We've not actually seen too many gaming microphones appear in 2021. Still, of the few that have come into our possession for testing, it's looking to be a pretty tough decision over which one will take the crown.
All the nominees you'll find below are worthy of recognition, and at least two of these are first entries into the desktop microphone space, from both Roccat and Epos. Roccat, who've been adding peripherals to the market left, right, and center, has struck gold in it's move toward microphones. Then there's Epos and Mozo coming in with equally shiny entries.
All of those below are USB microphones and it's clear this year that an XLR exodus is underway for desktop, with many leaning toward simple USB connections to avoid the faff of external interfacing. And while only one of the nominees comes with mixing software, all are in the running thanks to a supreme set of features that can be a good fit for PC users regardless of XLR functionality.
So, here are the mics we tested this year that we consider worthy of the top spot.
Best gaming microphone 2021: the nominees
Movo UM700 USB
The Movo UM700 is a nice chunk of simple, quality equipment for the $100 price tag. When I say chunk, I mean it in the bulky sense, too, as this is one of the more unwieldy of the lot. Still, it's a pretty darn versatile piece of kit, with multiple polar pattern choices. And although it may not come with any software, there's minimal setup for those just looking to plug and chat. It's certainly earned a place in the nominees for this years hardware awards.
For a first entry into the microphone market, Roccat's done a pretty good job here. The Torch has heaps of features packed into a USB mic, all for around $100. It really holds it's own stacked against the oodles of competition at that price. The fact that controls like stereo, cardioid, and "whisper" patterns are all accessible by physical knob on the base of the mic, as well as much appreciated touch free muting, seems to make up for the lack of software and XLR.
Epos B20 streaming mic
From it's sleek design down to its software, this one's a beauty. While it's a little more expensive than the other nominees, we feel the exceptional sound quality, four different pick-up patterns, and user-focused Epos Gaming suite software justify the price. There's a little background hiss at times, and it's not the greatest with shock absorption, but it's so easy to use, and even has a built in sidetone so you can check your own voice.
The winner of the PC Gamer Hardware Award for the best gaming microphone will be announced on New Year's Eve. It's all to play for, and any one of these three is completely deserving of the crown.