It’s no secret that omnidirectional microphones are sometimes cheaper because they’re considered less than ideal for many types of recordings. But, that’s just silly talk if you ask me. If you use one of the best omnidirectional microphones in your setup, you may just come to the same conclusion as I did.
Omnidirectional mics are not to be underestimated when you want a more natural, open recording. And, if you can also control the environment around you, an omni mic will be one of the most convenient and comfortable tools you’ll have access to.
Best Omnidirectional Microphones - Top 6
Table of Contents
- Best Omnidirectional Microphones - Top 6
- Omnidirectional Microphones – When and Where to Use Them
- How Many Types of Omnidirectional Microphones Are There?
- Omnidirectional vs Multi-Pattern Microphones
- Omnidirectional Mics – Essential Features
There’s no shortage of applications for the Blue Yeti USB Microphone. It comes in a wide range of colors and has a very sturdy base that helps minimize vibrations. Although it made my list of omnidirectional microphones, I should mention that the Blue Yeti USB mic actually features pattern selection.
It offers omnidirectional, cardioids, and bidirectional patterns. Thanks to its multi pattern adjustability and a wide frequency response range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, there’s not a lot that it can’t do.
The Blue Yeti is calibrated to pick up and enhance the frequencies in the vocal range above all else. And, although it may seem like an expensive option for a gamer or someone who just wants to use VoIP services, it’s considered cheap by podcasters and vloggers.
If you can’t afford a mic for each of your guests, setting the Blue Yeti in the middle of the table can help you capture everyone’s voice with impressive clarity. The Blue Yeti offers another cool feature known as zero-latency headphone output.
The Rode SmartLav+ is a lavalier microphone, mostly used with iPhones and other smartphones. As great as modern mobile devices can be, using a dedicated lavalier mic is pretty much always guaranteed to improve the call quality.
This microphone is discrete, small, but also features a high-end omnidirectional condenser capsule. It’s attached to a very long Kevlar-reinforced cable which allows you to comfortably hide your mic under your clothing without worrying about stretching it or bending it in unnatural ways. The reinforcing also helps maintain the call quality.
The mic doesn’t have very advanced filters on it but, given its size, that doesn’t come as a shock. With that said, it still features a wind shield which should be good enough in most cases.
Now, although this mic pretty much has all the characteristics of a versatile lapel mic, you might want to avoid using it for public speaking. It’s not wireless and it may pick up too much background noise.
This is not the only reporter mic or even the only Rode mic I recommend. But, this is the cream of the crop, if you will. The Reporter is a truly premium dynamic, wireless, interview microphone with an omnidirectional pattern.
It’s long and elegant profile gives it a bit of style. It’s easy to maneuver and very comfortable to carry around all day long. It can also make a terrific presentation microphone, although I prefer something more discrete for such situations.
The mic is tailor-made for capturing voice. This is made evident by the superior dialogue clarity on the recordings, the crispness of the medium frequencies, and by the mic’s ability to capture quality vocals in almost any environment.
I love the multi-layered mesh basket which helps cut out some of the environmental noise while still maintaining good vocal clarity. This is a great mic, but it might be too expensive for some.
After reviewing countless microphones, I realized that I prize versatility above anything else. True, the Blue Snowball USB Microphone is not the most versatile mic, but it still comes with a dual-pattern switch and a very cool, eye-catching shape.
It basically looks like a ball nested on top of a tripod. You might like it a lot if you like unconventional mics. It offers omnidirectional and cardioid polar patterns, and features a switch that gives you control over the settings.
I like that it comes with a sturdy USB cable and a very stable desktop stand. Of course, because the mic is lightweight, there shouldn’t be any wobbling issues. Another feature I like and find mandatory at times, is the -10dB pad switch. You can use it to minimize distortion and background noise.
You may think that this won’t be necessary, but you will definitely need this feature if you plan on recording something at high volume.
5. Sony ECMCS3
I don’t like clip-on microphones that much, but I tip my hat to the Sony ECMCS3 mic. It’s a very well-rounded recording microphone that allows you to use your hands freely to adjust the EQ, take notes, check your email, eat – do whatever it is that you want.
The mic comes with a 40” cord, which I think is long enough for most tasks. Although it’s not the smallest mic, I’m really not mad. The bulkier build is only there to accommodate the high-end audio components featured inside that give the mic its impressive recording properties and sound clarity.
I should also point out that you would be hard-pressed to find a more reliable option in this price range. It’s not only clear, but the microphone is also loud, meaning that you’ll have to deal with less noise during the editing process.
If you want to record yourself for a voiceover demo, lecture, self-reflection, or whatever else, the ECMCS3 is one of the best fits for your average pocket recorder too.
6. Movo HM-M2
The Movo HM-M2 is a microphone that I’ve always thought of as an ideal choice for vloggers, freelance reporters, and anyone else that wants to record an interview on the fly. The mic is lightweight, dynamic, and comes with an omnidirectional polar pattern.
It has a low-frequency noise limiter, and it’s calibrated to minimize plosives and maximize vocal clarity. Because it’s dynamic, it doesn’t require phantom power. That’s why I think that it can be one of the most rewarding pieces of gear in a beginner interviewer’s arsenal.
An internal pop filter is also included. This allows for much crispier vocal recordings and will also be less punishing of bad handling. Finally, the Movo HM-M2 comes with its own pouch, large enough to fit this long mic.
The frequency range is not as impressive as that of some other omni mics out there. But, even with a 70 Hz to 5 kHz frequency response range, the HM-M2 can do a great job. Keep in mind that for dialogue purposes, this is more than enough to record legible and clear audio.
Omnidirectional Microphones – When and Where to Use Them
What exactly sets omni mics apart from others? In the spirit of keeping things simple, omnidirectional microphones capture sound equally from all directions.
The positioning doesn’t matter as much as it does with a bidirectional or a unidirectional microphone. This is great for convenience, but not so great when you want to avoid capturing background noise.
On the other hand, an omnidirectional mic is probably the only type of mic that will let you clearly record the band, lead singer, and the choir all at once.
How Many Types of Omnidirectional Microphones Are There?
All types of microphones can feature an omnidirectional polar pattern. There aren’t any limitations in terms of styles, types, and designs. Also, both dynamic and condenser mics can have this polar pattern.
My favorite types include interview or reporter mics, lapel mics, desktop mics, and of course, the highly useful USB mic. Any one of these can feature an omnidirectional polar pattern.
Omnidirectional vs Multi-Pattern Microphones
There is some debate among audio enthusiasts regarding the validity of multi-pattern microphones. Some argue that they can’t truly deliver, and that you’re better off with a dedicated omnidirectional mic.
If you want my two cents, I’d say that a multi-pattern microphone is one of the best investments you can make. But, whether or not you should spend extra for some polar pattern options that you may not use, that’s entirely up to you.
Omnidirectional Mics – Essential Features
Handheld vs. Clip-On
Omnidirectional microphones come in two different formats – handheld and clip-on. The former can also be used with a conventional microphone stand, as well as being held by the performer.
The advantage of having a clip-on omnidirectional microphone is that it can be used for interviews or speaking, although one issue that you may run into is the sounds caused by the capsule coming into contact with an item of clothing.
When using an omnidirectional microphone using a stand, you get the full benefit of its ability to pick up sounds from all sides, with equal gain. This might be useful for capturing a vocal choir, or ambient sounds.
Another aspect of omnidirectional mics that you should be aware of is their maximum SPL handling ability. This is short for ‘sound pressure level’, and it indicates the maximum amount of pressure the omnidirectional mic can handle before distortion occurs.
An SPL level of 110-120dB should be enough if you intend to use your omnidirectional mic to record musical instruments, speech, or everyday sounds.
Omnidirectional microphones are unique when it comes to their frequency response. They tend to have a low-frequency response which is more extensive than directional microphones.
This results in recordings made with omnidirectional microphones having a slightly warmer, darker tone than other types. The increased bass prominence can be accounted for using EQ in the mixing stage, if necessary.
Never Settle for Poor Recordings
An omnidirectional microphone can offer a more natural vocal recording. It can come in any shape and size, and blend into any studio setup.
All the microphones I’ve presented in this article, whether they’re multipurpose or basic, have one thing in common. They’re all omnidirectional and calibrated specifically to enhance the vocal range.