Live streams and podcasts have become really popular in the last decade due to digital monetization platforms like Youtube. But for that, you need to have a good microphone for audio clarity. A blurry microphone would do you no good, so here is a list of the best headset microphones to help you with live streams and podcasts.
In this day and age, you do not need to be employed to earn. If you are talented at something or you are a content creator, you can earn revenue through clicks on Youtube. You can cash in your talents through sites like Youtube and Twitch by live streaming and creating videos.
The videos can be of almost anything. It just has to be engaging enough for the audience to view your videos and streams. Game streaming is a prime example of how you can earn these days by doing what you are good at. But you also have to engage with the audience as well. And that is where a good microphone comes in handy.
While you can always get a dedicated mic, but for streaming games, just a quality headset mic will do. People often spend tons on dedicated microphones. But with headset microphones sounding so good, you do not need a dedicated one.
You will be saving yourself a good amount of money on a mic stand, a microphone pop filter, and an interface if you are using XLR along with an amp. But if you are worried about audio quality, the ones on our list are some of the best headset mics in the market.
But before we head on to the list, a small buyer’s guide.
Buyer’s Guide for Best Headset Microphones
The problem with buying separate microphones is all the other accessories you need for it. Like a microphone stand, for example, even a cheap one will cost you in the range of $20. You will also need a shock mount to attach your microphone to the stand.
There are a plethora of other things to consider as well, but with headset microphones, only quality matters. If you can find a good quality headset microphone, you can use it for audio input and output.
Wireless and Wired Headsets
There are great wireless headsets with quality mics that will help you rid of wires. By going wires free you are not bound by the length of the wires as well. They have almost zero latency on their wireless connectivity.
Most wireless headsets use a 2.4GHz connection dedicated to the peripheral using an adapter. The adapter uses the dedicated frequency to transfer data wirelessly to the headsets.
But wired peripherals are still preferred by some as they do not have any connectivity issues. They can be plugged into any compatible device and is not bound by an adapter connection.
Wired headsets also present the least latency since data is transferred via a wire.
Orientation or Polar Pattern
Microphones are polarized. There are different microphone settings for catching audio in different directions. Some microphones come with standard uni-directional input, while some come in an omnidirectional setting.
But most headset microphones are either omnidirectional or bidirectional. They can catch noise from all directions so there is that disadvantage. But some microphones feature noise-cancellation for reducing ambient noise.
Finding one with the noise-cancellation feature will help you with reducing noise from your fans or surroundings. Something like the Sennheiser GSP 600 will work wonders if you have a noisy rig or fans.
Adjusing Mic Volume
Some headsets feature in-line controls for either muting mic or reducing the mic volume. Usually, this can be adjusted through the operating system as well.
In Windows, you can do that from sound settings. If you are on Windows 10 just typing in ‘Sound Settings’ on the search menu which is located on the taskbar will get you there.
You can reduce or increase the microphone volume easily from there. Recording software also has features that clean noise and balance out trebles and basses. But having in-line controls smoothes it out and can control the volume on any device that you use the headset with.
Best Headset Microphones for Live Streaming Sessions
The headset might be targetted towards gamers, but they are really elegant and simple. If you turn off the RGB you can actually use them for any kind of live streaming session, whether it is related to games or not.
Corsair did not enjoy a very good reputation when it came to gaming headsets. The Corsair Void RGB headsets were pretty good, but not the best, there were better options in the market. SteelSeries Arctis Headsets are a prime example of great wireless headsets with no peer when it came to mic quality.
But the Virtuoso RGB Wireless Gaming headset knocks all the competition out of the park. The headset itself is great, it has such a fine look to it. After using them once, they will become the go-to headsets for you whether you are live streaming or not.
We love the RGB on the headset as well, as a gamer, the RGB is a much-appreciated feature of this headset. We love the fact that it has such a soft tone to it, it is not overly bright and not too dim either.
There is a special edition version that costs a bit more and has a metallic body for added durability. But even the normal versions do not feel any less durable regardless of the use of plastic in it.
We compared the microphone quality of the Virtuoso RGB Wireless Gaming headset with the likes of the Arctis and GSP series of headsets. We were not disappointed in the least by the results, the sound on these was much more clear and audible.
The GSP 600 does have a noise-cancellation feature which does give it an advantage in noisy surroundings. But the voice is a bit bassy compared to these, they have the perfect balance of treble and bass.
The mic is detachable, so if you want to use it as a headset, you can do so. The mic arm is flexible, so you can move it closer or further away from your mouth easily.
There is an LED on the mic to indicate that the mic has been muted and it is safe to talk now. This feature might seem small but is very useful for when you want to make sure your mic is muted during a live stream.
The price is also very appealing, these headsets as a whole are great. The 50-millimeter high-density neodymium speaker drivers feel great, the lows and highs are perfectly audible.
For under $100, there are not a lot of headsets that offer the noise-canceling feature on their microphone. Not only that but the headset is compatible with most devices, making it almost universally compatible.
HyperX Cloud II has one of the most sensible prices when it comes to headsets. They do not cost a lot, they are very affordable and not to mention they have amazing sound quality as a whole.
The headsets have 53mm drivers for delivering the best sound possible, but we are not here to talk about the headset audio. Although that is an important feature as well, we are here to talk about the microphone quality.
The noise-canceling feature on the mic works like a charm, you can barely hear the fan noise from your system or ceiling fan. The chat audio was clear and best of all, you don’t have to pay a fortune to afford this headset.
The headset is wired, so you can be assured of zero noise in the audio, whether we are talking about input or output. The headsets are very comfortable and cover your ears so you cannot hear any outside noise.
Look wise the headsets have a very gamer-centric look to them with the huge HyperX logo in red. The red and black combination might sit right with gamers, although some people will not appreciate the gamer look.
If you are not into the whole gamer look then you might want to consider buying other headsets. But otherwise, these look and feel very decent.
The microphone is detachable so you can take it off if you want to use them as standalone headsets. The mic arm is super flexible as well, which allows for easier adjustment.
Overall, for under $100, the HyperX Cloud II might have the best headset microphone in the price range.
The Momentum series of headsets is known for its high quality of audio. The 2.0 version promises the same quality, but this time without any pesky wires to get in the way.
The Momentum 2.0 features Sennheiser’s NoiseGard technology which incorporates four small microphones in the ear cups to transmit low-frequency sounds much closer to the ears. This helps isolating most ambient noise and apt-X codec compatibility, thus boasting incredible sound.
It is built of a folding stainless steel headband under the leather fabric and large ergonomic ear cups padded with memory foam under leather. The design not only offers comfort at its best, but it is also functional for noise cancelation.
For transmission, the Momentum 2.0 uses Bluetooth V4.0 over a 16Hz – 22kHz frequency response range. Further, the dual connectivity options allow this headphone to connect with two devices simultaneously and more via the NFC wireless function.
Momentum 2.0 offers on-ear cup controls on the right including a power on/off button, a multifunction button which is the same that adjusts volume, a micro USB charging port, and a 3.5mm audio cable port for wired connectivity. On top of that, it offers a remarkable 22 hours runtime.
The headset uses dual-microphone technology to guarantee the best quality audio available in the market. It has a broadcast quality to the sound, making it great for podcasts and live streams.
These headsets are designed for professional use, specifically for broadcasters and podcasters. They are in no manner the best headsets you can find for live streaming your games, but with the cardioid pattern, you pretty much reject ambient noise on these.
So Audio-Technica is a pretty famous brand amongst audiophiles and people who review audio-related tech. They are targetted towards a different audience compared to the headsets we have reviewed so far.
If you are a gamer, you might not have a fondness for these, although they are pretty comfortable and deliver on their promise. They do tend to get a bit hot in longer sessions though, so be mindful of that.
But if you do want to purchase these, be sure to also have an interface or amp setup because they are not normal headsets. They have a separate input for microphone and the headset, also they are not the typical 3.5mm inputs either. The headsets have a 6.3mm input for the sound and for the mic you get an XLR input.
This will significantly amp the price tag for these headsets since you will also have to buy an interface or an amp. But for professional podcasters, it might not be a huge fee to pay, as having good quality audio would mean more viewers.
The mic has a cardioid polar pattern, so they only catch the voice which is in front of them. They have the best noise rejection that we have heard in any headset microphone so far, but that is because of the polar pattern.
It does not have a condenser but a dynamic driver microphone and sounds pretty decent. It is perfect for live show broadcasting and podcasting.
But if you want to take your gaming live stream session to the next level, maybe this is the next purchase for you. The microphone can turn around so you can wear the headsets either side.
The boom arm is pretty flexible, you can move it closer or further away, meaning it is pretty adjustable. The earpieces and headpiece are padded and pretty comfortable, just that the earpieces are not breathable and can get warm.
The mic comes with filters to block those plosives and deliver a clear bass and treble in your voice. These are pretty expensive for wired headsets, not to mention they cannot work without proper input on a computer.
The name might sound like a mouthful, but the Antlion Audio ModMic is a wireless attachable boom microphone. Meaning that if your headset does not have a microphone on it, you can attach this one to it and get a mic on your headset.
Of course, it is not the headset’s microphone, but it does attach to the headset. Also, it is wireless so you do not have to worry about dangling wires from the headset and the mic.
It comes with two polar patterns, one is omnidirectional which is pretty standard in all headset microphones. The other is cardioid which is a welcome addition.
Now, these are not exactly headset microphones, but these are meant to be attached to a headset. They attach to the headset magnetically, so they are easily removable. To attach them use an adhesive magnet on the headset of your choice and then magnetically attach the mic.
The Antlion Audio ModMic Wireless is pretty decent sounding, it will cost you pretty significant though. It costs about $120 on Amazon, so it does not come cheap.
Using an adapter, you can connect this mic to your computer, the adapter has light indicators for power and for mute. On the microphone itself, you can find the button for muting the mic and it will also turn red like the adapter indicator to tell you that it is muted.
It has a 10-hour battery life, and you can charge it using micro-USB, which might be more of a con since most devices are going towards USB-C these days.
We do, however, that the pop-filter on the microphone blocks off plosives really well. It is also pretty clear, it is not muddy or distorted in the least. Also, we did not find any latency, of course, there will be some compared to wired microphones.
Overall these are pretty decent, and worth their price if you do not have headsets with a microphone on them.
Here we have a really great wireless headset, the SteelSeries Arctis 7. The Arctis series of headsets are famous for two things, their audio quality, and superb microphone sound clarity.
The Arctis 7 is Discord certified for amazing chat audio, so you can count on its audio clarity. Although we do feel it does lack compared to the GSP 600 and Virtuoso RGB Wireless.
The headset has breathable foam on the earcups that allow for the user to wear them for longer. The audio quality on the headsets themselves is pretty decent.
The microphone has a red LED which indicates when the mic is muted. The mic is also retractable, but even if you retract it all the way inside the headset, the mic does not mute. It would have been a cool feature to have it did though.
The sound quality does feel slightly blurry which can get better when you adjust the gain. But as we said, Virtuoso sounds way better out of the box.
The wireless connection is seamless, we do not find any noticeable latency on the wireless connectivity. The headsets use an adapted to connect wirelessly to the PC or console.
The Arctis 7 has been long reigning as the king of wireless headsets, but other headsets have surpassed it in terms of quality. We still feel that the Arctis Pro does have significantly more to offer though.