Best USB microphones for streaming: Upgrade your stream with high-quality audio

Our top picks provide great vocal clarity and robust features while still being affordable.

Credit: Rob Schultz / IDG

Whether you’re streaming games to Twitch, YouTube, or another streaming platform, your audience needs to hear you clearly over the gameplay. (The same holds true if you’re holding live chat sessions or talking with your viewers as you work on a project.) And unfortunately, microphones built into laptops, webcams, and even headsets just don’t sound as good compared to a full-size microphone sitting close to your mouth.

The good news is, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to upgrade—while professional streamers use pro-level audio equipment for the best possible sound, USB microphones are much cheaper. They’re much easier to use without sacrificing quality, too. Plug a USB microphone into your computer, and you can be off and running immediately.

Our picks for the best USB microphones focus on these core basics: They’re easy-to-use models that offer great quality for a fair price, as well as work with a variety of voice types and volumes.

Want more details on how to pick the best microphone for your voice? We explain the key features and what to look for in a USB microphone below.

The best USB microphones

Other microphones we’ve tested

Page 2: We explain the most important features in a USB microphone, what to look for in a microphone to best suit your voice, and why USB microphones are so superior to mics in webcams, laptops, and even headsets.

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Adam Patrick Murray, Alaina Yee

PC World (US online)
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