Blue Yeti X with game on in background
Logitech

What to Look For in a Gaming Microphone in 2022

While gaming headsets are the most mainstream option for capturing audio while gaming, dedicated microphones are quickly becoming a popular alternative. These standalone products are typically much more powerful than the small mics built into headsets, allowing you to send crystal clear commands to your teammates. They’re also wildly popular in the world of streaming, as they give broadcasts a premium sense of production and improve the viewer’s overall experience.

There are a few things to consider before springing for the first microphone you come across on Amazon. The first question you need to ask yourself is how much audio mixing you want to deal with. Audio mixing allows you to adjust the volume and tone of your content, and it’s a crucial feature for most live streamers and podcasters.

If you only plan to use your microphone while gaming and aren’t interested in streaming, you probably don’t need this functionality. In that case, you can opt for a standard USB connection. But if you want the capability, you’ll need to seek out something that utilizes XLR inputs and is compatible with your current setup.

Streamers will also want to consider the overall design and adjustability of their microphone. Not only will you need to be able to feel comfortable while using your microphone, but you’ll want it to look good on camera. This could mean opting for something a bit more expensive with a high-end finish.

Gamers simply using their microphone for online multiplayer have it easy—pick something affordable with a simple USB connection, and you’re already ahead of what most standard headsets can achieve. But streamers need to be a bit more cautious about what they choose and ensure it’ll mesh with the aesthetic they’re looking to cultivate and will work with all their existing hardware and software.

Here are the five best gaming microphones to help you upgrade your audio.

Best Gaming Microphone Overall: Blue Yeti X

Person using Blue Yeti X mic
Logitech

Pros

  • Impressive sound clarity
  • Reasonable price
  • Real-time LED metering

Cons

  • USB connection isn't ideal for high-end audio mixing

Few gaming mics offer a better blend of pricing and performance than the Blue Yeti X. The biggest drawback to the device is its USB connection—which makes for an easy setup, but doesn’t give you the same deep audio mixing experience you’d get from an XLR input.

The lack of mixing chops won’t be an issue if you’re just using it for gaming. Even casual streamers will be fine with what the Yeti X offers: crystal clear audio, a sleek design, and real-time LED metering to ensure your sound is coming through exactly as intended. It’s also fully supported by Skype and Zoom, so it can pull double-duty as a work and play microphone.

Premium sound quality isn’t all you’re getting with the Yeti X, as its four-capsule array is wrapped up in a high-end design that boasts a multi-function smart knob for easy adjustments, a built-in stand that lets you customize its positioning, and an understated black paint job that allows it to blend in with any streaming setup.

Best Gaming Microphone Overall

Blue Yeti X

The Blue Yeti X is easy to set up, offers incredible performance, and does so without carrying a hefty price tag.

Best Budget Gaming Microphone Under $100: Razer Seiren X

Razer Seiren X on yellow background
Razer

Pros

  • Simple setup
  • Streamlined design
  • Tilting stand

Cons

  • Picks up some ambient noise

Razer is known for its premium gaming gear, and the Razer Seiren X is no exception. The mic is surprisingly robust for the sub-$100 price range, with the ability to dampen vibrations, a built-in tilting stand, and a tiny form factor that’ll fit on even the most cluttered of desks.

If you’re planning to stream with the Seiren X, or you’re not sold on the black design, you’ll find the mic available inΒ Mercury White and Quartz Pink. All three feature a super-cardioid pickup pattern to eliminate ambient noise, a condenser mic, and zero latency monitoring to reduce echoes. Its USB connection allows for easy setup and compatibility across various devices.

While the super-cardioid pickup does a good job of reducing ambient sound from leaking into your stream, it’s not perfect. Some users report having their keystrokes picked up by the mic, although your mileage may vary based on your specific setup and keyboard type.

But for a product that’s available for less than $100, that’s a minor knock on an otherwise impressive performance.

Best Budget Gaming Microphone Under $100

Razer Seiren X

Despite its low-end price tag, the Razer Seiren X offers robust performance (and a stylish design) that'll improve any gaming session or livestream.

Best Cheap Gaming Microphone Under $40: FIFINE Metal Condenser Microphone

FIFINE microphone being used during streaming
FIFINE

Pros

  • Dirt cheap
  • Easy USB setup
  • Adjustable stand

Cons

  • Not compatible with Xbox
  • Underwhelming performance compared to others on this list

Finding a good microphone under $30 isn’t easy, but the FIFINE Metal Condenser does a serviceable job of improving your audio without breaking the bank. It also looks pretty sharp given its price tag, and looks surprisingly good during livestreams.

The FIFINE is built with a USB connection, although Xbox consoles do not support it. Its performance is also in-line with what you’d expect from a $30 microphone, featuring cardioid pick instead of super cardioid—which means you’ll get ambient sound in your broadcasts.

If you can look beyond those drawbacks, there’s much to love about the FIFINE. A built-in stand makes it easy to make small adjustments to its positioning, the USB connection makes setup a breeze, a volume knob lets you quickly change its settings, and it’ll work just fine with apps like Discord and Twitch.

It might be best to save up and get something more future-proof if you’re not looking for something immediately, but the FIFINE is great for gamers working with a smaller budget.

Best Cheap Gaming microphone Under $30

FIFINE Metal Condenser Microphone

It lacks a lot of bells and whistles found on more premium microphones, but this affordable gadget is a big step up from most headsets.

Best Gaming Microphone For Streaming: Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

Shure MV7 on black background
Shure

Pros

  • USB and XLR connection
  • Easy-to-access touch panel controls
  • Premium sound clarity

Cons

  • Expensive

Aspiring streamers need a powerful microphone that lets them twist the mic’s performance to their demands. The Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone is more than up to the task, offering both USB and XLR connections that allow you to either get up and running in seconds for gaming or dive deep into the weeks for a lengthy streaming session.

One of the coolest features of the Shure MV7 is its touch panel controls. These let you manipulate gain, monitoring volume, headphone mix, and mic muting without needing to wade through on-screen menus. They also accent the mic’s premium look, which is built entirely from metal for added durability.

To help you make the most of your sessions, you’ll want to use the ShurePlus MOTIV application. This lets you adjust a variety of variables related to your sound quality and even lets you apply filters. The software, combined with the mic’s impressive pickup and clarity, makes it easy to sound like a professional even if you’re streaming from a noisy home.

The biggest drawback to the Β Shure MV7 is its price, which clocks in at $250. You’ll also need to buy a stand, as none are included in your purchase. But if you need something powerful for streaming, the MV7 is worth a closer look.

Best Gaming Microphone For Streaming

Shure MV7 Podcast Microphone

If you need something high-end for streaming or with both USB and XLR inputs, the Shure MV7 is worth a closer look.

Best Gaming Headset: HyperX Cloud Alpha S

HyperX Cloud Alpha S on person's head
HyperX

Pros

  • Comfortable design
  • Multiplatform compatiblity
  • Surprisingly affordable

Cons

  • Wired connection
  • Microphone isn't as powerful as standalone products

While the HyperX Cloud Alpha S doesn’t offer the same powerful audio performance as a standalone microphone, it’s a surprisingly capable headset that simplifies all your communication needs. Not only does it have a noise-canceling microphone, but its custom drivers pump out impressive sound to help bring every in-game explosion to life.

HyperX is an increasingly popular choice for gaming peripherals, and few products in its lineup are as feature-complete as the Cloud Alpha S. Its wired connection won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it does allow for universal compatibility with today’s most popular consoles (and PC) and makes it easy to get up and running in seconds.

Oversized ear cushions, HyperX 7.1 Surround Sound, bass adjustment sliders, and an audio control mixer round out the offering. You’ll also be treated to a flexible and removable microphone that makes it easy to communicate with your team—even if it’s not as premium as a standalone mic. But considering you can get all this for around $100, the Cloud Alpha S is a great alternative to other products on this list.

Best Gaming Headset

HyperX Cloud Alpha S

With a great microphone and impressive drivers, the HyperX Cloud Alpha S is a versatile gaming headset that carries a reasonable price tag.

The Best Gaming Headsets of 2022

Best Gaming Headset Overall
HyperX Cloud Alpha S
Best Budget Gaming Headset
HyperX Cloud Stinger
Best Wireless Gaming Headset
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
Best Gaming Headset for PC
Razer BlackShark V2
Best Gaming Headset for PS5
Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset
Best Gaming Headset for Xbox Series X|S
Xbox Wireless Headset for Xbox Series X|S
Profile Photo for Jon Bitner Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a freelance writer who focuses on topics related to video games, science, and technology. His work can be found across the web, although he's a regular contributor to Digital Trends, Slickdeals, TVGuide, CordCuttersNews, and TheGamer. Before starting his writing career, Jon worked in the biotechnology industry, where he produced monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer patients.
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