Clear, high-quality audio can make or break a video production. Whether you’re recording interviews, voiceovers, or ambient sound on set, having the right microphone is critical for capturing clean, professional sound. But with endless equipment options on the market, how do you know what mic is best for your needs?

As leading suppliers to video production professionals across the country, we at Allied Broadcast Group get asked this question a lot. Our experienced team constantly field calls from clients trying to determine what microphone is right for their particular application. Over years of recommending gear and learning directly from our customers about what works (and what doesn’t!), we’ve compiled plenty of audio wisdom to share.

In this ultimate microphone buying guide, we’ll break down the key factors to consider when choosing a mic for interviews, voiceovers, on-location shooting, and more. We’ll also provide specific dynamic, condenser, and lavalier microphone recommendations tailored to different video production contexts. Read on for insider tips straight from the experts on our audio engineering team!

The Basics: Dynamic vs. Condenser Microphones

The first decision to make when mic shopping is whether you need a dynamic or condenser microphone. What’s the difference, you ask? And how do you know which one is right for your needs? Here’s a quick overview.

Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic mics use a simple single-coil design to convert sound waves into an audio signal. They tend to be more rugged and durable than condenser mics due to their relatively simple internal components. Dynamic mics also don’t require any external power source – handy when recording interviews or ambient sound out in the field.

Best for:

  • On-location interviews
  • Voiceovers
  • Field recording
  • Miking loud sound sources
Condenser Microphones

Condenser mics use a capacitor to convert sound waves into electrical current. They tend to be more sensitive and capture finer nuances than dynamic mics. However, condensers require phantom power from an external soundboard or recorder device to operate. They are also generally more fragile.

Best for:

  • Detailed, nuanced recording
  • Studio voiceovers
  • Ambient/environmental sound capture
  • Acoustic musical performances
Lavalier Microphones

Lavalier (or lav) mics are miniaturized microphones that can be easily clipped onto talent’s clothing. They capture high-quality sound while remaining unseen on camera. Lavs are available in both condenser and dynamic styles. More on lavalier mic placement and tips later in this guide.

  • Best for:
  • On-camera talent interviews
  • Video testimonials
  • Theater/performance recordings

Key Specs to Consider


Microphone sensitivity indicates how well the mic can pick up quiet sounds and fine details. Higher sensitivity mics with wider dynamic ranges will capture more subtle audio. Important for capturing crisp, clear voice recordings and highly-textured ambient sound.

Frequency Response

A mic’s frequency response range indicates the span of audio frequencies it can reproduce, from deepest bass to brightest treble. Make sure the mic’s range aligns with the types of sounds you need to record. Voice recordings generally only require a 100-12kHz response range.


Impedance measures a microphone’s electrical resistance. Low-impedance mics (150 ohms or less) typically offer better performance when used with long cable runs. High-impedance mics are more prone to interference from longer XLR cables.

Directional Pickup Patterns

Microphone directionality refers to which directions sound can enter from. Omnidirectional mics pick up sound equally from all around. Unidirectional cardioid mics focus narrowly on sources directly in front. Choose the pattern that best suits your recording context.

Getting Specific: Mic Recommendations by Application

Now that we’ve covered some key mic specs and terminology, let’s get into specific dynamic, condenser, and lavalier microphone recommendations tailored to different production use cases:

Interview / ENG Microphones

Recording interviews is one of the most common – and critical – microphone applications in video production. As the foremost mic experts for broadcast networks and video pros across the country, we get asked constantly for our top interview mic picks.

After extensive real-world testing and client feedback, here are our top recommended mics for interviews and electronic news gathering (ENG):

Shure VP83 LensHopper Camera-Mount Shotgun Mic

Our audio engineers’ #1 pick for recording run-and-gun video interviews! The Shure LensHopper is an ingeniously compact supercardioid condenser shotgun mic that delivers full-sized performance from an ultra-portable, camera shoe-mountable form factor. Effortless to mount on DSLRs and compact camcorders without elaborate rigging. Low handling and wind noise. Integrated headphone monitoring. Powerful candid interview audio in one pocketable package!

Electro-Voice 635L Interview Mic Combo Kit

This value-packed ENG microphone bundle provides everything you need for loud, clear in-the-field interviews at an affordable price. Kit contains: 2 sturdy, reliable RE50B dynamic omni handheld mics, 2 windscreens, custom carry case, and XLR cables. The RE50B’s neodymium magnet provides hot output level while its shock mount limits handling noise. Great starter kit for student/independent filmmakers.

Sennheiser MD 46 Interview Kit

Ready to step up to superior broadcast-quality field interviews? Sennheiser sets the industry standard, and this lightweight, compact MD 46 omni-dynamic handheld mic delivers their signature smooth, detailed vocal reproduction tailored for ENG applications. Comes supplied with windshield and XLR cable in a protective case. When audio quality is king, pros turn to Sennheiser!

Voiceover / Narration Microphones

In professional video narration, the clarity and character of your voiceover talent’s delivery is everything. Seamless, perfectly captured voice audio requires a broadcast-quality large diaphragm condenser mic and properly treated recording environment.

Through countless hours spent recording and evaluating gear with seasoned voice actors at our state-of-the-art production facility outside Philadelphia, these LDC condenser microphones rise above as our top voiceover mic recommendations:

Rode Broadcaster

Featuring Class A circuitry and a custom 1” condenser capsule, the Broadcaster captures rich, intimate vocal detail. Its internal pop filter and shock mounting limit plosives and handling noise. An ideal voiceover microphone accessible to home studios and working voice talent alike. Expect buttery-smooth tone and precise articulation.

Neumann TLM 103

The meticulously engineered TLM 103 sets the professional standard for pure, pristine narration/voice capture. Its hand-selected condenser capsule and transformerless circuitry reveal the most subtle tonal nuances. Delivers that silky, refined “broadcast voice” quality right out of the box. For the ultimate refinement in recording character voices, audiobooks, animation, and more. Worth the investment!

Shure KSM44A

Combine Shure’s legendary quality assurance with the precise polar flexibility of a multi-pattern condenser, and you get the exceptional KSM44A. Tailor its frequency response for warm/rich or transparent/detailed reproduction as needed via simple cardioid/omni switching. Ideal for male and female voice types in untreated home studios thanks to its internal pop filter and breathtaking rejection of ambient room sound.

A trusted favorite microphone for gaming & commercial voice work.

Lavalier Microphones

Lavalier (lav) microphones deliver crystal clear voice pickup from body-worn positions on talent, making them ideal for interviews, lecturers, theater shows, houses of worship, and other applications where mics need to remain unseen.

Through extensive in-studio testing and client feedback, these miniature condenser lav models stand out for pristine vocal reproduction:

Countryman B3 Lavalier Mic

The Countryman B3 sets the body-worn standard, trusted by broadcasters and theater pros for its precision, low-profile omnidirectional capsule and tiny, easily-concealed housing. Delivers studio-grade voice clarity with no clothing rustle. Its flat, extended response captures subtle room acoustics as a bonus. Worth the investment for the ultimate in “invisible” lavalier sound.

Audio-Technica PRO 70 Cardioid Lavalier

The PRO 70’s discreet black housing hides a builtin miniature cardioid condenser that cleanly rejects ambient sound for focused voice pickup. Affordable pro features like interchangeable elements, cable-stop included. Audio-Technica’s stringent quality control ensures consistency. Our go-to recommendation for price-conscious videographers requiring isolated, reliable clip-on audio during corporate shoots, live events, and more.

Sony ECM77BMP Portable Omni Lavalier Mic

Renowned for rugged reliability and clear, accurate tone, Sony lavs are a video industry mainstay. The ECM77BMP features an omnidirectional pickup ideal for chest-mount positioning, capturing natural voice sound with flexible placement options. Its steel-mesh grill and included windscreen boost durability. Hundreds of satisfied business, religious facility, and university clients affirm why Sony lavalier mics remain a trusty ENG workhorse year after year.


We hope this breakdown of the best interview, voiceover, and lavalier microphone options for video production has helped simplify your buying decision, no matter your recording experience level or budget!

Of course, mic selection represents just one piece of achieving professional sound for your video project. Proper mic use technique and room acoustics also play crucial roles. Accessories like boom poles, cables, audio recorders, wind protection, and headphones (for monitoring) all require careful consideration as well to craft an optimal field recording rig.

That’s why, for 10+ years, leading film studios, broadcasters, corporations, universities, houses of worship, theaters, and independent creators across the country have relied on Allied Broadcast Group as their one-stop shop for personalized audio solutions. Our experienced sales team stand ready to recommend fully-integrated audio kits custom-tailored to your needs – drawing upon our unmatched expertise and the industry’s top brands. We offer hassle-free ordering/shipping, equipment rentals, pro audio service, and more.

Ready to elevate your video sound? Contact Allied Broadcast Group today!

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