What Is the Best USB Mic for Podcasting?

Contributor, Benzinga

A USB microphone is an easy way to record audio, and it reduces how much equipment you need to record. It’s the perfect solution for podcasters who like to record in different locations whether they are trying to interview guests or just want a change of scenery. Each of these microphones is an easy-to-use improvement to your process, so take the time to learn about the best USB mic for podcasting. 

What to Look for in a USB Mic

Picking the best USB microphone can seem challenging or even a bit intimidating, but don’t worry. It can actually be a fairly simple process. Here are some of the important features to look out for when you choose the best USB microphone for you.


If you are looking for simplicity in your podcast setup, you want to have a built-in stand that comes with the mic. Not every option has a stand included, so you might need to get some sort of desktop stand to use. 

If you prefer to use a stand other than the included stand with your mic, you should have an adapter or some way to attach your mic to the stand. Common microphone stands have a ⅝ inch thread that screws into the mount of the mic or the microphone itself. 

Gain Controls

Gain is extremely important because it is how you set the levels of your audio to be able to hear clearly without the audio becoming distorted. Every USB microphone has gain controls in some form because the interface connection with the microphone is built into the mic itself.

If your USB mic does not have gain controls physically on the microphone, then you most likely will be downloading a program from the creators of the microphone to control those levels. 

Polar Patterns

Polar patterns are what determine the directions in which your mic picks up sound. If your microphone does not say that it has multiple pickup patterns, it will be picking up in the cardioid pattern, which is straight ahead of the microphone. 

The figure-8 pattern is another popular pattern for podcasting because it picks up audio on the front and back of the microphone at the same time. This feature makes it so you and a guest don’t have to sit on the same side of the microphone but instead face each other like you are having a normal conversation. 

Another popular pattern is the omnidirectional pattern. This type of pattern picks up sound from every direction around the microphone. This feature is great if you have a larger number of people being recorded, but at that point, you might want to use more than one microphone.


Having a plug for your headphones on the mic is not an important feature, but it can be very helpful. Since you are plugging the mic into the computer, you can always use the headphone connection on your computer. All computer sound can be set to come out of the microphone’s interface and may provide a better sound than the computer itself. That will depend on the sound drivers your computer has. 

The Best USB Mic for Podcasting

With these ideas in mind, here are the best USB mics for podcasting. 

Blue Yeti

Blue has created one of the most popular USB microphones with the Yeti and arguably set the precedent that USB mics can provide high quality. You can buy multiple versions of the Yeti but each of them has different advantages from price point to multiple pickup patterns. 


  • Comes with a stand
  • Multiple pickup patterns
  • Headphone connection
  • Additional controls offered in the desktop app


  • Limited adjustability
  • Picks up sibilant noise
  • Pop filter not included

Best For: Quality

Pricing – 

  • Yeti Nano – $79.99
  • Yeti – $129.99
  • Yeti X – $169.99
  • Yeticaster – $199.99
  • Yeti Pro – $249.99

Shure MV7

Shure wanted to create a versatile microphone that could provide great sound quality in a compact format. The Shure MV7 was modeled after the critically acclaimed SM7B and is the perfect option for beginners who are wanting to advance their setup down the line. The USB plug allows you to use the mic directly with the computer, but it also has an XLR connection to plug into another system as a regular microphone. 


  • Can be used via USB or XLR
  • Headphone connection
  • Built-in pop filter
  • Color customization options
  • The ShurePlus MOTIV app offers additional options. 


  • Has no stand
  • Only one pickup pattern

Best For: Small and Simple setups

Pricing – 

  • Just Mic – $249.00
  • Mic and Mini Tripod – $269.00
  • Mic and Boom Stand – $329.00

AKG Lyra

The AKG Lyra is a simple mic that offers a sleek modern look to your recording environment. It has the perfect range for capturing the human voice when speaking. Its detachable stand can also be affixed to a standard mic stand. 


  • Detachable stand included
  • Quick mute button
  • Headphone connection
  • Multiple pickup patterns


  • No pop filter included

Best For: Easy Setup

Pricing – $155

Earthworks Icon

Earthworks is known for creating some of the most accurate mics in the business, and the Icon is no exception. Its other version is known as the Icon Pro. They are the same microphone, but the Icon Pro has an XLR connection in place of the USB. 


  • Comes with stand
  • Headphone connection
  • Stainless steel build


  • Only one pickup pattern

Best For: Sound Quality

Pricing – $349

HyperX QuadCast

HyperX is a popular company in the gaming and streaming industry, but their USB microphone is a nice step up. The HyperX QuadCast is a fantastic microphone for both looks and sound quality. The stand it comes with is one of the best you will see included with any USB microphone. HyperX also sells the QuadCast S, but the only difference between the standard and the S is that the S has RGB lighting. 


  • Multiple pickup patterns
  • Headphone connection
  • Internal pop filter
  • Tap-to-mute option
  • Shock mount stand included


  • Harsh sibilants
  • Gain controls are in an awkward place

Best For: Looks and Stand

Pricing – 

  • QuadCast – $139.99
  • QuadCast S – $159.99

Your USB

Any of these mics can be used to achieve a great podcast experience. Certain factors improve the quality, depending on what requirements you have. But once you figure out your budget and how you plan to do your episodes, you can quickly and easily make your decision. You may even want to purchase more than one if you have multiple voices on your show regularly. Either way, you can quickly and easily improve your recordings for your listeners.