The 10 Best 3.5mm Microphones

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This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in October of 2018. Whether you're looking to improve the sound quality picked up by your phone or a DSLR camera, or you want something simple to plug into a small PA system or karaoke machine, the 3.5mm microphones on our list are all contenders. We've included models in a variety of styles, from large shotgun condensers to tiny lapel mics, all ranked here by their audio fidelity, durability, and pickup pattern. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Rode VideoMic NTG

2. Sennheiser MKE 400 Shotgun

3. Rode VideoMic X

Editor's Notes

October 06, 2020:

While there wasn't a ton of turnover in this category, Rode finally did something I've been wanting them to do for a long time in coming out with their Rode VideoMic NTG. I've long relied on their VideoMics Go and Pro for a variety of hot shoe-mounted applications, but whenever I needed better audio I'd turn to their NTG series of shotgun mics for film audio, which set the standard at almost every price level. Now, with the Rode VideoMic NTG, there's a mic capable of that level of quality, but designed to be mounted on your camera and feed its signal directly to your video track.

We also added the Neewer CM15, which is an extremely inexpensive solution. It likely won't be able to compete in terms of sound quality with the likes of Rode and Sennheiser, but it can provide more directional audio pickup than you'd get from your camera's built-in mic, which is enough for a variety of uses outside filmmaking. It also boasts a predominantly metal construction, so it should be pretty durable.

For field recordists and foley artists looking to make recordings on the go, the Audio-Technica Pro 24 Condenser is still one of my favorites. It's one of the most portable solutions out there, and it allows you to take a simple recording device and dramatically increase the quality of its capture.

November 12, 2018:

Most of the best 3.5mm options on the market seem to be aimed at video production, so Rode ended up with a lot of traction thanks to a number of well-designed products. One dynamic mic by Audio-Technica just squeaked its way into the ranking for its tonal quality, if not its volume.

4. Shure VP83F LensHopper

5. Audio-Technica ATR-6550 Video Condenser

6. Rode SmartLav Plus

7. Audio-Technica Pro 24 Condenser

8. Sony Omnidrectional ECMCS3

9. Audio-Technica ATR-1200 Cardioid Dynamic

10. Neewer CM15

Daniel Imperiale
Last updated by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel Imperiale holds a bachelor’s degree in writing, and proudly fled his graduate program in poetry to pursue a quiet life at a remote Alaskan fishery. After returning to the contiguous states, he took up a position as an editor and photographer of the prestigious geek culture magazine “Unwinnable” before turning his attention to the field of health and wellness. In recent years, he has worked extensively in film and music production, making him something of a know-it-all when it comes to camera equipment, musical instruments, recording devices, and other audio-visual hardware. Daniel’s recent obsessions include horology (making him a pro when it comes to all things timekeeping) and Uranium mining and enrichment (which hasn’t proven useful just yet).

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