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The Best DSLR Microphone


Your Ultimate Guide to the Best DSLR Camera Microphone

Audio is an integral part of the entertainment experience, and nowhere is that more true than in the video. It’s pretty obvious that a good video or film becomes an excellent one with the right kind of sound mixing and recording device — that’s why we have a whole industry devoted to it. And how do you achieve that caliber of audio? With the best DSLR microphone, of course.

In today’s guide to the best DSLR microphone, we take a deep dive into some of the best microphones for DSLR. From shotgun microphone models to lavalier microphone options, we cover a range of different units that can cater to every filmmaker and videographer in the industry today.

What are the Best DSLR Microphones?

Editor's Choice

Shure VP83F
Best Overall
Comica Traxshot
Most Versatile
Sennheiser MKE 200
Best iPhone and DSLR Mic
Shure VP83F

Considered one of the DSLR microphoned, Shure VP83F is a top choice among DSLR users thanks to its internal preamp, exceptional quality and great sound output.

Comica Traxshot

Comica Traxshot is a versatile shotgun mic that can change into four different modes that you can use for your needs. You can even make adjustment while recording.

Sennheiser MKE 200

Sennheiser MKE 200 is designed for the usage smaller units like smartphones and cameras. They are lightweight, easy to carry, have less wiring, and are plug-and-play microphones.

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

Let’s Go Over Each DSLR Microphone

Best DSLR microphone

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

The Shure VP83F is a compact barrel mic with a super-cardioid or lobar polar pattern. Meant to be mounted on a DSLR camera for top-quality audio and video recording, the VP83F aims to replace all the bulky extra equipment that makes recording on the go impossible. Let’s take a look at its features and see if it measures up to that aim.

While the VP83F definitely checks off all of the standard qualities for a top-level DSLR microphone, it also offers users so much more. One thing that users can look forward to is its internal recording capabilities. 

While the VP83F can record to an external device typically, users also have the option to record to the microphone’s internal SD card simultaneously. This creates redundancy in recordings that let you breathe easily after a difficult shoot. Additionally, the VP83F includes two AA batteries, as opposed to the VP83 which runs on a single AA battery life. 

What makes it even better than most DSLR mics on the market is its built-in preamp. It’s among the best in the business and allows the VP83F to record high-quality audio internally with none of the fuss. With this kind of top-level internal preamp and digital converter, the VP83F elevates your entire recording process.

That being said, the Shure VP83F does have a bit of a learning curve. While it’s definitely an impressive piece of gear on its own, the myriad controls and tiny LCD screen on the back of the microphone can make adjusting on the go pretty complicated.

Still, the Shure VP83F is an impressive external mic and ranks among the best in the industry regarding DSLR microphones. Although there is a learning curve when it comes to using the VP83F, and the price isn’t exactly amateur-friendly, buying the VP83F means investing in your audio quality for the long term. You’re pretty much set for life with a durable build and that incredible Shure make and engineering.

Pros and Cons of the Shure VP83F

✔ Has an LCD screen for controls
✔ Delivers great audio quality
✔ Has an integrated audio recorder
✖️ Pricey
✖️ Can be complicated to use

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

The Comica Traxshot is a super-cardioid all-in-one transformable shotgun microphone. This microphone is peak multi-purpose: it’s compact, can be used with smartphones, DSLR cameras, or mirrorless cameras, as well as switch modes. It’s a powerful little microphone that can do the work of three mics at once.

This DSLR microphone allows you to cycle between several different modes to use the perfect one for your recording. It has a Mono mode for single-direction recordings, 30°, and 90° Stereo Modes for capturing a wider image of sound, and a Bi-directional Mode for greater scope. This gives users a range of options that they can tailor to their specific recording needs.

The Traxshot has a full metal body, with the only plastic sections being the microphone arms. It’s also got air float shock absorption that allows your microphone to withstand handling without compromising your sound.

In addition to the above, you also get a gain control dial that allows you to make adjustments on the go, even while recording. The material for the dial and buttons feels well-made, and the IPS screen on the back of the microphone is bright and legible. The result is a DSLR microphone with a premium feel and quality.

Not only does the Comica Traxshot come with four different recording modes, it’s also usable with several different devices. It comes with a 3.5mm TRS cable and a 3.5 TRRS cable, which means you can hook it up to a DSLR camera, a mirrorless camera, or even your smartphone or tablet.

In terms of audio performance, the Comica Traxshot is a definite improvement over any device’s internal microphone. The audio is sharp and clear, although it’s not the most detailed out there — understandable, given the price tag. It’s also not the best at handling loud sound sources, with a max SPL that ranges a little over 100dB, so that’s another thing you’ll want to keep in mind.

Overall though, the Comica Traxshot is an excellent investment for filmmakers and vloggers who want a little more flexibility with their shoots. The different recording modes are a great feature and are only elevated by the Traxshot’s compatibility with multiple devices. The end result is a DSLR microphone that can pretty much do anything, for a surprisingly affordable price.

Pros and Cons of the Comica Traxshot

✔ Has a rear OLED screen
✔ Can record in four different configurations
✔ Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery
✖️ Only compatible with devices that have a mic-in jack or audio jack
✖️ The audio isn't too detailed

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

The Sennheiser MKE 200 is a compact microphone designed for smaller devices, particularly smartphones and mirrorless cameras. While it may come out of the box as a more straightforward solution than other microphones, it packs a punch in performance.

Right off the bat, what you’ll notice with the MKE 200 is its compact size. Weighing in at just under 50 g (1.5 oz), it’s definitely small enough to use with your phone. There are no gain control switches available on the microphone body, and it doesn’t need a battery to run, making it essentially plug-and-play.

Another thing that makes the MKE 200 DSLR microphone stand out is its versatility. While you won’t get a host of extra accessories and equipment, the microphone does come with two cords: one to connect it to your smartphone, and another to connect it to your mirrorless or DSLR cameras.

That’s a pretty good range of options for such a small piece of equipment. Additionally, while the MKE 200 comes with a shoe mount that makes it easy enough to mount on mirrorless cameras or DSLRs, you may want to find an appropriate adaptor for your phone. Plenty of smartphone tripods come with that option so it’s not going to be too difficult, but definitely factor that into your expenses.

The Sennheiser MKE 200 is an instant audio upgrade that’s practically foolproof. At around $100, it’s an affordable yet versatile DSLR microphone for your audio needs. It’s definitely miles better than the internal microphone on your camera, and it’s a quick and easy solution that requires little to no extra effort on your part to execute.

If you’re looking for a quick and simple upgrade to your sound, then the Sennheiser MKE is an excellent solution. Affordably priced and more versatile compared to other microphones in its price range, it’s a simple solution to getting the most out of your camera. This makes it an excellent option for amateur filmmakers or vloggers who want to amp their recordings up to the next level.

Pros and Cons of the Sennheiser MKE 200

✔ Delivers crisp and clear sound
✔ Affordable
✔ Works with cameras and mobile phones
✖️ No onboard gain control

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

The Sennheiser MKH 416 has set the bar for the film and TV industry for years, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a production company that doesn’t have at least a few of them in their cabinet. It’s so well-loved that some productions even request it specifically for their filming.

The Sennheiser MKH416 is a compact pressure-gradient shotgun interference tube DSLR microphone that was specially developed for use in film, television, radio, and outside recording activities. These shotgun mics been used in nearly every major motion picture released in the last few years and is able to capture quality sound and dialogue even from a distance.

Besides its use in film, television, and other outdoor recording situations, the MKH-416 has also been slowly gaining popularity as a voiceover mic. In an industry dominated by large-diaphragm condenser microphones, the staying power of the Sennheiser 416 shotgun mic is certainly admirable and reflective of the all-around quality of the mic.

When it comes to sound quality, the MKH416 mic simply can’t be beaten. Compared to other mics designed for use in film and TV, the MKH 416’s sound quality is phenomenal. It has a full-bodied tone that nonetheless preserves clarity and brightness, and despite its somewhat narrow polar pattern, it offers a good range of recording space. 

Additionally, the hyper-cardioid polar pattern allows you to capture perfectly a single sound source while rejecting background and unnecessary noise, making this a great mic for voiceovers and individual sounds.

The Sennheiser MKH 416 is an industry standard for a reason. It’s perfectly filled its niche with a design and engineering that’s perfect for sound recording in field conditions. It’s also got the added bonus of being one of the best mics for voiceover work, making it a true workhorse in and out of the studio. No wonder people say this mic is worth its weight in gold.

Pros and Cons of the Sennheiser MKH 416

✔ Suitable for adverse climate conditions
✔ Highly directional
✔ Good audio quality
✖️ Expensive
✖️ Could use a better shock mount

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

Røde is well known for putting out excellent mics, and their on-camera microphone line ranks among the best. While we’ve previously written about Røde’s directional microphones like the Røde VideoMic, those models are just a fraction of the company’s extensive microphone line. If you’re looking for a microphone that captures stereo sound in clarity and detail, then you might be looking for the Røde Stereo VideoMic Pro Rycote.

You might think that casting that wide of a net for audio means that your microphone will end up overly sensitive, but not so. The Stereo VideoMic Pro Rycote makes use of an integrated Rycote Lyre mount, which separates the mic’s capsule and other electronics from the mount. That greatly minimizes handling noise, allowing you to capture the audio you want without needing to edit out unnecessary sounds in the post.

Recording sound in stereo is all about capturing the ambience. What you’re looking for is a full auditory experience, not specific lines of audio. While many other microphones take a focused route with a cardioid or super cardioid polar pattern, the Røde Stereo VideoMic Pro Rycote takes the opposite direction. It makes use of an X-Y cardioid polar pattern, where two capsules overlap to capture fuller audio.

The Stereo VideoMic Pro Rycote is meant to be used outdoors, and that comes with its own considerations. Forgetting the intricacies of recording the right audio with just the right amount of detail and depth, you also have to worry about whether your microphone can hold up to the daily wear and tear of the outside world.

With Røde, the answer is always yes. First off, as an update to previous versions like the Røde Stereo VideoMic and the Røde Stereo VideoMic Pro, it features the aforementioned Rycote shock mount system, better condenser capsules, and foam windscreen, and a Kevlar-braided cable that’s designed to stand up to wear and tear. Top that all off with a 10-year warranty, and you have a microphone that can work through anything.

The Røde Stereo VideoMic Pro Rycote is a great stereo microphone at a price that won’t break the bank. While it’s certainly meant for more serious filmmakers, you can trust that this microphone is going to give you your money’s worth. With a durable build and excellent sound, you can take the Stereo VideoMic Pro Rycote practically anywhere, and capture the best ambient sound while you’re at it.

Pros and Cons of the Rode Stereo VideoMic Pro Rycote

✔ Features a Rycote Lyre shock mount
✔ Broadcast-quality sound
✔ Rubber suspension minimizes wind noise
✖️Uses a 9V battery

What Microphones Work for DSLR Cameras?

Audio recording is both an art form and a science, and to do it properly, you need the best equipment for the job. Each microphone is different and has its own strengths and weaknesses. To get the sound you need, you’re going to have to invest in a microphone with the right sort of specs.

For example, if you’re aiming to capture a full orchestra, you’re going to want a mic that can capture the scope of the sound without losing out on detail. Recording a rock music track? Your microphone needs to have a high SPL so you don’t end up dealing with distortion or feedback. A human voice is going to need a different frequency than ambient or background noise, and your microphone specs are key to capturing that.

What are the best DSLR microphones for video cameras then? That’s going to depend on what you’re recording. Working with a DSLR camera means that you’re probably going to be recording outside of the sterile environment of a studio. Capturing high-quality audio is difficult with loud sounds all around you, your mic input will go on overdrive, especially when you want to record audio.  You’ll be dealing with a lot of background noise, weather conditions, low battery life, long shooting days away from a reliable power source, and much more.

DSLR microphones are built specifically for portable use. Many DSLR microphones are shotgun microphones, with super-cardioid polar patterns that allow them to block out unnecessary noise. Others are stereo microphones, meant for capturing the full scope of audio at live events. And still, others are meant for close use in interviews and much more.

Determining what you’re going to be using your microphone for is the first step toward figuring out what your DSLR camera needs. Once you’ve done that, you can start thinking about the nitty-gritty of technical specs, price, and much more.

What Are On-Camera Microphones?

An on-camera microphone is a special kind of microphone that’s designed to work seamlessly with a camcorder or a DSLR video camera. They are typically lightweight and can often be mounted to the shoe of the camera. 

Using an on-camera microphone can improve the clarity of the dialogue in your videos or pick up more natural environmental sounds as the built-in microphones on camera generally don’t sound very good.

Types of DLSR Mics 

The audio of your video is as important, or perhaps even more important, than the video itself. Think about it. Have you ever seen a video that’s beautifully shot, maybe even cinematic in nature, only to find out how terrible the audio quality is to the point that you can barely make out what’s being said? 

If you have, then you most likely would have stopped watching that video. It works the other way around, too. Maybe you’ve seen a video with average quality but the audio was clear and sounded great, so you stuck around until the end. 

This is why the audio quality is highly vital, more than the video itself. Essentially, vloggers, YouTubers, content creators, amateur filmmakers, and the like use 3 types of microphones for DSLR video cameras

Shotgun Mics

Shotgun microphones are perhaps the most popular and most common type of microphones for DSLR video cameras. As the robust shotgun microphone is effective and easy to use. They are considered to be highly-directional microphones and have a long shape that can pick up sounds from far away. Technically considered on-camera, shotgun mics are designed to be clipped on the top of your camera or on a boom pole.

Lavalier Microphones

Lavalier microphones, which are also called lav mics for short, are used to capture high-quality audio recordings, product video reviews, interviews, instruction videos, vlogging, or broadcasting. Lavalier mics are clipped onto clothing near the speaker’s mouth and are better for environments that are controlled and have little to no ambient noise.

A lavalier mic is available in either a wired headphone jack or wireless systems, although the latter can be much more expensive than the former. The wireless microphone systems are great to use in advanced productions such as movies or short films.

Handheld Microphones

These microphones are the ones most people picture in their minds when they hear the word microphone. Popular with reporters and journalists, handheld microphones are rugged and don’t need to be powered up. 

Their frequency ranges aren’t exactly wide, but since most of the people who use them do interviews, they don’t need extra sensitivity to pick up what is in front of them. However, you will need some extra pieces of equipment to use handheld microphones with DSLR video cameras.

What to Look For When Buying a DLSR Mic

While deciding that you need a good DSLR microphone can be easy, getting there is a whole other ball game. You might want a DSLR mic that captures high-quality audio, has a shock mount, has a good mic input, possibly a USB mic so there’s no need for a heavy camera bag, an external DSLR microphone that can capture less wind noise, a versatile microphone that a standalone audio recorder, and a lightweight microphone, but this is a lot. Figuring out what features to invest in or whether you’re willing to pay higher can take a lot of thinking, especially if you’re new to the microphone game. Here’s a short list of things to look out for.

Frequency Response 

The frequency range is one of the deciding factors that determine your mic’s overall performance and sound quality when recording audio. Frequency response can be dependent on engineering — condenser microphones, for example, are more likely to give a flatter response. 

Flat frequency responses are more versatile, but some may prefer mics that offer a little bit of presence boost. Low frequencies are preferred by others. Generally, you should look for a mic that’s optimized for the human vocal range, which is typically from 85 Hz to 255 Hz, although it can vary.

Pickup Pattern

The pickup or polar pattern determines the “active” area of your microphone, or what parts of your microphone will be recording. Most microphones for outside use will be super cardioid or hypercardioid, with a limited recording range that helps to block out background noise. Others might have a wider, stereoscopic pattern to capture the full range of ambient sound in an area.

Dynamic Range

With vocal microphones, having enough dynamic range and headroom is essential. Dynamic range, which is the difference between the lowest recordable level and highest recordable level on your microphone, can differ among models. 

Some microphones may have a weaker bass response, for example, or lose space in the high end. High-quality condenser mics can give you consistent performance across the entire dynamic range.

Frequently Asked Questions

Among the microphones we’ve included in this guide, the ones that have the best quality are the Shure VP83F, Sennheiser MKH 416, and the Rode VideoMic Pro.

A lot of the mics we included in this guide are great to use for vlogging. However, if they aren’t accessible to you, there are alternatives you can look into as well. One alternative is the sibling of the Rode VideoMic Pro, the Rode VideoMic Pro+ is designed for camcorders, DSLR cameras, and portable audio recorders. Most professionals have this as their go-to mic due to its portability, great sound quality, low noise, and ease of use.

You can also look into using a lavalier microphone. Lav mics are small mics that can be clipped onto clothing and are helpful in hands-free situations. A lavalier mic can either be a wired one or use a wireless system. The Rode SmartLav+ is a good lavalier microphone as it offers exceptional audio quality for its price point, thanks to its omnidirectional pattern. It also has a mic clip and a windscreen.

Another lav mic that you may want to consider is the Sennheiser AVX Digital Wireless Microphone. This lav mic is easy to use and has a compact AVX receiver that makes use of an XLR plug-in.

It might be difficult for you to connect a normal microphone to your DSLR, especially if you’re going to make content. Your audio might not sound good along with your video as well, which is why it’s best to use an external microphone instead.

Yes, DSLR cameras have a built-in microphone however, they are usually single-channel mono elements that aren’t good for recording music, ambient sounds, vlogs, and the like. Moreover, the onboard mics are typically placed on the front surface of the camera body, right where they can be blocked by the hand’s position of gripping the camera. This results in a muffled sound. It’s highly recommended to use an external mic to improve the sound quality when using a DSLR camera.

Final Note

If you’re a serious filmmaker or videographer, you know that equipment isn’t something to skimp on. There are a ton of different types of video and film content out there, and you need the right microphone for the job.

While our best DSLR microphones list is far from exhaustive, we’ve tried to put together a diverse yet quality range of products that can cater to videographers’ needs. As the market for DSLR microphones keeps growing, this guide is just one way to get rid of the guesswork so that you can start recording the material you want, when you want to.

One of the best DSLR micrphone

Editor’s Choice

Shure VP83F

The Shure VP83F is the DSLR microphone that you need for top-quality, versatile recording on your DSLR microphone. The VP83F has a clear, lively sound that’s further elevated by its internal preamp.

This internal preamp also allows you to record simultaneously into your device, as well as into your camera. That means you have redundancy in your recordings, which is a great relief when you’re out in the field.

The VP83F is built with the same Shure quality and durability that lasts years. And with the LCD panel on the back, you can quickly and easily adjust your settings whenever you want. While the Shure VP83F does have a bit of a learning curve, overall it’s a powerful, professional-quality DSLR microphone that’s absolutely worth the investment.

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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