The 13 Best Microphones for YouTube Vlogging 2021

The most important thing you will need for vlogging is a good microphone. The camera comes in second place. After all, nobody will follow you if they can’t hear you well, so it’s an important step to become a successful vlogger. Here are the 11 best microphones for YouTube vlogging, no matter what kind of camera you’re planning to use.

I included each of the types of microphones you might be interested in according to your needs. I’ve separated them according to their utility and nature. You can use the Table of Contents to navigate through the different sections.

I will start with a really short explanation about the different types of microphones. This way you can understand which one is the best YouTube microphone for your needs.

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Why You Should Avoid Built-In Camera Microphones

Most cameras have a built-in mic, so a lot of people tend to think that this is enough to start recording good video.

It is not.

The main problem with built-in microphones is that they are on the consumer level. In other words, they’re low quality.

It’s not just that their sound is not clear, but rather they capture every single sound around you, including air. They are noisy and can’t discriminate any sound.

This happens because they are omnidirectional. The recorded ambient sound can get louder than your voice unless you put the mic near you.

There are some omnidirectional microphones that are worth, but only if the situation calls for it.

Why Unidirectional Mics Are the Best YouTube Microphones

Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikipedia

You want to get a unidirectional or bidirectional microphone if you don’t want to record everything that is happening outside your window. Nobody wants to hear the sound of a truck passing by your house, or the neighborhood kids cleverly insulting each other, right?

The most common type of unidirectional microphone is the cardioid. These are microphones made for speech, and they will only record sound coming from one direction. These are the best you will find for vlogging.

Finally, there are mainly 3 kinds of microphones you will find when looking for the best microphone for vlogging:

  • Condenser and Dynamic Microphones: These are microphones that convert acoustic sounds into electrical signals. Condenser is used to record music, but they are also popular for speech recording. They are made for studio music recording because they tend to capture delicate sounds, which might result in background noise. Dynamic microphones are better for voice recording of live events because they cut out the background noise since they capture the stronger sounds. The latter is ideal if you are recording in a really noisy environment.
Condenser microphone
Source: Wikipedia

There are 2 kinds of condenser mics that are interesting for vlogging:

  • Lavalier Microphones: These are really small microphones that you can clip to your clothing. They are useful when you don’t want to face a static microphone when speaking. These microphones are omnidirectional, but the noise is easy to suppress since they’re attached close to your mouth. You can hide them in your clothing, but you won’t be able to move around because the microphone will capture the sound of your clothing rubbing against it. The best way to use them is by clipping them to the external part of your clothing, like this:
lavalier microphone
Source: Wikipedia
  • Shotgun Microphones: These are the most common microphones that can be connected to your DSLR. They have a really narrow area to capture sound in the front, and they cancel sound waves that come from other directions. They don’t amplify sound, like most people think. They just have a very narrow sensitive area to capture the sound waves that approach their front end. They are really good for recording from a long distance.
Shotgun microphone
Source: Wikipedia

Now, let’s start with the lists. I’ve put a lot of effort in getting rid of microphones you won’t need for vlogging, and also those that are not worth the price.
We’ll start with USB microphones. These ones are very popular mics for YouTube vlogging, and for good reasons.

How to Fix The Most Common Audio Issues 

I’ve had to do a lot of testing with microphones while recording from home. Believe me, it can get frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing, even if you get the best mic.

So now I’ll help you solve the most common audio quality problems you might find when making YouTube videos.

The Key to Good Audio Quality for YouTube

Getting a unidirectional mic helps a lot with getting rid of noise around you. 

However, there’s still noise that is going to come from your direction. This noise will be picked up by the mic and amplified.

That’s why the key to good audio quality is simply to get closer to the microphone.

This is one of the main reasons I prefer to use a lavaliere microphone when I’m at home. Since the mic is very close to my mouth, it picks up my mouth way louder than any other sound.

Even though I’m not technically reducing the noise, my audio sounds pretty clear just because my voice is a lot louder than the rest of the sounds.

Now, let’s talk about one of the main enemies you’ll face when recording at home: echo.

If you don’t fix this before recording with your new mic, all the echo will also be amplified and your audio will sound just as bad, but louder. Ugh.

The Enemy Inside: How to fix an Echoey room

 I used to think that I needed to sound treat my room with acoustic panels in order to get rid of the awful echo.

And even though this is, indeed, the way professionals do it, it’s just too expensive and impractical if you’re doing it at home.

You’ll damage the paint on your walls, and spend a lot of money to sound treat all the places that need it.

Instead, what I found works best is to simply put more furniture and decoration in my room.

That’s right, the best fix to an echoey room is a visit to Ikea.

See, the main reason a house room is echoey is when there’s a lot of empty space.

When I started my channel, I had just moved to a new place, and I didn’t get why my room was so echoey. 

But once I started putting stuff around the room, the echo started slowly disappearing.

It worked a lot better than the little foam panels I had bought (which, btw, are really inefficient). 

So don’t waste your money on those, simply make sure you decorate your room with more furniture and the echo will disappear because it will get lost between all the different surfaces.

The Enemy Outside: How to Fix Wind Noise

When you’re recording outside, the most common problem you’ll find is the wind.

When winds hit your microphone, it gets so noisy that it’s almost impossible to record anything.

This is very common when recording travel vlogs.

That’s why you need a windscreen. They come in different shapes, depending on the microphone that you use.

Be it that you’re using a lavaliere, shotgun, or your camera’s internal mic, you’ll need to buy one according to the type of mic you’ll use.

Funny tip, the windscreen version for shotgun mics is often called deadcat — creepy name, I know.

Use the Power of Editing

After you’ve done all this, the only thing left is to apply a denoiser or noise suppression filter in your editor.

Most of them can do a great job of neutralizing the natural static that your mic recorded.

If you’ve done the previous steps right — getting closer to the mic, making sure your room is not too empty, and using a windscreen outside —, applying a denoiser will make your audio almost pristinely clean.

Just make sure you don’t overdo it.

Your objective is to get rid of as much noise as possible BEFORE recording and applying a denoiser. 

Denoising is pretty good, but it’s not magic. If there’s too much echo and background noise, you’ll only make it worse with a denoiser filter.

The 4 Best USB Microphones for YouTube

Most YouTubers will want to get a really cheap webcam that can record top quality video —see my post The 6 Best Webcams for Youtube Vlogging— and combine it with a good USB microphone. This is a good idea since webcams are so cheap and the most important thing you should worry about is sound.

These are also the best microphones for YouTube gaming, as you can record directly to your PC and sync video and audio easily.

In general, USB microphones are great for anyone that’s looking to record videos in front of their PC.

There are some really good and popular options for USB mics to connect to your PC, or even DSLR:

Blue Snowball

There is no reason to go for a cheaper microphone than the Blue Snowball. Even if you don’t have the money right now, you should wait for a sale or save money until you can buy it. This is the best priced microphone you can get to record sound to your PC.

Most people even prefer to save more money and get a higher quality Blue Yeti microphone. Nevertheless, you can’t go wrong with a Snowball; that’s why it’s still popular between streamers and vloggers.

With this microphone, you will be able to switch between 2 modes: Omnidirectional and cardioid.

One last thing to say about it is that it comes in different colors. This is cool if you want to show it on your videos or simply for personal taste.

One alternative to this microphone is the Samson Meteor Mic USB Studio Microphone. The main difference is that the Snowball has better audio quality, but the Meteor includes headphones jack, mute switch and volume controls. Also, it’s smaller, which some people find useful.

The best budget USB microphone alternative to the Snowball is the Samson Go Mic. You can still choose between cardioid and omnidirectional with it, but its recording quality is lower. Consider that its price is not that different from the Snowball’s.

Still, although I would save for the Snowball, I do admit that the quality of the Samson is fair for the price.

Blue Yeti

This is the best-seller USB condenser microphone on Amazon. It is also pretty common between YouTubers. It offers a wide variety of sound-capturing pattern modes and its sound quality is pretty good for the price.

You can choose between cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo. The stereo mode is close to the omnidirectional, but it’s more selective. It just allows sound from the right and left to give the surrounding effect. Nevertheless, you will most likely use the cardioid mode for vlogging.

Finally, this one includes the useful buttons the Snowball is missing for mute and volume control. It also includes headphones output.

Whether you should get something better than a Blue Yeti or not, it will depend on how much money you have available. You can start with this one and it’s going to be good enough for a long time. You can upgrade to a higher quality microphone that is even better at sound suppression, but it’s not needed from the beginning.

Microphones get to a point where the more you pay, the better sound quality you get. You won’t sacrifice important features whether you get one or another, like it often happens with cameras.

You will get better sound quality as you spend more. That’s it.

Audio-Technica AT2020

This is the one I personally use because I didn’t need the switchable patterns offered by Blue. I only cared about having a cardioid mic that is decent at suppressing background noise because my room is a bit of an echo champer.

The reason for its price is that this one only offers the cardioid mode, but it’s the perfect sensibility pattern if you’re recording from home. You won’t need a bidirectional mic unless you need two speakers at the same time, and omnidirectional is usually a bad idea if you don’t want to hear background noise.

Another reason is that it does not include any mute switch. This is just the trade you get: better audio for fewer features that aren’t completely necessary.

It is the best you can get at this price range. Semi-professional microphones start around the $300 mark, and this one is better than some of them.

Getting something more expensive than an Audio-Technica AT2020 is only good if you really want to get rid of all background noise.

The sound quality of this condenser microphone is good for both vlogging and podcasting, but it won’t get rid of the background noise by itself.

If you want to stop worrying about background noise and you don’t have the money or capacity to build a home studio, the Shure SM7B will be your holy grail.

Shure SM7B

shure sm7b

Well, this isn’t exactly a USB mic.

You will need a XLR cable and a preamp that you can connect through USB, but I NEED to mention this microphone.

This Shure mic is the mic you can buy to suppress all background noise.

It’s extremely popular between top podcasts, voice-over actors, and even some YouTubers and Twitch streamers.

As a dynamic mic, it will only capture what it’s coming from the front with its unidirectional pattern.

Since the microphone records at a really low DB level to avoid capturing background noise, you will also need a preamp to increase the signal to usable levels.

But that’s why it’s so popular. Simply because it will completely ignore any noise you have in your room. You will sound like you’re inside a professional sound-treated room.

The bad news is that it is more expensive than the rest and it requires additional equipment (the preamps and XLR cables).

But believe me, this microphone is worth it.

For more information about everything you need for it to work properly, read my Shure SM7B review.

Extra Accessories for Your USB Mic

Boom arm and shock mount

You can technically use a small tripod to hold your USB mic. However, I prefer boom arms because they free up a lot of space on my desk.

You’ll have to be careful if you hit your desk, as the sound waves will travel through the entire arm and to the mic. So you will hear it very clearly. 

This can get annoying and the only way to deal with it is with a shock mount. Here’s the one I use for my Audio Technica AT2020.

There are many boom arms and shock mounts in the market. Some are more effective than others. You’ll need to find one that is compatible with your mic on Amazon, and that is inside your budget — don’t worry, there are plenty of options.

Pop Filter

This is another accessory you’ll want to get, especially if you got a condenser mic. 

Some people think that they help with the hissing sounds we make when pronouncing letters like S. 

But they’re only helpful to reduce the popping sound that is so common when speaking close to the mic. 

This noise is caused by releasing fast-moving air directly to the mic when pronouncing letters like P and B.

To reduce the hissing sounds, you can only do it by being more careful when pronouncing them or by using a de-essing filter in your editor.

Anyway, I highly recommend getting a pop filter because they’re extremely cheap, but they fix a big problem. 

I remember recording without one and I just couldn’t stand the constant popping sounds.

The 2 Best Recorder for Cameras Without Mic Jack

Zoom H1

One of the most annoying things you will find when looking for a new camera is that most of those that are good for vlogging —check my post on the 6 best vlogging cameras with flip screen— don’t come with a mic jack.

This is especially true with compact and mirrorless cameras. But there is a simple way to fix this problem: buying an external recorder that you can use to connect a good mic to it.

The most common choice is the Zoom H1. This microphone/recorder is made of two unidirectional mics that are facing each other at 90 degrees. This allows you to get good stereo sound. It is much better than simply choosing an omnidirectional microphone.

It is a great choice when you need to take your microphone somewhere. It’s comfortable to carry around.

It also excels at recording music bands thanks to its 2 unidirectional microphones. You can position the musicians adequately to use it as a stereo recording system.

Still, this recorder will not get rid of the ambient sound. Even though its sound capturing system is unidirectional, its microphones are facing opposite directions. This means that it will capture sound from various directions, so by itself it’s not the best one to isolate sound.

That’s why I still think it’s better to get a lavaliere microphone to connect to it rather than using this as a voice recorder alone. And if you’re walking around with your camera, that’s the only way to record good audio, actually.

For me, the perfect combination is getting a Giant Squid lavalier microphone (reviewed below) to connect to the Zoom H1.

This is a good solution if your camera didn’t come with an external microphone port. The Giant Squid might be the best lavalier microphone for YouTube vlogging out there.

This is the easiest way to vlog while walking with your camera. Put the H1 in your pocket and connect the Giant Squid to it.

Zoom H4N Pro

A more expensive option, but also with a lot more advantages is the H4N.
For starters, it’s a lot more resistant, although it’s also twice as big. It also allows you to rotate the microphone capsules, so they’re not fixed at 90 degrees.

It can also record 4 tracks simultaneously.

But the biggest change is that it has 2 XLR/TRS inputs, which are required by most studio microphones and instruments. However, the microphones I recommend here don’t need this kind of input, so it’s only something you’ll need if you want to get more serious about sound.

Most vloggers will find the H1 good enough, but if you want to push things to the maximum, you’ll want to get the H4n Pro.

The 2 Best Microphone to Connect to Your Smartphone

PowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier

This one is in my opinion, the best cheap microphone for your smartphone.

I really doubt you can find anything better for that low price. It’s really risky to go for any cheap, but I’m happy with this one. And that’s something I can’t say often.

If you already have a phone with a good camera, it’s okay to start vlogging with it. This one is the solution for your sound; it will improve it a lot. It is one of the few cheap microphones for YouTube that I don’t think will disappoint you.

Connecting a microphone to your smartphone is also an alternative to the Zoom H1, although this option is not as good (it’s a LOT cheaper after all).

There are other similar options that are much more expensive than this one, but I don’t think they’re worth the price; they’re still omnidirectional and don’t present any significant sound improvement.

If you’re willing to spend more money, you can get a Giant Squid with an adaptor. You will get much better sound quality.

Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Microphone

Another good option is the Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Microphone. This one is more expensive but it does come with better sound quality and sound suppression. Bear in mind that for IOS, you will need to pay an extra $5.99 for the app that allows you to use this microphone.

The 2 Best Lavalier Microphone to Connect to Your Camera

If you bought a compact camera, you will most likely need to buy a lavalier microphone.

Remember that lavaliers are omnidirectional, so they will catch ambient sound. However, it’s easier to suppress the noise through editing because your voice will be noticeable higher (since you clip them on your shirt, close to your mouth).

Before starting, I just want to tell you that if you have the money for a Giant Squid just go for it. It’s not even worth for you to keep reading this part. It is hands down my favorite lavalier microphone. Its quality is comparable to many professional microphones, just be aware that the cable is a bit short.

If you prefer going for a cheaper mic, then the following one will do good for the price:

The Vidpro Lavalier Condenser Microphone is another good, cheap microphone for YouTube that will improve the sound you can get with your camera.

The 4 Best Shotgun Microphones for Cameras with Hot Shoe (DSLR, Point & Shoot or Mirrorless)

Hot shoes are found in almost every DSLR and some compact cameras. The following microphones are attachable to a camera’s hot shoe.

There’s a good reason why I don’t recommend extremely cheap shotgun microphones.

The cheap ones don’t deserve the shotgun name; they’re bad at suppressing ambient sound. They are a lot noisier than they should. You’d rather keep using your camera’s built-in mic instead of getting a cheap shotgun mic.

I know three shotgun microphones that are worth your money

Now, are these mics much different from each other?

They’re different in terms of quality. You just need to know how much money you’re willing to spend and how much noise you need to reduce. The prices of the following microphones are relative to the clear audio you achieve, so you don’t need to worry about them not meeting your expectations. Getting a more expensive shotgun microphone will just mean more noise reduction and better recording quality.

This is why I won’t say much about them. I’m just going to show you microphones that are good for their price range.

Gladly, there is one good option if you are on a tight budget. The rest scale up in cost as they scale up in quality.

Will A.

Will is the founder of VloggerPro. He's a YouTube Certified partner and has been reviewing equipment and teaching others how to grow and generate real income on YouTube for the last 5 years.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Brad - June 12, 2020 Reply

Hey will, so im a music producer and I’ve been asked to live stream playing keyboards I have an audio interface called UAD and an iMac computer. My question is to live stream live keyboards drums etc, what do you recommend?

    Will A. - June 12, 2020 Reply

    Hi Brad. If you can use a mic for your keyboard and connect it to your audio interface, and then the interface to your iMac computer you should be able to live stream with a free program like OBS Studio. I’m not too familiar with live music streaming, but I follow some artists that are streaming right now and this is basically what they do.

      Brad - June 12, 2020 Reply

      Thanks will!! Really appreciate the help!

Rich Pace - June 3, 2020 Reply

Hi Will,
Got a Logitech c920 camera w/ mic. The mic is not that great, but as a vocalist I have a few options. Can I connect either a Tascam DR40 (with 2 built -in directional stereo condenser mics) or an AKG C1000s? If so how do I connect it?
Thanks, Rich

    Will A. - June 3, 2020 Reply

    Hi Rich, I’m pretty sure you can connect both to your PC. I can’t explain exactly how, but there are plenty of tutorials on Google and YouTube (I think you’ll need an interface for the AKG).

Sarah - March 31, 2020 Reply

Hi Will

I have a Nikon COOLPIX L840, this doesn’t come with a port to put an external mic in. What would you recommend I use? I looked at the VidPro Lavalier Condenser microphone but would this work? If so how?

Thanks ☺️

    Will A. - March 31, 2020 Reply

    Hi Sarah, you can use that microphone and use an adapter to connect it to your smartphone. Then, use editing software to sync the video from the camera with the audio from the phone.

      Sarah - April 6, 2020 Reply

      Hi thanks for getting back to me, I just noticed you had sorry. What editing software would you suggest? Thanks

        Will A. - April 6, 2020 Reply

        No problem. If you have a Mac, go with iMovie. For Windows go DaVinci Resolve. Both are great for YouTube and they’re free.

          Sarah - April 11, 2020 Reply

          Thanks so much! You’ve been really helpful! Can’t wait to start my YouTube channel now ?

Camilla Akerberg - March 29, 2020 Reply

Hi Will,

Great blog. I am a personal trainer and yoga teacher- working on doing a lot more online content. What microphone would you recommend for something as such? With fitness I do jump around a bit so having a microphone on my clothes might affect the sound. With yoga I stay on my mat, but get upside down etc.

What would you recommend? I’m so anting to start of quite budget smart

Thanks so much for your help!

    Will A. - March 31, 2020 Reply

    Hi Camilla. You’ll want to use a shotgun microphone for this kind of work. You can mount it on your camera if it has a hot shoe, or get a stand for it. Good luck!

Bryan - August 20, 2019 Reply

Thank you for detailed information about wireless mic. I found a product review about the latest wireless mic that will really help Vloggers today. It’s called Rode Wireless Go, have you tried using it?

    Will A. - August 21, 2019 Reply

    Didn’t know about it. It seems really useful because it’s wireless and sounds pretty good. Thanks for sharing.

Hala - July 21, 2019 Reply

Hey Will, first of thanks for your hard work on this awesome simple article.
I would like to know which mic I should use if I wanna do voice over. Condenser or Dynamic . bec. I recently bought a cheap condenser one and it had a very high level noise as if I am sitting in a car with the windows open.(P.s. there were no windows open and it was just me talking and breathing.)
You don’t have to recommend any specific brands as I won’t find them here + I’m poor & cheap.. so should I go for Dynamic?

    Will A. - July 22, 2019 Reply

    Yeah it’s difficult to record good audio inside a car with the wind open. Honestly, I’m not sure what could be good for that situation. I’m thinking either a dynamic or a lavaliere mic that you can keep close to your mouth.

SG - July 19, 2019 Reply

I picked up the Shure C01 over a decade ago and it’s still my go to condenser for quick USB recording. I picked up the KSM32 about a year ago, and paired it with my Alesis USB Mixer for VO and narration. I love that a good microphone will last a lifetime if given proper care.

I’m looking at trying my hand at some new types of content (vlog), and have been considering either a shotgun or lavaliere. If I could only choose one as an entry level, would you recommend the TAKSTAR or Giant Squid?

    Will A. - July 22, 2019 Reply

    For vlogging, I’d go with the Takstar because it’s just easier to carry around due to not having to deal with the cable from the lavaliere mic.

Md Rakesh Ahmed - February 3, 2019 Reply

This Article Very Helpful For Me… Very Good Suggesting…. Thanks

Becky - January 16, 2019 Reply

Hi Will. Thank you for so much abundant information. Which microphone would you recommend for the following: I have a Cannon EOS 70D and a Go Pro camera. I want to be able to record myself for vlogging purposes as well as record people I am interviewing for my business. These interviews could take place outside or inside with various different background noises. I need something good quality and professional. What would be the best fit for these dual purposes…or should I purchase 2 different types of microphones?
Thanks for your help!

    Will A. - January 30, 2019 Reply

    Hey Becky. If you want to be able to record nice audio with both cameras with the same mic, I’d tell you to get a lavaliere mic and use an external recorder (a dedicated one or a smartphone will do). But if you were to only need a mic for the 70D, I’d prefer a shotgun mic. Both are good for what you want to do though!

Rahul - December 28, 2018 Reply

Hi will.

I am loving your blog already and I’m just ten minutes into reading. I am new to the space of vlogging. I just have a Canon sx530 hs camera which I can record videos on. Additionally I have an iPhone xs and Samsung galaxy s8 which I believe which many people use too. If you could suggest what equipment I can start with to make videos and record audio related to beauty product reviews and cooking. Additionally, what applications can you recommend for editing the same. I own a Mac book pro which I plan to use for editing. Appreciate you help on this and thanks in advance.

    Will A. - January 2, 2019 Reply

    Hey Rahul, here are some of the best editors for vloggers. And about the equipment, it depends on how you record your videos. You will always need good lighting, so starting with a lighting kit is good idea. For microphones, if you are going to talk to the camera while working use a shotgun, but if you are going to record audio separately, use an USB mic connected to your PC.

David Atman - December 11, 2018 Reply

Hello Will! I learned a bunch from your article. However, I’ve having a tough time finding the ideal combination for recording a 3-person vlog while minimizing background noise. We all sit at a table facing the camera, but we record in front of a small audience, and sometimes people chat, laugh, drop things etc. while we record. Would we be better off getting 1 lavalier mic per person? What do you think? Thanks for much for your help!

    Will A. - January 2, 2019 Reply

    Hello David, I’ve never had that experience before so it’s a little bit hard for me to talk about it. However, from what I’ve seen in live events, they use good lavaliere microphones that are really good at cutting noise from the background. Probably the best approach is like you say. Good luck!

Barb - November 25, 2018 Reply

Hi Will – could you make a recommendation for me? My 10 year old daughter would like a microphone to use with her mini iPad. She does some cooking and art videos. We bought a Yeti recently and couldn’t get it to work (I’m not very tech savvy). Any suggestions that would be easy to install and use?

    Will A. - November 27, 2018 Reply

    I’m not sure if you want to connect the mic to the Ipad, if that’s true you’ll need a mic compatible with ipads. I believe the lavaliere mic for phones that I recommended here is compatible with Ipads too, but I don’t know what your daughter’s Ipad model is so can’t give you a straight answer right now.

Diana - November 20, 2018 Reply

I am new to vlogging and looking for a wireless microphone for my iPhone. I’m often following the subject around homes or construction sites, so a wired external mic won’t work. In a perfect world, I’d like a lapel mic to attach to the subject so their hands are free for demonstrations. Does such a thing exist?

    Will A. - November 27, 2018 Reply

    Hello Diana,

    Are you recording with your IPhone? If so, you can buy a dedicated camera and give the subject your IPhone with the lapel mic connected to it. He can keep the phone in the pocket and have the hands free for demonstrations. Then you go to your editing software and sync the audio with the video from both devices, which is fairly easy to do. Alternatively you could get an eternal recorder and connect the lapel to it, if you want to keep recording with your phone.

Yayoi Moriguchi - October 26, 2018 Reply

Hi Will,
I’m looking for a microphone for my YouTube cooking videos and came across your blog. Thank you for the useful information.
I need your advice, Will. A microphone I need is for two situations:

1. When I talk to a camera (without cooking) saying ‘Hi…’ for the intro, and ‘Thank you…’ for the outro.
2. Voice over my videos explaining ingredients, cooking process, etc. (probably recording in Adobe Premiere while looking at videos I have shot)

I’m thinking about a lavalier mic, but does it work for both situations mentioned above? Do you have any advice/recommendation?

My camera is Canon EOS T6i. I use Premiere pro on iMac. I’m hoping that a mic can be connected to both my camera and iMac.
Not too expensive.

Any advice and/or recommendation are greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Will, in advance!


    Will A. - October 30, 2018 Reply

    Hello Yayoi,

    Most people who record YouTube videos own at least two microphones. One for talking-head videos and another for voice over. A lavaliere works for the former while an USB microphone is the favorite choice for voice overs. The good thing is that lavaliere microphones aren’t too expensive so it can fit most budgets as a secondary mic.

Rene - August 3, 2018 Reply

Wonderful write-up! I own several different types of mics for different purposes. I consider myself an advanced novice in the audio realm. I recently purchased the Powerdewise lav and am totally blown away by the combination of price, ease of use, and quality of sound.

Maria Costello - July 5, 2018 Reply

Your content helped me a lot, thank you!

    Will A. - July 7, 2018 Reply

    You’re welcome 🙂

Cate - June 15, 2018 Reply

I’m recording exercise videos outside with my android phone. I presume I need a Bluetooth wireless microphone to clip onto my clothing or ear. Any suggestions? I looked at the Lavalier style but I can’t use a cable connection to my phone as I’m recording on it. They are amateur at present but too much wind noise. Not wanting to spend too much as not trying to make money from the vids at present.

    Will A. - June 19, 2018 Reply

    Hello Cate,

    You could try with an external recorder like the Zoom h1. You can put it near you anywhere in the room and it should be a lot better than using your smartphone’s mic.

Lofa - April 21, 2018 Reply

When Vlogging sound is 50% of the video’s quality. Boya makes great microphones that rival that of Rode’s. heres a video of boya’s smallest budget shotgun mic for any of you interested on quality audio but find rode’s microphones too expensive.

Vioren - April 2, 2018 Reply

Hi Will, may you help me? I want to be beauty vloggers (making makeup tutorial), and my camera is Fujifilm X-A3 which doesn’t have any mic jack, can you recommend an affordable and the most suitable microphone for me? Thanks Will 🙂

    Will A. - April 3, 2018 Reply

    Hey Vioren,

    I think you should try with an external recorder like the Zoom H1 and try it out. If you still think it could be improved, get a lavaliere like the Giant Squid I recommended and connect it to your new recorder. That should do the trick.

Lesley - March 9, 2018 Reply

This was very helpful, thank you.

    Will A. - March 9, 2018 Reply

    You’re very welcome Lesley!

Jared Morgenstern - November 10, 2017 Reply


I’ve got an ELPH Powershot 190 but there’s no USB in to place my Snowball into. I’m thinking of getting a different camera with a USB port any suggestions? Also can I use the one snowball to interview someone if we are sitting relatively close to the mic?

I’m an newbies. Thanks!

    Will A. - November 15, 2017 Reply

    Hello Jared,
    Hey Jared. Cameras don’t come with a USB port. The ones that come with mic input come with 3.5mm jacks. The ones I recommend that are compatible are in the lavaliere and shotgun section (for this last your camera will need a hot shoe to mount the mic on). You can use the snowball for interviews.

    Good luck!

Anubhav - August 17, 2017 Reply


We make street food videos and the lapel mic is really annoying. Can you recommend a mic which can be used on streets for recording the interviews keeping in mind the crowded streets of India ?

Thank you!

    Will A. - August 17, 2017 Reply

    Hey Anubhav,

    What exactly is making it annoying? A good alternative, and probably the only one is using a shotgun microphone.

Nusayba - June 12, 2017 Reply

Thank you so much for the thought and effort put into this article!
Regarding the last set of mics, the shotgun mics for DSLRs, would it also work if I wanted to record audio directly to my laptop, sans camera? I am considering the low- or mid-end ones. I understand that most mics use a standard 3.5 mm jack so I can see it working in that area. I suppose there might be a problem in terms of setup (i.e. the mic would not be able to stand on its own as well as my actual proximity and location to the mic given that I would be seated differently recording live audio w/ a camera in front of me vs voice-over)

    Will A. - June 15, 2017 Reply

    Hi Nusayba!

    Why don’t you try with a USB microphone? Is there any particular reason why you want to use a shotgun on your laptop?

      Nusayba - June 15, 2017 Reply

      Hi Will,
      I had wanted to use the mic for my camera as well as my laptop and my camera does not have a USB port. Is there an option that could work for both?

        Will A. - June 21, 2017 Reply

        Sorry for the slow answer Nusayba. You can definitely work with a shotgun connected to your PC. You will just need to get a stand for it. Make sure both your PC operative system and your tripod stand are compatible with the shotgun mic you are planning to use.

          Nusayba - June 23, 2017 Reply

          ok great, than you!

yanis - May 2, 2017 Reply

Hello Will,

Thank you for taking your time to write this article! It was really helpful. Recently I was about to do a social experiment on the beach, but the audio was terrible due to the wind. What are my best options if I am using a Canon G7X? Is my best option to connect the equipment to my phone and get the audio that way, or is there something dependable and better I can connect to the camera itself?

    Will A. - May 2, 2017 Reply

    Hello Yanis,

    This is a problem you will find with any camera if you’re using their built-in mic. There are various ways to overcome this, and you should use the solution that is best fit for your needs. In my personal opinion, when it comes to compact cameras like the G7X I like to get an external recorder and a lavaliere microphone, especially when recording outdoors. For DSLRs, shotguns are a really good choice.

      Will A. - May 2, 2017 Reply

      You will still pick up the wind sound if you’re recording in extremely windy environments, but the noise will be much more easy to handle using noise supression in an editor.

Evan - February 12, 2017 Reply

I’m really leaning a lot from your articles. A very good resource.

For vlogging outside, if i have a camera (G7 X) with no mic input, you recommend getting a recorder and connecting a mic to that. How do the recorder and camera talk to each other? Like how does the recorder know when you start filming? And is the audio saved to the camera, in the video file? Or is it saved on the recorder and you have to mix it all together later during editing?

If using a phone and a mic, must you shoot video with the phone’s camera, or can you use a regular camera? In other words, shoot video with the camera, using a phone with mic for audio?

    Will A. - February 21, 2017 Reply

    Hello Evan,

    They don’t really communicate each other since the camera doesn’t have an external mic input. It will be your job to sync both audio and video with an editor after recording. The audio is saved in both the camera and the recorder; you will need to erase the audio from the video file, insert the audio from the recorder and sync them together to improve your audio. It sounds harder than it is once you get it down, really.

    And yes, you can always try to record audio to a phone.

      Evan - February 22, 2017 Reply

      Cool thanks Will. That helps. If I buy something, I’ll come back here and click the link 😉

Brian - January 31, 2017 Reply

Great website. Similar to above I’m going to make fitness videos for YouTube. I’m gonna go the laptop w/webcam route for affordability at first. Which webcam and microphone do you suggest for this? Do you recommend software for editing as well as certain computer specs? Thanks!

    Will A. - February 1, 2017 Reply

    Hello Brian,

    The C920 has really good quality and a nice wide-angle lens. You can check my list here.

Iain - January 26, 2017 Reply

Hello Will,

Quick question. Giant Squid lavalier is on my list so good to see your positive comments. However I want to connect it direct to my PC on occasion for screen capture tutorials. Would I be better to go for a USB microphone to avoid PC sound card?

    Will A. - January 30, 2017 Reply

    Hello Lain,

    Yes, working with a USB microphone is a much better choice if you need to connect it to a PC

Vegetable Police - January 9, 2017 Reply

What lav is better than the Giant Squid? Are there any higher end lavs you recommend? I already have the Mic J 044 and it’s pretty good, but I want a major upgrade, something professional that will amaze and astonish me 😉

    Will A. - January 10, 2017 Reply


    A professional, high-end lavaliere is the Sennheiser EW 100 ENG G3-A. However, if you think that’s too much, the ME 2 might be enough.

    Good Luck!

Denis - January 8, 2017 Reply

I bought the Shure MV5 for my podcast and it’s awesome, compatible Mac, PC and Linux and Iphone with a lightning cable included.

I never saw this microphone in any test, but you should give it a try.

    Will A. - January 9, 2017 Reply

    Hello Denis,

    Thanks a lot for the suggestion. Didn’t know about it, I’m looking forward to test it.

    Good Luck!

Wendy valencia - December 25, 2016 Reply

Great article!!! I got a DJI Osmo mobile to use with my iPhone 7. Now I need a mic. I’m wondering why you recommend a H1 over one of the newer versions? I’m tech functional but not a tech genius and am certainly not trained on sound quality and all the different buttons. I usually record myself and two other people. I certainly don’t mind spending more for longevity but if h1 serves my needs then I would be happy.

    Will A. - December 30, 2016 Reply

    Hello Wendy

    The newer versions are really good too. I actually should mention them in the article. It’s just that I recommend the H1 because I feel like it’s simply enough for most vloggers.

    I don’t think you will find any issue with it. The main thing that you will be missing from not buying one like the H4n is the XLR/TRS inputs, which are used by most studio-quality mics. The Microphones I recommend here don’t require that kind of connection, so the H1 is good enough.

    Good Luck

Bethany - December 18, 2016 Reply


Sorry for the late reply. This post was so good. Thank you for taking the time to research and write it. I just have a quick question. I’m interested in starting a YouTube channel. I write my own songs and would very much like to record and share them. I have a lumix Panasonic g5 which I plan to use and I want to get final cut pro to edit my videos. My voice is quite soft so I need a Mic that will really pick it up and my ukulele. Any suggestions would be so much appreciated.
Thank you

    Will A. - December 23, 2016 Reply

    Hello Bethany,

    Lavaliere microphones are good for you since they’re omnidirectional and will be able to catch your voice and your ukulele’s sound. Later on you can improve your audio my recording each instrument separately with an unidirectional mic, and then join both tracks.

Alex - December 11, 2016 Reply

Hey Will,

Thanks a lot for the informative article! I have a question: How come the sound quality is better when the lavalier mic (e.g. Squid) is connected to a seperate recorder (Zoom), compared to having a lavalier mic (rode) connected to your smartphone directly?

I am all about saving space, as I am going to vlog travelling lightly (: That’s why the smartphone recorder would be a more convenient option!

All the best to you!!

    Will A. - December 13, 2016 Reply

    Hello Alex

    If traveling lightly is your main concern, don’t worry too much about using your smartphone for this -as long as you’re connecting a decent mic to it. Recorders do record audio better from the mics you connect to them, but it also depends on the smartphone you’re comparing it to; some smartphones record impressive audio from mics while others are simply bad. It’s hard to tell before you try.

    But you know, sometimes traveling lightly is much more important and I do respect that. That’s why you should always go for what is more important to you. And if you feel like the microphone should sound better, you might want to get a recorder later on. Test it first and you’ll know what to do.


AJC - October 31, 2016 Reply

Will, Can you help me? What kind of mic do I need to make a fitness video? I have a camcorder and an iphone 6. I am confused as to what kind of mic I can use. I want something wireless if it is to be on my body. I cannot plug a mic into the camcorder (Samsung Full HD Memory Cam). TIA.

    Will A. - November 1, 2016 Reply

    Hello AJC,

    In that case what you can do is get an external recorder, have it on you and connect a lavaliere microphone to it. Then you’ll have to sync audio and video in an editor software. The combination I recommend the most is the Zoom H1 + Giant Squid.

Alberto Hurst - October 31, 2016 Reply

Hello Will,

This is one great article related to microphones, Blue Yeti is my #1 choice, I am cutting costs to pick it up during Christmas sale currently using Samson Go Condenser Microphone which is definitely a perfect alternative to costly microphones.

Thanks for sharing your views.

    Will A. - October 31, 2016 Reply

    Hello Alberto,

    Thanks to you, glad to know you liked the article.

Martin - October 10, 2016 Reply

Hi there,

thanks for the good article, just curious to know what would be the best microphone on a budget for starting a YouTube Channel! As I am into field recording I need a real good portable sound recorder.

Lets say for something around $150

I did some research and found the Zoom H4N-Pro what is your opinion? Can you recommend this one. I was looking for some similar devices, but most of the reviews on amazon prefered this one.

As it would cost aroun $30 more than its main competitor I am not sure if it is worth the money?

Thanks for a quick reply. I found quite a good source which I will leave down below. What do You think of their recommendation for an iOS attached microphone?


    Will A. - October 11, 2016 Reply

    Hello Martin

    The Zoom H4N is a very good recorder. Probably the best in its category. I’ve been thinking about including it on this list but I also would need to include some XLR microphones since having this input is the main feature this recorder has. Combine it with a XLR microphone —which are higher quality than USB— to take fully advantage of it.

    I think you forgot to put the link to the source you mention.

    I hope this is helpful

Adam Porter - September 20, 2016 Reply

Hi, I’ve been vlogging with iPhone for a while but upgrading (a bit) to a Panasonic LUMIX fz200. I was going to get a lavalier mic but wondered about recording with a second person. How would that work? Presumably a shotgun mic would be better. Would that pick up both speakers? The set-up would be very static – indoors, in one location without much movement. Any suggestions for a shotgun for Panasonic – I’ve read that some mics aren’t compatible. Thanks for your very informative site!

    Will A. - September 23, 2016 Reply

    Hello Adam. Sorry for the delayed answer,

    I don’t recommend using a shotgun because it will pick up what it’s directly in front of it, so it’s recommended for only one person. What you can do is use two lavaliere microphones, or use a recorder like the Zoom H1, which has two microphones and can pick up sound from two persons.

    Hope this is helpful.

kunle david - September 19, 2016 Reply

I am looking to start a youtube vlogging channel and intend to use a spy camera eye glasses to record, but according to your article the built in microphone is not the best to use. Could you please suggest a discreet mic i can use too record audio without being noticed.

Secondly, in a dark noisy night club, what is the best night vision camera to record video and audio.


    Will A. - September 19, 2016 Reply

    Hello Kunle,

    Regarding discreet mics, I think your only option would be the Rode PinMic. I’m not sure if it would work in a noisy environment since I haven’t tried it. You might want to try it first and then return it if it doesn’t fit your expectations.

    About your second question, I’m not an expert at night vision cameras so I can’t tell what camera is best. But if you’re planning to record normal video in really dark areas you would need a full-frame camera. The 5D Mark III or IV, or the Sony A7rII if you want to have a lighter camera. You’ll also need a prime lens to capture the most of the light you can.

      kunle david - September 19, 2016 Reply

      Thanks Will, really apreciate your help.


Michelle - September 15, 2016 Reply

Hi, thank you for the great website! I am going to get a Canon EOS 70D based on your recommendations. I will be recording videos from home. Which microphone would you suggest?

    Will A. - September 16, 2016 Reply

    Hello Michelle!

    That’s a really nice choice.

    I like to use shotgun microphones with DSLRs, especially when recording from home.

    Good Luck on your channel 🙂

      Michelle - September 18, 2016 Reply

      Ok I guess I’ll start with the Takstar and see if that does the job. Thank you!

      Keep up the good work – I have been looking for a website like this for a long time that gives recommendations for bloggers/vloggers who don’t have a photography background. You helped me out a lot! 🙂

Ray - August 16, 2016 Reply

Hi. Thank you for this informative article.
I have read your review of the Canon G7X, and have subsequently purchased a Mark II version of this camera. I’ve tested the videos on this camera, and have to agree that the audio is quite poor. If you had a choice for the best microphone/recorder system to use with this camera (for youtube videos recorded in an office or home setting) in order to achieve the best audio, what would you recommend?

    Will A. - August 17, 2016 Reply

    Hello Ray,

    I would get my favorite choice for cameras that don’t have a hot shoe: an external recorder (like the zoom H1) and a good lavalier like the Giant Squid. This way I get great audio and I can take it anywhere comfortably.

    Hope it’s helpful. GL!

Ray - August 1, 2016 Reply

Exactly the info I was looking for! I purchases a Rebel T6i and am now looking to purchase the mic and lighting kit to accompany it.

Don’t really want to spend more than $50-$60 on a mic right now so my question is for the camera I purchased would the giant squid lavalier or Takstar Shotgun mic be best? Shooting almost exclusively indoor with minimal noise.

Thanks for the help!

    Will A. - August 1, 2016 Reply

    Hello Ray, glad you found this info useful!

    To answer your question: the giant squid is really good, and if you don’t mind showing your mic on camera (attached to your clothes) it will do you fine, you just need to buy an extension cable because it’s short (although the longer the cable, the more noise the mic will produce because of travel distance). On the other hand, the Takstar is simply buying and mounting. The shotgun mic might be more comfortable if you don’t need to move around with your camera.

Jackie - July 23, 2016 Reply

Thanks for the info! Does the yeti usb mix work with a canon t5i? New to this world…trying to figure it out!! Will be 7-8 feet from camera.

    Will A. - July 24, 2016 Reply

    You’re welcome!

    I haven’t tried it, but I believe it works. You will need to connect a 3,5mm cable to the mic’s headphone jack and the camera. Additionally, you need to connect the mic USB cable to a computer or power bank.

John - July 23, 2016 Reply

Great article!

I’m new to recording YouTube vids and using a Canon Vixia HF R600 that needs a mic with phantom power. I’ll be standing about 6′ from the camcorder.

Any suggestions on a mic?



    Will A. - July 23, 2016 Reply

    Hi john,

    Sure, you will need something like a TASCAM DR-40 to provide the phantom power and a mic like the Shure SM93 Lavalier. This is a great combination that will serve you for any video you record for the following years, even if you upgrade your camera later.

Joe Knaggs - July 4, 2016 Reply

First of all, Kudos for such a fantastic and well thought website! 🙂

My question is about a travel mic – I’m going away soon and would like a decent but mobile mic I can voice over with but still carry on pretty easily?


    Will A. - July 7, 2016 Reply

    Thanks for the compliment!

    An external recorder is my favorite choice for traveling (if your camera doesn’t have mic jack). I love the combination of an external recorder like the Zoom H1 and a GiantSquid lavaliere mic connected to it. Now, there are plenty of options depending on your needs; if you need an USB mic to connect to your laptop the Samson Go Mic is easy to carry around.

    Good Luck, Joe 🙂

Mike - July 2, 2016 Reply

Great article, thanks. I do have one question regarding the USB microphones, in particular I’m looked at getting the Audio Technica 2020. I’m wondering how good it would be if it was about a metre away from my face and I would not want it in shot when recording video. Would it be fine or would I have to go upto a shotgun mic for that kind of distance?


    Will A. - July 3, 2016 Reply

    Thanks Mike!

    To answer your question: the farther you are from a condenser microphone like that, the more background noise it will pick up. The idea is to record 6-8″ from the microphone so your voice is a lot louder than background noise so it can be ignored through volume control or some post-production. Sitting that far away from the microphone, I would better use a shotgun, for sure.

    I hope you can find the right microphone for you, Good luck!

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