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9 Best Microphones for Online Teaching in 2024

microphones for online teaching

9 Best Microphones for Online Teaching in 2024

What are the best microphones for online teaching? Microphones are a touchy subject, as you’ll likely discover when browsing around on the web. Having done audio engineering for several years, I find it a contentious area to even explore when looking at microphones for users who aren’t well accustomed to the many different sorts out there.

Thankfully, I’m here to serve as your guide when navigating this audio maze. Finding the right sort of microphone for your needs doesn’t have to be a hard task. Today’s buyer’s guide will be taking a closer look at my recommendations for microphones for online teaching. These can also pull double duty for podcasting and voice calls, depending on your other needs.

After reviewing the options, here are our top picks for the best microphones for online teaching:

Best Overall: Blue Snowball ICE

Best Overall
Logitech for Creators Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone
$39.99
  • Cardioid pickup pattern
  • 10 dB sensitivity
  • USB Type-A connectivity
  • Adjustable stand
  • Includes USB cable
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03/11/2024 04:37 pm GMT

The Blue Snowball iCE is one of the best microphones for online teaching that you’ll find on the market today. It certainly is a striking design, but has been tried and tested through the years since its introduction. I had one of the earliest models that was released back in the mid-2000s and it worked like a charm.

Overall performance for the microphone is great, provided you’re comfortable with using a noise gate and equalizer to tweak your voice. If you’re doing any sort of pre-recording, these are simple tools to use and things I suggest you get comfortable using to make the best quality recordings possible.

The biggest drawback of the microphone is the mic stand itself. This striking design lends itself to a bit of difficulty when getting proper alignment with your mouth. Check out the Blue Snowball iCE USB Microphone on Amazon.

ProsCons
It is one of the most affordable mics on the market.The microphone only records at 44kHz.
Blue has enabled simple plug-and-play operation.Blue’s mic stand isn’t ideal for proper mouth alignment.

Best Budget Choice: FIFINE Mini Gooseneck

Best Budget Choice
FIFINE Mini Gooseneck USB Microphone
$19.99
  • Unidirectional polar pattern
  • Plug and play with no drivers required
  • 5.7-inch flexible gooseneck
  • Includes 6.56-foot USB cable
  • Windscreen included
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03/11/2024 05:07 pm GMT

The FIFINE Mini Gooseneck is a fine choice for budget users. It might not offer the best overall sound quality, but it is simple to operate. You’ll want to invest in a pop filter for this microphone, however. It does pick up sharp plosives quite harshly, making for unpleasant recordings depending on your enunciation.

Thankfully, at this price point, that is entirely forgivable. The FIFINE Mini Gooseneck wouldn’t be my first choice in most cases. However, the low cost and ease of use make it a top consideration for users who want one of the best microphones for online teaching without breaking the bank. Check out the FIFINE Mini Gooseneck USB Microphone on Amazon.

ProsCons
It is cheap enough to fit into any budget.You’ll need a pop filter for consonants and plosives.
This is a light and compact mic built for any sort of use.The sound quality isn’t the greatest.

Best for Compact Setups: Samson Meteor Mic

Best for Compact Setups
SAMSON Meteor Mic USB Studio Condenser Microphone
$39.00
  • 25mm diaphragm USB studio condenser mic
  • Unidirectional cardioid pickup pattern
  • 1/8-inch stereo headphone out for zero-latency live monitoring
  • Frequency response of 20hz–20khz
  • Includes USB cable
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03/11/2024 05:17 pm GMT

Audio company Samson has been renowned for its product line. The Meteor Mic is very much in their entry-level segment for the catalog but it is well worth considering. The overall sound quality from this mic is fantastic, and you can monitor live without a hint of latency.

While this is one of the best microphones for online teaching, it does have its drawbacks. Samson hardware is designed with Apple computers in mind, and driver issues are common and frequent with Windows. It does have some issues with picking up background noise, but that is easily solved through the use of a noise gate. Check out the SAMSON Meteor Mic on Amazon.

ProsCons
This is one durable mic that can take some punishment.There is no gain adjustment built into the microphone.
It is easily portable for transporting to different locations.Driver issues are present for Windows users.

Best for Multiple Users: CMTECK Conference Microphone

Best for Multiple Users
CMTECK Conference USB Microphone
$15.36
  • Omnidirectional condenser mic
  • 360° sensitivity pickup range
  • Plug and play with no drivers needed
  • Compatible with macOS and Windows
  • Includes a 6-foot USB cord
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03/11/2024 05:41 pm GMT

If you have multiple teachers working on the same session, then the CMTECK Conference USB Microphone might be for you. I don’t know if I would consider this one of the top choices for the best microphones for online teaching, but it certainly serves its purpose well.

This is a very budget-minded microphone, so corners have been cut in terms of overall audio performance. As such, you’ll want to consider an additional microphone for solo recordings. However, if you do most of your teaching in Zoom sessions, this is a fantastic choice. Check out the CMTECK Conference USB Microphone on Amazon.

ProsCons
It is affordable at full retail pricing.CMTECK has spotty quality control.
It can clearly pick up multiple users in the same room.The audio quality isn’t the best.

Best for Vocal Clarity: Audio-Technica AT-2020USB+

Best for Vocal Clarity
Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ USB Microphone
$99.99
  • Unidirectional cardioid condenser mic
  • Headphone jack with volume control so you can monitor with no delay
  • Compatible with Windows and Mac
  • Pivoting stand mount and tripod desk stand
  • Includes 10-foot USB cable
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03/12/2024 12:48 am GMT

When it comes to microphones, Audio-Technica is one of the industry leaders and the AT-2020USB+ is one of the best microphones for online teaching that you’ll find. I am a frequent user of the XLR AT-2020, which works great for voice and acoustic guitar. This USB variant offers more of the same, without the need for an external audio interface.

This is a professional-grade microphone, and the price certainly matches it. Thankfully, this is on the lower end of the scale when it comes to pro microphone pricing. However, if you’re looking to keep your setup within a certain budget, you might want to look elsewhere. Check out the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ USB Microphone on Amazon.

ProsCons
It has fantastic audio quality at its price point.It is priced at a premium.
This is an extremely durable microphone.The AT-2020USB+ is extremely sensitive to plosives.

Best Microphone Kit: TONOR TC-777

Best Microphone Kit
TONOR TC-777 USB Microphone
$31.99
  • Cardioid condenser mic
  • Plug and play with no drivers
  • Includes tripod stand, shock mount, and pop filter
  • Compatible with Mac, Windows, and PS4/PS5
  • USB power cord included
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03/11/2024 06:47 pm GMT

Do you want a microphone that comes with everything you need? The TONOR TC-777 is an affordable condenser microphone kit that comes with a mic stand and a pop filter. You’d be forgiven for thinking a kit at this price point might be lower quality. However, the TC-777 doesn’t disappoint. You’ll have crystal-clear audio and great vocal recognition when using it.

What makes this one of the best microphones for online teaching is the overall quality of the entire package. It might not be the best microphone for home recording vocals, but for teaching purposes it is fantastic. This is a plug-and-play experience that will have you ready out of the box. Check out the TONOR TC-777 USB Microphone on Amazon.

ProsCons
It has fantastic sound quality for vocal recording.The sample rate could be higher.
The kit comes with a mic stand and pop filter.The mic stand clamp does take some adjustment.

Best for Portability: Zoom H2N

Best for Portability
Zoom H2n Stereo/Surround Sound Portable Recorder
$179.99
  • Features 5 built-in microphones
  • Mid-Side stereo, X/Y stereo, and both 2-channel and 4-channel surround
  • Records to SD Card
  • Mounts directly to tripod or DSLR 
  • MP3 and WAV formats
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03/11/2024 11:08 pm GMT

The Zoom H2N is a fantastic choice for recording on the go. This isn’t so much a dedicated microphone meant to be used with a computer, but an entirely portable field recorder. I understand teachers encompass a wide swath of different subjects, and teaching lessons while demonstrating things outdoors is certainly something to consider. The device features five built-in microphones and supports both MP3 and WAV formats.

The Zoom H2N might not be one of the best microphones for online teaching in the strictest sense, but it is a truly portable option. Overall sound recordings from the device are fantastic, with wind noise being kept to an absolute minimum. If you need a battery-operated device to record and can’t get to a computer, this is a great choice. Check out the Zoom H2n Stereo/Surround Sound Portable Recorder on Amazon.

ProsCons
You can connect lavalier mics for even more precise recording.The construction feels flimsy.
It has fantastic battery life.It doesn’t come with any sort of storage.

Most Versatile: RODE NT-USB Mini

Most
RØDE NT-USB Mini
$99.00
  • USB condenser microphone with unidirectional cardioid polar pattern
  • 3.5mm headphone output for live monitoring
  • Compatible with the FREE RØDE Connect podcasting software
  • Features an integrated pop filter
  • Detachable magnetic desk stand
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03/11/2024 11:37 pm GMT

Users looking for a versatile microphone should consider the RODE NT-USB Mini. This compact microphone is the full package when it comes to overall versatility. You can use it for podcasting, singing, and just about anything else under the sun. This great flexibility is what makes it an ideal microphone for online teaching.

It isn’t without its drawbacks. The included stand can’t be adjusted making for awkward placement at times. You don’t have any means of adjusting the gain on the microphone directly, and this is a very sensitive microphone when it comes to overall volume. Check out the RODE NT-USB Mini on Amazon.

ProsCons
You have a built-in headphone output.It is very gain-sensitive.
The audio quality is superb.The stand is non-adjustable.

Best for Voice Isolation: Shure MV7

Best
Shure MV7 USB Microphone
$239.00
  • Dual USB/XLR output for digital or analog recording
  • Unidirectional polar pattern
  • Touch panel control
  • Built-in headphone output
  • Compatible with both Windows and macOS
  • 10-foot USB-A and USB-C cables
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03/12/2024 12:42 am GMT

Shure has been the microphone of choice for vocals for over 40 years, and the Shure MV7 does not disappoint. You’ve heard these in action across a slew of famous music recordings, in addition to extensive use in broadcast and live sound. For a premium price, you’re getting one of the best microphones for vocals in the entire audio industry.

The Shure MV7 isn’t for the faint of heart, at least in terms of pricing. It is noticeably barebones in terms of overall accessories. Make no mistake, however, this is a fantastic microphone that can readily isolate the voice akin to the storied Shure SM7B. This is a versatile microphone designed for the discerning user who values quality above all else. Check out the Shure MV7 USB Microphone on Amazon.

ProsCons
The sound quality can’t be beaten.It doesn’t come with any accessories.
It is a hybrid XLR and USB device.The price is at an extreme premium.

How to Pick the Best Microphones for Online Teaching: Step by Step

microphones for online teaching
Microphones come in a variety of different price points, with varying performance.

There are a few considerations I would keep in mind when taking a look at microphones. This isn’t comprehensive by any means, but it’s something to take as a primer into the world of recording devices if you plan on upgrading in the future.

  • Microphone type
  • USB vs. XLR
  • Form factor

Let’s discuss these in more detail.

Microphone Type

The overall sort of microphone you’re going to use is going to differ greatly depending on the price point. This guide features everything from basic Zoom-grade microphones to professional-quality mics that can take an absolute beating. As such, there is a lot of talk about what works best for the human voice.

Generally speaking, the best capture device for the human voice is going to be a condenser microphone. When I worked in sports broadcasting as a radio host, we ran condensers. They’re tried and tested, and still very much an industry standard when it comes to the human voice.

USB vs. XLR

All of the microphones in this guide are USB for the sake of ease of use. However, XLR is a more flexible interface and gives better overall audio quality. USB works in a pinch, and if you don’t intend on investing in additional audio equipment is a fine choice.

However, an external audio interface with XLR ports and a supported microphone are going to allow for more flexible options. It is a rabbit hole to go down, so do be aware you can spend a fair amount when looking at this sort of gear. That said, there isn’t anything inherently wrong with a USB mic for daily use.

Form Factor

Microphones come in a variety of different sizes. As such, finding one that fits your teaching space is to be paramount. This does have the trade-off over smaller devices imparting lesser quality. This isn’t always the case, but just make sure you have the space necessary to make the most of your microphone.

What to Know Before Buying the Best Microphones for Online Teaching

When it comes to the best microphones for online teaching, you’ll simply need to figure out what works best for your budget. There is certainly something to be said about spending a good amount on something and getting quality. However, I assume most users aren’t going to need a full professional-grade microphone when it comes to recording online classes.

Simply put, any of the selections above are going to have you more than handled when it comes to recording online classes or conducting voice calls to your students. As such, you’ll need to weigh out what works best for you in a given situation.

Using the Best Microphones for Online Teaching: What It’s Like

microphones for online teaching
You don’t need the best of the best for recording online lessons, but quality does matter.

Using a microphone for online teaching is a lot better than operating with a PC headset. You’ll capture the full range of your voice and you allow room to use dedicated stereo headphones so you can hear your students as needed. A dedicated microphone is always my preference unless you’re working somewhere like a call center.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is XLR the best choice for microphones?

Honestly, yes, it gives a balanced line input. However, you need extra equipment to use it, which might not fit your needs.

Do I need a studio-grade mic for online teaching?

It depends on the scope and scale of your instruction material. If you’re doing Zoom calls, then you should be fine with whatever USB mic fits your budget. Users looking to prerecord lessons in a professional capacity should invest in the appropriate equipment.

Could I use my phone for online teaching?

You could, but smartphones aren’t really designed for such a purpose.

Should I use a pop filter with a microphone?

Yes, even if you have superb diction and pronunciation. A pop filter eliminates the harshness of any plosives, which can be next to impossible to edit out of audio.

Should I use a stand with my mic?

A mic stand is crucial for guaranteeing ideal mouth alignment so you’re recording the full range of your voice.

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