What should be a microphone for video? | Articles | Gadgets, gifts and accessories


If you are just planning to launch your YouTube channel, your show or just shoot videos, then one of the most important devices in your arsenal will be a microphone. You definitely should not rely on the power of the microphone built into the camera or smartphone. And clear and high-quality sound is an essential element of the video, which is all the more important for the viewer’s perception. So do not hesitate, our text will be useful to you if you start your journey into the world of video.

We will look at the main types of microphones and tell you which ones are suitable for video clips of different formats.

To begin with, there are several types of microphones: lavaliers, directional microphones (guns), studio microphones, headphone microphones and built-in microphones. We will tell about each in more detail, moreover, each within its class is divided into various subspecies. There are, for example, different connection types and directions.

Source: Shure

Key differences

Condenser Microphones and Dynamics – These options reflect the design and type of sound capture that your microphone offers. In simple terms, dynamic microphones are less sensitive and simpler in structure. But they don’t need food. Capacitors are more susceptible, require a battery or power supply, and are smaller in size. Dynamic, as a rule, win in price, but the explanation for this is obvious.

The microphone radiation pattern is also divided into several types. It shows where the microphone is picking up the sound from. There are three main types here.

Omnidirectional microphones pick up sound from 360 degrees around you, that is, from every angle. Cardioid are limited to an angle of 100-150 degrees. And bi-directional microphones pick up sound from two directions, 90 degrees on each side.

Connection types also vary depending on the camera you are using to shoot and the type of recording. That is, which input is available on the camera depends on which microphone you need: XLR, 3.5 mm mini-jack or USB.

Power will also become an essential point, and here you need to become familiar with the concept of phantom power. This is a type of power supply where the microphone takes charge from the camera, but it does not have a built-in battery.

Well, now it’s time to look at the types of microphones themselves.

Source: sweetwater


This is a miniature lavalier microphone that clings directly to clothing. It can be wired and wireless. You probably often noticed such microphones on presenters and reporters. Typically, these microphones are either omnidirectional or cardioid. The latter are of higher quality, as they capture the speaker’s speech, but block out most of the surrounding noise.

If you shoot outdoors and walk a lot, then this microphone is most convenient. You do not need an operator or assistant, you can do it yourself, even with a tripod or monopod. Also, they are suitable for wide-angle shooting, where nothing extra should get into the frame except for the leader and the background.

Such a microphone is placed, as a rule, on the collar, for this there is a special clothespin on it, 15-20 cm below the chin. Do not cover the microphone with clothing as this may interfere with sound pickup. But you can still hide them, the main thing is to move carefully and avoid rustling and friction.

Lapel pins are ideal for documentaries, reportage, solo filming and conference formats where everyone is talking at the same time.

The most popular lavaliers, due to their quality, are the Sennheiser G3 wireless, Rode Smart Lav + and Shure 3.5 mm models.

Source: Cosmo Music

Directional microphone

A cannon microphone, also known as a boom microphone, is an oblong cylindrical microphone. It is immediately clear that it involves picking up sound in a certain direction and suppressing internoises. If we talk about expensive professional models, then guns will give a better result than similar buttonholes.

They are located, as a rule, on the camera, from above or below, and are directed directly at the speaker. In this case, you need an operator if the microphone is attached to the camera or a special boom operator, that is, a microphone operator who will hold it at the proper distance. The latter is important when shooting when the leader is moving in the frame.

The direction of the microphone is directly related to the final sound quality.

The advantage of this type of microphone is that they are not visible in the frame, so they will not distract the viewer as much as a lavalier. These are the microphones used in filming movies.

They are usually placed either on a special c-stand or directly on the camera, depending on the model. Usually the latter are used for short street interviews, polls and situations where there is simply no time to connect a buttonhole.

The Rode VideoMic Pro is a very popular directional microphone model among today’s vloggers.

Directional microphones are best suited for feature films, studio shots, documentaries, and video materials such as polls.

Common models include Rode NTG3, Rode NTG2, Sennheiser MKE600 and Sennheiser ME66/K6P.

Source: shutterstock

studio microphone

Obviously, such microphones are designed for recording video in the studio. Therefore, they are used in radio, podcast recording, music studios, voice acting, etc.

These microphones require a fairly short operating distance, meaning you need to speak directly into them. If you don’t want the microphone to show up in the frame, this is not an option.

But the quality, depending on the model, of course, can be very high. These are the best microphones in terms of recording quality. They pick up more frequencies and suppress ambient noise.

Studio microphones are often connected via USB and record sound directly to a computer.

Such microphones are ideal not only for professional needs, but also for recording podcasts or radio broadcasts, for streams and discussion videos. In this format, the presence of a microphone in the frame is not criminal, on the contrary, it is often welcomed.

Studio microphones include the Rode Podcaster and the Audio-Technica ATR2100.

Source: sweetwater

Microphone built into headphones

Definitely a handy option, a frequent companion for headsets and gaming headphones. Their convenience is to simultaneously limit the ingress of internoises that would distract the presenter, and to hear not only themselves, but also the interlocutors. In short, anyone who has ever combined a game with a voice conference knows what it’s like.

The microphone is located close to the speaker’s mouth, so that the sound is always captured successfully. Because it doesn’t matter where you look. But in the frame it is preferable to be without headphones. Therefore, the microphone built into them is suitable for a very narrow range of videos. Namely: for gamers, streamers, sports commentators and podcast hosts.

Microphones we can recommend are Sennheiser 350/360 and Game Zero, BeyerDynamic MMX 300 and Marshall Major II.

Microphone built into the camera

Last on the list, the least popular option is the microphone built into your camera, computer, or smartphone. With him, everything is simple, it is better not to use it. No matter how cool the characteristics of such a microphone are, in reality it will not give the expected result and you will have to repeatedly clean the resulting sound track.

Ultimately, it all comes down to what kind of videos you want to record. If you have some new, unique format in mind, then just see what you want – a microphone in the frame? A buttonhole on the collar? Or maybe you prefer headphones and start up a separate video sequence. In a word, depending on your requirements, you should choose a microphone.


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