Shotgun Microphone Reviews And Buying Tips

There are many types of microphones available, but what is a shotgun microphone? Simply put, a shotgun microphone is used with a camcorder for filming. It is similar to the shape of a shotgun, hence the name, and is specifically designed to pick up audio for filming, without getting in the way of the shot.

The best shotgun microphone will be able to pick up sound both near and far, depending on what the director wants in the shot. The best shotgun microphone will also be discreet so that it does not get in the way of the actual film.

Our shotgun microphone comparison shows a lot of different features based on different mics available. The best shotgun microphones out there will, as said, be discreet and pick up only the sound needed, but there are many other features too look for as well.

There are different types of shotgun mics and they all come in different shapes and sizes. Shotgun microphone reviews will differ as to which are the ‘best’ types available, so it is up to you to make your decision based on several shotgun microphone reviews, not just one.

Rode, Audio-Technica and Azden are all incredibly good brands for these types of microphones, being well known for their overall high quality in production and value. They are also incredibly affordable – some shotgun microphones can be in the thousands, whereas a Rode mic will likely cost only a few hundred dollars, while still providing really good audio quality.

This makes them incredibly well-suited to filming in general, since they will provide the best possible audio available for the shot, so that any film you shoot will be the best and will make the most of the conditions you have when shooting the film.

As for individual mics to look into, see below:

2015 Best Shotgun Microphone...

Overall (Any Price)
#1 MKH416-P48U3

The Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 has a 20-year-old design that remains the best option there is in the market today, despite the emergence of more innovative shotgun mics. It has a frequency response of 40 Hz - 20 KHz and a cardioid/lobar polar pattern. It is transformerless with compact design, excellent directivity, high consonant articulation, and feedback rejection. It is an excellent microphone that has many uses, such as in film, radio, television, and especially in outside broadcasts. It is usually mounted to booms, fish poles, and cameras.

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#2 Rode NTG3

The Rode NTG3 is a premier supercardioid condenser shotgun microphone that boasts of superlative audio quality. As a device that is almost completely resistant to moisture, it is designed to withstand adverse weather conditions with its RF bias technology. It is one of few shotgun microphones available that can withstand extreme settings, resolving condensation issues. It is made from durable and lightweight solid brass that is sure to last long with proper care and handling. Maximum protection is guaranteed with the provision of a highly weatherproof aluminum storage cylinder for storage and transport.

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Under $250

The Azden SGM-2X is a versatile electret condenser shotgun microphone with its 8 1/8-inch omnidirectional barrel and extension barrel to make it 15 3/4 inches and supercardioid. Either configuration delivers a wide bandwidth signal that is sensitive and has low noise. It has a switchable low-cut filter and an integrated shockmount that can be attached to a camera shoe or mic stand. It uses one AAA-sized battery that lasts up to approximately 800 hours. The long battery life makes a phantom power supply unnecessary. An XLRF “plug-in” transmitter is used to make it a wireless shotgun microphone. It has a frequency response of 40 Hz - 20 kHz.

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#2 Rode VideoMic Pro

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Under $100
#1 Neewer 14.37 inch

This Neewer mic is a condenser shotgun microphone that has a uni-ultra polar pattern and a frequency response of 100-16035 Hz. It offers three modes, namely: off, "tele” mode for short distance applications, and “normal” for long distance applications. It is powered by a AA battery but can also be plugged into a phantom power supply. Reviews demonstrate that this microphone shows impressive performance, which is a great thing for its price. 

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#2 Audio-Technica ATR-6550

The Audio-Technica ATR6550 is an ideal shotgun microphone for video cameras. It is an economical mic that works perfectly at its price point. It is a mono-condenser shotgun microphone with cardioid polar pattern on normal mode and supercardioid polar pattern on tele mode. It has a frequency response of 70Hz-18 kHz and has crisp and intelligible voice/sound capture. Many consumers who bought this mic claim that it's the best entry-level microphone with its fantastic sound quality.

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2012/2013 Rankings
#1Rode VideoMic Pro

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#2Azden Barrell Shotgun Mic

The Azden Barrell Shotgun Mic is an example of an incredibly good shotgun mic. Noise is absolutely minimal, and it can be adjusted to pick up the sound that you want on the film, near or far.

  • Switchable low cut filter
  • XLR outputs
  • Low noise and small length

Reviews agree this mic is good as it is so portable and well-designed for shooting, making it ideal for its purpose, especially with a price tag of only $200.

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#3Audio-Technica AT897

The Audio-Technica AT897 is another really good example of a shotgun mic. The price is good for what it is and so is the quality, so you do not have to break the bank to go out and film professionally. Reviewers agree that this mic is brilliant – although it could be cheaper it really does deliver on quality, making it ideal for professional applications.

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