Got a Good Unidirectional Mic Recommendation?

Feb 26, 2016

Hi Heroes!

As much as I love my omnidirectional mic for recording e-learning voiceovers, I'm ready to start stepping out with a unidirectional one.

I haven't seen any recent recommendations for unidirectional mics here on ELH and wondered if any happy uni-users would be willing to share what kind they use - and any other tips or experiences they've had with that particular mic.

Thank you so much for your help!

17 Replies
Richard Hill

Hi Jackie, I use an Electrovoice Re20 along with a Shure x2u  (xlr to usb converter).  It's a very versatile mic that is used by many broadcasters and singers.  Since it has a standard xlr output you will need the Shure x2u for usb.  You can't go wrong with it.  It really is an industry standard.  But that may not mean it's the best mic for your own voice's range.   If you can get to a decent Music store, perhaps you might try some less expensive off the shelf USB ones and be pleasantly surprised.   

Oh and my secret weapon is a free tool called Levelator.  It just makes your voice sound soooo much better,


David Anderson

I agree w/ Richard's recommendation for the RE20. It's one of the best mics around. I have both the RE20 and RE26 but tend to prefer my Shure SM7B most times. All are great at blocking electrical hum and noise. 

My favorite audio interface is the Focusrite Forte. It's a bit pricey but it offers some of the cleanest audio I've heard.

Dan Benjamin's podcast gear guide is about the best I've seen for audio recommendations:

Another great resource for microphone comparisons is Marco Arment's guide to microphones: 

Do you have a general price range you're targeting?

Neil Stadlman

As one who has used many of your ideas, I'm happy to make a modest contribution.  I have used both a Blue Snowball and Blue Yeti and they work great, especially for doing duo commentary on a screen capture, etc.    My recent go to tool has been the Zoom H5 which adds more diversity for capturing and the quality is excellent.    Certainly with audio, and video as well, you get what you pay for in terms of  quality.

Preston Ruddell

I second this.  We use a Blue Snowball for a LOT and it always does well.  I've used it for streaming, recording tabletop discussions, and podcasting.  My wife even uses it to track vocal parts for our youth worship team.  It's convenient and it's built well.  While it's not indestructible, it's built well and doesn't feel like something that would break easily.  it's also worth noting that the blue snowball (and Yeti, I believe) have a switch that can toggle uni-directional or Omni directional.  The only downside to the snowball is that it's only a digital output.  You won't be able to hook this up to an analog mixer if you're in to that kind of thing.  You'll have to record into a computer program.

Jackie Van Nice

Hi Neil -

I'm so happy ideas I've shared have been helpful, and I appreciate you sharing yours, too!

Good to hear the Yeti and Snowball work well for you - I've heard of them but never tried them.

I just added a Tascam recorder to the family which looks a lot like the Zoom H5. Works great and I'm very happy with it, too.

Thanks so much, Neil!

Sean Herriott

Hi Jackie,

I use the MXL 770 for my voice over work. I was a radio host for 30 years, and now I'm doing voice work (and delving into E-Learning). It's not an expensive mic, but it gives me really good, clean sound. I do work for major advertising agencies and video projects, and the audio coming out of my home studio works just fine for them.

It's good at blocking out sounds coming from behind it, including things like birds and cars that an omni-directional mic would definitely pick up through my 45-year-old windows.

Mike Jones

Hi Jackie,

It sounds like you have quite a few recommendations already, but let me add my recommendation for the Blue Yeti. I spent quite a while on research before deciding on getting this microphone.

I like it best for it's versatility in terms of having multiple configurations in a single mic, and the sound quality is quite excellent.

I think one question you'll want to ask yourself, if you haven't already, is what type of connection do you want to use--a XLR or USB? The XLR mics will have better (although not necessarily discernible) quality, but require additional hardware. Whereas the USB is more plug-and-play friendly, but have also come a long way in terms of quality!

Unless you're looking for a "shotgun" mic to use in video recording situations, I'd suggest looking into an isolation filter instead of getting such a specialized microphone. There are quite a variety available on Amazon:

Hope that helps, and good luck!

Jackie Van Nice

Oh man! I started to a couple of days ago (squeezed into a few minutes between projects) and was headed for the Shure you mentioned, but then got to the interface decision, and then the floor mic stand vs desk stand vs the other options - and realized I'd better spend more than 3 minutes deciding what I want to invest in and want the physical setup to look like. I'm scheduling time into my week this week to do just that - so thank you for the reminder!!

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