Are USB microphones good?

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An external microphone is a must now – especially if you are a high-flying executive or thought leader who guests on podcasts nonstop. You might wonder are USB microphones good? Or at least good enough for what you are trying to accomplish?

And the answer is yes. They are a world apart from built-in microphones on laptops. And while it might sound fun, you don’t need some fancy audio panel, condenser or whatnot. XLR connections are often called more professional, USB connections get the job done. Plus, I’ve never seen a laptop with an XLR connection – so the setup becomes more evolved.

Read next: AirPods for Podcasting: Can I use AirPods to record a podcast?

The different types of USB

There’s still a good amount of microphones that connect through USB-B (the wider connector) and those work and I’ve used them. Now mics often connect through the more prevalent USB-C, a smaller connector and there’s a push to move toward this in general for all devices. Apple devices for example are moving toward it. The MacBook Pro only has USB-C, so a USB-B mic has to run through a USB hub or similar device anyway.

USB hub

But let’s talk about mics. You really just a mic, that you can put in front of you and that makes you sound good. There are plenty of options when it comes to USB microphones. Here are a few.

The livestreamer mic

USB microphone livestreamer

Just like I sit in a gaming chair and I don’t game (they are comfortable) you can use a live-streamer mic even if you don’t live stream. Though, I still think podcasts should be livestreamed. If you like the colors, this one is for you especially. If not, don’t go near it.

Read next: How to sound natural on a podcast

The Yeti

If you are wondering are USB microphones good and the first one you pick up is the Yeti, you’ll never wonder again. It’s been a favorite for me for over a decade and it works great. It also looks nice when in front of me on a video podcast. It does run on the older USB-B connection, though.

Yeti USB mic

It works and does sound great and that’s ultimately what we are after when appearing on podcasts.

The dynamic podcaster mic 

dynamic USB microphone

There are plenty of microphone options available and you can browse them here. And in short, USB microphones – C and even B – are just fine. Plus, setting up an XLR connection is way more work.

Read next: The podcast gear survey

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