Submitted by: Marsh Wildman
As a YouTube content creator, I know two things top the list when it comes to video quality. Lighting and sound! I’ve already talked about lighting here, so let’s move on to sound. A good microphone is quite an investment. Looking at hot-shoe mounted shotgun mics, offerings from companies like Shure and Røde start around $125 and go up from there.
Enter the Takstar SGC-598! Priced around $30 on Amazon, one would not think it to be able to compare to something five or more times the cost, but it does! I was looking at mic reviews on YouTube when I first discovered it. Several compared it to the Røde Video Mic Pro (priced at $230+) and Takstar really put Røde to shame. To their credit, Røde has invested millions of (Australian) dollars into developing microphone technology. Then Takstar did what all successful people do…copied them!
This microphone features a hot-shoe mount; a rubber shock mount between the hot-shoe and the mic; a foam wind noise reducer; a low-cut switch; and a +10db boost. It runs on a single AA battery that literally lasts for days! I’ve shot at least 75 hours of video with this mic and the battery is still reading 1.44 volts. It has no trouble picking up my voice from as far as 20 feet away and it is very directional. I live under the flight path of a municipal airport and it seems there’s always an airplane on approach, but this mic dramatically reduces the airplane noise. Best of all, even though it’s a mono microphone, it provides a balanced stereo input to my camera.
I’m very happy with the performance of this mic and I would definitely buy it again. Of all of the video equipment I’ve bought for my YouTube productions, this is easily the best value.