David Di Franco


3 Amazing Desktop USB Microphones for Around $100

If you are the kind of creator who prefers to make videos from the convenience of your desk, then you will want to invest in a quality microphone. This is especially true if you’re only using a webcam. The average webcam simply does not produce good audio.

Because you’re likely not looking to spend all that much, I have chosen three desktop USB microphones that are currently selling for around $100.  Let’s begin with my personal favorite.

Blue Microphones Snowball

Since owning the Snowball in 2008, the overall audio quality in my videos has seen a significant upgrade. I primarily use mine for screencasts, live broadcasts and the occasional video when my DSLR microphone isn’t appropriate.

The Snowball includes three different polar pattern modes, each of which is intended for a specific style of audio recording: Cardioid Mode, Cardioid Mode with -10 dB PAD, and Omnidirectional Mode

I prefer to use the regular Cardioid Mode, as it makes the most sense for how I record my audio. Speaking directly into the microphone at normal volume works perfectly. And on the software side of things, QuickTime gets the job done.

Blue Microphones Yeti

If the Snowball mic isn’t up to your standards and you prefer to stick with the Blue Microphones brand, then you will definitely want to consider the Yeti. This is probably the most popular USB desktop microphone for creators, and for good reason.

The Yeti, unlike the Snowball, includes a variety of hardware controls for convenience. The onboard knobs allow you to adjust gain control, master volume and even the ability to switch between four polar patterns. Also present is a mute button, as well as a headphones connection for live monitoring.

Closest to $100 out of all three microphones, this is probably your best bet if you are looking to use it for years to come.

Samson Meteor

Both the Snowball and Yeti are somewhat large in size, but that is not how the Meteor can be described. What’s being marketed as a studio microphone, this is an interesting solution for creators who often produce audio while on the go.

The Meteor has a large condenser diaphragm of 25mm and records in a smooth frequency response with a 16-bit, 44.1/48kHz resolution. In other words, it produces high-quality, professional audio. Also featured is a volume knob and a stereo headphones output for real-time monitoring.

About half the price and size of the Yeti, the Meteor is certainly a microphone to consider. Its small form factor could be convenient for travelers.