Seeking microphone suggestions

I’m looking for a versatile microphone and need some guidance, as the market is saturated with options.

Criteria for the ideal microphone:

Multi-functional Portable Microphone:

  1. Dynamic Mic for Voice Recording: Primarily to record clear audio for podcast episodes, with a focus on capturing sound directly in front of the mic and rejecting ambient noise.
  2. Omnidirectional Mic for Ambient Sounds: To capture the essence of environments, like nature sounds or family gatherings during occasions like Christmas, without focusing on interviews but rather the overall atmosphere.
  3. Inconspicuous: My previous recorder, Marantz PMD620, was a little black box. I could set it down on a shelf without calling much attention to it.
  4. Shotgun Mic for Family Video Recording: A microphone suitable for enhancing audio in family videos, preferably compatible with an iPhone. The need to connect to a Nikon camera is minimal. (so yes, I’m looking for a microphone that can operate on its own, or connected to my iPhone)

Is there a microphone that offers such versatility, perhaps with a switchable function, based on the type of recording I’m making?

Seeking Data-Driven Recommendations

I prefer reviews grounded in empirical data, akin to how dpreview.com handles camera reviews with standardized tests and objective data, rather than subjective opinions. When I read microphone reviews, it feels like people are basing their opinions from what they read from other online reviews.

Budget: Under $100

This microphone will be more of a hobby tool rather than a professional investment. I previously used a Marantz PMD620, generously gifted by podcaster Leigh Hanlon, which served well for diverse recordings but is no longer operational.

Currently, I’m making do with my iPhone. At least I can reuse the fuzzy from my Marantz. It fits nicely over my iPhone.

(Note: The Voice Record app interface doesn’t rotate to the correct orientation.)

I’m eager to hear any recommendations for a suitable microphone.

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