The Best ASMR Microphones & Cameras for YouTube in 2019
Create the best ASMR for YouTube with equipment that’s perfect for you. At least take a look! The guide is a beast.
Even if you’re not making ASMR, but you are putting some gear together that might be similar (blogging/streaming), this guide is also for you. My guide is dedicated to help you build the best recording setup for a variety of budgets, for ASMR, YouTube blogging, and anything similar.
I’ll be covering the best microphones to record ASMR with, a few of the best cameras for YouTube, other useful equipment, plus tips to set things up and eliminate unwanted noise.
There are navigation jumps everywhere for easy movement and lots of videos to keep you entertained. Enjoy.
Guide Sections (Tap to Expand)
A Word from Me
Some time ago I wanted to start making YouTube videos and I did a ton of research chasing down the appropriate gear for my budget. I watched a lot of different creators talk about their gear, their software, and their journey as creators. In the end my passion was more for doing the research and writing guides than posting on YouTube, even though I do now have great gear for that. Anyway, I get a lot of satisfaction from helping people find what they need so it all worked out fine.
I’ve been into the ASMR scene for a few years now. I first wrote something about it ages ago, then I started writing about creators and took an interest in their journeys and the evolution of their gear. Of course a lot of ASMRtists are interested in each other’s gear so it just made sense to find out as much as possible and throw it all together in one place. The result is this guide. I will try to update it as time goes on to keep it current so do check back from time to time.
Okay. Intro over let’s start from the very beginning. You need a plan, right?
An Idiot’s Guide to ASMR Recording Equipment
Starting Your ASMR Gear From Scratch
It doesn’t take a lot to record an ASMR video. Or any video for YouTube. The biggest YouTubers all started out with pretty bad gear, as they demonstrate in their own videos aimed at budding content creators. In fact, let’s start by showing you one of the most important YouTube videos for creators ever made.
This is Casey Neistat, who, as I write this, has around 10 million subscribers.
Thanks to Casey Neistat
In case you thought that video was a fluke, Jenna Marbles made a similar one with a lot more swearing in it. To summarise that four and a half minutes, “just make your videos”. At time of writing Jenna has 18 million subscribers.
Jenna Marbles and Casey Neistat both drive home the point that when you’re starting out, the best gear is whatever you’ve got. That could be your smart phone or a webcam with built in microphones or something else that’s humble like that. If you’re making something lo-fi, low quality gear could even be preferable. Making the best ASMR is about creating a particular human experience.
Even so, there are ASMR artists spending a lot of money on gear. You may yourself, already be looking at the next step up. Crisp, clean sound capture. No electrical buzzing. No computer fans being recorded. That magical binaural sound perhaps? Let’s look at the main points to consider.
1) What Are You Recording On?
Before considering your microphone and camera, you need to consider the device you’ll be recording on. This might be a camera, a recorder, a computer, or perhaps a tablet or smartphone. Did I miss anything? Pretty much if you can record sound on it, get that audio into editing software if you need to and then upload it to a place like YouTube, you’re good.
So, a lot of these options are already silent devices. If your recording device is silent, then great! No problems. However, if you are planning to use a noisy computer with internal fans that you can hear, then you might have issues with those noisy fans making onto the recording. Yeah, not so good right?
To get around that you can try shielding the computer (putting it somewhere the fan noise won’t be picked up by the microphones), or you can try fan control software such as SpeedFan to slow the fans down to the point they spin silently. It’s free software. Check out SpeedFan in the Software section if that sounds useful because it could really help you out without costing you any money.
The microphone section has more troubleshooting tips for eliminating common unwanted noises before or after you buy. If your microphone is picking up some odd noises, check out that section before throwing the mic away!
2) What Microphone Do You Need?
This is probably the number one question for ASMR artists. Of course really it should be the number two question, like it is here, because… well your mic options depend a lot on what you’re recording on. Some mics like the Yeti have a USB connection, so you wouldn’t be able to plug it into the Zoom H4n or a camera, you need to plug it into a computer’s USB slot.
USB mics like the Blue Yeti are frequently recommended starter mics, so I’ve noticed, because really if you have a laptop then you can do all your recording and editing in one place. Nice! The Yeti is also used by veterans who really happen to like the Yeti.
Advanced microphone setups such as microphone matched pairs require recording devices to go with them, and part of the reason for that is their power requirements. Some recorder microphones can supply this power, while also being microphones in their own right. Browse the different types of microphone and see what strikes you as the best type for your needs and budget.
3) What Camera Do You Need?
It can be as simple as a smartphone or a tablet. Basic, yes, but fine for visual ASMR triggers, whispers, role plays and personal attention. Interesting niche actually.
The next step up would be a really decent webcam plugged into a computer via USB, with the option to couple it with a really decent USB microphone. I’ve already gone over the possible need to silence a computer earlier if you go this route, plus I’ve watched ASMR videos recorded on laptops without noticing any noise from them so I know it’s completely possible. Computer noise might be even less of a problem if you were recording your video on the computer and the sound separately on a recording device some distance away.
Up from USB cameras, we’re getting into the stand alone cameras such as point and shoots and DSLRs. You can get a decent entry-level DSLR for some hundreds of dollars or a top-end one as used by big video bloggers for a few thousand. When I was choosing a DSLR for myself I watched the above video by Casey Neistat and I found the price bracket I was comfortable with and then looked for the best. In my case I went with a Canon EOS 700D, an excellent camera at a nice price. As it happens I also picked up a Logitech c920 HD Pro Webcam and a little Manfrotto tripod for my computer. (Those cameras could be dated by the time you read this, except the tripod, which is cute and timeless.)
The relatively higher-end cameras and camera packages that I see being used by artists such as Gentle Whispering and Ephemeral Rift are things like the Canon EOS Rebel T7i. While technically still a mid-range camera, even those are over a thousand dollars counting lenses and accessories. I’d only recommend that kind of gear to experts and people who have more money than sense. I mean if you have the money, why not right? Buy five and have multiple angles!
I’ll end this section with a story. This one belongs to Gibi ASMR, who right now has over one million subscribers. It’s worth a listen.
Thanks to Gibi ASMR
The Best Software for ASMR?
Yikes. Well there is a lot of software out there, some rather expensive, some quite reasonably priced and others completely free. For all sorts of things. You might have perfectly good software for everything that you are doing already, but if you are looking for other ideas then here are a few that could come in handy.
When I was looking into making YouTube videos for myself I was really keen to find some easy editing software that didn’t take a whole load of time to learn or use. I have used Blender, which is free, and I was aware of expensive options (Adobe Premier), but neither was ideal. I had my breakthrough coming across Elise Buch’s YouTube blogging channel where she introduced me to Filmora.
Thanks to Elise Buch
Elise’s video goes over Filmora and she talks about her cameras and lights. Some very useful ideas and insights.
So I bought the software and yeah, it’s really nice. Editing is easy. You can also use it to combine a video and audio track from different sources and sync them up, like if you recorded video on some camera device and separate audio on a recorder or with Audacity on some computer. You can even upload direct to YouTube right through Filmora, it’s really convenient.
Free sound recording and editing software. It’s been around for ages and I have nothing extra to add, it’s well known and used for all sorts of things. Also ASMR apparently.
This is a digital audio workstation (DAW) for Apple products, used for editing your audio. PC users can run it in an emulator or virtual machine, more details for that on wikipedia.
Do you record on a PC with loud fans? Internal case fans create unnecessary noise when there’s often no need for them to run at full power. SpeedFan is some free fan control software for quieting those internal fans, should you have a problem with that noise showing up in your recordings, Skype calls and livestreams.
You can remedy that noise a lot by using the SpeedFan software to smartly respond to computer temperature and slow those fans right down to a whisper. I set a minimum fan speed of 40% to ensure there is always some air flow even when the machine is idle as a precaution, especially for the CPU fan, although you might be able to stop some of the extra case fans when the machine is running cool.
I did admittedly play with this software for couple of days to get it “just so”. After that I haven’t had to touch it since. It could be a bit daunting to non-tech savvy users, but then if you can edit videos together I think you can handle some fan settings. The official SpeedFan page is here and the download page is here if you want to give it a try, it’s completely free software but do read about it first. The wikipedia page lists some alternatives.
Also, if you need help setting it up check out the videos on YouTube. A bunch of people have made videos on SpeedFan. Great! Even with a hulking great desktop, you should be able to record decent sound without noise pollution. I’m running SpeedFan on my machine just for the quality of life. So quiet! (Except when I’m gaming.)
Now, if you can’t get your machine to be silent and it’s a real problem for recording then I’d advise you to look at a recorder microphone. All you need to do is transfer the data over to a computer and then edit it together with your video track, which you can record separately on another device like a smartphone, DSLR or whatever. That’s the pro way.
Wrapping Up *crinkle noises*
Okay well this guide certainly turned out waaaay longer than first anticipated. I added and dropped quite a few different brands and products along the way, so apologies if there was something you expected to be here and it wasn’t. Or did I miss it? Drop me a comment below if you think I did. Or if you just want to say “Hi!”, you can do that too.
Please note that I will be updating this guide so items will come and go as new information comes in, plus there are still a few gaps that need filling in. Thanks for reading and watching and I hope all of this helped you to buy lots of stuff!
Tingle on, ASMRtists.