Smartphone Microphone Options to Improve Audio Quality


Looking to improve the audio quality of your smartphone videos, I’ve got just the solution for you in today’s video blog.

Hey there internet fans! Ryan Perry here, Simple Biz Support. smartphones really make great videos. It is the best place to start out for small business owners wanting to create quality video marketing to promote their business. Now, the downside is that the audio on a smartphone just doesn’t work very well, and there are some upgrades. In fact, the number one upgrade is going to be this RODE Mic Me. This is a great device because it plugs right into the phone, and you can take it with you, and it swivels around so you can rotate it.

Now, the downside to something like this is that, if you’re in a place where there’s a lot of background noise, this device is going to pick up a lot of noise. However, the sound quality is going to be much better using an external microphone than just the microphone that comes with the cellphone. Now, the next level up, and this is really what I want to talk about is actually adding a wireless mic. And the advantage to a wireless mic is that now you can separate yourself from the phone. What I mean is that, even with the RODE mic here, the farther you get away from it, your voice is going to fall off. Ideally, we always want to be as close to the microphone as possible in order to get the most value out of the audio.

A wireless mic, what’s really great about this is that you have two pieces. You have a sending unit, and this actually has a microphone that attaches to it, so this has got a lapel mic. And what’s great about the lapel mic is we can put it 6 to 8 inches away from the speaker, and that’s going to be the ideal situation. But now, I can walk around with this lapel mic and it’s going to wirelessly send the signal from the sending unit to the receiver.

This is an Azden PRO-XD. This is about $200 and it’s actually a really good quality, sound quality. This is not professional grade but for business owners that need that flexibility, this is a really good product. Now the downside is, here I have my phone, how do I get this to attach to my phone? Well, there isn’t a way to do it directly, what you need is called a cold shoe. And a cold shoe is a device that this actually plugs into. If you can see underneath, this is actually designed to clip on to the top of a camera.

Now, smartphones are not DSLR, they’re not professional grade, so what do you do? That’s where you get one of these fancy little buggers. This is actually called a QuickDraw Rotating Flash Bracket. Essentially, this is a flash bracket and what this is originally designed to do is your DSL camera would fit on top here and then you could actually mount a flash or a microphone. This is the cold shoe right there. And what’s great about it is, we can actually just slide this guy right in to the cold shoe, and then using a cellphone adapter, this guy right here, we can actually mount this cellphone tripod adapter to the bracket. And when we do that, hopefully you do it without the mic falling off. What we can do now is, dip this guy in there. So, I have my bracket, I have my cellphone adapter, and that holds the cellphone, the actual sending unit is going to go right in here. I’m going to tighten it down so it doesn’t fall off again. And now this will just simply plug into your smartphone.

This is going to be the phone, we have the adapter, we have the phone. Now, the next thing you need to do is you need to mic up the person who’s actually going to be speaking, and that’s the sending unit. It has a little clip on it so you can actually clip this to the bell, run the wired lapel mic up your shirt, clip it at the top, and you’re ready to go. All you have to do is turn on both units and you can now separately have a person over here speaking, and somebody managing your microphone over here.

The great thing about this adapter is it has a mounting plate on the bottom, so you can actually connect this to a tripod. So we take our tripod mount, for those of you that are shooting video by yourself like me, this is a great device ’cause it’s going to give you some flexibility. What I can do now, is here we go. Here’s the finished unit. We have the tripod, we have the flash bracket here, we have the adapter for the cellphone that actually holds the cellphone in place, we have the cellphone, and we have the Azden wireless mic on top. This could be your actual rig.

The other thing I love about this, it’s got a nice handle on the side, so if you need to do something mobile, it’s not a steady cam, but it will make your videos that much better by being able to hold the camera in two different places. So, this is going to be the next level. I’m going to do a quick review of the Azden, go outside, check out, show you what the sound quality sounds like between the RODE mic and also the Azden, so you can get an idea of situations where you have a lot of background noise, the advantage of doing something like this. By the way, this bracket here, this is just a generic flash bracket. I got it for $20 off of B&H.

I would love to know how you’re shooting your cellphone video and getting the best quality audio. Maybe you have a better way of doing it that I’m not aware of? Share your thoughts and comments below. Alright everybody, take care.


About the Author:

Ryan Perry is the founder and CEO of Simple Biz Support, Inc. Ryan started video blogging in 2009 as an alternative to written blogs to create visibility and credibility online. During the workweek, he enjoys helping small business owners harness the power of video to grow their companies. On the weekends, he enjoys hiking and searching out waterfalls throughout the state of California.

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