Noise-cancellation has become a must-have for avid travelers and mobile workers. Noise-cancelling headphones are more and more becoming a staple for those who want to drown out their surroundings and settle in their own headspace. And with this technology comes the noise-cancelling microphone: a piece of tech great for work, play, and just keeping in touch.
At A Glance: Our Top 3 Picks for Noise-Cancelling Microphones
Noise-cancelling microphones come in different forms and shapes. The most common type is already attached to some kind of headphone or noise-cancelling headset, but there are some stand-alone microphones too.
In this list you'll find the best noise-cancelling microphones that make every phone call and recording crisp and clear which you can bring along with you wherever you go.
1. FIFine USB Microphone
2. Plantronics Voyager 5200
3. Sennheiser Presence Bluetooth Headset
4. FIFine Metal Condenser USB Microphone
5. Logitech USB Headset H390
The FIFine USB Microphone, Plug&Play Home Studio is the go-to microphone for quick and easy recordings at an affordable price.
FIFine USB Microphone, Plug&Play Home Studio
6.9 x 8 x 2.6 in
Microphone with USB Connection
The FIFine USB Microphone is a Plug-and-Play device via a USB port and compatible with Mac and Windows with no need for any software installation. All you have to do is select the mic as your input in the software settings and you're ready to go.
It features a distinctive Omni pick-up pattern that cancels noise and isolates the main sound source. In this case, that would be your voice. The smooth, flat, and wide frequency response also produces brilliant and transparent sound that's great for singing, speech or any type of audio recording. It's a great mic to use for gaming as the audio is loud and clear and there is no specific need to be absolutely silent with the background noise.
The sound quality is great. It's not meant for professional use, but it performs well considering the price. It's well-built and powerful, but sometimes too powerful to pick-up noise too close to the mic. This includes noisy laptop fans or movement around the mic.
The package comes with a tripod stand for handsfree usage and a mouthpiece cover to soften the audio input. It doesn't have a carrying case, which would have been excellent for portability, but it's small and compact and can fit easily in your laptop bag.
It lacks an on/off button. For a standalone mic, that would have been a convenient feature. It turns off when not changed or moved in a while, and this can be annoying depending on how frequent you go on standby. While noise-cancellation isn't topnotch, it's a great microphone to have that serves its purpose of recording amateur audio and casual recordings.
The Plantronics Voyager 5200 works well on the move, delivering clear quality even when you transition from indoors to outdoors.
Plantronics Voyager 5200
1 x 1 x 1 inch
Plantronics is known for audio solutions meant for optimum productivity. The Plantronics Voyager 5200 delivers very well, helping you focus on what you're saying and not where you're saying it.
Its noise-cancellation capability functions on both the headset and the microphone, but there's more focus on the latter. Together with its proprietary WindSmart technology, the microphone eliminates background noise and delivers a professional, even tone that remains clean even when you move from one noise place to another.
The headset is equipped with a four-mic noise cancelling technology that electronically eliminates background noise and chatter. It also has a decent Bluetooth range of 30 meters so you can move around without having to carry your phone or laptop with you.
The headset also supports caller ID, voice control, and smart audio routing. It can detect whether or not you're wearing the headset and knows if it will direct the call to your headset or to your device. It also has P2i nano-coating making it resistant to humidity, sweat and water.
As an option, you can also buy the portable power dock and charging case for 14 extra hours of power. On its own, it has a microUSB charging system for convenience.
The Plantronics Voyager 5200 is an update to the earlier version of Voyager Legend. The new version has a few improvements, but it's almost double the price of the older one. That's a big bummer if you already had the older version, but if price comparison isn't a problem, this headset is a solid performer.
The Sennheiser Presence Bluetooth Headset is Skype-certified with excellent battery life and connectivity.
Sennheiser Presence Bluetooth Headset
0.02 x 7.09 x 3.94 in
The Sennheiser Presence Bluetooth Headset is a corporate-looking headset from a long-trusted manufacturer. Off the bat, it comes with a sturdy hardcase that opens up to a well-organized layout of headset and cables.
It's definitely meant to be used by business folk. It comes with a Bluetooth dongle for your computer, different-sized ear buds, a short microUSB to USB cable. The design is very sleek but doesn't feel very premium due to its fully plastic components. Then again, that keeps the device lightweight. It's also a bit bigger than usual headsets, so if you're looking for something conspicuous, you should start looking elsewhere.
The best feature is its exceptionally long battery life. It can last up to 10 hours of constant use. It also has several functions to have a distraction-free audio experience. Turning it on and off requires extending the boom arm out and in. A voice detector reacts when you begin to speak and utilizes three digital microphones to deliver consistently clear sound to the listener.
Call quality is decent, albeit a little tinny on the part of the caller in your ear. Noise-cancelling on the microphone is even but not perfect. It's also not the cheapest option out there, but is a solid performer.
The FIFine Metal Condenser USB Microphone records professional-sounding audio without spending a professional price.
FIFine Metal Condensor USB Microphone
4.88 x 7.28 x 2.56 in
Microphone with USB Connection
The FIFine Metal Condenser USB Microphone is a bit of an upgrade from the FIFine Plug&Play version. This particular microphone has a different audio pick-up technology with a few options for input adjustments.
This FIFine condenser microphone is particularly made for digital recording. It has a cardioid pick-up pattern which picks up audio produced right in front of the mic. It reduces accidental pickup of nearby noise such as the laptop fan or other minor movements.
An added feature is the volume control on the mic. It allows you to adjust the level of pick-up so the mic does all the work instead of you figuring out how loud or soft to speak or sing. It's an ideal microphone for podcasts, voice overs and even song recordings or YouTube videos.
Just like the other FIFine microphone, this retails for under $30. It's one of the best microphones on a budget, but it's not professional-grade. It's great for chatting, gaming and recording music for song ideas, but it's not the microphone you'll use for your next album release. Nevertheless, the audio is clear and crisp and eliminates most background noise.
It's still a plug and play microphone, which makes it extremely convenient for PC and Mac users. It also comes with a metal stand with an adjustable neck for hands-free recording. The downside on this part is that the USB cord is not that long. When mounted on the stand, the mic can only be placed just a few inches from your laptop.
The Logitech USB Headset H390 is a professional-grade wireless headset that pushes productivity up several notches.
Logitech USB Headset H390
24 x 24 x 8.3 in
100 Hz–10 kHz
Speech and Conversation
The Logitech USB Headset H390 goes up against the Jabras and Plantronics of the world, which are two brands that have become staples for corporate-issued devices. This particular device is quite pricey, but if you spend most of your work life on the phone, then this is a worthy investment.
The plush ear pads on the headset keep the device comfortable for long periods of use. The bridge is also adjustable so it can fit different head shapes and sizes.
Much thought and effort is placed in how well the microphone should be working. The microphone is noise-cancelling and even rotates out of the way from your mouth when it's not in use. However, the noise-cancellation on the headset is not that great. Loud noise can still leak into the headset, but the cushions helps keep noise levels at a minimum.
There are inline mute and volume buttons so you can control how much audio you input into the mic. In the end, voice commands and speech are clear for an uninterrupted conversation.
The headset is connected via Plug and Play USB without any need for software installation. The cord is retractable, so you can be as near or far away from your laptop as is comfortable. The biggest downside is it's not a wireless headset, so you'll have to be attached to your laptop at all times. It's also not compatible to be used with mobile phones, so it's a strictly laptop/PC-only headset.
Noise-cancelling microphones come in different forms and sizes and definitely different functionalities. There are very different features for very different purposes. While noise-cancelling microphones can technically be used for anything that requires this device, the technologies used are different and made specifically for either audio recording, hands-free calls, or online conversations.
Related to usage, not all of these devices are meant to be jammed into the bottom of your duffel bag. Despite their small size, some are a bit more fragile than other options.
Again, depending on what your purpose is for purchasing a noise-cancelling microphone, not all are Bluetooth capable. There are several options that are connected via USB to function.
Noise-cancelling microphones are not a one-size-fit-all device.
For great-sounding audio recordings, whether in the form of song, voiceover, or YouTube videos, a great affordable option is the FIFine Metal Condenser USB Microphone. Digital recordings are crisp and clear without picking up too much disruption from background noise.
For business calls on the go, pick up the Plantronics Voyager 5200. It looks great, keeps conversations clear, and resistant to sweat, humidity, and water that makes it great for traveling and working anywhere.
With the rising trend of digital nomads, online teachers, and voice operators, you can't go wrong with the Logitech USB Headset H390. You can go through an entire class or shift while remaining comfortable and focused on your work.
Get on with that important call and check out the best noise-cancelling microphones on Amazon!
Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!