USB microphone: plug in and record with the right mic

USB microphone, USB microphone, microphone with USB connection, record podcast, YouTube, vocals, instruments, guitar

A USB microphone offers the fastest and easiest way to record audio, speech or vocals - simply plug and play via the USB port of the Mac, MacBook, PC or laptop. But which microphones are suitable for what? Which microphone is good for Teamspeak and Skype, which microphones are suitable for a podcast and which mic is best for recording vocals or instruments?

A USB microphone is not just a USB microphone - here you can find out which models are good for which recording. Below you will also find examples of common USB microphones.
A USB microphone is not just a USB microphone - here you can find out which models are good for which recording. Below you will also find examples of common USB microphones.

Omnidirectional, cardioid, figure eight: which directional characteristic does the microphone need?

There are three essential microphone characteristics for recordings at your desk at home or in the home studio that you should know if you are looking for a USB microphone. Okay, if it's just a headset, you might not have to go into too much detail. But if you want to record vocals, instruments or your voice for a podcast, you should have heard these three types at least once:

  • Omnidirectional characteristics: records the same on all sides (spherical sound recording); is suitable for recording instruments with "surround sound" such as acoustic guitars, percussions, etc.
  • Cardioid polar pattern: picks up frontal and partially lateral sound, also suppresses rearward sound; is therefore suitable for voice recordings and your podcast (as well as audio books or instruments such as harmonica or tambourine)
  • Figure eight characteristic: Takes up to the back and front, but hardly at all to the sides; is used - if at all - in studios when the orientation can be switched

Large diaphragm, small diaphragm, condenser microphone: what is it?

Before I come to three examples of USB microphones that you can order on Amazon, I would like to briefly discuss these terms. Especially if you don't just skype, but want to use the USB microphone for semi-professional recordings of speech or music, then you will probably stumble upon these terms more often:

  • Condenser microphone: Microphone that converts sound into electrical signals by means of a membrane (large or small) and an electrode; Advantages: dynamics and high frequency range
  • Large diaphragm microphone: the condenser diaphragm is usually larger than or equal to one inch (2,54 cm); In addition, these microphones often have a sound that is typical of the model
  • Small diaphragm microphone: the diaphragm is smaller than an inch (2,54 cm), sometimes only ¼ inch (0,64 cm); the smaller, the more directed; generally the same sound, no major model-typical influences

3 USB microphone models that you can buy on Amazon

auna MIC-900B USB condenser microphone

This USB microphone is an average bestseller product on Amazon. The auna microphone with USB plug and play is a condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. It is therefore well suited for voice recording, podcasts, audiobooks, etc. In the question and answer area of ​​the product page, however, it is also stated that the recording of vocals and guitar is good with the appropriate alignment and control. Incidentally, a spider is also included in the scope of delivery.

34,92 EUR
auna Pro MIC-900B, USB condenser microphone, gaming microphone, stand microphone for singing and...
  • HOME SOUND STUDIO: The gaming microphone lets every hobby musician work comfortably at home like a professional. In the...
  • PLUG & PLAY: The auna MIC-900B streaming microphone with a frequency range of 30 Hz to 18 kHz is suitable for digital ...
  • BEST SOUND QUALITY: With a sample rate of 16 bit / 48 kHz and a balanced cardioid pattern ...

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio / Podcast Microphone

This Samson USB microphone also brings very good reviews, many questions and answers and a bestseller status on Amazon. The cardioid condenser microphone has its own feet, a headphone output, a volume control and so on. A real all-rounder - in connection with an iPad also ideal for mobile podcast recordings.

Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio / podcast microphone silver
  • Large condenser capsule (25mm) for rich shots; Directional characteristic kidney
  • Evenly flat frequency response of 20 Hz - 20 kHz
  • 3,5mm headphone output with volume control for latency-free monitoring

Logitech H390 USB headphones and microphone

This headset is well suited for rather simple recordings, for Teamspeak, Skype and similar applications. The USB microphone has its own noise suppression. According to Amazon, the USB headset is often bought in a bundle with the matching 720 HD webcam. This bundle can also be interesting for YouTubers who do instructions, vlogs or Let's Plays with Face Cam from their desk.

8,09 EUR
Logitech H390 headphones with microphone, stereo headset, noise-canceling microphone, ...
  • Comfort: adjustable, padded headband and soft ear cups ensure a high level of comfort. Headband and ...
  • Integrated controls: the volume control on the cable is always within reach and the mute switch with LED ...
  • Undisturbed sound experience: With the Logitech USB headset you have a clear sound thanks to the noise-canceling microphone ...

Update: Recording software for recording

A question just came in from a reader. He asked what software I would recommend for recording - specifically in the voices section. I have to admit, I'm not a big audio whizz, but of a few Apps heard, which I like to mention here.

An app that I am sure many people are familiar with is “Garageband” from Apple (here for iOS and here for macOS) – works the same on Mac as it does on iPad or iPhone. Certainly an app that can hardly be topped in relation to the range of functions and the price. However, it is also quite a dump in terms of memory. Garage band is not only suitable for multi-track recording of music and singing, but also for interviews or podcasts.

Another app that should be briefly mentioned here is “Hindenburg”. A software that was specially developed for radio broadcasts and interviews and is therefore particularly suitable for voice recordings - including podcasts. There are various versions of Hindenburg, although for us “Hindenburg journalist” (macOS version) and “Hindenburg field recorder” (iOS) are interesting.

Finally, my recommendation goes for auponic out, about which I've heard only good things in podcasts. You throw your almost-finished audio file in there and auphonic filters and edits noise with a little magic and clever algorithms, adjusts the level and does similar helpful things. And - as I have heard - surprisingly well.

Your opinion and models

USB or no USB, condenser or other microphone - which microphones do you use to communicate with others? Which projects do you implement with the corresponding USB microphone? Feel free to leave a comment on the subject of USB microphones - also like the model used, whether Samson, auna, Røde, Logitech or other brands;)

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