Hey there, welcome back again to my Making Videos with Smartphone series!
When filiming with your phone cam, some situations require us to have a more flexible and isolated mic than the inbuilt one. For example, when shooting outdoors, vlogging or in changing environments.
I have tried a lot of shotgun microphones out there. And I know which one worth the money, which one can offer cutting-edge technology, or which dirt-cheap best shotgun mic can satisfy your needs.
So, let’s dig in!
1. Comic Micro Shotgun Mic model CVM-VM10 II
This one right here is a professional interview mic. It is small enough to slot on top of your phone, yet provide quality high enough to use for music videos or band recording.
Excellent price-performance ratio
You can’t really find a better mic on the market at this price.
It is versatile, and compatible with phone, mirrorless or DSLR camcorders. Its cardioid polar pattern helps you record directionally while shielding interference efficiently. We also get a sturdy case for better storage.
This best shotgun mic has a silica gel shock-absorption stand, which helps prevent the jittering sounds that your phone often has in movement. You can plug it directly to your phone, no battery needed.
- Slim and portable
- Offer high-quality sounds, compatible to a more expensive shotgun microphone for smartphone filmmaking
- Can be used directly with a phone
- The cat hair accessory that comes with the bundle doesn’t offer much sound shielding.
2. RODE NTG 4+ Supercardioid Condenser
Comes from a higher price base compared to the Comica mic, this phone shotgun mic offers us broadcast-quality directional condensed audio.
It exceeds other best shotgun mic with the inbuilt batteries, high-pass filter, pad, and high-frequency boost.
Off-axis responses, tonal quality, battery, self-noise, you can’t really be disappointed with any of those specs. Besides, its low self-noise is a plus for many other users.
Recommended by the Pro
I myself recommend this mic for experienced users, and other professionals have done so, too (including Peter McKinnon and Tom Antos). This is also the go-to mic for thousands of Youtubers, commercial filmmakers and journalists.
- Premium audio for versatile uses
- Internal battery and sound process technology
- Sleek and modern design
- For audiophile needs, the audio may come out a tad hollow.
3. Sennheiser MKH-416
This is the most expensive one in this list, and also the most trusted one by professional filmmakers. Sens 416 has a compact design, yet offers high consonant articulation and feedback rejection.
Optimal for outdoor use
A reason that television crews dote on Sens 416 is that it is really useful in many climatic adversed conditions. The RF-tech controls residual mic noise well, while yields low noise levels and make the mic basically immune to humidity and moisture.
With a compact design and consonant articulation, this mic gives you the control of where the sounds come from.
- Works well in many environments.
- Especially useful for recording voices.
- Low noise floor.
- It picks up the sounds around and behind the mic. That is what some people need, however it might not what you expect when purchasing the best shotgun mic.
4. Vidpro XM-55 Shotgun Microphone Kit
Rather than a single phone shotgun mic, the Vidpro XM-55 Shotgun Microphone Kit gives you anything you might need for a portable studio, including a condenser microphone, cables, a shock mount, a stand mount, a camera shoe adapter, a foam windshield, and a furry wind muff. All are packed in a Foam-Padded Hard case.
Great for beginners and low budget
With all the accessories and the fair cost, this makes a great option for people who are not sure of what they want in audio recording yet.
The sensitivity is high, which allows the mic to bring in sounds much crisper and clearer than the built-in smartphone mic.
Long battery use
If you use this mic for 6 hours a day, then it will last you for over a week. In fact, the batteries that come with this kit are so awesome that people are looking to buy them separately!
- Comes with a full kit so you don’t have to buy anything else.
- Gives awesome isolated audio
- Good performance and quality for the price.
- The audio gets slightly distorted in low recording levels.
5. RODE VideoMicro Compact On-Camera
Yet another one from RODE, this phone shotgun mic is allegedly the best shotgun mic that made RODE rise to fame. RODE VideoMicro Compact is also the best selling professional compact mic at the moment.
Great for vlogging
Because of the isolated nature of the final audio, the RODE Compact On-Camera helps bring out the user’s voice despite high background noise levels.
Light and compact
From the first look, I suspect that it might not work well because it’s so tiny and light on hand. However, having it sitting on top of the camera helps me capture purer and cleaner voice.
- Small and compact, so it sits well on your phone.
- Bargaining price for high quality.
- Ideal for phone cam vlogging
- Mic and jack connecting cable are unreliable sometimes.
Something you need to know about using the best shotgun mic
- Have a shock mount handy: the shock mount serves as a supportive, covering layer so that the sounds of the mic moving won’t get into the audio
- Keep the windshield on: because a shotgun mic is really directional, it is bound to record the sounds that people make in their mouth as they speak. Which is gross, sometimes. A windshield can help in to solve that.
- Download some applications and customize your mic settings, you will have better control of noise levels and other aspects.
So here’s my review for 5 Best Shotgun Microphone for Smartphone filmmaking.
Among these, my personal favorite is the Comic Micro Shotgun Mic model CVM-VM10 II. At a fairly low price base, it offers full aluminum processor and rejects unwanted noise superbly. It is also small enough to mount on phone, yet sturdy and has low self-noise.
However, I believe that the other four options are also heaven-sent for people with different budgets and audio requirements. So what’s the best shotgun mic that does the trick for you? Tell me in the comments!