The vlogging world is a diverse and amazing one, it presents various openings to not just share thoughts and beliefs with the entire world, but it can also be a full-time career if you are down for it. There are several successful vloggers today who have made a career out of it. However, without the appropriate gear, your vlog will not be up to the standard that most people are used to today. In this article, we reviewed some of the best microphones that you can actually buy for vlogging. Ensure you first read the checklist below to ensure that you understand the kind of mic that you need to take your vlogging to the next level.
Finding The Best Vlogging Microphone
To begin with – how do you film your vlogs? This would be the first question to answer when becoming a vlogger. However, the device you use to record your video will have a big say in the kind of microphone you need. In the event that you do not have a video camera, we strongly urge you to consider the mirrorless camera or DSLR camera – ultimately, the choice is yours to make.
What kind of microphone?
We will delve into the details of the various kinds of mics here. As earlier mentioned, if you haven’t gotten a camera, then you have a variety of microphones to choose from. Otherwise, your search will be considerably narrowed.
- USB microphones: USB microphones are mostly used by vloggers who stay in one place to record; almost like a lace with a computer. Regardless of whether you record with a webcam or digital camera, this kind of microphone will offer you crisp audio quality when its positioned in one position; sitting in front of our computer or standing in one position. However, this kind of mic is only recommended for vloggers that are mainly into streaming of vlogs that do not require video cameras. Otherwise, the better option would be a shotgun mic.
- Camera microphones: Camera microphones are microphones which you attach to your camera, and they typically point back at you like a “shotgun mic”. These are preferable to USB mics and are ideal for vloggers who stay in one position or those who review products or talk about issues in a green room. These are also ideal for those who do a lot of vlogging outdoors where they will constantly be on the move and engaged with the audience with a camera man following closely behind. The only upside to using these kinds of mics is that you would need to purchase a compatible camera like a mirrorless or DSLR camera – and those do not really come cheap.
- Lavalier microphones: Here is another kind of versatile blogging mic that can be used for a variety of purposes. “Lav mics” are small sized mics that are usually attached to a shirt or a non-intrusive part of your body. They are great mics especially for interviews and other vlogging activities, precisely when you have to do the filming all on your own.
- Handheld recorders: Handheld recorders are quite different from the others listed above in that they are a completely separate device for recording audio. They can lie them flat or stand them up on a table or the floor, or you may just carry them along with you as you film. We would give this a nod if you are not only vlogging and recording audio or if you are very particular about audio quality (these mics have an amazing resolution quality – but this does not mean that other mics don’t do a great job, most time it’s really hard for the audience to “tell” the differences between mics.)
- Smart device microphones: Coming in last but definitely not the least on this list are smart devices that are used for recording. Regardless of if you use an Android or iOS device, these small mics can be connected to the compatible input lighting connector. Although, we would still prefer that you grab a proper digital camera and one of those mics listed above. However, if you do not have much cash to spare and desire to kickstart your vlogging career now or if you think smart devices are the ideal choice for you, then, by all means, opt for the smart devices for all your vlogging needs. We saved the best for the last.
In conclusion, how much cash do you have to spare? If you haven’t gotten a camera yet, we recommend that you decide which one you need before considering a microphone as this will help you plan according to your budget. Otherwise, be mindful of how much you can actually splash on these models.
The Best Microphones For Vlogging
We will begin our list with one of the most popular USB mic today. The Blue Yeti is one of the most popular microphones for vloggers who will record in one position and need a versatile microphone – as this mic can be used for a variety of purposes and closed-door environments. With regards to features, the Blue Yeti is a multi-pattern model that comes with a very decent 16-bit/48 kHz audio resolution response. It features a “tri-capsule” technology and 4 distinct pattern setting (stereo, omnidirectional, cardioids and bidirectional) – which can easily be selected based on your recording needs. The capsule technology offers detailed crisp audio and comes with a variety of studio controls such as microphone gain, instant mute and headphone volume and for offering vloggers complete hands-on control while they record. The Yeti also has a special zero-latency 3.5mm headphone jack that permits users to listen and see what the mic is capturing almost immediately. This vlogging mic is also incredibly easy to use – just stick it into your computer’s USB port using the USB cable to sync, and you are all set. The Blue Yeti is quite affordable and is a good choice if you need a USB microphone, whether you record in one position or narrating/streaming something that doesn’t entail you having to use a video camera.
Rode VideoMic Pro
The second model on our list is the super-cardioid condenser mic known as the Rode VideoMic Pro. This mic is perfect for vloggers who are looking for a shotgun mic as previously mentioned. The Rode comes with a shotgun design in addition to a “Rycote Lyre” shockmount that helps to eliminate the electronics and mic capsule from vibrations. For example, a vlogger that travels often may have to shoot videos in very noisy environments and some unwanted vibration or sounds may be an issue. However not with the Rode as the Rycote shockmount does a great job of keeping them to a minimum. The Capsule also comes with a ½” condenser capsule that provides great audio quality; the VideoMic Pro is one of the best shotgun style mics that is great for capturing audio with DSLRs, camcorders and other compatible video recorders. For its very affordable price, the Rode comes with a surprisingly good low self-noise of just about 14dB in addition to having a 1/8” TRS connector that sends the mono signals to both the right and left channels of your camera. If you are looking for a great mic for vlogging that does a great job outdoor and indoor and also stays fixed to your video camera, then look no further than the Rode VideoMic Pro.
The Audio-Technica ATR3350 is the most affordable of all the lavalier mic models. This mic is going to particularly appeal to vloggers that are wary of too much sophistication and have a limited budget. The ATR335o can be best described as a newscaster-style mic that features an omnidirectional capsule built to precisely pick up correct voice reproduction from almost any direction. Although it is small-sized, this mic still boasts of a decent frequency response of around 50 – 18,000 Hz and a max SPL (sound pressure level) of up to about 54dB – which are pretty decent specs for a budget mic. The ATR3350 also comes with a dual-mono 1/8” output plug for DSLR, handheld recorders, video cameras and it is also works with smart mobile devices too – be sure to check the compatibility. This mic also comes with a clip for the mic and spots a minimalist design that ensures it’s not very visible. The Audio-Technica ATR3350 is a solid mic choice for vloggers that want to keep things simple and have a small budget.
Apogee MiC 96k
The Apogee Mic 96k is one of the top microphone for bloggers that are looking for a small and low-profile mic. The Apogee USB Mic is also a great alternative to the Blue Yeti USB mic. This mic is a professional studio quality cardioid condenser microphone that can be directly connected to your iPad, iPhone, Windows computer or Mac. The mic is only as big as an iPhone. The Apogee mic 96k comes with a “PureDIGITAL” USB connection and does a great job of capturing good quality audio in a variety of outdoor environments like festivals, sporting events and the likes. While it isn’t the easiest mic to use outdoors, when compared to proper outdoor mics, However, if what you are after is great audio quality, then you cannot go wrong with this mic (it has one of the best sound quality hence the name 96k). The Apogee’s cardioid polar design was built to especially capture acoustic and vocal recordings – this will do a great job in big outdoor events like concerts and festivals. It also features a steel mesh housing on the main microphone capsule in addition to a die-cast zinc body to give it an added layer of protection when you take it outdoor. For a great price, the Apogee Mic 96k provides a great sound quality and has a portable and compact build.
The Zoom H1 is one of the best hand held vlogging microphones for users that want a very affordable mic. The Zoom H1 is a compact pocket-sized handheld recorder that will work with almost every audio application needed for vlogging. The H1 is powered by a single AA battery, which can keep it running for around 10 hours – which is pretty decent for a single battery. The Zoom also comes with a pair of built-in pro-quality XY stereo condensers – which means that you do not need to plug a mic of your own, however, it features a 1/8” input just in case you want to. This mic provides up to 24-but/96kHz PCM WAV recording format – which is just amazing considering the size and price of this mic – which will think will be the main reasons to buy the H1. The mic also comes with high SPL handling and a host of recording options and controls in addition to a “Lo Cut” switch that helps to reduce wind noise. The mic also comes with a 2GB microSD card with an additional option to extend it up to 32GB. The Zoom H1 also needs to be synced up with the audio footage during the post-production process. Overall, if you are a vlogger that wants a mic that does a pretty solid job in terms of recording quality, comes at a very affordable price and you can get by with the handling needs of this mic, then go for it.
Sennheiser MKE 400
The Sennheiser MKE 400 is a super-cardioid shotgun microphone that spots a compact design and ranks among the best microphones for vloggers who use on-camera mics and are not really digging the Rode (this also costs less). This mic is small-sized and is specially designed to be easily mounted unto cameras with a lighting shoe mount and a external mic input – although it’s quite small, the MKE 400 still works well for most professional uses. The mic is powered by one AAA battery which can keep it running for an impressive 300 hours. The MKE 400’s lobar mic also has a frequency response that ranges from 40Hz and 20kHZ and also rocks a maximum SPL that can reach 126 DB – both of which are great specs at this price. The mic also has a switchable sensitivity and side noise rejection which will enhance the quality of video recording. In addition, it comes with a shockmount so you can worry less about noise issues when recording audio and video with the MKE 400. The Sennheiser MKE 400 is one of those perfect mic for vloggers who are after a complete mic with a solid build.
The Rode SmartLav+ is yet another Lavalier mic to make into this list, although this mic is of a much better than the former A-T pick, which makes it one of the best vlogging microphones for tablets, cameras smartphones and generally those who want a mic that can be attached to the body. The smartLav+ was built to pick up sounds from all direction thanks to its omnidirectional condenser capsule. It also has a foam pop filter which is useful if you want to keep out vocal plosives that may creep up when you are speaking or interviewing others. While this tiny is pretty small, it still has an impressive frequency range of around 20Hz to 20kHz and also comes with a max SPL 110db which is an amazing feat considering it weighs around 0.01 lbs. The Rode is also easy to attach ties, shirts, lapels and any other preferred location thanks to its easy to use mounting clip. The mic also works with all audio applications that are compatible with headset audio input. The Rode SmartLav+ is yet another good lavalier-style mic that seamlessly allows you to broadcast high-quality audio with a smartphone. Thus, if you are a vlogger that does not have much cash to splash on mics, then the Rode SmartLav+ should surely be at the top of your wish list.
The Rode NT-USB mic is perfect for vloggers who are looking for a multipurpose USB compatible mic that is not very portable. The Rode is well suited for recording podcasts, voice-overs, musical, singing performances and the likes. The Rode also comes with a standard studio USB mic that works with both Mac OS and Windows-based platforms. The NT-USB also has a zero-latency stereo headphone monitoring jack that allows you to keep tabs on the microphone input, in addition to the keeping track of the mix and level between the mic input and your audio source. Furthermore, the Rode also spots a pop-filter that sits nicely on the end of the mic – to eliminate plosives during singing or interviews, position the filter at a nice angle away from the capsule. The Rode NT USB is an affordable mic that also comes with a storage pouch, tripod and mount stand – this is especially good for new vloggers who may use the mic for other purposes such as gaming, recording music, charts and lots more.
Almost at the bottom of our list is this low-cost TASCAM DR-05 – a stereo record that comes with a built-in omnidirectional microphone. The TASCAM is around the size of your palm, so it’s easy to carry around. The TASCAM can record MP# formats up to 320 kbps and can broadcast WAV format up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution. Clear recordings are supplied by the superb omnidirectional microphones, and the mic can handle sound pressures of up to 125dB – making this mic a suitable candidate for recording in major outdoor events like festivals, parades and concerts. The recorder also has a few laudable features like the “peak reduction’ which helps with ambience, and a self-timer that can put off recording for around 10 seconds. The TASCAM also comes with a low-cut filter and limiter to help eliminate sound distortion during a live event. If you are a big concert or party goer or generally just vlog mainly in the great outdoors, then the TASCAM DR-5 may just get you the most bang for your bucks, especially if you didn’t like the previous Zoom mic.
Last but definitely not close to the least on our list is the Zoom iQ6 mic – an XY stereo recording mic which is one of the best recording mics for iOS devices. The Zoom comes with a lightning connector, so all you really need to do to sync it with your Apple devices is to plug it in. Also, the X/Y recording function is specially designed to cover a large area whilst still retaining accurately capturing sound sources in the centre correctly – this makes the Zoom iQ6 one of the best mics for live stereo recordings or any sort of vlogging you will ever need to do with your tablet or iPhone. The Zoom offers some flexibility, in that the mic can be moved between 90 and 120 degrees – 120 for a more wider capture and 90 degrees for a more narrowed approach. This mic also rocks different controls for both the headphone output and input gain level. If what you need is a small mic that you can rely on in place of a camera, then the Zoom iQ6 is what you should be going for – especially as it rocks the classic XY stereo configuration that is specifically made to capture awesome audio quality that is miles ahead of stock resolution.