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5 Best Mini USB Microphones in 2023

Whether you’re streaming your favorite indie title on Twitch or doing a podcast on the unanswered mysteries of the deep space, a microphone is considered a basic necessity for you. If you’re using the generic microphone that comes optional with the headphones, the listening experience for your viewers would be nothing short of disastrous.

To take your content up a notch, you need a premium microphone. But, since most high-quality microphones are either expensive or too big to fit on the desk, people tend to overlook them. However, in today’s round-up, we’ve listed the best mini USB microphones this year that offer excellent sound quality and would easily be accessible to you.  

What to Look for in a USB Microphone 

Sound Quality: Considering the sound quality is the obvious thing to look for when getting your hands on a USB Microphone. Consider factors such as clarity, bass, and most importantly, the maximum frequency of the sounds that can be captured by the microphone. 

Omnidirectional Or Directional: Omnidirectional records sounds from all directions, making it ideal for podcasts. On the contrary, directional microphones which are often referred to as cardioid patterns only record sounds from a single direction, making them ideal for voiceovers, video calls, and more. 

Sensitivity: The sensitivity is another factor to be considered. A microphone with a higher sensitivity will record even the quietest sounds, making it imperfect for professional users. 

Dynamic Range: Dynamic Range refers to the ability of the microphone to capture the loudest or the quietest sounds. For different scenarios, varying dynamic ranges are preferred so before making a purchase, consider this factor as well. 

Here’s our list of the 5 best mini USB microphones:

  1. Blue Yeti 
  2. Mackie Elements Series EM USB
  3. Samson 29/CO1UPRO
  4. Rode NT-USB Mini
  5. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

Blue Yeti USB Microphone 

Blue Yeti USB Microphone 
Name Blue Yeti 
Brand Blue 
Price $130
Polar Pattern Cardioid pattern
Height 11.6inches 

A multi-pattern microphone with high-quality sound and controls on the fly to produce the finest sounds, Blue Yeti is a highly-recommended option. Without breaking the bank, this mini USB microphone offers a portable design with an excellent build quality that allows you to record flawlessly. 

Ready to be used straight out of the box, the Blue Yeti can be customized to pick the sounds in different polar patterns. And since it also features a volume knob, you can easily adjust the volume so you don’t have to stress too much about focusing your vocals. 

The Blue Sherpa is the native application for customizing the microphone settings and fine-tuning the frequencies as per your preferences. Overall, a pretty decent microphone that’s compact in size has a decent build quality, and with just the right price tag. 

Pros 

Onboard control allows you to have complete control over the sound.

Comes with a versatile stand that makes recording possible wherever you are.

Solid built quality 

Cons 

Extremely sensitive. 

Review Star: 4.7/5

Link: Blue Yeti 

Mackie Element Series EM USB

Mackie Element Series EM USB
Name Mackie Element Series Compact 
Brand Mackie 
Price $80
Polar Pattern Cardioid pattern
Height 7.1inches 

The Mackie Element series EM USB is a budget-friendly and a compact USB microphone that captures clean audio and has a sampling rate 48kHz, making it ideal for professionals. The microphone has built-in support for headphones to hear your voice in real-time

This microphone has a cardioid polar pattern which makes it an ideal choice for most streamers and live recordings. Similarly, for onboard controls, you can use the features such as instant mute and volume control knobs. 

And like other USB microphones on the market, it is ready to go just as you plug it in. As for fine-tuning the sounds, you can use softwares such as Equaliser, Compressor, Reverber8, and Limiter. 

In short, for professional users who are looking for a high-grade microphone that offers clean recordings with just the right sensitivity, the Mackie Element EM USB is one of our top picks for the best mini USB microphones. 

Pros 

Metallic build quality with a durable stand.

Affordable

Compact footprint 

Cons 

No Built-In Pop Filter

Review Star: 4.5/5

Link: Mackie EleMent Series EM-USB

Samson 29/C01UPRO

Samson 29/C01UPRO
Name Samson 29/C01UPRO
Brand Samson 
Price $50
Polar Pattern Super Cardioid pattern
Height 7inches 

One of the most highly-rated USB microphones on the market, the Samson 29/C01UPRO is a must-have if you’re working on a tight budget. This microphone brings top-notch sound quality to the table and with the built-in headphone amplifier, you can enjoy zero-latency recordings and customize your voice when you feel necessary. 

The Samson 29/C01UPRO has a super-cardioid pickup that captures sounds from a single direction with a decent dynamic range while tossing all the sounds coming from other directions. 

Similarly, this microphone manages to capture sounds with a frequency of 18kHZ which is the sweet spot for most scenarios. Whether you’re recording from a professional studio or your mancave, the Samson 29/C01UPRO will deliver professional sound. 

With a sized diaphragm mic, this microphone is sure to capture everything you’ll say in front of it. Although a pop filter is sorely missed here, nonetheless, for this budget, it is an absolute steal. 

Pros 

Readily works with macOS & Windows 

Very cheap 

Compact size, ideal for people who record on the go. 

Cons 

No onboard controls 

Review Star: 4.5/5

LinkSamson 29/C01UPRO

Rode NT-USB Mini 

Rode NT-USB Mini 
Name Rode NT-USB Mini 
Brand Rode
Price $100
Polar Pattern Cardioid pattern
Height 6.75inches 

Rode NT-USB Mini microphone is one of those products you cannot go wrong with. With superior sound quality, flawless metallic chassis, and most importantly, an integrated pop filter, the Rode NT-USB is right up your alley if you’re after a microphone with a cardioid polar pattern

A condenser mike that’s manufactured to capture the most natural voices, the Rode NT-USB Mini can be a viable option for podcasts, zoom calls, and live streaming. But, if you’re keeping it at a distance, it won’t be as accurate and a hollow sound can be heard.

For the best possible sound, it is highly recommended to keep it right in front of the mouth. Moving on, the Rode NT-USB also features low-latency support for headphones where you can listen to your voice in real time and adjust the tunes properly. 

With a compact size, good build quality, and most importantly, a magnet base, the Rode NT-USB Mini is a very good option under the budget of just $100. 

Pros

Versatile and easy to carry around.

Has a frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz and a 24-bit/48kHz.

Compatible with Rode Connect 

Cons 

Sound hollow if placed at a distance 

Review Star: 4.6/5

Link: Rode NT-USB Mini 

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
Name Audio-Technica AT2020USB+
Brand Audio-Technica
Price $60
Polar Pattern Cardioid pattern
Height 6.3inches 

Looking for the most versatile microphone? The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ with its cardioid pattern is one of the best on the market. Featuring a sampling rate of 48kHz, the AT2020USB+ is known for capturing high-quality sounds. 

And since it is highly recommended by top Youtubers and music professionals, the AT2020USB+ is one of the most-sold USB microphones on the market. Moreover,  the microphone’s cardioid pattern makes it ideal for streaming games and video calls. 

The sensitivity of the microphone can be adjusted. In case you’re worried that it’ll pick up the barks of your dog and meows of your just, don’t sweat as the microphone’s sensitivity can be adjusted so that it can only pick the sounds that you want to record. 

Aesthetically, the microphone isn’t the most attractive but when it comes to sound quality, the AT2020USB+ won’t disappoint. 

Pros

Low self-noise 

Illuminated LED indicator to indicate its operational status

Doesn’t require any additional softwares 

Cons 

The microphone doesn’t come with a shock mount. 

Review Star: 4.7/5

Link: Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

MicrophoneFeaturesPerformance Quality Value 
Blue Yeti 4 Pickup PatternsImpressive performanceDurable metallic bodyPricey
Mackie Element Series CompactInstant muteComes with a tripod standPretty decent Solid Mid-range 
Samson 29/Co1UPROVery compact, Super cardioid polar patternGood Above-par Cheap
Rode NT-USB Mini Comes with a pop filter Extremely good, especially at close distances Impressive quality.Pricey
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+Adjustable input Quite good. Built for longevityAffordable 

Conclusion 

Finally, these are some of the finest mini USB microphones that are currently being sold on the market. All of them offer superior sound quality and are ideal for streamers, YouTubers, and almost everyone who professionally or personally looking to add a mini USB microphone to their gear. 

Each product we’ve mentioned has its strong and weak points but before making the final decision, do take into consideration the key factors such as budget, size, and compatibility. Although we’ve mentioned both, premium and budget-friendly options, it is ultimately on you to decide the one you want. 

And since you’ve entrusted us to make the recommendation, we do suggest taking a closer look at Blue Yeti and Rode NT-USB Mini if you have the budget. Otherwise, Mackie Element Series Compact, Samson 29, and AT2020USB+ are excellent choices if you don’t want to spend too much. 

FAQs 

Are USB microphones worth it?

USB microphones can capture high-quality sound and they’re easy to manage. For creating online content and video calls, USB microphones are quite worth it. 

Is a USB mic better than XLR?

USB microphones are neither better nor worse compared to XLR microphones since both of them have their own advantages. For instance, a USB microphone uses plug-and-play mechanics while XLR needs to be plugged into an interface. Similarly, XLR microphones can capture high-frequency sounds which most USB microphones don’t. 

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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.

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