The RODE NT-USB Microphone Needs No Audio Interface


Simplicity. That’s what we covet these days, with all the technological advances that enable us to do more, better, faster. Every time a new piece of gear comes out, the excitement quickly wears off when it's time to learn how to use the new tool, rather than create with it. In the case of the RØDE NT-USB Microphone, your brain will get a break because, in a word, this microphone is beautifully simple. I recently had the opportunity to use one myself for an extended period of time, and I was impressed with both its sound and build quality.

The NT-USB is a cardioid condenser microphone that doesn't require an external audio interface to get sound into the computer—because the microphone itself is the audio interface. Powered by the USB port on any computer, this microphone is all the hardware you need to get your analog sound waves into the digital realm. It's also compatible with the Apple iPad, with a separately available Apple Camera Connection Kit.

When I first took the mic out of the box, I was impressed with its beautiful, all-black metal design. The NT-USB comes with a sleek but highly effective metal pop filter, a desktop tripod stand, a six-meter USB cable, a soft case, and a ring mount for use with microphone stands. Everything exudes the professional quality and style for which RØDE is known, and it looked gorgeous just sitting unobtrusively on my desk.

I used the NT-USB to record to my laptop, and I also used it with my main computer. I kept the mic on my desk at all times. I have other traditional XLR mics I can set up when the need arises, but for a quick VO it was nice to already have something set up. RØDE spent a year developing the NT-USB, and all that hard work is evident in what I heard every time I recorded with it. In addition to recording, I also used it for Skype calls or in Google Hangouts, rather than the built-in mic on my web camera. The sound quality was dramatically better, and the closer proximity to my mouth resulted in much less ambient noise. I had good results recording with the NT-USB on my desktop computer as well. The mic has an articulate, neutral sound that makes the voice sit nicely on top of the mix.

Of course, one can EQ the recorded tracks to suit any sonic color. One thing to be aware of when using the NT-USB with the included tripod desk stand is that any bumping of the desk with one’s hands or feet will result in low rumble in the recording. That’s typical of all condenser microphones. The mic is very sensitive and will pick up everything. Personally, I just use the tripod mount and take care not to bump my hands and feet when recording but, if this is going to be your main mic, I suggest getting the RØDE SMR Shockmount and a boom mic stand. A boom stand will bring the mic to you, whether sitting or standing, and the shockmount will deaden any rumble from thumping feet or touching the boom stand.

For people on the go, and people who don’t like a lot of clutter, the NT-USB is a perfect solution. If you’re traveling with only a laptop, you can just throw it into your bag and you’ll be able to do professional-quality voice-overs, or record instruments and vocals in your hotel room, at a job location, or even in the great outdoors. It’s compatible with any mainstream recording DAW for both Mac and Windows, or with the iPad using the RØDE Rec app, Garage Band, or any other app that accepts external microphones. Podcasters will love the extremely high sound quality this mic provides, its rugged build quality, and its compact size. Musicians and VO artists will love it for the same reason. It’s not just a great-sounding USB microphone; it's a great-sounding microphone, in general.

Optionally, the SMR shockmount is available, which features Rycote’s Lyre shock damping. With a cardioid polar pattern and a 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response, the NT-USB delivers both high-fidelity sound and off-axis rejection of sounds behind and to the sides of the capsule. There are two adjustment knobs and a 3.5mm headphone input on the side, for easy access. The top knob is for mixing the balance between the mic signal and the music playing back in the DAW (if there is any), and the lower knob adjusts the overall volume in the headphones. To get the mic armed to record, one simply selects the NT-USB as the audio device in the chosen recording app’s preferences, and you’re ready to record. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

All in all, I think the NT-USB is one of the best-sounding USB microphones available. With the sound quality, build quality, and the simplicity of use, this microphone deserves a listen.

If you have any questions about the RØDE NT-USB, we encourage you to submit a comment, below.


I've got a question: When using the NT-USB as audio OUTPUT meaning I connect headphones to the NT-USBs headphone jack, which volume should I set in my OS? On both, latest macOS and latest Win10 I get clipping when I go above about 50% (e.g. for quieter music at above 70%).

This question is not related to the audio INPUT / microphone part of the NT-USB. Just e.g. playing Spotify audio through it.

I also already asked RØDE support about this and they explained the microphone gain control to me... - *facepalm*


Thanks! :)


Hi Patrick-

Monitor mix control:
The Monitor mix control (the top knob) is used to ‘mix’ between the direct microphone signal (your voice for example) and the sound from your audio recording software on your computer / device (the music that you are singing along to). By turning the knob counter-clockwise, you will hear more of the direct microphone signal, and less of the signal coming from the computer / device software. If you turn the knob clockwise, you will hear more of the computer/device signal, and less of the direct microphone signal. We recommend always beginning with the knob in the centre position. This will ensure that you are hearing an equal balance of both the direct signal, and the computer / device signal, enabling you to then achieve an ideal balance between the signals

Setting your input level: The NT-USB has been set to an ideal internal gain setting, without the need for physical level adjustments on the microphone body. Any necessary level adjustments to set the ideal recording level can be made from within your recording program, or via your computer’s system preferences. To adjust your input level from within your recording software, refer to the manual provided by the software developer. To manually adjust your input level via your computer’s system preferences, use the following instructions relevant to your device platform/operating system.  

See pages 12 and forward of the manual:

Any suggestions for an easy-to-use USB mic for my new Canon Vixia R800 camcorder?  (It does not have a hot shoe)  I will use it in classrooms and for vlogging.

Hi Sharookh - 

You cannot connect a USB microphone to a camera.  These type of microphones are designed connect to a computer. Use this clip-on lavalier system.  The Polsen OLM-10 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone ( is an all-in-one solution for recording hands-free audio to both channels of your camcorder or DSLR, as well as most devices with a 3.5mm mic-level input that cannot supply phantom power. It is a self-powered clip-on electret condenser mic designed for accurate voice reproduction in home and video webcasting applications such as presentations, interviews, dictation, and corporate video. The microphone's small, 21-mm long lightweight body allows for discrete placement with the included tie-clip while its 20-foot long cable gives you ample distance from your recording device.

Hi! First of all thx for your detailed review, very helpful! 

I am currently using Audacity to record from the Rode NT USB and it works fine. However, I would love to be able to record it straight into my DAW (Ableton). Problem : I can't find it in the Input section, tried to figure it out last night but no results. It would definitely be way more convenient for me, instead of recording with Audacity to export it then in Ableton. Any thoughts ? 

Thx a lot in advance for your help, 


My microphone was working perfectly, recording into Adobe Audition for the first couple months. Now, when I record, the video is at least four times quieter! I'm having to raise the amplitude tens of decibels post-recording to reach the level it originally recorded at. I didn't change any settings in the microphone or the computer in when this started happening.

Hi Anna - 

There might be a myriad of reasons for this issue. Most of them are not user remediated. Check the USB cable connecting the mic to the computer. Check the monitor mix controls of the microphone. Check the recording levels in the software and of your computer's sound card by going to Preferences on a Mac or Control panel on a Windows PC. If none of these suggestions are effective, please contact RODE directly for remedy under warranty.

International: 107 Carnarvon Street Silverwater NSW 2128 Australia

USA: 2745 N Raymond Ave Signal Hill CA 90755 USA PO Box 91028 Long Beach CA 90809-1028 USA

Alternatively please visit for contact details and a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Hi there,

Im trying to get the NT-Usb to work on my ps4 but its not playing nice. It wont recognise as a microphone device or even a headset. Is there a way to fix this?


Hi Eamon - 

The RODE microphone requires connection to a USB host like a computer.  it cannot work connected to a gaming platform.

I have windows 10 and my rode usb mic won't show up in the "recording" foulder.

how can I fix it ?

Hi Nadir - 

It shouild since it is OS agnostic.  The NT-USB is a “Plug & Play” USB device, compatible with both Windows and Mac computers, as well as the Apple iPad via the USB camera connection kit (available directly from Apple).  The NT-USB features a purple LED inside the microphone cage that indicates when the microphone has power. If the light does not turn on after plugging the microphone in, the computer or device you are using may not provide enough power for the NT-USB. If this is the case, we recommend connecting the NT-USB via a powered USB hub.

From the manual:

Adjusting the input level on a Windows computer: 1. Open the Start menu and click on ‘Control Panel’ General operation cont. Diagram 8 - Accessing Windows Control Panel Diagram 9 - Opening ‘Sound’ options 2. Open the ‘Sound’ preferences from within the Control Panel folder.  3. Open the ‘Recording’ tab and double click on ‘RØDE NT-USB’ from the list of devices. 4. Adjust the input level using the slider.

If you experience any problem, or have any questions regarding your RØDE microphone, first contact the dealer who sold it to you. If the microphone requires a factory authorised service, return will be organised by that dealer.  

Alternatively please visit for contact details and a list of Frequently Asked Questions.


I'm using this mic with the free software Audacity on a macbook pro. Occasionally it works but then, without changing any settings, I get the error message: Error while opening sound device. Please check the recording device settings and the project sample rate

If I quit Audacity and re-open there's a chance it will be ok again, but not for long. I've checked all the obvious things, correct sampling rate etc.

Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

I plan to buy Rode NT USB, but I need to know if this NT USB can be use with samsung note smartphone with android system?

Hi Marshall - 

This microphone must be connected to a computer.  It cannot work with your phone.

Half true, it can work with a iPads. I have a iPad Pro 12.9 256 GB i go camping and I usually do video recordings with voice overs in all. I actually do all of this while camping. I love Nature. You just need the USB to Apple Lightning cable. It may drain  your battery but a tablet like my own, you dont see it much if your just doing a 10-15 minute long voice over or recording. You'll probaly notice a 3 percent drop. The Rode Rec is also $5.99 in the App Store and ive payed for it. If that is importance to you keep it in mind of expenses.

Lightning cable used for cameras will work fine for using the mic with just an iPad or iPhone. 

it does not work with iphone. only ipad

Hello... I got the Røde NT-USB... It's an awsome microphone! I'm not a musican. I've used it for gaming. Just plug'n play for PS3, PS4 or PS4 Pro. Works like a charm. As well for Skype and Facebook in Windows 10. If you're a "snob" and "audiophile" like me, not being satisfied with any ordinary consummer microphone like a Logitech web camera... Simply wants the best or the best in sound quality for a reasonable amount of money. Then this microphone is great! But I'm really disappointed about ONE thing. The microphone ONLY works on Apple. I'm working with infosec... I'm a snob but also that kind of tech/geek guy that simply hates Apple. Apple has some really simple solutions and work out of the box for any non-tech guy... but when it comes to some advanced fields (like pentesting, server management or digital forensics for instance) (not stuff like music, video or media production for instance) Apple simply sucks. This makes no sense at all for you guys... However my point is that there are actually custommers (in any field) that might not use Apple or simply don't like them. Some custommers might not be music producers, artists or podcasters. I'm using it at my spare time as a gamer... We might not use Apple... I'm using a HTC M9 Prime Camera Edition with Android so please come up with some recording apps or drivers for Android as well. Thank you... BTW, Android taking more and more marketshare (Apple is loosing over time) since Steve Jobs died. Just saying.

Just to be clear... When I say "it only works with Apple" I mean on mobile platforms using the app or potential drivers.

It's possibly going to work with android using an otg adaptor.?? (Micro usb to usb...) Roland Go mixer comes with leads for ios and android but states some older android phones convert the stereo signal to mono so it appears android will accept a digital audio signal through it's usb port)

My RODE NT USB microphone says it's a speaker, and I can't record. 

And I have an ACER using Windows 10.  when you plug it in, nothing happens.  just does the sound as if you've plugging in a usb.

It should appear as both speaker and a microphone - try and see if you also have a new mic appearing in the system which you can use for recording in addition to speaker. It appears as both because you can use it for output too (the jack port on its side outputs a mix of computer output and microphone input, so you can both hear yourself and, say, a cue track).

Hi Nicole -

Are you connected to a Mac or a Windows PC:

Adjusting the input level on a Mac OS computer:

1. Click on the Apple symbol at the top left of your screen, and

    select System Preferences:

2. Click on ‘Sound’ to open the sound options

3. Open the ‘Input tab’.

4. From here, select the ‘RØDE NT-USB’ from the list of devices,

    and adjust the input level using the slider.

Adjusting the input level on a Windows computer:

1. Open the Start menu and click on ‘Control Panel

2. Open the ‘Sound’ preferences from within the Control Panel


3. Open the ‘Recording’ tab and double click on ‘RØDE NT-USB’

     from the list of devices.

4. Adjust the input level using the slider.

Rode NT USB Manual

I am wondering why the sound is so low when I record in any program, like Garageband or Audacity. Is there some settings to make this better? or do I just have to sing louder (haha)

This is a microphone designed for close use (ideally about 6").   Make sure the top knob for the Monitor mix is set to the left position for voacals.

The NT-USB has been set to an ideal internal gain setting, without the need for physical level adjustments on the microphone body.

Any necessary level adjustments to set the ideal recording level can be made from within your recording program, or via your

computer’s system preferences.

To adjust your input level from within your recording software, refer to the manual provided by the software develope

See pages 1-21 for details regarding your computer settings:

Alternatively please visit:

for contact details and a list of Frequently Asked Questions

I'm struggling - when I have this mic connected up to my DAW, The first track I lay down is fine, but as soon as I am playing and recording at the same time, I get glitches and stuttering.

Within my DAW (Reaper) - I have to use something like ASIO4ALL to select an input of the microphone, and an output of my onboard soundcard -> speakers.  I wonder if this is causing the issue, but I can't see any way around it without any RODE drivers?

Any advice would be amazing. Thanks,

Hi William -

Most likely this is what is informally known as "dirty sound", a by product of USB audio and all too common. It is not a mic problem but an issue stemming from the electrical current chain carried from the computer's power source, transformers and up to the USB connection where the mic is connected and derives it's power an send's the audio signal. You may be able to filter this noise out frrom tools within your DAW. Bus-powered USB audio devices are convenient, but that convenience sometimes comes with a price. Many of us have suffered from annoying buzzing and humming noises when playing back and/or recording. These noises are often caused by ground loops.

You might try thiis device:

With the JitterBug Data & Power Noise Filter from audioquest you can reduce the electronic pollution flowing through the data and power lines of your USB port. This USB 2.0 compliant noise filter can be used in both USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, although when used with a USB 3.0 connection you can only achieve USB 2.0 speeds. Once connected, the JitterBug virtually eliminates all RFI and EMI pollution that can lead to degradation of sound as well as packet loss. As a result, you benefit from a more reliable connection to a variety of USB devices including routers, NAS devices, multimedia streaming devices, and much more.

JitterBug's dual-function line-conditioning circuitry works on both the data (communication) and vbus (power) lines of USB ports: The latter reduces noise and prevents EMI and RFI from contaminating the associated digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and/or cable. The former minimizes parasitic resonances created by the computer and USB bus, and is optimized to remove noise above the USB 2.0 frequency specification, making it ideal for audio playback.

Reduces the noise and ringing that plague both the data and power lines of USB ports

Measurably reduces jitter and packet errors

Improves dynamic contrast, warmth and resolution

Hi! I just purchased this mic and am having problems with background noise. I'm very new to this, so I could be doing something wrong.... but what?! I'm anxious to start recording (I've been delayed so much...) but I don't want that noise in there. Even putting it through the noise removal in Audacity (after recording on GarageBand, it was easier for me) still leaves weird noise when I'm speaking. What am I doing wrong? How can I make my recordings crystal clear? Thank you!

Hi Kendal -

You should not be getting any noise.  These mics are virtually plug and play systems and are easily set-up.    Mke sure that the The Monitor Mix Control (the top knob) is turned to the center position. 

The NT-USB has been set to an ideal internal gain setting, without the need for physical level adjustments on the microphone body.

Any necessary level adjustments to set the ideal recording level can be made from within your recording program, or via your computer’s system preferences.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  [email protected]

does this microphone work also with iPad Mini, or iPad (big one) is necessary?


I was looking at this microphone to do vocal and instrument recording. I have a Rode videomic, but the audio seems to be not quite crystal clear. I thought this might be the solution for the price and USB connectivity. Is this a good mic for the musical world or is there a better mic on the market with similar features?

Thank you!

The Rode NT-USB is 16-bit, 48 kHz.

Hi I am just starting to do some video work with me Nikon D800 and was wondering if this microhone is suitable for wedding video work with the d800

regards Mícheál



Hi Michael -

This microphone is designed to connect directly to a computer via  the USB connection.  It cannot work when connected directly to a camera. In a similar price range I will recommend this microphone which will connect to your camera:

The VideoMic with Rycote Lyre Suspension System from Rode is a shotgun microphone that can easily be mounted on a DSLR camera. It features a Rycote suspension system that attaches to the camera's shoe. The VideoMic is lightweight, and when mounting on a camera it does not appear in the frame. The VideoMic can also mount to Rode's boompoles for elevated audio capture. Its super-cardioid polar pattern attenuates sounds from the sides. The result is a signal that sounds closer to the camera, even when shooting in noisy environments or at moderate distances.

The included Rycote Lyre is a non-elasticated suspension structure composed of a hard-wearing thermoplastic. It is more effective at acoustically decoupling microphones from unwanted vibrations, handling and cable-borne noise than elasticated suspensions. The lyre remains effective at a wide range of temperatures and is virtually indestructible. It will never wear out, sag, snap or require any rethreading to maintain its effectiveness.

An attached, coiled cable terminates to a 1/8" (3.5mm) mini output connection. The VideoMic features a condenser element that utilizes a standard 9 Volt battery (sold separately). The microphone will run for approximately 100 hours on a single battery.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  [email protected]