Which smartphone microphone is best?
Smartphones seem to advance by leaps and bounds every year while their built-in microphones largely remain the same. Whether you’re interested in capturing live music, podcasts or lectures, a solid microphone is a must if you want professional-sounding recordings.
While there are many types of smartphone microphones to consider, the PowerDeWise Lavalier Lapel Microphone is an excellent choice because it’s a versatile lapel mic that’s ready to capture high-quality audio straight out of the box.
What to know before you buy a smartphone microphone
Types of smartphone microphones
There are quite a few distinct styles of smartphone microphones from which to choose. Before settling on a microphone type, consider how you plan to use the device and whether the style will be well-suited for your project.
- Lapel/lavalier microphones: These tiny microphones clip onto a shirt or jacket and are ideally suited for interviews and lectures. They capture sounds coming from all directions, and their stationary positioning means you don’t have to worry about maintaining the proper distance from the mic once it’s attached.
- Condenser microphones: Typically positioned on a desktop or mounted on a microphone stand, these smartphone microphones capture crystal clear vocals and are perfect for podcasts and simple music recordings.
- Shotgun microphones: These slender mics capture directional sound, ideal for situations when you need to reduce background noise, such as during an outdoor interview or public speaking engagement.
- Handheld microphones: Another great option for interviews, vlogging and public speaking engagements, handheld dynamic microphones are easy to hold and carry while recording audio.
Most smartphone microphones connect with a 3.5-millimeter cable, the same audio jack used with traditional headphones and wired earbuds. As modern smartphones move away from the standard headphone jack, you may find microphones that connect wirelessly or via the smartphone’s USB port. Consider your phone’s connectors before settling on a microphone, or plan on purchasing an adaptor.
What to look for in a quality smartphone microphone
Many smartphone microphones, such as lapel mics, are compact and extremely portable. Others, like certain condenser mics, are meant to be positioned on a desktop and can be relatively bulky. When choosing a microphone, consider where you intend to use it and how frequently you plan to travel with it.
Most smartphone microphones are plug-and-play, meaning they require no additional software or audio drivers. That said, you may want to download an app or DAW software, also known as a digital audio workstation, that will let you adjust the audio or add effects like reverb and EQ. Some microphones come with free audio editing software for added convenience.
You can purchase some smartphone microphones as part of bundles that include accessories like pop filters, stands and even video lights to make your projects look and sound more professional.
How much you can expect to spend on a smartphone microphone
The cost of a smartphone microphone can vary widely depending on the style of the microphone and any included accessories. Most users can expect to pay $10-$120 for a solid device.
Smartphone microphone FAQ
Why isn’t the smartphone microphone working after being plugged in?
A. Make sure the microphone is specifically designed for smartphones. To do this, look at the tip of the 3.5-millimeter cable attached to the microphone. If it has two black rings, it means the microphone uses a TRS cable, which isn’t suited for smartphones, tablets or computers. Those devices use a TRRS cable, so you’ll need to purchase a TRS-TRRS adaptor.
What kind of smartphone mic is best for recording singing?
A. If you want to capture professional-sounding, crystal-clear vocals, you can’t do much better than a condenser mic. Look for one you can mount on an adjustable stand and consider purchasing a pop filter.
What’s the best smartphone microphone to buy?
Top smartphone microphone
What you need to know: This popular lapel mic is versatile and easy to use.
What you’ll love: This lapel mic is omnidirectional and suited for podcasts, news reports and presentations. It comes with a 6.5-foot mic cord and a bonus extension cord of the same length. The purchase even includes a TRRS-TRS adapter, so it will work with nearly any device with a 3.5-millimeter audio jack.
What you should consider: Some users reported that this mic didn’t work with an Apple lightning connection, while others said it wasn’t well-suited for recording music.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top smartphone microphone for the money
What you need to know: This clip-on microphone is an excellent value and a solid performer.
What you’ll love: This omnidirectional, 3.5-millimeter microphone works with most Apple, Android and Windows smartphones and comes with a travel case, windscreen pop filter and a 59-inch cable. It also works with an Apple lightning to the 3.5-millimeter adapter.
What you should consider: Reviewers say the recordings made with this smartphone microphone aren’t the greatest quality.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This desktop microphone comes with a pop filter and is perfect for recording music and professional-sounding podcasts right out of the box.
What you’ll love: This reliable condenser microphone is easy to set up and use. A vast improvement over built-in smartphone microphones, this compact mic comes with a pop filter, shock mount and adjustable desktop tripod.
What you should consider: The microphone’s cardioid design is very directional, making it less suitable for certain types of audio.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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