What Are The Best Budget Shotgun Mics For Film?

These days, it’s incredibly easy to get a good sound for a great price. However, there are a lot of options for microphones out there and it can be quite daunting to figure out which mics are the best. We’ve tried a lot of them and we’re going to recommend some of the best budget shotgun mics for film. We understand how important it is to get the right mic for the job. Shotgun mics are perfect for keeping the microphone out of the shot and there are some really good ones out there for a fantastic price.

The AT875R – $169

Buy The AT875R Here

The AT875R is not only the cheapest mic on the list, but it is also one of the best sounding. (We really mean that) This thing packs a punch and it is perfect for recording indoors because it is a short shotgun microphone. It is designed to record audio inside and because of it’s shorter size it picks up less reverb off of the walls. But, don’t be put off by it’s smaller body, this thing sounds big and incredibly clear. It sounds similar to some of our condenser mics we have but it sounds tighter and more focused. This shotgun mic rejects noise pretty well but it’s not really one of it’s strong suites. Because of its shorter size, and because of it’s polar pattern, it’s not as good at rejecting noise as some other shotgun mics. However, compared to a typical LDC, the AT875R rejects a lot more room noise. We really recommend this mic as it is very reasonably priced and you can’t beat the sound quality in this price range.

The MKE 600 – $329

Buy The MKE 600 Here

The MKE 600 is the little brother of the legendary MKH 416 so it’s no big surprise that it made our list! The MKE 600 is a good option period. The fact that it’s priced at $300 is just a bonus. Out of the box the MKE 600 doesn’t sound as hyped as the MKH 416. But with some EQ, you can easily match the sound of the MKH 416. The low end and the high end would need to be boosted on the MKE 600 in order to match the MKH 416. You would want to boost around 2 dB at 300hz and then you would want to create a high shelf boost around 4dB at 9000hz. But honestly, we really like the neutral sound of the MKE 600. It has a very flat and neutral response which we have grown to love over the years. It’s a nice piece of hardware and takes EQ very well. Sometimes, we actually prefer the neutral sound of the MKE 600 over the MKH 416. Either way, you can EQ this mic later in post. The mic has very good noise rejection and it is perfect for many applications including film.

The Rode NTG2 – $260

Buy The NTG2 Here

The NTG2 is kind of a staple in the audio community at this point. It’s consistent and gives you a TV sound. For real. They use the NTG2 in a lot of news programs. This is the kind of mic you should be looking at if you are interested in that compressed sound. It sounds tight and rejects noise very well. We honestly believe that the other two mics have a more balanced sound but the NTG2 is really good at delivering a broadcast sound. It sounds kind of scooped in the mids but it sounds scooped in a good way, if that makes sense. If your goal is to have ready to go TV produced sound, the NTG2 should be at the top of your list.

What’s The Right Shotgun Mic For Me?

All three of these mics offer different sounds and it will ultimately be up to you to pick one that fulfills your needs. The AT875R is very neutral sounding and is perfect for indoor use. The AT875R also sounds fantastic for voiceover. The NTG2, not so much. The MKE 600 is also great for voiceover. Out of all these mics, we believe that the AT875R is the most versatile sounding. It also happens to be the cheapest! It goes to show you that price isn’t everything. However, if you plan on recording your audio from a great distance, the MKE 600 or the NTG2 will pick up the audio better than the AT875R because those shotgun mics have a longer reach. If you can’t tell by now, we are really big fans of the AT875R and we think it delivers a great natural sound for a fantastic price. It’s also pretty cool that the MKE 600 can match the MKH 416 with some EQ. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Pick up the cheaper mic and try it out first! Thanks for hanging around! Cheers! Check out our other news stories here.

Thomas Shelby – Editor/Audio Engineer