Microphone: Top 5 Best XLR and USB Mics in 2020

    Few years ago only the musicians were giving importance to good quality Microphones. But nowadays microphones are important for YouTubers, content creators, voice-overs artists, and musicians for good sound quality. You can find lots of options in markets which one is suitable for you XLR or USB?
    We’re going to be checking out the five best microphones. I have provided a list of my recommended microphones by category below to help you narrow down your selection even further you can buy. I made this list based on my personal opinion and hours of research and I’ve listed them based on the sound quality of its features and price.
    I’ve included options for every type of consumer. So whether you’re looking for a microphone for live performances Studio recordings or voice-overs for YouTube videos then the product for you. If you want more information in updated pricing on the products. Be sure to check the links in the description below.

    Our Pick At A Glance:

    1. AKG C414 XL-II: (Studio or Stage)
    2. Sennheiser MD421-II: (Instrumental)
    3. Rode NT1A: (Entry-Level)
    4. Blue Yeti USB Mic: (Bloging)
    5. Shure SM58: (Live Performances)

    Top 5 Best XLR and USB Microphones in 2020:

    1.AKG C414 XL-II:

    AKG_c414_xl II come with price and features AKG_c414_xl II microphone

    The first products on our list the AKG C414 XL-II this is our best overall microphone. If you’re looking for a professional recording microphone for your studio or stage recording then the AKG C414 XL-II one of the most versatile condenser mics available with impeccable performance and reputation.

    It is priced high for the average consumer. However, when it comes to professional Mics it’s actually on the more affordable side while still delivering top-notch performance currently priced at $850. 

    The AKG C414 XL-II is the most versatile C414 model and comes from a long line of famous C414 iterations including ones that were used by Freddie Mercury and sting among many others. 

    When it comes down to the audio quality you’ll love the renowned high-end Clarity and sound character with shimmering treble frequencies that are very polished Making. It a great option for highly detailed and textured instruments such as drums acoustic guitar fighting electric guitars and of course vocals. 

    A great feature of the AKG is the LED strip right on the mic that indicates the detection of peak overloads and even when the faintest distortion from clipping occurs. So you can adjust your levels making it convenient for recording louder sources like drums and blaring guitar arms.

    You’ll also find on the other side two additional switches with LED lights. A pre-attenuation pad allows you to select between the four pre-attenuation settings and a low cut filter. You can toggle which allows you to roll off unnecessary low-end in your recording signal. 

    You’ll find this mic extremely versatile with nine polar patterns to choose from including omnidirectional for capturing moving sounds wide cardioid for capturing wider sound sources in a specific Direction like a live band. Cardioid for recording vocals and most instruments and a figure eight for stereo recording. Which is great for recording two vocalists. 

    The Features:

    • Sound Quality.
    • 3 Attenuation Levels

    The key features are sound quality maintain the classic C414 sound. 3 attenuation levels for close-up recording or high output sources. 


    • Switches.
    • Low Frequency.
    • 9 Different Pickup Patterns.

    The pros are switches front and back switching system with LED indicators both frequency. Low frequency cut off filters and Pad attenuation. The 9 different pickup patterns make this microphone versatile when it comes to recording for performing in the studio. 


    • Expensive.
    • LED Lights.

    The cons of expensive LED lights can be distracting and make stealth making more difficult in TV and film applications. 

    If you’re looking for one of the best versatile condenser microphones for your home studio or live stage recording than the AKG C414 XL-II delivers impeccable professional recording performance. And if you can afford it, it’s one of the best you can buy.

    2. Sennheiser MD421-II:
    Sennheiser MD421-II come with good price and features microphone

    The second product on our list is the Sennheiser MD421-II this is our best microphone for instrumental recording. If your producer or musician looking for a professional dynamic microphone for recording instruments, especially loud guitars thumping bass or even pounding drums than the Sennheiser MD421-II with its highest PL handling may be the perfect mic for you currently priced at $380. 

    The Sennheiser is a great mic for recording both in studios or on stage. It’s one of the best-known microphones in the world for the excellent sound qualities that enable. It to cope with the most diverse recording condition.

    It features a large-diaphragm cardioid Dynamic with a humbucking coil for low noise pick up with a five-position base role offs switch. you’ll find the Sennheiser’s full-bodied cardioid pattern can handle the high sound pressure levels without any Distortion. But you’ll also love the warm and well-rounded sounds it captures along with the slow transient response that leaves out the clicks and noisy instruments. 

    You’ll also find the base roll-off ideal when recording in the same room as percussion too although It’s able to handle all the big bangs and crashes. It’s so versatile that it also can capture the full range in subtleties of solo string instruments as well. 

    This microphone is made of the rugged all-metal body. So you can use it without worrying about dropping it that being said the caveat comes with the mic clip which isn’t the standard clip that you may be used too. it’s a flat clip with a track that the mic slides onto. Unfortunately, this clip is rather flimsy and can break or loosing quite easily luckily the MD421-II is very durable. 

    The Features:

    • High SPL.
    • Cardioid Pickup Pattern
    • Sound Pressure.

    The key features are high SPL captures loud sounds without Distortion. Cardioid pickup pattern captures The Sounds in front of the mic excellently while blocking out ambient sound.


    • Design.
    • 5 Position Based Roll-Off Switch.
    • Sound Quality.

    The pros are designed rugged construction with stainless steel basket with metal inner chassis for better weight distribution. 5 position based roll-off switch with options for different uses. Sound quality warm and well-rounded sounds. 


    • Clip

    The cons of clip flimsy and Replacements are expensive.

    If you’re a producer or musician looking for a great dynamic microphone for recording instruments either in a studio or stage setting. The Sennheiser MD421-II is able to capture the delicate range of wind and string instruments in orchestras to the full head-banging onslaught of metal bands making it a great choice to have in your gear bag.

    3. Rode NT1A:

    Rode NT1A come with good price and features microphone

    The third product on our list is the Rode NT1A. This is a great entry-level condenser microphone. If you’re a vocalist or producer looking for a condenser microphone for your home recording studio then the Rode NT1A maybe the perfect microphone for you. It’s an amazing and affordable Studio mic with some features found only on the world’s most expensive microphones. 

    Currently priced at $230. The Rode NT1A is an award-winning industry-standard level mic. With its large one-inch diaphragm cardioid condenser that has high as BL capabilities typically only found on top tier Mike’s. you’ll love the warm extended dynamic range and Clarity the road produces. 

    It’s one of the world’s quietest studio microphones making it ideal for recording singers podcasts or even voice-overs for YouTube videos. You’ll also get a studio-grade pop Shield a shock mount and a premium XLR 20-foot mic cable out of the box, so you can just plug it into your recorder with phantom power and you’re good to go. Everything about the road is geared towards making it perfect for recording vocals from high sensitivity to low self-noise for your Studio. Plus the Mac sound pressure level it can take is an impressive 137 DB SPL without any Distortion with great range. So you can pick up soft quiet Whispers to full-blown singing. 

    The Features:

    • Condenser.
    • Self-Noise.
    • Sound Pressure.

    The key features are condenser polar pattern large one-inch diaphragm true externally biased cardioid condenser. Self-Noise low self-noise is it just 5 DB. Sound pressure level Max 137 DB SPL without any Distortion.


    • Price.
    • Range 
    • Shock Mounting 
    • Build Quality
    • Accessories
    • Warranty

    The pros are price affordably priced. Range-wide dynamic range. Shock mounting internal capsule shock mounting. Build quality premium all-metal build quality with gold-plated output connectors. Accessories come from the pop filter cable and microphone dust cover. Warranty 10 years extended warranty. 


    • Weight
    • Phantom Power

    The cons weight heavy you do to an all-metal body. Phantom power requires 24 volt or 48-volt phantom power. 

    If you’re a vocalist or producer putting together a home recording studio looking for a great get affordable condenser mic or just wanting to upgrade from a USB mic. The award-winning Rode NT1A may be the perfect Mike for you. It comes with many premium features without the premium price tag.

    4. Blue Yeti USB Mic:

    Blue Yeti USB Mic come with good price and features microphone

    The fourth products on our list are the Blue Yeti USB Mic. This is our best vlogging microphone. If you’re a YouTuber looking for a versatile USB microphone for voice-overs. The popular Blue Yeti USB, maybe the best microphone for you currently priced at $115. 

    The Blue Yeti USB Mic is a favourite among YouTubers for its great sound quality and tons of features and that a price that is still very affordable. You get three condenser mic capsules that allow You to choose from four different pickup patterns, including cardioid omnidirectional bi-directional its stereo pick up patterns. which offer incredible flexibility allowing you to record in ways that would normally require multiple microphones. 

    If you primarily do voice overs for your videos, you’ll probably want to stick with the cardioid pattern. But having the option to turn it into a conference or interview mic makes the Blue Yeti completely versatile and essential tool for vloggers. It’s one of the world’s most popular USB microphone It’s great for YouTube, Twitch, Skype, zoom and SoundCloud. 

    When compared to the Blue Snowball the Blue Yeti comes out ahead with more condensers more pick up patterns as well as features not found on the snowball including a mute button headphone output and headphone volume control. It’s one of the most advanced and versatile multi-pattern USB microphones available on the market. 

    Featuring Blues Innovative triple capsule array. It uses a high-quality a/d converter and a built-in headphone amplifier for zero-latency monitoring. There’s also plenty of accessories such as broadcast boom arms and shock mounts available to help you transform your desktop into a broadcast studio. 

    The Features:

    • Pickup Pattern.
    • USB
    • Latency.

    The key features are pick up patterns for different pickup patterns, including cardioid omnidirectional bi-directional it’s stereo USB connect via USB latency has zero-latency monitoring. 


    • Versatile.
    • No POP Filter Required. 
    • Adjustable Controls

    The pros are versatile. Excellent voice-over microphone for YouTube videos great for live streaming gameplay or streaming radio stations. No POP Filter required doesn’t need a pop filter or foam cover. Adjustable controls you can adjust the loudness of your voice when you’re monitoring. 


    • Not Portable.
    • External Noise

    The cons not portable. It’s a USB mic that needs to be connected to your computer or laptop. External Noise the desk Mount can pick up some sounds if you use a keyboard or bang the table.

    If you’re a blogger or podcaster looking for a great USB microphone that’s versatile with pickup options than the Blue Yeti USB Mic is one of the best vlogging microphones on the top choice for you.

    5. Shure SM58:

    Shure SM58 come with good price and features microphone

    The fifth product on our list is the Shure SM58. This is a great live microphone. If your vocalist looking for a dynamic microphone for live performances with the frequency response tailored for vocals than the famous Shure SM58 may be the perfect Mike for you. It’s not only an industry-standard but also one of the best-selling microphones in the world and also extremely affordable currently priced at $99. 

    The Shure SM58 is not just known by every singer. It’s generally one of their favourites including Kurt Cobain, Eric Clapton and Paul McCartney among many other famous performers. You love how it’s tailored to highlight vocals with brightened mid-range with the sloping base attenuation. 

    You won’t have to worry about feedback from loud stage monitors. The cardioid polar pattern picks up sound primarily from one side and rejects sound from the other so during your live performances you get consistent and predictable.

    You’ll also appreciate the integrated wind and pop filters that help tame those dreaded bursts of air from making the P&B sounds. Plus if you’re more of an active performer, the pneumatic shock mount system shuts down handling noise. It’s not just the sound quality that helped the SM58 reach legendary status among performers. It’s built like a truck. In fact, their videos of fins driving their trucks over the SM58 is a testament to its durability. 

    So if you’re Rodier stagehand, Is a little butter-fingered before you hit the stage. You won’t have any worries knowing the SM58 mesh metal sphere is made to absorb the energy from Impact which makes it one of the most durable Mike’s ever designed. 

    The Features:

    • Cardioid Pickup Pattern.
    • Legendary.

    The key features are cardioid pickup pattern isolate sound from the front to reduce Ambient sound from the back making it great for loud stages. legendary tried tested and true 50 years by the world’s top performers.


    • Price.
    • Build
    • Tailored For Vocals

    The pros are price affordable enough for most budgets build durable construction tailored for vocals mid-range recording emphasis.


    • Studio Recording

    The cons studio recording although initially designed for studio recording their better condenser mics on the market. 

    If you’re vocalist that performs live and you’re looking for an affordable, but a great dynamic microphone. Than the Shure SM58 fits the bill and has frequency response is tailored for that have been used by the world’s top performers.

    Final Thoughts:

    The best microphone depends almost entirely on your setup a good microphone will go a long way in helping you make better productions. Good quality audio is a critical part of your work and bad audio will make your work bad.

    In this list, I have tried a brief overview of all-purpose mics, podcasting mics, music mics and so on. At first, determine what kinds of work you mainly do then find the appropriate one for your needs.

    In this list, I have mentioned cheap and expensive microphones for your need. The cheap microphones tend to be more generalized and more expensive tend to be more specialized. This doesn’t mean that budget microphones are inherently worse nowadays cheap mics come with very good you have an option if your work is semiprofessional quality, you’ll have to pay semiprofessional prices for the microphone.

    If you need more information visit manufacturer websites, and learn for which purpose each mic is optimized. The official website will usually give you a good idea as to whether the mic excels in podcasting, gaming, music or some other application.

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