If you’re looking to improve the quality of your YouTube channel, one of the best things you can do is invest in a better microphone (besides a camera, obviously).

I’ve created content for YouTube and blogs for over two years, and I can tell you from experience that a well-sounding microphone for your videos is a top priority, even if you never plan to show your face.

youtube watch time

Considering that over 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, you’ll need excellent video quality to compete.

YouTubers prefer high-quality condenser microphones to create engaging videos.

If you’re using low-quality USB microphones, odds are you’ll struggle with keeping the watch time at a decent level, which is crucial for the algorithm.

Nothing makes a viewer turn off your video faster than bad audio, and you can probably relate.

If you want to be a successful content creator, you NEED the ability to sound good, even if you have background music in your videos.

Luckily for you, I’m here to help you figure out which one is the best microphone for YouTube, so let’s dive in!

How Do I Choose A Microphone For YouTube?

To be honest, I don’t think there is a single best microphone for every use case, but you’ll find the absolute best ones on the list below.

If you want superior audio quality, consider an XLR mic with an additional audio interface.

If you can’t be bothered with tech, buy a USB mic of a higher quality.

Need something more hands-off?

Consider a USB mic with a boom arm or a wireless/lavalier mic.

And if you choose to invest in a quality microphone, consider getting a DAW (Music Making Software) to capture and remix your recordings.

What Is The Best Microphone For YouTube?

These are my top picks for the best microphones for YouTube on the market today, and there will be something for everyone on this list.

1. Elgato Wave:3

Best Overall USB Microphone For Mac Users

elgato wave 3 homepage

Elgato Wave 3 is an awesome microphone for YouTube, Podcasting, Slack, Zoom, and other online applications.

The Wave 3 has a fantastic sound quality, is very easy to use, and looks stunning with the new white edition.

The mic’s sleek and modern design now comes in black and white to match your desk setup style.

It is a microphone with a clear and precise sound, even for being a USB mic.

This means you get amazing sound without needing a separate XLR audio interface.

The mic includes a ton of features for customization with the Elgato Wave Link app that works for both PC and Mac.

Pros and Cons

 It is a high-quality microphone with a fantastic build quality and comes with a desktop stand.

 The sound is crystal clear straight out of the box.

 Plug and play with a USB connection with various devices.

 Tweak the settings to get a broadcast quality sound with the Wave Link app.

 Control multiple sources of audio channels.

 Perfect for educational YouTube videos, coaching calls, remote work, and more.

 Accessories custom-made for the Wave include a pop filter and a shock mount that reduces vibrations.

The full loadout of gear and equipment can become expensive as Elgato aims to be a premium brand.

My Experience With The Elgato Wave 3

elgato wave 3 at my desk

I used the Blue Yeti Nano before upgrading to the Elgato Wave 3, and I’m happy to report that the Wave works flawlessly with my Macbook Air and the M1 chip.

The overall experience and sound quality of the Wave 3 is way ahead of the Yeti.

With the Wave Link app, you can easily adjust the sound quality to get the perfect sound for your recording needs with built-in settings and external plugins.

elgato wave 3 eq

If you decide to get the Low-Profile boom arm as I did, then you can adjust the mic’s position effortlessly, swivel, or rotate it however you want!

This is a great way to keep a minimal desk setup while also having the option to work standing up and still have the mic close to your mouth.

elgato wave 3 low profile boom arm

I recommend it for that perfect desk setup as it elevates the comfort, flexibility, and usage of the Elgato Wave.

2. Shure SM7B

Best XLR Microphone For Crystal Clear Sound

An excellent and professional microphone is one of the most important things a content creator can have; in most cases, audio trumps video.

The Shure SM7B is a professional quality grade, large-diaphragm condenser microphone.

It delivers an accurate and detailed sound; using it for voiceovers and podcasting is ideal.

It’s a microphone that reproduces the vocal frequency the best out of all microphones in its category, making it one of the best premium microphone options for YouTube.

Great Features, Likes, and Dislikes

 A professional microphone that’s built to do its job perfectly with a high-quality sound.

 Large-diaphragm which helps reduce popping and breath sounds.

 The sound profile is clear and warm, and the lows are perfectly balanced.

 It can record everything, including instruments, acoustic guitars, rap, rock, etc.

Higher end price and not for everyone.

Requires an XLR audio interface but is a perfect upgrade if you already have one.

My Take On The Shure SMB7

The Shure SMB7 is an industry standard for a reason and is used by some of the most prominent podcasters in the world, like Joe Rogan.

It’s perhaps not the best for a beginner as it requires some setting up, tweaking and customization.

I’d consider upgrading to it once you’re comfortable being a content creator for the long run.

A Shure SM7B Alternative

The Shure MV7 is another top pick if you want to get this specific type of microphone without an XLR cable, meaning it’s plug and play through USB.

The key difference is that MV7 is specifically designed for speech and vocals.

It’s perfect for YouTube creators due to its high quality and simple USB connectivity and is worth considering.

The Shure SM7B and MV7 are both premium pick, so you can’t go wrong with either.

3. Blue Yeti Nano

Best USB Microphone For YouTubers on a Budget

yeti nano homepage

Blue Yeti is a USB microphone that works great on Windows and PCs and can record crystal-clear audio on your desktop, laptop, or tablet.

This multi-pattern USB microphone and its two pattern selection modes (cardioid and omnidirectional) is designed to capture every nuance of the human voice.

The Blue Yeti features a zero-latency stereo headphone monitoring jack that lets you listen to what you’re recording in real time.

Great Features, Likes, and Dislikes

 Easy to use, set up, plug and play from unboxing to recording in minutes.

 Amazing sound quality with a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with multiple pattern selections.

 Simple controls, no complicated menus to navigate

 Affordable and built to last, Best bang for your buck

Does not work with the newer Mac M1 chip on the MacBook Air / MacBook Pro

Blue Yeti Alternatives

The Blue Yeti microphones have a great value overall, but you might also want to consider the Elgato Wave 1 or the Audio Technica AT2035 for a similar price.

The Blue Yeti is a fantastic microphone for people looking to improve their audio quality without spending too much money.

If you’re looking for a microphone that sounds great, is easy to use, and won’t break the bank, the Blue Yeti is the way to go.

4. Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack

Best XLR Package With Audio Interface Included

focusrite scarlett homepage

Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack is an excellent home recording and studio package for content creators.

The best part is that It includes an audio interface and an excellent microphone for its class.

It also has all the additional features needed to get started with studio recordings, such as an XLR cable, pop shield, and stereo headphones.

And once you feel like upgrading the mic, you already have the audio interface ready.

Just pop in one of the best microphones for YouTube, and you’re good to go.

Great Features, Likes, and Dislikes

 Includes not just a great microphone but also an audio interface, XLR cable, and a set of headphones.

 Easy to set up and use for non-technical users.

 Plug n play with both Mac and PC.

 You get an audio interface that future-proofs your content creation endeavors.

 Solid and robust components with a high-quality interface that is easy to use and set up.

 It offers excellent value for all home recording needs.

Not as good audio quality as the Shure or Elgato.

My Take On The Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack

The Focusrite Scarlett Studio Pack is an excellent choice for people who want to start recording and need a great microphone for YouTube.

All the components are plug and play, making it easy for you to start recording.

5. Rode NT1-A

Best Microphones for YouTubers Who Do a Lot of Interviews

rode nt1-a homepage

Rode NT1-A is an advanced large-diaphragm side-address condenser microphone that delivers broadcast-quality audio for various recording applications.

It features a 1″ true condenser capsule and uses only the highest quality components.

The Rode NT1-A is a microphone almost entirely made of metal and has a solid feel.

It’s one of the industry’s best mics, with the Shure SM7B and the Audio Technica AT2035 up there.

Great Features, Likes, and Dislikes

 Professional sound quality with gain control function.

 Excellent noise cancellation.

 Great value for the money.

 Attenuation of the low frequencies.

 Ideal for singers, vocalists, vloggers, podcasters, YouTubers, multimedia, and online gamers.

A Rode NT1-A Alternative

A great alternative to this microphone from the same manufacturer is the Rode NT-USB, which, as the name implies, is plug-and-play through USB.

Just note that XLR mics with an audio interface always have superior sound quality if that’s what you’re looking for.

My Take On The Rode NT1-A

Excellent sound for a great price, the Rode NT1-A is a microphone for YouTube videos that is suitable for vlogs, podcasts, voiceovers, interviews, online collaborations, live streaming, etc.

It’s arguably one of the more popular mics on YouTube, together with the Shure SM7B.

If you are looking for a mic that supports USB and with a similar quality, the Rode NT-USB is an excellent choice for ease of use, all for a similar price, with the trade-off sound quality.

6. Audio-Technica AT2035

Best Microphones for YouTubers Who Need An Upgrade

at2035 homepage

This microphone is a solid choice for content creators, especially if you want to upgrade your camera’s built-in microphones.

It has an excellent frequency response and features a cardioid pickup pattern to help eliminate background noise.

Its sound quality is excellent for voiceover or podcasting applications, but it can also be used for recording musical instruments and as a microphone for YouTube.

Great Features, Likes, and Dislikes

 Captures the natural depth and clarity of vocals, acoustic instruments, and more.

 Provides exceptional clarity and detail with minimal coloration.

 Designed to provide outstanding performance for home studio recording, podcasting, spoken word, and voiceover use.

 It uses a cardioid polar pattern (unidirectional), so you can record in any environment.

 It’s a large-diaphragm condenser mic, so it has a wide range of use, making it a great value.

Accessories and Alternatives

There is an option to get a podcasting kit for the AT2035 with an adjustable boom arm and shock mount for an extra $50, and it’s worth it to make your life that much easier.

The AT2020 is a cheaper alternative if you’re on a tighter budget.

My Take

You will need a good microphone to record your videos for YouTube or other content creation purposes.

The Audio-Technica AT2035 is a high-quality microphone popular among content creators and is used by viral people on YouTube.

It is worth noting that this microphone needs an XLR interface, which means you will need a mixer to get the best sound quality from this microphone.

7. HyperX Quadcast

Best USB Microphone for Gamers and Streamers

hyperx quadcast

HyperX QuadCast is an incredible microphone for YouTube, especially for streaming and gaming, with an eye-popping design.

Its unique design makes it stand out from the crowd and delivers high-quality audio with excellent detail and clarity.

It’s also flexible, so you can move around more freely while having fun online.

With advanced features, stunning RGB lighting effects, and a super-cool design, it’s perfect for streamers and YouTubers looking to sound their best.

It’s also ideal for gamers who want an edge in multiplayer action with zero background noise.

Great Features, Likes, and Dislikes

 Stylish design

 High quality and clear voice recording in digital mode

 Low latency and ergonomic design

 Perfect for streaming, gaming, YouTube, and much more

My Take On The Quadcast

The HyperX Quadcast is a great microphone for YouTube, gaming, and streaming.

The design is eye-popping, and the sound is clear. Plus, the microphone comes with built-in volume control and a mute switch.

It’s an excellent microphone for those looking to up their YouTube game and create videos.

What Are The Different Types Of Microphones Available For YouTube?

There are a variety of microphones available to use with your YouTube videos.

The microphone you choose will depend on several factors, including the type of video you create, your budget, and your personal preferences.

USB Microphones

USB microphones are a popular option for many YouTubers as they are relatively affordable and easy to use, just plug and play.

Many YouTubers choose this option because it is an affordable way to get started.

Especially for those who are just beginning their YouTube journey and don’t have much experience with video editing or are using AI video generators to create content.

XLR microphones

XLR is a three-pin style cable and the audio connector typically used in recording studios.

You’ll find this connector in professional microphones and high-quality audio inputs.

These microphones require an additional audio interface to work due to the XLR cable not being plug and play.

Lavalier Microphones

The Lavalier microphone is a great way to get clear and high-quality audio without worrying about your camera getting in the way.

They are small and discreet, perfect for on-camera talent where you don’t want to be glued to a desk.

Wireless Microphones

They are often used in situations where it is not possible or practical to have a physical connection or if you just want the freedom to move around while on camera.

They are perfect if you’re interviewing someone for a vlog or filming a tutorial where you need to use your hands.

Shotgun microphones

A type of microphone often used in filmmaking footage, designed to pick up sound from the front or a specific direction.

It is often mounted on a boom pole on top of DSLR cameras.

It can even be on a regular phone through the headphone jack, allowing the user to capture audio from a distance.

This can be helpful when trying to capture audio from a particular event or situation or when trying to avoid capturing ambient noise.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of microphone do I need?

It’s entirely up to how you plan to make YouTube videos.

If you’re the type who mostly does interviews and podcast-style content, then you’ll want an XLR mic for superior audio quality.

But if you plan to do more streaming, gaming, or educational content, then a USB mic is a fantastic choice, as you’ll spend a lot of time talking at your desk.

A USB mic is also a great choice if you want to be able to record your voice without any hassle.

If you’re more of the filmmaker type out and about, you’ll probably want to go with a shotgun mic that fits on top of your camera.

What are the most popular models of microphones for YouTube?

The most common type is the condenser microphone, typically used in studios for recording music and vocals.

These microphones are sensitive and can pick up a lot of detail, making them ideal for capturing the audio for a video.

Another popular type of microphone is the dynamic microphone. These microphones are less sensitive than condenser microphones and are often used for live performances as they are more robust.

Who makes the best microphones for YouTube?

Some of the best and most recognized brands include:

  • The Rode NT
  • The Shure SM7b
  • The Elgato Wave 3
  • And the Blue Yeti X or Blue Yeti Nano.

Which microphone is best for recording?

For singing, vocals, recording instruments, and even high-quality podcasting, I would go with the best mics on this list with an audio interface, like the Shure SM7B, Audio-Technica AT2035, or Rode NT1-A.

The best microphones for YouTube, streaming, and gaming include the Elgato Wave 3, Blue Yeti microphones, or the HyperX Quadcast.

What’s better than a Blue yeti?

Many other alternatives on this blog post are better than a Blue Yeti microphone, like the Elgato Wave 3 and the Shure SM7B.

But what makes Blue Yeti so great is the ease of use through USB.

They sound great out of the box and are affordable, so they are an excellent pick for anyone starting and who needs an external microphone.

Wrapping It Up

It’s important to point out that every content creator is different.

I’ve ranked these microphones from most recommended to least recommended, but don’t be discouraged by a lower ranking.

After carefully researching the microphones and using them myself, these are my opinions, so adjust the rankings to fit your needs.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this article!