10 Best Microphones for YouTube Videos

Updated November 2016

According to science, audio is 50% of your videos. Don’t leave high-quality audio behind. Your videos need it.

Watch the video above to see my audio quality tests of my top 10 best microphones for YouTube videos. Below you’ll find the Amazon affiliate links to all 10 microphones (5 USB mics and 5 external mics for your camera or DSLR)

Top 5 USB Mics for Voiceovers

Sorted by price, lowest to highest

Samson Go Mic: Cheap microphone for beginners on a budget. Not the best but definitely better than built-in mics.

 

Blue Snowball: Awesome microphone. Superb quality at a great value. My first ever mic. Watch my review here.

 

Audio-Technica ATR2100: Currently my favorite microphone for doing video voiceovers. Watch my review here.

 

Audio-Technica AT2020: Nearly perfect 5-star rating on Amazon. Top-notch audio quality.

 

Blue Yeti: #1 Best Seller on Amazon and constantly referred to as the best USB mic by many users.

 

Whichever mic you choose, get a pop filter: Here’s a great deal on the best selling pop filter on Amazon.

Top 5 External Mics for Cameras/DSLRs

Sorted by price, lowest to highest

Takstar SGC-598: Cheap shotgun mic for beginners on a budget. Decent quality for the low price.

 

Zoom H1: Portable digital audio recorder that produces high quality audio. Goes great with the accessory pack. See my H1 review here.

 

Rode Videomic Go: Rode makes great shotgun microphones. This is their entry-level mic.

 

Rode VideoMic Pro: Very popular choice among YouTubers. This is my go-to shotgun mic for my videos.

 

Sennheiser MKE 600: High-end professional shotgun microphone that delivers some amazing audio.

Bonus: Lavalier Microphones

If you decide to get a Zoom H1 then you’ll want to get a clip microphone (lav mic) to pair with it. These are the lav mics I own and use.

Budget Lav Mic: Sony ECMCS3 is extremely affordable and was my first lav mic I used. Very cheap but works great.

Best Lav Mic: Giant Squid Omnidirectional Audio Lab Mic is my most recommended lav mic. It’s the one I use when recording with the H1. Very high quality but not too expensive either.

What Mics Do I Use?

For voiceovers/commentary, I usually use my Audio-Technica ATR2100.

When recording with my DSLR, I either use the Rode VideoMic Pro or the Zoom H1 paired with a Giant Squid Audio Lab Omnidirectional Microphone.

I hope this helps you find your perfect microphone for your YouTube videos, and let’s make audio cool again.

 

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  • Pamela Schiele

    Which of these mics (if any) can be used with a smartphone?

  • Thanks very much for creating this video; Im a complete novice, so Ive learnt a lot! The possibilites with using that Sony Lav mic…

    • Yes! That Sony lav mic is great for how cheap it is.

  • Judi Keener

    Is the Zoom H1 good for singing videos?

    • Zoom H1 is a great mic, but I have personally never used it for singing.

  • Lanica Yu-Richardson

    Which microphone and camera do you recommend to use if I have the funds for a category 2 or 3? I need something that would be great to record church worship services in a sanctuary hall that we hold about 800 people? Sanctuary echos a little bit and has dim lighting and the sound booths is all the way in the back of the church so need something that’s able to give great visual and audio

    Lani

    • Do you just need to record the audio of one person or one location, such as a podium?

  • Adrien

    Can I use all this mics in my go pro hero 4 silver ?

  • ChicagoJohn

    Andy; when you did this video, was the Rode mic in Shotgun or a different mode?
    Also, I’m curious if you used the mic through the camera, or did you record to your Zoom?

    • It was straight into the camera and I think I still had auto-limit enabled on the camera which lowered the quality a bit. Also I was in a very echoey room.

  • Karin

    Hi Andy, I have a DSLR and I really like the output of the Zoom H1. I’m really new into this so please pardon my probably basic questions. How do you link the audio to the video while using Zoom H1?

    Thanks so much for your video as well!

    • Hi Karin. You have to sync the audio to the video using your video editing application of choice. Some professional video editing apps can sync it automatically, but I usually just sync it manually. You can do a Google search of “how to sync audio to video with (insert name of your video editing app)” and find out how to do it pretty easily.

      • Karin

        Awesome, I got it working! Thanks so much Andy! =D

  • Rich

    Hi Andy! Thanks for the help thus far. Question: If I could only afford one mike, which would be the the better choice, the Zoom H1 or the Roade videomic? Why?

    • Rich, it all depends on your needs because they serve different purposes. If you use a DLSR camera with a mic input and you plan to be pretty close to your camera when speaking into it and you want the audio and video to be recorded onto one single video file, then go with the Rode. If you plan to be recording far away from your camera and don’t mind wearing a clip-on mic and have the budget for a clip-on mic, go with the Zoom.

  • chloeoeo

    I’m completely new to this, and I want to just be sure: I see people making videos and sometimes they are 30+ feet away from the camera, I’m assuming they have a mic clipped to them. Is the mic transmitting to something plugged into the camera? Or is it recording on it’s own, and then do you have to go and sync it up to the visual?

    • The clip mic is either connected to a recorder (like the Zoom H1) that’s in their pocket or it’s a wireless lav mic that is recording wirelessly via a transmitter like this system: http://amzn.com/B0195EI8EQ?tag=cempire-20

      • chloeoeo

        Thank you! That really helped 🙂

  • GreenGrower

    Hi Andy. I want to record videos of people giving gardening tips, so I will be recording outdoor dialogue. Do you have any recommendations for the best way to do that?

    • If the camera will be within 8 ft of the people talking you may be able to get by with just having a shotgun mic (like the Rode VideoMic Pro http://amzn.to/1nQFUVP) mounted on the camera to capture the dialogue. If not, a good way to capture audio if the person is far away from the camera would be to use a Zoom H1 paired with a lav mic. See the “Bonus” section in the blog post above.

  • Nick Stryniak

    Hi Andy, thanks for the video! I am looking to start making educational YouTube videos for my clinic, http://www.kinetesisspineandjoint.ca using my cell phone video functions. I’d like to be able walk around or be outside on occasion. In your opinion, what would be the best mic for my purposes and to work with a cell phone? I saw a link below to a Movo Lavalier on Amazon but I’m not sure if that’s what you’d recommend, and they didn’t have any left. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    • If you have a smartphone and you’re on a budget, check out this one: http://amzn.to/1QbFxDt

      • Nick Stryniak

        Thanks Andy! The cord looks a bit short. Is there such thing as a wireless mic that works when shooting video from your cell phone? If so, what would you recommend?

  • Phoebe

    Is there a mic that records while filming and functional for voice-overs? Thanks!

  • great suggestions!!! Very helpful !!

  • Josh Owens

    If I’m recording video from about 2 feet away, what would be the best microphone choice? The blue snowball wouldn’t work if you have to speak directly into it.

    • The Rode VideoMic Pro would be good, but if you’re not in an acoustic friendly environment then the best choice would probably be a Zoom H1 paired with a lav mic.

  • Alastair Thomas

    Hey Andy, just wondering if the Blue Snowball would be good for gaming videos on youtube. It would be great if you could tell me.

  • Pedroski Valenz

    Hello Andy.

    If im fliming at a gym, with noise and people around, would the H1 with the lav mic be a good choice? I dont mind sounds from the background, as long as its not overwhelming.

  • Fulop 04

    Hey Andy what mic would you recommend for a gaming Chanel on YouTube?

  • John

    Hi Andy which external mic is good for a Sony DSC- H300?

  • Hartmut Obst

    Hey everyone,

    first thanks for the article. I am looking for a portable sound recorder. I found an recommendation from

    http://best-microphone-for-youtube.video for the Zoom H4N-Pro.

    What do you think, is it worth the money or any other recommendations?

    Thanks – Best,
    Hartmut