Best Shotgun Mic For Film & TV – Top 7 Picks (FILMMAKER’s Guide)

Good audio quality is the second most important thing after high-quality video footage: mess it up, and your entire video would suffer.

Most poor-quality microphones capture every sound in the background except the actual dialogue. However, this doesn’t mean that you must invest hundreds of dollars on basic audio equipment. Even though the market is concentrated with all sorts of microphones, it’s possible to find the one that matches your high audio standards without leaving you with an empty wallet.

To help you out, we put several microphones through a rigorous audio test and came out with our list of the best shotgun microphones for film cameras.

Best Shotgun Mic For Film

Rode NTG3B Super-Cardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 Condenser Microphone Rode NTG4+ Supercardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone
Rode NTG3B Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 Rode NTG4+
  • BEST OVERALL
  • Professional-level features
  • High sensitivity
    • PREMIUM CHOICE
    • Low noise
    • Mix ready sound quality
      • BEST BUDGET
      • Sounds natural
      • Decent noise levels
      • Film Shotgun Mic Reviews

        1. Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 Super-Cardioid Shotgun Tube Condenser Microphone

        Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 Condenser Microphone

        Check the latest price on Amazon.

        See the Sennheiser MKH416
        • Form factor: Stand/Boom-Mount
        • Sound field: Mono
        • Polar pattern: Lobar, Supercardioid
        • Frequency range: 40 Hz to 20 kHz
        • Maximum SPL: 130 dB SPL
        • Load Impedance: 800 Ohms
        • Sensitivity: -32 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz
        • Voltage: 48 V ± 4 V

        Features

        Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 Super-Cardioid Shotgun Microphone is one of our favorites for all the right reasons. Sennheiser has never disappointed us in terms of audio quality and versatility. Each microphone delivers outstanding performance, and the super-cardioid shotgun is quite similar, if not better.

        Design

        The first and foremost feature we want to appreciate is the condenser design that makes the microphone resistant to moisture, making it easier for users to capture high-quality audio in adverse weather conditions. With a metal structure and matte black finish, the body prevents any distracting reflections. Moreover, there is a foam windscreen for prevention against unwanted wind noise from fans and heaters.

        Performance

        Already mentioned in the specs, Sennheiser exhibits a hyper-cardioid polar pattern from a low to mid-range frequency. Moreover, the microphone transitions to a local pattern at high frequencies by at least 10dB at the off-axis points. In layman’s terms, a hyper-cardioid pattern is similar to an ordinary super-cardioid pattern with a narrow, yet focused front pick up angle. As a result, the microphone does a wonderful job of blocking out any unwanted feedback and noise. However, a super-cardioid pattern often has a pickup angle or 115 degrees, while hypercardioid patterns have one around 105 degrees.  

        While experimenting with it, we noticed that Sennheiser did a wonderful job of recording any dialogue and Foley with impressive clarity and full dynamics. We owe this performance to the wide frequency response, a high SPL handling, and obviously the enhanced consonant articulation.  

        It’s easy to say that the manufacturers designed the microphone by keeping the professionals in mind. While adjusting the angles, you’ll experience a gentle rise from 5khZ to 15kHz for enhanced intelligibility along with a natural bass roll-off. This proves useful for minimizing any rumbling sound effects.  

        Thanks to the low self-noise and high sensitivity, you are free from the hassle of post-production edits, including gain boosting because of the impressive signal purity. Similar to other shotgun microphones, Sennheiser is powered by 44 to 52 VDC phantom power. As a result, the microphone is compatible with several devices, including field and handheld audio recorders.  

        Bottom line

        Along with sharp directivity and a strong output, the Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 microphone has a lot more to offer. This is a perfect companion for all filmmakers and a great addition to your shooting equipment.

        What we like:

        • Reliable
        • Low noise
        • Mix ready sound quality

        What we don’t:

        • Expensive

        Check Price On Amazon

        2. Rode NTG3B Super-Cardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone

        Rode NTG3B Super-Cardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone

        Check the latest price on Amazon.

        See the Rode NTG3B
        • Form factor: Stand/Boom-Mount
        • Sound field: Mono
        • Polar pattern: Supercardioid
        • Frequency range: 40 Hz to 20 kHz
        • Dynamic range: 117 dB
        • Sensitivity: -30 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz
        • Max output level: 8.2 mV
        • Voltage: 48 V ± 4 V

        Features:

        If you aren’t new to the audio market, you must be aware of Rode, one of the leading microphone manufacturers. The Rode NTG3B Super-Cardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone is just another one of their high-quality piece that delivers a solid performance.

        Design

        The package comprises a microphone, a zippered bag for storage purposes, a foam windscreen, a microphone clip, a weather-resistant aluminum storage cylinder along with a 3/8-5/8 inch stand adapter. Moving on, the microphone feels pretty solid to the touch, considering the metal body. However, you don’t need to worry about carrying a heavy device along to your shooting location as it’s lightweight at 163g. We didn’t find anything else on the body just like the other shotgun microphones except an SLR port on the bottom.  

        Performance

        As we mentioned earlier, Rode has a super-cardioid polar pattern, while the other specifications are impressive. After looking at them, our expectations were quite high, to say the least. Fortunately, Rode comes with a foam windscreen that proves extremely useful for limiting the higher frequencies.

        Further on, the high sensitivity allows Rode to produce a strong output without the need for extreme gain at its preamp. While changing the angles, we were impressed by the consistently great performance in terms of the gentle rise at high frequencies and rumble free audio at low frequencies.

        Rode features a switch and dials free design that allows users to set the mic up immediately without any hassle of adjusting the settings. It features an RF bias technology that makes the body resistant to moisture while allowing the microphone to capture high-quality audio despite unfavorable weather conditions.  

        NT3GB is ideal for news anchors as it was made with the intent of broadcasting with enhanced immunity to RF ratio. Moreover, it does a wonderful job of minimizing any handling noise, a huge issue with its rivals. Thanks to the balanced output, the microphone utilizes longer cable run while the low self-noise and highly sensitive condenser element do a wonderful job of preventing any hissing sounds.  

        Similar to other shotgun microphones, Rode uses phantom power instead of batteries, which makes it compatible with several recorders and adapters.  

        Bottom line

        Undoubtedly, Rode NTG3B is a great microphone to invest in for your next TV shoot or documentary project. We were impressed by the number of incredible features, including the minimal handling noise and upgraded immunity to radio frequency interference.

        What we like:

        • Minimal handling noise
        • Professional-level features
        • High sensitivity

        What we don’t:

        • Sometimes Needs additional finessing

        Check Price On Amazon

        3. Rode NTG4+ Supercardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone

        Rode NTG4+ Supercardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone

        Check the latest price on Amazon.

        See the Rode NTG4+
        • Form factor: Stand/Boom-Mount
        • Sound field: Mono
        • Polar pattern: Supercardioid
        • Frequency range: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
        • Dynamic range: 119 dB
        • Sensitivity: -32 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz
        • Impedance: 200 Ohms
        • Voltage: 12 to 48 V

        Features:

        Rode never fails to satisfy every customer and releases new microphones in order to meet the demands of each individual. The Rode NTG4+ Supercardioid Condenser Shotgun Microphone is another exceptional device that caters to both professionals and beginners. It offers a lot more than an average microphone that, too, at a significantly reasonable price.  

        Design

        We love to describe the design of Rode NTG4+ as innovative. There are three digital controls for a great pad, low cut, and presence boost performance. The mic feels strong to the touch, so you don’t need to worry about handling it delicately. Similar to many other Rode microphones, the package also includes a micro USB cable and a basic foam windshield for protection against wind. However, the windshield is inadequate for its job. Thus, we recommend you invest in a sock, dead cat, or an individual windshield.  

        Performance

        Firstly, Rode has a super-cardioid pattern that is quite common amongst shotgun microphones. It rejects sounds from the rear end pretty well but not a lot from the side. However, the upgraded back rejection is great for occasions when there isn’t a boom operator, and you find yourself mounting the mic on top of the camera.  

        Furthermore, the overall sound quality is impressive, especially under aggressive conditions. The 10dB pad proves useful for cutting off any random, unnecessary sounds while it provides clarity to deeper frequency dialogues. In short, NTG4+ does a wonderful job of delivering natural and clean audio. Moving on, the audio at the higher end sounds crisp compared to the fuller and richer results at the lower end. Moreover, you don’t need to waste any time on editing the audio files because of the frequency filters.

        We saved the best for the last. Rode features an integrated lithium battery that lasts for more than 150 hours. Even though the battery takes a lot of time to drain, you may recharge it from any USB port within 2 hours- great for irresponsible users.  

        Bottom line

        Rode NTG4+ is nothing less than perfect. It features everything one would expect from a high-quality shotgun microphone, including exceptional audio quality, easy to use interface, and ability to perform well in rough conditions.

        What we like:

        • Sounds natural
        • Integrated lithium battery
        • Decent noise levels

        What we don’t:

        • Less side rejection

        Check Price On Amazon

        4. Sennheiser MKE 600 Short Shotgun Microphone

        Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Microphone

        Check the latest price on Amazon.

        See the Sennheiser MKE 600
        • Operating Principle: Line Gradient
        • Sound field: Mono
        • Polar pattern: Lobar, Supercardioid
        • Frequency range: 40 Hz to 20 kHz
        • Maximum SPL: 132 dB SPL (Phantom Power)
        • Sensitivity: 21 mV/Pa (Phantom Power)
        • Voltage: 48 V ± 4 V

        Features:

        Sennheiser is one of the few microphone manufacturers that we trust wholeheartedly because of its powerful performance, high-quality build, and diverse range of features. Sennheiser MKE 600 Short Shotgun Microphone is a great example and an ideal microphone for most video bloggers.  

        Design

        This budget-friendly microphone altered our perception of affordable electronic equipment as it works similarly, if not better than some high-end microphones. It’s short and lightweight, thus an excellent tool to carry to your next shoot. Moreover, the well-designed body is specially meant for delivering balanced, high-quality audio with a directional pickup pattern. The package also includes a camera-mountable shock mount with two short rubber legs instead of a rubber band.  

        Performance

        As we mentioned earlier, Sennheiser has gained a solid reputation over the years, which was a reason enough to raise our expectations from MKE 600. In short, MKE 600 does a wonderful job of capturing audio, rejecting unnecessary background noises from the surrounding area while the set of incredible features works well to deliver studio-like audio.  

        Shotgun mics deliver crisp audio with exceptional clarity, and Sennheiser proves this claim. The dialogues sound present and focused while the microphone did an outstanding job at blocking off any sound from the rear and sides, a job most high-end microphones struggle with.  

        Talking about the range, it’s exactly like the other shotgun mics: the close the microphone is to the sound source, the better the audio quality. Moving on, there is a low cut filter that further cuts out any low-frequency sounds and is great for any noisy outdoor areas. These filters are often necessary to record mid or high-frequency dialogues and when the microphone is mounted on a boom pole. On the other hand, an activated low cut filter minimizes wind noise and other handling sounds. However, we recommend you to invest in an additional windscreen because the prepacked windscreen is only meant for drafty indoor environments.  

        Another impressive feature of MKE 600 is that users get to choose their power source. It works with a single AA battery or phantom power, which makes the microphone compatible with several devices; for example, a battery-powered device works with video cameras and wireless systems.  

        Bottom line

        It’s safe to say that Sennheiser MKE 600 is worth investing in. Along with high-quality audio, you also get a durable yet compact body for hassle-free transportation. There are some minor issues, including a faulty foam windscreen; the benefits definitely outweigh the disadvantages.

        What we like:

        • Great sound quality
        • Low cut filter
        • Well designed control

        What we don’t:

        • Poor wind protection

        Check Price On Amazon

        5. RODE VideoMic Studio Boom Kit

        RODE VideoMic Studio Boom Kit

        Check the latest price on Amazon.

        See the RODE VideoMic
        • Form factor: Stand/Boom-Mount
        • Sound field: Mono
        • Polar pattern: Supercardioid
        • Frequency range: 40 Hz to 20 kHz
        • Dynamic range: 114 dB
        • Sensitivity: -38 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz
        • Max output level: 6.9 dBu
        • Voltage: 9 V

        Features:

        RODE VideoMic Studio Boom Kit is highly demanded by several customers for all the right reasons. Most filmmakers find themselves wandering helplessly to purchase the compatible accessories for their mic. The kit saves time and ensures that you get the best of every piece.  

        Design

        After opening the kit, you should find a RODE VideoMic Directional On-camera microphone, a Rycote lyre suspension mount, a RODE windscreen, a 6′ Boom microphone stand, a 25′ 3.5mm extension cable and a thread adapter. The microphone itself is pretty lightweight but strong enough to withstand rough and tough shooting conditions. With an integrated shock mount and windscreen design, Rode proves excellent for outdoor shooting.  

        Performance

        What do you need all these pieces for? The cable is ideal for situations when your source is away from your camera: all you have to do is place the microphone over your desired audio source and place the camera in the marked location. On the other hand, the 6-inch stand features a boom arm that works perfectly for a sit-down style interview. You don’t need to tire yourself by holding the mic for yourself and your guest. Pretty great, right?  

        As we mentioned earlier, Rode features an integrated shock mount and windscreen design. The former feature allows users to mount the microphone directly to your microphone I order to limit any noise from camera handling and vibrations, whereas the ergonomic design prevents it from capturing excessive wind noise.  

        Similar to another Rode microphones, this device utilizes a super-cardioid polar pattern for picking up the main sound from the front while attenuating the rest from the sides and rear. Thanks to the directional condenser element and active electronics, we witnessed highly detailed audio, which was significantly better than inbuilt microphones.

        Another impressive feature is the long runtime: the 9V battery powers Rode for up to 100 hours. You are safe to use the microphone as long as the power LED remains green and up to an hour after it turns red.  

        Bottom line

        The Rode Videomic is ideal for video bloggers, mobile journalists, and any run and gun shooters who want to be fully equipped for shooting in harsh conditions. With several amazing features and a fully loaded kit, there is nothing else a filmmaker would need to make their audio quality the best in the block.

        What we like:

        • Long battery life
        • Easy hook up to the camera
        • Directional sound pick up

        What we don’t:

        • Heavy stands

        Check Price On Amazon

        6. Rode VideoMic Pro+ Compact Directional On-Camera Shotgun Condenser Microphone

        Rode VideoMic Pro+ On-Camera Shotgun Microphone

        Check the latest price on Amazon.

        See the Rode VideoMic Pro+
        • Form factor: Stand/Boom-Mount
        • Sound field: Mono
        • Polar pattern: Supercardioid
        • Frequency range: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
        • Dynamic range: 118.8 dB
        • Sensitivity: -33.6 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz
        • Max output level: 7.6 dBu
        • Battery Life: 100 Hours

        Features:

        Rode never disappoints it’s customers, and after coming out with several audio devices, they launched the Rode Videomic Pro Plus- one of the best microphones out there. The previous Videomic users may not notice any difference except a viable decrease in size.  

        Design

        Similar to other Rode microphones, Pro plus features a minimalistic appearance and a simple layout with only the most important features. This compact, lightweight microphone sits neatly on top of an SLR with a horseshoe at its base. It comes with a default windscreen for protection against wind and Rode’s signature Rycote Lyre suspension system. The latter acts as a shock mount to minimize contact with the base and surroundings and reduces any unwanted handling noise.  

        Performance

        Apart from the size, Rode Pro Plus features several other new features, including a digital switching interface that activates various recording modes to suit your requirements. The first mode is a two-stage high pass filter that reduces lower frequency background noises. As a result, higher frequencies find it easier to come through while the rumbling sounds are blocked out. Moving on, the second mode is a three-stage gain control for boosting the audio signal. Most mirrorless cameras have a quiet preamp that becomes a nuisance after you raise the gain settings. This mode minimizes the in-camera gain to boost clarity.  

        Further on, there is a high-frequency boost mode to enhance the details in the audio, especially when it comes to dialogues and Foley. The last mode is a safety channel setting, which is ideal for recording audio at uneven noise levels. It records audio at two gain settings to avoid ending up with clipped recordings because of a sudden increase in volume.  

        Even though most of the shotgun microphones run on phantom power, you require a 9V battery to power Rode for around 70 hours. Fortunately, Rode makes use of the advanced on/off technology to minimize battery runout. After connecting the microphone to your camera, the mic switches on and off along with the camera. This proves useful for all those who often forget to turn their microphone off after usage. Moreover, users get a free Deadcat by claiming the extended warranty: it’s a great accessory to enhance the coverage against wind noise.  

        Bottom line

        Rode a video mic is a great option for all those planning to ditch their camcorders internal microphone to invest in better quality audio equipment. We loved the compact, lightweight design while the studio-like audio quality is worth appreciating.

        What we like:

        • Compact size
        • Better usability

        What we don’t:

        • Doesn’t come with a carrying case

        Check Price On Amazon

        7. Audio-Technica AT897 Shotgun Condenser Microphone

        Audio-Technica AT897 Shotgun Condenser Microphone

        Check the latest price on Amazon.

        See the Audio-Technica AT897
        • Operating Principle: Line Gradient
        • Sound field: Mono
        • Polar pattern: Lobar, Supercardioid
        • Frequency range: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
        • Dynamic range: 112 dB (Phantom Power) 98 dB (Battery Power)
        • Sensitivity: -40 dBV/Pa (Phantom Power) -41 dBV/Pa (Battery Power)
        • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 77 dB
        • Voltage: 11 to 52 V

        Features:

        Audio-Technica AT897 Shotgun Microphone is an outstanding microphone for your filmmaking needs. Apart from the exceptional audio quality, users get an easy-to-use interface for minimal hassle while recording.  

        Design

        Most users assume that the design of the microphone isn’t as important as the performance, but they are wrong. A poorly-built microphone is often the sole reason for poor audio quality. However, you don’t need to fret as AT897 features an ergonomic design to enhance the overall audio quality. There is a low-frequency roll-off switch, a foam windscreen, but no on/off switch. Moreover, the body feels solid to the touch and comes with a 5-year warranty.  

        Performance

        Starting with the worst part about the microphone, we recommend you to get rid of the prepacked windscreen as its nothing but inadequate. Outdoor areas are often windy, while most microphones are sensitive to handling and vibrations. It is better to invest in a higher quality foam windscreen to avoid ruining your audio quality.  

        As we mentioned earlier, the budget-friendly microphone caters to beginners. Therefore, it is unfair to expect a Rode like audio quality from AT897, but this definitely doesn’t mean that it delivers a poor sound quality. If anything, it’s a go-to model for most videographers. The frequency pattern is quite flat with an accurate tonality, and we found the final audio highly detailed and rich. Moreover, it does a wonderful job of blocking out any off-axis sounds.  

        With a moderate sensitivity, AT897 performs well with high gain, low noise microphone preamps. Fortunately, it features a low cut filter at 80 Hz that effectively attenuates the rumble and bass buildup. Thanks to the full spectrum frequency response, a gentle increase in the high frequency enhances intelligibility.  

        Moving on, AT897 utilizes a super-cardioid polar pattern and an interference tube for attenuating any off-axis sounds and minimizing noise from the rear end. Not only does the microphone yield a great on-axis directionality, but it captures distant sounds better than an average omnidirectional microphone. Lastly, it’s phantom-powered, thus compatible with several handheld/ field recorders.  

        Bottom line

        Audio-Technica AT897 is a great device for recording your audio without any hassle. The compact body delivers powerful performance, while a wide range of features is beginner-friendly. However, the microphone comes with its own set of flaws and doesn’t seem appealing to a professional.

        What we like:

        • Rich sound
        • Affordable
        • Low background noise
        • Robust build

        What we don’t:

        • Poor windscreen
        • Hard to access the roll-off switch

        Check Price On Amazon

        Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): About Shotgun Mic For Films

        Q: What are shotgun mics good for?

        A: Despite the numerous microphone options in the market, we always opt for a shotgun mic because of a number of reasons. Shotgun microphones use a cardioid polar pattern to accommodate sound sources from a distance while simultaneously rejecting off-axis sounds.

        Firstly, they sound more natural compared to a lavalier microphone. Shotgun mics take the natural factors like air, electronics, and distance into account to produce a sound one would hear as a spectator. Secondly, you don’t need to waste precious minutes on hiding the mic on the actor as they are often attached to a microphone stand or operated by a boom operator and away from the shot. Thanks to the narrow polar pattern and extended range, the distance won’t affect the end result.

        Moreover, you don’t need to carry batteries to operate the mic as shotgun microphones work using phantom power, and neither do they suffer from RF hits. Cables may be a nuisance to many, but a good quality cable transmits better quality audio than a wireless transmitter.  

        Q: What’s the difference between a shotgun mic and a lavalier?

        A: It’s common to get confused while selecting audio equipment for your studio. Your options may often limit down to either a lavalier or a shotgun mic. This definitely doesn’t mean that one mic is better than the other, but there are some major differences that affect the audio quality. Lavaliers or lapel microphones are those buttons shaped devices that come in an omnidirectional or cardioid configuration.  

        Cardioid mics block out any off-axis background noise and are ideal to use when actors are standing close together. On the other hand, audio produced by omnidirectional lavs sounds quite natural, but they are prone to picking up the background noise. However, their compact size and easy positioning make it a filmmaker’s favorite. Boom Shotgun microphones are great for medium angle shots or close-ups. They select audio from a focused area and limit the off-axis noise for high-quality audio. Shotgun microphones, on the other end, are great for outdoor usage or any windy area.  

        Q: What type of microphone do most news anchors use?

        A: Most news anchors use lavalier microphones because they are compact and well suited to small, enclosed areas. However, most reporters often carry two microphones, including an Omnidirectional dynamic mic and a condenser shotgun. Omnidirectional mics experience less wind noise but should be placed near the mouth as they pick up sounds from every direction.

        Conclusion

        Now that you’ve gone through our list of the best shotgun microphones for film cameras, we hope that coming to a decision becomes much easier for you. It is wise to consider your audio requirements and budget before settling for a particular device. Interviews require a different type of microphone compared to a film shoot, whereas not every microphone would be compatible with your device. Moreover, consider your shooting environment as windy areas require a stronger windscreen. If you aren’t settling for the Rode Videomic Kit, you might need to invest additional bucks on the other audio equipment.