2021 was the year of the microphone here at CGMagazine with our Top Ten USB Microphone feature. Our writers got the chance to test out a wide range of mics from brands like JLAB, Blue, Elgato, Razer, Rode and more. With plenty more to come in 2022 from brands like NZXT and NEAT Microphones, we have plenty to look forward to.
Here are CGMs nominees for Best Microphone 2021/22:
Writer: Joe Findlay
The JLAB Talk Go set up is just as simple as the other JLAB mics. There is no software, so just plug in the mic, select it as your audio device, and you are good to go. There may be a little more set up in terms of the gain and things that you cannot control on the microphone, but we are talking a few moments extra, not counting adjusting the sound with VSTs.
For $49 USD, there are not many mics of this quality. People who are just starting in streaming and podcasting should look at a microphone like this in the beginning. It will serve you well for a very long time. The Talk Pro is one hundred dollars more, but it is not (nor are many mics at that price point) necessarily one hundred dollars better.
The JLAB Talk Go takes the best of its more expensive counterpart, the Talk Pro, makes some improvements, gets a little creative and gives you an experience worth more than the price would suggest.
Writer: Joe Findlay
Unboxing the Yeti X revealed the most beautiful USB microphone I have had the pleasure of opening. To say that the mic has a sturdy design is an understatement, The mic itself weighs 1.14lbs (2.8lbs with the stand), but in addition to its top-notch build quality, it is sleek and professional looking. Also included in the box is a micro USB cable.
At $169.99 USD, the Blue Yeti X is placed in the top 50% of USB microphones in terms of price. For its quality, I would say that it is among the microphones that are most worth the price. It is a worthy upgrade from the Yeti and is about the highest quality USB mic you will find. They also have the best EQ software of any of the mics I’ve tried so far.
The Blue Yeti X could well be the finest USB microphone on the market today. It’s built tough, it sounds great and it is accompanied by a top of the line control software.
Writer: Brock McLaughlin
The Wave:3 Microphone is the brand new, affordable microphone from Elgato. It’s incredibly sleek, lightweight and functional. If you are going to spend all day on calls doing whatever it is you do, why not give others your voice in crystal clear definition. The Wave:3 is a much smaller, lighter and sleeker device I now prefer using. Just how it looks on my desk alone is nicer. The set-up was incredibly simple. I started by unboxing it, plugging it in and voila, it worked. It’s idiot-proof, and boy do my loins ever get set on fire when tech is made easy.
If you can’t tell already I love this microphone and do not miss my Blue Yeti. It now sits in my graveyard of old tech, until maybe one day I have a podcast guest who actually records in my home. If you’re in need of a new microphone this is a no brainer. It’s incredibly simple to set up, it works like a charm and it’s a beautiful looking microphone. It’s got that old timey radio feel mixed with cool futuristic noir that looks slick and thankfully no bloody colourful flashing lights like every other gaming accessory on the market. God bless you Elgato.
The Elgato Wave 3 is an affordable microphone that will have you sounding like a pro on your burgeoning podcast or Zoom call.
Writer: Joe Findlay
Introducing the Razer Seiren V2 Pro, a sleek design, similar to that of the Seiren Mini (only larger) and a rare trait in a USB microphone, it is dynamic. The mic offers a fairly standard 24 bits and a variable sample rate of up to 96 kHz. On the mic, you’ll find a mute button and controls for the gain and headphones, the headphone jack on the back and a recessed USB-C port. The long, braided cable is fitted at the end to complete the pill shape of the Seiren V2 Pro. Its build quality is a solid, durable metal casing with a lot of weight to it.
At $149.99 USD, the value of the Seiren V2 Pro is unsurpassed. There are a number of microphones that we have seen that come with a higher price tag and offer nowhere near the quality or functionality of this microphone. With its overall aesthetic, crisp sound, and Razer’s nerve to take the next and arguably most important step that any USB mic can take by adding a comprehensive software solution, this may well be my new favourite microphone.
The Razer Seiren V2 Pro is a powerful mic with powerful software and may have just become the leading competitor in the USB microphone market. It has superior build quality and is a rare offering of a dynamic USB mic, since most are condenser microphones. It’s an ideal solution for any serious content creator and affordable enough to be worth considering as your first investment.
RODE Videomic Pro Microphone (Winner, Best Microphone 2021)
Writer: Joe Findlay
The shotgun mic comes built with a shoe mount to mount the mic directly to your DSLR or Mirrorless Camera. The mount itself comes with a threaded opening, so you can screw it onto a mic arm or boom. The VideoMic comes with a detachable 3.5mm TRS cable to connect to the camera, a micro-USB cable, a fitted windsock and a lithium-ion battery.
When trying to find a flaw in the microphone, I came up short. It does exactly what it is designed to do exactly how it is designed to do it at an unmatched level of quality. To add to that, they put a number of features in place to protect your audio from variables that might wreck an entire shoot.
If you are a vlogger or if you produce any kind of video in the field, there are few options as good as the Rode VideoMic Pro+ and none of those options are nearly as affordable.