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Best microphone for streaming and podcasting 2020


USB microphones are all the rage at the moment, offering a step up in quality from gaming headsets not only for livestreaming but video calls and podcasts too. Essentially, if you’re looking to upgrade your current recording setup, a microphone is a relatively easy area to improve – the only problem is choosing which is best for your needs in a market filled with microphones of all shapes and sizes for all skill levels.

There’s not only the type of microphone to consider, but polar recording patterns, connectivity, compatibility with software and hardware and more, and it can be daunting for those new to the topic.

That’s where we at Tech Advisor come in; we’ve listed the best microphones for streaming and podcasting available in 2020, along with buying advice outlining the key things to consider when buying a microphone right now.

For more on getting started in the world of streaming, take a look at our selection of the best webcams and how to stream on Twitch too.

Best microphones for streaming and podcasting in 2020

The Black Friday sales season is here! The prices shown below are the best available on our top recommended products, but similar products may also be discounted. See our guide to the best Black Friday deals.

1. Blue Yeti X – Best overall

Blue Yeti X

2. Samson G-Track Pro – Best for musicians

Samson G-Track Pro

3. Trust Fyru GXT 256 – A fun option for streamers

Trust Gaming GXT 258 Fyru USB 4-In-1 Streaming Microphone

4. Blue Yeti Nano – Best budget option

Blue Yeti Nano

Buying advice

It can be complicated working out what microphone is best suited to your needs, especially if you’re just starting out, so let us explain some of the key features to consider when on the hunt for a great microphone.

The biggest feature to consider when buying a microphone is the available polar pattern. If you’re only looking to stream or record a single person, a microphone with a Cardioid polar pattern should suffice, but those wanting to record live musical performances or two-person podcasts require an option with multiple polar patterns, ideally Bidirectional and Omnidirectional.

The next thing to consider is how you want to hook the microphone up. The two main choices are USB and XLR. We focus on USB-connected microphones in this chart as they offer plug-and-play compatibility with most operating systems and software, making them ideal for beginners, but XLR has benefits like offering compatibility with physical audio mixing boards. If you’re looking to expand your audio setup in future, XLR may be the way to go – it’s rare to find physical audio equipment compatible with USB microphones.

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You’ll also have to decide on the type of microphone to go for; condenser or dynamic. Most USB mics are condenser mics, as these allow for multiple polar patterns, offer excellent capture quality and they’re sensitive enough to pick up the smallest of sounds too. Condenser microphones are certainly the more versatile of the two.

Dynamic microphones, on the other hand, offer superior noise rejection (most microphones used by musicians in concerts are dynamic) and they generally sound warmer than condenser mics too. The downside is that USB dynamic microphones are rare – although not unheard of – with most requiring XLR connectivity to function.

Also, as with most tech, we’d recommend staying away from the cheapest microphones you’ll no doubt find online. With the rise in popularity of streaming and podcasting in recent years, some are looking to cash in on the interest with poor quality microphones that promise the world and deliver very little. You won’t find any of those in our chart, thankfully!

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