Best microphones for recording video

It’s better to have no sound in your video than a low-quality one with interfering noises, background hum, and lagging. You can always compensate for sound absence and add subtitles. However, one would definitely prefer watching a clip on a little smartphone screen with a decent sound over having a full-size monitor but crappy dubbing or music.

Vlogging is a tough hobby with high competition, where every nuance matters. With all else being equal, such as a gripping channel subject, artistic footage, charismatic host, fancy video editing, etc., sound can attract or repel new followers.

Types of microphones

While choosing a vlogging microphone, you have to consider various factors:

  • Shooting location (inside/outside)
  • Video types (interviews, how-to, "talking head", tutorials, etc.)
  • Your budget

If you can afford to buy two mics for recording, you’re fully covered. But even one device can do its part perfectly if chosen wisely.

Types of microphones for YouTube

We can classify mics according to different characteristics.

Internal or external

Built-in (internal) microphones are the worst option for your vlog. They usually don’t have many settings to adjust, and the sound quality leaves much to be desired. The only advantage is that you don’t have to spare extra money on professional gear.

As for the external mics, there are lots of variations.

Mic for recording

Sound pickup direction

  • Dynamic. This type of mic can pick up the sound from all directions but from behind it. It’s not very sensitive, so the sound should be quite loud. Dynamic mics are best for concerts or standups. Also, they can be a good option for studio shooting if you can proof it from ambient noises.
  • Condenser. These mics are more expensive but provide clearer sound and better quality. The trick is that they are not only more sensitive, but you can also choose a model that would catch the sound only from one or two directions (bidirectional models, for example, for an interview) and ignore or even cancel all other sounds.
  • Ribbon. It’s quite an old-fashioned type, still used in some studios or on the radio. This studio microphone is said to transmit sound the most naturally, so ribbon mics are often used to record classical music concerts, vocals, or symphony orchestras. The technology for capturing the sound is quite close to a dynamic mic, but ribbon models provide a mellower and warmer sound.


  • Shotgun or directional mic. This device is often attached to a rod or a boom and placed above the heads of ‌video participants. It catches the clear sound perfectly, canceling all the background disturbances. Also, it can be placed exactly at the needed spot. But you’ll need an assistant to use one. Another disadvantage is that sometimes a shotgun mic or its shadow is seen in the frame, and you have to retake the episode.
  • Lavalier or lapel mic. This small device can be attached to a lapel, a collar, or any other piece of clothing. It’s ideal for interviews and presentations "on the go". While the sound quality may not be impeccable, it’s still good enough for any vlog and definitely much better than a built-in mic.
Microphone types


What types of microphones are commonly used in videography?

The most popular types are dynamic and condenser microphones, as well as shotgun and lapel ones. If you can’t afford several devices, define your video content type and buy a mic accordingly.

What type of microphone for YouTube videos is the best?

It highly depends on your vlog type. Lapel microphones are a must-have if you invite guests and interview them or report some events on the go. You can buy a cheaper dynamic model if you record your videos in a well-equipped studio. However, condenser microphones will do a better job if the environment is not always ideal.

Can a built-in mic be used for recording a vlog?

It is okay for a very few first episodes while you’re defining your audience and finding your niche. After that, you’d better purchase professional sound gear.

Bottom line

Sound quality is one of the most essential ingredients of a successful vlog. The market offers hundreds of models for any taste and budget. With our help, you can buy the ones that fit you best, record several parallel tracks (with a voice and background noises, for example), and match them in an online video editor.