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Best Microphone for YouTubers

Jul 14, 2020• Proven solutions

If you want your viewers to be glued to their screens then quality audio is just as important as quality video for your YouTube channel. People will watch your vlog because they want to hear what you are saying. It can be tempting to use the audio your camera records rather than buy a separate microphone. Unfortunately, the microphones built into most cameras will only record mediocre audio. In this case, we have researched and found out the following best microphones for YouTube videos based on its price and performance. Besides, we will also highlight the best microphones for different recording scenarios. Whether you're making gaming videos or recording yourself singing, or filming inside or outside, you will get to know which one is best for your situation. Let’s check out now.

Part 1: Best Microphones for YouTube Videos [Best for All]

Here are examples of some of the best external microphones for YouTube:

1. Blue Snowball USB Mic - $60

microphone

The Snowball is especially good for vlogging from your webcam because it is easy to hook up to your computer using a USB port. It will record your audio simultaneously while you are using your webcam. The biggest drawback of the Snowball is that it needs to be close to you while your record. This combined with its larger size means that it will probably need to be in your shot.

2. RØDE Video Shotgun Mic - $140

microphone

The Shotgun attaches to your DSLR camera and is great for capturing specific sounds, like dialogue, without a lot of background noise. To work well it needs to be pointing at the person who is speaking, and it should be fairly close to them as well. This means that the camera cannot be too far back from you while you vlog.

3. Audio-Technica AT875R Line + Gradient Condenser Microphone - $240

microphone

This microphone is similar to the ones you think of being mounted on boom poles on professional sets, and it can easily be mounted onto a pole and used the same way. This gradient condenser mic is good at picking up sound at a distance, and at only picking up sound coming from directly in front of it. If you are working alone then you can set this mic up on a stand so it is pointing at you, or if you have a friend to help you you can ask them to hold it on a boom pole.

4. Sony LAV Wireless Mic System - $600

microphone

A LAV Mic, also called a lavalier or lapel mic, is a small microphone which can be clipped onto clothing. Wearing a LAV Mic while you vlog will allow you to move around freely and still capture great audio, rather than being stuck in range of a stationary mic. There are both wired and wireless options available in LAV Mics.

5. Roland R-05 WAVE/MP3 Recorder - $200

microphone

The R-05 is a pocket recorder that captures flawless audio. Its small size means you can hide it in your pocket and it will not show up in your video. Also, since it does not need to hook up to your camera or computer you will have freedom of movement.

Part 2: Best Microphones for All Types of YouTube Creators

If you have to invest in a new piece of equipment for your YouTube channel, consider upgrading your microphones. Your viewers can forgive your grainy video footage, poor lighting, and unsteady camera handling, but if your audio sounds like you’re speaking across the road on a busy highway, all your hard work will be wasted, because nobody will want to watch it.

But the thing about microphones is that they are not all created equal. Depending on the type of videos you’re filming and the environment where you’re recording, the capabilities of the microphone will differ.

1. Best Microphone for Live Streamers and Gamers

Blue Yeti USB - $150

As a live streamer, gamer, or vlogger such as beauty or lifestyle, you’ll want a balance of easy setup and high-quality audio. The Blue Yeti USB delivers on that.

 Best Microphone for Live Streamers and Gamers: Blue Yeti USB

It’s the closest budget microphone to a professional studio mic on the market, and it feels that way when you hold its solid metal frame for the first time. Connecting directly to your computer via USB, the Blue Yeti comes with a 6-feet long USB cable. Out of the box, it sits upon a sturdy stand, which can be removed and the mic can be threaded a shock mount.

The Blue Yeti can pick up audio in four different polar patterns: cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional, and stereo. This makes it incredibly versatile, but if you are streaming, I recommend keeping it on cardioid.

Tip: In cardioid mode, speak into the front of the mic, not the top of it.

2. Best Microphones for Outdoor Locations

Rode VideoMic Pro Compact VMP Shotgun Microphone - $268

When you are filming outside, you are dealing with audio from all different directions: distant traffic, a gust of wind, the neighbor’s kids, etc.

 Best Microphones for Outdoor Locations: Rode VideoMic Pro Compact VMP Shotgun Microphone

That’s why a shotgun mic is better than an omnidirectional one for outdoor situations. Shotgun microphones, such as the Rode VideoMic Pro, picks up audio only in the direction it’s pointing in. You can aim it at your subject and it will give you clear audio without a lot of background noises.

The Rode VideoMic Pro comes with a mount that attaches on top of your camera, if you are filming outdoors. So if you are holding the camera and vlogging, then the audio will be great. However, if you want to take advantage of the space, and set the camera further away, you should attach the mic on a boom or a stand to get the best audio.

Tip: With Rode VideoMic Pro, and any mic you use to shoot outdoors, always do a sound check to make sure the quality is up to standard. Ten seconds of your subject talking at the level they will be speaking in will be enough to judge the sound quality.

3. Best Microphone for Music (Vocals)

Audio-Technica AT2035 - $163

If you are a serious musician on YouTube, then you will need a serious microphone like the Audio-Technica AT2035. This microphone connects via an XLR cable and requires phantom power, so you will need to invest in an audio interface, if you don’t already have one.

 Best Microphone for Music (Vocals): Audio-Technica AT2035

Nevertheless, this microphone does a fantastic job isolating the source of sound and eliminating background noise. Even if you’re recording in your bedroom, and not a professional studio, you’ll still get high quality vocals from this microphone.   

Tip : Position yourself 8-12 inches away from the mic when singing. This allows your voice to sound more natural (too close and it’ll sound bassy) and it prevents the audio volume from fluctuating too dramatically as you move around or sing loudly one part and quietly at another.

4. Best Microphone for Voice Over

Rode NTK Tube Condenser Microphone - $529

The Rode NTK Tube is arguably one of the best microphone for its price. You can spend a thousand dollars and get a professional studio microphone, but you can’t do much better than the Rode NTK.

 Best Microphone for  Voiceover: Rode NTK Tube Condenser Microphone

If you’re recording out of a studio environment, whether it’s a professional, semi-professional, or a closet with soft padded walls, the Rode NTK will give warmth and richness to every word you speak, while still offering crispness. Allow it to warm up for a few minutes before you start recording, and you’ll have awesome audio for your voice over.   

This mic is great for YouTubers who are creating video essays, ADR, animated videos, or other videos that require top quality narrations.

Tip: Make sure you have a mic stand that you can raise to your standing height. Standing while recording voice over allows you diaphragm to open up, which will improve the quality of your voice.

5. Best Microphone for Big Echoey Space

Sennheiser MD 421 II Cardioid Dynamic Mic - $449

Commonly used to record isolated percussions or brass instruments, the Sennheiser MD 421 II is also wonderful if you need to record vocals in a large room. As a versatile dynamic mic, it doesn’t allow background noises or reverberations to bleed into the source vocal.

 Best Microphone for Big Echoey Space: Sennheiser MD 421 II Cardioid Dynamic Mic

The Sennheiser MD 421 II has a rugged design as it’s built for live situations, such as concerts. This is a great microphone to have in your arsenal, should you end up recording in a large venue such as a conference or an arena.  

If you are a YouTuber who makes a lot of video in warehouses, workshops, or rehearsal halls, then you should consider investing in a Sennheiser MD 421 II to get the most out of these acoustically complicated locations.

Tip : Sometimes audio in a loud, big environment can’t be saved by the best microphone. If that’s the case, film the source of the background noise. Get b-roll of people walking around, machinery operating, or whatever challenging sound you are dealing with in the large space. Cutting to these noise makers will give the audience a reference for the background noise, which helps conceal it.

6. Best Handheld Microphone for Interviews

Zoom ZH1 H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder - $68.99

This unidirectional microphone delivers clear and crisp audio. Compact, portable, and lightweight, the Zoom ZH1 H1 is a terrific choice for YouTubers who are looking for a handheld option for a microphone.

 Best Microphone for Interviews: Zoom ZH1 H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder

As a YouTuber, you may not have a crew to help you wrangle cable or a team member to help you monitor your audio levels, that is what makes Zoom ZH1 H1 a solid choice, as it is wireless and you can check the levels right in the palm of your hands as you record and even hear playback on the device.

The only thing that might slow you down, is that the audio will be captured directly onto the device, which means that you will need to sync up your audio to video afterward.

Tip : Before you start your interview, hit record on video and audio and then clap on camera, causing the audio to spike and giving you a video reference. This will give you a clear mark for syncing up, the sound of the clap and your hands coming together on camera.

7. Best Microphone for Action and Fitness

Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R with Rycote Lyre Shockmount - $214.90

 Best Microphone for Action and Fitness: Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R with Rycote Lyre Shockmount

If you’re a YouTuber who films a lot of action shots or fitness videos, where you, your camera and your microphone are in motion, then I recommend the Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R with Rycote Lyre Shockmount.

The Rode VMRP VideoMic Pro is a shotgun microphone that can focus on your subject in front of the camera with a low self-noise. This is excellent when you’re filming action shots, because you can always direct your mic at what you want to record knowing you won’t capture too much from other angles.

The Rycote Lyre shock mount eliminates any external audio that can be caused by movements to the microphone and camera. The shock mount is made of an elastic solution, so it’s incredibly durable.

Tip : For a greater range, the Rode VMRP Video Mic Pro can be mounted onto a boom pole, should the subject need to move around within the shot or if the camera needs to move away from the subject.

8. Best Waterproof Microphone

Sennheiser MKE 2 elements - Action Mic for the GoPro HERO4 - $200

 Best Waterproof Microphone: Sennheiser MKE 2 elements - Action Mic for the GoPro HERO4

In or around water, nothing can ruin a day of shooting faster than getting your equipment wet. If you’re using GoPro Hero4 for shooting all your intense water shots, you would be familiar with the awful audio you capture when the camera is inside the waterproof casing.

Lucky for you, Sennheiser has developed a waterproof microphone, the MKE 2 elements. This little furry ball that connects to your GoPro Hero4 can withstand up to 1 meter of water. Because underwater sound is captured differently (via a hydrophone ), the Sennheiser MKE 2 elements can’t actually record audio underwater, however, it’ll be ready to keep recording quality audio once it resurfaces.

Tip: Double check to make sure that the mic cable is not blocking the seal of the waterproof case of the camera before launching it into the water.   

Different situations call for different equipment. This is the true for tradespeople, golfers, and YouTubers. If you want to get the best audio, it’s more than simply buying the most expensive one, you’ll also need to find the microphone most suited for that situation.

I hope this post helped you improve your audio quality. If you are having challenges finding a good microphone for a particular scenario, let us know in the comments below!

Part 3: 10 Tips for Recording YouTube Audio [Video Tutorial]

After picking up the best microphone based on your need, you can record your audio now. But wait, here are 10 tips for using the microphones to record better audio for your YouTube video. In case that you are in a hurry, we have summarized the following tips for a quick look.

  • Silence everything you don’t want your mic to record.
  • Put your mobile phone in airplane mode.
  • Minimize echo.
  • Block wind from reaching your mic.
  • Upgrade your mic.
  • Adjust your levels.
  • Start with a sound cue if you’re planning to do some syncing in post.
  • Get close to the sound.
  • ADR.
  • Record Ambient Sound.

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Part 4: How to Sync your Audio in Filmora9

Both the LAV Mics and the R-05 will create separate audio clips which you will need to sync up with your video when you are finished recording.

Note: when you start recording, clap two or three times. This will create distinct and visible audio spikes for you to look for when you sync the audio with video.

1. Import Video and Audio Files

Once you have finished recording and have opened up Filmora9 Video Editor, import your video and drag and drop it into your timeline. The audio recorded with the built in camera mic is already lined with your video clip and your audio and video will both automatically share the video track.

Now import the audio from your external microphone and drag and drop it to your audio track. The audio track is initially hidden, but it will appear when you pull an audio file into the timeline.

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2.Detach Default Audio from Video

Since you have recorded a separate audio file, you should detach the original audio recorded with the built-in camera mic from the video. To do this, just right click the video clip in the timeline and select Audio Detach from the drop down menu.

 Audio detach

3.Align Spikes in Video Audio and Recorded Audio

Find the spikes that represent your clapping in both audio tracks. Then, adjust your external audio so its clapping patterns are in line with those in your camera’s audio track. You can magnify your timeline for a better control.

Once your external audio is synced to your camera’s audio it will also be synced to your video. You no longer need your camera’s audio and can delete it.

Watch the video below to check more features about Filmora.

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Liza Brown
Liza Brown is a writer and a lover of all things video.