Five Affordable Boom Microphones for Capturing High Quality Indoor Dialogue

Without a doubt, boom microphones are one of the preferred options for seasoned sound professionals when it comes to recording high-quality sound indoors in reverberant, echoic rooms. But, how to pick the right one for your project? In the next video, Curtis Judd compares five indoor dialogue microphones to help you get a sense for some of the differences between these affordable mics ranging from $100 to $600. The provided selection includes cardioid, super cardioid, and hyper-cardioid boom microphones, all of which provide an excellent natural response to sound and can produce high-quality professional results when used for recording indoor dialogue for film and video productions.

The first boom mic that Curtis Judd puts to the test is the Samson C02 boom mic. In a nutshell, it’s a budget super-cardioid small diaphragm condenser mic with sturdy build quality that provides tight pick up pattern as it’s an extremely versatile option for recording dialogue indoors. The C02 features a frequency response of 40 Hz to 20 kHz accurately reproducing audio with great detail while minimizing low-frequency noise. The C02 requires external +48V phantom power to operate. For less than $110 you actually get two of those which is an amazing bargain for a microphone kit providing this type of quality.


The Audix SCX1HC, on the other hand, will set you back $500 which is five times more than the Samson C02, but for the price you get even more versatile boom mic with a modular capsule design, allowing you to switch the included a hyper-cardioid capsule with separately sold cardioid and omnidirectional capsules. The Audix SCX1HC includes an external high-quality foam windscreen reducing sibilance and pop noise plus it provides a quiet signal response with a low noise floor. Just as the Samson C02, the Audix SCX1HC needs external +48V to operate and doesn’t have an internal battery option.

Unlike the first two microphones on the list, the AKG Blueline CK93 comes with a built-in high-pass filter in addition to the SE-300B power supply included in the kit. In essence, it’s a hyper-cardioid microphone with a lightweight, rugged design providing a very low noise floor and high output gain that also features a low-frequency roll-off switch allowing users to reduce rumble and low-frequency noise caused by wind, ambiance, and other natural or artificial sources. The SE-300B is powered with an external 9 to 52 V phantom power and it’s priced at $478.00.

Audio Technica AT4053b_Boom_Mic

The fourth boom microphone reviewed above is the Audio Technica AT4053b hyper-cardioid microphone. It’s the most expensive one of the list, currently selling for $599. The condenser microphone comes with a switchable high-pass filter along with a -10 dB pad for loud sound environments. It still needs 48 Volt phantom power to operate and also doesn’t have an internal battery option. In terms of unique features,  the Audio TechnicaAT4053b provides the lowest noise floor in comparison to the other four boom mics on the list.

Last but not least, comes the Rode NT5 cardioid condenser microphone. It’s the lightest of the microphones included in the review as well as it’s the one the provides the least narrow pick up pattern which isn’t surprising considering the fact that it’s a cardioid microphone. The NT5 also can be powered via +24V or +48V phantom power, offers a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, and comes with dual windscreens and stand mounts in a durable road case. It’s also a relatively affordable boom microphone. You can currently purchase one for just $220.


For further evaluation and  hearing sample clips of all of the microphones, head on over to Learning Light and Sound website. Make sure you also check out the excellent Curtis Judd’s Sound Recording for Video course over at

[source: Curtis Judd]

B&H Links:

Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones – $ 108.99

Audix SCX1-HC Studio Condenser Microphone – $ 499.00

AKG Blue Line Series Hypercardioid Microphone Kit – $ 478.00

Audio Technica AT4053b Hypercardioid Condenser Microphone – $ 599.00

Rode NT5 Cardioid Studio Condenser Microphones (Single Microphone) – $ 219.00

Amazon Links:

Samson C02 Pencil Condenser Microphones – $ 139.99

Audix SCX1-HC Studio Condenser Microphone – $ 498.00

AKG SE-300B Power Supply Preamp for Blue Line Microphone Capsules – $ 289.99

AKG CK91 Blue Line Condenser Cardioid Microphone Capsule – $ 199.99

Audio Technica AT4053b Hypercardioid Condenser Microphone – $ 599.00

Rode NT5 Cardioid Studio Condenser Microphones (Single Microphone) – $ 219.00

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  • El Jeffe

    The low cost mic to buy is the Oktava MK-012 with the hyper cardioid capsule. A fantastic value that will leave a little money left over for a boom. Just be sure you don’t buy a Chinese knock-off.
    Not sure why the Rode is even in the lineup except that it’s cheap and sort of looks like the others. If you are going to purchase an indoor boom mic be sure it’s a hyper cardioid.

    • Vlady Radev

      Thanks for your insight, El Jeffe! As for the Rode NT5, Curtis Judd included it in the list just as a reference to see how a cardiod microphone compares to the other mics on the list. Hope that helps!