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There’s no getting around it—a good YouTube video needs to have great sound. And since great audio always starts at the source, your laptop microphone isn’t going to cut it. You’re going to need the best microphone for YouTube you can find.
But what is the right mic for video recording? In the professional world, film crews use specially designed (and extremely expensive) microphones mounted on long boom poles to get the cleanest possible sound while staying out of the shot. While this approach gets great results on a movie set, it’s not exactly realistic for someone making videos at home. So, what microphones do YouTubers use? As it turns out, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the best YouTube microphone.
One of the best things about YouTube is the sheer variety of content. From vloggers and creatives to gamers and ASMR enthusiasts, there are countless types of videos out there—and they all require a different approach to capturing sound. The key to finding the best mic for YouTube is to identify your needs and find the solution that’s right for you. After all, the best microphone for YouTube vlogging is not necessarily the right choice for gaming or voiceover.
For example, if you’re a casual YouTuber, you’ll probably want something compact and ultra-simple to use. If you’re going for higher production value, you’ll need a mic that not only sounds great but also takes up little to no space on the screen. If you mainly record yourself playing games, having easy access to your mic and headphone controls is a must. If you only do off-camera voiceovers, top-notch sound quality will take precedence over looks. And if you’re really serious about making super-slick videos, you may even want multiple microphones to capture audio from different angles.
Whatever your needs, we want to help you find the best microphone for recording YouTube videos. Read on to see our favorite picks and find the best match for your channel. Whether you’re new to YouTube or the next KRNFX, we’ve got a mic for you.
KRNFX beatboxing with Yeti X professional USB microphone
The fastest way to get started on YouTube is with a USB microphone. Just like USB webcams, USB mics are plug and play, making them some of the best microphones for YouTube. And they sound great, too—all Blue USB mics are condenser microphones, meaning they excel at capturing maximum detail and clarity. As an added bonus, all of the mics listed here are compatible with the Blue Sherpa companion app, which lets you adjust mic gain and headphone volume, switch pickup patterns and even download firmware updates right from your desktop.
Pro streamer LoriiPops with the Blue Spark SL large-diaphragm condenser microphone
If you’ve been making YouTube videos for a while, or if you already know your way around audio gear, you may want to consider a professional XLR microphone. The primary advantage of using an XLR mic for video recording is the ability to use it with other professional-level equipment, such as an audio interface to record with multiple mics at once or external processors to sweeten your sound.
The end-address design means it can be affixed parallel to the lens with a standard shoe mount, just like a shotgun microphone you’d find in a professional videographer’s kit. The custom condenser capsule features a cardioid pickup pattern with superb off-axis rejection for minimal room noise, and it’s mounted in a specially-designed shock-absorbing cradle for extra protection.