The world of vlogging is an amazing one, filled with many opportunities to not only share our thoughts, beliefs and lives with the world, but can also make quite a career if we’re able to stick with it. We know many successful vloggers out with there who do this full-time; however, without the proper gear, we just won’t be able to provide the standard most people watching our vlogs expect nowadays. Today we looked at some different solutions to recording our audio and compiled this list of the best vlogging microphones in the market. Below is our checklist to read through first in order to get a better feel for what exactly you need to step up that vlogging game.
Finding the best vlogging microphone
First thing is first — how are you filming your vlog? This question when becoming a vlogger will ultimately coincide with our next question below, but to summarize, what you’re using to capture your video will deter you in a specific direction for a microphone. If you haven’t grabbed your video camera yet, we highly recommend a DSLR camera or mirrorless camera, but that isn’t a must, per se.
What type of microphone? Now we’ll get into the big details for the different types of mics we have in here. As stated earlier, if you haven’t gotten your video camera yet, you’ll have some flexibility. Otherwise, this will definitely pinpoint your search.
- USB microphones: These are preferred by vloggers who stay stationary in a room with a computer. Whether you’re recording with a web cam or exterior camera on a tripod, this is great for super clear quality as long as the microphone is positioned properly and you’re not going to be moving around a lot (ie: staying seated in your chair or standing by a green screen). When it comes down to it however, we only recommend USB mics for those who are doing something such as streaming or types of vlogs that don’t entail video cameras, otherwise a shotgun mic (camera mic) below will be better.
- Camera microphones: These are microphones literally attached to your camera that typically point at you like a “shotgun mic“. These are more optimal than USB mics for those standing in a chair or using a green screen in a room (reviewing products or speaking about something). They’re also perfect for those out in the field filming everyday life vlogs (where you’ll be walking around or engaging in an activity and you have a camera person following you). The only catch here is you’ll have to buy a compatible camera — DSLR or mirrorless cameras, and those can cost a pretty penny.
- Lavalier microphones: Another spin to a vlogging microphone here that spans across multiple uses. “Lav mics” are those small little hand-sized mics that clip on to either your shirt or somewhere else non-intrusively to your body. They’re great for interviews or any vlogging that you’d like to keep versatile, especially if you don’t have somebody to film you and you have to capture it all yourself.
- Handheld recorders: These are a bit different from all of the others, and are actually separate devices for recording audio. You can either stand them up with a little tripod near you, lay them flat on a desk, chair or floor, or carry them around with your hand and record as you go. We’d only recommend these if you aren’t filming and doing vlog audio only, or are super concerned with audio quality (since these blow all other mics out of the water when it comes to resolution — but don’t get us wrong, all mics are feasible and many audiences won’t be able to “tell”).
- Smart device microphones: Last but not least, as technology continues to grow, more and more vloggers are using their smart devices to record their sessions. Whether you’re on a iOS, Android or even tablet, these little mics connect to the lighting connector or compatible input. We’d still recommend using a real video camera and grabbing a previous microphone type listed before, but if you’re on a strict budget and want to get going right away or feel smart devices are best for your vlogging adventures, be our guest. We listed our favorite one at the end.
The top 10 best microphones for vlogging
To begin, we will start with the Blue Yeti, one of our favorite USB mics in the world today. It serves as one of the best vlogging microphones for those who will be remaining stationary and want a mic that is versatile, as the Yeti can be adequately used for all applications or environments within an enclosed area. In terms of the features, this is a multi-pattern model that captures a very solid 16-bit/48 kHz audio resolution response. It is designed with a ‘tri-capsule’ technology and 4 different pattern settings – cardioid, omnidirectional, stereo, and bi-directional – all of which can be simply switched between depending on how you want to record your audio.
The capsule technology is made to deliver crisp, detailed sound, while coming with studio controls like headphone volume, instant mute and microphone gain for giving vloggers hands-on controls as to what they’re recording. The Yeti is designed with a zero-latency 3.5mm headphone jack that allows users to monitor and listen to what the microphone is picking up in real-time without any delays. The vlogging microphone is also simple to use – just plug the Yeti into your computer’s USB port with the USB cable included, sync and you’re ready to record. The Blue Yeti is reasonably priced, and can be a good option if you need a microphone with USB compatibility, whether you’re staying stationary in your chair and filming or streaming\narrating something that doesn’t involve a video camera.
Rode VideoMic Pro
The next model we will talk about is the Rode VideoMic Pro, which is a super-cardioid condenser mic that is one of the best microphones for vlogging for users looking for a shotgun-style mic as previously listed. The Rode combines its shotgun design with an added “Rycote Lyre” shockmount that does a good job at isolating the mic capsule and electronics from any rumble that vibration can cause. For example, if you’re a travel vlogger, a lot of sounds and audio from the people/environment can cause some unwanted ambiance or vibration, but with the Rycote shockmount, you can minimize that issue.
Coming with a 1/2” condenser capsule that delivers broadcast-quality sound, the VideoMic Pro is a true shotgun mic that is ideal for audio capture with camcorders (make sure they have a connector), DSLRs, and other compatible portable video recorders. The Rode sports a low self-noise of just 14dB, which is very good for the price, while also being fitted with an 1/8” TRS connector that outputs the mono signal to both the left and right of channels of your camera or recorder. If you’re searching for a mic for outdoor vlogging or an indoor solution that attaches to your camera, the Rode VideoMic Pro might be your best option as the best vlogging microphone.
Here we have our most affordable lavalier model, the Audio-Technica ATR3350. The Audio-Technica is one of our lav-styled mics that will be the best vlogging microphone for our budget and versatility conscious shoppers. The ATR3350 is a newscaster-style mic that is designed with an omnidirectional capsule to pick up accurate voice reproduction from every direction. Although it’s pretty small, it still features a solid frequency response of 50 – 18,0000 Hz and a max SPL (sound pressure level) of up to 54 dB – both of which are great when considering the price and size of the ATR3350.
It comes with a dual-mono 1/8” output plug for video cameras, along with DSLR, or a handheld video recorder’s (yes, works with some smart devices too — just double-check the compatibility depending on what you’re using) stereo 1/8” input to record audio on both the left and right channels. The Audio-Technica also comes with a clip for the mic – combine that with the low-profile design making for minimum visibility. The Audio-Technica ATR3350 is a strong option as the best microphone for vlogging for someone who needs something that is inexpensive and low-profile.
The Apogee MiC is one of the best microphones for vlogging that is both small and low-profile, rivaling the Blue Yeti as a solid USB mic option to vlog with. It is a professional studio quality cardioid condenser microphone that can be directly connected to your Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Windows computer. The mic itself is pretty small in size – about as big as an iPhone. With the “PureDIGITAL” USB connection, the Mic 96k is able to easily capture your best takes with solid quality, and you can take it anywhere – hiking, sporting events, festivals, you name it. It isn’t necessarily the easiest to take in the field (especially compared to a camera mic or even lav), but it can get the job done if you’re concerned with audio quality (it has some of the best in here at 96k, hence the name).
The Apogee’s cardioid polar pattern design is specifically designed for capturing vocal and acoustic recordings – this will be good option for concerts if that’s what you fancy, but not limited to. It has a steel mesh housing on the actual microphone capsule, as a well as a die-cast zinc body to give it long-lasting durability throughout your travels. The Apogee Mic Plus offers a reliable sound and compact, portable design for a bargain of a price.
Here we’ll take a look at the Zoom H1, one of the best vlogging microphones for users who need something that is handheld and on the lower price-point. The Zoom H1 is a pocket-sized handheld recorder that can be used in pretty much all audio applications that video blogging demands. The H1 is powered by a single AA battery, supplying up to 10 hours of recording – pretty solid for just using a one battery and can be switched out in case you need even longer. The Zoom has a pair of pro-quality XY stereo condensers built-in, which means you don’t have to plug-in your own mic, but it does come with a 1/8” input on side if you do. The Zoom H1 supplies up to 24-bit/96kHz PCM WAV format of recording – great for the price and size of it, which we think will be the number one factor when choosing this one.
The H1 also features high SPL handling, recording options, and recording controls – coming with an “Auto Level” switch on the back for getting greater sound, and a similar “Lo Cut” switch to reduce handling and wind noise. It comes with a 2GB microSD memory card, while also having the storage capacity of up to 32GB. The Zoom H1 is perfect for vloggers looking for something low-profile that supplies solid recording functions at a very manageable price if you don’t mind the way you’ll have to use it. You will also have to sync up the audio with your footage in post-production.
Sennheiser MKE 400
Now we’ll dive into the Sennheiser MKE 400, a super cardioid shotgun microphone with a compact design that is one of the best microphones for vloggers who prefer to use on-camera mics and the previous Rode pick wasn’t your thing (this is also a bit cheaper). The MKE 400 is relatively small as it is designed to mount on cameras with a lighting shoe mount and an external mic input – albeit it’s small, the MKE 400 can be suitable for nearly all professional applications. The mic can fit comfortably anywhere, and it has a run time of 300 hours from a single AAA battery which is very good.
The MKE 400’s lobar mic has a frequency response between 40Hz and 20kHz and a max SPL of up to 126 db – both of which are very solid for the price. The mic’s side noise rejection and switchable sensitivity will make life easier for video recording. The MKE 400 also has a shockmount built-in so you won’t have to worry about handling noise when capturing audio and video. The Sennheiser MKE 400 is another one of the best microphones for vlogging for someone who needs a do-it-all mic with a rugged design.
Up next we have another lavalier mic with a bit higher quality than the previous A-T pick, which is one of the best vlogging microphones for smartphones, tablets or cameras who want the mic on their body. The smartLav+ is designed with an omnidirectional condenser capsule to pick up sounds from all directions, and also has a foam pop filter which helps eliminate vocal plosives you might get when interviewing people or talking yourself. Although the mic is tiny, it still has a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz, along with a max SPL 110db which is pretty great considering it’s 0.01 lbs.
The Rode also comes with a pretty durable mounting clip that lets you attach the mic to lapels, tie, shirts, or any other locations – handy! The mic is also compatible with all audio apps that accept audio from headset inputs. The Rode smartLav+ is a lavalier style mic that lets you easily record broadcast-quality audio with a smart phone, so if you want to be a vlogger via phone and don’t have wiggle room in your budget, this mic will be the best vlogging mic choice for you.
Moving on, we have another Rode model, the Rode NT-USB, which is one of the best microphones for vloggers who need a mic that is multipurpose, USB compatible, but not as mobile. The Rode is suitable for recording singing, musical performances, podcasts, and voice-overs to name a few. It is a studio-quality USB mic that is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS based platforms. The NT-USB features a zero-latency stereo headphone monitoring jack which lets you monitor the microphone input, along with adjust the monitoring level and mix between your audio source and the mic input.
It also comes with a pop-filter that fits onto the base of the mic – positioning the filter the most efficient from the capsule helps minimize plosives during speech you may get during interviews or singing. The Rode NT-USB is pretty price-effective, and also comes with a mount, tripod stand, and storage pouch for beginning vloggers who don’t have any equipment or would like to use their mic for other applications as well, such as recording music, chats, gaming and more.
Nearing the end of our guide, we have the budget-friendly TASCAM DR-05, a stereo recorder with built-in omnidirectional microphones. The DR-05 is about the size of your palm, so taking it anywhere will not be an issue. The TASCAM is capable of recording in MP3 formats of up to 320 kbps and in Broadcast WAV format of up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution. The pair of omnidirectional microphones supply relatively clear recordings, while also being able to handle sounds pressures up to 125dB – making the DR-5 one of the best vlogging microphones for live event recording like parades, festivals, or even concerts — environments with high background noise ultimately.
The recorder features some pretty cool recording functions, such as ‘peak reduction’ which is for optimal for ambiance, and also has a self-timer that’ll delay the start of the recording for 5 to 10 seconds. It also has a limiter and low-cut filter to help prevent any sound distortion you may come across at live events. If you plan on doing some work at live events or just want a versatile handheld recorder solution, the TASCAM DR-5 might just be the best vlogging microphone for you if the previous Zoom wasn’t high-quality enough.
To finish, we have the Zoom iQ6 – a XY stereo recording mic that is one of the best microphones for vlogging specifically made for iOS devices. The Zoom is designed with a lightning connector, so all you have to do is just plug the lightning connector into the Apple device and BOOM – easy! The X/Y recording configuration is meant for covering wide areas while still capturing sound sources in the center with clarity, making the Zoom iQ6 ideal for live stereo recordings or really any type of vlogging you’ll be doing on your iPhone or tablet.
The microphones on the Zoom can be switched between 90 and 120 degrees, allowing for more flexibility while recording – 90 degrees for a tightly focused image and 120 degrees for a wider image. The iQ6 also comes with separate controls for input gain and headphone output level. If you’re in search for a small microphone to bring with you to get going on those vlogs immediately instead of using a camera, the Zoom iQ6 is your guy, sporting the classic XY stereo configuration that is specially designed to capture ideal audio quality that blows your stock resolution out of the water.