Learn what makes the best gaming mic for the PC and why you need one for heavy gaming and live streaming sessions. The importance of a microphone cannot be ignored, pristine audio separates a novice gamer from a professional. Understanding what features appeal to you and how you will use them is also important; whether you need an XLR, USB or wireless microphone will help to factor into the best gaming mic for the PC.
If you choose to purchase an item through an Amazon link featured here, GameStreamingBasics.com may receive an affiliate commission.
How to choose the best microphone for the gaming PC
When choosing the best microphone for the gaming PC you will want to consider a few key factors and these will greatly improve live streaming experience. Selecting a microphone based on the following criteria will eliminate a lot of future headaches and will help you to better understand the necessary auxiliary equipment should you want to expand your gaming setup.
XLR vs USB vs Wireless
The most common three types of gaming microphones on the market and the biggest difference between them is how they connect to your gaming PC. An XLR microphone terminates in the 3-pin XLR format and will require additional hardware like an audio mixer or an audio interface to convert the analog signal into a digital signal.
USB microphones are the easiest to install and use with a gaming PC, the USB format is a ubiquitous one and everyone is familiar with it. Additionally, USB microphones don’t require additional hardware and will be picked up by your operating system after plugging in.
Wireless microphones are the least common of the three microphone types, however they can be just as good depending on the brand of said microphone. Antlion ModMic leads the way currently with the best sounding and easiest to use wireless microphone.
Audio Mixer vs Audio Interface and Phantom Power
XLR microphones require either an audio mixer or audio interface to plug into in order to send the signal to your gaming PC. This can be compounded by the fact that some microphones also require additional power requirements called “Phantom Power”.
When purchasing a microphone you can check the specs to see if it requires 48V phantom power and make sure your audio mixer or your audio interface is capable of delivering said power. Most high quality mixers and interfaces will do this with ease, however cheap, no name brands either omit this fact or willfully lie about their capabilities.
Thankfully, you can check out a few guides, namely the best audio mixers for streaming and the best audio interface for streaming to find the name brand, durable and high quality hardware that will meet the needs of any XLR microphone.
Streaming Software and Discord
Once you’ve made the decision to choose one of the best gaming mics for the PC then you want to make sure it works with the rest of your gaming and live streaming software.
Most microphones on the market these days will come with a Discord certified sticker, however truthfully, nearly any microphone is plug and play with your operating system. This is largely a marketing ploy to convince you their product is more genuine than another. This is incorrect and all of the following microphones will work flawlessly with Discord, with or without certification.
The same is true for any streaming software you would use on live streaming platforms like Twitch. Whether you prefer OBS Studio or Streamlabs OBS, any of the best streaming software for Twitch will work without issue. Additionally, whether a microphone can connect to Discord or OBS is handled by your operating system, be it Windows, Mac or Linux and not a streaming software related issue.
If you’re interested in learning more about gaming and live streaming hardware, check out your definitive guide to streaming equipment for every budget to know what streaming equipment to choose for your ideal gaming setup.
Shure SM7B – Best Desktop Microphone for Gaming
- ONE MICROPHONE FOR EVERYTHING - Studio Recording, Home Recording, Podcasting and Streaming. The SM7B Is Trusted By The Worlds Leading Vocalists, Podcasters and Streamers.
- STUDIO VOCAL RECORDING - The SM7B’s Dynamic Cartridge With Smooth, Flat, Wide-range Frequency Response Produces Exceptionally Clean and Natural Reproduction Of Both Music and Speech.
- PODCAST and BROADCAST - Found In The Top Podcasting Studios Around The World, The SM7B Air Suspension Shock Isolation and Pop Filter Eliminate Both Mechanical Noise And Breathiness. So Words Get Through And The Rest Stays Out Of The Mix.
The Shure SM7B is a legendary microphone designed and manufactured by the famous music equipment company Shure. The SM7B is widely regarded as one of the best microphones for gaming, live streaming and recording.
This is a dynamic XLR microphone that uses a cardioid polar pattern but it does NOT require 48V phantom power and provides impeccable sound reproduction.
It produces a clean and crisp sound with a minor emphasis on the mid-range, giving clarity to the vocals most other microphones struggle to produce. Due to the nature of the cardioid polar pattern the Shure SM7B does a great job of capturing the sound directly in front of the microphone while noise from the outside world will not get picked up.
Additionally, the superb build quality of this microphone can withstand the daily rigors and harsh treatment during broadcasting and recording. These are just a few reasons why it’s considered the best desktop microphone for gaming.
Audio Technica AT2020 XLR – Audio Technica Condenser Mic
- The price/performance standard in side address studio condenser microphone technology
- Ideal for project/home studio applications; The noise level is 20 dB SPL
- High SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility
An incredibly popular microphone from Audio Technica, the AT2020 XLR provides exceptional sound quality for the price, punching well above its weight class. This is unabashedly a no-frills microphone that comes with a basic mount and a zipper pouch for easy transport.
This condenser mic uses a cardioid polar pattern in order to reduce external ambient noises, while improving isolation of desired vocals.
Additionally, this incredibly popular microphone for gamers is an XLR microphone that is designed for use with an external audio mixer or audio interface in order to deliver the desired 48V phantom power. It’s built as a rugged, studio workhorse that will withstand the rigors of the daily gamer and live streamer.
You cannot find a better, more affordable XLR condenser mic than the AT2020.
HyperX Quadcast – PC Streaming Mic
- Radiant red lighting with dynamic effects: Stunning red lighting and dynamic effects for an eye-catching shot of customizable style.
- Built-in anti-vibration shock mount: Isolate the mic and suppress the sound of unintentional rumbles and bumps with the elastic rope suspension.
- Tap-to-mute sensor with LED status indicator: Use the convenient tap-to-mute functionality to prevent an audio accident along with the help of the LED mic status indicator. If the light is on, the mic is active, if the light is off, the mic is muted.
The HyperX Quadcast is a fantastic PC streaming mic that brings high quality craftsmanship along with a feature rich package to those gaming and live streaming. Durable and well-built, this microphone comes with an anti-vibration shock mount so you need to worry.
This is a feature rich USB condenser microphone that provides four polar patterns, a pop filter, a headphone jack for zero latency monitoring and your favorite, RGB. An all-inclusive package for any gamer.
Additionally, it’s also certified by Discord so you won’t have any issues installing it and setting up your Discord with crystal clear vocal quality. The top of the microphone also acts as a capacitive mute button, giving you an easy way to mute in case of a cough, barking dog, or a noisy ambient environment.
Blue Yeti – High Quality Microphone for PC
- Legendary Blue Broadcast Sound – Two Custom Mic Capsules Give Your Voice Exceptional Presence And Detail For Professional-Level Recording And Streaming
- Blue Vo.Ce Software: Craft The Perfect Broadcast Vocal Sound And Entertain Your Audience With Enhanced Effects, Advanced Modulation And Hd Audio Samples. Advanced Blue Vo.Ce Is Compatible With Yeti, Yeti Nano And Yeti X. To Access Blue Vo.Ce, Please Download Logitech’S Free G Hub Software
- Multiple Pickup Patterns – Cardioid And Omni Pickup Patterns Are Perfect For Pro Recording And Streaming
Blue Yeti offers a compelling and affordable high quality microphone for the PC. A desktop microphone that excels at producing clear and crisp audio. The Blue Yeti USB microphone is a streamlined and sturdy design that would survive a few falls or being bumped around while on a gaming desk.
One great example of its versatility is the ability to change the polar pattern with a switch on the front face of the microphone. You have the option to switch between cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo.
Additionally on the bottom of the microphone there is a headphone passthrough that allows you to monitor your sound with zero latency, therefore you can adjust your levels and make sure you sound great before a long gaming session while using Discord.
Antlion ModMic Wireless – Wireless PC Mic
- ADD A WIRELESS MICROPHONE TO YOUR HEADPHONES - Antlion Audio's ModMic Wireless is an attachable microphone that can attach to any pair of headphones, VR visor, or flat surface! The ModMic uses a patented magnetic clasp system, meaning you can remove it when you're on the go, letting your headphones do double or triple duty!
- PROFESSIONAL AUDIO QUALITY - With a sample rate (16bit 48khz), ~six times the quality of a standard Bluetooth headset, and a transmit speed 5 times faster (~34ms), you'll be getting desktop mic quality audio with no wires. Perfect for streaming content creation, competitive gaming, and so much more.
- DUAL MIC MODES - Swap between a unidirectional direction noise-canceling microphone or to higher quality recording mode with less noise rejection with the flick of a single switch.
The Antlion ModMic Wireless is a wireless microphone that can attach to any headphone. As a wireless microphone it delivers impressive vocal clarity and outshines any headset microphone currently available.
Features best in class wireless technology in addition to latency 5 times faster than Bluetooth. It does this all while providing 12 hours of battery life and when you want to charge the Antlion ModMic Wireless you can do so while using it.
Works flawlessly with Windows, Mac and Linux in addition to the PS4 and PS5 gaming consoles, however it does NOT work with the Xbox One.
Additionally, it comes with 2 polar patterns that are omni-directional and uni-directional so you can adjust your sound quality depending on the ambient noise level of your environment. It also comes with a quick mute button on the top of the modmic, just tap to mute and you can avoid any unnecessary noise being transmitted to Discord or any gaming chat.
The Antlion ModMic Wireless is a fantastic choice for anyone looking to add a wireless microphone to their favorite headphones.
Elgato Wave 3 – Streaming Mic for PC
- Condenser capsule with a tight cardioid polar pattern captures speech with precision
- Use the Wave Link app to control Wave: 3 and up to seven other audio sources, plus create two independent mixes
- Up to 24-bit / 96kHz analog to digital conversion delivers lush detail
The Elgato Wave 3 is a popular streaming mic for the PC and it aims to bring the Elgato name and quality to the microphone space. The front of the microphone provides a multifunctional dial that will allow you to adjust microphone levels, headphone levels and a crossfade between your mic and PC mix.
The headphone jack has zero latency so you can monitor your vocal quality in real-time without having to adjust any Discord settings, OBS settings or other software. The microphone has an optional pop filter and an anti-vibration suspension mount, however these are sold separately.
This is a condenser microphone designed to provide a cardioid polar pattern, in addition this will work with all mainstream boom arms should you want to suspend the microphone on your gaming desk.
Additionally, it has a capacitive touch mute button on the very top of the microphone and a USB type C connector on the rear. This is also designed to work with the Elgato WaveLink Software should you also have any other Elgato products.
Learn about the benefits of a condenser microphone for computer gaming
Purchasing a condenser microphone for computer gaming brings several advantages over a headset microphone or a lapel mic. A condenser microphone will provide vastly superior sound quality and is designed and built to last. Most of these microphones were originally developed for rugged studio use and this bodes well for computer gaming.
Additionally, some gamers prefer an XLR microphone for dual pc streaming setups.
Discord is the de facto chatroom for anyone gaming and live streaming. Most popular microphones will be certified to work with Discord, however if it isn’t clearly stated in the marketing material you shouldn’t worry. If you can download and install Discord on your operating system, then it will pick up any microphone connected to it.
If you’re looking for the top 5 discord bots for streamers then look no further.
One of the most popular condenser microphone brands for computer gaming is Blue Yeti and they’re a great entry into the world of microphones. Nearly every live streamer has seen or used a Blue Yeti microphone. Their popularity is a statement to how easy they are to use and how durable they are within a live streaming environment.
Blue Yeti is also featured in your definitive guide for streaming equipment for every budget as an entry level microphone for anyone brand new to computer gaming.
Which is better: a mic or a headset?
This is a very popular question often asked of those brand new to computer gaming and to those interested in condenser microphones. This can be explained as such:
A gaming headset will sacrifice headphone audio quality and microphone sound quality for convenience. Rarely do package deals ever provide the best of both worlds and there is only so much space made available for the actual microphone hardware when it’s attached to a gaming headset.
If you are looking to take your PC gaming and live streaming experience to the next level, you need to consider an XLR or USB condenser microphone.
XLR vs USB microphone
An XLR microphone terminates in a 3-pin XLR format, while USB microphones will use the same USB format you’re more familiar with and it’s the very same USB you see with keyboards, mice, phones, etc.
Some condenser microphones will require additional power and this is what’s called “Phantom Power” often cited as 48V phantom power. These microphones will terminate in a 3-pin XLR format and require the use of an audio mixer or an audio interface as these will provide the necessary power for the microphone.
High-end, studio quality microphones will most likely require some form of phantom power, but the sound quality of these is usually far superior than your run of the mill USB microphone or headset mics.
Which microphone is best for discord?
Any of the aforementioned XLR or USB microphones will work flawlessly with Discord and will greatly improve the sound quality you need for gaming.
The most popular brands of gaming mic for pc are Audio Technica and Blue Yeti, however the studio legend, Shure SM7B will quickly dethrone them.
If you’re also interested in the top 5 discord bots for streamers then you’re in luck!
Are Blue Yeti mics good for gaming?
Blue Yeti has long been a mainstay for those with gaming PCs and they are known for their rugged, shock-proof design that provides vocal clarity where headset mics often falter.
Additionally, Blue Yeti microphones are often the most affordable and great as an entry level microphones for anyone new to PC gaming and live streaming.
You can find more info about your definitive guide to streaming equipment for every budget and decide which microphone is best for you.
Is the wireless ModMic worth it?
The Antlion ModMic wireless is a fantastic, portable microphone that allows you the freedom to move where you want, whenever you want, while being heard during long gaming sessions.
Additionally, the Antlion ModMic Wireless also provides you with superb vocal clarity and 12 hour battery life that no other wireless microphone for gaming can provide. If you’re looking for a wireless alternative to desktop microphones then the Antlion ModMic Wireless is your best wireless option.
What is the best microphone polar pattern?
The term polar pattern describes how a microphone picks up sound. Additionally, it describes how sensitive a microphone is to sound waves as per the direction or angle from which the sound arrives. Understanding a microphone’s polar pattern is an important consideration when deciding which microphone is best for your particular use case. Microphones are comprised of three major types, Omnidirectional, Cardioid and Supercardioid.
The Benefits of Omnidirectional Microphones
The easiest microphone pattern to understand is the omnidirectional pattern. In short, an omnidirectional microphone will pick up sound equally from every direction. This means the direction in which the microphone is pointing is not important, however the distance from the microphone plays a key role in which sounds will be heard.
The Benefits of Cardioid Microphones
Cardioid microphones are part of a group of directional microphone types in which a higher sound quality can be attained but at the cost of microphone placement. The highest sensitivity of sound coming from directly in front of the microphone, and with almost zero sound directly behind the microphone and reduced sound along the sides of the microphone.
The Benefits of Supercardioid Microphones
The supercardioid microphones offer a mucher narrower band of sound sensitivity compared to cardioid microphones, with much the same sound pattern. This allows for a much lower noise floor, less ambient sound is picked up, however microphone placement is paramount in order to pick up sound in a loud environment. Supercardioid microphones are often used on stage with singers and musicians.
Frequently asked questions about the best gaming mic for pc
Does Blue Yeti work with Discord?
Yes the Blue Yeti works flawlessly with Discord and will pose no problems installing it and configuring it for Discord.
Are external microphones worth it?
External microphones are always better than integrated microphones as there is more physical hardware made available in order to produce better vocal clarity, more polar pattern options and a more durable and longer lasting microphone.
Is Blue Yeti still good?
The Blue Yeti microphones are a very popular microphone staple among gamers and there is nothing that appears to change that in the future. Durable, high quality introductory microphone that is also affordable for most users.
Is the Shure SM7B good for gaming?
The Shure SM7B is the best desktop microphone for gaming. An XLR microphone producing superb vocal quality with a slight boost to the mid-range frequencies and superb build quality make this the premier gaming microphone.
Does the ModMic wireless work with Xbox and PS5?
The Antlion ModMic Wireless works with nearly any device with the exception of the Xbox One. It will work flawlessly with the PS4 and the PS5 in addition to any gaming PC.
Conclusion: the best gaming mic for the PC
Purchasing the best gaming mic for the PC is no easy task and thankfully there are resources available to help you make a better, more informed choice.
It’s important to understand why you need an XLR vs USB microphone and the advantages it presents compared to headset or lapel microphones. Including the use of an audio mixer or an audio interface will greatly improve your vocal clarity in chat programs like Discord.
Additionally, there are more resources to bear, namely your definitive guide for streaming equipment for every budget covers the gamut from an introductory gamers to a professional streamer and what hardware purchase they should consider.