Microphone Types

A few examples of different types of microphones used in production - Lavalier, Shotgun, and Handheld.

Cara Friez avatar
Written by Cara Friez
Updated over a week ago

Here are a few examples of different types of microphones used in production:


A small microphone that is ideal for capturing high-quality sound in an interview or host-type setting, as it can be positioned close to the mouth by being clipped onto wardrobe items. Many are small enough not to be visible within the frame. They are also known as Lapel Mics or Clip-On Mics.

Example of a lavalier microphone clipped to a shirt.


A shotgun microphone is highly directional and looks like a long tube, which must be pointed directly at a person's mouth to record high-quality sound. This microphone is typically attached to the end of a boom pole, which allows the microphone to reach long distances without appearing on screen. Some people call this type of microphone a Boom Mic, because of this. A shotgun mic is effective if you can get three feet or closer to your subject. They are ineffective if you can't get close to the interviewee as they might pick up unwanted sounds in the location.

Shotgun microphone attached to a boom pole.


A handheld microphone, sometimes called a stick mic, is typically held in the hand but can be placed on a microphone stand. These mics are typically used on stage during a performance. It is also common to see news reporters use these microphones in the field. These mics work best when held at a 45-degree angle, and several inches from the speaker's mouth to ensure crisp clear audio. Because these mics need to be close to the speaker's mouth, it does make them visible within the frame. These are rugged microphones that can be used in a wide variety of locations.

A photo of a female reporter holding a handheld microphone.

For more details on different microphones and their pickup patterns, check out the video below:

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