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Mics and Microphones

Setting up a Podcast or Live Stream program and need an affordable PC Microphone?

The former DJ inside me said I should spend a little time looking into the different types and brands of microphones that were available for recording on my PC computer.  I discovered that you certainly don’t have to drop thousands of dollars or even make a run over to Guitar Center anymore to pick up some high-grade audio equipment for a decent price.  Just about anyone is able to create professional sounding multi-track recordings as long as they have a good microphone and the right interface or software to do the job.

It’s not easy choosing the right microphone for your needs and budget since the market is flooded with so many types and models of recording mics. So to help make your choice a little easier, here’s a list of the what I consider to be some of the best recording microphones available at a reasonable cost.  They are in no particular order, though I would say I saved some of the best for last…  Obviously I don’t own all of these microphones myself, these recommendations are based primarily on the top reviewed products manufactured by some of the most respected brands in the industry.

Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone


The Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Mic is ideal for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, and voiceover use. It plugs right into your computer USB port, and functions seamlessly with your favorite recording software. This large-diaphragm side-address condenser offers a USB output for recording to your computer, a quality analog-to-digital converter for excellent fidelity, and a headphone output with level control for monitoring with no audible delay. Its cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of unwanted sounds from the sides and rear.

  • Side-address condenser microphone with USB output for easy connection to your computer
  • Ideal for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, and voiceover use
  • Built-in headphone jack allows you to directly monitor your microphone output without audible delay
  • Adjust headphone volume with easy-to-use controls on the front of the microphone
  • High-quality AD convertor with 16 bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate

Bad Axx 904-UM-600 Studio USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone

The BadAax UM600 Studio USB Mic is a studio quality, large diaphragm, cardioid condenser microphone with a built in USB interface,  With its wide band width, high audio resolution of 16-bit/48Kkhz, frequency response of 30Hz-18,000KHz, SPL: 140dB Max and with a speed of transfer of information at 480 Mbps, the BadAax UM600 Studio USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone is a must have for anyone using a computer for multi-track recording and monitoring.

  • The BadAax UM600 Studio USB Cardioid Condenser Microphone features a built-in USB interface
  • Perfect for computer multitrack recording and monitoring
  • Audio resolution of 16-bit/48Kkhz
  • Speed of transfer of information at 480 Mbps
  • Comes complete with shock mount, mic clip, USB cable and a 2 year warranty

 

USB Condenser Microphone (C-1) from Behringer

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This C-1 condenser microphone from Behringer is great for capturing the sounds of vocals and acoustic instruments with great realism, sensitivity and accuracy. This reasonably priced mic is great for use in both live and studio applications.

  • Professional, large-diaphragm condenser microphone with built-in USB interface, ideal for podcasters and musicians
  • Plug this amazing USB-mic straight into your computer and turn your PC or Mac computer into a recording system without the need for any other hardware
  • Directly works with your PC or Mac* computer – ultra-low latency ASIO* driver for PC audio optimization available at behringer.com
  • Exceptionally flat frequency response and ultra-high sound resolution perfect for voice, acoustic instruments, etc.
  • Cardioid pickup pattern for outstanding source separation and feedback rejection

The mic captures more details than dynamic microphones because of its wide response. Its cardioids pattern helps the C-1 microphone record your source signal while rejecting all the off-axis sounds that ruin a perfect recording. Built to last and affordably priced, this is a great microphone to invest in.

 

Samson Go Mic Compact USB Microphone – Plug n’ Play

This Go Mic Compact USB Microphone from Samson provides a versatile, computer based recording solution. Its compact design helps directly clip the mic to your laptop or to obtrusively sit on your desk. Its plug and play operation assures its compatibility with a Mac or PC, without any drivers.

  • Portable USB condenser microphone
  • Plug and Play Mac and PC compatible, no drivers required
  • Custom compact design that clips to a laptop or sits on a desk
  • Perfect for recording music, podcasting and field recording
  • Ideal for voice recognition software, iChat, VoIP and web casting

This mic is great for recording music, podcasts and for field recording and for use with iChat, voice recognition software and even Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Its switchable cardioids and omni polar patterns let you pick the appropriate pattern for your specific situation.

 

Audio-Technica AT2020USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone

The new Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Mic offers studio-quality articulation and intelligibility. It plugs right into your computer’s USB port, and functions seamlessly with your favorite recording software. Equipped with a USB digital output, the AT2020 USB is perfect for home studio recording, field recording, podcasting, and voiceover use. Audio-Technica’s state-of-the-art design and manufacturing techniques ensure that the microphone complies with the company’s renowned consistency and reliability standards.

  • Side-address studio condenser with USB digital output (Windows and Mac compatible)
  • Crystal-clear, natural sound for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, and voiceover use
  • Custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response
  • Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source
  • Low self-noise – perfectly suited for sophisticated digital recording equipment

The mic comes with a low-mass diaphragm that is custom-engineered for extended frequency response and better transient response. Its’ low self-noise feature makes it the perfect mic to use for sophisticated digital recording; all you have to do is plug it in and transform all your sounds. The mic comes with a tripod desk stand, USB cable, storage pouch and pivoting stand mount.

 

Blue Microphones Snowball Plug & Play USB Microphone Black Bundle

Using Blue Microphone’s award-winning dual-capsule and circuit design, the Blue Microphones Snowball P&P USB Mic produces crisp, clean recordings that are free of feedback and distortion. A unique pattern switch allows you to toggle between three different settings, giving you the flexibility to record vocals, instrumental music, podcasts, interviews, and more. With a plug-and-play design that is both Mac and PC compatible, the Snowball requires no additional drivers and is ready to record straight out of the box.

  • Transducer type: Condenser, pressure gradient with USB digital output
  • Polar patterns: Omndirectional or cardioid
  • Frequency response: Position 1-3: 40-18kHz
  • Sample/Word rate: 44.1kHz/16-bit
  • Designed for performing vocals, chatting or podcasting. Also compatible with VoIP, including Skype and Vonage.
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES:
    • Blue Microphones Snowball Plug-and-Play USB Microphone
    • JVC Full-Size Headphones (Black)
    • Knox Pop Filter

 

Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone – Blackout Edition Bundle

If you are looking for a mike that can help you create unparalleled recordings to send directly to your computer, then the Blue USB Microphone from Yeti is the microphone you need. The microphone’s revolutionary tri-capsule technology helps you produce pristine and studio-quality recordings while its four pattern settings help you record vocals, podcasts, instrumental music and interviews just as clearly as you would if you had used multiple microphones for the recordings.

Moreover, the mic boasts of easy controls that help you control and set the headphone volume, pattern selection, instant mute and microphone gain so that you produce exceptional recordings every time you record.

  • Tri-capsule array – 3 condenser capsules can record almost any situation
  • Multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo
  • Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output
  • Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls
  • Plug ‘n play – Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher) and PC (Windows 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP)

So if you have any distortion or feedback while recording, you just have to adjust the microphone’s sensitivity using gain control. Similarly, if you want to take a break in the midst of a podcast, jut use the instant mute button. All this is backed with a 2-year warranty.

 

Blue Microphones Yeti Pro USB Condenser Microphone, Multipattern

This Blue Microphone from Yeti Pro is the world’s first USB microphone that combines a 24-bit digital recording resolution with analog XLR output. The mic comes with three custom condenser capsules and four varied pattern settings, making it easy to use the mic to capture digital audio with four times the clarity found on CDs.

It’s easy selecting each of Yeti Pro’s four pattern stereo, bidirectional, cardioids and omni-directional settings as it’s easily done rotating the pattern selector knob. Moreover, the Yeti Pro boasts of a cutting-edge A-D converter chip and separate analog circuit path that makes the mic compatible to use with professional studio mixers and preamps.

  • Three custom condenser capsules and four different polar pattern settings: Cardioid, Stereo, Bidirectional and Omni-directional
  • Cutting-edge A-D converter chip and separate analog circuit path for use with professional studio mixers and preamps
  • Built-in headphone amplifier for zero-latency monitoring, and direct controls for headphone volume, pattern selection, mute, and microphone gain
  • 15 Hz-22 kHz frequency response
  • 192 kHz/24 bit Sample/Word

The mic comes with a built-in headphone amplifier to provide for zero-latency recording and comes with direct controls for convenient headphone volume, mute, microphone gain and pattern selection.

The versatile application with plug-and-play functionality makes this mic the only desktop microphone you will ever need. So no matter if you plan to do your recording at home or in a studio, this mic offers you the ultimate sound solution.