Best Vlogger, Podcaster, and Filmmaker Microphones For 2022

Microphones – The majority of the best vlogs, videos, podcasts, and films all have one thing in common, and that is excellent audio. Excellent audio mixing and editing, often with audio plugins, will undoubtedly be present in great-sounding videos and other productions. However, having the right type of microphone is the single most important factor in creating great audio for your production. 

Knowing your microphone options will help you in selecting the best one for your next project. Initially, you will most likely only have one microphone for your production, but as time goes on, you will find it useful to have several on hand. 

Furthermore, using different microphones will increase the versatility of your audio recording, allowing you to adjust on the fly to different circumstances and conditions.

Before we get into the different types of microphones that are good for vlogging, podcasting, and filmmaking, let’s take a quick look at how microphones work and their polar patterns, also known as “pickup patterns.” 

We’ll be ready to investigate microphone types once we understand how microphones capture sound in space.

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Mics such as condenser, dynamic, and others

Condenser and dynamic microphones are the two most common types of microphones. Ribbon and carbon microphones were also developed and used in the twentieth century, and other microphones, such as the Piezoelectric, exist. But for the purposes of this article, we’ll stick to condenser and dynamic microphones.

A condenser microphone is composed of a lightweight diaphragm that is attached to a case and suspended over a backplate. When soundwaves strike the diaphragm, it vibrates toward and away from the backplate, converting waves into electrical signals picked up by the mic’s electrical field. Condensers are well-known for their ability to capture vocals and higher frequencies with great detail and accuracy.

Best Vlogger, Podcaster, and Filmmaker Microphones

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A dynamic microphone, on the other hand, has a magnet, coil, and diaphragm. When sound waves vibrate the diaphragm of a dynamic microphone, they vibrate the coil, which the magnetic field translates into electrical signals.

Dynamic microphones, which are typically larger and more rugged than condenser microphones, are frequently used to record musical instruments. They are also frequently used to pick up the voices of television broadcasters, making them an excellent choice for podcasters.

Best Vlogger, Podcaster, and Filmmaker Microphones

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

  1. Incoming sound
  2. Diaphragm
  3. Coil
  4. Permanent magnet
  5. Resulting signal

Polar pattern of a microphone

Best Vlogger, Podcaster, and Filmmaker Microphones

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Microphones, like ears, pick up sound in spatial patterns. The pickup pattern of a human combines audio from the left and right ears to create a 360-degree field of sound. Microphones, on the other hand, have a variety of pickup patterns.

Omnidirectional

An omnidirectional microphone, as the name implies, has a pickup pattern that captures sound from all directions. The word “Omni” comes from the Latin word “Omnis,” which means “all.” In other words, an omnidirectional microphone captures sound equally well from the left, right, above, and below. Omni microphones are commonly used in theatre productions and, on rare occasions, in music studios.

Bidirectional

Bidirectional microphones, also known as “Figure 8” microphones, capture sound from both the front and back. Because each side of the diaphragm is equally exposed to sound pressure, this occurs. Bidirectional microphones, as you might expect, can be useful when recording a conversation or dialogue between two people sitting across from each other, or when side sound needs to be removed.

Cardioid/Unidirectional

This type of microphone is most sensitive to front-facing sound pressures. The cardioid microphone is a type of unidirectional microphone named after its heart-shaped pickup pattern. These microphones capture audio well from the front while filtering out much of the sound from the sides and the majority of the audio from behind them. They are commonly used in music recordings, television productions, speeches, and other forms of media.

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Microphone Varieties

selective focus photography of gray stainless steel condenser microphone

Lavalier microphones

Lavalier Microphones & Lapel Mics

The Lavalier Microphone is a small microphone that is usually attached to a person’s collar, lapel, or other articles of clothing and pointed at the subject’s mouth. It’s also known as a lav mic, lapel mic, body mic, or collar mic because it’s generally unobtrusive and good at amplifying the voice while cutting out ambient noise. 

Lavalier microphones can be omnidirectional or unidirectional/cardioid. While both will work, a cardioid microphone with a front-based pickup pattern is probably the way to go when recording a conversation, vocal, dialogue, or other similar material.

The lavalier mic, as we discussed in a recent post, can be wired or wireless. A wired lav has a cable that runs the length of the microphone to an audio recorder or video camera. A wireless lav, on the other hand, has a radio frequency transmitter (also attached to the person) that sends audio to recording or video equipment. 

Because of the variety of low-cost options, a lav mic is extremely useful for a wide range of content creators. Vloggers, travel videographers, filmmakers, theatrical productions, and even podcasters could all benefit from using a lav mic, which is often used in place of one or more of the microphones listed below.

Side Note: A lavalier microphone is always a condenser microphone.

Shotgun microphone

Shotgun Microphone

The shotgun microphone is one of the most common microphones used in audio recording. These microphones have a long appearance (typically 8 to 24 inches long) in order to generate extreme unidirectional/cardioid polar patterns. This is why, in film productions, news interviews, and sporting events, you will frequently see a boom mic operator holding a shotgun mic. 

Unlike a standard unidirectional/cardioid microphone, the extreme polar pattern of a shotgun mic allows it to pick up audio from a long distance. In filmmaking, for example, a boom mic operator will often hold the shotgun mic outside the frame, many feet away from the actor (s).

While its benefits in film, news, commercials, and sports events are obvious, the shotgun mic can also be found in a vlog or podcasting gear kit, depending on the needs of the content creator. 

Consider renting different types of microphones before purchasing a shotgun mic to determine which is the best fit for your production. 

Smaller, more compact shotgun microphones can be attached to DSLR and Mirrorless camera rigs, making them ideal for indie filmmakers, videographers, and vloggers. 

Check out our Guide to Shotgun Microphones article to learn more about this type of microphone and get a list of the best shotgun mics on the market.

Studio Microphone

vlogging microphones

Studio mics, as the name implies, are microphones that are commonly found in studio environments for music production, as well as television and radio broadcasts, amongst other studio spaces. These are the types of microphones that most people envision when they think of them.

There are numerous budget and high-end condenser and dynamic microphone options. Aside from their reputation as a workhorse in a variety of professional studio environments, they can also be found in the home studios of bedroom producers, podcasters, and vloggers.

They aren’t commonly seen on film sets, but you can find them in post-production settings such as voiceover or foley sound studios.

Handheld recorders

Best Audio Recorders for Creators on the Go

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention handheld recorders as another type of microphone. Handheld recorders typically include two microphones built into an audio recording device that can be used for filmmaking, music recording, podcasting, as well as found sound and foley recordings. They’re the kind of gadgets you’d find among YouTube or vlogging gear

Zoom, Tascam, and Sony all produce excellent handheld recorders. Will they be able to replace a good microphone kit with a lav and a shotgun mic? No. However, you would be surprised at how versatile and useful handheld recorders can be.

Conclusion

If you want to take your production to the next level, you must pay close attention to audio production. This all starts with the microphone you choose.

While most modern microphones are either condenser or dynamic, the most important factor in choosing a microphone is that it meets your production requirements. For example, if you’re making a short film, you could use both a lav and a shotgun mic. Investigate the various types of studio microphones on the market if you’re doing voiceover work or foley sound.

Rent a few microphones and experiment with them before deciding on the type and brand. This way, you’ll have a better understanding of microphone technology and functionality before making your decision.

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About the author: Trent (IMDB Youtubehas spent 10+ years working on an assortment of film and television projects. He writes about his experiences to help (and amuse) others. If he’s not working, he’s either traveling, reading or writing about travel/film, or planning travel/film projects.

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