Lots of people are pursuing their dreams in the voice over business or recording inspiring and fun podcasts to share their ideas with others. But finding the best microphones for voice over is very confusing because there are literally hundreds of products on the market.
You need reliable equipment that will show your talent and the real value of your voice. As a matter of fact, success in this business depends on the microphone you’re using to record your audio files.
There’s a learning curve to successful voice over as you must learn how to speak into the mic and which software programs to use while recording your audio. But the recording gear is the deal-breaker in this field.
Whether you’ve been around in the voice over business for years or taking your first step, you’ll find several options that cater to your needs. In this article, you’ll find reviews of 7 of the best models on the market, in addition to tips that can guide you through the buying process.
Best Microphones for Voice Over
Microphones come in various shapes and several price points. Here are my top picks.
1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
The Blue Yeti USB microphone is a mid-range mic that comes in several colors to suit the overall design of your studio and your personal taste. But what I love about this mic is the multi-pattern recording feature. Unlike other models, it allows you to record voice overs in cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo modes providing the most versatile operation.
It’s suitable for a standard home setting or professional studio because it’s well-built and comes with a tri-capsule array and a 20 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response to record in any situation. It delivers a clear voice and you’ll have the ability to adjust the volume to cater to your personal recording needs whether you’re recording podcasts or debugging. However, you should take into consideration that the mic is rather large.
I also love the mute button, which doesn’t come on other models. It allows you to pause while recording in case something comes up or any distraction happens. However, the quality of the buttons and knobs isn’t that impressive so you should be careful while using them.
The USB and headphone ports allow you to plug it into any PC and listen to your recordings with zero latency. You can also adjust the sensitivity of the headphones using the gain button. It can be dismounted from its base and used with a shock mount or desktop stand.
Things I Like
- 4 recording patterns.
- USB port to attach to any laptop.
- Headphones port with the ability to adjust the volume and sensitivity.
- Mute button.
2. Rode NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Microphone Package
The quality of this microphone is impressive as it’s one of the quietest mics on the market. As an XLR cardioid condenser mic, this one delivers a highly natural voice that shows your great talent. It’s specifically designed for recording vocals with a frequency that ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
Condenser mics typically pick up some background noise. Nevertheless, you don’t need to use it in a sound-proof studio as it does a great job at flattening out the background noise. If you’re recording in a studio where there’s lots of background noise, then this is not the right one for you.
I recommend the Rode NT1-A for someone who’s looking for professional-grade and durable mic as it’s built from sturdy metal. The low and mid-range vocals are warm and impressive.
This model is a bit pricey but you’ll receive a studio-grade pop shield and shock mount with the mic. It comes with a 20-feet cable, dust cover, in addition to an instructional DVD with voice over recording tips.
Things I Like
- Durable metal microphone.
- Low self-noise.
- Picks up low and mid-tones for warm vocals.
- Comes with a shock mount and pop shield.
3. Fifine PC Microphone for Mac and Windows Computers
Beginners believe that they don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to buy a reliable mic for voice over and this product proves that they’re right. This cardioid microphone has a flat diaphragm with a 50 Hz-15 kHz frequency response to deliver a fuller and warmer sound.
However, what I personally like about the Fifine mic is the plug-and-play feature that guarantees fast and hassle-free setup. The USB works with both Windows and Mac devices so you can use your microphone with any laptop or computer.
You’ll receive headphones so you can listen to your voice over, live stream, podcasts, video calls or any other type of audio recording without latency. You can also control the volume.
The low-profile and detachable desktop stand means that you can transport and use your microphone anywhere you like. It comes with a long USB cable that guarantees high-speed data communication. Several adjustments might be needed to get your microphone to work for the first time, especially if you’re using Windows 10.
Things I Like
- Plug-and-play operation.
- Compatible with several operating systems.
- Headphones to replay your voice without latency.
- Detachable desktop stand.
4. Blue Snowball iCE Condenser Microphone
The Blue Snowball iCE is another plug and play model that delivers crystal clear audio for voice over, podcasts, and FaceTime calls. It comes with a 6-foot USB cable so you can easily connect it to your laptop or computer regardless of its operating system.
I recommend this mic to users who are on a tight budget but still want decent sound quality for their voice overs. It comes in a sleek design and adjustable built-in stand. It’s travel-friendly and can easily fit in an office, home or studio setting.
The cardioid polar pattern captures your voice frequencies for the best sound quality. However, the 40 Hz to 18 kHz frequency response isn’t as good as other more expensive models on the market and you might encounter some static noise. Moreover, the stand is a bit fragile so you should handle it with care.
For the price, I believe that the Blue snowball iCE is an excellent choice for someone who’s starting their gaming YouTube channel or has just started sharing their makeup tutorials. Windows might take some time to detect this microphone, but once it does, you’ll enjoy good quality for the price you pay.
Things I Like
- Sleek and compact mic with adjustable stand.
- Cardioid polar pattern for good voice quality.
- Plug-and-play USB operation.
- Compatible with various operating systems.
5. Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
If you’re currently looking for a high-end microphone for professional voice over gigs, then the Shure SM7B should be on the top of your list. The flat-wide range frequency range of 50 Hz to 20 kHz and the cardioid polar pattern deliver clean and outstanding audio output for vocals and music, making it one of the most versatile mics on the market.
In addition to its rugged construction, this mic features customizable controls with graphic display of response setting so you can adjust your microphone to suit your individual recording needs. It’s designed to reject the electromagnetic hum thus eliminating the broadband interference emitted by computer monitors and other electronics.
Moreover, the air suspension shock isolation and the pop filter will reduce the need for any protection against explosive sounds that might ruin your recording. The filter also provides a warm and more real-life tone for your voice over audio.
I love how well-built and reliable this dynamic mic is, so it’s the best one to use in any setting. It also comes with a captive stand nut for easy mounting and demounting.
It’s more expensive than other models, so I wouldn’t recommend it for a beginner. Adjusting the angle takes some time so you can find the perfect recording position.
Things I Like
- Rugged and well-built microphone.
- Improve audio output for vocals and music.
- Eliminates electronic buzz to improve sound quality.
- Audio controls.
6. Audio-Technica AT2020USB PLUS USB Microphone
I recommend this USB cardioid condenser microphone as a suitable choice for aspiring voice over actors and artists who need a high-quality mic that doesn’t cost much. It delivers superb audio quality thanks to the frequency range of 50 Hz to 20 kHz and you can use the mix control feature to merge your pre-recorded audio with the signal of your mic.
Thanks to the USB cable, you’ll be able to plug it into any Windows or Mac device. The smooth and extended frequency response provides the best audio recording experience for podcasting, home studio, and field recording. It can be used to capture vocals or any acoustic audio with professional studio quality once you pair it with your favorite recording software program.
If you’re looking for a practical plug-and-play mic, then you should think about buying this one. It’s packed with hi-tech functionalities for a good price. By turning the knob, you’ll adjust the volume of the headphones with zero delays.
The only thing I don’t like about this one-directional mic is that it doesn’t have a pop filter. If you’re recording in noisy conditions, you’ll need to buy this separately.
Things I Like
- Mix control feature to merge your pre-recording audio recordings with the mic signal.
- USB plug-and-play feature.
- Adjustable volume of the headphones.
- Smooth and extended frequency to capture vocals and music.
7. USB Microphone Kit Plug & Play MAONO Cardioid Mic
This plug-and-play microphone kit comes with a professional sound chip that delivers the best audio quality. The resolution rate is impressive given the price of this model. I recommend it to both amateur and professional voice over actors, YouTubers and podcast owners, in addition to anyone who wants to record high-quality audio.
It comes with an easy to use the 98-inch USB cable for reliable plug-and-play, saving you the hassle of connecting and adjusting your mic. Your laptop will easily recognize the mic, so you can start recording voice overs regardless of the operating system you’re using. It’s also one of the few models that you can use with mobile phones.
Unlike other models at this price range, this condenser microphone will give you good bass response thanks to the frequency response of 30 Hz to 16 kHz. It has a remarkable arm set with a pop filter to eliminate noise and a shock mount to keep your mic steady.
The only thing I don’t like about this mic is that it lacks any sensitivity settings. Still, it’s a decent choice for the money you’re paying.
Things I Like
- Plug-and-play USB mic.
- Exceptional bass response.
- Pop filter to eliminate noise.
- Arm set with shock mount.
Best Microphones for Voice Over Buying Guide
You’re probably asking how you can select the best microphone for voice over. As you can see, there are multiple good options, so how can you find the right one for you. Here are a few things to think about.
There are two types of mics; condenser and dynamic. Each one of them comes with different characteristics and room requirements.
Condenser microphones are suitable for voice over and debugging artists who record their work at home or in a professional studio with little to no background noise. Some condenser mics will cost more than dynamic ones because they’re very sensitive. As a result, they will pick up any noise.
Using condenser mics is actually a good thing because they will teach you to speak clearly. They’re typically designed to deliver a more natural voice. However, if you’re recording in a busy area or don’t have any equipment to cancel the background noise, you won’t receive the audio quality you’re hoping for.
Dynamic mics, on the other hand, are so much easier to work with. They can easily be used in any regular room with little to no special preparation while smoothing your voice and eliminating its imperfections. They’re not as fragile as condenser mics and can be used in rough conditions successfully. They will actually isolate your voice from surrounding noise.
These mics come with several drawbacks; the most significant one of them is the proximity effect or the low-frequency boost you’ll experience if you’re speaking close to the mic.
Microphones are either connected using XLR or USB cables. At first glance, you know that USB mics are easier to use. All you need is to plug your mic and it will automatically work. This is why they’re more suitable for beginners and amateurs.
USB mics are compact and will mostly be affordable. However, they won’t satisfy your need if you do voice overs for a living. They’re designed to work with a single computer at a time.
XLR mics need additional gear like an XLR cable and an audio interface. They come in different price ranges and can be connected to other devices like camcorders. They require special set up so they’re more suitable for home and professional studios. They can also be used in an outdoor setting.
The microphone pattern is the sensitivity diagram or plan that shows how it will pick up sound. There are basically three patterns available, with several subcategories.
The first pattern is the Cardioid which is the most suitable one for voice overs. It will record sounds from the front and sides, but not from the back. Subcardioid picks up voices and noises in the room. You can choose a mic that delivers this pattern if want to record room echoes. The Subcardioid or stereo pattern records a wider range of sounds with reduced back sounds.
The Omnidirectional is the second one and it’s not a suitable fit for voice overs because it records sounds equally from all directions. Bidirectional is the third one and it’s what you need if two people are talking at the same time. This pattern records front and back sounds, but won’t record side sounds.
This refers to the sensitivity of the mic. The human ear can hear sounds with frequencies that range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, with the human voice having a frequency of 100 to 5000 Hz. The wider the range, the more versatile the microphone will be because it can record sounds genuinely.
Best Microphones for Voice Over FAQs
How does a microphone work?
When you talk into the microphone, it captures your sound waves and transforms them into electric signals. This is done in the diaphragm. Later then, these signals are transferred into digital signals that you can save to your computer.
Can I use a USB microphone with a phone, iPad or tablet?
Most USB mics are designed to be installed to computers and laptops. However, some of them can be used with other devices like smartphones, tablets, and iPads. Nevertheless, they might need special adapters and they’re likely to drain the battery faster.
Can I tell the difference between a condenser and dynamic mic by looking at it?
You might be able to do this because condenser mics are usually bigger. However, not all of them are that big. Nevertheless, they’ll never get as small as some of the professional dynamic mics.
Do I need a dynamic or condenser microphone?
In a perfect situation, you’ll have both in your voice over studio. A condenser is the typical choice for voice overs and debugging work, only if the room or studio is perfectly isolated because it picks up background noise.
If you don’t mind background noise in your recording, then a dynamic mic will be better. It will deliver real-life sound quality if this is what you need in your audio recordings.
I’m a beginner voice over artist, which mic should I should?
I would say go with a USB condenser mic. It will be good enough to get you started without breaking the bank.
I got my microphone, what else do I need to start my voice over journey?
Professional voice over experts suggest that you get yourself ready with high-quality headphones to monitor the sounds your mic is picking. Otherwise, the sound quality won’t be that impressive.
Moreover, you need a mount or stand to keep your microphone in place. Most microphone stands are adjustable so you can use your mic while you’re sitting. You can either pick a desktop stand or an arm that you attach to your table. Floor stands are only found in professional studios.
You’ll also need pop filters. They improve your audio quality by eliminating the air noise from your breath.
How can I make my home more suitable for voice over recording?
A few simple things can be done to transform a single room in your house to a suitable studio, read more on how to build a recording studio here. Without professional soundproofing, you can use heavy curtains to block outside noise. You can also install some foam panels to the walls to eliminate echoes. Using soft furniture and rugs also works.
It’s quite obvious that a voice over artist has lots of options when it comes to choosing the most suitable microphone. I recommend the Blue Yeti USB Microphone as a convenient option. It offers multiple recording patterns, covering the needs of professional and amateur artists. It also comes with a mute button that will come in handy when you’re recording.
The Fifine PC Microphone for Mac and Windows Computers is my recommendation for beginners, especially the ones on a tight budget. The plug-and-play feature eliminates setup time so you can start using it immediately.
More professional users would need nothing less than the Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Microphone. This dynamic mic will deliver clear and flawless sounds even when you’re talking very close to the microphone.