Are you doing an online job as a teacher? Or are you having a podcast series? What do you think are the best microphones for online teaching?
Best microphone for online teaching buying guide
Our best microphone buying guide will assist you in improving voice quality on calls with coworkers, adding voiceovers to videos or live streaming events, and looking at the best models for sound recording across a variety of applications. We’ve tested music microphones, shotgun mics for video cameras, and a variety of simple USB microphones, so you can be confident that every model listed below is suitable for your needs.
We recommend a simple USB microphone if you only need a plug-and-play microphone for video chats and working from home — but being simple doesn’t have to mean sacrificing features for ease of desktop setup. They frequently include extra features that make these simple models ideal for podcasting or streaming.
Read our roundup of the best microphones you can buy right now to find out which one will meet your needs — and don’t forget to check out our other buying guides on the best ring lights, best webcams, and best computer speakers to help you build a quality desktop video and sound production suite without breaking the bank.
Gamers, streamers, and remote workers should also read our guides to the best gaming headsets and the best headsets and headphones for remote work.
What are the best microphones?
The Blue Yeti has been on the market for over a decade, and it hasn’t changed much since then. To be fair, nothing about one of the best microphones required modification. It’s a clever, versatile peripheral that’s reasonably priced and provides everything amateur and semi-pro audiophiles need to record their material.
The Blue Yeti is a high-quality condenser microphone with a built-in stand, a USB connection, and four different pattern modes. You can record audio in cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional, or bidirectional modes with a Blue Yeti. Few microphones provide multiple audio patterns, and even fewer do a good job of switching between them.
However, because of the Blue Yeti’s diverse audio patterns, you can record anything from a podcast to an interview, a musical performance, or an entire roundtable discussion.
The JLab Talk is the first-ever USB microphone from headphones specialists JLab, but you’d never guess. The Talk’s recording quality, features, and ease of use make it more than a match for the Blue Yeti family’s perennial popularity.
With an MSRP of $99 (and the benefit of numerous price drops since launch), this is just as cheap as the Blue Yeti Nano, but it matches more expensive models like the standard Yeti and the EPOS B20 in terms of recording patterns. The bidirectional mode isn’t as consistent as the omnidirectional mode, but it serves the same purpose, and the Talk’s cardioid and stereo modes are both excellent.
The Rode PodMic is one of the best podcasting microphones, and it takes pride in its studio credentials, right down to using an XLR connector rather than a USB connector. But it’s also not overly complicated one of our favorite aspects of the PodMic is that you don’t need to spend a lot of time tweaking to get great sound.
The internal pop filter keeps recordings under control, and the sturdy construction keeps unwanted noises at bay if you accidentally knock the table or need to quickly adjust positioning. Again, it’s not an ideal beginner’s mic, in part because it lacks a stand.
But here’s another advantage of the PodMic: it’s so inexpensive that you can easily afford extra accessories. It costs no more than the Rode NT-USB Mini, a more general-purpose USB microphone.
The recording quality of the HyperX SoloCast is far superior to that of a $59 USB microphone. Its cardioid-pattern recording can compete with the best in the category, delivering rich, full vocals. When recording, you’ll notice less audible reverb and less background interference; noises like mouse clicks and mechanical keys are less noticeable.
We also like how compact it is and how the stand can be adjusted to position the microphone at different angles. There’s even an onboard mute button to prevent unwanted sounds from being picked up.
This mic is plug-and-play ready and includes only the most basic features, such as basic controls and a single recording pattern, which is one of the few available. However, this does not diminish the overall value of the SoloCast.
How to choose the best microphone for you
The best microphone is almost entirely determined by your setup. This list provides a high-level overview of all-purpose microphones, podcasting microphones, music microphones, and so on. Decide what you need a microphone for and then find the best one for you.
As with most other gadgets, less expensive microphones are more generalized, whereas more expensive ones are more specialized. This is not to say that cheaper microphones are inherently inferior. However, if you want semi-professional results, you must pay semi-professional prices.
Visit manufacturer websites to learn for what purpose each microphone is designed. The official website will usually give you a good idea of whether the mic is good for podcasting, gaming, music, or another application.
If that fails, keep in mind that cardioid is generally the most useful audio pattern if you’re recording by yourself at home. Other patterns are nice to have, but they’re only useful when you add more people or sound sources.