Best External Microphones for Zoom Meetings & Calls in 2022

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microphone-zoom

If you want to sound great on your next video conferencing call, you’ll need to invest in the best microphone for Zoom.

Audio quality is arguably even more important than your webcam’s video quality for Zoom calls – having crystal clear sound quality is essential for anyone working from home in 2022.

elgato-zoom-mic
Best Premium Zoom Mic: Elgato Wave 3

Simple to set up, excellent audio quality and a good-looking design makes the latest Wave mic our top pick for Zoom calls.

From eliminating background noise to an omnidirectional setting that picks up multiple users (perfect for office video calls) an external USB condenser microphone will provide much better sound quality than your existing built-in laptop or desktop computer microphone.

Whether you’re looking for broadcast-quality audio for professional Zoom meetings, or just want better voice quality for everyday video calls, this guide will help you sound better on Zoom right now.

What is the Best Microphone for Zoom in 2022?

Image Product Features
shk2-table__imageElgato Wave:3BEST PREMIUM MICROPHONE
  • Clipguard Technology
  • Effortless Control
  • Stream Ready
  • Smart Processing
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shk2-table__imageAudio-Technica AT2020USB+BEST FOR PROFESSIONALS
  • High Quality A/D Converter
  • Reliable Performance
  • Perfect Mic For Creators
  • Ideal For Project/Home
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shk2-table__imageFifine USBBEST BUDGET MICROPHONE
  • Plug & Play USB
  • Studio Quality Sound
  • East To Reach Controls
  • Wide Frequency
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shk2-table__imageBlue YetiBEST FOR BUSINESS
  • Professional USB Microphone
  • Unique Positionable Design
  • Plug & Play USB
  • Multiple Pattern Selection Cardioid
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shk2-table__imageSamson GoBEST ON THE GO MICROPHONE
  • Windows & Mac Compatible
  • Portable USB
  • Smooth, Flat Frequency Response
  • Perfect For Recording
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shk2-table__imageBlue Snowball iCEBEST FOR MULTIPURPOSE
  • Incredible Sound
  • Cardioid Pickup Pattern
  • Adjustable Desktop Stand
  • Stylish Retro Design
View Price →

 

Elgato Wave:3 | Best Premium Microphone 

Pros
  • USB with easy plug-and-play design
  • Cardioid condenser mic delivers better audio
  • Control dial with LED provides easy adjustments
  • 70Hz – 20kHz for extended frequency response
Cons
  • Echoes may occur due to software issues
  • Software glitches may require driver updates

With an array of modern features such as LED lighting and an easy connection, the Elgato Wave:3 broadcast-grade USB microphone with background noise frequency response is a top choice recommended by industry experts for teleconferencing on Zoom.

You can easily upgrade your home meeting audio quality with its convenient, plug-and-play design, which lets you simply plug it into the USB-C port on your computer or laptop with a USB cable to get started.

Thoughtfully created with high-powered headphone volume control for smooth and clear speech, the Elgato Wave:3 delivers broad-cast grade sound quality that eliminates background noise, static, feedback, and delays.

Complete with a boom arm adapter and U-mounted desktop stand, you won’t have to purchase adapters or stands separately. These essential included components let you easily position the Elgato Wave:3 microphone to your liking and height requirements.

Rather than having to open your control panel and scroll through settings, simply use the dial knob for easy volume adjustments when you need to hear a quiet speaker or soften a louder one during Zoom meetings and calls.

The Elgato Wave:3 microphone’s sleek, contemporary design is available in black or white to work perfectly on any home office desk and is lightweight enough to move around the house, to the office, or even to a coffee shop as needed. And don’t worry if you drop it during transport, its steel grill is durable to protect against scratches and other damage.

It comes with state-of-the-art software to take the hassle out of sound monitoring and management, but if you have installation issues, the mic will not function properly and require troubleshooting.

Whether you’re a Mac or PC user, this top-performing Elgato Wave:3 USB Mic was carefully designed by a professional microphone manufacturer for improved output and unmatched sound, making it one of the best microphones for video calls and meetings.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ | Best for Professionals

Pros
  • USB mic offers easy plug-and-play setup
  • Cardioid condenser mic for accurate pickups
  • Internal headphone amp for better clarity
  • A/D converter for enhanced accuracy
Cons
  • Quick speakers may have to repeat themselves
  • Performance issues noted with Windows 10

In today’s fast-paced, digitally driven world, microphones with USB connections are a must. Thankfully, Audio-Technica’s AT2020USB+ delivers all the innovative features you expect from an external microphone, making it one of the best mics for crystal-clear sound quality in 2022.

A USB device connects directly to your laptop or computer for easy setup that lets you effortlessly move from one meeting to the next, while its cutting-edge design provides the lasting performance you demand for extensive meetings.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+’s cardioid microphone with a high-performing condenser accurately picks up your voice, so you won’t have to repeat yourself or speak louder for others to hear you clearly when video conferencing on Zoom.

Also, its integrated A/D converter means built-in conversion from analog to digital for better processing.

Its volume-controlled, zero-latency headphone jack prevents delays and buffering issues your built in microphones can’t compete with, while mix audio controls make blending your microphone audio and pre-recorded audio hassle-free.

Sleek and lightweight with a pivoting desktop stand, you can quickly move the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ wherever you need it. And if you want to branch outside of the house, its included soft pouch makes transport easier than ever, so you can effortlessly work at home or on the road.

It’s fit to work on both Macs and PCs, but some users noted issues with Windows 10 such as consistently low volume output, so keep that in mind prior to purchasing.

And if you want to explore using this external mic outside of Zoom, its internal headphone amplifier provides the audio clarity you need for everything for conference calls, professional podcasts, live-streaming, and youtube videos.

Boasting extraordinary quality and articulation fit to compete with the finest studio equipment, you can trust this Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ mic as a top-performing Zoom microphone.

Fifine USB | Best Budget Microphone

Pros
  • Cardioid polar pattern for optimal clarity
  • Pivot mount offers flexibility in setup
  • Headphone volume knob for easy
  • Compact design provides unmatched portability
Cons
  • Proximity is a pain point
  • The USB isn’t quite long enough

Complete with a pivot mount and tripod stand, this Fifine USB Microphone covers all the basics you need on a budget.

Designed for use with a USB cable, this Fifine USB Microphone features built-in A/D conversion and digital signal processing — simply connect the microphone to your USB port to get started.

A variety of top-notch industry features like its cardioid pickup pattern allows this condenser microphone to capture audio perfectly without static or background noise. And an integrated circuit prevents hissing, making it one of the best external microphones for a video call or meeting on Zoom.

The tripod stand and pivot mount allow you to adjust it horizontally or vertically to make capturing your voice effortless from any angle. And an adjustable volume knob makes subtle tweaks quick and easy when recording music, taking conference calls or producing podcasts.

A sleek black finish coordinates perfectly with any setting, so it won’t distract from the décor in any room you place it, while its durable metal body is tough to withstand drops or damage if you decide to move it or pack it up for travel.

And speaking of travel, the compact design allows for easy portability, so you can take Zoom meetings from anywhere. If you need to use the Fifine USB mic on the go, you can purchase a USB adapter for use with ios and Android devices.

Designed for use with Macs, PCs, and PlayStation 4 and 5, it’s ideal for almost any application — whether you’re meeting on Zoom, recording a podcast, gaming, or live-streaming — but some users noted the lack of Xbox compatibility.

This Fifine USB Microphone proves excellent sound quality doesn’t have to be expensive. Equipped with the modern features you need to meet the demands of everyday use, this Fifine mic is one of the best USB mic models on the market for a Zoom meeting.

Blue Yeti | Best for Business

Pros
  • USB, plug-and-play design
  • Studio settings for better volume control
  • 4 pattern modes match any job need
  • Boom arm, mount, and pop filter included
Cons
  • Users reported issues with the boom arm
  • Bundle contents aren’t great quality

Easy to use while meeting the demands of modern use, this Blue Yeti Microphone delivers the clarity you need during Zoom calls. Featuring new and improved software with exceptional sound quality, you’ll have the clearest voice on the Zoom call.

Designed for use with Windows and Mac, this Blue Yeti mic is suited for both Macs and PCs, while its USB design is great for beginners and experts alike — letting you simply plug it into your computer’s USB port to get started on conference calls, podcasts, or gaming.

Because the Blue Yeti USB Microphone comes with a boom arm and built-in stand that allows you to position it to your preference, you can alter it however you see fit on desks or coffee tables.

Featuring 4 polar pattern modes, this Blue Yeti mic lets you select from cardioid, stereo, bidirectional, and omnidirectional to ensure you get the best clarity and sound across a wide range of uses. Check out this quick overview below:

  • Cardioid mode is ideal for podcasts and voice-overs
  • Stereo mode is perfect for achieving studio-approved acoustic audio recordings of guitars and choirs
  • Bidirectional mode allows for front and rear recordings
  • Omnidirectional mode helps you achieve a real-life atmosphere that’s ideal for podcasts

Onboard audio controls deliver customization over everything from volume and mode choice — leverage the gain control to adjust sensitivity if you experience feedback or distortion and press the convenient mute button to mute without dialling.

Other must-have components included are the shock mount, which provides insulation to prevent microphone movement, and the pop filter, which reduces plosive noises, and distortion. Although the bundle is intended to deliver all the bells and whistles, most users believe the microphone is superior to the accessories included.

Boasting all the extras you need to take your home office a step up, this Blue Yeti Microphone is easily one of the best external Zoom microphones.

Samson Go | Best On The Go Microphone 

Pros
  • USB-operated, plug-and-play design
  • Two mode patterns for podcasters and conference callers
  • Built-in clip for quick laptop attachments
  • Green status light confirms connection
Cons
  • Potential feedback from mobile devices
  • The mini USB may be flimsy

Designed for the occasional chaos of everyday life, this Samson Go Microphone was carefully constructed for on-the-go use, making it one of the best microphones for Zoom meetings in 2022.

A green status light confirms connection so you won’t have to question when it’s working, while a red light indicates a problem you need to address.

The Samson Go Microphone’s portable, plug-and-play design with USB audio output lets you immediately get to work from anywhere as soon as you plug it in, so you can easily take Zoom calls remotely or at home.

Two modes make it perfect for a variety of users. See the mode tips below:

  • Unidirectional (cardioid) mode is best for capturing sound in front of the mic
  • Omnidirectional mode uses a 360-degree pattern extends the mic’s capabilities to accurately capture both front and rear audio

Even if you’re a novice, many of the built-in features are worth exploring, like its -10 dB pad, which offers extra headroom and prevents audio overload. Or its built-in cardioid setting, which lets you reduce clippings from background noise or louder speakers.

Its sturdy base ensures firm placement on any surface, while an integrated clip lets you easily attach it to a laptop. It even works on a standard mic stand with an adapter for nearly endless mounting options.
And because it was created with a fold-up design, this Samson Go Microphone can easily fit in pockets, purses, or laptop bags as a portable Zoom microphone.

Compatible with both Macs and PCs and no drivers required means flexible use on various types of computers and laptops, though some users reported issues with the USB being flimsy, so travelling may exacerbate the flimsiness. Feedback from cell phones was also noted and unfortunately, it’s very unlikely you won’t have your phone nearby in today’s world.

Blue Snowball iCE | Best for Multipurpose 

Pros
  • USB condenser mic for easy setup
  • Works with almost any software
  • Desk stand for easy placement
  • Certified by Skype and Discord
Cons
  • Not suited for older computers
  • Picks up background noise 

The industry-leading features of this Blue Snowball iCE microphone bundle offer a quick and easy way to upgrade to the crystal clear audio quality, only rivalled by professional studios, you need for Zoom calls & meetings with the added benefit of a stylish look.

Why the bundle? Complete with high-quality headphones and a pop filter, you may not have a newborn, but you’ll definitely have a new bundle of joy thanks to these two top-tier components:

  • Studio-grade cushioned headphones ensure a comfortable fit and smooth audio
  • Pop filter prevents distortion and plosive sounds that can decrease audio quality

Compatible with Macs and PCs and built to work with nearly any software, you can use this Blue Snowball iCE mic with almost any relatively new computer, while a plug-and-play design is as easy as plugging the USB into your laptop — making it one of the best external microphones for Zoom calls & meetings.

This condenser microphone with cardioid pickup delivers impeccably clear quality with louder output free from static or delays that your built-in laptop microphone can’t compete with. And coveted certifications from Skype and Discord make it ideal for virtual meetings on Skype, Discord, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams.

Featuring an adjustable desk stand, you can easily achieve the fixed placement you need in any room — whether at home, work, or the studio. And if you travel, the Blue Snowball iCE’s lightweight design delivers the perfect on-the-go mic.

Its unique, spherical shape is crafted for immediate recognition, making it visually appealing and an excellent conversation starter among co-workers, friends, or admirers at the local coffee shop.

Unfortunately, there are also some cons. Many users reported its tendency to pick up small background noises, such as typing and handwriting, so be mindful of this prior to purchasing since many of us multi-task during work calls.

How Do I Make My Microphone Quality Better on Zoom?

  1. Purchase a plug-and-play microphone with high-quality audio that’s compatible with your device of choice — like one of the mics listed in this article.
  2. Use a headset or earbuds — this not only prevents you from disturbing your neighbours in the workplace but also provides better audio recordings.
  3. Hit the mute button when not speaking — this helps you avoid echoes that can affect the quality of your voice.
  4. Avoid overloading your computer, laptop, or phone — this can cause the audio to rush to process, triggering delays and other issues.
  5. Try to work from a quiet place — this prevents static, feedback, and other noisy disruptions.
  6. Try running a mic test to see how good your microphone is.

What is the Best Type of Microphone to use with Zoom?

Shotgun models are larger mics that are ideal for a focused area, so they may require extra equipment such as boom arms and stands, depending on what you use them for. You’ll sometimes see these mics used with action cameras.

Are shotgun mics good for Zoom?

Yes, shotgun mics are good for zoom if you intend to be distanced some way from the microphone. Shotgun mics let you speak clearly from a distance, so they can record audio for multi-person conference calls.

Lavalier mics, on the other hand, are designed to capture surprisingly clear sound from a small size not meant to be easily seen, which is why they’re often referred to as lapel mics. 

Handheld mics are a go-to choice for on-the-go video calls or for those who want the option to move around without the hassle of wires during calls or meetings. Regardless of which one you choose, professionals in the recording industry will tell you to invest in a good-quality microphone.

Best USB Microphone for Zoom FAQs

Can Zoom have 2 audio inputs?

Yes, Zoom settings can be adjusted to have 2 audio inputs by using a mixer with audio capture.

How do I use my Phone as a mic for Zoom?

Simply select the desired input and output under your audio settings.

What audio interfaces work with Zoom?

Zoom is compatible with a wide range of audio interfaces, including Biamp, Focusrite, QSC, and Shure.

How do you Zoom with XLR mic?

Install the audio interface drivers to your Mac or PC then connect the mic to the audio interface.

Final Words on USB Microphones

Regardless of your ideal product features and budget, you should be able to find the best Zoom microphone for meetings & calls by using our guide.

As a final tip, we always recommend USB microphones with a mute button for easy silencing on a Zoom call. This is especially handy if you’re about to have a coughing fit – definitely what not to do on Zoom!

With first-class sound quality and background noise reduced to a minimum, you’ll be able to get your point across in style on your next Zoom video conferencing call. 

elgato-zoom-mic
Best Premium Zoom Mic: Elgato Wave 3

Simple to set up, excellent audio quality and a good-looking design makes the latest Wave mic our top pick for Zoom calls.

Mark Condon
Shotkit Founder, Editor, Writer & Reviewer

Mark Condon is a British wedding photographer and editor of Shotkit. When he’s not taking photos or reviewing the latest camera gear and software, Mark can be found cycling around the northern rivers.

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