If you want to stream, podcast or record gaming videos for YouTube, then one of the first steps is picking up a good USB or XLR microphone. These mics can provide that extra bit of audio quality, noise reduction and control you need to be a successful content creator – things you won’t often find on your standard gaming headset microphone. There are plenty of options on the market, so we tested the most popular USB and XLR mics available to find the best of the best.
We’ve split our picks into a few different categories: the best mics for streaming, the best for recording voiceovers or podcasts and the best cheap option. There’s a separate category for XLR mics, as these are a different kettle of fish. We’ve also selected a handy attachable mic that trounces those built into most gaming headsets but remains just as convenient to use.
All of our choices retail for less than $200/£200, as we’re focusing on affordable options for those new to content creation rather than truly professional-grade solutions which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Finally, we also picked runner-up options for a few categories to recognise good alternatives that may be preferred by some people.