Ranking the Best Microphone for YouTube in 2023
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Best overall: Shure MV7
Best for filming: Rode PodMic
Best for podcasting: Audio-Technica AT2020
YouTube can be a great way to share your life with the world or to build a loyal audience so you can sell your products and services in the future. Whatever the reason you want to start a YouTube channel, the possibilities are endless, and now is the best time to start a YouTube channel.
If you want to make it in this field for the long term, you’ll need to have high-quality audio that makes your content stand out from all the others. This means investing in a microphone for YouTube to make your audio sound crisp and clear without any background noise.
So yes… this means using the audio on your iPhone isn’t going to cut it if you want to be a full-time YouTuber or make money from your channel.
The following microphones are the best in the business and are backed by thousands of five-star reviews by customers just like you.
Do you actually need a microphone?
In short, yes. Since the competition on YouTube (and the internet in general) is so fierce, you’ll need to stand out by having high-quality audio that most other content creators don’t have. You’ll notice that most of the successful YouTube channels put time and effort into their audio production. However, small YouTubers who don’t post enough often don’t have any type of enhanced audio and the quality of their video tends to suffer.
Having one (or multiple) microphones is required if you want to do podcasting and have guests on the podcast. Especially for in-person recordings, you’ll need a microphone setup where each person participating in the podcast has a microphone in front of them.
YouTube videos that aren’t simply talking head videos almost certainly need a microphone. Without quality audio, no one will stick around and watch your YouTube videos in full.
Best places to find high-quality microphones
Our #1 place to find the best microphones for YouTube is on Amazon since they have the best selection and feature many of the top brands that we’re going to discuss.
Other places you can shop for high-quality microphones include BestBuy and authority websites like Tom’s Guide and Buzzsprout. However, it’s important to know that you’ll always have the best selection from online retailers and often get the best price.
Types of microphones
Anyone looking to get involved with content creation and YouTube should have a basic understanding of the different types of microphones on the market and how they work. Below are the three most common types of microphones that YouTubers use today:
All microphones tend to function the same. The principles behind how microphones sound are identical, but the way that energy is converted differs based on the type of microphone you’re using.
USB vs. XLR microphones
There are generally two types of microphones you have to choose from when using them for audio on YouTube. They are USB and XLR microphones. Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about these two types of mics.
USB mics tend to be the best microphone for YouTube beginners just getting started on their YouTube journey. These microphones are small, compact, and can go anywhere as long as you have a PC to plug them into. You don’t have to worry about the arms of a studio microphone setup since you can easily attach a USB microphone to your shirt.
These microphones are plug-and-play and produce great results for a solo YouTuber. Creators who host podcasts with multiple guests or other special types of audio requirements will need to look elsewhere since USB microphones aren’t the best for studio setups.
Additionally, USB microphones are typically cheaper than XLRs which means that their quality can be compromised. Plenty of reviews online for popular USB mics point towards low-quality materials that lead to USB mics breaking after only a short amount of time.
XLR microphones are the industry standard for professional podcasters, radio hosts, and musicians. These are the typical studio microphones that you’ve almost certainly seen before on podcasts or radio shows.
XLR microphones provide superior sound quality, however, their price may be too much for a beginner to afford. Most studio-quality XLR microphones will cost around $200, not including many of the additional equipment needed for XLR mics.
If you’re just getting started on your YouTube journey, we highly recommend purchasing a high-quality USB microphone instead of an XLR.
Best overall: Shure MV7
The Shure MV7 is small enough to fit in one hand yet still packs a professional-quality punch that beginner and experienced content creators will find incredible–which is the reason that it is the best overall microphone for YouTube this year.
The Shure brand has been popular for a long time and they’re known for the unmatched quality and durability of their products. Buying the Shure MV7 ensures that you’ll have a high-quality microphone that will last a long time.
Key features of the Shure MV7 include:
Great companion software
USB or XLR outputs
MFI and Teamspeak certification
Doesn’t require much maintenance
Enhanced vocal reproductions
Downsides to the Shure MV7
We were hard-pressed to find anything negative to say about the Shure MV7. The best we could come up with is that the microphone is loose widescreen which may make it more difficult to use in settings other than a studio setup.
Using the ShurePlus MOTIV app
Those that want to get the most out of their Shure MV7 must download the ShurePlus MOTIV app which allows creators to get access to many other features of this powerful microphone.
The app allows you to use advanced recording modes and easier ways to share the microphone in group settings. There’s also “Auto level mode” so you don’t have to mess around with manual settings when adjusting your microphone.
Other features of the app allow you to use the mic position toggle which auto-adjusts your settings based on how close you are to the microphone which produces a clear sound every time.
Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with the Shure MV7–which is by far the best overall microphone for YouTube.
Best for filming: Rode PodMic
Boasting over 3,800 ratings on Amazon averaging 4.8 out of 5 stars, the Rode PodMic is one of the best options for those who plan on doing plenty of filming and need high-quality audio to go with it. It’s also ideal for podcasters who plan on interviewing guests and don’t want to compromise on audio quality.
Dynamic microphone with broadcast-quality sound
Internal pop filter
Shock mount and integrated swing mount attachments
All-metal durable design
The Rode PodMic is simply one of the best on the market right now. While it made our list of the best microphone for YouTube filming, there are a few downsides you should consider before investing in this microphone.
The stand and other needed accessories are sold separately
Its audio interface may be difficult for beginners
The Rode PodMic has a retro feel to it and may bring back some memories of the old days of radio shows. However, this microphone is ultra-modern. It starts around $99 and is very small–it most likely can fit in the palm of your hand.
The microphone comes with an XLR cord, but beginners should be aware that they will not be able to plug the mic into their computer–for that you would need to explore the JLab Talk or Blue Yeti. Rode also sells the stand and boom arm that are needed to operate the microphone for an added cost.
Its integrated pop filter allows for high-quality sound without any background noise–it’s simply one of the best microphones for the price that doesn’t compromise on sound.
The Rode PodMic is well-known within the podcasting community, and we think that you can’t go wrong with this high-quality studio microphone.
Best for podcasting: Audio-Technica AT2020
The Audio Technica AT2020 is in the conversation for the best microphone for YouTubers because it’s affordable and still packs a ton of punch with its quality sound and durable design.
For the right person, the Audio Technica AT2020 will be the only microphone you need. However, professional podcasters will want to look elsewhere for a mic that is designed for professionals in a studio setup.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the Audio Technica AT2020:
One of the best values you can get for your money
Durable design built to last a long time
Ability to handle high volume without distortion
Additional equipment is required to get the best results
Sound quality isn’t as good as others on the market
The noise level tends to be higher than average
The Audio Technica AT2020 is backed by a company with a pedigree of providing high-quality audio equipment. The AT2020 has all the features most creators will need. It has a cardioid polar pattern which helps to reduce unwanted sounds and includes a stand mount, threaded adapter, and a soft protective pouch.
The Audio Technical AT2020 has glowing reviews online. In fact, there are over 15,000 reviews averaging 4.7 stars for this microphone on Amazon alone. The consensus in most of the online reviews points towards the AT2020 being a great value with top-notch sound. However, some customers claimed that the firmware broke and that the microphone isn’t ideal for Windows users.
Equipment needed with the Audio Technica AT2020
We mentioned earlier that there is additional equipment needed for those that buy the Audio Technica AT2020. In addition to spending roughly $100 for the microphone itself, you’ll also need a mic stand, audio interface, and XLR cable. These items aren’t too expensive and shouldn’t be a problem for beginners. However, it’s important to consider these extra costs for those that are on a budget.
Audio Technica AT2020 sound quality
While some users claim that the AT2020 has superior sound, professional reviews show that there are some flaws in the sound quality of the microphone. In fact, one review claims that there are sound issues that aren’t typically present in other microphones at a similar price point.
Our parting thoughts with the Audio Technica AT2020 is that it’s a great option for beginners who want a studio-quality microphone for under $100. However, those that want to take their YouTube and podcasting journey seriously should look at other options on the market.
Investing in a studio microphone for YouTube is a big decision. You’ll want to choose a microphone that is built to last and doesn’t compromise on quality, which is why we recommend the Shure MV7 to any aspiring YouTuber or content creator.
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