Anyone who has played an online game at some point or another will agree that microphones are becoming increasingly popular among gamers and for good reasons. You see, modern video games, especially those that focus on multiplayer communication, require the gamers to be able to talk with each others, which is where microphones come into play. While high-end headsets do have built-in microphones, the quality of those microphones is sometimes lacking on the grounds that manufacturers will prefer to put more work into the actual headphones, with the microphone being seen as nothing more than an add-on.
With dedicated microphones, however, you get much better noise cancellation along with a much improved audio input quality. Over the next few minutes, we’ll take a look at the ten best gaming microphones the market has to offer in our quest to find out the absolute best.
Best Gaming Microphones – Reviews
9Rode NTG2 Condenser Shotgun Microphone
With this particular microphone, you can expect some of the highest quality broadcast output possible and we’re not just saying that for whatever reason. As a matter of fact, its low-noise circuitry paired with its 48V phantom power and its two-step high-pass filter make it stand out among even the best microphones available. The only real downside to this microphone is the price, which many people might consider a bit steep by most standards.
8Samson G-Track USB Condenser Microphone
Thanks to a large, 19mm diaphragm studio condenser design, this microphone will capture even the quietest of sounds with impeccable clarity. It also plugs directly into any computer with a USB input and no drivers whatsoever, which makes it one of the few truly plug & play microphones out there. Also worth mentioning is that it is compatible with most computer-based digital audio workstation software out there and that it has a supercardioid pickup pattern.
7Blue Yeti Pro USB Condenser Microphone
Another good gaming microphone is the Blue Yeti Pro USB Condenser from Blue Microphones, a device that will meet almost anyone’s standards when it comes to fidelity and overall clarity. It benefits from a cutting-edge A-D converter chip, which when combined with a separate analog circuit path, makes it perfect for anyone who might want to use it for a broad range of tasks, including professional sound mixing.
6Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone
What makes this particular microphone stand out is its side-address condenser feature that allows it to capture sound at almost any angle. Ideal for podcasting, recording, and even gaming to some extent, you will find this microphone to be much more versatile than some of the microphones we talked about so far. For instance, it has a built-in headphone jack that allows you to directly monitor your microphone output without any audible delay to speak of.
5Zalman Zm-Mic1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone
Compact and affordable, this popular headphone microphone from Zalman may not be as technologically advanced as some of the other microphones on our list, but it is definitely one of the best when it comes to flexibility and eas of use. We say this because it has an attractive, compact design that doesn’t really affect its recording capabilities; yet a design which vastly reduces its price tag while still presenting the user with the type of quality most people would expect from a high-end microphone.
4CAD U37 USB Studio Condenser Recording Microphone
Due to its large condenser design, this microphone will enable you to make perfect recordings while still being decently responsive when playing video games. Given its 10dB overload-protection switch, it will minimize distortion from loud background noises while isolating the main sound source for your benefit. Furthermore, it has a smooth, extended frequency response that makes it excellent for a wide range of tasks other than gaming.
3Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone
This portable USB condenser microphone stand out from the rest by being a lot smaller yet equally effective. Not only that but it is also Plug & Play Mac and PC compatible without the use of any additional drivers whatsoever. Furthermore, it benefits from a custom compact design that clips to a laptop or a desk with relative ease. Due to its construction, this microphone is perfect for recording music, podcasting, field recording, or even for playing video games.
2Blue Snowball USB Microphone
With this high-end microphone, you get the benefit of a dual capsule design which incorporates omnidirectional and cardioid elements to give you a real choice when it comes to your recordings. It also benefits from a USB output that enables direct integration with a laptop or a desktop computer with relative ease and without the use of additional software. Not only that but it also has a -10dB pad designed to eliminate noise and distortion almost completely when capturing signals at high volume levels.
1Blue Yeti USB Microphone
This highly capable and at the same time highly popular USB microphone from Blue Microphones is without a doubt, one of the very best money can buy. It not only has a tri-capsule array with three condenser capsules that can record at any angle and from any possible angle, but it also has multiple pattern selection features that enable you to choose between cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, or stereo sources.
Last but not least, it features a user-friendly interface with gain controls, a mute button, and a zero-latency headphone output which is bound to come in handy over time.
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Guide To Buying A Gaming Microphones
A good microphone can mean all the difference between communicating effectively with your teammates while playing a particular game or spending the entire night troubleshooting your equipment and audio drivers. We’ve seen quite a few people rage quit their games because their microphone just didn’t provide them with what they needed to communicate with their friends. And that’s why we’ve decided to write a guide on how to buy the best gaming microphone available.
Decide On Your Price Range
Although just about any microphone can technically be used to communicate with friends and family over an Internet connection, some microphones are better than others. We’ve seen people use the microphones embedded in their smartphones headphones to try to communicate with other players and let’s just say that didn’t work out very well. On the other hand, a person shouldn’t feel that they have to spend $400+ on a studio microphone to play Dungeons & Dragons or some multiplayer game with their friends. For most people, we would suggest a microphone somewhere in the $40 to $100 price range. Although there are certainly decent microphones in the under $40 and over $100 range, the majority of the ones suitable for gaming are going to be in this price range.
Choose An Audio Interface
The next thing to think about is the type of interface that you need your microphone to have and the one that you need depends on the type of equipment you’re using. For the most part, gaming microphones are available in Analog or USB interfaces. Analog models plug directly into your personal computer’s 3.5mm audio jack. Although this type of jack is simple to use, it’s not without its drawbacks. And one of the biggest drawbacks is that the audio chipset is handling the duties of the microphone. That’s okay if you’re running a computer that’s has a motherboard built according to gaming specs, but if you’re using a run-of-the-mill office computer, then you may not get the sound that you desire. To combat that, you can always add a pre-amp in between the microphone and the 3.5mm jack, but who wants to have to buy additional equipment to run the microphone?
The second solution is using a digital microphone that plugs in through a USB connection. As a general rule. most mid-price USB microphones provide good audio output and power, but there are caveats to that rule. Cheap USB microphones are often no-better than analog microphones and maybe worse because the user can’t add pre-amps to them to level out the sound quality. However, if you’re not buying a cheap USB microphone, then you probably don’t have to worry about it all that much. Most of them work quite well.
Who Should Consider Webcams With Built-In Microphones?
Another option that people can choose is to buy a webcam that has a built-in microphone. Although most gamers would frown at this idea, not everyone needs a gaming headset or microphone that produces great sound. Some people just need a microphone that works well enough and can be used for occasional gameplay. The main benefit of buying a webcam with a built-in microphone is that it’s an extremely inexpensive gameplay solution. The con of using this device is that the sound quality isn’t going to be very good, especially during heated gameplay. And if it’s used for a WebRTC chat interface where a lot of people are talking at one time, then it may fail to work at all. Therefore, it’s not the best solution available, but it is a possible solution for someone who doesn’t have the cash and simply needs a microphone to get into the game.
Ease Of Setup
The last thing to consider is how easy the gaming microphone is to set up and how willing you are in setting that up. Although studio microphones look nice and provide that silky-smooth sound that recording artists require, they are usually a pain to setup. Some of them are so difficult to set up, the person using it basically has to be a sound engineer to figure out the pre-amps, all the extra cables, whether they need a phantom power supply and what additional interfaces they need. Not many gamers want to put up with all of that, so they tend to choose one that’s easy-to-setup and provides sound good enough that their teammates can hear and understand them.