4 Types of Microphones for Filming

There are several different types of microphones to use for filming, each with a different purpose or function. The exact mic you choose to use can depend on what you are filming and several other parameters. 

This post will explore the different types of microphones you can use for filming. I’ll explain a little about each microphone to give you an idea of when you might want to use it to help support the film. 

Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • The most common microphones used for filming include dynamic, condenser, and lavalier mics. 
  • A shotgun or boom mic is another term used with film, but this is more of a stand or holder for the mic than a type of microphone. 
  • Lavaliers or headset mics can be used in live settings where there is no issue with capturing the mic on camera. 

Types of Microphones for Filming

In this section, I’ll break down the types of microphones commonly used for filming. I’ll give you a good idea of when and why to use one and provide some other related information to understand the applications of each of these better. 

1. Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic microphones are an affordable option for filmmaking, and these are generally known as all-around good mics that can deliver quality sound in many different applications. They aren’t necessarily the highest-end option, but they get the job done. 

These microphones are good for catching loud noises and aren’t as sensitive as other studio-focused mics like condensers. This makes them a good option for action sequences or busy scenes with a lot of audio. 

Dynamic mics typically have a unidirectional sound pattern. This means they need to be pointed more directly at the sound source and aren’t as sensitive to other audio sources coming from different directions. 

A dynamic mic can be used in all sorts of situations, from the set to the studio, so it’s a good idea to have a couple of these around if you’re filming. 

2. Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones are another commonly used mic for filming. These are often more capable from a technical perspective and are more sensitive than dynamic mics. They do a good job at picking up quieter sounds and can be suitable for dialogue.

Condenser mics will give you better overall sound quality than dynamic and lavalier mics. This also means that they are more expensive. A good condenser mic can cost thousands of dollars, but it can be well worth it if you need one. 

You can get several different sound patterns with these mics, which is why they can be ideal for recording multiple actors at once during a dialogue scene. They can be omnidirectional and bidirectional, and some can even switch between the two. 

Condenser mics come in many different varieties, and they can be used on the end of a boom stand to be positioned correctly for a shoot. There is a wide range of styles and prices to consider as well. 

3. Lavalier Mics

Lavalier mics, also known as lapel mics, are the microphones you often see on live TV or other recording settings. They attach directly to the person or thing being recorded and are great for picking up conversation. 

These aren’t always the mics to choose if you shoot a movie because you don’t want the mic to be visible. But if you are filming an interview or anything live, they are a good option to explore and deliver quality results. 

You can hide one of these mics underneath clothing or costumes, so they can also be used for shooting movie footage. But they don’t always deliver as good of sound quality as condenser mics. 

Another advantage of lavalier mics is that they can function wirelessly, which is an advantage in some filming situations. 

4. Shotgun/Boom Mics

Shotgun or boom mics are also commonly used for filming, but this name is somewhat misleading. This doesn’t actually describe a type of microphone but refers to any microphone at the end of a long boom or stand. 

You can use any type of microphone for a shotgun mic, depending on the application you are filming. Condenser mics are commonly used at the end of a boom stand to get excellent audio quality without appearing on camera.  

Also Read: Shotgun vs Lavalier vs Boom: Which Microphone is Best


Here are some quick answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions related to the types of microphones used for filming. 

What are the 3 types of microphones used for filmmaking? 

The three most common types of microphones used for filming are condenser mics, dynamic mics, and lavalier mics. Each of these can have a different application or purpose. And both dynamic and condensers can be used with a boom. 

What kind of mic is best used for film recording? 

There isn’t one specific mic that is best used for film recording. The best option is the one that best meets the application of the shoot, and it can vary between many different types of dynamic or condenser microphones. 

What microphones do movies use? 

Various microphones are used for movies, including condenser, dynamic, and lavalier options. A boom or shotgun mic is often used to capture sound without microphones being directly attached to the actors. 

Final Thoughts

There are many different applications for using microphones while filming, and the best option depends on the situation or desired result. The most common types of mics used for filming are dynamic, condenser, and lavalier. 

If you are a filmmaker or aspiring to be one, you should get your hands on all three of these styles of microphones to assist you with the creative process. 

What type of microphone do you like to use for filming? Let me know in the comments below.

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