No matter at which scale you are conducting an interview, it is certainly not an easy job. It is important for both beginners as well as professionals to not compromise on the quality of mic they use and only settle for the best. When you take into consideration the overwhelming number of options when purchasing microphones, you can easily find yourself feeling confused.
Whether you are just starting your career as an interviewer or you are a veteran, you must stay updated and possess knowledge of modern microphones. Investing in the right equipment from the beginning can go a long way and provide listeners with great experience free from background noise.
Depending on your requirements, your needs for microphones may change as well. If you are conducting a short handheld interview, then using a regular lavalier microphone may suffice. If you are in need of creating a podcast studio or recording studio with more professional equipment, then you should definitely go for more high quality microphones.
Also, if you are looking for a simpler USB microphone instead, be sure to check out our guide on the best USB microphones.
Also Read: – Best USB Microphones
Before we look at which microphone is best for you, let’s first discuss why purchasing a high-quality mic matters so much.
Superior Audio Quality for Listeners
What is the point of hosting a podcast or taking an interview if you are not able to provide crystal clear audio quality to your listeners? Have you ever listened to professional podcasts and wondered how superior their audio quality is? That level of audio quality cannot be achieved if you are not careful with your choice of microphones.
Professional Studio Appearance
If you are hosting professional podcasts or interviews, then your studio appearance matters a lot. High-quality microphones can stand out from miles away. Apart from providing clear audio to the listeners, they also make your studio look much more attractive.
If you plan to interview celebrities or other famous people, then investing in one of the best microphones can without a doubt go a long way.
A Smooth Sailing Experience
There are millions of podcasts hosted which people could tune into all over the world. You need to give them a reason to tune into yours. Podcast microphones are designed specifically to provide you and your guests with an interruption-free podcasting experience.
The last thing you would want in the middle of an important interview or a podcast is to face technical errors and end up with a feeling of lifelong embarrassment.
What are some qualities you should look for in Microphones?
When you are choosing microphones, it is important to keep in mind how they are going to be used. Even a small factor can make a difference in the quality of the interview. The type of microphone you choose heavily depends on whether you are outdoors or indoors, how much noise is in your surroundings coupled with if you are sitting or standing.
The choice of microphones for podcasting and interview can only be made once you consider these factors. Each mic is going to excel in different environments. You are often going to see shotgun mics as a popular choice and a handheld mic as a backup.
Here are some important tips to keep in mind to find the best interview microphones.
1) How good is the Audio Quality?
We cannot emphasize enough how important audio quality is for an interview as well as a podcast. The best interview microphones are those that can eliminate the background noise and provide clear audio of the words that are spoken.
2) Microphones Frequency Response
Coming from our previous point, the audio quality of a microphone heavily relies on its frequency response. It is a range in which the mic is going to pick-up which is measured in hertz. This range can play a major role when you are conducting an outdoor interview.
It is normally recommended to choose a mic with a frequency response range between 80 Hz to 15 kHz. However, there are some modern microphones where the frequency range can be adjusted so that is a plus point.
3) Microphone Durability
When you are looking for the best interview microphones, you would expect it to last a long time. The durability of a microphone can also be a deciding factor if it is worth spending your money on. You do not want to spend thousands of dollars on new equipment every other month, so mic durability is a factor you must keep in mind.
Now that you know what to look for in a microphone, let’s see which mic can fulfill these criteria for you. Here’s a list to some of the best microphones you can find:
Sennheiser MD 46 is a popular choice for microphones. It is mainly used for dynamic interviews and it can be ideal if you are conducting an interview in an environment with a lot of background noise.
The noise handling capabilities of this mic makes it a great choice and something that every professional should think about purchasing.
If you want to dive into further technical details of Sennheiser MD 46 microphone, then its frequency response range is between 40-1800 Hz. Furthermore, its sleek and lightweight design can also look great in the studio.
- Extended frequency: One of the biggest selling points of this mic is its extended frequency and the sound clarity in dynamic interviews.
- Pop and wind insensitivity: The sound of the wind can ruin the quality of an interview. The insensitivity of this mic to pop and wind sound is also a plus point.
- Metal body: In terms of durability, the metal body of this mic speaks volumes about how great of an investment it is.
Lavalier microphones are a great choice for public speaking and for conducting interviews. They enable you to record without needing to constantly hold on to them.
All you have to do is position them at the right spot, and once that is done you can focus on your job. Most of the time you are going to see that these microphones are used along with DSLR cameras due to their small size.
In case you are looking for a reliable microphone for podcasts, then lavalier microphones can also serve that purpose. They come both wired and wireless, and you can choose from a vast variety so you can easily adjust your budget as well.
- Budget-Friendly: The variety you are exposed to when purchasing Lavalier microphones is their unique selling point due to how people can adjust their budget.
- Easy to Carry: They are small in size, so even if you are low on space, you can easily carry them with you.
- Convenient to Use: Lavalier microphones have several different applications. They can be used not only in interviews and podcasts but also in sports and teaching.
The Sennheiser MKE 600 comes under the category of a shotgun mic. These mics are named that because of their shotgun-like body and design. They can easily be mounted on boom poles as well as mic stands. Furthermore, you can use phantom power or just one AA battery to run it.
In terms of specifications, the frequency response range of this mic is 40Hz to 20 kHz. Moreover, it can give you a decent battery time of up to 150 hours and has a shock mount for camera shoes.
This mic can easily be used to meet an array of different requirements. Whether you are using it for interviews, podcasts, or productions you are going to get premium sound quality.
- Lightweight: The lightweight of this shotgun mic does not weigh down your rig and makes it easier to carry it around.
- Metal Housing: If you are looking for a durable investment, then the metal housing of Sennheiser MKE 600 can prove to be a great long-term investment.
- Shoe Shockmount: A shoe shock mount is included with this microphone providing you with a smoother interview and podcasting experience.
4. Rode NTG-3
Another popular shotgun microphone, Rode NTG-3 is a popular choice if you require high-quality broadcast. It is often used for film and television so it can ideally be used as a microphone for podcasting as well.
The rich, warm audio quality this microphone provides makes it one of the best in the market. Not many microphones can work well in demanding environments, however, with its cutting edge design and technology, it offers moisture resistance making it a great choice.
This microphone comes with a warranty of at least 10 years. Even if it does look high on the budget department, rest assure it is a one-time investment.
- Phantom Power: This microphone comes with 48V Phantom Power, making it a great choice for extended usage.
- Safe Storage: An aluminum storage cylinder comes along with this microphone which provides it with ultimate protection. You can keep the mic tightly sealed when traveling to ensure it remains safe.
- Attractive Design: The nickel plate finish along with its lightweight makes it easy to use yet attractive in studios.
Moving onto handheld interview microphones, Electro-Voice RE50B is one of the best choices for this purpose. It is highly used in television as well as in interviews due to how it is designed to withstand even the harshest of weather conditions.
The key selling point of this mic is that it relies on an omnidirectional polar pattern. Furthermore, it provides you with a crisp sound quality by eliminating the background noise.
The only drawback of this mic may be that it falls high on the budget department. But if you can get past that, then you would not require another microphone to conduct handheld interviews for years to come.
- Acoustafoam Filter: The acoustic foam filter of this mic keeps the sound of the wind as well as does a great job of handling noise.
- Dyna-Damp Shockmount: The Dyna-Damp shock mount helps in providing premium sound quality even in crowded places.
- Best for Interviews: If you are solely looking to buy a mic for interviews, then this is exactly what Electro-Voice RE50B is designed for.
6. Azden SMX-10
If you are low on budget, then the Azden SMX-10 can come as a bonus buy. It is one of the most affordable options you can find in the market and still enjoy high-quality audio. It is an ideal choice if you are just getting started and it can get the job done.
This microphone comes with a windscreen mount, which is not something people often expect due to its price. With a frequency response range of 100Hz to 18 kHz, it can still do a relatively decent job of handling noise.
Although this microphone may lack behind in terms of durability and quality when compared to the big guns, its price is its selling point.
- Budget-Friendly: This mic is one of the best choices for people with a low budget and to get started.
- Great Battery: It comes with a AAA battery making it a great choice to use for an extended time.
- Lightweight: The lightweight of this microphone can easily be carried by your rig.
The overwhelming amount of options you have in front of you when choosing a microphone can indeed lead to confusion. While which microphone is “best” is subjective and depends on the usage, there is one thing you need to keep in mind, and that is to prioritize quality.
If you are hosting podcasts or a dynamic interview and want your hands to be free, then Lavalier mic can offer you that convenience. On the other hand, if you are conducting interviews in a more professional environment, then you might want to have a look at shotgun microphones.
At the end of the day, you also need to keep the budget in your mind. This is the reason we have focused to provide you with not only the best microphones available but also those that may fit in with your budget. So, make the right choice so you can conduct interviews and host podcasts with crystal clear sound quality.
Getting the right interview microphone for a podcast is only part of the equipment you need for a podcast; check out our guide on the best podcasting equipment to learn more about everything else you need to get your podcast up and running.
Jeremy has been running several online businesses behind his laptop for the past 5 years and he has worked as a freelance web developer previously. A trained marketer by profession, he also has Ruby on Rails and web development knowledge. His forte lies in eCommerce, SEO and content marketing. He’s been featured on Vice, Thrive Global, YFS Magazine, Forbes and several other publications. He prefers to connect with people on LinkedIn.