Which Should You Buy XLR or USB Microphones?

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Most of the people we see around us every day are either doctors or engineers or businessman or something other by profession. So the base of the talk is that we are known mostly to the common professions like this. But there are many who try to do something different. They have a dream of achieving something new and different.

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This different job can be streaming, may it be Twitch or You Tube. In general, we follow many streamers in our day-to-day life and we watch them regularly. And there are some who we watch more eagerly than the others, right?

So what all make the streamers different from each other? It can be their face camera or their gaming computer or smart phone, and it can very well be the microphones they use. If you are deep into streaming, then you must know how important a microphone is for a streamer.

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And when we are talking about microphones, the basic question that comes into mind is which type of mic is best for use. Is it USB mic or is it XLR mic? While a lot of professional streamers use XLR microphone and claim it better than their USB counterparts, is it really what they say?

While most of the USB microphones use the same condenser as the XLR microphones, the XLR ones have some different quality in them which again puts forward the question, which is better? Let us see.

The Basic Difference

So how is a USB mic different from a XLR one? The answer is – in the connection. In case of a XLR microphone, it basically has about three prongs in its connection. So, you need to connect it to an interface first and then to your computer. What is an interface? It is a simple thing that acts as a bridge between the mic and the computer, like a mixer.

And in a USB mic, the connection can be directly done to the computer. You do not need any external device like the mixer to connect it up. So, it seems like the USB is best, right? Well, let’s see!

Which one should you use?

Well the simple answer to this question is that it depends on your choice. Let me explain.

The USB type of microphone is for those who take up podcasting or streaming as a hobby. They tend not to go deep into the stuffs and of course don’t take them up as profession. As a result, you do not need to dig deep and would prefer simple terms. USB mics are generally cheaper than XLR ones and are quite easy to set up and use. You do not need to spend big on the mic and in a low price; you get a USB mic which does not need much technical knowledge to use.

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XLR mics are a bit ahead of the USB ones. These are generally for those people who are serious about their podcasting and streaming and want to use something more technical and compatible. You need to have some more technical knowledge about the use of XLR mics as they need a mixer to be connected to the computer and also have better and more setting configurations than USB mics. So XLR mics are for those who have a professional approach towards podcasting and streaming.

To summarize, here are the basic pros and cons of both XLR and USB microphones –

XLR Microphones

Pros

  • Offers a lot more adjustment and customization as they are routed through an extra interface.
  • Offer more durability as compared to their counterparts.
  • Individual defective parts can be easily replaced.

Cons

  • Will be expensive as apart from the mic, you will need an interface and may be a phantom power source.
  • Can’t be used while travelling due to the connection of the interface.

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USB Microphones

Pros

  • Offers portability.
  • A lot cheaper as compared to their counterparts.
  • There isn’t any need of an extra interface.

Cons

  • Does not have much customization to offer.
  • There is no replacement of the individual parts; you’ll have to buy a whole new microphone.

So when we have talked so much about the XLR and USB microphones, why do not we see some good variants of each? In case you have planned to be a podcaster or streamer already (while reading this article!) and want a mic for yourself, we may be useful!

BEST XLR MICROPHONES

1. Neumann TLM 102 Condenser Microphone

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The TLM 102 is a cardioid mic great for vocal games, including heavy verse like acoustics, rap, pianos, horns etc. If you are one of those who is ready to spend any amount and want a brand mic, then this is for you.

It is a large diaphragm mic which comes with cardioid directional characteristics and a pressure gradient transducer so that you get crisp and crystal clear audio hassle-free. It has a slight presence boost above 6 kHz to help the vocals to shine in the mix.

Amazon Price – Rs. 48,000

2. Bluebird Cardioid Condenser Mic

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The Bluebird cardioid mic is one best and reasonably priced mics you can get in the market. It is best for high pitched instruments like the flute and has a higher pitch bump of 2 kHz to 10 kHz.

It’s nickel-plated and has a 3-year warranty with it, so it is best for those who haven’t quite set up their own studio and are planning for it.

Amazon Price – Rs. 28,903

BEST USB MICROPHONES

1. Blue Yeti/Yeti X

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If you have a basic idea about microphones, then Blue Yeti wouldn’t be unknown to you. Blue Yeti microphone series is the best USB microphone you can ever find. In fact, there is no other mic which offers half of the features the Yeti does.

It is handy and versatile little USB mic in which you can directly mess up with the gain and other controls. It also has zero-latency headphone line so that you can have a check on your audio in real play time.

Amazon Price – Rs. 10,499

2. Rode Podcaster

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If you are a podcaster and want a mic which can have the on-the-go features, then the Podcaster is for you. It is the USB version of the XLR Procaster. And with the name Rode on it, there should not be any doubt on the reliability.

It comes with a built-in shock mount and has zero-latency headphone with the volume controls present on the body itself, making it a favorite of the beginners.

Amazon Price – Rs. 17,699

Final Verdict

So to wrap up, the answer of the question will be your personal preference. USB microphones are made for the beginners and are cheap, but you can also opt for the XLR counterparts if you want more features and customizations. So it completely depends on you!

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