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Gaming is serious business for many people and to enjoy the full of experience of an exciting game it is important to have the proper gear. A good gaming computer is essential but so are the accessories that improve audio and communication capabilities such as a good microphone. Many users opt to use the microphone that is built into their chosen gaming headset which sometimes can be lower than ideal quality.
In some cases, your chosen headset may not come with a built-in headset so you may need to buy a separate unit altogether. Regardless of whether or not your headset already has a microphone, many times a separate external microphone that is built specifically for gaming and other activities is a great way to improve functionality.
Below we take a look at some of the best gaming microphone options available so you can decide what option is best for your gaming setup.
What’s Important in Top Gaming Microphones
When you are shopping for a top gaming microphone, it is important to review several factors that determine what kind of performance you can expect from a device.
It is always a good idea to save a few dollars if you can. However, a gaming microphone is not an item that you want to purchase as cheaply as possible. That is if you are looking for excellent quality. As a matter of fact, that goes for any type of equipment that you purchase for gaming such as headsets, laptops and any accessories. While some may find a budget mic acceptable, if you are serious about gaming then you want a high-quality device with premium performance.
2) Standalone Device or Attached
If you are looking for excellent performance from a gaming microphone then it is best to choose a standalone device. They will almost always outperform mics that are attached to a pair of headphones and provide a much better overall experience.
This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of a great gaming mic that is often overlooked. Microphones are designed as omnidirectional, bi or unidirectional devices. This determines how much and where they can pick up sound from. It is almost always best to choose an omnidirectional mic because they will be able to pick up sound from all surrounding directions clearly and without distortion.
4) Frequency Range
Flat frequency mics can sometimes do an adequate job but the preferred choice for gamers is a mic that will offer custom frequency ranges.
5) Noise Handling
Microphones not only pick up sound from their surrounding environment, they sense vibrations as well. This means if a mic does not have the proper noise handling reduction capability it may end up transmitting vibrations that are sensed which can distort overall sound quality.
The Top 3 Gaming Microphones
Having established these criteria, here are the top 3 options I’d personally recommend.
Audio-Technica AT2020USB Plus Cardioid
This high-quality recording device is a great choice for gamers of all types. It comes equipped with a built-in USB slot making it possible to connect it to any type of gaming device, computer or technology that is needed. The volume control is conveniently placed and it is easy to make quick adjustments on the fly while you are busy crushing your favorite game.
The mic has a modern and sleek appearance similar to what you might see in a modern professional studio. It has excellent mix control functionality and comes with an included transport pouch that will keep it safe from damage while traveling.
The AT2020 comes with a tripod stand, 10 foot USB connection cable and is compatible with most brands of gaming headsets. It is lightweight and provides crystal clear recording and communication capabilities for those who need a high-quality performing microphone.
Rode NT1 Condenser
If you need a high-end mic for gaming, then the NT1 Condenser should be on your list of considerations. Its frequency ranges are between 20Hz to 20kHz which allows the mic to lock-in on the sound of your voice only while ignoring other noise in the background. The device is built well and extremely durable.
The unit is not designed as an omnidirectional mic but the cardioid directional technology does a fantastic job and will be acceptable to almost any gamer that requires premium performance from a microphone. It efficiently picks up sound from all sides without distortion.
With a maximum pressure level of over 130dbs, you can be sure even when you are yelling or have a raised voice this microphone won’t output distorted recordings.
Razer Seiren Elite USB
If you are a die-hard gamer then the Razer Elite is a great choice as a top-quality gaming microphone. The mic offers four audio recording pattern configurations via customized condenser capsules ranging from three to fourteen millimeters.
It has a built-in 3.5 jack input and it is simple to use, simply plug and play, it’s that easy. The device makes an excellent travel microphone due to its lightweight design and size and the available USB slot allows connections to almost any piece of technology needed.
The optional stand that is offered for a few more dollars is a good value as it comes with shock-resistant technology. This will decrease any vibrations or background noise that is unnecessary and keep recordings and transmission crystal clear.
The stand also allows you to position the mic at various angles which can be very helpful depending on the space where you are using it. For pricing details.
For budget-conscious gamers, the InnoGear Condenser offers high-quality mic performance at a very reasonable price. It has universal 20hz-20kHz frequency ranges which will record and transmit a communication in a crystal clear fashion without distortion from other sources. It comes from the factory with a mount that is resistant to vibrations which assists in the noise handling functions of the mic.
Output impedance is around 1000 and sensitivity is lower than ideal which can sometimes cause a very small amount of distortion. However, the distortion is typically limited in both duration and level.
For the best results, it is advised to place the mic directly in front of where you will be standing or sitting. While this mic may not provide premium sound performance quite at the level of some other models, it is an excellent price vs. value option.
Blue Microphones Yeti
If an all-around great mic that ticks all the boxes is what you need, then the Blue Yeti is a perfect fit. The device is highly customizable which allows users to work with both Mac and Windows-based operating systems and it offers a wide range of patterns, including both omnidirectional and cardioid patterns. This guarantees no matter what setting or space you are using the mic will have no problem picking up your vocals and transmitting clearly.
The three condenser capsules allow flexible use in almost all circumstances and the frequency ranges are 20-Hz-20kHz.
The Yeti is a high-quality sound recording device that may not measure up to the top-tier units in any one single category, but it does almost everything better than the average mic available in its price range.
It is a great overall value and should be on your list of microphones to review if you need a great quality mic.
Final Thoughts on Finding the Best Microphones for Your Gaming Needs
All five of the devices mentioned above provide exceptional performance and an excellent price versus value proposition. What microphone will work best for you depends on how you will use it and where you will use the device. However, choosing any of the models above will almost always ensure you will end up with a quality gaming mic that will outperform your expectations for years to come. If you already have the right gaming PC and audio gear then don’t forget to top it all off with an excellent high-performance microphone to get the most out of your gaming experience.