Whether you are recording vocals to an original song or your first podcast episode, having the best audio quality is key when sharing content on YouTube. There’s nothing worse than recording for hours to later play it back and hear unwanted background noise. Check out our tips and tricks for recording studio-quality audio for YouTube.


Make a Plan

The first step creators should consider is developing a well-thought-out plan prior to recording. A few questions to consider before beginning:


  1. What is it that you want to record? For example, is it vocals, a podcast, or your livestreams? This will help determine how to choose your audio equipment, especially if you need to hear your own voice during recording.
  2. Where are you recording? This is key as you want to ensure your recording environment will not cause interference with your audio.
  3. What equipment is needed to record? What kind of connection will you need? Choosing the right audio equipment and gear can make all the difference when it comes time to record.


Choosing the Right Audio Equipment

Whether you are starting from scratch or updating your current audio gear, you may have wondered, “what is the difference between an XLR and USB microphone?” The main difference is the type of connector they use. An XLR microphone is an analog device that requires an XLR cable that feeds the analog signal to an audio interface, whereas all the analog to digital conversion takes place within a USB microphone. So, what does that mean? There is no audio interface required with a USB microphone. The digital signal is fed via USB connection directly into your PC.


XLR Microphones

XLR microphones are an industry standard and are an extremely popular choice amongst content creators, musicians, and even broadcasters due to their versatility.

Audio-Technica’s Content Creator Guide to YouTubeThe affordable AT2020 is the perfect XLR microphone to give your channel the professional edge you’re looking for, with features like:

  • Critically acclaimed sound that handle high SPLs effortlessly
  • Studio-quality articulation and intelligibility
  • A cardioid polar pattern delivering a reliable performance without any unwanted background noise


AT2020 Cardioid Condenser XLR Microphone


USB Microphones

USB Microphones are go-to choice for those who want a simple, plug-and-play set-up, but also offer effortless portability to record anywhere at any time. Check out our top USB Microphone picks below:

Audio-Technica’s Content Creator Guide to YouTubeThe AT2020USB-XP is the latest microphone to join the A-T lineup of USB Mics. Great for beginners, the AT2020USB-XP features:


  • Award-winning sound of the original AT2020
  • Cardioid directional pick-up and onboard noise reduction ensuring the focus remains on the chosen sound
  • Three levels of noise reduction
  • Built-in headphone jack and volume control
  • Touch sensitive mute button with LED light indicating if mute is on or off

AT2020USB-XP Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone


Learn how to maximize the AT2020USB-XP’s audio quality for Windows and Mac in our Question of the Week.

Audio-Technica’s Content Creator Guide to YouTubeThe AT2040USB is a triple threat of USB connectivity, versatility, and a dynamic design. Ideal for content creators, the AT2040USB features:


  • Broadcast-quality performance of the AT2040 dynamic podcast microphone
  • Natural frequency response with rich, powerful lows and crystal-clear studio sound, perfect for creators uploading to YouTube looking gain a professional edge
  • A narrower pickup angle designed to focus on vocal capture, ideal for creators who stream and chat with their audience

AT2020USB-XP Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone


Want to learn more about XLR and USB microphones? Check out our blog where we break down the differences between the two.


Choosing the Right Headphones

No matter your channel's topic or content, your audio gear isn’t complete without the right headphones. Learn more about our recommended headphones for YouTube below.

Get the best of both worlds with the ATH-M50xSTS StreamSet™. What better way to complete your audio gear with a headset specifically designed for streamers content creators. Features include:


  • Legendary studio sound of the ATH-M50x headphones (45 mm drivers) with the clarity of the iconic 20 Series cardioid condenser microphone
  • Two sets of earpads designed for comfort and sound isolation
  • Strategically placed microphone at the end of a flexible boom arm, keeping the mic in close proximity to your mouth, helping to reject background noise
  • Easily flip up the boom arm to quietly mute the mic
  • Available in analog and digital models

ATH-M50xSTS StreamSet™


For those looking for the same professional audio-quality as the StreamSet™, but without the microphone, the ATH-M50xBT2 wireless over-ear headphones are ideal for YouTube recording. These Bluetooth® headphones are ideal for recording with:


  • Improved vocal pickup
  • Bluetooth wireless technology
  • Battery life of up to 50 hours on a continuous full charge
  • Personalize your experience through the A-T Connect App where you can activate low latency mode, volume balance, and more


ATH-M50xBT2 Wireless Headphones


The ATH-M20xBT over-ear wireless headphones are ideal for those looking for affordable yet professional audio quality. Inspired by the #1 selling ATH-M20x wired professional studio headphones, the ATH-M20xBT offers:


  • 40 mm drivers
  • Multi-point pairing, allowing users to connect seamlessly to two devices
  • Low latency mode for improved synchronicity between audio and video – ideal for those live streaming across YouTube
  • Game, stream, and record for hours with unmatched battery life – up to 60 hours of continuous use on a full charge and up to 3 hours of use on a 10-minute rapid charge (via USB-C connection).

ATH-M20xBT Wireless Headphones


Already using Audio-Technica gear for your content creation? If so, join the Audio-Technica Creator Community for a chance to be featured as our creator of the month, receive free swag, exclusive creator discounts, and more! This community welcomes anyone who creates using our products, no matter where you’re at in your creative journey.