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What Are The Best Microphones for Live Streaming? – Live Streaming Equipment

Mayra Gomes
Jul 25, 2018
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Poor audio quality is a dead giveaway of the amateur live streamers. The quality of the audio is vital to convey credibility, and most importantly, to keep your viewers on your live streams. One of the reasons, streamers lose their audience is the poor quality of their microphone. To make sure you put out a high-quality live video, we’ve created this list with the best microphones for live streaming. Learn about the types of mics out there and how to choose one based on your content.


Is audio that important?

Think about it, have you ever started watching a live video and the audio was so bad that you had to leave? On most live streams, the sound is how you transmit most of your content. If viewers can’t listen to you clearly, they might be better off doing something else.

On the other hand, if you are watching a live video and the image goes bad, but you can still hear it well, there’s still a chance you might stay if the content is good. A great example of this is audible content, such as audiobooks and podcasts. People listen to them on the go, while doing something else. Many people do the same thing with live streaming videos and other content formats. Time is valuable and everyone wants to make the most of it.


What are the best microphones for live streaming?

First of all, keep in mind that just like most live streaming equipment, the quality and price points vary drastically. When it comes to audio, you can find affordable microphones on the market that can give you a clear sound while minimizing the noise. Also, investing in a high-quality microphone is usually less expensive than investing in video equipment, like cameras.

Investing in a microphone will improve the quality of your live stream, and you might get more viewers due to the quality increase. But, you need to make sure you’re investing on the right one. It all comes down to the type of live streaming content you want to produce.

The best microphones for live streaming need to be the best for your needs, which means, before choosing your equipment, you must have a clear plan for your live videos. Having a fixed indoor setup for your videos, maybe in an office or studio, makes it easier to put out high-quality audio because it’s a controlled environment. In a controlled environment, you can bring the noises to a minimum, for example by turning off any fans and closing all windows.    

If you plan to shoot outdoors or on mobile, you’ll need to worry more about the amount of noise the microphone will pick up, especially the wind. Keep that in mind when choosing the location and add a microphone muff to your equipment list, it will go a long way.


Here are a few types of microphones to look for:

Lapel Microphone

For around 15 dollars, you can get a lapel mic to connect on your mobile device, computer or camera. It’s a great microphone if you plan to talk to the camera by yourself during your live streams. In case you have other presenters or guests, this might not be the best option unless you get a microphone for each participant. Overall, it’s a great piece of equipment, for a solo streamer that wants to make sure the audio follows through.   

Directional and omnidirectional

A directional mic, as the name suggests, will pick up the sounds from a specific direction and omnidirectional mics pick up the sound of all directions. They exist in many different forms. There are some you can mount directly on the device, whether you’re using a mobile phone or camera. Others might need to be handheld, closer to the person speaking.

Directional mics can be one of the best microphones for live streaming because they work really well for live streams with more than one host, for interviews and outdoors. There are some that you can also adjust the direction and choose more than one point. The cost for a directional mic starts at $50.

Unless you’re in a highly controlled environment, using an omnidirectional can introduce a lot of noise to your live stream, so, be careful.

Desktop Microphone

On the market, there are also many desktop condenser microphones ranging from $10 to $500. It can be directional or omnidirectional, which means it captures sounds from all directions, unlike the lapel mic. That’s great for live streams with more than one person. These microphones also come with adapters that allow you to connect them to your computer, mobile device, camera, etc. Most will provide you with high audio quality, crisp and clear sound which is perfect for live video.

Built-in microphones shouldn’t be a part of any live streaming equipment list. The microphone that comes within your device won’t pick up the audio as clearly as other gears. It’s more likely to pick up the sounds that your device makes, or noises around it. It’ll also require you to stay closer to the device, which won’t be a great shot. Besides, if any audio comes out of your device, it’ll go back in through the mic, and it’ll create feedback. Even using the microphone from your headphones is better than the built-in mic.


Key Takeaway

Microphones are just as important as cameras for your live stream, if not more. But choosing the best microphones for live streaming depends on the type of live video you want to produce and how you plan to set it up. Whether you have a controlled environment or not plays a massive role when choosing your mic. The number of presenters should also be considered before you invest in a microphone.

There are many affordable devices on the market, and it’s a matter of choosing the right one for you. Knowing the types of microphones out there and what to expect will make things a lot easier for you to invest in your live video production.





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