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Shotgun Condenser (Directional) On-Camera (TRS) Microphones

The directional microphone has a slender body that resembles a shotgun. Shotgun mics look like extra-long versions of small-diaphragm condenser microphones. They usually have supercardioid and hypercardioid audio pickup patterns. These enable them to record sounds coming from one direction while eliminating background noise. There are two types of condenser shotgun mics: boom and on-camera. A boom shotgun microphone attaches to a boom pole that extends its reach while an on-camera version mounts on a video camera. A quick way to differentiate between both types is their input connections. Boom models use XLR connection while on-camera units use the TRS jack.

Shotgun Condenser (Highly Directional) Boom (XLR) Microphones

Directional mono microphones, often called shotguns, have a single microphone element. The microphone element is normally placed at the back end of a barrel, which has cancellation vents on both sides. This gives the microphone a narrow pickup pattern that is called super-cardioid. The result is a microphone that is most sensitive to sound coming from the direction it is pointed, while being less sensitive to sounds from the sides and rear. This directional type pickup is preferable for most dialogue and voice over applications. For example, when recording dialogue, you want the sound pickup focused on your subject, and all extraneous sounds to be reduced. This will make your subject’s voice and your recording more intelligible. Mono microphones can also pick up sounds at a greater distance than stereo microphones, again because their pickup pattern is more focused and extraneous noise is reduced. A boom shotgun microphone attaches to a boom pole that extends its reach while an on-camera version mounts on a video camera. Boom models use XLR connection while on-camera units use the TRS jack.

Dual Capsule Shotgun On-Camera Vlogging Microphones

Dual capsule microphones are relatively new in the market and cater to a growing demand for Vlogging. Such microphones usually feature front and back directional cardioid pick up patterns which allows you to capture both sound from your subject and yourself talking. They are usually on camera shotgun microphones and have a switch to disable dual directional sound capture, turning it into a single directional shotgun mic. Examples are the Deity D4 Duo, Boya BY-MM1 Pro and Sairen T-Mic.

Conference Microphones

Used in a conference setting, such microphones are able to capture a wide angle pattern of sounds but only in one direction. This allows for the voices of sujects, usually seated next to each other facing the same direction, rather than facing each other, to be captured clearly.

Lavalier Microphones

Lavalier microphones are also called lapel mics. They are small and clip to your shirt, collar or tie. The great thing about lavalier mics is that they allow you to record hands-free. Once you have it positioned correctly, you won’t even have to think about the microphone. You can just focus on the content you are producing. Because they are small and unobtrusive, they are great for video as well and are commonly used with DSLR cameras and iPhones.

Lavalier mics are commonly used by sports anchors, news reporters, conference presenters, churches and more. They make a great option for podcasting on the go or creating YouTube videos as well. Lav mics come in both wired and wireless options, both having their pros and cons.

Wireless Microphones

Smartphone Microphones

Smartphone microphones differ from other microphones by their connectors to smartphone/tablet devices. They usually feature a TRRS jack or even an Apple lightning or USB Type C connector which allows you to plug them straight into your mobile devices, bypassing the need to an adapter. iPhone 7 onwards no longer feature built in TRRS headphone/mic jack and would require a lightning to TRRS adapter. Same for the more recent android phones which only have USB Type C ports. It should be noted that some of the USB microphones such as the Boya BY-PM700SP and Samson Satellite are USB microphones but also able to connect directly into lightning and USB Type C ports to use with mobile devices. Other microphones with XLR or TRS connectors are also possible to used with mobile devices using suitable adapters, such as the the Rode SC4, which adapters a TRS connector into a TRRS one.