If you want to start your Youtube channel as soon as possible, but with decent quality, you will want to start by getting a microphone. If your audience can’t hear you, convincing them to subscribe to you will be basically impossible. That’s why I’ve made this list of the best cheap microphones for Youtube.
A good mic for YouTube can cost around $100, but you can get something that is good enough for starting for under $50. We’ll focus on this latter price point for this post. If you can spend a little bit more, I recommend you my list of the best microphones you can get.
For now, let’s see what options you have to choose the best budget microphone for youtube. Here are my 5 favorites, but you’ll find more options later on in this post:
Table of Contents
- How to Choose a Microphone for YouTube
- Top 5 Best Cheap USB Mics for Youtube
- The 2 Best Cheap Lavalier for Your Smartphone or Camera
- Best Cheap Shotgun Mic for Youtube
- How do I get good audio on YouTube videos?
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How to Choose a Microphone for YouTube
There are basically three types that are good for Youtube:
These microphones are great if you want to use your smartphone as a recording device. This is the most common choice for vloggers that don’t have a camera with external microphone input and that need to record outside, like vloggers. They are pretty small and can be attached to your clothes to significantly improve your audio.You can connect them to your smartphone and use a compact camera to record your videos, which you will need to sync later on with editing software.
These microphones are my favorite. They usually give a lot of value for your money. Sadly, they are useful for just a small amount of channels. USB mics are made to record in front of your PC. It is the best choice for gamers or vloggers that like to record voice-over audio, which is also common practice in tutorial channels.
If your camera has a mic input and a hot shoe, like most mirrorless and DSLRs, you will probably love shotgun mics. You don’t have to wear these mics, as they will be set on top of your camera and will pick up your voice as long as you’re pointing the camera to you. You’ll have to be careful when choosing one of these, as there are many low-quality shotguns that are as good as a piece of junk.
Top 5 Best Cheap USB Mics for Youtube
This is one of the best budget microphones you can buy this year. Most mics in this price range lack useful things like a mute button and can be very noisy. But the Bietrun mic is the exception.
For less than $50, you get a cardioid mic that will pick only the sound coming from the front. But it also has a mute button, a noise-canceling button, and an internal shock mount in case you hit your desk while recording.
Plus, the microphone looks good.
Our only reservation about it is the cable length. It’s only 1.5 meters long. It’s not exactly short, but there are other options that come with 2m or even 3m cables.
But overall, if you’re looking for a good desktop USB mic under $50, this is our first recommendation
The TONOR Condenser Mic is a similar option with a few different advantages and disadvantages. To start with, it comes with a pop filter and has the same type of shock mount that will reduce the noise when you move your mic.
It’s also a cardioid mic (although it pickups sound at the top, not the front), which is good for voice recording on YouTube or any other kind of vocal work.
The pop filter will make sure that your audio doesn’t clip when pronouncing letters like ‘p’, or whenever you exhale a lot of air at the same time.
Also, it comes with a longer cable that is 2 meters long. This is good if you plan to record far away from your computer.
However, it doesn’t come with the noise-cancellation feature the Bietrun has.
We recommend this microphone if you really need the longer cable, but for most people, the Bietrun will be a better option thanks to the noise cancelation. You can always get a cheap pop filter and use it on almost any microphone.
This Samson mic is extremely portable and it has what I love about USB mics: being able to choose polar pattern options. This means that you will be able to set your microphone if you want the Cardioid mode or the omnidirectional mode.
In case you don’t know, Cardioid will only pick up sound coming from the front of the mic, whilst omnidirectional mode will pick sound from every direction. It’s just great to have this option at this price range.
It also comes with a little clip you can use to mount your camera on your LCD screen, like most webcams. This is not my favorite way to use a mic, but you can still get a stand for it.
If you don’t care much about being able to change your polar pattern, the eBerry Cobblestone mic is a great cheap option.
It comes only with the Cardioid pattern, which is probably the one you will want for voice recording since it will suppress sound coming from other directions.
It isn’t as portable as the Samson, but it is cheaper and comes with a small tripod that is more convenient for Youtube videos than a screen/table clip.
Finally, both mics have similar audio quality, but this one has a design that I personally enjoy more than the vintage look of the Samson.
Amazon has released a lot of in-house products that are able to deliver really good quality for a low price. In this case, the Amazon Basics Desktop Mini mic is a really nice microphone that sounds just as good as a more expensive Blue Snowball microphone.
Of course, it doesn’t look as good as the Blue mic, but it comes with a mute button. This already gives a bit more value than the Snowball, even though it costs almost half.
The microphone also includes a tripod and you can tilt it up and down. Since it occupies such a small space, you’ll probably be able to place it on top of your desktop without needing a scissor arm stand.
The 2 Best Cheap Lavalier for Your Smartphone or Camera
Going for the Seacue Lavalier mic and connecting it to your smartphone is probably the cheapest way to give your channel good audio. It is extremely cheap and even better than the mic installed in flagship smartphones.
The main purpose of this mic is to improve your audio by making your voice a bit clearer than the ambient sound. It is a lot better than most built-in mics in cameras from all price ranges. Your voice will be louder and clearer; you can’t really ask for much more for this price.
You might not want this to be the mic to use for your entire Youtube career, but at least you can start with decent sound if you can’t afford better equipment.
On the other hand, if you can afford a bit more, you will probably feel safer paying for a higher quality mic that is still pretty cheap. In that case, this PowerDeWise has made a name for itself between vloggers pretty quickly.
The main reason is that it is surprisingly good for its price. It is good at suppressing wind sound, which is the most common problem when recording outside as a vlogger. It comes with an extension cable in case you need it and a handy pouch to carry it with you.
It is a lot of value for your money, and one of the microphones that I recommend the most, even for vloggers that could afford a lot more.
Best Cheap Shotgun Mic for Youtube
Picking between shotgun microphones can be a pain, especially when we’re looking at low-cost models. I had to look through a lot of options to find one that had a good price-quality relationship.
I don’t think I can recommend one cheaper than the TAKSTAR SGC-598.
You can find 200$ shotgun microphones that are just as good as this one, if not worse. This is why I say it is a pain to find the right one.
Gladly, the TAKSTAR is definitely a good choice for the price. It is light and you will get a much clearer volume of your voice than using any built-in mic.
I would love to give you more options, but honestly, this is probably the only cheap shotgun I can feel comfortable recommending.
Be sure to go to my main microphones article for more expensive shotgun mics that are worth your money once you want an upgrade. I’ve done most of the grunt work for you there.
How do I get good audio on YouTube videos?
Getting a microphone is not the only thing you need to record good audio. You also need to apply the best practices:
- Get closer to the microphone to reduce background noise and avoid echo
- Turn off things that can make background noise (fans, TVs, radios, computers you’re not using, etc)
- Close your windows
- Avoid echo by not recording in an empty room
- Make sure your hitting the yellow signal in your recorder’s peak level meter (green is too low, and red is too high)
Will has been a full-time content creator since 2014. He’s an audio, video, and tech hobbyist dedicated to reviewing products and giving you the best tips he knows to grow your audience.