Microphones & Recorders We Recommend

Great videos start with great audio and you need to invest in high quality microphones and recorders to get the best sound possible. You also need some professional monitoring headphones and speakers to use while editing to make sure you can hear every noise and hiss. Soundproofing and acoustic paneling for the room you're recording or editing in are helpful too.

We've owned everything on this page at one point, and still own most of it. And the best part about audio equipment is that it retains value way better than cameras do. You'll still be using the same microphones in a couple decades if you take good care of them.

 

Microphones

 

Rode NTG-3

This is the microphone that we use 9 times out of 10. Rode's NTG-3 shotgun mic is what I use to record talking head and voiceover audio. It needs a powered XLR cable, but with a 10 year warranty, this is built to last.

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Rode NTG-4 or NTG-4+

Unsure if you want to go all out for the NTG-3? Then check out the NTG-4 or 4+. At only 60% of the cost of the NTG-3, the NTG-4 still provides that broadcast quality level of sound and the plus version also boasts a built-in rechargeable battery too.

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Rode SmartLav+

Probably the best way you can improve your smartphone videos is by upgrading your audio game. The SmartLav+ delivers deep sound at a bargain price. Make sure it is the plus version, not the original though. And get an extension cable. 

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Rode Wireless Filmmaker Kit

When we can't boom an NTG-3 shotgun mic, we use the Rode Wireless Filmmaker Kit. This wireless lav is super easy to use.

Watch our full video review here »

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Rode VideoMic Pro

This is our go-to back up mic on top of our DSLRs. However, if you are looking to purchase your first external mic or will be delivering close to the camera this is a great shotgun option. Just don't forget to turn it on before you hit record!

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Rode Video Micro

This is a solid, always on, shotgun mic to mount on a camera. Perfect for picking up audio close to it, like while vlogging.

Watch our full video review here »

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Audio-Technica AT899 Lavalier Mic

I own two of these lavalier microphones and have used them for dozens of two person, multi-camera interviews. They have a very low noise floor, a full-range of audio pickup, and no distortion when the cable is bumped. Highly recommended.

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Mic Stands & Shock Mounts

 

Manfrotto 420B 3-Section Boom Stand

We use this stand anytime we are in a stationary setup. We generally use it to boom the NTG-3 but it also mount DSLRs for top down shots on tables. Don't forget to attach the sand bag though or your possessions with go crashing to the ground. 

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Rode SM3 Shock Mount 

This rubber banded contraption makes booming easier. There is nothing worse than hearing your audio engineer grip the boom pole when you should be hearing the set audio. No matter what shotgun mic you have, use a shock mount for it.

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Audio Recorders

 

Tascam DR-40

Whether you are looking for an entry level external recorder or one with a compact design, look no further than the DR-40. With both XLR and 1/4" inputs the DR-40 is a great handheld recorder, even if you need to use the built-in microphones.

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Tascam DR-60D Mark II

A low budget option for people looking to record up to 4 channels at once. Mounting between your camera and tripod, the DR-60D Mark II integrates well into any setup and offers 2 combo XLR/TRS inputs and 1 Stereo 1/8" inputs. 

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Tascam DR-70D

The DR-70D was built for DSLR video. It records up to 4 channels simultaneously and has built in microphones. The audio output, dedicated hardware controls (less menus!) and tripod mounts make this recorder a dream machine. 

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Tascam DR-100 Mark II

We use the DR-100 II all the time. It's bulletproof! My editor has dropped and tried to break it at least 15 times with no success. HOWEVER, get the AC adapter or extra batteries as the charge will not last all day. Otherwise you'll USB charge it on breaks.

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Sony K2M-XLR Adapter Kit with Mic

I've never been to Sony HQ, but their engineering team is on point. This adapter is thought out and well designed. The mic sounds shockingly good and the mount is steady. Having this dual XLR adapter turns your Sony a7 series into a mini C100.

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Monitor Headphones & Speakers

 

Audio-Technica ATH-M30X Headphones

Comfort, classic looks, and best of all, great performance. For around $70 you just can't beat them.

See our full review here.

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones

My all-time favorite monitoring headphones. Great sounds, great looks, and great comfort. Larger drivers and better build quality than the 30X, the 50X is where it's at. The three cord options make these headphones usable in any environment. 

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Sony MDR-7506 Headphones

The industry standard. You'll find these in audio booths everywhere. Offering great sound and all-day comfort, the MDR-7506s are many people's top choice.

See our full review here.

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Mackie MR5 mk3 Monitoring Speakers

Before clicking export and upload, it is helpful to review your edit through both headphones and speakers. These speakers offer great sound so you can hear all the subtleties you wouldn't with built-in ones and they also won't break the bank.

See our review here.

(B&H or Amazon)

 

Sound Absorption & Proofing

 

Audimute Sound Absorption Curtains/Blankets

Stop hiding in the closet and surrounding yourself with all the soft things you own. These blankets hang on a wall or from a ceiling and really dampen echoes in empty rooms. Go buy some nice sound absorption curtains. Go. Now. 

 

Eco-C-Tex® Acoustical Sound Absorber Panels

Have a full time recording space where you can adhere foam to the walls? Perfect. These panels are you best option for quenching room noise. If you are looking for something less permanent, go for the curtains above.  

 

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Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. I will earn a commission % if you decide to buy through these links, which helps support all the free content we put out. I either own or have used every piece of equipment I recommend on my site. Also, know that no company is paying me to promote their products either. - Caleb Wojcik