Communication is one of the most important aspects of online gaming. If you want to enhance your voice while playing online games, then you need a microphone that will make your voice stand out amongst your enemies and teammates. If you have a headset microphone, then you already know how bad the sound quality is on those microphones. The only way you will get better sound quality is with a gaming microphone without headphones that has the capability of projecting your voice in a clear and smooth way. If you already have a high-quality headphone set without the microphone, then you can purchase a separate high-quality microphone and use them both together. Lots of people prefer a microphone for pc gaming with dedicated speakers so they can really take advantage of subwoofers and high-end sound systems.
Below are 10 microphone models that we recommend for recording and streaming activities. You could use these microphones for game streaming (like on Twitch) or any project that requires you to record your voice. You can also use them if you are wondering how to play music through mic in game (see this guide). But before we start listing these wonderful microphones, you should first understand the attributes of a great gaming microphone. There are so many microphone options available, so you need to know how to pick the best one for your particular needs.
Choosing the Best Affordable Microphone for Gaming
- Cost – The one thing that consumers will look at the most is the cost of the gaming microphones available. If you are somebody on a budget, then you won’t be able to purchase the best microphone on the market. If you are looking for the best cheap microphone for pc gaming you will find some decent contenders priced under $50. There are also some microphones listed that are priced up to a couple hundred dollars too. If you truly care about purchasing a good microphone, then you won’t mind saving up a little bit of money to purchase the best one. Of course, if you just care about getting your voice into a gaming stream without needing it to sound the best, then go with a microphone priced for $50 or under.
- Type – Microphones are not all the same. There are different types of microphones available. Each type may be designed for a specific purpose or task, such as YouTube, podcasts, narrations, vlogging, game streams, and so forth. When choosing the best computer microphone for gaming there are two main types to select from.
- USB Microphones – Gamers love USB microphones. They are very easy and convenient to use because you just have to plug them into the USB port of your personal computer, laptop, desktop, or Mac computer. Then your computer will automatically download the necessary drivers so that it can operate the microphone. People love the simple plug-and-play aspect of USB microphones. They also come in various shapes and sizes, so there are different quality USB microphones too. Just choose the one that agrees with your budget.
- Condenser Microphones– USB microphones are a lower form of condenser microphones. If you want a true condenser microphone, then you need a studio quality one. These higher-grade condenser microphones use an XLR connection rather than a USB connection. Most gamers don’t use condenser microphones because they are a little more complicated to set up. People who truly want to record high-quality sounds and music will want to use condenser microphones. These would be singers, musicians, and possibly narrators or speakers. However, if you are a gamer with a huge audience or following, then you may want to choose the studio-quality condenser microphone with the XLR connection. This will ensure that you provide them with a better-quality experience while they listen to your podcasts and streams. Be aware that you will need an external power source for the condenser microphone because it requires more power than what a computer could provide it. Some other helpful accessories include a pop filter and stand.<
- Location – The location where you are playing your games will determine which microphone you choose. For example, if you normally play games in your bedroom or office room, then you have a desk to keep the microphone stationary. But if you are playing games in your living room, then you will need to find a way to keep the microphone close to your mouth. A condenser type wouldn’t be the best choice if you are looking for the best desktop mic for gaming in a loud room as it will pickup a lot of background nise.
- Extra Features – If you are just looking for a simple microphone to put on your desk so that you can speak into it, then you probably won’t care about how many extra features it has. But if you care about the specific way your voice will be heard, then you will want to consider condenser microphones which have bass roll-offs, attenuation switches, volume control, polar pattern switches, and other voice features. Some microphones like these come with carrying cases in case you need to travel with them. If you’re looking for a complete microphone package that comes with everything you need then we recommend you check out our other guide here: http://allmicrophone.com/guides/best-microphone-packages
The Top 10 Best Gaming Microphones
Samson G-Track PRO
The Samson G-Track PRO is perhaps the best microphone for gaming. It is a USB microphone that is relatively new and comes from the popular Samson brand. This is a brand known for their affordable microphones. What is special about the G-Track PRO is its big 25mm diaphragm dual one-inch capsule. This has the ability to pick up voices better than most microphones of the same value. The G-Track PRO is a condenser microphone which only captures the sounds coming from the front rather than the sides and back. This is exactly what a gamer will appreciate because they will be sitting at their desk with the microphone right in front of their mouth. But if you want to alter the way that sound is picked up by it, then use the polar pattern switch that is integrated into the device. This will allow you to record sounds coming from the back too, which is something you might want to do if you’re recording other people in the same room as you.
Overall, the G-Track Pro has superior sound quality. It has 96 kHz/24-bit high-resolution recording which will give your voice plenty of clarity during gameplay streams and recordings. The microphone has gain control too so that the level of your voice can be adjusted. If you connect your headphones to the microphone, you can use the volume knob for the headphones. Overall, as a USB microphone for gaming, it is one of the best around.
This is another great USB microphone for gaming. The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ costs about the same as the Samson G-Track PRO if you were to shop retail for them. However, you may find some websites which sell one cheaper than the other. Whichever one you can find cheaper, purchase that one. Both microphones have very similar specifications and features. The AT2020USB+ is a condenser cardioid microphone which comes with a stand and has USB plug-and-play capabilities. There are no drivers that you need to install from a separate disk either. Just plug in the USB wire and you are good to go. This is a high-end piece of kit and would be our choice as the best microphone for gaming commentary
The only weaker thing about the AT2020USB+ is that it’s 16-bit while the G-Track PRO is 24-bit. If you are just using this microphone for gaming, then the sound difference will not be noticeable that much. But if you are recording songs or music, then you might be hesitant to go with this 16-bit microphone. Unless, of course, you can find it cheaper.
Rode NT1-A Bundle
If you want a great gaming microphone that is not a USB microphone, then try the Rode NT1-A Bundle. This is a studio quality microphone that is a bit more expensive, but you get what you pay for. However, it is not an overly expensive microphone and the sound quality is not super advanced. It is basically a step up from USB microphones while still remaining on the low side of a studio quality microphone. This makes it affordable for gamers who want to have higher quality sounds than the average gamers. The Rode NT1-A Bundle features a big one-inch diaphragm (gold-plated) and reduced self-noise of 5 decibels only. The result is a professional and smooth sound that works well for either game streaming or recording.
A microphone stand will need to be purchased separately. You won’t be able to sit this microphone on your desk by itself. There are plenty of compatible stands and accessories for this microphone, including a pop filter and shock mount. Therefore, try this microphone out if you want something a little better than your standard USB microphone.
Yeti certainly has a great reputation in the world of USB microphones and online gaming. Unfortunately, their microphones were surpassed by the G-Track PRO, mainly due to its inexpensive price and superior bit-depth. There is always the Yeti PRO which matches the sound resolution of the G-Track PRO, but it is very expensive. That is why a great alternative for online gaming is the Blue Yeti Microphone. It is a very affordable USB microphone that has a reputable brand name to back it up.
The Blue Yeti microphone comes with a built-in stand, color options, gain control, several patterns, and operates without having to install any drivers. If you don’t like the mini stand that comes with the microphone, you can purchase mounts separately. One compatible mounting boom arm is the Blue Compass. Just mount this arm behind your monitor and then have it go over your head. Not only will this put the microphone in front of you, but you will save a lot of space too.
If you still need to be convinced of its quality, check out all the positive reviews that have been posted about this microphone. You won’t find too many USB microphones for gaming quite like this one. The regular Blue Yeti has 48 kHz/16-bit. The Pro version has 192 kHz/24-bit.
You can read our in-depth review of the Blue Yeti Microphone here.
The Neewer NW-700 will save you money and probably still capture your interest in other ways too. It is certainly better than a headset microphone but more importantly, the Neewer NW-700 can be used for virtually any task or reason. It is a condenser microphone which has the basic studio sound quality that you would expect from one. But it is so affordable that you would want to purchase this for any of your sound recording activities.
Since it does not use a USB connection, you will need to provide your own phantom power for the microphone. It will require the usual 48 volts to power it up. Aside from this power source, the Neewer NW-700 package includes many useful accessories for it. There is the scissor arm stand, pop filter, shock mount, XLR cable, and clamping kit. Just check out the reviews to verify how effective this microphone is at delivering good quality sounds.
It may not be the most professional microphone, but it is a good enough microphone for the asking price. Anyone who wants a better-quality condenser microphone than a USB should try the Neewer NW-700. It comes with all the accessories that you will need and is great for recording games, music, songs, and more. This would probably be our choice as the best cheap desktop microphone for gaming and offers excellent value for money..
eBerry Plug and Play
You might be a gamer who just wants the most basic microphone at the cheapest price possible. As long as you can produce something that is listenable, then it will be good enough. If this sounds like you, then try the eBerry Plug and Play microphone. There are no studio-quality features, such as audio resolution, sophisticated mounts, polar patterns, and so on. The eBerry microphone is great for people who need a quick replacement microphone or just something cheap to use for the occasional gaming experience. You can still use a USB wire to connect the microphone to your computer. There is no need to use a 3.5 mm for this.
The eBerry Plug and Play has an adjustable neck to make it easier to fit in front of you. Since the microphone is small, it is easy to keep it on your desk without it getting in the way of anything. You can use it for either the personal computer or Mac. So, if you need a functional gaming microphone to broadcast your voice to your enemies and teammates, then this is the one for you.
Razer Seiren Elite
If you’re into superior quality USB microphones for gaming, then you can’t go wrong with the Razer Seiren Elite. If you are familiar with the Razer brand, you will understand its reputation for producing upscale gaming products and accessories. The Seiren Elite has a shiny black finish and is constructed with very high-end material. There was no flimsy plastic used to construct it. This means that the microphone is very durable and should last you for a long time. As for the sound quality, there is a high-pass filter built into the microphone which eliminates low-frequency sounds while you’re streaming. These are sounds like air conditioners running or fans blowing in the background. The neatest thing is the microphone has gain control and volume control just like the G-Track PRO does.
The high-pass filter can be turned on and off, but you should always leave it on. To lower distortion, you can use the analog and digital limiter that comes with it. There is 48 kHz / 16-bit resolution for the sound that you can stream in games. This is not as good as the G-Track PRO’s resolution, but you are still getting a USB microphone that is far superior to most of the others on the market. The Razer Seiren Elite contains many of the additional features that you would find in studio-quality microphones. There are features to eliminate noise and make your voice clear. What can be better than that for online gaming?
The MXL 770 is a condenser microphone of standard studio-quality just like the other one listed here. As a gaming microphone, it is still very affordable while sustaining its reputation for quality. The MXL 770 will give users sound quality that is highly balanced. It is constructed with material that is highly durable, which ensures that the microphone will have a long lifespan. There is even a customized attenuation switch that is 10 decibels. The purpose of this feature is to lower the output level. This will come in handy if you’re going to scream or play instruments into the microphone. To lower the number of vibrations, you can use the shock mount which comes with the microphone. Unfortunately, the stand, carrying case, and pop filter are three accessories that will need to be purchased separately.
The MXL 770 does not receive its power from a USB connection. It depends on a phantom power supply like most high-end condenser microphones. If you are an extreme gamer that wants to include music and sound effects to their streams and recordings, then the MXL 770 is the perfect solution. If you look around, you may be able to find special bundles which include the MXL 770 and other necessary accessories. Some of these bundles will include the boom arm stand and classic microphone stand.
Blue Snowball iCE
The last two microphones on this list are suitable for mobile gamers. They are USB microphones with portability and mobility in mind. Even though they are smaller microphones, you can still place them on your desk too.
The Blue Snowball iCE is the second most popular Blue gaming microphone. It is not as strong as the Blue Yeti, but it still delivers good enough audio quality for the size and price of the device. The Snowball iCE will produce great sound recordings on your personal computer or Mac. Even though it has a low cost, the Snowball iCE features a cardioid polar pattern that is found on many high-end condensers. To place the microphone on your desk, there is a tripod stand included with the unit.
Other more expensive USB microphones have a better sample rate than the Snowball iCE. But you are still getting an impressive 44.1 kHz and 16-bit with the device. This is good enough for any environment that is devoted to gaming. The microphone only weighs 460 grams. Because of its mobility and affordability, it remains as one of our top choices for gaming microphones. You can get the Blue Snowball iCE in white or black colors.
Samson Go Mic
The last microphone on our list is the Samson Go Mic. As far as USB microphones go, this is one of the most recognizable by far. The size of this microphone is nearly the same as the size of a wallet. You can even fold the microphone to make it smaller so that you can carry it around in a leather case or inside your pants pockets.
If you like to record or stream games away from home, like at coffee shops or airports, then the Samson Go Mic will be simple to carry around while traveling. The price of the Samson Go Mic is certainly more than reasonable. It is a little bit lower priced than the retail price of Snowball iCE. Overall, you should choose whichever one is the cheapest because they are both good quality microphones. The Samson Go Mic has many of the same features and resolution as the Snowball iCE. They are both compatible with the personal computer and Mac. Best of all, it has a cardioid pickup pattern.
The omnidirectional pickup patterns are switchable on the Samson Go Mic. There is a whole lot of versatility with this microphone, but you will get used to it. You can mount the microphone directly to the top of your laptop and begin conducting streams and recordings with it. The microphone is best used for chat discussions, music, and game streaming. So, to all those who play games on their mobile devices, the Samson Go Mic is likely going to be compatible with them.