Blue Microphones (http://bluemic.com/snowball/), the same company that produces the popular Snowball line of what the company terms “professional”-sounding USB mics, has come out with a new microphone in the sub $100.00 USB category. Called the Yeti, this microphone retails for $150, but can be found for around $100.00 (http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Microphones-Yeti-USB-Microphone/dp/B002VA464S).
The main distinguishing feature of this microphone appears to be the inclusion of a built-in headphone amp (with volume control), so that you can monitor your voice in real time, and in doing so up the quality of your delivery style.
Some additional features include (according to many reviews) significantly improved audio quality over other popular USB mics (including other Blue mics), and four different polar pattern settings (Cardioid, Stereo, Bidirectional and Omnidirectional), and a simple and solid build. On the negative side, this is a very large microphone, at about a foot high, and one review I read noted that maybe a couple of the knobs are a little flimsy.
There is a pro version of this microphone that is 2.5x the price, but includes professional recording via analog XLR, a separate analog circuit path, and better sampling rates and frequency response.
Another great option is the Jabra Speak 510 series Bluetooth speakerphone. Its a personal speakerphone that supports USB and Bluetooth. It can be set in the center of a table in a small classroom or conference setting. It has a run time of 15 hours on a single charge. It works great plugged in to USB or as a stand alone unit. Full duplex with echo cancellation.
Carlisle and I have contact information if anyone is interested.
Cost comes in around $150. Not bad for what’s being offered.check out the links below for more details.