11 Best directional microphones

When choosing a microphone, you must determine exactly what requirements it must meet and for what purposes it will serve. This is the most important decision at this stage. Then after you decide on the goal you can think about the price category, as well as about the manufacturer.

In this article, the most popular directional microphones from various manufacturers are presented. Let’s have a look!


Rode NTG-2

Rode-NTG2This microphone is quite worthy to be in the first place on this list. The RØDE NTG-2 is a lightweight condenser shotgun microphone designed for professional use in the film, video, television, and production industries.

Features and Performance

I’ve been impressed with the audio quality of this Rode mic. The shotgun mic has an impressive audio range for the money and sounds great for event videography and basic corporate work.

Its frequency range (20Hz – 20kHz), low noise and clear sound make this microphone ideal for movies, video and voice recording, and its light weight (161 g without battery) is ideal for a boom microphone.

In addition to the NTG-2 bandwidth (20Hz-20kHz), there is a switchable 80-Hz cut filter that will prevent low-frequency noise while recording, such as noise from an air conditioner or traffic.

NTG-2 works with both AA (1.5 V) batteries and P48 phantom power that can be supplied from professional cameras, voice recorders, or phantom power units.

WSVM Windshield is supplied to minimize wind noise and explosive sounds during recording. The optional DeadCat fluffy filter is recommended for use in street conditions.

The RØDE NTG-2 microphone comes with a 10-year manufacturer’s warranty.

To sum up

I would highly recommend the microphone. I really like that it works on phantom power, has low weight and low noise circuitry. The microphone offers a wide frequency range in combination with low intrinsic noise. It also includes a mic clip, windshield, and zip case.
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You can also check: 14 Best microphones for your smartphone

Razer Seiren X 

Razer Seiren XRazer Seiren X is positioned as a streaming microphone, in other words for game broadcasts. It impresses with its ease of use and small size.

In general, the quality of the sound recording is comparable to professional studio audio equipment. It can be used even for recording music and songs: the microphone perfectly transmits high, medium and low frequencies.

Features and Performance

The visual component is at a high level. There are no useless items. The microphone looks solid. It will look decent if you want to stream with a webcam or record a podcast.

It’s impossible to adjust the direction from which the sound is recorded, but considering the cost and that it is intended for streamers, this moment cannot be called critical. So, you should turn the mic towards yourself while streaming. All sounds on your sides will be recorded much quieter so that the speaker’s voice will be the loudest and most qualitative.

In this case, the microphone has no problems with the clarity and detail of the sound – not the quietest (whisper), nor when the gamer breaks down to a scream. So even emotional communication will be understandable to the Stream viewer or teammates.

To sum up

The Razer Seiren X is a great example of simple design coupled with the good recording quality. Easy to connect and use – one of the advantages of the device. It is relatively inexpensive and compact.

If you are a beginner streamer and you need a device of decent quality, pay attention to the Razer Seiren X microphone.
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BOYA BY-DMR7

BOYA BY-DMR7A condenser-type BOYA BY-DMR7 microphone will be ideal for recording video, so operators are happy to use this accessory when shooting their videos. Moreover, its acoustic characteristics are such that distortion and third-party noise level down to the maximum.

Features and Performance

Its supercardioid orientation is evidence that the sound is clearer and the feedback is minimized. The on-camera microphone with an LCD display is reliably protected from the wind, the frequency range is from 50 to 2000 Hz.

BOYA BY-DMR7 makes it possible to record 24-bit / 48 kHz audio files directly to Micro SDHC cards up to 32 GB in capacity.

The included cable with a 3.5 mm gold-plated connector connects the gun-mic recorder to the camera’s audio input, while at the same time, the stereo output to the headphones allows you to monitor the incoming sound. For fastening, there is a standard shoe mount.

The system protects against vibration and mechanical noise. A foam windscreen is also included.

To sum up

BOYA BY-DMR7 is a high-quality condenser microphone specifically designed for DSLR cameras and camcorders. One-button recording, an easy-to-read LCD menu and joystick control facilitate the work. Has an amazing price for the quality.
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Audio-Technica ATR-6550

Audio-Technica ATR-6550Designed specifically for synchronous interaction with video cameras, the Audio-Technica ATR6550 microphone can operate in one of two modes. The functionality of the device is maintained at small/medium or long distances. This condenser microphone guarantees clear sound without impurities, interference from any distance.

Features and Performance

Model Audio-Technica ATR6550 has a 3.5 mm mini-jack connector and a meter cable. Operating in TELE mode, used at long distances, a supercardioid diagram will pick up sound, completely cutting off unnecessary external noise (sound from air conditioning, car traffic, room reverberation, mechanical vibrations, etc.).

In general, it’s a good budget microphone, which can be used for training and not too ambitious projects. The only thing that I didn’t like is the quality of the cable. Those who will work with Audio-Technica ATR6550, I strongly recommend paying attention to this circumstance. The length of the cable is only one meter, it could be made longer.

To sum up

As for the benefits, the microphone is compact, lightweight, well suited for filming in small rooms with a middle distance. The sound is stereo, with the effect of noise reduction, but afterward, I still recommend it to be “cleaned” in a special program.
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Shure VP83

Shure VP83The Shure VP83 microphone is an ultra-compact, rugged microphone for capturing high-definition audio in combination with DSLR cameras and HD video cameras. A truly versatile microphone for multipurpose tasks.

Features and Performance

The microphone provides detailed high-definition audio with a full low-end response. Easily accessible controls include a three-position gain switch and low-cut filter switch.

Integrated shock mounting system Rycote Lyre, provides reliable vibration isolation. It has a robust, all-metal construction with incredible “immunity” from radio frequency interference. Operating time up to 130 hours on one AA battery.

The windscreen of foam for better protection from wind gusts in open areas is included in the basic package. It works even in difficult temperature conditions -18 … + 57 ° С.

To sum up

The best choice for reporting, ideal for speech recording. Small weight and compact dimensions facilitate the work of the operator. The highest professional-grade sound quality is maintained even with a high SPL level.
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PIXEL MC550

PIXEL MC550Pixel MC-550 sound recording microphone is designed for photography, interviews, press conferences, and is compatible with any brand of video cameras, and other equipment.

It’s the best choice for outdoor use due to its clean and high-quality recording, compact size, ease of installation.

Features and Performance

The 3-position OFF/ON/LOW CUT switch simultaneously serves to turn on/off the microphone and the low-cut filter, which provides convenience and ease of control under any circumstances. The use of high-quality windscreen reduces parasitic noise, ensures the authenticity of the sound and creates ideal opportunities for recording.

The unique functionality of the switches allows you to adjust the volume of the sound, depending on the distance of the subject, while balancing the sound recording level. Two LEDs serve as indicators of the touch sound sensor and microphone power.

The energy saving system allows the microphone to work on batteries with a voltage of 1.5V for about 50 hours and more, which is 5 times higher than the performance of similar models.

The use of a standard 3.5 mm “jack” and an integrated shock mount effectively reduces the noise, including when recording sound during camera movement.

To sum up

Pixel MC-550 – the perfect companion for shooting outdoors. The microphone is fully compatible with any video cameras, digital compact and SLR cameras that have a standard microphone input, a MIC connector (3.5mm jack), as well as a standard cold or hot shoe for attaching external devices.

The compact elegant look gives it the refinement inherent in the production of outstanding brands. Wherever you are engaged in recording, indoors or outdoors, this microphone will be your reliable assistant.
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Comica CVM-V30 LITE

Comica CVM-V30 LITEA supercardioid microphone with a polar structure supports a smartphone and a camera. Very compact and lightweight, easy to carry.

Features and Performance

The CVM-V30 Lite has a supercardioid polar pattern and can receive sound in a specific direction, reducing the background sounds.

The unique design of the damping holder maintains the balance of the microphone if you need to move or follow the subject during recording. Reducing vibrations, this mount saves you from distortion and the presence of unnecessary sounds on the recording. You can install the microphone on both the 1/4 “mount and the shoe.

On the back of the microphone, there is a switch that allows you to switch between the mode of operation with the camera and the smartphone, which increases the versatility of the model. This will be a great feature for mobile movie lovers or bloggers.

The mass of the CVM-V30 Lite is only 52 g. On the road, it will not take up much space and will not overload the bag.

To sum up

According to users reviews, the Comica CVM-V30 LITE microphone is a fully featured replacement for a VideoMic GO microphone at a significantly lower cost.
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Sennheiser MKE 600

Sennheiser MKE 600The Sennheiser MKE 600 is the perfect microphone for a camcorder and video DSLR that can perform even the most demanding cinematic tasks.

Features and Performance

Due to its high directivity, it perceives sound from the camera and reliably filters out background noise (from the sides and from the rear). In addition, a plug-in low-cut filter suppresses wind noise.

When using the Sennheiser MKE 600 microphone in difficult weather conditions, there is an additional foam windshield from strong wind.

The big advantage of this model is that the power supply can be either stationary or from AA batteries. The charge will be enough for more than 150 hours of continuous operation. A microphone is equipped with a button “Low Batt”, which will provide an easy transition from one type of charging to another.

To sum up

It will be appreciated by people working in difficult conditions because thanks to the built-in wind protection, a special low-cut filter that can be turned off, the microphone will be protected from wind blowing and will become a reliable assistant.
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Rode VideoMic GO

Rode VideoMic GORode’s on-camera microphone VideoMic GO is very light, allowing you to record high-quality sound along with small camcorders and HDSLR cameras.

Features and Performance

The weight of the microphone is only 73 g so that it doesn’t create inconvenience during operation and doesn’t load your “camera-microphone” design. The microphone is already equipped with a built-in Rycote Lyre anti-vibration mount that protects against shock and vibration.

Also one of the great features of VideoMic GO is the lack of need for batteries since the microphone is powered through the built-in 3.5mm microphone input on your camera. In this regard, it’s necessary to take into account that if the camera doesn’t support the power supply via this connection, the microphone will not work.

VideoMic GO is a directional microphone and has a super-cardioid pattern, eliminating the sound from the sides as much as possible, and focusing on the sources directly in front of it, even at a decent distance.

Also, the microphone is already equipped with a standard 3/8 “camera mount and universal foam wind protection.

To sum up

Rode VideoMic GO combines high-quality audio with a very compact, ultra-light and ergonomic design. If you want a better microphone than the one that is built into your camera, Rode VideoMic GO is the best option for you.
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TAKSTAR SGC-598

TAKSTAR SGC-598This is one of the most affordable and high-quality microphone on the market. I will say that this microphone justifies its cost 100%.

Features and Performance

TAKSTAR SGC 598 microphone – designed for DSLR cameras and camcorders with a mic (3.5mm jack) connector. The high sensitivity of the condenser microphone improves recording quality.

The cardioid focus of the microphone will effectively reduce environmental noise. A sensitivity switch of 10 dB and a low-frequency filter of 200 Hz make it possible to navigate settings on the fly. Standard universal connectors. High-impact construction.

To sum up

This budget, condenser stereo microphone is suitable for both beginners and amateurs and semi-professionals. Many people compare this microphone with a Rode mic and say that it’s quite a worthy replacement but much cheaper.
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Audio-Technica AT875R

Audio-Technica AT875RLast on the list but no less popular is the Audio-Technica AT875R directional microphone. It is intended for professional video production, television, and radio journalism.

Features and Performance

This shortest shotgun mic in the arsenal of microphones by the Japanese company Audio-Technica with an almost imperceptible weight is designed for the smallest DV and HDV cameras.

The microphone has a directional line-gradient structure, gives a smooth natural sound of high quality in the front area of ​​its action, effectively suppressing the sounds coming from the back and sides.

It works only from phantom power. Meets the European standard of RoHS.

To sum up

Good budget mic designed for video production, television and radio programs. TheAudio-Technica AT875R has a great response, giving a clean, rich tone to the audio, cuts off camera and hand noises. The short length is convenient for use on compact digital video cameras and provides the narrow directionality needed to receive sound on a long distance.
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FAQ

Q: What are directional microphones?
Not all microphones have the same characteristics. Some of them are designed to work in omnidirectional mode – they are able to “hear” sounds equally well in all directions. Other microphones are directional (they are also called cardioid) – they are able to “hear” sounds from sources directly in front of them, but they are relatively “deaf” to sounds coming from all other directions.

Q: How directional microphones work?
In cases where the directional microphone is directed to the source of the useful sound, it will ignore sounds from other directions, providing a cleaner, resultant sound. On the other hand, the directional microphone needs to be positioned more carefully.

It’s also important to ensure that the sound source doesn’t leave the “capture zone”, otherwise the sound source will be out of range of the microphone. The sound source outside the range of the microphone creates a weaker sound, which may lose high frequencies, and instead of the desired sound, the audience can hear those sounds to the source of which it will be directed.

Q: What kinds of directional microphones are there?
There are several types of directional microphones:

  • cardioid polar pattern
  • supercardioid polar pattern
  • hypercardioid polar pattern
  • half-cardioid polar pattern

Q: Why cardioid microphones are called so?
The cardioid mic picks up sound well from the front and sides but poorly from the rear. It’s named for the fact that its directional sound pick-up is roughly heart-shaped in nature.

Q: When a supercardioid microphone can be used?
A microphone with a supercardioid (or high-directional) polar pattern is used whenever you need to perform an exclusive selective sound recording or sound recording from a remote sound source.

Q: What are the differences between supercardioid and hypercardioid microphones?
The hypercardioid polar pattern is very similar to the supercardioid one. The only difference is that in the hypercardioid diagram, there is a narrower zone of sensitivity in front and a wider one in the rear.

Q: When do you use a half-cardioid microphone?
Microphones with a half-cardioid pattern are usually used at meetings, conferences, lectures.


Conclusion

Recording sound during an interview or in the audience is not an easy task. Extraneous noise strongly distorts the signal, and even professional processing doesn’t remove it all. But you can always buy a directional microphone, which will significantly improve the voice quality. The device will provide minimal sound interference.

Such electronic devices can be used even by people with hearing problems. Many of the listed microphones are on the market for more than one year and haven’t lost relevance and are unlikely to lose any time soon.

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