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8 Best Microphones for Gaming That Won’t Annoy Your Friends

Last updated: 4 months ago
9 min read

Here are the best gaming microphones:

  • Attachable mod mics that attach to headphones
  • Clip-on mics that latch to a shirt
  • Standalone mics for streaming

We test and evaluate headphones using a standardized 9-point methodology. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

More info Price Type Connection Pick-up pattern
Antlion ModMic Wireless Best wireless
Antlion ModMic Wireless
Under $120
Mod mic
Wireless, Bluetooth
Uni & omnidirectional
Elgato Wave:3 Best standing
Elgato Wave:3
Under $140
Standing, condenser
Wired – USB
HyperX QuadCast S Best streaming
HyperX QuadCast S
Under $160
Standing, condenser
Wired – USB
Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional
Antlion ModMic USB Best USB mic
Antlion Audio USB
Under $80
Mod mic
Wired – USB
Uni & omnidirectional
Under $50
Clip-on (lavalier)
Wired – 3.5mm
Blue Yeti X Best for new streamers
Blue Yeti X
Under $150
Standing, condenser
Wired – MicroUSB
Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional
Zalman Zm-Mic1 Best cheap
Zalman Zm-Mic1
Under $10
Clip-on (lavalier)
Wired – 3.5mm
V-Moda BoomPro Best detachable
V-Moda BoomPro
Under $30
Microphone, mod
Wired – 3.5mm
CONTENTS (show more)

    What Type of Microphone is Best for Gaming?

    Picking the best microphone for gaming isn’t a straightforward process. There are different types of gaming microphones that are made for different use cases.

    If you need a:

    • Gaming microphone: get an attachable microphone or mic mod like ModMic and BoomPro or a clip-on Lavalier microphone.
    • Streaming microphone: you should up your game and get a quality microphone like Blue Yeti X or iCE. Twitch streaming and YouTube video production are getting more competitive, you need the right streaming microphone to be successful.
    • Serious production microphone: get a professional condenser microphone or an XLR setup with a dynamic XLR microphone with a single cardioid polar pattern, XLR cable, and other necessary equipment. Do it like the pros.

    Quick Comparison

    Playing for funStreamingVideomaking
    Attachable mod micMost convenientGood, not professionalUsually not suitable
    Clip-on micLess suitable due to distortionGood, semi-professionalGreat for interviews, guests
    Standing micInconvenientGreat, professionalGreat for podcasts
    Boom arm mic
    Great, professionalGreat for podcasts, guests

    Whatever type of gaming microphone you use, set your budget beforehand and stick with it.

    How much does a decent microphone cost?

    You can pay hundreds of dollars, $300-$400 or more for high-end mics, but you can get a good microphone for around $100. And a decent gaming microphone for around $50.

    If you’re just starting out with a Twitch streaming career or your own YouTube channel, a mic is an essential part of your gaming hardware.

    However, you don’t need hundreds of dollars of additional equipment. Pick between more affordable USB microphones and upgrade once you grow and become successful.

    To eliminate annoying pops, you might want to invest in a pop filter (if you don’t already have it built-in). Many gaming microphones support it, so you don’t have to worry about breathing too loudly. They’re cheap and effective.

    For more options, see the best gaming headphones.

    What polar pattern is best for gaming?

    Generally, the cardioid, uni-directional polar pattern is the best for gaming because it focuses on picking up the game’s voice while reducing background noise.

    Mic polar patternBest forNoise pickup
    Cardioid (uni-directional)Playing gamesLow
    OmnidirectionalStreaming, making videosHigh
    BidirectionalStreaming, making videos with 2 sourcesModerate

    The Best Gaming Microphones

    1. Antlion ModMic Wireless

    wireless Best Wireless Attachable Mic Mod
    Antlion ModMic Wireless LED light
    Image credit:

    AntLion ModMic Wireless is still the best wireless gaming microphone we’ve tested and our top pickReview.

    Connection icon Connection: Bluetooth
    Driver size icon Driver size: /
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 50-20.000Hz (response range)
    Type: Wireless microphone | Battery life: 12h | Wireless range: 33ft (10m) | Noise cancelling: Yes (for speech) | Charging: Micro-USB | Mic & Controls: Yes | Bluetooth codecs: aptX Low Latency | Water resistance: No | Features: USB-A dongle | Bitrate: 16-bit, 48khz (uni & omni modes)
    • Crystal clear voice quality
    • Reliable performance
    • A short delay (aptX Low Latency)
    • Sturdy build quality
    • Nice carrying case
    • Easy setup
    • Pricey
    • 12h battery short for heavy users

    A great thing about this mic is its reliable connection and over 12 hours of battery life. It works without any noticeable delay, so you don’t miss any important sounds. Also, the microphone is well-built and has a lovely, functional carrying case.

    On top of that, it sounds clear and without distortion, suitable for professional use too. You can even choose from a uni-directional or omnidirectional mode.

    You can use this mic with any kind of headphones you have. You attach it with strong magnets that keep it on the headphones. The setup is simple and doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes.

    Antlion ModMic Wireless mic side
    It looks bulky but stays attached without problems.

    If you already own a great pair of headphones but lack a good microphone, AntLion ModMic Wireless is the best gaming microphone right now.

    Antlion ModMic Wireless review

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    2. Elgato Wave:3

    trophy Best Standalone
    Elgato Wave:3

    Elgato Wave:3 is a simple and the best standalone gaming microphone for streaming and videoconferencing.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – USB
    Driver size icon Driver size: 17 mm electret condenser
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 70-20.000Hz
    Type: Condenser microphone | Bitrate: 24-bit, 96kHz | Noise cancelling: No | Impedance: n/a | Weight: 20.6 oz (585g) | Cable lenght: n/a | Sound pressure level: 120dB (140dB with Clipguard) | Pattern: Cardioid | Features: Stand, WaveLink app, onboard controls
    • Great sound quality
    • Easy operation
    • App with a digital audio mixer interface
    • Subdued lower-bass frequencies

    The Wave:3 gaming microphone only works in cardioid mode. Still, it can pick up your voice with excellent neutrality, with just a slight hump in the lower treble.

    While it has crystal clear audio, frequencies below 150Hz are cut off.

    That means this desktop microphone is great for everyday use as a streaming microphone or if you want a better mic for online calls. However, it isn’t suitable for professional studio music recording.

    With the USB mics from Elgato, you get the WaveLink software that acts as a virtual audio mixer (so you don’t have to buy a physical one to manage all the audio sources).

    Elgato Wave:3 comes with easy-to-use controls and a built-in stand so you can put it wherever you want. You plug them into a gaming PC via a USB cable.

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    3. HyperX QuadCast S

    trophy Best streaming
    HyperX QuadCast S

    What makes this gaming mic excellent for streamers is the amazing RGB light show it can put out on top of sounding excellent.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – USB
    Driver size icon Driver size: Three 14mm condensers
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Condenser microphone | Bitrate: 16-bit, 48kHz | Noise cancelling: No | Impedance: n/a | Weight: 25 oz (710g) | Cable lenght: 9.84 ft (3m) | Sound pressure level: n/a | Pattern: Stereo, Omnidirectional, Cardioid, Bidirectional | Features: Stand, RGB lights, NGENUITY Software app
    • Great voice quality
    • RGB lighting effects
    • Multiple pick-up patterns
    • Most features accessible without the app
    • App only works on PC

    The QuadCast S has a very flat pickup sound signature, with only a few dB drop towards sub-bass frequencies.

    That makes it highly versatile for everything from simple video calls to recording vocals or instruments in your home studio.

    This high-end gaming microphone can toggle between multiple polar patterns: cardioid, bi-directional, omnidirectional, and stereo mode.

    Learn the difference between directional vs. omnidirectional polar patterns.

    QuadCast S is made of quality materials and comes with a mic stand that you can mount on the boom arm. The one downside is that you can’t unmount it from the built-in shock mount.

    By using Ngenuity software, you can access the mic and headphone volume control and play around with RGB lighting effects.

    Thankfully, since the app only works for PC, you can mute the mic during a Twitch stream, perform zero-latency monitoring, and select recording patterns without any software.

    Top Deals Today:

    4. Antlion ModMic USB

    trophy Best Wired Attachable Mic
    Antlion Audio ModMic - USB mic on a headset
    Image credit:

    A wired mod mic that doesn’t cost too much yet delivers good clarity for your gaming and connects to a USBReview.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – USB (USB-A)
    Driver size icon Driver size: n/a
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 50-20.000Hz
    Type: Detachable boom microphone | Bitrate: 16-bit, 48kHz | Noise cancelling: No | Impedance: 2.2 Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable length: 6.5ft (2m) | Sound pressure level: 114dB | Pattern: Uni-directional & omni-directional | Features: Magnet for attaching, mute button
    • Clear voice recording for gaming, Skyping, and more
    • Uni-directional and omni-directional modes
    • Works out of the box
    • Smart, sturdy design
    • The double cable is heavier and can be annoying

    For a mod gaming microphone, the sound is excellent and on par with the top gaming headsets. It works best in quieter environments but still does an admirable job when your room gets overly noisy.

    ModMic USB microphone supports two pickup patterns, unidirectional and omnidirectional. The physical toggle is located on the microphone itself, as well as the Mute button.

    Omni-directional mode is great for live streaming as it picks up sounds from all directions. So, your Instagram Live streams, for example, will have much better sound quality.

    The USB microphone uses a strong neodymium magnet to attach to your headphones, so you can use the ones that you already own.

    The connection runs through the USB port, and you can also opt for a version with a 3.5mm connection, which is also a bit cheaper. If you don’t want a USB mic, check the Uni ModMic for a 3.5mm version.

    The Antlino ModMic USB is the best wired mod mic we’ve tested for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox.

    Antlion ModMic USB review

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    5. PowerDeWise Lavalier Microphone

    trophy Best Lavalier Clip-On Mic
    PowerDeWise Lavalier mic

    PowerDeWise Lavalier Microphone is the best budget clip-on gaming microphone (lavalier).

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: Lavalier mic
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 50-16.000Hz
    Type: Lavalier | Bitrate: n/a | Noise cancelling: n/a | Impedance: n/a | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: 6.56 ft (2m) + extension | Signal-to-noise ratio: 56dB | Pattern: Omnidirectional | Features: Shirt clip, Y cable, TRRS to TRS adapter
    • Great in quiet environments
    • Long cable
    • Plenty of accessories
    • Not the best in windy situations

    PowerDeWise mic is among the affordable ones, yet it still delivers solid sound quality.

    It can sound a bit flat compared to more premium offerings and not with the widest frequency response. The included windshield also doesn’t do wonders in windy conditions but will provide clear audio inside a quiet room during gameplay.

    Lavalier microphone comes with a nifty carrying pouch, cleaning cloth, a TRRS to TRS adapter, Y cable, and extension cord. Just be aware that every time you add a wire, it might degrade the audio quality.

    The mic’s cable is long (2 meters), so you can easily wire it under your shirt and into your interface of choice.

    Top Deals Today:

    6. Blue Yeti X

    Blue Yeti X

    Blue Yeti X is a highly regarded gaming microphone that offers studio-level sound quality, perfect for a newbie streamer.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – USB
    Driver size icon Driver size: 14mm (4 condenser capsules)
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: 20-20.000Hz
    Type: Self-standing | Bitrate: 48 kHz, 24-bit | Noise cancelling: n/a | Impedance: 13 Ohms min, 16 Ohms typical | Weight: 2.8 lbs (1.28kg) | Cable lenght: n/a | Sound pressure level: 122dB | Pattern: Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, Stereo | Features: Volume knob
    • Great sound quality
    • Good performance in non-ideal situations
    • Quality construction
    • Pricey

    While it struggles with sibilant letters like s, sh, ph, and so on, the Yeti X handles very well in even the least ideal situations with lots of ambient noise. And that’s without any extra accessories.

    Overall, your voice sounds nice and full, and for a self-standing mic, you get better sound quality than most USB mics. It’s almost professional-like.

    That makes Yeti X an excellent choice for gamers with not-so-ideal room acoustics. It offers four polar patterns, and you don’t need other expensive interfaces since it’s simply plug-and-play.

    Blue Yeti X has a volume gain control with tiny LED lights in the center. They indicate how much volume you applied as well as how loudly you’re speaking.

    It’s the best gaming microphone for a streamer or a YouTuber starting his career.

    Top Deals Today:

    7. Zalman Zm-Mic1

    dollar Best Cheap
    Zalman Zm-Mic1 clip-on mic

    Zalman Zm-Mic1 is probably the most popular clip-on microphone on the market due to its low price and reliable performance.

    Connection icon Connection: WIred – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: /
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Clip-on lavalier mic | Bitrate: n/a | Noise cancelling: No | Impedance: 2.2k Ohm | Weight: n/a | Cable lenght: n/a | Pattern: Omni-directional | Features: Clip-on design, high sensitivity
    • Dirt-cheap
    • Easy to use
    • Decent voice pick-up quality
    • Easily picks-up background noise

    It works well, especially for under $10. It’s simple to use with a clip-on design, plug and play without the need to play with audio settings.

    Like the lower price range would suggest, this is the simplest possible gaming microphone you can get. And that’s its advantage.

    You get a good mic for gaming, and when needed, you can use it for streaming, Zoom calls, or Discord as well.

    If you’re playing in a quiet room, it will work fine, but if ambient sounds are present, you won’t have the best sound quality.

    Zalman clip-on microphone has no background noise reduction. It will pick up a lot of unwanted background noise. From air-conditioning, mechanical keyboards, washing machines, and even sound from headphones at higher volume levels.

    If you need a cheap microphone that does a good job, the Zalman Zm-Mic1 is better than any other cheap Lavalier alternative.

    Top Deals Today:

    8. V-Moda BoomPro

    trophy Best Detachable 3.5mm Mic
    V-MODA BoomPro mic mod

    V-MODA BoomPro is the best budget microphone and a great choice to upgrade your existing headphones.

    Connection icon Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Driver size icon Driver size: /
    Frequency range icon Frequency range: n/a
    Type: Detachable boom | Bitrate: n/a | Noise cancelling: n/a | Impedance: 2.2k Ohm | Weight: 1.05 oz (30g) | Cable lenght: 74.8 inch (1.9m) | Sound pressure level: 100dB | Pattern: Omni-directional | Features: Detachable
    • Easy to use
    • Affordable price
    • Good voice quality with little background noise
    • Only works with headphones with removable wires

    The sound quality is clean without hiss or distortion and has just the right amount of sensitivity. It will pick up very little unwanted noise, which is exactly what you want for a gaming headset.

    If you have headphones with detachable cables, V-Moda BoomPro is the best gaming attachable microphone.

    It’s basically a new headphone cable with a boom microphone attached to it. Replace the old wires with this one, and you have a very nice headset.

    The good thing about it is that you only need one 3.5mm (headphone jack) input to use it, so it works with PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X with the new controller or the separate adapter. And there’s even a mute button on the cable as well.

    Top Deals Today:

    Honorable Mentions to Consider

    Shure SM7B

    The most popular professional microphone among most streamers. For the price of $400, it ensures excellent audio quality and selectable EQ presets for smooth and warm-sounding vocals. It’s best used for close-proximity applications. (Check SM7B price)

    Blue Snowball iCE

    Still one of the best budget gaming microphone for streaming and a go-to mic for many beginners. And for a good reason. The mic itself looks sturdy and is quite heavy, which gives it a premium feel. It’s a small and portable standing mic that’s a cheaper copy of the Blue Yeti. (Check Snowball iCE price)

    Audio-Technica AT2020

    One of the best professional microphone for your streaming setup under $100, but it’s quite old to this point. You can buy many different accessories for it, either the more professional boom mic arm stand, a shock mount, or regular table legs. (Check AT2020 price)

    Razer Seiren Mini

    Razer Seiren Mini is one of the best USB mic for under $50. It’s a great option for beginners with compact design and better quality audio than any other mics. This standalone budget microphone from Razer is what a vast majority of gamers need to start their streaming journey. (Check Seiren Mini price)

    Why Trust HeadphonesAddict?

    At HeadphonesAddict, we provide honest tests through a rigorous methodology and a transparent process. See how we test here. We put a lot of effort into personally testing and measuring so we can make educated recommendations.

    More reasons to trust us:

    • We test headphones ourselves on 9 key points (less for wired models).
    • We measure frequency responses, ANC, passive isolation, battery life, and compare EQ presets.
    • We don’t take money for tests and reviews.
    • We don’t delete or edit “bad reviews.” Even when brands ask us to. If the headphones sound bad or have other faults, we tell you without embellishment.

    Is an External Microphone Worth it for Gaming?

    Whether you need an external microphone for gaming or not depends on whether you need to record your voice.

    You NEED an external mic if:

    • You want to chat with friends and other players in clear, distortion-free voice quality (Discord and multiplayer games).
    • You want to stream yourself when playing games.
    • You want to make videos when playing games.

    You DON’T need an external mic if:

    • You only play single-player offline games, and you never talk to other gamers.
    Sony WH-CH710N playing games
    If you only play Angry Birds, a single-player game, you don’t need a mic.

    FAQ: Frequent Microphone Questions

    What do gamers use for a microphone?

    Most gamers use a headset with a boom microphone that extends in front of their mouth for clear voice pickup and reduced noise distortion.

    Do you need a good mic for gaming?

    If you play with friends and talk with other players in games, then you need a good microphone for gaming. There’s nothing more annoying than a player with a bad, irritating microphone.

    Can you turn headphones into a headset?

    If you already own a pair of excellent headphones that lack a microphone, you can buy a mic mod that attaches to the earcups. Some replace connect between detachable wires, or use a separate wire and attach to headphones with magnets.

    To get the best voice quality for streaming and making videos, buying a dedicated microphone is a better idea, especially if you’re serious about streaming.

    Are XLR mics good for gaming?

    If you want the ultimate audio recording quality, the XLR mic is still the best option. The reason is their balanced connection, which eliminates static noise, resulting in a clean audio signal.

    However, you’ll have to buy a separate audio interface for XLR microphones, which isn’t cheap. Also, most gaming microphones use USB, which is more convenient and gives more options for software tweaking.

    Which is better, condenser or dynamic mic?

    For everyday use, there is no huge difference since both can sound excellent.

    The biggest difference is in overall durability and sensitivity. Condenser microphones are more sensitive and better suited for studio work (wider dynamic range), whereas dynamic microphones boast more robust construction and are better for use on the stage.

    Does a professional mic make you sound better?

    Sure, it does. However, before purchasing a new mic, you have to first try and squeeze as much out of your old mic as possible.

    To get the best out of your microphone, use it at a proper distance (a thumb away from your mouth) and at a proper angle (the sweet spot is about 45 degrees correlated to your mouth).

    How can I improve my mic quality?

    – Try keeping your mic close to you (a few inches away from your mouth).
    – Don’t keep it on your desk, especially if it doesn’t have a shock-resistant mount.
    – Turn OFF all loud house appliances like AC, and close the windows if you live next to a construction site or near a busy road.
    – Use a pop filter if you notice that your mic is picking a lot of popping sounds.

    Last update: Removed older discontinued models and confirmed the list.

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