Reviews

Best Shotgun Mic

When it comes to filmmakers, and documentary makers, they require a different level of audio recording gear as compared to others. In these industries, you can either make it or break it depending on the quality of audio quality that you upload. When the audio of your content is of low quality, then you can be sure your project is going down the drain.

That is why we would like to bring you a list of the best shotgun microphones that you can use to make films and documentaries. Shotgun mics are a solution to capturing high-quality audio from objects that are far.

Although this group of microphones is predominantly used by professionals, thanks to the advancement in technology, they can now be used even in product promotion. They offer outstanding sound quality at an affordable price.

As a filmmaker, there is no doubt that you need a shotgun that will help you capture the best audio of different scenes in your movie. However, the market is flooded with numerous brands of shotgun mics, but which ones are the best?

The best shotgun microphone will only capture clear, crispy, and high-quality audio for your movie scene without recording background undesirable sounds. That’s why we are creating this post. We want to share some of the best shotgun mics that you can buy from the market today.

If you are looking for the best shotgun mic to buy, we’ve rounded some of the top-notch options that you can try in your next film. Read on to find out which ones.


Important Features to Consider

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There are salient features that the best shotgun mic must have, irrespective of its price. Here they are:

– Sensitivity

 A shotgun mic must the highly sensitive so that you can be able to capture low-sound levels. Generally speaking, they have above-average sensitivity which can capture even low-sound frequencies.

On the other hand, if you are going to record loud scenes, then you need a mic with lower sensitivity. To get a microphone that can capture sounds adequately, you need a conventional microphone.

Low self-noise

Self-noise is the noise that a microphone produces while it is running. If you get a mic with high self-noise, then you will capture the self-noise of the microphone which will, in turn, affect the audio quality of the film.

Therefore, to avoid your recording having a hissing sound, ensure that the self-noise is low and cannot be captured during a recording.

Directionality 

Since shotguns are designed to be used in film making to record high-quality audio, it must have high directionality. The higher the directionality of the microphone, the narrower the field of focus the mic will have.

In addition to that, when a microphone is highly directional, it helps to shut out all background noise.


Top Shotgun Mics

1. Rode NTG-3B Shotgun Condenser Microphone

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The Rode NTG-3B Shotgun Condenser Microphone was specifically designed for professional use. It can be used professionally used in film making, videography, news coverage, TV and documentary making.

It is renowned for its warm, rich, crispy and crystal clear sound. Its toe is the hallmark that makes it distinguished from the rest.

In terms of make, the Rode NTG-3B is made of solid brass which ensures that it will serve you for many days to come. What’s more, it is resistant to moisture which means you use it even during a winter season and it will not be affected by moisture.

Moreover, it can be mounted on the camera, boom pole or on a stand and it will capture precise and neural sounds.

It comes with low self-noise so it will not record any hissing sound while recording. According to most reviews, it is 50% less in self-noise as compared to any other microphone on the market today.

Apart from that, the Rode NTG-3B is designed with a unidirectional polar pattern which ensures that it does not capture any background noise.

When you purchase the Rode NTG-3B, it comes with a storage container which is made of aluminium metal. Also, it comes with a warranty of 10 years which means your money will not be washed down the drain before it offers you the service for which you bought it.

Therefore, if you are looking for a top-notch shotgun mic, look for further than the Rode NTG-3B.

Pros

  • Excellent audio quality
  • Comes with a storage container
  • Has a unidirectional polar pattern
  • Very low self-noise
  • Moisture resistant 
  • Ideal for professional use
  • Versatile in its use
  • Comes with a warranty of 10 years

Cons 

  • None to note

2. Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3

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Sennheiser is a renowned company that has been in the audio industry for over 40 years. We now bring you one of their best shotgun mics which are designed for outdoor use, the Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3.

The Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 is versatile in its use and it can be used in various content creations, thanks to its super clear audio quality. In fact, it is the number one choice for most filmmakers.

It is designed with very high directionality which means it will capture sound from the source with preciseness and ensure you get as near-natural sound as possible. Also, the high directionality helps to prevent capturing any background sound while recording.

Another salient feature of the Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 is its all-metal design. Its ruggedness ensures that it will serve you for many years to come. The metal is meant to protect the microphone from hard falls on the concrete floor or during outdoor recording.

That’s not all; the Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 is moisture resistant so even if you go recording outdoors, you have nothing to worry about.

Moreover, the microphone has a beefy vocal track which means the low-end vocals do not contain any bass. Apart from that, it is highly sensitive to ensure it can capture even very low sounds.

The self-noise is also low to prevent any hissing sound during recording. The output is fully floating and the transformers are well-balanced.

Pros

  • Highly sensitive
  • Low self-noise
  • Durable thanks to the all-metal casing
  • Moisture resistant
  • Ideal for outdoor use
  • Exceptional audio quality 
  • Value for money
  • High directionality 
  • Versatile in its use

Cons 

  • None to record

3. Canon DM-E1

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If you are using a Canon camera to shoot your videos, we would recommend you match it up with a Canon DM-E1 shotgun microphone. The combination will give you an excellent and crisp audio quality.

The Canon DM-E1 comes with a shock mount which helps to greatly reduce ambient noise. The shock mount helps to isolate vibration and noise and lets you capture only the desired sound. In addition to that, you can be able to switch between the stereo and shotgun modes with the help of the directivity switch.

Apart from that, the Canon DM-E1 comes with a windscreen which helps to prevent any wind sound during recording. Therefore, you can use the microphone outdoors thanks to the windscreen which helps to maintain the audio focus.

The Canon DM-E1 operates between the frequency range of 50 Hz and 16 kHz. Within this range, you can record a variety of sounds including the high-pitched bird sound, rumbling waves among others.

Pros

  • Crispy and clear audio sound
  • Comes with a shock mount
  • Comes with a windscreen
  • Ideal for outdoor use
  • Variable sounds can be recorded
  • Can switch between stereo and shotgun modes
  • Vibration and noise isolation

Cons 

  • None to note

4. Audio-Technica AT875R

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Are you looking for a shotgun mic that can help you keep the cliché alive? You need the Audio-Technica AT875R shotgun.

The Audio-Technica AT875R is a high-end shotgun mic but will deliver for every extra penny for pay for it. It comes with a large-diaphragm condenser which makes it one of their most elegant microphones on the market today.

One of the amazing features of this mic is its high sensitivity. You can be able to capture even very low sound with high clarity. Moreover, it has a low self-noise which enhances the audio quality.

Apart from that, the Audio-Technica AT875R is designed with a line gradient which helps to keep the sound pick up really high.

In terms of weight, it is lightweight and portable. You can attach it to your camera and it will not add any weight to your camera.

What about the sound? You might wonder, well, the Audio-Technica AT875R has a fantastic audio quality which is ideal for video production and its specs meet those category requirements.

On the front side, it is designed with an on-axis sound which helps to capture a near-natural sound. And on the rear side, there is an off-axis rejection which helps to reject any background noise from the side and the rear side. This ensures that only crystal clear sound is captured.

The Audio-Technica AT875R is has a large frequency coverage of between 90 Hz and 20 kHz. Due to that, it can handle a high SPL of up to 120dB.

Pros

  • High sensitivity
  • Low self noise
  • Blocks background noise
  • Wide frequency range
  • Fantastic audio quality
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Inline gradient

Cons 

  • None to note

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5. Schoeps Cmit 5

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Are you are a professional video maker and would like a shotgun that will give you high audio quality? Look no further than the Schoeps Cmit 5. However, it is on the high-end price-wise but it will give you the value for your money. 

One of the most amazing thing about the Schoeps Cmit 5 is that you can be able to customize the tone thanks to the directionality. Also, you can rotate the microphone to get the audio.

More than that, it comes with 3 selectable filters that allow you to manage the booming noise, proximity effect, and high-frequency emphasis with just a push of a button.

Another salient feature is the balanced sonic character which helps to capture long-distance sound. That means that the higher frequencies are picked up more directly than most mics in the same range.

The high directionality of the mic helps to capture high-quality audio. You can be sure to get crispy, clear audio. Besides that, even when you rotate the mic on an axis, the sound profile will remain the same.

Whether on the vertical or horizontal planes, the directional pattern helps to maintain the same audio quality.

It is a lightweight and portable microphone which even if you carry it with the camera, it will not add any weight.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comes with 3 selectable filters
  • Customizable tone
  • Has a balances sonic effect
  • High pickup frequency 

Cons 

  • None to note

6. Shure VP83F

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The Shure VP83F is designed with the lobar and unidirectional polar patterns which ensure that crystal clear and precise sound is captured. With this shotgun, you can pick up specific sounds from specific sources with high precision.

It has a broad frequency range which helps to reproduce near-natural sound quality. Apart from that, the Shure VP83F is made with the RF condenser and Rycote Lyre mounting system which helps to prevent vibrations and any ambient noise in your surroundings. Therefore, the mic will eliminate most of the undesirable noise.

What’s more, the Shure VP83F is lightweight and portable. Even when you attach it to the camera, it will not add any weight. So, you can carry it around without any inconvenience.

Moreover, it is made with an all-metallic casing which ensures that it will serve you for many years to come. It also has a compact design which makes it easier to carry between scene shootings. 

Apart from that, the Shure VP83F gives you full control and monitoring, playback control, gain, filtering, and tracking. Also, it comes with an inbuilt SD card which can record up to 10 hours of film.

It is powered by 2 size AA batteries which can either be alkaline, lithium, or NiMH. With a frequency range of between 50 Hz and 20 kHz.

Pros

  • Battery-powered
  • Durable thanks to the all-metallic casing
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Eliminates undesirable ambient noise
  • Comes with an inbuilt SD card
  • Ultra-clear and crispy sound 
  • Comes with shock mounting
  • Advanced monitoring features
  • High-frequency range

Cons 

  • None to note

7. Deity S-Mic 2S

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Are you working on a budget but want the best shotgun that will give you a low self-noise, off-axis noise prevention mic? Look no further than the Deity S-Mic 2S. 

The Deity S-Mic 2S is made of metal brass all around to ensure it will last for many years to come. We have chosen to include this mic in our list because it is a condenser mic with a super-cardioid polar pattern which ensures that all ambient sound in your surroundings is blocked out. You can use this mic even in very rugged conditions.

The Deity S-Mic 2S has an off-axis noise rejection with 18dB. This will ensure that only the sound from the front side is captured and all the other side is rejected.

Thanks to the low self-noise, the Deity S-Mic 2S does not produce any hissing sound during recording. Also, it is designed with an anti- RF interference technology which ensures that the mic is quiet by itself.

The mic is housed in a moisture-resistant capsule thus you can use it outdoors without any fear of damage. Apart from that, it comes with a mounting clip, shockproof case, waterproof ability, and a windscreen.

In overall, the Deity S-Mic 2S is an affordable and great value for money.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Durable thanks to the bass metal casing
  • Moisture resistant
  • Comes with a shockproof case
  • Designed for outdoor use
  • Low self noise
  • Off-axis noise rejection 
  • Super-cardioid pattern
  • Affordable
  • Uses anti-RF interference technology
  • Comes with various accessories

Cons 

  • None to note

Conclusion 

What are you looking for a shotgun microphone for? We have highlighted some of the best shotgun mics that are ideal for various applications. Choose any of the mics we have listed above and you will never go wrong.

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