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Best Microphone for Field Recording – Reviews & Buyer Guide

Field recorders or portable different recording devices are considered great and efficient resources for gathering interesting sounds worldwide. Field recordings could be very inspiring. All producers must take benefit from this resource. There are multiple ways to incorporate ambient recordings in your music, basically. Wrap them, reverse them, affects them, time-stretch recordings, and throw filters. But first, people require to capture it, & for this, people need the optimal field recorder. It is essential to observe that no single microphone group named “field recording microphones” exists.

Best Microphone for Field Recording

All “best microphones for field recording” lie under various types and depend on a mic is working, like what kind of mic is & how people can use it. The different kinds of mic used for the field recordings are m/s mics, condenser mics, and stereo mics. If any similarity is captured in operations of field recording mics, then they could capture. The m/s mics and stereo mics are created to capture the wider soundscape, similar to human ears. In contrast, condenser microphones could handle or manage more dynamism in the sound than dynamic mics.

Suppose you have a budget that allows you to not stick on only one mic or to stick on one mic kind. All such categories have distinct characteristics or attributes that make recording microphones good and efficient for ambient field recording. If someone to do the field recording, then he/she should carry the equipment to that location. Simultaneously, you are moving from one place to another, so you must use the recording gear, which supports you in moving easier. Thus, people go for lighter mics. In this article, a different type of microphones is discussed and also describes their characteristics.

Best Microphone for Field Recording Comparison Table

Product Details Price
Best overall

1. Zoom H1n Portable Recorder Microphone

  • MP3 320kbps
  • Excellent Quality
  • 12 hours+ Record time
beginner Use

2. Shure MV88 Portable Microphone

  • Best for Iphone
  • Good Quality
  • No Wind Noise
Professional

3. Zoom H5 4-Track Portable Audio Recorder

  • Cards SD and SDHC up to 32GB
  • 24-bit/96kHz audio
  • USB audio interface 4 in/ 2 out
4. Audio Technica AT875R
  • Frequency 90-20,000 Hz
  • Shotgun Condenser Microphone
  • Dynamic Range 107 dB
5. Samson Satellite USB/iOS Broadcast Microphone
  • Bit Depth 24-bit
  • Good Quality & lightweight
  • Frequency 20Hz–20kHz
6. Zoom F1 Field Recording Microphone
  • Included Lavalier Microphone
  • microSD and SDHC cards 32GB
  • Bit Depth-Frequency 24-bit/96 kHz
7. Zoom H4n Pro 4-Track
  • Professional Grade Preamps
  • 24-bit/96kHz
  • up to 32 GB card
8. Zoom F1-SP Microphone and Recorder On-Camera
  • Support Two-Channel record
  • 24-bit/96kHz
  • up to 32 GB card
9. Zoom H4n Pro 4-Track
  • Best Audio Quality
  • FLAC voice recorder
  • Three microphone system
affordable

10. Tascam DR-05X Microphone

  • Upto 128GB Card
  • Easy to Use
  • Good Quality Audio

Zoom H1n Portable Recorder Microphone

Zoom H1n Portable RecorderH1n is considered as the most compact of the field recorder of Zooms. It is small in size, so in the XY configuration, the microphone set can be fixed. Good sonic performance is delivered by it.  It contains 2 tracks, maximum sample resolution/rate is 96 kHz per 24-Bit. This microphone contains the “Cardioid Condenser Stereo Pair” as well as X/Y Configuration. It also supports microSDHC and microSD. It doesn’t have internal storage.

This microphone is made up of plastic. It does not mean that it’s fragile or flimsy; its plastic is of high strength. There is no input port, so whenever you record the audio by using Zoom H1n, then you require the platform of video editing on your PC to sync audio to video basically. Thus, it means that you require basic knowledge of recording video editing.  It contains the knob or controller of input level that you could use to adjust the gain which comes into the mic.

Zoom H1 contains the filter of low-cut to keep-out the unwanted noise of low-frequency & it also contains the maximum 120 decibels SPL. It’s mean that people can safely and efficiently record the concerts without any issues from a safe distance. The microphone’s X-Y orientation supports you in making the stereo recordings. It’s mean that you could have several ambiances with the recordings. Nikon D3400 camera doesn’t have mic ports. So, zoom H1n is an optimal external mic that can be used with the D2400.

Pros

  • Maximum SPL
  • Formic head, it contains the protective covering.
Cons

  • It needs an editing skill for sync.
  • Input volume knob could be quickly nudged accidentally.

Shure MV88 Portable Microphone

Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone

If someone desire to do the field recording & you all have the iPhone, then MV88 is suitable for you. The mic’s size is small & because of its size, one might easily dismiss this as it’s not a big deal. It is considered as the wrong assumption due to mic packs in the small frame. The capsules of mic are of m/s kind. In 1 mic, two capsules are present. 1 capsule is basically cardioid & captures sound in mic front, whereas the other is of figure-8 or bi-directional mic type. The ambiance is captured by it by receiving the sound on any side.

Whenever you begin recording using this mic, you must make sure that the phone battery is fully charged because this mic connects your iPhone through the lightning port. MV88 has a frequency response from a range between 20HZ and 20kHz. MV88 does a great job while representing the above frequencies to maintain the crisp sound.

The resolution of this mic is about 48kHz per 24-bit, it consists of a cardioid of 1cm and a “bidirectional condenser cartridge” of 1cm, and its weight is around 40g.  MV88 has a versatile configuration. If someone owns the modern smartphone, there are chances for “odd field recording,” which saves your extra expense. If someone owns an iPhone, then the individual can up the mic quality by using Shure MV88.

Pros

  • It is considered a versatile mic; it can be helpful and useful in different recording situations.
  • In-built application is hands-on & it contains numerous functions.
Cons

  • The mic turns solely 90 degrees. For a further turn, you require to unplug the mic.
  • In monitoring, there is some latency.

Bottomline

MV88 is portable. This mic will function well.

Zoom H5 4-Track Portable Audio Recorder

Zoom H5 4-Track Portable RecorderZoom H5 microphones come with the capsule, which could be a swap for another type of mics & input modules separately sold by the Zoom. Like H4N, this provides the recording of four-track, two-line/mic inputs (TRS/XLR) & phantom power. The Zoom H5 microphone’s battery life is about 15 hours, and its weight is around 6.21 oz.

The power requirements are USB and two AA batteries. The playback/recording format is MP3 and WAV. For simultaneous playback/recording, it contains four channels in which two are stereo. The storage capacity of Zoom H5 is 2GB microSD, and then it expands to 32GB. This Recorder also Capture binaural Audio using a condenser shotgun microphone.

Pros

  • Users of this microphone recorder complement its interface, controls layout, and design.
  • This microphone recorder provides a crisp and clear quality of sound with low noise or distraction.
  • One of the enhanced features is the addition of manual dials.
  • This microphone recorder is practical and flexible for both four-track recording and editing.
  • The wide-ranging response of frequency is considered another quality that is basically praised by multiple users, specifically capturing low-end sounds.
  • From a certain direction, it performs a great job of pricking the sounds up with minimal bleeding.
  • At the long-distance, performance can be recorded without any noise from the audience.
  • These microphones do the multi-tracking simultaneously.
Cons

  • Some users claimed that battery life is not so long.
  • These microphones don’t work efficiently with the humid weather.
  • The outputs of XLR don’t have any locks. Thus the individual must be careful not to pull all plugs out during recording time.

Audio Technica AT875R Condenser or Shotgun Microphone

Audio Technica - best microphone for field recordingThis microphone is specially designed for the audio acquisition broadcast and video production. It is a small shotgun microphone on the DV camcorder, it conveniently mounts without adding any noticeable heft & it is considered ideal and effective for use with digital cameras. A microphone that is of high performance, it offers a narrow acceptance line angle and gradient design.

This type of microphone offers different features.  It provides good audio quality & excellent off-axis sound rejection from the rear and sides of the mic. The length is concise & it is ideal for different uses with digital cameras. It provides excellent rejection of sound from the rear and sides of the mic. The tailored response decreases the camera & handling the noise. It solely operates on phantom power. Narrow acceptance is provided for the pick-up of sound for long distances.

Pros

  • In space, this recording microphone performs efficiently & for the goal I need. It is lightweight and simple.
  • On the boom, it is easy and simple to handle and manage.
  • This condenser microphone is portable, and we can move this microphone from one place to another.
  • Excellent sound quality is provided.
  • It provides a clear sound without any noise.

Samson Satellite USB/iOS Broadcast Microphone

Samson Satellite iOS Broadcast Microphone for Field RecordingIn 1980, Samson Technologies started as the pioneer in the technology of wireless microphones. Today, in audio solutions, Samson is considered the industry leader whose products are popular for their reliability and fidelity. Samson’s products are basically preferred by performers, recording artists, audio professionals, and educators across the world. At the beginning of ’90s, the Samson started to expand their audio products via the development of mixers, power amplifiers, signal processors, and wired microphones.

In 2005, the first professional “USB recording microphones” used by broadcasters, podcast enthusiasts, broadcasters, and musicians were introduced. USB microphones of Samson have become the new standard in the industry. Over time, Samson has expanded from the operation of two-person to a worldwide enterprise. Samson always introduced new audio products and innovative methods that will improve the musician’s lives & broadcast different professionals everywhere. This microphone is designed efficiently for capturing the audio of high definition on your iPhone, iPad, or computer.

This microphone is of great quality and very efficiently perform for multiple devices. This microphone could be used for capturing the 24-bit per 96 kHz audio, and it captures it in different applications for podcasters, content creators, or streamers. Satellite offers the play & play operations & it also offers the three pickup patterns, e.g., omnidirectional, bidirectional, and cardioid & it offers the leg design of fold-back in the portable package. It consists of multiple other features like two premium condenser capsules of 16mm and an internal shock-mount.

Furthermore, the microphone construction & grill body is created using steel/aluminum & are basically equipped with the LED display of three colors that offer clip, mute status, and power. This microphone has a flat frequency, smooth response of range between 20 Hz and 20kHz & built-in controls choose a polar pattern, headphone volume, monitor on or off and mute.

This microphone is iOS/USB broadcast. This microphone is efficient for podcasting, streaming, voiceover work, recording music, and VoIP. This mic is directly plugged into a PC, iPad, iPhone, or Mac.  It consists of the mute switch. The patented design of the microphone provides optimal positioning of the mic.

This microphone captures the broadcast audio of 24-bit per 96kHz to your iOS or PC for Twitch stream, podcast, music recordings, or YouTube production. The dual custom condenser capsule of 16mm delivers detailed and clear audio. The three polar patterns are omnidirectional, bidirectional, and cardioid. Touch switch of mute quickly and efficiently silences the recording microphone without the addition of clicks or pops to your entire audio. It includes the USB Micro to build the connection with the computer & Lightning to the USB Micro to build the connection with iOS devices.

Pros

  • The volume control of this microphone is very nice & it contains a touch button which is very soft for turning the microphone on & off without any pop.
  • This microphone works efficiently and well for ASMR and gaming commentary.
  • It is of high quality
  • This microphone works well with Apple iPad, Windows Laptop & Apple iPhone.
  • It has a great quality of sound.
  • It is an efficient mic and appropriates for multiple devices.
Cons

  • It is expensive
  • It works well on a computer, not on the phone.

Zoom F1 Field Recording Microphone

Zoom F1 Field RecorderWith the Zoom F1, Zoom has yet created another efficient audio recorder. It consists of a two-channel field recorder, capturing around 24-bits at the 96kHZ in MP3 or WAV. On-boarder limiter is available in this field microphone. The 2 AAA batteries basically power this & it records on the MicroSD card. In 2 configurations, F1 is basically available, F1-SP and F1-LP, these are mounted with “SGH-6 mono shotgun mic module” and “LMF-2 lavalier”.

The best thing about F1 is that it is very compatible with the interchangeable modules of the mic for Zoom H5 & H6 recorders. The only difference among the LP & SP models has included a mic. SP’s option comes with modular shotgun mic SGH-6 & this mic is a little bit expensive compared to others. It is available for 250 dollars.

Great value is offered by F1 kits & modular design permits for additional flexibility. This type of mic is recommended for journalism and filmmaking, for the event and corporate videography, and it is recommended for casual production of the video. It contains a polar pattern of super-cardioid. The microphone type of lavalier is LMF-1. The maximum input for sound pressure is 122 dBSPL. The USB connector of the microphone is micro-USB.

Pros

  • Cheap media
  • Modular Mics
  • With the interchangeable modules of the mic, this mic is very compatible.
  • For different professions, this field recorder is efficient and effective.
Cons

  • For the 1av input, it gains control.
  • This microphone is available at a high price.
  • Gain control for lav input

Zoom H4n Pro 4-Track 

Zoom H4n Pro 4-Track Portable RecorderThis microphone has a four-track recording simultaneously. It has the ability to directly records SDHC and SD cards, which are 32GB.  The frequency sampling of this microphone is about 24-bit per 96kHz. It requires phantom power of +48V or +24 input power. It is compatible with Mac OS and Windows Vista & newer.  The Zoom H4 recording microphone has a compact design.

This mic allows you to have the audio of a professional level for video production. This mic consists of unique characteristics. The mics X/Y configuration allows people to have the “stereo soundscape recording,” the natural ambiance is given by it & creating the audio consists of more context.  The stereo width can be narrowed and adjusted to the mono reception by decreasing the space among 2 mic heads. 2 AA batteries provide enough power for around 8 hours. This mic provides you multiple options, such as people can add different effects like delay, reverb, filter, and compression, to further process different recordings.

The frequency response of Zoom H4n is present between the range 30Hz and 20000Hz. By observing this response, we can say that h4n is good for speech.

Additionally, don’t be worried regarding loud recording. THE maximum SPL offered by H4n is 140db. You don’t need to worry about clipping or distortion.

Pros

  • It has a compact design.
  • It contains the capabilities of stereo recording.
  • It has a high SPL so that you can record at loud volumes.
Cons

  • Its battery life is not so predictable.
  • Slow booting (around 20 seconds)

Zoom F1-SP Microphone and Recorder On-Camera

Zoom F1-SP On-Camera Microphone and Recorder

Shotgun Microphone is considered the ideal and optimal solution for independent filmmakers & videographers who require to capture audio quality. It includes the SGH-6 shotgun microphone, which is created to capture each sonic nuance. Audio of high resolution up to the 24 bit per 96 kHz can be recorded. The bundle is ideal for the location sound, event, and wedding videography and perfect for multiple things.

This microphone is popular for capturing the pro-quality sound of hyper directional, and this mic is made up of aluminum, which makes it very lightweight. This mic is combined with F1, which makes you able to record high-quality audio. Audio of high impact is provided for any type of video production. This mic is optimal for video production. While shooting the wedding or any other event, people don’t have much time to pay attention to gear. The buttons of Zoom F1 provide you easy and quick access to the limiter controls, recording levels, output volume, and filter & its LCD, which is monochrome, is even highly visible in the bright sunlight. “SGH-6 Shotgun Mic” is present in the package of F1-SP, which basically captures the hyper-directional and professional quality sound.

SGH-6 is very light in weight because of the aluminum body. Audio of high resolution around 24 bits per 96kHz can be recorded using the F1 to improve video production with the audio of high impact.

Pros

  • It is an optimal on-field recorder.
  • Good recorder
  • In-ear binaural microphone

Olympus Linear PCM Recorder

Olympus Linear PCM Recorder for field This mic is created to mimic human ears function. The stereo effect is created in 2 directional mics. It could be used to record the frequency response between the range of 200 Hz and 20 kHz. The “LS-P4 PCM recorder” is very compatible with the “FLAC format recordings,” which decreases the audio high-resolution without reducing the audio quality.

It is compatible with the MP3/PCM file formats, file storage of 8 GB, USB charging, and memory slot. For natural sound, it offers the LS-P4 that basically mimics the human ears function.  In FLAC format, this mic playback and record audio. By using the technology of Bluetooth, speakers, and headphones, it enjoys wireless playback. From the Olympus, a Bluetooth application is installed in your smartphones. For recorder, it is used as the remote control.

Pros

  • It provides a great and clear sound.
  • It is considered a great recorder for easy and quick recordings in the field.
  • In this, there is no requirement to buy the batteries.
  • It is lightweight because it is designed by using an aluminum body.
  • It contains Backlight/LED
  • It has different modes
Cons

  • If someone doesn’t know about different settings, frequency levels, formats & so on, it will be tough for them to use this recorder.
  • It doesn’t have an internal speaker.
  • This recorder cannot use as a POD microphone for the PC

Tascam DR-05X Microphone

Tascam DR-05X Microphone for field recordingTascam DR-05X is considered as the first option for recording the music, dictation, meetings, audio for the video & many more.  Exclusively, DR-05X is used by multiple users who are basically engaged in field recording, ambient recording, and sound design.

Tascam has the capability to handle the high sources of SPL, such as concerts. In the stereo recorders, DR-05X is considered as the standard with its -powerful features, high value, excellent quality of sound, and simple interface.  It contains different recording media such as microSDHC( its range is between 4GB and 32GB), microSD card( its range is between 64MB and 3 GB), and microSDXC card (its range is up to 128GB). DR-05X makes improvements in hardware and software & improves quality by providing better storage options and providing long battery life.

It contains MP3 and WAV playback/recording formats. Two AA batteries are the power requirement. The battery life of this recorder is about 17.5 hours. The weight of this recorder is approximately 4.1 oz.  The quality of the recorder is excellent. A good binaural effect is observed by the reviewers while using headphones. When you want to record a particular sound source, this mic is not suitable because it doesn’t record clear audio.

Pros

  • Good Audio quality
  • It can handle SPL sources, e.g., concerts.
  • It is available at a reasonable price.
Cons

  • It doesn’t provide clear audio.
  • In a noisy environment, these microphones are not appropriate.
  • Radio interference also exists in its recordings, and this issue occurred from the previous iteration too.

Buyer Guide For Field Recording Microphone

For multiple jobs and in multiple places, different mics are used. It is important to know the characteristic of each microphone. It is not easy to buy the efficient and best microphone. There are various requirements for various apps. Carefully look at the requirement & then match the attributes of various kinds of microphones.

It is essential to observe that no single category “field recording microphones” is present. All microphone falls under different categories. Different mics are used for the “field recording” are basically m/s mics, condenser, and stereo mics.  There is a similarity between multiple mics characteristics. The m/s mic and stereo mics are designed to capture the wider soundscape, similar to human ears. In contrast, condenser microphones could handle or manage more dynamism in the sound than dynamic mics. For the field recording, it is advised to you to buy the condenser mics. For comprehensive capturing, this mic performs a better job as compared to dynamic microphones.

What is the best microphone for field recording?

“Zoom H5 Handy Recorder” is considered ideal and best for podcasting, sound design, audio for the video, and documentaries. This recorder enables you to record the 4 input signals regarding audio experience quickly. The H5 can easily expandable and user-friendly. Like many other recorders of the H-series, you can hold this recorder, attach the recorder to a mic tripod or stand, and this recorder can be mounted to the camera. Zoom H5 recorders have impressive features.

This mic is used in various professions, and it fulfills the demands of videographers, content creators, sound designers, musicians & news shooters.  It has a good battery life & has a great processing function of audio.  This mic is efficient for podcasts, live performances, recording dialogues, sound effects, and interviews. The H5 recorder can supply plug-in or phantom power, or direct connections can be accepted from keyboards, synths, and drum machines for the condenser mics.

Multiple users might choose this mic because it provides user-friendly and great operability. Different buttons are present on the front panel of H5, and these buttons are ergonomically arranged. Different buttons are present for different functionalities such as stop, record, pause/play, and forward and back operations. It has a dedicated control knob. There is no requirement for button pressing or track selection to optimize different recording levels; only turn dials anytime you require to set the gain. Using this mic, you can practice sessions, record speech, ambient or concerts & environmental sounds.

Final Words

This article is all about the best mics for field recording. Mic plays a great role in field recording. Different type of mics is discussed. Each mic has different qualities and is used in different environments. Each mic has different specifications as well as features. The different kinds of mic used for the field recordings are m/s mics, condenser mics, and stereo mics. If any similarity is captured in operations of field recording mics, then they could capture. The m/s mics and stereo mics are created to capture the wider soundscape, similar to human ears. In contrast, condenser microphones could handle or manage more dynamism in the sound than dynamic mics…

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