People can be forgiving of poor image quality on your videos, but they are much less forgiving with poor audio. Because of this, it pays to ensure you select the best mic you can afford to capture clean audio.
After experimenting with a number of mics personally and professionally over the last three years, here are my recommendations.
Recommended Shotgun Mic
The first mic you will want as a videographer or vlogger is the handy shotgun mic. It’s the mic that sits on top of your camera and captures any sound that is near the camera while you are recording the video.
I’ve tried multiple popular shotgun mics and currently recommend the Deity D3 Pro Shotgun Mic. If I only had one mic this should be it.
This mic sounds much better than the comparable Rode shotgun mics and is even $50 cheaper. I’ve been very pleased with this mic’s performance in multiple locations and conditions. At the time of writing, this mic goes for $200 on Amazon.
The Deity D3 Pro also:
- has the only stepless gain control, so you can dial in the volume right where you need it.
- has a preprocessor chip that can recognize when your camera is off or on to save power and recognize what kind of camera you are using to adjust the power mode automatically.
- has a long long battery life of 50 hours while on and can wait on standby for 6000 hours.
- an adjustable mount to help balance the mic if you are using a gimble.
This mic was designed for vloggers.
Recommended Lavalier/Lapel Microphone
Lapel microphones are handy when you want to isolate the audio to just the voice of a person, or two, talking. You see these clipped onto people’s shirts all the time.
I’ve used a few lapel mics and find that the cheap ones are pretty close in performance to the expensive ones that cost hundreds of dollars more. The difference between the two is the wider array of sounds the more expensive models can capture. So, unless you are cording singing, yelling, dramatic voice-overs, or intense dialogs, the inexpensive ones work just fine.
For that reason, I use and recommend a wired V.Lav mic from Deity. The wire ensures fewer points of familiarity and its own microprocessor so you never have to wonder if it’s compatible with anything (it works with just about everything automatically).
This lav is a killer deal on Amazon. Many of the cheaper lavs on Amazon don’t sound great and this is about as low as I would go and still trust the mic.
There are higher-quality options than this for recording but I find, for the price, this gets the job done well for most situations.
Recommend Handheld Mic
This mic is generally unnecessary if you have a good lapel and shotgun mic available, but if you want to pass the mic around a group or capture audio in a noisy environment, a handheld mic will be your best option.
For the reasons mentioned above, I recommend the Audio-Technica ATR21.
It is a robust handheld mic in that you can feed the audio through USB or standard XLR cables into your computer, camera, or audio recording devices. It also has a headphone jack to make monitoring the sound easy (if you use it for podcasting). This mic has hovered around the same price between $70-$80 for a while on Amazon.