Blue Snowball Ice LifestyleSource: Blue

Best Cheap USB Microphones Android Central 2020

A cheap USB microphone doesn't necessarily mean that it's bad — it just means you need to have appropriate expectations. Luckily, some low-cost USB microphones offer excellent audio like the well-loved Blue Snowball iCE. Blue is known for producing high-quality audio and has brought its expertise to a more affordable price range, making it an excellent choice for gaming or video chats. While there are plenty of great microphone options for your computer out there, why spend a lot of money when you don't need to? Here are the best cheap USB microphones to get you great audio on your computer.

Best Overall: Blue Snowball iCE

Blue Snowball Ice LifestyleSource: Blue

Blue is known for making some of the best affordable microphones for multiple use cases. It has some of the most unique looking options too. The Snowball iCE is no exception, with a retro feel to its spherical shape. This cardioid condenser microphone is perfect for recording almost anything to your computer. It is even Skype and Discord-certified due to its excellent voice pickup.

As a cardioid style microphone, the Snowball iCE has a forward-focused pickup pattern. That's why this style of mic is so great for anything voice focused. When making your video calls, there's a smaller chance for background noises likes kids, dogs, or the air conditioner to be heard by the microphone. Pair this with Blue's custom condenser capsule, and you'll get crystal clear audio, whether it's live or recorded.

With the Blue Snowball iCE, you get an adjustable tripod included, but the attachment point is a standard size ready for several accessories. Utilizing USB 2.0 for data and power transfer, you'll be able to plug this into your PC or Mac without any issues. Speaking of plugging into your computer, you'll need to use settings on your system to control things like mute and gain on the microphone because it's missing the on-device controls.

So the next time you have a full docket of video calls to make, you know that the person on the other end of the chat will hear you loud and clear when you have the Blue Snowball iCE microphone.

Pros:

  • Custom condenser capsule for crisp audio
  • Front-focused cardioid pattern
  • Plug and play for PC and Mac
  • Skype and Discord certification

Cons:

  • No included pop filter
  • Missing built-in gain control
  • No mute switch

Best Overall

Blue Snowball iCE

No reason to be blue at this price

Blue brings its reputation for excellent audio quality at an affordable price. This mic is perfect for your next online call.

Runner-Up: Fifine K669B

Fifine K669 LifestyleSource: Fifine

Fifine K669B may have a more traditional look, but it still offers some fantastic features at a great price range. This USB 2.0 condenser microphone works on both PC and Mac without the need for extra software. This makes it simple to get started using it for YouTube, gaming, video chat, or other audio recording needs. Just be sure that your setup allows for the shorter cord that is built into the microphone.

As a condenser mic, it brings exceptional audio pickup to ensure accurate sound reproduction. Even though this is a cardioid polar pattern, the microphone encapsulation style still has a small bit of background pickup. This is due to the design of the microphone casing being open. You do get a tripod and stand that allows you to adjust your microphone to point exactly where you want to avoid background noises better.

There is a built-in volume knob to let you get just the right level when recording or speaking live. The knob also acts as a mute switch to turn off the microphone. When you're ready for your next audio session, just plug and play to get started.

Pros:

  • Traditional design may work with more setups
  • Built-in volume adjustment knob
  • Sensitive condenser for accurate audio

Cons:

  • Even as cardioid, the design still gets background noise
  • Short built-in cord
  • No included pop filter

Runner-up

Fifine K669B

Fifine is better than fine

The plug-and-play setup on this modern looking microphone will have you sounding great in no time on PC or Mac.

Best Value: CMTECK CMG006

Cmteck Cm006r LifestyleSource: Amazon

This highly adjustable and unique looking microphone brings some handy features along with its style. The CMTECK CMG006 has a small footprint on your desk with a base that has some blue LED lights if that's your thing, and a switch to turn them off if they aren't. The base also has a status light to tell you that you're connected, picking up audio, and muted — which can be done with the built-in switch. You just won't be able to control volume through the microphone.

As a condenser style microphone, you get accurate sound reproduction in a small package. Because this is an omnidirectional style mic, it works great for single audio pickup and for recording multiple people. Omnidirectional microphones can sometimes be seen as a negative because there is a higher chance for background noise to be heard, but that's not the case with the CMTECK CCS2.0 Smart Chip.

This built-in feature brings in noise-canceling technology to help eliminate echos and unwanted noise from being heard in your recordings. However, the noise-canceling isn't perfect and has to work extra hard because the microphone is very sensitive. As a plug-and-play device, it's ready for your Mac or PC audio needs right out of the box.

Pros:

  • Small footprint and adjustable neck
  • Built-in noise-canceling technology
  • Great for group recordings
  • Built-in mute switch

Cons:

  • No volume control
  • Mic design means there's no way to use a pop filter
  • Almost too sensitive; picks up a lot of sounds

Best Value

CMTECK CMG006

Bring the noise and the lights

You get excellent sound reproduction for the price, and the mic works great for recording multiple people at once.

Best Microphone with an Included Arm: Neewer NW-7000 USB

Neewer Nw 7000 LifestyleSource: Newegg

Anyone who is ready to start recording and doesn't want to worry about picking up accessories later should check out this setup from Neewer. It comes with the NW-7000 cardioid pickup pattern condenser style microphone that is great for all types of audio recording. Set that up with everything else in this package, and you are ready to go.

For those recording sessions when you want to get a bit of space between you and your computer setup, the NW-35 adjustable arm is there. This allows you to extend, swivel, raise, or lower the microphone to wherever you desire in a snap. It's worth noting though that when mounted on the arm the cord is relatively short so you can't get too far from your computer. The included shock mount will keep any random vibrations from affecting your recordings. Toss on the anti-wind foam cap and pop filter and your voice calls, gaming sessions, guitar-shredding nights are all set to sound crystal clear.

This USB-powered microphone is plug-and-play ready for your Mac or PC. It has a relatively limited pickup range and no built-in adjustments for volume or even to mute. However, as a budget-focused microphone in a great accessory kit, it should do excellent for most basic needs.

Pros:

  • Included pop filter and windscreen are excellent
  • Focused cardioid pattern for direct audio
  • The adjustable arm saves desk space.

Cons:

  • No built-in controls
  • Shallow response range
  • Included cord is short when on the arm

Best Microphone with an Included Arm

Neewer NW-7000 USB

The full package

Start your audio recording with a complete package of accessories, including a cardioid condenser mic, at a great price.

Best Complete Microphone Kit: TONOR TC30

Tonor Tc30 LifestyleSource: Tonor

For a desk setup that gets you a great set of accessories in addition to a solid cardioid condenser microphone, the TONORO TC30 is an excellent place to start. The microphone is a USB 2.0 model that's ready to go right out of the box with its USB-A to USB-C cable — hallelujah, no micro-USB. Using its cardioid pickup pattern that faces forward and a bit upward focused, it does a good job avoiding any unwanted noise.

You also get a well-built tripod that connects directly to the included shock mount. This helps to avoid vibrational sound pickup from a shaky desk or other small, unexpected bumps to the microphone. The lower microphone sensitivity could be part of the reason it doesn't pick up a lot of background noise, so you'll want to be intentional with your recording moments. To help aid in sound clarity, there is also a pop filter included that attaches via a solid steel arm to ensure proper placement.

This setup is fantastic for all sorts of vocal audio needs. From games on Twitch to Zoom calls for work, you'll get great audio here. However, without built-in volume, mute, or gain controls, it may not work well for something like recording a full band as that requires a more comprehensive frequency response range.

Pros:

  • High-quality accessories included
  • Modern USB-C connection
  • Clear vocal audio reproduction

Cons:

  • No onboard controls
  • Shallow frequency range
  • Sensitivity is lower than some other options

Best Complete Microphone Kit

TONOR TC30

No pop here

Expect clear vocals with this microphone. You get a pop filter and shock mount. The USB-C connection is a bonus.

Best Compact Microphone: Samson Go Mic

Samson Go Mic Hero Removebg PreviewSource: Samson

Whether you like to record on the go or just want to have less clutter in your desk space, the Samson Go Mic is an excellent choice. This small microphone has a built-in stand that can also clip to the top of your monitor to get entirely out of the way. Be aware that the stand is a bit small and if not perfectly set could fall over when using it, but the clip feature is wonderful. When you are done with your recording, you can fold it up and pack it away in a pocket.

This versatile condenser microphone lets you change between an omnidirectional microphone for group recordings or a cardioid pattern for a more direct audio capture moment. There's also the option to plug it in via USB to your Mac or PC as well as a 3.5mm jack for direct audio.

Of course, due to its compact design, there are going to be some concessions. There's no onboard controls like mute or gain control, and its audio frequency response will have a smaller range. However, as an improved microphone over a computer's built-in option, it's a great choice.

Pros:

  • Compact size is great for on the go
  • Offers both cardioid and omnidirectional recording
  • Can use USB or 3.5mm for audio output

Cons:

  • Small response range
  • No onboard controls
  • The stand isn't very stable

Best Compact Microphone

Samson Go Mic

For the road warrior

Not only does this mic offer flexibility for where you record but also how with its dual-pickup modes.

Bottom line

Audio, live or recorded, through a computer is becoming extremely common these days. Whether it is for your podcast, YouTube channel, or simply for those daily video conferences, you want to be sure that you are clearly heard — and this starts with a good quality microphone.

Thankfully you don't have to spend a lot of money to have the level of recording you deserve. To get that professional level sound at an entry-level price look no further than the Blue Snowball iCE. Blue is well-known for producing some of the best microphones around and is used by podcasters and YouTubers around the world. It has brought its expertise used on the high-end mics to the Snowball iCE and kept only the essentials to ensure you get great audio. To make it a sweeter deal, you don't even need to have any special software to use the microphone. Just plug the USB cord into your computer and start your recording software of choice.

Sounding great when recording on your computer doesn't have to break the bank, so if you want to come in loud and clear on your next recording while saving some money, pick up one of these great choices.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, Chris enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.

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