50% of your video is audio! Sound plays a vital role in your youtube videos, but a lot of youtubers are only worrying about what camera they should use. While a high quality camera is important to create high quality videos, you will also need a good microphone for youtube.
Although most youtubers have a camera with a built-in microphone we don’t recommend using the built-in microphone for youtube unless you have no other options. Built-in microphones usually record very shallow sound, pick up a lot of unwanted background noise (passing traffic, other people’s voice in public) and do not filter out wind noise. This can make it difficult to hear what you are saying for your viewers. Thats why we recommend buying a dedicated microphone for youtube if you are serious about producing high quality videos and growing your youtube channel.
Types of Microphones
What microphone you should get really depends on the type of videos you want to produce. Here are the five main types of microphones and what youtube videos they should be used for:
Lapel/Lavalier microphone: This is a clip-on microphone that is often used on TV shows or interviews. The main advantages of this type of microphone is that you do not have to plug it in to a camera or laptop, it is barely visible and the audio volume is constant even if you move away from the camera. This allows you to move freely without worrying if you are close enough to the camera. These microphones can be used for interviews, prank videos, instruction videos and even vlogs if you move around a lot.
Lapel/lavalier microphones can be plugged in the your phone, a tablet or a dedicated recording device. Since the audio is recorded separate from your videos you will need to synchronize these two in post-production. You can clap your hands or shut a book at the start of your recording so you have a reference point to line the video and audio up with each other.
Shotgun Microphone: These microphones are attached to the top of DSLR camera’s. Shotgun microphones are excellent at filtering out noise from the sides and only recording the voice in front of the camera. If you shoot your youtube videos with a DSLR and you stay near your camera at all times, this is the microphone for you. Shotgun microphones can be used for interviews, vlogs or videos where you directly talk to the camera like beauty videos.
Shotgun microphones plug directly in to your camera so your video and audio will be automatically synchronized.
Dedicated Recording Device: Dedicated recording devices can be used as a stand alone microphone but can also be used to plug in your lapel/lavalier microphone if you do not want to use your phone. These recording devices have a lot of advanced features such as audio playback, file quality option, file compression options and adjusting pitch. Dedicated recording devices are often used in professional journalism, broadcasting, music production and podcasting.
USB Recording Microphones: If you record voice-overs, commentaries or do any narration for your youtube videos such as computer tutorials, gaming videos, sing covers. Or if you do any other type of video where you can set your microphone on a desk near your computer, we recommend using a USB recording microphone. These microphones are very easy to setup (plug in to your computer and start recording) and record high quality audio.
Headphones with Microphones: If you need to be able to use the microphone handsfree but still need to listen to audio, for example when you are gaming, we recommend going for a headphone with built-in microphone.
Best Lapel/lavalier Microphone for Youtube
If freedom of movement is important for your videos. Your best bet will be a lapel/lavalier microphone. These clip-on microphones can be clipped to your shirt or jacket, plugged in to your phone, a tablet or a dedicated recording device such as the TASCAM DR-05 and you’re ready to record.
Miracle Sound Deluxe Lavalier Lapel Microphone
The Miracle Sound Deluxe microphone is a cheap but high quality clip-on microphone. This small handy microphone picks up sound from all directions so you don’t miss any details. The microphone has a standard 3.5 mm jack and is compatible with Apple and Android phones and tablets so you won’t need a dedicated recording device. The microphone is shipped with a special deluxe case, a high quality wind muff to filter out wind noise when recording outside, a strong lapel clip so it never falls of your shirt and a 59″ (150 cm) long cord. If you just want a cheap microphone for youtube this is a great beginners microphone.
The Rode smartLav+ is a broadcast-grade wearable microphone for use in a wide range of youtube videos. Simply mount the smartLav+ on your clothing, connect it to a smartphone or tablet headset jack and start recording audio with the RDE Rec app or any other audio recording app. The smartLav+ is a professional quality omni-directional microphone so it picks up sound equally from all around the microphone. The microphone is shipped with a foam pop shield to minimize wind noise and soften vocal plosives (hard b, t and p sounds). The cable is reinforced with kevlar to make it extra durable.
Best Shotgun Microphone for Youtube
If you record your youtube videos with a DSLR you can also make use of a shotgun microphone. Shotgun microphones are excellent at filtering out background noise. We don’t recommend going with a cheap shotgun microphone (under $75) since these are very bad at filtering out unwanted noise so you will still pick up sound from all directions. However, a high quality shotgun microphone is well worth the investment.
Rode VMGO Video Mic
The cheapest recommended shotgun microphone for youtube videos is the Rode VMGO microphone. This is an excellent microphone for youtube video producers that are just starting out because of it’s simplicity. This microphone is powered by your camera’s plug-in power so you don’t need to think about carrying batteries or complicated settings or switches. Just plug in your microphone and start recording your youtube video. The integrated shock mount isolates your microphone from vibrations and bumps that may interfere with your sound recording.
The second shotgun microphone we recommend for youtube is the Rode VideoMic with Rycote Lyre mount. The Rode VideoMic is a professional grade shotgun microphone. The VideoMic is ultra lightweight and is designed specifically for use with high quality DSLR digital video cameras. The VideoMic is powered by a standard 9V battery and has a low battery LED status indicator so you know when you need to charge or switch the battery. The mic has a switchable high pass filter which will prevent low end noise such as air conditioners and traffic from being recorded. The integrated Rycote Lyre based shock mounting system isolates the VideoMic capsule from external vibrations and shocks.
Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R
One of the best Shotgun microphones for youtube is the Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R. The VideoMic Pro has an all-new 1/2-inch condenser capsule that records broadcast-quality audio via a 3.5 mm minijack connector. The super-cardioid pattern ensures that unwanted background noise is minimized and your recording is focused on the object in front of the camera. The VideoMic Pro is powered by a single 9V battery that lasts over 70 hours of recordings. The VideoMic Pro has a high pass filter to decrease low end background noise from traffic or air conditioners and level attenuation controls for very quiet or loud sound sources. The integrated shock mounting and foam windscreen minimize unwanted noise from shocks, vibrations or wind noise. The microphone also comes with a 10 year extended warranty.
Best Dedicated recording device for Youtube
If you record (instrumental) music or journalism videos for youtube chances are you need to record for a long duration. Dedicated recording devices have a very long battery life and abundant storage so you can record for hours. They also have a lot of advanced option for audio recording and file options.
TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder
The entry-level portable recorder we recommend is the TASCAM DR-05. The DR-05 has two built-in omni-directional microphones which are able to handle up to 125 dB with the sensitivity to capture very detail. You can also use it with your own microphone by using the 3.5 mm jack. All settings and operations of the TASCAM are easy to use with one thumb. Operations like recording, adjusting levels, adding markers or deleting bad takes but you can also find features like variable speed playback, low cut filtering or a built-in chromatic tuner.
If you want an even better sound for your youtube videos you can also opt for the more advanced Zoom H4N PRO. The H4N PRO is the new and improved version of the very popular Zoom H4N. The H4N PRO is able to record four channels up to 24-bit at 96 kHz. The device has two built-in stereo X/Y microphones that are able to handle up to 140 dB. It has a 3.5mm jack so you can directly play back your recordings and make adjustments if needed and records directly to SD/SDHC cards up to 32GB so you won’t run out of storage anytime soon.
Best USB recording microphones for Youtube
If you do commentaries, record voice overs or add narration to your videos we recommend picking up a USB microphone for youtube. Commentaries are extremely common for youtube gaming channels so if you want to start a gaming channel we especially recommend a USB microphone. USB microphones are also very popular among singing youtubers.
Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone
The first and cheapest USB microphone we recommend for youtube is the Snowball microphone by Blue Microphones. This is a very good microphone for youtube beginners because of its ease of use. You can plug the microphone into your computer’s USB port and immediately start recording (on both PC and Mac!). You do not need to install any drivers or specialist software. The Snowball microphone records CD-quality audio for crystal clear recordings. The unique pattern switch allows you to switch between 3 different settings, giving you the flexibility to record speech, vocals or (instrumental) music. A height-adjustable desktop stand and the USB cable are included.
The second USB microphone we recommend to youtubers is the Blue Microphones Yeti. The Yeti records studio-quality audio by utilizing Blue Microphone’s proprietary tri-capsule technology. The mic has four different pattern settings so you can record speech, vocals, podcasts and (instrumental) music. Something that would normally require multiple microphones. Unlike the Snowball mic the Yeti microphone has extra controls like zero-latency headphone output, headphone volume, instant mute, microphone gain and pattern selection. You do not need to install complicated drivers or extra software – just plug the microphone into your computer’s USB port and you’re ready to record for your youtube videos.
Blue Microphones Yeti Pro USB Microphone
The Blue Microphones Yeti Pro is the world’s first USB microphone featuring 192 kHz/24-bit digital recording resolution with analog XLR output. Thanks to the three custom condenser capsules , the Yeti Pro can capture digital audio with up to 4x the clarity found on CDs. The Yeti Pro has four pattern settings you can select by rotating the pattern selector knob for different recording applications. The microphone has a built-in no-latency headphone output so you can monitor your recording in real time. You also get controls for microphone gain, mute and headphone volume. If you want to you can also use professional studio mixers and preamps thanks to the A-D converter chip and separate analog circuit.
Best Headphones with Microphones for Youtube
If you need to be able to record your voice but also need to listen to audio we recommend getting headphones with a microphone for youtube.
Logitech G230 Stereo Gaming Headset
The first and cheapest option we recommend for youtube is the Logitech G230. The Logitech G230 is a lightweight headset with soft earcup covers designed for maximum comfort. The powerful 40mm neodymium drivers deliver high quality stereo sound and the volume can be controlled by the on-cable sound controls. The headset has a noise-cancelling boom mic to reduce background noise for clear voice pickup but can easily be folded away when you are not talking.
The second headset we recommend for youtube is the HyperX Cloud II. This headset with 53mm drivers is HiFi capable and can generate Surround Sound 7.1 with a touch of a button. The headset comes with 100% memory foam ear pads with a closed cup design for passive noise cancellation. The HyperX Cloud II has a digitally enhanced microphone with noise-cancellation (reduced background noise), AGC functionality and echo cancellation. The mic is completely detachable, plug it in if you want to record — or unplug it if you just want to listen.
ASTRO Gaming A40 TR PC Gaming Headset
The last microphone of this guide is the ASTRO A40 headset. This headset is designed for maximum comfort by using premium lightweight materials while the construction is highly adjustable so you can tailor it for the best fit. The sound of the headset was developed with professional gamers and supports Dolby 7.1. The ASTRO A40 has a highly sensitive omni-directional microphone that is laser focused on your voice while it minimizes unwanted background noise. The microphone is also completely detachable and can be attached on either side of the headset.
Hopefully this guide has helped you find the best microphone for youtube. If you need other equipment, we also have buying guide on vlogging cameras, vlogging microphones or if you want to start a gaming channel capture cards and gaming microphones.
If you have only recently started your Youtube channel or just want to grow your youtube channel further, we highly recommend reading 71 Ways to Get more Views and Subscribers on Youtube