What is the best microphone for your project?

Like Pippen to Jordan, Iniesta to Messi, ice to diet coke; microphones often play dangerously underrated second fiddle to cameras. Without one, the other can’t perform at its absolute peak, so in this blog we’ll have a look at what the best microphone is for your project. 

Truthfully, to get an idea of what the best microphone for you might be, it’s probably best to watch the video above of Sarah using the different mics and listen to each of them, but we’ll always go the extra mile for our reader(s)!

Handheld Mics

A handheld mic, the kind you might see a journalist doing features for local news stations using, stood on the streets talking about the pedestrianisation of Norwich City Centre. 

A handheld microphone is ideal for capturing a speaker at an event. Think of the celebrity panel discussions like Comic Con, where they’ll all be sat in a line along a table with a microphone each. 

It’s worth noting that you will need an XLR cable for a handheld microphone. You can use wireless receivers, but for the best quality, a wired connection is best. 

Pros: Versatile, little to no background noise, quick and easy to use, 

Cons: require a cable (unless you pay extra for wireless receivers) meaning you can only go a certain distance from the camera, not very subtle and if you don’t want it to be in the frame then you’ll need a very strong mic

Best time to use: Events, pop up interviews

Wireless Transmitter and Receiver Mics

A wireless microphone is hard to picture, because you rarely see them. These are probably the ones we use the most at Stone’s Throw; especially for things like interviews. 

It’s as simple as clipping the mic onto your lapel or a lavalier and you might see it popping out slightly. 

You’ll need an XLR cable for the receiver that goes into the camera.

Pros: subtle, little background noise, good quality sound, can be a good distance from the camera

Cons: take a while to set up, clothes/hair/jewellery may interfere 

Best time to use: interviews, monologues to camera

Shotgun Mics

Named for the way they absorb sound (point and shoot), a shotgun mic plugs straight into your camera if it has an XLR port. You can move it around, put it on a boom pole or just stick it on top of your camera. 

Pros: versatile/mobile, high quality

Cons: picks up background noise, not as mobile as a clip on mic, speaking subject needs to be close to camera, requires cable

Best time to use: when the speaking subject is moving and when there’s multiple subjects speaking

The best microphone to use is completely dependent on the scenario, type of video, if you’re inside/outside and how much background noise there is.

In short, there’s no best microphone as a universal answer.

Hopefully this has given you a clearer idea of which is the best microphone to use and when! If you have any further questions, do get in touch

Thank you for taking the time to read our blog, why not check out these great resources while you’re here?

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