The cheapest microphone used to be shorthand for the best group of bad microphones. But one of the hardware trends that stood out last year was that the company pulled top-of-the-line microphone technology from its high-end settings and put it in a concise package with minimal features. Heck, some don’t even have a mute button or any buttons.
Don’t turn off budget microphones because they lack extra features, because the high-quality sound and low price make up for it. Although the absolute best microphones can cost you up to $300, these budget products start at as low as $40.
The problem is that some of these cheap microphones will lack some of the common features you can find on regular microphones, such as volume and gain control. The idea is that you can plug and play, start recording and use third-party software (such as OBS or Xsplit) to adjust your audio.
Even if these are cheap microphones, it will not change the way we test them. We still follow the same test standards as more expensive microphones; all we did was increase the maximum budget of $100. We are still looking for excellent sound quality, form factor and usability.
The cheapest streaming and gaming microphone
HyperX SoloCast is an affordable microphone that sounds as good as or better than a double-priced microphone. It’s not as gorgeous as other HyperX microphone products, I won’t lie, I miss RGB lighting. However, the sound quality of this microphone is incredible for only $60. It enters at this price, which is enough to make up for the loss of some quality of life characteristics.
Although both JLab Audio Talk GO and Razer Seiren Mini provide excellent sound, HyperX SoloCast is still the king of budget microphones. In essence, it provides us with the audio effects of its more expensive QuadCast S similar products, but the price But it’s just a small part of it.
Read the full HyperX SoloCast review.
The Razer Seiren Mini is one of those nasty and cute hardware I have seen. I immediately wanted to put it on my desk. Its stylish pill-shaped design and multiple colors give Mini a personality that some of our other choices on this list lack. Startup sounds incredible.
Remember we mentioned earlier that some of these microphones must sacrifice some functions? Yes, well, Seiren Mini almost gave up everything. Some people won’t care, because you can get a killer microphone for just $50. At the same time, some others will not accept the fact that there is no mute button.
Read our complete Razer Seiren Mini review.
This miniature version of the classic Blue Yeti is perfect for people who are just starting to use streaming media. For products under $100, it has excellent sound quality. At the same time, its small size and lightweight metal construction make it easy to transport (this is at least 40% smaller than its larger cousin). Yeti Nano is the most “expensive” budget microphone on the list, but offers more features than cheaper microphones.
Its 24-bit, 48kHz recording sampling rate is also obvious. Put the audio of Nano and the original Yeti together to show that the former is significantly better than the former. It only has two directivity (cardioid directivity and omnidirectional directivity), but Yeti Nano compensates for it with everything else.
JLab Audio Talk GO does a great job of providing microphones with good sound quality for podcasters and anchors on a budget. Talk GO’s compact body and supporting stand are perfect for anyone looking for a portable microphone that doesn’t take up much space on the desktop.
Although GO only has a pair of capacitors, my voice is still better than expected, although it is smaller than I wanted. You may not record the next hot single on this microphone, but it would be great if you dipped your toes into the entire streaming or podcast scene.
I have tested some different microphones from JLab Audio. Given its history in the field of affordable audio, Talk GO is a USB microphone, and it’s no surprise that it impressed me more than its more expensive product Talk and Talk Pro. Talk GO is an inexpensive microphone that sounds cheap and not cheap.
Read our complete JLab Go review.
Rode manufactures high-quality microphones. no problem. The only problem is that its professional consumer audio usually requires some financial investment. The Rode NT-USB mini microphone is one of the best sub-$100 microphones you can buy right now.
In addition to sound incredible, NT Mini is an easy-to-use microphone that any beginner can use. Speaking of simplicity, the Rode Connect software is a digital mixer, which actually allows up to four NT Minis to be plugged into a computer without skipping any steps. It follows the same design philosophy as the other mini microphones on this list, is compact and portable, and most importantly, it looks like a cool technology.
Read our complete Rode NT Mini review.
Audio-Technica AT2020 is probably the cheapest XLR microphone you can use right now. Any professional musician will tell you that trying to find a good XLR microphone for less than $200 is a difficult task. Somehow, Audio-Technica managed to provide musicians with an excellent-sounding XLR microphone for about $80.
AT2020 follows the trend of stripping off functions to reduce costs. There is no mute button here, but you can still use the headphone volume, the display dial, the convenient rotating screw bracket, and the convenient travel bag. Whenever you use AT2020 to record for yourself, you usually think that you are using a more expensive microphone.
Therefore, whether you are playing drums or explaining your latest victory in Call of Duty Warzone to your favorite audience, AT2020 is a versatile microphone.Since it is an XLR microphone, you need to invest in one audio port (You can find prices as low as $50 on the Internet) to use on your PC.If you don’t mind the audio interface and pay an extra $50, you can choose AT2020USB+, Which is the same, except that it is not XLR, it is USB.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Budget Microphones
What is the polarity mode of the microphone?
Directivity mode is the way the microphone captures surrounding sounds. These are the most common polarity patterns:
Heart-shaped: Record in front of the microphone. Very suitable for voiceovers, vocals and streaming media.
Two-way: Capture audio before and after the microphone. Very suitable for one-on-one interviews.
All-round: Pick up sound from all directions. Very suitable for round table test.
stereo: Very suitable for ASMR recording. YouTube’ASMR’ if you want the best example, because I can’t do it fairly.
Is the gaming microphone worth it?
You can always use a pole microphone that protrudes from a gaming headset, but few can match the recording quality of the cheapest gaming microphone on this list. If you plan to stream or record your game, and add your own voice to the mix, it is definitely a must to make your voice better than the overgrown headset microphone.
Having a good microphone also means that you don’t have to use gaming headsets at all. For our enthusiasts who like high-quality headphones without a microphone at all, the desktop-based option is the only way to scroll.
What shape should my microphone be?
This is not a fashion show, but the form factor is still important. With a stand microphone, you will stare at it every time you sit at your desk-and connectable microphones also need to make sure they are not too distracting.
The shape of the microphone can also affect its adaptability, because you need to make room for it. We use each microphone in a variety of settings for different PCs, keyboards, and monitors to understand their appearance and performance in each environment. As a host, your microphone will also be seen by the audience, so its appearance is relevant.