What are the best hand-held microphones for video reporters?
You often see hand-held dynamic microphones in use with news reporters. They consist of a diaphragm attached to a coil of wire that a magnet surrounds. When sound waves put pressure on the diaphragm it moves the coil within the magnetic field of the magnet and this sends an electrical current out of the microphone to produce the recorded sound. This simple design makes them easy to use and hard to damage.
Unlike phantom powered microphones, they need no external batteries to work. The problem is they have a short range of sensitivity. This is why they are often in use for narration or voice over recording. They are also good for doing interviews in hostile weather environments. The ideal hand-held interview microphone will have a long handle. This will enable the reporter to reach their subject as well as themselves. It should also have a good range of sensitivity so it can pick up what is being said.
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The Movo HM-M2 is a budget omnidirectional dynamic hand-held microphone, which is ideal for the beginner reporter. It has a frequency response of 70 Hz – 15 kHz, which makes it great for speech and on location interviews. Its frequency response in this range helps it to reject most environmental sounds that could interfere with any sound recordings. This also maximises its sound for clarity of vocalisation.
It has a professional built body with a long handle of 26 cm.The body itself is made of tough die-cast aluminium that should put up with any wear and tear that you should give it. It also has a black finish, which makes it discreet for on camera appearances. It weighs 191 grams, so should not be too much strain on your arm. At the bottom of the handle you will find an XLR jack for connection to an XLR cable. The microphone has no need for a battery or requires phantom power.
Price: $49.95 £40.00 €45.00
The design of the Rode Reporter microphone is specifically for location reporting and interviews. It is an omnidirectional dynamic XLR microphone that connects to your camera with an XLR cable. Its omnidirectional pattern will allow you to pick up most of the audio between you and your subject without the need to move it around too much. It has a solid all metal construction that will put up with most of the rigours of mobile reporting and its excellent build quality means it will keep working long after you replace your camera.
It has a well-balanced weight that will not give you any arm strain while you are doing a long interview. There is also a shock mount for the microphone’s diaphragm capsule to help reduce any handling noise. The frequency response of the Rode Reporter microphone is 70Hz and 15Hz. The sound peaks off at 70Hz, which means that when you are filming outside or in loud areas the microphone will help to reduce low audio rumbles or wind noises in bad weather. This helps to lessen unwanted noise and give natural sound recordings. If you are looking for a quality hand-held interview microphone, this is a good recommendation.
Price: $129.00 £105.00 €129.00
The Sennheiser MD-46 is an interview and newsgathering XLR microphone like the Rode Reporter. Unlike other hand-held omnidirectional microphones, the MD-46 has a unidirectional cardioid pattern. This means it has excellent background-noise rejection and will give you low noise in windy conditions. It features a long handle to make it easy to hold and will give you enough reach to get the microphone near the person you are interviewing. It is also light, weighing only 0.79 lb, so you won’t get arm ache on a long interview.
The cardioid pattern of this microphone means it is great for capturing voice recordings and removing any unnecessary interfering sound. This means if your subject is more than twelve inches away you will barely hear them. This is not a hindrance but helpful for reducing unwanted background noise. If you are doing an interview in a busy crowd you may hear some background noise but your subject will be loud and clear providing they are close to the microphone. It is also good at reducing any unwanted plosives you may pick up. These are the annoying thumps you get when someone says a B or P. The MD-46 can do this because of the reduced sensitivity of the microphone, which helps it work at higher gain levels without getting any audio clipping. In other words this microphone is great at recording speech and getting rid of other sounds you don’t want. This makes it a great location microphone for interviews and newsgathering.
Price: $197.00 £159.00 €178.00
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