You’ll need the best microphone for vlogging if you’re shooting video. For a video camera, getting the sound correct is almost as important as getting the image right. Viewers will not accept poor audio, and if your films are full of hiss, wind noise, and difficult-to-hear speakers, they will be quickly dismissed as the product of an unskilled novice.
While all video-capable cameras will include some form of audio capture, it will be insufficient for anything more than home movies. Viewers of online material anticipate a particular level of audio quality, with clear sound that eliminates undesirable noises such as wind, traffic, and air conditioners. This can be accomplished with the use of an external microphone.
Microphones, fortunately, are not always pricey. There’s a big market out there for budget-conscious video artists who want outstanding sound without breaking the bank, and a lot of companies have stepped up to match the need. Good microphones can also be tiny and portable, allowing you to capture great audio without dramatically increasing the size of your gear.
Before you go into the weeds of which microphone to buy, you need familiarize yourself with the various types of microphones available. If you’re going to be filming a lot of interviews, a wireless mic, also known as a lavalier mic, is a smart option.
These mics may be fastened to a person’s clothing and then communicate sounds to the camera via radio (wired versions are also available for the paranoid, but will limit your subject’s movement).
If you only need a camera mic that can do it all, a shotgun mic is a way to go. These mics, which can be installed on the camera’s hot shoe and are simply point-and-record, provide far greater audio quality than built-in omnidirectional mics. If you prefer, they can be put on stands.
A studio microphone is a fantastic choice if you’re recording something in-house, such as a panel discussion. These are often relatively simple to use, with a plug-and-play design and omnidirectional polar patterns that allow them to be placed in the middle of a room and left to their own devices.
First and foremost, how are you going to video your vlog? When you’re starting as a vlogger, this question will eventually lead to our following one, but to reiterate, what you’re using to shoot your video will steer you in a certain route for a microphone. If you haven’t already gotten your video camera, we prefer a DSLR or mirrorless camera, but it isn’t required.
What kind of microphone are you using? Now we’ll delve into the finer points of the many types of microphones we have on hand. You’ll have some flexibility if you haven’t obtained your video camera yet, as previously stated. Otherwise, this will unquestionably narrow down your search.
USB microphones: Vloggers that stay stationary in a room with a computer prefer them. This is ideal for incredibly clear quality whether you’re filming with a webcam or an outside camera on a tripod, as long as the microphone is correctly positioned and you’re not going to be moving around a lot (ie: staying seated in your chair or standing by a green screen).
When it comes down to it, we only advocate USB mics for individuals doing things like streaming or sorts of vlogs that don’t require video cameras; otherwise, a shotgun mic (camera mic) is preferable.
Camera microphones: These are microphones that are directly attached to your camera and point at you, similar to a “shotgun mic.” For individuals standing in a chair or using a green screen in a room, these are better than USB mics (reviewing products or speaking about something).
They’re also ideal for individuals out in the field making everyday life vlogs (where you’ll be strolling about or doing something with a camera following you). The only caveat is that you’ll need to purchase a compatible camera — either a DSLR or a mirrorless camera — which can be expensive.
Lavalier microphones are a variation on the vlogging microphone that can be used for a variety of purposes. “Lav mics” are those small, hand-sized microphones that clip onto your shirt or anyplace else on your body without being invasive.
They’re ideal for interviews or any vlogging that you want to remain versatile, especially if you don’t have somebody filming you and have to do everything yourself. For vlogging, you can use a wired or wireless lav mic.
Handheld recorders: These are distinct from the others in that they are standalone audio recording devices. You may use a small tripod to hold them up, set them flat on a desk, chair, or floor, or carry them around in your hand and record as you go.
We’d only recommend them if you’re not filming and only want to do vlog audio, or if you’re concerned about audio quality (because these blow all other mics out of the water in terms of resolution — but don’t get us wrong, all mics are viable, and many viewers won’t be able to “tell”).
Last but not least, as technology advances, an increasing number of vloggers are employing their smart devices to record their sessions. These tiny mics attach to the lightning connector or a suitable input on any iOS, Android, or tablet.
We still advocate utilizing a real video camera and a microphone from the previous list, but if you’re on a tight budget and want to get started right away, or believe smart devices are the greatest option for your vlogging adventures, go ahead. In the end, we made a list of our favorites.
Best Vlogging Microphone
1. Blue Yeti X
If you’ve been looking for a microphone for your computer, chances are you’ve heard of the Blue Microphones Yeti from someplace. It’s everywhere—you’ll see it on streams, YouTube, and in the homes of many amateur voice actors since it’s the most popular USB microphone. Blue, on the other hand, debuted a jacked-up version of its main consumer mic, the Yeti X, this year.
Streamers will appreciate the Yeti X because it is a low-cost setup with good audio. Many of the other sub-$200 alternatives either require an interface or aren’t very good. The Yeti X provides greater control to YouTubers than the original Yeti, which is already in heavy use for voiceovers on the user-generated video platform.
The Yeti X satisfies the needs of students who want to make podcasts, audio content, and other applications without going overboard on costs. The Yeti X is a good ally for podcasters on a relatively tight budget, as it’s less expensive than an interface and dedicated mic in many circumstances.
The Blue Yeti X is a desktop USB microphone with a few more robust components than most of its competitors. That’s presumably why the Yeti, its predecessor, is so popular among home recording enthusiasts. The Yeti is not only reasonably priced, but it also produces recording qualities that are just marginally inferior to those obtained with a more studio-appropriate microphone.
Whatever you think of USB microphones, they will get you 90% of the way to “excellent” recordings if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. The performer’s and mixer’s ability and experience, just like in photography, are far more significant than the tools they utilize. A microphone is a tool that will not do all of the work for you but will treat you well if you put in the effort.
You’ll want to speak directly to the Blue Yeti X after you’ve set it up, rather than into the top. Because the diaphragms are oriented to the front, sides, and back, rather than outward as with microphones on TV, this is the case. This allows you to use the microphone in a variety of ways, even if the positioning is a little different than you’re used to.
You’ll be using the pickup pattern picker a lot if you’re jumping between podcasting, streaming, and recording numerous individuals at the same time. You might be perplexed as to how a microphone can vary its pickup pattern, but the Yeti X achieves so in an ingenious method.
There are four distinct capsules inside the microphone, each pointing in a different direction. The mic can work in ways that a single-capsule mic can’t since certain capsules are enabled while others aren’t.
A gain dial with LEDs on the front of the unit indicates how loud you’re currently speaking as well as the amount of gain applied. You may even use the dial to silence yourself on calls—or during a Livestream, if you don’t want your thousands of viewers to hear your neighbors fighting or someone else embarrassing you in some way.
The mounting socket, 3.5mm port (for monitoring), and micro USB port are all located on the bottom of the Blue Yeti X. This is very normal for a USB mic for a prosumer, but it’s still welcomed. Because I utilize a mic shield for most of my at-home recordings to fight echoes and other unpleasant sounds, the mounting socket is important in my recording.
Connect the micro USB cable to the bottom of the microphone, then make sure your computer’s input is set to the Yeti X. There’s also a headphone jack on the bottom of the unit, on the other side of the USB port, if you need to monitor your input. That concludes our discussion. You’ve completed the setup process.
There are, however, a few optional points to discuss. The Yeti, for example, can be used with a mic stand thanks to the connector on the bottom of the capsule—you don’t have to use the accompanying metal stand if you don’t want to. When I’m recording the SoundGuys podcast, I like to use a mic shield at my desk to ensure that no echoes reach the microphone.
You may also utilize the Logitech GHub and Sherpa utilities to perform things like equalize your voice without using a DAW (a specific piece of software for editing your recordings), adjust the LED behavior, and change your effects on the fly using voice presets. You’ll notice a ring of little LEDs surrounding the volume knob, as well as a solid ring integrated with the knob, when you first start using the Blue Yeti X.
While these can be a little perplexing at first, they are rather straightforward to grasp. You’ll notice a toggle on the rear of the Yeti X that cycles through these strange little icons. Pickup patterns are depicted by these icons. While you might just set one and forget about it, each of these options has a specific use case in mind, so keep this helpful table in mind if you need some help.
If you’re going to record yourself speaking, I’d just use the cardioid pattern and call it a day. If you’re the only item you’re trying to capture, that level provides the best noise rejection and signal quality. The other pickup patterns are better suited to multi-speaker setups for recording ambient sound in a room.
You’ll undoubtedly notice that the Yeti X, like any microphone, has slight issues with plosives and fricatives (p, ph, f, s, sh, and z sounds), but that’s because I used it with nothing special out of the box. I recorded in my empty kitchen, which had a lot of hard, flat granite and tile surfaces—basically, the worst-case scenario for a home recorder.
There’s a lot you can do with some preparation time to ensure you don’t run into similar challenges in your recordings. I didn’t have the opportunity to record outside, but it may have been for the best.
There are a few glitches here and there, but overall, the Yeti X performed admirably, even in a monstrously bad recording setting. To deal with less-than-ideal circumstances like a trade exhibition or an untreated room, I usually have to break out my somewhat insensitive Telefunken M80.
The Yeti X is a wonderful option if you want to capture your voice. While it won’t produce better results than a dedicated studio setup, it will provide you with all the control you need to extract the most quality out of a USB microphone. The Yeti X is an excellent ally for streamers.
If you’re considering the Blue Yeti X, it’s safe to assume you’re seeking an upgrade over your Snowball, gaming headset mic, or inexpensive USB mic from Amazon. In that view, the Yeti X is a good choice.
If you’re attempting to set up a professional recording studio, record instruments, or make a job singing for the internet, this isn’t the mic to get. This is a microphone designed specifically for human voice and usage with a computer.
You can obtain good results with the older Yeti, but for a comparable price, you might want to check at the HyperX QuadCast S. The QuadCast S performs admirably, has certain capabilities in common with the Yeti X, and even uses software comparable to that of the Yeti X. Although it isn’t a game-changer in any way.
2. Rode Wireless Go II
Rode’s first Wireless Go product was a game-changer in the industry, offering an ultra-compact, failsafe wireless transmitter and receiver with an integrated microphone at an affordable price.
Rode’s successor (the aptly named Wireless Go II) improves on nearly every aspect of its predecessor, solidifying its position as a highly recommended tool for video and audio content creators everywhere.
The Wireless Go II, for example, has two transmitters and one receiver, whereas the predecessor just had one transmitter. This comes at a significant price increase of 40%, but given the additional hardware and expanded capability of the entire package, it’s more than acceptable, plus the basic unit is still available if you only need a single transmitter.
The wireless range has been increased to 200 meters instead of 70 meters, and the addition of onboard storage for each transmitter means you may record over 40 hours of compressed audio independently on each device, making it a fantastic redundancy measure or a stand-alone recorder in a pinch.
The units’ size and design are virtually the same – which is a positive – with each unit providing a tiny form factor with minimal yet powerful controls and displays, as well as a rechargeable battery with a 7-hour runtime.
Although most users will likely link them with an external lapel/lavalier microphone running to the transmitter’s input, the recording quality of the transmitter’s internal microphone is excellent, as Rode is known for.
The Rode Wireless Go II system is a low-fuss, high-quality solution for recording two sound sources concurrently and remotely for videographers, vloggers, podcasters, and anybody else working in the creative audio sector. The original (and presumably discounted) Rode Wireless Go is your best purchase if you don’t need a second transmitter, but even then, the Go II package may be worth the money.
As previously stated, the Go II retains much of the design refinement that made the original Wireless Go innovative, but the upgrades that have made their way into this edition have done wonders to improve the overall quality of life.
The units are quite little for what they promise, measuring roughly 44 x 45 x 18mm and weighing only 30g apiece. Despite their small size and low weight, they appear to be quite durable, though we wouldn’t put this to the test with too many drops, and there is no weatherproofing.
When attaching any of the units to clothes, the plastic clips are quick and easy to use, and they also function as a hot shoe mount that fits neatly on the top of your camera gear.
Because of their small size, these clips are perfect for attaching to a belt to run a lavalier microphone or clipping closer to the wearer’s mouth (in a jacket or even a dress) to use the built-in microphone.
Each item comes with a rechargeable battery that claims 7 hours of use and can be charged through USB-C. Three USB-C cables, two fuzzy windshields, a carry case, and a 3.5mm TRS cable to connect straight to your camera or other device are included in the box for simultaneous charging. Separate smartphone cables (Lightning and USB-C) are available.
Aside from the 3.5mm and USB-C ports, the Wireless Go II is relatively uncluttered – each device has a multi-purpose button (more on this later), the transmitters have a microphone and two indicator lights (to display power and connectivity), and the receiver has two additional buttons and a screen that displays recording level, battery life, signal strength, and a few other important details.
Where the original offered a 70-meter line-of-sight range, the Go II kit includes two transmitters with a 200-meter range. While this is Rode’s best-case scenario, we did observe a significant increase in stability over longer distances (whether it’s near twice that of the original unit is tough to determine, but we don’t doubt it).
One thing to keep in mind is that the Wireless Go II transmitters and receivers are not backward compatible with the original equipment. This is likely due to the enhanced transmission technology discussed above, but it’s worth noting if you’re looking to expand your fleet of either device.
The Rode Wireless Go II is one of the easiest items in this category to set up, with everything ready to go the moment you take it out of the box. There’s plenty of fine-tuning available either via the receiver’s buttons or the Rode Central app for those who prefer to go in and tweak their equipment.
The software allows you to access all of your device’s settings, including clever features like customizing what the multi-function button on the transmitters and receivers does, such as muting, setting a marking, or turning on the lighting.
You’ll be able to retrieve the recordings recorded immediately on each transmitter, as well as modify the audio parameters, in this software. You may record uncompressed or compressed audio, giving you either seven hours or over 40 hours of recording time, and you can view any put marks to quickly discover a good clip or critical point.
Fine gain control, which allows you to set precise levels rather than the set increments available via the hardware buttons, and setting up a safety channel, which is a brilliant feature that records the same signal at a lower volume in case the main channel clips and you lose audio, are two other key features accessible via the software.
While the software is a fantastic method to see all of your Rode kit’s settings, the hardware can also be used to accomplish a lot. Holding both the dB and connect buttons simultaneously for three seconds, for example, changes the default merged channel to split-channel. This option allows you to record each transmitter’s audio separately so you can blend the two afterward to your satisfaction.
We won’t go into all of the modifications and features here; instead, we’ll state that whenever we needed to edit something or change how the Wireless Go II worked, we weren’t left wanting.
The hardware buttons and screen do an excellent job of enabling access to key features, and the Rode Central software is wonderfully user-friendly and covers everything else.
The integrated mics in the transmitters create good quality recordings, as Rode is known for, and you can attach an external microphone via the TRS connector if you want a lavalier mic or something similar.
You can connect the receiver to your camera or smart device directly through USB-C to ensure even less quality loss. This avoids the analog audio signal conversion in the receiver entirely, allowing for only one analog-to-digital conversion at the microphone end of the system.
3. Hollyland Lark 150
The Hollyland Lark 150 is designed for content makers who need to dependably capture and transfer audio wirelessly in a small and simple device. The built-in microphone or the included lavalier mics are used to capture audio (or any other 3.5mm TRS compatible audio source).
The Lark 150 is available in black or white and comes in three different kits: Duo (two transmitters (TX) and one receiver (RX), Solo (one TX and RX), and Single TX (which may be used to update the Solo kit into a Duo at a later date).
For the past two weeks, I’ve been using the white Duo kit on a range of video productions. Make sure to watch the entire video review to hear all of the inside and outdoor audio tests, including range and line of sight. I’ll talk about my experience with the Lark 150 as a content maker, videographer, and tech reviewer. I’ve tried several comparable wireless audio microphone transmitter devices, several of which were priced similarly.
The RDE Wireless GO II, which offers various unique advantages over other systems, is currently the Lark 150’s main competitor. While this review will not be a direct comparison of the two systems, I will discuss some significant aspects in which the Lark 150 compares to the heavy hitter regularly.
To refresh your memory, the RODE Wireless GO II is a two-person tiny 2.4GHz wireless microphone system with identical capability, but with the added benefit of being able to record audio internally via the transmitters, even if the receiver is turned off or fully removed.
This is extremely beneficial for solo creators or simply assuring you that you will always have audio recorded. However, it does have some controls and level adjustments limits that may make it a challenging decision for some people.
The Lark 150 has certain unique features and values of its own that can make it a more trustworthy, easier to use, and affordable alternative, depending on the type of creator or producer you are and how you want to record or adjust your audio.
While there is no such thing as a “perfect” system, I will present as many examples as possible to assist you in determining whether the Lark 150 is the correct system for you. One of the benefits of the Lark 150 is how easy it is to set up. When you take the transmitters and receivers out of the case, they turn on the couple immediately. Simply mic your subject and plug in the receiver, and you’re ready to record.
The Lark 150 features FHSS (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) technology, which allows the system to choose the appropriate 2.4GHz frequency automatically. Hollyland claims a latency of fewer than 5 milliseconds and a range of up to 100 meters (328 feet). Because there are so many variables at play here, including various sources of radio interference and your surroundings, your findings will vary.
In reality, I believe that anything over 50 meters with the line of sight is more than sufficient for most practical applications. The range of the transmitter with your back turned is more crucial. When there is an impediment or if you turn away from them, these wireless devices have a significantly lesser range in my experiments.
I believe Hollyland is one of the few brands I’ve come across that genuinely advertises its effective range while you’re not looking. In my outside tests, I discovered that their 20-meter claim was fairly accurate.
One of the Lark 150’s other major advantages is its control system. Because of its increased size, the receiver can feature large physical adjustment buttons, allowing users to make changes quickly and intuitively.
I felt the receiver on the Wireless Go II to be deficient in this area, as it needed additional steps to select the transmitter I wanted and then mute or unmute them. Individual controls for each transmitter on your receiver are available with the Lark 150. Additionally, each transmitter has a little mute button on the side that can be used to silence it.
You can change the recording mode from Stereo, Mono, or Stereo with a Safety track by holding down either of the mute buttons. The safety track is particularly beneficial if you have unreliable or challenging audio sources with large audio level fluctuations. By recording the right channel at -6db, you can reduce the amount of clipping in your audio. The drawback is that you won’t be able to modify the volume levels of each receiver.
One of the Lark 150’s best features is its somewhat large and hefty case, which houses the two transmitters and one receiver. A soft layer on the top of the case keeps everything snug and in place. While this case has the benefit of being able to charge everything with only one wire and even on the go thanks to its internal battery, I found it to be excessively large and cumbersome when I needed to travel light.
It’s far more difficult to pack everything into smaller camera bags and compartments than it is with the RODE Wireless GO II’s long and slim plush case. Although the RODE bag does not charge its devices like the Lark case, it is much easier to carry and truly holds all of your equipment.
Although I like to pack lighter, those who wish to ensure that their devices may be charged more conveniently while traveling will appreciate this approach. Although Hollyland includes a separate bag that holds the case as well as all of the other accessories, I don’t think this is the best solution.
To begin with, it’s asking for all of your wires to get tangled up, especially if you’re like me, and just stuff everything back into the bag after your shoot. Second, it simply adds to the heft of the case, making this an even more uncomfortable shape to pack.
The transmitters have a 200mAh battery that lasts about 4 hours and charges in 45 minutes, while the receiver has a 530mAh battery that lasts around 7.5 hours and charges in 65 minutes. Battery life performance is dependent on how much interference is there in the surroundings, just like range.
These battery life estimates are reasonable given their size, but they may be restricted if you plan on completing a longer, continuous recording session. You can’t charge the system while it’s in use, unlike other systems like the RODE. Although the RODE does not have a charging case, I can use a tiny power bank to continually charge each of the transmitters and receivers if necessary.
Two lavalier mics are supplied, unlike some other similar systems at this price point. While there is a stigma associated with integrated lapels, these appear to be suitable for both indoor and outdoor wear.
The lavs help concentrate in and isolate your audio source when compared to the internal mics, which sound decent and are on par with the RODE Wireless GO II. It’s worth noting that compared to systems that don’t contain lavs, this adds at least $40-50 in value.
While some users, particularly those who already have a preferred external microphone, may not mind, those wishing to purchase a full system with everything they need will be grateful.
The lavs have alligator shirt clips and windpuffs that can be removed. The 3.5mm ends, on the other hand, lack their clip/latch to secure themselves to the transmitters. Other systems, such as the Comica Boom XD, include this feature, which helps keep the cords plugged in.
I’m also concerned about the wires’ long-term durability. Aside from being a little frail, each end also appears to be less shielded than I’d prefer. I could see the mic breaking due to a significant tug or pinch. Putting these lavs loosely in the carrying bag with everything else isn’t doing anyone any favors, especially since the charging case doesn’t fit your other supplementary gadgets.
When the wind muffs are connected, the long plastic end is plugged into the 3.5mm inputs of the transmitters. On the underside, they have a rectangular groove that keeps them in place and prevents them from twisting. This approach is convenient and quick, but unlike the RODE wind muffs, which must be twisted into a screw-like construction, the Larks can still be pulled off or have more wiggle.
The USB C cable is used to charge the case and connect it to your computer for firmware updates. A TRS to TRS cable is included for connecting to most cameras and recorders, as well as a TRS to TRRS cable for connecting to smart devices such as phones and tablets.
4. BOYA BY-M1
I needed a low-cost, easy-to-use, and portable microphone to test out podcasting. We also intended to film some video tutorials, so we required a mic that could move with the speaker with ease. Experts in podcasting and video editing advised us to spend as much money as we could. We are, nonetheless, extremely vulnerable.
Experts in podcasting and video editing advised us to spend as much money as we could. We, on the other hand, are highly risk-averse girls, so we opted for this clip-on mic instead.
We’re so happy we did! While we learn how to perform podcasting and video and audio editing, the BOYA Omni-directional condenser microphone provides us with good sound quality and little handling noise, and it didn’t break the bank. It could be almost anyplace. The mic is small and light, and the cable that connects it to your recording equipment is 6 meters long, giving you plenty of room to maneuver if you need to put it into a laptop or a camera/camcorder from afar.
You could even use it as an interview mic by placing it on the table between the speakers as we did in our podcasts – it picks up sound equally from all directions. The sound quality is surprisingly decent, however, the noise will be present due to the limited range and lack of directionality.
Smartphones, DSLR cameras (both Nikon and Canon), camcorders, audio recorders, PC/laptops, and other devices can all benefit from this mic. The BY-M1 is an omnidirectional condenser microphone with a 6-meter cord, a standard 1/8 inch 4-pole gold plug, and a 14-inch adaptor that allows it to be plugged into most audio equipment. It’s great for presentations, and it records good, crisp single-person audio into any recording device with ease. If there are numerous speakers, each should have its microphone and a mixer to manage the multiple inputs.
However, if the speakers are close together and there is no ambient noise, it is possible to get acceptable audio quality from several speakers recording to a single mic. The BOYA BY-M1 is a lavalier/clip-on microphone using electret condenser technology. It has an omnidirectional recording pattern, which means it picks up sound equally well from all directions. The foam windscreen and a lapel clip are included in the 2.5g mic. Between the mic and the 18g power module, which houses the LR44 battery and the camera/smartphone switch, there is around a meter of cord. The power module is also equipped with a clip that allows it to be readily fastened to garments.
When recording a single individual in a quiet environment, it sounds well. If you move around, there will be some noise, especially if you don’t take care to keep the microphone clear of cloth. Both were handled using Audacity’s noise reduction feature. We set the microphone about the same distance between us in the first podcast, and the sound was pretty decent, despite the ambient noise. We had clipped the mike to one speaker in the second podcast, resulting in uneven sound quality. The BOYA Omni-directional condenser microphone is a fantastic small tool. It’s simple to set up and operate, and the audio quality is rather good. It’s great for single-person podcasts and adding audio to videos, but it can also handle multi-speaker input and is a great starter kit for new podcasters on a budget.