If you want to go live on Twitch and set the streaming world on fire, quality streaming gear can help. Since you’re going to be speaking to your viewers nearly the entire time, you need good audio. Distorted audio and poor quality will instantly turn off new viewers, so your first step is to ditch the mic attached to your headset and look at our recommended streaming microphones.
The right streaming microphone will provide clean, clear audio to your viewers, and won’t break the bank. There are two main types of mics for gaming – USB-powered options, and XLR mics. USB microphones are simple to install and generally affordable while still providing quality audio. XLR microphones are used in recording studios and radio stations because they offer superb, professional quality – but they tend to be higher priced and require specialty cables with audio interfaces to be used properly.
With hundreds of streaming mics on the market, how do you choose the one for you?
Check out our list of recommended streaming microphones. We include options for everyone, including budget options, best-sellers, and pro-level streaming microphones.
Note: Some of the links below are to affiliate links, meaning, when you purchase using an affiliate link, you help support us at no additional cost to you.
Best USB Streaming Microphones
For a plug-and-play, easy to use option that’s perfect for beginners, we chose our favorite USB microphones for streaming.
The Blue Yeti is the most popular option for streaming, as both beginners and pro streamers use this mic. The Yeti is easy to use and affordable while offering solid audio quality for podcasting and streaming on Twitch. There are four audio patterns for versatile recording plus a “gain control” knob. As an added bonus, it sports an onboard headphone jack directly on the mic, for easy audio monitoring.
The Blue Snowball is perfect for streamers on a budget who still want quality audio. It features three pickup options for recording, so whether you’re right in front of the mic or place the Snowball far from your voice, the quality will still be clear.
Designed specifically as a mic for gaming, this affordable option has an anti-vibration shock mount and like the Yeti, features four audio patterns, a “gain control” option, and a headphone jack.
The HyperX also glows red while in use, which adds some flair and talking points while visible on-camera.
Best XLR Streaming Microphones
If you want a near-flawless sound with professional performance and have a bigger budget, these are our favorite XLR microphones for streaming. It’s important to note that an audio interface must be purchased separately.
Stay tuned for our list of top recommended audio interfaces coming soon.
The Sennheiser e835 is an affordable option that’s ideal for those just starting with XLR. The e835 is specifically designed for crisp, clear vocals and with a cardioid pick-up pattern, feedback and background noises will be minimized.
The AT-2020 is popular with professional streamers because it’s wide dynamic range provides excellent versatility, while the cardioid polar pattern reduces background sounds. The overall sound quality is fantastic.
While this is a more expensive option, the award-winning Rode NT1-A streaming microphone offers a clear, warm sound quality due to its large-diaphragm which improves the depth of sound.
This is a condenser mic, which means it picks up more background noise than other mics. However, the tradeoff is an incredibly rich tone for anything close to the mic. We use this mic for the Stream Key Podcast.
For a top of the line, professional-grade streaming microphone, choose the Shure SM7b. It has a flat, wide-range frequency response for unparalleled clarity and sound quality, which is why this mic is often used in radio, television, and podcasting.
The SM7b is likely the best microphone for streaming you will ever need. If you decide to pick it up, be sure to grab an audio booster like the CloudLifter to maximize its potential.
What About Webcams?
If your audio situation is taken care of, the next upgrade we recommend is a great webcam. Check out this list for our top recommendations.