Getting started, Tools

Best microphone for streaming – Buyer’s guide

microphones

While you don’t actually not need a webcam to stream, a good microphone is an absolute essential. It helps you to stand out from others by putting expressions and emotions in your stream, showing more of you and your personality.

While it’s very easy to get your voice heard nowadays, the quality of your setup will decide whether anyone sticks around to listen. It doesn’t really matter how interesting your stream is; nobody wants to sit through badly configured streams.

There are a few different microphone setups (headset, webcam-mic, mounted mic, etc.), so here are a few different features you should take in account before selecting a microphone for streaming.

Different types

Microphones come in all shapes, sizes and styles. However, all microphones can be categorised into these 3 categories; Dynamic, Condenser or Ribbon.  Each one of these type microphones have a different way of “translating” sounds into into recorded audio.

This basically means that if you recorded the same sound with each of these microphone, they would all create a slightly different sound.

Without going too deep into technical details, here is a short overview of the differences:

  • Ribbon microphones: These microphones are very delicate and fragile, but record the most accurate and authentic sound, which makes them very pricy. Typically they will only be found in a highly controlled, professional environment like a recording studio.

  • Condenser microphones: This type of mic is very accurate, catching both high and low frequencies .. but they require an external power source called phantom power. Their audio signal is stronger than that of dynamic microphones, making them well-suited to capturing subtle nuances in sounds. It’s not a good mic to use when there is lots of background noise!

  • Dynamic microphones: This is the most common type of microphone used in professional applications. Vocal mics for live performances are almost exclusively dynamic mics, and they are even used in the studio.. These microphones can range from $20 for low quality mics to $500 or more for top of the line models.

Directionality

This is basically the way a microphone picks up sounds: Omnidirectional microphones pick up sounds from all directions, while cardioid (or unidirectional) mics pick up the sound from the front, but less in the back. There are a few other directionality options, but these are the most important ones for streaming purposes. Chances are, you will want a cardioid mic for your streams.

Additional features

  • Mount configuration (Headset, Desktop Mic, Arm-mounted mic)
  • Shock mount (Prevents background noises, like clicking from mouse and keyboard)
  • Pop & Wind Filters or Acoustic panels (Prevents loud peaks in audio – from euphoric cheers of victory – from happening.)

Conclusion

Ultimately, your streaming setup and configuration is your choice. You can get as professional or as simple as you want. We just wanted to give you some guidance in choosing a microphone to get started. In case you want some more practical examples, we created a list of the most popular microphones in the streaming community.

Our recommendations

  • Basic
    • Blue Snowball
      The Blue Snowball is the easiest way to get quality audio, without overspending. It’s an omnidirectional mic but it’s perfect for capturing your voice.

  • Headset
    • Corsair Void PRO Wireless
      If you are looking for a wireless gaming headset that does the job, the Corsair Void Pro is your best choice. Bonus-points for Surround sound immersion and Noice-canceling microphone!

    • Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless
      This Logitech headset is comparable with the cheaper Corsair recommendation, but uses a different ear cup design. and features like personalised sound profiles and the option to hide the microphone in the ear cup when it’s not used.
  • Arm-mount
    Not seen that much in the Belgian streaming scene, but oh-so-handy! Why? It’s easy to use and it frees up a lot of space on your desk. A mic boom arm also allows you to get perfect mic placement much, resulting in your voice sounding better.

    • MXL 990 Condenser Microphone
      The MXL990 is a condenser mic, worth every euro. However, keep in mind that this is an XLR microphone will need a USB interface such as the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2as well as an additional Rode PSA1 boom arm, or similar. The setup and configuration might be a bit more delicate, hence the reason why this mic is mostly used by audiophiles and podcasters.
Best microphone for live streaming - Buyer's guide.
Share
Kenny Leys

Kenny Leys

Digital marketing professional focussed on digital media and influencer marketing, who loves Action Sports, Photography & Gaming.