The Best USB Mic

What is the best USB mic? According to a joint effort by Engadget and the Wirecutter, one USB mic triumphs as the best. But I'm not sure I agree with their choice.

There are tons of them on the market, and I've reviewed a few (see My Review Of The Blue Spark Digital USB And iOS Microphone, and Review of The Blue Snowball USB Microphone). Engadget and Wirecutter selected...the envelope please...the Blue Yeti.

As with a lot of pieces of technical gear, there are several things you could rate to compare. In this little competition, they focused on the mic that made a voice sound the best with the least hassle. The Blue Yeti was the one that sounded the best when just plopping it down on a desk and recording. It was "the easiest way to sound good," as they put it.

They tested 25 different USB microphones and for the third year in a row, they chose the Yeti as the winner.

My personal favorite USB mic is the Samson C01U, which is also a large diaphragm condenser. I've never been a huge fan of the Yeti, truth be told.

One of the reasons the Yeti is not my favorite is the frequent occurrence of people distorting their audio because the gain knob on the microphone is turned up too high. I've heard this on many an online meeting (Zoom, Skype, etc.). It's too easy to turn the gain up too high.

Another reason I don't like the Yeti is that it sits on a desk. In poor sounding rooms like the rectangular bedrooms most of us record in, this puts the mic too far from your mouth. That distance allows the echo-y, reverb-y room sound to dominate our audio.

The best way to use a Yeti, if you don't have a way to get your mouth close to it (and I mean like 5-6 inches max) is to buy a shock mount for the Yeti and put it onto a microphone stand. One such mount is the Knox Gear Shock Mount for Blue Yeti.

Read all about the testing and how they made their choice here.

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