6 Best Boom Mics for Film, Interviews & Gaming 

Author: Tomas Morton | Updated: | This post may contain affiliate links.

Even before we all started living in this hyperconnected world where we do everything through live streaming, boom mics were already extremely important, helping out with on-location film production for years.

The biggest challenge when recording can often be getting rid of background noise. Whether you're in a studio with a soundproof vocal booth or filming a movie at a train station, the way you position your microphone and the type of mic you use is super important.

Gaming and interviews also rely heavily on having the right microphone, especially when you're in a small room filled with gear and some powerful computer fans. Here are some of my top picks for the best boom mics that will help you get through any situation like a pro.

Best Boom Mics for Film, Interviews & Gaming

1. Sennheiser MKE 600

Sennheiser knows their stuff when it comes to microphones. They've been making some of the best mics for instruments in the studio for years. So it's no surprise that their MKE 600 shotgun mic is considered one of the best out there.

Just by looking at this microphone, you can tell that it's perfect for film production because it's so easy to get into tight spaces. In film, you want to reduce noise overall, but it's also important to get proximity in places where the camera doesn't quite fit well. That's where super thin boom mics like the MKE come in.

If you're a guitar player, you know all about off-axis. That's the technique of not putting the mic directly up to the amp so you get a softer tone with more room. The only drawback is that because the mic isn't directly in front of the amp, it tends to give you a darker sound.

But Sennheiser managed to create a mic that can be off-axis and still not have a dull sound. They did this by making it super-cardioid, which means it's extremely directional — what you point it at is what you get.

This is an extremely professional mic, proven by the low self-noise that it has. Self-noise is especially useful when recording Foley for movies. All those footsteps, doors closing, punches landing, etc. are all replaced in post-production under the umbrella of Foley.

Sometimes you need very intimate sounds like a water leak or dropping rain, and this mic is great for that too because it's very sensitive and has very low noise. Ironically, my only wish is that it was just a tad bit more compact. That would make it more portable.


2. Audio-Technica AT875R

The Audio-Technica T875R is a great shotgun mic that's perfect for filming and interviews because of its compact size. Audio-Technica made it smaller and lighter than the Sennheiser, which is a smart move because it works well with digital cameras that are typically smaller.

This mic is great not only for professionals but also for TikTokers or anyone making outdoor music videos who wants to stay low-key.

Don't be fooled by its size, though. It has a narrow-angle that picks up long-distance sound really well. Plus, like the Sennheiser, it has excellent off-axis rejection that doesn't interfere with the sound. This is especially important if you're filming in noisy urban areas like big cities with traffic.

Another thing that I thought was really smart of Audio-Technica was that they designed the sound to reject and minimize camera handling noise. That's brilliant! It makes it perfect for all kinds of video-making, whether it's social media videos, music videos, or outdoor interviews. 

There's a lot of motion from the subject and cameraperson sometimes, so the fact that it reduces handling noise is great. Plus, it comes with cool accessories like a windscreen, mic stand adapter, mic clip, and protective pouch. Most shotgun mics need a windscreen, especially for those windy outdoor days.

My only complaint about this mic is its frequency response compared to the Sennheiser. It rolls off a lot of bass at 90Hz. I understand that it cleans up the low and sub-regions, but it's also pretty limited. So, if you're looking for a better film and video mic, I'd give the Sennheiser the upper hand.


3. Rode NTG-2

Now, if you're looking for a great microphone for remote filming and voice-over work, the Rode NTG-2 is where it's at. It runs on batteries, which means you can use it practically anywhere. And let's face it, with all the crazy locations people are shooting in these days, you have to have a mic that can keep up.

One thing I really like about this mic is that instead of just cutting out the low frequencies, it has this high-pass filter option that can take it all the way from 20Hz to 80Hz. That's a big deal because it means you can use the mic indoors too when you're shooting performances or doing interviews. 

You know, like when you're trying to get that crisp, booming voice that you hear on the radio. This mic gives you the flexibility to capture all that.

Another thing that's super cool about the NTG-2 is that it's super light, so you can use it as a portable mic for your digital camera. Honestly, a lot of these mics are just a step up from the built-in camera mics, which are pretty terrible across the board. 

The one area where the NTG-2 could use some improvement is in its off-axis rejection. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's still a solid mic, but other brands like Sennheiser and Audio-Technica have really nailed that aspect of things. 

Maybe it's because Rode was trying to keep that low-end sound intact, but I've noticed this mic doesn't always do the best job of picking up sound from weird angles or indirect sources, which is a bummer.


4. Shure MV7 USB Microphone + Boom Arm

Whenever people talk about microphones, Shure is always the name that comes up. I mean, can you even imagine the concert industry without this company?

The Shure MV7 is a much different microphone than their classic SM57. It is designed for broadcast usage. When you buy it with a boom arm, you’re basically sorted for all your podcasting, streaming and gaming needs.

First things first, it's super versatile because it has both USB and XLR connections, and you can switch between them! How cool is that?

It's perfect for modern recording because you have the option of going digital or analog. You can use analog if you want to go into a preamp or XLR into a mixer or recording device, and USB if you want to stream digitally into your computer software. 

Just a heads up though, some USB direct programs can be kinda limited. So it's probably better to use professional software if you want the best results.

The USB is especially great because it lets even non-pro audio folks get a clean and reliable signal right away. With USB, you can skip all the hassle of finding the right preamp and dialing in the right gain and have more flexibility with your recording software.

Oh, and did I mention that this microphone comes with an awesome Gator 3000 boom stand? This bundle is a sweet deal.

Obviously, this is perfect for podcasting because it's super easy to set up, can be placed anywhere, and has a detailed sound. It’s also an excellent option for gamers and you’ll surely get much better quality audio than from cheaper ‘gaming/streaming’ focused desktop mics.

I also love that there's a built-in headphone output on the mic itself, so you can monitor while you're recording. This is a huge plus for people who work alone and don't have an engineer to keep an ear on everything.


5. Rode VideoMic Go II

The Rode VideoMic Go II is a great option for vloggers and solo outdoor filming because it is camera-mounted and powered by your camera's microphone input or through USB-C. This makes it easy to use wherever you are, making it the perfect tool for filming on the go!

Also, this mic could be a simple option for gamers. Some gamers, specifically game composers, prefer to power it via USB-C and then take the analog TRS output to send it into their mixer. This gives them a voice signal with no delay, and they don't have to compromise on increasing their buffer size. This means that audio driver power is available for the game.

One of the things I like about this mic is the directional audio with ultra-clean sound and rejection. It's great for isolating those pesky frequencies that come from your computer fan. Rode definitely did a great job making it easy for users who might need to be more savvy with audio engineering.

Now, let's talk about the cons. The camera mount is a bit weak if you're planning on using it for podcasting and filming. It's great for self-videoing with a selfie stick for TikTok and Instagram reels, but not so much for shotgun-style filming and precise voiceover recordings.

I checked out the audio specs and noticed that there isn't an option to apply a high-pass filter for outdoor filming.

Maybe Rode didn't think it was necessary since the mic is geared toward more personal filming. But, I gotta say, a high-pass filter is actually pretty useful when you're trying to cut out that low-frequency noise rumbling from rooms. It would have also made it better for indoor broadcasting setups.


6. Sennheiser MKH 416

The Sennheiser MKH416 is the real deal. It's crazy versatile because of its lobar design with interference tubes. Don't get it twisted though, it's not a vacuum tube mic like a Neumann M149. The interference tubes are what make it so insanely super-directional and able to reject off-axis sound.

So, if you're looking for a mic for outside voiceover recording, this is the one for you. It might not be as user-friendly as the Rode mics, but it delivers an amazing clean signal outdoors.

But here's the kicker, super-directional mics are not just for outside recording. They work great for general voice, voiceovers, and even inside studios because they reject everything except what they're aimed at.

This can be a lifesaver for podcast interviews with multiple guests where there's a lot of shuffling noises, smacking, coughing, and so on. Believe me, I've been asked to de-noise podcast recordings more times than I can count.

And let's not forget that this mic is also perfect for large events, music broadcasting, or YouTube videos where somebody is narrating in a very loud setting.

What's even better is that this mic is highly immune to humidity thanks to its RF condenser design. Don't worry if you don't know what that means, I got you. RF designs are radio frequency designs that are moisture-resistant in high-humidity locations.

Basically, this means that you're less likely to get hissing and crackling sounds, which can happen with non-RF designs. It's just one more layer of resistance to the elements, which is super useful for a shotgun mic.


Choosing the Right Boom Mic for the Purpose

So, you're trying to figure out which microphone to get, but there are so many with similar specs and features. It can be tough, especially if you're not an audio engineer! Of course, you'll want to think about the price, brand, and any dealbreakers you have.

I've broken down my top picks into different categories and explained why I chose them. By looking at each category, you can weigh the pros and cons and pick the best microphone for you. Whether you're an aspiring filmmaker, gamer or a professional podcaster, this guide will help you find the perfect fit for your needs.

Directionality and Design

Studio condensers have a wider pattern and can capture more of the ambiance, while boom mics are way tighter sounding. Now, here's the thing: how much rejection do you actually want for your specific needs? 

In the case of the Sennheiser MKH, interference tubes make it incredibly directional, which is awesome for solo voices, but not so great for a group of people talking at once. Especially if you have a group of people talking at once.

Oh, and let's not forget about portability and battery power. Are they important to you? If so, then the Rode NTG-2 is the way to go, my friend. It’s the perfect Swiss-army companion mic for those spontaneous moments.

Frequency Response

So all of these mics are at a professional level, which means they have similar frequency responses. However, some mics have high-pass filter options that make them stand out.

If you want a versatile mic, you might want one that can give you that warm low end for things like interviews and podcasting, but can also be rolled off when you're recording outside or in situations where there are a lot of low sound effects and subs coming from your system while gaming. That way, your signal doesn't come out muddy.

As for the best frequency response, I'd recommend the Shure MV7. It's not a shotgun mic, so it can capture a wider spectrum. Although it’s primarily an indoor mic for gaming and podcasting, it does have the capability to be used in other situations.

Connectivity

In this day and age where everyone's all about selfies, videos, and TikTok performances, it's all about being able to connect to computers, am I right? That's why I think having a USB mic like the Shure, is a total game-changer.

It's about time companies realized that the old-school setup of having a microphone go into a preamp to go into a recorder is totally outdated. I'm stoked they're finally seeing the light.  

So when it comes to connectivity, you gotta choose an option that's gonna future-proof your workflow. If you're doing mostly indoor recording, then maybe you don't need a USB microphone. But, if you're into podcasting or gaming, then having a mic with an extra headphone monitor built-in is a smart move.

If you're not too worried about connectivity, then the Audio-Technica might just be the move. It's very small and portable, so you can hook it up to pretty much any gear you've got. If you're out and about or recording in a crowded spot, the small size is definitely the way to go.

Final Thoughts

As the world of digital content takes over the universe (which we all know it will), the need for constant broadcasting is going to reach some crazy levels.

And let's be real, the question isn't even whether you need a good boom microphone, it's which one to choose. Sure, Apple might tell you that their AirPods, tablet, and phone microphones are top-notch, but they're never going to reach the level of these professional microphones.

That's just basic physics, people - mobile applications have size limitations. Otherwise, they wouldn't be mobile.

But don't get me wrong, mobile recording is awesome for capturing those spontaneous moments. You know, when something amazing happens and you just have to record it - whether it's a voice memo or a video. It's like magic.

But here's the thing: even if you set out to record an interview, music video outdoors, or even a documentary, there will always be moments where some takes are absolute gold. And those moments can never be recreated.

It's super important to capture those moments as perfectly as possible. That means having a top-notch, crystal-clear audio signal. Whenever I'm recording something important, I always have a boom setup as a backup to my digital camera.

Especially when it comes to anything musical. There have been times when I've done a reel showcasing some of my piano playing and the boom mics have captured the performance so well and in such detail that I've just mixed and released that signal as a separate recording.

As musicians, we're always having to come up with fresh content. If one performance can give you an Instagram reel, Tiktok clip, Youtube video, and a Spotify release, all because you captured a golden moment in great detail, I can't think of better value for an artist!

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About Tomas Morton

Tomas is a record producer, engineer, and synthesizer enthusiast based in Pasadena, CA. He received training at Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. When not in his studio, he can often be found scouring garage sales or Craigslist ads for vintage gear treasures.

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