Gaming has evolved a lot over the last decade, and these days you need top-end components to enjoy a great gameplay experience. While one shouldn’t compromise on the quality of your processor or your RAM for that matter, your gaming microphone shouldn’t be ignored, either.
Most gamers, however, ignore this aspect and simply settle for the attached mic of a gaming headset. Although that can be a great choice if you’re just setting up your gaming rig, a standalone microphone offers 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 for great communication which can boost your gaming performance by several notches. 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 simply be something better than your headset’s in-built mic. Factors like ease-of-use, budget, and setup options can be a bit tricky, so the ultimate decision will depend on what works best for you. In this article, we’ve reviewed some of the best gaming mics on offer.
TL;DR - The Best Microphones for Gaming:
- Blue Yeti USB Microphone for Gaming
- Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Cardioid Gaming Microphone
- Blue Snowball USB Gaming Microphone
- Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Gaming Mic
- Zalman ZM-MIC1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone
- Antlion Audio ModMic Attachable Boom Microphone
- Elgato Wave:1 USB Microphone
- Audio-Technica ATR2500x-USB Cardioid Microphone
- Elgato Wave:3 USB Microphone
- Shure PGA27-LC Cardioid Condenser Microphone
- Razer Seiren Pro Elite XLR and USB Digital Microphone
1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone for Gaming
Studio-quality recording with a classic design and four recording modes
The Blue Yeti microphone is one of the best in the gaming microphone market, making it fully worth its price. This mic is an advanced and versatile gaming microphone that allows you to create studio-quality sound with your computer. It has a sleek design that looks like an older, more traditional microphone. It is built on a hinge system that allows for easy positioning and adjustment. Screws help to keep it in place, and the hinge helps to fold it up for easy portability.
The Blue Yeti is built with proprietary tri-capsule technology that allows you to create sharp, clear, and pristine-quality recordings. The three condensers on the mic are fit to record in any environment without any major interference, making it a good choice for gaming and streaming. It also has four diverse pattern modes: stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional.
The stereo mode uses both the right and left channels of your audio output to produce realistic sound for general use. The cardioid mode records sources of sound that are located in front of the mic, delivering a rich and intense sound, which is good for podcasting and streaming. The omnidirectional mode captures sound from all directions, providing ambient sound in live performance situations. Finally, the bi-directional mode captures sound from both the front and back, which works well with instrumental sounds.
Alongside all of these excellent features, there is zero hassle when setting up the microphone. All you have to do is plug it into a USB port, and calibrate it to your operating system. This microphone works with both Windows and Mac operating systems, as long as the system has at least 64MB RAM. This makes it an excellent microphone for just about any computer.
One of the accessories that come with this mic is a 3.5 mm headphone jack, which allows you to listen to recordings in real-time. The headphones have zero latency and also come with volume control and a mute function.
Though the Blue Yeti microphone is mid-range in terms of its price, it is well worth the money as it provides a superior quality sound that elevates your gaming experience, making it one of the best microphones for gaming.
2. Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Cardioid Gaming Microphone
A sturdy, studio-quality mic with comprehensive compatibility
It is hard to beat the Audio-Technica AT2020 microphone for its crystal-clear audio. It is one of the best microphones for streaming that works on both Windows and Mac operating systems. Its secure connectivity makes it a more than viable option as a gaming mic.
The microphone has a sturdy build, with the capsule elements placed inside a wire mesh that supported by a solid metal framework. It comes packed with a pivot mount and a desk stand. The desk stand has a tripod with a rubber tip to provide friction, and the pivot has adjustable screws that allow you to set it to your desired angle. This mic is also easy to set up, as it only requires you to connect it to a USB port and download the system software to get it running.
The mic is made from the AT2020 cardioid condenser, which provides studio-quality recording capability with excellent articulation and comprehensibility. The custom-fit low-mass diaphragm offers an extended frequency response. This allows you to record a wide frequency without any backlash. The cardioid's pattern reduces the pick-up of sound from the sides and the rear, and brings a sharp focus to the intended sound source. This helps when talking to other gamers or recording your gaming session while avoiding excessive interference. The noise level is also low, making it well-suited for high-quality, sophisticated recording situations, such as YouTube gaming videos.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 comes with headphones that can be attached to listen to your recordings in real-time without any latency. You can also listen to other audio files as you continue to record with the mic. The microphone also allows for direct connection to your editing software, making it easier to edit your audio content.
Those looking for a mic that can connect directly to their editing software without any hassle will find the Audio-Technica AT2020 to be the perfect fit. The zero-latency and high-quality streaming capability of this mic make it an excellent choice for both gaming and other high-end recording situations.
3. Blue Snowball USB Gaming Microphone
Top-quality and versatile performance at a budget price
The Blue Snowball USB Gaming Microphone is one of the best cheaper microphones for gaming. It offers both great performance and studio-quality recording. This microphone’s compatibility with both Windows and Mac operating systems makes it one of the best gaming microphones around.
The mic's body has a retro design, with a metal grille and an aluminum frame that give it a classical feel. The recording component is in the shape of a ball, with both front and back recording capabilities. This dual capsule design allows for both cardioid and omnidirectional recording modes, and its state-of-the-art circuit design provides crisp and clear audio without any distortion or interference. Both recording modes are useful for recording over gameplay and for communicating with your fellow teammates in-game.
The Blue Snowball allows gamers to toggle between three different recording settings. The cardioid mode records from a sound source located directly in front of the mic, which makes it suitable for podcasts, game chats, and other sessions that require full-bodied and intense audio. This mode also contains a -10 dB mode that can capture loud sounds with higher precision. The omnidirectional mode records sound from all directions equally, to capture audio from an ambient atmosphere.
The microphone comes with an adjustable tripod to adjust its position, in order to deliver the best quality audio possible. There is an LED indicator that glows red to show that the microphone is ready to use. The advantage of this microphone lies in its hassle-free setup. There is no need for additional drives and unnecessary complications, as it's a simple connect-and-use microphone with a minimum requirement of 64MB RAM.
For those looking for a mic for streaming and to improve their communication with teammates or fellow gamers within an affordable budget, the Blue Snowball is the best choice.
4. Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Gaming Mic
Attractive, compact and straightforward to use
Gaming microphones are essential for an immersive gaming experience, and no microphone provides this experience better than the Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone. With high-quality audio recording, and a cardioid microphone pattern that's ideal for live streaming and voice chats, this microphone is sure to exceed your expectations. Attractive and compact, it comes in a stylish black design and weighs 1.8 lbs. It also includes a 6 ft. USB cable and a desktop stand that allows you to place the mic where you need it. People with cluttered desks or a lack of space to keep a mic will prefer this mic for its compact design and the length of its USB cord.
With a custom condenser capsule for the clearest voice recordings and streaming, this is a great all-around product. Its plug-and-play function allows it to be connected easily and efficiently with either a PC or Mac, without requiring any drivers or additional software, making it simple and easy to use anytime. It is also compatible with the PlayStation 4, so gamers can easily shift from one platform to another without buying separate products or installing software from the internet.
Despite being sold at a very low price, the Blue Snowball iCE looks sophisticated and is a very good microphone. The microphone makes YouTube video recordings and voice chats over multiplayer gaming sound clear without much effort on the user’s part.
For those looking for a professional quality microphone that is convenient to use and sold at a low price, the Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone is an ideal choice.
5. Zalman ZM-MIC1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone
High quality audio recording at a rock-bottom price
The acclaimed Zalman ZM MIC1 is regarded by many online gaming critics as the cheapest microphone in the market with such great audio quality. With an extremely compact and attractive design, this microphone is made to be incredibly convenient to use. It clips onto your headphone wire using three clips, which ensure that the wires do not get tangled or damaged. The wire the microphone comes with is approximately 10 ft. long, ensuring that the user is comfortable and can sit as far away from the USB port as they need to.
The microphone is light and small, ensuring that it does not take up much space on the cord, allowing the user to focus more on their games. It is highly sensitive, meaning the user does not have to strain or make their voice too loud for the microphone to pick it up. The audio picked up by the microphone is clear, making it ideal for voice chats in multiplayer games and streaming. Recording gameplay is also easy and convenient with this mic.
At such a low price, this microphone is economical and does its job very well. It is very easy to use and can be used simply by inserting the microphone jack into the input port on your computer. It requires no additional software and works easily and efficiently. It is durable for its size and can be used for several purposes, such as streaming, gaming, video calls, and more. The clarity of sound is superb and is recommended to users by several gaming websites and newsletters.
With incredible quality at a dirt-cheap price, the Zalman ZM-MIC1 is a great gaming microphone for anyone looking to set up their first gaming rig!
6. Antlion Audio ModMic Attachable Boom Microphone
Antlion, one of the gaming world’s most reliable and consistently amazing audio brands, has released yet another high-quality microphone. The Antlion Audio Modmic Microphone is a stylish and classy attachable microphone ready to be used for your audio recording needs. Easy to attach to your headphones, it has a magnetic clasp that holds tight to headphones of any size, and can be positioned at whichever height the user prefers. It also comes with an extra clasp, so that it can be used with multiple sets of headphones at a time. With a durable and sturdy design, this microphone is built to last for a long time and looks attractive, too.
The Antlion Audio ModMic has a high fidelity electret capsule condenser microphone, which are known for their natural and voice-oriented recording capabilities. This microphone uses a cardioid pattern, which can be adjusted to remove all ambient sounds. This is especially useful in noisy environments and ensures that the microphone is ideal for streaming and in-game voice chats. The cord has copper coaxial shielding, which improves its stability and makes sure that the signal emitted by the microphone is clear and natural-sounding. Its cable is 3.3m long, which is more than adequate for comfortable gaming. It weighs only 0.25 lbs, making it not only sturdy but also light and easy to wear.
The ModMic is a boom microphone from the ModMic 4.0 line, which is a highly acclaimed and respected line of products that focuses on canceling out background noise for excellent gaming communication. It comes with plug-and-play functionality, making it easy to connect to any gaming PC. With a response frequency of 100 Hz to 10 kHz and a high sensitivity of -38 dB, this microphone is not one to be ignored. It is perfect for live streaming, recording gameplay, and other activities that require clear and accurate voice transmission.
The Antlion Audio ModMic Microphone is a great option for an affordable price and provides such a clear sound that it is a must-have for any budget-minded gaming rig.
7. Elgato Wave:1 USB Microphone
Elgato is a household name in video game capture and streaming technology, so they naturally have a place on this list. In Elgato's own words, the Wave:1 fuses plug-and-play convenience with broadcast-grade circuitry. Its steel grille provides both smooth sound diffusion and a sleek, professional-looking finish. Its heavy-duty desk stand is designed with a U-mount, allowing you to adjust your setup quite liberally to best suit your needs. A built-in headphone jack also allows for zero-latency headphone monitoring. Using Elgato's complimentary Wave app, you can also control both your Wave:1 and up to seven other audio devices at once.
8. Audio-Technica ATR2500x-USB Cardioid Microphone
The Audio-Technica ATR2500x is a small, compact, and widely compatible microphone that takes up little space and offers great value for money. It is a great deal and provides all of the features that you'd likely be looking for in a gaming mic. Its compact design helps to free up space on your desk, while still providing you with a great gaming experience.
This is a cardioid condenser microphone that is ideal for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, and voiceovers. It is very easy to use and plugs right into your computer’s USB port, so you won’t have to worry about connection problems while in-game. The microphone will function flawlessly with your chosen recording software. It has a large-diaphragm side-address condenser that offers a USB output for easy connection to your computer, and has the capability of recording directly onto your computer.
It also has a high-quality analog-to-digital converter that offers excellent reliability. It features a headphone output with level control for monitoring purposes, making it easier to directly monitor audio while in-game with the built-in headphone jack. The cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the immediate environment to keep noise levels low. The headphone volume can be adjusted with the easy-to-use controls on the front of the microphone.
The Audio-Technica ATR2500x is fully compatible with both Windows and Mac. Its low-mass diaphragm provides excellent frequency response, making it a good addition to your new gaming rig.
9. Elgato Wave:3 USB Microphone
The Elgato Wave:3 builds upon the strong foundation of the Wave:1, adding in a slew of extra features. For a little more than the cost of the original model, the Wave:3 also comes with a capacitive mute function to silently disengage mic input and a multi-layered noise shield. The additional multifunctional dial allows you to adjust input gain, adjust headphone volume, and crossfade between mic and PC audio. As an extra cherry on top, this model also features LED indicators to help you monitor your input volume and mute status. And, of course, the Wave:3 is also compatible with Elgato's Wave app.
10. Shure PGA27-LC Cardioid Condenser Microphone
The best part about the Shure PGA27-LC Cardioid Condenser Microphone is its large-diaphragm cartridge that provides a wider dynamic range for clear highs and strong lows, with fantastic sensitivity. The microphone also features a cardioid polar pattern, which helps it to pick up audio from the desired sound source and reject all other unwanted noise.
The microphone has a modern, industrial design with a metallic black finish and grille, making for an unobtrusive visual presence. It also provides advanced features such as a high-pass filter to control unwanted low-end signals. It also has a -15dB switchable attenuator for additional SPL versatility. The microphone includes a shock mount for additional setup stability and minimization of unwanted mechanical sound. It also comes with a padded zipper case for extra protection during storage or transport.
The design has been engineered in a clever way to secure the microphone and isolate it from any low-frequency ramble. This budget microphone is preferred by many musicians and gamers alike. Audio quality is crucial for the ultimate gaming experience, and the Shure PGA27-LC Large-Diaphragm Side-Address Cardioid Condenser Microphone certainly delivers.
The Shure PGA27-LC Large-Diaphragm Side-Address Cardioid Condenser Microphone is one of the best gaming microphones available at one of the lowest price points around.
11. Razer Seiren Pro Elite XLR and USB Digital Microphone
The Razer Seiren Pro Elite Digital Microphone is a great tool for professional recording. This microphone provides HD recording facilities with amazing clarity. It also offers four different recording patterns: cardioid, stereo, omni, and bi-directional. These four patterns are easy to switch between, and each performs its specific function very well. The microphone also has quick controls for headphone volume and microphone gain and comes with a built-in headphone amplifier with zero latency output. A single USB connection allows for straightforward, plug-and-play functionality. To set up this microphone, all you need to do is install Razer Synapse, and you are ready to go.
The Razer Seiren Pro Elite is made of metal, which makes it incredibly durable. It also has a high pass filter at the bottom which eliminates any sound with a frequency of 10 MHz or less, making it easier to drown out ambient sound, for example from a fan or AC unit.
This microphone works perfectly well for gamers, but also offers many more features that make it equally useful to others. It is one of the most affordable microphones with a vast array of admirable specifications.
The Razer Seiren Pro Elite Digital Microphone provides four different recording patterns for extensive use and versatility. This could be the ideal purchase for those looking for something that can handle both in-game voice chat and more extensive audio recording.
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 PCs or consoles do not have the best quality microphones by default and can tend to produce a grainy or garbled output. Live streaming games is also a trend that has caught on among gamers in recent years. To get involved, gamers need to make their voice as clear as possible for their audience, or 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, resulting in better synchronization between teams and an improved overall gaming experience while playing multiplayer games. Even the lowest quality gaming microphones would prove significantly better than a gaming PC’s inbuilt microphone.
A gaming mic is any individually sold microphone for the purpose of gaming or streaming games. There are several kinds of gaming microphones, which can be used for several applications, but live streamers tend to require mics of much better quality than regular gamers.
When are gaming microphones necessary?
Gaming microphones are primarily 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 players to respond to one another as compared to the traditional written chat. A gaming mic is therefore highly recommended for thr likes of First Person Shooters, which require a lot of strategy and team tactics.
Certain games like World of Warcraft and similar MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games) require mics for the entire party to interact with one another, which is often preferred to the written chat. This results in people without microphones being left out of team chats. Gamers are therefore much better off having a dedicated mic at the 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 off-putting. Certain players prefer not to use mics and headsets unless they are playing with close friends and associates for these very reasons.
Other reasons not to use voice chat include the fact that it may be distracting and remove their immersion, especially in a fantasy game or something of that sort. Therefore, in a game that doesn’t require too much team coordination, a gaming microphone may not be entirely necessary. Obviously, if you are using the gaming mic for something like youtube tutorials and walkthroughs, having the highest quality is paramount. Make sure you also have a good quality camera if you enjoy youtube vlogging.
How do I choose the best gaming mic?
The best gaming microphone 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 certain important features such as:
All microphones can be classified into two broad categories, each of which comes with particular advantages. These are dynamic mics and condenser mics.
These mics provide a warm, full sound that 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-heavy voice.
While dynamic mics are generally used for radio recording and the narration of audiobooks, they will be more than adequate for use while gaming. However, if your voice is too bass-heavy or low in frequency, this may result in a cloudy, unclear sound. Dynamic mics are also not very sensitive, leaving out high-frequency notes and therefore not capturing as much as might be fed to them.
These mics are best used to produce clear, natural sound. These mics are therefore best for live streaming and multiplayer voice chats. They do not garble words and are usually the best kind of mics to record any major online content.
The only disadvantages of condenser mics are that they require phantom power, which requires a DC power supply fed directly to the mic. Therefore, usually use a USB connection or have an equivalent connection. They are also much more expensive than simple dynamic mics.
There are two kinds of condenser mics: large diaphragm mics and small diaphragm mics.
Large diaphragm mics are generally better at transmitting natural and clear sounds but tend to be more expensive than their smaller counterparts, which produce a higher frequency output than what is input.
The best microphone design for gaming is the cardioid pattern. This mic pattern is heart-shaped and tends to reject outside sounds in order to provide the clearest sound possible from the input closest to it.
The omnidirectional mic pattern is also popular, but this can only really be used when the gamer’s surroundings are absolutely quiet, as this picks up on sounds from the environment very easily.
Mics can be used in several different ways. For example, some microphones are used to clip onto gaming headset wires or headphones wires for easy access. These mics are convenient and cheap but do not provide the clearest or best sound. Be sure to click here if you’re looking for a good headset on a budget.
There are also microphones that simply sit on the desktop and provide great quality sound. However, these mics have to be placed quite close to the mouth and therefore may be inconvenient to use at times.
These factors do not matter on microphones with exceeding quality, as they would compensate for their high price tag with convenience and great quality recordings.
For cheap mics, though, gamers have to decide how exactly they intend to use their mics. Gamers who mainly use their mics for voice chats should buy a clip-on mic, while 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 its price. Therefore, gamers should 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 certain 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 design, and an incredibly adaptable design, this mic leaves all others in the dust. However, it can be a little sensitive and 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 excellent audio quality, with amazing noise cancellation features which allow gamers to record their games or participate in voice chats even in noisy environments. It’s also set at a reasonably affordable price. However, it is not quite as sensitive as standing microphones and therefore may not be ideal for gamers who wish to record more than just 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 astoundingly low price is the Zalman Zm Mic 1, which is so ridiculously cheap that it’s featured on several gaming websites as the best mic for the lowest price. It clips to the cord of your headphones and provides surprisingly good audio quality and sensitivity. This mic is a must-have for gamers with tight budgets.
Which one to go for?
Our Top Pick
The Blue Yeti USB Microphone for Gaming is the microphone that we’ve chosen as our top pick. With its multiple pattern selection and its tri-capsule array which can record any situation, the Blue Yeti USB Microphone is well suited for all types of gaming and provides you with an amazing experience at an affordable price. It has an outstandingly stylish design that can complement all kinds of computer systems. Aside from that, it’s also very easy to set up because it comes with a simple USB connection interfacing.
The Blue Yeti provides a tremendous experience with instantly accessible buttons for volume control, pattern selection, instant mute, and mic gain control. This fantastic combination of affordability and performance makes it a great companion to your gaming experience.
For those who are looking for a top-of-the-line microphone with all of the latest features, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB Cardioid Condenser USB Gaming Microphone is the choice to go for. It provides top-class, studio-quality output thanks to the high-quality A/D converter powering it. This mic offers outstanding, award-winning audio that provides you with a whole new level of gaming experience.
The state-of-the-art design of this 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 lag-free gameplay. Aside from gaming, it also offers 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 those with a more sizeable budget.
Out of the numerous microphones available in the market, the Blue Snowball USB Gaming Mic is the one that offers the best value for money. If you are looking for a low-budget microphone but don’t want to compromise too much in the performance sector, then this mic by Blue Snowball is the one to go for. It offers tremendous performance which remains unbeatable at this price range.
This mic uses a simple plug-and-play design without any of the hassle of proprietary software and offers professional, studio-quality performance. Aside from that, it also supports three different pattern modes for versatile recording. The output offered by the Blue Snowball is crisp and clear without any significant distortion and interference, ultimately allowing for an overall wonderful gaming experience.If you liked our article on gaming microphones, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.