Best USB Microphones for Best Buy Curbside Pickup Android Central 2020
It's hard to look on the bright side with everything that's going on in the world right now, but during this period of self-isolation, most people have more free time than ever to finally kickstart that podcast idea or record more voiceovers. I've been using XLR mics for a number of years now, but USB mics are quicker and easier to set up, and work with just about any computer — some even work with phones! Best Buy's currently offering curbside pickup to make buying new tech safer, and they've got plenty of great microphones to choose from.
- Best overall: Blue Yeti X
- Dual pickup patterns: Blue Yeti Nano
- Great desk mic: Razer Seiren
- Articulating stand: Neat Microphones Beecaster
- Tap to mute: HyperX QuadCast
- Superior audio: Apogee HypeMiC
The Blue Yeti is one of the most ubiquitous USB mics on the market. It's well-beloved for its four pickup patterns, which let you steer the microphones straight ahead, bi-directional, stereo, and even omnidirectional, making it incredibly versatile for different recording situations. It has a built-in stand and an audio gain knob.
The Blue Yeti Nano is the smaller, more affordable version of the Yeti X with only two pickup patterns: cardioid and omnidirectional. Just like the larger Yeti X, you get a headphone jack for direct audio monitoring, a built-in stand, and a gain level control knob on the front.
The Razer Seiren is a great USB condenser mic with a super cardioid pattern that only picks up what's closest to it — your voice — and cancels out the background noise around it. The base makes for an excellent built-in stand, and you can tilt the mic for better angles. There's also a handy mute button on the front of the mic.
Much like the Blue Yeti X, the Beecaster offers four different pickup patterns for capturing clean audio in different scenarios, but it has a great perk of its own: a built-in articulating boom arm that lets you bring the mic as close as possible. You also get individual adjustment knobs for headphone volume, gain, and pickup patterns.
The HyperX QuadCast has four pickup patterns, a built-in shock mount on its stand, and uniquely, a touch-sensitive pad at the top that allows you to silently mute the mic without the loud click of a physical button. It's even compatible with the PlayStation 4, making it great for team gaming.
The HypeMiC features a cardioid pattern that's perfect for voiceovers and podcasting, and Apogee has been a legendary brand for years for its pristine audio quality. The HypeMiC connects to your computer, but it can also connect to your phone for on-the-go recordings.
Good audio matters
Working from home isn't easy for everyone, especially when you're thrown into it without warning. But whether you're recording audio for work or as a hobbyist, a good microphone can make all the difference in the world — it can even save you time in post by minimizing how much EQing you'll need to do.
Most people will be best-suited with the Blue Yeti X, which offers incredible versatility and easy controls. Whether you're recording yourself or a tableside conversation, it can do it all, and the sturdy build means it'll last you for years to come.
If you have money to spare and want the absolute best audio quality, though, the Apogee HypeMiC is the way to go. It only has one pickup pattern, but the fidelity is second to none, and you can even connect it to your phone. For online podcasts, the HyperX QuadCast is yet another worthwhile option with an excellent tap-to-mute function.
No matter which mic you buy, it's great to get recording and take your mind off of the outside world for a bit.
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