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4 Best Shotgun Condenser Microphones in 2023

A common problem while filming outside is being unable to record crisp sound. Shotgun condenser microphones are the best solution to this problem. These microphones have directional mics with high sensitivity and narrow recording angles. So they can easily separate the subject from outside noise. 

But with tons of such microphones available, picking up the best one is challenging. This guide will take you through the factors you must consider and help you choose the best shotgun condenser microphones in 2023. Let’s get started.

What Features Should You Look for When Choosing a Shotgun Condenser Microphone?

You need to consider some crucial factors to ensure the microphone delivers the desired performance. Here is a quick overview of the key factors.

  1. Frequency Response: It refers to the capability of the microphone to record sound at different frequencies. And it is measured in Hertz (Hz). Choose a microphone with a broad frequency response so that it is suitable for various sounds.
  2. Length: If you buy the microphone for light purposes, 3-4 inches is good enough. But longer microphones will be better if you need them to minimize outside noise and don’t want to install them on a camera.
  3. Range: The microphone should have a decent range to capture the target sound. So, you must consider this factor before buying one.
  4. Power: Check the Phantom power compatibility of the mic before buying it. Also, check if the mic can run on battery.

Considering these features will ensure you get a microphone that meets your needs. 

Here’s our list of the 4 best shotgun condenser microphones:

  1. Rode NTG2 Shotgun Microphone
  2. Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Microphone
  3. Rode VideoMic Shotgun Microphone

Rode NTG2 Shotgun Microphone:

The Rode NTG2 is a dual-powered short-range shotgun microphone to capture high-quality audio. It has a sturdy yet lightweight construction that allows you to use the mic in a wide range of situations. The mic captures low noise and has decent audio transparency. 

The frequency response of this microphone is flat and it produces a full and warm tone. As the maximum SPL is high, the microphone is suitable for loud environments. It runs on P48 or AA battery, which ensures flexibility in all situations.

Rode NTG2 Shotgun Microphone:
NameRode NTG2
Price$269
Weight161g
Connector TypeXLR
Polar PatternSuper-cardioid
Maximum SPL131dB

Pros:

  • High-precision mic
  • Lightweight and durable mic is highly portable
  • Produces near-original sound
  • Easy to set up and use

Cons:

  • There is no on/off switch for the mic

Overall, Rode NTG2 is a value-for-money shotgun microphone at an affordable price and is suitable for professional-grade recording.

Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Microphone

The Sennheiser MKE 600 is ideal for pairing with DSLR or video camera, where it captures crisp sound from the target direction. With its ability to reject side noise, the produced audio is of high quality. And the low-cut filter reduces wind noise, so the mic is suitable for outdoor use.

It has a full metal build, which makes the camera sturdy. But still, this microphone is lighter than the previous Rode NTG2. It will operate on P48 phantom power. You can also use AA batteries in this microphone.

Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Microphone
NameSennheiser MKE 600
Price$329.95
Weight128g
Connector TypeXLR
Polar PatternSuper-cardioid/lobar
Maximum SPL132dB

Pros:

  • Highly directional microphone
  • Excellent side noise rejection
  • Low battery indicator
  • Sturdy metal build

Cons:

  • The foam windshield isn’t that good

Overall, the Sennheiser MKE 600 is a professional-grade shotgun microphone with full frequency response and high portability. But it is a bit pricier than the previous option.

Rode VideoMic Shotgun Microphone

The Rode VideoMic is an on-camera shotgun microphone that comes with a studio-grade condenser capsule. With this highly directional mic, you can capture loud sounds in a wide variety of situations. Plus, it has a selectable high-pass filter. 

An integrated shock mounting system comes with the microphone, which keeps external vibrations at bay. And the windshield is effective for capturing crisp sound in windy situations. It also has the highest maximum SPL among all four microphones we reviewed today.

Rode VideoMic Shotgun Microphone
NameRode VideoMic
Price$149
Weight176g
Connector TypeMinijack/3.5mm TRS
Polar PatternSuper-cardioid
Maximum SPL134dB

Pros:

  • Highly affordable alternative to built-in camera mics
  • Compact design with decent build quality
  • Comes with a shock mounting

Cons:

  • It only runs on a 9V battery

Overall, the Rode VideoMic is a very affordable shotgun microphone that beginners can take advantage of. Its two-stage gain control delivers superb performance while recording in loud environments.

Bonus Recommendation – Hollyland Lark M1:

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The Hollyland Lark M1 is an ideal alternative for some of the popular shotgun condenser microphones. This wireless mic system serves all the needs of interviewers and vloggers who seek effortless audio solutions. This all-in-one system arrives neatly packed in a hard case with a receiver (RX) and 2x transmitter (TX) mics. Designed for ease, everything inside the case is ready to use as both units come pre-paired, which makes it a tremendous plug-and-play wireless mic kit.

The firm receiver easily fits into most cameras or DSLR hotshoes, and you can connect it to the audio port through a cable. The 2x TXs, when removed from the case, automatically turn on and are simple to be clipped on the shirt or collar. Besides, the charging case also serves as a storage box for all the components of Lark M1. 

The Hollyland Lark M1’s receiver has an utterly user-friendly design, and it includes a 3.5mm audio port that enables you to connect the camera. The RX interface also includes volume level buttons, a power button, and a USB-C charging port. It also lets you attach headphones directly to your camera for audio in-ear audio monitoring.

NameHollyland Lark M1
Price$129
WeightTX – 11.8g, RX – 17.5g, Charging Case – 80g
Connector TypeUSB and 3.5mm
Polar PatternOmnidirectional
Maximum SPL110dB

Pros:

  • The sound quality is excellent 
  • It is a budget-friendly wireless microphone system you can get instead of expensive shotgun mics
  • The units only require 1.5 hours of charging time, and the system is ready to deliver high-quality audio for up to 8 hours

Cons:

  • The mic only offers 3 volume adjustment levels

If you think that shotgun condenser mics are a bit expensive at this stage, then M1 is the best option.

Conclusion

Shotgun condenser microphones can help record high-quality audio in outdoor and indoor setups. Regardless of the environment, these directional mics can easily reject side noise to produce broadcast-quality audio at an affordable price. 

But choosing the best shotgun microphone can be tricky. We picked the 4 best shotgun condenser microphones within your budget that deliver the best performance in terms of audio quality and portability. 

In our opinion, Rode NTG2 is the best overall shotgun condenser microphone with its high-precision mic and lightweight construction. But if you are looking for high-quality audio, Hollyland Lark M1 is the best choice.

FAQs

Check the answer to some frequently asked questions about shotgun condenser microphones.

Q: What is the longest distance for a shotgun condenser mic?

A: The best distance for a shotgun condenser mic is about five to six feet from the sound source. If the distance is longer than this, the mic won’t be able to capture good audio.

Q: Is every shotgun mic a condenser mic?

A: Not necessarily. Shotgun mics can be condenser or dynamic mics. Condenser mics have a smaller diaphragm, while dynamic mics have larger diaphragms. 

Q: Are condenser mics better than dynamic mics?

A: Shotgun condenser mics have a higher sensitivity and broader frequency response. So, they will pick up subtle nuances, which isn’t possible for dynamic mics. As a result, condenser mics are better for recording in low-noise environments.

Q: What is the best use of condenser mics?

A: Condenser mics are frequently used for recording vocals. They have a broader frequency response, so high-pitched vocals or instrumentals can be recorded with these mics.

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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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