The term ASMR was coined barely a decade ago by Jennifer Allen in 2010. It all started when she discovered a forum where people were describing their experiences of tingling sensations that made her realize she wasn’t alone in her own path. Then more and more people started to join in which proved that almost all the people had their own experience with the triggers.
Nowadays it is quite clear to see that such an easy-content phenomenon of ASMR has taken over the world and even the most famous celebrities, including pop singers, actors and models are doing their own ASMR videos. That can be somehow connected that lots of us are suffering from the anxiety today which holds us back from calming down and falling asleep.
It is not clearly explained from the scientific point of view yet. ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is a tingling sensation that you feel in the back of your head, which travels down your back and sides. The study was conducted with a certain group of people which showed that actually not each person reacts to ASMR triggers. But if people do, it is more likely they have a similar reaction. What is more curious, the effect of ASMR in terms of stress-reduction is comparable with music or mindful practices.
Logically, ASMR recording demands the microphones of high quality and high sensibility. Otherwise, the effect won’t be the same. There are a lot of famous ASMR bloggers that literally gained millions of views on their videos – obviously to reach their level you will need a high-standard gear.
Because the phenomenon has become so popular nowadays, new options have occurred on the market. It is even fair to say that you don’t have a lot of chances to make a successful ASMR recording with a regular mic only. Now there are mics imitating the structure of the hearing, which allows the speaker to directly affect the different zones and “place” the sound triggers in many variations. You may also need some additional adapters.
Another essential fact that you need to keep in mind that in this case, dynamic microphones will probably not fit. You need to catch soft and detailed sound in opposite to the wide-range and voluminous sound than dynamic mics provide. So only condenser microphones, since they are capable of provide=ing that kind of a soft, sheer sound that is used in ASMR videos.
However, in this article, you will find different options for microphones and discover that you can possibly use your speech microphone to experiment with ASMR recordings. The price range is also variable, but not in the case as with the vocal recording microphones. In general, ASMR microphones just have their own specifics.
3Dio FS Binaural Microphone
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
Rode NT1-A-MP Stereo Studio Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone
3Dio FS Binaural Microphone
And this is exactly the type of microphone mentioned above – the mic which has a shape of human ears and the area between. If you’ve seen ASMR videos before you could probably notice many Asian bloggers use this model in their recordings. This microphone is omnidirectional, which means it is able to capture the sound from all 360 degrees around.
The output of the FS binaural microphone is a stereo 3.5mm output jack. You can simply plug it into your favorite stereo digital recorder, audio interface, or mixing console to begin recording true binaural audio. The 3Dio FS comes standard with a 5/8″ microphone stand adapter installed in the base. But if you want you can remove this adapter any time. The base of the microphone has a 1/4″-20 female thread mounting hole that can be connected to a hot-shoe adapter or used to mount directly onto a tripod or grip handle.
The power source of this mic is the 9V alkaline battery within the chassis. The battery life is extremely long and can last up to 300 hours of recording in total. Probably, it’s not necessary to even mention that all the recorded sounds will be sounding as close to reality as possible. Especially if later you will listen to the sound with your headphones – the sounds and feeling will maintain its original form.
It mimics the human hearing. If you are recording outside and a dog barks in the distance or a plane flies overhead, when you listen back to the recording on headphones, you’ll be able to pinpoint the location of those sounds in space. So if you are looking to put your ASMR recordings to the next level – this device is a perfect tool for it.
You may also like: Audio-Technica AT2020USB Full Reviewback to menu ↑
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
This is also an excellent microphone for ASMR and, in general, this is one of the most popular microphones in the whole market. It’s excellent quality and durability have been proven throughout time so that’s why it is recommended by many influencers and web sources from all around the world.
Blue Yeti microphone has 3 condenser capsules that can record practically any kind of sound. In fact, this item has a lot of patterns for recordings that you can choose from – cardioid, bidirectional, omnidirectional and stereo. It is suitable both for recording vocals and ASMR which means it is a good investment (and it certainly increases your chances to resell it later).
The frequency response is 20Hz – 20kHz. On the mic, you will find the leverages and buttons which help you to control the gain, a mute button, and a zero-latency headphone output. The power output is 130mW. It is a USB microphone, compatible with all kinds of operational systems, such as Windows 10, Windows 8, iOS X and many others. The installation if the mic requires a minimum of 64 MB of RAM.
The microphone is also ideal for streaming, podcasting, recording YouTube videos… The list of its abilities is truly impressive. Because all the necessary control buttons are placed on the mic it is really convenient to use it during the recording or streaming, giving you the chance to stop or start immediately, with no switching between the software. No installation of additional drivers is required.
For ASMR recordings it is recommended to use the omnidirectional mode so the sound is fuller at the end. You stay in control at any recording level. If you are recording a loud source, simply adjust the microphone’s sensitivity with the gain control.
The microphone comes equipped with a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack which allows you to listen immediately to what you are currently recording, without latency delays. You can adjust the volume of your headphones using a control on the front of the microphone.
The desktop stand is designed in such a way that you can adjust and pivot the microphone depending of the sound source’s position, improving sound quality. Once you have it at the desired angle, you can use the set screws to secure it in place. The sample rate is 48kHz, the max SPL is 120dB (THD: 0.5% 1kHz).back to menu ↑
Rode NT1-A-MP Stereo Studio Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone
A little bit about the company. It was founded in Australia and now it has an international team working on the high-technology machinery with more than 250 employees. It also has its offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Hong Kong, and other cities. The company tries to attract the best specialists in electronics engineering, industrial design, technical engineering, robotics, and other prospective specialties, so you can be sure that the gear made by this manufacturer is innovative and durable.
And this is another famous and great microphone that you can use for making the ASMR recording as well. It is a condenser microphone that shapes the standards for the whole industry. It is known for its ability to deliver warm and clear sound, with extended dynamic range and high SPL capability. The features that this item includes are usually found only in the professional recording studios.
With a self-noise level of only 5dBA, it is widely recognized (along with the NT1) as one the world’s quietest studio microphones, so you can be sure that all the sounds capture will maintain its original shape and that there is going to be no extra noises on the record. It means this is the perfect microphone for recording not only ASMR but also vocals and instruments, which makes this product extremely versatile.
It is not the most affordable mic in terms of price, but the quality justifies it fully. The only disadvantage of this item may be that it is not so easy to replace and manipulate it for 360-degree recording as in cases with previous products.back to menu ↑
Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder
If you take a look at this devcie you will probably be surprised as it doesn’t really look like the traditional microphone. But it is a recorder and it does look like a recorder (though they may be a little obsolete). However, this tool is powerful in terms of recording for ASMR, since it has four channels for recording 24-bit, 96 kHz sounds. Built-in stereo x/Y microphones are able to capture up to 140 dB SPL.
The recorder has 2 XLR/TRS inputs with locking connectors, recording directly to SD/SDHC cards which can have up to 32 GB memory space. For ASMR purposes this device is powerful when it comes to the recording of tapping and brushing. Later on, you can transfer the sound to your PC and layer the sound on the video or leave it as a single recording.
There is a 4-In/2-Out USB audio interface which gives you wide possibilities for multiple recording sessions, with the chance to listen to what you’re recording in the real-time mode. Monaural speaker is400 mW 8 Ω. The power supply for the line or phone-line output load impedance is 10 kω or more. Line rated output level is -10 dBu; phone level – 20 mW + 20 mW. The tempo is 40.0 – 250.0 BPM.
What is more, this recorder has a USB plugin so you can easily connect it to your PC or laptop and work with it as with a microphone. The device might look complicated but in fact, it is compatible with all operations systems – Windows and iOS, including the latest versions. Plug-in and phantom power cannot be set during recording and playback.
This is a new generation of recorders that is meant to reboot their era. With its superior quality, incredibly natural-sounding preamps, and a super-low noise floor you are able to record anything and then hear how close all the sounds are to the reality.
New locking XLR/TRS connectors ensure your mic cables stay secure. Unlike in case with traditional mic, here we have a complete display, showing the current state of the device, the devices, connected to the recorder and their status, battery level, type of the recording, current state of the recording, timing and many more.
Moreover, you can take this recorder anywhere with you or place it in any position while recording that you consider comfortable. So for recording ASMR, all you will have to do is to find a relatively quiet space and the rest the item will bring you the best possible sound staying always by your side.back to menu ↑
3Dio FS Pro II FSP2-2B-003
This is the second item of this brand in our list but only because they truly make the best ASMR microphones. To say more, it is probably the most expensive item represented on this list as well. Well, if you’re really looking to record the top-ASMR podcasts or videos, this gear will give you a huge advantage with its limitless possibilities.
As in the case with a model we have already observed above, this one also captures the sound at the 360 degrees level, and in addition to the 1/8″ stereo output jack, it includes two balanced stereo XLR outputs that support phantom power. You will need the 48V supply from your audio interface, digital recorder or mixing console or the internal 9V battery to power the device.
The fs Pro II outputs are known for providing a better signal than regular outputs which adds the sensitivity to the recording. The microphone stand adapter is easy to manipulate and replace. The base of the microphone has a 1/4″- 20 female thread mounting hole that can be connected to a Hot-Shoe adapter or used to mount directly onto a tripod or grip handle.
Once again, the battery here lasts up to 300 hours of working. Every FS Pro II microphone ships with an 8″ long 3. 5mm (1/8″) stereo TRS M2M cable. And, of course, all FS Pro II microphones include the polyurethane ears. It is really cool to make the ASMR recordings of the massage, ear cleaning, tapping kind of type.
This is the type of gear that is frequently used in professional recording and filmmaking studious. It is logical because this mic can capture the sound that even we can barely hear. So the price of an item is explained by its advanced technical characteristics and will probably suit those who have been making ASMR recordings for a long time already or specializes in sounds that take place directly around the ear area. In case, if your ASMR is mostly spoken or does not have a lot to do with this area it doesn’t really make sense to splurge on an item like this.back to menu ↑
Blue Microphones Baby Bottle Cardioid Condenser Microphone
This is an omnidirectional condenser microphone which is also great for ASMR recordings. Its acoustic operation principle is pressure gradient and it is a cardioid mic. It is also a famous brand and many people who work either in the music industry or those who make recordings for their podcasts, YouTube videos, including ASMR videos, could recognize and recommend it.
It delivers a rich, accurate midrange response that makes it ideal for recording vocals, drums, and electric guitars, along with more difficult sources like saxophones and horns. Then it automatically makes it a very powerful tool to make qualitative ASMR recordings, since it is able to capture the tiniest and tender sounds.
It utilizes Blue’s famous hand-tuned and tested large-diaphragm capsule and a Class-A discrete circuit to achieve superior detail and clarity. What is more, the whole look of this item is remarkable in its vintage vibe which gives an advantage to the usage of it in the video.
The frequency response is 20Hz – 20kHz, sensitivity @ 1 kHz into 1 kOhm is 33.5 mV/Pa, and the rated impedance is 50 Ohms. The noise level is87dB. So all the whispers and triggest will be captures and heard on the final recording.
This version which is called “Baby Bottle” was designed shortly after Blue’s famous Bottle microphone, and just like its predecessor, it features a seamless blend of style and sound quality, which is very valuable in the ASMR recordings. The microphone has a full range response, which includes a smooth top-end and neutral bottom-end, creating an extremely rich, classic yet contemporary sound. In addition, with a unique proprietary circuit polarizing the capsule film at 100 volts, the Baby Bottle yields a large output that makes it the quietest microphone in its class.
The company has more than 20-year experience in the microphone making so this mic will help to transfer all the fellings and sound in the right form thanks to its ability to perpetuate the sound in a smooth and warm way. Moreover, the mic is reliable and durable, though it is not the most expensive item on the market.back to menu ↑
Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 Super-Cardioid Shotgun Tube Condenser Microphone
You are probably familiar with the Sennheiser brand since it is a known figure in the world of audio devices. This list wouldn’t be the same without this item since it is a really powerful recording tool which also looks really authentic so you can use it in your ASMR videos and it will be looking great.
The technical characteristics of this item are obviously at the high-standard level since it is rather a considerable investment of money. The mic has increased directivity due to the interference tube principle, very low inherent self-noise, high sensitivity (which is essential for ASMR), transformerless and fully floating balanced output, and a rugged, suitable for adverse climatic conditions (for YouTubers it gives more possibilities to experiment with locations).
The body of the microphone is all black and made of high-end metal. Its excellent directivity and compact design, high consonant articulation and feedback rejection make the MKH 416 a superb all-round microphone for live streams, various voice recordings, including ASMR.
The mic has pickup super-cardioid pattern, the sensitivity in free field, no load (1kHz) is 25 mV/Pa +- 1 dB, the equivalent noise level is 13 dB, the voltage is phantom 48 +- 12 V. This is the gear of a top-quality which is usually used in the professional studios or television. Here all kinds of ASMR – whispering, triggers, tappings – will be suitable since the microphone is able to effectively record all the sounds. Moreover, the item is highly demanded in the market.
FAQ for buyers of ASMR microphones
How do I connect the microphone to my PC?
As you could notice from our list, ASMR microphones are very powerful and high-end microphones so in most cases you will have to acquire also an amplifier and probably a special software. What is more, you may need a phantom power supply. You can still try to buy a more affordable option, but there is no guarantee that the microphone will provide the necessary ASMR sound on the record.
Which type of microphone should I buy to make ASMR recordings – binaural one or a traditional-shaped?
It usually depends on the kind of ASMR videos you would like to film. For advanced ASMR bloggers, it makes sense to buy a binaural one, while for beginners it is better to start with something multi-functional.
Are both dynamic and condenser microphones are suitable for ASMR?
In this case, the optimal choice is condenser microphones since they have a much higher sensitivity and were made to make recordings inside the studios, rooms, etc. They are also more capable of capturing the smallest sounds.
Does the price guarantees a high-end quality?
We would like to say that it does… But in fact, the technical characteristics of a microphone itself is not the whole deal yet. How is your final record is going to sound like depends on the kind of the content you’re recording, on the room where you’re recording and which additional appliances and software you use.
Can I set my regular microphone for ASMR recordings?
Probably you can, since there are a lot of items on the market that are suitable not only for ASMR but also for vocals, podcasts, live streaming at the same time.
You may also like: Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun microphone review