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Best Microphones for Streamers – Q2U, WMX-1, and Wave 1

The role of audio quality has never been more significant than today, where viewers are constantly prioritizing professional-looking streams that offer more immersive experiences.

Whatever streaming route you decide to take, whether it’s gaming, hosting talk shows, or showcasing your particular artistic talent, the right microphone can make a world of difference in your streaming experience. 

And while there are hundreds of different brands and models available out there, just a handful of them offer the perfect balance between value and price, which is why choosing the best microphone for your streaming setup can be somewhat tricky. 

For that reason, we decided to create this comprehensive guide, where we explore the best microphones for streaming in 2023 considering some of the most important factors such as the microphone’s type, resolution, polar pattern, etc., and offering different options to suit various budgets and streaming styles.

So, if you’re planning on getting a new microphone for your streaming setup but haven’t decided yet which one suits your needs the most, then this article is definitely for you! 

Maono PD400X – A Great Dynamic USB-C/XLR Hybrid Microphone

Also Included on this list is the PD400X, a dynamic microphone that recently won the gold tier award here on Streamer’s Haven. It sounds great, looks great, and supports USB-C and XLR. An excellent microphone for any streamer.


  • Fantastic Audio
  • Excellent Background noise Rejection
  • Doesn’t require an inline amplifier to make it loud enough
  • Looks professional
  • Excellent build quality
  • USB-C support
  • XLR Support


  • Pretty heavy – You’ll need a beefy microphone boom arm to handle it
  • Pop filters are difficult to find that aren’t goosenecks
  • Some features are USB only
    • XLR doesn’t have access to mute button
    • XLR doesn’t have access to the 3-in-one button
    • XLR doesn’t have access to the built-in monitor 3.5mm port
    • XLR doesn’t have access to built-in equalizers

Samson Q2U, The Best Microphone for New Streamers

The Best microphone for streamers just starting out - Samson Q2U
Pic By David from MazePress

Just starting out? You may be drowning yourself in research as to what microphone you can buy, and this is good! You should always get multiple viewpoints when looking into buying something.

However, I urge caution; While your research on microphones may state that studio condenser-style microphones may produce the best possible sound (and they’d be technically correct), most reviewers don’t mention something important:

What this means, in practice, is that a Studio Dynamic-style microphone, like this Samson Q2U, is actually a better choice if you don’t have that in place. Barring edge cases of those of you who have good, natural room acoustics. IE, your room has a lot of absorbing materials in it or a lot of stuff in it to diffuse the sound, eliminating reverb.

This microphone here has a very good sound, especially considering the price it is at. However, the best feature of the Samson Q2U is the inclusion of both a USB and XLR connection. What this means, is that it can be used on a PC, Via USB, or connected to a more professional Audio interface/Mixer. This provides a solid upgrade path to you, so you don’t need to heavily invest up-front.

Here is a review by EposVox that goes over the sound of this mic.


  • Fantastic audio quality for the price
  • Both USB and XLR connections available
  • Built-in monitoring port for headphones
  • Kit comes with a mini-tripod mount, a foam pad to help against the wind from a fan/outside, and all the wires that it needs to connect to things.
  • The alternate kit comes with a boom arm and small pop filter
  • Powered by PC, no need for batteries
  • Decent option for moving around while talking, if you are okay with holding the microphone like a singer.


  • They are considered to be “ugly” on stream compared to other, more fancy-looking mics like the SM7B.
  • You need to be 1-3inches away from the microphone for it to sound really good
    • You can’t really keep the microphone out of the camera frame, it’s gotta be close
  • Fairly large microphone design due to the internal ADC for the USB connection
  • The included mini-tripod takes up a fair amount of desk real estate
  • The alternate kit uses a very cheap boom arm. Expect it to break within a year or so.

Movo WMX-1 – A Wireless Solution for Streamers Who Move Around A Lot

If you are doing a work-out stream, or have some sort of need for high mobility, then the best option for you would be either a wireless headset or a lavalier microphone connected to a wireless transmitter. While the first option is a possibility, you will likely have better audio – for cheaper – using a dedicated lavalier/lapel microphone wireless system.

The Winner here is the Movo WMX-1, a 2.4 GHz wireless lavalier microphone system. You can hear the microphone in action here.


  • Max of 200 feet audio range, allowing you to easily use your phone as the webcam for a stream while streaming something like tennis
  • Uses 3.5mm cables to connect, making it compatible with phones if you stream IRL
  • The audio is clear and easy to understand
  • The audio quality is fairly good
  • The wireless transmitter can be clipped to your clothes, mounted to a tripod, or stuffed in your pocket
  • Built-in headphone monitoring jack
  • The mic can be hidden out of view


  • Not the cheapest wireless system available (But also not nearly the most expensive one.)
  • Completely plastic design
    • Be careful with the attachable clips. If you pull on it, there is the potential to break the clip.
  • No built-in battery
  • Max of 6-hour battery life using two Alkaline AAA batteries for the transmitter. Rechargeable will vary based on mAh.
  • May pick up clothing rubbing on mic diaphragm
  • Susceptible to radio interference

This is one of the most helpful systems for any streamer who can’t sit in one place. Like a headset microphone, this style of a microphone is one that will always remain a good distance from your mouth. Unfortunately, most of the cost of this system is in the actual wireless aspect, the transmitter, and the receiver. If this is beyond what you can afford, then if you can deal with a long wire, this lav mic by MAONO may be an option for you.

Elgato Wave 1 – The Best Microphone for Streamers With Basic Room Acoustics Treatment

If you have some sound treatment in place, like acoustic foam, or insulation, then you may get better results using a condenser-style microphone. The Elgato Wave one fits this bill quite nicely, as it also has a built-in software audio mixer.

The addition of an audio mixer gives you an incredible amount of control over your audio. However, mixers tend to cost a lot of money and, until recently, were really the only solution outside of programming a MIDI device to do something similar. Enter the Elgato Wave 1. This microphone, and its bigger cousin, the Wave 3, do something that no other microphone does. It allows you to create a virtual mixer and create sources that a real mixer can latch onto and control.

Windows 10 does have a built-in Software Mixer, but it relies on having either real physical devices to create sources or for another program to create the sources for it, like Virtual Audio Cable. Check out this video by EposVox to see how it works in action.

Note: You don’t need an audio mixer to stream. Having one just makes your life easier and makes your stream feel more professional when you can fade out audio sources whenever you like.


  • Very good audio quality (Capsule made by Lewitt)
  • USB connection into PC
  • Built-in virtual Mixer functionality, removing the need for Virtual Audio Cable entirely
  • Able to create additional virtual sources that you can control with other equipment
  • It looks very good on stream.


  • The controls aren’t separate from the mic, resulting in mic handling noise when using it
  • Its proprietary design means that it isn’t compatible with standard mounts, and shock mounts.
  • The casing is made entirely from plastic and feels cheap/lightweight
  • Boom arms designed for heavier mics will not stay in the position you set it to.
  • Wave 1 can only adjust the volume to the headphone jack for monitoring
    • Wave 3 can do that, the gain, and the balance between real-time monitoring and any sound being output to it via USB (Credit to EposVox for clarifying this in that video)

How I Chose These Microphones to Recommend

There are a few criteria I set when making this list of microphones. First, I needed a microphone that was cheap, and uncomplicated for new streamers. That meant choosing a microphone that performs well in an acoustically untreated room and was easy to set up. This led me to the Samson Q2U.

The Q2U can be either mounted in a microphone boom arm, table stand, or held in your hand, making it easy to use. The fact that it is a dynamic microphone also made it a good choice for streamers who don’t have any acoustic treatment in their room. Finally, the microphone comes in at under $100 and doesn’t require an audio interface to run, satisfying the cheap requirement. These three facts are what ultimately led me to add this microphone to this list as the best microphone for new streamers.

Next, I needed a microphone option for those of you who are streaming things like Tennis or have a large area in which you create your content. This eliminated the studio microphone class and anything wired, meaning I needed a wireless microphone that could be mounted to your shirt. I needed a wireless lavalier microphone system like the Movo WMX-1.

Finally, I needed a microphone for those of you who have already taken the first steps for room acoustics treatment. This last microphone is a condenser microphone and sports the highest audio quality of the three options. Additionally, you don’t need to be right up on the microphone like a dynamic microphone requires for good sound. Of course, closer is better, but you can keep this microphone out of the camera frame or talk a bit off-axis and still be heard clearly.

Ultimately, that led me to the Elgato Wave 1 microphone. The reason is simple – It has an extra feature that most microphones don’t – A software mixer that the mic can control.

Introduction: The Importance of a High-Quality Microphone for Streaming

Behind every good streamer lies a high-quality microphone that delivers clear and crisp audio. Whether you’re narrating gameplay, conducting live interviews, or sharing your thoughts with your audience, a top-tier microphone ensures that your message is delivered with impeccable clarity. 

A proper microphone is able to capture the nuances of your voice, conveying your excitement, humor, or passion with precision. The immersive experience it offers can captivate your audience, keeping them engaged and loyal to your content, which is why having good audio quality should be at the top of your list of priorities as a streamer. 

In essence, a high-quality microphone is not just a tool; it’s an investment in the growth of your streaming career and the overall quality of your content.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Microphone for Streaming

Before diving into our extensive list of top microphone recommendations, it is crucial to understand the key factors to consider when selecting the right one for you and for your streaming setup:

Type of microphone: Condenser vs. Dynamic

Condenser microphones are known for their exceptional sensitivity and ability to capture clear and detailed audio. Condenser mics use a diaphragm placed near a backplate, creating an electrical charge when soundwaves hit the diaphragm. 

This sensitivity results in a broader frequency response, making them ideal for capturing vocals and acoustic instruments with precision. However, condenser microphones are more sensitive to ambient noise and require phantom power, which can be supplied by an audio interface or mixer.

On the other hand, dynamic microphones are rugged workhorses known for their durability and ability to handle high sound pressure levels. These microphones are less sensitive than condenser mics and are excellent at rejecting background noise, making them suitable for noisy environments or live settings. 

Dynamic microphones work by using a diaphragm attached to a coil of wire placed within a magnetic field. When soundwaves hit the diaphragm, it moves the coil, generating an electrical signal. 

Due to their durability and noise rejection capabilities, dynamic microphones are often used by streamers looking for reliable audio capture without the need for additional equipment like a dedicated audio interface. 


You cannot ignore a microphone’s type of connection when buying one because it determines how the microphone interfaces with your streaming setup. 

USB microphones are plug-and-play, making them user-friendly and suitable for beginners, but they may have limitations in terms of audio quality and customization. 

XLR microphones on the other hand, offer superior sound quality and flexibility but require additional audio interfaces and equipment, making them the better choice for professional or advanced streamers, but also the most expensive. 


Resolution in a microphone refers to its ability to capture and reproduce audio with clarity and detail, especially in high-frequency ranges. It is typically measured in bits and represents the microphone’s capacity to convert analog sound waves into digital data. 

A microphone with higher resolution can capture the subtleties of your voice, musical instruments, or ambient sounds more accurately, providing a more immersive and professional listening experience for your audience. This is particularly important in streaming, where audio quality plays a vital role in engaging viewers and maintaining their interest. 

While for consumer/end-user applications, a resolution of 16 bits is perfectly fine, for professional use (including streaming of course) a resolution of 24 bits would be the ideal.

Frequency response

Frequency response in a microphone refers to its ability to capture and reproduce audio frequencies across the audible spectrum, typically measured in Hertz (Hz). 

When buying a microphone for streaming, considering its frequency response is of utmost importance as it determines how accurately the microphone captures your voice and other audio sources. 

A microphone with a wide and flat frequency response, covering the full range of human hearing (usually 20Hz to 20kHz), is ideal for capturing natural and detailed audio, ensuring that your streams sound clear and professional. 

It allows your audience to hear the nuances in your voice and any accompanying sounds or music faithfully, enhancing the overall quality of your content and engagement with viewers.

Polar pattern 

The polar pattern of a microphone refers to its sensitivity to sound from different directions. There are various polar patterns, such as cardioid, omnidirectional, and bidirectional, each with distinct characteristics. 

When buying a microphone for streaming, considering the polar pattern is essential because it determines how the microphone captures audio. For streaming, a cardioid polar pattern is often preferred as it primarily captures sound from the front while minimizing noise from the sides and rear. 

This pattern helps isolate your voice from background noise and ensures clear and focused audio for your stream, making it a crucial factor to enhance the overall audio quality of your content.


Max SPL (Sound Pressure Level) represents the maximum sound pressure level a microphone can handle without distorting the audio. This specification is typically measured in decibels (dB).

When streaming, you may encounter loud sounds, such as sudden shouts or high-impact gaming moments. If your microphone cannot handle these loud sounds without distortion, it can result in poor audio quality, clipping, or even damage to the microphone’s diaphragm.

Therefore, when selecting a microphone for streaming, especially if you anticipate moments of high volume during your broadcasts, it’s essential to consider the microphone’s Max SPL rating. 

Ensure that it can comfortably handle the loudest sounds you expect to encounter without compromising audio quality. A higher Max SPL rating provides more headroom and flexibility in various streaming scenarios, ensuring that your audio remains clean and distortion-free.


Microphones come in a wide range of prices, and while premium models may offer top-notch audio quality and advanced features, there are a few solid budget-friendly options that can still deliver satisfactory performance (we will include a couple of them in this list).. 

By setting a budget, you can make an informed decision, preventing overspending on features you may not need immediately and ensuring that your microphone choice suits your financial resources while meeting your streaming audio requirements.

Best Microphones for Streaming: Our Top Recommendations

Razer Seiren V2 Pro

Type: Dynamic. Connectivity: USB. Resolution: 24-bit. Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz. Polar Pattern: Cardioid. Max SPL: 120 dB. Price: $149.99.

With its high-definition 24-bit audio and hyper-cardioid pickup pattern, this microphone ensures crystal-clear voice capture and eliminates unwanted background noise, delivering professional-grade sound that rivals studio setups.

And with its sleek, premium design and easy setup, it’s not just a microphone; it’s a statement piece that complements your streaming setup while offering broadcast-quality audio to keep your audience engaged and immersed in your content. 

Shure SM7B

Type: Dynamic. Connectivity: XLR. Resolution: 24-bit. Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 20 kHz. Polar Pattern: Cardioid. Max SPL: 180 dB. Price: $399.00.

With its exceptional sound quality and versatile applications, this microphone ensures that your voice is crystal clear and full-bodied, captivating your audience with every word. 

The SM7B’s flat, wide-range frequency response and cardioid polar pattern reduce background noise and capture your voice with remarkable precision, which is why it’s favorite among streamers both new and seasoned ones. 

And if you’re still not convinced about the SM7B, we encourage you to hop on the stream of famous streamers like Shroud, TFue or Spanish superstar streamer with over 15M followers Auronplay, and you will see them rocking this amazing microphone with superb audio quality. 

There is no doubt that this is certainly one of the best audio options available out there right now, but it’s also one of the most expensive ones. So, if you’re a new streamer who cannot comfortably afford to get this $399.00 microphone, don’t lose heart, there are more budget-friendly alternatives that can still deliver great results.

Audio-Technica AT2020

Type: Condenser. Connectivity: XLR. Resolution: 24-bit. Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz. Polar Pattern: Cardioid. Max SPL: 144 dB. Price: $99.00.

Renowned for its exceptional audio quality and affordable price, this studio-grade condenser microphone delivers crystal-clear, broadcast-standard sound that captivates your audience. 

The AT2020’s rugged build and versatility make it a reliable choice for not only streaming but also podcasting, voiceovers, and music recording, and serves as the perfect introduction to the XLR world. 

This microphone may not have the most powerful specs in comparison to other major names on this list, but it can certainly get the job done, especially if you’re just getting started with streaming.

Elgato Wave:3

Type: Condenser. Connectivity: USB. Resolution: 24-bit. Frequency Response: 70 Hz – 20 kHz. Polar Pattern: Cardioid. Max SPL: 120 dB. Price: $149.99.

This sleek and sophisticated microphone delivers pristine audio quality with a cardioid pickup pattern that focuses on your voice while minimizing background noise as it was designed with content creators and streamers in mind.

The Wave:3 also boasts an intuitive capacitive mute button, a multifunctional dial for easy audio control, and seamless integration with popular streaming software, making it a safe choice for pretty much any streamer out there.

Blue Yeti X

Type: Condenser. Connectivity: USB. Resolution: 24-bit. Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz. Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, Stereo. Max SPL: 122 dB. Price: $139.99.

Renowned for its exceptional audio quality and versatility that puts it above the competition, the Yeti X offers four pickup patterns, including cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo, ensuring crystal-clear sound capture for any streaming scenario. 

With a high-resolution LED meter, real-time monitoring, and precise controls, you have the power to fine-tune your audio effortlessly during live broadcasts. In addition, its sleek and modern design complements any streaming setup, and the plug-and-play USB connectivity makes it a breeze to set up, eliminating the need for complex audio interfaces. 

Rode NT-USB Mini

Type: Condenser. Connectivity: USB. Resolution: 24-bit. Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz. Polar Pattern: Cardioid. Max SPL: 121 dB. Price: $99.00.

The Rode NT-USB Mini is a compact and budget-friendly USB microphone that punches above its weight. It’s incredibly easy to set up and delivers clear and natural-sounding audio, just like any other regular-sized, high-quality microphone. 

The built-in pop filter reduces plosive sounds, and its small form factor is perfect for streamers with limited space. Overall, a fantastic addition to any streaming setup.

HyperX QuadCast S

Type: Condenser. Connectivity: USB. Resolution: 16-bit. Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz. Polar Patterns: Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional. Max SPL: 120 dB. Price: $159.00.

This exceptional USB microphone not only delivers great audio quality but also adds a touch of elegance to your setup with its stunning RGB lighting that syncs with your content or room ambiance. 

With four selectable polar patterns (stereo, omnidirectional, cardioid, and bidirectional), it’s versatile enough to capture your voice, interviews, music, or group discussions with precision and clarity. 

Besides, the integrated shock mount and tap-to-mute sensor provide convenience and superior sound isolation, while the included mount adapter ensures compatibility with various setups, making it a very solid choice to go with for every streamer. 

Logitech Blue Sona

Type: Dynamic. Connectivity: XLR. Resolution: 24-bit. Frequency Response: 40 Hz – 18 kHz. Polar Pattern: Supercardioid. Max SPL: 129 dB. Price: $349.00.

This exceptional USB condenser microphone offers studio-quality audio capture with the legendary Blue sound, ensuring your voice resonates with clarity and richness. 

The supercardioid polar pattern, along with some innovative technological features concealed within, delivered crisp and clear vocals, effectively preventing any undesirable room noise from infiltrating the audio.

Its sleek and modern design complements any setup, and the easy-to-use controls put audio adjustments at your fingertips, while plug-and-play simplicity makes setup a breeze. 

Additional Accessories for your Streaming Microphone

Boom arm

A boom arm is an adjustable mounting system designed to hold the microphone on place while allowing flexible positioning and easy adjustment.

It typically clamps to a desk or attaches to a stand, enabling streamers to position their microphones or webcams at the optimal angle and distance for recording or streaming. 

Having a boom arm is highly beneficial for streaming as it eliminates the need for a microphone stand on the desk, reducing clutter and improving the stream’s overall aesthetics. It also minimizes vibrations and handling noise, resulting in cleaner and more professional audio. 

Pop filter

A pop filter is a crucial accessory for streaming and recording audio that consists of a thin screen or mesh placed in front of a microphone. 

Its primary purpose is to reduce plosive sounds, such as “p” and “b” sounds, by dispersing the rush of air from a speaker’s mouth before it reaches the microphone. This effectively minimizes the unwanted bursts of air that can cause distortion and make audio recordings sound unprofessional. 

By eliminating plosive sounds and smoothing out vocal recordings, a pop filter enhances the clarity and quality of audio, ensuring that your streams and recordings sound polished and engaging to your audience.

Shock mount

A shock mount is another crucial accessory for streamers and content creators as it helps isolate a microphone from vibrations, handling noise, and impact sounds.

 It typically consists of an elastic suspension system that holds the microphone in place, preventing physical disturbances from reaching the microphone’s sensitive diaphragm. This isolation significantly reduces unwanted noise, ensuring that your audio remains free from disruptions and maintains its professional quality. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is best for streaming, an USB or an XLR microphone?

The choice between a USB and an XLR microphone for streaming will ultimately depend on your specific needs and setup. 

USB microphones are convenient, plug-and-play options that are easy to set up and suitable for most streaming applications, especially for beginners, while XLR microphones provide superior audio quality and more versatility, but require additional equipment, such as an audio interface or mixer, and may involve a steeper learning curve. 

So ultimately, while XLR microphones may deliver more high-quality results, the best choice will depend on your budget, technical expertise, and the level of audio quality you aim to achieve in your streaming content.

How do I reduce background noise when streaming?

If you’re planning on streaming with a noisy background, make sure you opt for a microphone with polar patterns like cardioid or supercardioid, which capture sound mainly from the front and minimize side and rear noise.

Additionally (if possible of course), apply sound-absorbing materials like foam panels or bass traps to your streaming space in order to reduce echoes and reverberations. 

Is streaming with a dedicated microphone better than streaming with a headset?

Streaming with a dedicated microphone often surpasses streaming with a headset in terms of audio quality and versatility. 

Dedicated microphones, like condenser or dynamic mics, are designed for studio-grade audio capture, providing clearer, richer sound with reduced background noise. 

While headsets are convenient for casual gaming and chatting, dedicated microphones are the preferred choice for serious streamers and content creators who prioritize audio quality and want to create a more professional and immersive streaming environment.

Do wired mics sound better than wireless?

Wired microphones typically offer slightly better sound quality than wireless alternatives for streaming. This is mostly because wired connections can transmit audio signals with minimal interference, resulting in cleaner and more reliable audio. 

While wireless technology has made significant advancements and can provide excellent sound quality, there is still a small potential for interference or dropouts in wireless transmissions, especially in environments with a lot of wireless devices. 

However, the difference in sound quality between wired and wireless microphones may not be noticeable to the average viewer, so the choice ultimately depends on the specific needs and preferences of the streamer.

In Conclusion – Choose the Best Type of Microphone For Your Needs

For any microphone setup intended for the purpose of live streaming, you are looking to spend around $100. Even using the cheapest XLR/USB microphone on the market, there are always extra accessories you will find yourself wishing you had.

If this is beyond your budget range, then I suggest saving up until you can afford this investment. Lower cost options are out there, but there is a noticeable improvement going from a $40 mic to a $100 mic. This is about the minimum entry point, where you can safely not need to upgrade anything for the foreseeable future. The next big jump in quality comes around the $200 price point, and in my opinion, that is too much to spend on a microphone for live streaming.

Your audience will not judge you for having a cheaper microphone if your voice is clear and easy to understand. Heck, the difference isn’t really even noticeable to them if they are using earbuds or some cheap laptop speakers to begin with.

I didn’t include any Pure-XLR style microphones, like my Tonor mic that I use as a daily driver, which is a very good sounding microphone for around $40, because it requires investing in an audio interface (The one that I have) in addition to the microphone. This ruins any savings you get from the cheap, large-diaphragm condenser-style microphone. Additionally, these kinds of microphones are extremely sensitive to background noise and require some form of room acoustics treatment in place.

I mean, sure, It is ideal to have an interface or Mixer, but even some of the lowest end mixers are fairly expensive, and the lowest end Audio interfaces tend to sound pretty poor.

And I suppose you could argue that you can plug into a phantom power box and covert XLR to 3.5mm into the pink port of your pc…but that will result in some noisy signals. Ideally, you don’t want to do something like that unless you have no other choice.

I hope that this article has been helpful to you in choosing your microphone for streaming. Thank you for reading, and I wish you luck in your streaming endeavors!

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