Gaming microphones are an essential tool for your rise to Twitch stardom. Whether you’re as big as Ninja or just starting out, capturing your unique voice is paramount if you plan on growing an audience. Aside from Twitch, gaming microphones are perfect for all manners of content creation, whether you’re recording a voice-over for a YouTube video, or the next big podcast.
Even if e-stardom isn’t in your future, nothing beats a great gaming microphone for smack talking in an MMO game or conversely, connecting with co-workers over Zoom. Here’s a selection of the best gaming microphones available right now.
How We Picked the Best Gaming Microphones
Just what is a “gaming microphone”? In many instances, it’s just a regular microphone aimed at gamers. Yes, you can add “gaming microphones” to the long list of things that are marketed to folks who pick up a gamepad on a regular basis, like chairs and energy drinks. Granted, there are a few features that gamers may just appreciate a little more than the average bear. Here are a few things we considered when picking out the best gaming microphones.
Audio Capture: At this point, a lot of everyday electronic devices such as webcams are designed with microphones. Your smartphone, your laptop, and maybe even your home gaming console have the ability to record your voice. But as anyone who’s ever been in a Zoom meeting can attest to, the clarity that comes with these mics is less than ideal. A good gaming microphone, even one on the lower end of the price spectrum, is going to do a far better job. A great gaming microphone will not only capture voice and action with crystal clarity, but may equally capture music as well.
Noise-Cancellation: We live in a noisy world. Even if you don’t live close to a railyard, there are still plenty of everyday noises, from meowing cats to the “brrr” of an air conditioner. When recording, you still want to optimize your surroundings, but good gaming microphones should still be able to filter out some cumbersome noises.
Usability: Since just about every gaming microphone under the sun works with Mac and Windows, connecting it to your PC or laptop shouldn’t be a hassle. Once it’s connected, it shouldn’t disconnect easily, especially if it connects via Bluetooth. Aside from connectivity, you want a device that lets you adjust everything from sound to polar patterns on the fly.
Customization: Many gaming microphones come with their own stands and are low profile enough to work into your rig, however, even big desks can eventually get bogged down with other accessories. The best mics work with secondary stands that you can mount to your desk or your wall, much in the way that Vesa mounts work. Other customization options, including RGB lighting, are great too, even if cool aesthetics don’t always make for better sounds.
Best Gaming Microphones: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: HyperX QuadCast S
Why It Made The Cut: HyperX QuadCast S combines great customizable aesthetics with fantastic audio capture capabilities.
— Dimensions: 5.08 inches L x 4.06 inches W x 9.84 inches H
— Weight: 1.32 pounds
— Compatible Devices: PC, Mac, PS4, PS5
— Polar Patterns: Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional
— Great on-device control including tap to mute
— Anti-vibration shock mount
— Customizable lighting and effects
— On the pricier side
HyperX makes everything from headsets, to keyboards, and even mice, but its QuadCast S is a near perfect gaming microphone, and our pick for the overall best. It’s one of the best condenser microphones available, and while it’s made for gamers, it’s a solid audio capture device for all manner of content creation. The QuadCast is seemingly suspended in midair on its dock with an anti-vibration shock mount, which absorbs unwanted rumbles and bumps when you’re recording.
There are plenty of on-screen controls that let you customize the way you record on the fly. A knob on the front of the device lets you select from four polar patterns which help optimize not just what you record, but how you record. The bottom of the mic quickly allows you to change up the gain control, to help make up for voices that are too loud or too mousey. And in the event that you need to go off-mic, pressing the top of the QuadCast S instantly mutes you. Better yet, many of these controls respond in kind with the customizable RGB lighting, making it one of the best-looking gaming microphones. HyperX NGENUITY software is only available on Windows, but you can still enjoy these effects on Mac and PlayStation systems after configuring them. That said, this gaming microphone is one of the pricier offerings on the market, but there’s a good chance that it will cover all of your recording needs for years to come.
Best Wireless: Razer Seiren BT
Why It Made The Cut: This microphone comes with a few compromises, but there’s no denying its portability and versatility.
— Dimensions: 0.7 inches L x 2.4 inches W x 0.62 inches H
— Weight: 4.2 ounces
— Compatible Devices: PC, Android, iOS, Mac
— Polar Patterns: Omnidirectional
— Great for on-the-go recording
— Syncs easily to smartphones
— Good sound recording, not great
Many gaming content creators dance between Let’s Plays and vlogs, and even occasionally leave their hovels to brave the outside world. The Razer Seiren is perfect for live-streaming on the go.
The way Razer Seiren works is fairly simple. It’s smaller than most vape pens and fits in just about any pocket. When you’re ready to stream, simply clip it near your face, and let the omnidirectional mic do its work. Seiren syncs up to the Razer Streaming App (Available on App Store and Google Play) where you can customize your recording style and enable noise suppression, get a peek at your battery life, adjust gain levels, and more. It even comes with a windsock to block out cumbersome noise.
Like many great pieces of Razer hardware, the guts inside this device are getting constant updates to make this portable wireless gaming microphone better and better. Despite how user-friendly and portable it is, it’s not without its faults. The audio capture quality simply won’t compare to any other gaming microphone on this list. That’s not to say it’s bad; it’s definitely better than “good enough.” After charging to full power, it can record for up to six hours which is mighty impressive. And considering the Seiren is portable, it’s a good bit more versatile than any other gaming microphone on the market.
Best for Podcasting: Blue Yeti USB Mic
Why It Made The Cut: This microphone isn’t much of a looker, but it’s a recording workhorse.
— Dimensions: 4.9 inches L x 4.7 inches W x 11.6 inches H
— Weight: 3.2 pounds
— Compatible Devices: PC, Mac, Chromebook
— Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Figure-8, Stereo
— Clear, broadcast-quality sound
— Climate Pledge friendly
— Four recording patterns, easy control
— On the heavier side
— Muted aesthetics
The Blue Yeti USB Mic isn’t nearly as sexy as the other offerings in this list. There’s no RGB lighting customization, it looks older than it is, and it’s almost twice as heavy as many other gaming microphones. However, it’s still incredibly great at doing what it does: recording quality sound.
Voices and sounds come in incredibly crisp, with a recording quality that is more than broadcast-ready. That’s because within the guts of this microphone is a custom three capsule array. You could easily use the Blue Yeti USB mic to record music when you’re not using it to provide commentary for a Let’s Play or recording a podcast. In fact, the four polar patterns will optimize your recording capabilities whether you’re recording a podcast on your own, with a friend, or even with a group. No need for a complicated array of microphones, one Blue Yeti will be more than enough. The stand doesn’t have a shock mount, but it’s incredibly sturdy, and even the most mischievous cat won’t be able to tip it over. You can even adjust where the mic is pointed so it can be positioned exactly where you want to record. There are a few frills here, but you can decide for yourself whether or not that’s a tick in the pro or con column. There’s no underselling a device that you can simply plug into a Mac, PC, or even Chromebook and start recording in seconds. That’s why it’s still one of the most popular and reliable USB microphones on the market.
Best High-End: BEACN Mic Light
Why It Made The Cut: For professionals or amateurs on a professional track, the BEACN Mic Light is one of the best gaming microphones on the market.
— Dimensions: 2.1 inches L x 2.1 inches W x 8 inches H
— Weight: 8.48 ounces
— Compatible Devices: PC, Mac, PS4, PS5
— Polar Patterns: Cardioid
— Potential for studio-quality recording
— Fantastic compressor
— Absolutely gorgeous
— Doesn’t come with stand
Is there such a thing as a “forever gaming microphone?” You know, a device that you buy once and use until the sun goes supernova? This idea may be untenable, and even if a “forever gaming microphone” is an impossible idea, the BEACN Mic sure comes close.
The sleek build and the customizable RGB lighting, common in gaming microphones, are here. But where BEACN Mic stands out is its incredibly solid, professional-grade guts. Yes, you can use this microphone for live streams and everyday voiceover recording, but that’s just the beginning of what’s possible here. Within this microphone are the same pieces asan entire recording studio. The free Windows app that works with your BEACN Mic routes the sound you record and allows you to adjust just about everything for the best in optimization. Beginners may have to spend a little time tweaking before recording, but professionals will be more than at home with all the options available. Of course, because it’s a professional-grade microphone, you will need to bring your own stand. And sadly, the application that does all that professional-level optimization is only available on Windows, which is tragic for Mac-based content creators. And finally, it is incredibly pricey (almost twice the price as our overall favorite), but if you’re truly in the market for an almost future-proof gaming microphone, BEACN Mic comes highly recommended.
Best for Beginners: HyperX QDuoCast
Why It Made The Cut: While it offers fewer options than QuadCast S, HyperX DuoCast is an impressive and affordable gaming microphone.
— Dimensions: 4.4 inches L x 3.8 inches W x 7.8 inches H
— Weight: 8.48 ounces
— Compatible Devices: PC, Mac, PS4, PS5
— Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Omnidirectional
— Hi-res recording capabilities
— Easy controls
— Customizable RG lights
— Only two polar patterns
The latest addition to the HyperX QuadCast family, Duo, isn’t as powerful or versatile as QuadCast S, but it’s still full of some fairly stellar surprises.
In many ways, it’s a lighter, slightly scaled-down version of the glitzy QuadCast S, and even at first glance, you can tell these mics are related. Just like the S, DuoCast has a tap-to-mute sensor, a shock mount, and even customizable RGB lighting. Sort of. The shock mount on the DuoCast is much smaller, and the RGB customization only affects a very thin strip.
DuoCast is an apt name, considering it can only record two polar patterns compared to the QuadCast S’s four. But the capabilities under its belt are still fairly impressive, and it can go toe-to-toe with QuadCast S when it comes to recording, using cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns. If you’re a beginner that’s just starting out, it’s a great way to record yourself for voiceovers and live streams. It is less expensive than QuadCast S, so if you’re looking to save a buck it may be more than you need. And while it’s an incredibly capable gaming microphone in its own right, we feel it will live in the shadow of Quadcast S, and the cost savings may not be terribly prudent in the long run, considering just how great our overall favorite pick is.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Gaming Microphone
Gaming Microphone vs. Gaming Headsets: There’s a significant chance that you already own a gaming headset that comes with both cozy in-ear speakers and a microphone in one convenient package, and they do a fantastic job of capturing your voice when you’re gaming online with friends and enemies alike. Higher-end gaming microphones pack surprisingly solid mics in them. To be honest, they may be all you need, especially if you’re just starting out your Twitch takeover. But would we recommend you record a podcast or a catchy theme song for yourself on them? Absolutely not. There’s just no comparing the sound quality.
Standalone gaming microphones are typically condenser mics, which handle both highs and lows with ease, and more importantly, are perfect for catching detailed audio. Recording even simple voice-overs using a gaming headset mic may have you spending more hours in the editing bay than you want. Luckily, good gaming microphones can be had for even modest investment these days, including the HyperX QuadCast S, our overall favorite.
Accessories to Upgrade Your Gaming Microphone: Many of the best gaming microphones will be ready to use right out of the box. All you’ve got to do is plug them into your PC or laptop, and start recording or streaming. Of course, your audio quality could always be improved with a few optional add-ons. Here are a couple that we recommend.
— Pop Filter: Do you over pronounce your Ps and Bs? Nothing makes a faithful viewer or listener cringe quicker than annoying popping, or even the whirr of a nearby fan or air conditioner. While many gaming microphones pack noise-removal capabilities, this inexpensive accessory only amplifies them. It’s compatible with many gaming mics except for the Blue Yeti USB Mic.
— Mic Stand: No matter how streamlined your gaming rig is, things may get out of hand when it comes to your microphone. Desktop real estate is precious, after all. The best way to free up space is to use a mic stand that folds away when it’s not in use. This one works with our best overall pick, the HyperX QuadCast S, but there’s a good chance there’s a stand made for whatever gaming microphone you end up buying.
Q: How much do gaming microphones cost?
Good, quality gaming microphones run anywhere from $40 to several hundred. The HyperX Quadcast S, our overall best pick costs $159.
Q: Why would I want a standalone mic instead of just a headset?
The microphones in gaming headsets are good enough for competitive online gaming and FaceTime calls, but the sound capture quality can’t come close compared to a standalone gaming microphone.
Q: What are the types of gaming microphones?
Gaming microphones distinguish themselves from one another by offering different polar patterns and occasionally aesthetic features like customizable RGB lighting.
Q: How do I clean my gaming microphone?
In short, very carefully. To clean your gaming microphone, remove the grid from the device and clean the foam with lukewarm water. Allow it to dry for at least three days. Of course, always consult your gaming microphone manufacturer before cleaning your device.
Q: Are USB gaming mics better?
For recording voice-overs and podcasts, gaming mics are much better when compared to gaming headsets.
Q: Should I buy a dynamic or condenser gaming mic?
It depends on what you’re intending to use your mic for. Dynamic gaming microphones are great for minimizing distortion and bigger, boomier sounds. Condenser mics capture much more detail, and can even capture sounds as low as a whisper. However, this also makes them more prone to capture background noise.
Final Thoughts on Gaming Microphones
The first step in making it big in the world of streaming starts with finding your voice. The second step is finding the right gaming microphone to capture that voice. HyperX QuadCast S is our overall favorite because you don’t need to be an audiophile to make the most out of it. If you are an audiophile and have plenty of cash to spare, BEACN Mic is one powerful number. For recording on the go, Razer Seiren BT is a fantastic option and runs for up to six hours on one charge.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.
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