Streaming is becoming one of the most exciting forms of content online for creators in everything from gaming to lifestyle. One thing all live streamers have in common is a need for gear that fits both their budget and their streaming setup.
Whether you are just getting started or have committed to streaming full-time, you’ll need the best streaming microphone you can buy to give your audience the best experience. No matter what stage you are at in your streaming career, these are the best microphones for streaming you can buy in 2022.
Mic Types and Pickup Patterns
Before diving into mic shopping, there are a few technical terms you should be familiar with. This is especially important for those who are new to streaming and may not be sure yet what specs will be best for their setup.
Streaming mics generally fall into one of two categories: condenser mics and dynamic mics. Either can be used for streaming. Condenser mics tend to be more sensitive, so they may pick up a bit of ambient background noise, which some people like. Dynamic mics have a more isolated sound, which is great for those who want to highlight their voice and cut out background noise.
The pickup pattern is the most important spec for streamers. This determines the way the mic detects sound. Most of the best streaming microphones have a cardioid pickup pattern, which detects sound best in a circular radius around the front of the mic. There are also omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo pickup patterns, which detect sound all around, to the front and back, or to the sides, respectively.
Top Value Microphones: Under $100
The number of monthly unique visitors on Twitch has risen by over 250% since 2015. With so much potential for growth, it’s no surprise that more and more people are giving streaming a try. Luckily, you can get a great streaming microphone today with a beginner budget.
The HyperX Solocast is one of the best beginner streaming microphones on the market. The list price for this mic is $59.99 but it can often be found on sale for $50 or even $40. This condenser mic has a cardioid pickup pattern and connects via USB for easy plug-and-play setup.
Many streamers like to use their mic on a boom arm, which is perfect for cardioid-style mics. The HyperX Solocast is threaded for both ⅜-inch and ⅝-inch boom arms, so you can easily connect to the arm of your choice. Another feature that’s great to see on this budget mic is the tap to mute button on top.
At $99.99, the ROCCAT Torch is right at the top of the budget range, but just like the HyperX Solocast, it can often be found on sale for much less. This streaming mic connects via USB and features three pickup patterns: cardioid, stereo, and ROCCAT’s unique “whisper” mode.
With an included mini mixer board, you can control a few audio features directly from the mic, including pickup pattern, gain, volume, and mute. For those who like RGB lighting in their setup, the Torch has three LED zones that function as indicators for the mic’s mode and settings. Conveniently, the Torch also has a headphone jack where you can plug in your streaming headphones to check your audio in real-time.
The RODE PodMic is one of the top budget streaming microphones for 2022 because it offers beginner streamers a great dynamic mic option at only $99.99. If you are looking for an XLR mic that you can hook up to a mixer for maximum control over your sound, the RODE PodMic is the way to go, especially if you are still a beginner streamer. This mic is popular among podcasters and streamers alike for its clean, reliable sound.
Intermediate Upgrades: $100 to $150
If you have begun to build up an audience or just made affiliate rank on Twitch, you might be ready to upgrade your streaming microphone. These intermediate-range mics are great options, with quality a step above the budget range.
The Audio-Technica AT2020 is one of the most popular microphones on all of Twitch, even among some big names in streaming. This cardioid condenser mic is available with either USB or XLR connections, depending on whether you would like to use a mixer. The XLR model comes in at $99 and the USB model is a bit more at $149. The AT2020 has a clean look, great build quality, and reliable performance that will give your stream some pro-level polish.
NZXT is known for their sleek cases, but their new Capsule microphone is a top performer, as well. This cardioid condenser mic has a modern, minimal design and a sturdy build with ABS plastic and aluminium. At $129, it delivers a rounded, natural sound. On board controls for gain, headset volume, and mute offer convenience, along with the unique quick release to remove the mic from its stand.
HyperX QuadCast/QuadCast S
The HyperX QuadCast and its RGB twin the QuadCast S are among the most popular streaming microphones, especially among small to mid-sized streamers. AT only $109 for the standard QuadCast, you get four pickup patterns: cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo. The QuadCast connects via USB and features a built-in shock mount, on-board gain controls, and a convenient tap to mute button. If you’re looking for a mic with addressable RGB lighting, the ambient LED lighting on the QuadCast S can be customized in the mic’s software suite.
Professional Streaming Quality: Over $150
As your audience continues to grow throughout your streaming career, your setup will need to expand, as well. Making the jump to a professional-grade streaming microphone is exciting and these mics are top choices in 2022.
Razer Seiren Elite
Razer designed the Seiren Elite with the help of real streamers, making this mic one of the best additions to their lineup. At $199, this dynamic streaming microphone has a supercardioid pickup pattern which has a larger range than a standard cardioid mic. The Seiren Elite connects via USB and has a built-in shock mount and high-pass filter to cut out any unwanted background noise. With convenient on-board controls and a sturdy anodized aluminum build, this mic works great on any setup.
The EPOS B20 is a feature-packed premium streaming microphone. Released in 2021, this mic is new to the streaming scene, but already stacks up against some of the most popular mics on the market. The B20 has four different pickup patterns: cardioid, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and stereo. You can control the pickup pattern, gain, headset volume, and mute on-board. The EPOS audio software gives the B20 an extra boost, allowing you to customize your sound in detail.
No list of the best microphones for streaming is complete without the Shure SM7B. An in-depth screening found that nearly 50% of the top 200 streamers on Twitch use this microphone, making it the first-choice among elite-level creators. At $399, the SM7B is a dynamic unidirectional mic and connects with XLR, which will require an external mixer. A long-time favorite in everything from music to gaming, this mic delivers crisp audio that is difficult to beat, even for its lofty price.
Finding the Right Sound
Whether you are a Twitch partner or an aspiring streamer, your mic is one of the most important parts of your setup. Choosing the right one is just a matter of finding a balance between price and features. With these top microphones for streaming, you can upgrade your setup or build your first one with the best sound available in 2022.
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