Which Mic Should I Get?

I've saved up some money and I've been planning to get a mic for a while. I have about $700 to spend (this will also cover the purchase for the recorder, boom pole, and cable that will go with it) and I wanted to hear people's thoughts on what I should get.

I've been out of it  for a little while but my previous research led me to believe that the Rode NTG4+ would be a decent entry level mic. Is there something better out now?

Also if you have something that is say $800 total but WAY better I'm willing to wait and save up more.

P.S. I've already got a DSLR (Rebel Cannon T2i) so for the time being I just want to get my audio setup going.


  • I'd suggest you check out this episode of Film Riot:


    There he talks about the Rode NTG line yeah...

    Maybe think of the Zoom H4 as a recorder or something like that. All that stuff together would cost about $500. If you add a boom and a Blimp for outdoor shooting, that would be about 800 bucks.

    Hope that tha helps out!

    -Jamie, Film Empire

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    The Rode NTG line is a solid one.

    I'd recommend the Zoom H5 over the H4. The extra money gets you a more solid build, but also a removable mic capsule which could be replaced with extra inputs, or other mic capsutes--or you can just leave the mic capsule off if you're using your shotgun to reduce the size and weight of the recorder.


  • I would also consider the Tascams D70 and D60 Mark II.  I have no experience with the Zoom H5, but the H4 is very noisy.

    I have had the AT 875r for about 5 years now and I am very pleased with it.

    If you need a sample, the sound in this short was done with a tascam DR-680 and the AT875r. 




  • Hi AramM,

     Nicely done short film! I am quite impressed with the sound quality you were able to achieve considering the AT 875r is such an inexpensive mic. I have a Tascam D60 Mark II recorder which performs very well for me and believe that good preamps are as important as the mic itself. If someone considers the Zoom H4n, they should  look at the newer "Pro" version which has the same preamps as the H5.

  • @AramM Maybe the internal mics are noisy, but as with any external audio recorder, I would record to it with a proper microphone, not the built-in mics...

  • Thanks, @Manhit, I like the AT 875r, but I would also give a lot of credit to the DR-680. It eats batteries, but its sound quality is really, really nice. I can amplify the sound a lot and there's almost no self generated noise in the recordings.

    @Film_Empire, I have used the H4n once with my AT 875r and with a Rode NT2. In both cases I found it quite noisey, but that was ages ago, when I knew even less about sound. Maybe I did something wrong.

  • edited July 2017

    Thanks guys! I appreciate the advise. I'm looking forward to finally being able to get better audio in my videos.

    Though at this price level should I consider just getting the NTG3 and holding out for the accessories?

  • I have not ever used an NTG3 myself, but I have seen plenty of reviews and test that make it look like a solid investment. 

    You will still need a recorder (unless you already have one) though. A fancy microphone without a recorder is just going to drive you crazy wanting to record stuff!


  • Depends if this is for on-location or studio use.

    If studio, the AKG C414 XLS is an excellent all-around studio mic used by top studios.  In many ways, it beats out mics costing 10 times more than it does.

    If on location, I use a Zoom H6 (20 hours on batteries) as the recorder (though the on-board removable XY and side mics are great for sound design) and a Rode NTG4 with blimp and boom pole.  Can't go wrong.  Cleanest recordings i've ever produced with that setup.


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