What’s the Best Microphone for YouTube (on a Tight Budget)?

When Austin asked me on Twitter what the best YouTube Microphone is it got me thinking. And that answer as it so often happens is it depends!

Today I cover four microphones, the (1) Rode Video Micro, (2) Rode SmartLav+ w/ extension cable, (3) Rode Video Mic Pro and the (4) Rode NTG–2.

The reason I chose four microphones is because there are so many different videos you could make for YouTube that one size does not fit all.

The Rode Video Micro is a great mic to plug into your DSLR. The mic is powered by your DSLR and come with a shock mount and a deadcat. For $59, this is the least expensive mic I routinely recommend.

Next up is the Rode SmartLav+. Unlike the Micro, this is a wired clip-on lavalier. A great thing about this microphone is that you can use it with your smartphone or run it directly to your camera with the SC3 adapter. Going with a condenser lav mic has its pros and cons. You are wired so mobility is lessened, but the sound will be clear and constant no matter how you move. For $79, this is another mic I recommend and use.

Third on the list is the Rode Videomic Pro. I have been using this mic for five years and normally goes with me on every shoot. This is an on camera shotgun mic and is essentially a more powerful version of the Micro. It has internal power from a 9-volt battery and mic pre-amp switch for –10db, 0db, and +20db. If you are looking to get a mid-range shotgun mic the $199 Videomic Pro is a great option.

Lastly we have the Rode NTG–2. At $269 this is not a budget mic but it’s worth mentioning. In my opinion you will get what you pay for when it comes to microphones. The sound heard through an XLR shotgun mic close to the source will always sound better than a smaller mic further away on top of your camera.

Special thanks to Austin for the question! Remember to have your question answered tweet a video with your question using the hashtag #AskLeb.

Caleb Wojcikadv-gear, video