In order to really get going as a streamer or as someone who wishes to appear on a podcast or two, you need a microphone. A really good microphone. Some headsets come with adequate microphones attached to one of the cups but a dedicated studio microphone takes sound quality to a whole new level. Here are some of the best available.
The Yeti by Blue is an ideal option for those with a bit of cash to splash and wish to have a capable USB microphone that does not require additional equipment. Sporting a tri-capsule array, which basically means you can record almost anything makes this a competent accessory. Multiple patterns are supported — cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo.
The microphone itself is fairly clutter-free with just gain control, mute button, and zero-latency headphone output. Best of all, it’s plug-and-play. Simply wire it up to a free USB port and you’re good to go after fiddling with sound levels for the perfect balance for the stream or podcast.
All yours for £119.99.
The Blue Snowball is the cheaper and more accessible brethren of the Yeti above. But don’t let that price tag fool you as this is a serious piece of kit. Whether you’re looking to try out streaming to see if it’s for you or need something better than a built-in webcam microphone, this is a great starting point.
The package includes a desktop stand and USB cable so you can get started immediately. Not bad at all for £44.99.
Razer Seiren Elite
When you’re ready to take things to the professional level and have enough stashed away for an expensive microphone, the Razer Seiren Elite is for you. Much like the Blue Yeti, this microphone can record using numerous patterns, including cardioid, stereo, omni, and bi-directional. There are also some handy controls on the front for switching between the patterns, adjusting microphone gain and offering headphone output.
The only issue is the cost, coming in at around £220.
The AT2020 is a tried and tested microphone from Audio Technica, relied on by many to record high-quality audio. This version is the USB model, which can be plugged into a device. The other variant requires an amplifier and other accessories so this is the better choice for newcomers to the game. Like other microphones in this round-up, the AT2020USB comes rocking volume control and a headphone output with zero latency.
At £135, it’s a great microphone for intermediate users and those who are moving up from a more affordable dedicated solution.