Are you one of the fascinating youths who’s looking forward to starting a vlogging career on YouTube? Or a person in the mid or later part of life who wants to connect with people online? Regardless of who you are, to produce quality & engaging vlogs, you’ll need the best microphone for YouTube vlogging!
Whether you are using a 4K camera or a flagship smartphone with killer camera specs to vlog, you’ll run into severe audio problems relying on your device’s built-in mic. And that’s where an external vlogging-based microphone would help you out.
But aside from making a clear video using any of these top microphones, creating a strategy on how to rank your next Youtube vlog should be on top of the line. Having a successful YouTube channel and trending video takes a lot of time and energy. If you want to save time and have the insight you need in order to properly optimize your videos, installing a quick app like TubeBuddy can do the trick. Download it now for free on your desktop/laptop.
Now that you have discovered the secret to how popular vloggers make their videos trend from time to time, let’s beat the odds more by checking out these top 11 mics you can use to get a headstart in your YouTube vlogging career.
But before we get onto the business, let’s learn some microphone essentials or what we call the mic-lingo.
Types of Microphones Available In The Market
To pick the best microphone for YouTube vlogging, one must know about the different external microphones available in the market. Without this basic knowledge, you won’t be able to distinguish between the microphones we are going to review later in the piece. So, here are eight common types of microphones:
Also known as DSLR microphones, shotgun mics are used mainly by vloggers. This type of mics can easily be mounted on professional cameras to provide a narrow nature & crisp sound by canceling noise from the background. Furthermore, they only capture sound coming from the front end. But note that they are a bit pricier compared to other types of mics for YouTube vlogging.
Have you seen tiny things clipped to the clothes of TV reporters or surveyors? They are called Lavalier microphones. Easily hideable and manageable, this type of mic is mainly used for interviews, performances, and of course, conversational vlogging. But as they have an omnidirectional pickup pattern, you can’t use them for on-the-go vlogging.
USB recording microphones are used for things like streaming, podcasts, tutorials, voiceovers, etc. Although they provide outstanding audio quality, you can’t roam around with them. They are only set up at a specific place to record sound. Popular USB-based mics are Shure sm7b, Blue Yeti, and Rode NT USB.
Portable Dedicated Devices
Resembling the appearance of a taser, dedicated portable microphones are heavy-duty mics that provide flexibility in recording various types of audio. They are all-in-one devices with audio playback functions, file compression capabilities, file quality options, etc. Vloggers often use this type of microphone with lavalier mics.
Many vloggers use their phones to record videos. Unfortunately, more often than not, mics found on smartphones are horrible in terms of recording audio. And for that, companies have made smartphone-based microphones to help phone-based vloggers to turn up their audio games. Note that smartphone mics usually share appearance with lavalier microphones.
Large Diaphragm Condenser
Primarily used for studio voice recording sessions like voiceovers and vocals for music, large-diaphragm condenser microphones are able to record super-clear sound. In addition, this type of mic is externally powered to support the capsule for producing exceptional results! But note that this mic type can be pretty expensive, and it isn’t meant for vlogging.
A boundary microphone uses an omnidirectional polar pattern to record sound coming from anywhere. Commonly, boundary mics are used to record meetings, conferences, etc., as they are masters in picking up sound from all directions. However, this type of mic isn’t of any use for YouTube vloggers.
Last and certainly not least, a parabolic microphone focuses the sound onto where it’s situated. This type of microphone is widely used in surveillance. Also, they are used to isolate distant sounds in wildlife recording. And as you guessed it, you can’t use this type of mic to record vlogs.
We now know about the different types of microphones. And if you haven’t figured it out yet, in vlogging, shotgun, lavalier, portable handheld, and smartphone microphones are commonly used. But you might be guessing, why those only? Well, the answer lies in…
Understanding Polar Pattern & Its Types
The concept of polar pattern refers to the direction from which a microphone picks up the sound. Different types of mics have different polar / pickup patterns for distinct purposes. For instance, a lavalier microphone has a different pickup pattern as compared to a USB mic. Following are some common types of polar patterns with brief descriptions:
Omnidirectional pickup pattern records sound from all directions. It’s equally sensitive to audio at all angles. You can imagine its wave pattern as a perfect sphere in three directions. This pattern is perfect for recordings where the objective is natural and open. You’ll usually find this type of pickup in lavalier microphones.
Shaped like a heart (in the wave format), the cardioid polar pattern is highly flexible and great for most purposes. This pattern is meant to record sound from the front and the sides, and falling off at the rear. You’ll mostly see this type of pattern in instruments and handheld microphones.
Subcardior (or wide cardioid) refers to the polar pattern that resembles the midway of an omnidirectional and cardioid pattern. Although this model is uni-directional to where mic points, it will pick up sounds from all directions with clarity but with less amplitude.
Offering a narrower pickup zone than a regular cardioid pattern, supercardioid rejects sounds coming from the sides but picks the one coming from the rear. However, it’s advantageous in live situations as it provides a very high gain before feedback and keeps signals dry.
Rejecting, even more, sounds from the sides, hypercardiod pattern is mostly found on shotgun microphones. Shaped like a shotgun, this pattern is sensitive to its front, but it also picks sound from the rear side. To pick the best microphone for YouTube vlogging, make sure your mic features a hypercardioid pattern.
Bicardioid/Figure of 8
The figure of eight or bicardioid pattern strongly rejects sound from the side and favors the one coming in from the rear and front. This pattern is often used to record two sources 180 degrees apart with a double-headed mic setting. Mostly, this pattern is found in condenser microphones.
11 Best Microphones To Buy For YouTube Vlogging
We have gone through the basics of microphones, and now it’s time to revisit the piece’s title, picking the best microphone for YouTube vlogging. So, as promised, we are going to review the top 11 vlog-first mics. But for your ease, we have divided our picks into different sections based on their type. Therefore, without further ado, let’s jump in!
Three Best Shotgun YouTube Vlog Microphones
Are you rocking a DSLR to shoot your vlogs? There’s no better option than a shotgun microphone to up your audio game. Here are the top three most liked shotgun mics contending for the best microphone for YouTube vlogging title.
Rode VideoMic Go
Light on the pocket, heavy on performance, Rode VideoMic Go is praised by many users for being the best microphone for YouTube vlogging. Although this mic is at the lower end spectrum of Rode’s audio products, it’s great for beginners on a budget.
To record outstanding sound using Rode VideoMic Go, you just need to plug it into your device’s mic socket. No batteries, no switches, and no fuss! Just mount it onto your recording equipment’s hotshoe using an effective shock mount, and you are good to go.
For reducing noise, Rode VideoMic Go features a foam windscreen. But to take things to the next level, you can buy an optional windjammer. On the sensitivity side, this mic’s frequency response stretches from 100Hz to 16Khz, an ideal range to capture full and rich sound.
All-in-all, VideoMic Go by Rode is a well-made, budgeted, and surprisingly good-sounding plug & play mic.
Rode VideoMic Pro R
Are you looking to go all-in in search of the best mic for vlogging? Then, look no further than the VideoMic Pro R by Rode. This microphone features exceptional quality recording capabilities designed for DSLRs, camcorders, and portable audio recorders as both primary and reference audio. Sharing a similar design with its younger brother, VideoMic Go, the VideoMic Pro R has got more features and high-quality recording abilities.
The 0.5’’ condenser capsule featured in the Rode VideoMic Pro R records broadcast-quality audio. Similarly, the microphone has two switches to tweak performance according to the environment-one for a flat response and the other one for providing a low-frequency cut. And to prevent wind noise, you can buy an optional windjammer dedicated to the model.
VideoMic Pro R by Rode is an excellent shotgun microphone that runs on a 9v battery and provides a wide frequency range of 40Hz to 20Khz.
Audio Technica AT8024
So money isn’t the issue for you, eh? Welcome the Audio Technica AT804 with open arms. The AT804 is a shoe-mount shotgun mic that’s bloated with features to justify its hefty price tag.
Starting off, the AT8024 supports a rubber mount to insulate itself from your device and handling noise. Carrying the review forward, this microphone features two pickup patterns, cardioid mono + stereo.
Unlike other options on the list so far, AT8024 comes both with a foam windscreen and furry windjammer. Meaning, you can cut out wind noise in any given weather condition. Talking about features, this microphone features a roll-off filter to cut base rumble and a three-stage gain control option.
Good quality for both stereo and mono audio, complete windscreen supplies, and a sound frequency range make Audio Technica AT804 the choice of pros!
Top 3 Lavalier Microphones For YouTube Vlogging
Many famous vloggers of YouTube use lavalier microphones to both sounds from both front and rear. And if you want to do the same, here are the top three lavalier mics you can pick as your best microphone for YouTube vlogging.
Coming at only just around $13, Boya By-M1 packs great value for those who want to record premium sound on a budget. With a frequency range of 65Hz to 18KHz, BY-M1 is a wired lavalier mic with a switchable power source that uses an LR44 button cell.
Boya BY-M1 is constructed with fine plastic materials and is on the bulky side of things. You can use the lapel clip installed on the mic to attach it to the presenter’s clothes. Similarly, you get a foam windscreen to help reduce wind noise when you are recording.
Now coming to what matters the most, Boya BY-M1 delivers exceptionally good audio quality considering its low price. Although it does have a hotter output, you’ll get blown away by its super sound recording capabilities.
BY-M1 by Boya is living proof that even at a low price, you can get an excellent lavalier microphone.
Rode Wireless Go
As suggested by the title, Wireless Go is a superb creation by Rode that you can take anywhere. Specially created for crowded environments, weighing at only 31g a piece, Wireless Go has a receiver and a transmitter with built-in rechargeable batteries.
Wireless Go by Rode works differently than other microphones. The receiver gets connected with your recording device using a 3.5mm wire to receive signals, and the transmitter does the job of transmitting audio signals. There’s also a socket on the transmitter to connect an additional mic. And speaking of audio, Rode Wireless Go delivers crystal-clear sound under any conditions and supports up to 70m range.
Rode Wireless Go is a compact microphone wireless system that takes no time to set up, provides a good battery life and phenomenal sound quality!
Audio Technica ATR 3350
Made by the pioneers of the audio world, ATR 3350 is a well-made budget-oriented lavalier microphone by Audio Technica.
ATR 3350 features a long 6m cable that you can use to tuck the microphone anywhere you want quickly. Similarly, you get a foam windshield included with the mic package, but we would recommend buying an additional furry wind muff.
When it comes to recording audio, ATR 3350 absolutely thrashes it. The quality of sound is quite reasonable thanks to its A-grade condenser, omnidirectional polar pattern, and frequency range of 50Hz – 18Khz.
Things just can’t go wrong with ATR 3350 as it’s made by one of the most renowned audio equipment brands worldwide.
Best YouTube Vlogging Portable Handheld Mics
Portable handheld mics are one of the most underrated pieces of equipment when it comes to recording sound. Well, you can break the stereotypes and use any one of the two following best microphones for YouTube vlogging as your crime partner.
Housed in an eye-catching matte-finished body, H1n by Zoom is the benchmark of portable handheld microphones. This device features two uni-directional stereo condenser microphones facing each other at 90 degrees.
The newly designed closure keeps the mics safe from wear and tear, meaning you can carry this lightweight and handy device anywhere without any fear. Next up, you’ll see a 1.25’’ LCD monochrome display that’s the hub of the device. You can use it to control various features of Zoom H1n.
Finally, the audio quality of Zoom H1n is top-drawer. This device lets you record a distortion-free signal up to 120 dB SPL. So, all-in-al, H1n by Zoom is the choice of many entry-level and professionals vloggers to make their audio recording as better as possible.
Zoom H4n Pro
Strictly created for professional use, Zoom H4n Pro is the bigger brother of H1n. Twice as big as Zoom H1n, H4 Pro comes with tons of features that are only meant to be used by experts in the field.
If you want to push things to the maximum, Zoom H4n Pro has got your back. It features a four-channel recording of up to 24-bit kHz, built-in x/Y microphones with up to 140 dB SPL, and 2 XLR/TRS inputs with locking connectors. This device also has a 4-In/2-Out USB audio interface along with the capability of recording directly to SD/SDHC cards up to 32 GB.
For vloggers who want to crank up the audio quality in their videos by a good margin, Zoom H4n Pro is the way forward.
Great Vlog Microphones For Smartphones
For those of you who prefer smartphones for vlogging, you can use the following microphones to record crystal clear audio.
PowerDeWise Professional Grade
For people who vlog on a regular basis using their smartphone, the PowerDeWise Professional Grade microphone provides magnificent value!
First things first, PowerDeWise Professional Grade mic records clear audio without any severe noise. And as it’s compatible with android phones, iOS devices, camcorders, audio recorders, tablets, and laptops, you just need to plug it in for recording. Similarly, the PowerDeWise Professional Grade mic comes with a clip and 2m length cord, meaning you can easily tuck it on your clothes without stretching it.
So, if you are looking forward to buying the best microphone for YouTube vlogging without needing to spend too much money, this microphone would be a perfect choice.
So tiny yet so useful, SmartLav+ by Rode is a professional-grade smartphone-compatible lavalier mic with a TRRS jack. The wearable SmartLav+ features a high-quality omnidirectional condenser capsule that’s only 4.5mm in size. But it can do wonders in recording crisp-clear audio.
For cutting wind noise, Rode SmartLav+ can be covered with a foam pop filter that comes with the package. And to mount the microphone, there’s a durable clip that you can use to attach the microphone anywhere you want.
Thanks to its fab sound quality, solid accessories, and good-built quality, Rode SmartLav+ is loved by many vloggers who are new in town.
Last and certainly not least is Joby Wavo. Coming at a palm-size and weighing only 50g, this microphone is designed for people who shoot vlogs using their smartphones.
Joby Wavo comes with Rycote Duo-Lyre clip-on and Hytrel shock mount so you can easily adjust it on your smartphone. That’s not it! You’ll also find a windshield inside the package that’s used to clear all the horrible noise created by winds.
This microphone features an electret condenser with a cardio pattern and a frequency response range of 34Hz – 18KHz. And most importantly, all that brilliance is powered by just a cable that connects with your device’s mic port.
For phone vloggers who are fed up with bad audio quality, Joby Wavo is the solution.
Brief Glossary For Vloggers Just Starting Out
Vloggers who are just starting out and picking up their first external microphone have tons of questions. So, in the spirit of helping them, we have picked the top queries by analyzing various forums, discussions, and websites. So, don’t forget to check them out!
What’s the frequency response?
How many times the sound wave vibrates air molecules in a second to produce is known as frequency response. Soundwaves stretch from a very low-frequency range to very high. But we humans can only hear between 20Hz to 20KHz. However, to get natural-sounding audio, a microphone must capture the frequencies we can hear. Commonly, the flat range of human speech is about 100Hz to 8KHz. And if a microphone can capture it, it’s regarded as a good sound capturing mic.
Do microphones require additional power?
Condenser microphones require power to work. But dynamic mics don’t require any sort of power, you just need to plug them in your device’s 3.5mm microphone/headphones jack, and you are good to go!
What are pickup patterns?
The way a microphone records the sound is known as a pickup pattern. Different patterns are meant for different uses. In this piece, you’ll find a detailed section about the topic; feel free to give it a shot.
What’s the use of USB microphones?
USB-powered microphones are desk-situated mics that are used in podcasts, streaming, voiceover, music, etc. USB mics are used for YouTube vlogging as they aren’t as portable as shotguns and lavaliers.
The standard of sound in your vlogs will define your future in the world of YouTube vlogging. So pick up the best microphone for YouTube vlogging, attach it to your smartphone/DSLR and start recording-the rewarding munch of social media is waiting for you.