Microphone Options: The Pros and Cons

audio, microphone, mic, video, tips, pros and cons


When it comes to preparing video content, it can be easy for beginners to overlook one of the most important features: audio. Audio quality, though, can make or break a video. Below average visual content can be saved if the audio quality is great, and excellent visual content can be ruined if the audio quality is bad. When considering how to get the best audio quality for your content, it pays to know a few types of microphones at your disposal, and the pros and cons of each. 


Most video cameras have built-in microphones that can capture audio alongside the video content. 


  • Cost efficient. You don’t have to buy or rent a separate piece of equipment.
  • Readily available. There is no extra set up time. Simply make sure your camera settings are correct, and you’re good to go at any time. 


  • Low-quality. In-camera audio is not designed to provide you with the quality of sound you would hear in a professional video. 
  • Omnidirectional. The in-camera audio will pick up all sound around it and not be able to focus more on the specific audio you are looking to record, making it the worst possible choice for interview recording. 



     microphone, video production, lav, lavalier

A lavalier, or “lav” mic, is a small device that clips onto your subject’s lapel. The audio can then be recorded directly in camera or via a separate recording device to be synced up in post production. 


  • Proximity to your subject. The size of the mic allows it to be placed as close as possible to the person speaking. 
  • Quality of audio. 


  • Visible in camera. Despite its small size, the lav is designed to be worn on your subject, therefore is within the camera’s field of vision. Here are a few tips to help you hide it as effectively as possible. 
  • Limited use. The lav is mainly effective for recording audio from one subject at a time. 



microphone, boom mic, video production, studio, audio

A shotgun microphone, also known as a boom mic when used in conjunction with a boom pole, is a long thin microphone that is used at a distance from the subject(s). Like the lav, the audio can be recorded directly in camera or via a separate recording device to be synced up in post production. 


  • Unidirectional. Shotgun mics are designed to pick up the audio of whatever they are pointed at, minimizing distracting background noise. 
  • High quality sound. Shotgun mics provide professional grade audio quality and are able to be fitted with secondary devices that block wind interference. 


  • Cost. Shotgun mics are in general the most expensive of the options. 
  • Set-up time. Shotgun mics require additional setup time and possibly the use of a second person to hold the boom pole, although boom stands are an option as well.