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9 Shotgun Mics Tested ($50 – $700) for Quality Sound 🎤


– I’d like to thank my
friends over at Storyblocks for sponsoring this video. Storyblocks is my go-to resource when I need video clips for B-roll, backgrounds, and After Effects templates. They have saved me serious time and money on videos and commercial work. I’ve been a subscriber for
years and recommend them if you wish to up your
video or filmmaking game. I’ve put a link in the description below, so make sure to hop on over to Storyblocks and check them out. I was thinking, what if
I took these eight mics, they’re various mics from Saramonic. There’s a RODE here. Yeah, they’re basically
RODE and Saramonic mics but they’re in all different price ranges, and I thought, what if
I compared them all? Does the price of the
thing actually matter? And are they priced accordingly? And how the heck do they sound? And that way, you can go,
oh, I like the $89 one; ooh, I want the $800 one. So, we’re gonna test all these out, every single one of them. We’re gonna start by doing
this, setting those down. We’ll start by doing that, so it’s fair. We’re gonna pull all
these foam covers off. Now, what I’ve done is, on my phone, I have a tone generator and I’ve set it to about 3,000 hertz. Now, I know there are
some audio guys out there that are gonna say, oh, no, it
should be at a thousand hertz and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. That’s fine, but here’s the thing. When I set this tone generator, (tone generator beeping) yeah, when I set that tone
generator at 3,000 hertz and I hold it right here, I get exactly a level minus 12 dB on my Zoom H1. I know how this RODE NTG3 works exactly, I know the exact dial
and amount on my Zoom, which is 4.5 on the input level and that’s absolutely perfect. So, to compare, what I need to do is I need to be able to set the level on the Zoom H6 exactly to the same level that I would set on this, so when I’m talking and
I’m doing this test, it’s an actual comparison,
so I’m not gaming it. It’s not gonna have a foam wind cover. We’re gonna take all
these off, I’ll label it. I’ll do a test. My mouth will be exactly
this far from the mic after I do the tone test. So, let’s make sure this one’s good. (tone generator beeping) Wow, that’s riding at exactly minus 12 dB on the meter levelly on the Zoom H6 and that’s the RODE NTG. I’ll make sure I’m here. So, let’s test it. This is the RODE NTG3 running into the Zoom H6. Let’s listen to some silence. (tone generator beeping) My next mic is the Deity S-Mic 2. It’s a great mic. I’ve upped the input level
just by a little bit. The RODE NTG3 was at 4 1/2 input on my Zoom H6. This is about five and a quarter, 5 1/2 input. They got the same exact
levels that we have here. Let’s do a test. This is a test of the Deity S-Mic 2. Let’s listen to some silence. (tone generator beeping) All right, this is the RODE VideoMic Pro. I’m not sure it’s a newer version. This one is battery powered
with a nine-volt battery and it runs through its own power and it uses a 3.5 millimeter jack. I’ve also ran it into the Zoom H6. The difference is these other
mics are mono, this is stereo. I wanted to make sure I tested this. It looks a little funny. I took off the foam wind cover, so we aren’t biased in any way with the foam on and the foam off. Let’s test this out. Oh, I forgot, almost forgot. This one is set, to the
input, it’s set at seven. It’s gonna be more noisier, so
we’ll see how it checks out. This is a test of the RODE VideoMic Pro. Let’s listen to some silence. (tone generator beeping) This is the Deity D3 Pro. It’s 3.5 millimeter,
going into the Zoom H1, and it also works off power. It has internal lithium-ion batteries, which will be charged and lasts forever. And this is the D3 Mic Pro, let’s test it out and see how it sounds. This is a test of the Deity D3 Pro. Let’s listen to some silence. (tone generator beeping) This is the Saramonic. I’m actually not sure what model it is ’cause they didn’t put it on here, but I’ll put a card or something up here. On this one, I’ve had to set
the input level to seven. That’s quite a significant. The difference between
this one and the Deity and the NTG3 is that
this one powers itself, so I’ve had to shut off the
Phantom Power on my Zoom and it’s running off its
own internal battery, which is good. It’s one of the plugin
types with a small USB-C, gets many hours, yadda, yadda, yadda. There’s nothing on here. I haven’t putten any
low cuts or high cuts. This is just normal mic. So, let’s test this and see how this holds up to these others. This is a test of the Saramonic mic. This is a test of the Saramonic mic. Let’s listen to some silence. (tone generator beeping) The RODE VideoMic, this thing is four, five, six years
old, it’s an old one. I just wanted to test it. I don’t like this thing. I don’t know how it’s gonna sound in the sound test comparisons but I can tell you that the bottom of this where it mounts to the top of the camera, and the mounts, it’s all plastic. It’s broken a number of
times, I’ve had to fix it. And finally, I just threw the mic in a box with a bunch of other stuff. Not a good mic, but we might
as well see how it sounds and stacks up to these other mics. This is a test of the
original RODE VideoMic. Let’s listen to some silence. (tone generator beeping) All right, this is the Saramonic SR-NV5. It’s a little dude, cool red. It comes with another unit. I just wanted to test out the mic itself. On this one, I’ve had to set, interestingly enough on the input level, we’re back down to 4.5. The RODE was at 4 1/2. The Deity had to go up to 5 1/2. And this mic is down to 4 1/2. Let’s do a test of this one. This is a test of the Saramonic SR-VM5, a test to the Saramonic SR-VM5. Let’s listen to some silence. (tone generator beeping) Whoo. So, this is the Saramonic VMIC Pro. This is leveled at about, interestingly enough, 4
1/2 on the input level. Let’s give this one a test
and see how it sounds. This is a test of the Saramonic VMIC Pro. This is a test of the Saramonic VMIC Pro. Let’s listen to some silence. (tone generator beeping) This is a test of the VideoMicro. If you’re wondering why this is over here, it’s ’cause this cord that came with that is really, really small. You can use an extension;
I didn’t have one handy. This thing is about two inches long,
less than two inches long. Let’s test this. The volume is set about
five on the input level. And let’s see how this guy goes. This is a test of the RODE VideoMicro. Let’s listen to some silence. This is a test of the RODE VideoMicro. This is a test of the Saramonic VMIC Pro. This is a test of the Saramonic SR-VM5. This is a test of the
original RODE VideoMic. This is a test of the Saramonic mic. This is a test of the Deity D3 Pro. This is a test of the RODE VideoMic Pro. This is a test of the Deity S-Mic 2. This is the RODE NTG3. So, there you go. Now, obviously I didn’t do Sennheiser, I didn’t do Sony, I
didn’t do Audio-Technica, I didn’t do SCHOEPS, I didn’t do Shure, there’s so many, AKG, there’s so many microphones
out there, shotgun microphones. I don’t have them all, and
I’m not willing to go about and spend $10,000 in
all the different mics. If any of the mic manufacturers
wanna send them to me, I’ll check them out, but I doubt it. The point of this video was
there’s a huge price range between all these different microphones, and I wanted to test,
which I don’t know yet, ’cause I haven’t listened or edited this, does price matter, the price range, does it
make an actual difference. I think yes. So far, my favorite
microphones that I’ve tried throughout the last five or six years of doing videos on here are,
hands down, the RODE NTG3 and my new microphone that I really like, which is the Deity S-Mic 2. The S-Mic 2, it’s a little drier, the highs are a little higher. The RODE is a little more, gives me a little more bass to my voice. And those are the two mics I really like. Those are the two mics I recommend. I have links for all these microphones in the video description below and some links to other ones
that I know are really good. Check out mics, check out
the different microphones and let me know what you think
is the best sounding to you out of all these microphones
in the comments below. Hope that helps, thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next time. (beeping) You know, I just realized,
(tone generator beeping) that noise there, maybe I should have put
on some ear protection or something like that because right now, my ears are pretty much
ringing with that tone. What? (brief static noise) (brief static noise)

36 thoughts on “9 Shotgun Mics Tested ($50 – $700) for Quality Sound 🎤

  1. Which mic do you think sounds the best to your ears on your device? The first 3 I chose for sound and build quality. The last I chose was because it still had good quality and is stupid cheap @ $59! I also want to thank Storyblocks for sponsoring the video ( https://www.storyblocks.com/TheBasicFilmmaker ) – they didn't have to, and did (and yes, been paying for my own subscription for years).

  2. I use a VidPro XM-88. I got it for $99 but it has gone up by $9 since then. I like that it comes with a case, cables, adapters, shock mount, shoe mount, pistol grip, battery, and two wind screens. It doesn't perform as well as a more expensive mic but it has excellent off-axis rejection and performance for the price is pretty decent. For a budget strapped beginner it's not a bad choice, especially because it comes with so many useful accessories you'd have to buy anyway. I'm mentioning it because it's not in the video and I actually own it and use it regularly to mike up podiums where I can't get access to the house sound and for speakers on stage that I can't get any other recording gear very close to. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/924675-REG

  3. In my opinion you sounded best on the original rode video mic. Thanks for making this comparison. Must have taken a lot of time 👍

  4. Thank you for the great comparison. I like the NTG as well but at $700, it is steep but sounded the best. I found the next best for price-performance is the Seramonic SR-NV5 for about $90 on ebay, and lastly, the original Rode. 
    at the beginning you said that you have set your Zoom H1 levels for the NTG. Did you use a an XLR to TRS or you meant to say H6 since the next mic was connected to Zoom H6? Again when you are testing the Diety.

  5. what bugs me is the noise floor on the NTG3 compared to the cheaper ones…..ouch. (And i've got 2 NTG3…double the trouble)

  6. The one that sounded to the best to me was the one that isn't available. 🙄 I do like the value of Saramonic products.

  7. Nice comparison video. Near the end of the video you stated that you didn't test any Sony microphones. I have a Saramonic mic and somewhere on the literature it states that Saramonic is a Sony company.

  8. Hi, I’ve owned several NTG 3 mics and currently have an NTG 4 Plus which I’m very happy with. If the budget allowed however, I’d go straight back to an NTG 3. Ben

  9. Usually on these kinds of tests for any gear, I come away thinking "every option is fine". But this one actually showed substantial differences a couple of times. Great test!

  10. I tested a Deity back when they first came out (not the sMic2) and was VERY disappointed with the noise floor. It looks like the sMic2 has quite a high floor when compared to the NTG3, though it didn't sound like it was making a hissy self-noise like the original Deity did. I may have to order one and compare it to my AKG shotgun. Thanks for this test!

  11. To be honest, you get what you pay for. I personally am a fan of Rode because of their customer service and it helps that they make high end and high quality gear. I have the NTG2 and I know people have a love-hate for that mic but I couple that mic with Tonelux by Softube and I can get it to sound almost exactly like the NTG3. Of course, it requires a DAW and the plugin and a computer, which is why you can just go and buy the actual mic itself and call it a day. Still, the NTG2 is my work-horse. Best voice-overs I made were with that mic. I also like the NT1A. Great results with that one too but the NTG2 is really my Swiss Army Knife of mics. i still love the NTG3. The Sennheiser MKH-416 is a beast but that's a little too rich for my blood.

  12. I figured out how you got the idea for this video! (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge). But jokes apart, thanks a ton for including my query in the last video about the RØDE Video Micro. I'm almost sold on getting the ZOOM H6 (when I do get my next paycheck, cough, cough). As always, very informative video.

  13. The Rode NTG-3 sounded best to my ears, but also some pretty usable mics for around 200 smackeroos price point… thanks for testing 👂

  14. Love your channel! One that wasn't here was the Tascam DR-10SG – I absolutely love this mic. It's not one I'd trust in anything less than perfect weather – HOWEVER it sounds absolutely great, has multiple patterns you can choose from, AND it writes 3 tracks at teh same time. One to the video via a cable, one .wav it writes directly to SD card, and then one BACK UP .wav at a lower decibel called a safety track.

  15. Nice way to compare mics that'll work in a variety of situations 🙂
    I wonder…
    … when an itinerant boom operator gets forced into marrying someone during a location shoot in the South, is it called a shotgun mic wedding?

  16. It is pretty amazing the difference you can hear in all of those. I love the budget mic for what it is, very impressive for the price. Thanks for the video! 🙂

  17. I record with the NTG-3 and the Tascam DR60 II
    What is your normal level when you record, and what do you change the audio level to when you have edited the audio?

  18. The RODE Video Mic Pro could have been set at a gain of +20. Then the H6 Preamp ;could have been set much lower. The same with the DEITY V-Mic Pro 3. Using the microphone’s preamp helps obtain cleaner sound on Canon Cameras when directly connected. But I wonder if it also helps clean up the noise overall when attached to the H6.

  19. These are shotgun mikes. Intended for recording audio at a greater distance than a narration mike. You should have tested them at a greater distance to test their reach and rejection. I wouldn’t use any of these mikes in the manner you demonstrated.

  20. Røde wins in the noise floor test. The VideoMicro is amazing considering how inexpensive it is.

    The NTG-3 is what I use on my shoot when I am doing sound mixing. It's awesome.

  21. Thank you for this comparison. Right now I'm shopping for a good, affordable shotgun mic to mount on my Panasonic HC-X1000, and this vid helped me narrow my choices. I realize you didn't test it for this video, but how about off-axis rejection on these? I would guess that the longer ones will probably do better than the short ones.

  22. WOW! The original Rode VideoMic pro sounds REALLY good and is the most silent.
    Your voice sounds best thorugh the NTG3 for me
    the Deity are nice but not nice enough on a Sennheiser HD700 here

    didn't like any of the Sarasonics as well as the other Rode

  23. Really appreciate the work put into this! And great job with using the tone. That gives great confidence when listening to this, rather than guessing if the levels are correct. I'm personally loving the NTG-3 and the Deity V-Mic D3. The Rode VideoMicro seems like a steal at $53! Thanks for this test.

  24. NTG3, and the 2 Deity mics are the only ones I liked.

    The small video mics besides the Deity one just sounded weird to me. Either really washed out and muddy, or sibilant (the Video Micro sounds okay if you're right up against it, but that defeats the videography mic purpose so it's a failure as well). All of the Saramonic mics just sounded bad. The better Saramonic ones had that really bad noise, which is a shame because the actual shotgun mics from them would be a lot better if they cleaned up the noise floor, and made all of them super cardioid (I believe a few of their shotgun mics are cardioid).

    I still stand by getting a proper small diaphragm condenser to use over a video mic. On the cheap but reputable side there's always the MK-012 film set (3U Audio has SDC mics that are flat like Neumanns for under $200 USD as well), one the super cheap side the iSK Little Gem or iSK Pearl, you could probably even use an MXL 603/991 or Samson C02 to some effect.

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