Holiday Gift Guide - Three USB Mics For Just About Anyone On Your List

From the more stripped down and basic to a mic designed for World of Warcraft fans, one of these mics will do the trick.
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With a long winter ahead of us and a lot of gaming, content creating, Zooming, podcasting in our futures - just about everyone could use some USB mic to help their audio sound better. We have selected three models that cover everything and have broken them down by price and features. Let's start with the low and work our way up!

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HyperX Solocast - MSRP $59.99

You might have caught our review on the HyperX Quadcast Mic, and this is also a good one to consider and is closer to the YETI X as far as price and functionality; you can check it out here. The good news is that the SoloCast comes in at less than half the price and is still a pretty solid USB mic without all the bells and whistles. The SoloCast is bare-bones, but for users that require the basics, this should be fine. The mic features one cardioid pattern, which is unidirectional and works great for gaming, streaming, or zooming.

The mic is also relatively compact, making it easy to pop in your bag, and it won't take up too much room on your desk; for those with precious little space, this is clutch. Another great feature is the tap to mute button on the top of the mic, so you can quickly go quiet in Zooms if you need to take a bite of that sandwich, etc.

The mic comes with a USB-C cable, a desktop stand, and a quick start guide out of the box. You can also remove the mic from the stand, put it on another stand, like, say a mounted desk arm, etc. It also features two threads for mounting it, the 3/8 and 5/8, which is also quite handy if you are looking to mount it on another type of stand.

Pros:

  • Super easy to use, plug, and play right out of the box.
  • Sounds solid for the price, a natural enhancement that is light years ahead of your computer's microphone.
  • Inexpensive and has the basic features most people need. No frills

Cons:

  • The stand is a bit limiting if you are trying to avoid vibration noise, like keyboard strokes, etc. You probably will want a cheap boom stand to suspend the mic off your desk if you are gaming or using the keyboard while using it.
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AKG Lyra USB Mic MSRP $149

The first thing you will notice about this mic is the retro styling of the design, which we think is pretty cool. This mic looks great on camera, so if you are using it for podcasting with video, it can level up your aesthetic and make you look more pro. The design is as beautiful as it is functional with logical controls that are exactly where they need to be and features a stand that detaches if you want to put in on a taller stand or boom. You have capture mode indicator lights on the front of the mic (not patterns that often confuse newbies). These modes are Front, Front & Back, Tight Stereo, and Wide Stereo. The mute button and headphone volume knob bookend the capture modes led indicators, and the mode and mic gain knobs are on the opposite side, so you can make sure your mic is running just the right amount of pick up and not clipping.

The Lyra uses a USB-C connector and is pretty much plug and play on a Mac or PC, even a mobile device. This functionality is great for newbies as you get stellar sound out of the box and don't need an audio interface to run it, your system sees it as an audio device - select it for input/output and go.

The Lyra has everything you need right on the mic, aside from software like Ableton or Logic. If you don't have a ton of cash and are just looking to get into podcasting or basic production, Ableton Live Lite is fantastic and inexpensive. The mic is powered from the USB, so no need for external power.

This mic is great for content creation, zooming, gaming, basic production stuff like voice overs, or even some singing. It's excellent for people looking for a bit more functionality, high quality sound and great design.

You can read our in-depth review here.

Pros:

  • The mic looks great for on-camera work and has easy to use controls.
  • The multiple capture modes / cardioid patterns
  • very good sound

Cons:

  • Might be a little expensive for some users
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Blue Microphone's YETI X (World Of Warcraft Edition) MSRP $199

The YETI X is one of the best in class mics for the USB category and brings Blue's incredible sound and functionality to the users looking for a more "pro" level mic.

Blue Microphones has been a pivotal player for content creators since it became a "thing" and has one of the more diverse line up of USB mics around, including the industry-standard Yeti. So how can this mic get any better? The Blue Yeti X is a significant upgrade and rounds out the Yeti lineup as the new top of the line at an MSRP of $170. The original Yeti ($130) and newish Yeti Nano ($100) round it out for every possible scenario and budget.

The Yeti X is overall a better microphone and offers some features that more pro-level users will appreciate. Along with the better sound, you get active visual monitoring of your audio and integration into Logictech's GHub software, which allows you to tweak your sound with Blue Voice software.

The audio level visualization is essential for semipros or professionals who want to make sure they never hit the red and compromise the output. Peaking on your mic is not a good sound for the receiving end and makes you look like an amateur if you are doing a podcast or any content.

This mic is for people that don't want to jump into a significant professional XLR rig but still sound as pleasant as possible.

The Yetix X brings an extra condenser mic capsule for a total of four versus the standard Yeti's three capsules. The additional capsule does make a difference and creates a beautiful professional sound that is rich and robust.

You can read our indepth reivew of the YETI X HERE, below are the specific features of this collaboration edition with World of Warcraft.

Pros:

  • The mic looks great for on-camera work, has easy to use controls, built like a tank.
  • The multiple capture modes / cardioid patterns
  • very good sound, best in class features

Cons:

  • Might be a little expensive for some users
  • This model really is only good for World of Warcraft fans, otherwise just get the normal one.
  • Not super portable, this mic is meant to stay at home for the most part

The new World of Warcraft (WOW) edition is really for gamers, specifically those playing the WOW franchise. There is no reason to buy this edition unless you are a big WOW player, but if you are, there is some very cool integration here.

THE ULTIMATE MIC FOR WORLD OF WARCRAFT Crafted together with Blizzard Entertainment®, Blue's Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition professional USB mic can change the sound of your voice for a fully immersive streaming experience. Summon the sound of your favorite Warcraft characters using the all-new advanced voice modulation with Warcraft character presets or entertain your audience with hundreds of Shadowlands and Warcraft HD audio samples. Create a unique audio broadcast and elevate your stream to new levels with Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition

ADVANCED VOICE MODULATION WITH WARCRAFT CHARACTER PRESETS - VO!CE Transform the sound of your voice using new advanced voice modulation effects with Warcraft character presets. Stun your audience with a wide range of legendary character presets or create a custom voice tailor-made for your character. Select any of the presets to instantly transform your voice or go deep using extreme editing mode. With 15 advanced effect types, 40 algorithms and more than 60 parameters, the new Blue VO!CE for Yeti X World of Warcraft Edition is your "Doomhammer" to impress and entertain your guild members and stream audience.

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