An important part of streamed audio quality is that it is clear and crisp. Both USB and XLR microphones are high-quality microphones that many streamers find suitable for capturing their voice clearly. What’s the best option?
Beginners and those who prefer a simple setup will benefit from USB microphones. More experienced streamers should use XLR microphones, which are better suited for creating more complex and enhanced streaming experiences. As an added expense, a mixer and interface are required for XLRs.
XLR and USB microphones will be explained in detail in this article. There are pros and cons to each microphone as well as which one is best suited for your recording environment. In the end, we’ll recommend a few popular, high-quality microphones that are well-known.
- XLR Microphone Definition – What Is It?
- What Is a USB Microphone?
- When it comes to streaming, which one should you choose?
- The 4 Best Streaming Microphones
- Microphones with XLR connectors (4.1 mm)
- 4.1.1 Blue Ember Studio Condenser Microphone with Small Diaphragm
- Condenser Microphone with XLR Connector by TONOR
- Microphone 4.1.3 Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLR
- USB Microphones with 4.2 dB SNR
- A USB microphone with a Blue Yeti nameplate
- Stunned Microphone Kit for USB Broadcast
- 4.2.3 USB Microphone with Fifine Metal Condenser
- Last Words
XLR Microphones: What Are They?
Stereotypically, XLR microphones are found in radio broadcasts and live performances. Professional streamers use XLR microphones and more complicated audio setups because these microphones are designed for professional audio.
External line return is another name for the XLR connector and locking connector. Large electrical currents can be safely transmitted thanks to the connector’s balanced signal. Plug-and-play compatibility means they can be used with any piece of audio gear that has a standard 3.5mm connector.
A USB microphone is simple to set up, but an XLR microphone requires more effort. In the first place, the connectors are available in numerous designs. The XLR3, which has three pins, is the most common XLR connector. Make sure you have the correct connectors connected to both your microphone and audio interface because there are multiple variations.
In addition, a digital audio workstation and an audio interface are required. These elements make a professional set-up possible, but they are also expensive and time-consuming to implement.
Professional streamers who care about the quality of their audio can’t go wrong with an XLR microphone. Investing in this gear is only worthwhile if you’re serious about your streaming career, as it requires additional accessories and entails some additional training.
A USB microphone is a common starting point for streamers, but as their popularity grows and their professionalism develops, they will often upgrade to an XLR microphone.
A USB Microphone: What Is It?
A USB microphone, in contrast to an XLR microphone, can be connected to your computer with as little as a plug-and-play operation. No audio interface, mixer, or other equipment is necessary. Plugging in your microphone and running the device driver are the only steps required.
Unlike XLR microphones, which require an interface or mixer to process the audio, condenser microphones process the audio right on the device they are connected to. As a result, if you use your computer to edit audio, you’re working with audio that has already been digitally processed.
For those just starting out in the world of live streaming, USB microphones are the way to go. USB microphones, while not as good as XLRs, can still produce professional-quality audio with little hassle. In addition, because you won’t need as many extras, this set-up is significantly less expensive.
Which Is Better for Streaming, Then?
It all comes down to what you want to stream and how high-quality your audio needs to be.
Do you only need to record your voice and have a simple setup? So the best option would be a USB microphone. Is it likely that you’ll be working with multiple instruments and microphones? You should use an XLR microphone.
Plug-and-play convenience is a strong suit of USB microphones. You don’t have to deal with complicated controls or settings, and there is minimal setup or installation required. There are some drawbacks, however, if you want to do more than talk into a microphone.
XLR microphones, on the other hand, are the best choice for those who want to be noticed. It is possible to connect these microphones to an audio interface, mixer, and other equipment in order to create a better streaming experience. The disadvantage is that it requires more time and effort to set up. Also, you’ll need to put in more money up front.
In the streaming world, both types of microphones are highly regarded for their sound quality and popularity. Either option is a good choice. In order to get the most out of your streaming experience, it’s important to consider your specific requirements and goals before making a purchase.
The Best Streaming Microphones
It’s time to start looking for the best microphone for your setup now that you know the differences between XLR and USB microphones. If you’re looking for a high-quality microphone for streaming, we’ve put together a list of some of the best on the market, all of which are highly regarded by fellow streamers and produce clear, crisp sound.
The XLR Microphone
When talking about microphones, it’s impossible to avoid bringing up Blue. Aside from USB microphones, Blue also makes high-quality XLR microphones.
Clear and crisp voice recordings are possible with the Ember XLT microphone. Off-axis sound suppression is used to reduce ambient noise. Additional items include a pair of headphones, as well as a windscreen.
Clear, open, and detailed recordings of the voice and instruments can be achieved with this custom-tuned condenser microphone capsule.
Clean recording and streaming are made possible by the excellent off-axis rejection provided by cardioid pickup patterns.
The side-address design allows for precise microphone positioning.
Even though it costs less, the TONOR XLR Condenser Microphone is one of the best-sounding microphones on this list. Off-axis sound suppression from the sides and back of your studio is greatly reduced by this microphone. As a bonus, it comes with all the tools you need to build a professional streaming studio, including a camera mount and suspension stand.
External Power Supply: It is important to keep in mind that condenser microphones have active electronics that require an external power source. The TC20 requires 48V phantom power, an audio interface, a mixer, or a preamp in order to operate. Recording studios, podcasting, voiceover, streaming and YouTube video production are just some of the uses for this microphone
FET preamplifier with low noise, high SPL handling capability and a wide dynamic range provides smooth, high-end clarity and warm and natural sound.
TRL-20 is a dimmable ring light with three colour settings (cold, warm, and natural) and ten brightness settings. Color temperature ranges from 2700K to 6500K. Makeup and photographer-friendly for Zoom Conferences and TikTok/YouTube/Making.
In terms of value, the Audio-Technica XLR Microphone is hard to beat at this price point. As a studio and home microphone, this microphone captures a wide range of frequencies and minimises sounds coming from the sides and back. It’s one of the best-selling and most reasonably priced microphones on Amazon.
Mics with USB Ports
A USB microphone with a Blue Yeti
The Blue Yeti is most likely used by your favourite streamer. Streamers and YouTubers love the Yeti microphone, which is one of the most popular on the market. Using four different pickup patterns, this incredible microphone can do the work of several different microphones at once: bidirectional, omnidirectional, cardioid, and stereo. For instant mute, pattern selection, headphone volume and microphone gain are all studio controls available in the Yeti’s studio mode.
Despite the fact that Blue’s Yeti is the most expensive microphone on this list, it’s well worth the cost. The Yeti USB microphone is a high-end professional product with the convenience of a USB microphone.
USB Streaming Microphone Kit by Stilnend
With the Stoned USB Streaming Microphone, you get a rich and clear sound at a reasonable price. Noise from the sides and back of the vehicle is minimised by this device. This ensures that your audience hears only you, and not any background noise.. In addition to being simple to set up, the microphone comes with a variety of accessories that make it even more convenient.
USB Microphone with Metal Condenser
If you’re just getting started streaming, the Fifine USB Microphone is a great choice. Easy plug-and-play setup; noise reduction; and clear, crisp sound are just a few of the features of this device. This is the simplest, most powerful, and least expensive microphone on the market. If you’re just getting started and are looking for something that’s both high-quality and affordable, this is the best option for you.
A Few Thoughts for the Day
Streamers can choose between XLR and USB microphones. For streaming studios, both provide high-quality sound with minimal background noise and a professional atmosphere. Although XLTs are the preferred choice of professional streamers, USB microphones can deliver an excellent streaming experience as well. Choosing the best microphone for your streaming setup depends on what you need.