Best Microphone for Recording Vocals on a Computer: 2021 Guide

microphone for recording vocals on computer

There are many microphones that you can use for recording vocals on your computer. Some microphones plug into the microphone input port, require phantom power (and need to be plugged into a microphone preamplifier), others with USB connectivity, and those that connect via XLR cables.

It’s important to know what type of connection each mic has so you can choose the appropriate interface or mixer for connecting it. For example, if you want to use microphones without USB connectivity, then you’ll need an audio interface that allows you to record more than one channel at a time.

If this is your first time recording on a computer, we recommend choosing microphones that don’t require phantom power since they’re easier to set up, and your computer can supply the power.

There are microphones for every budget and style, so let’s take a look at the best microphone for recording vocals on a computer!

Best Microphones Reviews

WHY YOU SHOULD TRUST US

The Studio Genie is dedicated to helping streamers and YouTubers or anyone looking to have their own home studio. The author, Felicity Martinez, have been helping out streamers and YouTubers for years.

The goal is to provide a free resource for anyone looking to build a quality home studio. The reviews below are a result of hours of research and analysis. We provided the pros and cons and ranked each product to help you make a quick decision.

QUICK OVERVIEW: Our Top Picks for Best Microphone for Recording Vocals on a Computer

IMAGE PRODUCT
FIFINE Metal Condenser
  • Metallic body
  • Crystal clear vocal recording
  • Cardioid pattern for more clarity
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TONOR Computer Condenser
  • Incredible sound quality
  • Pleasing aesthetics
  • Crystal clear voice quality without tweaking out of the box settings
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Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Microphone
  • Size is perfect for streamer workstations
  • Audio quality is naturally good without post-processing
  • Affordable
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TKGOU Computer Condenser
  • Easy to Install and Versatile
  • Cuts out background noise
  • High-quality build
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Elgato Wave: 3 – USB Condenser
  • Voice quality matches much more expensive microphones
  • Anti-clipping feature
  • No loss of low-frequency noises
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The FIFINE metal condenser recording microphone is perfect for high-quality recordings, which you can use with programs on your computer. 

Sturdy metal construction and additional volume knob make it a must-have for Twitch, OBS, or TeamSpeak streaming. A wide frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz also provides excellent audio quality. 

Professional cardioid polar patterns provide clear vocal pickup without bass resonances around the capsule, ensuring the utmost accuracy of your sound capture. 

The Plug and play USB connection with included 5ft long USB cable means that no expensive equipment purchases are needed to start broadcasting on YouTube or Twitch!

Specifications

Pros

Cons

The TONOR PC gaming microphone is the perfect choice for streamers and content creators, whether you’re recording voice-overs, making podcasts, or streaming online games. The TONOR TC-777 USB 2.0 condenser microphone is a professional quality mic for PC gaming, voice chat, podcasting, and home recording.

This cardioid condenser mic has an excellent sound quality with a natural tone of voice. It features a professional shock mount to reduce noise from mechanical vibrations, as well as a pop filter and stand clamp for flexible positioning on your desktop or boom arm.

The TC-777 also comes with zero latency headphone monitoring, so you can listen to what you’re recording in real-time without any delay or dropout. The TONOR mic has an adjustable stand, shock mount, and pop filter. 

It also has a metallic build, and the head of the microphone is made from a flexible material that ensures that you can get your use out of it without worrying about damaging it. This microphone also comes with a 3-meter cable, making it easy to move around when using it with your desktop or laptop computer.

specifications

Pros

Cons

The Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Microphone is a microphone for broadcasters and voice-over artists. It has two custom condenser capsules, giving your voice an exceptional presence.

Thanks to its zero-latency headphone output, you can also mix your voice with other audio sources like music or webinars. For even more control over your recordings, you can use the included Blue VO!CE software with clear broadcast vocal sound.

The mic also includes a noise-canceling feature to eliminate background noises. You can connect it to a PC or Mac via a USB cable or use its 3.5 mm headphone jack output to connect it to a mixer or other audio device.

It’s easy to connect to any computer with its USB connection. Two XLR cable inputs allow you to connect to other microphones for multiple source recordings.

It has two polar pickup patterns (cardioid and omnidirectional), optimal for pro recording and streaming. The cardioid pattern offers excellent feedback rejection, while the omnidirectional pattern is great for voiceover work in your recording studio.

This mic also features no-latency monitoring, onboard controls with a volume knob, and an aesthetic that will fit into any setup.

Technical specifications

Pros

Cons

The TKGOU Computer Condenser Recording Microphone is a high-quality microphone for music lovers. It can be used as a professional microphone for recording, podcasting, voice chat, and more.

It has an adjustable stand with a sturdy base to hold the mic firmly in place during use. This condenser microphone comes with a shock mount to reduce handling noise. The cardioid polar pattern reduces the pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of the desired sound source.

It has a frequency response of 0Hz-20KHz, which makes it easy to record all types of voices. The double-layer mesh screen protects against plosives and breath pops while reducing noise.

This microphone will fit into any standard 5/8” threaded insert stand or boom stand for maximum versatility. You can also unscrew the shock mount and attach it directly to a boom stand with a 5/8” threaded insert for more mobility in your recordings.

Technical specifications

Pros

Cons

The Elgato Wave: 3 is a high-quality USB condenser microphone and digital mixer that allows you to record your voice in crystal-clear audio directly from your Mac or PC. The Wave: 3 features a custom-designed capsule with a tight cardioid pick-up pattern that captures speech with precision and rejects background noise for clear, intelligible recordings.

With the Wave Link app, you can control all the microphone’s advanced settings, including gain and mute functions. The built-in headphone jack lets you monitor your recordings instantly so you can hear your music recording immediately.

It features two condenser microphones, one for you and one for whoever you’re speaking with. You can then mix the audio from both of these mics into your computer using the digital mixer functions of this device. This way, you get high-quality audio from both sides of an internet call or video chat (such as Skype), which will make it much easier to hear what’s going on.

It features a studio-quality microphone preamp, analog line-in, and digital S/PDIF input. The result is pristine 24-bit/96kHz recording quality with zero noise or distortion.

Technical specifications

Pros

Cons

Choosing The Best Microphone For Recording Vocals On a Computer 

There are so many microphones available on the market these days, it can be overwhelming for someone just getting started with recording vocals on the computer. Luckily there are microphones out there that have been designed with vocal use in mind and will fit most people’s budget, as well. 

Here’s what to look for that sets apart high-quality microphones from others:

Type of Microphone

Condenser microphones are the best microphones for recording vocals on a computer. Other types include dynamic microphones, ribbon microphones, and USB microphones. Condenser microphones have a diaphragm that vibrates very sensitively when sound hits it and can pick up almost all sounds from its surroundings. 

Other types of microphones pick up only specific frequencies that they were designed to record well. Moreover, microphones that pick up lower frequencies will usually have a more pronounced bass.

Connection

The connection is essential to ensure the microphone doesn’t pick up any interference from surrounding devices and isn’t induced with its own noise. You need a balanced connection through which relevant signals only pass, and all unwanted ones do not. 

If microphones are connected unbalanced, low-quality microphones might produce an unpleasant hissing sound when they receive radio waves in the vicinity of your computer. USB microphones don’t require any external source for power or communication since they have their own built-in digital to analog converter (DAC).

Polar Patterns

Most microphones need to be placed right before the speaker’s mouth to pick up precise results. Luckily, there are microphones with the super-cardioid polar pattern, which picks up sound coming from one direction and filters out surrounding noise as much as possible. 

For example, on live videos and podcasts, the presenter is more than half a meter away from the microphones.

Type of Microphone Use

If you plan to do voiceovers for videos, record your acoustic guitar, or sing into the microphone, then condenser microphones with USB cable connectivity are what you should go for. These types of microphones will give the clarity that’s required in these situations. 

On the other hand, if you want to record voice calls through Skype, podcasts with multiple people on board, and interviews, then dynamic microphones offer better value per dollar since they’re very versatile.

Impedance

Microphones that need to be plugged into a mixer, interface, or mixing board have a high-input impedance which allows them to pick up specific frequencies much better. Microphones designed for general purposes only have a low input impedance, making it harder to get clear sound results when recording vocals.

Price

USB condenser microphones are usually more expensive than their XLR counterparts. This increased price is because of their built-in DAC that sends out a digital signal while XLR cables come with an analog signal, which saves on production costs. Other types of USB microphones tend to be cheaper due to the more inexpensive components used. 

Dynamic microphones are overall the most affordable type of microphone since they’re made from fewer parts than condenser ones, making them harder to produce.

Diaphragm Size

Microphones with diaphragms larger than one cm² can record in bass ranges much more effectively, especially if they also have large-diaphragm capsules (in microphones they’re usually called ‘capsules’ instead of ‘diaphragms’). Large diaphragms will deliver fuller and warmer sounds, whereas small ones will deliver thin and bright sounds. 

Also, microphones with large diaphragms are less prone to distortion and unwanted noise.

Sensitivity

Microphones with very high sensitivity pick up background noise even the user is farther away from them. It means that they can record at certain distances without microphones getting into their way or having sharp feedback if put close to speakers. 

Additionally, microphones with higher sensitivity tend to have lower self-noise, which means that microphones with high sensitivity can pick up softer sounds than microphones with low sensitivity.

Pop Filter

Microphones without pop filters tend to pick up pops created by the rushing air of the speaker’s voice, which can be annoying on playback. Pop filters help reduce this type of noise and will deliver crystal clear sounds every time. 

Additionally, USB microphones with USB digital-to-analog converters (DACs) can pick up a more comprehensive range of frequencies than XLR ones, which means that USB condenser microphones without pop filters will automatically filter out those annoying pops since they only pass through USB signals.

Headphone Jack

Some USB condenser microphones come with a headphone jack for monitoring and ease of use. Headphone monitoring allows users to hear sounds as they record them and correct their diction accordingly. However, it’s also possible to monitor the recording on any other headphones or earphones plugged into the microphone’s 3.5mm jack socket.

Recording Quality

USB condenser microphones need a dedicated sound card to deliver accurate recordings without background noise, while XLR microphones don’t require additional hardware since no digital-to-analog converters are built into them. 

Condenser microphones that use USB DACs will produce a slightly lower sound quality than XLR condenser microphones with internal analog-to-digital converters.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing the best microphone for recording vocals on a computer, many factors come into play. If you’re new to the process of voice-recording and don’t want any background noise in your recordings, then an XLR condenser mic is likely best suited for you. 

Alternatively, a USB condenser microphone may be more appropriate if portability is essential or if you need a USB mic with digital conversion capabilities (to avoid pops).

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