In my own podcast, I often interview people in loud and noisy places, like coffee shops. Over the years, I accumulated a bit of audio and video gear, so I thought I would do a microphone shootout specifically for loud locations.
Please note, this is a totally unscientific test. I didn’t make absolutely sure all mics were the exact same distance apart. This was more or less a replica of what a real-life interview may be like. So you will notice handling noise and movement in the recording.
This was more of a test for my own curiosity, and I’m hoping it might be helpful to you as well.
This was recorded in a living room, which has lots of hard surfaces and is a very live environment. TV was on about 15 feet away, and I ran a coffee shop ambient loop on my laptop, less than 1 foot away from the microphone setup.
Most mics were hand-held, to induce more handling noise. All recordings are raw without any processing, in as close to the same setup as I could make it.
Microphones & Recorders
The microphone setups tested include:
- Zoom H1 (built in microphone)
- Rode SmartLav+ into Zoom H1
- Rode VideoMicro into Zoom H1
- Sennheiser G3 wireless lav into Zoom H1
- Aputure Deity into Tascam DR60D Mark 2
- Audio Technica AT2005USB into Tascam DR60D Mark 2
- Rode NTG2 into Tascam DR60D Mark 2
- Rode VideoMicro into DR60D Mark 2
Few things to note:
- Aputure Deity and Rode NTG2 both required phantom power, but Deity was producing the same level on (mid) gain, as Rode was on (high) gain.
- Rode VideoMicro requires plugin power (Zoom H1 does this, and the DR60D requires you to turn it on in settings)
Untouched Sound Files:
!!! Scroll Down SLOWLY !!! The legend is at the bottom of the page !!!
Links to all the gear tested
Please note, the links below are Amazon affiliate links that help support this site at no additional cost to you. Basically, this section is just to slow you down before you see the answers…
Audio Technica AT2005USB dynamic microphone
Zoom H1 portable recorder
Tascam DR60D Mark2 recorder
Still trying to slow the scroll down a bit… let’s see. Maybe an ecard?
Legend of mics and recorders:
All right… fine! Here are the combinations, revealed!
01: Rode SmartLav+ into Zoom H1
02: AT2005USB into DR60D
03: Sennheiser G3 EW100 into Zoom H1
04: Rode NTG2 into DR60D
05: Rode VideoMicro into Zoom H1
06: Aputure Deity into DR60D
07: Zoom H1 internal mic
08: Rode VideoMicro into DR60D
There were definitely some surprises! The VideoMicro sounded amazing on headphones while monitoring – but a lot thinner once recorded. AT2005 probably did the best job with cutting out background noise. And for a hand-held, light and portable solution, the Zoom H1 seemed to perform really well.
What did you think?