Boom microphones can be very helpful for recording audio in busy environments where ambient noise is prevalent. Moreover, since these mics can be attached to cameras or other equipment, they can be very convenient too.
Professional mic and camera operators often prefer boom microphones since they have excellent hands-free capabilities.
There are several brands that manufacture consumer boom microphones, such as Deity and Rode–so researching for the best one available might be overwhelming. That’s why this buyer’s guide is here to help microphone consumers find the best product for them.
After reading this article, you should have a good idea of what to expect from the best boom microphones–including their features, performance, and design. So anyone in the market for a high-quality boom mic should read on for some important information.
|Boom Microphones||Model||Expert Rating||Price|
|Deity V-Mic D3|
|Deity S-Mic 2|
|Schoeps CMIT 5U|
What to Look for in The Best Boom Microphones
There are a few common features that give the best boom mics their edge over the competition. Many consumers shopping for microphones also have specific ideas about what they need their boom mic to have or those that separate their desired mics from the rest.
So for some extra help in this regard, some of the features most sought after in boom microphones are described below.
A bright, clear status light is a must-have feature for professional-quality boom microphones. Nobody executing a serious audio recording task wants to worry about how to tell whether their equipment is running.
Luckily the best of these types of mics are equipped with bright LEDs that indicate status. These lights can be important for a range of audio-related tasks and can be useful for people who aren’t themselves operating the mic.
While many boom microphones are corded and need a continuous connection to an outlet, some have rechargeable batteries so they can remain relatively cordless. Unsurprisingly the latter variety is likely preferred by many audio recording professionals who dislike cumbersome wires.
Moreover, many of the rechargeable microphone batteries have a decent life, with some allowing for over sixty hours of recordings to be made. This long battery life makes such types of power supplies all the more convenient for consumers who have high recording demands.
Low Cut Filter
This type of microphone technology, known as the low-cut filter, eliminates background noise such as wind and other external sounds.
Of the different sound-isolating features available on microphones, this one is especially sought-after. Many users report a significant drop in unwanted ambient noise after installing a filter of this type.
Another important feature that the best boom microphones have is one or a set of carrying cases that can be used for transport. This type of accessory, when not included, often comes at an extra cost for consumers.
For this reason, boom mics that come with cases give those products a higher value than those that do not.
Thankfully many boom mic manufacturers deliver their microphones in high-quality cases, some of which have extra protection features like air pressure equalizers. In addition, some cases have pleasing designs that allow for the mics to be stored in sight.
Recommended: 5 Best Boom Microphone Arm Stands
Headphone jacks are a feature welcomed by many professional and microphone users, and this is no different for high-quality boom microphones. Many boom mics manufactured today have headphone jacks, which are useful for louder or busier environments.
Headphones are also preferred by many video and news producers as well as podcasters. A jack is useful to have available for microphone use during travel too.
One last important consideration to make when shopping for a boom microphone is whether and to what extent a given model is adjustable.
Boom mics can often extend or rotate, and many have hinges, and many users claim the added maneuverability these features provide is highly valuable. So anyone in the market for a microphone should do their research on adjustability features.
The 5 Best Boom Microphones:
- Boom cardioid directional shotgun microphone
- 5 mm headphone jack
- 84 db audio sensitivity
- Stepless gain knob
- Rechargeable battery
- 14mm Prepolarized Condenser Capsule
One of the best boom microphones available is Deity’s V-Mic D3 Pro. This boom mic, which is sought after by many operators across different areas, has professional-grade components such as Cardioid Directional capabilities and a Rycote Shockmount for DSLR cameras.
It also has a useful 3.5 mm headphone jack, which, alongside the shockmount, makes this mic good for tasks requiring both hands. This microphone has also been widely praised for its ergonomics as, for instance, its activation switch rests in a place that minimizes noise and shuffling.
Also convenient is the microphone’s rechargeable internal battery and precise, stepless gain knob, both of which would help make life easier for an audio professional.
This microphone’s performance is also top-notch, with low-noise wiring, Low Distortion THD, High-grade SNR (max. 84dB @-24dB sensitivity), and a 14mm Prepolarized Condenser Capsule. Such components help this product achieve broadcast-quality audio quality.
Many users of this mic agree that it delivers professional-grade sound as well as pickup. Another impressive feature of this microphone and one which attracts many different types of users is its Intelligent Power on/off feature, where the mic will automatically switch on from rest mode when a device such as a camera to which it is connected activates.
This feature has been praised widely by consumers, as it works very well in practice. The automatic shutoff this feature brings is also helpful for battery-saving purposes.
In addition to having many useful, extra features, this microphone has excellent compatibility, as it can connect to smartphones and tablets as well as DSLRs, camcorders, laptops, and recorders. This compatibility has made the product a favorite among a wide range of professionals, including podcasters and filmmakers.
The mic is also great with simpler audio tasks such as voice calls or live gaming. Ultimately, anyone who needs a high-quality, professional-grade boom mic should look into Deity’s V-Mic D3 Pro.
- Compact Directional On-Camera Microphone
- Rycote Lyre Shockmount
- Rechargeable battery
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- 14 db audio sensitivity
- compact, 150mm/6” length
- +20 db level boost
- -10 db level attenuation
An excellent microphone for anyone using it for filming purposes is Rode’s VideoMic Pro, which has a Rycote Lyre shockmount that, according to users, absorbs unwanted vibration very effectively. Moreover, this mic has a useful 3.5 mm headphone jack as well as a compact shape and size, weighing only 3 ounces and having a length of 9 inches.
Many camera operators and other video production professionals have praised this microphone for its maneuverability and small size, as many other boom mics have a larger frame. Overall the shape of this mic makes it a true shotgun boom mic, which is a variety that is best for camcorders.
In terms of sound and performance, the Rode VideoMic Pro excels, achieving broadcast quality sound. It does this with the help of a half-inch condenser capsule and a connector with a very low self-noise of only 14db. Professional mic operators, as well as more casual users, have praised such features in many online reviews.
Moreover, the microphone can impressively attenuate sound by up to -10 db, or increase it by +20. Finally, they have also voiced appreciation for the well-placed power, filter, and level controls, which makes operating the mic a very smooth and easy process.
Users have also praised the performance of the mics integrated shockmount, which isolates the product very well from external factors that might cause vibrations or rumbling. In this regard too, the VideoMic Pro provides professional-grade capabilities.
The battery life of this microphone is also at the top of its class. It can provide 70 hours of recording time on one full charge. Another convenient feature is the mic’s 3/8” thread for easy mounting on boom poles in its shoe-mount.
These details make this microphone a high-value product which any professional camera operator would likely be happy using. It is a lightweight, compact, and high-performance boom microphone that comes with an impressive list of features.
- Super-Cardioid Shotgun Tube Condenser microphone
- 84 x 0.75 x 0.75 inches; 1.1 Pounds
- 13 db noise level
- Black, metal body
- 40 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response
- Plugs into the power outlet
The Sennheiser Pro Audio MKH 416 is a highly directional studio microphone that is also excellent for outdoor applications.
So this microphone is one of the best choices for someone who needs a microphone that can still perform well in busy or outdoor environments with high ambient noise. This microphone is well-equipped to rise to such challenges due to its high degree of directionality (in other words, it can isolate highly local sounds coming from one area).
This microphone also uses an impressive mix of two types of microphone technology. It has a super-cardioid pickup pattern at low to medium frequencies, while at higher frequencies, it transitions to a lobar characteristic pick-up method.
This means that the Sennheiser Pro Audio MKH416 is a mix of two types of mic: a pressure gradient transducer and an interference tube microphone. Users have considered this combination of tech to be a success in this mic, as it delivers excellent pickup, isolation, and sound quality across a wide range of frequencies.
Consumers have appreciated the mic’s versatility, too, as it works well either in a studio or on location, whether outdoors or indoors. Moreover, the microphone, although highly directional, experiences very low proximity effects.
This means it can be held close to a sound source without picking up unwanted pops, vibrations, and other noises. It is highly insensitive to wind and pop noise in general, too.
This microphone has also been praised for its sturdy metal body, which gives professional operators peace of mind when transporting or using it in difficult environments and adverse weather conditions.
This microphone might even be an excellent choice for weather reporting. Ultimately this handheld mic is a great choice for broadcast reporting. It can hold up against challenging weather conditions while it performs professionally in terms of sound and pickup.
- Condenser shotgun microphone
- XLR connector type
- Corded electric, plugs into a power source
- 32 db audio sensitivity
- 43 x 9.69 x 3.9 in.; 3.43 lb
- 50Hz~20kHz response performance
- Minimal off-axis coloration
Another excellent microphone for on-location filming is Deity’s SMic-2 high condenser shotgun microphone. Professional camera and audio operators have voiced their appreciation for how easy to use this mic is as well, with features such as a light 3-pound weight and a gold-finished circuit board, which allows the mic to be used in the rain.
This is a very valuable benefit for many users whose work or hobbies require outdoor recording. Such a feature also brings this microphone to a professional-grade status since it is a standard feature among broadcasting mics.
As well, the low off-axis coloration on this model helps give users peace of mind that audio won’t be disturbed if its source moves slightly. In addition, this microphone uses materials that are high quality and which also facilitate ease of use. Users are able to operate this microphone deftly since it is clad in rubber and metal materials rather than slippery plastic.
In terms of audio performance, this microphone provides professional-grade sound pickup and quality. Its pickup remains crisp and clear across all frequencies, while it has been improved for better sound isolation and performance with ambient sound.
The mic performs well in high-ambient environments such as windy or crowded ones. These features all make the Deity SMic-2 an ideal mic for busy or outdoor environments and bring it to a professional-grade audio product level.
This mic also has a low-noise circuit design, which minimizes ambient noise even further. It also has very low distortion and very high sensitivity. And increasing the value proposition of this product is the hard protective case it comes with.
This case is also waterproof and comes with an O-ring which seals the case and air pressure balancing feature. In addition to its advanced audio technology, this added accessory gives this microphone the capabilities of a professional-grade product. It is highly capable in a range of environments and has a convenient and compact shotgun design.
- Shotgun microphone
- 40Hz – 20kHz frequency range
- 17mV/Pa sensitivity
- 1-year warranty
- Integrated swivel joint
- Polished wood case with foam insert included
- 24 db noise level
Last but not least, the Schoeps CMIT 5U shotgun microphone is an excellent mic for anyone wanting a professional-grade, handheld shotgun mic.
This microphone also has excellent directional capabilities to pick up highly local sounds while isolating them from ambient noise. In fact, this mic’s directional capabilities are stronger than consumers might expect from a microphone of the CMIT 5U’s length.
At the same time, the directionality of this mic increases with a sound’s frequency, which results in very smooth sound capture. In addition, the mic’s volume increases and decreases softly with corresponding off-axis sounds, so these noises can be picked up neutrally while reducing the noise from movement during boom use, etc.
One convenient aspect of this microphone is that the sound quality it achieves remains consistent regardless of its orientation since its directional pattern is the same along both vertical and horizontal axes.
This feature, in combination with its high level of directionality and adjustment for frequency, means this microphone as a whole is great at capturing dynamic but local sounds such as musical performances.
Moreover, useful buttons on this microphone allow users to adjust noise filter levels depending on their recording environment.
For instance, setting the mic emphasis to high frequencies increases its sensitivity to voice sounds, while a low-frequency roll-off minimizes proximity effects. In addition, a lowcut filter minimizes wind and boom noise as well as other background disturbances.
In addition, the pair of LEDs on this microphone indicates its status for use in the dark. Another great feature is the polished wood case that the microphone comes with.
This case guarantees the mic’s portability, which makes this model a solid investment. Overall anyone in the market for a high-quality, handheld shotgun microphone should definitely consider this one.
FAQs About Boom Microphones
Since many people in the market for boom microphones might be new to the product category, below are the answers to some commonly asked questions about this type of product.
What windscreen/deadcat would you recommend for this?
Most of the microphones featured in this guide have manufacturer windscreens available for separate purchase. These additional components optimize sound isolation and quality by further blocking out wind noise and are often used in challenging weather environments.
Therefore, they are ideal for microphone users who perform audio recording tasks outside or in busy areas with high ambient noise.
Does this mic have an on/off button, or does it turn on/off with the camera signal and on/off status?
Pretty much all boom mics have on/off buttons, but only some have the automatic turn on/off feature, which activates the microphone when it is connected to a camera or other compatible device.
This feature is highly sought after by many consumers who operate microphones frequently. In many cases, it is the ergonomic benefit that gives some boom mics the edge over others.
I bought a Rode VideoMic Go to use with my iPhone X and had to return it because of static interference. Will the Pro solve this problem?
Yes, but since the Videomic Go picks up a lot of interference, Rode recommends that users turn off wifi or turn on airplane mode when connecting to an iPhone or other smartphone.
Will it work from about 30ft range from the sound source?
Most boom microphones need to be a little closer from the sound source than thirty feet. Many boom mics need to be five to ten feet away from the source to pick up clean, clear audio.
In fact, many boom microphones are designed to be as close to the given source of sound as possible.
Would this be an excellent option for wildlife filming?
Yes, shotgun boom microphones are good for filming in locations with noisier ambient sound since shotgun mics are directional microphones.
This means that they reject sounds originating from behind and beside them, only picking up sounds from what is closest in front of them.
Will this give me pro audio?
Yes, the microphones reviewed above should all provide professional-grade audio quality. They all include advanced sound isolating and directional technology, which delivers broadcast-quality audio.
The brands discussed are all used by reputable recording and audio professionals.
With a camcorder and a shotgun mic, what else do you need to record video?
For most boom microphones, all that is needed beyond those two devices to record audio is an XLR cord to connect the two. Most boom microphones also need phantom power, but most XLR equipped camcorders have this capability.
Recommended: 5 Best Shotgun Mics
After reading this buyer’s guide featuring the five best boom microphones, any consumer shopping for such a product should be well-informed on the subject.
They should have a good idea of what type of features the best boom microphones have, the designs they boast, and the type of sound quality they deliver. Moreover, they should know about the best boom microphone brands, which audio professionals use in broadcast settings.
Indeed any of the microphones mentioned in this article should deliver broadcast-quality audio. Moreover, they are all models that include the most and most advanced features in one package. Finally, this article should have made clear what type of equipment and software the microphones discussed are compatible with.
Luckily, compatibility shouldn’t be an issue for any user of any of the products discussed above, as they are all widely connectible across hardware and platforms.