You don’t need to spend a lot to get a good shotgun microphone because Rode NTG 2 Vs 4 are both affordable and sound good for various recording purposes. These close siblings are mostly the same as each other, especially the sound quality and durability. However, they don’t sound the same, so if you want to know more about the mics, let’s see what they can offer below.
In this comparison, we are going to talk about:
- What is a Shotgun Microphone
- What are Rode NTG 2 and 4
- How are the Build Quality of Rode NTG 2 and 4
- How are the Specs of Rode NTG 2 and 4
- How are the Sound Characters of Rode NTG 2 and 4
- How are the Noise Level of Rode NTG 2 and 4
- How are the Directionality of Rode NTG 2 and 4
- What else Rode NTG 2 and 4 can offer
- How to Use Rode NTG 2 and 4
- Rode NTG 2 Vs 4
We all want the best audio quality that we can record for our work because no one wants to listen to bad audio, even when you have a great video or content. There are so many ways to improve your audio, and one of them is by using the proper microphone, such as a shotgun. Shotgun is very popular in filmmaking because it can be used to capture sound at a distance. This is possible because the microphone is trying to pick up low-level signals.
Some people may wonder why it is called a shotgun mic, and this is because the unit is shaped uniquely. It has a long slotted tube in front of the mic and a cartridge that makes it look like a shotgun. This is called interference to help your microphone reject sounds coming from more than 30 degrees off to the sides while most of the sound is picked up from the front. This mic is often called boom-mic. But, what refers to “boom” is an extendable and adjustable arm.
Are boom mics good? They are not the best for all recording applications, but ideal for recording audio in an uncontrolled environment since the mic picks up the specific sound without including other audio sources. They are ideal for filmmaking and recording sound effects outdoors or indoors. Some people also use shotgun microphones for streaming, and this can be ideal if your recording room creates some noises, but it limits your movement too because the pickup pattern is very narrow.
|Rode NTG 2||Rode NTG 4|
|Product Dimensions||0.88 x 0.88 x 11 inches ||13 x 3 x 5 inches|
|Shipping Weight||5.8 ounces||1 pounds|
|Shop now at Amazon||click here||click here|
About Rode NTG 2 and 4
There are plenty of fantastic shotgun microphones to consider. Since this is typically designed for professionals, the cost can be quite high compared to other similar microphones such as streaming mics Razer Seiren Vs Seiren Elite. Rode, for example, is making lots of good microphones. While they are probably most well-known for the vocal mic like the NT1-A, they also produce various microphone variants for different recording purposes. We highly recommend Rode mics for their sound and build quality.
For those considering spending less on this shotgun mic, the Rode NTG 2 and 4 are two promising options to choose from. These microphones are among the crowd’s favorites when talking about a budget shotgun. They will not be as impressive as their big brothers or many other professional mics but can already capture pleasant and clean audio for your project. As close siblings, the Rode NTG 2 and 4 are pretty similar sound-wise.
Both Rode NTG 2 and 4 are compact shotguns due to the form factor. Some may wonder whether the NTG4 and NTG4+ are the same microphones, and they are not. The Plus variant is a newer iteration with a rechargeable battery inside, while the original NTG4 relies on phantom power to work. Does NTG 2 require phantom power to work? Yes, it also needs phantom power, but you can use one AA battery, so it is not a must.
In comparison, the sound quality of Rode NTG 2 and 4 are very similar to each other. But, they are not identical because the NTG4 is better here, especially if you are often using the mic in harsher conditions or when the speaker shouts and speaks loudly. From the overall quality, they do match the price range since NTG 2 is currently the more affordable choice. NTG 2 is also more convenient because it is not relying on the battery.
Rode NTG 2 and 4 Build Quality
Before checking what the Rode NTG 2 and 4 can offer, let’s take a look into the unit. Compared to many other shotgun mics, the two are not too long. Measured 280mm and 225mm, the NTG4 is shorter than NTG 2, but they have the same dimension. They are also using the same output or XLR connected to the recorder. The capsule itself is the same or 0.50 inches, with a line gradient design, and weighs 161 to 126 grams in comparison. Build quality wise they are very sturdy and made of metal.
Since Rode NTG 2 and 4 are working with XLR cable, getting the cable is convenient if you don’t have one, but the microphone itself is not sold with the cable. They come in a padded zip pouch and a pop filter or foam windshield. You get a standard mic clip made of plastic, but we think the accessory except for the windscreen is all good quality.
Rode NTG 2 and 4 Specs
Now for the most important part, let’s see what Rode NTG 2 and 4 sound like. Specs-wise, they are very similar with the same frequency range from 20Hz to 20kHz, but the maximum SPL is different at 131dBSPL and 135dBSPL. The output impedance of these mics is 250 Ohm and 200 Ohm with a sensitivity of -36.0dB and -32dB, respectively. Both are connected to your recorder using an XLR cable, but to make the NTG4 work, your recorder or bridging equipment must supply adequate power to the mic.
Rode NTG 2 and 4 Sound Character
Listening to the sound recorded by Rode NTG 2 and 4 are surprisingly different. You can instantly notice that NTG4 is smoother and the low end of your voice is not too pronounced. For male voices, which are usually deeper, the NTG 2 introduces a very warm nuance and bassy sound to the recording while NTG4 is flatter. This may be a personal preference, but we like the sound coming from NT 4 because it seems more natural and pleasant to listen to.
We also find that the filter in NTG 4 is handy in different recording environments, such as when recording outdoors where your speaker is shouting or blowing into the microphone. We also like how it records male voices with a deeper tone because they sound cleaner from the recording, even without touching the high-pass filter.
Rode NTG 2 and 4 Noise Level
Next, we want to talk about the noise level of Rode NTG 2 and 4, which is equally good but not the same. As a newer model of NTG1 and NTG 2, it makes sense that NTG4 is designed with a better capsule and has improved noise characteristics. Shotguns are typically noisy with background hiss. In itself, NTG4 is rated at 16dB-A, in which NTG 2 IS 18dB-A. The new mic has more signal and less noise than the older variant, which is pretty good for a mic in this price range.
Rode NTG 2 and 4 Directionality
As for the directionality, both Rode NTG 2 and 4 are super cardioid, but in comparison, NTG4 is broader in pickup pattern. This is why it offers slightly less side rejection but more back rejection than NTG 2. If you have NTG 2, do not expect to improve over directionality, but there should be a little upgrade on the back rejection. This is very useful if you are mounting the mic on a boom hand and have an operator holding it all the time or mounting it on top of a camera.
Rode NTG 2 and 4 Features
Not only an upgraded capsule but the NTG 4 is also coming with more features. We just wished that it is also incorporating a hybrid system like NTG 2 because this mic will require you to have a 48V power supply all the time. On the bright side, it is packed with features to match how the mic record your sound. It has digital control to activate pad, low-cut, and presence boost, as well as a power button. It is far more convenient than NTG 2.
Using Rode NTG 2 and 4
Lastly, for the ease of use of Rode NTG 2 and 4, these microphones are very different because you will need to phantom power from your preamp to make the NTG 4 work, while for NTG 2, we can use the same method or using the battery instead. Since it only requires one AA battery, and if the battery is depleted, we can just replace it instantly. If you choose NTG 4, we will need to have the power source ready all the time.
Rode NTG 2 Vs 4
Both Rode NTG 2 and 4 are good options if you are currently looking for a mid-range shotgun microphone. The main differences between Rode NTG 2 and 4 are sound character, features, and convenience. Sound quality-wise, we prefer NTG 4 for it sounds more neutral and better for recording bassy voice. The features are also richer on the NTG 4, and it is easier to access, but for the convenience and ease of use, NTG 2 with a battery is better.
There are many good options to consider when you are in the market for a new shotgun microphone. We will recommend the NTG 4 if you invest in a 48V power supply since it sounds better and has more features, but if you spend less, the NTG 2 is more affordable, sounds good, and works with a battery.