Getting started into the world of filmmaking and YouTube videos can be quite the learning experience for the uninitiated. Once you’ve begun, it probably won’t take you very long to realize that the in-camera microphone on your DSLR sucks. But how do you fix that problem when you’ve just blown all your money on a fancy DSLR?
That’s where the Takstar SGC-598 comes into play. We’ve put together this review to show you why.
Typically priced at less than $30, the Takstar SGC-598 is an excellent budget shotgun microphone for any content creator getting started with vlogs, documentaries, or interviews. It attaches to the hot shoe mount at the top of your DSLR and provides highly directional audio.
Most shotgun microphones range between $100-300, but despite that, in our analysis we had difficulty telling them apart at times. At this price, the audio quality is unrivaled, and it is without a doubt a HUGE step up from the in-camera microphone.
In doing our research, we even discovered that the people behind Takstar are allegedly responsible for manufacturing many of the shotgun microphones used by brand names like the industry standard, Rode. That definitely bodes well for the quality of this cost effective alternative.
Before we get into the review, this test is a good representation of how solid the audio quality from this microphone is.
Technical Specifications And Features
- Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
- Microphone Type: Condenser
- Sensitivity: -32dB±3dB
- Frequency Response Range: 50Hz-16KHz
- Weight: 160g
- Sensitivity: -32dB
- Low Power Indicator
- 1xAA Battery Power Lasts Up To 100 Hours
- Shock Mount For Handling Noise
- +10dB Sensitivity Switch
- 200Hz Bass Low-cut filter
- Included Wind Shield
What We Loved
The value you’re getting for your money here is absurd. Sure, it’s far from the best audio quality you’ll find, but the upgrade from the in-camera microphone you’re probably currently using is very considerable.
The battery life is great, and throughout all of our testing we never found ourselves needing to replace it. After several days of shooting, the low battery indicator had still yet to come on.
At first we noticed a problem with a hissing noise, but after adjusting the audio amplifiers in-camera and turning on the +10dB switch the audio quality was crystal clear!
The included suspension system does a good job at limiting the handling noise, and suspension systems for more expensive shotguns can end up costing just as much as this entire microphone!
What We Didn’t Love As Much
The frequency response range leaves a bit on the table on both ends, and if you’re paying close attention it’s easy to notice the cut off frequencies. If you’re submitting your creations to film festivals, you might want to consider making a larger investment, but for most small YouTube videos, we think it does the job just great.
The microphone cannot be mounted to most threads, tripods, mounts or boom poles. If you’re okay with being limited to using your microphone hooked up to the shoe mount of your DSLR, it’s not an issue. Similarly, we do wish the cord was a little bit longer.
Finally, the plastic build quality does feel a little cheap. But what do you expect? It is cheap. If you aren’t slamming it on the ground at the end of your shoots, it will probably last you a decent amount of time.
The Takstar SGC-598 is one of the best cheap shotgun microphones on the market, and in certain scenarios it can even be difficult to tell it apart from its more expensive counterparts. This is a solid buy if you’re a beginning YouTuber, student filmmaker, or anyone else looking to up their video production game on a budget.