If you’re looking to play video games with friends then you need a way to communicate. The in-game text chat is fine for some titles, but if you’re looking to play any fast-paced titles, then voice chat is definitely the way to go, and for that, you need a good microphone.
To help you on your search, we reviewed dozens of microphones for gaming to find the best options out there. We reviewed everything from stand-alone microphones as you’ve probably seen your favorite streamers rocking, to more casual and accessible headset + microphone combos that take care of all your audio needs in one. We looked at the interface system, recording quality, available polar patterns, physical interfaces (switches on the mic itself), and the frequency range that the mic can pick up to pick the best of the best.
Our overall pick was the HyperX QuadCast USB Mic, due to its excellent audio quality, easy-to-use interface, and an excellent array of included accessories. This is the perfect microphone for streamers and casual players alike, and it comes with all the features you could want, including a built-in pop filter, a solid frequency range for true-to-life sound, and a shock-resistant mount to keep any vibration noise to a bare minimum.
The 5 Top-Rated Microphones
|Best Microphone for Gaming Overall||HyperX QuadCast USB Condenser Gaming Microphone||4.8|
|Best Microphone for Gaming Bundle||Universal Lavalier USB Microphone||4.8|
|Best Budget Microphone for Gaming||Universal Lavalier USB Microphone||4.8|
|Best Desktop Microphone for Gaming||Innoo Tech USB Gaming Microphone||4.8|
|Best Streaming Microphone for Gaming||Blue Yeti X Professional Condenser USB Microphone||4.7|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Best Microphone for Gaming Overall: HyperX QuadCast
The HyperX QuadCast is a great option for streamers, podcasters, and just anyone who wants to be heard in hi-def online.
It features an intuitive gain switch to making adjusting your sensitivity a cinch, which is great if you occasionally have to adjust to not pick up road-noise, lawnmowers, and barking pups. It has four polar patterns including bi-directional, stereo, cardioid, and omnidirectional settings, which makes it one of the most versatile options on the list.
This makes it great for anyone looking to record audio on their PC, whether you’re recording voice over, a podcast, or just asking your buddies where you’re droppin’ in your favorite battle royale. And your listeners will enjoy your buttery-smooth audio thanks to the 20Hz-20kHz frequency range, which gives you a very faithful recording sound.
Finally, the physical controls on this are great. You have a simple gain knob, a volume knob for your monitor output, the polar pattern selector, and an awesome touch-sensitive mute button that you can hit quickly and easily and know, thanks to the built-in LED, that you’re no longer recording.
HyperX QuadCast Key Features:
- 20hz-20kHZ frequency range for excellent sound reproduction across all tones.
- Four different polar pattern settings for use in a variety of recording scenarios.
- USB plug and play connectivity work with PC and PS4 with ease.
- Comes with pop filter and vibration-dampening mic stand.
Best Gaming Microphone Bundle: Blucoil MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone Bundle
Next up, we have an excellent bundle option from Blucoil, the MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Bundle. This bundle includes the mic itself, a pop filter, and a high-quality XLR cable. Overall, this is a great all-in-one option, especially if you’re looking to save a little money too.
The cardioid polar pattern is perfect for recording all types of vocals, and it eliminates noise from the back and sides, and instead only picks up audio from in front. This is absolutely perfect for gaming as you don’t typically want random sounds from around your house getting broadcasted to your squadmates. The mic also automatically cancels ultra-low frequency noises thanks to its built-in roll-off feature.
This prevents the mic from picking up noises like your AC unit, lawnmowers outside, and passing cars, which is all great for keeping comms clear during high-stress moments in your games…and for keeping your friends from being annoyed with you.
Blucoil MXL 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone Bundle Key Features:
- Includes XLR cable, pop filter, and mic stand.
- The cardioid polar pattern is perfect for picking up voice comms, but can also be used for solo podcasting, voice-over, and other recording tasks including micing up many instruments.
- 30Hz-20Khz frequency range picks up voice audio while eliminating ultra-low-end environmental noise.
Best Budget Microphone for Gaming: KRTYLT Universal Lavalier USB Mic
The KRTYLT Universal Lavalier microphone is a great budget option for anyone looking to save a little money and still get decent audio quality. Lavalier mics, also called lapel mics or just lav mics, clip to your shirt near your throat and do a good job of picking up spoken audio in a certain range. It won’t be the highest fidelity recording in the world, but this mic is perfectly capable of transmitting voice comms during games, and even recording voice over for video.
We like it because it’s extremely affordable, and the setup couldn’t be easier. Just plug the USB cable into your computer and clip the mic to your collar or lapel and you’re good to go. It’s also great for vlogging and the like because you can easily set it up to record with your camera or laptop, making it a great option for gaming on the go. There’s no more convenient option for setting up a gaming laptop in a hotel room when you still want a standalone microphone. In fact, if you have a pair of headphones that you want to use and you don’t want to go with a headset that includes a mic for travel, this is a really excellent option.
And of course, at well under $20, it’s super affordable, so anyone can use it. It’s cheap enough that you can easily throw an extra one in your bag when you’re on the road so that you always have a spare, and it’s a huge step up from a laptop’s built-in microphone for things like Zoom calls. And of course, it works a treat for multiplayer games as well.
KRTYLT Universal Lavalier USB Mic Key Features:
- Ultra affordable price point makes it easy to pick up as a spare mic solution.
- Setup couldn’t be any easier, just plug it in and you’re ready to go.
- Works well on the go and is one of the best portable options.
- Audio quality is great for the price, and the overall design is simple enough that anyone can use it.
Best Desktop Microphone for Gaming: Innoo Tech USB Gaming Microphone
Next, we have another affordable option, the Innoo Tech USB Gaming Microphone. This microphone is great if you’re going to be leaving your gaming setup in place and want a simple standalone mic solution. It uses a 360-degree gooseneck design that makes it easy to position somewhere convenient and out of the way. The omnidirectional mic is fairly similar to a lavalier mic, but it has a much lower chance of picking up the noise of you moving since it’ll be mounted to your desk.
It has a heavy plastic base to keep it in place, and a simple mute button so you can mute at the hardware level quickly and easily if you’re going to be AFK or you’re going to open a bag of chips or something and don’t want to annoy your squadmates. Like the lav mic above, it’s plug and play, so all you have to do is find an open USB port and you’ll be in business, no mic software or driver downloads needed. Best of all, it’s super affordable, so you won’t have to shell out a ton of cash.
Audio quality is good and is actually better than a lot of the more expensive options we tested, but this is still a sub-$20 mic so temper your expectations accordingly. That said, this is more than adequate for everything from conference calls to voiceovers to giving frantic callouts on the digital battlefield. No crackling and no cutting out, and the mic works well with Discord and Teamspeak and doesn’t have issues with drivers like you might see with some other budget mics.
Innoo Tech USB Gaming Microphone Key Features:
- The omnidirectional polar pattern is great for picking up everything you say.
- It uses a plug and play design, so no worrying about software or driver installs.
- Adjustable desktop design makes it easy to put it somewhere unobtrusive.
- Low-noise cable eliminates feedback and other incidental sounds for clearer, cleaner audio.
Best Gaming Microphone for Streaming: Blue Yeti X Professional Condenser USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti X Professional Condenser USB Microphone is a great option if you’re interested in streaming or recording audio over video clips, or you just want the absolute best audio performance for gaming. It utilizes four separate mic capsules to capture the widest possible range of frequencies for some of the best true-to-live audio you can get without stepping up to high-end vocal recording mics that music studios and the like use.
It also gives you an easy-to-read LED meter so you can see how much of your audio is being picked up so you have less mixing to do in post, which is especially good if you’re doing live vocals in a video that you want to keep instead of recording your voice over later. You can also easily adjust your gain and headset volume on the mic itself without alt-tabbing to dig into your settings, which is always nice. It also allows you to adjust your in-ear mix so you can tweak how much of your game audio you’re hearing versus how much of your mic audio you’re hearing, which is great if you’re doing any kind of recording, but it also means you can turn off the in-ear monitoring of your own voice if, like many people, you hate hearing yourself talk.
Blue Yeti X Professional Condenser USB Microphone Key Features:
- Excellent recording software is included to help you easily get pro-quality audio quickly.
- Multiple polar patterns and a wide gain adjustment make it easy to dial in your sound.
- Wide recording frequency gives you very high-fidelity recordings.
- The whole thing is extremely easy to set up and use, and you’ll be up and running in minutes.
Who Should Buy a Microphone for Gaming
If you’re a streamer or YouTuber and you want to record crispy, clear audio for your content, then there’s no question that you need a quality microphone. For everyone else, it really depends on what you’re doing, but if you’re going to be communicating with other players, then voice comms are the way to go and that means you need a microphone. Getting one that’s especially well-suited for gaming is a good call because chances are, you’re going to be using it an awful lot and you probably want something that sounds good. You don’t want your friends thinking you’re trying to give callouts over a tin can and a string, after all.
Picking up a quality microphone, whether you go with a headset mic or a standalone desktop mic for even higher audio quality, will seriously up your game, and is an absolute must if you want to record audio for a video. They’re also great for video calls and dictating notes, so they’re great for anyone that works from home and for students as well.
Important Features to Consider
A quality gaming microphone should have a few key features included if you want the best performance. Here’s what to consider when selecting a microphone for gaming:
- Excellent Audio Quality. The most basic thing for a microphone is you need good audio quality. This means a quality mic capsule, and the ability to record across a broad frequency band so you get high-fidelity audio, instead of something that sounds tinny or bassy. You want to sound like yourself, and you want to be able to eliminate background noise, so a good polar pattern helps too.
- Easy Setup. The last thing you want is to have to install a bunch of programs and drivers just to use your mic. Typically, USB mics will be plug and play, so we want to go with something that can be set up quickly. Leave the sound engineering to the professionals, we just want something that works.
- Good Physical Interface. You’re in the middle of a firefight or a challenging raid. Suddenly everyone is clamoring for you to turn down your mic sensitivity because all they can hear is the police siren outside your window. Do you want to alt-tab and then dig through your mix settings to adjust your gain? No, of course not. Having things like gain, in-ear volume, and polar pattern adjustable on the mic itself is a big help.
- USB or Studio Interface. This is less of a feature than just something to be wary of. If you aren’t looking for a studio mic using an XLR cable, make sure you get a USB mic. It’s just something to pay attention to when you’re hitting the “add to cart” button.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does “gain” mean?
Gain is a measure of the signal strength from the microphone to the output device. Practically, it controls how sensitive your mic is. If your voice isn’t getting picked up, increase your gain. If your voice sounds blown out or crackly, or you’re picking up lots of extra sounds other than just your voice, turn your gain down.
What are the different polar patterns for?
Simply put, polar patterns dictate where the microphone is listening. The most common is a cardioid polar pattern that listens to what is directly in front of it, but you can also get omnidirectional mics that listen to everything around them, bi-directional patterns that pick up just what’s in front and behind the mic, and stereo which records a full band of sound to give you a rich, full tone that’s good for recording instruments like the guitar.
What does frequency range mean, and why does it matter?
Your microphone’s recording frequency range is basically just a measurement of how much of the available spectrum of sound it can record. When we speak, most of the sound we make is between 100-300hz, but to get the full scope of all the tones in our voice, the things that make our voice uniquely ours, a wider recording band is used. This gives you a recording that sounds more like you.
What’s the difference between an XLR mic and a USB mic?
Basically, they’re just two different connection types. Think of it as the difference between HDMI and DisplayPort. In general, you probably want a USB mic because that will work with all PCs. If you need an XLR mic, you’d know. Trust us.
Other Microphones for Gaming We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other microphones for gaming. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best gaming mics list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your gaming setup. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Gaming Microphones For Beginners
- Gaming Microphone Bundles
- Compact Microphones for Gaming
- Desktop Microphones for Gaming
- Headset Microphones for Gaming
Gaming Microphones For Beginners
The Blue Snowball iCE USB mic is a great plug-and-play option from a legendary microphone maker.
- Easy to install
This mic is a great do-it-all option that works well for gaming, voiceovers, and conference calls.
- Sets up in minutes
- Includes stand and pop filter
- Volume, gain, and polar pattern controls
Pyle is a popular name in the audio equipment world, and they did a great job on this affordable, entry-level mic.
- No drivers needed
- Sets up in seconds
This delightfully compact mic is a great entry-level option for laptop users.
- Clips to your laptop or can rest on a desk
- Great for travel
Gaming Microphone Bundles
This bundle is great for anyone looking for a high-end setup on a budget.
- Comes with headset monitors and swing arm
- Easy to setup
- Plug-and-play design
This bundle from Audio-Technica is great for beginners and experienced content creators alike.
- Great way to jump right into high-end audio
- Includes everything you need to get started
- Excellent recording quality
This kit from Pyle includes a carrying case and is a great way to take your gaming or podcasting on the road.
- USB interface
- Comes with a stand
- Includes travel case
This bundle includes pop and wind filters as well as a USB cable and a boom arm so you can get a pro-level setup up and running quickly.
- Includes a swing arm so you can position the mic right where you want it.
- USB interface
- Comes with a pop filter for more professional sound
Compact Microphones for Gaming
This lapel mic is a great option for recording on the road.
- Automatically filters out excess noise
This excellent little mic is great for getting high-quality sound when traveling.
- Flexible mic stand
- No drivers to install
- Easy-to-use controls
Desktop Microphones for Gaming
The Blue Snowball is an industry-standard, and with good reason. Can’t go wrong here.
- Works with Blue recording software
- Easy to setup
- Great for capturing high-quality audio
The big brother of the Snowball, the Yeti is one of the most popular streaming and podcasting mics around. Also with good reason.
- Vibration-dampening stand
- Quick setup
- Volume, gain, and mute controls are easy to access.
- Great for casual gaming or recording
- Super-precise polar pattern eliminates extra noise
- Compact design
Headset Microphones for Gaming
The HyperX Cloud Stinger is as comfortable to wear as its namesake suggests.
- Super-Soft Memory Foam Earcups
- Mic mutes when you flip it up
- Intuitive volume controls
Used by esports pros around the world, this headset will give you every advantage in a firefight.
- Extra-comfy earcups
- Passive noise canceling
A premium headset from Razer, this is a great option if you’re looking for a built-in DAC as well.
- Inline DAC
- Built-in pop filter
- Steel headband for long life
The Kraken headset is a fan favorite, and a great option if you want a quality headset with a built-in mic
- Available in multiple colors
- Great for gaming on the go
- Very comfortable to wear
- Includes stand
- Plug-and-play design
- Super high-fidelity recording quality
The Yeti Nano is a great option if you want high-quality audio but don’t have a lot of space in your recording area.
- Easy to setup
- Available in multiple colors
This microphone is a great premium option if you want high-end audio, without spending too terrible much.
- Cardioid condenser mic is great for gaming
- USB interface
- Excellent sound quality