In the real sense, there’s never a general POV on what the best shotgun microphone model is.
As the saying goes; your personality decides your personal reality.
Therefore, the ideal question should rather be; what model best performs phenomenally for my needs and best meets my personal specs?
But you don’t want to scrub through all the shelves at Harbor Freight or wrap your head around all those sponsored reviews and manuals on Amazon.
While that may take you a lifetime and still end you up with the most ridiculous low-end microphone ever, I have done the work for you.
Right here, you’ll find;
- 4 Best For Field Recording; these include 2 best shotgun microphones for wind and 2 best shotgun for distance.
- 2 Best For Streaming; if you were a broadcaster, a podcaster, a Youtuber, or anything similar, just scroll ahead to this category. In this category, if your broadcast camera is a DSLR, you will find 2 of the best shotgun mics for DSLR.
- 2 Best For Interviews; quite straightforward. Right?
In these 3 categories, you’ll definitely find what not only aligns with your needs but also tallies with your budget.
Let’s dive in straight.
Best Shotgun Mics For Field Recording – Top 4 Picks
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert in field recording, the 2 major hiccups your mic should overcome is location wind action, and distance. Though the 4 selections below are engineered with those factors in mind, the first two shotgun microphones have been specially built to be highly adaptive to wind while the last 2 shotgun microphones are the holy grail when covering a wider distance matters. Check choice number 1 out below first.
Premium Choice For Wind; RODE NTG 3
The first on the list, Rode NTG 3 mics are RODE’s massive entry onto the top-line of the shelves of high-quality boom shotgun microphones with low self-noise for filmmaking. It is a high-performance super-cardioid polar pattern filming microphone delivering resonant and high audio quality of sound. This microphone offers an expansive frequency range that makes it an ideal solution when more headroom is needed. Birthed by sturdy brass and finished with a nickel coating, RODE fleshes out this low self-noise shotgun microphone with water-resistance technology which makes it resistant to moisture and super-adaptive to wet filming locations whilst still shelling out a natural sound. If you’d ask, in my opinion, one or two of these shotgun microphones should be recommended for filming those rain scenes or waterbody-staged scenes.
Set it up with your speakers, mount it on a boom pole or on your DSLR camera, this sleek, silver elongated body shotgun mic stays put like glue whilst still being responsive to adjustments. The integrated all-new RF technology also enables this mic to establish a strong resistance to interference from surrounding WiFi, radio antennas, and other interfering signals, and thus, this mic won’t zone out on you. (Even a high pass filter or a high noise eliminator can’t achieve that on a microphone like this). Finally, RODE NTG-3 delivers excellently-directed audio sound with wind-screening dedicated to eliminating the inevitable action of wind in outdoor filming.
- Frequency response range; 40Hz to 20, 000Hz
- 48V phantom power
- Line gradient acoustic principle
- 250 output impedance
- Directional pattern; super-cardioid
- Sensitivity; -30db to +2db
- 81db signal to noise ratio
- 13db self-noise
- Maximum output voltage; 8.2db
- Overall weight; 163g
- RM5 stand mount
- WSNTG3 windshield
- One of the top mics that are highly immune to interfering radio and WiFi signals
- It has a weather-resistance storage cylinder
- A studio-quality audio sound solution microphone
- Relatively low noise from handling the mic
- True condenser mic with sound quality
- A great shotgun mic for your camera
- Best wind-resistant boom shotgun mic
- Not for the low-budget buyer
Budget Pick For Wind; Sennheiser MKE 600
MKE 600 is one of Sennheiser’s top models of the MKE series inspired to be the perfect high-end shotgun microphone in a challenging audio sound-making situation. The design of this microphone revolves around a metallic capsule built tightly into a slim profile super-cardioid for outdoor recordings. This high sound quality shotgun microphone is reasonably easier to mount to a DSLR camera, thanks to the tight shock mount and the built-in camera shoe that lets it stay in position on the camera longer. And as this is a super-cardioid directional pattern, the mic simultaneously picks on-camera audio pretty accurately with a heightened directivity whilst exterminating all oncoming undesired noise from the camera sides on handling. Have I mentioned the inbuilt high pass filter in this great sound-quality microphone?
As an addition, MKE 600 mic has a switchable and highly functional low-noise filter, serving as a miniature noise gate, and protecting your recordings from a specific range of low-end frequency signal that you don’t want to be picked. That together with the included foam windshield as a noise filter will establish a conducive recording environment in a windy and rather challenging filming location. In my opinion, this is the right choice for wind at a budget-friendly price. Did I mention that you can power this portable microphone up for use either via a single AA battery or through your phantom power?
- Frequency response; 40Hz to 20, 000Hz
- 1 XLR connector
- Directional pickup pattern; super-cardioid
- Maximum sound level; 132dB
- Phantom power; 48V
- 1 AA battery
- Weight; 128g
- Shock mount for camera light shoe
- Foam windshield
- Carry pouch
- Low cut filter
- Full-metal housing
- Maximum rejection of noise with exceptional directivity
- The mic operates powered by either phantom power or battery
- The microphone mounts well on camera
- A sturdy shotgun microphone with great sound quality
- Real-time microphone low battery indicator
- Switchable low cut filter for a noise-free voicing
- A compact and durable shotgun microphone designed for deep sound
- Packs some weight
Premium Choice For Distance; Sennheiser MKH-416
Sennheiser MKH-416 microphone is my number one recommendation whenever distance is the chief deciding factor for your purchase. It is a feature-packed shotgun microphone model up for grab at 1grand for the discerning film producers looking for a best-in-class audio solution. First off, this mic boasts an advanced RF technology that not only eliminates interference by surrounding WiFi and radio but also controls excess mic self-noise. This way, a low-noise audio performance is established and your sound is even solidified, thanks to the inclusion of a thoroughly optimized acoustic impedance in the built-in transducer of the mic. Needless to say, the RF technology also serves as a humidity-resistance measure for filming in water-logged locations.
Thanks again to the built-in low-voltage RF across transducer, Sennheiser MKH-416 has an insignificant DC-bias creeping current and less arcing. By implication, you can rest easy and expect low noise whilst, thanks to the elongated body, picking up configuration-based audio in a wider spectrum of frequencies. See the complete specifications, pros, and cons below. Otherwise, just go straight ahead for it if you’re looking for the best shotgun mic for distance.
- Frequency range; 40Hz to 20, 000Hz
- Lobar/super-cardioid polar pickup pattern
- XLR-3M output connector
- Signal to noise ratio; 81db
- Power requirement; 48V phantom power
- Pressure gradient transducer
- Overall weight; 164.9g
- Output impedance; 25ohms
- Sensitivity; +25db to -1db
- MZW 415 windshield
- Body material; matt-black full-metal
- Minimized self-noise
- Fully-floating balanced output without transformer
- Tough design, highly durable for the adverse climatic condition
- Really directive
- Highly sensitive mic
- High consonant articulation
- One of the best boom shotgun microphones for distance
- Can be too long
Budget Choice For Distance; Audio Technica AT897
Audio Technica never disappoints when it comes to musical equipment that brings about transformation. With the AT897 microphone, they have been able to introduce a premium-quality mic to the low price point of the market. AT897 features a line-gradient design in an elongated bold body that has a narrower angle that altogether enables easy and accurate capturing of long-distance audio signals that fall in its axis, though rejecting off-axis signals coming from both sides of it. Likewise, a low-cut pass filter functionality is built into the AT897 mic to cut down whatever humming and buzzing that may come across its way.
Just like every other premium models out there, this high sound quality shotgun mic keeps with the dual-power option trend. This means that you can power it up either with a battery or with phantom power. Great, uh? Here’s the good part. AT897 microphone has a slimmer body profile of 11” to become concealed so viewers hardly notice you have a mic mounted right next to you. Overall, if I were looking for a high sound quality shotgun that picks perfectly and that doesn’t bring itself to the scene in terms of the body size but amplification solution, I’d go with this especially for its low price at 250 bucks.
- Frequency response range; 20Hz to 20, 000Hz
- Signal to noise ratio; 77db
- 1.5V battery or 11-52V DC phantom power
- Switch; roll-off and flat
- Battery time; 12, 000hours
- Dynamic range; 98db to 112db
- Low-frequency roll-off; 80Hz
- Line-gradient polar pickup pattern
- Sensitivity; -41db
- Output impedance; 200db to 300db
- Maximum sound input level; 115db to 129db
- Overall weight; 145g
- Crisp, truly high-quality sound
- On-axis sound picking
- Real-time elimination of axis signals
- Easy switching between flat and roll-off
- A universal shotgun mic for filming
- Maximized frequency response range for more headroom
- Quite weighty
Best Shotgun Mic For Streaming – Recommended 2
Whether you are looking for the best shotgun mic for YouTube, or generally the best mic for streaming and podcasting, the 4 reviewed shotgun mics below are the ultimate choices that you have.
Best Shotgun Mic For YouTube; Rode VideoMic Pro+
VideoMic pro+ mic is a best-in-market true shotgun microphone, an on-camera design for camcorders, portable recorders, and DSLR. At a glance, Rode Videomic is one of those conventional shotgun mics that you wouldn’t expect anything special of. But in actuality, Rode VideoMic Pro+ mic features the exclusive functions that are unique to the model alone. First off, whilst other models allow for a maximum of just two powering options, you can power your Rode VideoMic Pro+ mics using phantom power, battery, or by connecting them directly to a power source with the included micro USB connection cable and using it on the fly. And to make battery replacement easy, plus keep your battery tight and secured, far from getting lost, this mic with its pickup pattern and a solid high pass filter has a responsive but tight built-in battery door that holds on firmly.
Also, there’s a digital switching functionality to establish a dynamic audio signal capturing. With that, you can engage the 2-stage high pass filter to isolate your production from low-frequencies coming from the wind, air conditioners, traffic, or other unwanted sources. Likewise, you can activate a 3-stage gain control to improve sound audio quality on your mirrorless mic or your DSLR. Perhaps this is why VideoMic Pro+ mics are considered the best among Rode’s best shotgun mics for DSLR? Needless to say, a high-frequency booster is also included to expand your frequency for clarity without an unexpected spike or clogging of high-frequencies in the diaphragm, thanks to the dedicated safety channel included.
- Frequency response range; 20Hz to 20, 000Hz
- Line gradient acoustic principle
- 0.55” capsule
- 200ohms output impedance
- Sensitivity; -33db to +2db
- JFET impedance converter
- 3.5mm output jack
- Self-noise 14db
- 150 degrees super-cardioid polar pattern
- Maximum SPL; 133db
- Power options; phantom power, battery, USB direct charging
- Mini USB cord
- Overall weight; 122g
- 3.5mm TRS cable
- A universal shoe mount
- The digital switching function is a plus
- An optimized windshield that is highly effective against wind
- Studio-quality audio sound production
- Lightweight, compact, and durable shotgun mics
- Offers a lot of functions for a dynamic and highly configured audio
- The best for Youtube
- Too sensitive
Best For Gaming; Hyperx QuadCast
For your game broadcasting on your YouTube channel or on a gaming community online, this is one of the top on-camera shotgun mics you can ever get at $2500. Hyperx Quadcast mics are a gaming-centric condenser shotgun mic with 4 polar pickup patterns dedicated to the gamers. It is built to perform at its best when set up with a PC, Macbook, PS4, or other gaming sources. Hyperx Quadcast mics come with a built-in anti-vibration shock mount for stable audio production that is distortion-free even amidst a lot of activities. Supporting this is a standard pop filter for eliminating popping noises and mufflings that are otherwise inevitable in the midst of the excitement of gaming.
Once charged up to full power, this red LED lit baby here is activated for a 17hours session of gaming audio recording before you’ll need to recharge it. But here’s more to it. Hyper Quadcast mics are enhanced for quality bass sound reproduction for an immersive gaming-audio, giving you some of the clearest and crispy rich high, mid, and low sound in its bold, durable body construction. Either connect it wirelessly with your gaming source via its 2.5GHZ wireless connectivity or set it up with your laptop via the included connection cable, this mic lets you tap into 4 distinct polar pattern options namely; stereo, cardioid, omnidirectional, and super-cardioid.
- Frequency response range; 20Hz to 20, 000Hz
- Polar pickup patterns; cardioid, stereo, super-cardioid, and omnidirectional
- Power consumption; 5V/125mV
- Sensitivity; -36db
- Standard shock mount
- 3m cable
- 2.5GHZ wireless connectivity
- 3 144mm condensers
- Battery operation duration; 17hours
- Tap-to-mute sensor
- Gain control
- Easy to customize and set up
- One of the top shotgun mics built to mount well on the camera
- Multiple polar patterns for event adaptation
- Durable aluminum body construction
- The battery is longlasting
- Super-lightweight mic with high pass filter
- Compatible with PC, Windows, Mac, PS4, and other gaming sources
- The red LED light cannot be controlled
Best Shotgun Mic For Interviews; The 2 Indoors Choices
Fo your indoor interviews and talks, this is the category you want to look for the best shotgun mic for interviews. See my choice number one first.
Premium Choice For Interview; Canon Directional Microphone DM-E1
This is one of the special camera shotgun mics that were originally designed for all the folks with Canon EOS digital cameras. But then it makes sense that it has become a trending choice among all news-reporting studios and interview engineers as Canon EOS digital cameras are the most opted-for digital cameras among these professionals. So here’s about it.
Canon Directional Microphone DM-E1 is a video-shooting mic for superb performance and crisp sound. It has multiple direction controls for flexibility so you can capture an audio sound that aligns with your video shots. Other than serving as a dynamic high-quality mic, you can switch to the specially-designed shotgun mode, set it up on the included shock mount to avoid operation noise, and wear the included windscreen for proper isolation from wind disturbance from air conditioners. This setup also helps to escape the noise from your camera lens driver action.
- Sensitivity; 42db
- Frequency response range; 50Hz to 16, 000Hz
- Directional control; 90 degrees to 120 degrees
- Built-in shock mount
- Power check lamp
- CR2032 battery
- Output impedance; 550ohms
- Continuous recording time; 100hrs
- Overall weight; 110g
- An improved video sound quality
- It has an auto function to save progress when the power dies out
- Highly compact and rugged microphone
- A super-flexible mic for all positions
- The best thing for your Canon camera
- No battery status indicator
Budget Pick For Interview; Saramonic VMIC Recorder
The last on the list is Saramonic’s massive stride into the low price point of the market. Saramonic VMIC is a super-cardioid polar pattern condenser shotgun microphone for interviews and other indoor recordings. It is an adaptive and functional on-camera recording solution with a low-cut filter for honesty, transparency, and clearness in a distortion-free audio production.
It is quite limited in size though, but the richness in its voice makes up for that. And the great thing is that it shares the same wide frequency response range with every last one of the high-end models reviewed so far on this list. See what to expect from it below.
- Frequency response range; 50Hz to 20, 000Hz
- Signal to noise ratio; 22db
- Polar pattern; super-cardioid
- Type; condenser microphone
- 47ohms output impedance
- Power usage; 2 AA batteries
- Continuous recording time; 8 hours
- 3.5mm headphone input
- Shoe mount
- Power status indicator
- Low-cut filter
- Pop windshield
- Recording capacity; 24bits/48khz wave audio signals
- MicroSDHC memory card
- All-metal construction
- The included low-cut filter is super-dynamic
- Easy to mount, use, and store away
- Tight audio/headphone jacks
- An intuitive control panel
- A well-thought-out audio path for audio, headphone, and recording
- Easy ambiance
- Full, clear, and rich audio
- Quite limited in size
I can only hope that you’re finally able to choose the model that perfectly aligns with your needs and that offers the best solution for your unique venture. If you have any question to ask or an inquiry to make, kindly drop them in the comments below.