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Audio is an integral part of the entertainment experience, and nowhere is that more true than in video. It’s pretty obvious that a good video or film becomes an excellent one with the right kind of sound mixing— 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 video cameras. 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.
If price isn’t a factor in your mics and you want to invest for the long term, then you need a Neumann U87 AI. The U87 AI is the latest iteration of the fabled U87, and recreates that legendary performance while adding a modern spin. It has a lush, vibrant character with a balanced response and three different polar patterns, which means you get the perfect tone exactly how you want it.
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 be 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 microphones for DSLR 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. That means dealing with background noise, weather conditions, 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 supercardioid 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 towards 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.
While deciding that you need a good DSLR microphone can be easy, getting there is a whole other ball game. 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.
The first thing you’ll need to look at is the frequency response. This is one of the deciding factors that determine your mic’s overall performance. Frequency range can be dependent on engineering— condenser microphones, for example, are more likely to give a flatter response. Flatter frequency responses are more versatile, but some may prefer mics that offer a little bit of presence boost. 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.
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 supercardioid 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.
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.
|Neumann U87 AI||• Update to the Neumann U87 |
• More open and airy high end with a rich, lush sound
• Industry standard
|Warm Audio WA-87||• Neumann U87 tribute |
• Detailed, bright tone without being too overwhelming
|Warm Audio WA-47||• Homage to the Neumann U47 |
• Balanced, warm sound
• 9 polar patterns
|Røde NT2A||• Studio workhorse |
• Neutral sound
• Lots of features
|Neumann TLM 102||• One of the most affordable Neumann mics |
• Rich sound without losing detail
• Top studio mic
|Warm Audio WA-251||• Homage to Telefunken ELA M 251 |
• Smooth, rich sound
• Multiple polar patterns
|Neumann KMS 105||• Precise, rich, natural sound |
• Able to handle sounds up to 130 dB SPL
• Expensive and quality build
|Audio-Technica AT2020||• Affordable yet top tier performance |
• Warm, solid sound
• Perfect for home studio set ups
|Shure SM58||• Industry standard |
• Rich sound
|Sennheiser E835||• Simple yet robust |
• One of the best stage mics around
• Solid and reliable
Shure is an absolute giant in the microphone and audio industry, and one look at the company’s pedigree is enough to tell you why. Shure is the mastermind behind some of the most impactful microphones in the history of recording: from the Shure SM58 that defined the modern microphone, to the Shure SM7B that’s become the go-to microphone for radio broadcasting.
The company is known for producing quality, durable microphones. That’s good news for people looking for handheld mics, which need to stand the wear and tear of outside use. These microphones are pretty much foolproof, and best for smaller teams: when you don’t have a dedicated audio team, and your subject is too far for your camera-mounted microphone to capture adequately, that’s when you need a mic like the VP64A.
The Shure VP64A is designed for use with the human voice, and that’s exactly where it excels. It’s got a tailored frequency response with a presence rise in the mid-range, right where human speech tends to fall. This makes it optimized for capturing a person’s voice, which can be especially helpful in post-production.
Partner this voice-focused microphone with top quality engineering, and you’ll get a microphone that performs at the top level even in the harshest conditions. While there are other handheld microphones that might perform even more capably, for the price you’re getting pretty good quality audio.
Finally, one of the most notable things about the Shure VP64A is that it’s built with that patented Shure quality. There’s no characteristic you’ll want better for your handheld microphone than durability, and that’s something that Shure can offer in spades.
Overall, if you’re looking for a good handheld microphone to add to your kit, then the Shure VP64A is a good choice. It’s tailored to capture human speech with clarity, and has been designed to withstand the bumps and damage that might come from outside conditions.
The Røde Videomic Pro is a microphone that brings the quality of film and television sound right into your hands. A true shotgun microphone that was designed and engineered for use with DSLR cameras and camcorders, the Videomic Pro is a portable mic that provides enhanced sound and audio control to handheld camera users.
Also, this microphone is aimed towards amateurs, intermediate users, and professionals. Videography is often scene as a niche field, one that requires tens of thousands of dollars, if not more, of investment in bulky, complicated equipment. Video content isn’t video content without sound, and the right kind of audio can often elevate a visual piece into something much stronger.
The Videomic Pro is able to bridge the gap between studio, professional-quality audio and amateur content creators. Portable yet powerful, with easy to understand controls, and overall incredible sound quality, this is the shotgun mic that has transformed self-made video content into something that nearly everyone can do.
The best thing about shotgun mics is their hyperfocused polar pattern, and the Røde Videomic Pro is no different. It has a highly directional supercardioid polar pattern with an end address. This means that you don’t have to worry about your mic picking up unnecessary sound from the environment or other outside sound sources. With its focused end address, you’re capturing only what you want to capture, with great sound quality that you can rely on.
When you’re out doing a shoot, convenience is often what can make or break the whole experience. With the Røde Videomic Pro, you don’t have to worry about lugging around heavy equipment or navigating wire tangles. Just mount it on your camera, press record, and start shooting. It’s one of the best options for upgrading from your camera’s stock microphone without have to spend an arm and a leg.
The Movo VXR10 is a universal cardioid condenser microphone that’s meant to improve the quality of your audio recordings. Paired with digital film recorders, like smartphones and DSLR cameras, the VXR10 elevates your audio and brings the recording experience to the next level.
Shotgun microphones are an essential part of any digital filmmakers’ package, and the VXR10 is prime example of how the technology has improved. If you’ve been looking for a microphone that can blow your device’s internal microphone out of the water, then the Movo VXR10 might just be the one.
Its cardioid polar pattern allows you to capture the sound that it’s meant to, while blocking out unneeded noise. Although it’s not as highly focused as other shotgun microphones, it does the job well enough for the price. It can pick up ambient noises if you want a more expansive sound, and comes with a foam shield and fuzzy windscreen to block out extra noise.
Probably the most appealing part of the VXR10 is its price. Filmmaking is an expensive track, and often requires creators to weigh between quality and their budgets. However, at around $50 the VXR10 proves that you don’t have to break the bank for quality audio. While there are certainly more powerful and detailed microphones out there, the VXR10 is the best value for its price.
Although it may not be able to produce the richest or the most detailed audio for a shotgun microphone, the Movo VXR10 blows competition out of the water for its sheer value. At only $50, it’s a fantastic option for amateur creators who want to up the ante on their content but don’t have an unlimited budget.
The Movo VXR10 is a quality mini shotgun microphone that works just as well with your smartphone, or with a larger DSLR camera. With its affordable pricing, it’s a great addition to even the barest camera kit. If you want quality audio but don’t want to break the bank for it, then the VXR10 is your best choice.
The Røde VideoMicro is a compact microphone that’s designed to bring out the best in your audio recordings, no matter how basic your skill level. With a high quality cardioid condenser and a durable make, this is one piece of equipment that you won’t regret putting your money into. Read the rest of our review below for a better look at what the VideoMicro can do.
Despite its small size and affordable price, the VideoMicro doesn’t skimp on quality. It’s got a metal body that’s sturdy enough to hold up to continued use, despite being on the smaller side. The condenser is at the front end of the microphone and shielded by a metal grille, so you know where to focus on your sound source. A 3.5mm output allows you to then plug your microphone straight into your camera.
The VideoMicro also has a shoe mount that makes use of Røde’s Rycote Lyre. The Rycote Lyre is a suspension system that allows your camera to avoid shocks and unnecessary noise from handling, while still remaining firmly seated on your DSLR. The Lyre does a great job at minimizing handling noise, which is one less headache when you’re out and about recording.
Another amazing thing about the Røde VideoMicro that makes it great for amateur videographers is that it’s essentially a plug and play microphone. That’s right, no need for extra batteries or external power sources. The VideoMicro gets its power from your camera body. You can simply plug in the provided 3.5mm cable into your microphone and camera body, and start recording straight out of the box.
Finally, another thing that the Røde VideoMicro has going for it is that you can also use it with your smartphone. You’ll just need to purchase the Røde SC7 cable, which makes your microphone compatible with the TRRS audio jack on smartphones and tablets. That means you’ve pretty much got a DSLR microphone and a smartphone packed into one tiny, convenient package.
The Sennheiser MKE 600 is one in a long list of top quality microphones from Sennheiser, and one that promises to be especially useful for smaller crews and indie filmmakers. Designed to be the ideal video camera microphone, the MKE600 can be attached to a boom or to the camera itself, enabling users to record in any situation.
This German-made Sennheiser shotgun mic is meant for recording on the go, making it especially valuable for journalists and videographers. With high directivity that successfully eliminates noise coming from the sides and rear, as well as a battery option that ensures maximum flexibility, the MKE 600 is a portable, professional-level addition to the Sennheiser boom mics.
The MKE 600’s frequency response curve is relatively flat, with a slight peak between 7 and 10 kHz at around 2-3 dB. Overall, its sound is smooth and natural, although it can get a little muddy the closer the sound source is. When compared with Sennheiser’s MKH-416, the MKH 600 sounds a little gentler, without the brittleness of the MKH 416’s mid-high frequency. It has presence without sounding too dull, with a broad range that’s perfect for nearly every kind of sound source.
The focus and directivity of shotgun mics make them essential companions for filmmakers and journalists doing recording work out on the field. The MKE 600 is well-adapted to this sort of work thanks to its compact size and battery powered options. Its switchable low cut filter, which reduces low-frequency sounds, also allows for stronger noise rejection, as human voices tend to come in at higher frequencies. For this reason and much more, the MKE 600 is an excellent companion for recording interviews, podcasts, or other vocal work outside the studio.
Sennheiser has long been a juggernaut the shotgun mic industry, and the MKE 600 is the newest jewel in their crown. With its lightweight, compact design, incredibly transparent sound, and fantastic portability, this mic is a must-have for videographers and journalists on the go.
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 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 supercardioid 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 a 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, 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 quality sound, you can take the Stereo VideoMic Pro Rycote practically anywhere, and capture the best ambient sound while you’re at it.
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 microphone that was specially developed for use in film, television, radio, and outside recording activities. It’s 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 416 mic simply can’t be beat. 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 hypercardioid 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 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.
The Sennheiser MKE 200 is a compact microphone that was designed for use with smaller devices, particularly smartphones and mirrorless cameras. While it may come out of the box as a simpler solution when compared with other microphones, it packs a punch when it comes to 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 battery to run, making it essentially plug and play.
Another thing that makes the MKE 200 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 with your smartphone, and another to connect it with 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 add finding 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 solution to your audio woes. 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 a great 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 a great option for amateur filmmakers or vloggers who want to amp their recording up to the next level.
The Comica Traxshot is a supercardioid 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 microphone allows you to cycle between several different modes, so that you can 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 fully 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 end result is a microphone with a premium feel and quality make.
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 that 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. Audio is sharp and has clarity, 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 a great investment for filmmakers and vloggers who want a little more flexibility with their shoots. The different recording modes are a great feature, and only elevated by the Traxshot’s compatibility with multiple devices. The end result is a microphone that can pretty much do anything, for a surprisingly affordable price.
The Shure VP83F is a compact barrel mic with a supercardioid or lobal 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 normally, users also have the option to record to the microphone’s internal SD card simultaneously. This creates a redundancy in recordings that lets you breathe easy after a difficult shoot.
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 great quality sound 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 microphone, and ranks among the best in the industry when it comes to 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. With a durable build and that incredible Shure make and engineering, you’re pretty much set for life.
|Image||Model Name||Sound Quality||Design||Features||Price||Total Rating||Check Price|
|Neumann U87 AI||10||10||9||9||9.5|
|Warm Audio WA-87||9||10||9||10||9.5|
|Warm Audio WA-47||10||8||10||9||9.3|
|Neumann TLM 102||10||9||8||9||9.0|
|Warm Audio WA-251||9||8||9||9||8.8|
|Neumann KMS 105||9||9||8||8||8.5|
Picking the best vocal microphone can take a lot of work and research. Not all microphones are created equal, and finding the right model that creates exactly the performance that you need can be a struggle.
Buying any kind of microphone is an investment, so it’s important to take the time and effort to study your options. The above list is just a small sample of all the different models available today. Hopefully, it goes a way towards helping you pick the best vocal microphone for live performance and best microphones for recording vocals.