XLR vs USB Microphones, Which Should You Buy?


greetings earthlings today I’m going to try to answer the age-old question of what type of microphone you should buy an XLR or a USB mic so before we dive into the pros and cons of these mics I want to give you a really simple question that you can ask yourself to help determine what type of mic is right for you do you want a plug-and-play microphone which would fall into the category of a USB microphone or do you want a versatile upgradable sometimes complex microphone which would fall into the category of an XLR microphone so first let’s go ahead and walk through the pros and cons of a USB mic so the main appeal of USB microphones is that they are plug-and-play which means you just take the USB cable plug it into the USB port on your computer maybe download a driver set the volume and you’re good to go also the performance of USB mic should be fairly consistent across computers because all USB microphones should have a voltage requirement of 5 volts or less which is what USB 1 2 & 3 have been standardized to output however I do want to put a small disclaimer in there I have heard quite a few horror stories about recording USB mics on Windows 10 and I have not come across any real solutions yet so be careful if you use Windows 10 as far as cons for USB microphones it’s incredibly difficult to upgrade anything about them short of buying a new microphone I also find USB mics to be much more difficult to troubleshoot because you can’t change out individual components to find where the problem is originating from another con is if you want to record multiple USB mics on a single computer it can get very confusing very fast and if you want to record multiple USB mics to different computers the internal clocks of the computers can be slightly different which would yield syncing issues in post and I think the last con is you have to have a computer in order for a USB microphone to work now let’s go ahead and talk about the pros and cons of XLR mic I think one of the biggest pros for XLR mics is the variety of them you can get them to shoot pretty much any need that you have also to me I think XLR mics are much easier to troubleshoot can change out a table you can change out an interface you can test out a different microphone to really pinpoint where the trouble is on that note it’s easier to upgrade down the line so if you’re unhappy with your microphone you can buy a new one if you’re not happy with your interface you can pick up a different one to fit your needs if you want a longer cable it’s easier to pick one of those up it’s just all around a much better eco system in my opinion also if you want to record multiple mics on a single computer it is much easier all you need is a USB interface that has multiple XLR inputs and one of the main reasons I prefer XLR mics is I’m not tied to my computer I can record to a portable recorder I can plug into my camera with an adapter I can record to an analog tape machine if I have a dynamic mic I can record to a PA it is just a much more versatile microphone system as far as the cons I just find it to be more expensive because you do have to invest in a decent interface and if you want a decent microphone that’s also pretty pricey the other con people probably find it more confusing because of the cables the microphones the interface is a phantom power all these different components can be very overwhelming so when it comes down to it it really is a case-by-case basis if you’re always going to be a recording sitting at your computer and you don’t want all these different components to deal with then maybe a USB mics right for you or maybe you run a podcast with multiple guests or you want to start a home studio in which case you need a lot of versatility and control over the sound you’re recording and in that case XLR is probably the right choice for you so when we boil down all that information it really comes back to those two initial questions do you want a plug-and-play microphone which would be a USB microphone or do you want a versatile upgradable kind of complex microphone system which would be an XLR mic all right guys I guess that will do it for today I know this was way different than what I typically do but I want to branch out and do more of this educational stuff so if you did find this helpful if you enjoyed it go ahead and give me a thumbs up and let me know what other questions you want me to tackle in the comments down below on the other hand if you thought it sucks give me a big ol thumbs down but if you do want more subscribe by clicking the logo needs me also vote for the microphones you want reviewed next and follow me on the social media stuff links and the doobly-doo alright guys I’ll see y’all next time thanks for watching goodbye [Music]

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