Best Microphone For Zoom Calls & Video Conferencing
With all the travel restrictions that popped up due to COVID-19, businesses and schools implemented more virtual meetings, conference calls, and remote learning via Zoom or a similar platform. In order to make sure you sound professional, we’ve researched the best microphone for zoom calls.
Yes, many modern laptops include a built-in microphone, but perhaps you’ve noticed their poor quality. It’s actually both the quality of the microphone and the its placement relative to your mouth that prevents your voice from coming across more clearly on the other side. Using an external microphone fixes both of these issues.
If you use a desktop computer, you’ll definitely need to pick up a microphone. The best microphones for zoom calls and other video conferencing are condenser mics that connect to your PC via the USB port.
The reason for this is two-fold. First, USB mics are plug and play, meaning the computer takes care of the connection and setup for you. The other reason is because condenser microphones are very sensitive and will easily pick up your voice and present it clearly on the other side of the connection. Here are our favorites:
Blue Yeti USB Condenser Microphone
✔ 3 Condenser Capsules
✔ 4 Pickup Patterns
✔ Volume Control & Headphone Output
✔ World’s #1 Microphone
Blue Yeti Microphone Review:
The Blue Yeti USB condenser microphone is a fan favorite and probably the most popular USB microphone ever made! Blue Yeti claims it’s the #1 mic in the world, and we believe it.
All Blue Yeti mics have a legendary sound to them, making you come across as clear and professional in almost any setting. This is their flagship product. You can find tens of thousands of online reviews for this product… almost all telling you just how great it really is. This is the clear choice as the best microphone for zoom calls.
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid USB Mic
✔ Built-in Headphone Jack & Volume Control
✔ Mix Control for Blending w/ Pre-Recorded Audio
✔ High Quality A/D Converter
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Review:
The AT2020USB+ USB microphone from Audio-Technica has lots of features other, cheaper mics don’t have. It’s also well-known for it’s amazing, smooth audio quality, perfect for video conferencing.
We love the mix control, volume control, and headphone jack all conveniently located right in front of you on the microphone. That paired with the sound quality on zoom calls, this is a very nice mic that shouldn’t be overlooked during your search.
Blue Yeti X Professional USB Condenser Mic
✔ 4 Capsule Array
✔ Customizable LED Lighting to Personalize Your Mic
✔ Blue Voice Broadcast Vocal Effects Included
Blue Yeti X Professional Microphone Review:
While the original Blue Yeti mic shown above as our top pick might be the most popular computer/USB mic, this is likely the absolute best microphone for zoom calls and other video conferencing. It captures legendary Blue broadcast sound with professional-level clarity.
While this mic may be overkill for some, for others it’s worth paying just a few bucks extra to get the additional clarity, the vocal effects, customizable LED lighting, and more. If you want the “best of the best”, you have to consider the Blue Yeti X Pro.
Elgato Wave Premium USB Microphone
✔ Tight Cardioid Polar Pattern | Captures Speech Perfectly
✔ Proprietary Clipguard Technology – No Distortion
✔ Easy Plug ‘n Play Connectivity
Elgato Wave Microphone Review:
The Wave microphone from Elgato comes highly recommended. Its clear as day when using this microphone for Microsoft Teams calls and other video conferencing platforms.
It has that cool old skool radio DJ look to it. The anti-distortion technology and all the help from the Wave Link App make this one of the best microphones on the market, particularly for it’s price. It’s no cheap microphone though. This is a high-quality USB mic that anyone would be proud to have.
FIFINE USB Podcast/Video Conferencing Mic
✔ Great Value, Amzing Price
✔ Built-in Mute Button on Microphone
✔ Excellent Sound Quality for the Price
FIFINE Video Conferencing Microphone Review:
If you’re looking for a good microphone with high-quality, clear audio that costs less than $100, you’ve gotta check out this one from FIFINE. It’s offered at an amazing price for what you get. It truly is the “best value” pick on our list.
We love, love, love the mute button on the microphone itself. Sometimes you’re not paying attention in a video conference and forget to mute yourself. This is just another opportunity for you to catch it before everyone hears something embarrassing… “Bob is that your dog barking again? Do you need to check the front door for intruders?”
Anker PowerConf S3 Bluetooth Speakerphone w/ 6 Mics
✔ Omni-directional (6 Mics For 360-Degree Coverage)
✔ Smart Voice Enhancement
✔ Battery-Powered / Connected Via Bluetooth or USB-C
Anker PowerConf S3 Review:
Sometimes you’re in a room with a bunch of people conferencing out to someone else that’s remote. This is the perfect set of mics for such a situation. Whether you’re using Cisco WebEx, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or any of the others, this is perfect for multiple participants in the same room.
Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Microphone
✔ Small, Compact Size
✔ Onboard Controls
✔ 2 Custom Capsules and Multiple Pickup Patterns
Blue Yeti Nano Microphone Review:
Yes, another Blue Yeti microphone makes our top 10 list. What can we say, they’re high-quality, affordable mics that consumers absolutely love!
This one is perfect for anyone on the go. It’s small form factor makes it easy to travel with and store in a laptop bag or backpack.
Tons of features like most Blue Yeti’s. It’s plug ‘n play with both MAC or Windows, has both cardioid and omni-directional pickup patterns, and has a no-latency headphone output on the mic.
FIFINE Studio Condenser USB Microphone For PC
✔ Adjustable/Durable Scissor Arm Included
✔ Excellent Audio Quality
✔ Easy To Attach
FIFINE Studio Microphone Review:
We wanted to make sure and get at least one studio-style microphone on our list of best for zoom calls and video conferencing. The reason being is that we don’t all have the optimal desk setup.
Sometimes you need the adjustable arm to bring the microphone in front of your face where it can pick up your voice but not all the sounds around you. This is a nice, budget-friendly option that includes the whole kit and everything you need to get started using it on your business calls or online classroom activities.
Our Favorite Microphone For Zoom Calls: Blue Yeti
Blue Yeti makes some amazing USB microphones that work perfect for video conferencing. As we mentioned above, it’s rated the worlds #1 microphone! It’s really unbelievable the amount of people who have purchased this mic, and liked it so much they took the time to write a review. With well over 15,000 5-star reviews at Amazon alone (See Blue Yeti Reviews at Amazon), you can tell people love it.
Interested in learning more about the Blue Yeti mic and what others think about it? Check out this video with a quick review…
As you can see, this condenser microphone from Blue Yeti does a great job of making you sound more professional and clear on zoom calls for business, school, or whatever you use the platform for. The tens of thousands of reviews are quite convincing. We encourage you to take the time to read a handful of them just to see what this great computer microphone is all about. You’ll find it’s time well spent, and this is a purchase you won’t regret!
Best Zoom Microphone: Blue Yeti
What about other video conferencing platforms?
With the onset of COVID in 2020, video conferencing platforms are coming out of the woodwork everywhere. The Blue Yeti, and frankly all of the condenser microphones above, will work with most if not all of them. Here is a list of known video conference brands that function similar to Zoom.
While some of this have a slightly different look and feel to them during usage, they are all pretty similar and work in the same way. They are a software platforms for connecting several people in the same place to talk live, often with the ability for the host to share their screen to present. The platform is insignificant and the microphones listed above will work the same with any of them.
5 Tips To Improve Sound On Zoom
It’s normal to be curious or even anxious about how you sound to others on the other side of a video conference or online class. If you’re using a built-in laptop mic or other cheap microphone/earbuds you had laying around, chances are you sound a bit muffled. No fear, we’ll cover a few things you can do to improve the sound on your zoom calls.
This should almost go without saying after all the info above, but clearly having the right tools will make the biggest difference, and our list of best microphones for Zoom calls above is the best resource to get started on that. No, you don’t have to get a super-expensive professional mic just for Zoom, but you will find that spending an extra $20-$30 makes a HUGE difference in quality. We wouldn’t suggest going with anything much cheaper than our “best value” pick on the list above.
Microphone Pickup Patterns
If you haven’t been around microphones or a studio this may be a foreign concept to you, but pickup patterns are how the mic hears us. The patterns are the directions that the microphone hears us from. This is great because if you’re alone and talking, you can pick the cardioid mode and it works great. Trying to pickup a room full of people? Use omnidirectional mode. Many mics even have a patterns for doing face to face interviews, etc. Here’s a quick rundown of the Blue Yeti patterns.
Source: Blue Yeti Microphones
Where To Place Your Mic
Most often the best spot to place your microphone is directly in front of, and roughly 6-12″ away from your mouth. This is going to give the best, most clear sound to those on the other end of the call while muting out the most background noise. There may be some microphone models that suggest something slightly different based on its pickup patterns. It’s best thaty you read through the manual when you get the mic to see what the manufacturer recommends.
Talk Into the Microphone Correctly
Most users try to speak into the end of the mic, but that’s a mistake! Many condenser microphones, including most on the list above are side-address microphones. They are meant to be spoken into from the front of the mic, not the end of it. This is where you’ll get the best audio quality and sound the best to your peers on the other end of the line.
What If I’m Having Issues With the Sound Quality of What I’m Hearing?
We’ve addressed making you sound better on Zoom, but what if it’s the sound you’re hearing that is of poor quality? The Zoom audio settings can be changed to enhance the sound, allowing all participants to hear each other better. There are tons of resources on the web that suggest they have the “best zoom audio settings”. We recommend going directly to the source for this. Zoom has a page that shows their audio guidelines. They talk about settings, testing your mic and speakers, and other info on noise reduction.