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The Best Budget Mics for Online Presentations and Zoom Calls!

Kate WaddonKate WaddonJuly 21, 20212 mins read

It looks like working from home will be here for a while for some of us, and even those of us returning to the office are working in a hybrid way. You’ve managed plenty of Zoom calls, but it’s becoming clear (or rather, less clear) that your laptop mic isn’t up to the job. If you’re going to be attending more remote meetings, it’s time to invest in a dedicated microphone. However, this doesn’t need to be a massive outlay, and we’ll take a look at the best budget mic options, which are all easy to get hold of from retailers like Amazon.

Best for convenience: USB mics

A USB mic is a quick and simple way of improving your audio quality, and the Plug & Play type couldn’t be easier. If you have a smaller workstation or will be Zooming on the move, you can get small and neat models like the TKGOU Ture Plug and Play Home Studio USB mic. This tidy little mic can be cheaply purchased on Amazon and delivers improved sound quality for this very small outlay. It’s also sturdier than it looks, being made from metal and heavy plastic. It’s compatible with Macs or PCs. It’s pretty basic, function-wise, but does have that all-important mute button, something we love to see on the best budget mics.

A person sits at a desk with a simple USB mic connected to a boom arm using a PC and enjoying one of the best budget mics.
Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash

Best for vocal quality: condenser mics

Condenser mics are the best option for sound quality, which is why they’re often used for studio vocals. They cut down on ambient noise, so are ideal for Zoom calls with background distractions (working-from-home parents, take note). The Blue Yeti is often held up as the gold standard for a conferencing mic but is on the higher end of the price scale for the best budget mics. For half the price, try Blue’s Snowball mic, which delivers crystal-clear vocals and has a fab retro design. Skype has certified it as a great mic for conferencing platforms use, so you know it’s a good option. You can also get conference condenser mics: try the MTFY Conference Microphone, which offers omnidirectional sound for a very small sum.

The consensus for the best Zoom, Teams, or Skype mic seems to be the Yeti. However, we reckon that the best budget mic is the Blue Snowball, and those meeting experts at Business Insider agree with us. Of course, a lot depends on what you’re the most comfortable using, and many people do prefer a headset design.

A headset microphone sat on a desk next to a laptop is one of the best budget mics.
Photo by Petr Macháček on Unsplash

Easiest to use: headsets

Headsets aren’t just for call centers or gamers. They’re great for remote meetings because they remove background noise. You’re completely immersed in the meeting, and you’ll be able to hear your colleagues much more clearly if you’re in a busy environment, which no doubt makes one of the best budget mics. They save space on your desk during the call, helping it look and feel less cluttered, too.

There are plenty of headsets out there, such as the Nigecue PC USB Noise Cancelling Headset, which is a great value mic and ideal for reducing noise disruptions. It’s also comfortable to wear during longer calls. The USB charger is always a bonus as well.

We hope this has helped guide you in the right direction for crisper vocals and the best budget mic. Here’s a look at other set-up upgrades you might need for your home-based workstation.

Kate Waddon
Kate WaddonKate is a freelance content creator and a working-from-home veteran of over 12 years. When not researching and writing, she's to be found on her local beaches (in all weathers) with her kids.More from this Author