Best USB Microphone Reviews

USB Microphone ReviewsWelcome to Best USB Microphone Reviews, where we compile reviews from around the web on today’s best sounding usb microphones. Quality sound is absolutely important in creating a professional audio presence for podcasting, voice-over work in videos, conducting webinars, and teleconferencing via apps like Skype, Tango, and Oovoo.

Once you plug in a quality microphone, you will immediately notice the difference and so will your audience. Compared to the built-in microphones on our computers, the sound is so much more rich and life-like, and adds greater tonal dimension for a more full-bodied sound. After hearing my voice on a recorded webinar at work using a cheap, auxiliary plug headset mic, I was shocked at how tinny and weak my voice sounded. We later acquired a wonderful Audio Technica AT2020 usb condenser microphone for our webinar work, and my recordings sounded completely different.

On this site you will find reviews of today’s top usb microphones, with pros and cons, to help you make your decision. Regardless which mic you end up choosing, it will be on a completely different level than the kind of sound you could achieve with your built-in or headset mic. You’re on the right track here at Best USB Microphone Review!

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Audio Technica AT2020 Review

 

Audio Technica AT2020 Review

Audio Technica AT2020 Review

Click here for the Audio Technica AT2020

The following Audio Technica AT2020 review details the various features, pros and cons of this particular usb microphone. I have used this usb mic numerous times for voice-over work on marketing videos I’ve made for my employer (I work in technology), so I have lots of first-hand experience. To find out more info on the Audio Technica AT 2020, visit this link:

Audio Technica AT2020 – Official Site

The Audio Technica is a fantastic, side-address condenser microphone. This usb microphone is far and away one of the best selling mics in its price category of around $100-$150.  Moreover, it’s one of the most highly rated by consumers. It’s a solidly constructed microphone that is pretty much plug-and-play. It’s a great option for amateur and more advanced voice-over work – and it’s also a great way to upgrade your Skype or voice-over-the-internet calling experience.

Audio Technica AT2020 Review – What is it?

The Audio Technica AT2020 is a solidly built usb microphone that is both Mac and PC compatible. The mic has a real sturdy feel to it. It has a cardioid pick-up pattern, meaning it concentrates its audio recording in one direction the shape of a heart and filters out most of the sounds coming from other directions. This helps to isolate recording of the sound source facing the front of the microphone. It is meant for voice-over work, home-studio recording, pod-casting, and field recording.  It comes with a low, stable, tripod stand with pivoting head and a convenient leather carrying case. The microphone has very low self-noise, meaning you will have less problems with “hiss” when turning up the recording sensitivity or gain of the microphone. This makes for clearer audio overall.

Audio Tecnica AT2020 Review – What I Liked

The Audio Technica AT 2020 regularly gets 4 and 5 star reviews from people who have bought it – and for good reason. For the price, this usb microphone is absolutely fantastic. I’ve used this mic for voice-over work on marketing videos and for various side projects with tremendous success. You really notice the difference between this mic and a standard headset mic, or the one built into your computer. The sound is rich and full and ambient noises are mostly filtered out. The construction feels very solid and I’ve never had any issue getting the mic to work on any computer. It’s very straight forward to use. Also, the tripod it comes with is stable and compact for transport.

Audio Technica AT2020 Review – What I Didn’t Like

The Audio Technica AT2020 does it’s job well, but is fairly simplistic in terms of higher end features. It does not come with a built in gain control, nor does it have a headphone jack for real-time monitoring. So, if you’re used to recording like they do on radio shows, where you can here what you’re saying in real-time, this could be an issue. I have also read a couple reviews saying that this may not be the best choice of microphone if you have a very high-pitched voice. A final complaint that I’ve seen is for the paint finish on the mic – many seem to have a few little black paint specks on them – mine included – though this is purely aesthetic and doesn’t affect performance.

Audio Technica AT2020 Review – Overall Thoughts

Despite a couple negative reviews for this product, the vast majority of customer reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Almost everybody has had a very positive experience with this microphone, including myself. I love that it is pretty much a plug-and-play mic, and the quality of audio recordings made using the Audio Technica AT2020 USB condesnor microphone is fantastic. Whatever you need to record – whether it’s voiceover work, podcasting, webcam recordings, or simply Skype phone calls, this is a solid, high-quality mic at a great price.

Click here for the Audio Technica AT2020


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Best USB Microphone

If you’re looking for advice on how to choose the best usb microphone for your needs – you’re in the right place. A usb microphone will almost always be superior in quality to an analog 3.5mm input microphone. Though perhaps providing a touch less fidelity than a truly professional xlr input microphone – like what the majority of professional recording artists and singers use – the various usb mics available today offer outstanding quality. A good quality usb microphone will make you sound great and professional, whether conversing by Skype, podcasting, singing, recording musical instruments or doing voiceover work for video.

USB Microphone Options Galore

There are so many different types of microphone that it’ll make your head spin if you start investigating mics like I did. You’ve got ribbon, condenser, dynamic, binaural and more. At the end of the day though, they’re all accomplishing the same thing – just in a different way – converting sound into an electric current.

Directional Mics versus Omnidirectional Microphones

Directional mics focus audio pick-up in one particular direction and filter out most sounds from outside of this focal area – for instance, the whirring of your air conditioner or the fan on your computer (which I’ve noticed when I get sensitive mics too close to my computer during voice-over work). The sensitivity toward one direction though can make them more prone to distortion from sharp S sounds or popping P sounds. People in the industry refer to these as sibilants and plosives. (This distortion can be mitigated by a pop-filter).

Omnidirectional mics have a universal pick-up pattern that captures sound from all angles around the microphone. This is great if you’re trying to capture audio from multiple sources, such as your voice and a musical instrument, or a dialogue between two people on opposite sides of the mic, but it can also result in the recording of unwanted ambient sounds.

Condenser Mics versus Directional Microphones

Condenser mics are nice in that they usually capture louder, more detailed audio. On the other hand, they require some phantom power in order to operate. Also, they are generally more delicate than dynamic mics. Their detailed output and clarity of sound though make them excellent for voice work and for picking up the subtleties in song and music.

Dynamic mics are the workhorses of the mic world. Their mechanism for moving the mic diaphragm to pick up sound pressure is more robust and allows them to take more abuse. Moreover, they don’t require an external power-source in order to operate. This makes them a bit more popular for field work or rock concerts where they might take more abuse.

Microphone Pick-up Patterns

The pick-up pattern refers to the area from which a mic picks up ambient sound. Sounds not coming from a particular area, or ‘off-axis’ sounds, are rejected to a certain degree. Sometimes they just sound muted or muffled.

The two most common pick-up patterns are cardioid and omni-directional, as mentioned above. A cardiod pick-up line is heard shaped – hence the name – so the majority of its focus is in one direction, and the opposite direction is largely rejected. Sounds from the side are partially picked-up.

There is also a hyper-cardioid, which is even more focused than a regular cardioid. This type of mic is great for detailed audio pick-up, but requires discipline to use properly. You want to maintain proper positioning in front of the mic to ensure the best, most detailed audio recording. Regular cardioid usb microphones are more forgiving. However, as mentioned earlier, these types of condenser style mics can pick-up unwanted noises like

Omnidirectional mics have no almost no off-axis rejection, so they pick-up sounds from all directions, thus making them better if you’re conducting an interview (two people) or trying to record sounds from various areas in a room. They are also less sensitive to noise caused by handling – like bumping the mic stand on your desk.

There are also bi-directional mics which are great for interviews or two-person pod-casts. Essentially, they pick up sound in front and in back of the mic.

USB Microphone Price Points

Ah, the equalizer. Before you start your quest for a usb microphone, be sure to establish your price-point. To get a half-way decent microphone, you’re going to want to spend at least $40. Blue Microphones has a couple nice little mics in this category, notably the Snowflake and the Snowball. Around the $100-150 range will get  you a great mic, like the Blue Yeti, Audio Technica AT2020, or the Samson G-Track, among various other great performers.

For more usb microphone reviews and advice for choosing the best usb microphone for your needs, check out the other articles on this site.

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