Digital mics that use USB cables are a totally different beast. Gamers, more likely than not, need some of these things to be baked in from the outset, or at least to have some form of DSP that knows when to limit spikes in levels—say if you shout or laugh during a recording. USB (digital) and XLR (analog) connections, Shure Motiv app provides real-time EQ and basic controls while recording. To start, you should know how most professional microphones function. In the pro studio world, those processes are often handled by standalone gear. On paper, the Memory Mic looks like a fantastic bit of kit, perfect for those wanting to capture great quality audio from meetings, Instagram vloggers, or even news reporters in the field. In other words, don't base your decision on pricing and buy the most expensive thing, assuming you're getting what you need. It’s small enough not to intrude when holding it in their face during an interview session either. Sign up for What's New Now to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every morning. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. There is a USB Type-C on the bottom which is where you charge the microphone. Connecting the Memory Mic to your smartphone or tablet is simple and guided by the app. Basically, most USB mics already have their mic pre's built in, and they also have built-in analog-to-digital conversion. Keep an eye on your inbox! Excellent audio quality with Apogee's signature digital conversion. You can easily spend more than $100 on those three items alone. Go figure. The Blue Yeti X microphone is a worthy update to the lineup, with four mic patterns to meet a variety of recording needs. For some users, a mic that ships with its own stand and windscreen or pop filter will be the more reasonable choice. The reasonably priced Blue Yeti Nano USB microphone delivers high-quality, crisp audio with two selectable polar patterns and a DSP-free signal chain. The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. Connecting the Memory Mic to your smartphone or tablet is simple and guided by the app. The Apogee HypeMiC includes analog compression in its signal chain to very impressive results. With music, the goal is typically to get the purest recording "to tape" (even if your "tape" is GarageBand) and then any processing that needs to happen will happen when mixing. Nice piece of work on Sennheiser’s part. It’s a quick charge too which means you can get back into the action faster. We review products independently, but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. For the couple of times I successfully managed to sync the mic, I could only record audio. The free Memory Mic app for Android and iOS is essential to the operation of the mic. Delivers crisp audio in a cardioid recording pattern. Spending more doesn't necessarily mean you get a better product, but there does seem to be a fairly sensible scale of quality associated with price. If you would like more information, then head over to the Sennheiser website. Microphones in music recording have always been one of the more mysterious elements of the signal chain. This can be particularly useful for location recordings—say, if your podcast calls for you to get the sound of a softball game in a park or the sound of glasses clinking and dinners chatting at a restaurant. https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-usb-microphones. You probably don't want a mic that uses obvious DSP in the signal like many gaming mics do. How to Free Up Space on Your iPhone or iPad, How to Save Money on Your Cell Phone Bill, How to Find Free Tools to Optimize Your Small Business, How to Get Started With Project Management, how to create your own successful podcast, Humans Are Listening to Google Audio Recordings Again, But Only With Your Consent, How I Got My Stupid Album on Spotify and iTunes (and You Can Too), The Best True Wireless Earbuds for Running, AirPod Alternatives: The Best True Wireless Earbuds for 2020, The Best Noise-Cancelling True Wireless Earbuds for 2020, The Best Cheap Earbuds and Headphones (Under $50). Some mics have it and use it subtly. Sennheiser Memory Mic Sennheiser Memory Mic. The audio is then synced to the video recorded on your phone via the Sennheiser Memory Mic App which quickly syncs the video and audio for you without the need of using a video editor on a desktop computer. But before we get to that, let's talk a bit about microphones in general. Quality audio signal with flexible DSP modes. Another consideration is how many people will be speaking simultaneously. Once you're ready to get recording, check out our tips for how to create your own successful podcast and the best audio editing software. The audio tests I ran sounded very full. The Memory Mic uses both the 2.4 GHz band and 802.11g/n WiFi, an arrangement that has a very positive effect in usable range. The signal from the mic should be more or less pure, with EQ, dynamic compression, and reverb added later in production. Nice piece of work on Sennheiser’s part. There are workarounds, of course—there's recording software that will allow you to record multiple mics at once—but the catch is that they'll all record to the same track. Some mics can handle higher sound pressure levels, making them great for recording loud drums and amps, while some mics are ideal for capturing every bit of detail in a vocalist's dynamic performance. Finally, most gaming mics are going to offer their own headphone jack, hopefully low- or zero-latency, so you don't hear a distracting slapback delay while talking. So no, not all USB mics are the same, which can make buying the right one for your needs a little tricky. Most of the products we try out, we also create a video review for, so check those out on our YouTube channel. Perhaps most surprisingly, Avid Pro Tools, which is more or less the industry standard for music recording software, requires a somewhat tedious workaround to enable the use of most USB mics. Determine what you need first and see what options meet your criteria. Now that we've got that all out of the way, let's break down the three most typical uses for a USB mic, and discuss the various options, characteristics, and needs in each realm.