Audio is one of the most important aspects of video. But yet, it's also the most overlooked. Your vlog might have amazing information, but if it's difficult - or dare I say painful - for your audience to listen to, they'll stop watching. So you may be thinking, "what microphone should I get?" Well, that depends. Here are our top three picks for what type of microphone you should buy, depending on your video.
1) Wired Lavalier Mic
If you are brand new to vlogging, a wired lavaliere microphone (or lav mic) is the way to go. Wired lavs tend to be on the cheaper side because you have to be tethered to your camera. The up side (besides price) is that the lav mic is so small that you can easily place it close to your mouth without being obtrusive. That means even a lower-quality mic will still do a good job at eliminating background noise.
Recommendation: Rode Lavalier GO Omnidirectional Mic
2) Wireless Lavalier Mic
The next step up from the wired lav mic would be to go wireless. A wireless lav can be expensive, but you're paying for flexibility. Maybe you're a travel vlogger, and you want to walk around the city while you record yourself. Being tied to a camera can make this pretty difficult. Upgrading to a wireless lav means that the audio is wireless transmitted from your microphone to a receiver. Think about those mic packs angry Reality TV stars pull off of the back of their pants when they want to storm out of an interview. That's what we're talking about. A cheaper option that still functions like a wireless lav is a portable audio recorder. The lav attaches to a small audio recorder that you can wear, eliminating the need to connect to the camera. However, that means your audio will need to be synced in post-production, since it is recorded separately. If you want your audio to be recorded directly onto your camera (or in your computer if you are live streaming), then you'll have to spend a little more money to go wireless.
Portable Audio Recorder Recommendation: Tascam DR-10L Micro Portable Audio Record with Lav
Wireless Lav Recommendation: Rode Wireless Go II System plus the Rode Lavalier GO Omnidirectional Mic
3) Studio Mic with Pop Screen
What if audio is the MAIN part of your video? Are you creating a Podcast with a video element? Are you sitting at your computer and talking to the screen the entire time? If you are locked down in one place, a studio mic is definitely the best bang for your buck. These mics have a warm, well-rounded sound that even a pricier lav can't compete with. The cardioid condenser mic works by being extremely directional: meaning that it only picks up sounds coming from directly in front of it. This is the type of mic you see radio hosts using. The downside is that you have to be very close to the mic, and it's pretty large. I love using my studio mic for my live streams because it's a video where I'm taking to camera and not demonstrating anything. These mics are not very mobile, but they have beautiful sound quality.
Recommendation: Rode NT1-A Large-Diaphragm Cardioid Condenser Microphone
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