If you’re currently interested in live streaming or making YouTube videos then owning the best gaming microphone is a must. And in this article we’ll be discussing the details for the top 7 gaming mics for YouTube and Twitch Streaming.
Like Mountain Dew and Doritos, YouTube gaming videos and Twitch streaming are now staples in gaming culture. People who don’t have time to actually play video games watch YouTube “Let’s Play” videos, while those who have too much time on their hands watch Twitch live streams.
Both sites are also good sources if you want help in a specific game (YouTube) or want to see how professional gamers roll (Twitch). Dozens of aspiring YouTubers and livestreamers enter the fray each year, hoping to cash in and make careers out of simply playing games.
Not all of them make it, though. Some get shown the door only a few months after launching their channel. Some don’t even make it past 10 uploaded videos or live streams.
Why owning the best gaming microphone is essential
There are many factors that affect whether a rookie YouTuber or livestreamer gets off to a good start, and one of them is having the right equipment for the job.
Aside from having a great camera and a good supply of creativity, an excellent mic is essential to delivering high-quality content. Well, unless you have zero plans of speaking in your videos. In which case, you might as well write about video games instead.
Speaking and providing commentary in your gaming videos makes your content more entertaining and less boring. So it’s important to have a mic that can deliver your messages with crystal-clear clarity, most especially if your videos are focused on walkthroughs or game tips. Your viewers need to be able to understand you without pumping their headset or speaker volume from normal to my-ears-are-bleeding.
Let’s face it, built-in mics on gaming headsets usually suck. Even the most expensive ones are guilty of featuring a subpar mic. You will need a separate top quality gaming mic if you want to produce the most ear-friendly audio in your videos. Because nobody would want to sit through a 10-minute video hearing five minutes’ worth of mechanical pops and the sound of your breathing.
As the article title implies, we’re here to help you with that as there are a number of solid options out there. Here are our 7 choices for the best microphones for gaming, carefully selected based on audio quality, flexibility, and price.
Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone (Black)
Let’s start off with the best cheap microphone for gaming. The Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone is a popular choice among YouTubers and Twitch streamers. It’s an easy-to-use gaming accessory that gives you excellent audio quality at an affordable price.
The Snowball iCE has a cardioid polar pattern that allows it to focus on your voice. And since it’s a condenser mic, the audio volume won’t suddenly drop the moment you turn away or move back a few inches. You can be animated as much as you like while streaming without worry. The Snowball iCE will still pick up your voice even when your face is a few inches away.
This is particularly important because as a YouTuber or Twitch streamer, you spend long hours sitting. You will need to change your position every now and then to avoid feeling discomfort. With the Snowball iCE, you can still continue talking while you adjust your posture.
The best part about the Snowball iCE is that it’s basically a plug-and-play device. You can use it right out of the box. Just plug it in and you’re good to go. No need to install drivers or software beforehand. Its ease of use makes it popular among newbies looking for the best microphone for gaming.
It comes with its own mini tripod. However, the tripod height is not really ideal, unless having your face stuck in one position for a couple of hours is your idea of “comfort.” We recommend buying a separate arm stand, which would give you more flexibility while gaming. Due to its ball shape, attaching an arm stand to the Snowball iCE will make it look like that gatekeeper droid at Jabba’s Palace in Return of the Jedi. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you will totally dig the setup.
Overall, the Snowball iCE is a great pickup if you’re looking for the best gaming microphone for Twitch streaming with a friendly price tag. It has superb build quality and produces exceptionally clear audio not only for gaming but also for Skype and FaceTime.
Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone (White)
Don’t like the black Snowball iCE mic? Don’t worry, it comes in white, too. The white variant of the Snowball iCE is practically the same as the black version. It comes with the same friendly price tag and the same audio quality that makes the model the best cheap microphone for gaming.
It has a cardioid polar pattern, which allows it to isolate your voice. It can deliver your messages to your dedicated viewers and subscribers with amazing clarity – nothing gets lost in translation. The Snowball iCE is a godsend if you talk really fast. It won’t turn you into Eminem overnight, but it will definitely help in not making you sound like you’re just spouting gibberish.
The Snowball iCE white version doesn’t have additional special features or anything. Like the black version, just plug it in as soon as you unbox it and that’s it. No need to install drivers to make it run. This makes it very accessible to those who are just starting their YouTube or Twitch careers and have no idea how to tinker with their equipment.
The included tripod is sturdy enough to hold the mic, which isn’t exactly light. But it can be awkward to have the mic standing in front of you during gaming sessions. It would be best to buy a separate arm stand to hold the Snowball iCE from the side. It will give you more flexibility. Plus, it offers zero chances of you accidentally knocking the mic over and sending it rolling to the floor.
Most arm stands are black, though. So the white Snowball iCE will really stand out in your videos. It’s not a deal-breaker or anything. But if you want a more professional-looking setup, we recommend sticking to the black version. But hey, it’s your call. Whatever suits your style. If you have a tight budget but still want to get the best microphone for Twitch streaming or YouTube, the Snowball iCE is a great choice.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti USB Microphone is hands down the best gaming microphone currently out in the market. YouTube celebrities use it. Hardcore Twitch streamers use it. Amateur and professional voice actors use it. That 12-year-old kid who kept screaming painfully clear profanities at you in Overwatch probably uses it, too.
The Yeti goes for more than double the price of the Snowball iCE. But if money isn’t an issue to you, it’s the best microphone for gaming that you can have for your YouTube or Twitch career. It has a plug-and-play setup with no need for complicated software before running. It’s compatible with older versions of Windows, so don’t worry if you’re still running a Windows XP potato PC. (Good luck if you’re actually still running Windows XP, though.)
Unlike the cardioid-only Snowball iCE, the Yeti features multiple polar patterns to choose from: stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. We suggest simply sticking to cardioid to have the mic focus solely on the sound directly in front of it. Which is your voice.
The audio quality is beyond great – it’s everything you could hope for in a gaming microphone. It’s clear, smooth, and can pick up your voice even when you’re not directly speaking to it. Like when you have it positioned a bit to the side of your desk. Just be sure you have the right polar pattern configured. If you want an even better audio, you can also purchase a separate pop filter. The one downside is that it can also pick up keyboard clicks, which can be annoying.
The Yeti also comes with a 3.5mm jack for your gaming headset (check out our picks for the best budget gaming headsets) if you want to listen to your voice in real-time. You can directly control the volume of the connected headset using the volume control in front of the Yeti. It also houses a mute button in case you need to take a short break, sparing viewers from listening to your exhausted breaths. This makes it the best microphone for Twitch streaming.
It comes in seven different colors: black, white, platinum, vintage white, silver, midnight blue, and space gray. We recommend going for the black or midnight blue version. The Yeti isn’t as stylish as other gaming microphones, so everything rides on its coloring.
We definitely recommend picking up the Yeti. Yes, it’s more expensive. But you will never regret every single penny you spend on it. It’s the runaway winner for the best gaming microphone award, period.
Blue Raspberry Premium Mobile USB Microphone
You know a company is great at what they do when an entire list could be made simply based on their products. Don’t worry, the Raspberry Premium Mobile USB Microphone will be the last product from Blue in this list.
It’s a pricier but more portable mic made specifically for PC and overpriced Apple products. It’s half the size of the Snowball iCE (with the default tripod) and bluntly speaking, it’s half as stylish, too. There’s something about its form that makes it less appealing than even the Yeti – and the lack of color options certainly doesn’t help. But again, portability is its main thing, not looking pretty.
The Raspberry is the best microphone for YouTube gaming if you’re more into mobile games. Don’t be fooled by its small size, though; it packs quite a punch. Featuring Blue’s signature audio quality, the Raspberry produces crystal-clear, 100 percent discernible audio. It has a cardioid polar pattern that allows it to focus solely on your voice.
Moreover, it also comes with Blue’s new patent-pending Internal Acoustic Diffuser (IAD) design, which helps in minimizing room noise to ensure your voice is as clear as possible. Basically, it’s a studio grade mic with the portability of a smartphone. It is extremely easy to use: just give it some juice via USB or lightning connection, plug it in, and you’re good to go. A carrying pouch is also included in the package – no need to separately buy one.
The Raspberry’s stand also features a rubber shock absorber to help minimize vibrations and handling noise. Like the Yeti, it also houses a low latency 3.5mm jack for your gaming headset, allowing you to monitor your voice while gaming. A volume control and a mute button are also featured on the mic itself.
If you’re looking for the best microphone for gaming that offers both portability and phenomenal audio quality, the Raspberry is a solid choice. You’ll just have to swallow its expensive price tag. But like with other Blue products, you get what you pay for.
Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone
Is the Blue Raspberry too pricey for your struggling wallet? Say hello to the Samson Go Mic, an ultra-portable mic that you can take with you anywhere. And unlike the Raspberry, it comes with an incredibly affordable price tag, making it the best cheap microphone for gaming in the portables category.
The Go Mic has a surprisingly crystal-clear audio quality that even rivals bigger and more expensive mics. It has two available polar patterns: cardioid and omnidirectional. You can switch polar patterns any time. Since you’ll be using the mic for gaming and streaming, we recommended staying to cardioid for a more focused vocal output. Though buyers have reported that people can hear them fine even on omnidirectional.
It features a standard 3.5mm jack to connect your gaming headsets, allowing you to get feedback and, if necessary, adjust your audio settings on-the-go. Setting up the Go Mic is super easy – it functions as a plug-and-play device. Just plug it in via USB connection and you got yourself an instant high-quality mic for YouTube gaming or Twitch streaming.
The best thing about the Go Mic is its “case,” which doubles as a clip that allows you to easily clip it on a laptop. Now that’s real portability. If your super-busy schedule only allows for spontaneous YouTube gaming sessions on-the-go, consider the Go Mic as your best friend. But do make sure that you’re in a quiet place before doing your thing. The Go Mic is a condenser mic, which means it’s prone to picking up loud background noise, unlike a dynamic mic which is less sensitive.
If you’re looking for the best gaming microphone that’s between the Snowball iCE (price) and the Raspberry (portability), the Samson Go Mic is your best option. It’s adorably portable, produces excellent audio quality for its size, and comes with a very welcoming price. Not many similar gaming microphones can top that.
Audio-Technica AT2035 Condenser Microphone
With so many popular gaming-focused brands these days, it’s easy to forget established audio brands like Audio-Technica. The Audio-Technica AT2035 reminds you that when it comes to high-quality audio products, Audio-Technica is still one of the top brands.
The AT2035 is a large-diaphragm condenser mic that’s mainly marketed as a studio mic. But like all the other products in this list, it can be used for YouTube gaming and Twitch streaming. If you want the best gaming microphone but don’t like the Blue Yeti’s rather unimpressive design, then the more professional-looking AT2035 is a solid second choice.
It only features one polar pattern: cardioid. That may seem unimpressive considering its expensive price. But remember that you will mainly use the mic for gaming. Which means the most important thing that you need to worry about is its ability to isolate your voice from the room noise. On that end, the AT2035 delivers with flying colors.
The mic has a fantastic audio quality that makes your voice sound crystal-clear, allowing you to effortlessly connect with your fans and viewers without worry. It’s definitely an excellent choice if you’re looking for the best microphone for YouTube gaming. Your gaming commentaries will be delivered exactly how you want them to be delivered and in the exact tone that you intended.
The product we included here is actually an AT2035 bundle, which comes with a pop filter to reduce “popping” sounds and a shock mount to protect the mic against vibrations. Both accessories make your setup even more awesome, making the AT2035 arguably the best microphone for Twitch streaming that looks like a full professional setup.
The bad news is that the AT2035 uses XLR connection as its output. Meaning, hooking it up to your PC won’t be a plug-and-play scenario. You will need an audio interface like the Focusrite Scarlett Solo Audio Interface to get the mic to run. Though the process might seem daunting if you’re not a techie type, it’s actually just plugging a few cables here and there. You can check out this video if you want to see how it works.
Due to the need for a separate audio interface, the AT2035 comes out as an expensive option for a gaming mic. But the whole set is definitely worth it. Also: Don’t forget to pick up an arm stand as well. It’s essential to the entire setup. If the Blue Yeti doesn’t suit your taste, the AT2035 clocks in as an excellent runner-up for the best gaming microphone.
Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone
Rounding up the list is another product from Samson which is the Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone. If you totally dig the classic mic look, then this product is for you. It features one of the largest diaphragms (25mm) out of the many USB mics out in the market. And you know what’s even cooler? You won’t have to break the bank for it: it’s only slightly more expensive than the Snowball iCE.
The Meteor Mic offers superb audio quality and truly delivers when it comes to making sure your voice is as clear as possible during streaming sessions. It has a cardioid polar pattern that allows your voice to be captured as smoothly as possible, courtesy of the more focused pickup range. This means as long as you are in front of the mic, the audio quality will be top-notch. But even moving the mic slightly to the side won’t result in a significant quality loss.
It comes with a foldable stand that gives you flexibility when positioning it on your desk. But for gaming purposes, it would be best to buy a separate arm stand for it. The Meteor Mic has a stand adapter at the bottom, so you will be able to easily mount it. Actually, we recommend mounting it to a mic stand to complete the classic mic look. Having it simply stand in front of you feels obtrusive and out-of-place.
Like the Samson Go Mic, the Meteor Mic also features a 3.5mm jack for headset use. This will allow you to monitor your voice while streaming. It has an onboard – on-mic, maybe? – volume control for the connected headset, as well as a mute button.
The Meteor Mic is a pretty solid choice if you’re looking for the best microphone for YouTube gaming that isn’t exactly billed as portable, but small enough to be carried around. Or at least a gaming mic that’s way smaller than the Blue Yeti. It has a great-sounding audio quality, an awesome chrome design (it’s available in brushed nickel and titanium black, too), an easy-to-use setup, and of course, a very friendly price.
As mentioned, the Blue Yeti is our pick for the best gaming microphone, with the Audio-Technica AT2035 closely behind. Both are on the expensive side, though. So if you want a budget mic, we recommend either the Samson Meteor Mic (if you want style) or the Blue Snowball iCE (if you’re really cash-strapped).
But once you can afford it, we highly suggest upgrading to a non-budget model, especially if you’re going to make a serious career out of YouTube gaming and Twitch streaming. Anyone can become a YouTuber or Twitch streamer. After all, registration is fast and easy. But achieving success (and raking in money) is a completely different story. To boost your chances, start with having high-quality gaming equipment.
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