Want to get a microphone for your podcasts or YouTube videos? Why not try the Rode NTG3 condenser microphone? The NTG3 is far from being Rode’s best-known model, but it offers excellent sound quality in the home studio and on the outside. For more information, see the full review of this microphone.
Focus on the Rode microphone brand
Before diving into the NTG3 test, let’s first focus on this brand. The NTG3 is probably not the most popular model from Rode. Every microphone enthusiast has probably heard of the Rode NT USB, a USB microphone with outstanding sound quality.
Long before the release of this legendary microphone, Rode had already established a reputation for quality microphones. To be precise, it was in 1960 that this Australian brand began to make a name for itself in the world of audio recording with the Rode NT2 studio microphone.
Since then, many other microphones with the Rode logo have been used in professional recording studios. These include the Rode NT5, Rode NTG8, Rode NT-SF1, Rode K2, Rode NTR… The list is long. But in this article, we will focus on the Rode NTG3.
Overview of the Rode NTG3 microphone
Just like the Rode NTG1 microphone or the Sennheiser MKH 416, the Rode NTG3 is a shotgun microphone. This type of microphone is so named because of their elongated body forming a cylinder which is exactly like the barrel of a shotgun.
All microphones of this type belong to the family of condenser microphones. They work on the same principle as ribbon microphones. The only difference is that a moving coil acts as a metal ribbon.
Like a lavalier microphone, the NTG3 has the advantage of being easy to install. You can attach it to the end of a pole or to the top grille of a case, depending on your needs. By the way, if you are not yet familiar with this type of microphone, it is not at all cumbersome.
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The body of this condenser microphone is made entirely of metal and is quite robust. In terms of weight, it corresponds perfectly to the usual standards for shotgun microphones. It weighs 163 g.
As for accessories, the NTG3 comes with a small zippered storage bag that is very practical when traveling. In addition, there is a weather-resistant aluminum cylinder. What a great way to record on the outside without worrying about the weather.
And that’s not all! The Rode NTG3 also comes with a foam windscreen for protection when used on the outside. A microphone clip and a sturdy stand adapter are also included to stabilize the microphone in the studio.
Given that’s a condenser microphone, a stable power source is required to operate it. You will need 48V phantom power from a mixing console.
The Rode NTG3 and its supercardioid directivity
All shotgun microphones on the market are unidirectional. To be more precise, their directivity is either supercadioid or hypercadioid. The Rode NTG3 is no exception to this rule. It has a supercadioid directivity.
As a reminder, a microphone with a cardioid directivity is designed to pick up the sound source in front of it (just like the AKG Lyra microphone). Microphones with supercadioid directivity are a variant of cardioid microphones. However, they have a narrower lobe. This allows them to focus the picking up on one element. The rest of the environment is completely isolated.
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A good shotgun microphone designed for multiple applications
The Rode NTG3 is suitable for a variety of uses. First of all, note that it can be used both in the studio and on the outside. YouTube videos shot in a room or outdoors, voice-overs, short films, documentaries, interviews… The list goes on.
Due to its supercadioid directivity, the NTG3 is mainly used in the film and television world. Its atypical polar pattern allows it to effectively control ambient noise. By the way, this is why it is very practical if you only want to record the voice of an actor during a shoot.
In addition to voice recording, you can also rely on this microphone to pick up the sound of acoustic instruments. These include acoustic guitar, piano, violin, and harp.
By the way, you can also check our microphone test guide of the Telefunken m80 standard.It is a dynamic microphone with a supercardioid directivity. Discover through the link our complete test, as well as our opinion on this microphone.
Rode NTG3: a microphone with RF-bias polarization
The Rode NTG3 benefits from an RF-bias. This means that it can be used on the outside without fear of the weather. Note that condenser microphones come in two categories: conventional condenser microphones and electret condenser microphones.
The advantage of electret microphones is that they are not power hungry. They can work with phantom power as well as with an AA battery. This is the case of the Rode NTG2. The only drawback is that they do not withstand adverse environmental conditions. Among other things, they tend to crackle in humid environments.
With the NTG3 from Rode, you won’t have this problem. This microphone is one of the classic condenser microphones, just like the MKH 416 de Sennheiser, its main competitor. This type of microphone requires an external power supply, provided by a 48 V phantom power supply, in order to be polarized. Their main advantage is their resistance to humidity.
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By the way, the RF technology makes this microphone very stable under extreme temperatures. It is also less prone to interference with the audio signal, which is not the case with DC-biased microphones.
As you can see, with this RF bias, you can continue to work safely even in adverse environmental conditions. For example, you can shoot a documentary in very humid locations and still enjoy great audio quality.
Focus on the sound quality of the Rode NTG3
The Rode NTG produces a natural, smooth and accurate sound, which is true regardless of the sound source in front of it. It has a very nice warmth compared to other shotgun microphones. In addition, it reproduces high frequencies with clarity.
Already, without the windscreen, this microphone delivers impressive performance. The use of this device will allow you to enjoy an optimal recording quality. You will see that the plosives will be strongly attenuated.
Thanks to its supercadioid directivity, this wireless microphone offers excellent off-axis rejection. The microphone also has RF interference properties that allow it to eliminate noise from RF sources. These include WiFi networks, radio antennas and power lines.
The Rode NTG3 has the same frequency response as the Sennheiser MKH 416, between 40 Hz and 20,000 Hz. It is the same for the output impedance, which is 25 Ohms.
Note that this microphone is sensitive to proximity effect. This means that if you get too close to the microphone, the low frequencies will become louder.
You will notice that this microphone delivers almost no background noise. In addition, you will certainly not be confronted with problems related to handling noise. In short, you will have impeccable audio quality when using this microphone.
Technical features of the Rode NTG3
- Type : shotgun condenser microphone
- Acoustic principle: pressure gradient transducer
- Polar pattern : supercardioid
- Frequency response : 40 Hz – 20 kHz
- Sensibilité : – 30 Db re 21 Volts/Pascal (31,6 mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1 kHz
- Power supply type: 48V phantom power supply
- Output impedance : 25 Ohms
- Maximum SPL : 130 dB (@ 1kHz, 1 % THD at 1kOhm load)
- Signal to noise ratio : 81 dB
- Weight : 163 g
- Diameter : 19 mm
- Length : 255 mm
Our Global Review
Global Sound Quality
Quality / Price ratio
Our opinion on the Rode NTG3 microphone
Whether you’re a fan or not of shotgun microphones, you’ll probably agree with me: the sound quality of the Rode NTG3 stands out. The sound quality of this microphone is nothing like that of a normal shotgun microphone.
I am particularly pleased with this condenser microphone because of the results it provides. Indeed, its ability to eliminate unwanted noise is impressive. What’s more, it does a remarkable job of rejecting background noise. By the way, you can use the foam cap to reduce plosives. This eliminates the need to invest in a pop filter.
This microphone will certainly please the most demanding producers in terms of sound quality.
And what about its versatility? Whether indoors or outdoors, you will not be disappointed with the performance of this microphone. This is a shotgun microphone that can be used on the outside without any problems, thanks in part to its RF polarization. The aluminum cylinder offers additional protection against harsh weather conditions.
Here is a summary of the main advantages of the Rode NTG3 shotgun microphone:
- Exceptional sound quality (natural and precise sound, low background noise)
- Resistance to humidity
- Good design quality
- Windscreen included
In addition to all these strengths, the NTG3 offers a very good price-performance ratio. It would be ideal for sound engineers who wish to acquire a good condenser microphone without breaking the bank.
Rode NTG3 Demo
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