11 Best Microphones for Gaming in 2017
Gaming has evolved a lot over the last decade, and you need top-end components to enjoy a great gameplay experience. While one shouldn’t compromise on the quality of the processor or the RAM for that matter, the gaming microphone shouldn’t be ignored, either.
Most gamers, however, ignore this aspect and settle for the attached mic of the gaming headset. Although that can be a great choice if you’re just setting up your gaming rig, a standalone microphone offers a really top-class sound quality that makes communications with your rivals and your team members a breeze.
So, if you’re a serious gamer, it is high time you go for a dedicated mic because that can allow great communications which can boost your gaming performance by several notches. And when we talk about a standalone mic, we don’t necessarily mean a studio-level microphone because as gamers, we don’t need that.
It should be something better than your headphone’s inbuilt mic. Also, factors like ease-of-use, budget, and setup options can be a bit tricky, so depending on what works for you, you can go for a gaming microphone accordingly. In this article, we’ve reviewed some of the best gaming mics on offer.
Our Pick of the Best Microphone for Gaming in 2017
- 1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone for Gaming
- 2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB Cardioid Condenser USB Gaming Microphone
- 3. Blue Snowball USB Gaming Microphone
- 4. Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Gaming Mic
- 5. Zalman Zm-Mic1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone
- 6. Antlion Audio ModMic Attachable Boom Microphone
- 7. Blue Microphones Snowball iCE Black Microphone
- 8. Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
- 9. Blue Microphones ABLMYETISGK1 Yeti PC USB Microphone
- 10. Shure PGA27-LC Large-Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- 11. Razer Seiren Pro Elite XLR and USB Digital Microphone
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Buyers Guide Questions
What are gaming microphones?
Generally, modern games, especially when they include the option of multiplayer gaming, involve voice chats where the player has to speak to other players or give a vocal input to the game itself. Gaming PC’s or consoles do not have the best quality microphones and can tend to give grainy or garbled output. Live streaming games is also a trend that has caught on to gamers in recent days, and for this, gamers require to make their voice as clear as possible for their audience, else they could fail to grab their attention and therefore lose out on views.
Gaming microphones are the perfect solution to this problem. A high-quality gaming microphone could significantly improve the quality of a voice chat, and result in good synchronization between teams and an improved gaming experience while playing multiplayer games. Even the worst quality of gaming microphones would prove significantly better than a gaming PC’s inbuilt microphone.
A gaming mic is any microphone sold separately from a gaming kit in order to be utilized for the purpose of gaming or streaming games. There are several kinds of gaming microphones, which can be used for several uses, but live streamers tend to require mics of a much better quality than regular gamers.
When are gaming microphones needed?
Gaming microphones are meant to be used for multiplayer team gaming, where players have to work together as a team. Voice chat significantly improves the gaming experience and reduces the time taken for the players to respond to one another as compared to on the traditional written chat. Thus, while playing a First Person Shooter game which requires a lot of strategy and tactics on team challenges, using a gaming mic is recommended.
Certain games like World of Warcraft and MMORPG’s (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games) require mics as the entire team may be using one, and thus nobody will communicate through written chat. This results in people without microphones being left out of the team chats. Therefore, when a gamer is playing such games, it would be better for them to have a mic ready.
The disadvantage of talking to teammates over voice chat is that if they are all strangers talking online, they may be abrasive, rude, loud, and distracting or otherwise putting off. Certain players prefer not to use mics and headsets unless they are playing with close friends and associates for this very reasons.
Other reasons not to use voice chat as it may be distracting and remove them from the world the game takes place in, especially if it is a fantasy game or something of that sort. Thus, in a game which does not require too much team coordination, a gaming microphone is not necessary.
How do I choose the best gaming mic?
The best gaming microphones for you may be hard to find, as the gaming world is full of great quality mics which may or may not suit your system. In order to find the perfect microphone for you, you will have to look at particular important features such as:
All microphones can be classified into two broad classifications, each of which comes with particular advantages. They are dynamic mics and condenser mics.
These mics provide a warm, full sound which borders on artificial but leaves the speaker sounding friendly and comforting. It tends to leave out high-frequency sounds, so if you play your games in a noisy room, dynamic mics are for you. Due to this, they can be held close to the mouth as well, for a louder and more bass voice.
While dynamic mics are generally used for radio recording and the narration of audio books, using them to play a game will be more than adequate. However, if your voice is too bass, or low in frequency, it may result in a blurry, unclear sound. Dynamic mics are also not very sensitive, leaving out high-frequency notes and therefore not capturing everything fed to them.
These mics are used to get a clear, natural sound. Thus, these mics are the best for live streaming and voice chats while gaming. They do not garble words and are usually the best kind of mics to record anything factual online.
Their only disadvantages are that condenser mics require phantom power, which means a DC power supply fed directly to the mic. Thus, condenser mics are usually USB microphones or have an equivalent connection to connect the DC source of power. They are also much more expensive than the simple Dynamic Mics.
There are two kinds of condenser mics, large diaphragm mics and small diaphragm mics.
The large diaphragm mics are generally better at transmitting natural and clear sounds but tend to be more expensive than their small diaphragm counterparts, which give a higher frequency output than what is inputted.
The best microphone design for gaming is the cardoid pattern. This mic pattern is heart-shaped and tends to reject outside sounds in order to provide the clearest sound possible of objects closest to them.
The omnidirectional mic pattern is also popular, but this pattern is only used when the surroundings of the gamer are absolutely quiet, as this picks up on sounds from the environment easily.
Mics can be used in several ways. For example, some microphones are used to clip onto gaming headset wires or the wire of headphones for easy access. These mics are convenient and cheap but do not provide the clearest or best sound.
There are also microphones which sit on the desk and provide great quality sound. However, these mics have to be placed quite close to the mouth and hence may be inconvenient to use.
These factors do not matter on microphones with amazing quality, as they would compensate for convenience and great quality recordings with the pricing at which they are sold.
For cheap mics, though, the gamer has to decide how they will use their mics. Gamers who mainly use their mics for voice chats should buy a clip on mic. Gamers who use their mics for live-streaming their games are better off with standing mics.
The better the quality of the gaming mic, the higher it’s price. Thus, the gamer must keep their budget in mind as they shop for their ideal gaming mic.
Which are the best gaming microphones?
Gaming microphones come in all shapes and sizes, but there are always those top quality mics that are a cut above the rest. The best gaming microphones for all gamers, in three categories, are:
The best standing gaming microphone:
The Blue Yeti is by far the best standing microphone used for gaming. With crystal clear audio, an attractive look and an incredibly adaptable design, this mic leave all others in the dust. However, it is too sensitive for casual gaming and thus may pick up on a lot of external noise. It is also quite expensive compared to other microphones.
The best attachment microphone:
Of all the mics which attach to your headphones, the Antlion Modmic is by far the best in quality.
It is convenient to use and has an excellent audio quality, with amazing noise cancellation features which allow a gamer to record their games or participate in voice chats even in noisy environments. It is also set at an affordable price. However, it is not quite as sensitive as the standing microphones and therefore may pose a problem for gamers who wish to record more than their voices.
Despite this, though, it is the best choice for gamers who are okay with wearing headphones while they play.
The best budget microphone:
The best mic sold at an unusually low price is the Zalman Zm Mic 1, which is so ridiculously cheap that it is featured on several gaming websites as the best mic for the lowest price. It clips to the cord of your headphones and has a surprisingly good audio quality and sensitivity. This mic is a must have for gamers with tight budgets
Which one to go for?
Blue Yeti USB Microphone for Gaming is the microphone that we choose to keep as our top pick. With its multiple pattern selection and the tri-capsule array which can record any situation, the Blue Microphones’ Blue Yeti USB microphone takes care of all kinds of gaming sessions of yours and provides you with an amazing experience at an affordable price range. It has an outstandingly stylish design that can complement all kinds of computer systems. Not just that, the mic is very easy to set up too because it comes with a simple USB connection interfacing.
The Blue Yeti microphone provides a tremendous experience with instantly accessible buttons for headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute, and mic gain. It’s a fantastic combination of affordability and performance makes it not only a great companion to your games but also to your budget.
For the people who are looking for a top of the line microphone with all the latest and updated features, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB Cardioid Condenser USB Gaming Microphone is the right choice to go for. It has a studio-quality top class output from the high-quality A/D converter used in it. The mic offers an outstanding award winning sound that brings you a whole new level of gaming experience.
The state of the art design of the Audio-Technica’s microphone comes with a built-in headphone jack which allows you to control your mic directly to avoid any delay and enjoy a lag free gameplay. Not just gaming, it offers an unbeatable performance for singer/songwriters, podcasters, voice-over artists, field recorders, and home studio recorders too. All of this makes the Audio Technicas’ AT2020 a perfect choice for people with a good budget.
Out of the numerous microphones available in the market, Blue Snowball USB Gaming Mic is the one with a great value for money. If you are looking for a low budget microphone but don’t want to compromise much in the performance sector, then this mic by Blue Microphones is just the one to go for. It offers a tremendous level of performance which continues to remain unbeatable at the price segment it comes for.
It uses a simple plug and play design without any hassle for software and offers professional studio quality performance. Not just that, it also supports three different pattern modes for versatile recording. The output offered by the mic is crisp and clear without any distortion and interference, thus allowing you to have a wonderful gaming experience.