10 Best Shotgun Microphones for Content Making

Best Shotgun Microphones

If you’re a content creator, filmmaker, or audio enthusiast, understanding the value of the best shotgun microphones is essential to your craft. With myriad options out there, pinpointing the right one can be daunting. In this guide, we’ve curated the top 10 mics to streamline your choice.


Selecting the optimal shotgun microphone is paramount for pristine audio capture. The Sennheiser MKH 416 sets the industry benchmark, especially for film. For budget-conscious choices, the Audio-Technica AT875R excels. Yet, one’s specific application, be it vlogging or streaming, is crucial in finalizing a pick.

Top 10 Best Shotgun Microphone Reviews

Sennheiser MKH 416: Gold Standard for Film & Broadcasting

Sennheiser MKH 416


The Sennheiser MKH 416 is arguably the best shotgun microphone for film and broadcasting, boasting a compact, short design that has gained legendary status.

Key Features:

  • Super-cardioid/lobar pickup pattern
  • Excellent directivity and off-axis linearity
  • Rugged, all-metal body designed for adverse climatic conditions
  • Low self-noise and high sensitivity
  • Highly moisture-resistant RF condenser design

What You Might Like:

When you think about industry standards in film and broadcasting, the MKH 416 is often the first name that comes up. Its supercardioid/lobar pattern ensures precise sound capturing, making it the go-to choice for outdoor shoots, especially in noisy environments. The robust build can handle tough weather conditions, making it incredibly reliable.

What You Might Not Like:

While its performance is top-notch, it might be overkill for beginners or those on a tight budget. It demands an understanding of sound nuances to be used to its fullest potential.

Price Range:

High-end. The MKH 416 is an investment but is well worth the price for professionals.


If you’re looking for industry-grade performance and reliability, the Sennheiser MKH 416 is the gold standard. It’s an investment in top-notch audio quality, suitable for those serious about their craft.

RØDE VideoMic Pro: Best Shotgun Mic for DSLR

RØDE VideoMic Pro


The RØDE VideoMic Pro is often regarded as the best shotgun microphone for DSLR as well as mirrorless camera users, ensuring top-tier audio for videographers on the move.

Key Features:

  • Super-cardioid polar pattern
  • Integrated shock mounting system
  • Three-level gain control (-10 dB, 0, +20 dB)
  • Powered by a 9V battery with over 70 hours of runtime
  • Compact design suitable for on-camera mounting

What You Might Like:

The VideoMic Pro is a favorite among videographers for its plug-and-play simplicity. The integrated shock mount effectively minimizes handling noise, and the gain control helps adapt to various recording scenarios. Being lightweight and compact, it’s the perfect companion for DSLR and mirrorless camera users, providing crisp and clear audio.

What You Might Not Like:

Though it’s great for on-the-go videography, it might not be the best fit for studio or professional film setups. Also, some users might prefer mics with rechargeable batteries instead of the traditional 9V.

Price Range:

Mid-range. It offers great value for its price, especially for vloggers and indie filmmakers.


The Rode VideoMic Pro is a reliable and affordable choice for videographers using DSLR or mirrorless cameras. It blends quality and convenience in a package that won’t break the bank.

Audio-Technica AT875R: Top Choice for Budget-Conscious Filmmakers

Audio-Technica AT875R


The Audio-Technica AT875R is a line-gradient shotgun microphone tailored for video production. It brings together professional features and affordability, making it a top pick for indie filmmakers on a budget.

Key Features:

  • Short length ideal for compact digital cameras
  • Line-gradient polar pattern for focused sound capture
  • Excellent off-axis rejection
  • Wide frequency response and low inherent noise
  • Rugged built with a durable metal construction

What You Might Like:

The AT875R stands out for delivering clear and natural sound without burning a hole in your pocket. Its short length makes it compatible with smaller digital cameras, ensuring it doesn’t intrude into the frame. The off-axis sound rejection is commendable, helping filmmakers achieve a clean sound even in challenging environments.

What You Might Not Like:

The mic requires phantom power, which might not be suitable for everyone. Also, while the sound quality is impressive for its price, it might not match up to the more premium shotgun mics in the market.

Price Range:

Budget-friendly. It’s a steal for the quality it offers to aspiring filmmakers.


For filmmakers who want good quality without splurging, the Audio-Technica AT875R is a prime choice. It balances performance and price, making professional sound accessible to all.

Rode NTG5: Ideal for Outdoor and Booming Operations

Rode NTG5


The Rode NTG5 is a broadcast-quality shotgun microphone with a design optimized for outdoor use and booming operations, ensuring precision and clarity in every capture.

Key Features:

  • RF-bias technology for superior resistance to adverse weather conditions
  • Short, lightweight design with cylindrical shape
  • Tailored frequency response and tight polar pattern
  • Comes with a complete location recording kit
  • Excellent side and rear rejection

What You Might Like:

One of the NTG5’s standout features is its RF-bias technology, which makes it exceptionally resistant to moisture and humidity – a real boon for outdoor recording. The mic’s tailored frequency response captures natural tones, while the tight polar pattern ensures targeted audio capture. Plus, its compact design makes booming operations a breeze.

What You Might Not Like:

While the NTG5 is versatile, its focus on outdoor and booming operations means it might not be the first choice for studio or indoor recordings. Additionally, its price point may be a bit steep for hobbyists or those just starting out.

Price Range:

Mid to high-end. You’re investing in a mic that’s built for the challenges of outdoor recording.


The Rode NTG5 is a robust and reliable choice for those who frequently record outdoors or require a mic that excels in booming operations. With its advanced features and durable design, it’s a worthy addition to any professional’s toolkit.

Deity S-Mic 2: Best Shotgun Mic for Voice Over and Studios

Deity S-Mic 2


The Deity S-Mic 2 is often considered the best shotgun microphone for voice-over artists, offering impeccable sound quality that makes it a studio favorite.

Key Features:

  • Super-cardioid polar pattern
  • Low inherent self-noise
  • Brass metal construction for interference rejection
  • Weather-resistant design
  • Wide frequency response for natural sound reproduction

What You Might Like:

Voice-over artists and studio professionals will appreciate the S-Mic 2’s ability to capture sound with remarkable clarity and warmth. Its low self-noise ensures minimal background interference, allowing for clean recordings. The brass construction not only provides durability but also aids in reducing RF interference, ensuring unblemished sound capture.

What You Might Not Like:

While the S-Mic 2 shines in controlled studio environments, it might not be the best fit for on-the-go field recordings or vlogging setups. Additionally, its price point might be a bit prohibitive for those just venturing into professional audio recording.

Price Range:

Mid to high-end. It’s an investment in studio-grade sound quality.


For those focused on studio recordings or voice-over work, the Deity S-Mic 2 is a top contender. Its design, coupled with its sound capturing capabilities, makes it an invaluable asset for professionals seeking impeccable audio quality.

Shure VP83F LensHopper: Best Shotgun Mic for Vlogging

Shure VP83F LensHopper


The Shure VP83F LensHopper, tailor-made for vloggers and on-camera applications. comes with an integrated flash recording feature. This, plus other key features make it a top contender for the best shotgun microphone for vlogging.

Key Features:

  • Built-in audio recording with MicroSDHC
  • Detailed, high-definition audio with full low-end response
  • Super-cardioid polar pattern for focused sound capture
  • Rugged, all-metal construction with integrated Rycote Lyre shock mounting
  • One-touch audio playback and headphone monitoring

What You Might Like:

Vloggers will adore the VP83F’s ability to record directly onto a MicroSDHC card, eliminating the need for syncing in post-production. The audio quality is crisp, capturing voices with clarity and richness. Its durable build ensures it stands up to the rigors of daily use, and the integrated Rycote Lyre shock mount effectively minimizes handling noise.

What You Might Not Like:

Its primary focus on vlogging and on-camera use might make it less versatile for other applications. While the built-in recorder is a boon, it might be redundant for those who already have a dedicated audio recorder.

Price Range:

Mid-range. Offers a balance between features and affordability, especially for vloggers.


The Shure VP83F LensHopper is a vlogger’s best friend, blending convenience with top-notch audio capture. Its unique features cater specifically to on-camera content creators, ensuring seamless recording and playback.

Sennheiser MKE 600: Best Shotgun Mic for Long Distance Audio Capture

Sennheiser MKE 600


The Sennheiser MKE 600 is expertly engineered for clear and distant sound recordings. Recognized as one of the best for long-distance audio capture, it’s a favorite for outdoor shoots and interviews.

Key Features:

  • Pronounced directivity for targeted audio capture
  • Effective rejection of off-axis noise
  • Low-cut filter for minimizing wind noise
  • Rugged and durable all-metal housing
  • Battery and phantom power options

What You Might Like:

For professionals working in dynamic environments, the MKE 600’s ability to hone in on distant sounds while effectively sidelining ambient noise is invaluable. Its low-cut filter proves essential when working outdoors, eliminating distracting wind noise. The option to switch between battery and phantom power offers flexibility based on the recording setup.

What You Might Not Like:

The MKE 600 is specialized for long-distance capture, so it might not be the best choice for close-up, indoor studio work. Additionally, its price point, while justified, may be a barrier for some hobbyists or newcomers.

Price Range:

Mid to high-end. A reasonable investment for those who require its specialized capabilities.


The Sennheiser MKE 600 stands out in scenarios where capturing clear, distant audio is paramount. With its blend of features tailored for such situations, it’s a must-have for professionals in outdoor and interview settings.

Rode VideoMic GO: Best Shotgun Mic for YouTube

Rode VideoMic GO


The Rode VideoMic GO is a no-fuss, plug-and-play shotgun microphone designed for content creators in mind. It’s features emphasize ease of use and portability, making it the top choice for YouTubers.

Key Features:

  • No battery required; powered by camera
  • Integrated Rycote Lyre shock mount
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Clear, directional audio capture
  • Tight polar pattern for focused sound

What You Might Like:

YouTubers and on-the-move creators will relish the VideoMic GO’s simplicity. Just plug it into your camera, and you’re set—no battery worries. The integrated Rycote Lyre shock mount helps in reducing vibrations and handling noise, ensuring cleaner audio. Its lightweight nature makes it perfect for handheld shooting or mounting on gimbals.

What You Might Not Like:

While its simplicity is its strength, professionals might miss advanced features like gain control or filtering options. Additionally, being dependent on camera power means you’re limited by your camera’s battery life.

Price Range:

Budget-friendly. Offers a balance of quality and affordability, especially for budding content creators.


The Rode VideoMic GO is a boon for content creators seeking a straightforward, effective solution for their YouTube audio needs. It’s an excellent entry-level microphone, ensuring quality without complexity.

Takstar SGC-598: Best Budget Shotgun Mic for Beginners

Takstar SGC-598


The Takstar SGC-598 is an affordable shotgun microphone that doesn’t compromise on quality, making it an excellent entry point for budding filmmakers and content creators.

Key Features:

  • Cardioid polar pattern for focused audio capture
  • +10dB gain boost and low-cut filtering options
  • Shock-resistant design reduces handling noise
  • Powered by a single AA battery
  • Integrated foam windshield

What You Might Like:

Beginners will find the SGC-598 an invaluable tool, given its user-friendly features at an affordable price point. The gain boost can be handy in quieter environments, while the low-cut filter helps reduce unwanted ambient noise. Its shock-resistant design ensures minimal noise from handling, and the foam windshield is a nice touch for outdoor recording.

What You Might Not Like:

While it offers impressive quality for its price, it might not measure up to the standards set by the best shotgun microphones in challenging environments or professional use scenarios. Some users might find the reliance on AA batteries a bit outdated.

Price Range:

Very budget-friendly. The Takstar SGC-598 is one of the best cheap shotgun microphone options for those dipping their toes into audio recording.


For beginners seeking quality on a budget, the Takstar SGC-598 is a top choice. It offers a solid introduction to the world of audio capture without breaking the bank.

Rode NTG4+: Best Shotgun Mic with Built-in Battery for Streamers and Content Creators

Rode NTG4+


The Rode NTG4+ is a versatile shotgun microphone with a built-in rechargeable battery, making it an excellent pick for streamers, podcasters, and content creators who need dependable and extended performance.

Key Features:

  • Built-in lithium battery with 150+ hours of operation
  • Digital switching for high-frequency boost, high-pass filter, and pad
  • Super-cardioid polar pattern
  • Balanced output with low noise
  • Convenient USB charging

What You Might Like:
Streamers and content creators will appreciate the NTG4+’s extended battery life, ensuring uninterrupted recording sessions. The digital switches offer flexibility, allowing you to tailor the sound capture based on the environment. The USB charging is a modern touch, eliminating the need for external batteries or power sources.

What You Might Not Like:
While the built-in battery is a significant advantage, it means you’re dependent on the mic’s internal battery health over time. Additionally, its price might be a bit steep for hobbyists or those just beginning their content creation journey.

Price Range:
Mid to high-end. The NTG4+ is a solid investment for those serious about consistent and high-quality audio capture.

The Rode NTG4+ stands out with its built-in battery feature, offering extended and reliable performance for streamers and content creators. Its blend of convenience and quality makes it a worthy addition to any setup.

Shotgun Mic – A Comprehensive Buying Guide

What is a Shotgun Mic?

Shotgun microphone close-up

A shotgun microphone, often referred to simply as a “shotgun mic,” is a type of highly directional microphone that’s designed to capture audio from a specific area in front of it, while rejecting sounds coming from the sides and rear.

It gets its name from its long, cylindrical shape, resembling the barrel of a shotgun. Inside, it uses a line-gradient principle, with multiple small openings along its length that help in achieving its unique directionality.

What is A Shotgun Mic Used For?

Shotgun mics are versatile tools, but they shine in scenarios where focused audio capture is essential. They’re commonly used in:

Film crew with shotgun microphone

  • Film and TV Production: To record dialogue or specific ambient sounds without capturing unwanted background noise.
  • Broadcasting: For interviews in noisy environments, allowing the speaker’s voice to stand out.
  • Sports Events: To hone in on specific sounds, like the crack of a baseball bat or the swish of a basketball net.
  • Wildlife Recording: To capture calls or sounds of specific animals without much interference.

Selecting the best shotgun microphone for your needs will therefore heavily depend on your specific use-case.

The Role of Shotgun Mics in Producing High-Quality Audio

The unique design of shotgun microphones ensure high-quality audio by honing in on the source directly in front of them. This directionality ensures that primary sounds, such as dialogue or specific ambient noises, are captured clearly and prominently.

By minimizing the pickup of off-axis sounds (those coming from the sides or behind the mic), shotgun mics reduce background noise and potential audio distractions. This results in clearer, more intelligible recordings, making them invaluable in professional audio capture scenarios.

Whether it’s a whispered dialogue in a movie scene or the subtle rustling of leaves in a documentary, shotgun mics ensure that the desired sound stands out with clarity and precision.

Audio waveform or sound spectrum visualization

The Advantages of Using Shotgun Mics in Filmmaking

Filmmaking demands top-tier audio capture, and the right shotgun microphones offer several distinct advantages, solidifying their position as integral tools on set:

How Shotgun Mics Provide a More Natural, Conversational Sound

One of the standout features of shotgun mics is their ability to reproduce sound in a manner that feels natural to the human ear. When capturing dialogue, it’s crucial that the audio feels genuine, as if the audience is right there in the scene. Shotgun mics excel in this:

  1. Directionality: By focusing on the sound source directly in front of them, shotgun mics capture voices with clarity and depth, ensuring that every nuance and emotion is conveyed.
  2. Background Ambience: While they minimize unwanted noise, shotgun mics don’t eliminate ambient sound completely. This subtle background noise adds depth and realism to a scene, making conversations feel more genuine and less ‘studio-produced.’
  3. Flexibility in Post-Production: The clear audio capture of shotgun mics provides sound editors with a clean slate, making it easier to enhance or modify in post-production.

Why Shotgun Mics are the Preferred Choice for Filmmaking

Behind the scenes film set with boom mic operator

  • Minimized Intrusion: Their design allows them to be positioned out of frame, yet close enough to capture clear audio, ensuring they don’t interfere with the visual elements of a scene.
  • Versatility: Whether mounted on a boom pole, handheld, or attached to a camera, shotgun mics can adapt to various shooting scenarios.
  • Reliability in Diverse Environments: Whether it’s a quiet indoor dialogue scene or an action-packed outdoor sequence, the best shotgun mics deliver consistent performance free of distortion
  • Cost-Effective: While high-end models can be pricey, the range of shotgun mics available means filmmakers can find a mic that fits their budget without compromising on quality.
  • Integration with Other Equipment: Shotgun mics can easily integrate with wireless systems, mixers, and other audio equipment, making them a seamless addition to any filmmaker’s toolkit.

In essence, for filmmakers aiming to produce content that resonates with audiences, both visually and audibly, the right shotgun microphone will be indispensable tools. Their ability to capture clear, natural sound in diverse scenarios makes them a cornerstone of professional filmmaking.

The Key Aspects to Consider when Selecting a Shotgun Mic

Variety of shotgun microphones side by side
Credit: https://www.megamediafactory.com/

Choosing the best shotgun microphone can be the difference between professional-sounding audio and a mediocre recording. Here are key aspects to ponder:

Polar Pattern: The Importance of Directionality in Audio Capture

The polar pattern of a microphone defines how it captures sound from different directions. Shotgun mics typically have a super-cardioid or lobar pattern, focusing on sound directly in front while rejecting side and rear noises.

Understanding the specific polar pattern of a mic can help in selecting one that’s best suited for your recording environment.

Frequency Response: How it Affects Sound Quality

Frequency response (measured in kHz) refers to the range of frequencies a mic can capture and how it responds to them. A mic with a broad frequency response will capture both low and high-frequency sounds with clarity.

For filmmaking, a balanced frequency response that can capture the full richness of human voices and ambient sounds is crucial.

Power Requirements: What You Need to Know


Some shotgun mics require external phantom power, while others operate on batteries. Consider your recording setup: will you have access to a power source? If you’re on the move, a battery-powered option might be more suitable.

Compatibility with devices

Ensure the mic you choose is compatible with your recording device, whether it’s a camera, recorder, or audio interface. Some mics are designed specifically for DSLRs, while others are more versatile.

Does Size Matter? On-Camera vs Boom Operated Mics

The size and weight of the mic play a role, especially if you’re using it on-camera. Lightweight mics are ideal for on-camera use, while longer mics are typically used on boom poles for capturing audio from a distance.

Considering Additional Features for Enhanced Audio

Look for features like low-cut filters (to reduce low-frequency noise), shock mounts (to minimize handling noise), and adjustable gain settings. These can greatly enhance the quality of your audio capture.

Budget: Cheap, mid-range, and high-end options and what to expect for each

Your budget will play a significant role in your choice:

  • Cheap: Budget-friendly mics offer decent quality, suitable for hobbyists or beginners.
  • Mid-range: These mics strike a balance between quality and price, ideal for semi-professionals or indie filmmakers.
  • High-end: Professional-grade mics with superior sound quality, durability, and advanced features. Suitable for those who require the best audio capture possible.

Remember, the most expensive mic isn’t always the best for your needs. Consider the specific requirements of your project and environment when making a selection.

What Other Sound Equipment Complements the Use of Shotgun Mics?

Shotgun microphone with accessories like windshields and boom poles

While shotgun microphones are potent tools on their own, integrating them with complementary sound equipment can significantly boost their performance and overall audio quality. Here’s a breakdown:

The Role of Windshields in Enhancing Audio Quality

Shotgun mic with and without a windshield

Windshields, often referred to as windjammers, dead cats or windscreens, play a crucial role when recording outdoors. They are designed to:

  • Minimize Wind Noise: Shotgun mics, with their sensitive design, can pick up wind noise, which can be distracting and even render a recording unusable. Windshields diffuse the wind, preventing it from directly hitting the mic’s capsule.
  • Preserve Audio Clarity: While they block wind, quality windshields are acoustically transparent, ensuring that the sound being recorded remains clear and natural.

Whether you’re recording a gentle breeze or a gusty storm, a good windshield is indispensable for outdoor audio capture.

The Importance of Boom Poles in Audio Capture

Behind the scene. Sound boom operator hold microphone fisher on the set

Boom poles are extendable poles that allow sound operators to position shotgun mics closer to the sound source, especially in film and TV production. Here’s why they’re essential:

  • Positional Flexibility: With a boom pole, the mic can be placed directly above or below a subject, out of the camera’s frame, ensuring clear audio capture without visual intrusion.
  • Mobility: During moving shots, a boom operator can walk with the subjects, keeping the mic positioned optimally.
  • Isolation from Noise: Elevating the mic on a boom pole can help avoid ground-level noises, such as footsteps or machinery.

When combined with a shock mount, boom poles also help in reducing handling noise, ensuring that the audio remains clean and free from disturbances.

In essence, while a shotgun mic is a formidable tool in audio capture, pairing it with the right accessories like windshields and boom poles can elevate its performance, ensuring that every recording is of the highest quality.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are longer shotgun mics better?

Not necessarily. Longer shotgun mics typically have a narrower area of sound capture, making them more directional. This can be advantageous in environments with a lot of ambient noise or when the sound source is at a distance. However, for close-up work or in controlled environments, a shorter shotgun mic might be preferable.

Are shotgun mics worth it?

Absolutely. Shotgun mics provide focused audio capture, minimizing background noise and ensuring clear, high-quality recordings. Their versatility makes them invaluable in various applications, from filmmaking to interviews.

Are shotgun mics good for filmmaking?

Yes, shotgun microphones have become staples in the filmmaking industry. Their directional nature allows for precise audio capture, ensuring clear dialogue and natural ambient sounds, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

What is the Best Shotgun Mic for Film?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. While mics like the Sennheiser MKH 416 are industry favorites, the best mic depends on the specific needs of the project, environment, and budget.

What is the best budget mic for YouTubers?

For YouTubers on a budget, mics like the Rode VideoMic GO and Takstar SGC-598 offer excellent value, providing good sound quality without a hefty price tag.

Which is the best mic for beginners?

The Takstar SGC-598 or the Rode VideoMic GO are both excellent choices for beginners. They’re affordable, easy to use, and provide good audio quality for their price.

Which shotgun for vlogging?

For vloggers, the Shure VP83F LensHopper stands out due to its on-camera design, integrated recording feature, and clear audio capture.

Why is the shotgun design preferred for video work?

Shotgun mics are designed to capture sound from a specific direction, minimizing off-axis sounds. This makes them ideal for video work, ensuring clear audio from the subject while reducing background noise.

How do I power my shotgun microphone?

Shotgun mics can be powered either by internal batteries or through phantom power provided by external devices like mixers or audio interfaces. Always check the mic’s specs for its power requirements.

What’s the difference between a shotgun mic and a lavalier mic?

Shotgun mics are directional and often mounted on boom poles or cameras, capturing sound from a specific direction. Lavalier mics, or lapel mics, are small, omnidirectional mics clipped to a person’s clothing, ideal for interviews or presentations.

How does the price affect the quality of a shotgun microphone?

While higher-priced mics often offer better build quality, enhanced features, and superior sound capture, there are many budget-friendly options that provide excellent value. It’s essential to balance your needs with your budget.

Can I use a shotgun mic for podcasting or streaming?

Yes, shotgun mics can be used for podcasting or streaming, especially in environments where background noise might be an issue. However, some podcasters and streamers might prefer dynamic or condenser mics for their specific sound qualities.


Navigating the world of shotgun microphones can initially seem like a daunting task, given the plethora of options and technical jargon. However, with the right guidance and a clear understanding of your needs, finding the perfect microphone becomes an exciting journey rather than a challenging chore.

Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker, a seasoned content creator, or someone just venturing into the world of audio capture, remember that the best shotgun microphone is the one that aligns with your requirements and budget. Shotgun mics, with their precision and versatility, have revolutionized audio capture in various scenarios, proving their worth time and again.

In this guide, we’ve delved deep into the nuances of shotgun mics, from detailed reviews of top models to the intricacies of their design and function. Our hope is that this knowledge empowers you to make an informed decision, ensuring your audio capture is of the highest quality, resonating with clarity and authenticity.

As the adage goes, “Sound is half the picture.” So, invest wisely, capture brilliantly, and let your audio speak volumes.

Happy recording!