September 8

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Best Microphones for Youtube Videos

By Joshua Ouellette


Hi There, today I am going to share with you something about the best microphones for YouTube videos. 

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This will be of a lot of use to those of you who love video-making and others too may get inspired with it to make YouTube videos.

Since there are so many types of videos and different types of microphones to suit each of them, I am highlighting my favorite YouTube mics. I have put them under different categories so that you can easily find them to work well for you.

As I promised to you, I am on my mission to gain knowledge and share it with you so that you can use it to make your life easy and better. 

First of all, you should remember that choosing your microphone will primarily depend on what style or type of videos you are going to make.

In several scenarios, you may even need more than one microphone; thus, you’ll have to decide which one fits the particular situation best.

For example, if you are making interview-style sit-down videos, vlogging and run-and-gun style videos, shotgun mics are the best for you.

Whereas, an XLR studio mic or USB mic would be excellent for you if you are making voiceovers or screen recordings, after you record.

On the other hand, Lavalier microphones are versatile and suit several types of situations, wherein you don’t need to worry about how close you are to the mic – you just have to clip them and start recording.

Best Studio Microphones for YouTube

Here I describe USB and XLR mics which are the best studio mics for YouTube. I have another strong recommendation to pair a desktop-mounted boom arm with any of them.

USB Microphones

USB mics are certainly the simplest to install and use, but they also limit your ability to improve and upgrade your audio quality down the road.

Blue Yeti

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Blue Yeti  is my personal favorite as I am using it while making my YouTube videos and it’s no wonder that it’s hugely popular among YouTubers.

Its sound quality is great and it offers hoards of features for the price.

It comes with 3 condenser mic capsules, enabling you to select from 4 different pickup patterns.

Most of you may perhaps need the cardioid pattern for voiceovers.

However, being able to turn it into an interview or conference microphone makes it worthier than its price (moreover, Yeti is often discounted under $100 on account of holidays).

This mic also includes a gain control, mute button (very useful) and a decent stand.

 

Rode NT-USB

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The Rode NT-USB has a USB connection for a simple plug-n-play usage and is a studio cardioid condenser microphone. It includes a tripod with it which works well to reduce noise levels, but with an external shock mount it can always be improved.

Rode NT-USB is definitely one of the best microphones under $200 as it has an excellent sound quality. It also includes a headphone jack featuring volume control and also a mix control dial to enable you to combine computer audio and your voice. However, it doesn’t come with onboard gain control; hence you’ll need to fit the input volume on your computer.

Blue Snowball

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Blue Snowball is the younger brother of the Yeti and is an excellent USB YouTube microphone. It comes in two models: Blue Snowball and Blue Snowball iCE.

The first one (Blue Snowball) is equipped with 2 mic capsules, through which it allows omnidirectional (all directions) as well as cardioid (ideal for voice recording) pickup patterns, a stand with changeable height and a bit better build quality.

The Snowball iCE comes with a single cardioid capsule and no height modifications.

XLR Microphones

I’ll suggest you that when you are about to improve your YouTube audio quality, get an XLR microphone.

This means you will also have to have a USB audio interface to link it to your computer. Plus, microphone preamps and other equipment too can always be added down the line.

Shure PGA57

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Shure PGA57 too is my personal favorite because I use it regularly. One thing is guaranteed that if any microphone maker is claiming to produce “battle tested” mics, it’s Shure.

Their SM57 and SM58 are by far considered standard against which all other performance dynamic microphones are measured.

The company then introduced its low-priced performance gear line, which include the PGA57 and PG58, the affordable cousins of those SM-line classics, along with other products.

I have first tested PGA57 on electric guitar amp and snare drum and have got impressive results. PGA57 has a different look from outside, but actually it’s very similar to SM57


However, there are some major differences. Firstly, PGA57 has an on/off switch just on its handle. Secondly it has a large wire mesh grill over the top, as compared to the tiny wire mesh grill on the very tip and plastic lines on a side of the original SM57.


Although the sound quality isn’t affected by this, the PGA57 would stand better if you drop it accidentally. Just like the SM57, PGA57 is a dynamic cardioid mic and apparently has a quite similar frequency response. 


So, from the price point of view, it’s better to buy PGA57 rather than SM57 and save around $50. This mic is also equipped with hardened steel grille and neodymium magnets in capsule, and includes a mic clip, cable and storage bag which makes it easy to store the mic during travel.

Rode Procaster

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The Rode Procaster certainly presents much above its price point. It sports an internal shock mount to lower vibrations and dealing with noise, and an internal pop filter to diminish p-pops.

To further isolate the mic, you also have the Rode PSM1 Shock Mount. This is highly recommended as the mount included with the mic is made of plastic and is rather weak. 

Moreover, you can adjust the Procaster in a right position much more easily with the shock mount.

Rode Procaster is a dynamic end-address cardioid microphone which requires a significant amount of gain. 


Using a separate pre-amp such as the DBX286s or the Cloudlifter CL-1 is the simplest way to give it an added boost. But you can even use it directly into a Zoom H5 with the gain adjusted to around 6 without any problem.

Audio-Technica AT2035

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It’s great that the Audio-Technica AT2035 is equipped with a shock mount. A boom arm will be needed to mount it, but you’ll be amazed with the improved audio quality and you won’t need to buy the mount separately.

An 80Hz high-pass filter has also been included with the mic which will help remove low sounds like heaters, computer fans and other ambient noises.

Audio-Technica AT2035 is a condenser microphone; hence, you’ll have to supply it phantom power, but you don’t need a whole lot of gain.

Shure SM7B

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In my opinion, Shure SM7B is one of the best dynamic studio microphones for YouTube videos.

For this mic, you don’t need a separate pop filter or shock mount which increases its cost. It also includes a thicker detachable windscreen in case you need it.

However, you’ll surely need a Cloudlifter for Shure SM7B mic because it requires a bunch of gain.

Best Lavalier Mics for YouTube

Lavalier mics, being small and easily portable, are great since they won’t come in the way of your shooting and just stick or clip to your shirt.

But you should carefully check the type of connector they come with since some are meant for portable recorders and DSLRs (using either XLR or TRS connections) and some for smartphones (TRRS jack). You can get adapters anytime, but I just want to make you aware of the fact that the connections differ.

Audio-Technica ATR3350iS

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I am recommending this microphone if you are on a budget. Audio-Technica ATR3350iS is indeed a superb deal. It sports a long (almost 20’) cable and an adapter so, it’s usable with a camera or a smartphone too.

I have used this microphone in pretty noisy situations and it hardly caught background sounds. Thus, I recommend it highly for those filmmakers who want an affordable option.

Rode RodeLink Filmmaker Kit

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This Rod Rodelink Filmmaker Kit is a wireless lavalier kit meant to be linked to a digital recorder or DSLR camera. It’s a high-quality lav microphone that links to a digital receiver and a digital transmitter. 

The wireless linkage can work even from a great distance unless the event in which you are is very crowded, such as a trade show with a lot of other wireless devices close by.

Rode SmartLav+

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The Rode SmartLav+ is the best mic when you want something to just plug into your phone and get excellent sound. It runs on a TRRS connection (just like your phone) but you can have the Rode SC3 adapter if you wish to use it with a camera or recorder.

I recommend this mic to you if you don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars on a professional Lavalier mic.

Best Shotgun Microphones for YouTube

A shotgun microphone will preferably fasten to the shoe on your camera and offer you the flexibility to use it even off-camera in case you want it for interviews or the likes.

Shure VP83F

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What I love the most about Shure VP83F is that it has a MicroSD card slot to enable you to use it even without a camera if required.

Additionally, it has extremely fine gain control which helps you to pick up volume fast according to your situation.

Rode VideoMic Pro+

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The Rode VideoMic Pro+ was introduced just in August 2017. Then it was upgraded to the VideoMic Pro (without plus) with a pile of useful and new features.

Some of them which I love the most are removable cable, auto power on/off, rechargeable lithium battery and safety channel. 


Although it’s not very affordable, it’s a fantastic little shotgun microphone. And if you feel that it’s out of your reach, Rode has an entire range of VideoMics from which you can choose.

Best Small Diaphragm Condenser Microphones for YouTube

Shotgun microphones may have a problem indoors if there is a lot of echo. So, if you have to record regularly in such an environment, you’ll need to consider buying a small diaphragm condenser microphone with either a supercardioid or hypercardioid pickup pattern.

Audio-Technica AT4053B

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I highly recommend a hypercardioid boom mic, Audio-Technica AT4053B, for indoor voice (dialogue). It has an interchangeable mic capsule, allowing you to simply swap the heads should you need a different pickup pattern.

Oktava MK-012

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Oktava MK-012 is a less expensive alternative. It’s also a modular microphone that sports hypercardioid, omnidirectional and cardioid capsules – all in one kit!

So, I would prefer it to start with. However, take care while shopping around because the name MK-012 applies to many different capsules. At least, the hypercardioid version will be your preferred choice.

Which Microphones Should YouTubers Use?

My answer to this question will be “all the above”. You’ll need almost all of them in different situations. They are all awesome. Try them and choose the best ones for you.

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