In this digital era where digital content is rising, the demand for devices like microphones continuously increases.
There are different types of microphones. One of them is the shotgun microphone. It is widely used in the film industry because it captures sounds from distant subjects.
In this article, you will get to know five shotgun microphones. Check out why you should or should not buy them.
What is a shotgun microphone?
It is a device. a type of microphone. that converts sound into an electrical signal. This device is highly directional and has a slender body that resembles a shotgun. They look like extra-long versions of small-condenser diaphragm microphones.
For proper recording, it must be pointed directly at its target sound source. These types of microphones usually have super-cardioid and hyper-cardioid audio pickup patterns. These enable the shotgun microphones to record sounds coming from one direction while eliminating background noise.
Are you planning to get one? Do not add to your cart just yet without checking these five shotgun microphones and their pros and cons. Here we go:
Top 5 Best Shotgun Microphones
|Comica CVM-V30 PRO Shotgun Microphone for DSLR Camera|
|Rode NTG2 Multi-Powered Condenser Shotgun Microphone|
|Rode VideoMic Me Compact TRRS Cardioid Mini-Shotgun Microphone for Smartphones|
|Takstar SGC-598 Shotgun Microphone for Nikon Canon DSLR Camera|
|Movo VXR10 Universal Video Shotgun Microphone|
The Comica V30 Pro is affordable yet is a great external shotgun-style microphone. It is specially designed for video shooting, meetings and interviews. Its streamlined appearance and the mounting system did a good job of limiting noise from the camera.
- Transducer Principle: Back Electric Condenser
- Max.SPL: 114dB
- THD: 51%
- Output Impendance: 2.2 130%1(11
- Dynamic Range: 100 dB
- Sensitivity: -33dB±2 dB / -23dB±2 dB
- Signal to Noise Ratio: 78 dB
- Power: DC3V
- It is lightweight and has a low-cut filter function and 10dB sensitivity adjustment. You can shift to the low-cut mode when you are in a noisy environment
- It is shock-resistant. It can prevent the noise of the jitter during video shooting.
- It has a super-cardioid polar pattern. It can effectively reduce the noise of the surrounding environment that it will pick up.
- It supports all cameras that come with a 3.5 mm (TRS) audio input jack.Great strumming sound
- Looks and feels very luxurious
- Sounds balanced in the tonal range
- Not available for Canon T5/T6/T7
- For iPhone 7/8/x/xs or other devices with lightning audio input. you need to purchase a TRS-TRRS adapter cable and 3.5mm TRRS lightning cable separately.
- It has a manual power switch.
This high-quality piece of equipment is an entry-level 11″ short-range shotgun and one of the most known models today due to its affordable price and remarkable overall quality.
- Capsule: 0.50″
- Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
- Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Output Impedance: 25051
- Sensitivity: -36.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (15.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
- Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted): 18dB-A
- Power Req.: 48V
- It is lightweight making it an ideal boom microphone, though it still offers a solid look and feel.
- It has full low noise and frequency response.
- It minimizes wind noise during recording and reduces sibilance and popping sounds.
- It has a smooth. almost ideal frequency pattern.
- It is ideal for budget filming.
- It lacks an on/off switch
- It has a terrible windshield
This lightweight and compact shotgun microphone have a flexible mounting bracket that accommodates a wide range of smartphones. It is perfect for primary camera or front camera use. Its line tube and capsule are suspended inside the microphone, providing isolation and superior shock mounting from physical sound sources through the microphone body.
- Works with both iOS and Android devices
- Output: TR RS (3.5mm)
- Acoustic Principle: Pressure Gradient
- Active Electronics: JFET impedance converter
- Capsule: 0.50″
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Address Type: End
- Frequency Range: 100Hz – 20kHz
- Sensitivity: -33.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (22.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
- Great strumming sound
- Looks and feels very luxurious
- Sounds balanced in the tonal range
- Not the cheapest guitar out there
- The sound it offers might not be what many are looking for
If you are looking for a budget shotgun microphone for your DSLR camera, you should consider the Takstar SGC-598 shotgun microphone. It has a decent build quality, entirely made of plastic. It looks like a high-end device but costs way less.
- Transducer Principle: Back Electret Condenser
- Directivity Characteristic: Cardioid
- Frequency Response: 50H z-16KHz
- Sensitivity: -32dB1-3dB(OdB=1V/Pa at 1 KHz)
- Sensitivity Tone Up: +10dB
- Bass Filter: 60Hz 10dB/octave
- Output Impedance: 200011±30%
- It is affordable
- It effectively reduces the ambient noise being picked up
- It provides +10dB sensitivity enhancement and 200Hz low-frequency attenuation function.
- It can be easily installed on the camera.
- It has an anti-vibration structure design. which reduces the camera’s mechanical noise and other vibration noise interference.
- Its battery life lasts up to 100 hours.
- It is not too sturdy.
- Its cable is oddly attached to the front of the microphone. which eliminates the possibility to attach a longer cable or replace the cable if the provided one goes bad.
- It has a wide polar pattern.
- It has a poor build quality.
This Movo VXR10 microphone can significantly improve your audio quality. Are you using the highest-quality DSLR? Or a standard smartphone?
This shotgun microphone got you covered! It is small but durable, That is why filmmakers, vloggers, and videographers love it. It is versatile and can be used in all kinds of situations by anyone.
- Connector Type: 3.5 mm Jack
- Connectivity Technology: Auxiliary
- Power Source: No Battery Required
- Audio Sensitivity: 76 dB
- Polar Pattern: Unidirectional
- Item Weight: 51 Grams
- Material: Aluminum
- No battery required!
- It is lightweight and easy to use. You can mount it directly on your camera or smartphone. It is plug-and-play.
- It is easy to pack and perfect on the go.
- It provides a full bass in addition to crisp higher frequencies.
- You may need to move closer to capture a more focused sound because of its size and build.
- It does not work best for subjects that are more than 18 inches from it.
Why do you need a shotgun microphone?
In the world of video production. audio quality can make or break any project. That is why it is important to choose the right type of microphone and to use it properly. Creating high-quality audio offers many challenges when shooting videos.
Most built-in microphones available are generally not designed for quality audio. They can pick up a lot of wind and background noise. This is where the shotgun microphone comes in, It generally gives you a clearer voice pickup.
It is widely considered the go-to standard for getting the best audio. One of the biggest advantages that shotgun microphones have is their narrow pickup pattern. Whether you’re shooting a professional or an amateur video. you will have all the reasons to buy a shotgun microphone. Most likely, you will never regret getting one.
When do you need a shotgun microphone?
Before getting one, check out when it is best to use a shotgun microphone. Note that shotgun microphones are not the best choice for places with lots of hard surfaces. They are not ideal for small rooms either.
However, they are best for outdoors and large spaces with balanced acoustics. Because of their open-back capsule design, shotgun microphones are prone to wind noise. You may opt to choose a device that includes a “dead car windshield to minimize wind noise when recording in high wind conditions. You may also use noise suppression tools even if you’re shooting indoors.
Though shotgun microphones offer some considerable advantages, they also have challenges for some shoots. They also require extra equipment. You will also need an operator who knows how to keep shotgun microphones out of your shots while still positioning the device to get the best sound.
Because of its long reach, a shotgun microphone can tremendously help when you have to record at a distance. They can isolate and record sound coming from farther away because of their long and narrow pickup patterns.
Uses of Shotgun Microphones
The common uses of shotgun microphones, aside from films, are for talks or speeches in lectures, meetings, and conferences. In these scenarios, the speaker does not need to hold a microphone and speak into it. Speakers do not need to wire a microphone on their bodies to record their lecture or speech.
He can just talk at a distance as long as he talks to the front of the shotgun microphone. In this way, the speaker can just focus on talking during his lecture without having to hold and bring the microphone with him.
So this type of microphone is advantageous in any situations where distance speaking will occur. This has been ideal not only for digital creators but for speakers who need to stay within the vicinity to talk in front of the microphone.
Factors to consider in choosing a shotgun microphone
The key factor to consider in choosing the best shotgun microphone for you is to know what you are going to use it for. Consider if you are mainly using it indoors or outdoors. Check the devices that you will use it with.
Other than that, you should also consider audio patterns and whether it is a battery-powered microphone or one that relies upon phantom power. As well as on-axis and off-axis audio capture. self-noise. and sensitivity.
Keep in mind that the best shotgun microphones have high directionality. This means they’re good at capturing on-axis audio and rejecting off-axis sound.
The high sensitivity of microphones is also important for clear audio pickup. To produce clear recordings. pick a unit with low self-noise.
Decide which type of directional pattern best fits your filming needs. Remember that it’s usually better to use a less directional microphone in a position close to the sound source.
Make sure the shotgun microphone’s frequency response is appropriate for the intended use. As a rule of thumb. the flat response patterns are the best. but in many cases. a tailored response will be even better.
Keep in mind that low impedance is better than high impedance.
Take note that the diaphragm works by converting vibrations from sound waves into electrical signals. Unless the microphone has some sort of protection system, the diaphragm cannot tell the difference between a desirable sound wave vibration and any other sort of vibration (such as a person tapping the microphone casing). Any sort of vibration at all can become part of the generated audio signal.
In the end. the quality of sound is quite subjective. You really want a microphone that will provide the sound you wish to have. A good idea is to check each product reviews and take note of the ones that mostly affect you.
Disadvantages of shotgun microphones
Just like any other device. the shotgun microphone also comes with some disadvantages. These disadvantages include the following but not limited to:
- If you move it away from the sound subject or source. its pickup of sounds worsens.
- It picks up sound at its rear. and thus those that are positioned at the back should be silent.
- Its gain starts decreasing as the sound source moves away from the reference point
The shotgun microphone focuses closely on the sound that is directly in front of them. Meanwhile. it rejects sounds from the rear and sides. The key is to get the device as close to your subject as possible and keep it pointed directly at your sound source.
The best quality will come from positioning the shotgun microphone a few feet above your sound subject. Booming from above, the sound subject allows a more clear and crisp dialog to be heard.
The microphone will be pointing downwards when booming from above. Therefore, the noise from around the room will be off-axis. This will give you more emphasis on the voice and less environmental noise.
Another positioning rule that you can follow is that if you are shooting indoors. try avoiding aiming your shotgun microphone at hard surfaces. Think of brick walls and hardwood floors.
These surfaces reflect sound waves that can cause the sound to be somewhat hollow. This can reduce the effectiveness of the interference tube design. which means that more noise will come through on your recording.
What are the distinctive polar patterns of shotgun microphones?
There are three classifications of shotgun microphones polar patterns. These are the super cardioid, hyper-cardioid, and ultracardioids.
- Super cardioid – presents a narrow range of polar patterns. This exhibits sensitivity in the diaphragm’s front Thus. it rejects off-axis sounds. It therefore. exhibits very minimal rear pickup. If you are the operator of this microphone who positions yourself behind it you should not create noise at the back of this microphone.
- Hypercardioids – its primary sensitivity is in the mic’s front part Yet it differs from the cardioid mic because its least sensitive points are at 150160 degrees and 200-210 degrees. While the cardioid has it behind the microphone. If you want more isolation of the sound sources. you should use this microphone.
- Ultracardioids – it carries the narrowest pickup pattern outside of those omnidirectional microphones. Since it is highly sensitive to the movement of the subject. you should not use this on a boom pole. This is because it is so directional.
Best budget shotgun microphone
Our best budget shotgun microphone pick from this selection is the Movo VXR10. It is because the most appealing part of this microphone is its price. Who says filmmaking is an expensive track? The Movo VXR I 0 proves that you do not have to break the bank for quality audio.
Frequently, creators would need to weigh between quality and their budget This does not need to happen with Movo VXR 10. While there are certainly more competitive and detailed microphones out there. the VX R1 0 is the best value for its price.
Best overall pick
Our best overall pick for this selection is undoubtedly the Movo VXR I 0 Universal Video Shotgun Microphone. It may be true that it may not produce the most detailed or the richest audio for a shotgun microphone, but the Movo VXR10 blows the competition out of the water for its sheer value.
It is a fantastic option for beginner creators who want to improve their content but don’t have an unlimited budget. This shotgun microphone features an incredibly small footprint. It is portable and easy to mount on just about any camera whether an action cam like the GoPro or DSLR, as well as with phones.
If you starting your filmmaking or digital creation journey and are seriously considering buying a shotgun microphone, consider all of your options first. Your choice should be based on the camera equipment you are using and on the project you plan on shooting.
For some shoots, a different type of microphone may be a better option. However. if you want a versatile device that can be used in a number of situations, a shotgun microphone is a better investment