An expensive microphone doesn’t mean it is the best option — at least, not for YouTubers. Without professional experience or additional equipment, having a $1000 studio microphone could be wasted money.
If you are on a budget or new to YouTube, and what you want is to improve the audio quality of your video gradually, you should look into the cheaper options first.
In this article, I will highlight microphones in 3 price ranges.
We will have a look at each of these microphones, their pros, and cons, and then you can decide which one will be best for your channel and your budget.
As for keeping with your financial needs, we aren’t going to be looking at any XLR microphones, as they will require an audio interface, thus increasing your price range. The microphones in this list will be plug-and-plays, and you will only need the basic audio recording skills to get started.
Disclaimer: Prices are subjected to change.
YouTube Microphones for Under $20
BOYA BY-M1 - $16.99
The BOYA BY-M1 is a lavalier microphone (a hand-free mic that clips onto your clothing) that connects to smartphones, DSLR, computers, and other audio recorders.
Pro: As an omnidirectional condenser microphone, it will be able to pick up audio from 360 degrees, and with 20 feet (6 meters) of cable, you can have a significant range movement even if you are connected to the camera.
The BOYA BY-M1 is a terrific choice for YouTubers on a budget that is frequently making videos on the go. It’s easy to carry around, and the ability to simply connect to a smartphone means you can set up and shoot your video on the fly.
Con: This mic, although it has a great range, can also pick up subtle movements you make as it is clipped onto you. Not great if there is a lot of action in your videos.
TONOR PC Microphone Computer Condenser - $15.99
The TONOR is an easy-to-setup condenser microphone that you can connect to your computer via USB and start recording in seconds.
Pro: The value of this microphone is in its ease of use. With a flexible, foldable stand, you can adjust the TONOR PC microphone the way it suits your setup. The legs of the stand are retractable, which makes it easy for you to store. If you are a gamer or creating videos primarily from your desk, this is a perfectly suitable microphone for you to start your YouTube journey with.
Con: The audio quality of this mic can help you get the job done, but it won’t blow you away. The cable is attached to the microphone and is 6.5 feet (2 meters) long, which isn’t a wide range. It’s pretty much restricted to the desk with your computer. This microphone has limitations, and high-achieving YouTubers will certainly grow out of it.
YouTube Microphones for Under $50
Purple Panda Lavalier Microphone - $23.99
The Purple Panda lavalier microphone comes with multiple adapters and is compatible with nearly all devices, including smartphone, DSLR, computers, and even GoPro cameras. The only device where you will need an additional adapter is if you have an iPhone 7.
Pro: This microphone is a versatile option for YouTubers who create a variety of content. It doesn’t require any battery and is powered by whatever device it is plugged into, which is great for YouTubers with already so many devices to keep charged.
Con: Much like the BOYA BY-M1, the Purple Panda, as it is clipped onto your lapel or shirt collar, will capture the sound of your clothes brushing against it if too much movement occurs.
Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone - $37.73
The Samson Go microphone is the kind of mic that can fit in your pocket and be taken with you anywhere.
Pro: This microphone has both a cardioid and an omnidirectional mode. This means that you can choose to have your microphone focused more on the subject speaking by switching to cardio or switch to Omni-directional to capture audio from the entire surrounding.
It is designed to be able to clip onto a flat surface such as your computer screen. This allows you to place the microphone on different levels to record.
Con: Because of its unique design and the portability of the device, it will suffer wear-and-tear faster. Attention to storage is necessary to increase the lifespan of the device.
XIAOKOA Mini Condenser Microphone with Stand - $24.99
The XIAOKOA portable mini condenser microphone is compatible with smartphones, computers, and any devices using 3.5mm recording jacks.
Pro: With a cardioid pickup, this condenser microphone will do a fine job picking up vocals. If you are a YouTuber who does a lot of singing videos, this is definitely an affordable microphone to check out.
Con: This microphone, perhaps primarily designed for karaoke, has an echo feature that, although might create new dimensions to your vocals, may not be desired for your YouTube video. This feature can be problematic, as it could spoil your recording.
TAKSTAR SGC-598 - $26.93
The TAKSTAR SGC is a condenser microphone, and it can be fixed onto your camera, which simplifies your YouTube setup. This camera can plug directly into your camera, reducing the audio tracks you need to manage when editing.
Pro: The camera-mounted microphone has a shock-resistant design that reduces noise when the camera is moved. The cardioid microphone will be able to pick up audio in the direction it is pointed in, reducing noise capturing from behind the camera. This is a good microphone for vlogging or interviews.
Con: The TAKSTAR SGC requires one AA battery, so you’ll have to remember to carry a backup every time you film.
Limited to a vocal subject standing 4-5 feet away, any more and the microphone will be hard-pressed to pick up the audio without capturing a lot of surround audio.
The design requires it to be mounted to the camera. If you want to separate it from the camera and still have it recorded, a bit of creativity is required to keep it standing.
YouTube Microphones for Under $100
Behringer C-1U - $59.99
The Behringer C-1U is a condenser microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern that connects to your computer via USB.
Pro: This microphone has a solid metal build and has a good weight. It is quick and easy to set up and is a good microphone for anyone wanting a simple solution for better audio on YouTube.
Con: A pop filter is recommended for this microphone as it picks up a lot of popping sounds when the subject speaks.
Pro: The Snowball iCE is a plug-and-play microphone that is super easy to use and doesn’t require any additional battery. Simply connect it to the computer, and you are ready to record your voice. It captures clear and crisp audio for a single voice or single-person recording.
Con: The range of this microphone is not that great; you’ll have to be close and be speaking directly into the microphone to get the best audio. It is not ideal for recording moving subjects or those who are further than 2-3 feet away.
Pro: This budget microphone has excellent all-metal construction. It has a plug-and-play setup and doesn’t require any drivers or installations. It records great instrumentals and would recommend it to those who are recording music for YouTube.
Con: May pick up extraneous noises if you are recording vocals while there are movements in your surrounding, but otherwise, this is an excellent microphone in its price range.
When looking for microphones under $100, the difference in audio quality is not going to be drastic. What you need to consider is how you are going to be using this piece of equipment.
However, if you will be recording on the go and require your hands to be free in the scene, I recommend getting a lavalier microphone such as the Purple Panda.
But, if you are going to be recording other people, in addition to yourself, I’d say go with the TAKSTAR SGC as it will give you more audio control in busy environments.
What are you looking for in a budget microphone? Let us know in the comments below.
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Richard Bennett is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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