We round up some of the best mics for streaming and gaming that will help push your production value into the pro-level leagues with minimal fuss

If you’re a gamer or livestreamer looking to improve your production values on YouTube and stream high-quality audio to your followers on Twitch, you’ll want to know what mics are good for streaming and what some of the best mics for streaming and gaming are.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered with our list of industry-standard streaming mics as well as a selection of microphones for streaming on a budget.

This list of microphones is best for a wide range of gaming platforms including Twitch, YouTube Gaming, YouTube, Facebook Gaming, Periscope, Vimeo Livestream, and pretty much any live streaming platform that requires high-quality sound without too much preparation.

Podcast vs Livestream Mics

So, what’s the difference between podcast and livestream mics?

In a nutshell, livestream microphones are plug-and-play options that allow you to make quick changes to sound – usually USB microphones, that have built-in features to manipulate volume, gain and other settings. Podcast microphones are microphones that you use to plug into an audio interface for finer editing either post-recording or during the recording process via a DAW and/or audio interface. 

Let’s explain a little more.

There are a few differentiators when it comes to podcasting and livestreaming and most microphones are equally suited to both. However, it comes down to the mixing process or “in-stream” editing capabilities. This is where you’ll want to decide what type of microphone to buy.

With livestreaming, you’re not editing anything post-mix (unless of course, you reshare it) - so you need the best sound possible in that exact moment while you broadcast live. You don’t have the same amount of time to edit your mix on the fly. You also need zero-latency so there’s no delay between what you say and when the audience hears it.

With a podcast mic, you’re likely going to record, edit, and mix using your DAW. So, you’re going to be experienced in (or at least learning about) post-recording mixing techniques and editing the sound quality of your mic, such as the gain, volume and levels in your DAW and audio interface. This may not be the best solution for some streamers looking for a microphone, as you probably just want to plug your mic in, connect to livestream and start recording straight away!

We’ve got both options in this list for you - just scroll down to see the mics!

We have some microphones, such as the Shure SM7B and Shure MV7, both industry-standard streaming microphones, which have controls you can adjust directly on the microphone to create the perfect sound. We also have condenser and dynamic mics that will need some tweaking before you go live via an audio interface and are designed for the more “experienced” recording artists s you’ll need to know how to use an audio interface or DAW to use them. Of course, both have their place – but in a livestream world, you’ll likely want the easiest option to manipulate your sound on the mic.

Sidenote: If you’re looking to start a podcast, you’ll need some slightly different gear, so be sure to check out our essential podcast equipment guide. In that blog, we’ve talked about the best podcasting microphones all of which are perfect for pre-recording audio, editing and uploading, but now we’re going to discuss livestreaming, as you’ll have slightly different needs.

You can also check out our video on the best cheap mics for streaming, gaming, and podcasting below!

XLR or USB mics for streaming?

XLR and USB microphones both have their place in the live stream world. If you’re using an XLR mic, you’re going to need an audio interface to connect it to. With a USB mic, you’re simply connecting directly to your computer or laptop and recording straight to the DAW.

USB mics are often better suited to smaller, more portable setups as they get their power from your computer, whereas XLR mics require preamps or audio interfaces to work – especially if you’re using a condenser microphone.

Is a USB or XLR mic better for livestream?

USB mics are better for streamers with limited mixing experience as they usually have all the controls you need built-in. XLR mics are often better suited to those who know their way around an audio interface.

How did we choose these mics for streaming?

We chose these mics based on their sound quality, overall. Some were picked based on the fact they are directional options, and some are included as they can be placed on your desk/table and pick up your voice easily. Others here have built-in features so you can place them on a boom stand or podcasting arm, and some were chosen due to the fact they have all the controls you need to get started with a mic for livestreaming on a budget.

Show me the best mics for streaming and gaming

All of the mics in this list will provide exceptional sound straight out of the box, and have a wide range of features to combat any of the typical issues that can sometimes occur when recording vocals, such as frequency peaks, boom from proximity effect and even latency difficulties. Each mic features a cardioid polar pattern as standard, as this blocks out unwanted noise around you. Cardioid is the industry standard polar pattern for streaming microphones.

We’ve compiled a range of the best mics for streaming platforms where you can either control all sound elements on the mic or use your audio interface to manipulate the sound.

We’ll look at the following microphones starting with industry standards and some new contenders such as:

Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone

Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone

First up we have the Shure SM7B Dynamic Studio Microphone, which is one of the industry-standard streaming mics used by the likes of:

  • Joe Rogan – Joe Rogan Experience
  • Steven Bartlett – Diary Of A CEO, and
  • Logan Paul – IMPAULSIVE podcast.

We’ve harped on about why the Shure SM7B is one of the best microphones of all time and why you’ll love it before, but there are a few key reasons why this is one of the best mics for streaming and gaming.

Why is this a contender for best mic for streaming and gaming?

It comes down to three key factors.

The sound quality is obviously the key factor here. Straight out of the box you have a flat, wide frequency response of 50 Hz – 20 kHz. This alone is one of the best features of this microphone as it effectively removes the proximity effect or “boominess” when talking in close range. You get exceptionally detailed sound without any of the unwanted bass from your voice, making it easier on the ear for your streaming fans.

The included windshield stops plosives, which is another bonus - it means that the unwanted ‘pops’ and sibilance noises won’t make it into the mix or spike the audio. It’s a smooth, calm vocal delivery, that won’t be affected by you raging at an NPC getting in your way on Twitch.

The onboard controls are also one of the major benefits here. If you don’t know your way around a mixing desk (that’s totally fine by the way!) you’ll love the fact that the SM7B enables you to manipulate frequency response directly on the mic. The back end of the chassis contains switches to change up the frequency response depending on your vocals. You have the ability to change the mic to a Flat response, reduce the bass by clicking the Bass Rolloff feature or add more life to your sound via the Presence Boost.

If you’re finding that your vocals are sounding too overbearing, switch to the Flat response. Too bass-heavy? Cut the bass with the bass roll-off. Lifeless and unanimated? Hit the presence boost!

The SM7B also includes a swivel mount which means you can place it in almost any direction you want. The fact it’s a directional top address mic with a cardioid polar pattern means you just point it towards your mouth – you don’t have to get up close if you don’t want to, which is perfect for when you’re streaming and you want everyone to see your face.

Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone

Shure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone

TheShure MV7 USB Podcast Microphone is quickly becoming the livestreamers microphone of choice due to the fact it makes your life so much easier. USB mics are now the “norm” when it comes to livestreaming, as not everyone wants to learn how to use an audio interface to manipulate sound.

The MV7 is a plug-and-play microphone that has some incredible built-in features that help you get the best vocal sound possible.

Why is this a contender for best mic for streaming and gaming?

First of all, it’s a dual XLR/USB microphone that can plug directly into your laptop or computer. The free downloadable ShurePlus MOTIV Desktop Application enables you to start recording and processing the audio without any fuss whilst you monitor sound via the built-in headphones jack. This is beneficial for streaming as you monitor the sound quality and volume in real-time.

The easy-to-use touch panel on the MV7 enables you to control gain, monitor volume, headphone mix, and mute the mic when you need to – perfect for when you’re freaking out about getting shot in Fortnite.

The Shure MV7 is essentially a recording studio built into a microphone.

Again, you have a cardioid polar pattern, so you’re not going to pick up unwanted noise around you. The Frequency response of 50Hz to 16,000Hz is perfect for a flatter, well-rounded response that responds well to dialogue.

In addition, the dynamic element and voice isolation technology allows you to place the mic further away from your face and still pick up what you’re saying.

Finally, the A/D Converter allows you to record and stream sound in 16 or 24-bit, 44.1 or 48 kHz quality – which is perfect for online streaming, YouTube and more.

If you want an industry-standard streaming mic – start here.

Rode NT-USB Condenser Microphone

Rode NT-USB Condenser Microphone

The Rode NT-USB Condenser Microphone is used by one of the most popular streamers in the world: KSI. That should give you some indication as to how it’s one of the best mics for streaming and gaming!

Why is this a contender for best mic for streaming and gaming?

It’s easy to see why KSI would love it. Although he’s an exceptional talent when it comes to mixing and live streaming audio and video, it would certainly make it super easy for him to get online quickly. The Rode NT-USB Condenser Microphone features USB connectivity so you can plug it straight into your computer and start recording to the DAW.

A 3.5mm stereo headphone jack is built-in, providing zero-latency monitoring and the ability to mix between mic input and source output on the unit makes volume adjustments so much easier.

The A/D converter provides 16bit 48kHz audio quality, which is perfect for YouTube, Twitch and any other livestreaming platform, providing a studio-quality sound in a live scenario. The 20Hz - 20kHz frequency range is perfect for vocal performances too, so if you wanted to lay down some demos after you’ve finished live streaming, you’re all set.

Another key benefit comes in the form of the removable pop shield, which reduces plosive noises at close range. This in conjunction with a cardioid polar pattern provides incredibly clear audio that will be hard to differentiate between recorded sound and live stream audio.

Best of all, it’s plug-and-play so you can start streaming in minutes!

Another benefit of this microphone comes in the form of its useful stand. You can set this up on your desk and hit record, confident it’s going to pick up everything you say, without the unwanted noise from your computer, the clock on the wall or anything around you – just face it towards you!

Side note: The team at Sidemen seem to like Rode, as Tobit "Tobi" John Brown, also known online as Tobjizzle, TBJZL or Tobi Lerone, uses the Rode Podcaster USB Broadcast microphone, as discussed in his gear setup from a while back.

Yamaha AG01 Live Streaming USB Microphone

Yamaha AG01 Live Streaming USB Microphone

The clue is in the name here. The Yamaha AG01 Live Streaming USB Microphone is a newcomer to the scene of livestreaming and gaming, providing functionality and sound quality specifically designed for live streamers.

Why is this a contender for best mic for streaming and gaming?

One of the major benefits of the Yamaha AG01 Live Streaming USB Microphone is its ability to support a variety of streaming applications. You’ll notice that the AG01 has a mini stereo line input jack and a 4-pole mini-jack (TRRS) for smartphones that allows input and output. This means you can stream audio to your computer and laptop and your smartphone/tablet at the same time – ideal for streaming on multiple platforms like YouTube and Instagram/Facebook gaming simultaneously. This completely changes how you can connect to an audience.

Thanks to the innovative LoopBack feature you can also stream music TO the microphone and back OUT to your streaming platform as background music.

You can control each aspect of your sound directly on the unit thanks to onboard mic volume control, headphones, music control, mic mute and switchable reverb control.

A cardioid polar pattern that captures your voice with high precision, and converts it into high-resolution audio at 192kHz, 24bit quality is ideal for digital platforms.

In addition, the AG Controller provides two modes, "Simple" and "Detail," which makes it easier for beginner streamers to start creating better performances and offers finer adjustments for experienced users.

You also have a stand built-in so you can place the microphone on your desk and stream without having to move it out of the way.

It's perfectly paired with theYamaha AG03MK2 Live Streaming Mixer.

PreSonus PD-70 Broadcast Dynamic Microphone

Presonus PD-70 Broadcast Dynamic Microphone

The PreSonus PD-70 Broadcast Dynamic Microphone is one of the best mics for streaming on a budget. At way under £100, it’s not going to break the bank, and it fits comfortably in our best mics for streaming and gaming list due to the superb quality sound on offer.

Why is this a contender for best mic for streaming and gaming?

This mic has been specifically-designed to capture spoken word in crystal clear detail and features a cardioid polar pattern for superior off-axis rejection, a dynamic capsule for reliability, and an extended frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. This picks up EVERY detail of your voice – which is perfect if you’re livestreaming performances in-between gaming, or you need a microphone to record demos with too.

The Presonus PD-70 is an end-address microphone akin to the MV7 and SM7B, so you need to point it at your face to record your speech, so just grab a boom/microphone arm and you’re all set.

The fact that you have a built-in swivel mount makes it extremely easy to change position while recording and also means you don’t need a cradle to stop any unwanted vibrations from making it into your live stream.

This is a versatile microphone for live streaming on a budget that can easily be used for any application where you need to record high-quality dialogue.

Beyerdynamic M70 Pro X Dynamic Broadcast Microphone

Beyerdynamic M70 Pro X Dynamic Broadcast Microphone

The Beyerdynamic M70 Pro X has been designed for speech applications and those in need of broadcast quality sound when streaming.

Why is this a contender for best mic for streaming and gaming?

One of the main reasons this is one of the best mics for streaming comes down to its frequency response. At close range, you have a 25 - 18000 Hz frequency response which is incredibly detailed – ideal for performers who livestream vocal performances.

However, if you prefer to have the mic sat away from you, the mic offers a 40 - 18000 Hz frequency response at a distance of 1 meter away! That means you get almost the same detail, minus a little bass, at a meter away from the mic. This is perfect for those who want to be able to live stream without the mic close to them, but still want the presence and bass in their voice – just like broadcasters!

The dynamic capsule is great for capturing loud sounds without distortion (perfect for when you start shouting!) and the cardioid polar pattern rejects all the off-axis noise – just point the end of the mic towards you!

The included studio pop filter with gooseneck and shock mount all help to reduce sibilance and unwanted vibrational noise. A professional-level mic for those who need broadcast quality sound.

sE Electronics DynaCaster Dynamic Vocal Microphone

sE Electronics DynaCaster Dynamic Vocal Microphone

The sE Electronics DynaCaster Dynamic Vocal Microphone provides excellent vocal capture for livestreamers with a range of onboard switches for easy sound tweaking as well as a built-in preamp to increase volume and reduce the need for a preamp.

Why is this a contender for best mic for streaming and gaming?

One of the key problems that livestreamers face when it comes to audio capture is volume dropouts and gain problems. If you don’t have a suitable preamp built into your audio interface you’re not going to get the best out of your microphone. The sE Electronics DynaCaster solves this problem by adding +30dB of switchable DYNAMITE – the mic preamp which is usually sold separately. This means you can enjoy a 30dB volume boost without the need for a preamp.

The highly-detailed frequency response of 20 - 19,000 Hz ensures you’re capturing all the detail you need with a slight cut-off of top-end. However, you can change the frequency response directly on the mic thanks to two recessed EQ switches for six sonic options. This means you can reduce the bass boom, tweak the top end or flatten out the sound depending on your voice. Very useful indeed.

You also have an integrated three-layer pop filter which reduces plosives and a patented integrated shock mount which reduces the vibrational noise from your boom arm or mic stand.

A pro-level live streaming microphone that makes life a lot easier!

Marantz MPM-4000U USB Podcasting Microphone

Marantz MPM-4000U USB Podcasting Microphone

The Marantz MPM-4000U USB Podcasting Microphone is easily a contender for best mic for streaming on a budget thanks to its low price tag and the onboard controls that enable you to make quick changes on the fly.

Why is this a contender for best mic for streaming and gaming?

This is one of the best cheap live streaming microphones that don’t suck, empowering new livestreamers to get started without too much investment. It makes life easier for newcomers as the onboard 1/8 inch headphone output with monitoring controls means you can record directly to a DAW without the need for an interface, making changes on the fly as you talk.

The Marantz MPM-4000U USB Podcasting Microphone is also a condenser mic, which is quite rare considering its price tag – so it’s very sensitive, allowing all the detail of your performance or vocal delivery to shine through. The frequency response of 30Hz – 18kHz is professional-level standard and the cardioid polar pattern will reject all the off-axis noise, even when it’s sitting on your desk.

The USB-C connectivity also makes it extremely versatile and the fact you get a Tripod, Mic Clip, and USB Cable included means you can start streaming straight out of the box!

Sennheiser Mk4 Digital USB Condenser Studio Microphone

Sennheiser Mk4 Digital USB Condenser Studio Microphone

When you need a high-end microphone capable of providing studio-quality vocal recording via USB, the Sennheiser Mk4 Digital USB Condenser Studio Microphone is a great option.

Why is this a contender for best mic for streaming and gaming?

This mic breaks the mould when it comes to USB audio capture as it provides the industry-standard 20 Hz - 20 kHz frequency response as well as 24-bit / 96kHz conversion which rivals high-end audio interfaces. This improves your sound before it goes anywhere near your audio interface, allowing you to enjoy superb quality audio straight out of the box.

The Sennheiser Mk4 Digital USB Condenser Studio Microphone comes with Lightning and USB Cables as well as a swivel stand mount, so you’re ready to record instantly. It’s also compatible with all DAWs as well as Mac, PC and iOS devices.

You don’t need a preamp as it gets its power from your device and the built-in mesh grille helps reduce plosive noises. If you’re an experienced live streamer looking to improve your sound, this is a great mic to have. However, you may need some mixing experience as the extended frequency response may cause boominess or the unwanted proximity effect

A cardioid polar pattern ensures you’re not picking up any noise except your voice and the included swivel mount means you can place the mic anywhere you like.

Shure Motiv MV5 Digital Podcast Microphone

Shure Motiv MV5 Digital Podcast Microphone

Last but not least, we have one of the easiest mics to set-up and use, and a contender for the best mic for streaming on a budget. The Shure Motiv MV5 Digital Podcast Microphone will sit on your desk, out of the way, picking up high-quality vocals and enabling you to stream pro-quality audio via USB without an audio interface.

Why is this a contender for best mic for streaming and gaming?

Three reasons: The onboard headphone input allows you to monitor your vocals directly on the unit which means you don’t need a headphone preamp.

The onboard recording presets take all the guesswork out of recording, allowing you to change between Flat, Instrument and Voice modes. Although each mode is tailored to a different application, you can experiment with the best option for your voice. Shure understands that everyone’s voice and vocal delivery will be different, so you can customise the mic to your needs.

The USB connectivity allows you to record directly to your device and make adjustments with the free, dedicated iOS app; ShurePlus – Motiv which allows you to record, edit and share your vocals post-production.

Best of all, the MV5 can be mounted onto any standard 6.35mm camera tripod, which means you're able to add it to your existing setup. Or simply let it sit on your desk and capture audio in pristine 24-bit / 48kHz audio quality with a studio standard 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz frequency response.

The Shure MV5 is highly portable, can be mounted on a camera, and captures audio in studio-quality detail with superior off-axis rejection thanks to a cardioid polar pattern. What more could you want?

Final Thoughts

We hope this helped you decide on the best mic for streaming and gaming to suit your needs. It’s always ideal to get a mic that can provide high-quality sound with zero latency, so you can get started without too much fuss. All of these mics are perfect for streaming and gamers alike, capable of withstanding years of use.

So good luck! We look forward to seeing your livestream or gaming channel do well with improved audio.

Need help picking out a new microphone for live streaming or gaming? Call us on 0151 448 2089 or check out your local store to speak to one of our Experts about your needs.