Best overall: Blue Yeti

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This professional microphone is built around three condenser capsules and includes bi-directional, omnidirectional, and stereo recording options. It's compatible and easy to install on PC and Mac and features physical controls for volume, gain, and even a mute button. Yes, the Yeti is the complete package for $129.99 (though some colors can be had for $99.99).

The Blue Yeti also has a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack featuring zero-latency output, so you can hear what you're recording as you're recording it without any delays. The Yeti is also super simple to set up, too: just plug it into your computer's USB port and set the Yeti up with your preferred operating system.

It comes in your choice of four colors, including black, silver, sand, and white, with a design is inspired by classic, retro-looking recording equipment.

Bottom line: Fantastic for those who want a decent microphone without any hassle.

One more thing: Be sure to use the 3.5 jack on the unit to listen to what's being recorded without latency.

Why the Blue Yeti is the best

That's exactly what you get from the Blue Yeti. It sounds tremendously good, with clear, crisp audio that will leave your audience in delight, and it won't blow your budget.

Great sound and it won't blow your budget

The Yeti is also incredibly simple to use. For the most part, you just plug it into your PC via USB and away you go. No apps to set up, no fiddly adjustments, quick, easy, great sounding audio.

The Yeti can also be mounted on a boom arm with the dedicated shock mount or just stood up on the desk, it's your call. But you'll not be making a bad choice in going for this stylish and affordable microphone.

Runner-up: Audio-Technica ATR2500

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Perfect for gaming or streaming online, Audio-Technica's ATR2500 USB microphone delivers high-quality, professional sound for any video game experience and at a great price too — just $80.

The microphone comes with a headphone jack that allows you to listen directly as you record or talk live, as well as adjustable volume control for your headphones. The ATR2500's cardioid polar pattern also helps stop any feedback or distortion from the sides or the rear of the unit as you record with your preferred software.

If you're still in doubt of the ATR2500's superior bona fides, just know that Audio-Technica microphones are often exclusively used at the U.S. House of Representative and Senate, as well as at events like the Grammy Awards and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Bottom line: Audio-Technica is a reliable brand used by many and is the ATR2500 is a stunning, affordable microphone.

One more thing: The ATR2500 has a USB interface for quick connections.

Best features: Samson G Track Pro

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What you get with the Samson G Track Pro is a great quality condenser microphone with a built-in USB audio interface. That means superb sound along with, an albeit basic, mixer on the front to tune the levels of the mic, your headphones, and instrument.

While it's an excellent choice for streamers, it's also great for musicians since you can plug an instrument directly into to the microphone and to record it all to your PC in one go.

You've got three polar patterns, mono or 2-track recording modes, and headphone monitoring — all inside a microphone that's built like a tank. And at only $150 it's great value, too.

Bottom line: The G Track Pro is a microphone that can do it all for both streamers and musicians

One more thing: The instrument connector only accepts 1/4" jack inputs.

Best portable: Razer Seiren X

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The Razer Seiren X is Razer's most affordable microphone, but it doesn't cut corners. At $100 it doesn't break the bank and has an interesting party piece where it comes with a built-in shock mount — built inside the microphone, no less.

This means it's perfect for the gamer or streamer on the go, because with that internal shock mount you can sit the Seiren X on its desk stand and not have to worry about hearing bumps and knocks.

It has a supercardioid pickup pattern which is more focused on your voice and does a solid job at isolating background noise. Throw in zero latency monitoring through headphones and you've got a great package at a great price.

Bottom line: Great quality and innovation makes this a perfect microphone for streamers on the go.

One more thing: The internal shock mount removes the need for a boom arm and protects against knocks when you're using it on its desk stand.

Best Affordable: Turtle Beach USB mic

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The great thing about Turtle Beach's USB mouse is the fact you can customize a great deal with the companion app. There's also headphone output on the unit itself for playback without any latency, a must-have for those who rely on the best in sound recording quality and need to have everything set up perfectly. It also helps that the microphone is sensitive enough to pick up voice from afar.

A downside to the microphone is that the raw recording quality isn't as good as other options, but for $60 you're really not expecting the best in all departments. It's sturdy, is well-built and you can even hook it up directly to an Xbox One to stream from your console.

Bottom line: Solid microphone at a great price but keep expectations in check.

One more thing: Can also be used directly with the Xbox One.

Conclusion

The Blue Yeti remains to be our go-to pick when it comes to ease of use and quality. That said, there are plenty of great options available for purchase, depending on budget, needs, and requirements.


Best overall: Blue Yeti

See at Amazon

This professional microphone is built around three condenser capsules and includes bi-directional, omnidirectional, and stereo recording options. It's compatible and easy to install on PC and Mac and features physical controls for volume, gain, and even a mute button. Yes, the Yeti is the complete package for $129.99 (though some colors can be had for $99.99).

The Blue Yeti also has a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack featuring zero-latency output, so you can hear what you're recording as you're recording it without any delays. The Yeti is also super simple to set up, too: just plug it into your computer's USB port and set the Yeti up with your preferred operating system.

It comes in your choice of four colors, including black, silver, sand, and white, with a design is inspired by classic, retro-looking recording equipment.

Bottom line: Fantastic for those who want a decent microphone without any hassle.

One more thing: Be sure to use the 3.5 jack on the unit to listen to what's being recorded without latency.

Updated February 7, 2018: The Samson G Track Pro and Razer Seiren X make their debut on our updated list. Check them out!