There are hundreds of microphones for ASMR to choose from in 2019.
With the rising popularity of ASMR artists, there is little doubt that many manufacturers are working on quality microphones made for the best sound recording quality. But in many cases, those new to ASMR don’t know where to start.
While the various options which are available on the market are great for many reasons, they might also overwhelm new users with their different functionalities.
In order to make the right decision for yourself, you need to establish where you need to start and what you can expect.
What is ASMR?
Autonomous sensory meridian response or ASMR delivers a tingling sensation to the skin with the help of low and high-frequency whispering sounds.
These feelings are not the same for all people who listen to such ASMR recordings. But in many cases, they can come with a relaxing effect.
There is no clear scientific evidence on the benefits of ASMR. Some professionals such as those working in sleep-related problems say that these recordings have no positive effect on the long-term.
Others argue that the recordings might actually be beneficial. What is sure is that the rising ASMR Youtube artists made a real impact and built a true online community, even if ASMR has potential in the music and entertainment areas as well.
Although ASMR sounds complex, it is actually based on sounds. From this point onwards, there are various ways in which it can reach the listeners. Popularly, it is often associated with various descriptive speeches or stories which are recorded using quality microphones.
If you want to record your own ASMR files, you can choose one of the following microphones:
Top 6 Best ASMR Microphones
- Blue Yeti USB Microphone
- Zoom H4N Digital Multitrack Recorder
- Rode NT1-A-MP Stereo Matched-Pair Microphones
- 3dio Free Space – Binaural 3dio Microphone
- Roland CS-10EM In-Ear Monitors
- Rode NT5 Cardioid Condenser Microphones
06. Blue Yeti USB Microphone
As one of the most popular ASMR choices, the Blue Yeti USB microphone is easy to use. As its name suggests, it easily plugs into your laptop allowing for quick sound recording.
With a design that is made for practicality with its included stand, it is also one of the products which come in different colors so that you can set a certain mood in your ASMR videos.
Most importantly, the microphone comes with 3 condenser capsules. They work great for multi-directional recording with cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo recording.
It’s stereo mode is one of the recommended settings for ASMR recordings. It uses both the left and right channels and it is truly made for realistic sounds which are great when it comes to whispering.
The bidirectional mode is also interesting. It records the sounds in front and at the back of the microphone which can make it an interesting choice for ASMR combined with musical instruments sounds.
Its retro design recommends it for the users who are looking to start straightforward recording immediately. With angles that are easy to adjust, the microphone thus represents a solution for quality ASMR recording.
3 condenser capsules
Stereo and bidirectional recording
Securing screw can be improved
05. Zoom H4N Digital Multitrack Recorder
Among the hand-held options, the Zoom H4N Digital Multitrack Recorder is a true performer. Built with improved microphones, it is able to handle up to 140db SPL.
It is a versatile tool and this is why it is often seen in interviews or with music recording. But its quality also recommends it for ASMR recording. Among its strong points besides the quality of the microphones is the full control you have over it.
Built with a backlit LCD display, allows you to see the quality of your recording in real-time. It is also made with a new and improved ergonomic design.
You can hold it yourself or you can even place it a table for hands-free recording. Other notable improvements of its latest version also include improved XLR and TRS connectors.
The digital recorder is truly versatile with ASMR recording while away from home. Even while in the field, you can still select various functions such as recording with a single or with both microphones.
Left and right recording channels are also visually represented on the built-in display so that you don’t have any surprises when you come back home to download your recordings.
High-quality onboard mics
Included digital display
Improved XLS and TRS inputs
Battery life can be short
04. Rode NT1-A-MP Stereo Matched-Pair Microphones
If you are looking for studio ASMR recording options, the Rode NT1-A-MP Stereo Matched-Pair Microphones can be a good place to start.
With a pack that includes two microphones and quality pop filters, you will be capable to record your own ASMR sounds in the comfort of your home.
With a quality cardioid pattern and ultra-low noise performance, it is among the leading options for ASMR with good affordability.
The microphones are made with one 1-inch capsule which is recommended for controlled conditions such as the ones in the studio or in your home. Both microphones come with pop filters.
They are specifically useful for the lower ASMR sounds or for the recording of sounds that are close to the capsules.
With a wide dynamic range and bodies built with nickel-plated designs, the microphones are durable as well. The stands they come with are also quality solutions that are made to reduce vibrations and interferences.
It is why it’s not complicated to record musical instruments as well as many times, they are used together with various objects for ASMR recording.
Pair of two, perfect for studio conditions
Only 5dB of self-noise
Ultra-low noise recording performance
Large 1-inch recording capsule
A leading option among quiet and ASMR microphones
Need more permanent setup
03. 3dio Free Space – Binaural 3dio Microphone
If you are looking for a true human recording experience, the Free Space – Binaural Microphone is among the options to consider.
It comes with a compact and portable size which makes it a good solution for all types of recording needs. Even more, it mimics the realistic acoustic of the ears with its silicone ears for a true 3D immersive experience. It recommends the microphone for specialized ASMR recording.
The best part is that even as mobile design, it can be mounted on all standard tripods. Above 10kHz, it thus offers the true potential for ASMR recording.
But the most interesting characteristic of the Binaural Microphone comes with its wind-handling capabilities. It is here that it works well when it comes to handling wind.
While it can be protected against wind, it can be actually used for ASMR recordings which use the wind in a way that is very similar to how it is actually perceived by our own ears.
Made to mimic real human ears
Can be mounted on tripods
Soft silicone durability
Great for nature recordings
Setup could be simpler
02. Roland CS-10EM In-Ear Monitors
As one of the most compact solutions, the Roland CS-10EM In-Ear Monitors represent a top choice for comfort and portability. It is one of the best ear asmr microphones.
Made with in-ear binaural recording, it is one of the best options when it comes to ASMR recordings as it offers an experience which is deeply immersive.
It is why the microphones can also be used for nature recordings as well.
The way the microphones work is quite easy to understand and it makes a lot of sense for ASMR. The microphones record everything you would normally hear with your own ears.
This is why it can be one of the best solutions when it comes to the ultra-realistic ASMR recording.
With high-quality stereo recording, the In-Ear Monitors are the distinctive solution for realistic sounds.
Compact in-ear design
Recommended for realistic ASMR recording
Great for an immersive experience
Limited use outside wearing as headphones
01. Rode NT5 Matched Pair NT5 1/2″ Cardioid Condenser Microphones
If you need a true studio experience but you are on a limited budget, the Rode NT5 Matched Pair NT5 1/2″ Cardioid Condenser Microphones represent one of the recommended options.
With two included microphones and accessories, you have the ability to choose the type of heavy-duty use you plan in your own home.
With true condenser transducers, the microphones are recommended for all types of ASMR needs. With full frequency response, the microphones are often used for musical instruments and voice recordings as well.
As far as condenser mics go, the NT5s are a top choice for ASMR standards.
Includes two condenser mics
Recommended for musical instruments and voice
Arrives with a set of accessories
Takes time to setup
Types of Microphones
If you’re an aspiring ASMR artist, there are a few things which need to be taken into consideration.
When buying your first ASMR microphone, you might not have a clear idea of what you need to look for. But in all cases, the basics of sound quality are the most important.
If you’re looking to record video such as the ASMR artist on Youtube, you will also need microphones which are easy to use and which still allow you to be visible on camera.
The minimum noise of a microphone is often stated by the manufacturer. For example, the Rode NT1-A-MP Stereo Matched-Pair Microphones comes with a minimum self-noise of 5dB.
In most cases, this is fine. But you will need to know that not all microphones are able to provide such little distortion.
Self-noise can also be calculated. But in all cases, these calculations also vary as they are made under ideal circumstances.
So if you do not have a clear setup with no sound interference, there is no reason to purchase a quality microphone.
Many people do not make a clear distinction between stereo and binaural microphones. But in many cases, the difference is crucial.
As binaural recordings are often advertised by many ASMR artists, you would expect to have the most natural sound experience. But there’s little doubt that not all the recordings are actually binaural.
Instead of simply offering the listener an experience that resembles the sounds captured in a room in real-time, just as with your own ears, many of these recordings are actually simple stereo recordings on two channels.
Omni-directional microphones are among the most popular options. They record sounds from all directions and this makes them perfect for beginners and those who want a straightforward recording experience.
They are also highly affordable and this is why many ASMR artists start with omnidirectional condenser microphones such as the Yeti.
But even if these microphones actually record everything, they still need a room which is properly prepared for recording.
This is why you want to minimize different sounds which can interfere and this can be complicated, especially as you need to clear all directions of possible noise and even humming from other electronics.
Portable options are great for ASMR artists recording instruments or nature sounds. Products such as the Zoom H4N Digital Multitrack Recorder represent a top solution for many types of users.
At the same time, the microphones are usually able to pick-up all the high and low frequencies with real-time feedback. You can see the dB of the recording on the built-in screens of such portable options if they are truly made for the user.
In many cases, you should also have built-in speakers that allow you an immediate assessment of your recording. This comes as a useful solution for those
Another variable which you need to consider as an emerging ASMR artist comes with possible microphone upgrades. This is why it is recommended to start with a microphone that can record in all directions and can be configured for bi-directional recording.
It should cover all your recording needs and it should also allow you the freedom for maximum creativity.
How to Choose ASMR Microphone – Buying Guide
There are many features you can look for in a good microphone. However, not all of them are actually of the greatest importance if you are starting out.
As an ASMR artist, the ability to pick-up a large frequency of sounds and subtle noises is crucial, maybe more than in other types of recordings.
Great sound quality
Sound quality is highly debated. For some, it is easy to achieve while others feel limitations with their microphones. Among the features which influence sound quality come the recording capsules. They are a leading feature for professionals.
A good capsule in a condenser mic is around 1-inch in diameter, but it can be lower in some specialized studio microphones. Sound quality is also influenced by the room you are recording in so make sure you use some basic recording principles to isolate your voice, instruments or objects used for ASMR recording.
Most modern microphones are able to record in a range between 80Hz to 15Hz. But going even lower to 30Hz for bass is often recommended. Specialized options are often a solution for ASMR recording as well.
Since the whispering sounds need to be clear, a voice microphone is often recommended. Such a microphone is characterized by its clear peak noise between the beginning and the end of the dB curve.
Most affordable microphones are actually made to record all types of noise. So they are a good option for voice recording and they are also a solution often used for musical instruments recordings as well.
Subtle noises are often hard to record even when the proximity to the microphone is not a problem. To ensure the best quality for subtle voice noise, you may need to get closer to your microphone as you’d think.
One of the problems which arise in this situation comes with pop noises. Even basic pop filters go a long way in this situation. This also helps stabilize the diaphragm from voice vibrations which further improves recording quality.
The power supply is crucial, especially for longer recording sessions. If you are choosing a hand-held portable microphone, the best solution is to choose a product with rechargeable batteries.
At the same time, you will need to consider the duration of your recordings. With most portable devices being able to record up to a few hours on a single charge, it is recommended to choose the products which are up to date.
Largely overlooked by many people, the build quality of the microphone can influence its durability. While you are investing in a good mic, it is crucial to choose the products which are really made from durable materials.
Metal-finish microphones tend to be more durable. Hand-held devices come with plastic materials to keep the weight under control.
In many cases, it is also important to consider that if you are transporting your mic, you need protective casing both against shocks and against significant temperature changes.
Ease of use
The ease of use can be crucial for ASMR recording. With microphones that connect directly via USB, you should at least have a power button, a volume button, and a stereo/mono control button.
This is a good place to start and it also allows you for a straightforward experience which can enhance focus.
Compatibility with accessories
Most microphones do not come with any accessories. But your chosen option should allow you to add your own accessories such as headphones.
Connecting your headphones directly to the microphone gives you real-time feedback when it comes to sound quality. Jack plugs are a perfect example of the options which are made for the average user.
How to care for the ASMR microphone to increase its life?
When you invest in a quality ASMR microphone, you need to have a clear understanding of how you are going to improve its overall durability.
While it is crucial to read the instructions of the manufacturer, it is also important to choose the options which allow you to maximize its durability.
Keep dust away
Dust can deteriorate sound recording capacity. This is why you can keep your condenser microphone in a plastic bag while not in use.
Some people keep it in its original box while not recording and this can be good practice for you as well. Make sure you don’t leave it out for more than a few days if you want to keep dust away.
Keep moist away
Moist which comes from your saliva can also deteriorate the microphone in time. Make sure to have at least 6 inches between you and the microphone while recording.
Using a pop filter to limit the saliva which ends-up on the microphone is highly recommended as well.
But moist can also come from the environment. Make sure the room you use for recording is not high in humidity, especially if you do not keep your microphone in a plastic bag when not in use.
Loud noise protection
Microphones are sensitive and they can be damaged by certain loud noises. In ideal circumstances, you would not expose your mic to louder noises than your ears. This is why you can keep it away from large speakers or other sound sources when not in use.
In most cases, it is recommended to limit the impact of vibrations as well. This is why you should avoid banging the microphone against hard surfaces such as desks. You should definitely try to avoid dropping the microphone as well.
All microphones should be covered by a warranty. Short warranty coverage covers a year while the average policy can cover any manufacturing defects up to two years from the date of purchase. This is why it is crucial to look at the products which come with the type of warranty you need.
If you plan to use the microphone often, then it is highly recommended to choose the warranty coverage for at least two years. Some manufacturers also offer the possibility of purchasing an extended warranty for your ASMR microphone.
For some users, the extra coverage might be worth it, especially if you are working with a mobile microphone which is prone to different types of damage.
Final Verdict –
The best microphones for ASMR are thus the ones that are able to record subtle noises and which are easy to use. If you also manage to balance these two main characteristics with good durability, you will be looking at microphones that can be used for years to come.
ASMR recording is often about the details, this is why it is worth investing in the best microphone.