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The best streaming mics of 2024 for TikTok, YouTube, and Twitch

Whether you're looking to launch your platform or upgrade your current setup, the right streaming microphone can make all the difference.
Written by Taylor Clemons, Staff Writer
Reviewed by Kayla Solino
Shure MV7 | Best overall streaming microphone
Shure MV7
Best overall streaming microphone
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SteelSeries Alias Pro | Best streaming microphone for dual streaming rigs
Close-up of a SteelSeries Alias Pro XLR microphone and base station
SteelSeries Alias Pro
Best streaming microphone for dual streaming rigs
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HyperX QuadCast S | Best USB microphone for streaming
HyperX QuadCast S
Best USB microphone for streaming
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Blue Snowball Ice | Best budget mic for streaming
Blue Snowball Ice
Best budget mic for streaming
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Blue Yeti | Best multipattern mic for streaming
A silver Blue Yeti microphone next to an open Apple MacBook
Blue Yeti
Best multipattern mic for streaming
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For both experienced content creators and folks just starting out on YouTube or Twitch, the quality of your streaming microphone can make all the difference in your production values and audience engagement. While there are plenty of high-end, expensive options out there for studio-level recording, many brands offer more affordable and easier to use models you can set up just about anywhere with almost any device.  

Also: What are the best webcams for streaming, and are 4K ones worth it?

Beginners and smaller creators should opt for a USB-powered microphone, since it won't require extra equipment to use; just plug it into your device, download the drivers, and start talking. More experienced vloggers and streamers may want to check out XLR models for more permanent recording studios and high-quality productions like independent documentaries. I chose the Shure MV7 as my number one pick for the best microphone for streaming for its flexible USB and XLR connectivity, studio-quality output, and robust equalizer settings. You can keep reading below to find out more about the Shure MV7 as well as my other picks for the best streaming microphones.

The best streaming microphones of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Windows and Mac compatibility
  • USB and XLR connections
  • Broadcast quality output
  • Very heavy
  • XLR connection requires preamp and phantom power
More Details

Shure MV7 features – Type: Dynamic | Capsule: Single | Connectivity: Micro USB Type-C, XLR, 3.5mm AUX | Polar pattern: Cardioid | Frequency response: 50Hz – 16,000Hz | Dimensions: 6.5 x 3.6 x 6 inches | Weight: 1.21 pounds | RGB: No 

The Shure MV7 is a quality microphone for both live streaming and recording vocals, music, and interviews. It features a similar build to its big brother, the Shure SM7B which is a popular choice for experienced content creators, but offers more flexibility and a gentler learning curve for beginners. 

It connects to your PC via either USB for both power and audio (which is ideal for beginners) or with an XLR cable for more advanced audio setups. This allows the microphone to adapt to your changing needs as your audience grows. I got to test out the MV7, and I was very impressed by the broadcast quality output as well as the plug-and-play compatibility with both Windows and macOS computers. 

Also read: You can go live on Twitch with streaming software, but which is the best?

Pros & Cons
  • Preamp/phantom power unit included
  • Packaged with XLR cable
  • Excellent audio output quality
  • Expensive
  • Sonar app has a bit of a learning curve
More Details

SteelSeries Alias Pro features - Type: Condenser | Capsule: 1-inch Clear Cast | Connectivity: XLR, 3.5mm AUX | Polar pattern: Cardioid | Frequency response: 50Hz - 20KHz | Dimensions: 4.3 x 501 x 9 inches | Weight: 169.5g without stand | RGB: Yes, base station only 

SteelSeries tailor-made the Alias Pro XLR microphone for content creators. It comes packaged with an audio mixer base station that doubles as a preamp and phantom power, streamlining the setup for XLR newcomers as well as smaller spaces. And what makes the Alias Pro stand out from other XLR options is that it is made to connect to dual PCs at once, making it an excellent choice for established creators running dual PC streaming rigs. 

The base station connects to your streaming PC and gaming PC via USB-C while the Sonar desktop app received an update which provides in-depth equalizer and live-mixing tools. Creators can separate individual programs into different mixer presets for unprecedented control over your input and stream output. The main dial and right mute button on the base station can also be programmed for controlling volume on different peripherals and programs.

Pros & Cons
  • Great for work and gaming
  • Works with stand and boom arm
  • Simplified controls
  • Built-in pop filter
  • RGB lighting can be distracting in shared environments
  • Very large
  • Shock mount feels a bit cheap
More Details

HyperX QuadCast S features - Type: Condenser | Capsule: 3x 14mm | Connectivity: USB-C, 3.5mm AUX  | Polar pattern: Multidirectional | Frequency response: 20Hz - 20KHz | Dimensions: 9.8 x 5.1 x 4 inches | Weight: .56 pounds | RGB: Yes  

The HyperX QuadCast S has been my go-to microphone for about 2 years. While it mostly gets used for Slack and Zoom, the QuadCast S can easily switch between work and play. The microphone body features two dials: one for gain adjustment and the other for switching the polar pattern. And I really appreciate that the polar pattern only changes if the HyperX Ngenuity app is open and running, that way I don't accidentally switch in the middle of a presentation or my cats can't mess with it while trying to climb the boom arm. 

It comes with a desk stand, which is fairly lightweight by itself and gives you tons of placement options, as well as an adapter for use on a boom arm. I prefer a boom setup because it helps eliminate thumps and bumps from typing or taking notes during meetings. The QuadCast S has a pop filter built in as well, meaning you won't have to spend extra money or time getting another accessory for better quality audio. And with dynamic RGB lighting, you can show off your personal style or match your company's branding.

Pros & Cons
  • Under $100
  • Adjustable tripod stand
  • Compact design
  • No mute indicator LED
  • Not compatible with boom arm mounting
More Details

Blue Snowball Ice features - Type: Condenser | Capsule: Single | Connectivity: USB Type-A | Polar pattern: Cardioid | Frequency response: 40Hz - 18KHz | Dimensions: 4-inch sphere | Weight: 1.01 pounds | RGB: No 

If you're looking for a microphone that offers great audio output and costs less than $100, the Blue Snowball Ice is an excellent option. It's compact design is perfect for smaller desks and recording spaces, and the adjustable tripod stand lets you set the perfect height for monologuing or interviews.  

It connects to your computer via USB and has plug-and-play compatibility for both Windows and macOS devices. The mic is also Discord and Skype certified for compatibility, meaning you won't end up tearing your hair out trying to talk to friends and colleagues.

A silver Blue Yeti microphone next to an open Apple MacBook
Allison Murray/Blue Microphones/ZDNET
Pros & Cons
  • High quality audio output
  • Popular with established creators
  • Multiple polar patterns
  • Stand and boom arm compatibility
  • Very large and heavy
  • Boom mounting requires adapter
  • Very basic EQ settings
More Details

Blue Yeti features - Type: Condenser | Capsule: 3x half-inch | Connectivity: USB, 3.5mm AUX | Polar pattern: Multidirectional | Frequency response: 20Hz - 20KHz | Dimensions: 4.72 x 4.92 x 11.61 inches | Weight: 1.2 pounds without stand | RGB: No 

The Blue Yeti is one of the most, if not the most, popular microphones for streamers and content creators. And for great reason. For the price, the Blue Yeti gives you multiple polar patterns, studio quality output, live headphone monitoring, and plug-and-play compatibility with both Windows and macOS computers 

It comes with a desk stand but is also compatible with boom arm setups, as long as you get a 5/8-inch threaded adapter. Blue also offers the Yeti in three different colors (silver, black, and blue) to let you show off your style or blend into your studio aesthetic. It is a very large and heavy microphone though, so no matter how you set it up, you'll need a bit more space than you think. 

What's the best streaming mic?

My pick for the best streaming microphone is the Shure MV7. Along with broadcast quality audio, it works with both USB and XLR connections for flexible setup options. It also allows the microphone to adapt to your needs as your audience grows. It also uses a capacitive touch button for muting, reducing harsh "thumps" from traditional inputs. And with the Shure Motive desktop app, you can customize your settings to refine your sound. 

Best mic for streaming




Shure MV7




SteelSeries Alias Pro



Unidirectional cardioid

HyperX QuadCast S




Blue Snowball Ice



Unidirectional cardioid

Blue Yeti




*Lowest, non-discounted price at the time of writing. Please note that actual prices may vary depending on available sales, deals, discounts, and coupons.

Which streaming mic is right for you?

That mostly depends on your skill level. If you're just starting out or don't have a ton of experience with streaming and recording, you'll want a USB mic with plug-and-play connectivity. If you're an old pro, an XLR mic with fancy preamps, phantom power units, and mixing boards will be more your speed.

Buy this best mic for streaming...

If you need...

Shure MV7

A well-rounded, high-quality microphone for content creation. The Shure MV7 connects via either USB or XLR for flexible use options.

SteelSeries Alias Pro

A professional quality XLR microphone. The Alias Pro comes packaged with an audio mixer module that doubles as a preamp and phantom power for a streamlined setup.

HyperX QuadCast S

A USB-connected microphone for streaming. The HyperX QuadCast S features multiple pickup patterns and RGB lighting.

Blue Snowball Ice

A budget-friendly streaming microphone. The Blue Snowball Ice retails for about $50, letting you save big while still providing quality audio output.

Blue Yeti

A multidirectional microphone for interviews and podcasts. You can change the pickup pattern on-the-fly for producing different content types.

How did we choose these streaming mics?

While researching and testing each microphone on this list, I and other ZDNET experts kept these criteria in mind: 

  • Connectivity: USB-powered microphones are the simplest to use, and the most affordable, making them perfect for beginners and smaller creators. XLR models require more experience and knowledge, making them more suited to experienced streamers and podcasters. 
  • Pickup patterns: Modern content creators need to be able to produce many different types of videos and audio samples. Some streaming microphone models allow you to change pickup patterns on-the-fly to quickly and easily set up for new media like interviews or single-person long plays. 
  • Price: Streaming mics don't have to cost a fortune. Beginners and smaller creators can get high quality sound from just about any USB-powered microphone without spending a mountain of cash. More experienced creators may want to invest in more expensive equipment to keep up with channel growth or changing production needs. 

Can you just use a headset?

You absolutely could, and there are headsets out there with really good microphones (like the HyperX Cloud Alpha S). The downside is that even the best headsets still won't give you the level of audio quality and control that a dedicated microphone will.

What's the difference between USB and XLR?

They are two different connection types, with USB being the most affordable and easiest to use. It works like any other wired USB peripheral. An XLR microphone has a special 3 to 7 pin connector that plugs into a power source or preamp module in order to be functional. Microphones with XLR connections are more commonly found in professional recording studios and radio stations, though there are plenty of models out there available to regular shoppers.

Do USB mics need a pre-amp or phantom power?

Not at all! The beauty of a USB microphone is that it will use a single cable for both power and data transmission. Not only does this take up considerably less space than an XLR system, it also allows you to plug-and-play with any compatible device. This means you don't have to lug around a ton of equipment to set up collaboration projects or on-site interviews. 

Is there a microphone that eliminates background noise?

  A lot of modern microphones, both USB and XLR alike, have some sort of noise reduction algorithm they work with to help get rid of background noise. This usually works best for eliminating white noise (that "hiss" you hear during dead air) and most other background sounds. However, no microphone will completely eliminate background noise on its own; you'll most likely have to poke around your stream settings to set up noise gates and compression modules to get closer to clean, studio quality output. 

Are there alternative streaming mics worth considering?

There are about as many types of microphones available as there are kinds of people looking to use them. Whether you're looking for USB or XLR, just launching or old enough to have survived the Amazon buyout of Twitch, here's a short list of alternative choices for different applications:

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