For vloggers, generally the most exciting piece of equipment to talk about or buy is the camera. Considering it is directly responsible for the maximal quality of your footage, it only makes sense that it would often be the most interesting piece of equipment. However, it is only half of the input, and your vlogs would look awkward without the best microphone for vlogging to add the audio.
Of course, the type of vlogging you do will play a large part in determining what microphone will serve the best. If you shoot footage on the spot, you will likely prefer either a microphone that can be mounted directly to your camera or one that will record wirelessly.
Figuring out which is the microphone for vlogging can be a difficult and confusing task. That is why we have put together a list of the 10 best microphones for vlogging, highlighting what each one does best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the best microphone for vlogging that is right for you.
Table of Contents
- Best Microphones for Vlogging in May, 2020
- 1. Best Smart Device Lapel Microphone
- 2. Most Versatile Microphone
- 3. Best Professional Shotgun Microphone
- 4. Best Budget Microphone
- 5. Best Digital Recorder Microphone
- 6. Best Professional Studio Microphone for Vlogging
- 7. Best Amateur Shotgun Microphone
- 8. Best Budget Shotgun Microphone
- 9. Best VHF Lapel Microphone
- 10. Best VHF Microphone for Vlogging
- Buyer’s Guide
Best Microphones for Vlogging in May, 2020
1. Best Smart Device Lapel Microphone
The PowerDeWise is, more likely than not, not a product that you are familiar with, but this startup understands what a specific niche of the vlogging community requires. Specifically, this microphone seems as though it was custom made for vloggers that used social media outlets and other similar platforms to publish their work–even plenty of YouTube vloggers could find that this type of microphone better suits their needs.
One of the best qualities about the PowerDeWise is that it offers an excellent option for vlogging from your phone. First, this microphone features a 3.5 mm TRRS adapter to connect to pretty much any smart device that can record audio. On top of that, this is also a lavalier form microphone, so it can easily attach to your collar or elsewhere without any difficulty. The only downside to this arrangement is that the microphone must be plugged into your phone rather than being able to transmit the audio via Bluetooth.
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2. Most Versatile Microphone
Movo is a fairly recent company founded in California, but the enterprise focuses on both video and audio equipment. While this could otherwise make those looking for the best wonder, Movo somehow manages to make a product that could likely please every type of vlogger, regardless their setting or style, is some way–even if there might be a microphone available that is better for that specific task. In this way, the Movo may be seen as a jack of all trades, but better than a master of only one.
Easily one of the best qualities about the Movo is its ability to seamlessly transition from one recording format to another. This is because the Movo VXR10 comes with both a TRRS and TRS cable, so you can record with either a camera or a smart device. While it is not the most sensitive microphone it does provide a solid frequency response of 35 Hz to 18 kHz–which is one of the widest ranges on our list. Though, it actually seems as though this microphone was intended far more to be mounted on a camera.
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3. Best Professional Shotgun Microphone
Rode may not necessarily be a household name, but since 2000, they have been quietly building a stellar reputation for making some of the best audio recording equipment around. Like some of the other companies on our list, Rode does not simply specialize in microphones, but they also specialize in microphones used for vlogging more acutely. This allows them to offer a significantly better product than most–though you will certainly pay for it.
First, the entire structure of this shotgun microphone is by far the best that we saw. For a power source, the Rode uses a 9V battery which will provide by far the longest runtime out of any externally powered microphones on our list. The microphone also comes with a Rycote Lyre shock mount so not only do you not have to worry about movement being picked up on the audio signal, not your microphone and mount will be secure and safe.
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4. Best Budget Microphone
Not everyone is at a stage in their vlogging career when they feel confident about investing hundreds – maybe even thousands of dollars into equipment which they know will improve their product and further boost their career. Pretty much everybody has to start somewhere, and often that means investing in equipment you are not even sure will continue to be used 6 months from now. In this instance, you need a decent microphone that can give you an idea and chance to experiment but will not break the bank in the process.
That is the purpose of the lesser-known XIAOKOA, a brand that specializes in audio recording equipment but maintains a light online footprint to reduce overhead costs and be able to sell equipment well below the market value. This does not necessarily mean the XIAOKOA suffers in quality, though it is definitely a bit more limited than some of the other microphones that we reviewed. Still, it does come with pretty much all of the accessories necessary to begin experimenting with vlogging without having to purchase an entire suite of products.
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5. Best Digital Recorder Microphone
One quick look at the Zoom H1 and you quickly realize that this microphone is not like the rest. Rather than simply being a receiver that sends an audio signal to be recorded, the Zoom H1 records the audio onto its onboard memory. This can be an especially good microphone is your vlog focuses on a candid style that requires quick reactions and realizations as well as the ability to move quickly at a moment’s notice.
That is why the Zoom H1, weighing in at just under ¼ pounds, is ideal. There is no need to worry about large receivers, as this microphone is its own package. Making this further an excellent microphone for engaged recording, it is surprisingly easy to use with buttons clearly marked and intuitively labeled. This does work a bit against the Zoom H1 as well with a simplicity that failed to include a track splitting function stands out as a glaring oversight–though this may not be as important if you are used to editing large batch audio.
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6. Best Professional Studio Microphone for Vlogging
Unless you have been living under a rock for the last half-decade, there is a pretty good chance that you have already heard of Yeti. In the vlogging world, this is one of the top 3 products used by studio vloggers. Their “Blue” microphone is arguably the flagship product which paved the way for Yeti to release other popular vlogging microphones like the Snowball. Taking the top spot in numerous spec categories and offering features you cannot just find anywhere, this is by far the most professional studio microphone we reviewed.
This all begins with the components under the hood, and the Yeti not only offers the best hardware on our list, it could go toe to toe with many microphones costing more than double its price. This has a fair amount to do with the condenser arrangement which uses a tri-capsule array to offer flexibility and precision to whatever kind of audio is being recorded and regardless the direction. In fact, this is the only microphone on our list that is capable of switching its polar pattern. Not only that, but the Yeti Blue microphone can actually switch between pretty much any primary polar pattern available including cardioid, omnidirectional, bi-directional, and even stereo.
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7. Best Amateur Shotgun Microphone
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with BagPerhaps more than any other type of shooting, on location will by far be the most challenging and have the steepest learning curve. Even worse, one of the loftier goals for on-location shooting is generally to get audio that is loud enough and clear enough to be understood without loud background noise interrupting the meaningful audio and generally just serving as a distraction. As such, you will likely figure out the basics of on-location shooting but still require a fair bit of experience to fully master the setting.
This is where the EACHSHOT comes in handy as it is not nearly as expensive as a professional shotgun microphone but is still closer in quality and feature sets than some of the more budget-minded microphones–especially for a shotgun microphone. That said, this microphone is definitely making it a point to stay within a specific niche as it requires as 3.5 mm TRS jack. While it is nice that it also comes with the necessary jack, you will be forced to purchase an adapter should you want to film with a device that requires a 3.5 mm TRRS jack.
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8. Best Budget Shotgun Microphone
ZOMEI Light Weight Portable Carbon Fiber Travel Complete TripodTAKSTAR is likely not the first name you think of when you consider microphones for vlogging, but the company has been producing decent audio gear for recording purposes–which just so happens to apply to vloggers–at far more reasonable prices than many of their competitors. In fact, this the least expensive shotgun microphone that we reviewed. While it has some issues, this is still an excellent microphone for a vlogger who is beginning to leave the confines of the home studio.
One of the best things about the TAKSTAR is that it was clearly designed with the intention that the user would use it while in motion. First, it comes with a shock mount, and while it may not necessarily provide quite as gentle a ride as some of the other mounts we have seen, it is more durable than many of them as well. Beyond the shock mount, the body of the microphone is made of aluminum to help prevent any damage that may incur during its use. Finally, this is one of the few powered microphones we reviewed that both uses batteries and gets legitimately good battery life out of their microphone – as opposed to merely decent or even substandard.
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9. Best VHF Lapel Microphone
Ravelli Light Weight TripodSaramonic may not be the most well-known manufacturer of microphones, but they do have a particular affinity for fairly high-end microphones at far more reasonable rates than other competitors within the same market. It should be noted that Saramonic actually does not simply manufacture microphones and microphone accessories exclusively. Instead, this company actually specializes in the types of microphones that are the most useful to vloggers.
Though it may seem a bit niche, there are plenty of circumstances where a vlogger could benefit from a lavalier style microphone but also require the freedom to move around. Perhaps the vlogger needs their hands available to participate in some way with the subject of the vlog. Regardless the reason, this microphone offers an elegant and effective means of overcoming this tricky situation. Specifically, this microphone uses a lapel design but sends its audio signals wirelessly.
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10. Best VHF Microphone for Vlogging
Depending on the circumstance and style of vlogging you do, you might need the luxury and convenience of a wireless arrangement but do not necessarily have the time to set up your different subjects. In this instance, you will need either handheld microphone or a boom microphone. Since the latter is often reserved for more controlled productions, chances are you will opt for the handheld microphone. That is where the Saramonic WM4CA comes in handy.
This wireless, handheld microphone is still able to record audio even when out to a 60-meter distance from the receiver. The receiver itself is also fairly impressive in that it can operate along 4 different channels that range from 203 MHz to 216 MHz. This reception range is important because it is often not used and more likely to be an open channel. This is actually part of the VHF, or very high frequency, bandwidth which is able to transmit an incredibly precise audio signal.
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The type of microphone is important, but it generally has more to do with what you intend to use the microphone for than anything else. Specifically, this quality will be important if you expect the microphone to be moved quite often. In this case, you will need a larger, sturdier microphone to absorb all the shocks of transit. Of course, that comes with its own caveats.
Dynamic – It is incredibly unlikely that a vlogger will need a dynamic microphone. The closest equivalent to the intended use would be an on location vlogger who might find themselves seeking active settings in which to shoot their footage. That said, these microphones are exceptionally large and heavy to make sure that the components do not suffer any issues should the microphone endure severe jostling. To be fair, these are often also professional microphones used for grander productions than most vloggers produce.
Condenser – For vloggers, this is generally the choice of preference in regards to the type of microphone. Condenser microphones are much lighter while still being fairly solid and durable. This type of microphone also produces a more accurate representation of the sounds at a higher fidelity than dynamic microphones. The condenser microphone can also come in a couple different subtypes: solid-state and tube. Solid-state is by far the more reliable and durable of the two condenser microphones. In contrast, tube condenser microphones are more expensive in general, but they also have a more narrow frequency response.
Outside of type, the polar pattern will often be the next feature that you will want to consider. That said, this once again applies far more for an on-location vlogger than someone shooting in an office or studio. For the latter group, you will likely want a microphone that either records in cardioid or bi-directional. For on-location vloggers, it will largely depend on your subject and the situation.
Cardioid – This is the most common type of polar pattern for a vlogging microphone largely due to the somewhat inherent noise-cancellation quality that the pattern provides. Essentially, a cardioid polar pattern will pick up everything directly in front of it without capturing the sides or the rear at any significant volume. The cardioid pattern is also one of the easier to manufacture making them a bit cheaper as well. There is also a supercardioid polar pattern that allows recording of audio coming from right behind the microphone–for instance with gonzo shooting or one-man-band outfits.
Omnidirectional – Outside of the cardioid polar pattern, this is the other most common type of polar pattern used for vlogging microphones. However, this polar pattern basically takes the opposite approach: the omnidirectional polar pattern will record the sounds coming in from every direction equally. This means that you can record sounds in a 360-degree area–which can be either the perfect fit or a huge problem for on location vloggers. For studio vloggers, you likely do not want to pick up the potential background noise from this polar pattern.
Bi-Directional – This polar pattern seeks to alleviate some of the issues with the cardioid polar pattern as well as some problems arising with the omnidirectional polar pattern. The bi-directional polar pattern basically creates two mirrored cardioid polar patterns. This allows the microphone to record equally along a line, but it will still diminish the noise coming from the sides. This can be an ideal setting if two people are using a single microphone to record. That said, this is also generally one of the more expensive polar patterns to manufacture, and their prices reflect that.
As we can see, the best microphone for vlogging will depend heavily on the type of vlogging that you do. If you vlog from the comfort of your own home or even a studio, you will likely want a different microphone than the one that would be best for conducting an interview or for shooting your vlog on location outdoors.
For the office or studio vlogger, we recommend the Blue Yeti. With the highest sensitivity rating on the list, your viewers will get a rich, lifelike sound from the audio. On top of that, with the numerous polar pattern arrangements, this microphone can actually be used for a wide variety of different types of recording or arrangement of the different speakers.
Of course, for those of you who have to shoot your vlog on the spot, we recommend the Rode. While the Yeti might make the top of the list for every relevant category for a studio microphone, the Rode does pretty much the same thing when the group is shrunk to simply the on-location vlogging microphones. Beyond the specs, this microphone also comes with the best supplementary kit too.