Best Microphones For Gaming

Last Updated on by Nicholas Frost

The best microphones for gaming will give clarity to your voice while rooting out any undesirable environmental noise, and your online teammates will thank you for it. Communication is a crucial aspect of online gaming. So having an efficient and reliable medium for relaying your messages will enhance not only your experience but the people you’re playing with as well.

Ever since the rise of game streaming, the demand for quality microphones has been skyrocketing these past few years. People are beginning to record their gaming popular live stream platforms like Twitch.

If you’re a video game enthusiast looking to find the best microphones for gaming, we’ve done most of the heavy lifting by whittling down dozens of microphone models in the market and whittled them down to the top ten. All of these microphones have been extensively tested through long term usage to see how well they hold up in real-life situations.

Depending on your needs, we’ve picked models that are perfect for streaming, recording, or simply casual online gaming with your friends. Before you lock in a purchase, though, you need to know a few key things of what you’re buying into.

What You Need To Consider When Buying The Best Gaming Microphone

1. Microphone Connections

Depending on the task (in this case, gaming), different microphone connections will have varying levels of suitability. Here are some options you can look into, including their benefits and drawbacks:

  • USB

This is arguably the most popular gamer choice. USB microphones have a lot to offer in terms of convenience since all you need to do is plug them to your system, and you’re ready to go. Every microphone using a USB connection is compatible with PCs, Macs, and laptops provided that your system has a working USB port. They do come in a variety of different forms and prices, so our reviewed products have covered a large range of USB mics.

If you’re the type who wants to record only minutes after starting up your rig, then this connection type is your best bet. USB mics get their power from your computer, eliminating any need for an external power source.

One drawback of this connection, though, is that it doesn’t give as many recording options as an XLR model might. This means that you can only make one recording at a time. It might not make a big difference for casual gamers, but it could be a deal-breaker for professional content creators.

  • XLR

If you want something a bit more “professional,” you could opt for a condenser-type microphone (XLR). Compared to other connection types, XLR microphones need a lot more power to get up and running (up to 48V).

XLR mics sport higher output ranges, which gives a higher-quality sound that’s even suited for studio work. Because these types of microphones have charged metal plates and thin diaphragms in their design, they can capture minute sounds, unlike USB mics.

  • 3.5mm

3.2mm mics are a form of analog mic that needs to be connected to the sound card input jack of your computer. To put it simply, they are completely reliant on your sound card to do the audio processing. Computers that have good sound cards will create better audio quality compared to a USB microphone’s built-in processing.

These mics can take advantage of your sound card’s features like ASIO or built-in special effects such as reverb, where USB mics won’t be able to utilize these. However, it also acts as a double-edged sword. If you have a mediocre sound card, the audio quality of your mic will suffer.

Another downside is that the quality that it offers is technically less than its XLR or USB counterparts. It also lacks a built-in form of amplification that a USB that consumes higher power can provide. This means that turning up your volume might create audio gaps or noise artifacts during recording if your mic overloads.

  • Our Take On Microphone Connections

Regardless of your needs, whether you’re gaming, streaming, or recording, a USB-connection mic is your safest bet. While XLR mics provide a higher-quality sound, they don’t offer the same convenience that USB mics offer. They are also less budget-friendly as well.

It’s true that all of us varying standards and prerequisites for a good gaming microphone, but the audio produced by these mics will often be compressed and posted on the internet anyway. This isn’t to say that audio fidelity isn’t important, but there are more factors you need to consider when buying the best microphones for gaming.

2. Sound Quality

Frequency Response

Great microphone models have the capacity to produce high-quality recordings, and this is mostly achieved by having a wide frequency response.

Frequency responses are usually presented in the form of a frequency range that a mic can pick up and reproduce. As you might already know, human ears can pick up sounds between the 20 and 20,000 Hz range, although this range can become smaller depending on various health conditions or your age.

The frequency response of a typical microphone will more or less be within the same range as our ears. While there are some microphones that exceed the range of our own, the extra sound they can pick up doesn’t have much use in terms of sound quality.

A few microphones intentionally have a shorter frequency range to reduce any unnecessary sound. For example, vocal microphones will usually have a range of 80 Hz below in order to give a clearer recording of a person’s voice. Some microphones might also attenuate many high frequencies to reduce any high-frequency sounds.

  • Noise Reduction

Noise reduction is another factor that can improve audio quality significantly. Some microphones feature specialized filters that can remove background noise while some have vibration dampening capabilities. This is especially useful if you have a noisy environment (i.e., noisy keyboards, electric fans). If you choose a model that doesn’t offer any of these features, you can opt to buy an external noise canceller like windbreakers or boom filters.

  • Polar Patterns:

Another thing you need to consider when choosing the best microphones for gaming is their polar pattern. This is one key factor that tells you how a certain model is best used for.

Some mics have the upper hand in versatility, offering more than one polar pattern setting. These models have multi-pattern capabilities that include every direction property, such as unidirectional, bidirectional, and omnidirectional. Here are some of the distinct advantages that each one offers:

  • Stereo: For a simple explanation, stereo microphones are essentially two studio microphones put into a single, compact unit. This is great for ASMR recordings that are becoming more and more popular.
  • Unidirectional: Microphones that have this polar pattern can only source noises coming from a certain direction or side relative to them. So if a person uses a unidirectional mic, they should speak into the right side that will pick up the most sound in order to record their audio properly.
  • Cardioid: This is a type of unidirectional microphone with a specialized shape that picks up human voices really well, making it great for streaming, voice-overs, or any vocals-related work.
  • Bidirectional: Mics with this polar pattern are a commonly used tool for one-on-one interviews because they can capture sound from their back and front.
  • Omnidirectional: Can pick up sound from virtually any direction, making it great for online meetings or group podcasts.

3. Adaptability

Every gaming setup is different, so you need a mic that can provide optimal performance in a variety of scenarios. For example, a microphone might have the crispest, smoothest, sound quality, but what if they require a suspended stand that uses a shock mount? Or what you need to be positioned in a specific spot just to make it sound good? Then that’s hardly a good mic.

What you need is a microphone that will sound great in any situation, one that is adaptable to your needs so you can be in a comfortable position while playing your games.

4. Price

Your budget will always have a say when it comes to purchasing something, whether you’re looking for something simple without any added fluff, or you want to invest in a high-end model that comes with useful features.

Our review covers a wide price range that can fit any budget. You have the option of saving up and buying a more expensive model as a form of investment if you’re a content creator. If you’re more of a casual gamer, there are plenty of options that are budget-friendly and will check everything on the list.

6. Comfort And Convenience

You want a mic that is easy to use and set up. Models that can be easily adjusted to suit your needs are also preferable. Durability is also an aspect you need to consider. You don’t want a unit that needs constant repair or won’t last very long.

Some brands include accessories that add conveniences, such as carrying cases, desktop stands, Y-adapters, ports, and pop filters. While not a requirement, it certainly doesn’t hurt to have some of these items in hand and preferably coming with the microphone that you’ve bought.

7. Extra Features:

Many microphones extend their usefulness from their base purpose. While most of them aren’t really necessary, these features can still enhance your gaming experience significantly.

Higher-end mics will have polar pattern switches, attenuation switches, bass roll-offs, built-in volume control, and other unique components that you might want to make the best microphones for gaming.

8. Your Gaming Environment:

Do you play in a lax environment like your bedroom or in a more formal setting like your home office? Or maybe you prefer to play on a console in your living room? Where you play should influence the type of microphone you’re going to buy.

Some mics are more suited to desks, while some can be more adaptable in terms of placement. If you’re playing in an environment that has a lot of noise, then you might consider investing in a mic with noise-dampening features. If you like playing in more than one location, there are mics in the market that are more compact and portable.

The Benefits Of Having A Gaming Microphone

Compared to a standard microphone, units specifically made for gaming will offer unique benefits:

  • Improve Sound Quality

If you’re a streamer or content creator, sound quality is a must. One of the most important things you can do to improve your output is to invest in one of the best microphones for gaming that will give consistently good performance all throughout your recording sessions. Microphones that come with their own stands are a plus, so you won’t have a harder time setting them.

  • Reduce Noise

There is nothing more irritating than playing back your recordings and hearing a lot of background noise. Attempting to edit them out is another added task that could have been easily remedied by purchasing a quality mic. This is also useful during competitive online gaming because any noise picked up by your mic might end up distracting both your teammates and your opponents.

The best microphones for gaming will have noise-dampening features that will nullify any nearby noise and will only pick up your voice. They usually come with software that acts as an automatic filter.

  • Better Gaming Experience

With a good microphone, you can better collaborate with your teammates during online playing sessions. It might not seem much, but having good audio can really help during the most intense moments of play where communication is key.

If you’re a streamer, you can have a better interaction with your viewers if your sound output has clarity. More people will be more inclined to watch a person with a decent sound setup than one who can only offer low-quality audio with muffled voices and static noises.

Whether you’re a gamer having with his friends online or a streamer who plays and records for long hours, you will find whatever you need in our list.

The Best Microphones For Gaming In 2019

1. Blue Yeti Nano

  • Connection Type: USB,
  • Polar pattern(s): Omnidirectional, Cardioid
  • Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-20kHz

This is considered the Blue Yeti’s smaller brother, and it’s a great choice for beginners who want to try their hand at recording or streaming.

It offers solid sound quality and comes with an affordable price tag to boot. This model is also well-suited for people on the go owing to its small and light frame, making it very easy to bring along when traveling.

It also has a sample rate of 48khz, which makes a very noticeable difference in its recording quality. Granted, it doesn’t have many available polar patterns, but apart from that, it offers superior output when compared to its predecessor.

Key Features:

  • Portable
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Impressive sound-quality
  • Volume control
  • Zero-latency monitoring

2. Samson G-Track Pro

  • Connection Type: USB
  • Polar pattern(s): Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, Cardioid
  • Frequency Response Range: 50Hz-20,000Hz

The Pro certainly lives up to its name, being suited for both gaming and professional streaming. It has three polar patterns and dual-track recording, perfect for those who want a bit of versatility, and a very good noise floor, where it barely picked up any unwanted sounds (It did pick up a little bit of background noise during testing, but a cheap boom filter can easily fix that). Its zero-latency monitoring system is also a good plus

In terms of sound quality itself, this model performs impressively well, so this would make a solid choice if you’re into podcasting or streaming. It can also make the job a bit easier with its built-in mute and volume controls for your microphone, headphone, and instrument. This heavy-duty model will last you a long time, so you won’t have to worry about getting a replacement any time soon.

Key Features:

  • Great audio quality
  • Sturdy design
  • Multiple polar patterns
  • Zero-latency monitoring
  • Low noise pick-up

3. Zalman ZM-Mic1

  • Connection Type: 3.5mm
  • Polar pattern(s): Cardioid
  • Frequency Response Range: 100Hz-16,000Hz

This Zalman model might not be able to compete with other mics on our list in terms of quality but will certainly beat any generic gaming headset that you’re using. For such an affordable unit, this mic still offers decent performance that will meet many standards.

It does pick up background noise pretty easily, but if you’re in a quiet environment and your volume is set just right, this model can deliver impressive results. While it won’t offer you studio-quality audio, at least you won’t have to worry about getting loud breathing sounds or static that you usually get from conventional headset mics.

Overall, this is a decent model that provides better sound quality compared to headset mics, and a good choice if you’re a gamer on a budget.

Key Features:

  • Very affordable
  • Light
  • Doesn’t require much power
  • Better than the conventional headset mic
  • Doesn’t pick up static/breathing sounds

4. Razer Seiren X

  • Connectivity: USB
  • Polar pattern(s): Super-Cardioid
  • Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-20,000Hz

If you want something more portable and compact, the Seiren X was made with those to aspects in mind while retaining audio quality in a very small frame. In terms of size, it can be likened to a conventional soda can.

It has a built-in shock mount that efficiently absorbs any accidental vibrations like kicking hitting your knees on the bottom of your desk. It has a single volume control panel with a mute button, and these are its only controls to maintain its minimalist aesthetic.

Because of its size, it does have a few downsides. It has the tendency to pick up quite a bit of ambient noise, such as your keyboard typing or a fan spinning. This doesn’t stop it from being a quality-streaming mic, but a noise-dampening component would have been nice.

Regardless of its shortcomings, the audio it produces still provides great quality, making this a great option for those who need something that’s easy to bring with you while traveling.

Key Features:

  • Portable
  • High clarity
  • Built-in shock mount
  • Zero-latency monitoring

5. Blue Yeti USB microphone

  • Connection Type: USB
  • Polar pattern(s): Stereo, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, Cardioid,
  • Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-20,000Hz

The classic microphone for recording and streaming, Blue’s Yeti has stayed as one of the best microphones for gaming, and with good reason.

The Yeti is easy to set up, incredibly versatile, and more affordable compared to other top models in the market. It offers clear, high-quality sound with controls that are accessible and understandable for both beginners and experts alike. It also excels in terms of adaptability because it has four polar patterns to choose from. And finally, it comes in four different colors that were made to suit a wide range of gaming setups.

While there are other models out there that do offer better audio, and its foam padding isn’t enough to soften the vibrations coming from your desk, the Yeti is still a top microphone in terms of versatility and affordability.

Key Features:

  • Affordable
  • Versatile (4 polar patterns)
  • Zero-latency monitoring
  • Built-in volume controls
  • Four color options

6. Focusrite Scarlett CM25 MkII

Connection Type: XLR

Polar pattern(s): Cardioid

Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-20,000Hz

If you have a wide variety of interests that require good audio like gaming, music and video production, or live streaming, then this Focusrite model might just be the thing that you’re looking for. It features a cardioid designed with a large diaphragm, perfect for picking up any form of loud or quiet speech. Even if you don’t like to shout at your mic and have a particularly soft voice, this model has your back. The sound quality of this excellent unit is definitely up there among the best microphones for gaming.

It doesn’t offer much in terms of convenience, though. While it’s XLR connection gives out high-quality sound, it’s definitely harder to set up compared to a 3.5mm or a USB connection. You need to run through it first and work out the kinks before you can finally take advantage of its performance.

On the plus side, Scarlett has a bundle that includes this mic, an audio interface, and headphones, which is a very good deal considering its price and how much you’re getting.

Features: mic stand adapter, cable included

Key Features:

  • Comes with adapter for the mic stand
  • Clear audio quality
  • Efficient cardioid design

7. Razer Seiren Pro

  • Connection Type: All connections available
  • Polar pattern(s): Stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional
  • Frequency Response Range: 20Hz – 20kHz

The Seiren Pro is a direct upgrade to Razer’s flagship high-end microphone that comes with additional features, but it will cost you a bit more compared to the original.

This model doesn’t skimp when it comes to sound quality. It comes with a high-pass filter that will hamper any frequency lying under 100Hz. This really helps with low noises like car rumbles or accidental desk bumps. It also includes switches that adjust the mic gain, headphone volume, and instant mute. What’s best is that it is compatible with all three connections. It has XLR capability, which arguably gives the best sound quality.

It does have a few drawbacks. The Seiren Pro doesn’t come cheap, and not really the best choice if you’re looking for a simple microphone. It’s also not very portable, owing to its heavy and bulky frame.

Key Features:

  • Compatible with all connections
  • Versatile (4 polar patterns)
  • High-pass filter
  • Convenient sound switches

8. AntLion ModMic

  • Connection Type: 3.5mm and USB (adapter)
  • Polar Pattern(s): Unidirectional
  • Frequency Response Range: 100Hz-10,000Hz

An attachable mic that offers plenty of conveniences, the Antlion ModMic is a good choice for those who want to save more space on their desk.

Because of its easy-to-set-up magnetic attachment, you can place this model practically anywhere. It also has good audio quality with toggle and modular mute switches for added convenience.

It might not have the best audio when compared to other top models, but the included headphone sports a more than impressive sound quality. So if you prefer to headphone priority over your mic, then the ModMic might be the best bet for you.

Key Features:

  • Affordable
  • Convenient and easy to set up
  • Comes with carrying case
  • Toggle and modular mute switches
  • Magnetic attachment and extra adhesive pads
  • Long cables

9. Rode NT USB

  • Connection Type: USB
  • Polar Pattern(s): Cardioid
  • Frequency Response Range: 20Hz-20kHz

Rode’s NT unit is a premium microphone that is studio-worthy in terms of looks and performance. And what’s best, it has a more than reasonable price. This is a good choice for professionals who want to take it to the next level.

This model is one of the best microphones for gaming in terms of sound quality, featuring a free pop shield (noise filter) and zero-latency monitoring to give an impressive, noise-free recording. And it has a built-in mix control to boot for added convenience.

While it does only have cardioid as its only polar pattern, it still remains as a great option for streamers and content creators.

Key Features:

  • Fantastic audio
  • Free pop filter

10. Blue Snowball iCE Versatile

  • Connection Type: USB
  • Polar Pattern(s): Cardioid
  • Frequency Response Range: 40Hz-18,000Hz

If you’re a gamer on a budget but still want a model that’s reliable, then Blue Snowball is one of your best bets. Made by the same company as the esteemed Blue Yeti microphone, you don’t need to worry about getting the most bang for your buck.

This model is good for beginners because it has a design that’s easy to understand and master. There’s no need for setting up that most people just want to avoid, especially if you just want to have a casual bit of online gameplay. It uses a convenient USB connection that’s ready to go as soon as you plug the model in.

It might not offer much in terms of versatility, only sporting one audio input and one polar pattern, but considering its price, you’ll be getting your money back and more for the sound quality and convenience that it offers. This is one of the best choices if you want to enhance your setup with something a little more simple and easier on your wallet.

Key Features:

  • Affordable
  • Clean and decent audio quality
  • No setting up required

Recording Tips

Here is a short guide for those who are starting out and want a few tips to improve their streaming or content creation:

Pre-test Your Audio Equipment

Even if you’ve bought one of the best microphones for gaming that checks all of your boxes, it still needs testing prior to recording or going live. Start out by turning your mic on and testing it out with a few lines. If you notice any sound issues, readjust your unit until the problem is resolved.

Root Out Any Noise Sources

Maybe you’ve left a window open that’s letting in a bit of wind? Or maybe you have a particularly noisy keyboard? By removing any external sources of noise, you won’t have to buy a noise dampening mic that’s usually more expensive, and you won’t have to edit your audio after a recording session heavily.

Getting a protector or boom filter is another route you can go if you can’t remove a certain noise from your environment.

If Worse Comes To Worse, Add In Audio During Editing

If you’re audio turns out to be horrendous during recording, you can just scrap it and add in another during editing. It might take a longer time, but it’s well worth it if you want to produce higher quality content that will stand out from the rest. Otherwise, you can opt to manually filter out any noise that you hear from your audio or add some sound effects to render it unnoticeable.

Conclusion

We sincerely hope that our guide will make your purchasing decisions much easier. Getting the currently most popular unit most likely won’t really cut it, because you’ll probably be spending more money on something that you don’t actually need.

Choosing the right microphone for you can be a laborious task, considering how many models you have to sieve through to find the right one, but it doesn’t have to be. By arming yourself with the right knowledge and knowing what you want and need, buying yourself a new microphone will be a hassle-free experience.

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