It can often be a challenge to pick out the correct microphone before you get the chance to try it out. Interview microphones, in particular, should typically have a more open polar pattern and should be more user-friendly so as not to confuse the interviewee.
To make the job of finding one easier for you, we’ve decided to review some of the top interview mics on the market, so let’s get to the first choice.
Best Handheld Interview Microphones
Best Overall Handheld Interview Microphone – Rode Reporter
Our best overall choice in the handheld category is the Rode Reporter, which is specifically designed for use by interviewers and reporters, as the name may have hinted. Like most top-quality interview mics, the Reporter features a tailored frequency response designed for speech.
Along with the optimized frequency response, this microphone also features an omnidirectional polar pattern that ensures you won’t have to hold it in a specific way when interviewing. The Reporter even comes with a detachable microphone flag onto which you can place a logo or sponsor.
The build quality is another one of our favorite things about the Reporter, as it’s made of resilient die-cast aluminum alloy, ensuring that it will last you. This mic is also usable outdoors thanks to the multi-layered basket that reduces wind noise.
Finally, the Rode Reporter also features an ergonomic design that will stay comfortable over the course of extended interviews.
- Frequency response designed for voice
- Die-cast aluminum alloy construction
- Omnidirectional polar pattern
- Mesh basket reduces wind interference
Best Budget Handheld Interview Microphone – Shure VP64A
The Shure VP64A is a more affordable alternative to the Rode Reporter, and it provides the buyer with excellent value for money thanks to its build quality and features. Unlike most budget handheld mics, the VP64A features solid build quality, and we had no qualms about its reliability.
Much like its competitor, the VP64A is designed to pick up mid-range frequencies so that interview subjects’ voices can come out clearly. Once again, the omnidirectional polar pattern of this microphone makes it easier to handle, especially for interview subjects who may not be familiar with cardioid polar patterns.
This model also features an internal isolation mount that helps reduce the noise that is transmitted to the capsule due to handling, allowing for the mic to be passed back and forth. You can also use this microphone outdoors thanks to the nearly waterproof mesh grill, though we wouldn’t recommend using it in heavy rain.
- Mid-range frequency designed for voice
- Internal isolation mount
- Water-resistant grille for use outdoors
- Omnidirectional polar pattern
Best Shotgun Interview Microphones
Best Overall Shotgun Interview Microphone – Audio-Technica AT897
The AT897 is a high-end shotgun mic from Audio-Technica with a compact design that makes it perfect for use with both small and large cameras. At only 11 inches long, you can rest assured that this shotgun mic will remain outside of your camera’s field of view during an interview.
Like most shotgun mics, the AT897 features a narrow pattern, and it does an excellent job of rejecting noise that comes from beside or behind the camera. This shotgun mic is also versatile, as it can operate using your camera’s phantom power, or it can be used with its own batteries.
There is also an optional frequency roll-off switch that will allow you to cut down on ambient noise like crowds, traffic, and more. The AT897 also only weighs 5.1 ounces, so it won’t make your camera any harder to handle. The only thing that may drive some customers away is the steep price point.
- Compact design can be used on small cameras
- Can run on batteries or phantom power
- Low-frequency roll-off for reduced background noise
- Narrow polar pattern
Best Budget Handheld Interview Microphone – Rode VideoMic with Fuzzy Windjammer Kit
Rode’s VideoMic is one of the most popular shotgun mics available, and with good reason. This product has a reasonable price point coupled with excellent performance, making it one of the best investments in its category. While this microphone can’t quite match the AT897 when it comes to sound quality, it’s the best you’ll get for the price.
One of the chief complaints about the basic VideoMic is its poor outdoor performance, and the included fuzzy windscreen immensely improves how it sounds on windy days. Every VideoMic also comes with the Rycote Lyre shock mount, which helps isolate handling noise without sagging or deforming over time.
Thanks to the 80hz filter, you can eliminate distracting background noise, and it’s toggleable so you can switch it off in quiet areas. If you find that the mic pickup is too loud, it also features two decibel attenuation settings: -10dB and -20dB.
- Lyre shock mounting reduces handling noise
- High-pass filter for ambient noise reduction
- Included fuzzy wind buster
- -10 and -20 decibel attenuation options
Best Lavalier Interview Microphones
Best Overall Lavalier Interview Microphone – Shure MVL
Your best option for a lavalier interview mic is the Shure MVL. This model has a low-profile design that will be nearly invisible when clipped onto clothing, and it’s built to last longer than other lavalier mics. Notably, Shure has reinforced the clip, which is often the first point of failure in one of these microphones.
This model also features RF and GSM interference protection, so your interview won’t end up ruined by any other devices in the vicinity. If you’re on the go and not fully-equipped, this mic has a surprising degree of functionality on smartphones thanks to its compatibility with the ShurePlus MOTIV app.
The MVL comes included with a couple of accessories, including a carry case as well as a windscreen so that it can be used outdoors. One downside to keep in mind is that the MVL is rather expensive when compared to other kinds of lavalier mics.
- Connects with a 3.5mm jack
- Sleek, low-profile design
- RF/GSM interference neutralization
- Comes included with a windscreen and a carry pouch
Best Budget Lavalier Interview Microphone – Audio-Technica ATR-3350IS
A more reasonably-priced alternative to the MVL is the Audio-Technica ATR-3350IS, and it even comes with a few additional accessories, like a smartphone adaptor. This lavalier mic features a cable that is nearly 20 feet long, ensuring that the wearer can maintain a decent range of motion.
While the sound level is lower than on the MVL, this mic still tends to be louder than other lavalier mics in the same price range. The ATR-3350IS also comes with a windscreen, but it’s quite challenging to take off and put back on, so we’d recommend this mic for either indoor or outdoor use, and not both.
Much like the MVL, this lavalier mic features a high-quality clip that has no trouble remaining secure and is well-built so that it will last. While the ATR-3350IS may have a few flaws, its affordable price makes it one of the best entry-level interview microphones.
- Omnidirectional polar pattern
- Features a 3.5mm jack
- Comes included with a smartphone adapter
- Includes a windscreen and a battery
We hope that our guide has been able to help you find the best interview microphone for your needs. There are a lot of excellent choices out there, but these six are among the best.