Mic Battle: Choosing the Best Microphone for YouTube

Are you searching for a mic? Does digging through a thousand different options of people telling you which mic to buy feel like an uphill battle? Well, the mic battle ends today – because we’ve got the absolute best options for you, no matter what you’re looking for.

We’re going to focus on helping you choose the best microphone for YouTube, but these options will work great for plenty of other uses, too. Whether you have a large budget and you want to upgrade your microphone for a successful YouTube channel, or you’re just starting out and you want the best cheap microphone for YouTube, you’ll find it below.

If you plan on streaming or recording vlogs, or you need the best mic for gaming, there’s a ton of overlap so don’t worry – you don’t need to go out and buy a dozen different microphones.

We put a lot of emphasis on versatility, great value, and choosing a well-rounded and easy-to-use mic for YouTubers, streamers, and all other types of content creators. These mics are also some of the best mics for podcasting, and just about any other type of content that you’ll be making at a computer.

Best Mic Under 100 for YouTube

If you’re looking for a microphone under $100, you can’t expect to get studio-quality, top-tier audiophile sound – but you can absolutely find something that’ll be good enough for Zoom calls, streaming, and YouTube videos.

There are two types of mics in this category we’ll be looking at. First is an XLR microphone, which uses a special type of audio cable that will require an interface in order for you to connect it to your computer, which will add another $100-$150 to the total cost.

If you don’t already have an interface, then you’re better off getting a USB microphone for under $100, or spending that extra $150 on getting a higher-quality USB mic.

Best XLR: Audio-Technica AT2020

This is a classic microphone that gets recommended a lot because it’s great. You’ll get excellent audio quality at an incredible value. With this mic, you’ll need an audio interface in order to connect it to your computer for YouTube and whatever else you plan to use it for.

If you don’t have an interface, or don’t want to buy one, check out this USB microphone under $100 instead…

Best USB Microphone for YouTube: Blue Yeti

Apartment Interior in White and Blue
Apartment Interior in White and Blue

Okay, put the pitchforks down, I know the Blue Yeti costs a little bit more than the budget for this category but it comes on sale often enough, and for a few extra bucks, it’s still by far the best option in this range. You’re much better off with a Blue Yeti than anything less expensive, and it’s even better than a lot of pricier pics.

It absolutely dominates the market in this category, has been around for years, and is the first serious mic that most YouTubers or streamers end up using – just take a look in plenty of people’s videos, once you know what the Blue Yeti looks like, you’ll start to notice it everywhere.

Bonus recommendation: If you absolutely need to spend under $100, check out the Blue Yeti Nano, a smaller compact version of the Blue Yeti.

And before we proceed to the next section, another option by Audio-Technica to consider is the Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB, which uses USB to connect directly to your desktop or your laptop.

Best Microphone Under 500 for YouTube

Now we’re getting into a higher-tier category. Any of the worthwhile microphones in this range will be XLR, so forget about using a USB mic. If you want to connect via USB, you’ll want to do it via a USB audio interface, where the mic connects to the interface using XLR and the interface connects to your computer using USB. If you really want to step it up, you can go with a mixer and other physical audio gear, but you can also do all of that digitally, so it’s not entirely necessary unless you like to geek out on this type of stuff. With that said, here’s our choice for the best mic under $500 for YouTubers…

Rode NT1-A-MP

This is a stellar microphone that you’ll find in studios all around the world. It’s professional quality, but still a fantastic value for the price. This is the type of mic that will really take your channel’s audio quality to the upper echelon, especially once you learn some mixing chops.

It’s not the absolute pinnacle, but once you get to this point, you can go so far beyond the average YouTuber. There are channels with millions of subscribers who aren’t using mics this good. This is an XLR microphone, so you’ll need an interface for it, but once you get to this tier, that’s a drop in the bucket.

Electrovoice RE-20

Here’s another absolutely stellar microphone in this price range, it’s an alternative to the Rode NT1-A-MP and it’s probably the best vocal microphone you’ll find without spending 2 or 3 times as much.

The BEST Mic for YouTube: Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone

This is the elite-tier microphone that will have you in the absolute pinnacle of quality compared to any other YouTubers. You’re in the top 0.00001% with this bad boy, full stop. Whether you need a microphone for vocals, for streaming games, for YouTube videos and narration, or for plenty of other uses – this mic is great.

The only this is you’ll want to be really careful with it, high-end mics aren’t always something you’ll want to wildly toss around in your backpack or whatever. So, if you need something a little more rugged and affordable, go with the Blue Yeti that we mentioned earlier in this post.

Grow Your Channel With The Best Microphone for YouTube

Hopefully this list has helped you find some good YouTube microphone recommendations within your budget. We didn’t dig super deep into all of the technical stuff, since most people are just looking for a confirmation of what their best options are, within their budget – so there you have it!

You can’t go wrong with any of the YouTube microphones on this page. These are versatile microphones that work for a lot more than just YouTube, so buy something nice and you’ll be using it to record high quality audio for many years to come.

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