Best Microphone for Gaming
So you want to find the best microphone for gaming? Perhaps you are looking to replace that $20 radio shack mic you got a decade ago or maybe you are looking to fine tune your audio for crystal clear voice communication. Finding the best gaming microphone can be a challenge, but digging through the plethora of options available, here are some of the five best microphones for gaming.
The ModMic 4.0 is a darn good, value-oriented detachable boom microphone similar to those found on your typical gaming headset. It is available in four different configurations: omnidirectional or unidirectional and with or without an in-line mute control. Omnidirectional captures audio around the entirety of the microphone while unidirectional only captures audio at a certain angle. Its versatile and economical approach easily award it as the best microphone for gaming for value-oriented consumers.
The Rode NT-USB is one of the latest contenders in the market and a bit of a strange one at that. At the time of this writing, it is slightly more expensive than other options out there including the AT2020 and Yeti, but undercuts the AT2020+ and Yeti Pro. The audio quality is relatively the same as the AT2020 and the Yeti with maybe the exception of the ideal configuration (close and in front of you), which is not always practical. On the plus side, there is an included travel case and a well-integrated pop filter.
Additionally, there two dials which can be used to calibrate system volume vs microphone monitoring volume. This option is great for those that want to rip the box open and start using it right away with little or no further configuration.
The Audio Technica AT2020 and AT2020+ have rivaled its worthy adversaries such as the Blue Yeti for some time now and in many cases it delivers. Both are USB-powered cardioid microphones with a sample rate of 48kHz and 16-bit depth and come with a rather unexceptional stand with practically no countermeasures for surface feedback and a small travel case similar to the RODE NT-USB.
The main difference between the stock and AT2020+ is the additional volume controls and zero-latency monitoring headphone port. Aside from that, the AT2020 sounds about the same as it’s competitors with a bit of lackluster in the noise-cancellation department. Definitely not for noisy environments, but otherwise a great option.
Price*: $129.00 / $249.99
Technical Specifications: Yeti | Yeti Pro | Comparison
The Yeti and Yeti Pro is a well-renowned USB microphone from Blue Microphones and is popular among amateur livestream and YouTube content-creators. Both have an exhaustive list of features including zero-latency monitoring, four modes of recording, dedicated mute/power button, and dials for calibrating mic gain and volume.
The four modes of recording (bidirectional, cardioid, omnidirectional, and stereo) can accommodate virtually every voice communication situation, so you can use it for more than just gaming. In the context of gaming, most should use cardioid since it is primarily concerned with recording voice-overs, commentary, etc. The Yeti Pro comes with all of the stock yeti features plus XLR support and a maximum recording resolution of 192kHz 24-bit vs the standard 48kHz 16-bit.
Electro-Voice manufactures some seriously high-end hardware trusted and used by content-creation professionals in traditional and non-traditional outlets. In the gaming sphere, many popular streamers and YouTubers use this microphone (e.g. TotalBiscuit). In contrast to the RODE NT-USB, this is very much a plug ‘n play solution for professionals so long as you have the appropriately calibrated external audio interface which supports XLR.
If you are looking to make streaming or YouTube content creation your full-time career, you cannot go wrong with looking at this option, but it will require a steep financial commitment to maintain it.
Overall Best Gaming Microphone
The Yeti family of microphones is a marvel of audio engineering offering deceptively elegant features at highly competitive prices. Out of all the microphones listed, the Blue Yeti family eviscerates competitors in the audio clarity and background noise filtering department. The icing on the cake: no loss in perceivable audio quality. Most of other microphones have one of two problems: either the noise-cancellation is too weak or is overbearing and muffles voices. In the case of the Blue Yeti Family, the only noticeable change is the volume of voices as the distance between the microphone and the user is increased. Its not all sunshine and bunnies though, the lack of pop filter and/or shock mount may be a deal-breaker for some especially if you have a computer on your desk. It is also slightly more bulky than other options out there. Regardless this is the best microphone for gaming hands down.
Listed below are some sound comparisons for various standalone microphones and headsets, which you can use to determine which one is right for you.
Warning: Some of these may contain strong language.