I know that you’re searching for shotgun microphones to up your game in the area of audio clarity. I also know that you have probably been shooting in your iPhone or a camera with a default mic. For beginners, it may be comfortable but as you progress, let it be film making or podcasting, audio becomes a critical thing to focus on. So you need a world-class shotgun microphone for that.
Why a Shotgun microphone?
You may be asking yourself that you need a shotgun mic to improve clarity? Why not the ones I use for online meetings and video chats? Let me explain. Usually, those microphones are kept nearby which gives an above-average quality, I need not tell you this, but I’m pretty sure that you know it is not suitable for film making.
The thing about the Shotgun mic is that they capture sound coming from a distant source, the audio clarity would be top-notch. The best feature is that it can be directly attached to the camera or mount it on a boom pole.
Best Shotgun Microphones 2020
|Rode NTG3||Check Price On Amazon|
|Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3||Check Price On Amazon|
|Audio-Technica AT857R||Check Price On Amazon|
|Rode Video Mic Pro+||Check Price On Amazon|
|Rode Video Mic Go||Check Price On Amazon|
|Canon Directional Microphone DM-E1||Check Price On Amazon|
|Sennheiser Pro Audio MKE600||Check Price On Amazon|
|Deity S-Mic 2S||Check Price On Amazon|
|Shure VP83F||Check Price On Amazon|
|Rode Video Mirco||Check Price On Amazon|
A shotgun mic is not going to make you Christopher Nolan or Pewdiepie or Joe Rogan right away, but there is a start for everything, so why not start with a great mic?!
Here are some of the best Shotgun microphones in the market right now in 2020:
1. Rode NTG3
Usually, the primary concern for filmmakers when it comes to microphones is that they are fragile or heavy to carry, but the Rode NTG3 is made up of brass, which means that they weigh less and are robust too. A solid build which is suitable for flexible locations and environments.
When the company states that the mic can be used anywhere and everywhere, it generally means that it will break anywhere other than your room, and that has been a tradition. Still, the Rode NTG3 is made of RF bias technology, which makes it almost entirely resistant to moisture. Here virtually, in a sense, it will not survive in the middle of a hailstorm or under oceans, but in some demanding environments where it can be harder for conventional shotgun microphones to survive.
One of the top highlights of this shotgun mic is its affordability. If you decide to buy a quality shotgun microphone right now in 2020, it will take anywhere around 1000 – 1200 USD, but this one costs way less, so less that you will probably have enough money to buy a budget smartphone. It is cheap, and it does not compromise anything for its price.
The Rode NTG3 with RF Bias technology is an affordable yet quality microphone. It is flexible for demanding environments, weighs less so it can be carried easily, and has a robust build. The only problems are its long-run durability and counterfeits. An excellent choice if you are under a budget.
2. Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3
The name speaks for itself, Sennheiser is a master when it comes to audio, whether it be shotgun mic or headphones or earphones. The so tough to pronounce Sennheiser MKH416 is a fantastic shotgun mic in their excellent line, and seriously they need to name it something shorter because it sounds like a bar code.
The MKH416 is a compact pressure-gradient microphone with a short interference tube; in layman terms, it means that it can survive in high humidity. It can be useful in demanding environments, especially during the monsoon. Given its clarity, in recording, it will fair great during those times.
When they say it is made for exterior filming, they are not kidding; the MKH416 shotgun mic features high directivity, which means that they have low self-noise and need not be bothered while editing the audio. Given its survivability in high humidity, the low noise can help you during the shoot.
It has a metal body; every feature feels like they are tied together, right? Yes. Its compact-pressure-gradient tube with little interference, survivability in extreme conditions, low noise, and metal body all contribute to its extreme durability. Classic Sennheiser it is.
The only problem you may face is its price, not that it does not offer for what it charges, the microphone is impressive, but if you are under a budget, it may not be so pleasant.
The Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 shotgun microphone is a fantastic mic, it can be a little tough to pronounce, but their quality is extraordinary. It is durable, looks great thanks to matte black, is sturdy, and has low noise. It checks all the boxes for a great microphone. If you have enough money to spend, you can confidently go for it.
3. Audio-Technica AT857R
This shotgun mic is specially designed for broadcast and video production. The quality may not be the best in the market, but it sure is dependable to an extent. You cannot expect to shoot a complete documentary or a high-quality show with it, but if you are a beginner and you have just started experimenting with this, then you should go for this.
The narrow-angle AT857R captures sound from a long distance quickly, so you need not carry around your camera any closer to capture the audio, avoid the awkwardness. The mic also has excellent sound rejection from the sides and rear; the mic focuses only on the sound that comes from the right front; unnecessary sounds and noises are rejected.
The best feature of this microphone would be its price. An excellent shotgun microphone would cost you six times more than what AT857R costs; of course, once again, it will not give you the same quality as a Sennheiser mic, but for the price, we pay we should not expect that much too. This mic is solely for beginners and people who want to experiment.
The Audio-Technica AT857R is exceptionally cheap and worth the money you spend. If you are new to film making and want to experiment with shotgun microphones and how they work, this is one of the best choices. I have warned you once again, don’t expect it to be the most excellent mic of all time but it gets the job done and provides excellent quality for the money you pay.
4. Rode Video Mic Pro+
The Rode Videomic Pro+ suits much for camcorders, DSLR, and portable audio recorders. Its optimized windshield shape helps the recorder catch audio more efficiently, and the scope of recording from a source is expanded. You need not even plug into a separate recorder as long as your camera has its mic input. All you need is to plug it into the camera, and it’s on!
The high-frequency feature will boost high frequencies which improves the detail and clarity of the audio. It helps to pick up specific low sounds and capture it. There is a safety channel in the microphone which ensures that the signal is not lost or cut when there are unexpected spikes from the source.
There is a 2-Stage high pass filter in Rode Videomic Pro+ which helps the camera ignore background noises such as background buzzes, traffic and helps to focus more on the source of the primary audio. There is also as 3-Stage Gain control with +20dB function which improves to quality of audio in DSLR and mirrorless cameras.
The Rode Videomic Pro+ has no cons at all, does not mean that it is the greatest on-camera shotgun mic of all time but it is extremely good, especially for its price range. The 2-Stage high pass filter, safety channel, 3-stage gain control all under 500 USD! Isn’t this what every filmmaker desires?
5. Rode Video Mic Go
The second best feature of this shotgun mic is its lightweight. It is easy to carry and also easy to use. The simple controls allow the user to handle it comfortably. What is it best suited for? It best for vlogging and trick videos, especially on rough terrains.
The integrated Rycote Lyre shock mount helps the microphone isolate from bumps and vibrations in the camera and does not pick those up. It is constructed from a single piece of hard-wearing thermoplastic the microphone will not wear down easily or snap-in demanding environments.
The best feature of this mic is its price, just around 100 USD the value for money it provides it extremely fascinating. But once again we should not compare it with the 1000-2000 USD premium shotgun microphones as they are priced for a reason but if you are into vlogging, want to record something adventurous then this is a great option.
Another great feature of Rode VideoMic Go is its simple controls. There are no complicated options or buttons which are difficult to understand. VideoMic Go does not require batteries and is powered by the camera.
Yet another cheap microphone and has the same conclusion. The Rode VideoMic Go is a great piece of hardware if you are getting started especially with vlogging, the audio is pretty decent and provides value for money, but if you are into some serious filmmaking, then you may have to look for another one.
6. Canon Directional Microphone DM-E1
The directional controls in the microphone allow the user to record and capture audio from different angles in a wide area. The directional controls can be easily adjusted using the directivity switch for flexible shooting situations and angles: there and shotgun and stereo options with 90 degree/120 degrees.
Windscreen has been included in the microphone, which helps it to avoid sounds from wind and other unnecessary noises. The shock mount construction of the mic helps to avoid noises arising from camera usage and lens driver. These slight features can capture the audio perfectly without any interference.
Unlike other shotgun microphones out there that are not powered by batteries, the Canon DM-E1 is powered by a lithium-cell battery. This has both an advantage and a disadvantage to it. It does not completely rely on the power of the camera, which can be helpful for external conditions, but a battery-powered microphone can be drained soon if used excessively.
The Canon DM-E1 is an amazing microphone from Canon being their first external microphone designed specially to work with EOS digital cameras. It is affordable, has directional control, windscreen, but the only problem is there are a lot many alternatives out there which offer great features than this one.
7. Sennheiser Pro Audio MKE600
The MKE600 is amazing, not because it’s from Sennheiser but because it is perfect for exterior shooting even in the most difficult situations. It does not matter whether there are poor acoustics; MKE600 will do good anywhere.
The switchable low-cut filter reduces camera handling noise and wind noises. Due to outstanding directivity from the mic, it picks up the audio from where the camera is pointed towards and fades all the other noises.
Since not all cameras can supply phantom power, the MKE600 can be operated even with AA batteries. An LED on the battery switch lets you know whether the batteries are running low.
Unlike other low budget shotgun microphones, this one is suitable for professional filmmaking and journalists who want a crystal clear audio.
No cons at all. You may think I’m biased as I praise Sennheiser, but no, I simply praise great shotgun microphones, and the MKE600 from Sennheiser is one. Reduces background noises incredibly, can be used wireless, and all this under budget and from Sennheiser. I have said it before, and I’m saying it again, WORTH EVERY PENNY.
8. Deity S-Mic 2S
The Deity S-Mic 2S, the successor of S-Mic, is an upgraded version which is a professional shotgun that has a lighter body, which makes it easy to carry around. It does not only have a lighter body but also has a wider pickup pattern for multi-talent scenes which makes it worthy of professional use.
It is made completely out of brass and features an epoxy sealed gold-coated PCB board, once for your understanding it means that it can help you shoot brutal and adrenaline-pumping shots.
The S-Mic 2S has a super-cardioid pick-up pattern which lets you capture natural-sounding speech and dialogues. This is suitable, especially when you are doing indoor interviews and indie filmmaking.
The mic is incredibly light-weighted; it is easy to carry around and would be excellent, especially in boom poles. It will not even feel like there is a mic in the pole even though it is completely made out of brass.
Did I mention that it is waterproof, shockproof, and weather resistant? Yes, it is—very much suitable for traveling conditions and rough environments.
Is the list getting too good? More shotgun microphones without cons because this is purely amazing. Can be used professionally? Check. Light-weighted? Check. Low noise? Check. Flexible for different shootings and locations? Check. Inside your budget? Check. It is an amazing mic, and you will not regret purchasing it at all.
9. Shure VP83F
The Shure VP83F is another almost professional shotgun microphone, almost professional in a sense it cannot be used for a TV production or feature films, but it sure can be used for some good quality videos. It has a high directional super-cardioid pattern, RF immunity, and has excellent battery life.
The Shure shotgun mic, great to pronounce right? Has a high directional super-cardioid/lobar polar pattern which avoids unwanted noises and focuses only on the source of the audio. The Rycote Lyre shock mounting system also isolates vibration and handling noises of mechanical nature.
The mic is not completely dependent on the camera; it runs with batteries too which runs for a long time or should I say 10 hours? Ten hours it is. It has 2 AA alkaline batteries. The only problem here is that the batteries are alkaline rather than lithium, maybe the company chose this to cut costs.
If you already have some experience and want to experiment with new environments but also don’t want to spend a lot, then the Shure VP83F is a great option. It has a great sound capturing the pattern and can be used wireless, but what shines is its price range. Of course, it cannot be used for TV shows or movies, but it is great for your youtube videos or short films.
10. Rode Video Mirco
The VideoMirco has a directional microphone, meaning it captures the audio in front of the mic and ignores the noise from the back and sides. The microphone body is made out of aluminum which has high-level RF rejection, particularly suitable for indoor usage.
This Rode shotgun mic also has a Rycote Lyre shock mount which helps the microphone to ignore and reduce handling noises, camera vibrations, mic adjustments, and mechanical sounds.
There is an option from TRS to TRRS cable, which makes VideoMircro compatible with smartphones too.
One of the best features of this microphone is its build which is strong or ‘Indestructible’ like the companies say, I wouldn’t say indestructible because it is not superman’s mic, but it is quite resistant to harsh conditions
The Rode VideoMicro shotgun mic is way cheaper than anything on this list, incredibly cheap but has its downsides like just average quality. If you are planning to use it exclusively for smartphones, then it is a great choice, but if not, then you may have to consider your choices and don’t go just because it’s cheap.