20 Best Shotgun Microphones in 2024

Capturing pristine audio is a craft, and when it comes to capturing clear, focused sound in a myriad of environments, the shotgun microphone stands tall as an indispensable tool in the arsenal of any audio enthusiast, filmmaker, or content creator. With its directional design and ability to isolate sound sources, the shotgun microphone has become the go-to choice for professionals and amateurs alike, seeking to elevate the auditory experience of their projects. In this comprehensive review, we embark on a journey through the 20 best shotgun microphones available today, exploring their features, performance, and suitability for various recording scenarios.

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From the bustling streets of urban landscapes to the serene tranquility of nature’s embrace, these microphones are poised to deliver impeccable sound, ensuring that every whisper, every rustle, and every word is captured with precision and clarity. Join us as we unravel the symphony of sound encapsulated within these remarkable devices, igniting your passion for audio excellence.

Benefits of Using Shotgun Microphones

Shotgun microphones offer a plethora of benefits that cater to the needs of audio professionals and enthusiasts alike. Shotgun microphones offer unparalleled directionality, versatility, and noise suppression. With their focused pickup pattern and long reach, they excel in isolating sound sources and capturing clear audio from a distance.

These microphones effectively suppress ambient noise and offer enhanced off-axis rejection, ensuring cleaner recordings in noisy environments. Compatible with various equipment and built for durability, they’re indispensable tools for professionals and enthusiasts seeking precise, high-quality audio in diverse recording scenarios.

Factors to Consider while Choosing Shotgun Microphones

When choosing the best shotgun microphone, several factors should be considered to ensure it meets your specific needs and delivers high-quality audio capture. Here are some key factors:

  • Polar Pattern: Shotgun microphones typically have a supercardioid or hypercardioid polar pattern. These patterns provide highly directional pickup, focusing on sound sources in front of the microphone while minimizing off-axis noise. The choice between supercardioid and hypercardioid depends on the desired degree of off-axis rejection and sensitivity.
  • Length and Size: Longer shotgun microphones generally offer more directional pickup and better reach, particularly for distant sound sources. However, compact models may be more convenient for mobility and mounting on cameras or boom poles.
  • Frequency Response: A flat and wide frequency response ensures accurate reproduction of audio across different frequencies. Look for a microphone with a frequency response tailored to your recording needs, whether it’s capturing dialogue, music, or ambient sounds.
  • Sensitivity and Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR): Higher sensitivity allows the microphone to capture faint sounds more effectively, while a high SNR ensures that the desired sound is captured with minimal background noise. Consider these specifications to ensure clear and detailed audio recording, especially in challenging environments.
  • Durability and Build Quality: A robust construction is essential for withstanding outdoor use, handling noise, and other potential hazards. Look for shotgun microphones made from quality materials, with features such as shock mounts to reduce handling noise.
  • Phantom Power Requirements: Shotgun microphones may require phantom power to operate, typically supplied by the recording device or an external power source. Ensure compatibility with your recording setup and consider the availability of battery-powered options for added flexibility.
  • Price and Budget: Prices for shotgun microphones vary widely depending on features, brand reputation, and build quality. Determine your budget and prioritize features that are essential for your specific recording needs.

Best Shotgun Microphones At a Glance

Rode VideoMic Pro Camera-Mount Shotgun Microphone

Price: $229

Product Page: https://rode.com/en/microphones/on-camera/videomic-pro 

The Rode VideoMic Pro camera-mount shotgun microphone offers enhanced sensitivity, lower noise, and versatile settings, making it a perfect choice for mobile journalists, vloggers, and filmmakers seeking improved audio quality. Its compact design, long battery life, and integrated shockmount make it a convenient and reliable option for on-the-go shooting.

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Features

  • Shotgun Mic with Directional Sound Pickup
  • Easy Hookup to Camera with Attached 3.5mm TRS Output Cable
  • Long Battery Life: Up to 70 Hours via 9V Battery
  • Bass Roll-Off: Selectable at 80 Hz to reduce low-frequency noise
  • 3-Stage Gain Control: Provides optimal recording levels (+20 dB, flat, -10 dB)
  • Integrated Shockmount: Rycote Lyre suspension-style mount inhibits vibrations
  • Windscreen: Foam windscreen included to minimize wind noise
  • Connectivity Options: Compatible with Rode accessories like SC4 and VXLR for expanded device compatibility

Pros

  • High sensitivity and low noise for detailed audio capture
  • Long battery life ensures extended operation time
  • Compact and lightweight design for portability
  • Integrated shockmount reduces vibrations for clearer recordings
  • Bass roll-off and gain control offer flexibility in different recording scenarios

Cons

  • Limited compatibility with some devices without additional accessories

Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 Shotgun Microphone

Price: $999

Product Page: https://www.sennheiser.com/en-ie/catalog/products/microphones/mkh-416/mkh-416-p48u3-001511 

The Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 shotgun microphone is a top choice for professional film, TV, and location recording, offering exceptional audio capture even in challenging environments. With its moisture-resistant design and robust construction, this microphone delivers mix-ready sound quality characterized by sharp directivity, low noise, and high output. Whether you’re recording dialogue, foley, or sound effects, the MKH 416-P48U3 ensures full dynamics and clarity, making it a reliable tool for high-pressure gigs where performance is paramount.

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Features

  • Moisture-Resistant Design for Adverse Environmental Conditions
  • Wide Frequency Response (40 Hz to 20 kHz) with Enhanced Consonant Articulation
  • Hypercardioid Polar Pattern at Low & Mid Frequencies, Lobar Pattern at High Frequencies
  • Low Self-Noise (13 dBA) and High Sensitivity (-32 dB) for Studio-Worthy Signal Purity
  • Phantom Powered with 3-pin XLR Output (44 to 52 VDC Phantom Power)
  • Ideal for Boompole Mounting with Matte Black Finish and MZQ 100 Clip
  • Foam Windscreen Included to Minimize Wind Noise

Pros

  • Exceptional audio quality with sharp directivity and low noise
  • Moisture-resistant design ensures reliable performance in adverse conditions
  • Wide frequency response and enhanced articulation for clear dialogue recording
  • Versatile mounting options for flexibility in various recording setups

Cons

  • While the Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 offers outstanding performance, its premium price point may be a deterrent for budget-conscious users.

Audio-Technica AT897 Short Shotgun Microphone

Price: $249.00

Product Page: https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/at897 

The Audio-Technica AT897 shotgun microphone is a versatile choice suitable for indie films, nature recording, and documentary projects, offering a blend of on-axis clarity and off-axis rejection crucial for capturing focused sound while minimizing unwanted noise. Its compact design makes it ideal for camera-mounted operation, ensuring ease of use without compromising on performance. Whether powered via phantom power or a single AA battery, the AT897 provides flexible compatibility and reliable sound quality, making it a valuable asset for various recording applications.

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Features

  • Supercardioid Polar Pattern with Interference Tube for Focused Directionality
  • Selectable 80 Hz Low-Cut Filter for Attenuating Low-Frequency Noise
  • Phantom Power (11 to 52 VDC) or Single AA Battery Operation
  • Smooth On-Axis Tone with Gentle Presence Boost for Enhanced Intelligibility
  • Lightweight Housing for Easy Handling and Mounting
  • Included Accessories: Mic Clip for Mic Stand or Boompole Mounting
  • Foam Windscreen Included for Minimizing Wind Noise
  • Compatible with Optional Windshield Kits for Further Noise Reduction

Pros

  • Crisp and clear audio capture with focused directionality
  • Flexible power options for convenient compatibility
  • Compact and lightweight design suitable for camera mounting
  • Selectable low-cut filter and gentle presence boost enhance audio quality
  • Included accessories and compatibility with optional windshield kits offer versatility in various recording environments

Cons

  • Some users may find the microphone’s sensitivity relatively lower compared to other models, requiring high-gain preamps for optimal performance.
  • While the AT897 offers good off-axis rejection, it may still pick up some ambient noise in noisy environments, necessitating careful placement and monitoring during recording.

Rode NTG4+ Dual-powered Professional Shotgun Microphone

Price: $399

Product Page: https://rode.com/en/microphones/shotgun/ntg4plus 

The Audio-Technica AT897 short shotgun microphone offers filmmakers, TV producers, and documentarians a versatile solution for capturing quality audio both indoors and outdoors. With its compact design and supercardioid polar pattern, the AT897 delivers focused directionality while minimizing unwanted side noise, making it suitable for a variety of recording scenarios. Its low self-noise and sensitive condenser element ensure detailed audio reproduction without added hiss, providing clean sound that requires minimal post-processing.

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Features

  • Supercardioid Polar Pattern for Focused Directionality
  • Low Self-Noise (16 dBA) and Sensitive Condenser Element
  • Phantom Power (48V) or Internal Rechargeable Lithium Battery Operation
  • Digital Switching for Easy Access to Settings
  • Selectable 75 Hz Low-Cut Filter and +6 dB Treble Boost
  • Lightweight Metal Housing for Durability and Portability
  • Included Mic Clip for Boompole or Mic Stand Mounting

Pros

  • Versatile power options with phantom power or internal rechargeable battery
  • Digital switching for intuitive access to settings and retention of states
  • Customizable tone with selectable low-cut filter and treble boost
  • Lightweight and durable metal housing suitable for various mounting setups

Cons

  • While the AT897 offers excellent audio quality and features, some users may find its sensitivity slightly lower compared to other shotgun microphones in its class, requiring careful adjustment of preamp gain for optimal performance.

Neumann KMR 81 i Shotgun Microphone

Price: $1795

Product Page: https://www.neumann.com/en-en/products/microphones/kmr-81-i-/ 

The Neumann KMR 81 i Shotgun Microphone stands out as a professional-grade solution for capturing pristine audio in a variety of settings, from studio recordings to outdoor shoots. Its innovative design combines a pressure gradient transducer with an interference tube, allowing it to operate seamlessly across different frequencies. This versatility ensures accurate sound reproduction with minimal coloration, making it an excellent choice for recording individual instruments in orchestras or capturing dialogue on a film set.

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With its high lateral and back attenuation, the KMR 81 i excels at isolating the desired sound source while minimizing unwanted background noise, delivering exceptional clarity and detail in every recording.

Features

  • Interference tube microphone with shotgun directional characteristic
  • Pressure gradient transducer for precise sound capture
  • High lateral and back attenuation for focused audio pickup
  • Switchable filter and preattenuation features for versatility
  • Supercardioid polar pattern for enhanced directionality
  • Frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz for full-spectrum sound reproduction
  • Maximum SPL of 128 dB SPL for handling loud sound sources
  • Phantom power operation via XLR 3-pin connector
  • Extensive accessories available for outdoor use, ensuring adaptability in various recording environments

Pros

  • Exceptional audio clarity and detail, suitable for professional applications
  • Versatile switchable filter and preattenuation options for adapting to different recording scenarios
  • Durable construction and high-quality components ensure reliability and longevity
  • Supercardioid polar pattern provides precise directionality, minimizing off-axis noise
  • Wide frequency range and high SPL handling capabilities for capturing a range of sound sources
  • Extensive range of accessories available for enhanced functionality and outdoor use

Cons

  • The premium price point of the Neumann KMR 81 i may be prohibitive for users with budget constraints, making it more suitable for professional or high-end applications.

Comica Audio VM30 Wireless Shotgun Microphone

Price: $170.10

Product Page: https://www.comica-audio.com/product/Wireless-Shotgun-Microphone-VM30 

The Comica Audio VM30 Wireless Shotgun Microphone System offers versatility and convenience for a range of audio recording applications, from run-and-gun interviews to podcast recording setups. Featuring a supercardioid shotgun microphone transmitter with 2.4 GHz wireless frequency, it effectively captures sound while reducing environmental noise. With options for wired and wireless operation, as well as multiple mounting choices, this system provides flexibility and ease of use in various recording scenarios. The inclusion of OLED and IPS displays on both the transmitter and receiver allows for easy monitoring of connection status and audio dynamics, ensuring a seamless recording experience.

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Features

  • Supercardioid Shotgun Microphone Transmitter with 2.4 GHz Wireless Frequency
  • 48 Hz Sampling Rate and 24-bit Depth for High-Quality Sound Recording
  • Two Low-Cut Filter Options (75 Hz and 150 Hz) and Stepless Gain Control (+12 dB)
  • Digital USB-C and Analog 3.5mm Ports for Wired Sound Recording
  • Wireless Communication Range of up to 328′ (Line-of-Sight) or 65.6′ (Obstructions)
  • Internal Battery with Up to 7 Hours of Wireless Operation
  • Clip-On Receiver with Built-In Back Clip, IPS Display, and USB-C/3.5mm Outputs
  • Simultaneous Charging with Included 2-in-1 Charging Cable and Carrying Case

Pros

  • Versatile operation modes for both wired and wireless recording
  • Supercardioid pickup pattern and low-cut filter options ensure clear audio capture
  • OLED and IPS displays provide real-time monitoring of connection status and audio dynamics
  • Multiple mounting options and included accessories offer flexibility in recording setups
  • Simultaneous charging capability extends battery life and convenience

Cons

  • While the Comica VM30 offers excellent features and versatility, some users may find the wireless transmission range slightly limited compared to other wireless microphone systems in its class.
  • The stepless gain control may require more precise adjustment compared to stepped gain controls, which could be a consideration for users who prefer specific gain settings.

Rode VideoMic GO II Directional Microphone

Price: $99

Product Page: https://rode.com/en/microphones/on-camera/videomic-go-ii 

The Rode VideoMic GO II Directional Microphone is a compact and versatile solution for content creators, offering the renowned sound quality of Rode’s NTG series in a user-friendly, camera-mountable microphone. Building upon the success of its predecessor, the VideoMic GO II introduces significant upgrades inspired by Rode’s popular VideoMic NTG, including improved body design, shockmount, and cable.

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Its ability to function as both an analog and digital USB microphone enhances its versatility, allowing seamless integration with various recording devices, including cameras, smartphones, tablets, and computers. With its simplified operation and high-quality sound reproduction, the VideoMic GO II caters to a wide range of applications, from vlogging and run-and-gun filmmaking to voiceover work and podcasting.

Features

  • Supercardioid Polar Pattern for Directional Sound Pickup
  • Analog TRS Output for Camera Connection or Headphone Monitoring
  • USB Type-C Digital Audio Output for Direct Recording to Devices
  • No Controls or Switches for Simplified Operation
  • Detachable Flat 3.5mm Cable for Easy Connectivity
  • Built-In Windscreen to Minimize Wind Noise
  • Shockmount with Sliding Rail and Cable Management for Secure Attachment

Pros

  • Offers the sound quality of Rode’s NTG series in an ultracompact form factor
  • Upgraded body design, shockmount, and cable for improved durability and performance
  • Ability to function as both analog and digital USB microphone enhances versatility
  • Simplified operation with no controls or switches for fast setup and use
  • Compatible with a wide range of recording devices, including cameras, smartphones, tablets, and computers

Cons

  • Despite its improvements, some users may find the absence of manual controls or settings limiting, especially for those who prefer more customization options in their recording setup.

Audio-Technica AT875R Gradient Shotgun Microphone

Price: $169

Product Page: https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/at875r 

The Audio-Technica AT875R Gradient Shotgun Microphone presents an ideal solution for those seeking a budget-friendly yet high-quality audio recording option for indie films, documentaries, and TV shoots. With its compact design and straightforward operation, this microphone offers exceptional performance in capturing clear, focused sound while effectively rejecting off-axis noise. Its smooth on-axis tone and gentle presence boost ensure natural and intelligible audio reproduction, making it suitable for various recording environments, from controlled studio setups to dynamic outdoor shoots.

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Features

  • Supercardioid Polar Pattern for Focused On-Axis Directionality
  • Full-Spectrum Frequency Response (90 Hz to 20 kHz) with Gentle Presence Boost
  • Compact and Lightweight Design (Less than 7″ long) for Easy Mounting
  • 11 to 52 VDC Phantom Power Operation via Balanced 3-pin XLR Output
  • Includes Foam Windscreen to Minimize Wind Noise
  • Compatible with Audio Recorders, Mixers, Camcorders, and Cinema Cameras
  • Simplified Operation with No Controls or Switches

Pros

  • High sensitivity requires less gain, reducing the likelihood of introducing noise during recording.
  • Phantom power operation offers compatibility with a wide range of audio recording devices.
  • Compact and lightweight design makes it easy to mount on boompoles, mic stands, or cameras, enhancing portability and versatility.
  • Smooth on-axis tone and gentle presence boost ensure natural and intelligible audio reproduction, suitable for various recording environments.
  • Foam windscreen included for reducing wind noise, enhancing audio clarity during outdoor shoots.

Cons

  • Some users may find the lack of manual controls or settings limiting, particularly those who prefer more customization options in their recording setup.
  • While the foam windscreen helps minimize wind noise to a certain extent, additional wind protection may be required in particularly windy conditions, which could be an additional expense for users.

Audix SCX1HC Hypercardioid Condenser Microphone

Price: $539

Product Page: https://audixusa.com/products/scx1/ 

The Audix SCX1-HC Studio Condenser Microphone offers a versatile solution for various recording applications, including vocals, instruments, and ambiance capturing. Its hypercardioid polar pattern ensures maximum signal rejection at the off-axis sections, resulting in a low noise floor and high gain-before-feedback response, particularly useful when used near monitors or speakers.

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Equipped with surface mount technology and transformerless design, this microphone delivers a compact profile, quiet signal response, and high signal output, making it suitable for both studio and live sound environments. With its wide frequency response and high SPL rating of 130 dB, the SCX1-HC accurately captures transient signals without distortion overload, ensuring pristine audio reproduction across a range of sound sources.

Features

  • Hypercardioid polar pattern for maximum signal rejection
  • Surface mount technology for compact profile and easy microphone placement
  • Transformerless design for high signal-to-noise ratio and output
  • Wide frequency range of 40 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Maximum SPL of 130 dB ensures accurate transient signal capture
  • Includes external foam windscreen and nylon molded snap-on clip
  • Foam lined wooden case for storage and transportation

Pros

  • Versatile microphone suitable for vocals, instruments, and ambiance capturing
  • Hypercardioid polar pattern provides excellent off-axis rejection and high gain-before-feedback
  • Compact and lightweight design allows for easy microphone placement
  • High SPL rating ensures accurate transient signal capture without distortion overload
  • Includes external foam windscreen and nylon clip for added convenience
  • Foam lined wooden case offers protection during storage and transportation

Cons

  • May require additional accessories such as shock mount for optimal isolation in certain recording environments
  • Hypercardioid polar pattern may require precise positioning for optimal off-axis rejection, which could be challenging in live sound situations.

AKG C747 V11 Professional Shotgun Condenser Microphone

Price: $840

Product Page: https://www.akg.com/Microphones/Speech%20%2F%20Spoken%20Word%20Microphones/2226H00110.html 

The AKG C747 V11 Professional Shotgun Condenser Microphone is engineered for precise speech and vocal capturing in various applications, from boardrooms to orchestral performances. Its slim profile makes it ideal for unobtrusive podium mounting, ensuring minimal distraction while delivering focused audio pickup. The hypercardioid polar pattern and extended frequency response offer excellent off-axis noise rejection and clear sound reproduction, capturing the nuances of speech and vocals with precision.

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Additionally, the integrated RFI shield blocks interference from wireless devices, ensuring reliable performance in challenging environments. With its high sensitivity and acoustic level capability, the C747 V11 excels in capturing both delicate vocal nuances and powerful speech with clarity and detail.

Features

  • Slim profile for unobtrusive podium mounting
  • Extended low and high-frequency response for accurate sound reproduction
  • Hypercardioid polar pattern for maximum off-axis rejection
  • High sensitivity of 8.5 mV/Pa ensures detailed audio capture
  • Integrated RFI shield blocks interference from wireless devices
  • Low-frequency roll-off switch minimizes low-frequency noise
  • Package includes shockmount adapter, mini gooseneck, stand adapter, mounting clamp, thread link, and windscreen

Pros

  • Precise speech and vocal capturing for boardrooms, orchestral performances, and more
  • Slim profile enables discreet mounting, minimizing visual distraction
  • Hypercardioid polar pattern ensures excellent off-axis noise rejection
  • Extended frequency response captures both delicate nuances and powerful speech
  • Integrated RFI shield blocks interference from wireless devices, ensuring reliable performance
  • Comprehensive package includes various accessories for versatile mounting options

Cons

  • The microphone’s slim profile may limit its versatility for capturing wider sound sources or group vocals compared to larger shotgun microphones.

Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Microphone

Price: $329.95

Product Page: https://www.sennheiser.com/en-us/catalog/products/microphones/mke-600/mke-600-505453 

The Sennheiser MKE 600 shotgun microphone enhances your video production audio with its focused directional characteristics and resistance to structure-borne noise. Its high sensitivity and low-noise circuitry ensure superior sound quality without excessive gain adjustments, delivering crisp recordings in various environments. Crafted with a lightweight metal housing, it offers exceptional on-axis directionality while minimizing off-axis sound. With a natural bass roll-off and selectable low-cut filter, it ensures clear intelligibility in recordings, making it perfect for indie films, interviews, and documentaries.

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Features

  • Selectable 100 Hz low-cut filter
  • Resistant to structure-borne noise
  • Low-noise circuitry with mild presence boost
  • High sensitivity reduces the need for excessive gain
  • XLR to 3.5mm TRS cable for camera connectivity
  • AA battery or phantom power operation
  • Windscreen included for reducing wind noise
  • Lightweight and rugged metal housing
  • Includes shoe/tripod shockmount

Pros

  • Superior audio quality with high sensitivity and low-noise circuitry
  • Effective directional characteristics for focused sound capture
  • Versatile connectivity options with XLR and 3.5mm TRS compatibility
  • Durable construction ensures reliability in various shooting conditions
  • Easy integration with cameras, tripods, or boompole setups
  • Selectable low-cut filter and natural bass roll-off enhance recording clarity

Cons

  • The microphone’s length may be slightly cumbersome for compact camera setups, requiring additional consideration for mounting and handling.

Shure VP89S Premium Modular Shotgun Microphone

Price: $765

Product Page: https://www.shure.com/en-US/products/microphones/vp89 

The Shure VP89S Premium Modular Shotgun Microphone offers versatility and reliability for a wide range of indoor and outdoor recording applications. With its wide 70° acceptance angle, it captures ambient sound effectively, making it suitable for camera mounting, indie films, and multi-subject scenes. Its modular design allows for optimal performance in various production settings, while its Class-A, transformerless preamplifier ensures transparent and fast transient response with minimal distortion.

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Crafted with Shure’s renowned quality and durability, this microphone is designed to withstand wear and abuse, offering reliable operation even in challenging conditions.

Features

  • Wide 70° acceptance angle for capturing ambient sound in near-field target range
  • Modular design for optimal performance in diverse production settings
  • Class-A, transformerless preamplifier for transparent and fast transient response with minimal distortion
  • Low susceptibility to noise and interference, ensuring high-quality audio capture
  • Lightweight and rugged construction minimizes operator fatigue and withstands wear and abuse
  • Switchable low-cut filter controls rumble and overwhelming bass frequencies
  • Compatible with a range of Rycote Softie windshields and suspension mounts for enhanced wind noise reduction

Pros

  • Versatile performance suitable for indoor and outdoor recording scenarios
  • Reliable and durable construction ensures longevity and consistent operation
  • Transparent sound quality with minimal distortion for accurate audio reproduction
  • Wide acceptance angle captures ambient sound effectively, ideal for multi-subject scenes
  • Switchable low-cut filter provides additional control over bass frequencies, enhancing audio clarity

Cons

  • May require additional accessories for optimal wind noise reduction in outdoor environments

Rode NTG2 Multi-Powered Shotgun Microphone

Price: $269

Product Page: https://rode.com/en/microphones/shotgun/ntg2 

The Rode NTG2 Multi-Powered Shotgun Microphone provides a reliable and versatile solution for capturing high-quality audio in a variety of settings, whether indoors or outdoors. Its low handling noise and ability to withstand loud sound sources before distortion make it ideal for indie films, TV shoots, and documentary projects. With support for both battery and phantom power, the NTG2 offers flexibility in powering options, ensuring compatibility with a range of audio recording devices.

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Equipped with a supercardioid polar pattern and an 11″ long body, the NTG2 delivers focused front-facing directionality and enhanced attenuation of side-entry sound. Its low self-noise and sensitive condenser element result in detailed audio free from distracting hiss, while the balanced output allows for longer cable runs compared to most camera-mount shotgun microphones. The lightweight aluminum housing, finished with hard-wearing epoxy paint, ensures durability for location recording, making it a reliable choice for professionals in the field.

Features

  • Versatile power options with support for battery or phantom power
  • Selectable 80 Hz low-cut filter reduces rumble and low-frequency noise
  • Low handling noise and high maximum SPL before distortion ensure clean audio capture
  • Supercardioid polar pattern provides focused directionality and attenuates side-entry sound
  • Lightweight metal housing with foam windscreen minimizes wind noise for improved recording quality
  • Suitable for indie films, TV productions, and documentaries, offering a cost-effective solution for high-quality audio capture

Pros

  • Reliable and durable construction suitable for location recording
  • Versatile power options enhance compatibility with various audio recording devices
  • Supercardioid polar pattern delivers focused directionality and attenuates side-entry sound effectively
  • Low handling noise and high maximum SPL before distortion ensure clean and clear audio capture
  • Lightweight design and included windscreen provide improved handling and reduced wind noise interference

Cons

  • May require additional accessories for optimal wind noise reduction in outdoor environments
  • Supercardioid polar pattern may require careful positioning to avoid off-axis sound interference

Zoom M3 MicTrak Stereo Shotgun Microphone

Price: $169.49

Product Page: https://zoomcorp.com/en/us/mictrak-recorders/mictrak-recorders/m3-mictrak/ 

The Zoom M3 MicTrak Stereo Shotgun Microphone offers a versatile solution for journalism, audio for video, and documentary applications. Combining a shotgun microphone with a recorder, it features two internal shotgun mics that can switch between hyper-focused supercardioid or wider bidirectional modes, providing flexibility in capturing different audio scenarios.

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With no gain adjustment necessary, the M3 records quality audio in 48 kHz / 32-bit floating point format, ensuring crisp sound without clipping. Its lightweight design, 3.5mm headphone output for real-time monitoring, and compatibility with microSD cards for onboard recording make it a convenient and efficient tool for location shooting.

Features

  • Bidirectional stereo shotgun microphone suitable for various recording scenarios
  • 2-channel stereo recording with 48 kHz / 32-bit floating point sampling for high-quality audio
  • Dual internal shotgun mics switchable between supercardioid and figure-8 polar patterns
  • No gain adjustment needed, thanks to dual AD converter circuits derived from pro F-Series recorders
  • 3.5mm headphone output and stereo line out for monitoring and external recording
  • Powered by AA batteries, USB-C bus power, or optional AC adapter for enhanced versatility
  • Lightweight and easy-to-use design for hassle-free location shooting

Pros

  • Versatile recording capabilities suitable for journalism, audio for video, and film applications
  • High-quality audio recording with 48 kHz / 32-bit floating point sampling and no gain adjustment needed
  • Lightweight and portable design ideal for on-the-go shooting
  • Flexible power options, including AA batteries, USB-C bus power, or AC adapter, for extended operation

Cons

  • Limited to 2-channel stereo recording, may not suit all recording scenarios requiring multi-track capabilities

Azden SGM-1X Professional Shotgun Microphone

Price: $179

Product Page: https://www.azden.com/shop/sgm-1x-shotgun-microphone/ 

The Azden SGM-1X Professional Shotgun Microphone is a versatile tool designed for videographers, offering superior audio capture in both camera-mount and boom microphone applications. With its 12.3″ supercardioid shotgun design and XLR output, this electret condenser microphone delivers clear and focused audio, minimizing unwanted noise and capturing the desired sound source with precision. 

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Equipped with a switchable low-cut filter, it provides flexibility in reducing low-frequency rumble while maintaining high-quality audio reproduction. Additionally, the integrated shockmount ensures stable attachment to a camera shoe or mic stand, while the inclusion of a foam windscreen and zippered carry case enhances convenience and portability.

Features

  • Supercardioid polar pattern for focused audio capture
  • 12.3″ length and XLR output connector for compatibility with various recording setups
  • Powered by a single AAA battery with up to 1000 hours of battery life, eliminating the need for a phantom power supply
  • Wide frequency response ensures accurate sound reproduction across the audio spectrum
  • Includes SMH-1 shockmount for secure attachment to a camera or mic stand

Pros

  • Versatile microphone suitable for both camera-mount and boom microphone applications
  • Switchable low-cut filter helps in reducing low-frequency rumble for cleaner audio
  • Long battery life of up to 1000 hours ensures extended recording sessions without interruption
  • Integrated shockmount provides stable attachment and reduces handling noise for professional results

Cons

  • The microphone’s length may be cumbersome in certain recording setups, requiring careful handling and positioning
  • Some users may prefer a rechargeable battery option for environmental and cost-saving reasons

Movo VXR10 PRO Shotgun Microphone

Price: $49.95

Product Page: https://www.movophoto.com/products/vxr10-pro-video-microphone 

The Movo Photo VXR10 PRO is a compact yet powerful shotgun microphone designed for vloggers, mobile journalists, and videographers seeking professional-quality sound in their productions. With its ultracompact design, this microphone is compatible with DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, smartphones, tablets, and portable audio recorders, offering versatility across various devices. Its plug-and-play functionality requires no batteries or complex settings, making it incredibly user-friendly, simply plug it in and start recording.

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Compared to its standard counterpart, the VXR10 PRO boasts higher sensitivity, improved signal-to-noise performance, extended frequency response, and a more directional supercardioid polar pattern. These enhancements result in a polished and professional sound, making it an ideal choice for capturing clear and focused audio in diverse recording environments. Additionally, the microphone includes TRS and TRRS cables, a Rycote detachable shockmount, a foam windscreen, a furry windshield, and a carrying case for added convenience and versatility.

Features

  • Shotgun microphone suitable for DSLRs, smartphones, and audio recorders
  • Highly directional polar pattern for enhanced audio capture
  • Includes Rycote shockmount, furry windscreen, and TRS/TRRS cables for versatile connectivity
  • Dedicated 3.5mm headphone port for built-in monitoring
  • Compatible with a wide range of devices, offering flexibility in recording setups

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design for easy portability and handling
  • Plug-and-play functionality requires no batteries or complex setup
  • Improved sensitivity and signal-to-noise performance for professional-quality sound
  • Includes a comprehensive accessory kit for enhanced usability and convenience

Cons

  • Some users may prefer additional control options or advanced features, which are not present in this microphone.

Saramonic SR-NV5X Short Shotgun Microphone

Price: $79

Product Page: https://saramonicusa.com/sr-nv5x-short-professional-directional-shotgun-microphone-with-integrated-xlr-cable/  

The Saramonic SR-NV5X offers a convenient and efficient solution for capturing broadcast-quality audio in video production setups. Its compact 6.69″ body, constructed from durable metal, is designed for easy mounting atop cameras, boompoles, or stands. With a hardwired 14.75″ XLR cable, connecting to XLR-equipped video cameras, audio recorders, DSLRs, or mirrorless cameras is hassle-free, requiring only 48V phantom power for operation. Featuring a cardioid polar pattern, the SR-NV5X ensures focused on-axis pickup while effectively rejecting sound from behind the microphone, delivering clear reproduction of dialog, ambience, and sound effects.

image 87

The microphone’s 40 Hz to 18 kHz frequency response further enhances its versatility, making it suitable for a wide range of audio recording applications. Additionally, the SR-NV5X comes with two windscreens, a foam windscreen and a furry windscreen, providing protection against wind noise and environmental elements, ensuring optimal performance in outdoor recording scenarios.

Features

  • Compact and lightweight design ideal for mounting to cameras, boompoles, or stands
  • Hardwired 14.75″ XLR cable with balanced output connector for easy connection to various recording devices
  • Cardioid polar pattern for focused on-axis pickup and rejection of off-axis sound
  • Wide 40 Hz to 18 kHz frequency response for clear reproduction of audio sources
  • Includes foam and furry windscreens for protection against wind noise and environmental elements

Pros

  • Hassle-free operation with no buttons, switches, or dials to configure
  • Durable metal construction ensures reliability and longevity in various recording environments
  • Compact size and lightweight design facilitate easy handling and portability
  • Versatile compatibility with XLR-equipped video cameras, audio recorders, DSLRs, and mirrorless cameras
  • Effective rejection of off-axis sound enhances audio clarity and reduces unwanted noise interference

Cons

  • Some users may prefer additional control options or features, such as adjustable polar patterns or built-in filters, which are not present in this microphone.

Synco Mic-D2 Hypercardioid Shotgun Microphone

Price: $199

Product Page: https://www.syncoaudio.com/products/sy-d2-bk 

The Synco Mic-D2 shotgun microphone stands out with its hypercardioid polar pattern, ensuring a sharpened frontal focus and enhanced side rejection compared to traditional supercardioid shotguns. This feature makes it an excellent choice for capturing clear, quality dialogue and sound effects in various settings, from indie film productions to broadcast environments. Crafted from CNC-machined brass, the lightweight body of the Mic-D2 offers improved resistance to interference and durability, while its black speckle finish reduces reflectivity for discreet visual presence during video shoots.

image 88

Equipped with strong sensitivity and high maximum SPL handling, the Mic-D2 delivers a robust, distortion-free signal, making it suitable for recording a wide range of audio sources. Its built-in bass boost circuit enhances low-frequency detail, enriching both dialogue and sound effects. Powered by 48V phantom power, the Mic-D2 features a balanced 3-pin XLR output with gold-plated contacts for standardized hookup to mic preamps, mixers, and portable audio recorders.

Additionally, its lightweight and nearly 10″ long design, along with the included mic holder and XLR cable, offer versatility for boompole mounting, ensuring flexibility and convenience in various recording setups.

Features

  • Hypercardioid polar pattern for sharpened frontal focus and enhanced side rejection
  • Built-in bass boost circuit for improved low-frequency detail in dialogue and sound effects
  • Lightweight, CNC-machined brass housing with black speckle finish for durability and discreet visual presence
  • Powered by 48V phantom power, eliminating the need for batteries
  • Balanced 3-pin XLR output with gold-plated contacts for standardized hookup
  • Includes foam windscreen to minimize wind noise and mic holder for versatile mounting options

Pros

  • Clear and quality audio reproduction suitable for indie films, TV, and documentaries
  • Robust sensitivity and high maximum SPL handling for distortion-free signal
  • Lightweight design and included accessories offer flexibility and convenience in various recording setups
  • Hypercardioid polar pattern ensures excellent directionality and off-axis rejection

Cons

  • Limited to 48V phantom power operation, which may require additional equipment for users requiring battery-powered operation.

Vidpro XM-55 Shotgun Microphone

Price: $79

Product Page: https://shop.vidprousa.com/products/new-vidpro-xm-55-professional-microphone-kit 

The Vidpro XM-55 shotgun microphone is a versatile solution for indoor and outdoor recording needs, tailored for HDSLRs, camcorders, field recorders, and more. With its supercardioid polar pattern, it offers enhanced off-axis signal rejection and focused frontal pickup, ensuring clear and intelligible voice reproduction. Constructed from durable aluminum alloy, the XM-55 is both sturdy and lightweight, weighing just 3.5 ounces, making it easy to handle during shoots.

image 89

This microphone package includes a comprehensive set of accessories to facilitate various recording setups. It comes with an adjustable shockmount, stand mount, and thread adapters, enabling mounting to mic stands, boompoles, tripods, or camera shoes. Additionally, the XM-55 comes with a furry windshield for outdoor shoots, a foam windscreen for indoor recording, and a cushioned hand grip for convenient handheld operation.

Powered by a single AA battery (included), the XM-55 eliminates the need for phantom power and offers versatility in connectivity with its balanced XLR 3-pin output and included cables and adapters.

Features

  • Supercardioid polar pattern for enhanced off-axis rejection and focused audio pickup
  • Lightweight and durable aluminum-alloy construction for easy handling and durability
  • Powered via a single AA battery, eliminating the need for phantom power
  • Versatile connectivity options with balanced XLR 3-pin output and included cables and adapters
  • Comprehensive accessory bundle including shockmount, stand mount, windshields, and hand grip for various recording setups

Pros

  • Versatile compatibility with a wide range of recording devices
  • Comprehensive accessory bundle for various recording scenarios
  • Lightweight and durable construction for easy handling and durability
  • Supercardioid polar pattern for clear and focused audio pickup
  • Battery-powered operation for added convenience

Cons

  • The microphone’s frequency response range may not be as extended as some higher-end models.

Editor’s Choice: Hollyland Lark M2 Wireless Lavalier Microphone

Price: $179

Product Page: https://www.hollyland.com/product/lark-m2 

Hollyland Lark M2 emerges as a beacon of convenience and versatility. Unlike traditional shotgun microphones, the Hollyland Wireless Microphone liberates creators from the constraints of cables, offering unparalleled freedom of movement without sacrificing audio quality. 

lark m2 box

Hollyland Lark M2

2-Person Wireless Mini Button Microphone.

Learn More

The Hollyland Lark M2 Wireless Microphone offers a comprehensive solution for mobile journalism and content creation, enabling users to record up to two individuals with ease. With its 2.4 GHz transmission technology and high-gain Laser Direct Structuring antennas, the system ensures stable audio transmission free from interference, covering distances of up to 1000 feet.

Whether you’re filming a dynamic interview on the bustling streets of a metropolis or capturing the subtle nuances of nature’s symphony in remote locations, this wireless marvel seamlessly integrates into your workflow, providing reliable and crystal-clear audio transmission.

image 90

The transmitters feature built-in omnidirectional microphones and clip-on design, making them easy to attach to talent using magnetic back clips or silicone necklace cases. Environmental noise cancellation enhances vocal clarity, while included furry windscreens improve audio quality in outdoor environments.

Features

  • Two transmitters with built-in omnidirectional microphones for recording up to two individuals simultaneously
  • Camera-mount and plug-in receivers offer versatile connectivity options and compatibility with a wide range of devices
  • Stable audio transmission up to 1000 feet with high-gain Laser Direct Structuring antennas
  • Environmental noise cancellation ensures clear audio reproduction with minimized interference
  • LED indicators on receivers display transmitter status and mode, providing convenient monitoring during recording sessions
  • Long battery life with up to 10 hours for transmitters and 9 hours for the camera-mount receiver, rechargeable via included charging case or USB-C cable
  • LarkSound App compatibility allows for easy adjustment of parameters, firmware updates, and real-time audio monitoring from iOS or Android devices

Pros

  • Stable and reliable wireless transmission over long distances
  • Easy attachment with clip-on design and included magnetic back clips or silicone necklace cases
  • Versatile connectivity options with camera-mount and plug-in receivers, compatible with various devices
  • Environmental noise cancellation for improved vocal clarity in diverse recording environments
  • Convenient monitoring and control via LED indicators and LarkSound App

Cons

  • Limited compatibility with devices lacking USB-C or Lightning ports may require additional adapters for certain setups.
lark m2 box

Hollyland Lark M2

2-Person Wireless Mini Button Microphone.

Learn More

Comparison of Best Shotgun Microphones

MicrophonePower SourcePolar PatternConnectivityMain Features
Rode VideoMic Pro BatterySupercardioid3.5mm TRSCompact, lightweight design, integrated shock mount, high-pass filter, low self-noise
Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 Phantom Power (48V)SupercardioidXLRIndustry-standard shotgun microphone, low self-noise, excellent off-axis rejection
Audio-Technica AT897 Phantom Power (11-52V)Line + GradientXLRNarrow acceptance angle, smooth off-axis sound rejection, low noise floor, durable construction
Rode NTG4+ AA Battery / PhantomSupercardioidXLR / 3.5mm TRSDigital switching, built-in rechargeable battery, low self-noise, high sensitivity
Neumann KMR 81 i Phantom Power (48V)SupercardioidXLRPremium build quality, low self-noise, extended low-frequency response, excellent off-axis rejection
Comica Audio VM30 Built-in RechargeableSupercardioid3.5mm TRSWireless operation, real-time monitoring, adjustable gain control, compact design
Rode VideoMic GO II No Battery RequiredSupercardioid3.5mm TRSPlug-and-play operation, lightweight design, no battery required, improved audio quality
Audio-Technica AT875R Phantom Power (11-52V)Line + GradientXLRCompact design, narrow acceptance angle, tailored response for speech and dialog
Audix SCX1HC Phantom Power (18-52V)HypercardioidXLRWide frequency response, extended dynamic range, hypercardioid polar pattern
AKG C747 V11 Phantom Power (9-52V)SupercardioidXLRMiniature design, flexible mounting options, clear and natural sound reproduction
Sennheiser MKE 600 AA Battery / PhantomSupercardioidXLR / 3.5mm TRSLow-cut filter, battery or phantom power, high sensitivity, resistance to structure-borne noise
Shure VP89S Phantom Power (48V)Supercardioid / LobarXLRModular design, low susceptibility to noise/interference, high sensitivity
Rode NTG2 AA Battery / PhantomSupercardioidXLR / 3.5mm TRSBattery or phantom powered, low handling noise, lightweight and rugged construction
Zoom M3 MicTrak Battery / PhantomSupercardioid / Bidirect.XLR / 3.5mm TRSModular system, high sensitivity, low handling noise, easy mounting options
Azden SGM-1X AA Battery / PhantomSupercardioidXLRDurable construction, low self-noise, high resistance to interference
Movo VXR10 PRO No Battery RequiredSupercardioid3.5mm TRSCompact design, versatile mounting options, compatible with various devices
Saramonic SR-NV5X Phantom Power (48V)SupercardioidXLRShort shotgun design, lightweight construction, balanced XLR output
Synco Mic-D2 Phantom Power (48V)HypercardioidXLRHypercardioid pickup pattern, built-in bass boost, lightweight brass housing
Vidpro XM-55 AA BatterySupercardioidXLR / 3.5mm TRS / 1/4″Battery-powered, versatile connectivity options, clip-on design, durable construction
Hollyland Lark M2 Built-in RechargeableOmnidirectional3.5mm TRSWireless operation, stable audio transmission, real-time monitoring, long battery life

Best Overall

The Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 stands out as the best overall option, renowned for its exceptional performance in film, broadcast, and voiceover applications. With a supercardioid polar pattern, wide frequency response, and low self-noise, it consistently delivers professional results in diverse environments.

Best Value

For those seeking a balance between performance and affordability, the Rode NTG4+ Dual-powered Professional Shotgun Microphone offers versatility with both battery and phantom power operation. Its digital switching options provide control over features like high-pass filter and boost, ensuring optimal sound quality.

Best Budget

As the top choice for budget-friendly options, the Audio-Technica AT897 Short Shotgun Microphone delivers professional-quality audio performance at an affordable price point. With a narrow acceptance angle, durable construction, and XLR connectivity, it’s ideal for interviews, documentaries, and field recording.

Conclusion

In conclusion, our article explored a diverse range of the best shotgun microphones available in the market, each offering unique features and capabilities to cater to various audio recording needs. We delved into the specifications, features, and pros and cons of 20 best shotgun microphones, including renowned brands like Sennheiser, Rode, Audio-Technica, Shure, and more.

After comparing their performance, versatility, and value for money, we can confidently recommend the Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 as the best overall shotgun microphone. Its exceptional sound quality, versatile applications, and reliability make it a standout choice for professionals in film, broadcast, and voiceover industries.

For those seeking a balance between performance and affordability, the Rode NTG4+ Dual-powered Professional Shotgun Microphone offers impressive versatility and features at a reasonable price point. However, personal preference plays a significant role in selecting the right microphone. Depending on individual needs, budget constraints, and specific recording scenarios, any of the mentioned microphones could be a suitable choice.

We encourage our readers to share their feedback, questions, or personal experiences with shotgun microphones in the comments section below. Your insights and perspectives enrich our discussions and help fellow audio enthusiasts make informed decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best use of a shotgun mic?

Shotgun microphones excel in live events with high ambient noise levels and nearby chatter. They effectively isolate the primary sound source, making them ideal for recording individuals in noisy environments without capturing unwanted background noise.

What is the optimal range for a shotgun mic?

Shotgun microphones typically have a pickup range of four to ten feet, making them suitable for capturing sound from a moderate distance. This range ensures clear audio capture while minimizing unwanted noise interference.

Are shotgun mics suitable for voice recording?

Shotgun microphones are effective for capturing distant sounds and loud environments, making them a preferred choice for voice pickup and booming. Medium shotgun microphones offer versatility and reliability in various recording scenarios.

How far can a shotgun mic reach?

Generally, shotgun microphones have a pickup range of four to ten feet, making them suitable for booming and voice pickup in most situations. Medium shotgun microphones are commonly used for capturing clear audio from moderate distances.

Are longer shotgun mics better?

Long shotgun microphones offer superior side rejection, making them effective for minimizing background noise in outdoor settings. They perform exceptionally well when positioned closer to the sound source, even at heights of 2 to 3 feet overhead.

Why are shotgun mics considered good?

Shotgun microphones are highly directional, with a narrow sound pickup pattern that prioritizes capturing sound directly in front of the microphone while rejecting off-axis noise from the sides and behind. This design ensures focused and clear audio capture.

Are shotgun mics suitable for vlogging?

The best shotgun microphone for vlogging should prioritize capturing the vlogger’s voice over background noise. Clear audio quality is essential to complement the visuals in vlogs, making shotgun microphones a popular choice for vloggers seeking crisp and focused audio.

What type of microphone is a shotgun mic?

A shotgun microphone is a directional microphone designed to capture sound from a specific direction while rejecting noise from other directions. Its elongated shape resembles the barrel of a shotgun, hence the name.

Are shotgun mics mono or stereo?

Shotgun microphones are directional mono microphones, typically featuring a single microphone element. They have a narrow pickup pattern, often referred to as super-cardioid, which effectively captures sound from the desired direction while minimizing off-axis noise.

What is the difference between a shotgun mic and a boom mic?

Shotgun microphones are ideal for capturing sound from a distance, while boom microphones offer greater control over audio recording. Boom microphones are often mounted on a pole and positioned close to the sound source for precise audio capture, while shotgun microphones prioritize capturing sound directionally from a moderate distance.

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John Doe

John Doe

I am John, a tech enthusiast with a knack for breaking down complex camera, audio, and video technology. My expertise extends to social media and electronic gadgets, and I thrive on making the latest tech trends understandable and exciting for everyone. Sharing my knowledge through engaging content, I aim to connect with fellow tech lovers and novices alike, bringing the fascinating world of technology to life.

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