How to choose a microphone for video and streaming?

Are you promoting your YouTube channel? Read More to find out which microphone you need and how to choose the right one!

Why do you need an external microphone for video?

Content quality should always come first if you want subscribers to grow. Slurred speech, poor sound, noises – these all discourage the audience from coming back to watch your videos. If you want your audience to keep coming back for more, you need high-quality vlogging equipment!

Yes, there are built-in microphones, but experienced vloggers tend to stay away from the built-in microphones as they will not provide you with the highest-quality sound.

Gaming headsets can also produce bad quality audio and also the cut-out internalizes. This might work for streamers. But not only the sound is important, but also headphones can become a nuisance while filming. For example, If you are a beauty vlogger and show a new chic hair styling trend and you are wearing headphones well this makes no sense.

In most vlogging niches, an external microphone will solve your audio problem without getting into the frame.

Types of microphones

To navigate the audio market, let’s look at two classifications of microphones.

Operating principle

Microphones are structurally divided into two groups:

  • Dynamic microphone for video

Such an accessory does not need a DC power supply. Its sensitivity is poor this is why a dynamic microphone is not suitable for a music vlogger, singer, or voice actor. But there are those who benefit from the low sensitivity of the equipment! Vloggers who stream from concerts, from restaurants and other noisy places. Also, it is useful if you work in a room with good acoustics.

  • Condenser microphone for video

A sensitive microphone that picks up subtle nuances of sound. However, such equipment needs a power supply and in order for it to perform well, you need to work in a soundproof room. Any echo, any extraneous noise can spoil your audio.

Form factor

Canon microphone

This is a directional microphone in the form of a tube, on which a foam or fur windshield is worn. The device picks up sound directed strictly to the center of the shotgun. Side noises are successfully suppressed. This type of device will be useful for recording vlogs and interviews, streaming, creating online courses.

Pros: Microphone does not appear in the frame.
Cons: Mobility.

Microphone Puluz (3.5mm)

PULUZ 3.5mm Audio Stereo Recording Professional Interview Microphone

Puluz PU3017 is an ultra-mobile condenser device. It can be connected to a phone or tablet or mounted on the camera’s hot shoe. There are two cables (TRS, TRRS) and a windshield.

Microphone Meike MK-MP1

Meike MP1 Interview MIC Super-Cardioid Shotgun On-Camera Microphone

Meike MK-MP1 is a sensitive for conversational video. You can also experiment with vocals and most instruments. Needs a power supply, so stock up on a battery.

Microphone RODE NTG-1

Rode NTG1 Lightweight Supercardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone

RODE NTG-1 – equipment for professionals, it is useful for both streaming recording and filmmaking. The device is lightweight, mounted on a camera, or mounted on a tripod. It has a wide frequency range and a low-pass filter.

Lavalier microphone

The Lavalier is a super popular microphone for video and streaming. It captures sound quality without limiting the blogger’s mobility. You can move around easily and try not to cover the device with clothes or touch it (with your hand, hair, tie, etc.) as will affect the sound quality. It will be useful for interviews and vlogs, creating documentaries, conversational videos, etc.

Lavalier microphone JJC SGM-38II 7m with remote control

JJC 7Meters / 23Feet Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone

The JJC SGM-38II is a 7m wire lapel that gives you maximum creative freedom. Omnidirectional capsule. It will pick up your voice even if you throw your head back or turn away from your buttonhole. In the presence of its own power source and foam wind extinguisher. The power supply is fixed to the body. Works well when paired with a photo and video camera, smartphone, or tablet.

Microphone Audio-Technica ATR3350x

Audio-Technica ATR3350xiS Omni Condenser Microphone

The Audio-Technica ATR3350x is the next generation of the highly sought-after condenser microphone. Compatible with voice recorders, DSLR cameras, and camcorders. It possesses a dual 3.5mm mono jack, and a mute option. The sensitivity can be adjusted to adapt to your environment.

How to choose a microphone for video and streaming?

Microphone directivity

This characteristic indicates which side of the microphone is the “main” side.

  • Circle

Circular directivity means that the video picks up all sounds, no matter which direction the sound comes from. Relevant for travel bloggers. You can record crowd noise, concert music, foliage noise, and more. Picking up sound from 360°.

  • Eight

The best option for streaming and podcasts with one or two hosts for recording and interviews. The angle from which the microphone picks up sound is 90° front and back. In fact, the device picks up sounds from both sides.

  • Cardioid

The name hints at the shape of the sound diagram. A cardioid-mount microphone records all sounds that fall into the heart-shaped zone. The edge of the heart is the area in front of the microphone, the sound from which is taken as much as possible. The notch in the heart marks the back. All sounds that come from this side are cut off by the equipment. The cardioid is relevant for interviews. The angle from which the microphone picks up sound is 100–150°.

Charger

  • Phantom power

A microphone that does not have its own battery. The main disadvantage is the wire, which will limit your mobility.

  • Battery

This video microphone is independent of the cord length.

Extra options

Frequency range

These numbers tell you what frequency range your device can pick up. To create interview videos, numbers can start at 100Hz. For vocals, choose a device with a range of 70Hz or more. For music vloggers who work with bass, grand piano, or trumpet, the optimal lower threshold is 30Hz. The upper limit of the microphone for video should be up to 6000Hz (for spoken language), 10000Hz (for vocals, violin, electric guitar), or 15000Hz (for acoustic guitar and synthesizer).

Connection type

Mini-Jack (3.5mm) is the most popular interface. XLR is an interface that will provide perfect signal transmission. XLR microphone does not come with a sound card you will have to buy it at an extra cost, but the sound quality will be excellent.

Maximum sound pressure level

This parameter specifies the acceptable microphone volume level at which unwanted acoustic distortion will not occur. The average for a microphone is 100dB. For professional models, the numbers are selected to 140-150dB.

Additional functions

  • Low pass filter (Roll-off)

This function will automatically “cut” part of the noise from the audio. The rustle of clothes, breathing, the noise of the wind, the noise of the crowd … Alas, the accuracy of sound transmission will suffer. Decide which is more important to you: versatility of sound or clarity and intelligibility of speech? If the latter, then the low-pass filter will definitely come in handy.

  • Mute

This feature is useful if you don’t have direct access to the keyboard while streaming. This means that you will not be able to mute the sound from the computer. It is important if the streamer has to move frequently, make loud sounds, etc. Muted sound will protect listeners from unnecessary noise.

  • Attenuator. An option that attenuates the signal level and mutes the sound.
  • Stereo recording

Such a mic may help you record natural and urban noises. An example is the “volumetric” croaking of frogs, the roar of a waterfall, etc. The stereo is also relevant when filming concerts.

Photo by Daniel Robert Dinu

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