Are you looking for a mic you can rely on for live streaming in real-time? Do you need a trustworthy microphone so you can concentrate on gaming, lifestreaming or performing a live session with your band?
It sounds to us like you’re in the market for a quality streaming mic!
We’ve researched 15 of the best streaming microphones the market has to offer. Whether you’re just starting out going live on YouTube, Instagram or Facebook, or want to give your Twitch or Discord followers the best quality live content possible, we’ve got the right microphone for you:
What are the best mics for streaming?
No best-of list would be complete without a Shure microphone or two, and the SM7B, being the brand’s world-famous flagship model for professional podcasting, broadcasting and streaming, has more than earned its place at the top of ours – as well as in top recording studios worldwide.
The SM7B is a design classic, both inside and out. Internally, Shure has employed industry-standard air suspension shock isolation technology, making handling noise a thing of the past; externally, the casing is as rugged as they come, so if you can stretch to the higher price point, you’ll be reaping the benefits for decades.
Unbeatable sound quality
Includes a high-quality detachable windscreen, which can be easily attached to eliminate extra breathiness for close recording
No option to ‘plug in and play’
This multi-award-winning, TeamSpeak- and Zoom-certified microphone has more than its fair share of credentials, but that’s not all that’s impressive about the MV7.
In many ways, this is a more affordable SM7B for the modern world. Download Shure’s MOTIV app and easily select your preferred mic distance and tone from your phone, tablet, or desktop.
The MV7’s standout feature, however, has to be its onboard controls – touch the panel to instantly mute, adjust the volume, or switch mode to adjust the gain.
Features both XLR and USB outputs
Easy access to intuitive onboard controls
Not quite as effective at eliminating handling noise as the SM7B
Included foam pop shield isn’t the best at handling plosives; you may need to purchase an additional pop shield
Still not sure whether you’re Team SM7B or Team MV7? Read Shure MV7 vs SM7B: Which Microphone Is Right For You?
The PodMic from Australian audio tech company RØDE combines the latest technology with a classic design.
Delivering broadcast-quality vocals whether you’re connecting via XLR or USB and a sturdy, all-metal build, this RØDE is one you can walk down with confidence. Considering that you’re getting sound and build quality that rivals higher-end models at a notably lower price point, the PodMic is a great purchase to make the leap from amateur dreamer to professional streamer.
Professional build at an affordable price
Captures crisp, clear vocals
Requires a stand, not included
Requires an audio interface, not included
Samson Technologies Q9U
Samson Technologies has gone from strength to strength since its formation in the 80s, and the Q9U, with its USB-C connectivity and 24-bit/96 kHz high-resolution digital converter, is the latest in a long line of successes.
If you want to keep things analogue, this versatile streaming mic also features an XLR output. Whichever way you want to integrate the Q9U into your streaming rig, this microphone will give you a rich, natural recording – along with some impressive off-axis noise rejection – every time.
Higher definition sound at a lower price point
Versatile thanks to hybrid XLR and USB connectivity
Mid-range boost and low-cut filter switches are small and at the back of the mic, making them difficult to find and use mid-stream
While robust, the build is heavy, so this mic will need an especially sturdy stand to stay in place
Blue Yeti X
The Blue Yeti series of mics continues to dominate the streaming scene, but Blue has upped its game with the Yeti X model.
Compared to the original Blue Yeti, which single-handedly raised the bar for quality yet affordable USB condenser microphones, the Yeti X has four capsules rather than three, giving you even more pickup pattern choices to suit a wider variety of streaming scenarios.
Furthermore, the Yeti X combines the microphone gain, the mute button, and the headphone volume and blend into a single multi-function smart knob. Plus, you can customise the colour of the LED display to match your streaming aesthetic!
Multi-function smart knob makes adjusting levels even easier while also saving on onboard space
Integrated desktop stand and USB connectivity make the Yeti X ready to use out-of-the-box
Only fully functional when used with Blue VO!CE software and Logitech G HUB
Pickup pattern selector is located on the back rather than the front
Featuring a sturdy yet lightweight metal build, the K688 certainly doesn’t feel as cheap as its low price point might suggest.
Fifine has produced a dynamic microphone fit for all manner of streaming purposes, sharing many features with the higher-end Shure models but at a much more affordable price. The Fifine K688 offers dual connectivity via its XLR and USB outputs, plus a 3.5mm jack output so you can monitor your stream in real-time through your headphones.
The touch-screen mute button is also a welcome feature – if you need to pause mid-stream, the K688 allows you to do so without making a sound.
Professional-looking and -sounding microphone within a beginner’s budget
Touch-screen mute button lets you switch off the sound silently
In-built pop shield doesn’t fare too well against sibilance, especially when using the USB connection
Gain and blend dials are less easy to reach at the back of the mic
The Audio-Technica AT2020 is a classic condenser with a robust metal build and a wide frequency response ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, perfect for nuanced recordings.
For a condenser microphone, the AT2020 can handle surprisingly high noise levels without clipping, making it a popular choice for streaming instruments as well as vocals.
If you don’t use an audio interface or would prefer the plug-in-and-play option, you can go for the USB version of the AT2020 which features onboard blend and headphone volume dials:
Captures natural, detailed sound for professional recordings
Excellent value for money in the right hands
While less sensitive than other condenser mics, the AT2020 still picks up more background and handling noise than most dynamic mics
No hybrid option for this model
Blue Snowball iCE
As Blue’s entry-level streaming USB mic, the Snowball iCE is proof that great things come in small packages.
Featuring a retro aesthetic and firm plastic build, this compact condenser has everything you need to start streaming on a budget. The iCE’s single, focused cardioid pickup pattern, coupled with its lack of onboard controls, makes it the ultimate plug-in-and-play microphone.
Skype- and Discord-certified
Includes adjustable desktop stand
Struggles with noise rejection
No headphone output
If you would like more than one polar pattern option but want to stick with the vintage look, check out the standard Snowball:
With their Profile USB condenser microphone, Sennheiser continues to fuse classic German engineering standards and superior sound quality with technological innovation.
Avoiding the need to download additional software thanks to its full suite of onboard controls, or to use an audio interface thanks to its cutting-edge analogue-to-digital conversion, the Sennheiser Profile will plug straight into your device via the included USB-C cable and start working immediately.
Despite its low price point, the Profile still bears all the classic Sennheiser hallmarks – robust metal housing, sleek design, and, above all, excellent sound.
Includes a compact and convenient table stand
All controls are front-facing
Included table stand does not offer a great deal of posability
Can struggle with self-noise when adjusting the controls
Trust GXT 255+ Onyx
An excellent choice for first-timers, the GXT 255+ Onyx bundle from Trust contains everything you need to make your streaming dreams come true.
The mic itself features a tight omnidirectional polar pattern focused only on your voice, an effective shock mount and pop filter to tackle any unwanted noise, and even an LED display that flashes red so you can tell when your mic is muted.
The fully adjustable boom arm stand is a great bonus – it fastens securely to your desk via a sturdy C-clamp whilst still giving you easy access to adjust the tension of each joint. Plus, it hides away any messy cables internally, keeping your streaming set-up looking neat and professional.
Extra USB hub allows you to charge your device while streaming
Decent audio quality and noise rejection for a USB mic at this price point
Included boom arm stand can sag under the weight of the mic
Gain and blend dials aren’t so easy to access
HyperX QuadCast S
HyperX is a highly popular brand amongst the streaming community, and one look at the QuadCast S – the all-singing, all-dancing upgrade to the QuadCast – will show you why.
Not only does this model feature the same solid build, handy tap-to-mute button and great sound as the original Discord- and TeamSpeak-certified QuadCast, but the S also boasts a dazzling LED display which you can customise using the HyperX NGENUITY software.
With four selectable polar patterns and wide device and program compatibility, the QuadCast S is as versatile as it is vibrant.
Top mute button and bottom volume dial are both easy to access
Fantastic LED display
Expensive compared to the original QuadCast
Included desktop stand is on the short side; boom arm stand recommended
Razer Seiren V2 Pro
While the Seiren V2 Pro may have a passing resemblance to the Blue Yeti, this dynamic USB mic is poles apart.
Capable of capturing razor-sharp audio while blocking out unwanted low-frequency background noise thanks to its high pass filter, the Seiren V2 Pro will enrich your speaking voice with a subtle yet noticeable low-end boost.
Thanks to its built-in shock absorber and pop filter coupled with an analogue gain limiter that automatically prevents clipping, bumps, hisses and distortion are a thing of the past. The only sound you’ll hear through your headphones – which you can plug directly into your mic – is your voice, as warm and as rich as you’ve ever heard it.
Price point gives the Blue Yeti a run for its money
Handy front-facing mute button
Included table stand is not quite tall or posable enough
Volume and gain dials are imprecise
Sontronics Podcast Pro
The classic-looking, award-winning Podcast Pro mic from UK-based company Sontronics comes in a variety of colours, but whichever you choose will deliver the results.
As a sturdy dynamic microphone, the Sontronics Podcast Pro has a super-cardioid polar pattern for excellent off-axis noise rejection. This makes it perfect for streaming from home without having to worry about picking up any unwanted background hum.
While the Podcast Pro only supports an XLR connection, Sontronics will also provide you with an XLR to USB cable, so even though running this mic through an audio interface would give you the best results, you can still plug in and play straight away if you need to.
Sleek, professional design
Six colourful options to choose from
No shock mount included; without one, even slight taps and knocks will be audible
No stand included
The TD-510 is a truly versatile microphone, ideal for a range of streaming situations – and don’t be fooled by the price tag!
When in XLR mode, you can unlock the TD-510’s full potential. Combining crisp, clear audio with excellent off-axis noise rejection and next to no handling noise, this mic will work wonders when paired with a decent interface.
When in USB mode, Tonor really leans into the plug-in-and-play convenience. You can long-press the multi-purpose mute button to switch the volume controls between the microphone and your headphones, making it even easier to make adjustments mid-stream.
2m XLR cable and 2m USB cable both included
Solid metal build at an affordable price
Relatively quiet microphone
No stand included
15 Elgato Wave DX
Fusing a smart, modern design with cutting-edge speech optimisation technology, Elgato is ahead of the curve with the Wave DX.
The Wave DX’s dynamic capsule is its secret weapon, being able to pick up higher highs and lower lows than most other dynamic mics while still rejecting background noise better than and condenser mic. As well as capturing clear, natural-sounding audio, the Elgato Wave DX can still achieve a particularly pleasing proximity effect, giving your voice a nice bass boost the closer you lean in.
You can enjoy the Wave DX’s great-sounding audio by running it through any good interface, but it works especially well with the Elgato Wave XLR interface and Wave Link mixing software.
Premium build quality
Captures very detailed sound for a dynamic mic
Needs a separately sold interface, XLR cable and mic stand before it can be used
No onboard controls
What do I need to look for in a streaming mic?
The main difference between live streaming and studio recording is that the content you stream live is unedited, whereas you have the chance to review and edit pre-recorded content before you upload it.
This means that you want to be sure that all your streaming microphone’s settings are ready before you go live. Besides, your focus needs to be on your performance rather than sound mixing!
All microphones contain a capsule, which is the part that converts acoustic sound into electrical energy. Most mics contain either a dynamic capsule, which is more rugged and can handle louder sounds, or a condenser capsule, which is more delicate and can capture more detailed sounds.
So if you want to livestream an intimate solo acoustic gig, you might find that a condenser mic will help pick up the nuances in your voice and your playing, giving you a studio-quality recording. However, you’ll need to make sure you’re in a quiet room that’s been treated properly for recording because condenser mics are so sensitive that they can detect even the slightest amount of background noise.
If you’re streaming from a location with a lot of background noise, such as a live event, then you might find that the more focused dynamic microphone is better for noise rejection. Although the overall sound quality won’t have the same professional polish that a condenser mic can achieve, you can rely on your dynamic mic to zone in on your voice and your voice alone – plus, because they can handle higher sound pressure levels, you can take the volume up a few notches without the risk of clipping.
For a more detailed comparison between these two different types of microphones, read Condenser vs Dynamic Mics: What’s the difference?
The two main connector types you’ll find when shopping for streaming mics are USB and XLR.
The main advantage of a USB microphone is that you can just plug it straight into your computer, tablet or phone without needing any additional hardware. Plus, they tend to be a lot less expensive than XLR mics, so they’re a smart choice if you’re just dipping your toe into the streaming world.
If you’re a true audiophile who wants the best sound quality possible – and the option to expand your home recording setup – then you’ll want a mic with an XLR connector.
Bear in mind that you can’t plug an XLR mic straight into your computer – you will need to purchase an audio interface to convert your analogue sound into digital information.
Are you in the market for an audio interface but aren’t sure where to start? Read Elevate Your Sound: The 15 Best Audio Interfaces for Home Recording.
Many modern mics for streamers have hybrid connectivity, allowing you to choose either the analogue XLR connector for a more professional set-up, or the USB connector if you’re just looking to plug in and play.
The area around your microphone that it can pick up sound from is called the ‘polar pattern’.
In most streaming situations, the only sound source you’re going to want to record will be coming from your mouth, so you’d be much better off with a microphone that has a polar pattern focused on the area in front of it that rejects noise from the back.
This type of polar pattern is called a ‘cardioid’ pattern because it resembles the shape of a heart. Some microphones have even more focused patterns and are therefore known as ‘super-cardioid’ or even ‘hyper-cardioid’.
Other types of polar patterns are useful for other types of streaming.
If you’re livestreaming an interview, for example, and only want to use one microphone positioned between you and your interviewee, then a figure 8 polar pattern would be your best bet. If you’re streaming a group conversation, then you might get on better with an omnidirectional pattern.
Once you’ve settled into your live-streaming session, the less you need to get up and mess around with settings the better!
If you (or your viewers!) do notice any sound issues during your stream, you need to be able to easily access the volume and gain controls, plus the mute button if you need to take a break.
Think about how easy the controls you need to use will be to reach. Controls positioned at the front of your microphone are going to be much easier for you to access, especially if you need to keep your hands free.
Some of the microphones on our list need a couple of extra accessories before you can make full use of them.
Also known as a pop filter, this accessory will take the edge off plosives (the pop of ‘p’ and ‘b’ sounds) and sibilance (the hiss of ‘s’ sounds), which can otherwise add unwanted spikes to your recording.
Many streaming mics have an in-built pop shield or a detachable foam windshield, but these don’t always provide complete protection.
There are a few varieties of pop shields, but one of the most popular designs features a circular mesh screen, a posable gooseneck, and a clamp to fasten it securely.
Check out the Shure PS-6 for a shining example:
Some mics for streaming come with desktop stands, and some come with no stand at all. In either case, to save yourself desk space and for full posability, we recommend you opt for a boom stand.
It’s better to spend a bit more on a sturdier boom stand you can trust won’t sag (which can be the case with cheaper products) because the last thing you want to happen when you’re mid-stream is for your microphone to slowly drift away from you!
If you’re splashing out for more expensive mics for streaming like the Shure SM7B or MV7, you’ll want to protect your investment. Gator, who are well known for their robust instrument cases, makes their boom arm stands out of equally tough stuff.
The strong and silent Gator Frameworks 3000 series stand can hold up to 4.4lbs/2kg of weight, which is more than enough to keep the majority of streaming mics exactly where you want them: