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Best Boom Mics for Every Budget 2020


In this very long and comprehensive video, our colleague, photographer, and videographer Curtis Judd, take a look at over 25 different boom mics in several different categories he had tested and used over the years and shares his recommendations for each category and price range.

We marked Judd’s personal picks with an underline for each category. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the others are bad, just that Judd – for his uses found them to be better. Also, keep in mind the law of diminishing returns – a good mic in the $300 range might give you significantly better results than a sub $100 mic but a good mic over $1000 might not sound THAT much better than a good $500 mic – so keep this in mind and spend accordingly (and remember that a good mic if handled properly can last a very long time).

On-Camera mics (you can, of course, use them closer to your talent via extension cables on a stand for example and they will sound better):

  • Takstar SGM-598 – $34 on Amazon.
  • RODE VideoMic Pro+ – $247 on Amazon.
  • DEITY V-Mic D3 Pro – $200 on Amazon.
  • RODE VideoMic NTG – $250 on Amazon.

Shotgun mics with XLR up to $300

  • RODE NTG2 – $195 on Amazon.
  • RODE NTG4+ – $223 on Amazon.
  • Azden SGM-250 – $250 Amazon.
  • Sony ECM-674 – $300 on Amazon.

Shotgun mics with XLR – $300-600

  • DEITY S-Mic 2 – $430 on Amazon.
  • DEITY S-Mic 2S – $320 on Amazon.
  • Azden SGM-3500 – $500 on B&H.
  • Azden SGM-3500L – $550 on B&H.
  • RODE NTG5 – $500 on B&H.

Over $600 shotgun mics

  • RODE NTG3 – $600 on Amazon
  • Sennheiser MKH 416 – $1000 on Amazon.
  • DPA 4017B – $1970 on Amazon.

Non-shotgun mics (more for indoors) – sub $500

  • Samson CO2 (pair) – $150 Amazon.
  • Oktava MK-012 – $264 on Amazon.
  • Audix SCX1HC – $500 on B&H.
  • AKG Blueline SE-300B & CK93 – $463 B&H.

Higher-end non-shotgun mics (more for indoors) over $500

  • Audio Technica AT4053b – $600 on Amazon
  • RODE NT5 – $110 on Amazon
  • Sennheiser MKH 50 – $1200 on Amazon
  • Sennheiser MKH 8050 – $1290 on Amazon.
  • Schoeps CMC641 – $1655 on B&H.

Bonus category – stereo set (more for music, ambiance but can be used for voice)

  • Rode TF-5 MP – around $1200 for a matched pair.

You can check out more of Judd’s videos which focus mostly on audio and video here on LensVid, finally, if you are into sound recording for video productions check out this link which covers both equipment and techniques here on LensVid.

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