The 8 Best Gaming Microphone Picks of 2021 – For Gaming & Live Streaming
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Owning a high-quality microphone will greatly impact the experience that your viewers end up having while watching your streams. If you don’t already have a decent microphone, the chances are that you are seriously hampering your streaming career’s potential.
In this guide and review, the DiamondLobby team and I took on the challenge to find the best streaming microphones on the market so that we can provide you with a list of the best microphones to pick from that best suit your needs and budget.
The selection process was fairly straightforward. First, we conducted some community research to identify the needs and pain points of current streamers. After that, in accordance with our findings, we created criteria that later helped us pick out the best qualifying products, which you will see today.
We found that the average best streaming microphone in our selection was omnidirectional, could produce high-quality audio recording, hosted noise-reduction technology, and could be mounted to a boom arm.
With all that in mind, let’s take a moment to explore the best 8 streaming microphones that will transform your viewer’s experience.
The number one goal of this guide and review is to provide you with the most transparent, and confident recommendations when it comes to the best streaming microphones.
Before we could recommend you a list of the best products on the market today, first, we had to understand what made a microphone great. Then, using our findings, we created criteria, which we later used during our research to pin-point the best qualifying products that matched or exceeded our criteria.
So, after hours of research and going over hundreds of streaming microphones, we’d like to present you with our confident and honest recommendations across a range of price points.
We knew that to truly find the best streaming microphones on the market, we had to follow some sort of a structure. I mean, if you go on Google and type “streaming microphones”, hundreds if not thousands of results will pop up.
So, to ensure that the recommendations that you will see today are truly the best of the best, the team at DiamondLobby and I jumped on a call and formed a comprehensive plan of action.
First, we conducted community research to identify the needs and pain points of current streamers. In accordance with our findings, we concluded that there are four key aspects that streamers cared about when it comes to microphones. Those include the value for money, design, polar pattern, and recording quality of the microphone.
So, with that in mind, we created criteria, which we used to identify the best qualifying products that you will see today. Below, you can find out more about each of the four points from our criteria to know exactly how we picked.
Value for Money
Like anything, if we don’t quite feel like something is worth its price tag, we often don’t buy it. You, I, and the whole DiamondLobby team are the same. As consumers, we don’t want to spend more money than we have to.
So, what we did was pick the best streaming microphones across a range of different price points. In our final selection, you will find microphones that are worth under $100 and microphones that are worth multiple hundred dollars.
However, they all have one thing in common; we ensured that every pick you will see today is worth its price tag.
As a streamer, how your setup looks to your audience probably matters quite a lot to you. At the end of the day, no one wants to be known as the guy with a messy, unorganized setup that is all over the place.
So, if you do happen to stream with your streaming cam on, you’d be pleased to hear that we took extreme care of ensuring that every product that we recommend is visually appealing and can easily settle within just about any setup theme.
Polar Pattern & Recording Quality
There are four main polar patterns – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo. What polar pattern your microphone hosts will have a direct impact on how your microphone performs.
Different polar patterns are used for a range of different activities ranging from streaming to music production and podcasting. You can find more about polar patterns in more detail in the “What to Look For” section near the bottom of this guide.
To ensure that there is a streaming microphone for just about anyone’s needs, requirements, and budget, we have ensured to include a vast range of streaming microphones with different polar patterns.
If you are starting out as a streamer and don’t have a lot of money to invest in your setup, the JLab Audio Talk Go is the perfect option for you.
The price at the time of writing was $46.76.
Visually, the JLab Audio Talk Go features a compact and portable design in black and neon blue without missing out on any important recording features due to the minimalistic design.
As far as the audio recording quality is concerned, this microphone offers 96kHz/24-bit audio resolution, making it ideal for streams, podcasts, and even ASMR content.
Thanks to the USB connectivity, you won’t need to install any drivers to initiate the recording process. Simply plug it in, and begin using the microphone.
At the base of the microphone, you will see a “quick” mute button should you decide to swiftly cut out the audio to your stream. Alongside that, you will find a 3.5mm jack and a standard ⅝-inch input that is compatible with swivel mounts.
As expected of its price range, the JLab Audio Talk Go doesn’t have the latest and greatest features, like its polar patterns being limited to cardioid and omnidirectional options.
Despite that, it is easily one of the best microphones for streaming, especially compared to other microphones in this price bracket.
If you want your audience to have the best possible audio experience while watching your streams, it doesn’t get any better than the Shure SM7B streaming microphone.
The price at the time of writing was $399.99.
Our research found that 110 of the top 250 streamers on Twitch use the Shure SM7B microphone. Some of the biggest names that use this microphone include Tfue, Bugha, MrSavage, and Dr. DisRespect.
This microphone produces a flat and wide-range frequency response rate for an exceptionally clean and natural reproduction of both music and speech.
One of the most notable features of the Shure SM7B is the internal air suspension shock isolation, which virtually eliminates the transmission of any mechanical noise. Besides that, the highly effective pop filter further reduces the transmission of any sounds that your audience shouldn’t hear, like breathing sounds.
Thanks to the Yoke mounting, you can easily mount, dismount or position your microphone to a precise position without any problems.
With all that in mind, it is easy to see why most of the top-end streamers on the biggest streaming platform use this microphone. If you too want to provide your audience with the best possible audio experience, then we would highly recommend you the Shure SM7B.
After conducting our research, we found that the Blue Yeti X is one of the most popular streaming microphones in the community.
The price at the time of writing was $169.99.
Visually, the Blue Yeti X boasts a premium build quality in black through the entire exterior of the microphone. If you’re not afraid to go above the average spending for a gaming and streaming microphone, you should consider the Blue Yeti X as it is deemed as one of the best streaming microphones on the market.
A step up from its predecessor, the Yeti, this streaming microphone has four condenser capsules instead of three, improving the sound pickup quality and refining sensitivity. This translates to an enhanced recording and playback quality over its competitor’s thanks to the wider dynamic range for a well-bodied sound.
What really ups the game for the Blue Yeti X is the smart dial that allows you to switch the microphone polar patterns between bidirectional, omnidirectional, cardioid, and stereo options. This makes the unit versatile for tons of applications, including round table interviews or podcasts with one-on-one guests.
You can also use the Blue Voice software that allows you to add presets or custom filters to achieve your radio host vibe or that tactical comms feel.
An LED front panel indicator takes care of real-time volume readouts so you can adjust it accordingly on the go. You also gain access to a noise-reduction button that improves ambient noise dampening, which can get quite tricky due to the enhanced sensitivity of the Blue Yeti X.
Overall, the Blue Yeti X is a great microphone for any streamer that is looking to upgrade their viewers’ audio experience.
Other Great Gaming Microphones
The HyperX QuadCast is another high-end streaming microphone perfect for streamers who are after a great audio quality microphone without shelling out multiple hundreds of dollars.
The price at the time of writing was $136.04.
Visually, the HyperX QuadCast exudes top-of-the-line looks and feel with its robust structure. From the get-go, this gaming microphone already ranks up in our steal-deals list due to the inclusion of a built-in shock mount that protects the device from unnecessary bumps and vibrations that might affect the captured quality of your voice.
The HyperX QuadCast also sports versatility with its four selectable polar patterns – omnidirectional, bidirectional, stereo, and cardioid – to fit your streaming and gaming needs with precise audio-capturing profiles.
This microphone performs decently with a rounder, full-bodied sound than most offerings that can be controlled using the gain dial.
This HyperX QuadCast also hosts a touch-sensitive mute button located at the top of the microphone, which can quickly be accessed to cut out any audio input during your streams.
With all that in mind, it comes as no surprise that some of the most popular streamers in the likes of Fortnite’s Clix and CS: GO’s m0NESY use this microphone.
The Audio-Technica AT2041SP is a widely used streaming microphone amongst top-tier streamers and e-Sports competitive players in the likes of CS: GO’s Summit1g.
The price at the time of writing was $179.00.
Visually, the AT2041SP by Audio-Technica features a very sleek and modern design in black throughout the exterior of the microphone. Furthermore, this streaming microphone hosts a premium build quality, which can easily last for years.
The unidirectional cardioid polar pattern allows for capturing and inputting audio sound in 360-degrees, which makes this microphone not only good for streaming but also for music production, podcasting, and more.
Furthermore, the Cardioid polar pattern further reduces the microphone’s ability to pick up any surrounding sounds from the sides (should you wish to), improving the isolation of desired sound source and directional input of audio.
The innovative pivoting stand mount, which is included with the microphone allows you to precisely position the microphone to suit your needs and angle for maximum audio quality without disrupting your in-game performance.
Overall, it is a fantastic choice if you are willing to spend a little bit more money.
Razer Seiren X
The Razer Seiren X is another one of the most affordable and best gaming microphones for streaming high-quality content.
The price at the time of writing was $79.98.
The Razer Seiren X is another great and affordable streaming microphone and a step up from the original Seiren model. This time around, the 2nd generation of the Razer Seiren microphones boasts a much better build and audio quality in a more compact design.
Visually, the microphone is super minimalistic in design as it is only equipped with volume control and a mute button, along with an 8-bit LED display that adds a quirky aesthetic appeal to the design.
As far as the audio recording quality is concerned, the Razer Seiren X also hosts a great recording performance thanks to the super-cardioid polar pattern, which provides for a clean and crisp vocal quality on-par with pricier units.
One of the most notable features is the background noise reduction technology, which can block most distant incoming noise. On the downside, it isn’t as great in terms of blocking noise from close proximity to the microphone.
Thus, if you are concerned that your audience will be able to hear your gaming keyboard, we would advise you to either use a keyboard with silent switches, or look for a different microphone.
When using this microphone, you are also given a zero-latency inline monitoring output to give you an accurate reproduction of the audio signal without the feedback added by the streaming software.
Blue Yeti USB
The Blue Yeti USB is one of the OG’s when it comes to streaming gaming microphones. Way before streaming became mainstream; this is the microphone that many streamers used because it is truly a masterpiece.
The price at the time of writing was $129.99.
The Blue Yeti USB became one of the best gaming mics for streaming. When streaming games became a little bit more mainstream, the Blue Yeti was easily the most popular streaming mic on the market. Because of its supreme quality to this day, we haven’t found any reason why we shouldn’t recommend it years later.
It has all the functions a streamer needs and has gone down in price in recent years, making it a viable choice even for those on a budget.
As far as performance is concerned, the microphone offers four polar patterns in the form of cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo to provide a versatile solution that makes the microphone suitable for gaming, streaming, podcasts, and even recording music.
When it comes to controls, they are also very simple. You will find a single volume dial along with a mute button, which is everything you really need.
With all that in mind, it is hard for us to point out any drawbacks to such a great streaming microphone, especially since it has dramatically dropped in price over the years.
Elgato Wave 3
And last but not least, we’d like to present you with the Elgato Wave 3, which is another great streaming microphone.
The price at the time of writing was $157.99.
In case you are after a simple capture and recording solution for your stream, the Elgato Wave 3 offers a fool-proof design that even the most inexperienced streamers and gamers can set up by themselves.
This 96KHz microphone features a compact design that is compatible with most boom arms for ease of installation.
While the Elgato Wave 3 only hosts a single cardioid pattern, the clarity you get from the pickup pattern is remarkable and is further enhanced by its noise-free circuit design, along with the proprietary clipguard technology that takes care of audio distortion.
Another notable feature of the Elgato Wave 3 is the digital audio mixer that comes with it. The Wave Link mixer accommodates up to 8 channels of audio, allowing you to mix and match in-game and communication software data into streaming programs like OBS and XSplit – in addition to two independent mixes.
This will improve your viewers’ experience as you can customize your audio streams so that you don’t mistakenly output to a channel not intended to receive certain transmissions. While this can sound quite complex, it isn’t once you get your hands on the microphone and start to use it yourself.
In our opinion, this is the best beginner-friendly streaming microphone that you can buy on the market today that also provides a high-quality audio output.
Who This is For
Whether you are a small streamer that is just starting out or an established name in the community, you know how important the quality of your stream audio is.
Just think about it, would you stick around and watch someone’s stream that has a microphone that picks up the most random sounds, produces awkward muffling sound, or is straight-up bad?
Chances are that you won’t stick around for long, even if you are watching your favorite streamer or e-Sports competitive player.
So, regardless of whether you have 3 or 5000 recurring viewers on your stream, having a high-quality streaming microphone will go a long way in not only satisfying your current audience but also attracting and keeping the attention of first time viewers.
To answer the question regarding who could benefit from a streaming microphone – my answer to that would be everybody that is looking to start or grow their streaming career.
What to Look For
If you aren’t quite sure what to look for when it comes to making the best possible buying decision for your next streaming microphone, below, we have outlined some things that you need to keep in mind.
The polar pattern of your microphone will have a big impact on how your microphone performance. Here are some of the most common polar patterns available in most consumer-grade mics.
A cardioid pattern offers a singular vocal recording performance due to its heart-shaped pickup area. Some streaming microphones even offer hypercardioid or supercardioid patterns that have narrower voice pickup areas.
As the name suggests, bidirectional mics capture sounds from two directions only, making it perfect for one on one podcasts and interview settings where both the speakers are facing each other.
This polar pattern allows the mic to capture sounds in a 360° scope, making it perfect for round table settings.
A stereo polar pattern offers a front and left/right recording coverage, making it optimal for choir or choral-type recordings and even ASMR.
Choosing the right streaming microphone ultimately boils down to how it fits your specific needs. Since most offerings nowadays already provide recording qualities that are on-par or even exceed studio standards, choosing from a polar pattern comes next.
Among the listed options, cardioid seems to be the most functional choice. It offers the best performance for streaming and gaming, with most configurations intended to cater to the streamer doing the vocal work in front of the gaming setup.
How your streaming microphone will be installed on your setup depends on its form factor and mounting design. Desk space will be needed if you want to go for tripod-mounting mics, so make sure that you have enough desk space available to facilitate a great recording position without interfering with your actual gameplay experience.
There are also clip-on solutions that can help and attach the microphone to the side of your gaming desk for those that lack in this. This is paired with a boom arm that adjusts the position of the microphone for the perfect balance of capture range and minimal obstruction.
Picking the Right Gaming Microphone
If you have come to this part of our guide, the chances are that you still haven’t quite made up your mind as to which streaming microphone to go for. So, to give you a helping hand, below, you will find three highly relevant scenarios alongside our best recommendation for a microphone for each one of the scenarios.
Scenario 1: You are a streamer looking to take streaming seriously and want to enter the community with the best possible streaming microphone and provide your audience with the best possible audio experience.
For that scenario, we would recommend you our best overall pick, the Shure SM7B.
Scenario 2: Let’s say that you are just starting out as a streamer, and don’t have a lot of money to invest for a new microphone but still don’t want to comrpomise on the quality of your streams.
In this case, we would recommend you our budget-friendly pick, the JLab Audio Talk Go.
Scenario 3: If you are on the lookout for an upgrade to your current microphone and don’t want to go for something cheap but also don’t want to overspend, we would recommend you our runner up pick, the Blue Yeti X, which is a great mid-range microphone.
The quality of your microphone can quite literally make or break your career as a streamer. No one wants to hear random sounds for hours at a time.
Cardioid is the most popular and widely used polar pattern in modern-day microphones. It can be found in most devices suited to streaming as they are most sensitive at 0° and least sensitive at 180°.
Generally speaking, the best overall pick is far better than any other microphone in our final selection.
If you currently don’t have the best microphone, even our budget-friendly pick will make a huge difference to your audience’s experience.