If you’re a vlogger, a filmmaker, or any other person who makes videos that require high-quality audio, these are your top three options for condenser microphones. They’re all under $100, easy to use, and require minimal setup -- a win-win-win!
The quality these mics deliver is very good considering their costs, and they offer options that help you fine-tune your recordings, like pads, low-cut filters, and pop filters.
So, let’s take a look at why these are the best.
Top 3 Condenser Microphones For YouTube Videos And Vlogs:
The Audio-Technica AT2020 is a large diaphragm condenser mic that is perfect for entry-level engineers who want a professional-level recording. Whether you need to record vocals, acoustic guitar, or even horns, this microphone is one of the top performers for mics under $100. It’s difficult to find a mic with this kind of all-around value.
The Zoom H1 is built with two small unidirectional condenser mics set in an X/Y configuration so you can capture stereo audio. With a low-cut filter, Auto Level, and your choice of recording format (WAV/MP3), you can fine-tune your recordings. Plus, you get a tripod stand, a detachable mic handle, a pop filter, and a USB cable.
The Rode smartLav+ is an upgrade from the smartLav. The main difference is the omnidirectional condenser microphone was upgraded to increase the sensitivity and to cut out the hiss the smartLav had. The clip allows the mic to be inconspicuous, which especially nice for making videos or speaking in public.
In the studio, on the go, or in the field
The thing about these three microphones is that, between them, you have options, whether you’re shooting a video with audio indoors, on the road, or out conducting interviews. When going through the top mics for YouTubers and vloggers, these three stood out for these very reasons.
More Details and More Facts
Below, we’ll break down why we chose each one.
Engineers often use the AT2020 in their recording studios, usually using it for recording guitar or vocals. But you, too, can have the studio-quality for your video.
It’s a mic that works best indoors. The cardioid (heart-shaped) pattern cuts out room noise and focuses on picking up your voice and the 10 dB pad helps rolloff lower frequencies (e.g. cars rumbling by, your neighbors music, etc.).
It does require an audio interface as it has a XLR connection, and a decent interface can cost anywhere from $100 to $200. But you’ll end up with much better audio quality than the other two top mics.
So, if you can afford it, this is a smart choice for those who do video interview, vlogs, or commentaries. Basically, if your video can show you with a mic at your lips, this is probably your best option.
The H1 is a nice little handheld recorder built with unidirectional mics set in an X/Y configuration so you capture stereo audio. This means that as you speak into the mic and move side to side, the audio will output to your headphones or speakers in correlation with that.
Despite its small size and cheap-feeling plastic body, it gives you very good audio quality. It’s design simply so the setup and use is very easy. This would be a mic best suited for either on-the-go recording or for doing interviews, but, with an included tripod stand, it will work well as an in-studio mic.
You do have the option of a low-cut filter, which cuts our those lower frequencies. You have Auto Level to keep your audio from peaking/distortion from loud noises. And you can also choose between WAV or MP3 as your recording format.
Overall, a reliable mic that’s perfect for recording while traveling.
The best thing about the smartLav+ is that it’s not conspicuous. It’s not distracting, which is perfect for filmmakers. The omnidirectional pickup pattern helps it be a very sensitive mic -- one that captures a lot of background noise.
The 3.5mm connection allows it to work with iPhones and other smartphones, even if you have a phone case. Although the durability and reliability of this mic are sketchy, this can be a good fit for making videos indoors or outdoors. If you’re needing to be doing things with your hands, the smartLav+ is a decent option.
When we scoured the world for the top mics for making videos, we kept in mind all the different situations you may be in: in a chair in front of your camera, outdoors in all types of weather, and capturing audio while moving around.
We kept in mind the three lity’s: versatility, affordability, and quality. We believe you’ll be happy with the top three we’ve found.