The 8 Best Boom Microphones (2023)

Boom microphones are shotgun microphones attached to the tip of a boom pole. Often used to capture audio in movies and videos, boom microphones are designed to be located close to the sound source without being shown in the frame. They record the sound only from one direction with extreme accuracy.

The shotgun microphones are long tube-shaped mics. This design lets them pick the sound from one direction while blocking the sounds coming from different angles. They are attached to an extendable pole and are held by audio technicians, so the mics are located just above the camera shot. This way, the mic can be close to the sound subject while not shown in the frame.

There are different quality and design boom microphones for different uses. My top pick is Sennheiser MKE 600, a high-quality shotgun microphone at a moderate price point.

My pick among the budget-friendly boom microphones is Audio-Technica AT875R which is a great bargain for the price with the quality and uncolored sound it provides.

The Best Boom Microphones (2023) At A Glance

And now onto the full list:

1. Sennheiser Pro Audio (MKE600)

Top Pick
A great short shotgun mic with high tonal quality and good noise reduction.
View Price at Thomann (EU & UK)View Price at Amazon

Sennheiser MKE600 is my top pick; an all-around shotgun microphone with great sound quality and significant sound reduction. It is the best performing microphone with quite a versatility provided by the phantom and battery power options for the price range.

Pros

  • Transparent and natural tone with great sound quality
  • Good rear and side noise reduction
  • Phantom and battery power option
  • Long battery life, 150 hours

Cons

  • XLR to mini-TRS cable sold separately

The microphone rejects the sound coming from the sides and rear pretty well. At the same time, the low-cut filter minimizes the wind and other noises, making the mic a good choice for outdoor recordings. It provides a crisp sound with its 10″ mic tube with a 40 Hz to 20 kHz frequency range.

Frequency Range40 Hz to 20 kHz
Dynamic Range132 dB SPL (Phantom Power)126 dB SPL (Battery Power)
Polar PatternLobar, Supercardioid
Sound FieldMono
Mount TypeCamera/Shoe-Mount (with Included Hardware)

The overall performance of the MKE600 is pretty great for the offered price. It comes with a windscreen and a shock mount but without the XLR to TRS cable to connect it to a DSLR. In short, Sennheiser MKE600 is a great choice for all kinds of productions who want an affordable yet professional solution for good-quality audio.

2. Audio-Technica AT875R

Budget Pick
A great entry-level lightweight and durable shotgun mic at an affordable price.
View Price at Thomann (EU & UK)View Price at Amazon

Audio-Technica AT875R is an ideal starter shotgun microphone that shines with its quality-for-price ratio. It is compact, lightweight yet durable, and has good directional characteristics, providing good quality directional audio and rejecting noises from other directions.

Pros

  • Great quality for the price
  • Good directional characteristics
  • Durable, compact, and lightweight design
  • Low handling noise

Cons

  • XLR to mini-TRS cable sold separately
  • Sounds a bit harsh on higher frequencies
  • Sounds slightly thin if not located close to the audio source

The lobar-super cardioid mic also has a relatively low handling noise and a good frequency range between 90 Hz to 20 kHz. The dynamic range of 127 dB is also great for the price range.

But, of course, this is an entry-level affordable shotgun mic with some drawbacks. It sounds slightly thin if not located close to the audio source, and it may sound harsh on higher frequencies. However, these are not dealbreakers for the price and can be solved with care and a good equalizer.

Frequency Range90 Hz to 20 kHz
Dynamic Range127 dB
Polar PatternLobar, Supercardioid
Sound FieldMono
Mount Type3/8″-16 Female, 5/8″-27 Female, Mic Clip/Stand Adapter (Included)

In short, Audio-Technica AT875R is a great shotgun microphone for beginner video journalists, movie makers, podcasters who have a tight budget.

3. Rode NTG4+

Well-Rounded Microphone
A versatile, natural-sounding, and feature-packed shotgun mic for outdoor use.
View Price at Thomann (EU & UK)View Price at Amazon

Rode NTG4+ is a well-rounded semi-professional shotgun microphone with great natural sound quality and good noise reduction. It is equipped with features making it suitable for outdoor recordings in aggressive environments without any problem, thanks to its narrow acceptance angle.

Pros

  • Great quality, natural sound
  • Good noise reduction, suitable for aggressive environments
  • Long battery life, 150 hours
  • Feature-packed with built-in controls and phantom power option

Cons

The dynamic range of the mic is 135 dB which makes the mic able to record loud sound sources without distortion. But, the mic pickup pattern may be prone to echo and feedback in recordings depending on the interior environment.

Furthermore, it is equipped with an internal rechargeable lithium battery that can power the device up to 150 hours and get charged up in just 2 hours. It can also be powered up by a phantom power source if used with a recorder.

Frequency Range20 Hz-20 KHz
Dynamic Range135 dB
Polar PatternSupercardioid
Sound FieldMono
Mount Type3/8″-16 Female, 5/8″-27 Female, Mic Clip/Stand Adapter (with Included Hardware)

The overall features of Rode NTG4+ make it a good boom microphone for outdoor recording with its long battery life, great noise reduction, and built-in features like high-frequency boost and high pass filter button to cut the wind noises and -10dB pad to record loud sources.

4. Rode VideoMicPro

Entry-level, Affordable Microphone
Popular entry-level shotgun microphone, great for close work.
View Price at Thomann (EU & UK)View Price at Amazon

Rode VideoMicPro is a popular entry-level shotgun microphone designed to be mounted to DSLR cameras but also can be used with booms. It is an affordable super-cardioid microphone with good off-axis noise reduction and good sound quality with a rich mid-range for better vocal timbre emphasis.

Pros

  • Good off-axis noise reduction
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great value for the price

Cons

  • Has to be located pretty close to the audio source
  • Not the best outdoor use performance

The microphone features a great value for the price as it is one of the most affordable shotgun mics on the market. It is an ideal choice for interviews, broadcasting, and vocal recordings in optimal environments.

However, the mic has to be located close to the audio source as it does not perform well from a distance. Also, outdoor recordings may not sound the best if the environment is harsher than desired.

Frequency Range40 Hz to 20 kHz
Dynamic Range134 dB
Polar PatternSupercardioid
Sound FieldMono
Mount Type3/8″-16 Female, Camera/Shoe-Mount, Shockmount (via Integrated Hardware)

All in all, Rode VideoMicPro is a great choice for podcasts, interviews, and videos with a vocal focus in optimal environments. It is one of the most popular models among video makers.

5. Sennheiser Pro Audio MKH416-P48U3

Premium Microphone
Premium quality sounding industry-standard shotgun microphone for professional projects.
View Price at Thomann (EU & UK)View Price at Amazon

Sennheiser MKH 416 is a premium quality industry-standard professional shotgun microphone with impressive sound quality and great noise reduction. It is a popular model among filmmakers and is often used in popular series and movies.

Pros

  • Premium sound quality
  • Very low noise
  • Compact, durable, and portable

Cons

  • Not the best shock-mount
  • A bit pricey

The mic is specially designed for outdoor uses. Its lobar, hyper-super-cardioid polar pattern blocks any unwanted noise and delivers a rich clarity and transparent sound without any coloration. It uses two different mic types, an interference tube mic, and a pressure gradient transducer, for richer sound quality.

There is nothing to say against this microphone other than the fact that it is a bit pricey. I would expect a better shock-mount for the price, but the one it has is not bad at all.

Frequency Range40 Hz to 20 kHz
Dynamic Range130 dB
Polar PatternLobar, Hyper-Supercardioid
Sound FieldMono
Mount TypeShockmount (Included)

Sennheiser MKH 416-P48U3 is one of the best shotgun microphones for any kind of video making and voiceovers. If you have the budget, you can’t go wrong with it.

6. Deity S-Mic 2

The Best Sound
Great shotgun microphone with rich sound, ideal for dialogues and interviews.
View Price at Amazon

Deity S-Mic 2 is one of the best-sounding boom microphones in its price range. The super-cardioid mic has a rich sound quality with good off-axis rejection, making it ideal for dialogue and interview recording in any setting. The mic also has a low self-noise like the higher-end models.

Pros

  • Great rich sound quality
  • Comes with good accessories, the kit version has the Rycote Softie Duo-Lyre Mount
  • Good off-axis rejection
  • Low self-noise

Cons

  • Heavy mic, needs a solid shock mount
  • No battery power option

The mic has a kit version that features a good set of accessories along with the Rycote Softie Duo-Lyre Mount, which you will definitely need with this mic as it is made of brass. The brass construction allows the mic to pick up any handling noise if used without the mount.

I must say that this is a heavy mic which is another reason to use the Rycote mount. A cheap mount would not be able to hold the mic stable. Furthermore, it only works with 24V or 48 V phantom power without the option of battery power.

Frequency Range50 Hz to 20 kHz
Dynamic Range130 dB
Polar PatternSupercardioid
Sound FieldMono
Mount TypeStand/Boom Mount

Overall, Deity S-Mic 2 has a heavy design but has the sound quality of higher-end models. It is a great shotgun mic for those who are after high sound quality at a relatively affordable price.

7. Rode NTG2

Budget-friendly, All-round Microphone
A versatile great-sounding boom microphone with a portable design for all kinds of projects.
View Price at Thomann (EU & UK)View Price at Amazon

Rode NTG2 is a budget-friendly all-around shotgun microphone with a very accurate, rich, and natural sound. The 11” short-range shotgun mic can be used for any kind of project, from recording podcasts or video with DSLR cameras to filmmaking and filming interviews. It has a portable yet durable design adding to the versatility of the microphone.

Pros

  • Good quality natural and accurate sound
  • Lightweight yet sturdy design
  • Great noise rejection
  • Great overall quality for the price

Cons

  • Not the best windshield
  • No on-off switch

The mic provides great off-axis sound rejection. It is a versatile mic with a good 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency range and a decent 131 dB dynamic range which is great for the price range.

The windshield that comes with the mic is not of the greatest quality and is not suitable for harsh winds. Another letdown is that the mic does not feature an on-off switch which can be frustrating in some situations.

Frequency Range20 Hz to 20 kHz
Dynamic Range131 dB
Polar PatternSupercardioid
Sound FieldMono
Mount Type3/8″-16 Female, 5/8″-27 Female, Mic Clip/Stand Adapter (with Included Hardware)

To summarize, Rode NTG2 is a great quality boom mic for the price and can get the job done for all kinds of projects for videographers with tight budgets.

8. Movo VXR10

Affordable, Universal Microphone
Good quality mini shotgun mic to use with DSLRs and smartphones for amateur videographers.
View Price at Amazon

Movo VXR10 is the most affordable boom microphone on the list. It is a mini universal microphone that can be used with DSLRs, action cameras, and smartphones for amateur videographers who want to have better audio quality in video recordings.

Pros

  • Mini, portable design
  • Comes with many accessories
  • Great value for the price
  • Can be used with DSLRs, action cameras, and smartphones

Cons

  • Not the greatest sound quality and off-axis noise rejection
  • Needs to be located close to the audio source

The mini shotgun microphone features great value for the offered price as it comes with a bunch of accessories, including cables for cameras and smartphones, a shock mount, a deadcat windscreen, and a carrying case.

Of course, the sound quality is not as great as the other mics on the list, nor the off-axis sound rejection is as successful. It is a cardioid mic with enough sound quality for amateur users.

Frequency Range35 Hz to 18 kHz 
Sensitivity-42dB +/- 1dB/0dB
Signal to Noise Ratio76dB
Polar PatternCardioid
Sound FieldMono
Mount TypeShockmount (Included)

Suppose you want to have better audio quality in your casual videos and recordings and are looking for an easy and affordable solution. In that case, Movo VXR10 is a great solution that offers impressive value for the offered price.

What are boom microphones used for?

Boom microphones are used mainly for videos and filmmaking, where the mic should be located as close as it can be to the audio source. These microphones are attached to the end of the sticks called booms. With these sticks, the mics are positioned just above the camera shot close to the audio source.

Although the primary use of boom mics is for video making, they can also be used as studio overhead and overhead stage microphones. For instance, boom microphones can be used to record drum kits by placing them on top of drums. Another use is placing them over the stage, especially for theatrical performances.

What is the difference between a boom and a shotgun microphone?

Shotgun microphones are long tube-shaped mics with a super or hyper-cardioid pattern. These mics are highly directional, receiving sound from one axis, rejecting the surrounding ambiance. Boom is a type of stand with a mic located at its tip. Any kind of mic can be used with a boom pole.

Boom mics are typically shotgun microphones, but shotgun microphones have wider uses than just being attached to a boom stick. They can also be used without booms for directional audio recording.

What to look for in a boom microphone?

Boom microphones should be durable, be weather and humidity proof, have high sound quality, and have good off-axis noise rejection if it is going to be used for video making. As boom microphones are mainly used in film and video making, choosing a shotgun mic with extreme directionality is important.

Boom microphones are often used outside of studios as much as inside the studios. So, going for a durable, humidity-resistant, and weatherproof option is crucial.

The sound quality is very important as it is a microphone. You should look for an extended and flat frequency response range, high sensitivity, and extreme directionality to get the clearest sound without unwanted background noise from the environment.

As the boom mics are typically shotgun microphones, look for super-cardioid or hyper-cardioid mics, which are great at off-axis noise rejection and receiving the sound from the pointed angle.

What do I need to operate a boom mic?

To operate a boom mic, you will need some extra equipment such as a shock mount, windshield, an adapter to attach the mic to the camera or the recorder, and a battery if it needs one. The boom mics should be pointed at the audio source as close as possible without being shown in the frame.

Summary

Boom microphones are crucial elements for video and filmmaking, which can also be used as studio overhead microphones. There are various options for different budgets and needs, making it hard to select the best shotgun mics. In this list, I have selected various shotgun microphones to be used with boomsticks, mainly for video making for different scenarios and budgets.

My main recommendation is the Sennheiser MKE600 which features a high quality for a relatively affordable price that can cover many different projects with high sound quality and portability.

If you want something more affordable, I recommend you to check Audio-Technica AT875R, which shines with its great value-for-price ratio providing high-quality audio for entry-level projects such as movies, videos, and podcasts.

Berk Oztuna

Berk Oztuna

Berk Öztuna is a handpan player, percussionist, and guitarist. He has been playing multiple instruments over the last 10 years. He started his music career as a guitarist, playing with several bands before putting his main focus into playing the handpan.

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