You can’t beat a dedicated external microphone for audio quality. The built-in microphone on your camera, computer, or phone is designed to record everything around it, meaning your audio can be distracting with background noise.
On the other hand, a lav or shotgun microphone is specifically designed to capture the right audio you need and tune everything else out.
So what are the best microphones? We’ve got you covered below...
The best USB microphone for YouTube
USB microphones are great for YouTubers who provide musical performances (including singing), gaming walkthroughs, podcasts, tutorials, and voice-overs at their desk.
Whether you’re recording with a webcam or a camera, USB microphones ensure clear quality, as long as you’re stationary and, preferably, near a computer.
The RØDE NT-USB
Our favourite USB microphone the RØDE NT-USB is a studio cardioid condenser microphone that beautifully records audio.
The NT-USB mic has a zero-latency 3.5mm stereo headphone jack so you can monitor the mic input. On-mic mix controls let you adjust the monitoring level and blend computer audio with your voice.
The NT-USB comes with a few nifty accessories, including a desk tripod, a storage pouch, a ring mount, and a 6m USB cable. It also comes with a pop-filter you can fit onto the base of the mic to minimise vocal plosives during speech.
The best lavalier microphones for vlogging
Lavalier microphones, also called lav mics or lapel mics, are tiny microphones that can be clipped onto a subject’s clothing.
Lav mics are omnidirectional, meaning they may pick up background noise but isolate sound well when placed close to the mouth. This makes them ideal for interviews or conversational vlogging.
They’re available as affordable wired systems or more professional wireless systems. Wireless lav mics are popular for vloggers who need to move, like yoga or dance instructors.
The RØDE smartLav+ is an affordable condenser microphone that picks up audio from all directions.
Since it’s easy to set up, it’s a great mic option for beginners. You just connect the lav mic to the subject and the cable into your smartphone. The audio will record to the RØDE Rec App or any other video recording app on your device.
The excellent broadcast-grade sound quality makes it a favourite among professionals as well. For pros, the mic has an impressive frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz and a max SPL 110db.
The microphone has a beautiful build, with a premium plastic and metal blend. It also comes with a pouch, a durable mounting clip, and a foam pop shield that helps eliminate vocal plosives and wind noises.
RØDE RØDELink Filmmaker Kit
The RØDELink Filmmaker Kit is a brilliant, portable wireless system that comes complete with an omnidirectional, condenser lav mic, a receiver to connect to your camera, and a transmitter to connect to the mic.
This wireless mic has a frequency response of 35Hz to 22kHz and the ability to operate across eight channels, each with 1000 frequencies. That means you can have two kits using the same channel without interference
The mic uses 2.4GHz digital transmission with 128-bit encryption and has an impressive 100m range.
The Boya BY-M1 offers incredible sound quality with very low noise at an amazing price.
This wired lav mic provides an omnidirectional polar pattern with a frequency response range of 65Hz to 18kHz.
The mic has a switchable power source, meaning you can run it with the LR44 battery or via a device with plug-in power.
The BY-M1 comes with a lapel clip, a 6m cable, and a foam windscreen to reduce vocal plosives and wind noise.
RØDE Wireless GO
Hailed as the world’s smallest and most versatile compact wireless microphone system, the RØDE Wireless GO is lightweight and easy to conceal, yet produces incredible sound quality.
Though it works best at shorter ranges, the Wireless GO has a 70m range and still captures crisp audio, making it the ideal mic for those on the go.
It comes with a transmitter (with a built-in mic) and a receiver, which pair together in just 3 seconds. Both devices weigh just 31 grams each and have the same compact size. They have built-in rechargeable batteries with around 7 hours of runtime.
The transmitter can be clipped on to your subject’s clothes and, with its built-in omnidirectional mic, works fine on its own. But there’s also a socket so you can attach a lav mic. The receiver connects to your camera with a short 3.5mm lead and sits on the camera hot shoe.
The best shotgun microphones for vlogging
Shotgun microphones can connect either to the hot shoe on your camera or (sometimes) to a boom pole. The shotgun mic is perfect for absorbing noise directly in front of the mic.
Shotgun mics are popular with vloggers who want to hide the mic from sight and don’t have time to wire up their subjects before filming.
RØDE VideoMic Pro
A super-cardioid condenser shotgun mic, the RØDE VideoMic Pro is one of the most popular mics out there for vloggers and can be used in travel vlogging, interviews, sports, and more.
This versatile shotgun mic can be paired with DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, camcorders, audio recorders, and smartphones. It can even be mounted to a boom.
What’s not to love about this mic? It has a rich tonality across the 40Hz-20kHz range and an impressively low noise floor. You can choose the output or switch between a flat response or one with a low-frequency cut.
The VideoMic Pro comes with a quality Rycote Lyre shock mount that isolates the mic capsule and lessens noise from vibrations.
The mic also has an impressive 9V battery, which delivers around 70 hours of power before it needs replacing.
RØDE VideoMic Pro+
A step up from the VideoMic Pro, the VideoMic Pro+ shotgun microphone uses a super-cardioid pattern that picks up exactly the audio you need and discards the rest.
The mic comes with a built-in, rechargeable battery that allows you to shoot flexibly without needing external power.
The VideoMic Pro+ comes with the same Rycote Lyre shock mount as the standard VideoMic Pro, designed to reduce unwanted vibrations, such as handling noise.
It also comes with an integrated windshield that protects your audio from the wind and other interference, keeping it crisp and distraction-free.
While it has a sturdy design, the mic weighs just 85 grams, making it a portable option for vloggers on the go.
RØDE VideoMic GO
Designed specifically for beginners, the RØDE VideoMic GO is an affordable mic with an easy plug in and play setup that delivers clear directional audio. It has a frequency response range of 100Hz to 16kHz.
As with the other RØDE shotgun microphones, the VideoMic GO has the integrated Rycote Lyre shock mount to protect the audio from vibrations.
One of our favourite features of the VideoMic GO is that it requires no batteries and is powered instead by your camera.
That means all you need to do is connect the mic to your camera hot shoe, plug it into the camera, set your recording level, and begin filming.
Buy a microphone for vlogging online today
Ready to see a dramatic difference in your audio quality? At Camera House, we have a range of quality external microphones perfect for YouTube and vlogging. Shop our selection online today for flat-rate delivery across Australia.
Take your vlogging to the next level with quality microphones and expert advice from Camera House. Check out the video below for more tips on elevating your vlogging.