A 3.5mm microphone can be used to elevate sound quality in a recording studio or to ensure that your voice is clear and crisp during a podcast. Perhaps you want to record a tutorial for your YouTube account. Whatever your needs are, the variety in 3.5mm microphones is widespread.
These easy-to-use microphones range in size, strength, and functionality; however, what they all have in common is their 3.5mm jack. Here is a list of our top picks.
If you spend an inordinate amount of time on the computer, chances are good that you play at least one multiplayer game. Whether it’s a MOBA, first-person shooter, or indie game, you’ll definitely want a decent mic to be able to coordinate with your teammates—but you don’t need professional equipment to do that. Here are the best gaming microphones on the market for Discord, VOIP, in-game chat, or even Hangouts.
You may notice that this entire list contains some pretty cheap mics, and that’s no accident: unless you’re recording professionally, there’s no need to overspend here. You just need a mic that’ll work relatively okay, right? Why not save some cash for the next Steam sale?
We have included fashions in a wide range of kinds, from massive shotgun condensers to tiny lapel 3.5mm microphones, all ranked right here by their audio constancy, sturdiness, and pickup sample.
What’s the best 3.5mm microphones?
For the best possible sound quality, what you need is a pro mic to 3.5mm preamp. These are made as accessories for digital cameras which often have high-end video capabilities but a low-end consumer audio facility. They work for any 3.5mm mic input on computer, phone or camera.
They cost $100-$300, run on batteries and have phantom powered XLR inputs. Models available from Beachtek, Marantz and Saramonic also have headphone outputs for high quality monitoring.
10 Best 3.5mm Microphones 2020:
|Purple Panda Lavalier Microphone||5.5 x 1.5 x 4 in||3.2 ounces|
|HyperX Quadcast S||9.8 x 5 x 4.06 in||1.32 pounds|
|Rode VideoMic||3.15 x 0.8 x 0.8 in||2.57 ounces|
|Shure VP83F||10 x 4.2 x 5.2 in||1.14 pounds|
|AZDEN EX503||4.25 x 3.25 x 0.5 in||1.6 ounces|
The microphone from Purple Panda deserves the first spot rightfully as it has got all important features that are required for perfect audio quality. Having said that, the best lavalier microphone comes with a complete kit including important accessories. In addition to that, the overall design is sophisticated enough.
Apart from that, I’ve used this microphone multiple times for making vlogs or for making podcasts, etc. To be really honest, it is working just perfectly since the day I bought it. So, from a durability point of view, there are no compromises from the brand. The microphone is, thus durable enough to last for longer than expected and it’s the main reason people like it.
In the end, the price isn’t that high. You’d get the complete microphone kit in no more than 50 bucks which is literally a steal especially in this chaotic situation.
From a compatibility point of view, I haven’t found any other microphone kit with same level as Purple Panda. So, I’d suggest you to invest your hard-earned money into this microphone kit before it’s too late.
- Complete microphone kit
- Long extension cord available
- Compatible with different gadgets
- Captures crisp sound quality
- Unidirectional pickup pattern
- Not compatible with Samsung Galaxy J series
- No other major cons
The gamer-centric HyperX Quadcast S is an excellent value microphone for the streamer looking for an easy-to-use, clear sounding mic. While it doesn’t quite match up to the Yeti X in terms of sound quality, the Quadcast S makes up for it in design and feature-set.
The built-in shock mount alone is reason enough to pick up this HyperX mic. Decent shock mounts usually go for around $50, which helps prevent the microphone from picking up any accidental bumps and thuds during streaming.
Another nice feature is the touch-sensitive mute button at the top of the microphone. Often, mute buttons and switches make a loud click when recording a thoughtful solution for a common issue. The Quantcast S hits the sweet spot of price, sound, and features if you’re looking to add something to your live stream.
The biggest difference between the Quadcast S and last year’s Quadcast is that it offers dynamic RGB lighting, so it looks like you’re speaking into a lava lamp. If you’re not an RGB fan, you can save yourself $20 and pick up Quadcast since they are the same microphone sans the light show.
- Easy to set use
- Touch-sensitive mute button
- Built-in Shockmount
- Cool RGB lighting
- Poor customer support
- No other major issues
The new version of a super-cardioid unidirectional microphone VideoMic Rode from the Australian brand includes a high-performance anti-vibration mount Rycote Lyra. The microphone is designed for dubbing movies and is used in conjunction with modern digital cameras of a high level. The microphone is designed with the latest technology, the latest achievements, and the highest industry standards.
On-camera professional-gun microphone Rode VideoMic combines small size and reduced weight with an extended frequency range. The value of the self-noise of the microphone is significantly decreased. A switchable filter with two positions substantially reduces interference in the low-frequency range.
The microphone RODE VideoMic can be mounted on cameras with a standardized mounting or 3/8. The signal transmission is made via the connector stereo mini-jack 3.5 mm. The case is made of durable but lightweight plastic ABS. Reliability is provided by high-quality components and shock mount. The presence of windbreaks allows neutralizing the sound of the wind. For the updated model there is an anti-vibration mount Rycote Lyra, allowing to conduct the high-quality recording in motion.
- Good value for reasonable money
- Durable and flexible
- Have adjustable options
- Good noise filter
- It requires high quality windscreen
4. Shure VP83F
If you need a 3.5mm microphone with an integrated flash recorder, then Shure VP83F has the exact specifications. Moreover, the microphone works on condenser technology that enables it to produce high-quality recordings.
Also, it can only focus on the intended sound thereby filtering out the unnecessary sound in the background.
The microphone is omnidirectional which implies that it can capture sound waves from a 360 degree direction. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about which direction you’re facing or the microphone is facing. Besides, it has a Rycote stand that absorbs shock waves caused by vibrations or camera movement.
- High performance
- High-frequency response
- Easy to install
- It comes with a windshield
- Battery power life might not be sufficient
5. AZDEN EX503
The AZDEN EX503 is an affordable lavalier microphone that records in mono. It’s a great choice for anyone who needs a simple lavalier with a mono recording device. The sound quality is decent, as it’s relatively clear.
Make sure the gain level is not too loud, considering its extreme sensitivity. However, many people love the sensitivity of the AZDEN EX503. I would also like to note it’s enhanced feedback rejection capabilities. While testing this mic, we have never had any feedback issues.
Like many lavaliers, the EX503 has an Omni-directional polar pattern that picks up sound in every direction. These microphones are great for filming situations where you must pick up audio from two people at the same time with only one mic. Some examples may include low budget films, documentaries, Youtubers for various reasons, etc. Overall, the AZDEN EX503 lapel microphone is a good low-budget mic that records in mono.
- Durable construction
- Noise cancelation feature included
- Omnidirectional pickup pattern
- Best for streaming and gaming
- Compatible with all Windows operating systems
- A bit bulky
- Not recommended for vlogs
6. Blue Yeti X
The Yeti X offers four recording pattern modes, allowing you to choose which one best suits your given situation. Cardioid is ideal for podcasts, as it allows you to record sound which is immediately in front of the mic. Stereo mode acts as one would expect: recording sound from the left and right channels simultaneously to provide a better illusion the listener is in the room with you. Omnidirectional mode will record 360-degree sound, and bidirectional will record sound from the front and rear regions of the microphone.
Basically, the Yeti X straddles the line between being a recording or gaming microphone, and can cover you for either. Turns out being a Twitch streamer makes you need to have something for both—how convenient.
Blue Vo!ce audio software is new to the Blue Yeti line, which brings all sorts of customization options. It features effects like de-popper, noise reduction, expander, gate, de-esser, EQ, compression, and limiter, and you can even change the color of the mic’s LEDs. After all, if you’re marketing a device at gamers and Twitch streamers, and you can’t change the LED color, why bother, right?
- Complete studio microphone kit
- Perfect for recording songs and studio sessions
- Pop filter available
- Neglects background noise completely
- Not recommended for vlogging cameras
The HyperX SoloCast is the best of a slew of new budget-oriented microphones. These new mics deliver their more expensive siblings’ audio performance, prioritizing the sound over extensive feature sets for a frankly fantastic price.
With the JLab Audio Talk GO and Razer Seiren Mini all offering great sound, the HyperX SoloCast about stands above the others because it’s essentially giving us the audio chops of its pricier QuadCast S compatriot. That’s a fantastic microphone in its own right, and we can bear losing the full list of features and range of polar patterns when we want an easy plug-and-play mic.
I mean, you lose the sexy RGB lighting of the QuadCast, which is missed, but they sound almost identical. And if you’re just after higher-quality audio, and don’t want to start messing around with gain settings mid-stream, then the SoloCast could be all the mic you need.
- Sounds nearly identical to Quad
- Cast MicGreat price
- Portable design
- Suitable for beginners only
- Not recommended for professionals
8. BOYA BY-M1
The Boya BY-M1 lapel microphone can be used with DSLR cameras and camcorders, external recorders, smartphones, tablets, etc. Universality, reasonable price, and decent characteristics are the secret to the success of this model among photographers, videographers and bloggers.
This model has a standard 3.5mm plug with gold-plated contacts and a six-meter cord, allowing the sound engineer or operator to move a fairly large distance from the subject.
The microphone battery is located in a separate power unit with the ability to be turned off. Also, the microphone can be attached to clothing and the interior with a reliable clip.
In addition, the microphone is perfect for use in the studio, despite its compact size guarantees excellent sound quality with low noise.
Since the microphone has a 4-pin 3.5 mm jack, to connect to a camcorder, camera, computer, laptop, you need an adapter from 4 pin female jack to 3 pin male jack. For smartphones and tablets, no adapters are required.
- It provides a natural sound
- Low handling noise
- Compact size, durable housing
- Some complaints about the quality of the lapel clip
Next up, the extremely popular PowerDeWise lavalier lapel microphone with a 3.5mm jack is a great buy. Not to forget, it’s very affordable placed below $25. Between the lavalier microphone, rotating clip, two windscreens, extension cable of 79″, 4 to 3-pin adapter, and carry case; All of the units are separated out.
While Some people prefer 1 cord all tied together, others prefer a set that is separated. They both have their benefits and downsides, but it primarily comes down to personal preference. For those who are consistently switching distance, a lavalier microphone with a separate extension cord may be a more convenient choice for you.
In terms of sound quality, it is very good. Just make sure your gain isn’t clipping! In my experience, this mic is best placed around the nipple line for optimal quality. Most of us making videos or shooting interviews prefer not to mess around with setting audio gear up. What I really like about the PowerDeWise is the easy plug and play. The wires and mic have a good build and weight to them, as well. Overall, the PowerDeWise lavalier lapel microphone is a great choice.
- Easy to install
- High-frequency response
- High performance
- Relying on the battery to power can disappoint
The Sennheiser MKE 400 Shotgun Microphone is a great option for beginners as it comes with easy-to-read instructions. You won’t have to worry about coming across high-tech microphone jargon that you don’t understand. Designed for use with a camera, this 3.5mm microphone has a built-in integral shock mount, a hot shoe mount, and an external microphone input port.
This allows you to remain focused on what matters while filtering out unwanted noise. With more than 300 hours of battery life off of only one AAA battery, this microphone is ready to take on whatever you throw at it. Enjoy switching between options for long and short distances to ensure your sound quality is working optimally.
- Lapel clip available
- Multiple pop filters included
- Long extension cord
- Durable design
- Not a good choice for professional vloggers
- No other major issues
Is a USB better than a 3.5mm audio jack?
There is no real difference: the USB merely means that the digital to analog converter, which changes the 1’s and 0’s of the digital signal to audio, is external to the device.
However, as Ian Hendry said, it’s the quality of the converter that matters. The one in the typical phone or computer is cheap, and if you use the 3.5mm audio jack you’re stuck with it. Whereas you can connect the USB output to a higher quality external DAC or DAC/headphone amp and get better sound.
I concur with Ian’s recommendation of the Dragonfly Red, a compact, relatively inexpensive USB headphone amp/DAC that’s powered by the USB jack. On the higher end, you can buy some very elaborate and expensive USB DAC’s that can serve as the source for a high quality sound system. These will put even the very good Dragonfly to shame. Schiit Audio has a good range, and above that, well, you can spend into the stratosphere!
How we test 3.5mm microphones
These are the most common polar patterns:
- Cardioid: Records in front of the microphone. Perfect for voice-over, vocals, and streaming.
- Bidirectional: Captures audio in front of and behind the mic. Ideal for one-on-one interviews.
- Omnidirectional: Picks up sound from every direction. Perfect for round-table interviews.
- Stereo: Perfect for ASMR recordings. YouTube ‘ASMR’ if you want the best example because I couldn’t do it just justice.
- Recording quality: I say that audio quality isn’t everything, but it’s still the most important factor when testing a microphone. The point is, after all, to find a mic that makes you sound good.
- Adaptability: Everyone’s desk and setup requirements are different, so a mic must perform well under a handful of different scenarios. If a microphone sounds better than all the rest combined but only when it’s on a suspended mic stand with a shock mount, positioned precisely six inches away from your mouth, it’s not necessarily a reliable option to recommend.
A wide variety of excellent microphones are available with 3.5mm jacks. If you’re searching for a microphone to connect to a PC for in-studio recording or for creating podcasts, then the HyperX Quadcast S is a great choice.
However, if your needs involve recording while being on the move, then investing in a microphone that can quickly and efficiently connect to your mobile device may be the best option for you. Whether you’re looking for a microphone for making videos, gaming, or creating podcasts, there is a 3.5mm microphone built for your needs.