Best New iPhone Microphones for Video — Top 5 Mics

Best New iPhone Microphones for Video — Top 5 Mics

– So what are the best
microphones for Apple devices? When it comes to shooting YouTube videos, doing interviews and
recording audio in general? In this video, I’m going
to be reviewing some of the new microphones on the market, as well as my top picks, coming up. (upbeat music) Hey, what’s up? Sean Cannell here with Think Media. Bringing you the best tips and tools for building your influence
with online video. And on this channel, we do a
lot of YouTube tips videos, as well as tech gear
reviews, just like this one. So if you’re new here,
consider subscribing. And hey, at any point during the video, check out show notes and links in the YouTube description below. I’ll list out all of the gear I cover, plus some bonus resources. Let’s jump into the video. So there is so much opportunity to build your influence with
online video right now. Whether on YouTube,
Facebook, Instagram stories, online video is everywhere
and the cool thing is, all you need is your
smartphone to get started. However, audio is one of the most important aspects of
video and a lot of times the on-camera microphone
leaves a lot to be desired. So let’s cover some of the top options for Apple devices when it comes to getting pro audio, whether
just for shooting videos or maybe you want to record
music or do other compositions. We’ll cover it all right now. So first up, we got the Shure MV88. Now this is a awesome
lightning port microphone, that has incredible audio quality and plugs right into your
phone for very convenient use. Now it goes straight
out, so you can use it like an interview microphone or just record a podcast audio or something like that. And it also goes directionally, so you can either shoot
in front of your iPhone or you can spin the microphone around and also shoot it kind
of landscape or stories pointing it back at you
to record your audio. So let’s check out the MV88 sounds. So right now, you’re
hearing just the on-camera iPhone microphone here in my home office. But we’re gonna plug this in and see the difference
in the audio quality. Alright, now the MV88 is plugged in. I’m about eighteen inches away from the phone, so you can imagine doing maybe a livestream
or recording YouTube videos right off your phone just like this. And let me know what you
think about the audio quality difference in the comment section. So personally, I love this microphone and the audio quality. Now it works great when you just plug it into your phone and your a little bit a ways away to capture the audio. But where it made a huge difference is actually out on my loft where the acoustics were much more echo-y. The on-camera mic of the iPhone did not capture very well at all, but as soon as I plugged in the MV88 it really brought the noise to be a lot more crispier and better
audio quality overall. And so I definitely recommend this mic, but the other way to use it would be very much like a podcast microphone. Maybe you’re just using
it for capturing audio. So you actually might speak
into it, just like this. And so as we you’re hearing
this audio right now, this is coming right off of my iPhone through the MV88 and Shure also has an audio-recording app that gives you a lot of customizability
if you want to record higher-resolution audio files, really do a crispy interview that maybe
has no video involved. This is a very professional
mic and it comes at a price tag of around
$150 here in the U.S. So it’s definitely an investment, but the quality is there. And it also is equipped to record instruments and other things. Now, I’m mostly creating YouTube videos and doing vocal things, but if you wanted to be a musician and get something to plug into your phone to capture some piano playing,
acoustic guitar playing, or even singing, this is definitely a mic to consider as well. Next up, is the Rode VideoMic Me-L and the L stands for lightning. And this is really an update of the Rode VideoMic Me that had the TRRS headphone plug-in before. And this on just goes straight into your lightning port. Now this is a big deal
for newer Apple devices, because to use the former Rode, you would have to use your dongle and that was kind of just
a situation like this, where the mic would just be hanging off. So you’d have had some kind of a rig, you didn’t really have a
good mounting solution. So for newer Apple devices, the Rode VideoMic Me-L
is a great solution. Now I have to note on
this is I love the MV88 because it cannot just go into kind of microphone mode for podcasting but you can also angle it to point towards your subject,
whereas with the Rode, it’s always gonna be
pointing at your subject. It’s definitely more of shotgun mic meant for capturing the
audio really in front of the camera with your
front-facing camera. If you’re shooting subjects
and you want to have that crispy audio like
this, or if you do the selfie camera, you can
point the microphone back at you and have crispy audio. So let’s check out how it sounds. Alright once again, you are
hearing the iPhone microphone. I’m a little bit further away now, maybe about 20 inches to two feet and we’re gonna plug this in and check out the audio quality. Now you’re hearing the Rode VideoMic Me lightning port edition, plugged in and I’m about two feet away or so. A little bit further
away and one of the goals of microphones like this you’ll notice is it takes that kind of
noise floor hiss away, right? When it’s just the on-camera microphone the iPhone is reaching to grab your audio and has kind of an airy noise to it, whereas in this case, the Rode VideoMic Me cuts that down and is
much more directional. So this is all about capturing audio right in front of the camera. And what’s great about this is this is a great set up for YouTube videos and for livestreaming. You can just put it on a
Joby GorillaPod like this I have the MeFOTO tripod 360 SideKick combo-ed up there. You just put it on the desk just like this and start creating content. So I would love to hear what you think about the audio quality
from the Rode VideoMic Me and it’s important to
note that a microphone like this is really
gonna shine when you get into maybe a noisy environment. If you compare your
on-camera iPhone microphone to just the clamor and the noise of maybe a group of people at a live event versus plugging this microphone in and then cutting out that noise and only having the
directional mic pattern. It’s a shotgun mic, so the goal is to only capture the
audio in front of the mic and not the audio that’s
happening around the mic. So definitely an upgrade,
and this thing comes in at around $80 here in the U.S. And of course check
links in the description below for the current pricing. And there’s a few features to note about this microphone. One, it comes with this Deadcat for extreme wind situations. Now this is a little bit ridiculous, and you can see that if you had this on your iPhone it’s definitely no small set up situation. Imagine walking around vlogging with that. However, that’s gonna be a great solution for cutting down wind noise if you find yourself outdoors. And additionally, it also has a little headphone jack in the back. So that’s nice if you want to have that pass-through audio to be monitoring your audio in real time. That is a huge advantage. The MV88 does not have that. Now one of the features
that I actually love about the MV88 is that
when you plug it in, they have a little LED
light that lets you know that it’s on and being powered. I guess that’s just a nice reassurance to know that it’s working whereas the Rode mic doesn’t have that but when you plug it in it just works. But it is a little feature as we kind of discuss the differences. Okay, so those first two microphones are great solutions for your Apple device, whether your iPhone or an iPad, plugging directly into the lightning port. But the next recommendation is definitely the most economical, especially if you already
have a microphone. And that is the Rode cable called the SC4. Now, this is a very simple cable but it’s very powerful. And what it ultimately does is it takes a standard microphone and turns it into a smartphone microphone. What’s the difference? Well, a standard
microphone is a TRS cable. It has two black rings there and that means left and right. It’s a two-channel microphone, and it goes left to right. Now, when you plug this
in to a smartphone, even if you don’t need a dongle, you got a headphone
jack on your smartphone, when you plug this in, it won’t work. Why? Because smartphone plugs are TRRS. That’s why your Apple headphones have three rings on there. Why? Because your left
earbud, your right earbud and the microphone channel. And so what this cable accomplishes is it takes a TRS plug from the
shotgun mic, for example. You plug that into the cable, and now you’re in a smartphone TRRS plug that can go into your Apple device. And in this case, I’m gonna need a dongle so we’re creating quite
the chain of plugs. But with the dongle in there, we’re now ready to go use this microphone. Now it’s also important to note that you probably want some way to mount this entire setup. And so right now, I’ve got kind of a smartphone mount device
here that is great. This one is from Lumecube. But we’ll link some different options in the description below. And so combo-ed all together,
this plug right here now makes it so that you can use any microphone that you have ultimately and turn it into a smartphone microphone. This plug comes in for
around $15 here in the U.S. And there’s also a couple different brands that make them as well. You could grab one from Boya for a few dollars cheaper. This comes in at about $10 and ultimately it’s a pretty simple cable. But I would invest in a good brand just to make sure you have
something that’s dependable. Let’s check out how it sounds. Okay, so right now I’ve got the Rode VideoMic Go on here and the important thing to note is that this cable will
work with any microphone. So the quality of this audio is based on this microphone, but you could ultimately plug anything into a set up like this. And this might be the best way to level up the audio for your smartphone without investing in a lot of new gear. Now, typically because
of this dongle situation, or even without the dongle situation, you’re gonna have wires
hanging and different things. You’re probably gonna need some
sort of a mounting solution. But right now you’re hearing
this Rode VideoMic Go and you can see that
normally I wouldn’t be able to plug this microphone into my phone but because of this converter
cable, it now works. So let me know how you
think this audio sounds in the comments. Okay so now let’s check out a couple different microphone styles. So we covered the Rode VideoMic Me-L and the MV88 from Shure that plugs directly into our lightning port. But now let’s check out
a lavalier microphone. Now this is the smartLav from Rode and we’re gonna have to use the dongle to plug this into our phone. And this gonna be a microphone that we can clip onto our shirt. Now one of the things that is of course limited from a microphone like this is you’re typically not gonna have two people on camera with
this type of solution. But if you’re just creating YouTube videos or just reporting on location or wanting to do some kind
of a livestream content, then this microphone would work great. If you want to have two people on camera, it’s nice having those other options because they’re a little more versatile. You don’t have to clip the mic on or off. Or you can just capture all the audio in front of the camera. But keep watching the
video because later on we’re gonna share a very
cool interview solution and that’ll be coming up in just a bit. But let’s see how this sounds. So for a reference
point, here is the audio directly off the phone once again. And it’s important to probably note that this is an iPhone 8+. And now let’s plug in the Rode smartLav. Alright, so now you are
hearing the Rode smartLav. I just have it clipped on right here. Now one interesting thing
about this microphone is that the cable is pretty short. So when you check out this other angle, you can actually see that running it up under my shirt, it works
at about this distance. But it leaves a little bit to be desired as far as cable length. Now, Rode actually has an extender cable that I definitely recommend, but once you start adding all of these up they can be pretty pricey. But I’d love to hear how you think this audio sounds compared
to some of the other microphone solutions we’ve been covering. And just for reference, here is another alternative from Shure. Now this is their MVL mic, I have it clipped on right here. This one is about two inches
longer in the cable length. And the Rode smartLav comes in for right around $63 dollars at the time of shooting this video here in the U.S. And the MVL comes in for right around $69. So both of these mics are priced at about the same price. Both of them should
probably have longer cables. And so you definitely want to
be thinking about extenders. But once again, this
is just an alternative lavalier microphone from
Shure called the MVL. Alright, so we’ve covered some great audio solutions
for your Apple device. And all of these will definitely help you level up your audio. It’s also important to note that with Shure and Rode microphones, they both offer some very helpful apps. And so Shure has the Motiv app and Rode has the Reporter app. And both of those allow you to do uncompressed audio recording, make adjustments to your audio files, record higher res on the
Motiv app with the Shure MV88. You can control the directional pattern of how it’s capturing
audio and even fine-tune it for music and other things like that. And so definitely check those out as well if you’re thinking
about these microphones. Alright, so those are
all great audio solutions for your Apple device and
will definitely help you level up your audio. But it’s important to note that none of those are really budget options. And if you actually wanna
see some of the videos in our budget iPhone and
smartphone microphone series, I’ll put a link to those
in the YouTube card as well as in the description below. But now, let’s just share
a few final thoughts as well as my favorite microphone
pick out of all of these. One of the downsides of
both the Rode Video Mic Me-L and the MV88 is that they
do not work with my case. Now I’ve seen some other cases that are a lot more flush here that allow for these microphones to plug in. But in this case, when the case is on, you cannot use these. So it’s a little bit frustrating and if you ever wanted to use this for a vlogging set up or whatnot, you would wanna have your case conducive to letting
these actually get flush with your lightning port. Now of course your
dongle could fit in there and you could connect a lavalier mic, but just something to consider when you’re putting together
your smartphone audio setup. So that being considered,
my personal favorite smartphone audio setup right now that I’m using the most is the MV88. It’s definitely my top pick and I love having it
on this Joby GorillaPod with a MeFOTO SideKick. And what I do is I just
plug this in like this and this is my setup for livestreaming on Instagram vertically and
I can sit right in front of the phone, right in
front of this window. Or I can go horizontal and livestream over on
Facebook, just like that. And the other thing I’ve been doing is I’ve been shooting some Instagram ads, as well as Instagram story ads and this is the setup that I use. It gives me something to hold on to. It gives because there’s no case and there’s no Popsocket, it gives a nice way for
the microphone to mount. You have a little bit of
an angle with the MV88. And personally, I love the
sound quality of the MV88. So this is my set up, but Question of the Day: What is your current
smartphone audio setup? Do you have any good rigs? Any microphones that you recommend? Definitely let me know
in the comment section. So thanks for checking out this video! Subscribe and ring the
bell if you haven’t yet. And if you wanna check out other videos in our smartphone audio series, including my coverage of
the Rode Interview Kit, click or tap the screen right there for another video from Think Media. Or click or tap the screen right there. ‘Til next time, this channel is all about bringing you the best tips and tools for building your influence
with online video. Keep crushing it! And we will talk soon.

100 thoughts on “Best New iPhone Microphones for Video — Top 5 Mics

  1. ⚡ QOTD: What gear do you use for smartphone audio? Let me know! 👇👇👇 Check out my best BUDGET smartphone microphone series here:

  2. i have a question. For the Shure MV88, what is my range for the quality of sound it offers? Meaning, how far back can i stand away from mic, before it starts to lose sound quality? I want to shoot live videos from a gym, as i instruct a workshop. I wouldn't be more than 20-30 ft away

  3. I've been field testing the RODE VideoMic ME (I just purchased an adapter for my iPhone X) this past year and while it works great indoors is not so good while on location. It tends to pick up all ambient noise equally despite the direction it's pointed in. Plus I've noticed the volume is not very loud. It's cut in half when using the wind sock (so very faint volume). I'm not sure if there's another third party cover out there — it definitely needs one as without, it literally picks up the smallest air movement.

  4. Hey Sean thank you for the videos about iphone accessories for youtube but please for those like me do some for acessories for the Samsung Galaxy S 10 series.

  5. Thanks for this video! I record movement videos, so I am often a bit away from my ipad mini so the camera "sees" all of me. Any suggestions for the best microphone with the distance in mind?

  6. I'm using the MV-88 since more than one year and it's a must to have, mainly for concerts shooting. Example with an iPhone XS+ :

  7. Awesome advice!! I’ve been looking for a mic to shoot video for our channel and this video has helped 🙌 thanks

  8. I WOULD ONLY BUY THE Shure MV88 IF it flipped in all 3 directions. Other than that Might as well buy the Rode if I still have to flip it.

  9. I have a Zoom H4N Pro. I’m wondering if the TRRS to TRS convertor you mentioned would work from the Zoom Line Out to an iPhone 8+ dongle to sync audio and video. I’d like to not buy a second audio recorder just for the sake of iPhone videos :/

  10. Thanks for a great tutorial. What is the triangular light rig you have in the BG? Do you light up your youtube videos or just use natural light? Finally, what do you use to edit them together? Do you go Pro or do you have a simple work around for these smaller jobs? I ask because I do short films etc. but youtube videos should be simpler, right?

  11. Here is what im trying to do: i run my guitar into a sound card into my computer where i use audio programs. then from my sound card go into my iphone for streaming, but im having problems here, becouse the iphone mic is still on instead of my sound card. Need some healp here. Im i missing something? Thx.

  12. Could you add examples shot outside in busy locations? That would help more than a quiet space to see the real ability of the mics. Thank you for the video.

  13. I’ve been shooting video for 30 years… Thought of getting into the Instagram and video world… Watched many many videos… They’re all like yours horribly edited no composition check out what’s behind your head ..I think I need to put my own channel to show tips this is ridiculous you are an amateur

  14. I actually went with two Zoom H1 recorder's the new one and older one for recording audio. I found it more flexible for recording audio because I can use the Zoom H1's at longer distances away from the camera. I can use it as a shot gun microphone. The only challenge is that I have to sync the audio after the fact in FCP X which is really no big deal.

  15. i am listening this on my cheap pc speakers and i must say that the iphone microphone on the device sounded the most clear.

  16. Nice video. Are there any solutions for using external microphones for iphones on Zhiyun Smooth 4? The gimbal does not allow any external device to connect to the lighting connection.

  17. Does the TRS cable need power? I ask because I am using my Zoom H1 recorder trying to do the same setup from an TRS cable to the TRS-TRRS adaptor with a iPhone 3.5mm to lightening adapter. If I use a TRS cable 1/4 which is about 3 feet long the sound is terrible. I have an a smaller adapter from an old sony camera and that works the cable is about a foot long. I am wondering if this will work Rode SC7 3.5mm TRS to TRRS Patch Cable ?

  18. I just realized anything later than an iPhone 6S won’t allow for charging and plugging in a mic since they got rid of the headphone jack. Any solutions? I take forever to shoot video since just starting out. I can imagine battery running out.

  19. HI Sean, 

    I shoot a lot of video and love the iPhone quality, but I am generally shooting bands and with the iPhone you can hear me singing along. I use a stabilizer so no access to the port. Anything bluetooth? Chris

  20. They all sound the same to me, and you can still hear the background his on all of them. Not worth the price.

  21. great video, when you use the rode mic with trrs extension , what is the dongle required? is it lighning to 3.5 trrs female or will any lightning to female 3.5 work??
    many thanks

  22. It’d be really helpful if you had the names of the microphones on screen as you speak, for those of us whose English is not their first language… Thanks

  23. I think I will get a MV88
    Heres a tip I’ve gotten the best of the iPhone mic by just talking real close to it with a pillow behind it. Obviously you can’t film this way but if your were recording an audio overlay in an editing app.

  24. Any microphone with an 8th inch pin TRRS will work in an android as well something I think you should mention you can verify this with limited research but on some of the rode boxes it says iPhone doesn't mention it works on android but it does now the app is another story..

  25. I thought it was a conspiracy out there to buy a DSLR camera of course the guy at a local camera shop didn't think of looking for an adapter But had no problem showing me some used cameras LOL sometimes it's such an easy solution right in your face you don't even see it glad you mentioned the adapters as far as the apps though themselves not sure if there's an android app for some of the mics that say they work for iPhone only.. Obviously if the mic has a lightning port then you wouldn't probably try to find an adapter and use it on android because it would be hanging.. And there is no shortage of microphones with an 1/8th inch pin.. Overall great video thank you for posting!

  26. Also not sure why you left out the ZOOM iQ7 Stereo mic with lighting port

  27. Hey Sean! Thanks so much your Videos! What is the best the cheaper mic for iphone for desk top tutorials? Thanks in advanced

  28. Great video! It is incredibly helpful having examples of the sound quality of each, as well as the equipment that you use the most. I already have a Rode Lav – but I'm going to add the MV 88 as I love the versatility it offers. I was looking for the right fit for instructional cocktail videos (with no cords in the way) 🙂 Thanks again- new subscriber here!

  29. I just got the rode wireless microphones and transmitters (tx-m2) . Thanks for the great review, It is so easy to use. I put them together and the just pair them and I do not have the search for a clear channel and it is always searching for a stronger channel. It is simply a great price !!!!!!!!!!!! It is great for a small production team. Simple. Thanks from Chicago, IL

  30. Great reviews and super informative. I almost made a purchase for one of the items you reviewed. Based on my limited experience I’m glad I didn’t. You mentioned directional and lightbulbs went on because I’ll be in noisier environments. Thanks for great vid 👍👍👍

  31. hOW DO YOU just listen to your music while singing along to the music or instrumentals and be able to seperate the two? I'm on the road all the time

  32. Place your phone in flight mode for an extra audio quality boost. Plus you don't want your recording session interrupted.

  33. I use my iPhone 8 to record video interviews, often in noisy places. I need to monitor sound with headphones. What mic will allow me to record and listen at the same time?

  34. I am trying to record a piano instruction video series (on the cheap) using iPhone and iPad. I’ve tried using the internal mics, but the piano over powers the voice. When I use a lab mic, the piano distorts so bad it’s not usable. Any thoughts for an option?

  35. Nice work. I came to this video because I've got the problem you mentioned about not being able to connect my Shure MV88 mic to my iPhone X due to the thickness of the case…

  36. Great video I have the Shure MV88 sounds great, but when I live stream on FB its distorted.
    Not sure why I have allowed permission for the mic on FB but still doesn't work. My on board mic on my Galaxy 9 plus works great…any clue thanks.

  37. The Shure 88 sounds the best to me. How would you suggest using an external mic with a gimbal, say for example an Osmo Mobile 2? From what I can tell the phone port is blocked in most gimbals.

  38. 27% of the reviews on Amazon of the Rode VideoMic ME are 1 star. That seems like quite a lot of people not satisfied.

  39. Hi Sean,

    Shure MV88 vs Rode Videomic Me-L?

    Which would you recommend for someone who's looking to do a vlog?

  40. Your my favorate channel tutotial- Can i ask if its derict microphone work? OR I NEED TO USED APP? I CONFUSED A BIT- THANK IN ADVDNCE FOR YOUR REPLY. HAVE A GOOD DAY

  41. Without Mike your Audio quality producing more great sound with reasonable Base but with the mike, the Base was reduced & sounded very cheap!

  42. Great Info! Can you guide me How to get better quality inhouse Audio recording just without music, A simple recording with quality as I am a Singer! Please guide me if you can! I use iPhone 5s

  43. Sean – Can the Shure and Rode Apps be used with any mic, or do they only work with their branded mic? Are they only available to the owners of those mics? Can you recommend an audio recording app for the iPhone? Once audio is saved to an iPhone what is the best way to transfer the files to an iMac work station?

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