A lot of people love ASMR so much they decide to start making ASMR videos of their own – and that’s a great thing. You can start right away with your phone and a couple of triggers ready to go.
You can also invest a little bit in your ASMRtist career and increase your production value tenfold. More than half of all ASMR triggers are audible and, because of that, the most important tool in an ASMRtist arsenal is their microphone.
If you want to buy the right microphone for you, there are a lot of things you have to take into account: price, durability, audio quality, whether it can record binaural audio or not, and plenty of more things – it’s so much you might get lost in the process.
Fear not! In this guide you’ll learn what you need to know and how to choose the best ASMR microphone for you.
||Self noise / S/N
|Blue Snowball iCE||Cardioid
||Whispering and soft spoken||Unknown||~60$||Amazon|
|Blue Yeti||Cardioid, stereo, omnidirectional and bidirectional||All types of ASMR triggers||100dB||~100$||Amazon|
|Zoom H4N Pro||Stereo and omnidirectional||Tapping, brushing and nature sounds||Unknown||~200$||Amazon|
|3Dio FS||Omnidirectional and binaural||Scalp massage, ear cleaning, Tapping, etc.||80 dB at 1kHz||~400$||Amazon|
|3Dio FS Pro II||Omnidirectional and binaural||Scalp massage, ear cleaning, Tapping, etc.||71 dB(A)||~3000$||Amazon|
Table of Contents
Do you need an ASMR microphone to record ASMR videos?
There’s no need to buy a microphone right away. The best thing you can do is record a couple of videos with your phone or computer and see what kind of ASMRtist you want to be. Once you know what you want to do, start thinking about a microphone.
If you want to know what’s the best ASMR microphone for you, you have to ask yourself what kind of ASMRtist you are.
- Are you planning to do roleplay videos?
- Are you going to whisper for long periods of time?
- Do you plan to record unintentional ASMR videos at the barbershop or other places outside your home?
- Will your ASMR videos feature reading, page flipping, and heavy tapping?
Different kinds of ASMR videos will benefit more from different microphones – that’s something you have to keep in mind before you buy anything.
On the plus side, you probably love ASMR – so you know what kind of microphones the very best ASMRtists use. That’ll give you an idea of what you want to buy and what you want to do. Nevertheless, experiment for a little bit first and buy an ASMR microphone second, you won’t regret it!
What is an ASMR microphone?
An ASMR microphone is pretty much a microphone that not only has the proper qualities to record ASMR videos but also has the best of them all. After watching a couple of ASMR videos, you’ll probably notice that most ASMRtists use the same microphones – those are ASMR microphones.
There are a couple of options out there that are the most famous of them all:
the Zoom microphone, which is the rectangular-shaped microphone you probably saw hundreds of times; the Blue Yeti, the gray one that is the most used microphone in ASMR videos; the 3Dio, notoriously recognized for the ear-shaped add-on it has on both sides.
Each one of these microphones has both positive and negative characteristics and we will soon discuss each one thoroughly. But they are not the only ones available! For now, just know that these are but a couple of samples of what an ASMR microphone is.
Before we continue, keep something in mind: every microphone is an ASMR microphone as long as you can whisper into it. But, of course, there are better microphones available than the one you probably have. And there are also different models, specifically created to serve a different purpose – and different triggers as well.
What kind of ASMR microphones are there?
When it comes to microphones, you don’t have to specifically look for different models or brands. Instead, you have to make sure they feature the right polar pattern – that is, how they record sound according to the direction it comes from.
There are two kinds of popular polar patterns, and they are pretty self-explanatory. First, you have the omnidirectional polar pattern. And second, the binaural polar pattern.
Omnidirectional microphones pick up all audio in the same way, no matter where it’s coming from. They are the most common microphone type and was the only one used in the early ASMR videos. Nowadays, binaural microphones are more common, but that doesn’t mean omnidirectional microphones aren’t useful anymore!
Omnidirectional mics are great for ASMR gameplay videos, ASMR reading videos, whispering and soft-spoken videos, teaching roleplay videos, and more.
You can see omnidirectional microphones in action and tingle away with this example:
Unlike omnidirectional recording, binaural microphones pick up audio differently according to where it’s coming from. The most famous ASMR-related use of this polar pattern is the “left side, right side” trigger. While almost unavailable at the very beginning of the ASMR movement, it soon caught on and changed the way ASMR videos were made forever.
Binaural recordings are great for almost all audible triggers, whether it’s whispering, tapping, roleplay, and more. They have little to no use for non-audible triggers, like visual ones, or audible triggers that do not benefit from a change of direction.
Get your headphones ready and experience some right side, left side ASMR action with this video:
Do I need a binaural microphone to record binaural ASMR videos?
There’s no need to buy a brand-new binaural microphone to achieve the binaural audio we all know and love. You can get the exact same effect if you use two omnidirectional microphones and set them up to record the way you want them to.
All you have to do is put two microphones within a certain distance of each other and use the sound editing software of your choice to make the microphones record properly – that is, one picks up the right side and the other the left side of things.
It might take a couple of attempts to get the hang of it properly, but sooner rather than later you’ll have your own homemade binaural recording studio – without having bought a binaural mic yourself!
Now, bear in mind you won’t get the exact same feeling as a true binaural recording would get – but it’d be close enough for anyone who isn’t an expert to not know the difference.
If you want a more professional feel for your audio, you’ll have to use something that features a head-like shape and place the microphones where the ears would be. It might be a lot more trouble than it’s worth, especially if you are merely starting your ASMR career!
Check this double-mic example to see how you can achieve a binaural sound with two omnidirectional mics:
What should you look for in an ASMR microphone?
Besides choosing the right polar pattern for you, you have to take into consideration whether you are going to plug your microphone into your phone or your computer. You should also think about how your microphone will deal with background noise as well.
There are two ways your microphone will be plugged into its power source. It’ll either have an XLR connector or a USB plug. Keep in mind most microphones with an XLR connector will be plugged into a recorder which can then be connected into anything else you want: camera, phone, etc. USB plugs, on the other hand, can be plugged directly into your computer alone. USB-compatible adaptors are available, but they do cost a little bit of money.
It’s up to you whether you want to record audio through your computer with a USB plug or if you want to be able to connect it to multiple outlets with an XLR connector. You should keep in mind most high-end microphones come with an XLR connector as well.
Another important thing you need to consider when it comes to ASMR microphones, it’s the way it’ll deal with self-noise. To explain in a simple way, self-noise it’s how your microphone is going to record its own sound like white noise and different background buzzing sounds.
Cheap, low-end microphones will deal with self-noise poorly and you will need to either edit it out in the post-production phase of recording or simply leave it there. This doesn’t mean you want no white noise in your ASMR videos, several people love low-fi ASMR videos.
On the other hand, if you want to record your audible triggers in the best, cleanest way possible, you’ll need a microphone that can deal with self-noise in a great way.
Here’s an ASMR video with a great microphone that has no self-noise:
This microphone picks up a little bit of self-noise but does a great job anyways:
On this final example, you can listen to how much self-noise there is in the recording but it’ll make you tingle away too:
What’s the best recording software for ASMR microphones?
You will need some kind of software to record and edit your audio and video. If you are familiar with any kind of recording software, there’ll be no need to choose a new one. If you can use what’s available on your computer, like WMM or iMovie, that’ll work too.
There’s no need to go the extra mile when it comes to recording and editing software – unless you absolutely have to do it. If you feel the software you have available right now isn’t cutting it, then, by all means, find another option.
If you want to download a software that’ll help you edit your audio alone, instead of using one software for both audio and video, you can use Audacity. That’s the go-to choice for audio-related software. It’s free and easy to use.
On the other hand, for video editing, the software offer is broader. Vegas Pro, Adobe Premiere, and other options are available – for a price. The best thing you can do is download the trial version of each one and see which one is the better fit for you.
You might think video editing software is completely unrelated to how you use your ASMR microphone, but you’d be wrong. It’s important to sync your audio to your video properly, otherwise, you’ll have a disjointed ASMR video – and that isn’t good for tingles!
Can I use an ASMR microphone with my Android or iPhone?
If you don’t want to spend money on a camera because you feel the one on your phone will do just fine, you can use your ASMR microphone attached to it to record your ASMR videos. You will only need the cord to connect it to your phone’s headphone jack.
While you will have no trouble using Android phones, you might run into a minor issue when it comes to newer iPhone versions. The headphone jack has been removed and the only thing left is the Apple-only compatible port.
If you want to use any sort of microphone with your iPhone, you will have to get an Apple C-adapter. It is a minor inconvenience that nonetheless has to be stated for people who haven’t noticed the plug difference.
How much does an ASMR microphone cost?
There are a lot of ASMR microphones on the market. The ASMR community is booming, and in consequence, there are lots of ASMR products available – microphones are no exception. On average, an ASMR microphone will cost $100 but you can go a little lower and a lot higher too.
There are multiple microphones on the market for you to buy, and they have a wide variety of prices. Of course, the cheapest ones will always be the omnidirectional microphones. Binaural microphones, on the other hand, are always a little bit more expensive.
Either way, you can find binaural microphones on the cheaper side and omnidirectional microphones on the more expensive side of things. Don’t think the microphone’s polar pattern is the only thing that’ll dictate its price!
Cheap microphones start at $50 or $60. There are microphones at over $300 and beyond. You’ll have to think about how much you want to put into your ASMR career and ponder whether a microphone is a long-term investment or a mere tool in your ASMR adventure. That’s what will determine how much you want to spend.
Is there a cheap ASMR microphone?
Fortunately for all beginners out there, there are a couple of less-than-expensive ASMR microphone options for you to choose from. Whether you don’t have enough money right now or feel like playing around with a microphone before you get serious, the Blue Snowball iCE is the right option.
The Blue Snowball iCE is the cheapest, most reliable ASMR microphone on the market right now. There are plenty of ASMRtist that use it and have great ASMR videos uploaded right now. It’s omnidirectional, small, and pretty straightforward.
You can see it in action here:
What’s the best ASMR microphone for a beginner?
If you are looking for an ASMR microphone to start out your ASMRtist career and you want something better than a reliable cheap microphone, the Blue Yeti is the best thing you can buy right now.
It costs a little bit more than the Blue Snowball iCE but has plenty of things to cover your money’s worth. You are probably familiar with it, as most ASMRtist use it as their main microphone. It has a lot of great characteristics, which are discussed down below – all that has to be said about it is that it’s well-known and widely-used by ASMRtists for a reason.
You can see it in action here:
What is the best ASMR microphone?
There is no best ASMR microphone out there that you can single out for everyone to enjoy. There is, on the other hand, the best ASMR microphone for you – yes, for you! That’ll be the one waiting for you, depending on what you need, like, and want.
This list will have five different options: the all-rounder, for people who want a little bit of everything in their mic; the cost-effective, for people who want to make the most out of their money; the binaural one, for people who want to make their viewers’ ears tingle and thaw; the investment option, for people who want to put a little bit more money than usual because they’re in it for the long run; the premium package, for people who have the money and don’t mind spending it.
We have followed the same format for all three: we’ll mention the good, the bad, and the ugly (or rather, the price). Bear in mind that when we talk about price, we’ll talk about price range, not an exact figure. This is done in order to avoid any price discrepancy you might find that would turn the article inaccurate. The first two you already know, but we are going to go a little bit more in-depth now.
The all-rounder – Blue Yeti
- The good: It’s a great ASMR microphone for beginner artists. It’s also a great tool to have for intermediate-level ASMRtists who are not ready to make a big jump into more expensive recording gear. It has plenty of goodies as well: Different polar patterns, you can listen to yourself in real time while you record using headphones, it comes with volume knobs to regulate the sound, and more things for you to enjoy. It’s well-known and the go-to choice for most of the ASMR community. Your favorite ASMRtist either used it or has used it in the past!
- The bad: Even though it is a great choice to keep in mind, it’s also worn-out and not the best thing the market has to offer right now. It was incredibly popular and state-of-the-art tech a couple of years ago, but that isn’t the reality anymore. In buying the Blue Yeti, you are buying something safe and reliable to start out your career – but you wouldn’t be innovating at all. And maybe that’s a good thing if you are a beginner.
- The price: Most websites have it at $100, maybe a little more or a little less. But it won’t go above $110.
The cost-effective – Blue Snowball iCE
- The good: It’s the cheapest thing you are going to find worth the money. It gets the job done, sometimes in a spectacular way. It will bring no surprises, though. It gets the job done and that’s it. Expect no fancy add-ons or multiple options available. This is a great option for beginners or people who are unsure about their future as ASMRtists.
- The bad: It has little to no features. It can only record omnidirectional audio, it’s a USB mic, you’ll probably have to buy a pop filter (unless that’s what you were aiming for, e.g., mouth sound triggers).
- The price: Somewhere between $50 and $80. More likely than not, you’ll find it at $60. It’s as cheap as you should go when it comes to microphones, at least to record ASMR videos.
The binaural one – 3Dio FS
- The good: It’s perfect for people who want to dedicate themselves to binaural recording. You can go wild with ideas using the ear-shape microphones. It’s a great novelty to have in your videos.
- The bad: Price is way over budget for anyone who is just beginning to record ASMR videos. It also looks a little weird for some people.
- The price: $400. You might find it for a little less – but probably not.
The investment option – Zoom H4N Pro
- The good: This is the right option for anyone going the long-haul with their ASMR career. It’s aesthetic, works great, gets the job done with flying colors, and more! It’s little, so you can carry it on anywhere you want. It also comes with an AA battery that can last for 12 hours. It’s the Blue Yeti on steroids.
- The bad: It can be a little bit pricey, it’s twice as expensive as a Blue Yeti.
- The price: Somewhere around $200. You probably won’t be able to find it for cheap, but might encounter it a little bit more expensive. If you shop around, you’ll find it at the right price.
The premium package – 3Dio FS Pro II
- The good: Everything it does, it does great. It’s made of the best things in the market – and the end result is amazingly good. It’s probably the best ASMR microphone right now.
- The bad: It might be a little bit overkill because of its price – but if you can afford it, go ahead!
- The price: $3000. You might find a discount somewhere sometime, but you’ll have to be on the lookout.