Top 7 Best Microphones For YouTube - Musician Nerd

Updated on Apr 15, 2021

Finding the best microphone for YouTube is an essential first step towards an amazing career on one of the greatest social media platforms out there. Great-sounding audio is one of the few things that could make or break your YouTube career, so finding the right microphone can make a tremendous difference. Many people worry and think they need to buy something big and fancy, but fortunately, no matter what your budget is, there are options for you that’ll do great.

Often times YouTubers like to use USB microphones, as they offer a ton of convenience by connecting directly to your computer, rather than an XLR microphone, which may require some extra parts. However, each have their pros and cons, and you'll often find the XLR's outperform the USB choices.

In today's list, we include a healthy mix of both microphone types. Our first and favorite choice uses XLR connection and is used by many in the YouTube, Podcast, Streaming, and Music communities. Without further a due, let's talk microphones!

The Best Microphone For YouTube

Our Picks

Best Overall

1. Shure SM7B

The Shure SM7B is one of the more expensive recommendations on this list, but hands down the absolute best microphone for YouTube. The quality delivered is unmatched, which is why you’ll find even famous professionals in the YouTube & Podcast space use this incredible audio device.

Shure SM7B Suspended From Boom Stand
Shure SM7B Suspended From Boom Stand

One of the reasons I recommend the Shure SM7B as the best microphone for YouTube is because of how pure & polished every recording sounds. The dynamic cartridge uses a flat, wide-range frequency response, giving us a clean & natural result. The mid-range emphasis with bass roll-off gives a major presence boost to your voice with a smooth & warm sound.

The Shure SM7B also uses features that’ll protect your audio from unwanted noise. As a cardioid pattern dynamic microphone, it’ll only record the audio spoken directly through the front. The air suspension shock isolation & pop filter will eliminate machinal noise & breathiness, as well as plosives. The Shure SM7B also uses an advanced electromagnetic shielding to reduce hum from your other devices, like your computer or router.

Overall, we’re looking at (arguably) the best microphone for vocals in general. You’ll see it used on professional podcasts like Joe Rogan or The Breakfast Club, as well as many popular YouTubers out there. If you have the money to spare & you want the best microphone for YouTube, I wouldn't recommend anything else.

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Best Runner Up

2. Audio-Technica AT2020

The Audio-Technica AT2020 is one of the finest sounding condenser microphones under $200. If you ask around about what the best microphone for YouTube is, this one will come up time and time again. The rugged design and incredible quality for this price range make it a very worthwhile purchase.

Audio-Technica AT2020 On Desktop Stand
Audio-Technica AT2020 On Desktop Stand

Using a low-mass diaphragm, the Audio-Technica AT2020 has an extended frequency response offering high level of detail from your recordings. It also has rapid transient response, which is how well it can handle rapid vibrations, making it usable for instruments like the guitar. The rugged construction gives it a high SPL, further enhancing its versatility to record other sound sources.

Despite the relatively affordable price, you’ll find your recordings to be incredibly high in detail, with rich sounding vocals. It uses a cardioid pattern to reduce any noise pickup from the sides or rear.

Overall, this is a beautiful sounding USB microphone that has a great cost/performance ratio. The versatility of what it can be used for making it even more enticing. A lot of podcast & YouTube creators use this one, so it’s a solid choice for the best microphone for YouTube.

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Best USB

3. Blue Yeti

The next choice we have for you is the Blue Yeti, one of the most commonly known USB microphones, and a highly popular choice amongst beginner YouTubers. The lower price with great quality makes it an easy choice for some. If you want the best microphone for YouTube that is USB compatible, this one's worth a good look.

Blue Yeti Plug And Play On Mac and PC
Blue Yeti Plug And Play On Mac and PC

The Blue Yeti is a feature-rich and highly versatile microphone that is really dominating in this space thanks to the plug-and-play nature of it, while still offering high-quality recordings. The full 20Hz to 20kHz wide-range frequency response ensures our recordings will have a deep level of detail, with warm lows & crisp highs.

One thing I love about USB microphones is that you really can just plug them in & go. The Blue Yeti offers other convenience features that microphones don’t often offer, like gain control & a headphone jack for latency-free monitoring. The versatility is enhanced by their multi-polar pattern selection options. Unlike others on this list that only offer one (usually cardioid), the Blue Yeti lets you use 4 modes whether you’re recording yourself, a 1 on 1 interview, recording the whole room, etc. There is a mode for it!

I love the Blue Yeti, and the price/quality ratio is absolutely perfect. For anyone starting, it’s a great choice with great quality for the best microphone for YouTube.

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Best Budget USB

4. Audio-Technica AT2005USB+

If you want the best microphone for YouTube under $100, the Audio-Technica AT2005USB+ is another amazing microphone by Audio Technica. We have it listed as our budget choice, and believe me when I tell you, this is the best “budget” option we’ve ever listed.

Audio-Technica AT2005USB+ On Desktop Stand
Audio-Technica AT2005USB+ On Desktop Stand

For starters, this microphone’s multi-connectivity options mean you can use it as both a USB & XLR microphone. It uses a dynamic capsule, which means it won’t be as sensitive. This is really advantageous if you live in a noisier environment. I personally live next to a highway, so microphones like this help me from picking that extra sound up.

The sound quality from the Audio-Technica AT2005USB+ is incredible for this price, with a low-mass diaphragm still giving us that wide frequency pickup for extra detail. The mid-range emphasis is really impressive and gives a major boost to your vocal presence.

Overall, I’m really happy with the Audio-Technica AT2005USB+. It’s easily the best microphone for YouTube under $100, offering incredible sounding quality. This is another fine choice for any beginners in the YouTube or podcast space.

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Best Budget XLR

5. Rode PodMic

If you're on a budget but want the best microphone for YouTube that's XLR-first, the Rode PodMic is one of the best sounding dynamic microphones that I absolutely love. From the design to the sound, this high-quality microphone is awesome.

Rode PodMic Suspended From Stand
Rode PodMic Suspended From Stand

The rugged design has this broadcast look to it that highlights what it was built for. The all-metal construction offers a high level of durability, protecting the dynamic capsule from both blunt damages but also dust and moisture. The internal pop-filter minimizes plosive sounds.

The quality recorded by this XLR microphone is incredible, optimized specifically for voice-based applications. Despite being dynamic, it uses a wide-range frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz. This range means a higher level of detail, with rich, warm lows & crisp highs.

I’ve used the Rode PodMic on several occasions, and every time has impressed me. The generally low cost with a high level of detail and great design work is a welcome combination. I highly recommend this one for those on a budget that want the best microphone for YouTube.

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Best For Gamers

6. HyperX Quadcast

If you want the best microphone for YouTube gaming, the HyperX Quadcast is one of the favorites that I own purely for the visual design. This one is a little more niche, found to be popular amongst the gaming community. If you've read our other articles, you'd know how much I love to match it (thanks RGB) with my Razer Raptor 27.

HyperX Quadcast Design Award 2019
HyperX Quadcast Design Award 2019

The first feature I would like to touch upon is the visual components of this microphone. This all-inclusive USB microphone offers dynamic RGB lighting effects that are completely customizable from your computer using the HyperX NGENUITY Software. Gamers love RGB (I would know), and whether you want it to look like a rainbow, or match your pink gaming chair, the choice is yours.

The sound quality is actually really good as well. I wouldn’t recommend a microphone just because it looks nice. The anti-vibration shock mount helps protect your audio by suppressing the sounds of unintentional rumbling. The HyperX Quadcast also has a tap-to-mute sensor button on top with an LED status indicator.

Overall, we’re talking about a great sounding microphone that would be perfect for any YouTuber. Because of the unique design, I highly recommend gamers take an extra look into this one as their best microphone for YouTube.

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Best Software

7. Elgato Wave:3

When it comes to finding the best microphone for YouTube with incredible software, the Elgato Wave:3 is one of my favorite USB condenser microphones that is very underappreciated. What makes this option stand out is not just the high quality, but the extra features you get with it.

Elgato Wave:3 With Soundwave Background
Elgato Wave:3 With Soundwave Background

From a vocal recording perspective, you’ll find this microphone to have broadcast-grade sound, with the convenience of plug-and-play. The steel grille offers smooth sound diffusion, while the premium condenser capsule offers extreme precision. The cardioid pattern will ensure the focus stays on your voice.

The software we can use with the Elgato Wave:3, however, is what separates it from the other choices. The Wave Link mixer is one of my favorites, specifically for streaming microphones. It allows you to separate what you hear & what your audience hears, which is an amazing monitoring feature. Offering nine channels, there’s hardly a limit to what you’ll be able to do on your streams. They even help you mute copyrighted music in streams.

Overall, the Elgato Wave:3 sounds incredible, looks awesome, is plug-and-play, while offering some of the best mixing software for streams. It’s a hot choice that is definitely worth extra consideration if you really want the best microphone for YouTube.

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Importance Of Polar Patterns

Something we mentioned a lot in this article is "polar patterns", with one of the more common options being the "cardioid pattern". The role this plays in making the best microphone for YouTube is immeasurable, as it'll potentially make or break the result of your recordings. Because we're all living in different environments, you should read ahead to further understand how each mode can affect you.

Shure describes it as The polar pattern of a microphone is the sensitivity to sound relative to the direction or angle from which the sound arrives, or easier worded how well the microphone "hears" sound from different directions. Cardioid patterns, the more common one on this list, will mute audio from being received through the sides or rear of the capsule. This is great for people who have noisy backgrounds, as being close to the front of your mic, will pick up a lot more of you than anything else. As I mentioned in this article, I live next to a highway, but I keep the Shure SM7B close to my face for that reason.

The bi-directional mode is great for one on ones. The Omni-directional mode is great if you're with your friends in the video, or recording general outside stuff.

Jlab Audio Talk Directional Pattern Modes
Jlab Audio Talk Directional Pattern Modes

Some microphones on our list, like the Blue Yeti, offer the ability to change the polar pattern as needed. This is an awesome feature because it lets you limit the captured audio by using cardioid mode when you’re alone, but you’ll still have the option to expand the input in other settings. With condenser microphones, it is essential to limit the audio where you can.

So while you may think the best microphone for YouTube will only have to do with the sound quality, the polar pattern plays just as big of a role.


Hopefully, you were able to find the best microphone for YouTube for your new channel with this list of incredible mics. Whether you want an XLR option with the best possible sound quality, or something more flashy and visually appealing, our list should have helped guide you towards your next purchase. If not, let us know so we can improve our list for the next person!

If you end up buying one of the listed options, let us know in the comments below how It’s working out for you, and feel free to link your channel! We love seeing the content our readers create and enjoy the feedback you give us.

Do you think our list is missing an essential choice? Let us know and we’ll consider it!

Posted on Dec 22, 2020


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