Which Microphones Do I Actually Use After All Those Reviews?

We’ve done a bunch of microphone reviews over the last few years. One question I get is, “So which microphones do you use these days?” That’s what we’ll look at in this episode!

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Gear mentioned in or used to record this episode:

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RODE VideoMic Pro (my favorite camera-top Shotgun Microphone)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2b6QPHq

B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1152351-REG/rode_videomic_pro_r_videomic_pro_with_lyre.html/BI/19904/KBID/12941/kw/ROVMPR/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xROVMPR

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RODE NTG4+ Shotgun Microphone

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bAWkQt

B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1115089-REG/rode_rodntg4plus_ntg4_shotgun_microphone_with.html/BI/19904/KBID/12941/kw/RONTG4P/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xRONTG4P

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RODE NTG2 (favorite sub $400 USD XLR shotgun microphone)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bpjs5t

B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/367747-REG/Rode_NTG_2_NTG_2_Battery_or_Phantom.html/BI/19904/KBID/12941/kw/RONTG2/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xRONTG2

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Audio Technica AT4053b Hyper-cardioid (My favorite microphone for indoor dialogue)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2b6OiNL

B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/642499-REG/Audio_Technica_AT4053B_AT4053b_Hypercardioid_Condenser_Microphone.html/BI/19904/KBID/12941/kw/AUAT4053B/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xAUAT4053B

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RODE NT5 (good, less expensive mic for indoor dialogue)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bsK5JI

B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/392840-REG/Rode_NT5_S_NT5_Cardioid_Studio.html/BI/19904/KBID/12941/kw/RONT5S/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xRONT5S

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RODE smartLav+ (Most convenient lavalier for recording to phone)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2b5n0gS

B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1059342-REG/rode_smartlav_smart_lav_lav_mic_for.html/BI/19904/KBID/12941/kw/ROSMARTLAVP/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xROSMARTLAVP

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Aputure A.lav (Best sounding budget lavalier for phone or audio recorder)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bsKlIE

B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1212297-REG/aputure_a_lav_omnidirectional_lavalier_microphone.html/BI/19904/KBID/12941/kw/APALAV/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xAPALAV

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JK MicJ 044 (Very good budget lavalier for recording to camera or audio recorder)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bsJMyB

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Sanken COS-11D (My favorite lavalier microphone)

B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/606469-REG/Sanken_COS_11D_PT_BK_EW_COS_11XPT_Omnidirectional_Lavalier_Microphone.html/BI/19904/KBID/12941/kw/SAC11WNSETRB/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xSAC11WNSETRB

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ElectroVoice RE20 Dynamic (My favorite voice-over microphone)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bJlkIy

B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/76681-REG/Electro_Voice_16207816_RE20_Cardoid_Voiceover.html/BI/19904/KBID/12941/kw/ELRE20/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xELRE20

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Audio Technica AT2005 (Good budget dynamic mic for voice-over. XLR and USB output)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2bsKeNl

B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/844096-REG/Audio_Technica_AT2005USB_AT2005USB_Cardioid_Dynamic_USB_XLR.html/BI/19904/KBID/12941/kw/AUAT2005USB/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xAUAT2005USB

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Shure SM58 Dynamic (Legendary dynamic microphone which sounds rich and works well for voice over)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2b5ncg7

B&H: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/68463-REG/Shure_SM58_LC_SM58_LC_Cardioid_Dynamic.html/BI/19904/KBID/12941/kw/SHSM58LC/DFF/d10-v2-t1-xSHSM58LC

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Copyright 2016 by Curtis Judd

Ethics statement: Some of the links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don’t pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to the retailer’s web site on your own. I use the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!

Comments

LAMLUXE says:

Hi Curtis, I’m typically a one man band. If my main use for mics is interior dialogue with occasional on location walking and talking type shoots yet I already own an NTG-3 would I be better suited using the COS-11D or the AT4053B for the majority of my interviews? Correct me if I’m wrong but lavs sound more warm to me than boom mics in most applications especially in hard to control indoor environments without a sound crew.

SashaDontSleep says:

Great video. Thanks Chris.

James Mathews says:

Have any idea where the Sennheiser ME66 would sit in your shotgun mic category. Always been one of my favorites. Is it worth the extra $200 over the Rode NTG2?

Brian Greene says:

Hi, great video, thanks. I had a question if you could help me with it. I’m learning to be a sound engineer, I got asked to record some ADR dialogue for a short movie. Have a selection of mics I could use, Rode NT2, NT5, Shure SM 58, AKG C1000s, MXL 990. Would any of these be suitable, or best suited above the others for ADR work as this is new to me. Many thanks

Gyrocompa says:

Hi there ! Which one of these (or even another one) would you advise me to use to record bowed strings acoustic instruments (such as violin viola da gamba, cello), but also accordion, lute… Let me precise I would like to keep some reverb. Thanks in advance !

GODEshows says:

Hi Curtis, I would like to know which mic is better for dialog recording RODE NTG2 or RODE VideoMic Pro (In case to use Zoom h5 as a recorder) ? Thx for great review.

yirenmijoy says:

Hi Curtis, if I am filming a 4 people interview in a living room setting, does one shotgun mic put in the middle of them produce an acceptable sound? or I must use four clip mics for each talent? I just ordered a Zoom H6, do you have any recommendation for the mic? (The church interview project will always include 3-4 people)

Cinematic elements says:

what’s your favorite mic for recording inside a car? tight space, with reflective surfaces.

Phil Wilson says:

appreciate your thorough reviews and professional approach.

Vince Caprice says:

Hi Curtis The NT3 & NT4+ both look the closest and I like the conversion to 3.5mm jack for other cameras. Right now I am leaning toward the 4+ . What do you think?

Václav Mužík says:

gret video, I like the summary across different types, price ranges and usage

Larry Tate says:

I have lewitt lct 340s. Love them. And I have an audix scx-one.

Andrew Antle says:

A meta-review of headphones would be very interesting. Thanks for the great videos, Curtis.

SPDTDL says:

Hi Curtis, I’ve spent a week going through all your videos. I have a unique situation. I’m the camera operator to a YouTube Vlogger. I’m always behind camera, but I do interact and talk with the talent. Our first attempt was the talent using AVX wireless lav kit, fed into the A7SII. With myself using a Zoom H1 with lav. In post (prem pro cc 2017) I noticed you could hear me in the background on his mic, and he could be heard in the background on my mic. Also my audio was very loud (my fault). When I synced them, I had to reduce my gain to around -7 as I was so much louder than him. This had a strange effect where you were hearing the audio from my mic, but also my background audio from his mic was coming through. Even though they were synced you could tell something wasn’t right. My ideas are, 1) use a zoom H5 and have both my mic and his avx receiver plugged in. Due to this recording 100% in sync it should mean that even though our mics are picking each other up in the background you shouldn’t be able to hear it. Or 2) I use a hypercardioid mic like the E845 which, in theory, shouldn’t pick him up in the background. Have you ever had an issue like this before, and do you think I’m going down the correct route to fix it? If you do reply I really appreciate your time. Thank you.

alloneword154 says:

Hi. Do you have an opinion on the Audio‑Technica AT875R Microphone?

Ian Craig says:

Thank you Curtis. I know that this is an older video but I’m on a catch up!! One thing with all mics, let alone lavalier is the problem of self noise and how it’s advertised with each microphone. The Aputure, as you say is low noise and yet if you believe the figures on the box, it should be higher noise than others which show a better performance on the box, but unfortunately don’t when you use them!! The figures don’t seem to match real life performance, so reviews like this are extremely useful. Another low noise one seems to be the Boya m1 which boasts >75dB for noise, yet the Aputure states >65dB. If only we could get these figures onto an even playing field. There is currently some great work going on in the field of headphone measurements in order to get more comparable FR graphs and what constitutes ‘flat’ and maybe we could use a similar idea one day with microphones in order to help us more informatively with our choices.

MySchizo Buddy says:

does the zoom h4n pro have the necessary gain to drive the electrovoice re20

james argyll says:

Curtis, thank you so much for doing this video (and all the others)! I have a few questions if I may.

1. What are your thoughts on the DPA 4018? Have you used one? How would you compare the 4018 with the AT 4053b? If you hadn’t used either, which one would you be drawn to on paper specs alone? If you have used the 4018 (or are very familiar with it) when would you ‘not’ use it over the 4053b or vice versa?

2. If you were capturing dialogue for film, which microphones would you use for exterior and interior (accounting for both minimal and substantial humidity) if the rental house didn’t have any Schoeps or you couldn’t afford to buy a couple that would cover both INT and EXT scenarios?

(If you could do a video that covers mics for film scenarios comparing highest end with prosumer level that would be ‘really’ interesting!)

3. I’m looking at the F8 as a stepping stone to the Sound devices 633. You mentioned in your review on the F8 that the downside was the lack of analogue condenser for sound going in and that for sudden loud noises you’d have problems. Couldn’t that be solved if you split the audio to two channels and lowered the levels on the second channel to account for unexpected loudness? If you set up an unused channel in this way wouldn’t that security blanket diminish the lack of analogue condenser?

4. If you do use a F8 on a film shoot and you were fairly skilled at mixing audio in post, couldn’t the F8 deliver good enough sound so that what’s missing from the Sound Devices 633 becomes somewhat irrelevant after you’re done in post? (assuming time and speed isn’t a major factor)

5. What are you thoughts on Lectrosonics in general and the SSM/E01 specifically? If money wasn’t an issue, would anyone choose any other transmitter over the E01?

Thanks for any time you have to answer these questions!

ON-AIR Radio says:

Awesome Curtis, great work, thank you!

Vince Caprice says:

Your prior help was great and you did make a suggestion. Your reviews and help lead me to the Azden 250 and the Rode NTG series (XLR). Based on the following repeat, will you again make a recommendation. Audio quality is major concern:

I’m virtually locked in to camera mount. Neither boom nor wireless is practical and seldom have access to Sound Panel. a minimum of ‘Tail’ is desired.

Shooting variety shows with singers, comics, loud music, usually off to sides. Tripod mount from 15 – 60′ back. Audience mostly from behind or around cam (Canon xa 30).

Preferred features: battery + phantom, battery light, gain control, frequency control. Have $400 budget.

Thank you for your professional videos. It is so annoying listing to clowns that say little and don’t seem to have a planned direction on their reviews. I am a retired, high end, classroom instructor/trainer so I appreciate you and will tell my friends.

Jont Noneya says:

LOVE your videos. This is all so new to me but I’m really enjoying the range that you’re covering. Let’s me know there’s plenty of room to grow and helps me feel more confident in buying intro level gear when money is tight.

S3D Productions says:

what do you think of the rode ntg 3 ? was it left out for price ?

jessie flores says:

do you have a review on the mkh50 or 416??

Meysam R says:

hi.
very good video.
i am an young filmmaker and recently record sound with SENNHEISER m67 for indoor use. when we hear sound in editting, we regret to use this mic because sound of actor was low and when we want to increase the sound level, the noise rise too very high.
i think we choose wrong mic for indoors.
you recommends indoor dialogue mics but how much we can away this mics from actor and have a good sound?
in movie, we somtimes have to away mic about 2 meter or more from actor. can nt5 rode be a good choice for this distance or you recommend ntg 2 rode? or maybe combine of ntg 2 for normal shots and a Lavalier for long distance shots?
we only have budget for buying 1 mic and most important factor for us is clear sound of actor and low noise of environment. the distance of mic is up to 3 meter but normaly 2 meter.
very thanks.

Frank Luo says:

this is true audio gear expert review. thanks a lot. great video

Patrick Thompson says:

These vids are fantastic, don’t stop making them. It’s so refreshing to see a review/comparison with zero brand biased, great sound, proper lighting and comprehensible dialogue. Not that I don’t like “YO dis mic is like AMAZING cuz it’s got this shiny thing and says Shnenhisinger on da side…” videos, I just prefer the level of professionalism displayed in yours. Well done.

SatanicJamnic says:

I would like to buy 50-100 $ shotgun microphone for my Zoom H1. Any recomendations Curtis?

Patrick Dooley says:

Hi Curtis great reviews.
If you were using a smart phone say Galaxy S7 to film and talking head type video, indoors, controlled lighting and sound treated SMALL room and you wanted the best sound. What would you use? Something like Saramonic’s pre amp to smart phone and an XLR mic or would you use a Boom or Lav mic to a Zoom type recorder. We want an audio setup that will grow with us as we upgrade to full frame Mirrorless Sony or the like this year but for now the S7 is ample for the video quality but I’m frankly at a loss what audio to get. i.e. into the phone or sync in post budget couple hundred pounds. THanks

randomgeocacher says:

These video with multiple devices with your opinion after long term use are so appreciated and useful. And it is great that you are clear on why you like the particular products!

Misael Hendrik says:

rode NT 5 or Audio Technica AT875R
what u choose?
for film production

Tom Smarch says:

So you like the Rode NT5 over the Samsung C02? From your other video where yo compared the 5 microphones I though you would go the other way. I am starting a short documentary with a lot of interviews. I use a lav mic and a Rode Videomic pro that was close to the subject for the first interview and I thought the sound was great from both sources. So the NT5 would be a upgrade to the two choices I just used? Thanks!

crfvp4u says:

Thanks Curtis for the info, it’s appreciated especially when it cover equipment I own too. I haven’t seen any reviews on large diaphragm mics like the AT 4040 or the AT 4050st. The AT 4040 is available in a package deal including the AT 4041. I was also wondering about the comparison of the AT 4041 vs AT 4053.

John Turner says:

Chris, I just purchased the RODE NTG-2 shotgun (based on your recommendation) for use with my Sony X-70 video camera but when using it set to phantom power I get a noticeable hiss. When set to mic power the hiss goes away. Does the Rode NTG-2 not “play well” with the Sony using phantom power (I’ve seen some references on the web to this happening) or does my camera have a problem. Thanks much.

Tim Rogers says:

Thanks very much Chris. Your presentation is excellent and you have a natural air of assuredness which gives me confidence in your advice. If I can make one suggestion….would it be possible to caption each item to make clear the make and model? Thanks

Techspin says:

I’ll record on a noisy convention floor for Computex soon. Was going to buy the Rode VideoMic Pro to use with my Zoom H4N but perhaps the NTG-2 would be better to isolate dialog? Can’t use a boom or lav. Help! And thanks so much for your excellent content, super helpful!

Higherimagez Official says:

Great video. I am in a upcoming project w/ a new lav mic. I just used to boom mics heh. nice video, thanks and learned a lot.

Fabricio Baroni says:

In a past video you said that you did not like the sound of the NT5, but after using it more time now you think it is the best low cost option for a microphone for dialogs? Even better option than the Samson CO2 in regards to audio quality? I need to buy one, but I want to make sure I make a good decision. Thank you very much and I am a fan of your videos.

Shaka says:

Hi Curtis – LOVE your reviews. Can you recommend a good, wireless lav mic system with XLR into a Canon C100 Mk 2? Thanks in advance.

Zhen Ma says:

What do you think of sennheiser mk6 /me66/67 system ? I am surprised you did not mention it (or sennheiser mke 600), yet old i think it si still good value

aditi mukherjee says:

Curtis, thank you for the great videos. I have a quick question. I’m planning to buy some good quality mic (but not too expensive 🙂 ) for shooting yoga videos both indoor and outdoor. I have a GoPro 5 and and iPad pro 9.7 that I’m planning to use. Do I need both lavalier and shotgun mics for this or just one of them will suffice? Can you also suggest some good option for both. Originally I was planning to buy Rode videomic pro or Azden pro-xd with Azden EX-507XD (after watching your videos). I’m confused as to which one will be a better option and if at all I need to buy both (will burn my pocket). Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Cinecom.net says:

Time to get that Audio Technica AT4053b! 🙂 Thank you for the great reviews Curtis!!

Reggie Miller says:

I will be doing inside and outside recording, should I go with the NTG2 Or NTG3, IL looking at the NTG3 but my budget says NTG2. Is the price worth the $? thanks in advance

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