5 mic shootout

Here’s my comparison of 5 different relatively inexpensive (under 200$cdn) mic options.

Over time as I started to make videos I found the sound quality was bugging me.
So I embarked on a mini-quest to improve on the audio I was capturing.
Eventually ending up with four external mics and the internal camera mic
(I also have a few studio mics but that is for another time.)

Here is a video I made while recording from all 5 sources at the same time in a couple of different locations..
(Editing that into a single video was quite a chore!)

Summary of my findings

Camera  Internal mic

Cost: free, built in to most cameras.
Power: internal camera battery
Pros: free, always have it with you.
Cons: usually terrible poor quality sound, picks up wind, environment and even camera internal operating noises.

 

Apex 182

Cost: runs around 20$us/26$cdn
Power: none.
Pros: Needs no battery, and is stereo, very inexpensive.
Cons: no easy way to clip it to anything. output levels are low.

 

Audio-Technica ATR3350

Cost: runs around 29$us/50$cdn
Power: needs a LR44 type battery that lasts about 10-15 hours.
Pros: cheap, not bad sound
Cons: no battery life indicator, you never know if it has quit on you.
excessively 6 meter/20 foot long ever tangle cord.

 

RØDE smartlav+

Cost: runs around 89$us/99$cdn
Pros: powers itself from the recording device (needs to be compatible), small easily placed.
Cons:  None, it does need a RØDE SC3 3.5mm TRRS to TRS Adapter to connect to recorders instead of smartphones
Hint:  A kit with the lav and adapter can sometimes be found for almost same price as lav by itself, much more expensive if bought separately

RØDE VideoMic

Cost: runs around 150$us/189$cdn
Power: standard 9v battery
Pros: good quality construction, uses standard easy to find 9v battery
Cons: large and needs to be camera mounted, can pick up unwanted directional background sounds.

 

Links

To my top product picks (yes they are affiliate links!).

RØDE SmartLav+
Adorama http://bit.ly/2vxfjXH

RØDE SC3 trrs to trs adapter
Adorama  http://bit.ly/2KHMe0j

RØDE SmartLav+ and trrs to trs bundle!
Adorama

Zoom H1n
Adorama http://bit.ly/2vAYI56

RØDE VideoMic
Adorama  http://bit.ly/2KFQr4M

Dead Cat 
Adorama