With technology becoming more and more accessible in recent years, vlogs have gone from low quality cell phone videos to very high production quality videos. Image quality is very important (check out our Ultimate Guide to Buying a Vlogging Camera if you haven’t) for creating high-quality videos. But you really cannot underestimate the power of audio; it is just as important to have good video as it is to have good audio. A good vlogging microphone improves the quality of your voice but also reduces background noise and wind noise if you’re vlogging outside.
Most vlogging cameras come with built-in microphones, but the quality of these always leave you wanting something better. They easily pick up wind noise and other unwanted background noises which makes your voice more difficult to hear.
No matter how much you have paid for your camera, investing in a good quality vlogging microphone will ramp up the quality of your videos.
Check out the youtube video below for an example of a built-in microphone vs. an external microphone. Even though this is not a vlog you can definitely tell the external microphone has much less wind noise.
A big disadvantage of the built-in microphones is that you usually have little to no control over the audio settings. This means the microphone will sometimes pick up sounds that you do not want and give them higher priority than your voice. This may not be a big problem if you always vlog indoors but if you also vlog outside you do not want the radio, wind noise, sirens or other distracting sounds to overpower your voice.
The perfect vlogging microphone for you will be different based on which camera you own and what kind of videos you produce. So make sure to read the intro of every category to make sure you pick to right microphone for your vlogs.
Lavalier Vlogging Microphones
Lavalier microphones are tiny microphones that you can clip to your clothing. These microphones are great at capturing speech while allowing you to move around or face away from the camera. These microphones are perfect for vlogging but can also be used in instructional videos, commentary or other videos where speech is important.
We have picked one wired lavalier microphone and one wireless. A good wireless lavalier microphone is more expensive than a wired mic but allows for much greater freedom of movement.
Wired: PowerDeWise Lavalier Microphone
This professional grade lavelier microphone by PowerDeWise is our favorite wired lavalier microphone for vlogging.
This microphone has a 3.5mm microphone jack so you can easily plug it into your camera, laptop, phone or audio recorder and start recording. The microphone does not need any batteries but instead runs off the power of the device.
The microphone also comes with a 78″ (2m) extension cord to give you more freedom of movement.
Wireless: Comica CVM-WM100
Our favorite wireless lavalier vlog microphone is this Comica WM100. This microphone is capable of transmitting your audio over up to 330ft (100m).
The transmitters also have a LCD screen for real-time audio status monitoring, adjusting volume, adjusting signal strength or to switch channel. The transmitter can also do a local audio test and combined with the real-time audio status monitor you can always be 100% sure the sound recording is working.
The transmitter and receiver use 2x AA batteries (not included) so add some rechargeable ones to your basket when ordering!
Best Shotgun Vlog Microphones
The shotgun microphones are the best vlogging microphones for anyone out there who is looking for professional sounding audio without a high budget. Shotgun microphones can usually be mounted on DSLRs but not on point and shoot cameras so keep that in mind. Shotgun microphones are not really omnidirectional like lapel/lavalier microphones but have the ability to reject sounds to the sides and rear while prioritizing the sound in front of the microphone. An advantage of the shotgun microphone is that you don’t need to wear a microphone but can just grab your camera and go.
The RØDE VideoMic is a professional grade shotgun vlog microphone designed for use with consumer video cameras.
The integrated shock mounting system isolates the microphone from unwanted rumble and vibrations in the microphone. The microphone uses a standard 3/8 inch thread in the base for easy mounting on a boom pole or stand. The RØDE microphone uses a super-cardioid polar pattern which makes the microphone highly directional, focusing only on the subject in front of the camera, and thus minimizing unwanted background noise from surroundings.
In addition to this the microphone also has a high-pass filter which will prevent recording unwanted noises like traffic or air conditioners. The microphone is covered by RØDE’s industry leading 10yr (!) warranty.
Rode VideoMic Pro R
The RØDE VideoMic Pro R is a compact shotgun microphone which is ideal for vlogging with DSLR cameras. By using a shock mounting system and a lightweight premium cable RØDE was able to significantly reduce noise transference. The microphone uses a condenser capsule with a supercardioid pick up pattern to record sound from in front of the microphone while minimizing sound pickup from the sides and rear. This prevents recording of unwanted sound from your surroundings. The foam windscreen and integrated shockmount minimize wind noise and handling noise to produce broadcast-quality recordings.
On the back of the microphone you’ll find a 3-way level control as well as a 2-step high pass filter which allows you to minimize the impact of unwanted background noises like traffic, air conditioning or camera motor noise. The microphone has a standard 3/8 inch thread for easy mounting on cameras or boom poles. All of this is powered by a 9 volt battery which lasts up to 70 hours.
Best Portable Dedicated Recording Device for Vlogging
This category is for vloggers who want the best sound possible in their vlogs. These devices record high quality audio and have more advanced features such as audio playback(so you can playback your voice and immediately assess quality), better signal to noise ratio, more file quality options and file compression capabilities. These devices are used in broadcasting, professional journalism, music production, podcasting, and by hobbyists.
TASCAM’s DR-05 brings high-quality stereo recording to a portable and easy to use device at an affordable price. The DR-05 is able to record WAV or MP3 files to the included 2GB microSD Card which you can expand with your own microSD and SDHC media. Like all other TASCAM products, the DR-05 is very easy to use with just two buttons: record and the quick menu for changing recording settings. The DR-05 has a lot of different features like playback modes, slowing down recordings without changing the pitch, a built-in speaker for checking recordings without headphones and a peak limiter to prevent unexpected loud sounds to ruin your recordings.
Zoom H1 Handy
Combining powerful recording capabilities with a portable and simple device. The Zoom H1’s onboard microphones are configured in an X/Y pattern for the best possible stereo imaging. The H1 records on microSD cards and comes with a 2GB card which allows over 50 hours of recording depending at the bitrate and file format. The H1 features a newly designed user interface which puts all features such as track marker, auto record, low-cut filter and level and volume controls at your fingertips instead of difficult setting menu’s.
Best Voice-over Vlog Microphones
If you record voice-overs or commentaries for videos such as gaming videos or computer tutorials where you can set your microphone on your desk this category is your best bet.
Blue Microphones Yeti Snowball
The Yeti Snowball is Blue Microphones entry model USB microphone. The microphone is incredibly easy to set up – just plug the USB cable into your computer and you’re ready to start recording. No need to install drivers or other software. The custom cardioid condenser capsule captures crystal-clear audio for voice-overs, streaming, podcasts or commentaries. The microphone ships with a adjustable desktop microphone stand and USB cable. If you’re looking to upgrade from your computers built-in microphone while on a limited budget this microphone is perfect for you!
Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone
The Yeti USB Microphone is a USB condenser microphone with Blue Microphone’s proprietary tri-capsule technology to produce studio-quality recordings. The tri-capsule technology consists of 3 different condenser capsules for optimal sound recording in different situations. With the multiple pattern selection you can choose out of 4 different modes:
- Stereo mode: The stereo mode uses both left and right channels and is ideal for capturing a realistic general sound image
- Cardioid mode: Ideal for situations where the sound source is directly in front of the microphone like podcasts, commentaries, voice-overs or game streaming
- Omnidirectional mode: pick up sounds from any direction
- Bidirectional mode: Records the front and back of the microphone, very useful for interviews
The microphone has a 3.5mm headphone jack which allows you to listen to what you’re recording in real-time and with the control dials on the mic you can easily make adjustments on the fly. All of this is incredibly easy to set-up: simply plug in the microphone to the USB port, calibrate it with your operating system and you’re ready to record!
Hopefully this guide has helped you find the perfect vlogging microphone for your needs.
When purchasing an external microphones for your vlogs you should keep in mind that your audio and video will not be synchronized automatically so you have to make sure they are in synch when editing your vlog. A simple trick to help you synchronize both is to clap your hands or shut a book so you have a reference point to line the audio and video up with each other.