Best shotgun mic for film: Top 4 picks at SYNCO

Shotgun microphone, so named because of its shotgun barrel design, is the go-to choice for obtaining concentrated, high-quality recordings of conversation, foley, and sound effects in film, video, and TV productions. It is popular since it is able to capture the sound sources that are in front of it and minimize the off-axis ambient noises. Though all models share the same fundamental characteristic, there are several models with unique features for different workflows, scenarios, and users. So which is the best shotgun mic for film? Read on to find your own pick.

Quick overview: Top 4 shotgun mic recommendations for short film at SYNCO

There are several shotgun microphones at SYNCO. They are in different designs and feature various polar patterns. Some can be directly mounted on the camera and some can attach to the boom pole. Below we list 4 popular models and introduce their key features. 

SYNCO D2 - Best shotgun mic for film production with hypercardioid polar pattern

 

SYNCO D2 best shotgun mic for film production with hypercardioid polar pattern

 

Key specs
  • Transducer type: Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Hypercardioid
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20KHz
  • Supplied accessories: Windscreen, mic holder, protection box
Pros
  • Great sound
  • Rugged brass metal construction
  • Feature set for top recordings
Cons
  • Lacks gain control

The SYNCO D2 is a medium-distance shotgun microphone with the best quality of any option on our list. The acoustic design ensures that the audio recording is clear and natural-sounding. Authenticity is essential in film audio, and the D2 has always adhered to this principle. The off-axis response is excellent, and the self-noise is exceptionally low.

The D2 features well balanced frequency response and hypercardioid polar pattern. Your audio will have a great level of depth to it. It can record really effectively in any setting, indoors or out. The microphone itself can survive practically any climate, from humid to dry and freezing.

Features
  • Hypercardioid polar pattern to focus on certain directional sounds and block off-axis noises
  • Brass metal body ensures solid construction with high anti-interference
  • Ultra low noise floor at 12dB (A-weighted)
  • XLR connector brings interference-free signal transfer

SYNCO D30 - Shotgun mic used in movies that offers gain control, low cut and audio monitoring

 

SYNCO D30 shotgun mic used in movies that offers gain control, low cut and audio monitoring

 

Key specs
  • Transducer type: Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Supercardioid
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20KHz
  • Supplied accessories: Furry windscreen, shock mount, packing box
Pros
  • Stepless gain control and low-cut
  • High max SPL for clearer recordings of loud subjects
Cons
  • Polar pattern isn’t that tight

When recording at a distance, the supercardioid pattern with the short interference tube provides high accuracy. The frequency response is wide-ranging and turns off at 20Hz, which is ideal. The self-noise is relatively low, and it has a fuzzy windscreen for outside filming. The SPL (Sound Pressure Level) is 124dB, allowing you to capture very loud audio sources without distortion.

There's also an optional low-cut filter that can assist minimize low-frequency sounds like traffic and A/C units. This is especially useful if you're filming outside. Lastly, the SYNCO D30 is very light, at 85g. whether you use it on the camera or attach it to the boom pole as a boom microphone for camera, you won’t feel any burden.

Features
  • Stepless analog gain knob for adjusting input and output signals
  • Overdrive protection system works to protect the sound recording from distortion
  • 3.5mm headphone jack for real-time monitoring
  • 75Hz/150Hz low cut filter to reduce low-frequency noises

SYNCO M1S - Best budget shotgun mic for film with compact design

 

SYNCO M1S best budget shotgun mic for film with compact design

 

 

Key specs
  • Transducer type: Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency response: 100Hz to 20KHz
  • Supplied accessories: Furry windscreen, shock mount
Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Fuss free mic that's well made
  • Plug and play
Cons
  • No battery power option

The SYNCO M1S is a compact shotgun mic for film that mounts on your camera. While it is less expensive than others on our list, it packs a powerful punch! You have the advantages of cost and mobility while still obtaining high-quality sound.

The M1S is only 72mm long and 35g in weight. A high-quality cardioid condenser is housed within and is utilized to record your sounds. A windscreen for outdoor usage is included in the package. You also receive a shock mount with four rubber rings for vibration absorption. Finally, there is a cable for plugging it into your camera, so no batteries are required! Overall, it is an excellent choice when you are tight on budget and want to get directional and mobile recording.

Features
  • Shock absorption design for reducing vibrating noises
  • Compact and light enough to have no impact on video shooting
  • Plug and play for run-and-gun production
  • Wide compatibility with cameras, smartphones, tablets, and Mac with included 3.5mm TRS/TRRS cables

SYNCO M3 - Camera mounted shotgun mic for filmmaking beginner

 

SYNCO M3 camera mounted shotgun mic for filmmaking beginner

 

Key specs
  • Transducer type: Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Supercardioid
  • Frequency response: 30Hz to 20KHz
  • Supplied accessories: Foam windscreen, shock mount, Canvas Pouch
Pros
  • 3-level gain control
  • 100Hz low cut filter
  • LED indicator
Cons
  • Gain limited to three discrete levels

The compact design of the SYNCO M3 makes it convenient to bring around and place on your camera. It has excellent directionality and is very sensitive, with low self-noise.

The condenser microphone within is broadcast recording grade, providing you with a raw, true, acoustic sound. It operates on 1.2V battery power, so you won't need to utilize a live power source. A single battery provides 30-50 hours of runtime.

Finally, an inbuilt foam windshield makes it easy to use outside. Setting sound levels with cameras shotgun microphone SYNCO M3 is available. The 3-level gain control and 100Hz low cut allow you to adjust the input signals to an ideal level. If you’re getting started in film audio, the user-friendly M3 is a good choice.

Features
  • 3-level gain control at -10dB, 0dB, and +10dB for improving input signals
  • 100Hz low cut filter to reduce low-frequency noises
  • LED indicator to show working status
  • Compact construction and light weight for portable filmmaking

How to choose the best shotgun mics for film: Six questions help narrow the options

It might be difficult to choose the best one because there are many factors to take into account. For this reason, we have made a list of requirements that can help you narrow down the options step by step.

  • How much are you willing to spend on the purchase?
  • Are you serious about footprint? A heavy one is hard to operate on the boom pole and a long one is likely to block the camera lenses.
  • How important is the off-axis rejection for you? Shotguns feature different pickup patterns.
  • Do you want to capture sounds in a quiet setting? This decides on the requirement for self noise.
  • Where will you take up the video shooting frequently? Interior and exterior shootings ask for different mics.
  • What kind of output are you looking for, XLR or 3.5mm?

Table: Film shotgun mic comparison by specs

According to the aforementioned choosing tips, we list the information of each SYNCO shotgun mic for film and make a comparison table for you to make a quick choice.

Product

D2

D30

M1S

M3

Price

$199.00

$179.00

$29.00

$59.00

Dimension

0.75×9.84 inches

Φ21.5×214.5mm

Φ21.5x72mm

Φ32×186mm

Weight

165g

85g

35g

52g

Polar pattern

Hyper Cardioid

Super Cardioid

Cardioid

Super Cardioid

SNR

80dB

82dB

>60dB

>78dB

Connector

XLRM

Type-C to 3.5mm

TRS/TRRS

TRS/TRRS

Note: The price above is offered in Moman PhotoGears Store - our authorized seller.

    How to make your shotgun mic sound better in film production?

    Investing in a microphone is the first step to high quality audio results. And you should follow the tips below to make it sound better.

    Mount the mic properly

    Besides directly mounting it on your camera, sometimes you need it to be off-camera. And there are three common ways for you to choose from. Just select the one that suits your video shooting.

    Using a stand or boom arm: Attaching a shotgun mic to a boompole or stand outside of the camera shot is an excellent method to take advantage of its strong directionality. For the greatest results, set it outside of the frame, a few feet above, and straight towards the desired sound source (i.e. who is speaking).

    Using a studio arm: Another excellent alternative is to use a studio arm. Once attached to the arm, you may use it like any other microphone, but pay close attention to mic placement. Remember that because shotgun microphones are directional, you'll need to position it squarely at your mouth while podcasting or streaming for the greatest results.

    Using a desk stand or tripod: Finally, a film shotgun mic may be simply fixed on a tripod or a desk stand and put in front of the speaker. This is an excellent choice for podcasting/streaming setups that require greater portability.

    Pay attention to the aiming direction and distance

    Camera shotgun microphones are ideal for recording natural-sounding speech since they are directional. Simply point it at the subject's chin or upper chest, keep approximately 2-3 feet away from their mouth, and pay attention to your frame so the mic doesn't wind up in the shot. It's normal to record conversation above the talent, but depending on the occasion, you can also record it below your talent. Experiment to see what works best and sounds the best.