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What is a USB Microphone?

A USB microphone contains the elements of traditional dynamic microphones and condenser microphones like a microphone capsule, housing, and grille. However, with a USB microphone we also have built in preamplifiers and A/D(Analog to Digital) converters . These two additions are responsible for the primary benefit of choosing a USB Microphone, creating an audio signal that can be captured directly on your computer without the need for additional gear like a mixer or audio interface. With a USB microphone, just plug it into your desktop/laptops USB port and you are ready to create and communicate instantly and hassle free. This is why USB microphones are often the best choice when you need a VoIP microphone for software like Skype, Google Hangouts, and Go To Meeting or a microphone for gaming or streaming on Twitch or Playstation 4. Switching to a USB microphone is a dramatic audio upgrade over the built in microphone in your desktop or laptop. USB microphones use much larger microphone elements and feature better digital conversion than built in computer microphones.

Who uses USB Microphones?

Since USB microphones do not require extensive amounts of additional recording gear, they are your ideal microphone for journalism, interviews, and field recording. USB Microphones are also a great option for starting your podcast because they are compatible with beginner audio recording software like Audacity and Garage Band. If you are a gamer, USB microphones are perfect for communicating with your friends on TeamSpeak as you look to push your rank. If you’re a professional gamer who streams content on YouTube or live on Twitch TV, a USB microphone will let you give clear instructions to your viewers and transmit the natural sound of your voice to your fan base. If you’re a musician, USB microphones are really great for recording quick demos and saving ideas. If you’re looking to get signed, a USB microphone will let you upload high quality audio files to Soundcloud and Spotify.

Choosing a USB Microphone

USB microphones come in all shapes and sizes. A standard desktop USB microphone is a popular computer accessory and gives personality to your desk. Some desktop USB microphones provide you with advanced features like mute switches for improving communication. Another useful USB microphone feature for your recording projects is a built in headphone output for zero latency monitoring. USB microphones with headphone outputs will have digital to analog conversion so you can connect your headphones and studio monitors for high quality output signal even when you are not recording. If you are looking to conduct interviews or capture meetings you should consider a multi pattern USB microphone that offers an omnidirectional or figure 8 patterns. As the technology available to create full-fledged productions on the go using laptops, phones and tablets has expanded, we now have portable USB microphones small enough to fit in your pocket and IOS microphones that feature direct connection to iPhone and iPads. IOS microphones deliver a professional sound to popular video and live streaming applications like Periscope, Facebook live, and Vine. Of course if you are a podcaster who is looking to recreate that famous radio sound, we also have USB versions of large diaphragm condenser microphones that use elements similar to their analog counterparts. Premium USB microphones are even a worthy option for mobile music production and as a microphone for professional voiceover and sound foley work. This is because most of our USB microphones offer plug and play operation with your favorite DAW software and plug ins.

Want to make sure you’re getting exactly what you need? Give us a call at 1-800-4-SAMASH (1-800-472-6274) and one of our musical experts will help you find the equipment most suited to your needs.