Audio Technica AT2020
The Audio Technica AT2020 is a staple in recording studios, offices that do a lot of telework or podcast work. It comes in two models, a USB model (linked above) perfect for connecting directly to your desktop PC, and the original XLR model that’s designed to be connected directly to your mixer or other audio equipment. This microphone features c Condenser microphone and bonus pop filter makes for great digital recording, it’s more than ideal for project/home-studio applications, has high SPL handling and wide dynamic range provide unmatched versatility, custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response, cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source.
If portability is important to you, the Samson Meteor is probably one of the smallest—yet still widely loved—USB condenser microphones we’ve seen. It’s tiny, connects to your computer via USB, and serves as both an audio input and an output device, so you can plug your headphones into the mic while you record with it (which is useful for being able to hear yourself while you speak.)
Large, 25mm diaphragm USB studio condenser microphone. Works with iPad using Apple’s Lightning USB Camera Adapter or Camera Connection Kit (30-pin). 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution. Smooth, flat frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz.
Stereo 1/8″ headphone jack for no latency monitoring. Large, 25mm diaphragm USB studio condenser microphone.
Works with iPad using Apple’s Lightning USB Camera Adapter or Camera Connection Kit (30-pin). 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution. Smooth, flat frequency response of 20Hz?20kHz. Stereo 1/8″ headphone jack for no latency monitoring.
The Blue Yeti is a very popular podcast microphone, largely because it’s an affordable, space-saving USB condenser mic that offers superior audio quality and multiple audio modes so you can use it for different purposes.
Three precision, 14-mm, tuned condenser capsules, Proprietary tri-capsule array, Four polar pattern selectors: Stereo, cardioid, Omni, bi-directional, Mic gain control Mute button and master volume control, Bundle includes pop filter made to fit yeti microphone and headphones.
Another Blue microphone that made the top five of its own accord is the familiar and widely used Blue Snowball. Blue likes to say that the Snowball is the world’s first professional USB microphone, and while we agree that it’s been extremely popular among podcasters, at-home audio pros, and generally well loved, that may be a stretch. Still, it’s often used primarily for voice-work, like podcasts and voice overs,
Blue Microphones Snowball Plug-and-Play USB Microphone – White. Bundle with Headphones, Earbuds, and Pop Filter.
The USB output enables direct integration with a desktop or laptop computer, allowing CD-quality recording. A desktop stand and USB cable are included so you can begin recording right away, Sample/Word rate: 44.1kHz/16-bit Designed for performing vocals, chatting or podcasts. Also compatible with VoIP, including Skype and Vonage.