In today’s world of podcasters, “influencers,” and YouTube celebrities, having a regular smartphone camera isn’t going to cut it. While you certainly don’t need an entire studio to produce your segments — especially when you’re just starting out — there are a few devices you should get your hands on if you want your content to look and sound somewhat legit. For starters, a camera microphone is a must-have. Whether you’re using a regular smartphone, a camcorder, or even your laptop, your sound quality won’t be at the level it should be — especially if you consider your content creation more than just a hobby. Fortunately, you don’t have to pony up an arm and a leg to get high-quality sound; there are plenty of great camera microphones available on the web on the cheap. Of course, not every device is made equal, so you’re going to have to do a little digging, depending on what you’re looking for you. Fortunately for you, we looked at some of the best camera microphones for a variety of different uses. So without further ado, let’s check ’em out.

Best Overall Camera Microphone

All things considered, the Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone with Rycote Lyre Shock Mount is the best camera microphone we came across. This super compact and lightweight on-camera microphone can fit on a variety of devices, whether it’s your smartphone or traditional video camera. It’s made with a durable, all-metal microphone body that we found to be amongst the sturdiest of the group. It also comes with a Rycote Lyre shock mount that serves as a high-tech suspension structure composed of a hard-wearing thermoplastic that helps minimize vibrations en route to uninterrupted, crystal clear audio. This device is also great for recording outside — particularly in inclimate weather — as it also includes a synthetic furry wind shield with a foam inner cell that is designed for use in heavy winds. This device is also completely battery-free — simply plug it into your camera or smartphone and it powers itself.

Best Camera Microphone for Smartphones

If you’re a vlogger, blogger, or podcaster just starting out, the Ultimate Lavalier Microphone for Bloggers and Vloggers from Miracle Sound is an inexpensive little device that syncs up to your smartphone for crystal clear audio output. This is a lapel clip-on mic — much like the one that you typically see on television talk shows, news broadcasts, etc — that syncs up to your smartphone or tablet. Despite its small size and inexpensive price tag, we were surprised at just how well this device was able to pick up sound. It contains omnidirectional sound capabilities that can pick up most of, if not all of the sound over a decent distance, making it great for a variety of different online content. It’s compatible with a variety of devices, too, thanks to the versatile 3.5mm TRRS jack that can be used with an Apple iPhone, iPad, and Android or Windows Smartphones, amongst others. The whole package contains the Miracle Sound microphone, a deluxe case to keep it safe, a special wind muff, and of course, a lapel clip to keep it attached to your shirt. It even contains a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase. If you’re anything like us, however, you most likely will be.

Best Camera Microphone for Camcorders

On the other hand, for those using a traditional, name brand camcorder or camera, the TAKSTAR SGC-598 Interview Microphone for Nikon/Canon Camera/DV Camcorder should be your go-to choice. Featuring 10dB sensitivity enhancement and 200Hz low-frequency attenuation, this microphone delivers professional-quality sound on any camera, making it great for short films, homemade movies, or essentially any type of video, really. We were shocked at just how sturdy the microphone was, in addition to its advanced noise-cancellation capabilities, courtesy of a heart-shaped single-point pickup. It also is designed specifically for Nikon and Canon cameras, as well as ones with high-sensitivity condensers. It features shield electromagnetic interference for uninterrupted high-quality audio. The microphone is also made with a shock-resistant structural design to keep you from hearing some of the mechanical sounds of the camera, such as the clicking of the record button, etc. It’s 1.5V AA alkaline battery-powered with a generous lifespan of up to 100 hours (battery not included) and features a low-battery indicator, so you know when you have to change the battery ahead of a shoot.