The audio quality of your streams is crucial factor viewers consider on your stream. You would prefer to hear the streamer clearly and listen to their contents even when the video buffers. Hence it would be helpful to ensure you have good quality sound in your streams to upsell your channel.
So how do you get good audio quality? You can get quality audio on your streams with an awesome microphone. There are tons of microphones with special features, but they all have their pros and cons
This guide reviews factors you should consider before getting a microphone and the best quality microphones you should add to your streaming gadgets.
Let’s get started!
Table of Content
- Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Microphone for Live Streaming
- The Best Microphone for Live Streaming Sessions
Factors to Consider Before Choosing a Microphone for Live Streaming
Microphones have many characteristics and several new technological features, but there’re main factors you should consider to vouch for the quality of the microphone. Consider these four major parameters to choose the best microphone for your streaming:
- Frequency response
- Polar pattern
- Mode of connection and;
- Pop filter
1. Frequency response
The frequency response defines the range of your voice frequencies that the microphone can pick up and how its output varies within this range. Therefore, the frequency response is a significant factor in determining the loudness and clarity of your voice during streams.
It’s measured from the lowest to the highest frequency in Hertz (Hz) and Kilohertz (kHz). So if you’re looking for microphones for streaming, consider a microphone with frequency response within the golden range of 20Hz – 200KHz. Anything below the range is useless for your stream.
2. Polar pattern
The polar pattern of a microphone refers to the directional property of the microphone. It provides information about the sensitivity of the microphone to directional sound waves. Simply, it’s how well your microphone can receive your voice in the form of audio waves relative to the direction your voice originates.
Microphones are classified into three classes based on their polar pattern. They include Cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional polar patterns.
Cardioid polar pattern: The cardioid polar pattern microphone is one of the most common directional microphones for streaming that pick sound waves from the front. The cardioid sound is only sensitive to sounds in its front and isolates other ambient sound waves around it from the back and side of the microphone.
They can block all other background noise from entering the microphone and capture only your voice from the voice.
Cardioid microphones have the super-cardioid and the hyper-cardioid subtypes. These subtypes have a narrower angle of sensitivity and block other background sounds than the classic Cardioid.
- Omnidirectional polar pattern: The omnidirectional microphone has equal sensitivity to sound in every direction. Microphones of this type can pick sound evenly from all directions (360 degrees) around it. With this type of microphone as a streaming gadget, you don’t have to target a particular angle to source good sound. However, the dark side is that it will pick up all unwanted background noise with your sound.
- Bidirectional polar pattern: Bidirectional microphones are known as ‘figure-of-eight’ microphones. They have equal sensitivity to sounds from both the front and rear of the microphone, with very low sensitivity from their sides. A bidirectional microphone is useful in live streaming if you have an interviewing session with a guest as it can pick sound from the rear and front using the same microphone.
3. Mode of connection
There are two major microphone connection modes during streaming: plug-and-play USB and XLR. Others include TS, TSR, and TRRS. Although the XLR and USB microphones differ, XLR microphones remain the best form of microphone for streaming.
Firstly, with an XLR microphone, you cannot connect directly to your streaming PC like USB microphones. Instead, you must buy an external mixer or audio interface to connect your XLR microphone to the streaming PC. With this external mixer, your audience can enjoy more quality sound.
The USB-cable microphones are simple plug-and-play, cheaper, and more user-friendly, which translates to lower audio quality. In addition, low latency problems often arise, resulting in echoes.
Also, XLR microphone cables are expensive and durable compared to cheap USB cables. The durability of the cables is responsible for their cost.
Furthermore, the TS, TSR, and TRRS microphones are designed for smartphones, tablets, and laptops. The sound quality is usually low and is most suitable for streamers using mobile devices.
4. Pop filter
The pop filter is also known as a pop shield. It’s a noise filter shield in your microphone. It reduces popping sounds caused by the mechanical airflow bumps in the microphone. The major function of having a pop filter in your microphone is to ensure the clarity of your sound during streaming.
Although it’s not a must, you have a pop filter in your microphone, provided you can maintain optimal voice volume in your streaming. If not, invest in pop filter featured microphones to improve your sound quality.
The Best Microphone for Live Streaming Sessions
Below is my list of the best microphones you should consider investing in to ensure quality sound in your streams.
1. The Blue Yeti X Microphone
- Built-in LED lighting
- User-friendly multi-purpose Smart knob control
- Polar pattern: Omnidirectional, Stereo, Bidirectional, Cardioid
- Mode of connection: USB
- 3.5mm Jack built-in headphone
- Warcraft HD Audio Samples
- Custom World of Warcraft Design
- Four polar patterns for your desired need
- Laser-etched Warcraft Runes with customizable LED lighting
- Compatible with Blue Voice software
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000Hz
- Compatible with Mac and Windows PC
The Blue Yeti products have brought a new definition to the world of microphones with their high-quality sound and affordability. With its new idea with the new Yeti X microphone, a hybrid of the Nano and the original Yeti. As a result, this microphone is a more reliable recommendation to have as a streaming gadget.
This high-quality USB microphone has an illuminated multi-purpose smart knob panel in the front. This smart knob help streamers monitor the volume level of sound in real-time. Also, it has a built-in four-capsule condenser array to ensure a more focused and clear sound.
The Blue Yeti X has a switchable control within the condenser to switch between its multiple operation modes: stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional. In addition, you can control your sound level with Yeti X’s 11-segment LED meter. You can check if your voice is too high or low at a glance.
An exceptional feature of this microphone is the advanced Blue Vo!ce broadcast vocal effect software for Yeti X. This feature helps you achieve a high-quality, crisp, and professional sound on your streams. With this application, you can create the unique way you want the Blue Yeti X sound using the software’s presets.
2. The Elgato Wave 3
- Polar pattern: Cardioid
- Connection: USB – C
- Frequency response: 70Hz – 20KHz
- Pop filter: multiple layer pop filter
- Front multifunctional dial panel
- Superior circuitry of 24-bit/96KHz for digital conversion and broadcast-grade details and clarity
- High-power headphone output
- Capacitive mute
- Compatibility with Wave Link App to control Wave 3#
- Dual-layer steel layer mesh
- Reinforced elastic suspension to ensure maximum vibration attenuation
When you hear the name ‘Elgato’ in the streaming industry, it symbolizes high-end quality and user-friendly gadgets. The Elgato is a simple plug-and-play USB microphone designed for live streamers using multiple sound sources to create quality sound.
This microphone has a condenser capsule equipped with a cardioid polar pattern to capture audio waves only from the front with high precision. In addition, it has a pop filter to reduce and eliminate pops and hisses caused by plosive speeches and sound waves.
Also, it has a dual-layer steel grille to optimize air current diffusion to produce smooth sound diffusion, capsule protection, and maximum audio transparency.
The appealing feature of the Elgato wave 3 is the Wave Link software with thousands of effect that allows you to mix multi-channel command within your stream. In addition, you can use the high-power headphone output to listen to your clear, decent, and zero-latency sound.
3. Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Streaming Microphone
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20KHz
- Polar pattern: Cardoid
- Pop filter: included
- Mode of connection: USB or XLR connector
- Built-in 3.5mm built-in headphone jack with volume control
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac PC
- Mix control to blend microphone with pre-recorded audio
- High-output internal headphone amplifier
The Audio-Technica 2020USB is an affordable and professional microphone you should to your streaming gears. If you are looking out to start live streaming, invest in this microphone if you can afford it.
This microphone is a cardioid condenser microphone with USB/XLR output for live streaming and audio recording. In addition, it has a 3.5mm built-in headphone jack that lets you monitor the pitch of your voice directly from the microphone.
The cardioid condenser isolates ambient sounds from the rear and sides and focuses on the front audio waves.
4. HyperX QuadCast S
- Polar pattern: Multipolar pattern (Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Stereo, Bidirectional)
- Pop filter: Present
- Connection type: USB-type
- Frequency response: 20Hz to 20,000KHz
- Anti-vibration shock mount
- Dynamic RGB lighting
- Adjustable with HyperX Ngenuity software
- Tap-to-mute sensor the LED light indicator
- Built-in 3.5mm headphone jack
- Compatible with many devices
The HyperX QuadCast S is an exceptional microphone producing decent and crisp sound. It’s a gamer-centric microphone with a built-in pop filter to filter all background noise and ambient sounds.
It has an integrated anti-vibration shock mount that isolates the microphone and suppresses the sound of accidental bumps from picking. In addition, it has a tap-to-mute sensor with LED light indicator. The sensor often mutes the microphone when touched and helps with the LED mic status indicator. If the light is ON, the microphone is active, and the mic is muted when off.
The exceptional feature is the selectable multipolar pattern system. To enhance your streaming quality, you can switch between four polar patterns (stereo, omnidirectional, bidirectional, and Cardioid). In addition, you can use the ingenious HyperX Ngenuity software to control the microphone and adjust its presets.
5. Shure MV7
- Polar pattern: Unidirectional Cardoid
- Connector: Type B USB and XLR
- Frequemcy response; 20Hz to 20KHz
- Intuitive touch panel control
- Integrated headphone output
- Flexible mounting option
- ShurePlus Motiv desktop app for sound adjustment
The Shure MV7 is a good choice as a streamer if you need a professional and high-end microphone for your streams. You don’t have to be a sound genius before knowing that the Shure MV7 is a great choice.
This microphone has a dual connector mode of Type-B USB and XLR output. This property makes the microphone compatible for direct plug-in to your streaming PC and XLR compatibility with your professional audio interface.
With its intuitive touch panel control, you can monitor volume and headphone mix and mute the microphone. In addition, it has a built-in headphone output that allows direct headphone monitoring while recording.
You can take advantage of the ShurePlus Motiv Software, which completely allows you to customize your sound output. From this desktop app, you can teak the microphone output, add compression to your voice, adjust the equalizer, and add a limiter.
With my ideas about microphones, I could go on and on to give you more microphones compatible with streaming platforms, but these are the best you should consider as your gadget.
As you’ve read, I considered several factors to give you the best microphones you can use for live streaming. Contact me if you have any comments about any streaming microphone you choose from my list to know how efficient it is.