A USB microphone is a digital microphone that plugs into your computer’s USB port. An XLR microphone is an analogue microphone that uses an XLR cable to connect to an audio interface that plugs into your computer’s USB port. XLR microphones are considered to be better quality, however, they are also generally more expensive.
In this article we are going to explain the difference between USB and XLR microphones, and what type of microphone is best for the content that you want to create.
What are the benefits of a USB microphone?
USB microphones are very easy to set up and use, as you simply plug the microphone into your computer’s USB port and you’re ready to go.
This makes USB microphones an excellent option for content creators who need to be portable and take their equipment with them outside of the main setup area.
If you are interested in a USB microphone for streaming, check out our guide on the best streaming USB microphone in 2022
What are the benefits of an XLR microphone?
XLR microphones are considered the be of better audio quality than USB microphones and are typically used in professional studios, live concerts and other high-end audio applications.
XLR microphones require an audio interface and phantom power to operate, which can add to the overall cost, however, this also gives you more control over the sound of the microphone.
If you are interested in a new XLR microphone, check out our guide on the best XLR microphones for streaming in 2022
What is the price difference between USB and XLR microphones?
USB microphones are generally cheaper than XLR microphones, and as they don’t require additional equipment such as audio interfaces or phantom power, you only need to invest in the microphone itself to begin creating content.
Are USB or XLR microphones better for streaming?
As a general rule, both the USB and XLR microphones are good for streaming on Twitch. Although you do want to make sure the sound is as good as possible, the quality of the microphone is not as important for streaming as it is for recording live music for example.
I recommend the Shure MV7 microphone to beginner content creators that want to stream on Twitch. It’s a professional-sounding dynamic microphone that works great for streaming and podcasts, and the best bit is that it has both USB and XLR outputs, so you can use this as your first USB microphone and then continue to use it as your primary or secondary microphone if you ever choose to upgrade to an XLR system.
USB microphones are a great option for content creators who need an easy-to-use and portable microphone solution. XLR microphones are considered to be of better audio quality, however, they require additional equipment and can be more expensive. There is no right or wrong answer as to which type of microphone is better, it simply depends on your needs and budget.