Best mics and cameras for yoga videosApr 24, 2022
NOTE: This post is all about audio and lavalier microphones for yoga teachers. If you're looking for the best camera for teaching yoga online, read this post instead
Every day a yoga teacher asks me what microphone I use for making yoga videos and for teaching yoga online. Here are my suggestions for audio, microphones and lavalier mics. I've tried out several microphones and cameras since I started making yoga videos, and this is a roundup of the audio choices I've tested.
Whether you're just getting started teaching yoga online via Zoom, or you're ready to up-level to a professional setup for your YouTube yoga channel or your own website, you'll find valuable gear suggestions here from a yoga teacher who's somewhat obsessed with experimentation and testing.
When I started producing yoga videos, I had a background as a singer and a recording musician, so I knew a bit about audio gear. I didn't know much about cameras, but I was fortunate to marry a photographer and a gear geek! Konrad and I both spend lots of time watching YouTube reviews about lavalier mics and camera gear. (We've spent way too much money as well!) Konrad has helped me select my preferred camera, which is the Sony ZV-1.
What's more important, audio or video? People usually want to start their gear setup with the camera, but for yoga teachers who want to teach online, audio must come first. If you're accustomed to using the onboard microphone on your computer or phone during Zoom meetings, you may hav noticed that the audio quality degrades when you move away from the computer. Since yoga teachers usually need to be at least 8 feet away from the computer, this means you absolutely must invest in some type of wireless on-body mic.
Here are the choices:
Here's an example of the Airpods Pro on yoga teacher (my friend Victoria):
As you can hear, the audio quality on the Airpods Pro is acceptable, and is vastly better than your onboard mic for teaching yoga ten feet away from your camera – but the quality is still rather low. Also, Airpods can dislodge from your ears which can disconnect them in Zoom or other apps, meaning your students can't hear you anymore and you won't know it. This is never good mid-class. Airpods Pro are better at staying in the ears since they have a soft insertion layer, which also makes them much more comfortable. I have both version of the Airpods, and I don't think the microphone audio quality is any better in the Pro.
Rode Wireless Go Lavalier Mic
Sometimes called a lapel mic or a clip-on mic, a lavalier microphone is the best quality you'll get if you want to teach yoga while talking from your mat.
My highest recommendation goes to the Rode Wireless Go ($222 USD). The receiver plugs directly into the audio jack on your camera or laptop. The clip-on mic can be easily clipped onto your shirt or sports bra. If you want to conceal it on a bra below your tank top, it's designed so that it doesn't create clothing sound when you move, which is awesome.
Here's an example of the sound quality of the Rode Wireless Go on a yoga teacher (me)
To use the Rode Wireless Go with an iPhone: You'll need this adapter, and if you have an iPhone with lightning-only (no microphone jack), you'll also need this adapter. Keep in mind, if you're using your phone to teach on Zoom, once you plug a mic in you won't be able to hear your students unless you hook up a wireless bluetooth speaker such as this mini speaker by Anker ($24).
Sennheiser G4 Lavalier Mic
Next choice: My more expensive mic is the Sennheiser G4 Lavalier ($649), which is what I use when I want the highest quality professional sound. It's the lavalier mic of choice for all the big YouTube yoga teachers including Yoga with Adriene.* This mic requires a USB audio interface such as the Scarlett Solo ($119) since you can't plug it directly into your computer.
The Sennheiser won't plug directly into your iPhone, so if you want to do that you'll need not one, but two adapters: this one and this one. If you're teaching on Zoom or another livestreaming app with your phone, you'll also need to connect to a bluetooth speaker, otherwise you won't be able to hear your students.
Wondering which lavalier microphone Yoga with Adriene uses? With over 11 million YouTube subscribers, she achieves a natural, easy look with a completely concealed mic and no wires showing, ever. In his blog, her producer Chris Sharpe says he pairs the Sanken COS-11D mic ($379) with the Sennheiser G4 Lavalier. The mic is attached to Adriene's cleavage with Rycote undercovers.
The lavalier mic used by Yoga with Kassandra and Brett Larkin Yoga is the Sennheiser G3 lavalier mic, which is very similar to the G4, it's just an older version.
Wired mic for yoga voiceover videos: Lavalier mics are essential for live classes, but the sound is still a step down from many wired microphones. If you're on a budget you can consider creating pre-recorded videos with a voiceover using a wired mic. Here's an example of one of my yoga videos with voiceover using the Shure SM58 ($99) which you can buy as a bundle with the cable, mic stand and clip that you'll need to use it. For this type of video, I connect the mic to my Macbook Pro using an audio interface: Scarlett Solo ($119).
As I mentioned, audio is king – if you're on a limited budget, don't spend it on the camera – spend it on the audio.
Looking for a video camera for teaching yoga? Here's my blog on that:
Cameras and mics used by Adriene Mishler
Yoga Business Coaching
Strategy, marketing and tech consulting for yoga and fitness teachers, yoga studio owners and online yoga teachers. Schedule a free consultation.
Subscribe to Devi's Newsletter
Get notified about Devi's latest YouTube videos, blog posts and more.