When starting the journey of video content, two things are a must, a camera, and a mic.
A smartphone camera can’t beat a professional camera, but it has become so good with time that one can easily use it to record videos in the beginning phase.
But the same doesn’t apply to a mic.
No matter how expensive a camera or a phone is, when shooting from a distance, it can’t capture your voice the way you want.
In that case, it’s advised to get an external mic.
But the question is, Is an external mic worth it? If yes, then how much should you spend on it? Here’s everything you should know.
Does an external mic make any difference in audio quality?
There are two scenarios when recording a video using your phone or camera.
- Scenario 1: You are recording and explaining things from behind the camera.
- Scenario 2: You are in front of the camera and interacting with your viewers.
In the first scenario, your phone will be closer to your mouth. So if you explain anything to your viewers, the built-in mic of your smartphone will pick up your voice clearly.
So, in this case, if you use an external mic, then it won’t make a significant difference. Yes, your voice will be clear with less noise, but still, you can record using the smartphone mic.
In the second scenario, you have to stand far from your phone or camera. When there is a distance between the phone and the audio source, the inbuilt mics aren’t capable of capturing clear voice.
Now, if you use an external mic, it will make a significant difference in audio quality. Your voice will be louder and properly audible.
So depending on how you will shoot, an external mic may or may not make a difference. But in most scenarios, an external mic makes a difference for sure.
Is an external mic worth it?
Imagine you are watching a video that doesn’t have proper audio. You turn the volume to the max just to listen to what a person is saying.
It’s the most annoying situation, and there is a very high chance that you will skip that video.
It might have given you an idea of how important audio quality is.
If you are serious about recording, you should invest in an external mic.
So yes, an external mic is definitely worth it.
Is a cheap mic worth it?
We know it’s worth buying an external mic, but what if you buy a cheap mic? Will it make any difference?
In India, external mics start at Rs 300. However, we don’t recommend buying these mics because they will leave you nothing but disappointment.
So we advise you to spend on mics like Boya BY-M1 (Check Full Review) or JBL CSLM20B, which cost around 600-700.
These are the best budget mics for a beginner.
Yes, these mics don’t deliver crystal clear audio output, but still, they are far better than the built-in mic of your camera or smartphone.
So Yes. Cheap mics are worth it as long as you pick the right mic wisely.
How much should you spend on a mic?
If you are a beginner, then spend at least Rs 500-700 on a mic. For that price, there are some good options available in the market.
If you are planning to make podcasts, then you should spend at least Rs 2500-3000.
Why? Because a podcast is all about audio. All users will focus on the information you are going to share through audio. The disturbing noise or hollow effect might irritate your listeners.
So for the podcast, it’s highly recommended to spend on a good quality mic. The same goes if you sing and record your voice.
It is the minimum amount you should spend on a mic. Depending on your needs and budget, you can spend more. The more you spend, the more you get.
Are mics better than headset mic?
After recording several videos using an earphone’s mic, we noticed that it does a good job when placed near the audio source.
For this testing, we have used a Samsung earphone costing under 300.
It did a good job, but still, we don’t recommend it. Why?
- The earphone’s wire length is way too short. You can’t move or go far from your phone.
- There is no clip to attach the mic to your shirt or collar.
- The earphone mic will pick up more noise. It gets even worse if you live in a crowded area. However, it’s good for a completely silent environment.
When we compared the audio output to an external mic, then we noticed:
- A good quality budget mic will capture a louder and fuller voice.
- Mics like Boya M1 try their best to reduce noise, which the earphone’s mic fails to do.
- External mics come with around 20 feet of wire which comes in handy in many situations.
- You can connect an external mic to your phone, laptop, DSLR, or even a camcorder.
An earphone’s mic is just serviceable, and that too, if you know how to get the best out of it.
On the other hand, a dedicated mic is made specially to record audio.
So overall, dedicated mics are significantly better than headset mics.
You can also check these earphones under 500 with a mic.
When should you use an external microphone?
An external mic can be used for various purposes.
- If you are a teacher and want to teach students online, then you should use an external mic.
- For making YouTube videos or interviewing anyone, external mics are worthy investments.
- To sing and record your voice, you can buy a mic.
- For a podcast, external mics are the best.
Is 3.5 mm mic better than USB?
- USB mics need to convert the signal using built-in hardware. A 3.5 mm mic directly outputs its sound. So the final audio output is slightly better on the 3.5mm mic.
- Most cameras, smartphones, and older laptops don’t support the USB microphone.
- USB mics are compatible with Windows, Mac, and PS4.
- Both the 3.5 mm and USB mics are great for podcasts.
- Other than podcasting, a USB mic may not be the best choice.
- The sound output is slightly better on a 3.5 mm mic, but the USB mics aren’t that behind. They also produce great audio output.
Both the mics are good, but the 3.5 mm mic is more versatile and produces better output. So it’s better to go with a 3.5 mm mic over a USB one.
But if you really need a USB mic, then you can go with it as a USB mic also do a good job.
Which is the best budget mic?
After using multiple mics, we found that the Boya BY-M1 is the best budget mic.
Its audio output is surprisingly good for the price.
Just make sure to connect the mic properly to your phone or camera, and the recorder app you are going to use should support an external mic.
Still, if you want more options, then you should check this list of budget mics under 1000.
Don’t worry. Buying an external mic won’t waste your money. It’s the right investment, especially if you are a creator or teacher.
Just make sure to know your needs first. If you think you need an external mic, then get one wisely.
Go for a budget mic at first. When you see progress in your work, then you can switch to more expensive mics.
You might also like these RGB keyboards under 1000.
So, Is an external mic worth it? We are sure you know the answer now.
If you still have any doubts, then feel free to ask us in the comment section. We would love to help you.