One of the best shotgun mics of 2023

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Up to date Apr 7, 2023 10:23 AM

Shotgun microphones are versatile instruments for capturing pure, centered sound for movie and tv, environmental recordings, sporting and stay occasions, vlogs, or voice-overs. Their slender pickup sample rejects noise from the perimeters and, to a sure extent, the again, preserving the main focus in your topic. One of the best shotgun mics are gentle sufficient to mount on a digicam or keep on a growth pole all day lengthy and, in lots of instances, constructed with sufficient sturdiness to outlive the rough-and-tumble lifetime of location recording. 

Loads of occasions you’re on the road or stay streaming and don’t have the luxurious of individually miking folks, otherwise you’re filming a scene the place you may’t have a visual lavalier mic. That’s why you’ll discover top-notch shotgun mics all through the skilled world—usually accompanied by professional-level costs. However shotguns have been round for some time and these ubiquitous instruments of the commerce are sometimes cheap sufficient that even rookies and budget-minded customers can add high quality gear to their package luggage. 

With each respected—and fewer than respected—microphone producer producing them, it’s typically onerous to determine which shotgun mics ship on their promise of nice sound. So that can assist you out, we’ve rounded up a listing of suggestions, recommendation, and the most effective shotgun mics.  

How we selected the most effective shotgun mics

We primarily based our collection of the most effective shotgun mics on our personal private expertise within the movie, TV, {and professional} audio worlds, in addition to conversations with different skilled audio engineers and filmmakers, consultants at gear rental homes, and musicians. We consulted specialty overview websites, business commerce magazines, and blogs, and skim via the net impressions of typical customers to see if efficiency sometimes matched a mic’s promise. In evaluating our alternatives, we prioritized sound high quality after which checked out development (together with moisture resistance), value, dimension, and the way the microphone is powered.

One of the best shotgun mics: Opinions & Suggestions

Greatest total: Sennheiser MKH 416

Why it made the minimize: This shotgun microphone’s capability to seize very pure sound, coupled with a rugged construct, has lengthy made it a go-to for professionals throughout many fields. 


  • Weight: 6.17 ounces
  • Size: 9.84 inches
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 20 kHz


  • Extensive frequency response for clear, pure sound
  • Tight polar sample isolates sound sources
  • Moisture resistant


Sennheiser’s title pops up again and again when discussing the most effective microphones and the venerable German producer doesn’t slack off with their flagship MKH 416 shotgun mic. This professional-grade piece of package has a large 40-20,000 Hz frequency response, with a hyper-cardioid polar sample on the low to mid frequencies that does a wonderful job of rejecting off-axis sounds whereas zeroing in on the dialogue and different mid-frequency sources. The shotgun works nice indoors or out, throughout a wide range of environments, because of an RF condenser design that’s extremely proof against moisture. Due to the MKH 416’s compact and light-weight development, it’s straightforward to mount the mic on a growth pole with out sacrificing maneuverability or tiring out your operator.

Make no mistake, you may get glorious shotgun mics for much less cash. However pretty much as good as they’re, none present the mixed stage of sonic high quality, sturdy development, and all-around utility of the MKH 416.

Greatest compact: Rode NTG3B

Rode NTG3B is the best compact shotgun mic.

Why it made the minimize: Small in dimension and massive on high quality, Rode’s NTG3B is a wonderful alternative for each camera- and boom-mounted purposes. 


  • Weight: 5.75 ounces
  • Size: 10.4 inches
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 20 kHz


  • Extensive frequency response for pure sound
  • Moisture resistant 
  • Straightforward to mount on a digicam or growth


  • Barely thinner sounding

Rode makes glorious mics. And because of its comparatively average price ticket, the NTG3B represents a standard first step into the world of high-quality microphones. However because of its extensive, pure 40-20,000 Hz frequency response and glorious construct high quality, it’s additionally the final cease for a lot of professional and semi-pro indie filmmakers, documentarians, broadcast journalists, podcasters, and in-house audio-video groups. It has glorious off-axis rejection and its RF condenser know-how protects it from average quantities of moisture. It isn’t fairly as delicate or directional as our prime decide, Sennheiser’s MKH 416, nevertheless it normally prices about $300 much less—and features a useful steel case—which, for all however probably the most demanding customers, is usually definitely worth the trade-off. It’s nonetheless not what we’d contemplate “budget-priced,” however you undoubtedly get what you pay for when it comes to sonic integrity and construct. 

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Greatest for DSLR: Rode VideoMic Professional+

Rode VideoMic Pro+ is the best shotgun mic for DSLR.

Why it made the minimize: Rode’s VideoMic Professional features a built-in shockmount and makes use of a 3.5mm TRS cable, making it a super, all-in-one answer for DSLR and mirrorless digicam shooters. 


  • Weight: 4.3 ounces
  • Size: 6.69 inches
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz


  • Constructed-in shockmount resists dealing with noise
  • Extraordinarily compact design
  • A number of energy choices
  • 3.5mm TRS connectors


  • No XLR connectivity
  • Off-axis rejection could possibly be higher

Rode designed this compact and useful shotgun mic with cellular journalists, vloggers, and run-and-gun shooters in thoughts. It connects to cameras or audio recorders through a 3.5mm TRS cable and options an built-in shockmount that protects it from dealing with noise. The VideoMic Professional+ additionally has a built-in cold-shoe mount—so no further arms or connectors are wanted to mount it in your digicam. 

The mic could be tuned to deal with totally different recording environments, with buttons that present low-cut filters at both 75 Hz or 150 Hz. You can even enhance the frequency at 7 kHz if issues begin sounding a bit muddy. The mic has adjustable achieve, as effectively, to assist compensate for very loud or smooth sounds. 

The VideoMic Professional+ gained’t settle for phantom energy, nevertheless it does will let you use AA batteries, Rode’s rechargeable battery, or an exterior battery that may join through USB. 

With a shorter barrel, this shotgun mic typically has bother rejecting off-axis sounds, particularly in environments with giant and noisy crowds. However if you wish to preserve your package low-profile and nimble, this trade-off could be price it.

Premium decide: Schoeps CMIT 5

Schoeps CMIT 5 shotgun mic is the premium pick.

Why it made the minimize: This is likely one of the most natural-sounding shotgun mics you should purchase, with switchable filters to assist form the sound for any atmosphere—however this type of high quality doesn’t come low-cost!


  • Weight: 3.35 ounces
  • Size: 9.88 inches
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 20 kHz


  • Pure sound
  • Three switchable filters
  • Shielded in opposition to digital interference
  • Compact design


  • Very costly.
  • Delicate to environmental points

Shoeps makes a number of the greatest sounding microphones within the enterprise and the CMIT 5 isn’t any exception. It has a frequency response of 40 to twenty,000 Hz that’s tuned to supply flat, clear, pure audio. Nevertheless it additionally has three filters in case some extra acoustic sculpting is required: improve vocal readability with a 5 dB enhance at 10 Hz; roll off some bass at 300 Hz to offset proximity impact; or do a steep minimize under 80 Hz to assist wrangle handling-noise from a mic growth. It’s designed to carry out greatest when paired with a high-gain mic preamp and is right for high-end purposes like capturing dialogue, foley work, sound results, or recording nuanced devices.

Nonetheless, Schoeps mics are a number of the most delicate to environmental points like humidity. You don’t need to convey the CMIT 5 into the jungle or shoot down in Florida exterior of an environmentally managed constructing. This can be a microphone for the studio, live performance corridor, or closed set.

Keep in mind that the most effective of the most effective comes with a excessive price ticket and the Schoeps CMIT 5 could be extra microphone than many individuals exterior of the skilled area want. 

Greatest funds: Audio-Technica AT897

Audio-Technica AT897 is the best budget shotgun mic.

Why it made the minimize: It’s onerous to beat the AT897’s efficiency at this value level, making it our alternative for anybody working beneath a tighter funds. 


  • Weight: 5.11 ounces
  • Size: 10.98 inches
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz


  • Cheap
  • 80 Hz low-cut swap
  • Light-weight
  • Battery and phantom powered


  • Inclined to moisture
  • Barely brittle sounding 

With microphones, you usually get what you pay for. However Audio-Technica’s AT897 manages to ship high-quality outcomes whereas nonetheless costing lower than $250. Its extensive 20-20,000 Hz frequency response, with a switchable roll-off at 80 Hz, permits the mic to seize very pure sound. That mentioned, the response throughout all these frequencies could possibly be flatter and you’ll count on some brittleness within the increased finish that you just gained’t discover on extra professional-grade mics. Off-axis sound rejection is sweet however not nice.

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The AT897 is constructed like a tank and whereas I wouldn’t recommend tossing it onto concrete or driving over it with a truck, it’ll usually survive the mishaps you’re prone to encounter when recording on location or out in nature. Nonetheless, it’s vulnerable to moisture and excessive humidity, so regulate the climate in the event you’re utilizing it open air. 

A pleasant bonus: This mic can run off an AA battery, which is especially useful when the funds doesn’t permit for recorders or cameras that offer phantom energy—for example, in a classroom.  

Regardless of some shortcomings, this is a wonderful shotgun microphone for rookies who need to develop their approach, colleges, or anybody working beneath a good funds. 

Issues to contemplate earlier than shopping for the most effective shotgun mics

Microphones have polar, or response, patterns, which describe how they “hear” sound sources relying on the place they’re positioned. A shotgun microphone is a sort of mic that has a really slender, front-facing response often known as a “supercardioid” sample. This implies the mic principally picks up sound from no matter you level it at whereas doing a wonderful job of rejecting sound from the perimeters and, to a lesser extent, the again. Shotgun mics are perfect for recording dialogue on a film set, the motion on the court docket at a basketball sport, or animals out in nature. It’s essential to notice that no shotguns will reject all off-axis sound. However they do a wonderful job of preserving the main focus in your topic.

Frequency response

Frequency response is measured in Hertz (Hz) and describes how effectively the microphone captures sound at totally different frequencies. Shotgun microphones are inclined to have very extensive, flat responses—that’s, they decide up a variety of frequencies kind of equally effectively—to higher signify what the human ear can hear. They’re usually tuned a bit to assist emphasize dialogue and different mid-range frequencies. 

Condenser vs. dynamic microphones

There are two foremost varieties of microphones: condenser mics and dynamic mics. In very primary phrases, microphones use diaphragms that vibrate when hit by sound waves. These vibrations generate digital impulses that may be recorded or transformed instantly again into sound. Condenser mics have very skinny diaphragms which are delicate to refined, quiet, nuanced sound. However they’re extra delicate and vulnerable to heavy dealing with and moisture. Dynamic mics, with their thicker diaphragms, aren’t pretty much as good with nuance however do very effectively when blasted with loud noises. They’re additionally sturdy and might survive a variety of abuse. (Singers normally use dynamic mics on stage, and in the event you’ve ever been to a punk present, you’ve seen the harm they will face up to.) 

As a result of shotguns are supposed to seize even whispered dialogue, they’re virtually at all times condenser mics. Some mics—like these in Sennheiser’s MKH collection—use RF condensers of their capsules versus AF condensers, which do a greater job of resisting humidity. Nevertheless it’s essential to know the choices and even check a mic so that you be sure to get the fitting one for the job at hand.


Shotgun mics are available in varied lengths, from a compact 3 inches or 4 inches to greater than 1-foot lengthy. Contemplate the way you’ll be utilizing the mic when deciding on whether or not or not you need a compact one. For those who’re mounting it on a digicam, a smaller profile makes the mic lighter and rather more maneuverable. Longer shotguns are inclined to have tighter polar patterns; they’re nice when recording concert events or sporting occasions and also you need to reduce the overwhelming crowd noise. However put one on a digicam and also you’re liable to poke somebody’s eye out!   


Like all condenser mics, shotguns require some form of energy supply. They normally depend on 48v phantom energy, which is delivered from a recording machine, mixer, or digicam. However some even have an possibility of utilizing an AA battery, which could be a lifesaver if you end up in a state of affairs the place phantom energy isn’t obtainable. (For example, some wi-fi rigs don’t ship energy themselves, so decide up and energy up these rechargeable batteries.)

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Q: How do I select a shotgun mic? 

When selecting a shotgun mic, search for one which fits the initiatives you’re prone to work on. Are you an indie filmmaker? A vlogger? Do you prefer to stay stream content material? Do you file music? Are you working indoors or exterior? How managed an atmosphere will you be recording in? Additionally, contemplate your funds—spend sufficient to get a mic that may serve you effectively as your initiatives develop, however not one which utterly empties your pockets or gives options you realize you’ll by no means want. 

Q: How good are shotgun mics?

Shotgun mics are nice if used appropriately and for the fitting utility—similar to any mic! If it’s essential decide up particular sound sources, like an actor delivering dialogue or a guitarist enjoying on a road nook, shotgun mics are excellent due to the way in which they reduce surrounding (off-axis) noise.

Q: How a lot does a shotgun mic value?

Shotgun mics value wherever from about $200 to $2,500. However you usually get what you pay for, and lower-priced mics typically sacrifice sonic readability and off-axis rejection or may not be constructed effectively sufficient to guard them from bangs and bumps. Then again, the highest-priced mics are designed for professionals in demanding conditions, and many individuals gained’t have to reap the benefits of all these mics provide. Many glorious shotgun mics could be discovered within the $300-$800 value vary.

Q: Is a shotgun mic good for YouTube?

A shotgun mic is nice for YouTube. Something that captures audio clearly and helps you ship your artistic imaginative and prescient is a instrument you need in your package. 

Q: Can you utilize a shotgun mic to file music?

Sure, you should utilize a shotgun mic to file music. An excellent high quality shotgun has a flat frequency response and directionality that makes it very efficient at capturing heat and refined tones.   

Remaining ideas on the most effective shotgun mics

For those who’re searching for a shotgun microphone, you’ve acquired a variety of choices—that’s the excellent news. Producers like Sennheiser and Rode make mics at totally different value factors that every one ship glorious audio. The trick is determining which mic fits your wants greatest with out by chance overspending. It’s not straightforward—and that’s the unhealthy information. Navigating all these microphones takes time and cautious analysis. It additionally helps to make use of the mics before you purchase one so you may inform from first-hand expertise if it’s best for you. That mentioned, our personal expertise working with these mics professionally takes us again, again and again, to the basic Sennheiser MKH 416. It’s onerous to beat the sound high quality, which is solely glorious. However in the event you can’t fairly afford one, Rode’s NTG3B, our decide for the most effective compact shotgun mic, is a wonderful second alternative. It sounds virtually pretty much as good and has the identical resistance to humidity. I’ve used each in skilled settings and I’ve by no means had any complaints. 

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