Rode NTG3 vs NTG5

Microphone is probably the most important equipment for anyone who is working with audio. This tool means to capture the sound that will be processed or transferred somewhere else but, different applications may require a different type of microphone such as the Rode NTG3 Vs NTG5 that are ideal for a very narrow pickup area. These microphones are great for users who want to isolate their sound source effectively yet, the two are not exactly the same so before deciding the option, let’s see what they can offer below.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What are Shot-gun Microphones
  • What are Rode NTG3 and NTG5
  • How are the Design of Rode NTG3 and NTG5
  • How are the Specs of Rode NTG3 and NTG5
  • How are the Sound Quality of Rode NTG3 and NTG5
  • How are the Rejection and Noise of Rode NTG3 and NTG5
  • Rode NTG3 Vs NTG5

Shot-gun Microphones

Just like many tools we use on a daily basis, a microphone is available in various types with their own advantages and drawbacks. When it comes to the microphone, there will be plenty of factors affecting the way they sound from the mechanism of how they capture the sound to the construction and everything that makes the microphone. One of the most useful microphones and is very ideal for those who want to isolate the sound source effectively while keeping it natural is a shot-gun microphone.

Shot-gun microphones are very prominent in design because you can recognize upon laying the eyes as they are very different from the rest of typical microphones we often used on a fixed setup such as Samson C01U Pro Vs AT2020. This is actually a type of cardioid microphone but is unique because it is stretched massively to accommodate sound sources that are located far away from the microphone yet at the same time rejecting those that comes from off-axis to the diaphragm. 

In most cases a shot-gun microphone is a condenser and slightly different on the inside. They still have a diaphragm, black plate, and all the common electronics but, the slits on the body that we can see from the outside is actually allowing the off-axis sound gets into the body of the mic yet, by doing so it has an opposite effects to cancels those sounds as it against the phase coherent on-axis sound. It is very complicated but in general the longer the microphone and the more the slits, the lower the off-axis they can reject.

Depending on the model you choose, there are few patterns to consider. The first is a supercardioid meaning it has a narrow range where the microphone is going to pick most of the sound from the front while the rest are rejected with a slight rear pickup. Second is hypercardioid which is the same as supercardioid but is even narrower and has an extended pickup on the rear. Third is ultra cardioids which are the narrowest in pick up pattern so a slight movement can make the sound off-axis thus, not ideal for a boom pole.

The use of shot-gun mic is often being the alternative of a lavalier but this mic tends to sound more natural with a combination of distance and air in the way they are captured. Shot-gun mic also doesn’t need to be hidden or concealed on the speaker because we can mount it on something and be operated by a different person. In addition, they don’t need a battery to work as long as you have a recorder ready to provide the phantom power, we are always ready.

Rode NTG3Rode NTG5
Product Dimensions14 x 3 x 7 inches
9.8 x 9.4 x 3.4 inches
Shipping Weight1.5 pounds
4.8 pounds
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About Rode NTG3 and NTG5

For those who are attracted to use and take the advantage of what a shotgun microphone can offer, it is time to see what the market has to offer because we have so many of them out there and almost all audio equipment made by the microphones also have lots of types to choose from. If this is your first buy, we do recommend getting the options from well-known or reputable names to ensure the product quality or matching it with the budget for convenience.

On the more affordable range of options, you can rely on brands like Rode, Sennheiser, and Deity for the example but there are also more that we can consider. Today we are going to talk about some of the most interesting offerings from Rode and if you have used some of their other mics in the past, we are sure many of us are satisfied about how they built the product and the overall sound quality. They also carry some of the best options in various price ranges.

If you are on a budget, the NTG line from Rode is an ideal option to consider, especially the Rode NTG3 and NTG 5. You will often see them together as the two are very much similar to each other while price wise they are not the same. They share many similarities that side by side it almost feels like these microphones are almost identical but they are not. From the sound character the Rode NTG3 and NTG 5 are already quite different and we do think both are equally good.

It is probably about which sounds better to your ears as personally we like the NTG5’s character here. Both of them are also RF-bias, the same to highly popular MKH shotgun microphones from Sennheiser which are considered to be some of the best ever made. Specs wise the Rode NTG3 and NTG 5 are very similar and being an RF bias they are also still useful in a damp condition, where DC-bias microphones may get contaminated on the insulating surface.

Rode NTG3 and NTG5 Design

Before checking what the Rode NTG3 and NTG 5 can offer, let’s see the unit here. Side by side they are just like most shotgun microphones you will find out there. The build quality of these microphones are superb so there is no issue about how they will sustain the usage. Unfortunately depending on the kit you buy, it seems not all of them will come with the shock mount but they do give windscreen that can be useful to block some wind noise and may create some too on occasions.

The NTG5 we have today comes with a shock mount already but it is not present on the NTG3 and in addition, the NTG3 is actually longer than the NTG5 at 255mm compared to 201mm yet the diameter is the same 19mm. The two are not battery powered so you will need to connect the two to a recorder and to provide the phantom power.

Rode NTG3 and NTG5 Specs

Next, let’s see what the Rode NTG3 and NTG5 can offer starting from the rough specs because we may know some from how they are designed. First they have different frequency range in which the NTG5 is starting at a lower point from 20Hz to 20kHz while NTG3 is from 40Hz to 20kHz so naturally the NTG3 will also cut off some of the lower frequency range that may or may not be necessary in your application. Both are also supercardioid with a sensitivity of -30dB and -23dB respectively.

Rode NTG3 and NTG5 Sound Quality

In the real life application, these microphones are actually sounding very natural and similar to each other but not identical. They are almost exactly the same on the mid-range and in comparison the NT3 is probably the one with a flatter sound as it keeps the same response almost through the frequency while NT5 boosts it just a slight higher to give your voice more character, making it slightly brighter and have more presence. It is personally our favorite sound compared to NT3.

However, not all of us will like the same type of sound so it is best to listen to the sample first if you want to know how good or which of them will meet your preference or application the most. But, in general we do think the NTG5 gives your voice more character and overall more impactful to the audience.

Rode NTG3 and NTG5 Rejection and Noise

On the rejection, the Rode NTG3 and NTG5 are almost similar as well and it feels like they pick stronger on the back of the microphone but rejects the noise coming from both sides of the microphone really well. It is what you typically expect from a supercardioid shotgun but in comparison we feel like the NTG3 is just a shy better at dampening the sound from the sides, especially when they are near the back of the microphone but it is probably not to a significant level.

In addition, the Rode NTG3 and NTG5 are also slightly different when it comes to how quiet the microphones are on their own and in this part NTG5 is the slightly quieter option. It is not by much and not as noticeable as the difference between the front and back reception above but it is a very quiet microphone even compared to popular choices such as MKH416.

Rode NTG3 vs NTG5

Both of these microphones are good, they sound clean and also suitable for a wide range of application but, the low-end of NTG3 actually sounds extended yet the whole frequency is flatter while the NTG5 response started from 80Hz so its low end may not as rich yet the frequency is boosted for almost all the low and mid-range, making it sounds brighter, moreover with the treble area boost which is more prominent than NTG3. However, the NTG3 picks up less noise from the back of the microphone and for the self-noise, NTG5 is a little quieter than NTG3.

- Designed to withstand adverse environmental conditions
- 50% less self-noise than the majority of shotgun microphones
- True condenser (externally RF biased)
- Extremely low handling noise; High level of immunity to radio frequency broadcast
- Broadcast-grade short shotgun microphone
- Tailored low frequency response
- Highly directional
- Resistant to adverse conditions and RF interference


You can go amazing with any of the two based on which satisfies you the most and if you already have the NTG3, it is probably not necessary to upgrade but if you are considering the two, we personally recommend NTG5 as the sound has the more prominent character to it so it sounds more impactful.