Choosing the Best Microphone for YouTube Videos
Content creators know the importance of good audio for their YouTube content. No matter whether it’s for creating YouTube Shorts or main channel long form content, they need to choose the best microphone for recording YouTube videos to maximize media performance.
What makes the best microphones for YouTube videos? Today, we’re discussing factors to consider as you select your microphones, different types of mics to choose from, and some of our picks for the best microphones for YouTube content.
Factors to Consider for Choosing the Best Microphone for YouTube
The best microphone for YouTube videos will differ from creator to creator. Each type of mic picks up audio differently, making it important to take various factors into consideration when picking your equipment.
Some of the factors that will influence the best microphones for recording YouTube content for your channel are:
- Type of content: Planning for what type of content you’re recording is a significant deciding factor when choosing the best microphone for YouTube videos. Are there background sounds like music or ambient noise? Will multiple people be talking at once? Do you need to record voice over audio? Questions like these will help you determine the type of mic your content needs in order to record high-quality audio.
- Location: Just like with the type of content you’re planning to record, the location of your shoot influences the best microphones for YouTube videos. Are you shooting in a studio? On the go? Indoors or outdoors? Each of these factors for location leads to different types of mics being the ideal choice.
- Microphone budget: Creators want to produce high-quality content while managing costs to maximize potential revenue. Your available budget will play a critical role in choosing the best microphone for YouTube. Frequently, the higher the price point, the better the quality. For creators on a budget, this means knowing which mics may offer high-quality audio recording capabilities that will work for your type of content and where you’re shooting it.
- YouTube microphone polar patterns: What does the microphone do? Determining the best microphones for recording YouTube videos also means considering the features it has at its price point—such as omnidirectional vs unidirectional and cardioid vs supercardioid. These features determine how the mic picks up sound and can make or break your audio recording.
Complementing your choice of the best microphone for YouTube videos on your channel are other creator tools like a voice over app. Many creators turn to these powerful AI voice generator tools in order to streamline the VO recording process and eliminate the need for recording speech whatsoever. Selecting different text to speech voices for video available on these tools gives you the perfect voice over recording without the need for multiple takes with live voice actors or other sound problems like noise pollution.
Best Microphones for Recording YouTube Videos
Content creators looking for the best microphone for YouTube videos need to familiarize themselves with the different types of mics available. From shotgun mics to lavaliers and more, there’s a wide variety with each serving its own unique function and purpose. Knowing which to choose is vital to recording the best audio for your media.
Some of the best microphones for recording YouTube videos include:
1. Condenser Microphones
Best for videos containing acoustic instrument sounds and high frequency vocals.
Considered one of the most versatile studio mics, condenser microphones make some of the best microphones for YouTube videos containing instrument sounds and high-frequency vocals like singing. These types of YouTube video microphones are also commonly referred to as capacitor microphones.
Condenser mics are made using a lightweight diaphragm attached to a fixed plate. The soundwaves from your audio cause the diaphragm to move. These kinds of YouTube microphones require a power source. Because they pick up clean and clear vocals, they’re popular for creators producing voice over, vlogs, and podcasts.
🎤 Some of the best condenser mics available include the RØDE NT1-A large-diaphragm condenser microphone—perfect for beginners and comes with a RØDE SM6 shock mount, pop filter and dust cover—as well as the Mojave MA-50BLK known for providing high-end mic audio clarity at an entry-level price point.
2. Dynamic Microphones
Best for videos with instruments using amplifiers and YouTube live streams.
Often the option pitted against condenser mics, dynamic microphones are some of the best microphones for YouTube videos containing more booming sounds or noisier environments. This kind of YouTube microphone uses a wire coil to amplify the signal picked up by the diaphragm, resulting in lower output than condenser mics.
Dynamic mics are often used for YouTube live streams because they’re less sensitive to louder sounds. They may also be an ideal choice for recording videos with instruments using amplifiers instead of just their natural acoustic sounds.
🎤 Some of the most popular dynamic microphones for YouTube content creators are the Shure SM7B, which is known for being a quality mic at a mid-range price point, as well as the Sennheiser XS 1, considered by many creators to be the best microphone for YouTube videos at an entry-level price point.
3. Ribbon Microphones
Best for videos of recording artists live in a studio, radio hosts, or louder instrumental recordings.
While technically a type of dynamic mic, ribbon microphones are often given their own classification and are considered one of the best microphones for YouTube videos recorded in a studio. When you see videos of recording artists live in the studio or radio hosts, you can safely bet they’re using a ribbon microphone. They’re also an industry standard for louder instrumental recordings like electric guitars.
While they’re an excellent type of microphone, they’re also typically found at a higher price point and are known for being very delicate. When used properly, they can be some of the best microphones for recording YouTube videos, but some creators may opt for dynamic mics instead for easier use and lower overall production costs.
🎤 Our picks for some of the best ribbon microphones to consider are the sE Electronics Voodoo VR1, with an extended high frequency response that gives it crystal clear recording capabilities, and the RØDE NTR, made with a custom transformer for a solid output level and high frequency response.
4. Shotgun Microphones
Best for picking up specific speakers and reducing background noise.
Shotgun microphones are common mics many creators are familiar with even if they’re just starting out. These are some of the best microphones for YouTube videos when you want to pick up specific speakers and record their audio. Shotgun mics are highly directional microphones that pick up crystal clear audio from the targeted speaker while reducing background noise.
These kinds of microphones are ideal for types of video content where the speaker faces the camera the entire time, such as educational content or how-to videos.
🎤 Two of our picks for popular shotgun microphones are RØDE VideoMic Go II, a budget-friendly option for creators and able to be connected easily to your camera, as well as the Sennheiser MKH416, a professional shotgun mic that delivers high quality voice over recordings.
5. Lavalier Microphones
Best for recording YouTube video audio without needing to hold/be in front of a microphone.
Some of the best microphones for YouTube videos recording on the go are lavalier mics. These are simple, affordable microphones that clip onto the subject being recorded. Available as omnidirectional or unidirectional microphones, these mic options can be ideal for shooting indoors or outdoors, allowing subjects to keep their hands free and move as they need to.
🎤 Some of the most popular lavalier microphones for YouTube creators include the omnidirectional Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C, which records excellent audio at a budget-friendly price point but doesn’t have iPhone compatibility, and the RØDE SmartLav+, which is a solid choice from a dependable brand but has a shorter cable that some creators consider a slight drawback. For creators looking for a wireless microphone system, the RØDE Wireless GO has a 70m range (line of sight), lasts for up to 7 hours per charge, allows pairing with up to 8 systems in one location if you have more than one speaker, and more
To maximize media performance, creators need to know how to choose the best microphone for YouTube videos that will capture the audio they need. With options available at varying price points, you can find the best microphones for recording YouTube content on your channel that also fits into your budget.
Learn More: You’ve learned about choosing the best microphone for YouTube videos, next take a look at our guide to choosing the best lighting for video recording.