Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big microphone for the PC test 2021. Here we present all the microphones for the PC that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best microphone for your PC.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a PC microphone.




The most important facts

  • A high-quality microphone is a must for all types of audio recording. With microphones for the PC, there are a variety of ways to improve audio quality.
  • A distinction is made between condenser and dynamic microphones and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Condenser is considered "finer" and dynamic more robust.
  • PC microphones often stand out for their quick setup and the flexibility to use them for many applications such as music, podcast, youtube, streaming, etc.

The Best Microphone For PC: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a microphone for your PC

What distinguishes a microphone for the PC?

Whether you're a musician, youtuber, streamer, singer or podcaster, you're all involved in voice or music recording. When you get into this professional field, you need to start looking at microphones and microphones for PC sooner rather than later.

PC microphones are mostly USB microphones and therefore mainly beneficial for home use. Because of the easy connection to the PC, you can start recording very quickly and easily.

Microphones for the PC offer a simple and good solution for recording high-quality audio.(Image source: unsplash.com/CoWomen)

But if you want even better sound because you produce music or have a high interest in good sound quality, you should rather go for a microphone with a jack or an XLR connection.

If you decide to buy a microphone for your PC, you have many options to choose from, which we want to make easier for you in this article.

What types of microphones are there?

Microphones are often differentiated according to their directional characteristic. When you look at a microphone, you will often see one of the terms omnidirectional, cardioid or directional. Here we will explain what the differences are.

The directional characteristic indicates from which direction the microphone picks up sounds and tones.

Cardioid

Cardioid microphones are the most common type. The sound is mainly picked up from the front, so you have to stand directly in front of it to get the best sound.

Omnidirectional

Omnidirectional microphones pick up sound evenly from all directions. This is an advantage, of course, when several people are sitting around a microphone and all need to be recorded with the same quality. This type is often used in lavalier microphones to pick up everything evenly.

Directional

These microphones pick up sounds only from the direction they are pointing, other directions are usually suppressed by the microphone. This is helpful with many environmental sounds, as only the targeted object is picked up.

High-quality microphones also have various settings for switching from one directional characteristic to another.

What types of connectors are there?

In general, a distinction is made between simple and professional microphone connections and where they are plugged in.

In general, most PCs have one or both of these connectors, namely the 3.5 mm jack connector, where you can also connect your headphones, and a USB connector.

The 3.5 mm jack connector is usually marked on the back and front of tower PCs with a pink round connector, on laptops you can also simply use the headphone connector here.

Microphone type Connection types
Simple microphones 3.5mm jack or Usb connector
Professional microphone Quarter-inch or XLR connector

If a USB plug is used, it must simply be plugged into the rectangular connector provided.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to connect high-quality music microphones with a quarter-inch or XLR plug to the PC without problems.

You must either buy an adapter for the normal eighth-inch size, or plug it in if it is supplied with the product, in order to be able to connect the device.

What are the alternatives to a PC microphone?

In addition to microphones for the PC, there are also microphones in the music sector that are connected directly to amplifiers or other devices.

If you use headphones a lot on your PC, you can also use a combination of both, i.e. a headset. This combines both, but often does not have the quality of an externally connected microphone.

However, if you play a lot on your computer or also want to move around the room with the microphone. A headset could be the right solution for you.

If you have a lot of video conferences and are also looking for a webcam, you can also buy a combination of webcam and microphone.

These often have the same quality problem as headset microphones, but are extremely useful in their field because you don't have to buy two different devices.

Decision: What types of PC microphones are there and which is the right one for me?

Before you buy a microphone for your PC, it is important that you decide what kind of microphone you want to get:

  • Condenser microphone
  • Dynamic microphone

There is no "better" type, both types have their own right to exist and are only better or worse suited depending on the situation.

In the following distinction you will learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of both types.

What is a condenser microphone and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A condenser microphone has a very thin diaphragm and a counter-electrode (usually a metal plate). The sound signal hits the diaphragm and thus oscillates back and forth in the distance between the diaphragm and the counter-electrode.

This creates different distances and thus capacitance and electrical energy.

Condenser microphones can be placed some distance away from you and you can still be understood because it picks up a lot of the sound in the environment. Of course, this turns out to be a challenge when there is really a lot of environmental noise interfering with the recording.

Advantages
  • Very robust
  • Better for music production
  • Good for loud recordings
Disadvantages
  • Less detailed
  • Quieter than dynamic
  • Not as high-resolution sound

If you are recording in a quiet room, this is definitely the right choice for you, especially for voice recordings such as skyping, gaming, streaming and podcasts.

What are the characteristics of a dynamic microphone and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The dynamic microphone works with a so-called plunger coil principle. Like the condenser microphone, it has a diaphragm, but instead of a metal plate it has a magnet.

The sound waves hit the diaphragm again and this time create a magnetic field that oscillates up and down. This creates electrical signals that can be reproduced.

Advantages
  • High-resolution sound
  • Sensitive
  • Sounds more natural
Disadvantages
  • Can rush quickly
  • Not very robust
  • Picks up a lot of background noise

With a dynamic microphone you don't have any problems with environmental noise, it is simply filtered out and only picks up what is important to many, your voice.

But unfortunately it is also weaker in terms of output and therefore an amplifier must often be connected in between. It also has to be held close to the mouth for it to work without problems.

If you are looking for a microphone mainly for vocals, or for live recording, the dynamic microphone is definitely better, but you should get an amplifier to get a better end product.

Buying criteria: These are the factors you can use to compare and evaluate microphones for your PC

Here we show you which types of microphones for PCs you can differentiate and what you should look for when buying:

  • Sound quality
  • Connection types
  • Accessories
  • Additional power supply
  • Location in room

In the following paragraphs we explain more about the individual criteria.

Sound quality

At first it sounds logical to take sound quality as a main criterion for the purchase, but it is even more important that you consider what kind of sound quality you need in the first place. As a music producer, you certainly need something more professional than a YouTube video.

Many inexpensive microphones you can neither listen to nor test anywhere, so it is advisable to get an overview of the quality of the recording based on reviews.

Many people also write in forums about their experiences with certain microphones and exchange information about the quality, so if you have your eye on a certain model, it's a good idea to at least try it.

If you want to buy a professional device that is also in a high price segment, local music stores also offer tests of these devices. Or various trade magazines write detailed reviews of these products.

Connection Types

An important decision that has to be made, we have already addressed this topic in the guide. However, it is important that you know what you want and what you can expect from the different types.

3.5mm jack

This is the standard jack that everyone finds on headphones and especially on microphones in the lower price range. You plug this into your PC's sound card and let it do the conversion from analogue to digital signals.

USB

Most microphones for the PC nowadays have a USB connection, as it is a big step up in quality from the classic jack connection. Also, no sound card is absolutely necessary here, because the microphones themselves already take care of the conversion from acoustic to digital signals.

XLR

If you choose this type of connection, you will need to buy additional hardware. At least a connector plug to connect it to your PC. You will also need to buy software or hardware to convert the analogue signals. However, this type of connection offers a lot of room for improvement, as the sounds and music can be processed even better and more personally.

Many microphones, many connections, rather start with an easy to set up USB microphone and when you are more familiar with it switch to XLR. (Image source: unsplash.com/Adam Winger )

Accessories

Once you've decided on the type of microphone you want, you can buy some useful accessories that will give you that little bit of extra recording quality. Here we have collected and described the most helpful ones:

Accessories Description
Pop shield If you have a condenser microphone, you have to hold it close to your mouth, but this can cause certain T, P and B sounds to emit annoying bass tones. To counteract this, there are usually very inexpensive pop mutes available.
Dead Cat This extra helps against many annoying noises in your environment, such as a windy environment, it tries to filter them out, but it also makes the sound a little quieter.
Microphone spider With this extra, the microphone is stretched in a net of elastic bands to compensate for vibrations. If your condenser microphone is delivered without one, you should definitely order one.
Microphone arm A microphone arm allows you to attach your microphone to a table. The flexibility of the arm makes it possible to move the microphone around a lot and to mount it in different positions.
Table stand Very space-saving and simple, the table stand helps to place the microphone. However, it can easily cause noise in the audio due to vibration and movement.

In any case, it is advisable to take some kind of stand or mount if it does not already come with the microphone. Often, condenser microphones come with a microphone tiller already included, so always look at the product details before ordering one too many.

Additional power supply

When you buy a condenser microphone, it may also need an additional power supply. This is often needed to convert analogue to digital signals in the microphone.

Table stands can be attached to most tables, and different microphone models can be mounted on the same stands. (Image source: unsplash.com/Austin Distel)

When buying a microphone stand, you must pay attention to the description, because there are also many that cover this need solely through the connection to the PC.

If you want to have less hassle with your devices, it is better to choose a variant without additional power supply or batteries.

Location in the room

Before you place your microphone in the room, there are a few things to consider. The aim is to optimise the sound in your room.

Many companies offer a variety of foam and other types of wall mounts with the promise of optimal soundproofing and good sound. However, these are usually very expensive and, if you are only recording in a small area, rather unimportant.

The best way to improve your sound quality (even without a lot of expense) is to decorate your recording space with fluffy rugs and pillows, and maybe curtains.

Fabrics and upholstery help to optimise the sound in your rooms.

Anything made of upholstery and fabrics really helps, and it's not too much of an intrusion into the style of your room, as you can choose them according to your style.

Image source: unsplash.com / Jacek Dylag

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