Ah, YouTube! Over the past few years, it’s become such an amazing resource for information. You can learn so many new subjects, explore places you’ve never been, and even get your very own 15 minutes of fame!
It’s easier than ever to simply take a quick video with your phone or your computer, upload it, and send that link off for your friends, family and the rest of the internet to see. Now, you could just use that little built-in microphone on your phone or webcam to record the new tune you’ve been working so hard on, but why sell yourself short? A lack of quality audio makes a good video pretty hard to watch. Thankfully, there are some great microphones out there in every price range to help you make the most out of your YouTube video.
The easiest and most portable solution for capturing audio for your videos is a USB Microphone. These microphones plug directly into the USB port of your computer so you don’t need any other gear to get going. USB microphones come in all shapes and sizes so let’s explore some premium options.
Samson Q2U USB/XLR Dynamic Microphone
This handheld dynamic mic is so convenient! It’s got both USB and XLR outputs so you can connect into a mixer or interface or just straight into your computer. There’s even a nifty headphone output right on the mic so you can monitor what you’re recording without worrying about additional headphone outputs sources on your interface or speakers. The handheld design makes it an excellent choice for doing voiceovers, interviews, or overdubbing vocals on the go. It’s a solid choice for the YouTuber on a budget, and will definitely help bring your videos some great complimentary audio to take you to that next step. Because the Q2U is a dynamic microphone, it is known to pick up less unwanted background noise than other options. This makes it great for live streaming or other projects that you want to get up quickly without copious editing.
- USB Dynamic Microphone
- XLR Output for connecting to interface and Mixers
- Headphone Output with Volume Control
- Includes Tripod Stand, Windscreen, XLR Cable, and a USB Cable
With one of the largest diaphragms for a USB condenser, this versatile (and shiny) mic can really add a lot to the audio for your YouTube videos. It sounds great on acoustic guitar and vocals, and works well for speech, too. There’s a headphone output right on the mic, so no annoying latency (that delay between when the noise happens and when you actually hear it), and the headphone volume control puts complete monitoring control at your fingertips. The innovative fold-back leg design provides optimal mic positioning without the need for an additional stand. It also increases the microphones portability allowing for compact storage within the included carry pouch. The bottom of the Meteor Mic features an integrated adapter so you can mount it to any standard tripod or desktop stand.
- Large Diaphragm USB Condenser Microphone
- Plug and Play Operation (No Drivers Required)
- Headphone Output with volume control
- Fold Back Leg Design for optimal desktop placement
- Compatible with most boom and tripod mic stands
- Carry Pouch Included
Samson G-Track Pro USB Microphone/Audio Interface
If you’re a singer/ songwriter, the G-Track Pro is tailor made for your channel. In addition to a large diaphragm condenser capsule, G-Track Pro also boasts a ¼” input so you can simultaneously record a line level instrument along with your vocals. An onboard mixer lets you set the perfect balance between your voice and your instrument while a headphone output delivers zero-latency monitoring of both signals. For even more versatility G-Track Pro features a three-position switch so you can select between cardioid(Standard Recording), figure-8(two person interview), and omnidirectional (group recording) polar patterns, giving you all the options you could need to suit any type of project. Video game walkthrough? Voiceover for a demo? Unboxing that sweet new toy? Interviewing a random local internet celebrity? Recording an acoustic cover of Sia’s “Chandelier”? Yep, this mic will work great for all those things.
- Large Diaphragm USB Microphone
- Built in Audio Interface
- On Board Mixer
- Headphone Output with level control
- 3 Selectable Polar Patterns
- Integrated desktop base
- Rugged Zinc Die-Cast Construction
Studio Condenser Microphones
Professional XLR Condenser Microphones are used by elite broadcasters and media personalities. These microphones require the use of an audio interface or a mixing console with a USB output to connect them to your computer.
I love this mic. It’s a favorite of mine for vocals and acoustic guitar, and I’ve seen it used for so much more! One of the quietest condenser mics around, it can handle some loud instruments, but it’s incredibly low noise level and high sensitivity make it an excellent choice for recording quieter sources such as voiceover projects, soft vocals, or delicate acoustic playing. This mic is very flattering on most voices without coloring the natural tone too much. For an instrument like acoustic guitar, it will clearly pick up everything from the quiet notes to the loud strums with minimal self-noise. In its price range it’s definitely the best bang for your buck, especially since it also comes with a shock mount and pop filter! If you happen to pick up a matched pair, these work incredibly well as room mics in stereo! Funny story about this mic: I was actually working at Sam Ash up in New Haven, CT when it was released back in 2004, I remember most of the store staff (myself included) picking one up! And I’ll bet that most of them (myself included again) still have it in their mic locker.
- 1” Gold Sputtered Microphone Capsule
- Low Self Noise
- Cardioid Polar Pattern
- Includes Shock mount and Pop Filter
This dynamic cardioid mic right here is the broadcast industry standard. It’s a favorite for radio stations and podcasts due to its versatility as an instrument or room mic. In my opinion, this would be a great choice when recording voiceover, such as video game streaming, instructional videos, or ASMR videos. There’s virtually no proximity effect thanks to the internal pop filter, so no worries about getting too up-close and personal when using it. Additionally, you won’t get any of that unwanted boominess. It’s clean and clear-sounding and capable of handling some rather loud volume levels. Also, it’s got a bass roll-off switch just in case those lower frequencies are a bit loud. An internal shock mount helps to significantly reduce any vibration noise.
- Dynamic Industry Standard Broadcast Microphone
- Limited proximity effect
- Bass Roll Off Switch
Another fantastic dynamic cardioid microphone that’s super-popular in the broadcast industry. You can use it for voiceovers, podcasts, vocal recording, even on a kick drum or a bass cabinet! Like the RE20, it has a bass roll-off switch, plus it also has a “presence boost” switch to lift those high-mids to give those vocals a little extra shimmer. With both of these engaged, you get a nice subtle color to the mic that nicely compliments a lot of different voices. Even with the gain on your preamp cranked, this mic still has a smooth, clear sound. I find it to be a bit more versatile than the RE20, suitable for a wider range of applications and instruments. It’s got such a high dB threshold that it’s perfect for capturing loud and sudden sounds that would otherwise sound distorted on another mic.
- Legendary frequency response curve
- Bass roll off and midrange increase switches
- Internal shock mount eliminates mechanical noise
Smartphone cameras continue to improve and the ability to instantly share content captured on your device to various channels makes it a go to solution for many content creators. However, the internal microphone within our smartphones is even smaller that those in our laptops so getting good audio for these mobile films can be quite a challenge. Thankfully some leading microphone companies have designed dedicated smartphone microphones that boast both IOS and Android capabilities.
Shure Motiv MV88+ Video Microphone Kit
Highlighted by the Motiv 88+ microphone that plugs directly into your phone via included lightning (IOS) or USB-C(Android) cables, the MV88+ video kit is a complete solution for capturing high quality videos on your phone. Essential accessories including a mini tripod and phone clamp enable you to capture video in the field or at home. Purchasing the kit also gives you free access to the companion Shure MotivPlus video app. MotivPlus allows you to adjust settings like EQ, Gain, and Stereo Width to your exact preferences. If your just looking to quickly capture quality footage, the app also has five dedicated presets for various applications. The included roll up bag solidifies the Motiv MV88+ Video Microphone Kit as a dynamic mobile recording solution.
- All in one microphone kit for Smartphones
- Includes smartphone microphone/ mini tripod/phone clamp/windscreen/carry case
- Compatible with MotivPlus video application
- Includes cables for IOS(Lightning) and Android (USB-C) devices
Samson Go Mic Mobile Smartphone Wireless System
Wireless microphone systems expand your ability to capture various types of video so Samson decided to create the worlds first Smartphone Wireless Microphone System, the Go Mic Mobile. This system features a dedicated rechargeable wireless receiver that attaches to your phone via an included clamp. The receiver syncs with your choice of either a handheld microphone transmitter or a discreet bodypack style lavalier transmitter. Incredibly easy to use, the Go Mic Mobile simply takes over the audio responsibilities from your phones internal microphone. This allows you to use Go Mic Mobile with your favorite apps (Instagram, Facebook, FaceTime) and native video camera application. With a 100 ft operating range between the receiver and transmitter, you have plenty of flexibility to capture various types of content with pristine audio quality. You can even add an additional transmitter (sold separately) for recording interviews and group presentations thanks to the systems dual channel design.
- Smartphone Wireless System
- Rechargeable wireless receiver
- Choose between handheld and lavalier transmitter options
- 100 ft wireless operating range
- Includes cables for IOS(Lightning) and Android (USB-C) devices
- Includes hot shoe mount and 3.5mm cable for use with DSLR cameras
A great microphone is only the first step when it comes to building your YouTube studio. Check out these great accessories that will bring your productions to the next level:
Samson MBA28 Boom Microphone Arm
Put your microphone exactly where it needs to be with this movable boom stand. An included C-Clamp allows you to securely attach the this stand at the edge of your desktop. The arm reaches up to 28” across so you can easily swing it over to your guest so they can be heard. You won’t find a serious radio station that doesn’t make use of a boom microphone arm like the MBA28.
SE Electronics RF-X Reflexion Filter X Portable Vocal Booth
A reflection filter helps prevent your vocals from bouncing off walls and getting back into the microphone. A Sam Ash top seller, the RF-X from SE Electronics features an innovative 4-layer design that will help soak up any sound you do not want penetrating your recording.
Samson SP01 Microphone Shock Mount
Shock mounts help prevent those pesky vibrations that can originate from finger tapping or moving the microphone stand. These vibrations can destroy the low frequency character of what you are trying to record so we highly recommend them for home studio work.