“A hero need not speak. When he is gone, the world will speak for him.” – Halo. But a microphone helps.
Gaming has become a favourite in entertainment for many. Today’s games are deeper and more involved than they have ever been.
Famous actors are lending their likeness and voices to them. The thrill for us, tho, is that we get to be involved in the stories, even influencing how they turn out.
Another great aspect of gaming is that many of them allow us to join a group experience.
We get to link with other gamers, converse, interact. That means we need a way to have interaction with the other gamers. No time to type out and read everything. Many of the fast paced games rely on vocalized conversations.
You already know all this. What’s my point?
Quite frankly, the headsets we first got when we started gaming just aren’t good enough. To get the most out of our gaming experience, we need to upgrade our audio capabilities.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Top 5 Best Microphones For YouTube Gaming & Twitch Streaming
A great pair of headphones is one part of the equation. A high quality microphone is the other.
We’ll examine the Best Microphones for YouTube Gaming & Twitch Streaming.
Besides interacting with our gaming crew, we can also now stream a running commentary, or have others watch us as we play the games.
A good gamer can amass a large following, opening the door for monetizing our gaming.
Twitch and YouTube are platforms that offer us a way to that. High quality audio is vital for this. The headsets we once thought were the best thing ever, are now limiting our streaming or commentary capabilities.
Even the better headsets will often be lacking in the microphone quality. We really do need to separate the mic from the headphones.
Thankfully, we have many very high quality options. As an added benefit, we can also use most of these mics in our YouTube video production.
Top 5 Best Microphones For YouTube Gaming & Twitch Streaming
1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Let’s first look at the Blue Yeti USB Mic. This is a USB connecting microphone, Plug ‘n Play compatible with either Mac or PCs.
Besides the high end audio specs, this mic is also a versatile choice. It has quick muting, headphone volume controls, and four different pattern modes.
The pattern mode most valuable for gamers is cardioid. A cardioid pattern records or listens to a fixed area directly in front of the microphone. This model provides a rich, full bodied sound, satisfying even the most discriminating ear.
The other modes are stereo, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. These modes are useful for video recording, giving this microphone extra appeal. Stereo and omnidirectional give a natural “being there” feel to a recording, while bidirectional is perfect for interviews.
Using this microphone for Twitch streaming or YouTube commentary allows us to concentrate on the game and not worry about how we sound. You will sound great with this mic.
It looks cool, too.
“Quick reach mute button and volume nob are awesome”
Having an adequately sound proofed room is also good idea. This will allow our followers to focus on our performance without distraction.
When first setting up in cardioid mode, be sure to locate the mic’s sweet spot. Almost all cardioid mics have a sweet spot, an angle that provides the fullest sound. It’s not always readily apparent as it can vary a little in direction from mic to mic.
If you fall outside the narrow angle of the pattern and the sound quality falls precipitously, or perhaps no pick up at all if too far outside the angle.
This mic has the mute button right in front, which seems like a natural choice, but you would be surprised how many microphones force you to think about the muting process instead of simply doing it.
Having the headphone jack built into the mic provides real time monitoring with no delay at all. A great feature for fast paced games.
A pop filter might be a good investment to add to this mic. One of the great things about using this mic is the wide range it’s able to pick up.
Price range might seem high at first. Especially if coming from a modest headset or using your computer mic and powered USB speakers. However the moderate cost is definitely worth it.
A great choice of microphone for any gamer concerned about audio quality while playing, recording, or streaming. This is hands down one of the best microphones for gaming and Twitch streaming.
2. Razer Seiren Pro Elite XLR USB Digital Microphone
Next we played around with the Razer Seiren Pro Elite XLR USB Digital Microphone.
The pro model we tested is around twice the price of the Yeti, offering studio quality recording. It offers connectivity via USB with Plug ‘n Play and also gives the option of connecting with XLR, which opens up a whole new level of performance options.
What is XLR?
The most common type of XLR connector is a three pin plug or socket used for balanced audio in higher end and professional balanced audio configurations.
It allows inter-connectivity and use of longer cables (or more cables for interconnected set ups) while reducing the susceptibility to electromagnetic interference noise.
Basically, if you have multiple mics set up and running through a mixing board, you need XLR. Since that kind of situation is already costing a lot of money, springing for microphones using the XLR standard would be no big deal.
Most likely however, that is only going to be a very small group of gamers. Still, it’s good for us to know what is out there.
Now to the specifics of this microphone
This is a well made product and it also has four distinct audio pick up patterns. Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Stereo, and Bidirectional. The mute button is well placed in the natural position facing the subject.
This mic also has a high pass filter option that filters out low end sound, such as rumbles occurring during the recording session such as when the cables are dragged over each other in the heat of a multi player gaming session, or bumping into and kicking your desk. It doesn’t eliminate these sounds, but it reduces it quite a bit.
I can find more good things to say about this mic, but realistically, the high price is going to put it out of reach of modest budgets. For the right person or group, this is definitely one of the best microphones for gaming and Twitch streaming.
Since costs are a concern for many of us, we will now take a gander at a couple of lower priced units for modest budgets.
3. Samson Meteor USB Studio Microphone
The Samson Meteor USB Studio Microphone is a very capable performer and is a great step up from an all in one headset. This condenser mic has one pick up pattern, cardioid. That isn’t likely to be an issue for most gamers, since that’s the pattern we would recommend for gaming commentary or podcasts.
While lighter than the other mics we tested, it still sits well on a desk and is balanced properly to not fall over unless we get real excited in your gaming performance.
But there are easy fixes for that, so I don’t see any need to take off points due to that small issue.
A great point in its favor is that the USB port doesn’t need to be powered, so that opens up use on other devices with USB such as an iPad.
This unit also has a properly placed mute button and has a headphone jack for real time monitoring. Since we were able to find this microphone at some very attractive prices online, it will be a great choice for many gamers considering a step up in audio quality.
4. Blue Microphones Snowball Microphone
Another lower priced choice that belongs in the list of top 5 Best Microphones For YouTube Gaming & Twitch Streaming is the Blue Microphones Snowball Microphone. This was actually the lowest priced microphone to make this list.
It has a USB connector and is supported in Plug ‘n Play. It is very small and light compared to the other mics tested. In fact, it almost feels a little like a toy, but it is most assuredly a quality audio product. The condenser microphone has a cardioid pick up pattern and is a capable performer for most applications we could think of.
For drawbacks, it is likely to be knocked over if you get even a little excitable during gaming sessions, and the noise of knocking it over, looking for and finding it, and then putting back on the desk might distract us or our viewers.
The red light on the front of it, showing it being in use, was rather distracting to me as well.
When I said its audio quality is great, I should probably also have said it did seem to pick up more ambient noise than the other mics tested. There is no headphone jack on this mic.
It deserves its place on our list because of the superior sound quality available at a very low price. It is a great choice to move into higher quality gaming or YouTube audio.
5. Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone
Last microphone tested was the very capable Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone.
This condenser microphone has a cardioid pick up pattern, but a fairly wide angle cardioid pattern, so it is a good choice for gaming or for studio voice over.
Much of what I said about the first mic tested (the Yeti) applies to this mic. The main difference is going to be in its pick up pattern. As I said, cardioid only, but a fairly wide ranging pattern.
Head phone jack allows for real time monitoring and the package I had came with a pop filter.
Any of these microphones could benefit form a pop filter, especially if you have them placed fairly close to your mouth.
This microphone looked and felt like it would be at home in a small dorm room or in a professional studio. Maybe not as versatile as the first two mics reviewed, but it has nothing lacking in the audio quality side of things.
So, what microphone should you choose as your personal favourite?
At the end of the day it comes down to your needs and budget. Hopefully this guide has taken out a lot of the guess work so you can start doing what you love.
I’m always trying to look at a variety of needs, wants, and usage. What might work for a seasoned gamer and YouTuber might seem like overkill to the gamer just breaking in to higher audio quality.
Likewise, a gamer with a higher budget might dismiss some products as toy like, even though the “toy” might have better specs than other higher priced items. Which is why we test a variety of items in multiple price ranges.
Enjoy your move up into higher audio quality for gaming, Twitch streaming, and YouTubing.
“Trust me.” – BT-7274, Titanfall 2