For as few parts as a microphone has, it’s really amazing how many different types there are and how many different qualities of sound eventually come out of them. USB microphones are one such type. In this review, I’ll show you which are currently the most popular USB mics in the overall market today – at Amazon in particular.
I’ll cover four USB microphones from companies like Blue, HyperX, and FIFINE. If you’re just interested in checking the pricing and availability of each of these at Amazon just now, you can click (tap) the links in the list just below. Otherwise, you can keep scrolling and reading to find out the few details there are that distinguish each of these popular USB microphones.
- FIFINE USB Microphone
- Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone
- Blue Yeti Nano USB Microphone
- HyperX QuadCast USB Gaming Microphone
For such a short list, it’s kind of amazing that the Blue brand shows up twice, isn’t it? Or isn’t it…?
FIFINE USB Microphone
We’ll start with the least expensive of the four, the FIFINE USB Microphone. (You get a bit of a hint that this mic is going to be on the cheaper side when the manufacturer doesn’t even give it a name, like the others do below.)
This FIFINE mic, which comes in black, blue, silver, green, and rose red models, is intended for multiple uses, except that it’s not compatible with the Xbox or with phones. It comes with a 5.9-foot USB cable and a tripod stand.
This is strictly a cardioid polar pattern mic that should minimize the picking up of background noises. FIFINE mentions that this mic is suitable for Cortana, Discord, OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), TeamSpeak, Twitch, Zoom, Webex, Chime, Audacity, and other streaming and gaming applications.
If this mic interests you, you might also want to take a look at this FIFINE kit that includes a suspension boom scissor arm and double pop screen. Or this very similar kit setup from MAONO. Another option – for about the same price as the FIFINE – is this mic from TONOR that includes a pop screen.
Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone
The Blue Snowball – which comes in black or white, but not blue – is another cardioid condenser mic that works with PC and Mac systems. It also comes with a tripod and has a cute spherical shape – thus, the name Snowball – that measures 325 millimeters in circumference and weighs 460 grams.
This is a USB 2.0 mic, but it’s 3.0 compatible. The Snowball mic is Skype and Discord certified and carries a 2-year warranty. It’s a little difficult to pin down exactly what these certifications are, but I trust that they basically mean the company has tested a given product – a USB mic, in this case – and found that it works properly and well with their software. Good to know, I guess.
What does the “iCE” stand for? As far as I can tell, nothing. I think it’s just a gimmicky way to capitalize “ice” so that you notice it, and it’s a word that goes with “snowball”. If you know differently, tell us about it.
Blue Yeti Nano USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti Nano USB mic kicks things up a notch by offering 2 pick-up patterns. In addition to the common cardioid pattern, you can switch to omni-directional which is especially useful if you have a room full of people (or even just two) all providing input into the same mic.
You can choose from three fancy-sounding colors – blackout, shadow gray, or vivid blue – for this Blue Yeti mic that is plug and play on both PC and Mac systems. Features not found in all the mics listed here are as follows.
- No-latency monitoring
- Onboard headphone output
- Volume control
- Mic mute
Put all the above together and you get a mic that’s great for listening to and managing your voice recording in real time.
In addition, there is a companion program (app) called the Blue Sherpa that gives you access to the Blue “VO!CE” vocal effects and enables you to control the mic from your desktop. With the Sherpa, you can do all of the following.
- Mute / unmute the Yeti Nano and headphones
- Adjust gain
- Fine tune levels
- Switch polar patterns
- Change sample rates
This software will even download any future firmware updates directly to your Yeti. No need to actively go looking for updates.
A popular accessory for the Blue Yeti Nano is the windscreen described below.
Cover / Windscreen for Blue Yeti Microphone
This is a foam cover designed for both the Yeti and Yeti Pro microphones. The high-density foam should improve recording quality by eliminating excess noise and wind interference.
This mic cover for the Yeti will also protect your mic from dust, dirt, spills, and spit. It measures 3.1 by 3.3 inches and may be suitable for other brands as well.
HyperX QuadCast USB Gaming Microphone
The best of our most popular USB mics in this list is the HyperX QuadCast USB Gaming microphone. It gets its name, QuadCast, from the fact that it has cardioid, omni-directional, bi-directional, and stereo as options for pick-up patterns.
This USB 3.0 mic has an anti-vibration shock mount and an internal pop filter to help keep your input as clean as possible. The mount adapter that’s included works with 3/8 inch and 5/8 inch threaded setups. The QuadCast is compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, PS5 (which gamers will appreciate), and various chat programs.
You get a “tap to mute” sensor with an LED light that indicates its status. You can control the gain and monitor input via the 3.5 millimeter headphone jack.
The HyperX QuadCast mic is certified by both Discord and TermSpeak.
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