Tuesday, 7 November 2017

TheChiefMeat's Starter Microphone Guide

One of the most asked questions I get asked by new Twitch streamers is "what microphone should I buy that's around 100 dollars or less?". I've been meaning to answer this question in some detail for some time now, so below we're going to go through a few microphones that I'd recommend to new streamers.

The first choice you'll be making when picking a microphone is choosing betweem XLR or USB. For pretty much every person reading this article, you'll be using a USB microphone unless you already own an audio interface that has XLR inputs. I'm not going to go into too much detail about each microphone, nor will I get too technical, I'm simply going to state my reasoning for picking each one, and why I would personally choose to buy each microphone if I were spending 100 dollars or less on them. Microphone kits will be our primary focus, as they include the necessities for a new streamer to get up and running without much hassle, and include the required components to use them straight away.

First a small disclaimer of sorts. I have not been paid in any way to promote the following products by Samson, it just so happens that their microphones are well positioned in the market for beginners and are well priced amongst the competition, however I am using Amazon Affiliate links throughout this article.

The first microphone on this list is the Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone. This is the lowest end microphone on this list and the cheapest, at about 35 dollars. The microphone includes a very basic portable stand that is more designed to sit on top of a laptop screen than be placed on a desk, however it is possible to also be used as a desktop stand. Being the cheapest microphone here, I cannot strongly recommend this microphone, only if you have a very tight budget; this is probably your best bet for the near 30 dollar mark.

The second microphone we'll be taking a look at is the Samson Q2U Handheld Dynamic USB Microphone Recording and Podcasting Pack, which retails for around 50 dollars. This is a rather good starting microphone; it has both XLR and USB input, making it ideal if you later upgrade to an audio interface that has XLR inputs. It comes with a basic stand, foam pop shield and XLR and USB cables, making it ideal for anyone looking for a bang for your buck microphone, although I'd strongly recommend later upgrading to a proper microphone desk stand or floor stand.

The third microphone we'll be looking at is the Samson C01U Pro USB Studio Condenser Microphone + Samson SP01 Spider Shockmount + On Stage 4 Inch Pop Filter, which comes with both a spider shock mount, stand and a pop filter, which retails for around 110 dollars. This microphone is considered a good all rounder, capable of being used as a general purpose microphone for vocal and instrument recording. Assuming you have the money to spend, this is the microphone I'd personally go with as it is of a higher quality in general and is proven to be adept at multiple tasks. Once again, I'd strongly suggest later upgrading to a proper desk or floor stand.

As this microphone includes all the components required, has a standard USB input, which will make ease of use simple and is a well reviewed microphone, I'd strongly suggest it to those looking for a general purpose microphone.


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