We know why you landed on this page—you want better audio quality for your YouTube videos. That’s a great step to getting started with looking for the best YouTube microphone. So many content creators on the platform rely on their phone or laptop’s microphone. What they aren’t aware of is that good audio quality can actually help their viewers have a better viewing experience—mediocre audio quality just doesn’t match an HD video, let alone a 4k video.

So how do you actually choose the best recording device for your YouTube videos? We have a long and helpful list of the basics you need to know, along with a detailed explanation of the different types of microphones you can use and a simple guide on how to take care of your device.

We know searching for the best microphone for your YouTube videos can be a tedious task. That’s why we also came up with an updated list of the best microphones you can start with or upgrade to. If you’re ready to know how to choose the best recording device for your YouTube videos, continue reading below!

How to Choose a Microphone for YouTube Videos

The first question you need to answer is for what purpose you’re going to use your microphone. Whether it’s for recording vocals or the sounds of instruments or interviews in your YouTube channel, you have to consider these purposes. This is because there are different types of microphones that have specific purposes and uses. Knowing each will help you decide which type of microphone suits your purpose and needs best.

There are many types of microphones, but this article will focus on the two types you can choose from for the best mics for YouTube.

Dynamic Microphone

The first type of microphone YouTubers commonly use is the dynamic microphone. This type is great for capturing louder sounds. It does an excellent job of recording your vocals for a song, a podcast, a voiceover, and the like. It’s the best type of microphone if you’re recording several people talking while in the same room. It also works best for recording live instruments, which is why this type is usually used for live performances.

Dynamic microphones are good at minimizing background noise, which also means if you make a quiet or soft sound, it might not be able to pick it up. So, if you want to make autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) content, dynamic microphones might not be your best pick. They usually produce broadcast quality sound.

The pros of using a dynamic mic for YouTube video creation are that it comes with a reasonable price tag, it’s durable, and it doesn’t need a power source. The cons, though, include not enough sensitivity to quiet and high-frequency sounds. As simple as we could explain it, the louder the sound you want to record, a dynamic microphone will be the way to go.

Condenser Microphone

The next YouTuber mic for recording quality audio we want to discuss is the condenser microphone. Condenser microphones are used for quieter and more complex sounds. It comes with a greater frequency range. So if you’re looking to record the delicate sounds of nature or create ASMR content for your YouTube video, this is the best microphone type for that.

Many content creators use condenser microphones for voice recording, voiceovers, vlogs, and podcasts. It’s ideal to use for in-studio recording. Comparing it with a dynamic microphone, a condenser microphone is more sensitive. Because of its sensitivity, it produces a highly accurate representation of even the softest and quietest sound you make. In turn, it cannot deal with very loud sounds like a dynamic mic can.

Condenser mics are usually pricier and more delicate to handle. Also, for condenser mics to record sound, you need a power source. The power source can be a set of batteries or phantom power, which is usually found in an audio interface or a pre-amp.

Pickup or Polar Patterns

For YouTubers, dynamic and condenser microphones are the main types you can choose from. But your choosing doesn’t end there. You also need to understand how your audio can get picked up. That brings us to the next topic: pickup or polar patterns.

Pickup or polar pattern pertains to how a microphone picks up sounds from different directions. For instance, if you’re in a roundtable discussion and you have a microphone that’s pointing toward you, will it pick up only your voice, or will it also pick up the voices of the other people joining you in your interview? To understand it better, below are the different pickup or polar patterns.

Omnidirectional

A microphone that features an omnidirectional pickup pattern means it can absorb the audio from all sides and even those produced above and below it. With this type of pattern, you might think the sound is going to be scattered. But the point of having this polar pattern is to achieve a balance among sounds coming from all directions. For example, you can use this feature when recording multiple instruments in a musical or play.

Even in live performances, omnidirectional microphones are known for retaining good sound quality. A common negative feature, though, is you cannot restrict the sounds it picks up. So, if you want to film content outside for your YouTube channel, your mic will most likely pick up even the background noises. Unless you’re someplace where there isn’t a lot of human activity or unnecessary sounds, this is one factor you need to consider.

Bidirectional

Its name is already what it says it is. A bidirectional microphone will only pick up the audio produced in front and behind it. This pattern features a narrow pickup angle that isolates a single sound source on each side. It’s usually used in situations where a YouTuber is interviewing only one person. It’s also best used for a stationary set-up so that it won’t lose the sound quality it needs to capture from the people going back and forth as they go about their discussion.

Cardioid

Many content creators go for a cardioid mic for their YouTube video recording. Unlike the omnidirectional mic, a cardioid mic has a heart-shaped polar pattern, hence the name. This means it only picks up audio from the front and from the sides, which is why it’s also called unidirectional. Sounds coming from the rear part won’t be picked up as clearly or crisply. A cardioid polar pattern is usually used in a live performance where you want to pick up sound from the singer in front and the musicians on the sides but not the audience at the rear end of the mic.

Supercardioid

A supercardioid microphone picks up audio mostly from the front and not from the sides. It can also pick up sound from behind the microphone but to a lesser extent. It’s used mostly by filmmakers. This is because it can isolate the audio that needs to be captured better than any kind of pickup or polar pattern. Just like a bidirectional mic, it features a narrow area of sensitivity to sound sources, which means it does a great job of reducing background noise.

Two Types of Microphone Cables

There are two types of microphone cables, and this is an important aspect when choosing the best microphone to buy. Most microphones use hookup cables to transfer data or audio picked up by the mic to a computer or other devices. The two styles are USB and XLR. There are pros and cons for both ways and this is what we’ll be sharing for this part of the article.

USB

The great thing about USB microphones is they are plug-and-play. If you have a USB mic, you can just plug it into a laptop and start immediately with your recording. Plus, you won’t have a problem taking it anywhere with you, especially when you’re doing quick YouTube video recording sessions. Also, content creators on a tight budget will be happy to know that USB mics are more often than not budget-friendly.

However, because of the cheaper price tag, a USB microphone tends to deliver reduced sound quality. Recorded sounds can be clear but don’t expect it to have that studio-level quality you want for your YouTube videos. Another con is your reduced control over the sound quality. USB mics often don’t allow for adjustments unless you’re using additional equipment, such as an audio interface.

XLR

XLR microphones are much more complicated than USB microphones. This type uses an XLR connector that needs to go through an audio interface before it can connect to your laptop or computer. It’s commonly used by filmmakers, professional podcasters, musicians who want to have a more flexible recording setup.

XLR microphones produce the best sound quality—that is, if you invest in more products other than the XLR microphone. If you choose to go this route, you would have to get a phantom power source, a mixer, an audio interface, an adapter, and more.

If you just want to make a hobby out of creating YouTube videos, you probably won’t need an XLR mic for now. Although the audio quality is guaranteed to be awesome, having a phantom power and all the other extra products isn’t the most convenient choice. This is especially true if you want to record YouTube videos in places other than your home or studio.

Best Microphones for YouTube for Better Audio Quality

Before we give you the list of our best picks for microphones for YouTube videos, we also want to give you a heads-up on your budget. It’s worth mentioning that you have to decide how much you are willing to spend. For newbies, it’s good to invest in mid-range microphones when filming YouTube videos. This is because they aren’t too expensive and the quality is good enough. However, don’t go for the cheapest as you might end up producing bad quality YouTube videos and even spending more with a replacement.

So, if you’re looking for microphones to record YouTube videos that are $100 and under, here are our best picks.

Fifine Condenser K669B USB Microphone

The Fifine Condenser K669B USB mic is loved by many because although it’s only $40, it delivers. This could be the best microphone for YouTube videos for the newbies. The sound is incredible for its price, even if it cannot reduce background noise.

What you have to know about the Fifine Condenser K669B USB mic is that you need to be around six inches away for it to capture the best quality. According to some reviews, the biggest downside is you have to be at the best distance so that the sound doesn’t get too muffled, drowned, or not captured properly at all.

With that downside revealed, this Fifine mic is best paired with the Neewer NB-35 boom arm. This setup is necessary so that you can speak or make sounds without having to worry about the microphone moving.

The Fifine Condenser K669B is best for a one-room isolated setup, and as it is a USB mic, you can easily plug it on a laptop or computer to use. You can edit your audio through free or paid programs you can find online.

Maono AU-A04 USB Mic Kit

The Maono AU-A04 USB Mic Kit sells for only $50. It’s a plug-and-play microphone and is a great device for your podcasts on YouTube. As the name suggests, it comes with a pop filter, a 10-foot USB cable, a shock mount, a foam cover windscreen, a scissor arm stand, a table vice clamp mount, and the condenser microphone itself. The price is so budget-friendly that you won’t expect it to be an all-metal USB mic kit. Sounds like great value for your money.

However, the biggest limitation to this external microphone is that it’s unidirectional only. So, you would have to talk close to the mic’s front for it to be able to pick up sounds clearly. Not an ideal setup for those who want to leave the mic out of frame in their YouTube videos. Another downside is that although it’s a condenser mic, it does pick up background noise. If you are to get this kit, you would have to soundproof the room where you’re recording.

If you’re up for the challenge of being creative in how you soundproof the area you’re recording in and you want this kit, it’s a great deal.

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

The third budget microphone we have for you is the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. YouTubers can get this upgrade for only $100. Blue Yeti is known for its amazing USB microphones and this is one of their most affordable offerings.

The Blue Yeti USB mic comes with a built-in stand and a back switch that lets you change it to stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional, making it an all-in-one versatile mic. It also features a mute switch that lets you mute yourself or whatever you’re recording at your convenience. A headphone jack is also available so you can track the audio you are recording making it a versatile mic.

There really isn’t any downside to the Yeti USB mic as it’s also great for on-the-go YouTube recording. Design-wise, we think this classic model will look perfectly fine in your videos and won’t go out of style in a long while. Plus, there are many color options to choose from. Do note that some colors sell for more than $100. If you have the budget and the means to buy this product, go ahead!

Shure SM7B

One of the top picks of YouTube content creators is the Shure SM7B. It’s a lot more expensive than the ones we already mentioned. It sells for $399—but it’s great for studio quality audio. The SM7B is a dynamic XLR microphone that features a cardioid polar pattern, a great mic for recording music or speaking. It also has internal features that will protect your audio from interference with background noise and electrical noise transmission. Many YouTubers prefer this microphone when they record vlogs or interview-based podcasts for its accuracy.

Since it’s an analog microphone, you would need an audio interface to use it with a computer, phone, or tablet. It doesn’t come with a mic stand or a shock mount, but it’s designed with internal air suspension. This means the Shure SM7B comes with a fixed mount that’s compatible with other mic stands or boom arms. If you have the budget and are ready to set up an XLR mic, this will definitely be an upgrade from your old one!

Rode Procaster

Another dynamic XLR microphone you can get if you have a bigger budget is the Rode Procaster. It offers a cardioid or unidirectional polar pattern and it doesn’t pick up on a lot of background noise. It has the look and feel of a professional studio recording microphone, and many users say it does deliver broadcast quality sound.

The Rode Procaster comes with an internal pop filter to reduce the plosives when you talk and a built-in shock microphone mount. You can buy this bundle for only $229. You may also get a ten-year extended warranty for it when you register your microphone with the website.

Blue Yeti X

We already offered a Blue Yeti microphone that delivers quality audio for those who have a limited budget. We’re offering another product from the same manufacturer that costs slightly higher. For those who are more experienced YouTubers willing to spend more so they can have better audio quality, the Blue Yeti X is another top pick. It’s a professional USB microphone for gaming, streaming, and podcasting.

Just like the Shure SM7B, Blue Yeti X also allows you to record in four different ways – omnidirectional, cardioid, stereo, and bidirectional. It also has a mute button, which is always a great feature when you’re recording YouTube videos. A bonus feature for this product is its compatibility with Blue’s VO!CE software that allows you to post-edit your recordings. So if you want enhanced effects and advanced modulation that comes with the mic’s software editing capability, you can buy it for only $169.99.

HyperX QuadCast

Another USB condenser mic YouTubers love is the HyperX QuadCast. It has four pickup patterns just like Blue Yeti X and it includes a shock mount and a pop filter like Rode Procaster. It sells cheaper than the two products above as it has a price tag of $132.

Released just a few years ago, the HyperX QuadCast is marketed toward podcasters and gamers, and it’s quickly becoming popular among content creators of all kinds. It features a touch-sensitive mute sensor and an LED indicator that turns off when you mute the mic. You can add in additional effects post-production via the NGENUITY software.

How To Take Care Of Your Microphone

Microphones can be very sensitive and you need to be extra careful when handling and storing them. The durability of microphones vary, but these tips will help you with whichever mic you end up purchasing. A good microphone is necessary to create good content so if you get one, you have to know how to care for it.

Handle As Less Frequently As Possible

When you’re not using your microphone, it’s best to store it in a safe place and out of reach of children or any person, for that matter. If your microphone is one that’s best for studio use and not for the outdoors, always put it in its container when you’re not using it. Handling your mic regularly increases the chance of you damaging it or, even worse, dropping it. If you’re using a mic stand, make sure the mic is attached to it at all times.

Make Sure Dust Does Not Accumulate

One of the problems for most items, not just microphones, is dust accumulating on their surface. That is why you have to watch out for dust as it could damage your microphone or affect the audio quality in the long run. You can opt for a simple plastic bag when you aren’t using your microphone. If you have the budget, you can buy covers designed to prevent dust from settling on your microphone’s surface.

Humidity Is Not Your Microphone’s Friend

If you live in a pretty humid area, make sure you don’t use plastic bags when storing your microphone. Putting a plastic bag over it will create a hot environment for the microphone. It’s best to have a padded storage container instead of a plastic bag. The padded storage container will absorb any moisture and keep your microphone dry at all times.

In line with this, if you have a condenser mic, know that it’s very sensitive. Hence, if you store it, make sure there’s minimal change in pressure. Avoid storing it where it is damp, too cold, or too hot.

Pop Filters Are Life Savers

Pop filters are great for reducing plosives when you talk. But that’s not the only benefit as it also acts as a barrier to protect your microphone from your saliva. If your microphone’s capsule gets contaminated, it can affect how high frequency sounds register. Such may cause unwanted feedback or pick up more unwanted background noise when you use it in the long run.

Avoid Anything Liquid When Cleaning Your Microphone

Whenever you clean your microphone, make sure you don’t use water or any liquid. The smallest amount of moisture can damage your microphone, especially when it’s a condenser type. The best way to go when you want to get your microphone cleaned is to ask a professional to do it. Asking a professional is also a great way to help detect potential damage.

It will also be ideal to have your microphone regularly checked as it will result in longer shelf life. Regular check-ups may also mean lesser costs because if you miss having a professional regularly take a look at it, you might end up having the microphone undergo a major overhaul, which is far more expensive.

For dynamic microphones, make sure to unscrew the grille from your mic. Unlike a condenser mic, you can rinse the grille with water and you can use a mild detergent to get rid of the unwanted odor. Be sure, though, that you let the grille dry before putting it back on the microphone. Air-drying is the best way to go, but you can also use a hair dryer on low heat as long as the internal foam windscreen is not intact. If the grille is not removable, just scrub it with a damp toothbrush and do it gently. Hold the microphone upside down when doing this so that the moisture will not get to the cartridge.