Looking to record your next “potential” viral video or conduct an interview? We recommend investing in a good quality DSLR microphone. Even though most DSLR cameras on the market comprise built-in mics, the audio quality is not up to the mark. This is where a decent DSLR microphone can fit the picture.
DSLR camera microphones can be an excellent buy for anyone serious about creating video content. After all, audio is a vital part any video. However, with hundreds of DSLR microphone options on the market, it can be daunting to find the best one per your requirement. Therefore, we are here to help you.
In this post, we’ll discuss DSLR microphones in detail. We will discuss things to consider when buying a DSLR microphone and provide you with our top 8 recommendations of DSLR mics on the market. Read further to know more.
Roundup of the Best DSLR Microphones
|Overall Best DSLR Microphone||Rode VideoMic Pro+|
|Best Microphone for Entry-Level DSLR Cameras||Rode VideoMicro|
|Best DSLR Microphone for High-End Cameras||Rode VideoMic Pro|
|Best Budget DSLR Microphone||Comica V30 LITE|
|Best High-End DSLR Microphone||Rode VideoMic NTG|
|Best DSLR Microphone for Professional Use||Sennheiser MKE 400|
|Most Lightweight DSLR Microphone||Audio-Technica AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Condenser Microphone|
|Best Mini DSLR Microphone||Movo VXR1000 Mini HD Shotgun Condenser Video Microphone|
Do DSLR Cameras Have Microphones?
If you own a DSLR camera, there’s a good chance it can also record high-definition video. All modern DSLRs can produce high-quality images, but may not guarantee high-quality, clear and crisp audio. In many cases, the cameras can only record decent-quality digital audio — typically CD-quality. External microphones, fortunately, are widely available and relatively simple to use. Moreover, they can dramatically improve the audio clarity and quality of your videos.
Things to Consider When Buying a Microphone for Your DSLR Camera
Here are some important things you must consider when looking for a suitable DSLR camera:
Types of Microphone
The aural soundtrack of any video is as important as its visual elements. For DSLR-camera users, vloggers, YouTubers, content producers, amateur filmmakers, and podcasters, there are typically three types of microphones on the market. You need to decide which type will suit you based on your specific requirement.
Shotgun Mics or On-camera Mics
DSLR video cameras often come equipped with shotgun microphones, among the most popular and widely used microphones on the market. Due to their strong directionality, shotgun mics are efficient and straightforward. Shotgun microphones, known as “on-camera,” are supposed to be attached to the top of your camera or a boom pole.
Lavalier Mics or Lav Mics
Most people use lavalier microphones for product video reviews, interviews, tutorial videos, vlogging, or broadcasting. These microphones clip to the speakers’ clothes.
A lav mic is preferable for controlled conditions with little to no ambient noise. They’re also unobtrusive and go unnoticed most of the time. A lavalier mic may be connected or wireless; however, the latter is usually more costly. Wireless microphone systems are ideal for sophisticated projects such as feature films and short films.
We’re talking about the traditional microphones here. Handheld mics are popular with journalists and reporters since they are durable and don’t need to charge them. There aren’t many individuals who use these devices for anything other than interviewing; therefore, their frequency ranges aren’t quite as vast as they might be. However, you will need additional equipment to utilize handheld mics with DSLR cameras.
The Polar Pattern
The directionality of a microphone describes how it picks up sound from its surroundings. For example, some microphones can pick up sounds from all directions simultaneously. In contrast, most other microphones are limited to a single approach, which can be advantageous depending on the situation.
A cardioid pattern, also known as a “heart-shaped” pattern, is commonly used to pick up vocals or speech. Mics with this directionality can only “hear” sounds from the front, where the microphone is pointing, and to a lesser extent from the sides. Cardioid microphones are the most commonly used mics for recording music.
A microphone with a supercardioid polar pattern has a narrower pickup pattern than cardioid microphones, allowing for a more significant rejection of ambient sound. Super-cardioid microphones, unlike cardioid microphones, have some pickup directly at the rear, as shown in the diagram above. Super-cardioid microphones are best suited for capturing single sound sources in noisy environments because they are resistant to feedback.
In a figure-eight polar pattern, bi-directional microphones pick up sound from the front and back. These mics are popular among podcasters and can cost a lot.
A microphone with a multidirectional range can pick up sounds from all directions, making it ideal for recording groups or crowds. Studios commonly use it for live performances, where the goal is to recreate the room’s sound. Still, they are not suitable for live use due to their high feedback sensitivity.
Different microphones respond to different frequencies according to their type. Some respond better to lower frequencies, while others respond better to higher frequencies.
The frequency response of a microphone is the range of frequencies it can detect, typically 20hz to 20Khz. Knowing this range alone will not help you much; you need to know how the mic responds to specific frequencies. Therefore, before selecting a microphone, consider what you will be recording. For example, a microphone that performs better at lower frequencies, such as a dynamic mic, may lose credibility if we expose it to bass or drum recordings.
Filters With a High Pass Rate
High pass filters may also be beneficial for removing unwanted noise from your recordings. Low-frequency traffic noise is the most common source of ambient noise.
If your microphone includes a high pass filter switch, you need not worry about these noises.
While batteries power some microphones, others get their power from the camera’s built-in battery. In addition, outdoor video filming necessitates careful consideration of your power alternatives.
In this situation, it’s preferable to utilize a battery-powered microphone to reduce the burden on your camera’s battery.
This should not go unnoticed if you’re mounting your microphone directly on the camera. Instead, a robust shock mount avoids handling noise from compromising your audio recording when moving the camera.
There are no creaks caused by changes or movement of the camera operator while using a shock mount.
You must ensure that your microphone has a shock mount compatible with your camera. It may be offered as an add-on if it does not come standard with the camera.
Top 8 DSLR Microphone Options for Professional Use, Recording, Interviews, Podcasts, and More
Based on the factors described in the previous section, we thoroughly evaluated some of the best DSLR microphones on the market. Here are our top 8 picks!
1. Rode VideoMic Pro+
Overall Best DSLR Microphone
- Fantastic audio quality; clear and crisp audio
- Best suspension system of Rycote Lyre
- Autonomous power functionality
- Rechargeable batteries
- Digital switching
- Uses AA batteries
- Durable and sturdy
- Easy to set up and use
- Somewhat expensive
Out of all the DSLR microphone we evaluated, we found RODE VideoMic Pro+ to be the best of the best. It’s highly suitable for high-end DSLRs and full-frame cameras.
The RODE VideoMic Pro+ is a new addition to the on-camera shotgun microphones category. Rode has added more features to the previous VideMic Pro, and we all are delighted. The low-end pickup range has been expanded from 40Hz to 20Hz, and you now have a two-stage high-pass filter at 75Hz or 150Hz and selectable strength settings of -10dB, 0dB, or +20dB.
Because the wire is removable, you can quickly change out a longer chord for usage on boom poles or bigger installations, making this incredibly versatile. The VideoMic Pro+ retains the best-in-class Rycote Lyre suspension system of portable audio recorders and adds new features to the existing VideoMic Pro capsule/line tube and windshield.
In conclusion, the Rode VideoMic Pro+ DSLR microphone can be a fantastic buy for recording interviews, dialog-based interviews, podcasts, short films, documentaries, YouTube videos, and a lot more. Its overall audio quality is highly impressive. It doesn’t pick up background noises easily and comes with an excellent battery life. Also, it’s easy to use and extremely durable.
View on Amazon: Rode VideoMic Pro+
2. Rode VideoMicro
Best Microphone for Entry-Level DSLR Cameras
- Strong and long-lasting structure
- Portable and small
- User-friendly design
- Does not require separate batteries
- All smartphones and cameras are compatible
- Frequency response’s lower limit is very high
- Cannot record effectively from a distance
The Rode VideoMicro’s overall design and build are pretty solid. To a certain extent, this is due to the all-metal construction, but you can also attribute this to Rode’s incredible attention to detail. The microphone is only 8 cm long, making it extremely portable. You get a grill in the front and a 3.5mm jack at the end that connects directly to the camera’s microphone.
In addition, the microphone is extremely light, weighing only 42 grams (1.5 ounces). You can keep recording without being hindered by the extra bulk. Even if you talk in low tones or wish to whisper anything, it will capture the sound. Furthermore, the microphone’s excellent sensitivity will come in useful if you wish to record the sound of nature. You have to aim the mic at the source, and it will do the rest.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a compact, pocket-sized DSLR microphone for your next recording, the Rode VideoMicro can be a great buy. Another good thing about this microphone is that it doesn’t require battery. Simply plug in the microphone in your DSLR camera and get started. Even though the audio quality is not at par with the larger DSLR microphones on our list, it’s suitable enough for a quick YouTube or social media video. Also, it’s pretty affordable.
View on Amazon: Rode VideoMicro
3. RØDE VideoMic Pro
Best DSLR Microphone for High-End Cameras
- Small size
- Comprises a high-pass filter to lower editing time
- Enhancements to the original VideoMic’s usability
- Ideal for improved audio recording with a DSLR or camcorder
- Easy to set up and use
- Not suitable for recording from a distance
The VideoMic Pro is a smaller, lighter version of the VideoMic that offers a few added functions in a tiny package.
The included hotshoe mount at its base allows you to mount the shotgun-style mic to be on top of an SLR camera, and it also can accept a boompole with a 3/8-inch thread if you want. With a weight of only 86 grams and a length of 15cm, the VideoMic Pro will not overwhelm even the tiniest video-enabled SLR cameras.
The VideoMic Pro has excellent sound purity, yet it isn’t notably different from the original VideoMic when recording and isolating voices.
In conclusion, if you want to go beyond the inbuilt microphone of your high-end DSLR or camcorder, the VideoMic Pro can deliver outstanding audio in a small, lightweight, and reasonably-priced package. It’s audio quality is impeccable and blocks majority of the background noise. The mic’s plug-and-play setup is extremely convenient to use.
View on Amazon: Rode VideoMic Pro
4. Comica CVM-V30 LITE
Best Budget DSLR Microphone
- Excellent sound quality
- Extremely light
- No battery required
- Quality mount included
- Versatile; operates with both camera and smartphones
- We did not experience any issues with this microphone
Comica CVM-V30 LITE is constructed mainly of plastic, but its overall weight makes it lighter than many smaller microphones on the market. Once plugged into the device you intend to use, the microphone begins working immediately. Honestly, this microphone is great for its affordable price.
Comica CVM-V30 LITE is a multi-purpose microphone that works with cameras and cellphones. It may sound strange to bring this up, but we continue to come across restricted models that only function with smartphones or cameras, not both. So, it is a big plus.
We thoroughly evaluated the sound quality of this microphone and found it to be second to none among its competitors. You don’t even need a connector as this microphone has a built-in cable with a plug-and-play functionality.
In conclusion, if you’re on a shoestring budget but not ready to settle for a low-quality DSLR microphone, Comica CVM-V30 Lite can be a great buy. Even at an extremely pocket-friendly price, this microphone’s audio quality is at par with many top-selling DSLR microphone in a slightly higher price range. We also loved its design. Don’t forget to switch on the smartphone mode if you’re planning to use this DSLR microphone with your smartphone.
View on Amazon: Comica V30 LITE
5. Rode VideoMic NTG
High-End DSLR Microphone
- Extremely versatile
- Excellent audio quality
- Bass-rich and clear audio
- Shock mount included
- Variety of output levels
- Easy to operate
- Comes with a ‘safety channel’ feature that records sound at a lower gain level
- Can also be used as a USB device with PC
- No battery indicator
- Slightly unbalanced output
If price is not a concern, the Rode VideoMic NTG can be a great buy if you’re looking for a lightweight DSLR microphone with excellent audio quality. This microphone is light enough to slide into your camera hotshoe without any balancing or fit issues. Moreover, the microphone comes with an aluminum alloy casing that gives it a high-quality feel.
With the mic in the shock mount and the shock mount in the camera hotshoe, you’re ready to use the included SC10 connection to connect the VideoMic NTG to the camera. So, easy peasy operation. We found that the Rode VideoMic NTG records audio with a natural, well-balanced sound if correctly set up. It also appears to be quite focused, and there is no noticeable hiss.
You need to keep the microphone no closer than 18 inches to the subject’s lips when recording speech. It’s possible to have the mic barely out of frame when filming a head-and-shoulders picture. As a result, it’s also a good microphone for video conferencing.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a high-end DSLR microphone, the Rode VideoMic NTG is truly a masterpiece. It is suitable for most audio-recording uses cases and situations. From podcasting to vlogging, this microphone can cover all your audio-recording needs. Even though it’s one of the most expensive DSLR microphone options on our list, it’s worth buying. The overall audio quality is excellent and bass-rich. We hardly noticed any background noise; this microphone is pretty directional. You can use Rode VideoMic NTG as a USB mic with your PC or using the TRS/TRRS connectors.
View on Amazon: Rode VideoMic NTG
6. Sennheiser Professional MKE 400
Best DSLR Microphone for Professional Use
- Will not add weight to your rig
- Metal casing for protection
- Phone-clamp is versatile
- Captures clear, concentrated audio
- Shotgun signal that is crisp, clear, and directed
- Headphone jack and volume controls are located on the device
- Gain and low-cut filters are inbuilt
- Tripod is missing a bubble-level
- Just three locations on the gain switch
The Sennheiser MKE 400 shotgun video microphone is compatible with cameras and cellphones. Because its highly directional recording pattern excludes noise from the sides and rear, it records extremely clear and crisp audio. In our opinion, MKE 400’s audio quality is almost as good as the audio quality of Rode VideoMic NTG.
Unlike other shotgun microphones, the MKE 400’s 3.2-ounce body is cylindrical. In terms of size, it’s small enough that it won’t extend too far from the rear of a standard camera.
Since the MKE 400 has a super-cardioid recording pattern, it reduces the sounds from its sides and behind. With the low-cut filter enabled, you’ll have an even more defined signal to work with. For example, filtering low-frequency disturbances from industrial or metropolitan environments helps capture interviews or voices.
The Sennheiser MKE 400 can offer clear, directional audio, and its low-cut filters and windscreen work well together to give excellent clarity even in difficult recording situations. The mic’s rigid gain settings and the fact that its headphone port only functions when recording are our two primary complaints (not for playback).
In conclusion, Sennheiser MKE 400 is the best mic for those who do not like complicated digital signal processing as it’s analog and produces a clear, directional signal. We really liked the adjustable gain and low-pass filter to deliver balanced audio.
View on Amazon: Sennheiser MKE 400
7. Audio-Technica AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Condenser Microphone
Most Lightweight DSLR Microphone
- Captures high-resolution audio in any setting
- Lightweight and compact
- Excellent mono and stereo sound quality; natural sound
- Prevents wind noise recording
- Rubber shock mount to prevent vibration
- LED power indicator
- Undistorted sound recording
- Highly suitable for live sound
- Can be paired with a wireless system
- There isn’t much rejection of side sounds in mono shotgun mode
- Furry windshield keeps losing hair
- Sound pickup is not up to the mark
The AT8024 shoe-mount shotgun microphone is unrivaled in the DSLR microphone when it comes to weight. To shield the microphone from the camera and handle noise, it is equipped with a rubber mount. Depending on your requirement, you can use it in either wide-field stereo or cardioid mono mode.
Despite being one of the most expensive microphones, it comes with both a foam windshield and fuzzy windjammer, which effectively filter out wind noise – even in strong gusts.
Because of its lightweight and compact size, we found that the AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Microphone is an ideal choice for recording high-quality audio for video applications. In addition, the AT8024 has a three-position adjustable input pad (-20 dB, -10 dB, 0 dB) that allows it to capture both soft and compelling sound passages without distortion.
In conclusion, if you want an easy-to-use microphone with clear and accessible controls and a standard, long-lasting battery, the Audio-Technica AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Condenser Microphone can be a great pick for you. The three-step gain and stereo/mono switches help a great deal in enhancing this microphone’s performance and functionality. The overall audio quality is impeccable; the audio output is clean and distortion-free.
8. Movo VXR1000 Mini HD Shotgun Condenser Video Microphone
Best Mini DSLR Microphone
- Lightweight and compact design
- Very reasonable price
- Comes with an integrated shock mount
- Best for interview purposes
- Superior sound recording
- Broadcast quality audio
- Suppresses unwanted noise
- Somewhat flimsy mount
The Movo VXR1000 is a comprehensive audio recording solution for your DSLR or camcorder. With multiple excellent shotgun mic features packed into a tiny, lightweight form, it captures excellent dialogue without compromising your compact setup or getting in the way of your shot.
The lightweight aluminum and battery-free design have a built-in shock mount to reduce the noise of handling. It is compatible with various devices, including iPhones, Android phones, cameras, camcorders, audio recorders, tablets, and computers.
The microphone itself features a hypercardioid polar pattern, which allows it to pick up objects immediately in front of it while rejecting undesirable off-axis sound with a high degree of efficiency. The VXR1000 is a high-definition video camera designed for crisp dialogue capture. We found it ideal for applications such as documenting interviews both indoors and outdoors.
In conclusion, the Movo VXR1000 Mini HD Shotgun Condenser Video Microphone can be the perfect mic for you if you want to film everything from family vacation videos, live music performances, YouTube vlogs, and tik tok videos, interviews, and lessons. However, the only downside we found was that it uses a lot of battery, so be sure to carry more.
View on Amazon: Movo VXR1000 Mini HD Shotgun Condenser Video Microphone
Frequently Asked Questions About DSLR Microphones
It’s quite easy to connect a wireless mic to a DSLR camera. If you have a camera with XLR microphone inputs, use the receiver pack’s TRS-jack to the XLR output. If you don’t, you can plug the receiver into the camera’s mini-jack input with the appropriate cable, but you’ll only be able to record on one track. A better solution is a break-out box with phantom-powered XLR inputs that connects to the camera’s mini-jack input, which prevents the socket from breaking if you keep plugging and unplugging a microphone.
If your microphone has a quarter-inch jack output and a 3.5 mm (headphone) jack opening, simply plug it in and you’re ready to go!
We’ve concluded our list of the best 8 DSLR camera mics for 2023, and we’re confident you’ve found what you’re looking for by now.
If you haven’t made up your mind yet, our top pick is the Rode VideoMic Pro+ as it has all the excellent features and is affordable. However, we would like you to go through all our recommendations and ascertain the need you want to buy it for, when you decide to shop for your next DSLR camera mic.