An alternate title for this article could easily have been: “How Not to Be that Jabroni Whose Keyboard Clacks and Background Din Spoils Everyone’s Fun on Discord.” (You can see why “Best Mics for Discord” won out.)
In all seriousness, it could be said that proper Discord etiquette dictates that users invest in a decent microphone so as to keep the space enjoyable and accessible for everyone.
And the good news is that there are several solid microphones on the market that don’t require a heavy investment — as well as some that do and are rockin’ good mics.
Let’s take a look at the 5 best microphones for Discord …
Best Discord Microphones for Budding Streamers
1. Samson Q2U
The Samson Q2U is an extremely popular and well-liked microphone across streamers, podcasters, and all manner of content creators. With good reason.
First of all, its entry-level price point, USB output, and plug-and-play capability makes it very accessible to beginners.
Furthermore, it is an extremely durable, well-built microphone that you can expect to last. Which is great for users who may want to eventually use the Q2U’s alternate XLR output to connect to an audio interface to further shape their sound.
With its cardioid polar pattern (more on this later), this dynamic microphone does an exceptional job at reducing background noise, if being a touch boomy at 180 degrees off-axis.
When it comes to plosives, this microphone performs well in its price range but benefits tremendously from use of an additional pop filter.
In comparison to other mics, it struggles a bit with sibilance, so if ‘s’ sounds particularly vex you, you may want to look elsewhere.
Muting the mic can be a bit noisy, and it doesn’t like to be bumped.
But overall, the sound of Samson’s Q2U is just plain great: mids and lows are warm and natural sounding, with highs a bit harsher and more nasal. Plus, it comes with literally everything you need to get up and running immediately, including a desk tripod, wind screen, and USB and XLR cables.
2. Audio-Technica ATR2100X
This is simply a great mic from a great brand.
With an eye towards the future, Audio-Technica was wise to feature USB-C output on their ATR2100X as USB-C ports are fast becoming the preferred type across devices globally.
For users who want to play a bit more with their sound, this microphone also features an XLR output.
As a dynamic microphone with a cardioid pickup pattern, the ATR2100X rejects background noise well and makes only a very humble noise when muting.
But where this microphone shines is in untreated rooms (spaces without any “soundproofing” treatments such as foam tiles, panels, or blankets). I heard significantly less echo in untreated rooms using the ATR2100X over some of its direct competitors.
Where this mic decidedly does not shine is when it’s bumped or handled too much. This problem is only amplified by the troublesome tripod it comes with. Consider upgrading to a boom mount to minimize any opportunities to bump or knock near this microphone.
Ultimately, Audio-Technica’s ATR2100X is an excellent choice for the price. It comes with a generous warranty and all the requisite cables: USB-C to USB-C, USB-C to USB-A, and XLR to XLR. It sounds natural and warm, even in untreated rooms.
3. Shure MV7
If you’re going for that velvety smooth, broadcaster quality sound (and look), Shure’s MV7 microphone definitely delivers.
The MV7 USB/XLR microphone, from the makers of the SM58 (one of the most popular mics in history), comes in at a higher price point with all the quality one might expect at that level.
A dynamic, cardioid pickup pattern mic, the MV7 doesn’t just reject background noise — it slays. It features a touch sensor mute button that makes virtually no noise at all when toggled.
The touch panel also features an extremely convenient gain control which also controls headphone mix and monitoring volume.
Furthermore, the MV7 comes with a Shure desktop application for additional digital sound processing and EQ, including preset saving and auto modes.
Plus, it’s just sturdy as a Shure should be with all metal components and construction.
My only gripe is that it could handle plosives a little better and I believe you would benefit from adding a pop filter to this mic. The same goes for bumping and thuds.
However, it should be noted that this microphone is designed to be paired with a boom arm so you shouldn’t encounter too many problems with this drawback. Just note, however, that it does not come with a boom so you’ll need to purchase or acquire one separately.
To be sure, the Shure MV7 is one of the best mics out there; just be ready to pay for it!
4. MAONO HD300T
An extremely affordable choice, the MAONO HD300T performs higher than its price point.
In it, you will find all of the best features of its higher-priced dynamic mic competitors: USB and XLR outputs; cardioid pattern pickup; convenient on/off (or mute) switch with tactile volume up and down buttons; and an overall warm, mellow sound.
The HD300T also comes with everything you need to use it out of the box: USB cable, XLR cable, a very sturdy desk tripod, a fine pop filter, and a shock mount.
Where you start to feel the price is in the noise rejection. I found off-axis noise rejection to be simply a matter of eliminating the highs and little else.
This isn’t to say it doesn’t reduce background noise at all; to be sure, it performs better than most condenser mics. It just doesn’t do particularly well in comparison to some of its dynamic counterparts.
If, for example, you use a mechanical keyboard or cannot acoustically treat your space even a little, you might not be thrilled with this mic.
Similarly, this is a quiet mic that may need some gain boost to perform at its best. This may not be the best choice for you if you speak low or lean away from your desk while streaming.
Overall, the MV7 is still a quality dynamic mic that punches way above its price point, with a smooth, broadcast-y sound and useful accessories. Just be prepared to deal with some gain and noise management outside of the mic itself.
5. FIFINE Amplitank K688
Fifine fans, behold: the Amplitank K688, the much-anticipated upgrade to their popular K658 mic.
And to be sure, they faithfully heeded user feedback for a much improved microphone.
For starters, the K688 has both a USB and XLR output. The clunky top knob has been removed in favor of convenient gain and volume knobs on the back of the mic.
Best of all, the sound is superior. The K688’s predecessor was too bright and harsh for my taste. The K688 delivers a very mellow, much warmer sound that is pleasing to the ear and sounds every bit on par with its competitors.
This mic performs extremely well in off-axis noise rejection as well as with distances. I was surprised to hear it perform quite well in an untreated room.
The digital mute button is still conveniently located on the top of the mic, and when toggled, provides a smooth, noticeably quiet transition.
All of that said, the K688 doesn’t handle plosives particularly well and could benefit from a thicker windscreen or pop filter.
It also does not come with a boom arm or an XLR cable, so be prepared to acquire those separately.
In all, the FIFINE K688 performs exceptionally well at its price point and ranks, in my view, as one of the best mics for Discord out there.
By now, you may have noticed that these mics come in a few different styles. These different styles can have different functions as well, which may be of interest to the curious content creator. Let’s review the two types we’ve featured here …
Let’s be clear, as musicians, we’ve all seen this type of mic, whether for vocals or talkback on stage. The classic Shure SM58 is an iconic version of a handheld mic, with a cylindrical handle and bulb where the receiver lives.
They mount well on a desktop tripod or a boom arm for streaming purposes. But they are also a versatile choice for users who may want to explore other types of content creation.
For example, if you’re interested in podcasting or YouTube and need to perform an offsite interview, a handheld mic will be your best friend.
Broadcast Style Mics
Classic and dignified, broadcast style mics are often found in radio studios and increasingly home studios. Even modern broadcast style mics evoke the vintage feel of the grand age of radio.
These mics are not made to be held. There is no handle, and they often tend towards a boxier profile (though round ones look great too).
While they check all the boxes on look and performance, broadcast microphones are a stationary breed. They mount best on a boom arm with a shock mount to reduce any audible inkling of bumping, thudding, or knocking.
In the consumer landscape, you will most often encounter two types of microphones: condenser and dynamic. When purchasing a microphone for home use, knowing the difference improves both your experience and that of your online acquaintances.
There are a lot of popular, affordable condenser mics marketing themselves as suitable for streaming, gaming, and podcasting. They do, in fact, perform extremely well with vocals by producing crisp and detailed signals.
But frankly, unless you’ve got a soundproof room, condenser mics are best left to recording studios and voice actors.
The reason is in the design. Without going into great detail, condenser mics are extremely sensitive, which is what makes them desirable for recording voice, ambience and acoustic guitar.
The drawback, for applications such as streaming, is that they are sensitive to all the sounds in your space. Your condenser mic will pick up every noise from the clacking of your keyboard to the dishwasher running in the next room to the helicopter flying overhead.
Many streamers swear by their condenser mics, when paired with some basic noise management measures. But if you’re new to the game or expect a higher degree of noise rejection, you will likely be a lot happier with a dynamic mic.
By design, dynamic microphones can handle a lot, not only in terms of noise but also environment.
They withstand heat and humidity better than their condenser counterparts, and they can take a lot of sound signal without distorting. You will often find them recording big sounds like drums, brass and live performances.
It’s this low sensitivity that makes them ideal for the kind of content creation you might want to do on Discord. A good dynamic mic will pick up very little other than your voice without having to heavily treat your sound space or fiddle with digital signal processing.
A Brief Note on Polar Patterns
Another important consideration in choosing a good mic for Discord is its polar pattern.
Microphones operate by turning sound vibrations into electrical signals. The polar pattern of a microphone refers to the direction (or directions) from which the microphone will pick up (or be most sensitive to) sound.
The easiest polar pattern to visualize is the omnidirectional pickup. As you might imagine, this pattern picks up everything around it in a 360 degree, spherical context. It’s great for hearing groups of people or instruments.
But when it comes to ensuring that only one voice in the room prevails, a microphone with a cardioid polar pattern offers a far superior effect.
Cardioid polar patterns are shaped (not surprisingly) like a heart, picking up most of their signal from what’s directly in front of them, less as you round the sides, and (ideally) nothing at all from behind.
Hence their popularity with show hosts, interviewers, podcasters and streamers alike.
There are a host of other polar patterns that aren’t particularly germane to this article. Just be sure to make note of the polar pattern of the mic you’re considering as it makes a big difference!
That’s a Wrap!
For the most rewarding, disruption-free, revelrous experience on your favorite server, make sure to bring a positive attitude and a good mic!
Of course, all of these choices are good mics for Discord. To find your favorite, consider what style you prefer, what features are important to you, and of course, your budget! Stream on …