10 Best Stereo Microphones; Top Mics For All Budgets

Stereo recording can be a complicated topic when you’re first starting out. Stereo microphones certainly have their uses and are ideal for certain environments. There are so many microphones on the market that it can be hard to understand what each one does. 

To make life easier for you, we evaluated 28 stereo mics and came up with this list of 10 best stereo microphones that are perfectly suitable for recording piano, overhead drums, acoustic guitars, iPhone, DSLR, and much more.

Best Stereo Mic For Camera/DSLR

With its lightweight yet feature-rich design, the AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Microphone offers a simple, powerful solution for capturing high-resolution audio for video. Selectable line-cardioid mono and internally matrixed mid-side stereo modes provide the flexibility to focus the recording on a single sound source or to widen the field for outstanding sonic realism. In either mode, the AT8024 delivers audio that is dramatically better than that supplied by the camera’s internal microphone.

Best Stereo Mic For iPhone

The Shure MV88 is a useful, compact microphone for recording via iOS devices on the go, whether in stereo or mono, with or without DSP.

The mic may look like a lot of other iOS mics, but its combination of amazing sound and phenomenal versatility has made it one of the most popular iOS mics. The MV88’s sound is clean and clear, whether you’re inches away, recording an interview in a noisy environment, or sitting back on your sofa and laying down a new song idea with your favorite couch guitar. 

Best Stereo Mic For Piano

The Behringer C-2 mics are perfect for stereo recording of a piano recital, choir performance, or any acoustic sound source. Small-diaphragm condenser mics are ideal for capturing the quick transients of stringed instruments and percussion. 

Whatever the source, you get a beautiful, lifelike sound. Factory-matched, the C-2s perform admirably in the studio and onstage. 

The cardioid pattern is well suited for XY stereo recording. For larger instruments such as a piano, this can make for an interesting panning effect.

Best Overall

No other microphone in this mic’s price range can claim the perfection found in the NT4. This one of the best stereo microphones can be used in multiple studio applications including for drum overheads and acoustic guitars.

Combining an acoustically matched pair of 1/2” cardioid condenser capsules fixed in a perfect 90 degree near-coincident alignment, the Rode NT4 instantly creates a faithful stereo array that is ideal for drum overheads, percussion, choir vocals, environmental recording, and sound design in a studio or in the field.

The Stereo Mics That We Recommend

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Best For Camera/DSLR

Audio-Technica AT8024

For capturing audio the AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Microphone by Audio Technica can be used in several environments, on DSLR and video cameras, for applications such as weddings, conferences, sports events, and more.

The stereo signal from the AT8024 is derived from a set of electret condenser Mid/Side capsules; a front-facing mono capsule and a side-facing figure of eight capsules behind it. 

In stereo, the mic uses both Mid and Side capsules and has an internal matrix that provides a fairly narrow stereo pattern to the 1/8” TRS plug.

These features allow the AT8024 to be used with cameras with either a 1/8” mono or stereo input jack. 

This is very useful because some DSLR cameras have a mono input and some have a stereo input. 

Plugging a standard mono mic into a stereo input often results in the audio going only to one channel in the camera. With this mic, you can just switch to Stereo. 

Voila! Problem solved!

The microphone is powered by a single AA battery for optimal performance with high max SPL and features an integral camera shoe mount that attaches quickly to DSLRs and shoe-equipped camcorders.

 

Related: Best Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone; Reviews 

Best For iPhone

Shure MV88 iOS Microphone

Mounted via Lightning, your iOS device now sports the mic with best-in-class stereo audio

The MV88 records video with crystal clear sound, gets that interview with clarity, and captures the performance of a lifetime. 

This multi-directional stereo microphone tilts, rotates, and is made to withstand demanding conditions – like music festivals and influencer meetups.

MV88 is quite versatile, with multiple patterns and the ability to record as a stereo or a cardioid mono mic. 

One of the most impressive features of this stereo mic is the ShurePlus Motiv App that comes along with the microphone. 

Within the app, you can do some amazing adjusting in terms of control over the mic as a whole. 

You can adjust the stereo width, sift through the DSP modes, and play with EQ and limiting\compression to name a few. 

The DSP presets include speech, singing, acoustic, loud, and flat. More than enough choices here for such a small mic.

The MV88’s capsules are visible through a fine-mesh metallic grille. Internally, the mic employs two capsules in a mid-side configuration that allows for adjustable stereo field recording, as well as multiple mono channel recording, or mono summed recording. 

The dual capsules consist of one cardioid capsule that points directly at the sound source, and one bi-directional condenser capsule aimed toward the sides. 

The blend of signals from these two capsules controls the width of the stereo image. The mic has a hinge so the body can pivot to be aimed in different directions.

 

Related: Best Mini Microphone For iPhone & iPad; iOS Mic Reviews

Best For Piano

Behringer C-2 

With the Behringer C-2 small diaphragm condenser model, you get two microphones, which is a useful setting for quality stereo recording.

Although they do come at a cheap price, this doesn’t mean that they are aimed at beginners. 

The fact that the C-2 comes in pairs emphasizes this: It enables the user to record in stereo, which isn’t something beginners get into as soon as they start in music recording. 

As for the price, it’s very affordable, especially considering the fact you get two quality condenser microphones.

For being compact devices, Behringer’s C-2 packs a pretty serious set of hardware

To start things off, you get a low-mass small diaphragm (0.63” diameter) that covers a pretty wide frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz and can take a max SPL of 140dB. 

In addition, Behringer has included their low frequency roll-off switch that also includes a built-in -10dB attenuation feature.

For a budget pair, these condenser mics offer a very strong performance and, as you may expect, you get plenty of bang for your buck. 

Due to the flexibility of having two mics working in unison, the possible applications of the C-2 could include stereo recording in studios, instrument recording and even some live recording.

The max SPL rating is high enough that you can record a variety of acoustic instruments – such as pianos, drums or guitars – with relative ease, while the sound quality is commendable.

Best Overall

Rode NT4

The Rode NT4 is a great solution for drum overheads, acoustic guitars or where space is at a minimum.

Since it is configured in a fixed X/Y pattern, there are no phase issues between the two capsules, and it is very easy to get the right sound within minutes. 

This mic can also be powered via a single 9V battery, which is perfect if you don’t have phantom power available or if you want to do a stereo field recording. 

The accessories that come stock with the NT4 really make a complete package for both field and studio work at a reasonable price

There are two cables that work with the microphone’s 5-pin output. The first is ideal for portable field recorders and those recording directly to their camera’s audio input – a 3.5 mm TRS cable. For those requiring an XLR, a dual-XLR cable also comes with the NT4. 

For acoustic guitars, the placement of the capsules is just right for getting the whole body tone as well as the string noise on the fretboard. 

Depending on the style you’re going for, the string noise can add an entirely new element to your mix that you might otherwise lose with other miking techniques. 

The same kind of added tone would likely be achieved when using an NT4 with other various string instruments.

As with every microphone from Røde, the NT4 comes with a 10 year warranty

This microphone is definitely worth checking out, even if you’ve already got a microphone. Between ease of use and affordability, the NT4 could just replace microphones that cost 3x its value.

Most Versatile

Blue Yeti USB Mic

Blue Yeti uses a proprietary tri-capsule microphone array that allows you to switch between 4 different polar patterns (Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, and Stereo), customizing how the mic picks up sound.

As a USB-only mic, there’s no need for the user to have a separate audio interface, meaning they can simply connect it to their laptop or PC and start recording immediately. 

There are some neat touches too. The Yeti has an in-built gain control – not always a given at this price point – while the mute button and headphone output make it ideal for solo use. 

Physically, it’s a beast of a thing; when used with its desktop stand it has a level of rigidity and heft that gives you confidence it won’t get knocked over easily. 

The Blue Yeti’s quality is clear and full in every multiple pattern, though you may want to invest in a pop-shield for the best possible results. 

Its omni-directional mode captures a room full of chatting people clearly and loudly, the cardioid and bi-directional patterns are pleasingly precise (although you’ll need to lean close to the mic to get the best from them), and its stereo pattern is perfect for podcasting, neatly separating multiple voices gathered around a table.

 

Related: Best USB Microphone For Singing/Vocals; Reviews

Best For Handycams

Sony ECMXYST1M 

The Sony ECM-XYST1M Stereo Microphone is compatible with Handycam camcorders, Cyber-Shot cameras, Alpha/NEX cameras, and any other camera that has a Sony Multi Interface Shoe. 

The Multi Interface Shoe passes the audio directly to your camera, so no additional cable is required

For use with cameras that don’t have a Multi Interface Shoe, you can connect the microphone to the mic input jack on your camera using an included stereo mini-jack cable.

With a wide frequency band (0 to 120 ), you can fine-tune your audio capture according to the setting. The supplied windscreen cuts down on wind noise pickup for crisp, clear, unadulterated audio.

This stereo mic is really good at cutting out the wind noise, just put on the dead cat filter, switch low cut on and you’ve got nearly no wind noise compared to the loud rumbling noises of the internal mic. As a result speech and environmental noises come off much clearer when using the external mic.

Best For General Stereo Recording

Audio-Technica AT2022 

The Audio-Technica AT2022 is a stereo condenser microphone with one end of the narrow body sprouting a pair of cardioid capsules arranged in an X-Y configuration

The angle between these two capsules can be altered to either 90 or 120 degrees on a swivel mount. 

The mount clicks into place at each angle, and the capsules are decoupled from the mount with rubber, helping to absorb some of the jolts and knocks you expect with a portable recording device. 

For storage and transportation purposes, you can fold the two capsules down flat making it easy to pack along with your recording device or camcorder.

The AT2022 is ideal for recording in the field – the electret design gives you condenser mic quality without the need for phantom power, making the AT2022 easy to use with just about any recorder.

The body unscrews and slides open to reveal the battery compartment. A single AA battery is required (alkaline recommended) and one has thoughtfully been included. 

It is important to know, and remember, that this microphone has been designed for battery power only and that damage could result if phantom power is used.

It is ideal for achieving great quality sounds when capturing audio in the field with any variety of portable audio/video devices.

For Camcorders 

Audio-Technica PRO 24-CM 

The Audio-Technica Pro-24CM Compact Stereo Condenser Microphone delivers pro-level stereo reproduction for video camera mounting. 

The PRO 24-CM camcorder microphone is a lightweight, compact stereo condenser ideal for digital recording with high-fidelity stereo sound. 

Equipped with an accessory shoe and permanently attached coiled cable, the microphone features a pair of cardioid elements in an X-Y configuration to provide the spatial impact and realism of a live sound field. 

The microphone is designed for either battery operation or battery-free operation when used with camcorders that provide plug-in power at the mic input. 

Like all Audio-Technica mics, the PRO 24-CM is rugged; it’s built to endure the rigors of field production.

The microphone is designed for a wide range of stereo applications, including field recording, video production and studio use.

Great For DSLR 

Sennheiser MKE 440

The MKE 440 from Sennheiser is a compact stereo shotgun microphone that predominantly captures focused stereo sound from within the direction of filming and rejects the majority of off-axis noise from outside the camera focus. 

The MKE 440 has two aligned and matched mini shotgun mics ensuring that the MKE 440 captures the audio you want while rejecting off-axis noise. 

This feature sets it apart from conventional stereo microphones. With its optimized acoustic characteristics and adjustable sensitivity, the MKE 440 is ideally suited for speech, music or ambience

The stainless steel micro-mesh wind protection reduces wind noise and protects the fine high frequency details in your sound.

The MKE 440 also has a built-in coiled cable with a tip ring sleeve connector, a power switch, a low pass filter and a 3-way sensitivity adjustment.

To be compatible with this microphone, all the camera needs is a flash shoe – a cold one is fine – and a 3.5mm microphone input. 

You screw the microphone down on the flash shoe, pointing forwards. Plug it in and switch it on, and you’re right to go. 

The Sennheiser MKE 440 is powered by two AAA batteries, which are rated at 100 hours of operation.

The connecting cable is coiled so it’s only around 150mm long in its natural state. When you plug it in, you can move the slack to somewhere that’s out of the way with your camera and don’t have to worry about tripping over it.

The MKE 440 provides a nicely balanced stereo ambience and amplifies the sound source in front of your camera.

Best For Live Recording

Rode M5-MP

If you’re looking for a pair of affordable small-diaphragm condenser microphones, take a look at the RODE M5 Matched Pair cardioid condenser microphones. 

These mics give you the kind of performance that will exceed what you’d expect from condensers at this price point. 

This permanently polarized condenser mic can be used in several environments including stage, theater, studio, and home applications

The capsule is mounted into a beautifully machined all-metal mic body that measures 100mm x 20mm and weighs in at 80 grams. 

The mic body is covered with a tough matte black ceramic coating, and the whole thing has the appearance of a solid, well engineered, professional grade product.

It is well-suited for instruments, choirs, or anywhere you would employ a small-diaphragm condenser microphone.This matched pair is also great for stereo recording techniques.

The exceptionally clear-sounding RODE M5 Matched Pair is ideal in the studio and onstage. A typical use of the M5 Matched Pair would be as drum overheads or recording high-hats. 

They’re excellent mics for recording practically any instrument – guitar, flute, violin, saxophone, drums, you name it! 

And this precision matched pair of condenser microphones is perfect for stereo XY and other stereo recording configurations.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

What is a Stereo Microphone?

A stereo microphone is a recording device that has two microphone elements which create a left and right audio image. These elements are typically in a fixed arrangement, facing to the left and right of the mic position, which gives a more natural-sounding recording that mimics how our ears hear sounds.

By having a left and right audio you can assign one channel for the left ear and one channel for the right ear.

This can then give depth and direction to the recording.

What are stereo microphones used for?

Stereo microphones are great for recording environments and instruments due to the two or more channels.

A stereo recording creates more of a sense of place; it creates a listening environment, rather than just something to listen to. That’s why using a stereo microphone is important when you’re recording live musicians. The best live music recordings make you feel like you were there.

With stereo mics you can record sounds and play them back similar to how our ears pick up the sounds, just like we were there. This makes the recording sound really realistic.

Can two mics make a stereo sound?

Yes, you will always need two microphones to make a stereo sound, or you can use a stereo mic that has two in-built microphone capsules. The mono signals from each microphone are assigned to the left and right channels of a stereo track to create a sense of width in the recording.

Is a microphone mono or stereo?

Most directional mono microphones have a single microphone element. The microphone element is normally placed at the back end of a barrel, which has cancellation vents on both sides. This gives the microphone a narrow pickup pattern that is called super-cardioid. The result is a microphone that is most sensitive to sound coming from the direction it is pointed, while being less sensitive to sounds from the sides and rear.

Some mics, called the stereo microphones, have two microphone elements, and are designed to give you a wider, more immersive sound field than mono microphones. A wide pickup pattern is preferable for most live events and when shooting outdoors.

Do mics record in stereo?

Yes, mics do record in stereo but you will need two mics for that where the mono signals from each microphone will be assigned to the left and right channels of a stereo track to create a sense of width in the recording.

Or, you can just use a stereo microphone.

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10 Best Stereo Microphones; Top Mics For All Budgets

best stereo microphone reviews

Stereo recording can be a complicated topic when you’re first starting out. Stereo microphones certainly have their uses and are ideal for certain environments. There are so many microphones on the market that it can be hard to understand what each one does. 

To make life easier for you, we evaluated 28 stereo mics and came up with this list of 10 best stereo microphones that are perfectly suitable for recording piano, overhead drums, acoustic guitars, iPhone, DSLR, and much more.

Our Top Picks

Best Stereo Mic For Camera/DSLR

With its lightweight yet feature-rich design, the AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Microphone offers a simple, powerful solution for capturing high-resolution audio for video. Selectable line-cardioid mono and internally matrixed mid-side stereo modes provide the flexibility to focus the recording on a single sound source or to widen the field for outstanding sonic realism. In either mode, the AT8024 delivers audio that is dramatically better than that supplied by the camera’s internal microphone.

Best Stereo Mic For iPhone

The Shure MV88 is a useful, compact microphone for recording via iOS devices on the go, whether in stereo or mono, with or without DSP.

The mic may look like a lot of other iOS mics, but its combination of amazing sound and phenomenal versatility has made it one of the most popular iOS mics. The MV88’s sound is clean and clear, whether you’re inches away, recording an interview in a noisy environment, or sitting back on your sofa and laying down a new song idea with your favorite couch guitar. 

Best Stereo Mic For Piano

The Behringer C-2 mics are perfect for stereo recording of a piano recital, choir performance, or any acoustic sound source. Small-diaphragm condenser mics are ideal for capturing the quick transients of stringed instruments and percussion. 

Whatever the source, you get a beautiful, lifelike sound. Factory-matched, the C-2s perform admirably in the studio and onstage. 

The cardioid pattern is well suited for XY stereo recording. For larger instruments such as a piano, this can make for an interesting panning effect.

Best Overall

No other microphone in this mic’s price range can claim the perfection found in the NT4. This one of the best stereo microphones can be used in multiple studio applications including for drum overheads and acoustic guitars.

Combining an acoustically matched pair of 1/2” cardioid condenser capsules fixed in a perfect 90 degree near-coincident alignment, the Rode NT4 instantly creates a faithful stereo array that is ideal for drum overheads, percussion, choir vocals, environmental recording, and sound design in a studio or in the field.

The Stereo Mics That We Recommend

Prices pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Best For Camera/DSLR

Audio-Technica AT8024

For capturing audio the AT8024 Stereo/Mono Camera-Mount Microphone by Audio Technica can be used in several environments, on DSLR and video cameras, for applications such as weddings, conferences, sports events, and more.

The stereo signal from the AT8024 is derived from a set of electret condenser Mid/Side capsules; a front-facing mono capsule and a side-facing figure of eight capsules behind it. 

In stereo, the mic uses both Mid and Side capsules and has an internal matrix that provides a fairly narrow stereo pattern to the 1/8” TRS plug.

These features allow the AT8024 to be used with cameras with either a 1/8” mono or stereo input jack. 

This is very useful because some DSLR cameras have a mono input and some have a stereo input. 

Plugging a standard mono mic into a stereo input often results in the audio going only to one channel in the camera. With this mic, you can just switch to Stereo. 

Voila! Problem solved!

The microphone is powered by a single AA battery for optimal performance with high max SPL and features an integral camera shoe mount that attaches quickly to DSLRs and shoe-equipped camcorders.

 

Related: Best Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone; Reviews 

Best For iPhone

Shure MV88 iOS Microphone

Mounted via Lightning, your iOS device now sports the mic with best-in-class stereo audio

The MV88 records video with crystal clear sound, gets that interview with clarity, and captures the performance of a lifetime. 

This multi-directional stereo microphone tilts, rotates, and is made to withstand demanding conditions – like music festivals and influencer meetups.

MV88 is quite versatile, with multiple patterns and the ability to record as a stereo or a cardioid mono mic. 

One of the most impressive features of this stereo mic is the ShurePlus Motiv App that comes along with the microphone. 

Within the app, you can do some amazing adjusting in terms of control over the mic as a whole. 

You can adjust the stereo width, sift through the DSP modes, and play with EQ and limiting\compression to name a few. 

The DSP presets include speech, singing, acoustic, loud, and flat. More than enough choices here for such a small mic.

The MV88’s capsules are visible through a fine-mesh metallic grille. Internally, the mic employs two capsules in a mid-side configuration that allows for adjustable stereo field recording, as well as multiple mono channel recording, or mono summed recording. 

The dual capsules consist of one cardioid capsule that points directly at the sound source, and one bi-directional condenser capsule aimed toward the sides. 

The blend of signals from these two capsules controls the width of the stereo image. The mic has a hinge so the body can pivot to be aimed in different directions.

 

Related: Best Mini Microphone For iPhone & iPad; iOS Mic Reviews

Best For Piano

Behringer C-2 

With the Behringer C-2 small diaphragm condenser model, you get two microphones, which is a useful setting for quality stereo recording.

Although they do come at a cheap price, this doesn’t mean that they are aimed at beginners. 

The fact that the C-2 comes in pairs emphasizes this: It enables the user to record in stereo, which isn’t something beginners get into as soon as they start in music recording. 

As for the price, it’s very affordable, especially considering the fact you get two quality condenser microphones.

For being compact devices, Behringer’s C-2 packs a pretty serious set of hardware

To start things off, you get a low-mass small diaphragm (0.63” diameter) that covers a pretty wide frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz and can take a max SPL of 140dB. 

In addition, Behringer has included their low frequency roll-off switch that also includes a built-in -10dB attenuation feature.

For a budget pair, these condenser mics offer a very strong performance and, as you may expect, you get plenty of bang for your buck. 

Due to the flexibility of having two mics working in unison, the possible applications of the C-2 could include stereo recording in studios, instrument recording and even some live recording.

The max SPL rating is high enough that you can record a variety of acoustic instruments – such as pianos, drums or guitars – with relative ease, while the sound quality is commendable.

Best Overall

Rode NT4

The Rode NT4 is a great solution for drum overheads, acoustic guitars or where space is at a minimum.

Since it is configured in a fixed X/Y pattern, there are no phase issues between the two capsules, and it is very easy to get the right sound within minutes. 

This mic can also be powered via a single 9V battery, which is perfect if you don’t have phantom power available or if you want to do a stereo field recording. 

The accessories that come stock with the NT4 really make a complete package for both field and studio work at a reasonable price

There are two cables that work with the microphone’s 5-pin output. The first is ideal for portable field recorders and those recording directly to their camera’s audio input – a 3.5 mm TRS cable. For those requiring an XLR, a dual-XLR cable also comes with the NT4. 

For acoustic guitars, the placement of the capsules is just right for getting the whole body tone as well as the string noise on the fretboard. 

Depending on the style you’re going for, the string noise can add an entirely new element to your mix that you might otherwise lose with other miking techniques. 

The same kind of added tone would likely be achieved when using an NT4 with other various string instruments.

As with every microphone from Røde, the NT4 comes with a 10 year warranty

This microphone is definitely worth checking out, even if you’ve already got a microphone. Between ease of use and affordability, the NT4 could just replace microphones that cost 3x its value.

Most Versatile

Blue Yeti USB Mic

Blue Yeti uses a proprietary tri-capsule microphone array that allows you to switch between 4 different polar patterns (Cardioid, Omnidirectional, Bidirectional, and Stereo), customizing how the mic picks up sound.

As a USB-only mic, there’s no need for the user to have a separate audio interface, meaning they can simply connect it to their laptop or PC and start recording immediately. 

There are some neat touches too. The Yeti has an in-built gain control – not always a given at this price point – while the mute button and headphone output make it ideal for solo use. 

Physically, it’s a beast of a thing; when used with its desktop stand it has a level of rigidity and heft that gives you confidence it won’t get knocked over easily. 

The Blue Yeti’s quality is clear and full in every multiple pattern, though you may want to invest in a pop-shield for the best possible results. 

Its omni-directional mode captures a room full of chatting people clearly and loudly, the cardioid and bi-directional patterns are pleasingly precise (although you’ll need to lean close to the mic to get the best from them), and its stereo pattern is perfect for podcasting, neatly separating multiple voices gathered around a table.

 

Related: Best USB Microphone For Singing/Vocals; Reviews

Best For Handycams

Sony ECMXYST1M 

The Sony ECM-XYST1M Stereo Microphone is compatible with Handycam camcorders, Cyber-Shot cameras, Alpha/NEX cameras, and any other camera that has a Sony Multi Interface Shoe. 

The Multi Interface Shoe passes the audio directly to your camera, so no additional cable is required

For use with cameras that don’t have a Multi Interface Shoe, you can connect the microphone to the mic input jack on your camera using an included stereo mini-jack cable.

With a wide frequency band (0 to 120 ), you can fine-tune your audio capture according to the setting. The supplied windscreen cuts down on wind noise pickup for crisp, clear, unadulterated audio.

This stereo mic is really good at cutting out the wind noise, just put on the dead cat filter, switch low cut on and you’ve got nearly no wind noise compared to the loud rumbling noises of the internal mic. As a result speech and environmental noises come off much clearer when using the external mic.

Best For General Stereo Recording

Audio-Technica AT2022 

The Audio-Technica AT2022 is a stereo condenser microphone with one end of the narrow body sprouting a pair of cardioid capsules arranged in an X-Y configuration

The angle between these two capsules can be altered to either 90 or 120 degrees on a swivel mount. 

The mount clicks into place at each angle, and the capsules are decoupled from the mount with rubber, helping to absorb some of the jolts and knocks you expect with a portable recording device. 

For storage and transportation purposes, you can fold the two capsules down flat making it easy to pack along with your recording device or camcorder.

The AT2022 is ideal for recording in the field – the electret design gives you condenser mic quality without the need for phantom power, making the AT2022 easy to use with just about any recorder.

The body unscrews and slides open to reveal the battery compartment. A single AA battery is required (alkaline recommended) and one has thoughtfully been included. 

It is important to know, and remember, that this microphone has been designed for battery power only and that damage could result if phantom power is used.

It is ideal for achieving great quality sounds when capturing audio in the field with any variety of portable audio/video devices.

For Camcorders 

Audio-Technica PRO 24-CM 

The Audio-Technica Pro-24CM Compact Stereo Condenser Microphone delivers pro-level stereo reproduction for video camera mounting. 

The PRO 24-CM camcorder microphone is a lightweight, compact stereo condenser ideal for digital recording with high-fidelity stereo sound. 

Equipped with an accessory shoe and permanently attached coiled cable, the microphone features a pair of cardioid elements in an X-Y configuration to provide the spatial impact and realism of a live sound field. 

The microphone is designed for either battery operation or battery-free operation when used with camcorders that provide plug-in power at the mic input. 

Like all Audio-Technica mics, the PRO 24-CM is rugged; it’s built to endure the rigors of field production.

The microphone is designed for a wide range of stereo applications, including field recording, video production and studio use.

Great For DSLR 

Sennheiser MKE 440

The MKE 440 from Sennheiser is a compact stereo shotgun microphone that predominantly captures focused stereo sound from within the direction of filming and rejects the majority of off-axis noise from outside the camera focus. 

The MKE 440 has two aligned and matched mini shotgun mics ensuring that the MKE 440 captures the audio you want while rejecting off-axis noise. 

This feature sets it apart from conventional stereo microphones. With its optimized acoustic characteristics and adjustable sensitivity, the MKE 440 is ideally suited for speech, music or ambience

The stainless steel micro-mesh wind protection reduces wind noise and protects the fine high frequency details in your sound.

The MKE 440 also has a built-in coiled cable with a tip ring sleeve connector, a power switch, a low pass filter and a 3-way sensitivity adjustment.

To be compatible with this microphone, all the camera needs is a flash shoe – a cold one is fine – and a 3.5mm microphone input. 

You screw the microphone down on the flash shoe, pointing forwards. Plug it in and switch it on, and you’re right to go. 

The Sennheiser MKE 440 is powered by two AAA batteries, which are rated at 100 hours of operation.

The connecting cable is coiled so it’s only around 150mm long in its natural state. When you plug it in, you can move the slack to somewhere that’s out of the way with your camera and don’t have to worry about tripping over it.

The MKE 440 provides a nicely balanced stereo ambience and amplifies the sound source in front of your camera.

Best For Live Recording

Rode M5-MP

If you’re looking for a pair of affordable small-diaphragm condenser microphones, take a look at the RODE M5 Matched Pair cardioid condenser microphones. 

These mics give you the kind of performance that will exceed what you’d expect from condensers at this price point. 

This permanently polarized condenser mic can be used in several environments including stage, theater, studio, and home applications

The capsule is mounted into a beautifully machined all-metal mic body that measures 100mm x 20mm and weighs in at 80 grams. 

The mic body is covered with a tough matte black ceramic coating, and the whole thing has the appearance of a solid, well engineered, professional grade product.

It is well-suited for instruments, choirs, or anywhere you would employ a small-diaphragm condenser microphone.This matched pair is also great for stereo recording techniques.

The exceptionally clear-sounding RODE M5 Matched Pair is ideal in the studio and onstage. A typical use of the M5 Matched Pair would be as drum overheads or recording high-hats. 

They’re excellent mics for recording practically any instrument – guitar, flute, violin, saxophone, drums, you name it! 

And this precision matched pair of condenser microphones is perfect for stereo XY and other stereo recording configurations.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

What is a Stereo Microphone?

A stereo microphone is a recording device that has two microphone elements which create a left and right audio image. These elements are typically in a fixed arrangement, facing to the left and right of the mic position, which gives a more natural-sounding recording that mimics how our ears hear sounds.

By having a left and right audio you can assign one channel for the left ear and one channel for the right ear.

This can then give depth and direction to the recording.

What are stereo microphones used for?

Stereo microphones are great for recording environments and instruments due to the two or more channels.

A stereo recording creates more of a sense of place; it creates a listening environment, rather than just something to listen to. That’s why using a stereo microphone is important when you’re recording live musicians. The best live music recordings make you feel like you were there.

With stereo mics you can record sounds and play them back similar to how our ears pick up the sounds, just like we were there. This makes the recording sound really realistic.

Can two mics make a stereo sound?

Yes, you will always need two microphones to make a stereo sound, or you can use a stereo mic that has two in-built microphone capsules. The mono signals from each microphone are assigned to the left and right channels of a stereo track to create a sense of width in the recording.

Is a microphone mono or stereo?

Most directional mono microphones have a single microphone element. The microphone element is normally placed at the back end of a barrel, which has cancellation vents on both sides. This gives the microphone a narrow pickup pattern that is called super-cardioid. The result is a microphone that is most sensitive to sound coming from the direction it is pointed, while being less sensitive to sounds from the sides and rear.

Some mics, called the stereo microphones, have two microphone elements, and are designed to give you a wider, more immersive sound field than mono microphones. A wide pickup pattern is preferable for most live events and when shooting outdoors.

Do mics record in stereo?

Yes, mics do record in stereo but you will need two mics for that where the mono signals from each microphone will be assigned to the left and right channels of a stereo track to create a sense of width in the recording.

Or, you can just use a stereo microphone.

Written by:
AJ Mani
AJ Mani

AJ has been intimately involved with music for more than 25 years as a composer, electronic musician, guitarist, writer, music software developer, and keyboard technician.

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