USB Microphones are a great solution for gamers and streamers looking for an all-in-one solution to improve their audio.

There are many things to consider when choosing the best microphone for your home streaming setup, and we’ve broken everything down so you can understand why we recommend these microphones as the best USB microphones for live streamers.

If you’re still deciding between a USB and XLR microphone, you can check out our guide here.

Quick Answer: We believe that the Elgato Wave 3 is the best USB microphone for streaming. Not only is the microphone unique, but it comes with a software suite that makes it extremely easy for you to control the audio on your live stream.

Best USB Microphones For Streaming 2021

  1. Elgato Wave 3
  2. Rode NTUSB Mini
  3. Shure MV7

What Makes USB Microphone Great For Streaming?

USB Microphone Quality

When we began to build our list of the best USB Microphones for live streamers, it was essential to separate microphones used in music production from microphones designed explicitly for podcasting and live streaming.

We focused on these three categories:

USB Mic Connectivity
USB Output & Headphone Jack
  • Frequency Response – Microphones that are designed to record voice, rather than instruments.
  • Sample Rate – 48khz (CD Quality), to allow for a crisp reproduction of your voice.
  • Bitrate – 24bit, to allow for more dynamic range on your stream without clipping or distorting.

USB Microphone Connectivity

For live streaming, it’s not only important that your microphone can record/stream high-quality audio, but it’s also vital for your USB microphone to act as a sound card for your whole computer. This means that it should also have a headphone jack and allow for direct monitoring of your microphone.

  • USB Cable
  • Headphone Jack

USB Microphone Size

Blue Yeti USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti Too Big!

Please don’t use a colossal microphone like the Blue Yeti. Instead, you want a good-looking microphone on your stream that is as small as possible while still offering high quality.

If your microphone is too big, it will be in the way and block your lighting, camera, monitor, or access to the keyboard and mouse.

  • Small – Medium Size is Ideal
  • High Quality Microphone

USB Microphone Looks

Again, please don’t use an ugly microphone (Blue Yeti). You want a modern microphone that represents your personality. Don’t let your microphone distract from your live stream. Streamers are often associated with their microphones; make sure you choose wisely.

USB Microphone Control

Not only do you want your USB microphone to look great. You want to make sure it’s practical. Each USB microphone should let you easily:

  • Mute Your Microphone
  • Adjust Your Microphone Volume
  • Adjust Your Headphone Volume
Elgato Wavelink Software
Elgato Wavelink Software

Software & Tools

Software is what separates excellent microphones from the competition. The best microphones come with a software suite designed to make you sound good and customize your audio. Some features include:

  • Automatic Mic Gain
  • Microphone Anti-Clipping (prevent distortion)
  • EQ, Compression, & Sound Processing
  • Ability to create a custom mix for your headphones
  • Ability to creat a custom mix for your live stream

Best USB Mic For Streaming | Our Recommendation

1 . Elgato Wave 3 (Best Looking, Best Software)

The Elgato Wave 3 was created in partnership with Lewitt Audio to provide a broadcast-grade vocal microphone with the perfect software tools for live streamers and gamers.

This microphone can be mounted in a variety of positions on a variety of stands. It’s easy to use and sounds fantastic.

Elgato Wavelink provides up to 9 channels of mixing game audio, voice chat, music, alerts, samples, and more. You can create a custom mix for your headphones and for your live stream. If you prefer to listen to music while live streaming, you no longer have to worry about copyright issues.

Available Accessories:

  • Shockmount
  • Pop Filter
  • Extention Rods
PriceCheck Current Price
Capsule17 mm Electret Condenser
Headphone JackYes
Polar PatternCardioid
Resolution (Bitrate)24 Bit
Sample Rate48 / 96 kHz
Frequency Response70 – 20000 Hz
Software SuiteElgato Wavelink
CompatabilityMac & PC

2. Rode NT-USB Mini (Compact, Best Processing)

RØDE Connect unlocks access to the NT-USB Mini’s in-built compressor, noise gate, and legendary APHEX Aural Exciter and Big Bottom processors. These sound-shaping tools aren’t yet available in other software platforms like Elgato Wavelink.

Together with the NT-USB Mini, RØDE Connect is a powerful solution for streamers and gamers who want to simplify their audio setup. Offering streamlined control over microphone audio and external applications, plus dedicated output controls for streaming apps like OBS or Xsplit, setting up live stream audio has never been easier.

Available Accessories:

  • Pop Filter
PriceCheck Current Price
CapsuleElectret Condenser
Headphone JackYes
Polar PatternCardioid
Resolution (Bitrate)24 Bit
Sample Rate48 / 96 kHz
Frequency Response20 – 20000 Hz
Software SuiteRØDE Connect
CompatabilityMac & PC

3. Shure MV7 (Best Build Quality, Best Sound)

The Shure MV7 has the legendary sound and build quality that Shure is known for. This microphone has an XLR output and USB output which provides you with an upgrade path if you ever want to use an external audio mixer or audio interface in the future.

The Shure Motiv software allows you to adjust mic gain, monitor mix, EQ, limiter, compressor and more. MV7 users have the additional option of enabling Auto Level Mode; a ‘set it and forget it’ application for consistent recordings every time.  Shure Motiv doesn’t have the advanced mixing/monitoring suite that the Wave 3 and the Rode NTUSB Mini have. This may be a dealbreaker for some serious live streamers.

PriceCheck Current Price
Headphone JackYes
Polar PatternCardioid
Resolution (Bitrate)24 Bit
Sample Rate44.1 / 48 kHz
Frequency Response50 – 16000 Hz
ConnectivityMicro USB & XLR
Software SuiteShure Motiv
CompatabilityMac & PC