB is the more affordable streaming microphone in the Audio-Technica 20 series line of mics. This all-purpose microphone was designed specifically for vocal applications, whether you're doing speaking work or singing.

Audio Technica AT2005USB Standing Vertically
Audio Technica AT2005USB Standing Vertically

The first feature I love is the option to choose between XLR & USB. Connecting via USB is optimal for many people as you won't need extra equipment to process or record the audio. However, as some may argue, XLR is a little more high quality, so the choice is yours, and I love that. The Audio Technica AT2005USB only picks up noise from the front of the capsule, giving you better sound isolation than its 2020 counterpart.

The 50Hz - 50kHz frequency response is not the most detailed, but this streaming microphone has a low-mass diaphragm that will do more than enough to get your voice across to your fans in a powerful manner. It comes with a desktop tripod stand and weighs nearly half a pound!

We value the headphone jack so you can monitor your audio during your live-stream events. This helps ensure your audience hears you how you want them to. Overall, it's a highly reputable microphone, and you'll be more than impressed for those on a budget.

Check Price On Amazon

Read Our Review: Audio-Technica AT2005USB

7. Electro-Voice RE20

The Electro-Voice RE20 is a favorite of mine, and highly comparable to our #2 choice, the Shure SM7B. In fact, I first spotted this microphone used on a favorite podcast series of mine, where one speaker used the Shure while the host used this one.

Electro-Voice RE20 Broadcast & Podcasting Microphone
Electro-Voice RE20 Broadcast & Podcasting Microphone

The Electro-Voice RE20 is one of the most high end podcast microphones on the market right now and has a strong history around voices. If you watch a lot of sports, you'll be pleased to hear that most radio announcers use this very same microphone in their booth. It offers incredible sound and an amazing vocal presence.

The first feature that separates the Electro-Voice RE20 from others on this list is the Variable D. This helps the microphone avoid proximity effect, allowing you to move around in your seat without the audio gain shifting. It's also a true cardioid (unidirectional) microphone with absolutely no coloration at 180 degrees off-axis! The powerful sound protection is by both an internal pop filter and an element shock mount.

Again, if you're looking for something powerful and willing to go all out, the Electro-Voice RE20 is right for you. The RE20 is one of the best microphones for streaming on the market from its amazing quality, strong vocal presence, and high-end features.

Check Price On Amazon

Read Our Review: Electro-Voice RE20

8. HyperX QuadCast

The HyperX QuadCast is one of the most popular gaming microphones on the market right now, purely due to the aesthetic design. Everyone knows gamers love RGB, and that's far and wide, one of the highlight features behind this streaming mic.

HyperX QuadCast Is The Design Award Winner Of 2019
HyperX QuadCast Is The Design Award Winner Of 2019

Of course, cool colors and designs don't make a streaming microphone more effective. Fortunately, the HyperX QuadCast has enough amazing features to be worth your time and money. It's not too expensive that it'll break the bank, and the sound it can produce is comparable to others in its price range. Similar to others on this list, there are switchable polar patterns to control the open capsules on the microphone.

It comes with a desktop stand and an anti-vibration shock mount, reducing handling noises from banging into your desk or moving the microphone around during your streams. It also comes with a mount adapter, so if you wish to use a microphone boom arm stand, so it's suspended in front of your face, you can do that too! I recommend you do it because it will look fantastic.

There's also an internal pop filter for minimizing plosives. And if you like sensors, you'll be pleased to hear there's a tap-to-mute function that allows you to touch the top of your microphone to mute it. So if you're into live streaming your gameplay, this is by far the best streaming microphone for you.

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Read Our Review: HyperX QuadCast

Best Portable

9. Samson Go

The Samson Go is one of the more unique microphones on this list. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, the Samson Go has gained the attention of travel vloggers and influencers around the world. I've seen it used for podcasts, streaming, and even vocal recordings.

Samson Go USB Used For A Streaming Microphone
Samson Go USB Used For A Streaming Microphone

The convenience of a streaming microphone like the Samson Go is that you can fit the case in your pocket, and getting it set up with your computer is as easy as plugging it in. That being said, the audio quality reminds us why appearances can be misleading.

With a frequency response of 80Hz - 18kHz when using their Cardioid setting, as well as a range of 20Hz - 20kHz on their omnidirectional setting, the audio records with great detail. Further supporting this is their sample rates of 16-bit/48kHz. This means high-quality recordings with a lot of detail.

To top it all of, the Samson Go has an optional attenuation pad, which lowers the microphone sensitivity by -10dB. This will prevent your audio from getting distorted if you're a loud speaker or recording loud sound sources. While it landed toward the bottom of our list, the Samson Go is an amazingly versatile choice for this price range.

Check Price On Amazon

Read Our Review: Samson Go


Our Expertise

I could go on and on about the options I've listed for you. I love microphones, I've been using them for as long as I can remember, and quite honestly, I know a lot about them. But who am I to you, and why should you trust me?

Unlike others in the space, my team doesn't just buy & test microphones. Of course, we do that preliminary, but we also specialize in the engineering that goes on inside the microphone. We factor in the most important qualities such as frequency response, which plays a massive role in controlling the overall shape of your sound.

We also consider that many streamers are not sitting behind soundproof walls like studio musicians would be. For this reason, we look for microphones that have shiftable polar patterns, so that we can cancel out noise from the sides and rear of our mic. We also value features such as internal pop filters & shock mounts so that we can avoid handling noises no matter where we keep the microphone.

Microphones come in all different shapes and sizes, and the cost can vary a lot. Someone who doesn’t know what to look for may not know what makes the Blue Yeti more valuable than another $150 desktop microphone. And that's where we can help.

How We Make Our Decision

We've covered a lot of this above already, but let us cover some more important factors that we consider. The first is cost. Microphone costs vary so much, and I recently saw a friend of mine using a $1000+ Neumann for their YouTube microphone, which is so unnecessary and unwise!

Audio-Technica AT2020 Microphone With Computer
Audio-Technica AT2020 Microphone With Computer

As a streamer, you want clear & concise audio. That's not reserved just for ASMR microphones! We know and value this. You also want high response times, which is why we recommend microphones with zero latency with their controls. And assuming you'll be working live, having fewer common features such as a mute button, gain control, and even a mic monitoring headphone jack will be super helpful for you.

Other features, like Elgato's streaming software, really do it for us. It's not my favorite microphone, but their included software blows me away. I've worked with it a lot and helped other streamers use it to this day.

The last thing we like to consider is the connection types. The most popular & high-quality mics would be XLR microphones, which use the standard microphone connection cables. However, many people don’t want to bother with using a microphone preamp, and so our list includes a lot of USB microphones as well. These let you plug & play right into your computer.


By now, you should have an idea of the best microphone for streaming. As you've read, we consider many factors to help ensure you're getting the very best option for your money. Not everyone needs a beastly microphone like the Shure or Electro-Voice, so if they live outside of your budget, don't fret! Many such as the Blue options, work for most people.

Let us know in the comments which streaming microphone you went with and how it's working out for you! If you have a link to your channels, we'd love to come to take a look & see how you put it to use! We value your feedback as it helps us refine our lists for the next viewer.

Posted on Sep 24, 2020


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