With the popularization of devices with USB connections came the USB mic. And with the release of Garageband on Mac computers in 2004, musicians’ requirements for the need for plug and play mics increased significantly.
And there are now plenty of contenders for the title of the Best USB Microphone for Mac.
In many ways, the USB mic is a great innovation. But they are not for every user or every situation. They are, of course, very convenient. But they have not broken through for those requiring high-quality recordings quite yet.
There are a few advantages…
- They are cheaper to buy and don’t need an interface to plug into your Mac.
- They are portable and ideally suited for those who need to work on the go.
- Being plug and play, they are suitable for a variety of uses.
But, also some disadvantages?
- The sound quality is not as good as when using a quality analog mic.
- Most USB mics are 16 bit, not 24 bit, the professional standard. They are OK for Youtube or a home recording, but lower quality than mics used in a pro studio.
Nevertheless, for some, they are irreplaceable, and the USB mic has earned its place in the recording world. Nowadays, there are some very good options.
So, let’s take a look and find the perfect USB microphone for you…
- 1 Top 5 Best USB Microphone For Mac In 2020 Reviews
- 1.1 1 Blue Yeti USB Mic for Recording & Streaming on PC and Mac – Most Versatile USB Microphone for Mac
- 1.2 2 Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphone – Best Podcast USB Microphone for Mac
- 1.3 3 Apogee MiC Plus – Studio Quality USB Microphone – Best Professional USB Microphone for Mac
- 1.4 4 Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Mic – Best Value for the Money USB Microphone for Mac
- 1.5 5 Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser Microphone – Best Budget USB Microphone for Mac
- 2 Best USB Microphone For Mac Buyers Guide – Getting Real Quality On Your Mac
- 3 Looking For More Superb Audio Gadgets?
- 4 So, What Is The Best USB Microphone For Mac?
Top 5 Best USB Microphone For Mac In 2020 Reviews
1 Blue Yeti USB Mic for Recording & Streaming on PC and Mac – Most Versatile USB Microphone for Mac
Not many better places to start than with this USB mic. Certainly a contender for the Best USB Microphone for Mac. It has been around since 2013 and has been one of the most popular mics since.
There is a reason for this, of course, so let’s find out why…
The first element that makes this such a popular mic is the tri-capsule array. It has three condenser capsules, which means it will produce good results in almost any situation. Secondly, it has four polar patterns to choose from, with Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, and of course, Stereo all being available.
Having so many pattern options means that this mic is going to be well-placed to record in any environment. Whether you need a single voice, multiple voices, an instrument, a whole band, or everything all around you, you are covered.
These two features place it at a level above most others. This mic is will probably be able to record wherever and whatever you require.
It is, therefore, suitable for guitars, other instruments, and for vocals. Great for interviewing, podcasts and voice-overs. And of course, the different polar patterns allow those recordings to be made indoors as well as outside.
It has a 16-bit depth and a sample rate of 48Hz. The headphone amplifier has a frequency response of 15 Hz to 22 kHz and a signal to noise ratio of 100dB. Measuring 4.9 by 4.7 by 11.6 inches and weighing just over three pounds, it is easy to carry around with you.
It has some useful controls on the mic itself. These include Gain and Mute controls and a headphone output with zero-latency. And it has compatibility with Mac OS X 10.4.11 or above.
It is a mic that appeals to both pros and amateurs. This is because of the clarity of its recordings and its ability to work anywhere.
Quality performer with a quality price…
Definitely not the cheapest you will find but certainly one of the best currently on the market.
- A tri-capsule array and four polar patterns.
- Produces great results in a variety of environments.
- It may be expensive for some.
2 Rode Procaster Broadcast Dynamic Vocal Microphone – Best Podcast USB Microphone for Mac
If you are going to do a lot of outside recording, you need a rugged and strong mic. So who better to manufacture that than the Aussies. And Rode is a manufacturer synonymous with some rather well-built microphones.
Built to last…
The body of the mic is made from stainless steel, giving it some natural strength. And at two pounds, it feels quite heavy.
Its basic design is a copy of its popular predecessor, the Rode Broadcaster, which received several awards for its performance levels in live situations.
Reduces noise and plosives…
This dynamic mic has a low impedance output with a high output capsule. There is a built-in shock mounting system that reduces any handling noise while recording. There are also internal pop filters to reduce plosives.
To allow high frequencies to be captured clearly whilst filtering out lower frequencies, there is a high-pass filter.
Fantastic for Podcasts…
This is not a mic that is going to suit every situation and every environment. In that respect, some might consider it a little limited in its operation. However, it is exceptional at podcasts and other interviews on a one to one basis. For that application, you need a wide frequency response and low levels of distortion. This mic has both.
It also has a Cardioid pattern that rejects unwanted sound over 180 degrees. This means the sound will be captured from the source without picking up background sounds. Everything about this mic is built for voice-based frequency response and use.
Quality comes at a price…
Great for the interview, but not so good for a situation where there may be two or three people talking. Excellent quality if you need a Podcasting microphone, but not a cheap option.
It comes with a zipper pouch and a stand mount, and a ⅗ inch adapter.
- Typically tough Rode build with some useful built-in features.
- Possibly the Best Podcasting Microphone you can buy.
- Not very versatile.
3 Apogee MiC Plus – Studio Quality USB Microphone – Best Professional USB Microphone for Mac
This is another Cardioid pattern mic that is a good choice for those creating podcasts or recording mics or instruments. Having a Cardioid pattern, it excels in rejecting any sound that is off-axis and captures only the source. Good in some environments, but it could be limiting in others.
Plenty of power…
There is a mic preamp gain of 46dB built-in, which is digitally controlled and gives you plenty to work with.
The build is quite strong, and it weighs just under half a pound. Measuring 5.02 by 2.13 by 7.8 inches, it is, therefore, easy to carry around.
So easy to use…
For a mic of this size, it has plenty of controls on the body. There is a colored LED giving you information about status, blend mode, and input levels. And a separate blend control for output from the headphones, which ensures zero latency.
There is also an input gain adjuster and mute button. On the bottom, a 3.5mm socket for headphones and the USB port.
As opposed to the majority of USB microphones, this operates at a professional level. The analog to digital conversion is 24-bit depth with a 96kHz sample rate. This puts it at the same quality as standard analog microphones, but with the advantages of USB thrown in on top!
The downside of this mic is the cost; it is very expensive. Whether it appeals will depend on its use and if the improved bit, and sample rate justify the added expense. To some, it will; to many, it won’t.
It comes with a mini tripod and an adapter for a mic stand. It also has all the USB cabling you will require.
- Professional Standard bit and sample rate for high quality recordings.
- Good controls on the body of the mic.
- Very expensive.
4 Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Mic – Best Value for the Money USB Microphone for Mac
Here is another mic from Blue, but this version features an improved performance level and might well be considered the Best Value USB Microphone for Mac you can buy.
This mic, too, has the same professional bit/sample rate of up to 24-bit/48Khz. And features two polar patterns, Cardioid and Omnidirectional. This pairing offers extra options for recording over Cardioid only microphones.
The cardioid pattern, of course, specializes in collecting the sound from its source only, rejecting any unwanted or ambient sounds. This is probably the best way of recording podcasts and streamed interviews.
Need to stream a round the table discussion?
But Cardioid is not good for interviews where there might be more than one person being interviewed. That is where the omnidirectional pattern comes in, allowing your interviewers to sit (or stand) around the microphone and picking up everyone’s contribution at the same time.
Having both patterns opens up new possibilities for recording voice for interviews and podcasts.
Feature-packed and affordable…
There are some useful features built-in as well. A headphone output with no latency issues and a volume for headphones, and also a mute button.
There are a few other microphones that feature a 24/48Khz bit and sample rate. But not at this price point. That makes this mic very special, offering outstanding performance but at a sensible price.
The design includes threading for a Radius 3 shock mount system or a Compass boom arm.
- Very good sample and bit rate with a solid build.
- Two patterns make this a mic with a variety of options at a very attractive price point.
5 Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser Microphone – Best Budget USB Microphone for Mac
The final microphone we shall look at is the Samson Meteor. This is a neat little mic that is designed for indoor use rather than out on location. It has a die-cast Zinc construction, and it has a chrome-plated finish. A good solid build.
This also has an interesting design feature with its built-in fold-away legs.
How can these be used?
This is a very well-designed and efficient tripod stand. It is made to sit securely on the desk on its three legs. When you have finished, the legs just fold away, making it easy to store.
But the real benefit is the design makes it perfect for interviews. The cardioid polar pattern also assists in this role. When placed in front of the target, the mic sits at the correct height, ensuring quality sound collection. But it also rejects any unwanted noise because of the pattern.
Time for some specs…
At under eleven ounces and measuring just 6 by 3 by 5 inches, it is unobtrusive. And it is a condenser mic with a 25mm diaphragm, which is larger than the norm. It has a nice smooth frequency response of 20hz–20khz, which makes it ideal for voice or any instrument.
There is a headphone output for stereo listening and a level control. This helps achieve zero latency when monitoring.
Is this the Best Budget USB Microphone on the market?
Quite possibly, the price tag makes this a more than attractive option. And certainly, if you are on a budget, you will find it hard to find a better mic.
For an affordable option, this has to be considered the Best Low Cost USB Microphone for Mac.
- Good quality build with integrated trips stand.
- Good features and performance at a great price point.
- Only really suitable for indoor use.
Best USB Microphone For Mac Buyers Guide – Getting Real Quality On Your Mac
The vast majority of people will not need professional studio quality from their USB mic. They want as good a sound as possible, of course, but even those with home studios will not expect the real top end in terms of quality.
But a good USB mic can be a very useful tool. Not only for musicians but for those making Youtube videos or streaming and uploading podcasts.
They certainly lower the amount of money that needs to be spent to get started, and in a number of circumstances, they are a great solution.
Many are very similar to each other, but you need to pay attention to the polar pattern. Selecting a mic with multiple options is a good idea if you intend recording a number of different sources in different locations, such as a musician using it for vocals and instruments. But if you are only using it for simple podcasting, more basic polar patterns are fine.
If you are making videos or podcasts, will you be inside or outside?
Do you want to interview in a group situation? If so, a cardioid pattern with a dedicated target source would not be suitable. For use outdoors, it will probably be handheld. Therefore, a feature that reduces handling noise might be useful, as would a built-in pop filter to try to cut out ambient external noise.
A few things to consider but all the mics we have looked at fall into one of these categories and have the necessary features.
Finally, the bit and sample rate…
The higher you get, the better quality the audio you will be. Two of the more expensive microphones we reviewed will give you the professional standard of 24/48Khz bit and sample rate, the rest a little lower. But they will all sound good in most situations, so you don’t need to spend the extra unless you want the highest audio quality possible.
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So, What Is The Best USB Microphone For Mac?
We would choose a mic that had a good bit and sample rate and a decent build. More than one polar pattern will be an advantage. The fact that it has a great price point only makes it more attractive.
For us, the winner is the…Blue Yeti Nano Premium USB Mic
It has everything that most people would need in a quality USB microphone and at a reasonable price. That makes it our choice as the Best mac USB Microphone you can buy.
Happy recording, streaming, and podcasting.