Whether you are shooting a school project, a documentary, or an Indie film, you will need one of these best shotgun microphones to make sure your project stands out.
Shooting an indie film requires a special kind of microphone that captures the script and dialogue clearly while capturing the sound of the surroundings to make your film much more realistic.
Vlogging and starting a YouTube channel can also be an art, shooting a documentary or indie film is a deeper form of art.
If your project involves reading a script or capturing sound, you want to do it the right way by choosing the best shotgun microphone.
Pro filmmakers not only set their focus on the video quality, but you should also dedicate and invest in equipment to make higher quality audio.
In this article, I will show you some of the best shotgun microphones designed to capture the best audio quality for your projects.
I will even add the best mic for your iPhone since a lot of people challenge themselves by shooting films with just an iPhone.
I find it fascinating that anyone can have access to the gear they need to make films, unlike in the old days, where you would need to use actual reel and film that takes forever to edit.
Shotgun microphones are essential for filmmakers for capturing quality audio.
You can use it for almost any film making project such as films, music videos, documentaries, YouTube content, and many more.
The Best Shotgun Microphones for Filmmaking of 2020
In this list, I researched some of the best microphones you can use for filming.
In a rush? Here is a quick rundown for you:
I have tried some of them myself, and let me tell you, most of the items on this list are outstanding, depending on what you need.
Let’s get to it! Here is a list of the best shotgun microphones:
#1 Sennheiser MKH416
Naturally, they would also make the best shotgun mic for filming movies as well.
The Sennheiser MKH416 is being used in movies and tv shows on a pro-level, making it the best choice for indie filmmakers as well.
If this microphone is suitable for professional-level productions, this mic is a worthy choice and worthy of being the best on this list.
This microphone is directional, which captures the sound of where it is pointed.
Because of the hyper-cardioid polar pattern, you cannot just switch focus with the camera, but also with the microphone.
It also does an excellent job of canceling out the sounds from behind, so there is less cleaning to do postproduction.
The mic is excellent for canceling unnecessary noise, and it is also moisture resistant, ultimately extending its life and making it more durable.
It is a fantastic all-around microphone you can use in any weather.
Because of its excellent features, the MKH416 is an excellent outdoor microphone that you can use for filming in outdoor locations.
In terms of power, this mic needs a 48V Phantom power to operate.
You will need a powered mixer or audio interface to connect this mic to a computer and provide the ability to function.
You can also invest in a decent preamp to maximize the use of this mic and produce the best audio for your projects.
- Excellent noise cancellation
- Used by pros
- Great for outdoor filming
- Directional hyper-cardioid polar pattern
#2 Rode NTG-3B
Best Condenser Shotgun Mic
The Rode NTG-3B is another excellent choice for filming.
It is a condenser microphone that is made from solid brass, making it resilient to moisture.
Plus, it captures some of the best and precise audio.
This mic is suitable for capturing clear sound in the most challenging environments and sets.
Just like the Sennheiser MKH416, the Rode NTG-3B is a pro-level mic that you can use for your own film making projects.
Since this mic is explicitly designed for videographers, broadcasting, interviews, and film, expect it to capture audio in the best quality.
This microphone is a little bit versatile, as you can attach it to a camera or attach it to a boom pole.
It is a very quiet microphone which cancels out about 50 percent of the surrounding noise, which is a good thing.
This mic sports a super-cardioid polar pattern, which is suitable for canceling noise, and it ships in an aluminum case that protects it along the way.
If you are looking for a high-end mic with features worth buying, the Rode NTG-3B is worth checking out.
- Much quieter than most mics on the list
- Designed for films and broadcasts
- Versatile mounting
#3 Shure VP83F
Best for DSLR
If you are looking for a portable shotgun mic that you can attach to your DSLR camera, the Shure VP83F might be the mic you’re looking for.
We all know that the brand Shure makes the best dynamic microphones for recording audio such as drums.
Shure is also responsible for making the SM58, which is one of the best mics for singing live.
With a lot of iconic products under its belt, Shure is a brand worth checking out.
The VP83F is a camera-mounted condenser mic with a lot of extra features such as a flash and excellent noise canceling.
With the help of its super-cardioid polar pattern, it prevents any unwanted sound from getting captured in the mix.
It is also equipped with a Rycote Lyre shock mounting system that cancels out vibrations for less noise when filming.
This microphone is also immune to radio frequencies that can disrupt recording, and it has an integrated LCD screen.
It displays a menu that provides access to more features, such as volume, battery info, and many more.
The device is powered by two AA batteries that can last up to 10 hours of recording time.
- Jam-packed with useful features
- Adjustable gain
- Intuitive LCD system display
#4 Rode VideoMic Pro
DSLR Choice Runner Up
The Rode VideoMic Pro is another excellent choice for your DSLR.
This shotgun mic is equipped with easily accessible filter and level controls on the rear end.
It has a 40Hz to 20kHz response with a selectable 80Hz high-pass filter.
Plus, it does a great job of canceling low-end noise such as air conditioners, fans, and vehicle noise from getting caught up in the mix.
With useful controls and level settings, you can reduce or increase the levels based on your sound requirements.
The VideoMic Pro is suitable for recording loud sound sources such as live music shows, motorsports, and interviews.
It is ideal for documenting conversations where the subject is close to the camera.
It works with most DSLR cameras, reducing the built-in preamp of your DSLR, ultimately reducing the camera’s generated noise for a brighter audio output.
What I like best about this microphone is that you can quickly attach and detach it to your camera or a boom pole.
- Excellent low-end cancellation
- Suitable for filming loud sound sources
- Easily detachable and attachable to a boom pole or DSLR
- Built-in level controls
#5 Rode VideoMic Pro+
Best Portable Option
This shotgun microphone is a slightly upgraded version of the Rode VideoMic Pro.
It is a somewhat more expensive model, but it has some improvements that are worth the few extra dollars.
Like its predecessor, it is still the best of its class equipped with a Rycote Lyre suspension system that reduces vibrations.
The windshield and capsule are improved along with other features such as automatic power function.
This function is essential for fast-paced shooting, as it automatically turns the mic on when you begin shooting.
It also comes with a built-in battery door to avoid losing the battery and different power options.
The upgraded controls include a 2-stage high-pass filter, 3-stage gain control, high-frequency boost, and a safety channel that helps ensure a consistent signal.
This feature stops the audio from clipping when unexpected audio spiking occurs.
- Improved capsule
- Shock mount for decreased vibrations
- Added controls for precise leveling
- Automatic power feature
#5 Shure MV88 iOS
Best for iPhone
This next shotgun mic choice is for all you iPhone film making enthusiasts out there.
If you didn’t know, with the help of modern technology, you could shoot films, documentaries, and music videos using just an iPhone.
The iPhone, especially the latest versions, is equipped with high-definition cameras that produce stunning video quality.
Although the iPhone mic is one of the best mics on a smartphone, you can still enhance the audio quality by using a shotgun mic such as the Shure MV88 iOS.
This microphone is just one of many choices for your iPhone or iPad.
If you like to film video clips on the go, make sure you get a hold of this ultra-portable mic that you can fit in your pocket to capture enhanced crystal-clear audio.
The MV88 comes with five different presets for almost any setting, different recording modes for capturing singing, speech, dialogue, and acoustic instruments.
Plus, it has a flexible tilt that allows you to flip and adjust the mic to how you see fit.
Purchasing this iOS microphone will give you access to the MOTIV audio and video app, and it also comes with a windshield.
Whether you are using your iPhone to produce music or filming, the Shure MV88 iOS would make an excellent choice.
- Excellent audio quality
- Versatile and flexible
- Includes different presets
- Comes with two recording apps
#6 Schoeps CMIT 5U
Best High-End Option
Expensive mics do not always mean they are better, but the Schoeps CMIT 5U is one of the best high-end shotgun mics out there.
This microphone might be the right choice for you if you are willing to spend and invest in high-quality recording equipment.
This mic may be a little bit on the pricey side, but it does offer the best audio quality that money can buy.
If money is not an issue, you can go big with the Schoeps CMIT 5U.
You can purchase this mic by itself, or you can buy a bundle that comes with useful accessories such as a Rycote full windscreen, a Rycote Conn box, foam windscreen, and a carrying case.
This microphone is designed for professional film, music, and video recording applications.
The Schoeps CMIT 5U allows you to capture high-quality dialogue and music instruments accurately and in full detail.
With its directionality, the high-end frequencies are obtained perfectly, resulting in a more balanced mix.
Consistency is what makes this mic worth buying.
The CMIT 5U shotgun mic remains consistent even if you rotate the mic on its axis.
The directional pattern of this microphone will stay the same in both the horizontal and vertical planes.
Even in the dark, you can efficiently operate and view the settings with the help of its LEDs.
All settings would remain the same even when the microphone is switched off.
- Suitable for recording dialogue, sports, and music
- Consistent sound even when rotated
- Excellent noise and wind immunity
- Durable and lightweight metal housing
#7 Audio-Technica AT875R
Best Shotgun Mic under $200
The Audio-Technica AT875R is not only an affordable option but also portable and does an excellent job.
It captures sound better than most microphones in its price range.
This microphone proves that you do not have to spend a lot of money to obtain clear audio.
From the creators of the AT2020, this mic is another one of Audio-Technica’s best creations.
I wouldn’t really classify it as an entry-level mic, but rather a professional mic with outstanding features you can get for under $200.
If you want to capture punchy audio, this mic packs high audio sensitivity with low noise.
All of these prominent features come in a small package.
Measuring only 7 inches, the AT875R is one of the shortest mics from the Audio-Technica line up.
This mic is suitable for broadcasting and filming, as it gives off a natural sound.
- Super cardioid polar pattern
- Wide frequency
- Low noise
#8 VidPro XM-55
Best Budget Option
This option probably is the best deal you can get for less than $100.
It may not compete against the other high-end mics, but it is certainly a good choice if you are looking for value.
The heart and soul of indie film making are creating a piece of art with a low budget, and nothing screams low budget more than the VidPro XM-55.
Don’t get fooled by the small price tag, because this mic is capable of recording more than decent audio quality.
It is a good starting mic that you can use to make enough money to buy a better mic in the future.
With that being said, I recommend this mic to beginner filmmakers who need the proper gear to get started.
The package comes with a lot of extra accessories that would come in handy such as a suspension shock mount, a foam windshield, an XLR cable, a furry wind muff, a cushioned handgrip, and a camera shoe adapter.
All of these accessories are useful for film making and broadcasting.
- Decent audio quality
- High sensitivity
- Value bundle
#9 Deity S-Mic 2S
If you want another affordable option that offers a lot of value for your money, the Deity S-Mic 2S is another excellent choice.
This mic gives you low off-axis coloration, a sturdy brass construction, and the best quality you can get for an affordable shotgun mic option.
It is challenging to find an affordable mic that can do the job.
If you are on a tight budget and want to find a mic that you can use for a long time, it is worth checking out.
From the sound quality to construction, you can count on this mic for all your audio capturing needs.
For a mic at this price range, you get low-noise and durability that will last and withstand even the most rugged conditions.
It also comes with useful accessories such as a waterproof case, a windscreen, and a mic clip.
This mic truly offers the best value on this list, and if you are looking for a good deal, this bundle is what you should get.
- High-quality brass construction
- Low noise
- Comes with useful accessories
Other Great Choices
I mentioned some of the best shotgun microphones above, but if you still can’t find what you need in the list above, there are many more choices for you.
Here are some of the microphones that I haven’t had the pleasure of using, but had great reviews that are worth checking out:
- #10 Rode NTG1
- #11 Sennheiser MKE600
- #12 Rode NTG4
- #13 Canon Directional Microphone
- #14 Rode VideoMic Go
- #15 Zoom F1-SP
- #16 Audio-Technica ATR 6550
- #17 Azden SMX-10
- #18 BOYA Pro Condenser XLR Shotgun Mic
- Can I use a different type of mic other than a shotgun mic for making films?
Yes, you can definitely use a different kind of mic.
You can sync the audio file with the video file in the editing stages of your project.
The reason why shotgun mics are better in this situation is that these types of mics are explicitly made for the purpose.
Shotgun mics would have built-in handles to extend its reach without getting in the shot.
If you are a bit creative, you can also look for something long like a monopod or mic stand and duct tape your condenser mic to make it look like a shotgun mic.
- Can dynamic mics work in film making?
Yes, dynamic mics can work. Make sure you configure the levels to get the right sound.
Since dynamic mics work for broadcasting and other types of recording purposes, you can use a dynamic mic in filming.
Most shotgun mics will have the same features and applications.
However, some choices would be more expensive and capture better quality than the other.
Even if you are in a budget, you will find a good mic on the list based on how much you are willing to spend.
However, if you want to capture audio in higher quality, it is best to go with trusted brands such as Sennheiser or Rode.
Some of their mics produce top-notch quality audio with excellent noise cancellation features that would come in hand in film making.
I hope you found the best shotgun microphone you can use by reading this list. Have fun filming!
Last update on 2021-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API