If you spend an inordinate amount of time on the computer, chances are good that you play at least one multiplayer game. Whether it’s a MOBA, first-person shooter, or indie game, you’ll definitely want a decent mic to be able to coordinate with your teammates—but you don’t need professional equipment to do that. Here’s the best budget gaming mics on the market to use, on Discord or VOIP, in-game chat or even Hangouts.
You may notice that this entire list contains some pretty cheap mics, and that’s no accident: unless you’re recording professionally, there’s no need to overspend here. You just need a mic that’ll work relatively okay, right? Why not save some cash for the Steam sale that’s always around the corner?
If you’re looking for quality at a low price, including the ability to dampen signals to avoid broadcasting your bad music tastes over teamchat, the Blue Snowball is the best bang for buck standalone mic on the market for gaming. Sure, it’s not the greatest quality mic out there, and sure: it’s not built for professional VO work. But it’s capable, and even Discord certified.
The Snowball is about as basic a microphone as you can buy, and those looking for more features may look to Blue’s famous Yeti mic. However, on the inside it’s virtually identical to the Snowball—why pay double for the same stuff? I’ve used the Snowball for a couple years now, at least: when I’m not using the Telefunken M80 for VO and video work. I recommend the Snowball quite often, and I’ve never heard a complaint outside of the microphone picking up ambient noise when the switch is taken off the 10dB dampening mode.
Beyerdynamic FoxFull Review
The Beyerdynamic Fox USB microphone packs great audio and decent headphone controls into a simple package. The mic’s all-metal construction lends some real heft to it, and makes it feel really sturdy. It also comes with a pop filter, which is great, and a stand, which isn’t (it’s pretty flimsy).
On the front of the Fox there’s a mute button for the mic, as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack and knobs for controlling headphone volume and audio mix, so you can adjust how much of your mic you hear. A switch on the back lets you pick either a high or low gain setting.
This is a great standalone option, and it will play well with most great headphones.
V-Moda BoomPro Mic
Another boom mic, V-Moda’s ModMic competitor uses your headphones’ 3.5mm port to make your regular-ol’ headphones a gaming headset for $30. Not bad, all things considered, and there’s no messy adhesives. If you want to convert your headphones back, all you have to do is simply yank out the BoomPro and put in the old cable. Easy peasy.
However, if you don’t have a set of headphones with a removable cable, you’re outta luck. You’d have to grab something else off this list!
HyperX QuadcastFull Review
HyperX is known for putting out high quality gaming peripherals, and the Quadcast is no different. It’s pricier than a lot of this list, but this mic offers really great sound in an easy-to-use package that can cover a lot of bases.
If you’re in the market for a gaming mic, this is a great option, but the Quadcast will cover your podcasting or recording needs too. Its gain knob makes adjusting sensitivity intuitive and easy, and you can even set its polar pattern, switching between cardioid, hypercardioid, and bi-directional.
Rounding out this list is the cheapest possible mic you can get that isn’t total… you get the idea. Zalman’s clip mic has long been the go-to for the budget-minded gamer for longer than it probably should have. Still, it’s tough to argue with $8.
If you pick this up, prepare for some static (depending on your computer’s internal preamp). As it’s not a USB model, the Zalman plugs into your mic port, while the mic itself clips onto your headphones’ cable. Sure, it’s a hacky solution, but it’s a solution nonetheless! I’ve seen people use velcro ties, zip ties, and gaffer’s tape to keep the wires from getting out of control, but personally I’d just get a standalone mic.
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