We have two microphones that we recommend for customers that need a microphone with an XLR connector. (They are the Sennheiser MKE2 and the Countryman B3.) We had also been fans of the Sennheiser ME2 microphone for customers that needed a microphone with a 3.5mm connector. However, with the change that Sennheiser made to the ME2 we could no longer use that mic with cameras or recorders. So set out to find a microphone that we could recommend instead of the ME2.
We purchased microphones from a number of different companies in different price ranges. We tested each microphone recording “pink noise” at a specific distance from a speaker. We also recorded a sample in the quietest room we could find in order to see how much noise was generated by the microphone itself. We found that the Azden EX503 is a good, low-cost alternative if you are not recording in very quite situations. The Azden provided a strong signal with an adequate sound reproduction but it had more self-generated (electrical) noise than the other microphones we tested.
We found that our favorite microphone of the group was the Microphone Madness MM-ML. This microphone provides audio quality that we found to be equivalent to the more expensive Sennheiser and much less electrical noise than the less expensive Azden. They, Microphone Madness, offer more expensive microphone and smaller microphones, but for the Sound Shark they didn’t provide any better performance.
The thing that we REALLY love is that Microphone Madness will provide their microphone in various lengths and with just about any connector you could require. We stock their MM-ML with right angle and straight 3.5mm connectors and with 2, 4, and 6 foot cables. Just to be clear, all of the microphones do require that the camera or recorder provide “plug-in” power. (See ourFAQ pagefor more information on “plug-in” power.)