This is our official list in search of the best noise-cancelling microphone on the market today. Scroll further down for full details on each product as well as a handy guide to noise cancelling mics and what you need to know when looking for the right one for you.
5 Highest Reviewed Noise-Cancelling Microphones
What is a Noise-Cancelling Microphone? Noise-cancelling microphones are a great addition to any PC setup, as these plug and play peripherals can produce studio-level sound without needing a professional mixing board or analog equipment.
They are designed to filter out ambient noise, so that the sound received through the microphone is purer and stronger, without any distractions. A lot of the places that we work and rest in have background noise, such as ceiling fans, air conditioning, fridges, tumble dryers and dehumidifiers, and these microphones will help block them out so whoever is listening to can hear you clearly.
Essentially a USB mic is a condenser microphone. Depending upon the directional or pickup pattern, the microphone will operate in a unique fashion. Knowing the style of your microphones pattern, you can get the most out of its intended use.
Types of Recorded Patterns
Some you speak in front of the mic, or sometimes it picks up side noise too. The pickup patterns aren’t a mystery, so here’s a brief overview.
Cardioid/Unidirectional are the most popular pattern of the best USB microphone models out there. You speak directly into this microphone.
Omnidirectional patterns will pick up sound from all directions and they’re great for wanting to record all of your surroundings or everything in the room you’re in.
Bi-Directional are Sometimes called a “figure 8” pattern. The bi-directional pattern records only the front and back of its surroundings. They used to be great for live radio and more but are fading now in popularity
We have selected the five best selling in all price ranges below. You will be happy to know they are the highest rated noise-cancelling microphones you can buy today.
1.) Stellar X2 Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser XLR Microphone
Stellar X2 Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser XLR microphone is one of the best sounding microphones and is considered a higher end product. Well worth its money for the versatility and reliability, this noise-cancelling mic for recording is what the so called “studio home market” has needed for some time.
Compared to most condenser microphones, this mic doesn’t produce the irritating “harsh” bump in the upper-mids while recording. With the covered 20Hz – 20kHz frequency range and the unidirectional polar pattern it provides crystal clear noise reduction with a noise floor of less than 13dBA.
The carefully tuned K67‑style design is not just simply beautiful, but achieves very smooth highs. To reach the high conductivity the PCB has gold-plated tracks. The custom made transformerless JFET circuit with German capacitors makes this all-round performer to stand out of the crowd.
The Stellar X2 Large Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser XLR Microphone is perfect for both male and female vocals, either singing or talking, musical instruments, podcasting and streaming, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings and conference calls. It’s our definitive choice for home or studio recordings with the clear sound without the distortion and background noise.
- Top of the line product that novice and professionals use alike
- No significant presence of peaks in the upper-mids
- Beautiful design
- Requires an audio interface for pc/mac connection
- It isn’t cheap
2.) Olympus Noise Cancelling Microphone
The Olympus Noise-Cancelling Microphone is for unidirectional recording in high-noise environments. It will cut down on much of the background noise and result in a more accurate transcription.
This is a budget digital voice recorder that provides great solutions for voice recognition applications. However, background noise will sometimes cause a problem. The sensitivity is good for the price and it beats your phone’s built-in microphone.
Plugs directly into your digital recorder’s 3.5mm microphone jack for uni-directional recording in high-noise environments It also comes with windscreen cover, a tie-clip, and 3.3ft extension cord for easy placement.
- Sensitivity is good
- Affordable mic for many applications
- Helps to isolate unnecessary background noises.
- It is definitely better sounding than just using the phone’s built-in mic
- The quality of sound is not so great, has cardboard box effect
- Unidirectional Mic is sensitive, so don’t accidentally bump it
3.) Plug & Play USB Microphone by Fifine
The Fifine USB Microphone has a plug and play setup and is listed as compatible with windows and mac computer. Plug it into any available USB port and select it as your input in and you’re ready to create your own audio files. Best of all there is no software to install.
Has a distinctive Cardioid pickup pattern and the noise cancellation isolates the main sound source. This microphone is good chatting, Skype, MSN, recording, YouTube recording, and Google voice searches. Comes with microphone, attached microphone mount, attached USB cable, desktop mic stand, and a user manual. This is far better than any laptop mic but it does fall short in audio output quality like the higher priced models.
The construction is solid and heavy. This feels nice in your hands or securely sits in its stand. It has an all-metal construction which is what gives it a heavy feel. There are no additional features on this microphone and it is very simple to use.
- Affordable and solid construction
- Plug & Play operations with no software or installation
- Windows/Mac Compatible
- Poor audio quality, very limited use
- If you move more then 2 feet from the microphone the quality goes down drastically
4.) Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser Microphone for Recording and Streaming on Computers (SAGOMIC)
The quality of the Samson Go Mic Portable USB Condenser microphone construction is pretty good. The case surrounding the mic is made of plastic which serves as shock absorbent pad and a clip for computer monitors while the actual microphone capsule is made of metal.
On the front side of the microphone, there is a LED light to indicate that the microphone is plugged in and getting power. This light also will change to red if your signal is clipping. It has two inputs: one for a 3.5 mm standard headphone plug and another for USB mini-B power supply.
This mic has two pickup polar patterns. The switch between the cardioid and omnidirectional pattern can be found on the interior side of the microphone housing. The sampling rate is 44.1/48kHz and the frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz, impressive for this price range. This is really good for up close use, so keep that in mind when you are speaking. Most users say this works great and they have used it for years.
Be mindful that background noise is easily picked up if you do not have proper placement. You will likely need to be within 1-foot of the capsule. This will greatly increase your audio quality. You do not start to hear any excessive noise until the gain is set above 50% using these recommended settings.
This features and value in this microphone set it apart from the lower end but gives the higher priced microphones some competition. Buy the Samson with confidence and be amazed and how small this microphone is but how high the quality of sound it delivers.
- Compact size, yet mighty performance
- The LED indicator light is very helpful
- This is a great multi-pattern noise-cancelling microphone for its price
- The range after 1 foot really degrades the sound quality
5.) TONOR USB Microphone TC-777
The TONOR USB microphone is a general purpose high-quality unidirectional microphone with an adjustable tripod stand and pop filter. The look and feel are nostalgic of a professional microphone. With the cardioid pickup pattern used to suppress unwanted background noise and pick up crisp and bright voice, this mic is ideal for streaming, podcasting, chatting and vocal recording.
The setup is very easy without any assembly. The shock mount comes already attached to the microphone stand. The tripod legs, when fully extended, provide the proper stability. There is no need for any additional driver software or audio interface if you want to connect it to PC or Mac. Although it is compatible with PS4, it is not compatible with Nintendo.
- Great value for the features
- Made of durable plastic materials
- Included pop filter, stand and shock mount
- Excellent price/performance ratio
- The cable could be longer
- Not compatible with Nintendo
Brief Guide to Noise Cancelling Microphones
Who Can Benefit
Are people complaining that they can’t hear you very well when you’re chatting online? These noise cancelling microphones are great for use with Skype and You Tube, and if you are using a microphone at home, to get rid of some of your unwanted family noise in the background like babies crying, doors shutting and clattering of pots and pans in the kitchen.
If you have a radio station, these are also great microphones as they will give a strong and clear sound. It is also good if you do online gaming and want to chat audibly to your team mates as you execute a mission.
If you are looking to record yourself singing, or record instrumentals then this will also be great fit, but you will need to make sure you select one that is suitable for your particular situation. Or if you record a podcast, these microphones should give you a better tone and more dynamic sound.
What To Look For?
If you are going to be travelling around with your microphone, then you might want to look for one that includes a carrying case that is soft inside and will protect it well.
Also look for Plug and Play technology, which makes it easy to plug your device into the USB slot of your PC, and the computer will automatically download any needed drivers and get it working for you. Some microphones also include software that helps you to customize them.
If you are going to use your microphone in a variety of different situations and noise levels, you might want to look for a microphone that has adjustable patterns such as cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo, which are explained earlier on in this article.
This means you can switch from recording a podcast, to a band, to interviews pretty seamlessly. Some also have other adjustments which can help with your sound, such as gain adjustment and a mute button.
You will want to make sure that the microphone works with whatever device you plan to use it in. Does it have the right connection, or do you need to buy an adapter? And is it compatible? Also have a look at how the microphone is mounted and whether that suits the space you are planning on working in.
What To Avoid?
Often the price of a microphone will reflect the quality of sound, so if you want a good quality tone or recording, don’t get too cheap of a microphone. Also you will want to avoid getting a microphone that isn’t suited to your situation.
Some of the microphones are specifically designed to be attached to a digital recorder, whereas others are made for working together with a computer. Some are designed for just a simple voice, whereas others have the flexibility to be used in a conference room – so just make sure you look at the manufacturer’s specifications so that you can match the microphone to what you need it for.
You will also want to avoid being too far away from these microphones. The way they work is to concentrate the sound on the source that is closer, and eliminating other noises that are further away. So if you are too far away from the microphone you may get eliminated too, and not get the best result!
How does a microphone cancel noise?
Usually there are two ports to the microphone, with ambient noise arriving at both equally. However one port will be closer to the front of the mic, and the proximity effect of this port is adjusted so that very close sources will have little or no adjustment.
Sounds that come from other angles will have their lower and mid-range frequencies rolled off which gives the effects of the close source being strongest, and other noises filtered out.
An alternative technology uses two different microphones with the primary microphone being near to the person’s mouth or source, and the other one receiving the background noise. The sounds arrive at the microphones at the same kind of level but the primary microphone receives them more strongly.
One signal is subtracted from the other to select and then eliminate the noise, which results in the filtered stronger source sound (Noise Canceling Microphone, Wikipedia).
Do I really need a noise cancelling microphone?
If you are using a microphone in a place where there is background noise or if you are using a low quality microphone such as the one that comes with your laptop, and you want a strong clear sound, then this will definitely be a useful product for you to buy.
However if you are somewhere like an office where there is no background noise, then it may be counterproductive, as the microphone will end up softening your voice.
Is there anything I need to know to set the microphone up?
If your microphone does not seem to be getting a signal, you may need to go into the control panel of your computer, to the Sound settings, and make sure that the microphone is on and set to preferred or default. This will then give it the preference over the computer’s own microphone.
Do I still need to get a pop filter?
Pops usually happen when there are ‘plosive sounds such as words starting with ‘p’ or ‘b’. Your mouth produces a fast air blast that can overload the microphone.
Pop filters will filter out those sounds, and also sibilance, where you get hissing from words that have ‘s’ in them. So if you’re singing and trying to get a good quality recording it may well be worth adding a pop filter.
Jump back to comparison table ↑
Microphones can serve a variety of uses, but the best microphone will excel at all forms of audio recording. With USB connectivity you just can’t beat the convenience of a plug-n-play USB noise-cancelling microphone.
The assortment of microphones for sale today can be used to record vocals, musical instruments, podcasts, voiceovers, interviews, or chat conference calls and games. The choice is yours and we have researched the best ones on the market today for you to choose from.
The higher the price, the higher the quality. However, several budget friendly noise-cancelling microphones get the job done. Knowing how much you will use this will also determine the quality and amount you may want to spend. Buy with confidence any of the ones reviewed in our top 5 and enjoy using your new microphone without disappointment.