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Best Microphones For Gaming 🎮 & Livestreaming 📹

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Are you looking for a great microphone (without a headset) to help you commentate your gaming recordings or live streaming on Twitch or YouTube in 2021? You’re in the right place!

When choosing a stand-alone gaming microphone, you’ll want something that doesn’t get in your way and will easily pick up your voice. But you don’t want it to pick up too much other noise from the keyboard or mouse. It’s a delicate balance.

Most microphones attached to headphones or headsets have pretty poor audio quality, so let’s find you something that will make you sound more professional. In fact, audio quality is much more important than video quality.

Looking for XLR microphones?

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Best USB Microphones For Podcasting & Voice Recording

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USB microphones are the easiest to use when you want to start podcasting. You basically plug them in and start recording.

The other option is XLR microphones. These will require a mixer or USB interface. We don’t want to worry about that when you want to get started quickly.

Typically, XLR mics are “more professional” but that doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing USB microphones for pretty much any budget.

One thing to keep in mind is how much background noise you will have in your recording area: computer fans, HVAC, traffic, etc. Condenser mics pick up more background sound and are best suited for quieter environments. Dynamic mics will sound better in a less than perfect recording area or if you have multiple people speaking into separate mics.

I favored USB mics that included headphone monitoring jacks as it’s important to listen as you record, so you might as well get used to it now. Combine one of these mics with a pair of closed-back headphones that fit your budget and a microphone desk stand and you’ll be off to a great start!

Quick note: If you’re looking for a USB-C mic, you can simply get a USB-A to USB-C adapter.

Let’s start with my top 2 picks (both under $200) for the best USB microphone for podcasting and home recording in 2021:

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Best External Microphones For iPhone (X,11,12) & iOS (Lightning & TRRS)

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The iPhone audio is actually pretty decent for a phone, but if you are regularly recording interviews, YouTube videos or podcasts, you’ll definitely want to invest in an external iPhone microphone. You can also use these mics on-camera, or for recording music, meetings, and more.

One tip: turn on Airplane Mode while recording or you will likely experience cellular feedback or distortion.

We are going to focus on the best iPhone mics in 2021 that use the lightning port as that is what Apple has used for the most recent iPhone and are likely to continue using, but you’ll also find a few that use the headphone jack.

Our top iPhone mic for most people: Shure MV88

If you are looking for a lavalier mic that plugs into the headphone jack (or Lightning-to-headphone adapter), check out the first 3 recommendations in our best lavalier mics post.

If you want wireless options, check out the wireless lav mics here.

If you are looking for something to use with the Apple camera connection adapter, take a look at the best USB microphones post.

Quick Overview: Best External Microphones For iPhone and iOS

IMAGE PRODUCT
Shure MV88
  • Provides superior audio quality and clarity
  • Apple MFi certified compatible with all iOS devices
  • 5 DSP preset modes
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Zoom iQ6 X/Y
  • Adjustable microphone angles from 90 to 120 degrees
  • Able to be used both on phones with cases and without
  • The same condenser microphones as the world-famous H4n
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Rode SC6-L
  • Comes with two smartLav+ mics
  • Gives you the ability to record interviews
  • Record separate tracks for each mic
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Rode VideoMic Me
  • Compact TRRS cardioid microphone designed for iOS devices
  • High-quality directional microphone
  • 3.5mm headphone output
VIEW ON AMAZON →
Rode IXY-L
  • Record stereo audio at 24-bit, 96 kHz
  • Matched pair of 1/2" Cardioid condenser capsules
  • Metal casing for Enhanced durability
VIEW ON AMAZON →

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Best Lavalier Microphones (Wired & Wireless) For Recording & Live

Disclosure: Links to other sites may be affiliate links that generate us a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Lavalier microphones are also called lapel mics. They are small and clip to your shirt, collar or tie. The great thing about lavalier mics is that they allow you to record hands-free.

Once you have it positioned correctly, you won’t even have to think about the microphone. You can just focus on the content you are producing.

Because they are small and unobtrusive, they are great for video as well and are commonly used with DSLR cameras and iPhones.

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Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Review

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📢 Update: Audio-Technica replaced the ATR2100 with the ATR2100x-USB. It’s essentially the same mic but with USB-C and higher quality analog/digital conversion.

The Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB is a great entry-level podcast microphone that will give you professional-quality sound.

The best feature about this microphone (besides the sound quality) is that it has both USB and XLR outputs so you can plug directly into your computer (via USB) or plug into a mixer (via XLR).

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