Best Microphone for YouTube Vlogging 2020 (Top 10 YouTuber Mics)

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Dee van Heerden
Dee van Heerden

YouTube Vloggers exist in every niche, from science and educational topics to tutorials and even boredom-busting videos, like unboxing clips. It isn’t just for the freelancer wanting to get into the digital sphere; organizations and enterprises are also benefiting from creating videos and sharing their knowledge on YouTube. Creating professional videos for YouTube will also establish professionals as an authority in their field.

The first thing you want to do when you start a YouTube channel is to zone in on your own value proposition – what kind of entertainment do you provide? (Or maybe you have some unique ideas?)

One of the best ways to stand out from your competition is to have excellent sound and video quality. You don’t want to look as though you are just starting out; you want the best microphone for YouTube videos you can afford. Today, we’re going to talk about the best microphone for YouTube.

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If you’re ready to get started, you’re probably wondering what you need. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you research your favorite vlogger to find out what equipment you should get hold of. The established experts use high-end vlogging cameras, only the very best microphone for their YouTube videos, and some even invest in professional lighting.

Truth be told, it’s not always necessary. Honestly. In some cases, you need specific equipment to film detailed items clearly. Often, you don’t need all of the features your hero vlogger on YouTube is currently using. You can actually create the same quality videos and audio with a far more modest setup. For those YouTube stars, it’s often a case of buying more expensive equipment simply because they can (with many features going untouched because they’re actually not needed).

Don’t let this overwhelm you even more. We’re going to look at the features that matter, such as the most cost-effective mics with the specs you actually need.

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What is the best vlogging microphone overall?

Considered by many professionals to be the best microphone for YouTube is the Audio-Technica AT4053B because it has a high SPL capability. It’s a condenser mic and it’s sound detection relies on a cardioid direction (meaning, it focuses its sound detection on the objects it is pointed at primarily and peripheral sounds as background noise).

This means it can detect even the most subtle of sounds and render them in crisp and clear playback without compromising giving a natural overall result. It’s pricy, however, and for that reason, it’s not going to work for every YouTuber. It’s also a studio mic, which again, might not work for you if you’re recording outdoors or on the go.

Finding the best mic for your YouTube clips

Slightly cheaper and far more versatile? The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is suited to your everyday YouTuber with a modest budget and a set of high expectations. It’s a shotgun mic, meaning it can attach to another device and detects sounds in a specific directional method – it will focus its recording on the object you point it at. It’s designed for use outdoors and in crowds, and it’s ideal for interviews.

The best vlogging microphone for YouTube (for you) might not be the best overall device. You have to build up a set of recording tools, like a camera and a microphone, that work with your recording style and your needs. If you’re outdoors frequently and taking action shots, the best overall mic, like the Audio-Technica AT4053B, isn’t going to be ideal for you

Similarly, the best microphone for YouTube vlogging for beginners won’t be the same as the best mic for intermediate or expert YouTubers. It’s not just about budget; established professionals often prefer one feature in a camera over versatility. Entry-level YouTubers benefit from versatility while they establish their niche and their focus.

Best microphone for Youtube vlogging: top 10 picks

Best microphone for YouTube vlogging

Here are the top 10 best microphones for YouTube vlogging

  • Rode VideoMic Pro+ (Shotgun Mic)
  • Zoom H1n
  • Rode SmartLav+
  • Boya WM2G (Lavalier Wireless Mic)
  • Samson Go Mic
  • Audio-Technica AT4053B (Condenser mic)
  • Rode NT-USB
  • Blue Yeti USB Mic
  • Sennheiser MKE 600
  • Audio-Technica AT2020USB+

1. Rode VideoMic Pro+ (Best microphone for recording YouTube videos)

Many vloggers consider this device to be the best mic for vlogging, and with good reason. It’s a mono shotgun microphone, plus it’s lightweight and inexpensive, perfect for the YouTube vlogger on the go.

It is compatible with any camera fitted with a 3.5 mm mic input. As far as shotgun mics go, this is one of the smallest models on the market, weighing in at 85 grams and the battery at 120 grams. It offers decent noise reduction, making it effective for those shooting in a crowd and fairly close up. It connects to other devices and picks up great sound with ease.

Being lightweight and fairly compact makes it a great choice for travel and food vloggers. Keep your motions steady to keep the sound quality up. What specifications can you get from this model? It features:

  • Best-in-class Rycote Lyre suspension system onboard
  • Automatic Power Function (with plug-in power availability)
  • Built-in Battery Door
  • VideoMic Pro+ can be powered by RØDE LB-1 Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery, 2 x AA Batteries or continuously via Micro USB
  • Digital Switching

Points to consider before buying

  • It’s not going to work for long-range shots
  • Perfect for entry-level YouTubers
  • The mount isn’t as sturdy as other models; you have to minimize your movements

2. Zoom H1n (Best microphone for vlogging)

Looking for excellent quality standalone recording? The Zoom H1n might be your best microphone for recording YouTube videos.

The Zoom H1n makes mobile recording a breeze – you simply can’t get this in a mobile recording app. It is especially adept at recording music, performing particularly well in a band’s rehearsal room thanks to its excellent signal to noise ratio. Usability score gives this device 10/10; transferring files is effortless and the entire device is just large enough for easy handling. This mic is designed to make recording easy and fun.

One of the greatly undervalued qualities of microphones and video cameras is ease of use because frustration before you start recording can impact the energy you exude on camera. That energy is your primary selling point. What features can you enjoy from this vlog microphone?

  • WAV at 16 and 24 Bit recording
  • MP3 from 48kbps to 320 kbps recording
  • USB port (no need for card readers)
  • A line-in connection for external mics
  • Built in speaker (enabling playback)
  • High-quality audio perfect for professional YouTubers

Points to consider before buying

  • Only compatible with 32 GB SD cards

3. Rode SmartLav+ (Best lavalier mic for YouTube)

Don’t let anyone convince you that you can’t get professional sound quality when you’re filming from a smartphone; this mic is a firm favorite with many smartphone vloggers.

This Rode SmartLav+ is a lapel mic, meaning it is pinned to your person, affording you complete mobility while recording. For an entry-level vlogger, it might be the best clip on microphone for YouTube. It is not suitable for recordings that require noise reduction; it is an omnidirectional mic, so it records sounds from every angle around it.

Need complete mobility? This is most likely your best microphone for vlogging. On a tight budget and filming from a smartphone? This might be the best lavalier mic for YouTube in this price bracket. What features does it offer?

  • Professional-grade Lavalier Mic with TRRS Jack
  • High-quality omni-directional condenser capsule
  • Discrete 4.5mm miniature microphone
  • Kevlar reinforced cable
  • Works with all smartphones

Points to consider before buying

  • It has to be used correctly in order to be effective (it offers superb sound quality when used correctly)
  • Can’t make a point and shoot video (can’t lock onto a target)
  • Not suitable for interviews because it only clearly records the one wearing it
  • The cable is very short – you have to get an extension

4. Boya WM2G (Best wireless microphone for YouTube)

With its unrivalled value for money, this might well be your best cheap microphone for YouTube if you’re looking for lots of features packed into one mic.

The Boya WM2G is versatile, super cost-effective (ideal for beginners) and easy to use. It’s optimal usage range is 15 ft., and you can expect crystal clear sound in that range. It enables wireless recording where a boom or shotgun mic can’t be used. It has an impressive run-time, and to make it even more useful, it comes with two transmitters, two lapel mics and a receiver.

Overall, this microphone is ideal for entry-level YouTubers as well as intermediate, and here and there, you might even find a pro who is budget-conscious, relying on this model. Being easy to use ensures you make use of the full set of features, adding to the value for money. Overall, it might be the best wireless microphone for YouTube for those who want good specs in the mid-range price-wise.

  • Distortion: 0.1% or less (32Ω,1 KHz,65mW output)
  • RF output level: 2 mW
  • Earphone output level: 32Ω,65mW
  • Audio input connector: 3.5mm mini jack

Points to consider before buying

  • Any wireless mic for YouTube can lead to signal loss and audio cuts
  • Some users have reported audio loss while many others have not

5. Samson Go Mic (Best cheap microphone for YouTube)

This is the ultimate value for money buy if you’re looking for a mic that is perfect for a vlogger. It’s considered the best budget microphone for YouTube if you’re looking for usability.

It’s claim to fame is versatility, with plug and play features (making it compatible with both Apple and Microsoft). It can clip onto a device, like a laptop, perch on your desk neatly or act as a telephone. It boasts features enabling voice recognition software, iChat, webcasting and even Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It also has an onboard amplifier, which means you can listen to your recordings directly from the device. It’s also packed with these specs:

  • Microphone Technology: Electret condenser
  • Microphone Operation: Modemono
  • Sensitivity: -47 dBV/Pascal
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz
  • Max Sound Pressure: 121 dB

Points to consider before buying

  • The bottom of the camera is made from plastic; it may crack easily
  • Sound levels are better than a built-in mic, but still fairly low
  • Some background noise comes through
  • Good buy for entry-level YouTubers with a limited budget

6. Audio-Technica AT4053B (Best noise cancelling microphone for YouTube)

This little beauty produces sound that is free from any distortion (especially that noise you get with typical transformer-coupled outputs). It offers high SPL capability, giving you a natural overall effect, but a crystal clear capture of each sound. It is responsive to sound pressure because of its cardioid pattern and large diaphragm, so consider the placement carefully during recording. It’s a pricy mic, but if budget isn’t an issue, this purchase will give you professional-grade results. You can make this long-term purchase, provided you’re happy to record indoors. No need to upgrade for quite some time. This is probably also the best microphone for YouTube singing in its price bracket.
  • Dynamic Range (Typical): 129 Db, 1 Khz At Max Spl
  • Signal-to-noise Ratio: 78 Db, 1 Khz At 1 Pa
  • Output Connector: Integral 3-pin Xlrm-type
  • Optional Interchangeable Elements: At4049b-el (Omnidirectional); At4051b-el (Cardioid)
Points to consider before buying
  • Very expensive
  • Not ideal for those on the move – it is an in-studio mic
  • Might be excessive for a YouTube vlogger’s requirements

7. Rode NT-USB (Best USB microphone for YouTube)

Created for voice-overs, podcasts and vloggers, this microphone is only suitable for in-studio recording. It’s extremely easy to use, being compatible with any device that has applications enabling external microphone recording.

It enables you to get excellent sound quality without investing in complicated technology. You will need to pay attention to placement; the design has some flaws. The ring that holds everything together is made from plastic, so the support elements in the design are less than desirable. Nevertheless, it is still considered by many vloggers to be the best USB microphone for YouTube.

The overall sound quality is superb and extraordinarily sensitive, making it the best noise cancelling microphone for YouTube. The Rode NT-USB is a great buy at the price on offer if you’re looking for professional-grade sound at an intermediate budget.

  • Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Power Options: USB bus powered
  • Dimensions: 184mmH x 62mmW x 50mmD
  • Output: USB Output

Points to consider before buying

  • The design isn’t great with plastic at the bottom and metal at the top making it susceptible to breakage
  • The stand is poor quality

8. Blue Yeti USB Mic (Best for indoor recording)

You will notice a far deeper and clearer sound recording when you compare this mic to its competitor, the Samson, mentioned earlier. There’s also a handy mute button, giving you the opportunity to cut recording for coughs or other irritating little interruptions. What makes this mic truly unique? It’s a multipattern selector switch with four recording modes – select cardioid, omnidirectional or any other recording and sound detection method you prefer.

  • Multiple pattern selection – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional & stereo
  • Frequency Response- 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Gain control, mute button, zero-latency headphone output. Power output (RMS): 130mW
  • Perfect for vocals, musical instruments, podcasting, voiceovers, interviews, field recordings, conference calls
  • Compatible with Windows 10, Windows 8 (including 8.1), Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP (Home and Professional), and Mac OS X (10.4.11 or higher)

Points to consider before buying

  • It’s big and bulky
  • The dial to switch among the modes may be tough to turn

9. Sennheiser MKE 600 Short Shotgun Microphone (Best for interviews)

This is actually an entry-level mic, but it’s sound capturing capability definitely ranks in the professional range. It’s especially great at catching the lower tones. This mic pairs perfectly with the DSLR camera series, and, being lightweight, is easy to transport. This mic is convenient for vloggers who are traveling and conducting interviews outdoors and for those with a recording setup indoors. It’s super easy to use and produces a semi-professional end result. It also features:

  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Transparent sound, low noise
  • Easy to use controls
  • Versatile for easy travel and use

Points to consider before buying

  • The shotgun is quite short if you make this purchase for an actual professional recording
  • Some users report static

10. Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ (Best cardioid condenser USB microphone)

The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone is a direct competitor for the Blu Yeti we mentioned earlier. They are in a similar price bracket, with the Audio-Technica coming is slightly more expensive. It is perfect for singer/songwriters, podcasters, voiceover artists, field recorders and YouTube vloggers.

If you’re wondering whether you should opt for the Yeti or the Audio-Technica, the Yeti’s multiple position patterning makes it ideal for podcasters, while the Audio-Technica’s superior frequency response makes it ideal for musicians and vocalists. The Audio-Technica also offers:

  • Excellent frequency response
  • Headphone output for no latency monitoring
  • Solid build quality
  • Clean and warm vocals

Points to consider before buying

  • The large pattern has a tendency to pick up background noise
  • The tripod lacks sturdiness and won’t survive the camera’s lifetime

Best mic for vlogging: key takeaways

  • Condenser microphones are ideal for recording softer acoustics because they are sensitive and responsive to sound. They achieve this because they have a stronger audio signal. One of the best condenser mics is the Audio-Technica AT4053B; it’s a professional-grade piece of equipment best used in a studio setting to minimize background noise and interpreference.
  • Get the verbiage right for your needs. Consider the way your chosen microphone will pick up sound. Does it zone in on a target or collect sound from all around it? This is known as directionality. For example, omnidirectional mics pick up sound from every direction, making it difficult to perform interviews and hush out background noise. Cardioid mics, on the other hand, pick up sound from the direction they’re facing and slightly from their sides, too.
  • Your budget will play a role in your decisions, too. You can get great mics that work with your smartphone at an entry-level budget. These devices tend to be a bit more challenging to work with because they have fewer features, but the end result’s quality is still superb. Alternatively, you can aim for a mid-weight device that offers more features, better user-friendliness and a professional outcome. Professional-range devices tend to focus on one function: they’re either aimed at traveling bloggers and designed for noise reduction, or they’re designed to give superb recordings in a studio-environment. For versatility, the mid-weight price bracket is the best all-in-one option.
  • Consider your current setup before you make your purchase. Do you have an iOS device? Are you recording from your smartphone? Do you need features on your mic that enable instant playback without needing to download the clips first? Some microphones are only compatible with certain applications and operating systems. The features on your chosen mic should simplify how you can access your clips, how you can save them and review them and how you capture them. Afterall, vlogging is supposed to be fun.

Vlog microphone FAQs

Yes, especially if you are using a low budget camera for filming. You don’t have to have a big budget to make it happen. Select a microphone for YouTube that is compatible with your other devices and falls into your budget. A microphone can cost as little as $67 or up to thousands of dollars.
Audio-Technica AT4053B remains a firm favorite with professional YouTubers and vloggers. It is exceptionally user-friendly, enabling even technologically-challenged beginners to create professional sounding clips. It’s not in everyone’s budget, but it’s versatile and unrivalled in terms of the sound quality it captures.
Rode NT-USB. Being a cardioid condenser microphone, it collects sound from objects it is pointed at (as well as some peripheral sound from the sides). This mic has a unique plug-and-play feature to test the quality of their recordings. Usability combined with exceptional sound capturing capabilities sets this device in a league of its own.
One of the most popular wireless mics is the Boya WM2G. Wireless sound recording is convenient because it enables more movement with fewer restrictions. YouTubers have to remain aware of the distance they can safely record within to prevent loss of audio if they go out of range.
The vlogging industry is fiercely competitive; new vloggers who want to be noticed and gain a following need to have some professional sound recording devices. You can get away with using your smartphone to record your vlogs, provided you add an external mic for improved sound quality.
Rode NT-USB for higher budgets, or a simple lapel mic like the Rode SmartLav+ if you’re just starting out. The Rode NT-USB is a good studio mic; set it on the desk. The lapel device is made by Rode, a reputable company in the industry known for bringing out quality devices.
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