You can’t become a professional vlogger or video director without the right sound equipment. Having a good shotgun microphone can make a huge difference in the way people react to your work.
High-end microphones eliminate squeaky sounds, leaving you with crystal clear sound you can be proud of.
So, how exactly can a shotgun microphone help?
What is it in the first place?
Keep reading, and we’ll explain how these mics work, and tell you why getting one is a good idea. Here are our five top choices for the best shotgun microphones on the market.
Before we get to the reviews, we have to explain what shotgun microphones are, how they work, and why you need one. Let’s jump right into it.
What is a Shotgun Microphone
Do you know those microphones that hang above the set when there’s a movie being filmed?
They are called shotgun mics, and they are used for all kinds of tasks, including field recording, podcasting, but their primary use is on movie sets.
Sound quality is one of the most important aspects of any video production, especially in high-end movies.
You can quickly mount them on any camera, and their role is to capture specific sounds without any background noises. They capture Foley sounds, which are all those sounds that can be heard on the set.
Shotgun microphones basically record only sounds that you want to hear in your videos. That includes car sounds, footsteps, squeaky floorboards, and other ambiance noises.
Without a shotgun microphone, you will have to spend a lot of time in post-production recording each sound you need to make the video memorable.
That drastically increases editing time, as you’ll need a lot of time to get the sounds you need.
Shotgun mics record only the sounds coming from the area where they are pointed at. They are directional mics with incredible sensitivity that can capture clear ambient sounds that make editing much more comfortable.
Things To Look For In A Shotgun Mic
There are hundreds of shotgun mics on the market. Many of them are very expensive, so the first thing you should consider before buying one is your budget. Some mics cost only $100, while others can go up to tens of thousands of dollars.
You must first figure out your price range, and then try to find the best mic with the most features that fall under that range. When you know that, here are the details you should check before buying a microphone.
The latest DSLR shotgun mics offer impressive sound quality that can be used for filming short personal videos, professional projects, and social media ads. You should look for models with high-quality external mics, and a 1/8″ mic jack that allows you to connect it to a camera or a phone.
That way, your video will get a significant improvement in sound quality.
You can get the best sound only if your mic and lens are perfectly aligned. That’s why the mounting system is essential. High-quality mics have an excellent mounting system that protects them from picking up sounds you don’t want.
There are a few different types of mounts, but you should look for ones that can be mounted on your DSLR. They provide the best control and are the easiest to mount.
Distance to Subject
Mics are designed to pick up sounds at a certain distance. If you work indoors, you can work with a mic with a smaller range, but if you take your work outside, you will need a zoom shotgun to get the most out of the mic.
Of course, the audio quality is the most crucial feature in any microphone. Look for models that provide the best quality in all circumstances, including loud environments with lots of background noises. Try to find the best mic in your price range, and you should get the best sound quality.
Best Shotgun Microphone Review Guide
Lets take a look at the roundup itself below :
Shure MV88 is one of the most popular mics among vloggers and YouTubers.
It’s a small mic you can connect to any tablet or smartphone, and it comes with a few useful features and provides excellent sound quality.
The mic is designed to work best with the ShurePlus Motiv app. It allows you to make all types of adjustments until you’re happy with the overall sound quality.
The MV88 is ideal for travel vlogs as it is small enough to fit in any pocket. The mic comes with a carrying case, an adapter cable for your headphones, and a foam widescreen for extra protection.
You connect it to your device directly into the lightning port. Most of the mic is made from metal, but there are some plastic parts too. The rotating head allows you to point the microphone into almost any direction, which can save you time in post-production.
When it comes to audio quality, the MV88 is next to the best mics on the market. It’s got a frequency response range from 20HZ to 20kHZ, giving you plenty of applications. It always provides excellent sound quality, but it’s particularly useful for recording live events.
The app allows you to adjust the gain anywhere between 0 to +32dB, making sure that you get the best sound quality in all conditions. With a maximum sound pressure level of 120dB, you can rest assured that every recording you make offers crystal clear sound on a professional level.
The headphone monitoring feature allows you to hear the recordings in real-time, which will help you get the best sound.
- Adjustable DSP
- Easy to use
- Adjustable stereo images
- Provides rich low and clear high sound recordings
- You will have to remove your phone’s cover for the mic to connect
- Big monitoring latency
VidPro Canon XA30
The VidPro XA30 shotgun microphone by Canon provides professional sound quality for all of your videos. It comes in a kit with 13 pieces that allow you to make all kinds of high-quality recordings on the go.
The microphone is 10.8 inches long, and it can work with any camera, no matter how expensive or cheap it is. As long as your device has a DSLR, you can start using the mic right away.
The entire outer shell is made of aluminum, making the mic lightweight and very durable. It’s ideal for both indoor and outdoor projects as it’s able to focus the signal perfectly in all conditions.
The kit contains audio cables with multiple connectors, mounts, adjustable shock, and camera shoe mount. You also get a furry wind muff, a cushioned handgrip, and a foam windshield all neatly packed in a practical hard carrying case for extra protection.
Everything about this microphone feels well made, and the audio quality is better than many other mics with higher price tags. It’s got a frequency response between 100HZ and 16kHz, which is not as wide as other mics, but the audio quality is better.
The sensitivity is ideal for short and long recording, and the many adapters allow you to connect the mike to any DSLR device. The adjustable ShockMount camera shoe adapter is straightforward to use. You can quickly attach and remove the mic with one single hand movement.
Since the mic comes with everything you need to start recording right away, it might be a good choice for beginner vloggers and YouTubers. The VidPro Canon XA30 offers fantastic value for the money.
- Kit includes plenty of accessories
- Works with any DSLR device
- Provides exceptional sound quality
- Frequency response could be better
- Batteries deplete quickly
If you have a limited budget, but you still want to get a professional shotgun microphone, AT875R by Audio-Technica is an excellent choice. It’s proof that you don’t have to spend a fortune to get high-quality sound in your videos.
The mic has all kinds of useful features as well. There’s a small switch on the right side of the mic, and it allows you to adjust the equalization on the go. That’s a nice little feature that makes operating this mic easier than many others.
The microphone is designed only for video productions, so it has many features filmmakers need. That includes the narrow acceptance angle that allows you to pick up focused sounds from a distance. That’s why this mic is widely used by news crews and professional camera operators worldwide.
It features a fixed octave role of 12dB, so it’s ideal for recording low tones and speech. Every recording is crystal clear, without any hissing, and the small compact size of the mic makes it perfect for interviews and film documentaries on the go.
It does need a phantom power source that connects through the XLR output. Since most cameras don’t have a direct output, you will need a preamp as well. The mic excels at filtering and production since it doesn’t have a cover.
When you consider the asking price and the features you get, it’s clear that this mic offers fantastic value for the money. The mic is only 7-inches long, so it works well with all devices.
It has a maximum SPL of 127 dB and a frequency response ranging from 90Hz to 20kHz. The kit contains a stand clamp, two stands, an adapter, two O rings, and a convenient carrying pouch.
- Provides excellent sound quality
- Compact and easy to use
- Great value for the money
- Needs 48V phantom power
Sennheiser MKE 600
There are all kinds of shotgun mics, but MKE 600 by Sennheiser is one of the best for conducting interviews from any distance. It provides fantastic sound quality, and the closer you are to the mike, the better it gets. The entire microphone is made from metal, making it durable enough to cope with any fieldwork.
Filmmakers widely use the MKE 600 because of its compact size and unprecedented versatility. You can mount it on a boom, and it won’t lose any sound quality. It’s also a popular choice for commercial making because it cancels background noises perfectly.
The mic has a built-in internal battery so that you can use it with any device. You can also connect it to a phantom power source via the XLR cable for long-distance recording.
If it’s running on batteries, a small indicator will always tell you how much recording time you have left. You can quickly switch the mic between the built-in batteries and a camera to save battery life and get hours of use on a single charge. Fully charged batteries provide around 150 hours of recording.
With a distance range of 10 feet, a compact design, and lightweight construction, it’s clear why so many filmmakers use the MKE 600. Although the microphone has a wide range of applications, it works best for recording dialogues due to low-cut filter settings.
It’s small enough to be used as a handheld mic, but it also works with camera hot shoes. One thing is for sure, it offers broad and crisp sounds, fantastic flexibility, and it should be enough for any audio recording task.
- Impressive sound quality
- Low noise, natural tone
- Easy to use
- Ideal for interviews
- A little expensive
Rode NTG3B – Best Shotgun Microphone
The Rode NTG3B is an excellent choice, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned audio technician. It’s a popular choice because it offers a great mix of features at a reasonable price. For example, it’s almost 100% resistant to moisture, which makes it ideal for outdoor shoots, even when it’s raining.
Apart from the reasons we’ve just covered, it’s also great for recording moving targets. It allows you to conduct interviews on the move without losing any sound quality. The microphone is incredibly versatile. It can replace more than one mic with its features, and it can also provide a better sound quality than you think.
The mic is made from solid brass, so it’s durable and able to capture natural tones perfectly. Although it comes at a fairly low price, it’s got the features of a much more expensive professional mic. It won’t let you down, no matter how demanding the job at hand might be. The NTG3B is simply one of those mics every audio engineer needs.
The microphone utilizes the super-cardioid polar pattern that provides impressive sound quality in all conditions. It comes in an aluminum storage container that keeps it safe on and off the set.
The exceptional quality of all parts is visible immediately, and the company behind it has no problem with providing a 10-year warranty. There’s little that this small microphone can’t do.
The mic is 10 inches long, it weighs 0.36lbs, so it’s small enough for handheld use. With a maximum SPL of 130db and extremely low handling noise, it won’t disappoint you in any situation. The kit includes a pop-filter, a large zip pouch, and a mic clip that allows you to attach it to any camera.
- Super quiet
- 10-year warranty
Our top five picks all offer fantastic audio quality, but if we had to pick our favorite, we would choose the Rode NTG3B. It’s the most expensive mic on the list, but it also provides professional sound quality good enough for any project. The mic has all of the latest features, and it captures sounds without any background noises.
You could get great results with other microphones, but the NTG3B is simply one of the best shotgun microphones available today. The 10-year warranty should be all the proof you need that this here is one of the best mics money can buy.