November 2021

Microphones: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Microphone rankings posted by key online experts, as of November 2021.

At a glance - November 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Microphone
PC Gamer
Music Radar
MusicTech
IGN
Pitchfork
Just Creative
CBR
Music Grotto
PianoDreamers
Tom's Guide
1
- $100
Blue Yeti
-
-
11
4
11
2
-
-
-
1
2
- Check price
Shure MV7
1
5
4
11
-
15
-
-
-
-
3
- $99
Shure SM58
-
-
-
9
2
3
9
-
-
9
4
- $359
Shure SM7B
-
-
10
-
3
10
-
-
8
-
5
- $397
Sennheiser MD 421 II
-
-
-
-
4
-
1
3
-
-
6
- $128
Samson G-Track Pro
-
-
-
1
-
1
-
-
-
-
7
- $99
Shure SM57
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
1
-
8
- Check price
Audio-Technica AT2035
-
-
7
-
-
5
-
2
-
-
9
- $98
Rode PodMic
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
3
10
- $69
Blue Yeti Nano
-
-
-
7
-
11
-
-
-
8
11
- $120
Elgato Wave 3
6
-
-
10
-
-
-
-
-
12
12
- $193
HyperX QuadCast S
5
-
-
5
-
-
-
-
-
13
13
- $3200
Neumann U87 Ai
-
-
8
-
9
-
-
-
11
-
14
- $225
Rode Procaster Dynamic
-
-
-
12
-
8
-
-
6
-
15
- $750
Warm Audio WA-47
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
1
-
-
16
- $53
HyperX SoloCast
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
17
- $249
Rode NT1
-
3
-
-
-
-
7
-
-
-
18
- $149
Sontronics Podcast Pro
-
-
3
-
-
13
-
-
-
-
19
- $60
Blue Snowball
-
-
-
3
-
6
-
-
-
-
20
- $25
Fifine K669
-
-
-
-
-
16
3
-
-
-
21
- $295
Aston Origin
-
6
-
-
-
-
-
6
-
-
22
- $304
AKG C636
-
9
-
-
-
-
10
-
-
-
23
- $228
Rode NT1A
-
-
6
-
8
-
-
-
-
-
24
- $448
Electro-Voice RE20
-
-
9
-
5
-
-
-
-
-
25
- $42
Maono AU-A04
-
-
-
-
-
19
6
-
-
-

We ranked Blue Yeti #1 in November 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Blue Yeti as #1.
Critic endorsements:
MusicTech

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IGN

Best Plug-and-Play Mic for Streaming and Podcasting

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Pitchfork

Easy Setup

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Just Creative

The best and easiest microphone for any user

Pros
Outstanding sound quality
Reasonable price
Has three condenser capsules ensuring crisp and clear sound quality

Cons
Could be lighter and more portable

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Tom's Guide

The best microphone overall

Pros
Versatile
Reasonably priced
Great sound quality

Cons
Not as precise as specialized mics
So-so mount

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We ranked Shure MV7 #2 in November 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Shure MV7 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
PC Gamer

The best hybrid USB/XLR microphone

Pros
Excellent Vocals
USB/XLR combo
Versatile
Easy Use software

Cons
No mic stand
Uses micro-USB

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Music Radar

The best microphone for content creation

Pros
Dual output adds versatility
MOTIV app is genuinely useful

Cons
USB-C connection would have been preferable

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MusicTech

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IGN

Best Professional Level Microphone

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Just Creative

The best USB microphone for podcasting

Pros
Good range and sound quality
Quite versatile
Comes with a direct to computer USB connection

Cons
Does not come with a mic stand included

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Microphones.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Microphones, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for November 2021 ranking

We ranked Shure SM58 #3 in November 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
IGN

Best Handheld Microphone for Streaming and Podcasting

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Pitchfork

Workhorse

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Just Creative

The best handheld microphone

Pros
Amazing sound quality
Durable build
Can pick up high volumes without distortion
Great at filtering background noise

Cons
Needs an audio interface to connect it to your PC

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CBR

Pros
Proximity effect is reduced with brightened mid range and bass roll-off
Brilliant-quality sound with crystal clear vocals
Minimal plosives due to in-built wind and pop filter
Convenient stand adapter and zipper pouch

Cons
On/Off button does not exist

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Tom's Guide

The best music microphone

Pros
Optimized for music
Not very expensive
Durable build

Cons
No easy USB connection
Not ideal for desktop setup

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We ranked Shure SM7B #4 in November 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
MusicTech

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Pitchfork

Upgrade

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Just Creative

The best high-end microphone

Pros
Outstanding sound quality
Solid and rugged build
Easy to use
Great sound reproduction

Cons
Must be used along with a mixer

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PianoDreamers

Best known as MJ's Vocal Mic

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We ranked Sennheiser MD 421 II #5 in November 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Sennheiser MD 421 II as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Pitchfork

Upgrade

Go to ranking

CBR

Editors' Choice

Pros
Robust microphone for professional use
Dust and humidity resistant
Consistent signal at reasonable distances due to dynamic capsule
Minimal off-axis noise and ambiance

Cons
Costly

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Music Grotto

Pros
Crisp recording with or without background instrumentals
Excellent for loud vocals
160 max SPL
Effective feedback rejection

Cons
May not work well for very subtle vocals
Mic clip is somewhat weak
Some high notes sound sharp

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We ranked Samson G-Track Pro #6 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Samson G-Track Pro as #1.
Critic endorsements:
IGN

Best Microphone for Streaming and Podcasting

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Just Creative

The best microphone for podcasting overall / Editor’s Choice

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We ranked Shure SM57 #7 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Shure SM57 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Pitchfork

Workhorse

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PianoDreamers

The King of Versatility

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We ranked Audio-Technica AT2035 #8 in November 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
MusicTech

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Just Creative

The best high-quality microphone kit

Pros
Great value for money
High quality sound
Condenser reduces the background noise picked up
Comes with shock mount

Cons
Lacks carrying case

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Music Grotto

Pros
Max SPL of 158 dB
Includes 10 dB pad
Custom shock mount for isolation
Clean recordings for home studio performances

Cons
Very sensitive to sound
Does not include a storage case or instructions

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We ranked Rode PodMic #9 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Rode PodMic as #1.
Critic endorsements:
MusicTech

Go to ranking

Tom's Guide

The best microphone for serious podcasting

Pros
Fantastic sound
High build quality
Low price
Internal pop filter

Cons
Not ideal for newcomers
Stand not included

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We ranked Blue Yeti Nano #10 in November 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
IGN

Best Portable Mic for Streaming and Podcasting

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Just Creative

The best portable microphone

Pros
Affordable
Great audio quality
Easily portable
Great sound reproduction

Cons
Gain can only be adjusted through the Sherpa app

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Tom's Guide

A great compact Blue Yeti microphone

Pros
Great sound
Study build
Cheaper than the Blue Yeti

Cons
No stereo mode
Basic controls

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We ranked Elgato Wave 3 #11 in November 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
PC Gamer

Best microphone for streaming and gaming

Pros
Clear audio
Digital mixer
Simple mounting

Cons
Single polar pattern

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IGN

Best Customizable Microphone for Streaming and Podcasting

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Tom's Guide

The best microphone for streaming

Pros
Good for streaming
Intuitive setup
Simple design

Cons
No standout features
Can pick up background noise

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We ranked HyperX QuadCast S #12 in November 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
PC Gamer

The best microphone with RGB

Pros
Easy to set use
Touch-sensitive mute button
Built-in Shockmount
Cool RGB lighting

Cons
RGB is not for everyone...
and costly

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IGN

Best Broadcast Mic for Streaming and Podcasting

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Tom's Guide

A gaming microphone with customizable lighting

Pros
High sound quality
Customizable lighting
Built-in shock mount and pop filter

Cons
Standard QuadCast is cheaper

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We ranked Neumann U87 Ai #13 in November 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
MusicTech

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Pitchfork

Gold Standrd

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PianoDreamers

The King of Microphones

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We ranked Rode Procaster Dynamic #14 in November 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
IGN

The Cheaper Professional Option

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Just Creative

The best microphone that’s built to work

Pros
Clear and focused audio
Solid build
Handles ambient noise extremely well
Comes with stand mount and a zip pouch

Cons
A bit pricey

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PianoDreamers

More than just a podcasting mic

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We ranked Warm Audio WA-47 #15 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Warm Audio WA-47 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
CBR

Premium Pick

Pros
Specially crafted for vocals and instruments
Most coveted all vacuum tube large condenser microphone
7 pin cable modifies the sonics completely
Excellent reflection filter improves the quality of voice recordings

Cons
Holding it at 2 and 3 o’clock positions return noticeable proximity effect

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Music Grotto

Pros
Studio-quality construction and design
140 dB max SPL
Low-noise tube for optimal smoothness
Almost mimics the classic ‘47

Cons
Could be pricey for a home recording mic
No hard case included for storage

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We ranked HyperX SoloCast #16 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
PC Gamer

The best budget microphone

Pros
Sounds nearly identical to QuadCast Mic
Great price
Portable design

Cons
No gain control on mic

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Tom's Guide

The best microphone on a budget

Pros
Very affordable
Good sound
Adjustable stand
Portable friendly

Cons
Limited controls
Cardioid pattern only

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We ranked Rode NT1 #17 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

The best affordable condenser mic

Pros
Low noise
Sound quality
Integrated shock mount

Cons
Not a lot

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CBR

Pros
Negligible low self noise of only 4.5 dB
Prevents all irritations for engaging and engrossing recording sessions
Body of 6061 aluminum and nickel plating prevents corrosion
Telescopic arm and pop shield with two axes of adjustment supports versatile applications

Cons
Need to soundproof your recording space

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We ranked Sontronics Podcast Pro #18 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
MusicTech

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Just Creative

The best-looking podcast microphone

Pros
Good for recording speech and podcasts
Great unique design
Comes with an internal shock mount
Good price

Cons
Can have issues rejecting ambient noise when multiple sounds are being recorded

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We ranked Blue Snowball #19 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
IGN

Best Ultra Cheap Microphone for Streaming and Podcasting

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Just Creative

The best small microphone for podcasters

Pros
Good price
High quality sound
Can plug and play
Convenient for computers and laptops

Cons
The angle of the mic could be improved upon

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We ranked Fifine K669 #20 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Just Creative

The best budget-friendly USB microphone

Pros
Affordable price
Solid build
Good audio quality and versatile range
Compatible with both Windows and Mac OS

Cons
The cable could be better quality

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CBR

Best value

Pros
Voice input is adjustable
Enhances and uplifts the sound quality of your audio projects
Comes with tripod desk stand for secure and easily portable tabletop use
Durable and rugged metallic body

Cons
The microphone stand is not completely stable

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We ranked Aston Origin #21 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

An excellent low-priced condenser mic

Pros
Fantastic price
Boutique appearance

Cons
Very few

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Music Grotto

Pros
Versatile for most voices
127 dB max SPL
Custom, mountable end caps
Built-in shock isolation adds a layer of durability

Cons
No shock mount included
Low-cut filter doesn’t lend to dynamic vocals

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We ranked AKG C636 #22 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Music Radar

A great handheld condenser and the best microphone for master reference

Pros
Clear, well balanced response
Superb feedback rejection
Excellent off-axis attenuation

Cons
You have to pay for quality

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CBR

Pros
Prevents all common issues of a stage microphone
Extremely tough body made from zinc alloy and a spring steel grille
Unfiltered and refined studio fidelity sound
Custom tuned and capable of processing 150dB SPL

Cons
A bit expensive

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We ranked Rode NT1A #23 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
MusicTech

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Pitchfork

Budget

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We ranked Electro-Voice RE20 #24 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
MusicTech

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Pitchfork

Versatile

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We ranked Maono AU-A04 #25 in November 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Microphones” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Just Creative

The best microphone kit for beginners

Pros
Good and clear audio quality
Comes with all the accessories a beginner would need
Solid build
Good design and price point

Cons
The shock mount is not very effective

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CBR

Pros
Can be easily fixed on your collar or tie with a sturdy metal clip
Convenient to use with a mobile by plugging its thin pin into your mobile’s 3.5 mm headset jack
78-inch long cord for flexibility to record your podcast away from the sounds of the PC
Captures sound evenly from all around the microphone

Cons
Not very rugged

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