If you are not happy about your built-in microphone in your video camera or DSLR / DSLM camera, or you want to make your video production studio more professional and universal and for this purpose one of the necessary things you need is a “on-camera” mic or, to be more precise, a shotgun microphone. The shotgun microphone is an equipment designed for recording sound from a long distance. In most cases these microphones are used at large shooting studios / cinema production studios / TV studios, but they are also popular in other situations dealing great with their job in irregular conditions.
The key feature of shotgun microphones is that they can record on long distances so that their purpose is to replace those microphones which cannot record on such distances and provide shooting team with sound of necessary quality. Most models of shotgun mics can be equipped with windscreens, so that they are very profitable in unpleasant weather conditions. It is worth mentioning that these mics do great at reducing noise: facing a sound source, they don’t capture side noises.
Overall Build and Features of Shotgun Microphones
Shotgun microphones consist of waveguide tube. A device can also consist of several tubes. One of the key features of this construction is its ability to work at long ranges. Most modern shotgun mics are equipped with condenser capsules and they, as a rule, have supercardioid or directional polar pattern. This means they capture sound from one sound source avoiding capturing others. They can capture sound from a very long distance if it is set right. Comparing shotgun microphones with same condenser cardioid and directional mics of standard type, the first ones have a bigger sensitivity.
Main Features of Shotgun Microphones:
- Shotgun microphones are often used by professionals of moviemaking industry. Video recording, TV broadcasting, recording sound at a distance – the possibilities of usage of such devices is almost limitless: from Simple YouTube Videos to Cinema Production Industry.
- Protection from unpleasant atmospheric conditions, since it is likely that the use of the microphone will have in poor weather conditions. Most shotgun mics are equipped with protection from wind. This allows you to use the equipment outdoors. Fur and foam protection also improves the quality of recorded sound.
- High level of reliability and the ability to reduce unnecessary noise effectively allow equipment to be used in outdoor shooting, newsmaking and so on.
- Versatility, ease of use, extreme sensitivity are indispensable for the realization of complex tasks on open areas.
- Low self-noise level, the ability to ignore extraneous sounds and noise, high directivity at full range of operating frequencies, high sensitivity-axis direction to the main sound source with a technique to really achieve a minimum distortion in complex environments.
How to Choose the Best Shotgun Microphone
In today’s world a shotgun microphone is mainly used to record outdoors where you need to get a quality recording at a distance avoiding unwanted sounds and distortion. It may be an outdoor area or a covered awning area. Many devices of this type make it possible to provide an ideal quality of sound recording at a distance of 2-3 meters. Choosing a shotgun microphone, it is important to pay attention to the following product specifications:
- Частотный диапазон и сопротивление
- Уровень сигнала / шумов
- Максимальный предел звукового давления
- Чувствительность / динамический диапазон
- Питание и особенности подключения
- Вес / размер
You should also consider that this kind of microphones are designed for professional usage: devices from an unknown manufacturer are critically not recommended. In our list of the best shotgun microphones are most modern shotgun microphones from branded and well-known manufacturers. Unfortunately, you see few of the brands on our list because only the giants of audio gear can produce such complex and high-quality equipment. We also have an article about the best microphones for DSLR / DSLM cameras and article about best lavalier microphones which also reviews a lot of shotgun and lavalier microphones which were not included in this list.
Here are Top 15 Best Shotgun Microphones (Interference Tube System):
All the microphones presented in our list we recommend you to purchase. Before creating this list, we spent a lot of time studying the customer reviews, feedbacks on the forums and asking some advice from professional sound engineers and cameramen of cinema production. In the list, there are presented best interference tube shotgun microphones from leading manufacturers and for any budget and situation to record the audio. Attention! In our list are presented only shotgun microphone that work on the principle of interference tube, if you want to find some information about lavalier microphones – here is the link on our article about Best Lavalier Microphones and here is another link on article about Best Microphones for DSLR / DSLM Video Camera and Camcorders of all Types.
15. Azden SMX-10
Our list of best shotgun microphones starts with Azden SMX-10 from Japanese manufacturer Azden which is popular for high quality musical equipment. Our editorial team placed this microphone on the 15 position as it is the cheapest one from the list. Azden SMX-10 is a modern budget condenser stereo microphone with an anti-vibration mounting and windscreen which is much better than any built-in mic. Azden SMX-10 is compact and light; its case is made of metal. The mic has electret condensers which provide a high quality recording and low level of unwanted noise at dynamic range of 66dB and at frequency limit from 100Hz to 18000Hz, max level of sound pressure is 100dB. The diagram of directivity of Azden SMX-10 is closer to a cardioid one so that the mic is good at recording sound source in front of it with full and deep quality and with no capturing side noise. Azden SMX-10 is equipped with a built-in low frequency filter which can be activated with on / off button. It cuts low frequencies in noisy places: in street, at concert, party, etc. Azden SMX-10 has one AA battery. Alkaline battery can last 400 hours. The microphone comes with a foam windscreen which protects the device from wind. Also it can be mounted on a anti-vibration mounting. Azden SMX-10mounts to a hotshoe of camera. For connection, the microphone has a standard 3.5mm stereo jack. The microphone can be connected to a Dictaphone, smartphone, laptop or tablet equipped with a respectibe jack connector for recording.
14. Audio-Technica ATR-6550
Next in our list of best shotgun microphones is the shotgun microphone ATR6550 from the Japanese company Audio-Technica known worldwide, and this is not last microphone of this brand in our list. Audio-Technica ATR6550 is a condenser, super-directional microphone “gun”, which can record stereo sound at small, middle and large distance. The microphone has a stylish design, it is a compact, durable and reliable device. Perfect for work SLR cameras, DIL cameras, camcorders, and other portable recorders. Audio-Technica ATR6550 is a condenser microphone which means it has sensitive receptivity of your voice and ambient sounds. If you want to get a high-quality stereo recording for your videos, there is nothing easier: fasten the microphone to the camera using special fasteners (included) and connect it to the camera, it is as simple. The microphone has a wide frequency range from 70 to 18000 Hz, and a narrow diagram perfectly captures the sound. This model differs from many others by two recording modes: “Normal” and “Tele”. Normal is the mode for short- and middle-range recording, and Tele, thanks to supercardioid directionality, can record sound at long distances. In addition, in Tele mode, the microphone removes unnecessary noise, such as car engine, hum of air conditioner, noise from PC, reverberation of space, mechanical vibrations, etc. The device is equipped with a cable 1m long without the possibility of disconnection, a 3.5 mm jack. The model comes with all necessary accessories: holder, camera mounting, wind noise reducer, battery and 3.5-6.3 mm jack adapter. In 2010, Audio-Technica changed the name ATR55 to ATR6550. The microphone gains power from one AA battery.
13. Azden SGM-PDII
Here is another shotgun microphone from Azden manufacturer in our top 15 list of best shotgun microphones. Azden SGM-PDII has a fairly short housing which allows you to use it with small cameras. Regarding its technical parameters, it has a very practical frequency response from 80Hz to 18,000 Hz, which is very good because this prevents unwanted low frequencies from 30Hz up to 80Hz (and it’s also good for recording voice/speech). After reviewing extensive feedback from customers, we would like to note that this microphone captures the sound without any hiss. As you can see in the technical specs of the Azden SGM-PDII has a super-cardioid polar pattern and condenser microphone capsule. Another remarkable feature of this microphone is that it has a built-in XLR cable, so you don’t have to buy it and you can save few tens of dollars. Azden SGM-PDII is powered by phantom power 11-52VDC, which is not very good as not all cameras provide phantom power and 90% of cameras have no XLR input for this type of microphone, so you have to buy an extra phantom power module with XLR input. We would also like to note that this microphone is not suitable for serious commercial projects because of the quality of sound (no, we do not say that Azden SGM-PDII has a poor sound quality, it is designed mainly for everyday use: recording lectures, interviews, broadcasts, YouTube and creative projects). Azden SGM-PDII comes with a shock mount mic holder in pair with mount for hot shoe, foam wind noise reducer and zipped carry case. Below you can find the link to all microphones from Azden, we leave the link as this company produces a lot of shotgun microphones and our editorial team will not be able to write a review on each one of them. You can select a microphone most suitable for you regarding its price and technical parameters, we recommend you to focus on the amount of positive feedback from buyers.
12. Audio-Technica AT875R
Another microphone from Audio-Technica in our list of top 15 best shotgun microphones. Audio-Technica is one of the most famous companies in the world of professional radio systems, microphones and headphones. Company Audio-Technica was founded in 1962 and since then half a century sets standards of reliability and quality in the industry of professional audio. Audio-Technica AT875R shotgun microphone is a small, working from phantom power and used in cases which require a compact microphone of low weight to mount on the camera. АТ875R is perfect for events, open areas, it is designed for professional video production, television and radio journalism. It is the shortest shotgun microphone from Audio-Technica which weighs only 80gr. Designed for small DV and HDV cameras, DSLR, SLR cameras and professional camcorders. The microphone has a narrow directionality of linear-gradient structure. Gives a smooth natural quality sound in the front zone of its action, effectively suppressing the sounds coming from behind and sides. Suitable for all cameras with hot shoe mount, but you will also have to buy the mount for hot shoe if you are going to use this microphone with your camera, because there is no such mic holder. Audio Technica AT875R has 3pin XLR output and mic power supply is through phantom power of 46V. If your camera cannot provide phantom power, then you have to buy a module of phantom power, details about phantom power read at the beginning of the article. Package bundle includes foam wind noise reducer, holder for mic stands, thread adaptor 5/8″ – 27 to 3/8″ – 16, leather case (Note: cable kit not included).
– short length suitable for use on compact digital cameras
– provides a narrow directionality required to receive audio at a great distance
– effective suppression of sound from behind and on the sides
– suppresses noise from the camera and touching by hands
– complies with European Standard RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive).
– works only with phantom power; if you use it with cameras that don’t provide phantom power, you have to buy a phantom power module.
– lack of an XLR cabl, you have to buy it additionally.
11. Rode NTG1
The company RODE Microphones comes from the Freedman group of companies, which was founded in 1967. RODE focuses to provide their customers with products that are of exceptional quality, use and have incredibly affordable price. This is achieved through substantial investment in the development, feedback with the users of the microphones and the introduction of new technologies that make products better, and all these factors make the Australian company Rode a leader in the production of microphones and audio equipment. And, of course, Rode has its series of shotgun microphones – Rode “NTG”. As you may have noticed our editorial team includes microphones from Rode almost every article and in our list of top 15 best shotgun microphones all shotgun mics from Rode “NTG” line are presented as well, and it is absolutely deserved. Rode NTG1 is a lightweight professional condenser shotgun microphone, specially designed for professional use in moviemaking industry, video production, TV production, sound recording. Rode NTG1 provides unmatched quality, excellent directivity, comfortable working thanks to small weight and dimensions. By the way, you can use it in a classic way: on long rack (boompole) light weight (105gr) of the microphone allows you to use it as a camera, but you have to buy a special holder to mount to hot shoe of your camera. Rode NTG1 shotgun microphone is designed for phantom power 48V from the camera or module phantom power (or external audio interface) and connects to the camera via the standard XLR connector. Rode NTG1 offers wide frequency range combined with low self-noise level. Electronics of the microphone is optimized to obtain the lowest possible noise level. Built-in switchable Hi Pass filter cuts low frequencies below 80Hz. Metal housing increases the reliability of this device. Rode NTG1 has a standard mount on the rack RM5, and a foam wind noise reducer which effectively suppresses the noise under adverse conditions, leather case ZP1.
10. Audio-Technica AT897
We decided to include in our top 15 of best shotgun microphones Audio-Technica AT897 shotgun microphone as this microphone has a reasonable price (middle price segment) and it does its job 110%. our editorial team found a lot of positive feedback about this device (+this model has a mark “Amazon’s Choice”, but we’re not exactly sure whether this is relevant to blot moment as you read this article). Audio-Technica AT897 is designed for field conditions in the production of TV and video, professional recording and broadcasting. It is attached to the camera and remains invisible even when working with compact cameras, because with a small length (28cm) the mic won’t be captured by the camera, even when working with compact digital cameras. The microphone is powered by AA 1.5V battery or phantom power and provides excellent sound transmission at large distance from the source due to the narrow directionality Line + Gradient. It also has a smooth, natural sound and great cutoff of the third-party sounds. Audio-Technica AT897 has a modern feature for shotgun microphones – switchable filter for cut-off of low frequencies. It is also worth noting a rich packaging of this microphone: Audio-Technica AT897 comes with a small compact case for storing the microphone, mount for microphone stand and thread adaptor 5/8″ – 27 to 3/8″ – 16, foam wind noise reducer + one AA battery as a nice bonus (since batteries not supplied). But in order to attach this microphone to your camera, you will also have to buy a microphone holder for hot shoe of your camera.
9. Rode NTG2
RODE NTG2 is a lightweight condenser shotgun professional microphone designed for moviemaking industry, video production, television and audio recording. Full frequency response, low noise and audio transparency make it ideal for film, video and voice recording, its low weight makes perfect for use with boompole and mounting to your camera. Also Rode NTG2 is comparable in sound quality with much more expensive similar microphones, and has a very low noise level. As practice demonstrates, the microphone copes with most tasks in the video production, it is perfectly suitable for special effects, scoring short films and many other tasks. Excellent results are obtained in web audio as well – Rode NTG2 conveys precisely the nuances of every pronounced word, it does great job with female and male voices and children voices of different ages. NTG2 is suitable for recording interviews in the street and at studio. It manages with voiceover. The polar pattern is not as hard as you would expect from a very expensive microphone-gun, but Rode NTG2 is not so expensive, and the ratio price / quality is definitely very attractive. In contrast with Rode NTG1. NTG2 has a more elongated design – 278mm (NTG1 – 217mm). Rode NTG2 is equipped with a balanced output with low impedance and in addition to 48V phantom power (which can be taken from professional cameras, recorders or blocks of phantom power), NTG2 is more versatile and can be powered from one AA battery of 1.5V, unlike Rode NTG. In addition to the NTG2 bandwidth (20Hz-20kHz), there is a switchable low-cut filter at 80Hz, which prevents penetration of low-frequency noise such as noise from air conditioning or traffic transportation. Rode NTG2 is a great solution if you need a universal shotgun microphone, and will perfectly complete the set of the most advanced professional. Rode NTG2 comes with the stand holder RM5, WSVM foam windshield (to minimize wind noise and explosive sounds during recording. Supplied with optional fur filter “DeadCat” which is recommended for use in street conditions), leather zip case. Rode NTG has a 10-year warranty.
8. Audio-Technica AT8035
The shotgun microphone Audio-Technica AT8035 is designed for video journalism, outdoor shooting and other special conditions. Suitable for use as a hook-on mic (on a camera, on a stand, on a boompole), or as a handheld microphone for interviews (extraordinary length allows you to stretch out the microphone from the crowd of journalists). However, on camera, it looks somewhat strange – it is as long as camera like Sony HVR-Z7E, yet magnificent directionality of Audio-Technica AT8035 and its versatility is appealing to many videographers. Audio-Technica AT8035 has narrow linear-gradient directionality, gives a smooth natural sound quality in front of the mic, effectively suppressing the sounds coming from behind and sides. Audio-Technica AT8035 has a filter that cuts low frequencies ranging from 180Hz. The filter switch is recessed in housing to prevent accidental activation. A great advantage of the microphone is its ability to feed not only from phantom power, but also from ordinary AA batteries. Applying Audio-Technica AT8035 as an external microphone on the camera with batteries, it is possible to reduce the energy consumption of the camera during continuous shooting. ATTENTION! Do not forget to turn off camera’s phantom power +48V, set the switch to the MIC position.
7. Sennheiser MKE 600
On the seventh place of our list of best shotgun microphones our editorial team placed Sennheiser MKE 600 microphone from the German manufacturer Sennheiser. The company was founded in 1945 by engineer Fritz Sennheiser and nowadays this company is known worldwide thanks to the quality of its products. This company produces a huge range of audio equipment for professionals, amateurs, corporate workers and regular consumes. The shotgun microphone Sennheiser MKE 600 suits for working with cameras of various types, both indoors and outdoors, it can even cope with the most complex cinematic problems. Featured with high selectivity, it will eliminate unwanted sounds out of focus region, that is, from sides and rear, all noise are blocked.
It will be appreciated by people working in difficult conditions, because thanks to the built-in urethane windscreen, metal housing, special low frequency filter, which if desired can be disabled (in addition, the plug-in low pass filter suppresses wind noise), and pile windscreen, the microphone protects from blowing wind and will become a reliable assistant. The power supply can be from both phantom power and AA batteries, the charge of which is enough for more than 150 hours of continuous operation. The power switch ensures that the battery isn’t prematurely discharged, with a low battery level “Low Batt” appears on a led display. Sennheiser MKE 600 shotgun microphone comes with a foam windshield and shock mount mic holder with a mount to hot shoe (equipment for this microphone may be different, below we leave a link to the section with variable accessories from the manufacturer). We highly recommend to buy Sennheiser MKE 600 as, according to our research and lots of positive reviews from users, this microphone is worth every spent dollar.
6. Rode NTG4 and NTG4 Plus
New shotgun microphone NTG4 from RODE designed for recording high-quality audio in various conditions (ENG, filmmaking, field recording, sound design, broadcast applications, TV and video production) and produced NTG4 (basic version) and NTG4 Plus (extended). What’s the difference between NTG4 and NTG4 Plus? Rode NTG4 Plus has a built-in Li-On battery and can be charged through microUSB cable, which gives 150 hours of battery life; NTG4 Plus can be powered through phantom power 48V. So, the classical model NTG4 charges only from phantom power and has built-in Li-On batteries – these are all the differences (a link to each of these patterns of microphones you can find below). Rode NTG4 / NTG 4 Plus were created through years of development by the company’s engineers to provide movie and television industry affordable, but uncompromising on quality, microphone. Both microphones are equipped with low-noise paths, assembled in a sturdy metal case, which has conveniently placed controls —buttons for high-pass filter, -10dB pad and high frequency boost. The design was created on the basis of Rode NTG1 which had received numerous industry awards. By the way, this microphone is also presented in our list of best shotgun microphones. Microphone capsule is condenser, with a diameter of 1/2’, with a polarized directional diagram and frequency range from 20Hz to 20000Hz. The microphone sensitivity is -32dB. The microphone connection is via XLR cable. Rode NTG4 and NTG4 Plus have latest technology that makes the microphone resistant to RF interference and virtually insensitive to humidity changes. This allows you to use a condenser mic in all weather conditions. Whether in a tropical heavy rain, a sandstorm or snowstorm, Rode NTG4 / NTG4 Plus flawlessly record clear sound where any other condenser mic won’t work. Rode NTG4 / NTG4 Plus come with a foam windscreen, a leather case, RM5 holder and microUSB cable for modification of Rode NTG4 Plus.
5. Rode NTG3
As stated by the Australian company Rode, Rode NTG3 is one of the most exciting products of the company. It was the result of years of development with the purpose to provide movie and television industry with an affordable, but uncompromising on quality, microphone. One of the key benefits of Rode NTG3 is ability to withstand the most adverse conditions. Using technology known as “frequency offset “, Rode NTG3 is almost completely cope with damp, becoming an indispensable tool when you work in conditions of high humidity. When the microphone is not used, the kit includes an aluminum cylinder RCNTG3 (miniature tube), where the microphone is securely protected from humid weather and from all sorts of vibration during transportation. Other outstanding features of the Rode NTG3 microphone are its low weight making it an attractive tool when shooting with a boompole, as well as extremely low self-noise. Rode argues that it is difficult to find another such a silent microphone. Using Rode NTG3 on a boompole or mic stand for greater efficiency, you can strengthen it on an anti-vibration mount Rode SM4 (optional) that protects against external noise, shaking and vibration. This microphone is powered only from 48V phantom power (44-52V min 5mA) and has a standard XLR connection (recommend to buy a high quality XLR cable, more expensive than 15$ for use with this microphone). We will not describe in greater detail the technical characteristics, as above you can read the specifications of this mic. The shotgun microphone Rode NTG3 comes with a RM5 stand mount, windscreen WSNTG3, leather case ZP2 and aluminum cylinder RCNTG3 to store and transport the microphone in adverse conditions. This device has a lot of positive reviews from users, which you can read on specialized forums for engineers and on Amazon store.
– Can withstand operation in harsh environment
– Self-noise is 50% lower comparing with most shotgun mics
– External polar condenser
– High resistance to interference
– High sensitivity
– The sound has an excellent broadcast quality, one of the standards in video, movie and TV industry (the choice of professionals)
4. AKG C747 V11
The shotgun microphone AKG С747 was introduced in 1987. Owing to its excellent technical specifications, especially wide frequency range, it was used to record all kinds of instruments, even those that had very low frequency. Thanks to its excellent sound transmission, it quickly received a status of ideal hook-on microphone. Thanks to its limited polar pattern it solves the problem with distortion (when simultaneous recording of a large number of instruments is performed), and the problem of capturing sounds from distant areas. But since it’s acoustically balanced and due to the short resonator, it does not occur with one of the most common problems of most shotgun microphones – change of directivity respectively to frequency. This is one of many reasons why this microphone finds its application in many broadcast radio stations, recording studios, theaters, opera houses, churches, meeting halls and audiences.
Another great advantage of AKG C747 is that this microphone does not change the sound or level too much even when the speaker moves a lot. AKG C747 finally found itself in installed sound systems as a perfect microphone for transmission of human speech. Today AKG C747 is one of the most versatile microphones in the AKG product range, and for the past several years, it has been available in different versions and models, such as a suspended module, capsule for modular S-shaped microphones, in the form of a boundary layer microphone.
What’s new in AKG C747 V11?
As it is increasingly being used for conferences, AKG carefully redesigned C747 to better cope with some specific audio tasks. New AKG C747 V11 has a built-in high frequency shield to block unnecessary intervention of mobile phones, wireless microphones and so on. AKG engineers also carefully rebuilt the frequency response to give, especially the human speech, an incredible presence effect, without changing the characteristics of the classic sound of the AKG C747. Extended polar pattern provides consistent off-axis rejection of sounds to control noise and controlling feedback in acoustically challenging environment. This makes AKG C747 V11 the perfect choice for recording noisy discussion groups or for use in creepy реверберирующих departments, whereas it is quite undemanding to cleanly record the speaker’s voice, while it constantly moves in front of the microphone. Switchable cut-off filter for low frequency resists mechanical noise. Transformerless preamp with low impedance works with phantom power from 9V to 5V.
3. Shure VP89
Shure microphones (USA), known worldwide for its quality and clean sound which accurately conveys all the nuances of instrument sound. The honourable third place in our list of 15 best shotgun microphones takes Shure VP89 and all its variations VP89S / M / L. Shure VP89S / M / L is designed for different purposes: broadcasting, recording and media installations, as well as for complex conditions (particularly to record sports events where sound source has a high volume and is set at large distance from the microphone). There are three microphones – Shure VP89S, Shure VP89M, Shure VP89L – in three lengths for different needs, featuring interchangeable capsules of different lengths. Since these capsules do not color the sound when its source is moving, the device provides a professional natural sound as fa as it resists radio waves. The microphone is equipped with an вдающимся updated preamp, built-in filter to cutoff low frequencies and improved durable construction. The microphone design made of durable aluminum alloy, whereby the microphone has a small weight and an increased durability for recording outdoors, e.g. when mounting on the camcorder operator. Shure VP89 is provided with a protective grill of perforated steel of 5mm. Powered exclusively by phantom power 11-52V DC (IEC-61938). Another feature of microphone Shure VP89S / M / L is that it is designed for use in combination with a variety of branded accessories, the choice is great, but we will list the most attractive of them: Shure A89U adapter for VP89 shotgun microphones (the A89U adapter converts any VP89 end-address shotgun condenser microphone from the standard “single-barrel” configuration to a “double-barrel” configuration), we recommend you to buy Shure A89M-CC shock mount for mounting to mic stands or to boompole or Shure A89M-SH shock mount for attachment to hot shoe of camera (but it is worth noting that these mounts are quite expensive and if you don’t have a large budget, we recommend to pay attention to the cheaper accessories). Shure VP89S / M / L shotgun condenser microphone is a device for general and professional use, and our editorial team recommends to buy this microphone exclusively to professionals. Along with every microphone collection Shure VP89 includes hard case for storage / transportation and foam windscreen (replaceable modules in package are not included but can be purchased separately).
The preamp is integrated into the housing (advantage from the point of view of device performance).
2. Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3
Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 shotgun microphone model is made in Germany by Sennheiser, which is one of the leading manufacturers in the field of audio equipment, as we mentioned earlier in the review. Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 shotgun microphone has excellent performance of sound directivity and modern stylish design. Microphone weight is 165 g, its size is 19х250мм, which is a universal size, most comfortable to work with. This microphone is designed to work in film, radio and TV stations, it is essential for broadcast in open air, outside of various buildings. The principle known as interference tube enhances the directional characteristics of sound, while the microphone noise is as low as possible. Since the model is designed for outdoor operation, it is suitable for adverse climatic conditions. Black case made of solid metal protects against moisture, high sensitivity microphone ensures excellent audio transmission with frequency range 40 — 20 000Hz. Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 has an official manufacturer’s warranty of 24 months. The microphone has a good bundle. It is supplied with a high quality windscreen. After examining a large amount of feedback from users of this model, we can recommend Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 for purchase exclusively to professionals for use in large-scale projects. Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 took the third place in our list since it has a large number of positive reviews and its high cost is fully justified by brilliant sound quality.
1. Rode NTG8
The microphone Rode NTG8 is designed on the base of Rode NTG3 in order to achieve a more narrow focus reception over a wide frequency range. The microphone Rode NTG8 is designed for film and television production – television journalism in particular, records of sports events and other outdoor events, live broadcasting, wedding videography, and others where you need to obtain from the subject a high quality sound at a great distance and not to capture unnecessary noise around.
Because of its extraordinary length (56 cm.) Rode NTG8 is not very convenient to embed on the camera and is recommended for use with boompole or stand. Its shock mount Rode SM8 is based on thread 3/8” and has a diameter for mounting on a boompole or stand.
Rode NTG8 is characterized by low self-noise (from rubbing, mechanical impacts, etc.), natural sound on and off of axis of the microphone. The technology RF-bias decreases the sensitivity to an extremely humid environment which is very devastating for condenser microphones.
Rode NTG8 requires phantom power of 48V, which provides the majority of professional video cameras, mixers and audio recorders. If the camera, remote or radio transmitter do not provide phantom power (44 – 52V at least 2.5 mA), you need some external source of phantom power.
To avoid interference, and various electromagnetic interference, it is recommended to use cables of high quality and least possible length. The longer the cable is, the more interference there is. The optimal maximum – 3 meter, at least we can agree on 5 meters when working in places that are not uploaded to electromagnetic interference. XLR-Kontakt Rode NTG8 is designed to reduce the susceptibility of the microphone to the mobile phones and other transmitting devices.
Rode NTG8 was designed specifically to work in adverse environment and, in particular, high humidity. This does not mean that it does not need the usual for condenser microphones care and protection from moisture, dust and other contaminants. Comes with a foam windscreen, which should be put under any use the microphone outdoors, for even a faint whiff of breeze which causes noise as well. To protect from strong wind you need better protection (Warsawa, Zeppelin, etc.).
+Bonus (Line of Shotgun Microphones from SONY Manufacturer)
(Below you can read a list of shotgun microphones from SONY. We decided not to include these microphones in our main list of top 15 best shotgun microphones as shotgun microphones from SONY has a lot of them. Below, we review some of the most popular models that have good quality of sound, but SONY produces a lot of worth mentioning mics so, at the end of the review, we will leave a link to share all microphones from this brand, you will easily be able to choose the most suitable for you regarding price / quality).
Sony ECM-678 is an electret shotgun microphone of condenser type for professional usage outdoors and at studio. Designed for camcorders Sony of HDV, DVCAM and XDCAM formats. Sony ECM-678 gives superb sensitivity of -28 dB at extremely low noise (less than 16dB SPL). This allows to capture very quiet sounds at great distances. Super directivity of Sony ECM-678 is handy for recording at middle range like lectures, conferences, reportage shooting at studio and outdoors. The wide frequency range allows you to record clean and natural sound. Built-in filter to cut off low frequencies with a switch in two positions (M,V) reduces unwanted ambient noises (like the noise of a passing truck, etc.). Vibration screen mechanism protects the microphone from unexpected drops, bumps, and so on – a valuable feature for professional use. Included: leather case, XLR-3 – connection cable, windscreen, holder, rubber gasket.
Sony ECM-674 / Sony ECM-673
Sony ECM-674 shotgun microphone is a perfect combination of professional sound quality and affordable price. Compact size, sound characteristics and sensitivity allow you to use it with professional cameras. The microphone has supercardioid pattern that allows to take the sound in front of it and aimed to obtain accurate result in noisy environment – background noise does not dampen the main audio source. In this respect, Sony ECM-674 replaces successfully Sony ECM-NV1, which usually comes in a standard set with Sony DVCAM. The microphone power supply is either from the camera via XLR (+48V on the camera should be turned on) or from batteries R6 (AA) (+48V on the camera should be turned off).