Every content creator knows that YouTube is one of the best platforms available for making yourself known.
Whether you’re shooting a reaction video or showing the world your music skills, YouTube is the go-to website for anybody looking to be entertained and informed.
But, as more and more people start turning to YouTube to showcase their skills and expertise, your video can be in danger of becoming lost amongst the crowd. So how do you stop this from happening?
To really make your video stand out, you need to make sure that it has that professional finish. And, whilst you might have an amazing camera or computer to help you achieve that, one thing that often gets overlooked is the audio quality.
So, to get your audio sounding as good as your video looks, you must invest in a good quality microphone.
However, with so many available to choose from, how can you be certain you’re choosing the right one for your channel?
Don’t panic! We’ve done the hard work for you. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best microphones for YouTube videos, each of which will give you that professional finish.
We’ve also written a super useful buying guide that breaks down all the technical jargon and will help you find the perfect microphone for your videos the first time around.
Table of Contents
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Our top pick is the
The most outstanding of these is its tri-capsule array, giving you the ability to record in various styles without needing to change microphones.
This allows you to switch between cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo pickup! Recording solo and want to cut out background noise? Switch to cardioid. Bringing a couple of guests onto your show?
Choose omnidirectional pickup. The recording world is your oyster with this amazing microphone.
It has a wide frequency range too, which means it will pick up a variety of vocal tones and produce them into clear audio.
This microphone also features built-in volume controls and a headphone jack, allowing you to adjust your recording levels. There’s even a mute button so you can stop your vocals from being picked up without having to unplug the mic.
- Features a tri-capsule array that allows you to switch between cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo pickup patterns without changing mics
- The wide frequency range picks up different vocal tones and ensures they are produced clearly.
- It also features a headphone jack and built-in volume controls for self-monitoring, as well as a mute button.
- Is compatible across all operating systems
- Comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Although the stand is useful, it doesn’t feature any shock absorption to eliminate floor noises or wall-reverberation
Rode VideoMic GO
Small, discreet, and camera-mountable, the
There are no complicated switches, cables, or batteries to worry about either. Plug into your camera’s external microphone input, and you’re good to go!
It features a ‘supercardioid’ tight pickup pattern that focuses on sounds coming from directly in front of the microphone, cutting out ambient noise and producing clearer vocals.
This makes it a great microphone for outdoor recording or if you’re filming in a particularly busy location such as a restaurant or bar.
The super durable, ABS plastic design ensures that this microphone is sturdy enough to handle whatever you throw at it as well. You won’t need to worry about bumps or vibrations being picked up either, thanks to the built-in Rycote Lyre shock mount.
There’s also an included windshield to help eliminate any wind-noise when you’re recording outdoors.
- Camera-mountable and easy to install by simply connecting to an external microphone input
- Features a ‘supercardioid’ pickup pattern that eliminates ambient noise and focuses solely on sound coming from in front of the microphone
- Constructed from reinforced ABS plastic for extreme durability
- It also features an integrated Rycote Lyre shock mount to reduce bumps and vibrations.
- Includes a windshield to ensure you get high-quality audio when recording outdoors
- The frequency range isn’t as wide as some other microphones, but at 100Hz-16KHz, it’s still capable of recording various tones.
3. Zoom H1N Portable Recorder
Zoom is a brand that has become world-renowned for creating high-quality sound recording products, and the H1N Portable Recorder is no exception to this rule.
It’s easy to use and has various features that make it perfect for recording YouTube videos.
There are two built-in X/Y stereo condenser microphones located at the top, giving you the ability to interview a guest without setting up another microphone. This also makes it a great choice for a YouTube show with two hosts.
The easy-to-read LCD screen tells you everything you need to know about your current microphone levels, and the self-explanatory buttons are super simple to use.
It also records directly onto SD and SDHC memory cards up to 32GB and can be attached to a DSLR camera with ease.
It’s super compact, too, making it much easier to carry with you when recording outdoors or for safely storing away when you’ve finished with it.
There is a cleverly designed mic enclosure on the top, which helps keep the microphones tucked away and safe from damage.
- Easy to use and features a simplistic design that even the most technophobic person can navigate
- Features two built-in X/Y stereo condenser microphones that allow you to record two voices at once
- Can be attached to a DSLR camera with ease and records directly onto SD and SDHC memory cards
- It also features an easy-to-read LCD so you can monitor your levels whilst recording.
- The compact design makes it perfect for outdoor recording and for safely storing away when not in use.
- People that previously purchased this microphone noted that it felt a little less durable than they were expecting. However, no further issues were reported.
4. Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone
Featuring a plug and play USB Connection, the Samson Go Mic is easy to install and allows you to record high-quality audio directly to your computer.
Then, when you’ve finished shooting your YouTube video, it’s clever design lets you fold it down where it can sit discreetly clipped to your laptop, desk, or microphone stand.
This fantastic microphone lacks in size, but it makes up for it in power, and you have the option to switch between two different pickup patterns. If you’d like it to concentrate solely on your vocals, choose the cardioid pattern.
Or, if you’re looking for all-round noise, switch to the omnidirectional pattern, and it will record across a 360º arc.
Meanwhile, the 20Hz – 18KHz frequency response range picks up various voice types and helps produce them into clear, concise tones on your finished recording.
This powerful little microphone is compatible with both Windows and MAC operating systems, so you won’t have to worry about switching microphones if you change computers. It also features a 3.5mm headphone jack that provides zero-latency monitoring.
This allows you to adjust your levels whilst you’re recording and takes a lot of work out of the editing process.
- Features a plug and play USB design and sits neatly on top of your computer
- Gives you the ability to switch between cardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns without having to change microphones
- Has a frequency response range of 20Hz – 18 KHz
- Also features a 3.5mm headphone jack for zero-latency self-monitoring
- Is compatible with both Windows and MAC operating systems
- Some people that purchased this microphone noted that, after a while, the hinge that keeps it supported started to feel loose. However, this was easily fixed with a small screwdriver.
5. PowerDeWise Lavalier Microphone
Depending on the type of YouTube video you’re recording, you may have instances where you need to be able to move freely. This is where the Lavalier Microphone from PowerDeWise becomes your new best friend!
Connect one end to any 3.5mm headphone jack, clip the microphone to your clothing, and you’re good to go! You can even attach the microphone to a stationary object, giving you the versatility to record in various situations without having to purchase multiple microphones.
Compatible with a vast array of recording devices, this microphone is perfect for use with cell phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, and more.
It also comes with a 79-inch cable that gives you the freedom to move around whilst you record and prevents you from being restricted by wires.
There are two windscreens included with this microphone too.
These ensure that your sound quality remains perfect when recording outdoors by eliminating any wind noise being picked up by the microphone. And, when you’ve finished recording, you can safely store everything away in the included storage pouch.
- The plug and play design lets you connect the microphone to any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack.
- Features a 79-inch cable that gives you the freedom to move around whilst you record
- Includes two windscreens that help reduce wind noise and maintain audio quality when recording outdoors
- It also includes a storage pouch that can safely transport and store the microphone when it’s not in use.
- Comes complete with a 12-month warranty
- It would be best if you made sure that the microphone is plugged all the way into the headphone jack. Otherwise, you may have issues with the recording quality.
By investing in an external microphone for shooting YouTube videos, you’ll be able to create a professional image for your channel whilst ensuring that the audio quality is as good as possible.
It’s not as simple as choosing the first microphone you come across, though, and there are several factors that you need to consider when you’re shopping around.
We’ve highlighted some of these below to help guide you in the right direction and find the most suitable microphone for your own individual YouTubing needs.
The first thing you need to think about is what type of microphone suits your needs and your setup best. This can also come down to the style of YouTube show you’re creating. Are you sitting down and talking directly to the camera? Or do you take your show on the road?
Let’s look at the ‘out and about’ scenario first of all. In this instance, you may find that a lavalier microphone is the best choice for you.
When attached to your clothing, a lavalier microphone will give you the freedom to move around, gesticulate, and interact with people without being restrained to a fixed position.
If your YouTube show is mostly deskbound, then you might find a studio microphone works best for you.
Set up in a fixed, permanent position, it will be able to clearly pick up your voice and allow you to speak comfortably without having to attach any wires to your clothing.
There is another option too.
A miniature microphone that clips directly onto your laptop’s screen or your camera is great for people who are a little short on space. It won’t take up any room at all but is still powerful enough to record high-quality audio.
Once you’ve decided what style of microphone is best for your show, it’s important to look at what sort of connection it uses.
It’s most likely that you’re recording directly onto a laptop, desktop computer, camera, or cellphone. So, with that in mind, a microphone that connects with a plug and play design through a USB cable is going to be best.
Some microphones also allow you to connect through your device’s headphone jack or existing external microphone port. This is a particularly good option to go for if you shoot your YouTube videos with a cell phone or tablet.
The pickup pattern that your chosen microphone operates will ultimately dictate the quality of the sound you’re recording. There are a couple of pickup patterns that are best suited for YouTube videos, and we’ll go into more detail on these below.
The first is a cardioid pickup pattern. This works by concentrating on a 180º arc coming from directly in front of the microphone whilst simultaneously blocking out any background noise.
A microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern would be the best option for any solo YouTuber who wants their audience to hear everything they are saying clearly.
It’s also a good choice for outdoor recording since it will focus on picking up your vocals and won’t record any ambient sound.
The second pickup pattern a YouTuber might want to consider is omnidirectional. Unlike cardioid, an omnidirectional pickup pattern will record sound from a 360º arc.
This makes it a good choice for shows with multiple hosts or guests as you’ll be able to share a microphone whilst still getting fantastic audio quality.
All voices are different, and not every microphone will be able to pick up the nuances of different vocal tones and some others. This is where the frequency response range comes into play.
Generally speaking, the wider the frequency response is, the more vocal tones your microphone will be able to pick up clearly. It will then produce these as smooth, concise vocals on your finished recording.
A wide frequency range will also help take a lot of work out of the editing process as there will be less need to adjust sound levels.
To cover all voice types and vocal tones, we recommend choosing a microphone that has anywhere between 20Hz-20KHz as it’s frequency response range.
It’s also important to make sure that your chosen microphone is compatible with your preferred operating system.
Most are designed to be universally compatible with Windows and MAC systems. However, some are designed to work only with specific systems.
We would recommend purchasing a microphone that is universally compatible with all operating systems.
This will allow you to switch between computers without purchasing a second microphone and saving you a lot of money in the long run.
Finally, it’s always worth seeing what else you can get for your money when you’re purchasing a microphone. The best way to do this is by looking at what extra accessories it comes with.
One really good accessory to look for is a pop filter.
These are ideal for creating clear audio to go with your YouTube videos as they will help prevent plosives and eliminate breath sounds.
Windscreens are a useful extra accessory too. These are particularly useful for recording outdoors and help prevent any annoying wind noises from appearing on your finished audio.
A microphone that comes with a stand or a shock mount is also a great extra accessory.
This will keep the mic in a fixed position for you and allow you to speak into it comfortably, leaving your hands free to demonstrate what you’re doing or record an unboxing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best microphone for YouTube videos?
This will come down to the format of your show. If you shoot outdoors and are on the move during your recordings, then a lavalier microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern would be a good choice.
If you’re in a set position throughout the recording, then a studio microphone would be a better option.