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13 Best Microphones For Streaming

Whether it's about starting your own podcast or to be better understood in an online conference: In public places, offices, homes, almost everyone is thinking about buying the best microphone for streaming. This amplifies the sound and can provide a fuller sound. Finding the right recording technique among the many offerings is not easy.

best microphones

Which is the best microphone depending on the use. A little basic knowledge is enough to find the right device. Should it be a USB microphone that quickly connects to a laptop? Is a slightly warm condenser mic sound an option? Or is a powerful dynamic microphone a better choice? The following microphone comparison presents the 13 models and shows how they differ in sound, compatibility, and accessories. In the following guide, you will learn what types of devices are available, for which production they are suitable and what is essential for professional recording.

Huge Comparison Of 13 Microphones For Streaming

1. Auna MIC-900BL Card Cardioid Microphone
  • USB connector
  • USB connectivity technology
  • Power Supply
  • Laptop, PC Compatible Devices
  • The number of batteries required is 1 Lithium Ion battery.
  • Item Weight 495 Grams
  • unidirectional polar pattern
  • nylon material
The Auna MIC-900BL is a condenser microphone designed for podcast recording and vocal recording in amateur studios. The microphone has cardioid characteristics: It picks up the front voice of the speaker or singer and filters out background noise.

Connect via USB 2.0 via plug and play Connect to PC or Mac. However, headphones cannot be connected to the device.

With microphone spider: The Auna MIC-900BL has a microphone spider. This is a stand that reduces noise. Your cover is made of nylon. Thanks to the 5/8 inch thread and 3/8 inch adapter, the spider can be attached to a standard microphone stand.

The device includes many accessories: in addition to the microphone spider, there is a USB cable. It has a metal body and weighs only 295 grams. This microphone is available in ten different colors including gold, red, silver and black. At 3 meters long, the device cable offers a lot of freedom of movement. With a frequency range from 30 to 18,000 Hertz it is slightly below standard at low tide (20 to 20,000 Hertz).

In addition, this model offers:
  • Microphone dimensions: height 16.5 centimeters, diameter 5 centimeters
  • Protective case and operating instructions in German and English
  • Sensitivity: -32 decibel
What is a microphone spider? This is an elastic suspension for the microphone. The microphone can vibrate freely inside the spider without coming into contact with the tripod. This prevents background noise when there is vibration around the microphone.

  • Available in ten designs
  • Relatively easy
  • With protective bag
  • With microphone spider
  • Relatively low frequency range
  • No headphone jack
2. Maono AU-PM422 Card Cardioid Microphone
  • Klinke . 3.5mm Connector
  • USB connectivity technology
  • Power Source Cablegebunden
  • unidirectional polar pattern
  • Frequency response 192KHz
The Maono AU-PM422 microphone comes in a complete podcast kit including boom arm and shock mount. The microphone also has a pop screen and a USB port. With their cardioid characteristics, studio microphones are most sensitive to frontal sound, according to the manufacturer. Lateral sounds should only be detected quietly, backward sounds as good as none. According to the manufacturer, it is therefore very suitable for live recordings such as podcasts. The microphone can be used as a monitor thanks to the headphone connection via the 3.5mm jack.

No software or sound card: The Maono AU-PM422 microphone can be connected to a computer via USB, so no software or sound card is required. USB microphone only needs to be selected as the default input.

This microphone is compatible with Windows and macOS and comes with a dual shielded USB cable provided to reduce interference. According to the Maono brand, the included microphone spider accommodates the microphone elastically and separates it from vibrations. Small bumps on the tripod should be absorbed. Pop protection reduces unwanted hissing or popping sounds. Muting can be done directly on the microphone using the touch panel without sound. The micro chipset offers a sample rate of up to 192 kilohertz.

What is a condenser microphone? Condenser microphones are more sensitive than dynamic microphones, so they are better suited for studio recording than live situations. The condenser microphone converts sound into an electrical signal and is an electroacoustic converter because of the way it works. The sound hits the membrane on the head of the device, which starts to vibrate and first converts the sound into mechanical vibrations and then into electrical voltage. Microphones usually require phantom power to operate. The condenser in the microphone requires a voltage between 12 and 48 volts to work. Otherwise, the audio signal will not be transmitted. The ghost power is transmitted through the wired connection after the appropriate auxiliary device has been connected. More information about the different types of microphones and their advantages and disadvantages can be found in the guide.

  • With microphone spider
  • With microphone arm
  • With pop protection
  • No need driver
  • With mute button
  • Not compatible with X Box
3. Shure SM58-LC Microphone
  • XLR to XLR connector
  • Cable connectivity technology
  • Power Source Cablegebunden
  • Verstärker . Compatible Devices
  • The number of batteries required is 1 Lithium Ion battery.
  • Item Weight 0.5 Kilogram
  • unidirectional polar pattern
  • Number of channels 1
Whether pop, metal, rock or hip-hop: singers very often use the legendary Shure SM58-LC microphone for live performances or in the studio. Shure released this model in 1966 and since then the microphone has become legendary. It is the first choice of professionals around the world, mainly because of its powerful, clear sound and rugged construction. The adjustable frequency response makes it ideal for transmitting speech and vocals. The cardioid polar pattern ensures that sound coming from the side or back is mostly suppressed, which serves as an effective way of reducing background noise and feedback.

With integrated microphone clamp and pop shield: The SM58-LC has an integrated, effective and proven wind and pop filter. In addition to the storage bag, the shipping scope includes a microphone clip to attach to a microphone stand.

Please note: The Shure SM58-LC microphone is a pure XLR microphone. This means no USB interface. Additional accessories, such as an audio interface or a mixer with a USB interface, are therefore required for recording.

The Shure SM58-LC is available in a version with an integrated on/off switch. It's called the Shure SM58-SE and is slightly more expensive. There are also various offerings with additional accessories, such as an XLR cable or microphone stand.

  • Legendary vocal microphone since 1966
  • Almost indestructible
  • Includes microphone pouch and clip
  • No USB
  • Without cable
4. Rode on NT-USB microphone
  • USB connector
  • USB connectivity technology
  • Power Cable
  • Compatible Devices Works with all common recording programs on Windows and Mac OS computers as well as with Apple iPad. With the latter, you can choose to work with the RØDE Reporter Application, “GarageBand” or another application. If you want to use the microphone with Apple iPad, you'll need a compatible USB adapter such as the Apple Camera Connection Kit. The NT-USB housing contains a stereo (3.5mm) headphone jack for zero latency monitoring, as well as controls for adjusting monitoring levels and mix between computer/iPad and microphone signals.
  • The number of batteries required is 1 Lithium Ion battery.
  • Item weight 1.15 pounds
  • Omnidirectional Polar Pattern
  • Material: Plastic
The Rode NT-USB is a condenser microphone designed for vocal, podcast, and guitar recording for the home studio. Its cardioid polar pattern blocks out background noise. Recorded sound is clear because 14 decibels has low built-in noise.

It comes via USB and plug and play connects to a computer and can be used with all common recording programs on Windows and Mac computers. With an additional Apple camera kit, the microphone works on the iPad. Recording can be controlled via the mixer controls and the headphone input on the best microphones.

Easy to mount with a desk tripod and a long cable: a table tripod and a 6 meter long USB cable are included with the Rode NT-USB microphone. Alternatively, the studio set can be attached to a conventional tripod.

The desk microphone also includes a built-in pop filter made of metal and a case made of faux leather. Comes with an operating LED and has a mounting ring with an adjustable tripod mount. The sampling rate is 16 bit/48 kilohertz and the recordable frequency response is between 20 and 20,000 hertz.

Aren't jack plugs obsolete in the days of Bluetooth? No, so far there is no successor to the Bluetooth equivalent of the microphone jack. With a plug-in connection using a jack, consumers do not risk interference in reception or signal interference. Common stereo jacks for stereo microphones include a 3.5mm jack for mono or stereo with appropriate adapters for other plug connections. Wireless radio link is an alternative to high quality wireless transmission.

  • 6 meter cable
  • Pre-assembled metal pop screen
  • With tripod table
  • With artificial leather case
  • Relatively heavy
5. AmazonBasics LJ-UM-272-02 Microphone
  • USB connector
  • USB connectivity technology
  • Power Cable
  • The number of batteries required is 1 Lithium Ion battery.
  • Item Weight 2.3 Pounds
  • Omnidirectional, Unidirectional, Bidirectional . polar pattern
  • Metal Material
According to AmazonBasics, the LJ-UM-272-02 USB condenser microphone offers clear, pure sound and is suitable for a wide range of applications. This includes conference calls, games, vocal or studio recordings, podcasts, voiceovers, interviews, or online meetings. It is available in two colors and weighs 1,004 grams, with dimensions of 10.93 centimeters in diameter and 28.45 centimeters in height.

Four-way characteristics: According to the manufacturer, the microphone has three high-quality condenser capsules and offers four recording patterns. The cardioid pattern corresponds to the characteristics of the kidney, with sound recording occurring mainly from the front. Stereo means spatial sound that can be reproduced through two loudspeakers. In addition, the microphone has a bidirectional characteristic, which is also called a figure-eight characteristic. In this case, it picks up sound from the front and back, but not from the side or just a little. The fourth is the omnidirectional polar pattern, which is omnidirectional and captures sound from all directions equally well.

According to the manufacturer, AmazonBasics microphones are made of durable and sturdy metal. It has an OLED display, which allows easy reading of the displayed information. OLED means Organic Light Emitting Diode. Self-illuminating diodes work without backlighting and generally produce deep blacks and sharp contrasts. The condenser microphone also features an integrated headphone amplifier, which is meant to allow latency-free monitoring (playback of your own sound without delay). It also has a microphone mute button and volume and gain controls. The frequency is 50 to 20,000 hertz

What is a cardioid on a microphone? The cardioid is one of the most common types of microphones - it's also called characteristic cardioid. Directivity tells you how sound is picked up from different directions. The cardioid microphone faces forward and picks up sound mainly from the front and less from the back. Noise from the side and in the background is mostly filtered out. This significantly reduces feedback, which is especially beneficial for live recordings. The supercardioid characteristic is even more resistant to feedback, but reacts much more sensitively than the cardioid characteristic to distracting background noise from behind. Another version is hypercardioid. It has a wider pickup area behind the microphone and therefore can pick up more frequencies than supercardioids have sensitivity.

  • With four directional characteristics for variable recording
  • OLED displays should be easy to read
  • According to the manufacturer, the headphone amplifier allows latency-free monitoring
  • With microphone mute button
  • Must be made of strong and durable metal
  • No microphone spider and protective case
best microphones

6. NJSJ M500 360 Degree Rotatable Gaming Microphone
  • USB connector type
  • USB connectivity technology
  • Wired Power Supply
  • 45 dB . audio sensitivity
  • Compatible PC devices
  • The number of batteries required is 1 Lithium Ion battery.
  • Item Weight 448 Grams
  • unidirectional polar pattern
The NJSJ M500 wired microphone is equipped with a stand that rotates 360 degrees in any direction and is made of metal. It has a mute switch and is 17 centimeters long by 5.8 centimeters in diameter. According to the manufacturer, the condenser microphone can be easily connected via USB and plug-and-play connected to a PC, Mac or PS4. It is therefore suitable for gaming, chatting, podcasting, streaming, voiceover or presentations.

With LED lighting: According to the manufacturer, LED lighting underlines the design of the microphone game. It lights up in seven colors and there are 8 modes to choose from. Selection is made with touch buttons. To switch to another mode, hold the touch for 3 seconds.

Gaming microphones have cardioid characteristics. According to the manufacturer, the highly sensitive audio processing chip and narrow recording angle ensure precise recording patterns and clear sound. Thus, background sounds such as mouse clicks or typing sounds are hidden. There is no headphone jack. The frequency range is 20 to 16,000 Hertz.

What is a ribbon microphone? The ribbon microphone is one of the dynamic microphones. A special feature is the membrane, which consists of a very fine strip of aluminum. They are usually only 2 to 4 millimeters wide and several centimeters long. An aluminum strip is placed between the two poles of a magnet and begins to vibrate when sound hits it. This creates an audio signal.

  • With LED lighting in various colors and modes
  • Can be rotated 360 degrees on the supplied tripod
  • Mute maybe
  • Delivers precise recording and clear sound according to the manufacturer
  • Plug and play capable
  • No headphone jack
7. Tonor TC 30 . Microphone
  • USB connector
  • USB connectivity technology
  • Power Source Cablegebunden
  • Laptop Compatible Devices, Personal Computers
  • The number of batteries required is 1 Lithium Ion battery.
  • Item Weight 400 Grams
  • unidirectional polar pattern
  • Ingredients Acrylnitrile-Butadiene-Styrol
The Tonor TC 30 is a microphone that detects noise in the frequency range between 50 and 20,000 hertz records. Sensitivity is -32 decibels with a maximum deviation of ± 3 decibels. As a condenser microphone, it has the widest frequency response of all microphone types and the highest momentum spread. Recording was done using cardioid characteristics. This means that the microphone primarily picks up sound coming from the front. Sounds coming in from the side can be heard more quietly in the recording.

With an upgraded microphone shock mount: The improved and discreet microphone shock absorber can effectively reduce noise caused by the mouse, keyboard, PC cooling or touching the microphone, according to the provider.

The Tonor TC 30 can be connected to a computer via a 2 meter long USB 2.0 cable. According to the manufacturer, it enables clear voice transmission, making it suitable for distance learning or voice chat. As a plug-and-play microphone, it can be used without driver installation. Shipping coverage includes a microphone stand, microphone spider, pop filter, and a USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable.

What is an omnidirectional microphone? Designation refers to the characteristics of the direction. In the case of an omnidirectional microphone, sound is picked up equally well from all directions. This allows a variety of uses - for example as a stage or clip-on microphone or for recording larger sound sources such as orchestras or choirs. The disadvantage of omnidirectional microphones is that acoustic feedback with an unpleasant whistling sound is more likely. The advantage of omnidirectional microphones is that there is no danger of proximity effects. This may occur with other variants if the sound source is too close to the microphone. Then the bass is accentuated or overemphasized and the sound inadvertently becomes more voluminous.

  • With improved microphone spider
  • With pop filter
  • With anti-vibration
  • Microphone stand included
  • No mute available
  • Not compatible with iPhone and Xbox
8. Blue Microphone Yeti Nano Microphone

The Blue Yeti Nano Microphone is a condenser microphone designed for game streaming, podcasting, internet calls, and music recording. With its switchable directional characteristics, it can pick up sound either from any direction in the room or specifically from the sound source.

Zero-Latency Headphone Output: The Blue Yeti Nano Microphone has a headphone output with headphone volume control. With this setting, the sound can be heard in real time.

The best microphone is compatible with all PC systems from Windows 7 and all Mac systems from macOS 10.10. It comes with a USB port via plug and playconnects to a computer or laptop and can be amplified via the "Blue Sherpa" desktop application. It has a headphone jack with adjustable volume.

Accessories include an adjustable metal stand or standard thread for micro spiders and a 2 meter cable with USB connection. The sampling rate is up to 24 bit/ 48 kilohertz and the device picks up frequencies between 20 hertz and 20 kilohertz. It is available in five different colors including red, blue and gold. It weighs 630 grams and is 21.2 centimeters high and 9.6 centimeters wide with the base.

Why do I need a different polar pattern? The ear usually filters sound specifically from the environment. With a microphone, the directional characteristics are responsible for this. The omnidirectional microphone records a different sound than the cardioid microphone. The latter is a classic for vocals and sound recording in the studio. cardioid characteristics detect side noise more quietly and hide noise from behind almost completely. Therefore, the recorded sound is very close. More information about the following directivity in the following guide product description.

  • Available in five colors
  • With no latency headphone output
  • Adjustable tripod
  • Blue studio sound
  • Relatively heavy
  • No microphone spider
9. FIFINE K670 . Microphone
  • USB connector type
  • USB connectivity technology
  • Power source Kabelgebunden
  • Omnidirectional polar pattern
  • Metal Material
  • Hardware Platforms Laptop, Desktop
  • Frequency response 16 KHz
The FIFINE K670 microphone is a condenser microphone suitable for recording and streaming, podcasts, YouTube, Skype, and voiceover. The microphone is connected via USB and can be installed driverless using plug-and-play. It is compatible with programs and software such as Audacity, Sound Forge, Dxtory, Skype, Push-to-Talk, VoIP, and Discord. This microphone is equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack for listening to recordings. The volume control should allow easy control of the input level.

Live Monitoring: When streaming live, the microphone offers the possibility of sound monitoring without significant delays.

The best microphones are compatible with Mac and Windows computers. It has a frequency response of 50 Hertz to 16 kilohertz. According to the manufacturer, the 16-millimeter membrane absorbs high frequencies and ensures a warm, full surround sound. The microphone is equipped with a removable table stand that can be adjusted in three stages between 5 and 11.8 centimeters. The FIFINE microphone has a flat design and is made of metal. The metal base must ensure a secure stand and the microphone can be tilted and swiveled in the stand.

What is important in streaming? The main focus when streaming lies in transmitting clear and distinct sound. If you regularly stream content or publish videos, you should consider getting a dedicated streamer microphone. It offers better recording quality and compared to a headset, separate control of the microphone and headphones.

  • Condenser microphone
  • Adjustable desk tripod
  • Live monitoring
  • Headphone jack
  • No studio quality
  • No on and off switch
10. Powerful AKG P5 S microphone for live vocals
  • XLR-Stecker Connector
  • XLR connectivity technology
  • Handbetrieben Resources
  • Verstärker . Compatible Devices
  • The number of batteries required is 1 Lithium Ion battery.
  • Item Weight 0.3 Kilogram
  • Omnidirectional polar pattern
  • Metal Material
According to the manufacturer, the P5 S microphone from AKG provides powerful sound during live performances by the lead singer. Thus, the characteristics of the supercardioid offer a high level of feedback protection and interference-free use. Ambient noise should be suppressed even on the loudest stage. The full metal body and wire mesh cap must be strong and withstand all requirements.

Gold Plated Connector: The microphone has a 24k gold plated XLR connector. According to the manufacturer, it offers excellent conductivity and high corrosion resistance.

AKG microphones have an integrated pop or windshield designed to avoid annoying pops and breathing sounds. It is also equipped with an on and off switch. Its dimensions are 19 centimeters long and 5.1 centimeters in diameter. The frequency range is 40 to 20,000 Hertz. The scope of delivery includes a protective case and a mount adapter.

What is the principle of the converter? In microphones, a transducer is used to move the membrane to generate a suitable DC voltage and finally convert it into sound. The principle of the converter has a great impact on the quality of the output signal. It can be done electrostatically or electrodynamically. With the latter, induction is created by a fixed magnetic field and a moving conductor. This is the case, for example, with band microphones or dynamic microphones. In the case of condenser microphones, the electrostatic principle is used, where induction is caused by a change in capacitance.

  • Gold plated XLR connectors are said to be highly conductive and corrosion resistant
  • The characteristics of the supercardioid are said to offer high feedback protection
  • According to the manufacturer, the robust housing and wire mesh cover
  • With pop protection
  • Integrated on and off switch
  • Includes protective case and mount adapter
  • No USB port or cable
  • No headphone jack
11. Trust the GXT 232 Mantis microphone
  • USB connector type
  • USB connectivity technology
  • Power Source Cablegebunden
  • Audio sensitivity 38 dB
  • Laptop compatible devices
  • Number of AAA batteries required.
  • Item Weight 249 Grams
  • Omnidirectional polar pattern
The Trust GXT 232 Mantis is an ideal condenser microphone for streaming and for recording podcasts or vlogs perfect in the home studio. The microphone has a USB connection and can be plug-and-play connected to any PC, laptop, and console like the PS4. Can be used with a tripod as a desk or handheld mic.

Broad Compatibility: In addition to laptops and PCs, the Trust GXT 232 Mantis is compatible with a wide range of PS4 game consoles. These include the "Slim", "Pro" and "Original" variants. Compatible operating systems are Windows, Chrome OS, and macOS.

The tripod can be aligned in different directions. Comes with pop filter, 1.5 meter USB cable and game sticker. Weighing 120 grams and measuring 15 centimeters, it is perfect for transportation. It has a rather small frequency range between 50 and 16,000 hertz. The device is optionally available without a desk stand, as a desktop microphone and as a streaming dock microphone, each in black.

What are podcasts? The term podcast consists of the terms "pod" from iPod and "cast" from broadcast, the English word for transmission. What is meant by private or public radio broadcasts. Compared to public radio stations, podcast episodes are available "on demand" - consumers can access them at any time. Podcasts are offered on many different topics.

  • With tripod table
  • Compatible with PS4 game console
  • With pop filter
  • Relatively compact and lightweight
  • Cable only 1.5 meters
  • Relatively small frequency range
  • No mute function available
12. Marantz Professional Cardioid Microphone MPM-1000U
  • USB connector type
  • USB connectivity technology
  • Power source Kabelgebunden
  • Audio sensitivity 34 dB
  • Compatible PC devices
  • Item Weight 1.2 Pounds
  • unidirectional polar pattern
  • Material Aluminum, Metall
The Marantz Professional MPM-1000U Microphone is a condenser microphone suitable for voice and instrumental recordings as well as vocals in the home studio. Its cardioid characteristics capture sound directly and reduce side and background noise. Thanks to the USB interface, it can be connected to a computer or laptop and integrated into existing systems quickly and easily.

Microphones have a frequency range between 20 and 17,000 Hertz. According to the manufacturer, complex settings are a thing of the past. For professional recording, this microphone features studio-quality A/D conversion at 48 kHz and 16 bitpas. The inherent noise is 16 dBA and the microphone's signal-to-noise ratio is 78 decibels, ensuring flawless audio recording. In addition, the model has:
  • Dimensions: 22.86 x 6.6 x 22.86 centimeters
  • Weight: about 0.6 kilograms
  • Also available as an XLR varian variant
Do gold plated contacts sound better? It is a myth that has been formed and endured over the years that gold plated contacts ensure excellent sound quality. Better conductors are usually made of silver or copper. However, gold is much stronger in terms of oxide formation. As soon as the contacts are oxidized, they make a much worse sound. Gold plated bare contacts perform better than other metals in the long run for this reason. However, it has nothing to do with sound.

  • Condenser Microphone
  • Also available as an XLR varian variant
  • Includes microphone clip
  • 14 millimeter condenser capsule
  • Relatively low frequency range
13. Newer nw-700 . Microphone
  • XLR connector, 3.5 mm Klinke
  • XLR connectivity technology
  • Battery Powered Power Source
  • PC, Tablet Compatible Devices
  • The number of batteries required is 1 Lithium Ion battery.
  • Item Weight 1.21 Kilogram
  • unidirectional polar pattern
  • Metal Material
The Neewer nw-700 is a condenser microphone for voice, vocal, or instrumental recording in the home studio. Due to the cardioid characteristics, sound or other sound sources are recorded and background noise is reduced. The microphone can be used with computers and laptops, although additional equipment may be required depending on the recording. This includes a 5 volt sound card, 48 volt phantom power or other XLR audio cable.

Adjustable Scissor Arm: The Neewer nw-700 is equipped with a collapsible steel scissor arm. It can be mounted on a table clamp.

Additional equipment includes a microphone spider, on which the device can be hung to minimize handling and impact noise. There's also a pop filter, foam attachment to keep out background noise, XLR cable with mini-jack output and a swivel tripod including screw clamp for attaching it to a table. The microphone has a frequency range between 20 and 16,000 Hertz and is available in a variety of colors – including black, white and silver. The power cable is almost 2.5 meters long.

How should the microphone be held? Lips should not touch the microphone head. On the other hand, it makes sense to position yourself a few inches from the microphone, as the built-in pop protection doesn't work the other way around. Hands should not cover the rear opening of the microphone. In this way, the vulnerability to feedback can be reduced. Every best microphone needs this aperture for directional characteristics. Closing the aperture makes omnidirectional microphones much more vulnerable.

  • With scissor arm and table clamp
  • With pop filter
  • With wind shield
  • 2.5 meter power cord
  • With 3.5 mm male XLR socket
  • Relatively low frequency range
  • No USB port
What is a microphone?

The best microphones can be used to amplify and record sound. The device is used in concerts, moderation, TV productions and live events, for example on stage. Also for conferences on the Internet or network formats such as podcasts and live streaming they are important. Sound surrounds us all the time, even though most of us are not aware of it. When the volume isn't high enough to reach the audience - when people are in different places and want to communicate with each other - when a musical idea or project is being recorded - then the microphone comes into play. In their use, they convert sound waves into electrical signals, which can then be played back amplified and stored on a sound carrier and digitized.

In principle, all microphones work the same way: Inside the head of the device is a membrane that begins to oscillate due to sound waves. This mechanical movement is translated into an electrical signal. How this is done depends on the type of device. While the inside of the first microphones was made of carbon, modern microphones work with permanent magnets or special non-corrosive foil.

A good microphone can do this: A good device is capable of processing sound in great detail and reproducing it without interference or distortion. The wider the recording frequency of a device, the more flexible the recording will be.

With the help of miking, a suitable microphone is selected and positioned in such a way that the sound source can be recorded correctly. It's about finding the right microphone on one side and setting it up so the sound is picked up the way you want it on the other.

History of Microphone

The invention of the microphone is closely linked to the history of the telephone. In 1876 the physicist Alexander Graham Bell filed a patent for the telephone. However, the technical development of the telephone goes back to Antonio Meucci. The Italians presented such a device in New York 16 years before Bell. He developed a telephone with an electromagnetic converter as early as 1860, but was unable to apply for a patent of his own due to a lack of funds. Background: Meucci's wife suffers from rheumatism.

Another telephone pioneer was the German physicist Philipp Reis. As early as 1861 he presented the first model for an electric telephone connection. Reis sold this improved version as a scientific prototype to the United States. These models also reached Bell in this way. Hence the experts disagree about who invented the phone.

However, the Reis prototype is considered the basis of microphone development. Emil Berliner, a German businessman who emigrated to the United States as a young man, developed the first working carbon microphone for Bell equipment based on a template in 1877 and received $50,000 for it. Recordings and gramophones also returned to the Berliner. However, he did not patent the device and make it available to the public.

How do carbon microphones work?

The carbon microphone consists of a metal membrane. Behind it is a carbon rod, a counter electrode and a power supply. When the device is turned on, the diaphragm stands and the opposing electrode is under voltage. When a sound wave hits the membrane, it begins to oscillate. The movement is translated into an electrical signal through a fine carbon rod located behind the membrane. Later, manufacturers replaced the carbon rods with carbon grains, thereby improving the sound quality. Until the 1940s, most microphones were made this way.

One of Berliner's employees, sound engineer and musician Fred Gaisberg, opened the first recording studio in the United States and Europe in 1897. In 1923, German entrepreneur Georg Neumann further developed the carbon microphone. With his company of the same name, he introduced the first condenser microphone in 1928 as a successor to the carbon microphone. You can find out how the device and other types work in the guide below.

How does a microphone work?

Every sound is a mechanical vibration in the air. A microphone is a sound transducer that converts sound wave vibrations in the air into an electronic signal. The device usually consists of three parts: the basket, the handle or centerpiece and the adapter. There is a membrane in the microphone grille that starts to oscillate due to the incoming sound waves. The mechanical movement is then converted into electrical impulses in the microphone.
In short: the membrane in the microphone converts an analog signal into an electrical signal. It is sent to a mixer or other audio interface or recording device. The size of the membrane differs depending on the type of device. Unlike XLR devices, USB microphones have an integrated audio interface and can be connected directly to a computer. We will go into more detail about these aspects in the following guidance paragraphs.

This is what a good microphone can do: A good microphone reproduces sound or sound landscapes to be recorded as precisely as possible. It is important to know the purpose of the recording. A device with great tones, for example, could be useful for podcast recording, but fail when recording outdoors. Hold microphone is essential for live events. Sensitive devices record sound in studio recordings in great detail.

Known microphone usage

Microphones differ depending on the intended use. Some examples: A presenter at a radio station uses a speaker microphone. Musicians and singers work with powerful dynamic sets and additional sound amplifiers at live events. TV reporters use a directional microphone for their reports to block out ambient noise. In film and television, collar microphones with radio connections are widespread. They are very small and can stick to clothes.

Overview of some areas of application of microphones:
  • Moderation
  • Song
  • Entertainment
  • Communication via video phone
  • Movies and TV
  • Broadcast
  • Vlog
  • Playing games

This type of microphone is available in the market

For each purpose there is the most suitable type of device. While microphones for radio show hosts or podcast producers are optimal, professional singers need different equipment. These are the most famous types and their application areas:

Condenser microphone

Condenser microphones are commonly used for recording in the studio, indoors or for recording at home. They are one of the most common types of microphones and their market share is almost 90 percent.

The design allows for precise recording: the device is sensitive and processes sounds and instruments in great detail. These microphones are often mounted on a microphone spider or in a microphone stand, as these microphones - which are not suitable as handheld microphones - already react to small movements with background noise.

Inside the microphone is a thin membrane behind a perforated metal plate. Opposite it is the counter electrode, which together with the membrane form the device capacitor. It can be supported by the power of the ghost, putting it under tension. When a sound wave hits a membrane, it begins to vibrate. The distance between the opposing electrode and the membrane changes. This causes a change in the capacitance in the capacitor. Electrical impulses are created and from there reach the mixer or computer.

Advantages and disadvantages of condenser microphones:

  • Low mass membrane
  • Microphone sound quality: Big and warm
  • High sound quality thanks to natural recording
  • More sensitive response to sound waves
  • Not suitable as a hand microphone
  • Higher sensitivity to noise
  • Sensitive to temperature and humidity fluctuations
Electret Kon Condenser Microphone

The electret microphone is one of the most widely produced microphones. However, they are not only installed in professional audio technology, but can also be found in mobile phones in particular. They are cheaper and easier to manufacture than classic condenser microphones. In the recording studio, they have the advantage that they don't need ghost power and their sound recording is no worse than any other microphone. A foil is built into it which permanently stores the electrical charge in the microphone capsule. Therefore they do not require additional bias voltage and can be operated with a voltage of 1.5 volts.

Electret Condenser Microphone Pros and Cons:

  • Lower price than condenser microphone
  • Warm and authentic sound
  • A variety of polar patterns
  • Lower level stability
  • Loss of sensitivity due to aging
Dynamic microphone

Dynamic microphones are useful for live performances on stage. They are considered robust and, compared to condenser microphones, less susceptible to temperature fluctuations. They are less overdrive and less sensitive to ambient noise or loud noises, for example from drums. However, recordings in the upper high frequencies don't sound as good as a good condenser microphone.

Most microphones of this design have a movable coil capsule, which acts similar to a loudspeaker. In the micro head is located on the back of the membrane a copper coil. It lies in a freely oscillating magnetic field. Sound waves hit the membrane and move the coil. Movement in a magnetic field creates a voltage and produces an electrical signal. This technology is present without additional phantom power out.

  • No additional power supply required
  • Strong against external influences
  • Less prone to feedback
  • No regulation needed
  • Less impulsive
  • Limited transmission range
  • Lack of detail, especially at the highest high frequencies
USB Microphone

The USB microphone is a classic amateur piece of equipment and is often used for YouTube recording and personal podcast production. They can be connected directly to a computer, laptop or mobile device and are ready to go. Records can be further processed directly during use. Both dynamic microphones and condenser microphones can have a USB connection.

Pros: The microphone is compact and inexpensive. It combines microphone, amplifier and audio interface in one. Weaknesses: The quality of the integrated system and USB transmission can't keep up with XLR systems and add-on equipment. Monitoring and adjusting audio recordings is less accurate and not possible with some USB devices. This microphone can only be extended with other systems to a certain extent.

USB Microphone Pros and Cons:

  • Easy setup
  • Live digital processing is possible
  • Low purchase price
  • Compatible with almost all operating systems
  • No drivers
  • Lower sound quality than high-quality XLR systems
  • Adjusting and listening to recordings is often simply impossible
  • Not compatible with effects devices and external preamps
XLR Microphone

XLR microphones are part of the analog standard for professional production. Compared to a USB microphone, the analog signal is transmitted via an XLR cable. The connection consists of a plug with three poles. The microphone can be connected to an audio interface or a mixer. Audio quality is not reduced when the signal is converted.

Devices with XLR connections are standard on stage and when working in professional recording studios with mixing consoles and loudspeakers. They are usually symmetrical microphones, which speak for more interference-free transmission. Systems that work with mixers and XLR connections can usually be expanded at will.

Pros and cons of XLR microphones:

  • Safe voice transmission
  • Multiple microphones can be used in parallel
  • Modular structure in relation to the signal chain
  • Not sensitive to noise
  • Not compatible with every device
  • High price
What is the difference between small and large diaphragm?

Some microphones have a large case and are covered from the side. your large membrane makes large diaphragm microphones sensitive and recordings sound warm and full. They're perfect for recording vocals, instruments, or surround sound and are signature studio microphones - also because they look impressive for their size and design. Large-diaphragm microphones generally sound smoother than devices with small apertures and produce less noise.

In contrast, a small diaphragm microphone looks like a long tube with a small hole at the end that contains the diaphragm. They pick up somewhat neutral sound and their transmission range often extends much further in high frequencies than large diaphragm microphones. On the other hand, the sound pressure and inherent noise are greater compared to large diaphragms. They are perfect for recording guitar, drums or flutes for clean, color-free recording of spoken text or vocals.

Important to know: Since both large and small diaphragm microphones are condenser microphones, they only work with ghost power.

Further classification of microphone

best microphones

Apart from the different types, there are other differences between microphones - for example, in specific subgroups or according to the type of use. The following sections discuss some of the variants.

Instrument microphone

With an instrument microphone, the sound of the instrument must be captured as realistically as possible. In the case of instrumental recordings, it should be noted that the sound spectrum of different sound sources differs greatly from one another. Condenser microphones are especially useful when the sound needs to be very detailed. Dynamic microphones are better for loud instruments. The compatibility of the different microphones is explained using three examples:
  1. Acoustic guitar: Special geometry and low volume levels make it difficult to record without feedback. Integrated pick-up is very helpful. Ribbon microphones or condenser microphones are also suitable.
  2. Bass drum: To record a bass drum, a microphone must be able to capture a high level of sound pressure and a wide frequency range. Among other things, a boundary layer microphone that records sound inside the bass drum is recommended.
  3. Wind instruments: Trumpet & Co makes sound at a very high volume level and is very directional. Even a small movement by a musician can change a sound. That's why the microphone clip that sits directly on the buzzer is useful.

What microphone variants are there?

Other microphone variants are briefly described here:
  • Tube microphone: Most condenser microphones with a vacuum tube as the signal path, intended to reproduce harmonic tones and three-dimensional sound.
  • Ribbon Microphone: A very narrow diaphragm dynamic microphone which is said to be very responsive and has a high proximity effect.
  • Shotgun Microphone: A condenser or electret microphone with an integrated interference tube, which picks up sound from the front very well and eliminates side sound waves as much as possible.
  • Lavalier Microphone: Condenser microphone for plugging into television, theater or live performances with the best low sensitivity to structure-borne noise.
  • Moving coil microphone: A dynamic microphone in which a membrane is connected to a magnetic coil and is considered to be quite slow, but also powerful and compatible with sound pressure.

The importance of the polar pattern

The directional characteristics of the microphone depend on the room in which the microphone is used. It describes how the device reacts to sound waves and is shown in a polar diagram. It provides information about how loudly sound from a certain direction is received by the microphone. The angle at which the sound comes from depends on the room, the type of device and the speakers or musicians. Directional characteristics largely determine which devices are installed and used where and how.

The following characteristics can be distinguished:
  • Omnidirectional: The omnidirectional microphone picks up sound from all directions equally well. They can be used in many ways. The omnidirectional characteristic is suitable, for example, for clip-on microphones, called lavalier microphones, or for dynamic stage microphones.
  • Cardioid characteristics: The cardioid microphone mainly picks up sound from the front. Sounds coming from behind or from the side are blocked. This means that feedback is less frequent compared to omnidirectional microphones. The set is a classic vocal microphone and is also perfect for live performances.
  • Figure eight: The figure eight microphone picks up sound from the front and back, but not from the side. This characteristic is rather rare: Except for special recordings, it is mainly found in combination with other recording devices.
  • Switchable characteristics: This type is mainly found in studio microphones. Two capsules are installed in the device. This allows all polar patterns to be generated from eights to spheres.
Please note: The characteristics of the microphone alone do not determine the sound. To find the right microphone, it is worth testing the device at a specialist store.

Important purchasing criteria for microphones

Should it be just a USB microphone for podcast recording? Or does larger equipment with XLR microphones, speakers, amplifiers, and mixers make sense for live performances? The purpose of purchasing the device determines which one is correct. And not every device is suitable for every accessory. You should consider these before making a purchase:
  • Sound: The microphone sounds very different. An important frequency in sound recording is the upper mid of about 20,000 Hertz. Mids are often raised in devices for vocal and speech recording. The better this area can be heard, the easier it will be to understand the speaker. The reason: Most of the consonants in western languages ​​are at this frequency. If you have a darker sound, you should use a microphone with a brighter sound and vice versa.
  • Connections: An important question before buying a microphone is: How compatible is it with other devices? The microphone can be connected directly to a PC using a USB plug or jack. For higher-quality devices with XLR connectors, users need an additional audio mixer or interface. How good the sound quality is also depends on the connection. In addition to USB and XLR cables, there are jack, cinch, and radio link connections.
  • Pop protection: Some sounds can be distracting while recording: Recording "p", "t" or "k" quickly sounds like background noise. This is due to the so-called explosive sound. Air accumulates in the mouth and is expelled in one fell swoop. This causes an unpleasant loud noise, also known as a pop sound. Accessories like foam covers or pop screens help against that.
  • Hand voice: Another important question is: how do I use my hands while recording? Some singers tap the beat of the song with restless hands on the microphone. A non-sensitive product is a good choice in this case. But this question can also be relevant for speech production: Do I want a more sensitive device that I can place on a desk or is it important to be able to hold the device in my hand during a conversation?
  • Proximity Effect: The closer the speaker is to the microphone, the deeper the sound will sound in the recording. This is ensured by the proximity effect, which improves bass transmission. Therefore, the speaker distance must be in a good ratio to the directivity of the microphone. Beginners can test how the sound changes at different distances when they buy it - this is highly recommended for microphones for live performances.
  • Self-noise: Each microphone produces basic, quiet sound. It affects usage. Devices with high noise levels must be close to the sound source. Low-noise products offer more freedom. The manufacturer indicates the noise level of the device, with values ​​below 10 decibels very quiet background noise and values ​​above 20 decibels indicating loud background noise.
  • Sensitivity: The sensitive microphone accurately records the surrounding sound. Levels can be measured by the electrical power that the device transmits via the XLR input. The unit of measure for this is millivolts per unit sound pressure, or mV/Pa for short. The higher the output power, the less microphone amplification is required. Some manufacturers specify microphone sensitivity in decibels. The following applies: the device gets louder as the decibel value increases.
  • Nominal Impedance: Impedance describes the AC resistance of the microphone. As the impedance increases, the device is more susceptible to sound leakage caused by long cables. A few decibels of volume can also be lost on the mixing console. Impedance is given in ohms.
  • Limit sound pressure level: Some microphones can only capture sound up to a certain range without distortion. This sound pressure level, called the limit, acts for condenser microphones. The manufacturer uses the English abbreviation SPL to indicate how loud this sound pressure level is. If the maximum value is briefly exceeded, the device will not be damaged. Dynamic microphones are less vulnerable and can also be used in noisy live situations such as on stage.

Checklist before buying a USB microphone or podcast
  1. With what devices - for example a cell phone, laptop, or camera - can use the microphone properly? With what accessories do I want to use it?
  2. Is a separate power supply required? Do condenser microphones have to be operated on 48 volt phantom power?
  3. For what purpose is the device used? What exactly should be recorded?
  4. Do I need additional software or can I start recording right away? Do I need additional equipment such as a shock mount, tripod or stand?
  5. How much do I want to spend on a microphone and what is the difference in price?
Take a deep breath and calmly answer the questions on the list: This helps to get an overview of the many models offered online and in specialist stores. Some manufacturers offer online sound checks for their devices. Several recording situations are presented as examples in short files including recordings of singing, music or speech.

Pro tips: Record podcasts the right way

A podcast is a series of video or audio files that a producer regularly publishes through an application or platform on the Internet. These can be broadcasts and personal opinions, but also professional excerpts, interviews, reports, features, discussions, stories, and more. Most podcasts have regular subscribers who listen to episodes on a regular basis. The number of listeners continues to grow and most of them listen on their smartphones. Companies are also increasingly producing podcasts to attract new subscribers. Professional production is usually produced first.

Check existing equipment: Before buying a microphone, it makes sense to check what components you already have. Once you've decided on a device, find out if it already has a stand, for example, or if you need additional equipment.

That's what makes a good podcast: The typical length of a podcast is between 10 minutes and an hour. Podcast subscribers often take advantage of times when they can listen to programs and do other things at the same time - for example at the gym in the morning, on a long car ride, or on the weekends with homework. This is almost always a situation where consumers can also listen to music.

Podcasts are an alternative to music and radio. Podcasts are all about finding out about topics that interest you and thus learning something or benefiting from the experiences of others reporting on them on their podcasts. Podcast topics are broad and varied, so there's something for all areas of interest.

Selfies and podcast interviews: what content do I want to produce?

If you run your own website and regularly report on current affairs on a blog or via the news, you've created the first base for entering the world of podcasts. These texts can be used as starting material for the first podcast recording. In most cases, consumers just need to reformulate the text a bit and can get started with the first selfie podcast.

Interviews are another popular podcast content. To do this, moderators bring guests into the program and ask interesting questions that are answered in an entertaining or informative way and are meant to offer listeners real added value. Important when creating a podcast is a certain regularity, which is why it makes sense to have an editorial plan. In this plan, the producer determines in advance what will be shown in the first 15 programs, for example.

What do I need to record my first podcast?

In addition to a suitable microphone, the following equipment is useful for podcast recording: A microphone spider, tripod, or stand ensures that there is no background noise during recording.
Sound can be recorded with recording software, "GarageBand" - a full-featured recording studio on Mac - or "Audacity" - a free recording studio software for Windows - are two possibilities from many different offerings.

Useful accessory for microphone

best microphones

If you buy a device, you can choose from all kinds of accessories. To record your first podcast, all you need is a microphone for your computer or laptop, headphones for monitoring and recording software like the free program "Audacity". A small recording studio for the home is ready.

Modern USB microphones offer a lot more technology than they first seem. Many have an integrated sound card. This allows headphones to be connected directly to a USB microphone. The following accessories and services are also useful for podcast production
  • Microphone spiders: Studio microphones must stand securely and be protected from vibration. With such an installation, distracting noises that can arise from noise generated by structures or impact sounds during recording are separated from the microphone. This prevents loud rumbling or banging of the audio signal. The device is clamped into the spider's elastic suspension, where it swings freely. For example, it can consist of a zigzag elastic band.
  • Wind protection / pop protection: Loud noises such as "b" or "p" can cause unpleasant popping sounds while recording. As the speaker or singer crashes into this so-called explosive sound there is suddenly a lot of air. The so-called wind or pop protection, a kind of filter in front of the device, prevents air and wind noise. Useful side effect: pop filters are used in studio microphones to protect the device and its sensitive condenser membrane from moisture that occurs during talking and singing.
  • Microphone mount: The mount on a tripod ensures a secure stand. Also a microphone spider can be attached to it. You may need an adapter that securely connects the stand, spider, and tripod to each other. A tripod is often used in conjunction with a boom, which allows the device to be positioned precisely. In this way, the microphone is securely attached and the distance between the sound source and the microphone is maintained properly. As a rule of thumb, there should be some hand distance between the device and the speakers.
Overview of famous manufacturers and brands

A well-known manufacturer is a good starting point when buying a microphone. Established brands also offer good quality devices in the amateur sector. We bring five well-known microphone brands to this list:
  • Rode: Rode Microphones is an Australian professional microphone manufacturer based in Sydney with offices in Santa Barbara, Seattle and Hong Kong. In 1967, Henry and Astrid Freedman founded the company after immigrating to Australia from Sweden. Currently nearly 350 employees work at Rode. This company has several subsidiaries. The name is pronounced like the English word "road" in phonetics.
  • Auna: Auna is the audio brand of German e-commerce company Chal-Tec based in Berlin. The brand was founded in 2007 and, in addition to speakers and other audio technologies, has a wide range of microphones in its range. The Chal-Tec company employs nearly 300 people and, according to its own statement, generates sales of more than 150 million euros per year.
  • Trust: Trust International BV is a Dutch group of companies based in Dordrecht, founded in 1983. The German branch is based in Kleve in North Rhine-Westphalia. The manufacturer's lineup includes mice, keyboards, webcams, accessories for notebooks, and audio devices for the PC sector. The company employs more than 200 people.
  • Beyerdynamic: Beyerdynamic GmbH & Co. KG is a mid-sized company in the electroacoustic sector based in Heilbronn. Engineer Eugen Beyer, who was born in Sweden and raised in St. Petersburg, founded it in Berlin in 1924. It is one of the most well-known manufacturers of audio devices today. The company has subsidiaries in the US and offices in Singapore and India. It employs nearly 400 people worldwide.
  • Sennheiser: Sennheiser Electronic GmbH & Co. KG is a German manufacturer of audio technology for professional users and private users. The group of companies is based at Wedemark-Wennebostel in Lower Saxony. Shortly after the end of the war in 1945, electrical engineer Fritz Sennheiser founded the W Labor workshop, from which the company later emerged. Currently the company employs about 2,700 people.

Apart from these companies and brands, there are other providers and products such as Microtech Gefell GmbH, Neumann, or HyperX QuadCast.

Frequently asked questions about microphone

In the following paragraphs, we cover the most frequently asked questions about microphones:

What's the best microphone?

There is no comprehensive answer to this question: the application decides which device is suitable. While private podcast producers get pretty good results with inexpensive USB microphones, this isn't enough for a singer's professional album production. That's why it's important to know what to use before buying a device. You can find the right device by reading the descriptions of each microphone above.

Where can I buy a microphone?

At a music store, electronics store or from a retailer on the Internet. If you value personal advice from a trained specialist, you should shop locally. The advantage: you can see your device and hear its sound. However, the product selection is significantly greater with many online retailers on the internet. Purchases can be easily processed at any time of the day or night.

What is ghost power? and what is it needed for?

In audio engineering, the term phantom power is used to describe a special type of remote powering of a signal source. Condenser microphones require additional voltage to operate and must be powered. This is between 12 and 48 volts. Important: If there is no phantom power, no signal can be transmitted. With a special device, it is transmitted to the device via a microphone cable.

When do I need a microphone preamp?

The microphone itself usually produces only low levels. With a preamplifier, users can amplify signals that are too weak during use. This product is often used with studio microphones and rarely with Bluetooth headsets or the like.

How to increase microphone volume on PC?

If the paired device is not loud enough, you can select "Sound" in the control panel of your PC or laptop under "Hardware and Sound". There you can usually find the "Recording" tab and select a paired microphone. Right-click on the model to open its properties and move the slider in the "Levels" area to the right.

What is a polar pattern?

The directional characteristic describes how sensitive the microphone is to sound waves coming from various directions in the room. Polar charts with coordinates 0 degrees, 90 degrees, 180 degrees, and 270 degrees show how loudly the device picks up sound from a particular direction. 0 degrees is the front, 180 degrees cover the back area, the other two coordinate the microphone side. There are omnidirectional, cardioid, figure-of-eight and switchable systems. The more noise the microphone picks up from behind, the more susceptible it is to feedback.

How much does a microphone cost?

The answer to the price question depends on what type of microphone is being sought for what purpose. Simple models for hobby manufacturers can already be found in the price segment of a few euros. Good sounding condenser microphones are available from mid-three digit numbers. But if you want to buy a professional device suitable for studio recording, you'll need to count on a low four-digit sum. Coupled with this are prices for accessories such as stands, pop screens or audio interfaces.


We have introduced some tips for choosing a microphone and some of the best product recommendations for you. So, have you made your choice?

The microphone can also be adjusted to the circumstances and needs of the user, you know! So, you can also compare each product according to their respective advantages. If you haven't made a choice yet, use this article as your guide to choosing the best microphone for streaming that suits your needs.

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