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#1 Pick: Blue Yeti USB Microphone
If you need to record vocals directly to your computer, a good USB microphone is the easiest solution. USB mics typically provide plug-and-play functionality right out of the box without having to download software drivers or purchase any additional equipment.
They’re also much more portable than traditional microphones and recording equipment, so it’s easy to take your mic with you and set up a simple recording studio anywhere you go.
USB microphones used to be notorious for poor recording quality, but today there are a number of top-quality USB mics that offer premium sound recording at an attractive price. As you’re considering your options, here are a few things to look for in a good USB microphone:
- Condensers – most USB microphones use a condenser mic to record detailed audio with lively-sounding upper frequencies. Large diaphragm condenser mics have the most natural and clear sound, and small diaphragm condenser mics usually have a brighter sound with a boost in upper registers.
- Stereo sound patterns – utilizes the left and right channels to capture realistic, general sound image.
- Cardioid sound patterns – best for vocals, podcasts, and game streaming, as it records the sound sources that are directly in front of the mic. Cardioid recording patterns tend to deliver a rich, full-bodied sound.
- Omnidirectional sound patterns – records sound equally from all directions, so it’s ideal for capturing the total ambience that traditionally comes with live performances.
- Bidirectional sound patterns – picks up sound from the front and the rear of the mic, so it’s best for capturing the nuances of an instrument or recording an interview between two individuals.
The Blue Yeti USB Microphone is hands-down the best choice for professional-quality recordings. It offers premium sound, easy-recording controls, and a retro look that hearkens back to the classic microphones you’ll see in recording studios. Here’s a few reasons why this mic is on our list for the best USB microphone for rapping.
- Tri-Capsule Technology – the Yeti employs a proprietary tri-capsule array with three condenser capsules to record crystal clear, studio-quality audio.
- Multi-Pattern Versatile Recording – the mic offers four different pattern modes that you can select from when recording: stereo mode, cardioid mode, omnidirectional mode, and bidirectional mode.
- Real-Time Control – easily control microphone gain, pattern selection, and headphone volume in real time. This makes it easier to correct distortion and feedback while recording, or to take a break from recording with the instant mute button.
- Headphone Jack – the mic comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can listen to your audio in real time without latency delays.
- Easy Mic Positioning – you can adjust the microphone’s direction and lock it in place with a pair of tightening screws.
- Plug and Play – compatible with Mac and PC. All you have to do is plug the USB cable into your computer, calibrate it with the operating system, and you’re ready to record exceptional quality audio.
The Blue Snowball iCE mic is highly rated, widely reviewed, and offers an affordable price point. It lacks some of the advanced features that you’ll see in other USB microphones, but that’s the idea—it’s designed to be simple and user-friendly for people who don’t need all of the bells and whistles. You’ll get stunning recording quality with an easy-to-use and versatile microphone. Here’s a few reasons why this mic is on our list for the best USB microphone for rapping.
- Custom Condenser Capsule – delivers crystal clear audio for recording vocals, podcasts, and voice-overs
- Frequency Response –18 to 40 kHz
- Plug and Play – compatible with Mac and PC, and it doesn’t require you to install a driver
If you’re looking for a USB microphone with the versatility of a handheld mic, this is the one for you. This mic by Audio Technica offers a USB output and an XLR output, so you can plug and play with your computer or a conventional sound system. Here’s a few reasons why this mic is on our list for the best USB microphone for rapping.
- Top-Quality Audio – has a high-quality A/D converter with 16-bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate
- Dual Outputs – the mic offers a USB digital output to connect with your computer, and an XLR output that you can connect to a conventional sound system for live performances.
- Smooth Frequency Response – the mic uses a low-mass diaphragm that offers excellent frequency response that’s great for on-stage use, voiceovers, field recording, podcasting, and home studio recording.
- Built-In Headphone Jack – listen to your recording in real time to monitor for distortion or disruptions and adjust the headphone volume directly on the microphone.
The Cyber Acoustics USB Condenser Mic is a great solution for vocals, music, and podcasts. On the outside you’ll love the die-cast anodized aluminum body and stand with pro-glide controls. On the inside, the industrial-grade components come together to produce crystal clear audio. Here’s a few reasons why this mic is on our list for the best USB microphone for rapping.
- Dual Polar Recoding Patterns – the Cyber Acoustics USB Condenser Mic offers both cardioid (directional) and omnidirectional modes, providing you with crystal clear, crisp audio whether you’re in the studio or on the road.
- No-Latency Monitoring – plug in a pair of headphones to monitor your audio in real time without any latency.
- Versatile Functionality – a highly versatile microphone for vocals and music
- Plug and Play – easy setup with Mac and PC
- Convenient Controls – easily adjust the mic pattern, microphone volume, headphone volume, and mute control.
If you’re looking for the best value on the list, then look no further. The Fifine Metal Condenser Recording USB Microphone is a cardioid polar pattern condenser mic that’s able to produce clean and crisp vocals without static disruption. The mic does a great job of isolating sounds from the primary source while filtering out background noise, and it’s plug-and-play compatible with both Mac and PC. Here’s a few reasons why this mic is on our list for the best USB microphone for rapping.
- Excellent Sound Quality – you’ll record clear vocals every time with the microphone’s smooth extended frequency response.
- Professional Design – sturdy, solid metal construction
- Plug and Play – the USB connection makes it a piece of cake to connect with your Mac or PC.
- Volume Control – the volume knob on the microphone make it easy to adjust the voice input.
If you’ve got a lenient budget, I whole-heartedly recommend the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. It’ll provide the best quality for recording vocals, and the four-pattern recording modes offer unrivaled versatility.
If you’re looking for good quality at a more attractive price, the Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone comes highly recommended, and the Fifine Metal Condenser Recording USB Mic definitely offer the best value when you’re searching for the best USB microphone for rapping.