Getting muffled and distant sound on your videos with the integrated microphone? We feel you: these mics aren’t the type for distant sound recording.

But the shotgun microphones are! Explore our list of the 7 best shotgun mics that will uplift your video sound quality - check out the pros and cons, main features, and our verdict.

Curious to get a hang of all the microphone types and the environments they serve? Then our complete guide to camera equipment is for you.

  • Editor’s choice: Sennheiser MKE 600
  • Best for videography: Audio-Technica AT897
  • Best for professionals: Sennheiser MKH416


Sennheiser MKH416

Pros:

  • Suitable for both video making and voiceovers
  • Clean quality of sound
  • Natural tone and robust richness
  • Very solid and durable

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Requires a better shock mount

Specs:

  • Capsule: condenser
  • Polar pattern: lobar, supercardioid
  • Frequency range: 40 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 800 Ohms
  • Mounting: shock mount
  • Weight: 175g

Features

Clean sound and precise frequency pattern

This Sennheiser mic features a tailor-made precise frequency pattern and a flat midrange, which translates into a natural sound that compares to the non-shotgun microphones. You just have to remain in the “sweet spot” and not go off the axis. The clean and crisp sound is delivered with the same impeccable quality throughout the whole specter, and the especially rich low end is also superb.

Solid and durable

Just like other Sennheiser mics of the line, the MKH416 is a reliable choice build-wise - it’s extremely durable and sturdy. The brand definitely has been putting the two aspects as priorities, making their mics reach industry standard for video making and voiceovers, which is a double advantage. No faulty units, no risk of dying prematurely - this mic is a solid investment that will work for years to come.

Verdict

The Sennheiser MKH416 is a pro-level shotgun microphone that comes in an industry-standard quality and is suitable for many applications like filmmaking, documentary, television, and voiceovers. It has a true condenser and externally polarized capsule that tolerates harsh conditions well. The MKH416 features a super rich and natural tone, requiring almost no postproduction at all. The amount of rejection is not too tight, and this mic is one of the few shotguns that does its job well for double purposes, both interiors, and voiceovers. This mic definitely deserves every dollar spent.

Sennheiser MKE 600

Pros:

  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Transparent and natural tone
  • Low noise
  • Well-thought-out design with accessible controls
  • Good for any situation

Cons:

  • None

Specs:

  • Capsule: condenser
  • Polar pattern: lobar, supercardioid
  • Frequency range: 40 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Battery life: up to 150h
  • Mounting: camera/shoe mount
  • Weight: 128g

Features

Broad and clean sound

This Sennheiser buddy offers an incredibly natural and crisp sound and leans towards professional noise levels. The mic does a wonderful job at capturing low-volume sounds, and, unlike its predecessor, comes with a more robust amount of gain and doesn’t need much amplification. It also has a stronger signal, which is why it's convenient to use with digital recorders. It can also handle high sound pressure well.

Lightweight and compact

These two criteria are oftentimes forgotten about, with the mics being sturdy but bulky. The MKE 600 is both lightweight and compact and features a shock mount for an easy on-camera application. You will need to get a spider shock mount or booming if that’s what you’re looking for. For an additional price, you can also get a hairy windshield.

Verdict

The Sennheiser MKE 600 is a great shotgun, available at a modest price but offering professional performance. It is also considered the best raw performer in its range. Both quality and design are impeccable, and the convenience of use will create competition for some other renowned models on the market. Performing superbly in both close and open areas without relying on post EQ, this shotgun mic is definitely worth your consideration.

RØDE NTG4+

Pros:

  • Natural sound
  • Very decent noise levels
  • Feature-rich and easy to use
  • Integrated lithium battery

Cons:

  • No substantial improvements from the predecessor

Specs:

  • Capsule: condenser
  • Polar pattern: supercardioid
  • Frequency range: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 200 ohms
  • Mounting: mic clip/stand adapter
  • Weight: 176g

Features

Extremely useful noise reduction

The Rode NTG4+ shotgun mic brings a better quality compared to previous Rode models. Noise handling characteristics were greatly improved  - the mic’s natural noisiness that can your work has been eliminated, offering you uninterrupted workflow. Although the noise reduction feature has a direct impact on the price, it’s a critical thing that can substantially uplift the final sound quality.

Natural and clean sound

The NTG4+ delivers a natural and clean sound throughout the working range. The higher end offers a good amount of crispiness, and the low end sounds full and rich. This makes this mic efficient not only for voices ad dialogues but also for recording musical artists and choirs, with a little added boom. Additionally, you might not even need to perform post-EQ, as the frequency filters will do the job in the process.

Long-lasting battery

This Rode mic features an integrated lithium battery lasting up to 150 hours. There is a LED indicating the current charge level by changing colors. When the battery drains, it can be fully recharged from any USB port and will only take 2 hours to do so.

Verdict

The NTG4+ is the latest short shotgun from Rode that features digital controls, a rechargeable lithium battery, upgraded noise reduction, and improved sound quality. Its crisp sound and in-built features that allow for no post-processing make this mic a catch. The efficient noise reduction feature and the powerful battery add to the list of advantages. Whether you are a professional or a beginner, the NTG4+ can offer you the need to accomplish most of your videography and voice recording tasks.

Røde VideoMic Pro+

Pros:

  • High-gain, high-quality sound
  • Rechargeable, replaceable batteries
  • Highly directional pickup pattern
  • Low self-noise
  • High dynamic range

Cons:

  • Rather expensive
  • Average build quality
  • Not neutral, bright response

Specs:

  • Capsule: electret condenser
  • Polar pattern: supercardioid
  • Frequency range: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 200 ohms
  • Mounting: mic clip/stand adapter
  • Weight: 122g

Features

Low self-noise

The Rode VideoMic Pro+’s self-noise level is only 14 dBA, which helps reduce the hiss if you use the mic in a quiet setting or are not pointed close enough to the subject. It features an active amplifier circuit, allowing for boosting the produced electrical signal by x10 if measured in volts. It is a DSLR mic, so this amplifier can produce better-quality audio when the mic is used with camera preamps.

Safety audio channel

The VideoMic Pro+ comes with a safety audio channel that can record in parallel but at a lower gain. This means that even if the main audio has been distorted, you can still replace the bad parts with the safety audio in the editing software.

Verdict

The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is a smaller version of the VideoMic Pro that effectively rejects background noise has great recording quality thanks to the tighter pickup pattern, and can help save corrupted audio with the safety audio channel. The mic might be found expensive by some, but that’s what happens when the brand adds more complex features - if you’re into professional shotgun mics, this one might be your ticket.

Audio-Technica AT897

Pros:

  • Accurate, rich sound
  • Excellent price/performance
  • Relatively low noise

Cons:

  • A roll-off switch isn’t easily accessible

Specs:

  • Capsule: condenser
  • Polar pattern: lobar, supercardioid
  • Frequency range: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 200 ohms
  • Mounting: mic clip/stand adapter
  • Battery life: 1200h

Features

A go-to for videographers

The Audio Technica mics have long been chosen by videographers, and with AT897 nothing changes - this shotgun mic will also be a great choice for video makers. Its impeccable sound recording quality offers outstanding results, and although this mic is an entry-level model, don’t shy away from it, as it offers some good features and performance.

Rich and clear sound

The AT897 delivers a rich and detailed sound in many situations. The mic is prone to noise, and its frequency pattern is flat enough for the mic to be considered for enthusiasts and professionals. In regards to sound quality features, this Audio Technica baby is commonly compared to the Rode NTG line mics, but the reality shows that it’s rather a brand choice, as the mics are almost identical in sound performance.

Verdict

Audio-Technica AT897 is a great choice of a mic, with a nice feature list and decent performance. It’s easy to use and performs well for many occasions like booming, close miking, and behind the camera. It might not be as feature-packed as other shotgun mics on our list, but for its level of application and price, it’s still a “worth-it” gear. The AT897 would be ideal for beginner and enthusiast videographers who are looking for an affordable but quality microphone.

Audio-Technica AT8035

Pros:

  • Excellent sound rejection
  • A lot of detail with good accuracy
  • Natural, crispy sound

Cons:

  • have to buy some good windscreen,
  • and shock mount separately

Specs:

  • Capsule: condenser
  • Polar pattern: supercardioid
  • Frequency range: 40 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 250 ohms
  • Mounting: mic clip/stand adapter
  • Weight: 176g

Features

Lightweight and easy to use

The AT8035 is a lightweight and easy-to-handle model. You won’t be able to use it with DSLR cameras as it would get into frame, but this mic will work well with larger cameras. It’s sensitive to handling noises, so getting a good shock mount is a must here.

Great technical features

The AT8035 shotgun mic comes with great technical specs. It is equipped with a higher directionality and an improved frequency response for vocals, making it perfect for recording in a studio or in an outdoor location. The mic is also super effective at catching the sound from great distances and reducing ambiance.

Verdict

The Audio-Technica AT8035 is an affordable directional shotgun that offers powerful tools for filming wider scenes or walk-and-talk style videos with dialogues. Most shotguns’ effective reach is only 2 feet, but this mic can work from up to 4 feet. It’s a lightweight option that can deliver effectively with booming techniques. The tighter pickup pattern offers clear-cut audio, and it’s easy to wing and improvised during non-scripted projects with this mic.

Shure VP89M

Pros:

  • Superior design
  • RF immunity
  • Narrow pickup angle
  • Low self-noise

Cons:

  • Requires phantom power

Specs:

  • Capsule: condenser
  • Polar pattern: hypercardioid
  • Frequency range: 50 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 115 ohms
  • Mounting: mic clip/stand adapter
  • Weight: 139g

Features

Well-balanced sound and easy sound pickup

The low-frequency roll-off is a notable feature of this Shure shotgun mic - this feature helps produce a natural, clean, and well-balaced sound. You can also turn on an optional low-cut filter which will help reduce low-frequency noises like traffic. The sound can be easily picked up from a 10-feet distance, and the audio will still remain detailed. Standing directly in front of the voices will deliver an even more beautiful audio quality.

Modular design

The VP89 comes in a modular design, which is a great concept: instead of having to get three different shotguns to match the recording needs in different surroundings, you can simply purchase the preamplifier and mic capsules separately. These two are interchangeable, so you can screw the needed capsule onto the preamp to record in a certain location and then swap it out for a different capsule if the recording needs to change.

Verdict

The Shure VP89M is a beautifully and cleverly designed choice if you’re looking for the best shotgun microphone. With its preamplifier redesign, you will get sound with superior depth at a great price. Its sound pickup features are efficient at as much as 10 feet distance, and the audio quality stays incredible throughout different recording situations.

How we picked the best

Low self-noise

Low-level sound will need to be amplified to a usable signal level, so having a mic with low self-noise is critical for accurate and proper performance.

High sensitivity

Shotguns are commonly used for capturing sounds at a distance, which means they will be trying to pick up a low-level signal. That’s why a proper shotgun microphone needs to have a higher sensitivity than other types of microphones designed to pick up sound from close sources.

What are shotgun microphones used for?

Shotgun microphones are primarily used to capture sound from a distance.

Which is the best shotgun microphone?

Sennheiser MKH416, Sennheiser MKE 600, RØDE NTG4+ , Røde VideoMic Pro+, Audio-Technica AT897, Audio-Technica AT8035, Shure VP89M.

Are shotgun microphones good for filmmaking?

Many shotgun mics can be effectively used for filmmaking if they’re compact, versatile, and offer great sound quality.