5 Best USB Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic USB microphones are quite rare but they are a good option for recording podcasts and home studio voice overs, playing video games and streaming, especially if you’re on a budget or just starting out.

What makes dynamic USB microphones appealing is a cheap price, sturdy build, easy setup and better off-axis rejection compared to condenser microphones. In addition, dynamic microphones have lower or no inherent noise at all due to fewer electronic bits in them compared to condensers.

CAD PM1300 PodMaster SuperD

The CAD PM1300 is the cheapest microphone out of the bunch here currently selling at $55. It comes from a trusted CAD brand and for a low price of $55, you’ll get a broadcast dynamic microphone with all the accessories required: a boom arm, shock mount, USB cable, pop-filter and screw adapter.

A supercardioid polar pattern of a microphone helps to neglect the background noise. The frequency response is wide for a budget dynamic microphone at 20Hz – 20kHz and it has enough sensitivity (-43dBV) to record at higher audio levels. Included headphones jack input allows no latency audio monitoring that is controllable with volume and mute buttons.

The biggest drawback of this microphone is its susceptibility to plosives, the included pop-filter helps and you could avoid them altogether with a good microphone placement but that’s still a thing to note.

Pros (+)Cons (-)
CheapUSB connection only
Accessories includedSusceptible to plosives
Metal build
Good off-axis rejection
Headphone jack input
Controllable Zero Latency monitoring

Maono AU-HD300T USB/XLR

Maono AU-HD300T is a dynamic USB/XLR microphone and sells for $65. It comes with requisite accessories such as a desk stand, shock mount, pop-filter, USB and XLR cables and that makes it a very good deal at this price.

It’s a cardioid polar pattern microphone with a frequency response of 40Hz-17kHz and an on/off switch. The microphone looks like a handheld type, although it’s susceptible to handling noise. The highs are boosted making it sound slightly brighter compared to most. The off-axis rejection is very good. In USB mode you have zero latency monitoring and the microphone is okay at rejecting plosives.

The biggest upside of this microphone is the availability of both XLR and USB type connections. This allows you to use the microphone as a USB mic and then you can get an audio interface later and upgrade it to an XLR connection which will provide superior audio quality.

The biggest drawback of the microphone is its low sensitivity in USB mode, which could make it hard to record at higher levels.

Pros (+)Cons (-)
Cheap16-bit depth
Accessories includedSusceptible to plosives
Metal buildQuiet in USB mode
Headphone jack inputMonitoring only in USB mode
XLR and USB connections
Zero latency monitoring

Samson Q2U USB/XLR

Samson Q2U is a dynamic USB/XLR microphone currently available for $70. It comes with all required accessories: mic holder, desk tripod stand, cables and pop-filter.

It’s a cardioid polar pattern microphone with a frequency response of 50Hz–15kHz and a sensitivity of -54dBV/Pa which is about average for an XLR dynamic microphone. The maximum bit depth is 16-bit and it works in both XLR and USB modes. The microphone has an on/off switch and a headphone jack input for zero latency monitoring in both USB and XLR mode. Since it has both XLR and USB connections, it’s a great option if you wish to use a USB dynamic microphone now and upgrade to XLR later.

Again XLR and USB connection is great feature of the microphone. On top of that, it has good sensitivity in USB mode and the off-axis rejection is admirable.

Pros (+)Cons (-)
Cheap16-bit depth
Accessories included
Metal build
Headphone jack input
XLR and USB connections
Zero latency monitoring
Good off-axis rejection

Audio-Technica ATR2100x

Audio-Technica ATR2100x is a dynamic cardioid USB/XLR microphone currently available at $100. It comes with all requisite accessories: a microphone holder, desktop stand and cables. Pop-filter isn’t included.

It’s a cardioid polar pattern microphone with a frequency response of 50Hz–15kHz. The maximum bit depth is 24-bit and it works in both XLR and USB modes. It has a switch on/off button, headphone jack input with adjustable volume for zero latency audio monitoring that works in both XLR and USB modes.

Again, the XLR and USB connection option is probably the best feature. The off-axis rejection is great and the 24-bit recording capability is a bonus over other microphones.

Pros (+)Cons (-)
CheapNo pop-filter
Accessories included 
Metal build
Headphone jack input
XLR and USB connections
Zero latency monitoring
Good off-axis rejection
24-bit depth

Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone

Rode Podcaster is a broadcast dynamic USB microphone currently available at ~$220 with an internal pop-filter and shock resistance feature. It comes with a USB cable and mount.

The microphone is a cardioid polar pattern with a frequency range of 40Hz-14kHz. The maximum bit depth is 18-bit. It has a headphone jack for zero latency audio monitoring. The handling noise of this microphone is reduced very well and the built-in pop-filter works great. The sound of the microphone is more brittle and high compared to other options in the list.

I think the microphone provides the highest quality audio of all in the list if you like a brighter tone. The built-in pop-filter and shock resistance features are great. The off-axis rejection is superb but it all comes at a steep price, with no XLR option and no microphone stand. Also, the microphone is quite heavy and will require a good quality microphone stand.

Pros (+)Cons (-)
Built-in shock resistanceExpensive
Built-in pop-filterNo microphone stand
Metal build
Headphone jack input
Good off-axis rejection
Zero latency monitoring

Conclusion

There aren’t too many USB dynamic microphones yet but recently they have started to emerge and we can hope some more will appear in the future to cater to podcasters and gamers.

In my opinion, Samson Q2U is the best value for money option with all the features you would want from a USB dynamic microphone and it comes at a cheap price. ATR2100x is a close competitor at $20 more. It offers a 24-bit depth, which gives slightly better audio quality although that is very hard to notice. If you think that’s worth the price then ATR2100x could be your choice but between the two it’s more about which sounds better to you.

I would suggest getting CAD PM1300 or Maono AU-HD300T if you can’t afford the Samson Q2U or ATR2100x, they are both good options, especially Maono AU-HD300T since it has both USB and XLR connections.

And finally, Rode Podcaster is the best sounding out of the bunch with the most premium build. However, the price is quite steep and having to buy extra accessories will make it even more expensive. I would suggest getting it only if you plan to stick with only and don’t ever wish to upgrade. Otherwise, for that price, you could find an XLR microphone and pair it with an audio interface.

For more guidance regarding recording equipment and gear setups read this article.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.