Gaming used to be such a casual activity not so long ago. These days it is among the most competitive ways to spend your time at home. Due to that rise of complexity and competition, communication became one of the most important aspects of gaming. Today we are going to show you our picks for the top 10 best condenser microphones for gaming. Some of these are among the best condensers no matter your application. With that said, when we go over our list we will dig deeper into what makes a good gaming mic and take it from there.
Top 10 Best Condenser Microphones For Gaming:
M-Audio is a name that is much more popular in the world of bookshelf speakers. However, they have proven to be quite capable of building a proper condenser mic that is cost effective yet packed full of awesome features. M-Audio Uber Mic isn’t called that for absolutely no reason. Once we go over the basics, you will definitely understand why.
For starters it packs three condenser capsules instead of the regular one. Right off the bat you can really expect a sizable performance boost. Then we have four different polar patterns to choose from, a built in display which lets you know exactly what mode you are in and so much more. An overkill for gaming? Maybe, but why not?
When it comes to good gaming gear, it is really hard to beat Razer at the moment. They make just about every peripheral you could think of, which also includes condenser microphones of all things. Razer Seiren X is not only a great looking piece of gear, but it is probably one of the best solutions for gaming right now.
When you strip away all of the cool things, it is essentially a legitimate large diaphragm condenser. What Razer has figured out is that reducing vibrations is the name of the game when it comes to desktop condenser mics. That is why Razer Seiren X comes with a built in shock mount. On top of that it really sounds great
Shure’s mics are by far one of the best on the market. That applies whether you are looking for a professional grade model or something casual that can be used for gaming. Shure MV5 fits somewhere in the middle. It is an awesome condenser that uses specialized presets in order to modulate the sound and make it fit different applications
Where it really excels is design. Shure has made a spherical condenser that works great with its stand but also without it. The moment you decide to do something more than gaming, all you have to do is position the mic how it fits you or mount it on a different platform. Because of all that Shure MV5really rocks.
When it comes to gaming and content creation, Blue Yeti is still one of the best go-to setups on the market. It is a proven package that you don’t have to worry about. One of the best things about this silver pill is the fact that Blue has everything ironed out by now. You are investing into a great mic.
On a more closer note a Blue Yeti is the type of mic that offers it all. We are talking great build quality, a bulletproof stand which prevents unwanted movement, as well as a package of features which push this mic way past its weight class. If you don’t feel like getting too involved into condensers, Blue Yeti will work.
Compared to most other condensers on the market, Blue Nessie doesn’t really look all that serious. However, it is definitely serious. It is a perfect desktop design that brings a pretty advanced performance as well as features in a format that is extremely user friendly. Because of that nature, it is a great choice for gaming and other similar applications.
The features we are talking about aren’t exactly ordinary. Instead, you have different recording modes which push the signal through a process that irons everything out and gives you an instantly polished product. When you don’t have time to deal with tweaking your audio, having something that does it for you in an instant is quite useful. Nessie does that.
The whole USB segment of the condenser market wouldn’t be complete without at least one Audio Technica model involved. As it turns out, they offer many. The one that we think is a great fit for gaming goes under the name of ATR2500-USB and it is quite impressive. The features and overall performance it offers makes a great fit altogether.
For starters it’s a compact build that takes very little space on your desktop. Audio Technica delivers these with simple tripods which are low profile and pretty stable. If that doesn’t work for you, you can always mount it on something else. The controls are simple and easy to reach while pairing this mic with your computer takes no time.
Designing a good PC oriented condenser microphone has to do with much more than just the hardware inside. Just because you have a condenser that uses USB instead of XLR, doesn’t mean it is suitable for gaming or other applications related to a desktop computer. Samson is one of the few brands that understand this. Samson Meteor proves as much.
They have essentially taken a very vintage design and modded it to fit modern standards. One of the cool things about this mic is the integrated tripod which offers plenty of stability as well as adjustment. The hardware inside the mic is great too. Samson used a proper diaphragm capsule for this build, making it a truly proper condenser package.
As you can probably tell, Blue is pretty popular when it comes to gaming oriented builds. Blue Snowball iCE is another such model that really deserves to be mentioned when this topic is discussed. It offers great functionality as well as performance, all packed into a compact chassis. On top of that, it also helps that it looks pretty good.
Much like the Shure MV5, Snowball iCE utilizes a somewhat unorthodox set of features. Instead of allowing you to manually adjust attenuation or high pass filters, this mic comes with built in recording modes which do all of that work for you. From a gaming point of view, it’s a very easy and functional package to use as a daily.
When we think of gaming we usually think of a living room console or a beastly desktop PC. However, there are those of us who game on a laptop. As such, you may not always want to do your gaming from home. If you fit this description, Samson Go Mic may just be a perfect solution for your daily gaming.
It is super small compared to almost anything out there, but it delivers a proper condenser performance. Unlike most other compact condensers, this one actually comes with an attenuation tab and an adjustable polar pattern. Best of all, you can clip it right to your laptop’s screen and remove it after you are done. The sound quality is truly amazing.
If you are really limited by your budget, there are still some great options available for you. Models like the Zalman ZM-Mic1 are simple, durable and ultimately efficient tools which can get the job done. The benefits of this particular model are numerous. For starters it is tiny and light enough for you to clip it on anywhere you want.
What most users do is clip it right onto the headphones cable and run it like that. That way the mic is always pointed where you need it to be. In terms of sound quality, we can say that Zalman Zm-Mic1 works great considering its price. Thanks to its long cable, you definitely won’t feel restricted while essentially wearing it.
Is a Good Mic Really That Important?
In short, it really is. Back in the day when multiplayer games were just becoming popular, you could find a only a handful of titles which even supported VoIP communication. Today, without a mic you are more or less unfit for a proper game. Whether you enjoy modern shooters, MMORPGs or similar, being heard loud and clear really matters. As a matter of fact, if you want to become a member of a mil-sim crew, you simply won’t be accepted without a mic.
There is nothing more annoying than playing on a team where a valuable member of your squad or group uses a cheap headphone mic. You are lucky if you can hear him at all, let alone hear him well. In short, you don’t want to be that guy. That isn’t to say that you have to invest in a $500 condenser in order to stay on top of this game, but having one of the models from our list should be more than enough. We have chosen these mics based on a number of difference variables and factors. What they all share in common is an absolute rock solid sound quality which will allow you to get your information across without compromise.
Why A Condenser Microphone?
The next question that pops up rather frequently is why go with a condenser microphone? Aren’t there cheaper solutions and ones which require less of a hassle? Sure, but it all comes down to laying out benefits and drawbacks of each decision. Condensers may be a bit expensive compared to most consumer grade dynamic mics, but you don’t have to spend a lot in order to get a good one. If you take a closer look at our list, you will find that almost all of them are sub $100 condenser microphones.
Aren’t condensers too complicated, though? Some are, but not all. Another quick glance at our list will show you that every single one of those mics are USB models which are every bit as plug and plays as your dynamic microphones.
The real reason why a condenser microphone is the way to go can be found in the way these mics work. A condenser has a very limited polar field where it picks up sound. If you go past that field, you won’t be heard. Since most of us don’t live in professionally isolated studio recording booths, having that ability to limit what gets through to your mic is a great thing. Basically, you can focus the microphone to only record your voice and disregard whatever noise is present in the background. That construction site down the street? Not a problem. Same goes for many other sources of noise which can ruin your gaming experience.
What Makes A Good Condenser Mic For Gaming?
Even though the factors important to selecting the right condenser for gaming are nowhere near as strict as those for say studio recording purposes, that doesn’t mean that there are none. On the contrary. We can come up with a few that really should be on your short list when hunting for a proper gaming mic. First and foremost lest discuss connectivity.
Unless you are interested in investing into preamps or mini mixers, we strongly suggest that you stick to USB microphones. Sure, the quality of audio is going to suffer slightly compared to their analog counterparts but that difference is too negligible to be of any consequence in our scenario. With a USB mic, you can just plug it in and set everything up in a matter of minutes.
When it comes to features, look for something that comes with a stand or at least a mount. Depending on what kind of setup you are running, using a mic boom could also be an option. However for the sake of keeping everything compact and mobile, it is always good to stick with mics that have built in stands, tripods or mounts. Another accessory which you should most definitely invest in is a pop filter. By doing so you are ensuring that your comms will stay clear and easily understood especially if you are sitting close to your microphone.
When it comes to actual features of the microphone, additional polar patterns are always a plus. With them you can choose the one which works the best for your mic position and your room in general. However, a standard cardioid pattern is going to work just fine as well. Everything we have mentioned so far is going to get you a really goo setup which you won’t have to worry about. No matter which game you play, you will be heard loud and clear across the comms. If you like what you hear at that point, there is always room for improvement in the world of condenser microphones. However, getting started is what matters the most.
At the end of the day it was a tough call between the Razer Seiren X and the good old Blue Yeti. We ended up sticking with Razer on this one simply because their package is a bit more optimized for the topic we were discussing today. With that said, any of these mics is going to give you a great performance on a daily basis. If you’re running a laptop and need something compact, you can’t go better than Samson’s Go Mic. At that size it is one of the best condensers on the market. The choice is yours.