Audio is the most important thing a filmmaker can invest it. Without great audio, it won’t matter how great your video is. People want a pleasant listening experience, and what we found out over the years of testing audio equipment is that it’s not necessarily the most expensive microphone that does the best job, but the right microphone for a specific purpose. The best microphone for 2020 for you?
The Best All-Around Microphone for 2020 If You Don’t Want to Take Risks – Sennheiser Xsw-D Set with A ME 2-Ii Clip-On Microphone
The XSW-D set is a wireless set that connects to the ME 2-II Clip-On Microphone, and if you don’t know what kind of situations you will be needing a microphone in, this is your best bet.
Since this is a wireless set, it offers incredible convenience. Sennheiser stated that the XSW-D offers a range of 75 meters. We managed to get a range of 100 meters in certain places.
Why is this your risk-free bet if looking for the best microphone for 2020?
As if there might be people around you or some external noise, this microphone won’t pick it up to the point that it gets distracting.
You will get a clear sound of top-notch audio shows out there, and the great thing about the XSW-D set? That you can connect it to other types of microphones, too, depending on the set you buy, making it the most universal compact wireless system for cameras out there.
You’ll still capture a tint of rain and other light noises that add a bit of texture to your audio, but if you don’t wish to have that in your recording, you can remove those light noises with simple editing.
In studios, people often take measures against echo, but if you are going to be making content outside of your studio, that’s not always going to be possible. That’s where something like the ME 2-II Clip-On Microphone comes in.
Oh, and this microphone works great underneath clothing so that it can be hidden.
And that overall makes this set the most universal out there. If you don’t want to use the microphone wirelessly, you have a (too) long cable. If you want to use it wirelessly, you have a great signal, and whether you want to record with the microphone hidden or not, the audio quality is just top-notch regardless of how much echo or noise is around. You can’t ask for more.
This set just like others at this price don’t support dual sets at once, meaning that while this is an all-around great solution, if you looking to pair up two of these for an interview, you will need to get another camera and another set, since most cameras only have one audio socket.
We just like to face the microphone slightly forwards so that it’s able to pick up the sound of the other individual that’s on the opposite side.
Rode ViedeoNic Pro
This is a classic amongst the YouTube community and a product that actually deserved to have the name “pro” in it.
If you are looking for vlogging, this is a fantastic option and a great all-around microphone, whether starting out or a pro, for videos in which there will be quite a lot of people in.
It records sound right ahead, so wherever you point, that’s what will be captured, offering more flexibility than a lav microphone, which would have to be on a subject. And the audio, it overall sounds great for when several people are involved.
With that said, we aren’t big fans of batteries that you need to buy for this camera. They don’t sell them everywhere.
The microphone comes with a Polar pattern feature that allows for minimization of sound around, and noise filters, which further aid in removing external sound. Those things are useful, but while those things help reduce external noise, the problem with this Rode and many other similar microphones is that it captures too much sound off-axis, even with those features.
And that’s where the next microphone comes in as a solution.
Sennheiser MKE 440
The problem with the Rode and many other similar microphones is that it captures too much sound off-axis. That’s because it’s just one microphone. The MKE 440? It comes with a V-shaped pattern set of microphones that not only offers true stereo sound but due to its shape, is able to deal with the off-axis sound far better than any other microphone out there, allowing you to you add substance to your audio, without the background noise being overwhelming.
Something that was not possible previously.
Apart from that being a feature that makes recording audio outside be of much higher quality, this microphone is also a great option for recording sounds.
It is more than double the price of the Rode VideoMic Pro, though, so that is something to consider.
We only got this microphone recently, so we still need to do more tests on it.
If you are going to be shooting an in an interview, this is the type of camera that you put on a table in front of you, and just let it work.
This is perhaps the most versatile microphone out there as you can connect it wirelessly to a phone, can connect it to a camera, and can also use it as a standalone recorder, which is our favorite thing about it.
Use it for an interview, a podcast, a voice-over, a business call, or song recording. It’s truly a versatile microphone.
In many ways, it’s much smarter than a lot of the microphones on this list, with features such as auto gain, and it even comes with a headphone jack so you can monitor the audio you are recording, which is a great feature.
This microphone comes with a 1-inch gold-plated true condenser capsule, and the ability to directly record sound in .WAV. just to mention a few key features.
We do not recommend this in open spaces, though, without the right setup, or the audio will sound bad.
The microphone does have a poor battery life, though, and while you can use it when charging, that results in a buzzing sound, which is hard to remove from recording. Just make sure you are fully charged, or that you don’t need to shoot more than 5 hours of audio in one go.
This is the best microphone for 2020 as far as budget is concerned, and one that we loved to use when we didn’t have access to a microphone jack.
It doesn’t sound nearly as good as the Sennheiser ME 2-II Clip-On Microphone, but it’s an option that won’t break the bank, will instantly upgrade your audio if you don’t currently rock a microphone, and is a great secondary lav microphone for when you don’t have a secondary audio channel in your camera.
Average built quality, though.
These Are the Best Microphones for 2020
If you are looking for the best microphone for 2020. the most risk-free microphone is the Sennheiser ME 2-II Clip-On Microphone with the XSW-D set is your best overall option.
But depending on your needs, perhaps a different microphone will be your best option right now.
For instance, if you don’t have a microphone jack in your camera right now, get the Rode lav and connect it to your phone, or get a MikeMe Gold, and just sync up the audio later on.