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Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Cheap Shotgun Mic

A shotgun mic can be your best friend from film production to vlogging. To no fail, this recording device can produce excellent output and can delicately capture specific sound sources.

However, compared to other mics, this recording gear often comes with an expensive price tag. At least, that’s what most people think! In this guide, we will share with you our top picks of cheap shotguns that are sure to stay within your budget.

Trust us, these picks of ours can still produce the same sound as other mics in the higher-end category. In fact, you possibly won’t even hear the difference!

Which Are the Best Cheap Shotgun Mics?

Editor's Choice

Sennheiser MKE 600
Best Overall
 Deity V-Mic D3 Pro
Best for Vlogging
Audio-Technica AT875R Line + Gradient Condenser
Best Entry-Level
Sennheiser MKE 600

The MKE 600 is a highly-regarded industry-standard shotgun mic that’s ideal for film and video production. An overall excellent and reliable recording device worth your money.

Deity V-Mic D3 Pro

With a user-friendly design, long battery life, and a price tag that won’t blow up your budget, the Deity V-Mic D3 Pro is the perfect vlogging shotgun mic.

Audio-Technica AT875R Line + Gradient Condenser

The AT875R is affordable, easy to use, and has all the specs a beginner would need to record great sounds and projects.

Sound Quality: Design: Features:
Sound Quality: Design: Features:
Sound Quality: Design: Features:

Let’s Go Over Each Top Cheap Shotgun Microphone

Sennheiser MKE 600

Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The Sennheiser MKE 600 is widely regarded as the best overall affordable shotgun microphone. Priced reasonably for its class, it delivers exceptional sound that rivals more expensive models. 

The microphone’s highly directional super-cardioid pickup pattern ensures it captures clear, focused audio while minimizing background noise. It’s also equipped with a switchable low-cut filter and camera settings, making it the ideal gear for location recording in or outside the studio.

Designed with durability in mind, the MKE 600 sports a robust metal housing, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of outdoor shoots and frequent use. Said design also makes it way easier to take care of and maintain this mic, which is a huge plus because we do not want to keep on replacing gear. That’s out of the budget! 

Hand-in-hand with its durability, the MKE 600 is highly compatible with various equipment. Mount it on your DSLR or camcorder and you’ve got yourself a long shotgun capsule for filming. Attach it to a boom pole and hand it to a boom operator and you can use it for shoots.

Now you might think that’s great and all, but you will still need to carry a bunch of other gear to power up this baby. Well, think again! The MKE 600 also offers flexibility with both phantom power and battery operation, adding to its versatility. There is no such thing as inconvenience for the MKE 600, this is one gear that you can use for long periods and in a lot of ways.

The bottom line is, with its excellent sound reproduction, reliable output, and versatility, the Sennheiser MKE 600 is a standout choice for anyone seeking pro-quality work on a budget.

Pros and Cons of the Sennheiser MKE 600

✔️ Includes a windscreen and a shock mount
✔️ Industry-standard
✔️ Lightweight, compact, and portable
✔️ Has a switchable low-cut filter
✔️ Compatible with a DSLR and camcorder
✔️ Can run on phantom power and AA batteries
✖️ Does not come with a carrying case

Deity V-Mic D3 Pro

Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  

The Deity V-Mic D3 Pro is a top choice for vloggers looking for an affordable shotgun microphone that doesn’t compromise on quality.

Priced competitively, this microphone offers excellent value with its superior sound clarity and user-friendly design. The super-cardioid pickup pattern, self-noise levels, and high sensitivity are perfect for vlogging, capturing crisp audio directly from the source while reducing ambient noise.

This makes it perfect for picking up voices and specific sounds that you want to be heard in your videos. ASMR content anyone?

One of the standout selling points of the D3 Pro is its adjustable gain dial, which allows users to fine-tune the levels directly on the microphone. This feature, combined with its durable aluminum build and long battery life, makes it a reliable tool for content creators on the go.

Just a tip though, we recommend that you keep the mic in line with the source you want to record so as to avoid reflections from getting picked up. This mic may not be the best for longer-distance recording but it sure can do a great job at picking up sounds within its line of area.

Pros and Cons of the Deity V-Mic D3 Pro

✔️ High-sensitivity and good self-noise
✔️ Good background noise and proximity effect control
✖️ Sound reflections can become an issue with longer-distance recording

Audio-Technica AT875R Line + Gradient Condenser

Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The Audio-Technica AT875R is an excellent entry-level shotgun microphone, offering a great balance between affordability and performance. Its compact and lightweight design makes it easy to handle, especially for those new to using shotguns.

Despite its budget-friendly price, the AT875R delivers impressive sound, with a smooth, natural tone that captures dialogue and sound effects with clarity. Designed for video production and broadcast applications, the AT875R has a narrow acceptance angle, which helps isolate the desired sound source from background noise.

Despite it being AT’s shortest shotgun mic, its line + gradient true condenser specs make it a force to be reckoned with! Capture smooth, natural-sounding on-axis sounds without any off-axis noise heard in the recording.

Best of all, you can achieve all these without much fuss. This mic has a design that’s simple, making it really easy to use.

For beginners or those on a tight budget, the Audio-Technica AT875R provides reliable output without breaking the bank.

Pros and Cons of the Audio-Technica AT875R Line + Gradient Condenser

✔️ Lightweight and compact
✔️ Affordable
✔️ Sensitive isolation
✔️ Easy to use
✖️ Not for long-distance recording

Sennheiser MKE 400

Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

The Sennheiser MKE 400 is another inexpensive option that offers decent sound in a compact form. Without taking much of your money, the MKE 400 is perfect for on-camera use, providing clear and focused sound ideal for interviews and vlogging.

The microphone’s supercardioid pickup pattern effectively isolates the subject’s voice from surrounding noise, ensuring superb sounds even in challenging environments.

The MKE 400 is designed with convenience in mind, featuring durable metal housing and a shock-mounted capsule to reduce handling noise and maintain a quiet output. It also includes a low-cut filter to minimize low-frequency rumble and an integrated windscreen to combat wind noise.

Its battery-operated design makes it highly portable and easy to use with DSLRs, providing excellent performance for a variety of applications. Surely, the MKE 400 is a gear that’s worth the (low) price!

Pros and Cons of the Sennheiser MKE 400

✔️ Good isolation
✔️ Durable and convenient
✔️ Equipped with a shock mount and windscreen
✔️ Has a low-cut filter
✖️ The headphone jack only works during active recordings


Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

The RØDE VideoMic GO II is a budget-friendly shotgun microphone that delivers impressive performance for its price. It’s lightweight and compact, making it an excellent choice for mobile journalists and vloggers who need a portable solution.

Despite its small size, the VideoMic GO II offers clear and directional audio, thanks to its supercardioid pickup pattern that focuses on the sound source while reducing background noise.

One of the key selling points of the VideoMic GO II is its ease of use. It requires no batteries, drawing power directly from the connected device, and it comes with a built-in Rycote Lyre shock mount to minimize handling noise.

This plug-and-play microphone is ideal for anyone looking to enhance their quality without complicated setup processes, making it a great choice for on-the-go recording.

Pros and Cons of the RØDE VideoMic Go II

✔️ Compact and lightweight
✔️ Easy plug-and-play operation
✔️ Built-in Rycote Lyre shock mount
✔️ USB-C powered
✖️ Limited control over settings
✖️ Less directional

Audio-Technica AT897

Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

The Audio-Technica AT897 is a versatile shotgun microphone that offers industry-grade sound at an affordable price. Its long, slender design makes it suitable for various applications, from ENG (electronic news gathering) to indie filmmaking.

The AT897’s highly directional pickup pattern ensures it captures clear audio from the front while rejecting unwanted noise from the sides and rear. The AT897’s smooth, natural sound reproduction makes it an excellent choice for capturing dialogue, sound effects, and ambiance in a variety of settings. Plus, it has a good bass roll-off and superior bass response.

This microphone is built to withstand demanding indoor conditions, with a durable construction that promises longevity. However, it can be a bit sensitive to moisture and humidity when used too long outdoors. We recommend you use this for indoor shoots to avoid this mistake!

At least the AT897 can be powered on both a phantom and an internal battery, providing flexibility for different recording setups.

Pros and Cons of the Audio-Technica AT897

✔️ Long shotgun capsule
✔️ Can be handled by a boom operator
✔️ Has good bass roll-off and bass response
✖️ Slightly sensitive to moisture and high humidity
✖️ Not the best for outdoor use


Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

When talking about cheap shotguns, it’s impossible for you not to have heard about the RØDE VideoMic NTG yet. This is an innovative shotgun microphone that combines affordability with advanced features typically found in higher-end models.

The VideoMic NTG offers exceptional sound, with a flat frequency response and highly directional supercardioid pickup pattern that ensures clear, focused audio. The VideoMic NTG is ideal for filmmakers, vloggers, and podcasters looking for a versatile microphone that delivers superb results.

One of the standout features of the VideoMic NTG is its digital switching capabilities, which include a high-pass filter, high-frequency boost, and a safety channel to prevent distortion. It also comes equipped with a built-in rechargeable battery that provides up to 30 hours of operation.

The microphone’s USB-C output allows it to be used as a USB microphone, adding to its versatility. With its robust design and rich feature set, the RØDE VideoMic NTG is a valuable tool for any content creator.

This is one gear that may be in the low-end category but can give you maximum results!

Pros and Cons of the RØDE VideoMic NTG

✔️ Flat frequency response
✔️ Highly directional super-cardioid pickup pattern
✔️ Has digital switching with various options
✔️ Long-running time
✖️ Requires USB-C for charging

Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

The Shure VP82 is a compact shotgun microphone that delivers reliable performance for a variety of applications. Its lightweight design makes it easy to handle, while its highly directional pickup pattern ensures it captures clear audio from the intended source.

The VP82 is particularly well-suited for use in ENG, documentary production, and video shoots where mobility and sound clarity are crucial.

Constructed with durability in mind, the VP82 has robust housing that can withstand the demands of field recording. It operates on phantom power, making it compatible with DSLRs and recorders.

The microphone’s natural sound reproduction and effective background noise rejection make it a dependable choice for capturing high-quality work.

For the most part, this is one of the more “expensive” shotgun mics on this list given that it’s nearing the $300 mark. However, we’re still considering the Shure VP82 as a slightly “affordable” shotgun mic given that it can match the same sound of high-end models and produce excellent results for less money.

Pros and Cons of the Shure VP82

✔️ Compact and lightweight
✔️ Highly directional
✔️ Durable
✖️ Tends to pick up handling noise
✖️ A bit basic

RODE VideoMic Pro Compact

Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

The RODE VideoMic Pro Compact is a popular choice for those seeking an affordable shotgun microphone with excellent performance. It offers superior sound, with a supercardioid pickup pattern that ensures focused capture while minimizing ambient noise.

The microphone’s compact and lightweight design makes it ideal for on-camera use, particularly for vloggers and mobile journalists.

The VideoMic Pro Compact has an integrated Rycote Lyre shock mount to reduce handling noise and a high-pass filter to eliminate low-frequency rumble. Its battery-powered design provides up to 70 hours of operation, making it a reliable option for long shooting sessions.

With its combination of portability, ease of use, and high-quality output, the RODE VideoMic Pro Compact is a valuable addition to any videographer’s toolkit.

Pros and Cons of the RØDE VideoMic Pro Compact

✔️ Compact and lightweight
✔️ Great for vlogging and content creation
✔️ Integrated shock mount
✔️ Long-running time
✖️ Controls may be a bit limited

Quality:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Design:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Features:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ 

The Sony ECM-VG1 is an affordable shotgun microphone with excellent sound and versatility. It has a highly directional supercardioid pickup pattern that effectively isolates the sound source, making it ideal for video production, broadcasting, and field recording.

The ECM-VG1’s lightweight and compact design makes it easy to handle and mount on cameras or boom poles.

This microphone is designed for professional-standard use, with a durable construction that ensures reliability in various recording environments. It operates on phantom power and includes a windscreen to reduce wind noise in outdoor settings.

The ECM-VG1 delivers clear and natural sound, making it a solid choice for those seeking a budget-friendly microphone without compromising on performance.

Pros and Cons of the Sony ECM-VG1

✔️ High directionality
✔️ Lightweight
✔️ Durable
✔️ Good at handling noise
✖️ Limited features and specs

Shotgun microphones are definitely worth it for anyone serious about capturing high-quality audio, especially in environments with a lot of background noise. These microphones are highly directional, meaning they pick up sound primarily from the direction they are pointed while rejecting ambient sounds from the sides and rear. This makes them ideal for a variety of applications, including film and video production, interviews, vlogging, and live events, where clear and focused audio is essential.

Investing in a shotgun mic can significantly improve the overall quality of your audio projects. While built-in camera microphones or general-purpose mics may suffice for basic needs, they often lack the ability to isolate sound as effectively as a shotgun mic. This isolation is crucial in noisy settings or when capturing dialogue from a specific subject. Moreover, these mics are designed to withstand different recording conditions, offering durability and reliability that ensure consistent output over time.

For content creators, filmmakers, and journalists, the benefits of using a shotgun mic extend beyond just sound. They often come with shock mounts to reduce handling noise, high-pass filters to eliminate low-frequency rumble, and various mounting options for versatility. These collectively enhance the user experience and ensure that the audio quality matches the visual quality of the content being produced. In essence, a shotgun microphone is a valuable investment for anyone looking to elevate their audio production standards.

Generally, you can find quality mics in the $100 to $500 budget. Entry-level models, suitable for beginners or budget-conscious users, typically start around $100 to $200. Mid-range options, which offer better sound and more advanced tech, usually cost between $200 and $400. High-end mics, used by professionals for film production and broadcasting, can vary from $400 to $500 or more.

The best range for a shotgun microphone depends on the specific model and its intended use, but generally, these microphones perform optimally at distances between 1 to 3 feet from the sound source. At this point, shotguns effectively capture clear and focused audio, minimizing background noise and ambient sounds. This proximity allows the microphone’s highly directional pickup pattern to isolate the desired sound, making it ideal for recording dialogue, interviews, and specific sound effects.

However, some high-end mics can effectively capture audio from greater distances, up to 10 feet or more, without significant loss of quality. These models are often used in film and video production where the microphone cannot be placed close to the subject. It’s important to note that the further the microphone is from the sound source, the more challenging it becomes to maintain clear and isolated audio, as background noise and reverberation can interfere.

Ultimately, the best range for a shotgun mic is a balance between proximity to the sound source and the ability to capture high-quality audio without unwanted noise. Understanding the specific capabilities of your microphone and the recording environment will help you achieve the best results.

The sound of shotgun microphones is generally exceptional, especially when it comes to capturing clear and focused audio from a specific direction. These microphones are designed with a highly directional pickup pattern, usually supercardioid or hypercardioid, which allows them to isolate the desired sound source while minimizing background noise. This makes them particularly effective for recording dialogue, interviews, and sound effects in noisy or uncontrolled environments.

Shotgun microphones excel in producing a natural and accurate sound, making them a popular choice in film and video production. Their ability to reject off-axis sounds means that even in challenging conditions, they can capture high-quality audio without interference from surrounding noises. Additionally, many shotguns feature built-in high-pass filters and shock mounts, further enhancing their ability to deliver crisp and clean sounds.

An important aspect of a shotgun microphone’s sound quality is its self-noise level. Self-noise refers to the inherent noise produced by the microphone’s electronics and is measured in decibels (dB). High-quality shotgun microphones typically have low self-noise levels, often around 10-15 dB, which ensures that the microphone does not add noticeable noise to the recording. Low self-noise is crucial for capturing subtle sounds and maintaining the clarity of the audio, especially in quiet environments.

However, it’s important to note that the sound quality can vary depending on the specific model and its placement. Proper positioning is crucial, as placing the microphone too far from the sound source can result in a less focused and more ambient recording. When used correctly, shotgun microphones are capable of delivering industry-grade audio with minimal self-noise, making them an invaluable tool for content creators, filmmakers, and broadcasters.

Shotguns can be good for voice-over work, though they are not the typical choice for this application. These microphones are known for their highly directional pickup pattern, which isolates the voice from surrounding noise. This can be beneficial in untreated recording environments where background noise is a concern. However, for voice-over work, where the recording environment is usually controlled, other types of microphones, such as large-diaphragm condenser microphones, are often preferred for their warmth and depth.

One of the strengths of shotgun microphones is their low self-noise levels. High-quality models often feature self-noise levels around 10-15 dB, which ensures that the microphone’s electronics do not introduce significant noise into the recording. This low self-noise level is advantageous for voice-over work, as it allows for capturing clean and clear audio without unwanted hiss or hum.

Shotgun microphones are also highly sensitive, meaning they can pick up even subtle nuances in human voices. This sensitivity, combined with their directional pickup pattern, helps in capturing detailed and focused audio. However, the highly directional nature can sometimes make them less forgiving of slight movements, which might be less ideal for voice-over artists who tend to move while speaking.

In summary, while shotguns can be used effectively for voice-over recordings due to their low self-noise and sensitivity, they are generally better suited for environments with significant background noise. For most voice-over work, especially in controlled studio settings, large-diaphragm condenser microphones are often the preferred choice due to their ability to capture a richer and more nuanced vocal sound.

Shotguns often require phantom power, though this depends on the specific model and its design. Phantom power is a method of providing power to microphones through the same cables used for audio signal transmission, typically at 48 volts. Many shotgun microphones, especially those used in film and video production, rely on phantom power to operate.

However, not all need phantom power. Some models are designed to be more versatile and can operate on batteries. These mics are equipped with an internal compartment, allowing them to be used with devices that do not supply phantom power, such as some DSLRs or portable audio recorders. This feature makes them highly convenient for on-the-go recording and ensures they can be used in a variety of situations without relying on external power sources.

When choosing a shotgun mic, it’s important to check its power requirements. If you plan to use the microphone with professional audio equipment that provides phantom power, a phantom-powered model will work seamlessly. On the other hand, if you need more flexibility for different recording setups, a battery-operated shotgun microphone might be a better option. Understanding your specific needs and the equipment you will be using will help you select the right shotgun mic for your purposes.

Shotgun microphones, while highly effective in many recording scenarios, do come with certain disadvantages that users should consider. One notable drawback is their sensitivity to handling noise and vibrations. Because of their highly directional design, even slight movements or handling can produce unwanted noise. This makes it essential to use shock mounts and windshields to minimize these disturbances, which can add to the complexity and cost of the setup.

Another disadvantage is their limited effectiveness at a distance. Although they are designed to capture sound from a specific direction, their performance diminishes the farther they are from the sound source. This can lead to a less focused and more ambient recording if the microphone is not placed correctly. In noisy environments, background sounds can still seep into the recording, requiring careful positioning and often additional noise reduction measures in post-production.

Additionally, these mics can be less forgiving in terms of positioning compared to other types of microphones. They require precise aiming at the sound source to achieve the best results, which can be challenging in dynamic recording situations where the subject moves frequently. This precision can also make them less ideal for inexperienced users who may struggle with the proper setup and positioning.

Finally, while shotgun microphones excel in isolating sound from the sides and rear, they can sometimes produce a more focused, less natural sound, which might not be suitable for all recording needs. For instance, in studio settings or for applications requiring a more ambient or natural sound capture, other microphone types, such as cardioid or omnidirectional microphones, might be more appropriate. Understanding these limitations can help users decide when and where to use them most effectively.

Final Note

No matter which shotgun mic you end up choosing from this list, we guarantee that you’ll be pleased with what you will hear in your projects! May it be for work or a hobby, these mics are sure to enhance the overall quality of your output — best of all, while staying within your budget.

Sennheiser MKE 600

Editor’s Choice

The Sennheiser MKE 600 stands out as the best overall affordable shotgun mic on our list due to its impressive features, performance, and reasonable price.

This microphone delivers exceptional sound quality, capturing clear and focused audio with its super-cardioid pickup pattern, which effectively minimizes background noise. Its robust metal housing ensures durability, making it a reliable choice for both indoor and outdoor shoots.

In terms of versatility, the MKE 600 operates on both phantom power and batteries, providing flexibility for various recording setups. Its design includes a low-cut filter to eliminate low-frequency rumble and an integrated windscreen to combat wind noise, enhancing its utility in diverse environments.

Given its high-quality sound reproduction and dependable performance, our final thoughts for this list is hailing the Sennheiser MKE 600 as the top choice for anyone seeking a professional-grade shotgun mic on a budget.

Ash Burnett

Hailing from Chicago, IL - Ash made his break into journalism at the age of 23 writing music reviews for a local website. Now in his late 30's and after being pulled closer towards the technical side of the music and live gig industry, he founded Shout4Music to write thorough microphone reviews.

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