8 Best Interview Microphones With Crystal Clear Audio

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Most people enjoy a quality interview, with the emphasis on ‘quality.’ But the questions, interviewers, and interviewees mean nothing if a podcast has subpar audio. Viewers of video discussions are also likely to click the back button if the sound sucks. This guide looks at 8 of the current best interview microphones. These are products for smartphones, cameras, and audio-recorders across all budgets.

Budget
best-budget-interview-microphone
MOSOTECH Interview Mic
4.9/5.0
Mic Type: Lavalier
Polar: Omni
Plug-n-play, PC adapter, copper material, omni pickup, metal clip.
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Best Value
best-value-interview-microphone
Movo HM-M2 Interview Mic
4.8/5.0
Mic Type: Handheld
Polar: Omni
Excellent build, lightweight, long handle, internal pop filter, carrying pouch.
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Top Pick
top-value-interview-microphone
Zoom H4n PRO Interview Mic
4.9/5.0
Mic Type: Field Recorder
Polar: X/Y stereo
Compact design, TRS/XLR inputs, effects, built-in speaker, handles high SPL.
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How Do You Interview?

How do you conduct —or intend to handle—interviews? It’s a significant point because individual mics are better in different situations. The four interview approaches are:

  1. Live online streaming
  2. Professional or home studio
  3. Out in the field
  4. Work-related, i.e., job interviews

Live interviews can be great fun, but their unpredictable nature is also risky. That’s something for the inexperienced interviewer to think about. Prerecorded discussions allow plenty of time to edit and polish the final piece. Interviewees may also want to have the final say about the content before it’s published. Whatever your style, having the right kind of microphone can make all the difference.






Mics for Interviews

Choose the type of mic you use for interviews carefully. They all offer something different, so it’s essential to have the right tool for the job. The three favored interview microphones are:

  1. Shotgun mics
  2. Lavalier (also lav or lapel) mics
  3. Handheld mics

Let’s look at each of the above, but I won’t get into the technicalities here. A brief overview of the mics and their uses should be enough to introduce you to their potential.





Polarity (Polar Pickup) Patterns

A polar or pickup pattern refers to a mic’s sensitivity to sound coming from different angles. The three common ones are omnidirectional, cardioid, and bi-directional. There are also variations of the above.

Omnidirectional patterns pick up sounds from 360-degrees and often used with lavalier mics. A cardioid pattern picks up audio from the frontal area and minimal from the back. Some lavaliers and most handheld mics use cardioid patterns. And a bi-directional pattern picks up sound equally from the front and rear and ignores the sides. These types are perfect for 2-person interviews.

Think carefully about polar pickup patterns when choosing your interview mic. For example, you don’t want anything too directional if you prefer ambient sounds in the recording.

About My ‘Best Interview Microphone’ Guide

There are 8 microphones reviewed here of different types and for varying budgets. I chose these after evaluating a few dozen of the current favorites. Part of the selection process looked at real user feedback and the opinions of experts in the industry. The first 3 are the Editor’s Choice for the Best Value interview mic, followed by the Best Budget and Top Pick.

Feel free to read all the reviews here or use the table to jump to the mic’s that interest you most.

Interview Microphones Comparison Table

1. MOSOTECH Lavalier Interview Mic | Best Budget

MOSOTECH Lavalier Interview MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

The Lavalier Interview Microphone makes the Best Budget pick. It’s an entry-level clip-on that introduces novice users to the benefits of external mics.

  • Best feature 1: Excellent value lapel lavalier microphone
  • Best feature 2: Wide device compatibility
  • Plus points: Plug-n-play, PC adapter, copper material, omni pickup, metal clip, long cable
  • Minus points: Average audio

MOSOTECH Interview Mic Highlights

Mic Compatibility: Android and iOS smartphones, tablets, Windows PCs, Mac computers, DSLRs. iPhone 7 and newer needs Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter (included with the iPhone).

The MOSOTECH Lavalier Interview Mic offers excellent value for under 20 dollars at the time of writing. It has wide device compatibility and works with most modern computers and smart devices. Plug-n-play simplicity means it’s ready to record right out of the box within seconds. All you do is insert the correct plug, press record on the device, unplug, and listen back. That’s it.

This mic uses copper material to help improve the pickup effect. The 360° omni polar pattern is ideal for interviews when the mic is fixed to a moving interviewer. It also hears ambient (surrounding noise) which adds to the atmosphere in live situations. This affordable mic set comes with a mini metal clip, long 6.5ft cable, two wind muffs, and a carrying case.

The Not So Good

The audio is only a good average, but don’t be too put off. It’s still a significant improvement on built-in microphones, and that’s the point. It’s an excellent entry-level lavalier mic that’s ideal for learning and experimenting. Most people use it as a stepping-stone to better products.

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Tech Specs
Brand: MOSOTECH
Mic Type: Lavalier condenser
Connection: 3.5mm TRRS jack
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Dimensions: 4.7 x 3.6 x 1”
Product Weight: 3.2 oz.
The Pros
Excellent value lapel microphone
Wide device compatibility
Plug-n-play simplicity
TRRS to TRS adapter
Copper material
Sturdy metal clip
2 wind muffs
Long cable
360° pickup
Protective pouch
The Cons
Average only audio

2. Movo HM-M2 Dynamic Interview Mic | Best Value

Movo HM-M2 Dynamic Interview MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

Movo’s HM-M2 is the Best Value interview mic that’s also used for reporting and presentations. It’s a handheld dynamic microphone with an omnidirectional pickup pattern.

  • Best feature 1: Versatile, handheld interview mic
  • Best feature 2: Clear voice reproduction
  • Plus points: Excellent build, lightweight, long handle, internal pop filter, carrying pouch
  • Minus points: Talk-only mic, hollow tone, no XLR cable

Movo HM-M2 Interview Mic Highlights

This interview mic by Movo has an aluminum alloy build. It’s durable, lightweight, and comfortable to hold for extended periods. Long-handles are perfect for when the interviewee doesn’t have a mic. It’s easy to point to and from the questioner and their guests. That makes it ideal for one-to-one or group discussions. And the internal pop filter does a fantastic job at reducing plosives and handling noise.

Some complain that it’s not in the same league as the popular Electro-Voice 635A interview mic. That’s true, but then it costs around 100 dollars less, so it’s not a fair comparison. Even so, the HM-M2 it’s a superb first interview mic that captures crisp, clear speech.

The Not So Good

It’s a mic that’s only fit for talk purposes. Don’t buy it if you need something that can cross over to musical applications because it won’t impress. The tone lacks in that it’s a tad hollow and a little tinny. That said, it has a definite place out in the field, and everything is clear and perfectly audible. Also, the omni pickup and long handle give plenty of flexibility for interviewing.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Movo
Mic Type: Handheld dynamic
Output connection: 3-pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Range: 70Hz–15kHz
Output Impedance: 200 Ohms
Sensitivity: -56dB
Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 4.6 x 2”
Product Weight: 6.7 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Versatile, handheld interview mic
Ultra-clear voice reproduction
No batteries needed
Excellent build quality
Slim, lightweight design
Long handle (perfect for interviews)
Internal filter reduces plosives
Carrying pouch
Excellent value
The Cons
Talk-only mic
Hollow tone
Cable not included

3. Zoom H4n PRO 4CH Interview Mic Kit | Top Pick

Zoom H4n PRO 4CH Interview Mic KitView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

The Top Pick is one of the most trusted field recorders around right now. It’s the Zoom H4n PRO, a versatile and portable four-track device with exceptional built-in preamps.

  • Best feature 1: Stereo condenser mics
  • Best feature 2: Versatile application usage
  • Plus points: Compact design, TRS/XLR inputs, effects, built-in speaker, handles high SPL
  • Minus points: Slow boot up, sensitive to wind noise, eats batteries

Zoom H4n PRO 4CH Mic Kit Highlights

Look no further if you demand a compact, feature-packed handheld recording studio. This impressive 4 track recorder is the go-to gadget for many musicians. It sports advanced adjustable X/Y microphones, built-in effects, and natural-sounding preamps. Stereo mode lets you choose between the built-in or external microphones. That can prove invaluable for recording live events and instruments, etc.

The Zoom H4n PRO also has a built-in monophonic speaker. It’s not something you’d want to use for easy listening, but it’s an ideal tool for immediate playback and critique. Zoom’s H4n Pro handles high SLPs up to 14dB. That means it can record live ambiance and heavy, super-loud performances with no distortion. There’s a lot on offer with the H4n PRO, but it’s super easy to grasp.

Inputs and Outputs

The inputs and outputs are worth mention. Inputs include two XLR/TRS locking combo jacks with switchable phantom power. The 1/8” stereo jack has a mic/line input. For outputs, there’s an option to monitor performance via headphones. Alternatively, you can connect an external device like a DSLR camera. The output headphone jack has a dedicated volume control.

The Not So Good

Take heed of these cons if you decide to buy the Zoom H4n PRO.

Don’t wait until the last moment to record something as the boot up can be painfully slow. The built-in microphones are overly sensitive to wind noise. Make sure you use a furry dead cat if you plan to record outdoors. Lastly, this portable recorder uses 2 AA batteries and eats through them fast. Remember to always carry spares whenever you’re recording out in the field.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Zoom
Mic Type: Onboard Stereo Mic
Connection: USB/XLR/TRS
Host Connection: Mini-USB
Polar Pattern: X/Y stereo
Power Supply: Plug-in device, Phantom
Mic Sensitivity: -45 dB/Pa
Max SPL: 140 dB
Product Dimensions: 2.9 x 6.2 x 1.5”
Product Weight: 10.4 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Rugged construction
Versatile recorder
Compact design
Stereo condenser mics
Professional grade preamps
Built-in speaker
Handles high SPL
Studio-quality effects
USB audio interface
XLR/TRS inputs
Pre-record
Auto-record
3 recording modes
Protective case
Batteries included
Lavalier mics
The Cons
Slow to boot up
Overly sensitive to wind
Poor battery life

4. Bestshoot Shotgun Condenser Interview Mic

Bestshoot Shotgun Condenser Interview MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

Meet the Bestshoot Condenser Interview Microphone. It’s a versatile shotgun mic that works with a range of devices. This is a low-budget product, but a decent choice for anyone at the entry-level.

  • Best feature 1: Affordable, entry-level shotgun microphone
  • Best feature 2: Long XLR cable
  • Plus points: Easy to use, versatile, clean, crisp audio, battery-powered, extras
  • Minus points: No battery LED indicator, average build

Bestshoot Shotgun Interview Mic Highlights

Microphone Compatibility: Camcorders and DSLR cameras w/ 3.5mm & 6.35mm inputs. Minolta and Sony cameras with hot-shoe adapters.

This shotgun comes with a stable stand and foam cap. The latter helps to eliminate noise from the wind and the effects of vibration. It’s an easy mic to set up and use out of the box. And its broad device compatibility makes it a versatile recording tool. A tight cardioid pickup isolates the sound source from unwanted background noise. The resulting audio is clean and crisp for a mic in its class.

Who Is this Mic For?

Consider the Bestshoot shotgun interview microphone if you’re starting your journalistic journey. It’s not pro-quality as it’s an inexpensive entry-level product. Despite that, the audio is more than adequate for speech applications and is sure to hold the listener’s attention.

The Not So Good

There isn’t a power on or low-battery indicator LED. The battery can suddenly die without warning, so it’s a good idea to get into the habit of always carrying a spare. The build is average quality at best as you may expect with a mic in this price category. The battery compartment and XLR output seem especially fragile, so users should avoid rough handling.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Bestshoot
Mic Type: Shotgun condenser
Connection: 3pin XLR Male to 3.5mm
Polar Pattern: Uni-directional
Power Supply: 1 x AA (not included)
Battery Life: Approx. 26 hours
Impedance: 2.3K Ohm
Pickup Range: 9.8ft (3 meters)
Package Dimensions: 13.6 x 4.8 x 2.3”
Product Weight: 17.6 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Affordable, entry-level shotgun
Lightweight, compact design
Decent audio
Long XLR cable
Easy to use, versatile
Battery-powered (also a con)
Foam wind muff
Mic clip w/ 1/4″ tripod thread
Mic stand
The Cons
No battery LED indicator
Low-average build in parts

5. PowerDeWise Lapel Dual Interview Mic Set

PowerDeWise Lapel Dual Interview Mic SetView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

These tiny mics belong to the PowerDeWise Lavalier Lapel Dual Interview Set. That means you get two mics, one for you—the interviewer—and another for the interviewee.

  • Best feature 1: Mic interview set with Y-connector
  • Best feature 2: Super-easy and fast to set up (PNP)
  • Plus points: Broad device compatibility, clear sound, storage case, long extension cable, extras
  • Minus points: Not compatible with every device, average audio

PowerDeWise Lapel Dual Mic Highlights

Microphone Compatibility: iPhone X, 8, 8+, 7, 7+, 6, 6S, 5, 5S iPad and Android tablets, Android smartphones, DSLR cameras, PCs, and laptops, with included adapter.

The PowerDeWise interview mic set is an affordable system designed for 2-person interviews. It’s a simple plug-n-play product, so there are no drivers or awkward settings. It works across a broad range of devices (see above), which makes it super versatile. Smartphones are now the preferred choice for recording interviews on the fly. That’s because they’re portable and provide exceptional video.

What this mic set does is bypass the tinny ones built into phones. That results in much better-quality audio to complement the already superior video. The crisp, clear sound of these mics is sure to capture your audience’s attention. Consider the PowerDeWise dual lapel kit if you’re an amateur interviewer who wants to up their game.

The full set includes 2 lapel mics, 2 metal clips, 4 wind muffs, and a 6.5ft extension cable. There’s also a Y-connector to attach both mics, a 4 to 3PIN adapter, and a soft storage case to keep it all together.

The Not So Good

Operating systems and technology are forever changing. Hence, this interview set may not be compatible with every smart device. Contact the seller if you’re unsure and interested in the product. The clear sound quality is sure to impress novice users, especially for audiovisual interviews. You may prefer something with a little more natural bass if you’re into podcasts, though.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: PowerDeWise
Mic Type: Lavalier condenser
Connection: Multi
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Sensitivity: -46 ±2dB
S/N Ratio: ≥56dB
Frequency Range: 50–16kHz
Box Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.5 x 1.3”
Product Weight: 6.4 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Full lapel interview set
Y-connector
4-to-3 pin adapter
Super-easy and quick to set up
Metal mic clip
4 wind muffs
6.5ft extension cable
Velcro cable ties
Broad device compatibility
Impressive sound for its class
Long extension cable
Deluxe carry/storage case
Value for money
The Cons
Not compatible with all devices
Average audio for podcasts

6. Shure MV88 Digital Stereo iOS Interview Mic

Shure MV88 Digital Stereo iOS Interview MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The Shure MV88 is a quality digital stereo condenser microphone for use with iOS smart devices. It’s a plug-n-play mic that goes into the lightning port using Apple’s Lightning connector.

  • Best feature 1: Full ShurePlus MOTIV app control
  • Best feature 2: Rotating mic element
  • Plus points: Portable, 2 polar patterns, 3.5mm extender, windscreen, neat storage case
  • Minus points: Average build, only 90° movement, can’t charge during recording

Shure MV88 Stereo Interview Mic Highlights

Microphone Compatibility: iPhone 5 or later, iPad Air 2, iPad Pro, iPad mini, iPad mini 2, iPad mini 3, iPad Air, iPad (4th Gen), iPod touch (5th Gen).

This interview microphone is an interesting product for use with Apple devices only. It’s much smaller than the sale images suggest, so don’t be put off. The MV88 is only 1.4 x 1 x 2.6” and weighs just 1.44 oz. It comes with a neat storage case to keep it safe and portable. In the box are a windscreen, a 3.5mm extender for use with headphones, and a two-year warranty.

ShurePlus MOTIV App control

Everything about this mic is controlled via the ShurePlus MOTIV app. The app displays a live green meter across the top of the screen. That’s really useful. It tells you what the mic’s input level is and whether you need to increase or decrease the gain. Icons under the meter let you select from various recording modes. They are Speech, Music, Acoustic Guitars, and Loudspeaker.

Another neat feature is the touch adjustable stereo width that ranges from 60° to 135°. Alternatively, users can slide away from stereo and choose a different pickup pattern. The pickup choices are Mono Cardioid, Mono Bidirectional, and Raw Mid-side. That’s impressive. There are other features below the polar pattern selector section. They include a Limiter, Compressor, Wind Reduction, and EQ.

Who Is the Shure MV88 For?

The Shure MV88 is quite expensive and offers more features than some people need. However, it’s a perfect tool for those who travel a lot and do two-person interviews. It’s also worth considering if you like to record and critique your—or other people’s—live performances. It lifts the sound for any iOS device for speech, vocals, and guitars, but is a little short of studio quality.

The Not So Good

The build quality is okay and has lots of metal parts, but it doesn’t feel
too rugged. The protective semi-hard case should keep it well-protected
during transit, though. The mic only has a 90° movement. That’s quite
restrictive, so you may have to reattach it sometimes to change the
direction. Lastly, there’s no option to charge the phone battery while the
mic is in use, which is a nuisance.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: Shure
Mic Type: Digital Stereo Condenser
Connection: Apple Lightning
Polar Pattern: Bidirectional / Cardioid
Power Supply: Plug-in Device
Recording Quality: Up to 24bit
Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 1 x 2.6”
Product Weight: 1.44 oz.
Warranty: 2 years
The Pros
Full ShurePlus MOTIV App control
Plug-and-Play simplicity
Crystal clear sound
5 built-in DSP preset modes
Rotating mic element
Broad iOS device compatibility
Portable design
Choice of polar patterns
Headphone adapter cable
Effective windscreen
Neat, semi-hard storage case
The Cons
Average build
Only 90° movement
Can’t charge your phone while recording

7. RØDE VideoMic Pro On-Camera Interview Mic

RØDE VideoMic Pro On-Camera Interview MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The penultimate review is for the Rode VMPR VideoMic Pro R. It’s a high-quality shotgun microphone that comes with a Rycote Lyre Shockmount. It’s a big hit among professionals the world over.

  • Best feature 1: Lightweight, small form factor, ideal for cameras
  • Best feature 2: Famous Rycote Lyre suspension system
  • Plus points: Crystal clear audio, low self-noise, high sensitivity, foam windscreen, shoe mount
  • Minus points: Doesn’t turn off with the camera, no wind muff

RØDE VideoMic Pro Interview Mic Highlights

RØDE designed its VideoMic Pro for use with DSLR cameras, camcorders, and portable recorders. It’s a 9V battery-powered shotgun that should last for up to 70 hours. This is a superb mic for on-camera use due to its lightweight, compact design. The VideoMic Pro’s condenser capsule provides crisp broadcast-quality audio. And it’s tight supercardioid pickup captures clear-cut, distortion-free sound.

The RØDE’s VideoMic Pro is equipped with a Rycote Lyre suspension system. Not only is it super-effective, but it’s guaranteed not to bend, snap, or break. The mic also has an integrated shockmount and built-in foam windscreen. Other highlights include low self-noise, high-sensitivity, and a 3/8” thread for mounting the mic to boom poles.

The Not So Good

It’s a battery-operated mic that needs turning ON and OFF. Forget to do either one of those, and it will cause frustration and lost opportunities—it happens. It would have been useful if it at least turned off with the camera. You’d think there’d be a dead cat windshield in the box at this price, but no. But it needs one for shooting outdoors. So, be sure to get a furry sock if you buy the RØDE VideoMic Pro.

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Tech Specs
Brand: RØDE
Mic Type: Shotgun condenser
Connection: 3.5mm jack
Polar Pattern: supercardioid
Power Supply: 9V battery
Battery Life: 70 hours
Frequency Range: 40Hz–20kHz
S/N Ratio: 80dB
Max SPL: 134dB
Pad: -10dB
Impedance: 200 Ohms
Mic Sensitivity: 32dBV/Pa
Product Dimensions: 6.69 x 3.94”
Product Weight: 3.00 oz.
Warranty: 1 year, extendable to 10
The Pros
Ultra-lightweight, small form
Rycote Lyre suspension system
Clear broadcast-quality audio
Low self-noise
High sensitivity
Integrated shock mounting
Integrated windscreen
2-step high pass filter
3-position level control
3.5mm mini-jack stereo output
Camera shoe mount
The Cons
Needs turning on and off
No furry windshield
Battery door is fiddly

8. Sennheiser MD 46 Interview Microphone

Sennheiser MD 46 Interview MicrophoneView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The last review—for now—goes to another long handle interview microphone. It’s the Sennheiser MD 46. This one is made in Germany, so we already know it’s going to be of an exceptional standard.

  • Best feature 1: Made in Germany, high-quality product
  • Best feature 2: Rugged all-metal construction
  • Plus points: Long handle, comfortable, insensitive to p-pops, low handling noise, integral clamp
  • Minus points: Distracting logo, a little heavy for some

Sennheiser MD46 Interview Mic Highlights

Sennheiser Electronic GmbH & Co. KG is the Mercedes Benz of the audio world. That includes its MD46 here. A cardioid pickup pattern focuses on the interviewer’s voice to provide optimal clarity. The mic is insensitive to plosives (popping) sounds and wind noise. You can also add an inexpensive foam wind muff or dead cat windshield. That way, no unwanted noise can interfere with the dialogue.

The MD46 by Sennheiser is a purpose made interview microphone, so it has very little handling noise. This mic feels comfortable in hand and has a nice balance to it. You can use it with total confidence out in the field or in a studio setting. The audio quality is crystal-clear in every sense of the word.

A couple of other features worth mention are the double-layer grille and an integral mic clamp thread. Pricewise, the Sennheiser MD 46 is worth every penny of its $200 price tag (at the time of writing). It’s beautifully made and should last for many years with proper care.

The Not So Good

Not everyone wants to see mic logos when conducting interviews. Well, it’s hard to conceal the ‘Sennheiser MD 46’ that runs down the middle of this one. It’s a minor gripe all things considered, but some people are sure to see it as a viewer distraction. The other disadvantage for some is that the mic’s a little heavy. It’s comfortable to hold, but about twice the weight of the Movo HM-M2 above.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: Sennheiser
Mic Type: Handheld dynamic
Connection: 3-Pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Requirements: N/A
Frequency Response: 40Hz–18 kHz
Output Impedance: 350 Ohms
Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 1.9”
Product Weight: 12 oz.
Warranty: 1 year limited
The Pros
Made in Germany
Crystal-clear audio
Double-layer grille
Rugged all-metal construction
Long handle and perfect balance
Comfortable for extended periods
Insensitive to plosives and wind
Minimal handling noise
Integral mic clamp thread
The Cons
Distracting logo
A little heavy for some
0/50 ratings