I'm looking for a good microphone for recording speech (eg. for podcasts, although it might be used for other things too), ideally for under $30.

I'm looking for something that:

  • Has minimal hiss and reasonable sound quality for its price.

  • Would work with my current setup, which is a laptop + USB sound card.

I know that $30 (or even less) is not much for a microphone, but I should be able to get something better then my current very cheap one.

There are some fairly cheap ones on Amazon (example), does anyone have experience with the sound quality of these? The page states that it is a condenser microphone, so does it require phantom power?

Any recommendations? Any other tips?

  • How solid is that budget? Would a $40-50 mic be acceptable?
    – user1
    Sep 11, 2015 at 19:15
  • @Undo, a few dollars over would be ok, but I don't want to go overbudget. So no, not really. Sep 11, 2015 at 19:37
  • Thank you all for your answers ! In the end I ended up getting a used Sennheiser shotgun mike from a friend for free, and I'm quite happy with it. Nov 1, 2015 at 16:18

3 Answers 3


I was able to find a Neewer NW-700 ($27) condenser mic that comes with a shock mount and XLR-to-3.5mm cable. I've read that this will most likely require external power because the 3.5mm connection won't do by itself. However, if you're getting into podcasting, you'll want to look into an audio interface and things like that.

An alternative to this is a Tonor ($16) consender mic. This one is smaller and cheaper, but its 3.5mm input will be all you need. It comes with a tiny tripod which is great because condenser mics can be a pain to mount.

Both of these mics provide great quality for their price and will be useful for your needs.

  • The Tonor seems nice, although it does seem somewhat cheap. Would there be any (dis)advantage (sound quality wise) in the USB version of it ? Sep 13, 2015 at 10:16
  • @JonasCz USB condenser mics will never work as well as ones using an XLR input, but this one is great quality compared to others in the price range.
    – Adam
    Sep 19, 2015 at 17:38

The Samson Meteorite is pretty good, for its price.

  • Very limited hiss at all. In fact, at high levels, you're more likely to get the environmental noise recorded than any hiss.
  • It's a USB mic, so it should work with your laptop with minimal setup (requires driver installation, as do most peripherals)
  • It's a condenser mic, which is good for voice recordings.
  • It's unidirectional, so will only pick up stuff from the direction you point it at.
  • It's just under £30, which is around $45 if I recall correctly - a little over your suggested price, but not massively.

I'd also recommend a Samson company.

If you don't have a problem with buying second-hand items, you can get a Samson Go Mic for less than $30 or buy a brand new one for $38 from amazon.


  • Portable USB condenser microphone
  • Plug and Play
  • Useful clip (you don't have to buy another accessory to keep it in a place)
  • "Natural" sound (perfect for podcasts) - check this comparison.

This is a very popular model and you can find reliable reviews like this one. enter image description here

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