The best Microphones for Vlogging and YouTube
by Jayed Miah
Want to know what separates most professional vloggers like the Vlog Brothers or Superwoman Vlogs from amateurs? Believe it or not, it's the sound. You might have pristine 4K video, but if you sound like you interview your guests in a submarine underwater, your viewers will tune out fast.
How can you avoid noise and bad sound quality? Noise in audio means extra unintended sound like hum from a refrigerator, traffic, or even a high hiss from room ambiance. Preventing noise in your video starts by having the right microphone for vlogging.
Our audio engineer team took the time to find the best microphones for YouTube videos and vlogging for every situation. To find the right microphone for your videos, follow along with our complete vlogging microphone guide.
- Why You Need a Good Mic
- What Makes a Good Mic
- Best Microphones for YouTube Videos
- Best Microphones for Different Types of YouTube Creators
- Audio Post-Production
Bad audio ruins any video. What are some of the most common audio mistakes vloggers make? Sometimes a novice blogger might not realize that outside noise ruins a good take. For example, when recording outside, the vlogger might not notice the sound of airplanes humming by. Even though some extra noise can be removed in post-production, not all mistakes can be fixed in post. But even good recording technique cannot make up for a cheap microphone.
Here’s a quick list of what the right microphone and a proper recording technique can prevent:
- Volume too low
- Volume too high (Peaking)
- Ambient noise or background noise
- High hiss
- Popping problems
- Voice distortion
- Unbalanced audio
With a high-quality YouTube mic, you can avoid or eliminate most of these problems. But what should you look for in a good YouTube microphone? A good mic solves most audio problems. How? The best vlogging microphones will capture your voice without all the extra noise.
The best vlogging microphone will eliminate unwanted noise, record at acceptable levels, and be easy to use. A great microphone for video recording integrates easily into your set-up. Depending on the type of vlogging you do, you may need a specialized mic like a Rode Video Shotgun mic or something more versatile, like a classic condenser mic. There are several popular mic types:
- A shotgun mic zeroes in on the sound and is often used for action shots and filmmaking
- A condenser mic has versatility and provides a good option for podcasting
- Music vloggers might opt for a dynamic microphone to pick up strong vocals
- Lavalier microphones have portability and are tiny, making them easy to hide
When looking for a microphone for vlogging, try to find a mic that has these qualities:
- From a reputable company
- Fits your specific filming situation
- Fits your budget
- The best choice for recording the human voice
- Portable for vloggers on the go (if necessary)
- Good at picking up mid-range frequency and higher frequencies suitable for voice
- Has the right pick-up pattern for your production
- Power supply fits your vlogging style (ex. travel vs. in-studio productions)
One feature to look for when buying a vlogging microphone is the pattern options. These patterns determine how the microphone records sound. For example, with an omnidirectional pattern the microphone picks up sound all the way around the microphone. An omnidirectional mic is ideal for travel vlogs when you want to immerse the viewer in the sounds of an environment like a city or forest.
Podcasters typically choose a Cardioid (or Uni-Directional) pattern which only picks up sound from the front of the microphone. The cardioid mic eliminates unwanted noise and results in cleaner audio. Every vlogger needs at least one cardioid microphone in their studio set-up.
The “Figure 8” or Bi-Directional pattern picks up sound in front and behind the mic. This allows two people to share a single microphone. Some vlogging teams might find the Bi-Directional pattern ideal when they vlog side-by-side.
Many microphones offer options to toggle different options on and off. If you do not have that option, then choose a microphone pattern which works the best for your vlogging situation.
To find the right mic for you, follow our handy YouTube microphone guide below.
When you need an easy-to-use YouTube mic with professional-grade features, consider some of these top options. Each has excellent sound quality and a variety of options great for everyday vlogging.
Best Studio Mics
Recording in the studio is different than recording out in the field. You can control the studio environment, which means less unwanted noise and distractions. Additionally, musicians often need microphones for recording piano, voice, or other instruments. Choosing the best mic depends on what you need. Podcasters typically choose the Blue Yeti or Rode Procaster. Vloggers on a budget might choose the compact Blue Snowball. Here are our top picks:
The Rode NT-USB condenser mic costing $200 has excellent sound quality with mix control and USB connectivity. The mic includes a professional pop shield, tripod desk stand, ring mount, storage pouch, and a 20 foot USB cable. The convenient 3.5mm stereo headphone jack provides zero-latency monitoring and direct mix control between mic input and the source output. Additionally the Rode NT-USb is compatible with the Apple i-Pad. This is our top choice for novice vloggers willing to invest in excellent sound and great mix control.
Blue Yeti condenser mic coming in at $100 is a vlogger favorite with superior sound quality and four convenient pick-up patterns. Blue Yeti remains the number one USB microphone worldwide. The tri-capsule design produces clean, professional quality recordings every time. The Blue Yeti includes controls for instant mute, microphone gain, and headphone volume. The Blue Yeti includes a 5.5mm headphone jack without any latency delays. The Blue Yeti remains our number one choice for vloggers who want a versatile and affordable mic with excellent sound quality.
Some beginning vloggers prefer the Blue Snowball, a basic compact USB mic with a classic intuitive design. The Blue Snowball has a budget-friendly $60 price tag. The Snowball has industry-leading technology for a natural sound. This plug-and-play microphone provides studio-quality sign and is our number one choice for vloggers on a budget.
The Audio-Technica Cardioid Condenser AT2035 XLR costing $150 comes with its own shock mount. The AT2035 microphone was designed for both live performance and studio application, making it a versatile option. The innovative design produces a smooth natural sound without unwanted hum. The AT2035 microphone also has a very wide dynamic range, meaning you will capture both loud and quiet sounds accurately. You will need a separate USB audio interface and a boom arm in your studio set-up. For vloggers willing to invest in professional gear, the AT2035 is the number one option.
The Rode Procaster dynamic microphone may cost $200 but its broadcasts quality sound is perfect for professional vlogging. The Rode Procaster includes an internal pop filter to reduce unwanted “popping” during recording. The sturdy design ensures that your microphone will withstand a variety of situations. The internal shock mounting reduces noise. Enjoy a high-end balanced sound with the Rode Procaster, perfect for professional vloggers in the studio.
For the best mic for vlogging and a high-end sound, the Shure SM7B delivers every time. Shure is a trusted name in the music industry. While the Shure SM7B comes in at $400 or more, the Shure was designed for professional-grade broadcasting quality. The SM7B provides warm smooth vocals every time. This is the perfect choice for vloggers who want to truly connect to their viewers with a polished sound.
Best Lavalier Mic
A lavalier microphone offers excellent sound in a tiny package. They offer portability, perfect for the vlogger who needs the best YouTube mic for travel vlogs and spontaneous filming on-the-go. The RodeLink Filmmaker Kit ($400) includes a wireless lavalier microphone with high-quality audio.
- Price: $400
- Mic Type: Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone
- Special Feature: Portable
- Special Feature: Range of 100 meters
- Accessory: User-Friendly OLED display
The kit comes with a transmitter, receiver, and broadcast-quality omnidirectional mic. The receiver includes an OLED display. The portable, lightweight transmitter can detect signal levels at a variety of frequencies up to 100 meters. This is the best mic for vlogging outside for a number of reasons like it’s portability and range of 100 meters. Truly capture sound as it happens wherever you go with the RodeLink Filmmaker kit.
Best Shotgun Mic
A shotgun microphone offers the best sound recording for vlogging things like interviews, travel, and indie filmmaking. Point the shotgun mic at your subject to capture professional-quality sound. The microphone will record the subject and minimize any extraneous sound. This makes the Rode VideoMic Pro+ ideal for interviews outside and travel vlogs. The Rode VideoMic Pro+ easily attaches to the shoe of your camera and provides professional broadcast-quality audio for extra convenience.
- Price: $400
- Mic Type: USB Shotgun mic
- Special Feature: Built-in Battery door for LB01 Lithium Ion Rechargeable battery, USB, or AA batteries
- Special Feature: Digital Switching feature
- Accessory: Windshield
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ provides the best video microphone for the run-and-gun shooter, interviews, and various other situations. A variety of power options adds to the convenience so you don’t need to worry if you don’t have electricity or run out of batteries. For challenging filming situations, the Rode VideoMic Pro+ is the mic for the job.
Best Stand-Alone Mic Recorders
Thanks to our increasingly virtual world of vlogging and internet communications, standalone USB microphones have grown exponentially in popularity. Which microphone continues to score high marks every time? The Blue Yeti microphone remains the vlogger's number one option because of its affordable price and versatility.
- Price: $100
- Mic Type: USB mic
- Special Feature: Pattern switch
- Special Feature: Gain dial
- Accessory: Live headphone-monitoring with volume control
The Blue Yeti offers an affordable professional-quality sound for vloggers. The Yeti Nano is for more budget-minded vloggers, a less powerful microphone for basic podcasting. Capture excellent sound quickly without carting around a bag of audio gear. For vloggers on a budget or small studio space, the Blue Yeti and Yeti Nano are the perfect compact solution. The Blue Yeti provides an all-in-one package for the solo vlogger.
What type of vlogger are you? Do you share your exciting traveling exploits across Asia like Mark Wiens, or do you have a DIY makeup vlog like Farah Dhukai? Or maybe you wow your fans with Holderness-Family inspired parody music videos? No matter the channel, we found the best video microphone for you.
Filming outside includes a ton of challenges, from barking dogs and airplanes to high winds and traffic. The Rode VideoMic Pro ($260) can help eliminate most of the extra noise. Attach the mic to your camera or onto a boom. Aim the small shotgun microphone at your subject and the microphone will do a great job of focusing the sound recording on your subject.
- Price: $260
- Mic Style: Shotgun microphone
- Special Feature: Attach to camera shoe or boom
- Special Feature: Broadcast-quality recording
- Accessory: Integrated shock mounting
The Rode VideoMic Pro provides a powerful compact YouTube microphone great for vlogging outside in various situations.
Livestreams and Gamers
For those recording from their desk, the Blue Yeti remains the best mic for YouTube live streaming and gaming. Affordable and powerful, the Blue Yeti offers several pick-up patterns, a mute button, and gain control for the best audio. Your Twitch fans will love the high-quality audio you get with Blue Yeti.
- Price: $100
- Mic Style: USB condenser microphone
- Special Feature: Live headphone-monitoring with volume control
- Special Feature: Four different pick-up patterns
- Special Feature: Headphone jack
The Blue Yeti remains the top choice for professional vloggers like branding guru Roberto Blake and YouTube sensation and ultimate frisbee star Marques Brownlee. For the best vlogging, choose the best microphone for YouTube vlogging.
Music - Vocals
Musicians know that you can’t just choose any microphone for optimal sound. Whether you are a vocalist, drummer, or guitarist guru like the top vlogger Guitarist Goddess, you need the best video microphone for vlogging too. Your fans are audiophiles just like you and they deserve professional audio quality every time they tune in.
In this case, we opted to find the best microphone for video when recording vocals. Every instrument and vocalist needs their designated microphone like the Rode NTK Tube Condenser mic. Anyone who had to set up sound for a live band performance knows that you might have to deal with a dozen microphones or more. For this guide, we recommend the Audio-Technica AT2035 for vocals.
- Price: $160
- Mic Type: Large Diaphragm Condenser microphone
- Special Feature: Wide dynamic range
- Special Feature: Switchable high-pass filter
- Accessory: Pop filter
- Accessory: Custom shock mount
The AT2035 eliminates background noise and zeroes in on the vocals. The distinct cardioid pattern zones in on the voice right in front, minimizing excess room noise and extraneous sounds. For professional-grade sound, you need the AT2035 in your vlogging arsenal.
Voice Over and Music Instrumentals
For professional voice-overs or recording musical instruments, you need a mic which records a warm tone. The Rode NTK Tube Condenser microphone offers professional audio quality with a wide dynamic range. Your voice will sound rich and inviting. For professional voice actors, animation, and video essay vlogs, you can't get any better than the NTK. The NTK picks up drums and guitar, giving it a rich, full sound.
- Price: $500
- Mic Style: Tube Condenser microphone
- Special Feature: Rich valve sound
- Special Feature: Suitable for voice, drums, and guitar
The Rode NTK remains the industry standard for professional quality audio. While the price is steep, semi-professional vloggers and pros will benefit from its superior sound. And your fans will appreciate it, too!
For Interviews – Handheld Digital Recorder
The RodeLink Filmmaker kit listed before offers the best lavalier microphone for vlogging. Why would you choose a handheld digital recorder over a lavalier? Sometimes you need quick portability or have technical issues. Even if you have a professional lavalier, a back-up digital recorder is a must-have in case the tech fails. You don't want to end up with poor sound because a battery died or the wireless lav can't transmit properly. And this happens at least once to even the most seasoned pros!
If you need a high-quality mic for interviews, try the Zoom HI Handy Portable Digital Recorder.
- Price: $70
- Mic Style: Portable Digital Recorder
- Special Feature: Monitor levels
- Special Feature: High-Speed USB 2.0 Port
This small device records broadcast-ready audio at a very affordable price. The one caveat? You will need to sync the audio later in post-production. Be sure to use a clapper for easy syncing in video editing.
Action and Fitness
Recording audio during action shots can seem an insurmountable feat. Don't worry! We found the best microphone for vlogging action and fitness in the Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R. This shotgun mic has its own Rycote Lyre based shock mounting system. This incredible shock mount reduces excess noise, rumbles, and vibrations when on the move.
- Price: $230
- Mic Style: Shotgun microphone
- Special Feature: Broadcast quality audio
- Special Feature: Professional noise reduction
- Accessory: Rycote Lyre shock mounting system
Travel vloggers experience the world with a camera. However, their exciting exotic adventures often involve environmental sounds like waterfalls, crowds, traffic, and wildlife that can cause audio issues. Additionally, the best video microphone for travel vlogging needs durability and long battery life. The Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R remains the top choice for travel vloggers. With an integrated shock mount system and foam windscreen, the Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R promises the best audio in the most challenging conditions.
Whether you got the “perfect” recording or maybe have a few things you need to fix, your audiotrack doesn’t stop after it’s captured. Having a good audio mix is crucial to any video whether it’s just to level the volume between recordings or even apply advanced effects and tools to perfect your sound. One thing great YouTube video makers use is software that is dedicated to just this.
AudioDirector is a powerful software that allows you to perfect your sound and even rescue less-than-perfect recordings. With tools like De-Reverb to remove echo, AI-powered wind removal to remove the sound of wind, to vocal pitch shifting and an automatic instrumental generator, AudioDirector is the one-stop software for finishing any audio recording.
When you need the best mic for vlogging, one thing to remember is to always choose a brand you can trust. Microphones are delicate and intricate devices and you need a brand that can stand behind its quality. As you can see, certain brands like Rode and Shure can be counted on to provide broadcast-quality sound every time.
Besides sound quality and bonus features like volume controls, consider purchasing kits that include a boom, dead-cat windscreen, and extra batteries. These will save you time and hassle on the go. Discover the absolute best microphone for recording YouTube videos. Have fun making a difference in their world with your fabulous vlog!