You’re about to launch your online radio, gaming stream, or podcast.

As a beginner, you can’t spare hundreds of dollars to spend on your next microphone purchase.

Heck, you may not even have $100.

Fortunately, you don’t need an expensive microphone or a super professional setup to start capturing clear vocals.

Today, we’re taking a look at some of the best cheap microphones. Using this guide, you can speed up your evaluation process by knowing why each microphone is the best.

Cheap and quality don't often go together. But we've gone the extra mile to find products with 4.5+ ratings and plenty of purchases

Note: This guide doesn’t contain any affiliate links. All the links are helpful recommendations made naturally for our reader's benefit.

Best Budget USB Microphones for Streaming and Online Radio

Mics built for live recording or streaming have to meet a few specifications:

  • Polar Pattern: The polar pattern dictates how the microphone picks up sound coming from different directions or its pickup pattern. A good choice for streaming is the Cardioid pattern, meaning that the mic is most sensitive to sound coming from the front and doesn’t pick up background sounds from the sides and rear. Other patterns suitable for live vocals include SuperCardioId and HyperCardioid. They have a sharper front pickup angle but are also slightly sensitive to sound coming from the rear. (Pickup pattern diagrams)
  • Clarity & intelligibility: The voice should not sound muffled and every word should be intelligible.
  • Ability to withstand plosives: The mic should withstand plosives and high sound pressure. It's helpful if it's fitted with a pop filter (which you also buy separately) and a dual filtration net that further reduces plosives and breathing sounds.
  • USB connection: Consider purchasing a mic that utilizes a USB connection rather than an XLR professional jack, as the latter will necessitate purchasing a sound mixer.

Now, here are some good budget USB microphones you can buy for less than $100:

*Prices and ratings are subject to vary over time.

1. Blue Yeti USB Microphone - $99 on Amazon (Discounted Price)

The Yeti has firmly established itself as the go-to choice for a premium USB microphone for podcasting, gaming, and streaming. Users like its versatility. They can choose from four distinct pickup patterns depending on their needs. The bi-directional mode —which picks up audio from the front and rear— makes it possible to use a single mic for a two-person interview.

Learn more about the Yeti:

2. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB - $67 on Amazon (Discounted price)

Audio-Technica is a premier manufacturer of audio equipment with the AT2020USB+ mic directed towards the entry market segment. Taunted as “Perfect for content creators,” the mic features a headphone jack that you can connect headphones to monitor the sound input without any delays. It has a mix control knob that allows you to blend pre-recorded audio from the computer you’ve plugged into. Users like that it lights up with a non-intrusive blue LED after it's connected to the computer.

Learn more about AT2020USB+:

3. HyperX SoloCast - $49 on Amazon (Discounted price)

In regards to the HyperX SoloCast, there is not a lot to go on based on its brand or history. It could be another cheap mic. But the reviews reveal a different story. Past buyers cite its clear recording quality and its ability to isolate background noise thanks to the Cardioid polar pattern. The mic is compatible with PC, Mac, PS4, and PS5. You can use it with various streaming programs, including OBS Studio and XSplit. The NGENUITY software gives you the ability to adjust the mic’s settings from the volume to upgrading the firmware. There are handy controls built into the mic, including the gain button, mute, and polar pattern selector.

Learn more about the SoloCast-USB mic:

4. FIFINE Gaming Microphone - $29 on Amazon (Discounted price)

We happily encountered this neat mic in a review by Gamer Heaven on YouTube. Well, it did impress and sounded great considering the bargain price. If you’re using it for live broadcasting, you can impress friends with its bicolored RGB lighting, and the lighting serves a functional purpose as it will light off when not in use. It still has a few cons. Not everyone is a fan of RGB lighting. Plus, it lacks a volume slider on the mic itself and you’ll need to adjust input levels with your computer.

Learn more about the FifineMicrophone:

5. TONOR RGB USB Microphone - $35.99 on Amazon (Discounted Price)

It has RGB colors like the Fifine gaming microphone. But if you’re okay with that, you get a decent USB mic for your podcasting or streaming needs. For an option without the lighting, you can still get the basic TC30 mic that’s up to $10 cheaper. Or the TONOR TC30+ that comes with a more professional boom arm for your desk.

Learn more about the Tonor TC30:

6. Piolunth USB Microphone, Plug & Play - $45.99 on Amazon (Discounted price)

The Piolunth is a great addition to this list of budget USB microphones as it’s built for professional use. At its core are a professional sound chipset and a 16mm diaphragm that helps you capture more clear sound. You get an all-metal boom arm with three swivel points, allowing you to place the mic in any orientation.

Learn more about Piolunth USB Microphone:

Can I go cheaper?

The increased availability of cheap USB microphones means that you can easily obtain a decent microphone for a bargain price. But the lower limit for a quality USB mic tends to be about $30. Still, you can still go for cheaper, but most options you can find are lapel mics.

Just for you, we’ve gone the extra mile and found options for less than $25 (but we can’t endorse their quality):

  • NEEWER USB Microphone Kit 192KHZ/24BIT - $24 discounted price with a 4.2 rating on Amazon
  • MICYUSHENG USB Mini Condenser - $16 with a 4.6 rating on Amazon
  • Tonshen USB Podcast Mic - $16.96 with a 4.6 rating on Amazon

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