People are always asking me for cheap audio options for their next film project. One of the cheapest boom microphones I’ve ever come across is the Nady SGM-12 boom mic. The Nady SGM-12 isn’t amazing but it does offer a few benefits. First is the price, the Nady SGM-12 is almost the same price as a good XLR cable ($24). This mic also runs on batteries so it doesn’t require 48 volt power. It has one of the strongest outputs of any boom Mic I’ve tested, and it has both a super cardioid and cardioid microphone pick up pattern.

A good friend of mine, had his wife make a simple windscreen out of Muppet pelt that seems to work. Most windscreens on the market actually cost more then the mic itself and I’ve never felt the need to buy one for it. As far as I know this is the least expensive boom mic on the market. The audio from this microphone isn’t amazing, but you really can’t expect much for the price. The amazing thing is the audio strength coming from this microphone. Even using passive audio adapters I’ve had to turn down the levels being recorded from this microphone. If the only thing you need is a strong loud signal, and you don’t think these audio samples sound that bad, for the price you there’s not much better then the Nady SGM-12.

Nady SGM 12 audio test (click here to listen)

Nady SGM-12 v.s. the Zoom h4n’s built in mic (click here to listen)

Take a quick listen to the Nady SGM-12, and you’ll notice that the audio recorded by this microphone really isn’t that bad. Is it amazing? I would say no, but it is completely usable for a microphone under $30. If you’re in a pinch and only have a little bit of money to spend on audio, the Nady SGM-12 really gives you bang for your buck.

You might be wondering why I have this microphone and I can tell you that I’ve actually owned 3 of theses. Why you ask? Well this microphone has such a low price tag that I don’t have any problem with putting it in danger. If you destroy this microphone because somebody steps on it, or crushes it, or spills their drink on it, who cares. You’re out less then $30, order a replacement and think about how much it would cost to replace a Sennheiser 416 or an Audio-Technica 4073a. Once you take that into account, you’ll be more then happy to use the Nady SGM-12 for any commando job you have planned.

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