Finding The Best Microphone For YouTube Gaming and Streaming of 2018

best microphone for youtube gaming and streaming

After spending 48 hours of researching, testing, and evaluating 14 different microphones, we’ve concluded that the Razer Seiren is the best microphone for YouTube Gaming and streaming. Not only that this has the best sound quality and is the easiest to use but this also has an OLED display. It may come as a surprise but yes, the Blue Yeti isn’t our pick. Read on to find out why.

Our Pick
Razer Seiren

Razer Seiren

Best microphone for YouTube gaming and streaming

Sounds perfect out of the box, aesthetically pleasing, great build quality, and offers the best value for your money. It doesn’t come with a shock mount and pop filter but you won’t be needing them anyway… unless you want to go all professional.

The Seiren Elite is manufactured by Razer. Like any other Razer-manufactured products, they are guaranteed to be durable.

It boasts a lot of features to start with. It has a very durable build, an amazing sound quality, and zero-latency monitoring so you can actually hear how you sound real-time. To top that off, this also comes with an OLED display that lets you see the presets on the mic at a glance.

Though it has all the features professionals may need, it still isn’t that ideal. Learn more about the downsides below.

Professional Pick
Blue Yeti Pro

Blue Yeti Pro

Best microphone for professionals and music streamers

The microphone for music enthusiasts and professionals, not just gamers. You have a solid build quality, various polar pattern settings, a separate analog circuit path for professional studio mixers, and outstandingly does the job of making you sound great.

The “Pro” from its name is there for a reason.

This is a microphone for gamers and streamers who don’t just stream and game. It comes with an analog circuit path made specifically for professionals who record music and stream music. There’s no question with the build and overall quality as this is made of metal and is from a reputable manufacturer.

But do you need really need to go this far? Learn more about the Blue Yeti Pro in the review section.

Popular Pick
Blue Yeti

Blue Yeti

Popular microphone for gaming commentary and streaming

If you want to save yourself from a headache but you don’t want to break the bank in doing so, get the Blue Yeti microphone and be done with it. It’s a popular pick for most gamers and streamer simply because it does the job you need with perfection. No hassle, just good quality.

It’s been a popular pick by a lot of consumers because of quality audio output and great overall build.

It’s manufactured by a credible company - Blue. Tests clearly show that this sounds perfect and great. Period. But looking at the other side, there are others who didn’t appreciate the beauty and power of the Blue Yeti.

Will you see this as the best one for you? Learn more about the Blue Yeti and how we tested this out down below.

Commentary Pick
Audio Technica AT2020

Audio Technica AT2020

Another great microphone for gaming commentary

Another great contender in the $100 - $150 range. A lot of people (even us) say this has better audio quality than the Blue Yeti, and it does. But this comes with a downside. It may come cheap but it doesn’t include a stand or arm.

Audio quality-wise, the AT2020 has better output compared to the popular Blue Yeti. But that’s just one thing.

Yes, it does offer outstanding audio output, it has a great build and even has better audio pickup than the Blue Yeti. But keep in mind that it also has as many downsides on the flip side. If you want to know whether or not this is for you, check the full review below.

Ideal Pick
Razer Seiren X

Razer Seiren X

A compact and light microphone for gaming

This is a microphone best suited for hardcore YouTube gaming and streaming enthusiasts who play on-the-go. Thanks to Razer, they specifically optimized this for that purpose. Unlike the top pick, it’s a whole lot cheaper and surprisingly light and compact.

This is ideal for gamers and streamers who prefer to do it on-the-go. It’s made by Razer so the durability and build are out of the question.

It’s surprisingly light compact on top of being optimized for streamers and gamers. But because it’s significantly cheaper than our top pick, it also has quite a few of flaws and downsides. One pretty obvious flaw is the fact that this is limited to super cardioid.

However, the cardioid is the most preferred setting for the best audio output and pickup so does this mean you’re better off with this if you’re only gaming? Not quite. Check the review to know more about it.

Great Pick
Blue Snowball

Blue Snowball

Great recording microphone for gaming

The alien-looking microphone that everyone loves. It’s relatively cheaper than the Razer Seiren X but does a pretty good job at producing quality audio output. If you can’t afford the Blue Yeti but want a decent microphone from Blue, here’s the Blue Snowball.

It’s one of the entry-level microphones that everybody loves.

Filtering every mic you would find in the $70 range will leave the Blue Snowball exposed. It offers high-quality audio pickup on top of being a plug-and-play microphone. You have 3 options at the back that you can switch to toggle the cardioid, padded cardioid, and omnidirectional.

If you want to get a quality gaming microphone but on a tight budget, get this. However, if you’re dead serious about getting the cheapest you could find but don’t want to end up getting a crappy microphone, then our budget pick should never go short.

Budget Pick
Fifine K058

Fifine K058

A budget-friendly microphone for YouTube gaming and streaming

A cheap microphone that does more than the rest of its competitors in the price range. It boasts a lot of things but isn’t just talk. This is an entry-level microphone that’s great not only for gaming or streaming but perfect for podcasting as well.

Fifine’s Plug & Play offering is focused on two things above all: being a great budget pick and being really easy to use. Coming in at less than $30, it has a comparable range of features compared to most of the microphones in this price range.

If you want great-sounding audio at a cheap price, the Fifine is an amazing option.

How We Choose

It’s been years since we initially decided to round up a list of the best gaming microphones and finally decided to make it happen.

Wanting to make sure we’re not missing any gaps, we checked what kind of microphones professional and popular streamers use.

To make sure we’re doing it right, we checked in-depth reviews and comparison videos of different types of gaming microphones to initially come up with 18 candidates. To narrow down the numbers, we did an intensive comparison and finally boiled down to 14.

Surprisingly, we found that these microphones offer features other than streaming and gaming. So we went and made a straightforward recommendation on which microphone you should get, depending on your needs.

Make sure you check our conclusion section as we have everything filtered there.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Microphone

What Will You Use the Microphone For?

Before you choose a microphone from our roundup, it’s best that you choose one based on your needs. It could be that you just want a microphone for gaming or perhaps one that you can use for commentaries.

No matter the case, it has to be in line with what you’ll be using it for.

Specifications

These microphones are specifically designed with a purpose. This is why it’s best you need to educate yourself with even the basics of terminologies and technical specifications.

We have a table below indicating the varying specifications of the microphones on the list. Be familiar with those terms so you will be able to choose the ideal mic for your needs.

Included Bundles and Package

Before you make a selection, we personally recommend you check the included package. These microphones have different sets of bundles included so make sure you check it out.

Essentials such as mounts, stands, cables, and pop filters are just some of the items that are included in different package and bundles.

How We Tested

We rank the microphones according to three things:

  • Convenience
  • Sound quality
  • Durability

To make sure all the microphones are all on the same footing, we set a specific distance of about 1 foot between the microphone and our mouth. Also, we didn’t use any pop filter or windscreen and only used the included stand or holder.

We made an exception with the Audio Technica AT2020 since this didn’t come with any stands or arms to keep it in place or even cables to power it up. For this matter, we used a phantom power, the Behringer U-PHORIA UM2.

The testing was set in a recording room to ensure no other audio will be recorded.

Melanie (a colleague) and I recorded a phrase by Robert Frost:

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”

After recording the same phrase on all 14 microphones, we then proceeded to do the keyboard typing test.

Here, we placed the microphone between the keyboard and our mouth. While typing, we were also talking casually like how a streamer would.

The goal of this test is to evaluate how much audio from the keyboard is picked up versus the audio from our casual talk. From there, we carefully listened to all the recorded audio over and over to make sure we’re ranking all 14 microphones accordingly.

After 48 hours, we came up with 7 of the best microphones for YouTube gaming and Twitch streaming.

The Best Microphones for YouTube Gaming and Twitch Streaming

ProductDetails
Our PickRazer Seiren

Razer Seiren

  • frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • sensitivity: 4.5mV/Pa (1kHz)
  • dynamic or condenser: Condenser
Check Current Price
Professional PickBlue Yeti Pro

Blue Yeti Pro

  • frequency range: 15Hz - 22kHz
  • sensitivity: 4.5mV/Pa (1 kHz)
  • dynamic or condenser: Condenser
Check Current Price
Popular PickBlue Yeti

Blue Yeti

  • frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • sensitivity: Not Specified
  • dynamic or condenser: Condenser
Check Current Price
Commentary PickAudio Technica AT2020

Audio Technica AT2020

  • frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • sensitivity: 14.1mV/Pa
  • dynamic or condenser: Condenser
Check Current Price
Ideal PickRazer Seiren X

Razer Seiren X

  • frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • sensitivity: Not Specified
  • dynamic or condenser: Condenser
Check Current Price
Great PickBlue Snowball

Blue Snowball

  • frequency range: 40Hz - 18kHz
  • sensitivity: Not Specified
  • dynamic or condenser: Condenser
Check Current Price
Budget PickFifine K058

Fifine K058

  • frequency range: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • sensitivity: -34dB±30%(at 1kHz)
  • dynamic or condenser: Condenser
Check Current Price
#1

Razer Seiren

Like the rest of the peripherals Razer had released, the Razer Seiren comes with a premium build, a premium design, everything... premium.

But like Achilles and his left heel, this has a weakness. Let’s talk about that shortly.

The moment we had it out of the box, we were welcomed by the “cult of Razer”. Everything underneath was packed professionally.

Keep in mind that this is a condenser microphone, which means, it requires a phantom power. However, it’s also a good thing to note that this is a USB microphone. This means you can do without a need for a phantom power.

Looking at the physical aspects and build, you could tell that this has a very elegant symmetry. It has two knobs conveniently located at the front (below the Razer logo). These knobs are the volume control (located below) and the pattern selector (located above).

The pattern selector allows you to choose between the 4 presets:

  • Cardioid - for personal recording and ideal for streaming.
  • Bidirectional - for interviews.
  • Omnidirectional - for conference or podcasting.
  • Stereo - for music recording and such.

two knobs conveniently located at the front

Now looking at the back, here’s where you’ll see the feature that separates it from the norm:

  • OLED display - showing the directional pattern and volume levels.
  • Headphone volume control - lets you hear how you sound real-time, thanks to the zero latency monitoring.
  • Mute controls - that lights green when it’s off and lights red when it’s on.

1. Razer Seiren unboxing

On to the quality of the audio.

We recorded a lot with this microphone and got stunned by the high-quality audio output. Clarity is on point and there’s no compromise - thanks to the 4.5mV/Pa (1kHz) sensitivity.

Up your experience with the Razer Seiren Pro if you want the 12.5 mV/Pa (1kHz) sensitivity. It also comes with a high-pass filter that can lessen frequencies that’s below

We thought there won’t be any forms of flaws with the microphone but we were wrong...

The cost of all these premiums come at a price - literally. If you’re willing to spend a hefty $200++ for a microphone you could use for YouTube gaming or streaming, this may be too much, especially for entry-level streamers.

However, if you’re main concern is all about the highest possible quality for YouTube commentary, or perhaps you just want the best microphone for streaming, this is your stop.

Get this and there will be no complaints from your viewers, ever.

#2

Blue Yeti Pro

Here comes the older brother of our popular pick - the Blue Yeti Pro.

Professional YouTube gamers and hardcore streamers will find this perfect and great. The entire design and purpose of this build are specifically designed to meet the needs of these professionals.

Right off the bat, this requires a separate phantom power but since this can be powered using USB, you can do without one.

The build is basically similar to the Blue Yeti but this has more up its sleeves. One of it is that it’s heavier than the regular Blue Yeti.

2. Blue Yeti Pro unboxing

Looking at the front, sides, and back, it seems everything is just the same.

At a glance, you’d see nothing different between the two because they both share the same physical traits.

If you look at the front, you would see the mute button that flashes red if it’s muted and a steady red light if it’s off.  Just below that is the volume knob.

At the back of the Blue Yeti Pro, you’d see the gain knob for the microphone’s audio pickup and the pattern selection:

  • Stereo
  • Omnidirectional
  • Bidirectional
  • Cardioid

Looking at the bottom, there you would see one of the two major differences between the two. The Blue Yeti Pro has a 5-pin socket that can be utilized as an external recording equipment. Of course, with the help of the XLR adapter.

The Blue Yeti Pro has a 5-pin socket

Now that we have that pointed out, let’s talk about the audio pickup output and quality.

The second major difference between the regular Yeti and the Blue Yeti Pro is the recording resolution. The Pro has a 192kHz 24-bit resolution while the regular Blue Yeti has way lower than that. We’ll have this covered in detail below.

Overall, the Blue Yeti Pro screams premium like the Razer but is more inclined towards streamers who just don’t play games but also streams music. Moreover, this is also great if you want to up your recording experience with the included XLR adapter.

#3

Blue Yeti

If you wish to go all professional but your budget is limited, then the Blue Yeti is the microphone for you.

For starters, this is a condenser microphone. However, a need for a separate phantom power can be avoided since this is a USB microphone.

This also shares the same physical traits and aspects as the Blue Yeti Pro.

At the front, you have the mute button and the volume knob. At the back, you’d see the gain knob and the polar pattern knob.

It’s great that this isn’t compromised, considering how cheap this is compared to the Pro.

The polar pattern adjustments at the back are the same as the Pro:

  • Bidirectional
  • Omnidirectional
  • Stereo
  • Cardioid

3. Blue Yeti unboxing

There are two things you won’t find in the regular Blue Yeti.

First, the regular yeti doesn’t have the 5-pin socket at the bottom of the microphone. It’s actually a great thing because if you don’t have the luxury to get the Pro or perhaps you won’t need it anyway, you have the regular Blue Yeti.

the regular yeti doesn’t have the 5-pin socket

The second thing that the regular Blue Yeti doesn’t have is not physically visible. It’s the fact that this has a recording resolution of 48kHz 16-bit.

It may seem that big of a difference but it’s still preferred by popular streamers and professional content creators because of how great it picks up audio. With a little time with Audacity, chances are that you’d come up with a stunning voice output.

Stream-wise, there’s nothing we could complain about it. It just does it perfectly with the guarantee that your viewers will have no problems with it.

With that in mind, we personally recommend the Blue Yeti if you want the best output possible for a price that won’t break your bank.

#4

Audio Technica AT2020

The Audio Technica AT2020 is claimed to boast a better audio output than the Blue Yeti. After we did some test, we have this confirmed.

But before you decide to get this, there are some key features that you need to know about.

Let’s talk about the good things first.

This has a very durable build that we all were impressed. In fact, we dropped the mic twice by accident and it still works perfectly.

There are a lot of microphones out there that died out on their first drop. In fact, we did have one that we also dropped by accident and died out.

In terms of audio quality, this is slightly better, if not, way better than the Blue Yeti.

If you’re wondering why it’s better than the Blue Yeti but this sits at the 4th place, it’s because you can’t power this with a USB. More of this later.

Out of the box, you’ll only see 4 things:

  • The Audio Technica AT2020 Microphone
  • Pouch
  • Metal Microphone Mount
  • Manuals and Documentation

you can’t power this with a USB

On to the details of the flaws.

As long as the build is concerned, there’s nothing you can really do about the AT2020, unlike the rest of the microphones we have covered above. You only have the microphone - that’s it.

This doesn’t have knobs to adjust the gain or volumes and no buttons that you can press.

4. Audio Technica AT2020 unboxing

This is your ordinary condenser microphone.

Unlike the three above, this is not USB-powered and you will need a separate phantom power for this to work. This is the reason why this has better audio output compared to the Blue Yeti.

Aside from that, you will need a separate microphone cable since this doesn’t have one out of the box.

Keep in mind that this is a cardioid microphone and you have to face the right direction or you won’t be heard by your viewers.

Overall, this is a solid microphone that we would personally recommend if you already have a cable and a stand/arm to experience high-quality audio pickup and output.

#5

Razer Seiren X

The Razer Seiren X is yet another product made by Razer and it packs up a lot of features for its price.

Looking at the build of the microphone, it’s not something that you can expect to last because it has a plastic feel on the outside. After all, this is specifically built for on-the-go streamers.

It’s light and compact design makes it possible for you to travel with it and have no compromise throughout the travel.

Looking at the front of the microphone, you have a headphone volume knob and a mute button. Keep in mind that the volume knob is for your headset.

Thanks to the zero-latency monitoring, you can hear your voice real-time to see how you sound like from your viewer’s end.

5. Razer Seiren X unboxing

In order for you to adjust the gain of the microphone, you have to do it via your computer’s microphone settings. The mute button emits a green light if it’s on and a red light if it’s muted.

Looking at what you can see below, you have a port for your computer and a 3.5mm jack for your headphones.

As long as the audio pickup or pattern is concerned, this is different from all the contenders on the list as this has a super cardioid polar pattern.

super cardioid polar pattern

Though this comes in at a cheaper price of less than $100, we were baffled by how great the audio quality and output is for the price.

If you’re going to use this as a gaming mic, it’s going to be worth your investment. Personally, we recommend you get a boom mic so your viewers won’t hear as much keyboard typing noise compared to just using the stand that it comes with.

Overall, this is a great mid-level gaming microphone that does a great job at producing quality sound output. If this still doesn’t fit your budget, the next one should.

#6

Blue Snowball

It’s a cheap entry-level microphone that could have been our budget pick. But we found a better one suited for the place. Check our budget pick below.

This is the Blue Snowball microphone, a USB microphone made by Blue, a dependable company.

The build itself is pretty much straightforward but we were shocked at the two microphone capsules inside. For a price that’s less than $70 and the two mic capsules, no wonder this is better suited a little above our budget pick.

So what does this two microphone capsules do?

Essentially, the two capsules are designed so you could switch the polar patterns of the microphone from cardioid to omnidirectional.

But before we dig into the specs, let’s first talk about the physical looks and appearance of the Blue Snowball microphone.

Out of the box, you have 4 things:

  • The microphone itself
  • The microphone stand
  • The USB cable
  • Manual

For the price of less than $70, it’s expected that this isn’t made out of metal or some sorts. In fact, it has a plastic feel like the Razer Seiren X.

The stand seems fine but what we don’t like about it is the fact that this doesn’t have a shock absorber. So if you’re going to use this for streaming, it’s likely that your viewers will get a little annoyed by the keyboard typing sounds.

this doesn’t have a shock absorber

Good thing that you can conveniently use a separate arm for this matter to solve the problem. Just make sure this is pointing the right direction and you should be set.

At the back, there are 3 polar patterns you could switch to:

  • Cardioid
  • Cardioid (that’s 10 decibels quieter)
  • Omnidirectional

It’s surprising that some of the testers find little to no difference between this and the regular Blue Yeti. But we all do notice that the Cardioid produces a more solid audio output compared to the omnidirectional setting.

6. Blue Snowball unboxing

Overall, if you’re on a tight budget and you’re looking for an entry-level microphone that you can use for streaming and gaming, this should be perfect.

On the other hand, if you’re on a really tight budget but you don’t want to end up getting a crappy microphone for gaming, then our budget pick should be the best option you would find in the price range. Check it out below.

#7

Fifine K058

A microphone that cost less than $30 but performs like a mid-range microphone that’s the Fifine K058.

If the Blue Snowball is still expensive for you, then this should be the end-game. There’s no reason you can’t get this entry-level microphone, especially with the features it is packed with.

This is a condenser microphone that you can conveniently plug directly into your computer using a USB cable. So a need for a phantom power can be avoided. Aside from that, it’s a good thing to note that this requires a 4-pin XLR to USB cable.

7. Fifine K058 unboxing

Looking at the build, this has a decent design that doesn’t look like an inexpensive gaming microphone. It has a gold accent that’s not very common in microphones in this price range.

Out of the box, you have the following:

  • The Microphone
  • Windscreen
  • Stand with the Microphone Holder
  • The USB cable
  • Manuals

The microphone has 2 knobs - one to adjust the volume and one to adjust the echo levels.

Keep in mind that the knobs also wobble a bit but it’s expected for a gaming microphone this cheap.

But aside from that, this has a decent audio output considering it’s cheap price. A little time spent on Audacity and your recordings should sound crisp and clear.

If your main purpose is to find a gaming computer you could use for gaming and streaming, this is the best starting point. If you’re going to use it other than that, you’re better off saving up a bit to get any among the top we just reviewed.

With a slick, golden presentation, a nifty included stand, and a 75-inch cable, the Fifine Plug & Play is an amazing entry-level mic.

Which Microphone is Best Suited for You?

Making your choice here shouldn’t be tough - the answer is about how much are you willing to spend for a mic that you need. Go for the best one that’s within your budget and learn to work from there.

However, note that the cheaper your mic is, the harder you’ll have to work to get a good sound out of it. Be prepared to spend hours in Audacity if you opt for a low-end mic, and definitely don’t do real-time streaming with an entry-level microphone.

Fortunately, we have a lineup of pretty good picks here. Even our cheapest mic listed in this article should serve you well in streaming and gaming commentaries, just be prepared to make some adjustments.

Also, make sure you’re fully-equipped...

A Few Extras You Might Want

Get a pop filter. This isn’t up for debate. It’s the worst part about dealing with microphones, and unfortunately we don’t yet live in a world where pop filters are a standard inclusion in these purchases.

Fortunately for you, pop filters are also quite inexpensive.

Something else you may want is a mic scissor arm stand. It may seem large and cumbersome on the outset, but grabbing one of these (especially with one of the smaller mics) will save you a lot of headaches on managing desk space.

Conclusion

And that’s it!

We’ve presented our list of the best microphones for gaming commentary. Which one you happen to settle on as the best microphone for YouTube Gaming is ultimately up to you, but if you can afford it, we think that the Blue Yeti and the Razer Seiren X is a great value pick.

If you want to go with the best, one that does perfectly great right out of the box, then get the Razer Seiren. It should give you the best value for your money.

The Blue Yeti Pro also works best if you stream not just games but musical instruments on the sides. This has a 5-pin socket that can be used to hook up your guitar or any musical instrument. With the aid of the included XLR adapter, you can then use it as an external recording equipment.

In case you already have a separate arm stand and you just wish to upgrade from an entry-level microphone like the Fifine K058, then get the Audio Technica AT2020. It has a decent output that’s on par with the Blue Yeti but lack an arm stand.

Nonetheless, if you just want a decent mic that performs great without a need to break the bank, get the Blue Snowball microphone.

Now that it’s all up to you, what are you going to get? Tell us down the comment section!

Have you tried one of these? Share your experiences!

Sources

  1. Seth Macy, Razer Seiren Elite Microphone Review, IGN, October 4, 2017
  2. John Lewinski, Is the Yeti Pro mic too good for home use?, CNET,  April 25, 2011
  3. Alex Cox, Blue Microphones Yeti, Techradar, November 4, 2010
  4. Paul White, Audio Technica AT2020, SoundOnSound, February 2006

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