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Audio Equipment Basics

What Microphones To Get Based On Your Budget + Goals


Check out the recommended audio equipment below, based on your budget.

There are several main audio equipment companies on the market today – RODE, Samson, Sennheiser, Audio Technica and Blue are just a few of the big ones.

When it comes to purchasing audio equipment, there are 2 types of microphones I recommend for your YouTube video filming – Lavalier Mics + Shotgun Mics.

Understanding these basic audio concepts will help you to pick the right mic for you.

There are two basic types of microphones – Dynamic and Condenser.

Dynamic mics do not need a power supply and are good for all around vocals. Condenser mics are much more sensitive but also produce sharper quality audio.

You can get microphones in a variety of shapes and sizes, but you basically have 3 main options for mic types when filming:

  • Lavalier (clip-on),
  • Shotgun, and
  • Desktop

Again, for YouTube, I recommend lav and shotgun mics, but I’ve outlined specific recommendations for the best kinds of each type based on your budget below.

The Duct Tape Trick

If you want to hide your lav mic in your shirt (instead of having it clipped on to your collar), you can wrap a piece of duct tape, sticky side OUT, into a triangle shape as pictured below.

You can also purchase mole skin, but if you don’t want to, this trick works really well for achieving the same hidden effect.

You can then stick the tape to your chest or undershirt, right around your chest center, with the mic tip pointing towards your jaw.


For Outdoor or Noisy Audio

If you’re ever filming outdoors or in a noisy environment, make sure you also get a dead cat!

A dead cat helps filter sound coming into the microphone and will help eliminate extra noise, wind, and other background sounds on your recordings.


Lavalier Mic – Best for “talking head” videos and interviews.


BOYA BY-M1 3.5mm Electret Condenser Mic


IK Multimedia iRig Mic Lav

UNDER $100

Zoom Handy H1 Digital Recorder with this lav


Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Microphone

UNDER $200

Zoom H4N Digital Recorder

Rode Wireless GO Compact Wireless Microphone System

OVER $200

Rode RodeLink FM Digital Wireless Filmmaker System

Shotgun Mic – Best for portability and production speed.

UNDER $100

RODE VideoMicro

UNDER $100 

RODE VideoMic GO

UNDER $300

RODE VideoMic Pro


Desktop Mic – Best for livestreams, podcasts, gaming, etc.

UNDER $100

Blue Yeti USB Microphone

UNDER $200

Rode NT-USB USB Condenser Microphone