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What Microphone Is Best for Mobile Live Video Productions?

by Dan Petrik
July 10, 2017

Audio can be the most confusing part of a video production.  If your audio isn’t perfect, people will tune out.  Here is a rundown of different types of mics you can use for your mobile video productions.


Built in Mic:

This one is pretty straight forward.  No setup, no cost, but the quality will start to suffer unless you have perfect conditions

Best Uses:

  • Inside  
  • Needs to be relatively quiet
  • 1 - 2 people facing the camera

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • No setup required
  • Decent quality

Cons:

  • Will pick up lots of background noise
  • Not good outside in wind
  • No volume control


Handheld:

For use with Switcher Studio and an iOS device productions, I recommend the iRig Mic HD.  However any XLR handheld mic and an iRig Pre or Pro will work as well.

Best Uses:

  • Interviews
  • 1 - 2 people on screen

Pros:

  • Easy setup
  • Volume control
  • Great quality sound
  • Can pass around the mic to accommodate more people

Cons:

  • Needs to be near speakers
  • Have to hold in hand or have on table stand
  • Depending on setup can add gear and cost


LAV:

I have had the best luck with XLR LAV mics with an iRig Pre.  If you want to try two mics, you can use a TRRS 2 line breakout box and two TRRS LAVs.

Best Uses:

  • One person on screen
  • Relatively quiet areas

Pros:

  • Hands free
  • Great quality for one person
  • Easy setup
  • Small and hidden

Cons:

  • Limited number of people
  • Will pick up some background noise.
  • Depending on setup, cost and additional gear
  • Do not always have volume control


Shotgun Mic:

There are many options for XLR shotgun mics and all will work if you pair with an iRig.  This will give you audio gain controls for better sound quality.  For a direct connection, I recommend the RODE VideoMic with a RODE TRS to TRRS adapter.

At any event I am doing video, I will have a shotgun mic at least as backup.  These are multifunctional, will accommodate lots of people, and if the background noise is too much it can be used as a handheld mic to pick up your subjects volume better.Best Uses:

Best Uses:

  • Indoor or outdoors
  • Multiple people

Pros:

  • Works in almost any situation
  • Hands free
  • Most versatile option
  • No audio gear visible in your production

Cons:

  • Expensive

 

As you can see, different mics fit different productions.  Before going live, always make sure you have checked and setup your audio.

About the Author

Dan Petrik

Dan is Switcher's customer success manager and a co-founder of the company. He is a live video expert, helping companies like Golf Channel and Korbel create amazing livestreams with Switcher. Prior to co-founding Switcher, Dan spent 4 years working at an agency that helped businesses create and stream live video.

All posts by Dan P. >

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