5 Best External Microphones for Macbook Pro in 2024

Are you looking to elevate your audio game on your MacBook Pro? Whether you’re podcasting, recording music, or in back-to-back video calls, the built-in microphone may not always meet your demands for clarity and quality. An external microphone can be a game-changer, offering superior sound capture and a professional edge to all your audio needs. We’ve rounded up some of the best external microphones available, designed to seamlessly integrate with your MacBook Pro and deliver exceptional audio performance. Our curated list will help you find the perfect mic to match your budget, style, and technical requirements. Let’s dive in and discover the ideal audio companion for your MacBook Pro!

When selecting the best external microphone for your MacBook Pro, it’s important to consider several criteria to ensure you’re making an informed decision that suits your needs:

  1. Compatibility: The microphone should seamlessly connect with your MacBook Pro via USB or via the audio jack, without the need for extensive setups or additional hardware.
  2. Audio Quality: Look for a microphone that offers crisp, clear audio recording. This will usually mean a bitrate of at least 16-bit and a sample rate of 44.1kHz or higher.
  3. Purpose: Depending on whether you’re podcasting, recording music, or in need of better audio for video calls, different microphones will serve you better. Consider the primary use to determine if you need a cardioid, omnidirectional, or bidirectional mic.
  4. Ease of Use: You’ll want a plug-and-play microphone that requires minimal setup. Features like an on-mic mute button, LED indicators, or headphone jack for real-time monitoring can be very useful.
  5. Portability: If you’re on the go, portability becomes crucial. A compact and durable design ensures your microphone withstands travel.
  6. Additional Features: Noise-cancellation, gain control, and others can greatly enhance your audio recording experience.
  7. Budget: External microphones come in a wide price range. Determine your budget and weigh it against the features you require.

Here’s a simplified table that compares the price and key specs of each microphone mentioned. Please note that prices may vary based on the retailer, location, and time, so they should be used as a general guide:

Microphone ModelApprox. PricePickup PatternConnectivitySample Rate/Bit DepthAdditional Features
Shure MV88$150CardioidLightning24 bit/48 kHzPortable, 90-degree hinge, iOS app for recording control
Blue Yeti USB$130MultipleUSB16 bit/48 kHzTri-capsule array, Gain control, Mute button, Zero-latency monitoring
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+$150CardioidUSB16 bit/44.1 or 48 kHzVolume control, Mix control, Headphone jack with volume control
Rode NT-USB$170CardioidUSB16 bit/48 kHzPop shield, Tripod desk stand, Ring mount, Zero-latency monitoring
Apogee MiC Plus$260CardioidUSB, Lightning, USB-C24 bit/96 kHzBlend feature for zero-latency recording, Portable, Adjustable gain

Remember, the best choice will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the user, such as portability, type of use (instruments, podcasting, gaming, streaming, etc.), and desired audio quality. Always check with the latest reviews and manufacturer’s product pages for updated information before making a purchase decision.

Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone

image 881

The Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone is designed especially for Apple devices, providing a compact and user-friendly solution for anyone looking to capture high-quality audio on their MacBook Pro. Whether you’re recording music, podcasts, or interviews, the MV88’s simplicity and portability make it an excellent choice for creators on-the-go.

Overview:
When testing out the Shure MV88, the first thing I appreciated was its no-fuss setup process. Plugging directly into the MacBook Pro’s Lightning port, the mic was instantly recognized, and I was recording within minutes. The build quality feels robust, and its flexibility is a big plus—you can tilt, flip, and rotate the mic to get the best sound capture.

The MV88 comes with a dedicated app, ShurePlus MOTIV, which allows for real-time adjustments to gain, EQ, and other essential recording parameters. The sound quality is impressive for such a small device; it captures clear, detailed audio with a noticeable step up from the MacBook Pro’s built-in microphone.

Specs:

  • Transducer Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Adjustable (Stereo, Cardioid, Bidirectional, Raw Mid-Side)
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Adjustable Gain: 0 to +36 dB
  • Connectivity: Apple MFi certified Lightning connector
  • DSP Modes (Presets): Speech, Singing, Acoustic, Loud, Flat

Pros:

  • Excellent sound quality for its size and easy to adjust recording patterns.
  • The intuitive ShurePlus MOTIV app enhances recording control.
  • Highly portable design that’s great for recording in the field.

Cons:

  • Limited to Apple devices with a Lightning port, which may frustrate users seeking versatility.
  • No headphone jack for monitoring audio while recording.
  • Relatively higher price point for an external mic that serves a specific user base.

Price:
At the time of review, the Shure MV88 typically retails for around $149. While it’s not the cheapest option out there, its targeted functionality for Apple users and superior sound quality can justify the investment for serious content creators and audio enthusiasts.

In conclusion, the Shure MV88 is an outstanding portable microphone for MacBook Pro users looking for high-quality audio recordings on the move. While it may not be the most versatile when it comes to device compatibility, for those ingrained in the Apple ecosystem, it’s a solid choice that’s worth considering.
Certainly! Here’s a detailed review for the Blue Yeti USB Microphone, tailored as requested.

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

image 879

The Blue Yeti is an incredibly popular USB microphone known for its versatility and ease of use, making it a fan favorite for podcasters, streamers, YouTubers, and musicians alike. Its standout design and multi-pattern versatility offer a high-quality audio capture experience, suitable for a variety of recording situations.

Overview:
The moment you take the Blue Yeti out of the box, you feel its robust build quality, which reassures you that it’s not just another flimsy gadget. My initial impression was that of confidence in its durability and potential for producing studio-quality sound. The setup is a breeze – just plug it into your MacBook Pro, select it as an input device, and you’re good to go; no complex driver installations necessary.

The real magic happens when you start to record. The audio clarity is exceptional for a USB microphone, and it’s capable of picking up the nuances in vocals and instruments with relative ease. I was particularly impressed with the four distinct pattern settings – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo – which are easily switchable, providing flexibility depending on your recording needs. For solo podcasting, the cardioid mode is perfect, while the omnidirectional mode is great for group podcasts or round-table discussions.

Specs:

  • Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Sample Rate: 48kHz
  • Bit Rate: 16-bit
  • Connection: USB
  • Controls: Microphone gain, mute button, zero-latency headphone output with volume control

Pros:

  • Multi-pattern selection caters to various recording scenarios.
  • Exceptional sound quality for the price point.
  • Plug-and-play simplicity with Mac compatibility
  • Sturdy construction and an aesthetically pleasing design

Cons:

  • Larger and heavier than some competitors, which could be a concern for mobile setups or smaller workspaces.
  • While the sound quality is excellent, it can capture background noise, so it’s best used in a quiet environment.

Price:
The price hovers around $120-$150, depending on where you shop. Given its performance and versatility, the Blue Yeti presents a significant value proposition that’s hard to beat in its class.

In my opinion, its unparalleled flexibility and ease of use outweigh most concerns. Whether you’re a seasoned podcaster or just getting started with digital content creation, the Blue Yeti could very well be the microphone that elevates your audio game without requiring a hefty investment or technical audio production background.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

image 878

The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ is a marvel for anyone looking to seriously upgrade their audio game, whether for podcasts, voice-overs, or even the subtle nuances of acoustic instruments. Its sleek design doesn’t just draw eyes; it captures sound with a crispness and clarity that you’d expect from a professional studio mic.

Upon testing the AT2020USB+, I was immediately struck by its ease of use. Simply plug it into your MacBook Pro’s USB port, and you’re good to go—no extraneous drivers needed; it’s a truly plug-and-play experience. The mix control feature is a game-changer, allowing real-time audio monitoring without latency issues that can throw you off your game when recording.

What makes this mic stand out is its sound quality. Audio-Technica has managed to package professional-grade audio fidelity into a mic that sits comfortably on your desk. It captures vocals with a warm and full-bodied tone, and the cardioid pickup pattern excels at isolating the sound from in front of the mic, meaning less background noise.

Specs

  • Element: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Power Requirements: USB Power (5V DC)
  • Bit Depth: 16 bit
  • Sample Rate: 44.1/48 kHz
  • Controls: Mix control; Volume control; Instant mute
  • Weight: 386 grams without stand

Pros:

  • Studio-quality sound that brings remarkable clarity to recordings.
  • The built-in headphone jack with volume control allows for zero-latency monitoring.
  • The cardioid pattern effectively minimizes background noise.
  • Robust build quality feels durable and capable of withstanding everyday use.
  • Intuitive and user-friendly, requiring no technical knowledge to get started.

Cons:

  • The included tripod stand is functional but might not be the most stable for all setups; an adjustable boom arm could be a worthy additional investment.
  • Some users might miss having multiple pattern options like those available on multi-pattern mics.
  • 16-bit audio might not satisfy the very high standards of audio purists who prefer 24-bit recording.

Price

The AT2020USB+ typically retails around the $150 mark, which feels like a solid investment considering the professional audio quality it offers. Given its performance, it punches above its weight, providing a budget-friendly alternative to pricier studio mics without a significant compromise in sound fidelity.

In conclusion, the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ isn’t just an external microphone; it’s a gateway to elevating your audio presence online or in recordings. It’s a robust, simple-to-use piece of equipment that punches well above its weight, both in build and sound quality. Despite the minor drawbacks of the tripod stand and the bit depth, for those leveraging the powerful capabilities of a MacBook Pro for audio work, this mic is a resonant companion that won’t disappoint.

Rode NT-USB Microphone

image 877

The Rode NT-USB is a standout microphone, particularly well-suited for MacBook Pro users who are looking for an easy plug-and-play solution combined with professional-quality audio. Upon testing, it was immediately clear that the folks at Rode know what they’re doing when it comes to sound. The microphone boasts an integrated headphone amplifier which I found to be a genius addition, allowing you to monitor your audio with no latency – that means what you hear is exactly what the microphone is picking up in real-time.

The build quality is another aspect where the Rode NT-USB shines. It has a solid, studio-grade feel to it, and despite being relatively compact, there’s a weightiness that assures you this is not a fragile piece of equipment. It’s both sleek and rugged, if you will. From recording podcasts to music, or even for crystal-clear conference calls, this microphone captures sound with impressive clarity and warmth. The inclusion of a pop-filter is something that shouldn’t be overlooked either, as it helps minimize those pesky plosive sounds that can ruin recordings.

Specs:

  • Acoustic Principle: Pressure Gradient
  • Active Electronics: JFET impedance converter with bipolar output buffer, A/D converter 16bit 48kHz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Maximum SPL: 110dBSPL
  • Power Requirements: USB 5V DC
  • Output Connection: USB – compatible with iOS devices via the Apple Camera Connection Kit
  • Computer Connectivity: USB

Pros:

  • Exceptional sound quality makes it perfect for professional use.
  • The zero-latency headphone monitoring is an excellent feature for real-time audio checks.
  • The sturdy build translates to durability and a feeling of quality.
  • It comes with a pop shield, tripod desk stand, ring mount, and storage pouch, adding great value.

Cons:

  • The price point might be a bit higher for casual users.
  • It’s larger and heavier than other portable microphones, which could be a downside for those who need something more travel-friendly.

Price:

The Rode NT-USB is generally priced around $169. Considering the professional audio quality and the abundance of thoughtful features, it sits at a price point that is justified and would be considered a sound investment for those serious about their audio input.

In conclusion, the Rode NT-USB is an exemplary option for MacBook Pro users seeking top-tier audio recording capabilities. It bridges the gap between amateur and professional with a finesse that’s not easily matched by competitors. With the NT-USB, Rode proves that when it comes to external microphones for MacBook Pros, you don’t need a studio setup to achieve studio-quality sound.

Apogee MiC Plus

image 876

The Apogee MiC Plus is a studio-quality condenser microphone designed specifically for content creators, podcasters, and musicians who require exceptional sound quality on their MacBook Pro. Its compact and sleek design is perfect for on-the-go recording, and you don’t have to sacrifice audio fidelity for portability. After extensive personal use, I’ve found the Apogee MiC Plus to truly excel in capturing clear, detailed vocals and acoustic instruments, standing out in a sea of USB microphones. Its plug-and-play functionality makes it one of the most user-friendly mics I’ve used, ensuring that you can focus more on your content and less on setup.

Specs:

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Connectivity: USB (Type-C connection for modern MacBooks)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Sample Rate: Up to 96kHz
  • Bit Rate: 24-bit
  • Additional Features: Blend control for zero-latency monitoring, gain control knob, and a headphone output for real-time monitoring

Pros:

  • Exceptional sound quality that captures vocals with a high level of clarity and richness.
  • No noticeable latency during monitoring, which is a huge plus for recording vocals or instruments.
  • Highly portable; its small size makes it perfect for recording on the road.
  • Easy to set up and use with a MacBook Pro, alleviating the need for cumbersome audio interfaces and drivers.

Cons:

  • It’s on the pricier side when compared to some other USB microphone options.
  • The MiC Plus is sensitive to plosives and may require an external pop filter for optimal recording conditions.
  • Although the build quality is sturdy, the all-metal construction could make it prone to scratching if not handled with care.

Price:

  • The Apogee MiC Plus tends to range around $259, though prices can vary based on retailers and seasonal discounts.

Personal Opinion:
Despite its premium price point, the Apogee MiC Plus justifies the investment for anyone serious about audio quality. I consistently recommend it to individuals looking for a microphone that can deliver near professional-studio results without the complexity of additional equipment. It’s incredibly convenient for quickly laying down high-fidelity vocal tracks or acoustic demos directly into your MacBook Pro.

As someone who appreciates the nuances of clear audio capture, I place substantial value on a microphone’s ability to reproduce subtle details in a performance, and the MiC Plus doesn’t disappoint. Its ability to operate at a high sample rate and bit depth means recordings are top-notch, suitable for both professional and hobbyist projects. While it might seem overkill for basic video calls or casual use, for content creation where audio is a central element, it’s a worthy investment.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a blend of impeccable sound, convenience, and simplicity for your audio recordings on a MacBook Pro, the Apogee MiC Plus is a standout choice.

Conclusion:

In sum, navigating through the best external microphone options for your MacBook Pro can dramatically enhance your audio experience, whether for podcasts, video calls, or artistic projects. The market offers a range of choices to fit diverse needs and budgets. Keep in mind factors like sound quality, versatility, and ease of use when making your decision. As you set out to choose the perfect microphone companion for your MacBook Pro, consider one of the top contenders we reviewed to ensure your voice is heard loud and clear in all your professional and creative endeavors.

FAQs:

1. Do these external microphones require any additional software to work with a MacBook Pro?
Most external microphones are plug-and-play devices that work seamlessly with your MacBook Pro without the need for additional software. However, some specialized microphones may come with optional software to enhance functionality or customization.

2. Can I use these microphones for both recording music and video conferencing?
Yes, a good quality external microphone can be versatile enough to handle various audio tasks. However, make sure to pick a microphone that suits your primary need, as some are specifically optimized for voice clarity in conferencing or for the high fidelity necessary in music production.

3. How do I ensure that my MacBook Pro uses the external microphone instead of the built-in one?
Once connected, go to ‘System Preferences’, select ‘Sound’, and then click on the ‘Input’ tab. Here, you can choose your external microphone from the list of devices. Be sure to speak into the microphone to test that levels are moving accordingly, confirming that your MacBook Pro is using it as the audio input source.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
John Doe

John Doe

I am John, a tech enthusiast with a knack for breaking down complex camera, audio, and video technology. My expertise extends to social media and electronic gadgets, and I thrive on making the latest tech trends understandable and exciting for everyone. Sharing my knowledge through engaging content, I aim to connect with fellow tech lovers and novices alike, bringing the fascinating world of technology to life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Table of Contents

Related Posts

11 Best Hidden Microphones for 2024

If movies and films have taught us anything, it’s how to use hidden microphones to record valuable information. And while it’s usually for blackmail or

6 Best USB Gaming Microphones in 2024

Gone are the days when any old microphone would suffice for your gaming needs. Today’s digital battlegrounds demand crystal-clear communication, and that’s where the best

7 Best Desk Microphones in 2024

Are you tired of your voice sounding thin and muffled on calls or recordings? It might be time to ditch that tinny built-in laptop microphone