If you’re in the market for a streaming microphone, you may feel overwhelmed by the many different features and options to consider.
However, finding the right microphone for streaming and podcasting doesn’t have to be a complicated process. All you need is to answer a few key questions about your priorities, then choose a microphone that best fits your existing streaming setup.
What should you look for in a streaming microphone?
The exact mix of features will depend on your streaming or podcasting needs, but the most common considerations include:
What is your budget?
Streaming microphones will vary greatly in terms of cost, from affordable ones for under $100 to professional ones for well over $1000.
Decide on your maximum budget before you start your search. This will significantly narrow the range of relevant microphones and help guide the rest of your decisions.
What type of connection will you use?
The two common choices here are USB or XLR.
Microphones that connect via XLR rely on a more expensive and complex streaming setup. They are more customizable but less portable.
Streaming USB microphones are the more user-friendly option. They are less expensive, more portable, and work out of the box with any USB-enabled computer.
Should you use a dynamic or condenser mic?
Condenser microphones are more sensitive and can pick up a higher range of sounds. At the same time, they are prone to picking up background noise. This makes them less ideal in settings outside of a recording studio.
If you need a microphone for a wider range of environments, the dynamic microphone is the better choice. This type of microphone will be better at blocking out unwanted background sounds.
Will you use it for more than streaming?
Ask yourself what kind of audio content you need the microphone for.
Streaming microphones tend to have a unidirectional, or cardioid, pickup pattern. They register the speaker’s voice coming from a fixed location and block out most other sounds. This may work great for streaming but is less suited to other uses like podcasts that involve interviewees and multiple hosts.
If you need to switch frequently between streaming, podcasting, and other forms of audio content development, it’s best to look for a microphone that can fulfill many different purposes.
Do you need a built-in headphone jack?
Having a headphone jack integrated into the streaming microphone allows the speaker to hear their own voice and real time and adjust the audio settings on the fly.
In general, if you are looking for an affordable, solid, and adaptable streaming mic, consider the following feature mix:
- USB connection
- Dynamic microphone
- Adjustable pickup patterns
EPOS B20: One microphone to stream it all
The EPOS B20 is a dynamic streaming microphone that connects via USB to your computer or gaming console. It features a headphone jack and built-in audio controls. This lets you monitor your voice and tweak sound settings in real time. The B20 also offers four distinct pickup patterns, allowing you to adjust to different usage scenarios.
Studio broadcast quality
The B20 captures audio at a sample rate of 48KHz, which comfortably reproduces the entire frequency range audible to humans. The microphone's 24-bit resolution records a much higher dynamic range and gives a rich, clear audio signal in studio broadcast quality that captures every nuance of the human voice.
Hassle-free USB connection
The B20 plugs into any USB port and is ready to use right out of the box thanks to its plug-and-play setup.
Choice of four pickup patterns
Change between pickup patterns with the turn of a dial, depending on the situation.
- Cardioid: Picks up from the front of the microphone while dampening background noise. Perfect for solo recording.
- Stereo: Widens the sound field for a more immersive, natural sounding audio.
- Bidirectional: Records from the front and back of the microphone while dampening sound from the sides. Optimal for podcasting with a partner or interviewees.
- Omnidirectional: Picks up sound from every direction. Great for collaborative game streaming.
Built-in headphone jack lets you plug in your preferred headphones and monitor the audio mix in real time. Use this feedback to adjust your audio for a perfectly balanced output.
The built-in controls let you directly manipulate volume, gain, and pick up patterns, as well as mute the microphone altogether.
EPOS B20 microphone FAQ
Here are a few answers to the most common questions about the B20 streaming mic.
Can the microphone be used for podcasts?
Yes, the mic can be used for a wide range of scenarios, including podcasts, streaming, and gaming.
Can the microphone only be used on a PC?
No, you can also use the microphone on consoles, as long as there’s a USB port.
Is the B20 locked in its stationary position?
No, you can adjust the B20’s position and angle it just the way you want. You can even attach it to e.g. a boom arm or any other type of microphone extender.
Does B20 come in different color variants?
No, the B20 streaming microphone currently comes only in a black color variant.