In gaming, nothing can make up for skill. But having the best gear can help.
Having a good gaming mic can make all the difference when playing multiplayer games and make your live streams even better. Some streamers opt for a gaming headset that has a compact, easy-to-use microphone, while others might choose a condenser microphone that offers noise cancellation and crisper audio. There’s tons of headset mic and desktop mic options available, giving you a huge space to work with for your gaming setup.
You might be wondering if it’s possible to get a good gaming mic at a reasonable price. If you’re not willing to drop $500 or more on a fancy gaming mic, don’t worry – we’re with you. While you have to be willing to invest some money into a gaming microphone, it also helps to know just what to look for. Here are five pro tips on how to choose a gaming microphone that offers quality audio at a reasonable price.
1. Is it easy to use?
A good gaming microphone shouldn’t be complicated. A plug-and-play USB microphone is the best because they don’t require any extra audio interface software or equipment to get started playing. Some gaming microphones also come with mixing or recording software, and those should be easy to use, too. There’s nothing worse than a system that’s buggy, glitchy, or too difficult to use because, honestly, if those features are unreliable, how often are you going to actually use them?
Console compatibility matters, too. If you only use one gaming console, this isn’t really a big deal. But, if you go from PC to Xbox to PlayStation, you want to find the right audio device that can easily go with you from one console to another. A USB mic or wireless headset is usually the best way to go for convenience.
2. Is it easy to set up?
By this, we mean the physical setup and placement of the gaming microphone. For this, you need to consider your space and how far away you plan to be from the mic. Ideally, you should choose one that sounds good whether you’re close to the mic or a little farther away.
Do you have a small gaming area? Will the mic get in the way by blocking the screen or taking up valuable real estate? Is there any possible background noise that could cancel out your voice? If you have a lot of space, can you sit at a comfortable distance away without losing sound quality?
There are a few types of gaming microphones to choose from, some of which clip-on, eliminating any space issues. Others suspend so you can position them wherever you need them while keeping the base tucked out of sight.
3. What does it look like?
We know that the looks of the mic don’t have anything to do with its performance, but to say it doesn’t matter isn’t exactly true. If you’re customizing your gaming rig, you want good looking equipment. Getting a high-quality shock mount, boom arm, a wireless gaming headset or sleek earbuds, are all things to consider if you want to ramp up the quality of your equipment. Especially if your gaming mic is going to be sitting out in the open, front and center, right on your desk or next to your favorite gaming chair. Plus, the better your gear looks, the better your stream looks.
4. What games do you play?
The type of gaming microphone you need depends on the type of games you play. For example, if you play adventure games or real-time strategy games, you probably play alone more than you play with other people. In this case, it’s okay to get something that’s a little less expensive.
On the other hand, if you play multiplayer games and stream often, you might want to think about investing a little more into a gaming microphone. Either way, make sure you use something with quality audio. There’s really nothing gained from getting a discount gaming mic with horrible sound. You don’t have to get a studio-quality mic or drop hundreds and hundreds of dollars. But if you’re still using an old analog mic that you’ve had since you first started gaming, it’s time for an upgrade.
5. How’s the sound quality?
This is a big one and probably the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to picking a gaming microphone. After all, if it doesn’t sound good, what’s the point?
You want a mic that’s sensitive enough to pick up soft voices, but it should also be able to filter out background noise. Look for something that can pick up your voice from about seven inches away without emphasizing your breathing or accentuating feedback every time you say “S”.
There are some additional things to think about if you’re choosing a desktop model for PC gaming. Make sure it’s not so sensitive that it picks up vibrations on the desk or mouse clicks. If it does, be prepared to make some adjustments using padding underneath the mic stand to stop this from happening. Alternatively, you can choose a suspended mic to avoid this problem altogether.
Choosing the Best Gaming Microphone for You
We know that budget is an issue, but don’t worry. It’s possible to get a decent gaming mic without completely breaking your budget. There are decent options out there for $50, and you can usually find pretty high-quality ones for about $250. If you’re serious about streaming or are considering getting into podcasting, it’s worth spending a little more to get something that’s a little more customizable and versatile.
If you want to get really fancy, consider a studio mic. These are designed for recording things like podcasts and are an excellent option for streaming. Plus, they’re built really well and designed to last. That said, they’re a little more complicated and require some extra components, but if gaming and streaming are something you’re planning to do for the long haul, it’s something to consider. You don’t need to start out with something this sophisticated, though. Start with something a little more basic, then upgrade when the time is right.
One thing we want to get across is that an expensive gaming mic isn’t going to make you a better gamer. Don’t think you need one to improve and don’t think that you have to drop hundreds and hundreds of dollars on one.
But most gamers don’t get a gaming microphone to improve their play. They get one to improve their experience. A good gaming microphone can enhance your play on any console or platform, making it that much more enjoyable. And having fun is ultimately what it’s all about.
Source of featured image: canva.com
A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.