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An off-camera mic for non-nerds

My friend Dan asked me for a mic recommendation.
A friend of his wants to “ditch the headset mic” for their online coaching sessions.

I interpret this as a desire to eliminate anything cold and impersonal from the call — important for tele-coaching.

So, we’re looking for an off-camera mic.

Off-camera mics are a bundle of trade-offs. For the best possible sound, you want to be within 9 inches of your microphone. Every inch adds more background noise and echo — reducing presence.

I have plenty of $$$ solutions that could work. But, it sounds like this person doesn’t want to fall into the pit of A/V nerdery. They just want cozier conversations. Fair enough.


For everything above, I like the Rode VideoMic NTG.

I like it for a bunch of reasons:

  1. No-fuss, integrate USB-C interface
  2. Headphone out (when used as an interface)
  3. Good sound isolation (for an inexpensive distance, condenser mic)
  4. Hardware gain nob
  5. Included shock mount
  6. 3.5mm audio out for use with a DSLR/mirrorless camera

Other stuff you’ll need

You’ll need a stand and a cold shoe adapter for this mic.

I like the SmallRig Multi-Functional Cold Shoe Mount with Safety Release. It’ll work with any 1/4”-20 (or adapted) stand.

As a desk stand, I like the Oben TT-100 Table Top Tripod.

Make it sound great

Get the mic as close as possible

Off-camera doesn’t mean far away.
Get the mic as close as you can before it appears on camera.

Eliminate unwanted noise

Turn off anything that makes noise.
Close your doors and windows.

Cover hard surfaces with soft ones

Couches, carpets, rugs, books, and wall art help absorb sound in an unobtrusive way. Work on the walls and corners behind you first. These are the worst offenders for echo. Then work on the surfaces to your left and right. This mic is already insensitive to sounds at its rear.

Go forth!

This non-nerd, off-camera mic will serve you well. And it’ll grow with you, should you decide to up your video game with a DSLR/mirrorless camera.

Disclosure: if you purchase anything from Amazon, I make a small commission.