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The best USB microphones in 2021

Shure MV7
(Image credit: Future)

The best USB microphones can deliver your lovely voice to the audience whether you picked up a regular old laptop to record a podcast or a gaming machine to stream the latest indie craze.

First: Understand that there are generally four recording modes you can find in the best USB microphones: cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo. You need to know which one best suits your needs before you pick out a microphone.

Cardioid records sources that are in front of the microphone (good for streaming), bidirectional is front and back (good for a two-person podcast), omnidirectional is each direction (good for multi-person podcasts or conference calls) and stereo builds off omnidirectional by using both left and right channels (good for musical instrumentals and ASMR).

Those looking to update their setup all around should also check out our roundups of the best noise-cancelling headphones, best external laptop webcams, best gaming monitors and best gaming mice.

The best USB microphones you can buy today

  1. Shure MV7
  2. Blue Yeti Nano
  3. HyperX Quadcast S
  4. Elgato Wave 3
  5. Razer Seiren Elite
  6. Samson Go

Shure MV7

The Shure MV7 is hands down the best USB microphone you can buy thanks to its great EQ software, solid recording quality, sleek design, and optional XLR port. (Image credit: Future)

1. Shure MV7

The best overall USB microphone you can buy

Recording modes: Cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo | Compatibility: Windows 10, macOS | Size: 4.3 x 12.3 x 5 inches | Weight: 1.32 pounds

Superb audio reproduction
Clean design
Easy setup
Excellent software
User Friendly
Doesn't come with a stand

As soon as you open the box and get a hold of the Silver Shure MV7,  you know it means business. From its high-quality all-metal build to the professional studio look, it screams “you better bring your A-game.” Drink some hot tea with lemon and get your vocal cords ready, it’s business time.

The Shure MV7 is worth every penny of its $249 price tag. From its sturdy all-metal construction to its professional studio quality audio recording that focuses on your voice thanks to its Voice Isolation Technology, it is without a doubt the best microphone I have reviewed to date. The Shure Plus Motiv EQ software makes the overall experience even better, getting the most out of the microphone and out of your voice. There is something to be said for simplicity, and the user interface is a joy to use.  What puts the Shure MV7 above the rest is the option to use either USB or the more professional XLR connection. 

See our full  Shure MV7 Review.

Blue Yeti Nano Best USB Mics

The Blue Yeti Nano has been one of the best USB microphones around for quite a while due to its affordable price, solid quality, diverse recording modes, and overall performance. (Image credit: Future)

2. Blue Yeti Nano

Best all rounder for the price

Recording modes: Cardioid, omnidirectional | Compatibility: Windows 10, macOS | Size: 4.29 x 3.78 x 8.31 inches | Weight: 1.39 pounds

Excellent broadcast sound quality
2 Different Polar Patterns to choose from
Easy setup, Solid Build Quality
Professional look and feel
Headphone jack with low latency monitoring
No pop filter or windscreen

If Tony Stark designed USB mics in his spare time for the weekly Avengers podcast and streaming sessions, the $99 Blue Yeti Nano would be the microphone he would’ve come up with. It’s the dynamic little powerhouse brother of the much larger and stately Blue Yeti Blackout and Blue Yeti Pro. The Yeti Nano is plug-and-play for both Mac and PC and is easier to get going and hooked up than Brad Pitt on Tinder.  

You can also unscrew the microphone from the mount to attach a microphone stand to the bottom. Hands down, the Blue Yeti Nano is my favorite USB mic. The $99 mic records in high-quality 24-bit/48Hz, producing beautifully clear, crisp, and warm audio. Throw in the fantastic build quality, sexy engineering, and visual appeal, and Blue has a winner on its hands.

See our full Blue Yeti Nano Review.

Hyper X Quadcast S Best USB Mics

HyperX comes out swinging like 80’s-era Mike Tyson with its new Quadcast S. The all-metal satin-black HyperX S has a stand-out design and excellent audio quality, making it one of the best USB mics on the market. (Image credit: Future)

3. Hyper X Quadcast S

Best USB microphone for PS4 and multiple platforms

Recording modes: Cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, stereo | Compatibility: Windows 10, macOS, PS4 | Size: 9.84 x 5.08 x 4.06 inches | Weight: 1.32 pounds

Excellent audio reproduction
Solid build quality
Eye-pleasing design
Touch-sensitive mute sensor
Soft-touch gain knob
PS4 compatible
Software is underwhelming

The all-metal satin-black HyperX S has a stand-out design and excellent audio quality, making it one of the best USB mics on the market. The HyperX Quadcast S also features customizable RGB lighting effects to suit your mood and helpful software for tweaking your recordings. 

In the end, the HyperX Quadcast S excellently combines eye-pleasing aesthetics with high-quality sound recording and streaming performance to justify its high price.

See our full Hyper X Quadcast S Review 

Elgato Wave 3 Best USB Mics

With its satin matte-black finish, the Elgato Wave 3 is simply elegant. Its low-profile styling takes up minimal space in your work area. The touch capacitive mute button is a win.  (Image credit: Future)

4. Elgato Wave 3

Best design

Recording modes: Cardioid | Compatibility: Windows 10, macOS | Size: 1.57 x 2.6 x 6.02 inches | Weight: 1.29 pounds

Crystal clear sound
Elegant, lightweight design
Easy-to-use Wave Link Software
Partially plastic build

One of the best new microphones, Elgato’s new Wave 3 microphone has arrived, and it’s not to be underestimated. The company’s first entry into the USB mic space, the Wave 3 hits the ground running. Teaming with Lewitt, a renowned audio company, the Wave 3 delivers crystal clear, high-quality audio in a lightweight, portable package. Its proprietary Wave Link software, Elgato even solves a recurring problem for content creators: recording with multiple mics and audio sources all in one application, without a physical mixer.

My favorite part of this mic is the seamlessly integrated capacitive mute button at the top. It takes only a gentle tap to mute, yet it's not so sensitive that you will find yourself accidentally muting mid-recording. On the back of the Wave 3, you will find a USB-C input and the 3.5mm headphone monitoring jack.  The Elgato Wave 3 is a serious contender. 

See our full Elgato Wave 3 Review

Razer Seiren Elite Best USB Mics

The Razer Seiren Elite looks and feels like a broadcast-quality microphone is supposed to look and feel, it’s the dream becoming reality.   (Image credit: Future)

5. Razer Seiren Elite

Best Streaming USB microphone

Recording modes: Cardioid | Compatibility: Windows 10, macOS | Size: 8.91 x 3.54 x 2.69 inches | Weight: 2.1 pounds

 Warm sound quality 
 High Pass Filter
 Peaking Meter
 Solid Build Quality 

From its black metal styling to its excellent weight, it screams let’s do this! Razer created the Seiren Elite to not just look good on twitch but, to make sure you sound your best and to have your subscribers swoon over the creamy warmth of your voice, that this microphone produces. Set up is as easy as plugging it into an available USB slot. I thought there was going to be some software to download and install but, happily, that isn’t the case. 

The Razer Seiren Elite sounds beautiful. The base is easily removed to connect to another stand or an adjustable suspension boom arm.  With simple, direct styling and a wonderful feature set, the Razer Seiren Elite is one of the better streamer USB microphone options on the market today. From its sexy black satin finish to its sturdy well-built huskiness, It produces rich, clear, and smooth recordings, it would be a major upgrade for any streamer, gamer, or podcaster. 

Samson Go best USB microphones

Need something that's dirt cheap and just works? Then the Samson Go is the best USB microphone you'll find.

6. Samson Go

The most reliable, cheap microphone you can buy

Recording modes: Cardioid, omnidirectional | Compatibility: Windows 10, macOS | Size: 6 x 1 x 5 inches | Weight: 0.5 pounds

Two recording modes
Super affordable
Lower-quality mic
No gain control

The Samson Go is a solid choice if you're on a tight budget. For just $30, it offers cardioid and omnidirectional recording modes, a 3.5mm audio jack and a fold-up design with a clip that can attach to your laptop's screen. 

Its compact design makes it easy to take with you anywhere, hence the "Go." However, considering the size of the microphone, you're bound to get a lower quality recording.