Computer microphones can come in a wide range of styles and levels of quality. When considering what is on the market, look for quality first and foremost to find microphones that capture the best sound possible. You also want to choose microphones with options that let you adjust the recording pattern you use. Keep in mind features like portability, which make certain models perfect for conducting interviews or making recordings at live performances. While the price on some of these models can be high, they ensure you sound professional while recording podcasts, voice-overs, or music.
We've chosen the following best computer microphones due to their excellent sound quality, thanks to bit rates of at least 16-bit, though two of them have 24-bit rates. You get sample rates of at least 44.1/48kHz, which is good enough for professional recording and podcasting. All of these have a cardioid sound pattern, which is ideal for something like a podcast, where sound comes primarily from a single direction, though some of them have selectable patterns. All of these microphones come with a mount or stand, making them easy to set up, connect to a computer via USB, and have headphone output with volume controls.
This is a terrific microphone that is hard to beat in terms of quality and features. It has four different directional settings, including stereo, omnidirectional, and bidirectional recording patterns. It's simple to use with a USB connection for plug and play setup, works with both PCs and Macs, and has a 24-bit rate with a sample rate of 192 kHz. Read Full Review
This microphone lives up to the name "Yeti" because it is an absolute beast in terms of features and quality. The microphone itself is nice and sturdy, so it stays in place during recording. It has a multipattern design that lets you choose from four different setups. You can record in stereo for great two-channel audio, or in cardioid for simple professional or podcast recordings. There's also an omnidirectional setting that is great for capturing a band or group of people, and a bidirectional mode to record two people in a conversation or interview. The bit rate on this one is 24-bit for great audio quality and it has a sample rate of 192 kHz. It uses a 3.5mm connection, but has a USB adapter so you can easily plug it into any computer, and it works with both Macs and PCs. The price tag can be a bit steep, but Blue Microphones also offers a "non-Pro" Yeti USB microphone that is still high quality at a lower price.
SHURE has a reputation for high quality microphones, and this digital model is no exception. It has a bit rate of either 16-bit or 24-bit, along with a sampling rate of 44.1/48 kHz for optimal sound quality. The USB connection provides this microphone with power and it comes with a mount, plus volume controls and a mute switch. Read Full Review
While SHURE may be well known for traditional microphones, this is a digital model that includes excellent design and performance. It has support for 16-bit and 24-bit audio, which gives you the best sound quality possible in digital recording. The sampling rate on this microphone is 44.1/48 kHz, which is lower than the Blue Microphones Yeti Pro, but is still more than sufficient for professional recording. This model has a set polar pattern of cardioid, which makes it best for recording unidirectional audio, especially podcasts and digital radio. Functionality with this microphone is excellent thanks to a mounting stand and included tripod mount. It has a headphone output connection along with volume controls and a mute switch for easy use and monitoring recording live.
If you're looking for a very portable microphone, for recording interviews or music at different locations, then this is a great choice. It folds up for easy storage and transportation, with a case that protects it from damage while you're on the move. This microphone has two settings, cardioid or omnidirectional, uses a USB connection, and offers 16-bit audio with 44.1 kHz audio resolution. Read Full Review
This is a great computer microphone that is perfect for use with a laptop. It's small and folds up with a case for easy storage and transportation. There are two settings available with this microphone, so you can use cardioid for recording a single person, or omnidirectional when you want to capture a group of people all around the microphone. Audio quality with this microphone is excellent thanks to 16-bit sound with 44.1 kHz audio resolution, and it includes a headset output plug for listening while recording. It doesn't include a stand, which is one of its few flaws, but you can easily clip it onto a laptop or the edge of a table or desk during use. This microphone uses a USB connection, with simple plug and play set up, and functions with both Macs and PCs. Its small design and simple set up also make this a great choice for use with Voice Over IP programs or chat software.
This is a USB version of one of Audio-Technica’s most popular and impressive microphones. It has 16-bit audio with 44.1/48 kHz sound quality and includes and headphone plug with volume control. It comes with a tripod desk stand and stand mount that lets it work in just about any setup. Read Full Review
Audio-Technica is well known for producing excellent microphones, and this is the USB version of their most popular model. It offers 16-bit audio, which is good enough for professional recording and podcasting, along with 44.1/48 kHz audio sample rate. This microphone is powered through a USB connection and it also has an output connection for headphones and volume controls specifically for the headphone port. This makes it easy to listen to and monitor audio live while recording without latency issues. The included stand mount is perfect for traditional microphone stands, and there is an included small tripod for use at a desk. The cardioid pattern is ideal for recording a single audio source, but it lacks any options for changing the polar pattern.
This is a great microphone for use on location or in a studio, due to its simple design and features. It has folding legs with rubber feet, making it ideal for setting up on a desk or table, but includes an adapter for connecting it to a stand in a studio. You get 16-bit audio and 44.1/48 kHz resolution with this microphone, and it includes headphone output and both volume and mute controls. Read Full Review
The design on this computer microphone is simple yet just about perfect for any setup or situation. It has three legs that fold out with rubber feet, letting you set it up like a tripod on a desk or table. The underside of the microphone includes a stand adapter, so you can easily connect it to a larger stand, which is ideal for a professional studio. Sound quality with this microphone is excellent, thanks to 16-bit audio and 44.1/48 kHz resolution and it is powered through a USB connection. This model includes a headphone connector and volume controls, but it has a mute switch for easy use. The pickup pattern with this microphone is cardioid so it is best for a single sound source. It can work with an iPad using a Lightning USB adapter and has simple plug and play functionality with both Mac OS and Windows systems.