Microphone

The Blue Yeti is often recommended if you're simply playing games and need to communicate with friends and guildmates. It's also a fantastic microphone for streamers too, thanks to included features, sound quality, and ease-of-use. It's also not too expensive.

Our pick

Blue Yeti

The best microphone for streamers who don't want any hassle.

This professional microphone is built around three condenser capsules and includes bi-directional, omnidirectional, and stereo recording options. It's not only fully compatible with Windows, but also rocks physical controls for volume, gain, and even a mute button.

Who should buy this microphone

Whether you're an enthusiastic gamer, part-time streamer, or a "filthy casual" the Blue Yeti is a microphone worth purchasing for the sound quality alone.

Is it a good time to buy this microphone?

Absolutely. Microphones don't really get better over time with subsequent revisions, especially not regarding sound recording quality. Picking up the Blue Yeti now will not see you left out down the line should a new version be released. You'll be able to enjoy excellent sound quality regardless. If you need a microphone right now, go ahead and buy one.

Reasons to buy

  • Latency-free playback.
  • Great sound quality.
  • Bi-directional, omnidirectional, and stereo.
  • USB interface.
  • Compatible with microphone mounts.

Reasons not to buy

  • No XLR.

High-quality audio capture

Streaming to an audience requires you to be entertaining to watch, good (or not so good) at games, and a microphone to capture your voice. A cheap $10 headset with a built-in microphone would suffice, but it won't provide the best experience for viewers who tune in. To take your streaming game to the next level, you need to purchase a microphone that offers far superior sound quality.

The Blue Yeti is such a microphone, and it happens to not cost a small fortune. The excellent sound capture results in crisp audio to allow your audience to hear everything clearly. It's also incredibly easy to use — there's no need to purchase a complex sound system thanks to the USB interface. Simply plug and talk.

The Blue Yeti sounds great and won't blow your budget

If you're not a fan of using the included stand, which only raises the microphone slightly off the desk, the Yeti can be hooked up to a microphone mount or arm. This will allow you to configure the microphone in a custom setup. One accessory you will need to pick up is a pop filter.

Alternatives to the Blue Yeti

The Yeti isn't for everyone. We've rounded up several alternatives that will be just fine for streaming and other user cases.

Runner-up

Audio-Technica ATR2500

A stunning, affordable microphone.

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.

The microphone comes with a headphone jack that allows you to listen directly as you record or talk live (just like the Blue Yeti), as well as adjustable volume control for your headphones. The ATR2500 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.

Value pick

Samson G Track Pro

When you need the best for your money, go Samson.

An excellent choice for streamers, it's also great for musicians since you can plug an instrument directly into the microphone.

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 a mixer on the front to tune the levels of the mic, your headphones, and instrument. 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.

Budget pick

Turtle Beach Stream Mic

Budget-friendly and just works.

This option from Turtle Beach won't blow you away with sound quality — it's worse than other microphones on this list — but it will save you a lot of money.

The great thing about Turtle Beach's USB mouse is the fact you can configure it 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. the only drawback is at this price, the sound quality isn't amazing.

Portable pick

Razer Seiren X

Affordable, portable and packed full of features.

The Razer Seiren X is Razer's most affordable microphone and comes with a built-in shock mount — built inside the microphone, no less.

When you find yourself switching locations frequently and need a microphone that can be taken along for the ride, the Razer Seiren X is one you can rely on. Thanks to its built-in shock mount, this microphone can quickly be attached to different mounts without much hassle. It has a super-cardioid pickup pattern which is more focused on your voice and does a solid job of isolating background noise. Throw in zero latency monitoring through headphones and you've got a great package at a great price.

Bottom line

The Blue Yeti is a solid microphone that offers high-quality recording for any streamer. That said, it's not the best solution for every streamer, which is where our alternative picks come into play.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Rich Edmonds is a staff reviewer at Windows Central, which means he tests out more software and hardware than he cares to remember. Joining Mobile Nations in 2010, you can usually find him inside a PC case tinkering around when not at a screen fighting with Grammarly to use British words. Hit him up on Twitter: @RichEdmonds.

Jez Corden is a full-time writer for Windows Central, focusing on Xbox, Surface, and Windows PC. He spends the vast majority of his game gaming, or writing about gaming, with a mission to provide gamers in the Microsoft ecosystem the best and most up-to-date info possible.

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