Interviewing is not an easy job. You need to have done your research, have all of your questions written down, and have them rehearsed before your guest even sets foot in your studio.
Of course, a podcast producer can help you do this. But once the recording has begun, it’s up to you to make sure the interview goes as smoothly as possible. It’s also incredibly important to make sure that you’re recording every word your guest says in high-quality audio.
But what’s the best way to make sure that you’re getting crystal clear vocals throughout your interview? The answer lies with an interview microphone.
What makes an interview microphone different from your current microphone, though? And what are the best interview microphones?
Fear not! We’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of the best interview microphones available below.
We’ve also put together a useful buying guide packed with information and will help you determine the differences between a standard microphone and an interview microphone. We’ve also made any technical jargon a little clearer too.
Let’s get started by taking a look at our top pick.
Table of Contents
1. Shure PGA-48 Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone
Featuring a tailored microphone cartridge specially designed to produce clear speech, the PGA-48 Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone from Shure will allow you to record every word your guest says.
The cardioid pickup pattern further ensures that vocals are crisp and clear by focusing solely on the sound coming from in front of it. And, whilst it does this, it simultaneously blocks out background noise too.
It also has a frequency response of 70Hz-15KHz, meaning it can pick up a wide range of vocal tones and produce them into a smooth, conversational-style recording.
It’s easy to connect to a mixer or audio interface with the included XLR cable, and it is simple to operate with the integrated on/off switch.
The metal construction makes it super durable as well, and a silver ball grille protects the internal cartridge.
This interview microphone comes with a stand adapter that allows you to attach it to a microphone stand securely.
It also includes a zippered storage pouch so you can safely store it away when it’s not in use or when you’re transporting it between locations.
- Features a specially designed cartridge that produces clear and concise vocals
- Operates with a cardioid pickup pattern to concentrate on vocals and eliminate background noise
- Has a frequency response of 70Hz/-15KHz to pick up a variety of vocal tones
- Easy to connect with the included XLR cable
- Comes with a microphone stand adapter and a zippered storage pouch
- It has been noted that, when used in a handheld fashion, this microphone can pick up handling noises. However, this isn’t an issue when used with a microphone stand.
2. Solid Pack of 2 Lavalier Microphones
Some interview situations require the freedom to move around or use your hands, and it’s here that this Pack of 2 Lavalier Microphones from Solid make a great choice.
Attach the small microphone to your guest’s clothing, connect to your recording device, and you’re all set.
What these tiny microphones lack in size, they more than make up for in power, though.
Featuring Voice IQ technology, they are designed to focus solely on vocals and block out background noise. This special technology also prevents any echoes, buzzing, or static from being picked up too.
The 79-inch extension cord gives you the ability to move freely whilst you speak, completely taking away any restrictions traditionally associated with wired microphones.
Two wind muffs are included with these microphones, too, so you’ll even be able to record outdoors without worrying about wind noise ruining your sound quality.
This is a complete interview set, with two microphones that can be worn by both yourself and your guest for simultaneous recording into the same device.
They are universally compatible, too, and can be used with Android and Apple devices, as well as DSLR cameras, tablets, and laptops.
- A pack of two lavalier microphones that can be connected to one recording device
- Features Voice IQ technology to concentrate on vocals and block out background noise, buzzing, and static
- Has a 79-inch extension cord that gives you a good amount of freedom of movement
- Includes two wind muffs that can be used to eliminate wind noise when recording outdoors
- Are universally compatible with Android, Apple, DSLR cameras, tablets, and laptops
- It can only be connected via a headphone jack. However, there are converter kits available if you’d like to use a recording device with a USB port.
Rode NTG4 Condenser Shotgun Microphone
The NTG4 Condenser Shotgun Microphone is ideal for anybody looking to create high-quality audio alongside a video interview.
This is because it can be attached directly to a camera to pick up vocal tones and leave you totally hands-free.
It features a condenser capsule that operates with a supercardioid pickup pattern.
This means that, even if you’re standing at a fair distance from the microphone, it will still be able to pick up your vocals while eliminating background noise.
This shotgun microphone also features low floor-noise pickup and has a frequency range of 20Hz-20KHz. This gives it the ability to produce smooth tones from various vocal ranges whilst ensuring any accidental ambient sound doesn’t appear on your finished recording.
Easy to connect to your recording device with the included XLR cable, this microphone is rugged and designed to last.
It comes with a removable foam windshield too, which helps ensure your audio remains as high-quality as possible when recording outside. You’ll also receive a 10-year warranty as a testament to its quality and performance.
- Can be camera-mounted or boom-mounted, making it ideal for hosting video interviews
- Features a specially designed low-noise condenser capsule that operates with a supercardioid pickup pattern
- Has a frequency range of 20Hz-20KHz to pick up a variety of vocal tones
- Easy to connect with the included XLR cable
- Comes with a foam windscreen, storage pouch, and a 10-year warranty
- The supercardioid pickup pattern is so sensitive that it only picks up sound from in front of the mic and nothing from the side. This means that you and your guest would need to be standing in fairly close proximity.
4. Slint Lavalier Microphone Bundle
This Lavalier Bundle from Slint is a complete microphone kit that is ideal for interviewing, vlogging, and more. The hands-free design also makes it the perfect choice for interviews where you need to use your hands to showcase a product or demonstrate what you’re doing.
There are two microphones included in this bundle, which means both you and your guests will be able to wear one and record into the same device.
They feature special noise reduction technology and clearly pick up every word with an omnidirectional condenser while simultaneously blocking out echoes and ambient noise.
Easy to use, you attach the microphone to your clothing with the built-in clips and connect the other end to your recording device through a headphone jack.
These microphones are universally compatible, too, so they can be used with a huge variety of recording devices.
Two wind muffs are included with this bundle, which are great if you want to interview your guest outside.
This bundle has two extension cables that are 2 meters in length and can be added to each microphone’s existing 1.5-meter cable. This gives you even more flexibility to move around or position yourself at a distance from a camera.
- A complete lavalier microphone kit consisting of two microphones, extension cables, wind muffs, and a storage bag
- Features special noise reduction technology that reduces ambient noise and echoes
- Records through a condenser capsule with an omnidirectional pickup pattern
- Can be connected to a variety of devices through a headphone jack
- The extension cables give each person up to 3.5-meters of space away from the recording device.
- As headphone ports continue to evolve across certain devices, you’ll need to make sure your chosen recording device is compatible with a standard headphone jack connection.
5. Movo HM-M2 Handheld Interview Microphone
If you’re looking for a great quality microphone at an affordable price, the HM-M2 Handheld Interview Microphone from Movo could be exactly what you need.
It’s also packed full of features that produce fantastic audio, including an internal pop filter that reduces handling noise and eliminates plosives.
This dynamic microphone operates with an omnidirectional pickup pattern. This makes it perfect for positioning between two people and recording excellent vocals from either side.
It has a frequency range of 70Hz-15KHz, which means it can record a wide range of vocal tones and produce them into clear, conversational sounds.
It doesn’t need any batteries or Phantom power to work and can be connected to a recording device with an XLR cable to begin recording straight away.
Its handheld design gives it a professional appearance too, and the cast-aluminum construction ensures it is super durable.
The built-in pop filter also makes this microphone a great choice for recording outdoors. This is because it will eliminate any wind noise that could be picked up and leave your recorded vocals as clear as possible.
It also comes with a storage pouch to keep it safe when it’s not in use and includes a 12-month warranty.
- A great quality microphone at an affordable price
- Records with an omnidirectional pickup pattern allowing you to record two voices clearly at the same time
- Doesn’t require any batteries or Phantom power to function and is easy to set up with an XLR cable
- Features a built-in pop filter that eliminates plosives, wind noise, and handling sounds
- Comes complete with a storage bag and a 12-month warranty
- It can only be connected with an XLR cable, so it wouldn’t be suitable for recording devices that use USB ports or headphone jacks for connection.
When you’re interviewing somebody, you need to ensure that you get every word they’re saying recorded with perfect clarity. That’s why it’s so important to have a good quality interview microphone in your arsenal.
It’s not a simple case of using any microphone, though, and there are a few things you need to look out for when you’re shopping around.
Below, we’ve highlighted some key points to pay attention to before settling on your final decision. Giving a little thought to each of these will help you find the best interview microphone possible for your personal recording needs.
The first thing to consider is what type of microphone is best suited for your interviewing style. Will you be sitting down? Do you need to use your hands at any point? Or perhaps you’re interviewing in an outdoor setting?
Each of these scenarios would require a different type of microphone. For example, if you’re interviewing your guest about a product they’re releasing, and you’re also on camera, a lavalier microphone would be the best choice.
This is because a lavalier microphone will give you the ability to use both hands, allowing you to showcase your guest’s product and gesticulate as you speak.
You’ll also feel a lot more relaxed with a lavalier microphone, as you won’t need to concentrate on making sure you’re holding the mic in the right place.
Handheld microphones are a better choice if you’re recording in a more formal setting and in the traditional ‘question after question’ format.
They’re also a better choice for outdoor recording as you’ll be able to make sure the microphone is placed directly in front of you at all times.
Now that you’ve decided which type of microphone is best for your needs, it’s time to think about your chosen microphone’s pickup pattern. For interviewing, there are generally two pickup patterns that work best.
The first is a cardioid pickup pattern. This works by picking up sound coming from a 180º arc directly in front of it and blocking out any background noise. In turn, your vocals are captured clearly, and any ambient noise is left off the recording. It’s also a good choice for outdoor recording.
A microphone with an omnidirectional pickup pattern is another good choice for interviews.
This picks up sound from all directions, making it great for microphone-sharing between several guests at once. Omnidirectional pickup patterns aren’t the best choice for outdoor recording, however, as they might pick up background noise.
It’s also a good idea to check what connection type your chosen microphone uses and make sure that it’s compatible with your preferred recording device. There are three common types of connections you’ll find with microphones.
The first of these is an XLR connection. This is suitable for connecting your microphone to an audio interface or mixer. The second is a USB connection, and this is what you’d be best to go for if you record directly onto a computer using online software.
The third connection type is a headphone jack. This is arguably the most versatile of all connection types and will allow you to record your interview onto a wide variety of devices, including cell phones and tablets.
Finally, it’s always worth taking a look at what extra features your chosen microphone comes with. Whether it’s integrated or external accessories, it’s a fantastic way of making sure you’re getting more for your money.
One of the very best extra features any interview microphone can have is a pop filter. This will eliminate any plosives from appearing on your recording and will reduce breath noise.
Windscreens are also super useful, especially for outdoor recording, and will help ensure that the microphone doesn’t pick up annoying wind noise.
Some lavalier microphones come with extension cables too.
These can be added to the mic’s existing cable to create a longer distance between your guest and your recording device, allowing for more freedom of movement and flexibility over your studio set up.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a shotgun microphone?
A shotgun microphone is a highly-sensitive microphone that needs to be pointed directly at the subject it’s recording. Most shotgun microphones operate with a supercardioid pickup pattern to eliminate any ambient noise.
This makes them a great choice for vocal recording or for focusing on single subjects.