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5 Best USB microphones for music recording

Cameron, in Product news
Jan 03, 2022 | 2 min read

Not  all mics require complicated equipment to work well. If you’re after a simple but high-quality home recording setup, a USB microphone is a respectable alternative to XLR mics, audio interfaces and other fancy gear. The main benefit of a USB microphone is its portability and convenience. You can simply plug it into any device with a USB input and have it work flawlessly. Even if you have already invested in high-end studio mics, a USB mic can be a useful tool to have when you need to record something quickly. In this post, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best USB microphones for music. All 5 of these microphones feature a condenser diaphragm, cardioid pickup pattern as well as 20-20kHz frequency response. 

1. Blue Yeti

Blue are one of the most well-known USB mic manufacturers out there. The Yeti is one of their best-selling microphones, and for good reason. The Yeti offers studio-grade sound in a convenient and beautiful package. The built-in stand allows it to sit on any flat surface without requiring a tripod. Besides the default cardioid polar pattern, you also get 3 other pickup patterns to choose from: stereo, bidirectional and omnidirectional. This makes the Blue Yeti a great, versatile microphone that can be used in a variety of different configurations. 

2. Soundbrenner Smartphone Studio Mic

In case you missed it, we just launched a microphone! Our smartphone studio mic was designed for portable use, a popular choice for producing music, and works with both iOS and Android devices. This microphone is a big step up from the built-in mics found in most smartphones, and will allow you to create high-quality musical instrumental recordings directly from your mobile device. If you want a mic to use with your smartphone (for example for recording Instagram videos), this is the one for you. To learn more about the Soundbrenner Smartphone Studio Mic, you can read our blog post here. We may be biased, but we do think this is one of the best USB microphones for musicians!

3. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

While more famous for their studio headphones, Audio Technica also make a great selection of microphones. The AT2020 is a favorite among content creators, with a frequency response well suited for podcasting, acoustic instruments and voiceovers. Just like the Yeti, it comes with a headphone jack for instant monitoring. However, there is no gain control. It does have a mix control that allows you to blend the microphone signal with pre-recorded audio though, which producers will find particularly useful.

4. Rode NT-USB

For those who have used Rode’s popular studio mics, such as the NT-1 and NT-1A, the NT-USB offers a similar level of quality while maintaining a more convenient form factor. While the NT-USB might not sound exactly as detailed as its XLR counterparts, it comes very close. It also comes bundled with a pop filter, which makes it stand out from the other microphones on this list. Because of this pop filter, the NT-USB is a perfect choice for those who want to record vocals.

5. Samson Meteor

If you’re on a tight budget, the Samson Meteor provides great quality for the price, and is also one of the most uniquely designed microphones on this list. The Meteor features built-in foldable tripod legs that eliminate the need for a dedicated mic stand. It also comes in a beautiful chrome-plated finish. Additionally, it has power, peak and mute indicators, as well as a headphone jack and mute button.

Got a question about Soundbrenner wearables? Reach out to us at [email protected], we’re happy to help!

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