The 10 Best Smartphone Mics

Updated December 19, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Smartphone Mics
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 47 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options for this wiki. As if your mobile device didn't do enough already, it can now be your on-the-go recording studio using one of these smartphone mics, which capture much better audio than the standard built-in microphones. Given that today's phones can record HD video in up to 4K, these additions can turn them into tiny A/V studios for DIY filmmakers. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best smartphone mic on Amazon.

10. Rode VideoMic Me

The Rode VideoMic Me has a flexible mounting bracket that can accommodate a range of different phone models and uses power supplied by the connected device. It is best suited to dialogues and interviews, rather than picking up ambient sounds, though.
  • simple to operate
  • periodically has some static
  • limited frequency range
Brand Rode
Weight 5.9 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Saramonic SmartMixer

The Saramonic SmartMixer is a two-channel audio mixer kit that turns any smartphone into a professional rig. It features a pair of inputs, LCD level monitoring, phantom power, and an amplifier for studio sound recording anywhere.
  • includes a phone holder
  • volume control knob
  • accessory shoe for mounting lights
Brand Saramonic
Model SmartMixer
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Comica CVM-VS08

The Comica CVM-VS08 plugs directly into your phone's headphone jack without the need for any connecting wires, and comes with a phone clip to secure it in place during use. It is small enough to fit in a pocket for convenient portability.
  • 100-percent aluminum body
  • picks up minimal background noise
  • wi-fi can cause it some interference
Brand comica
Model CVM-VS08
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Purple Panda Clip-On

The Purple Panda Clip-On is compatible with most cameras, phones, and PCs, and boasts a bargain price that anybody can appreciate. It includes a fuzzy windscreen to make recording outdoors sound better in adverse conditions.
  • comes with a storage pouch
  • backed by a lifetime guarantee
  • lapel clip is very strong
Brand Purple Panda
Model pending
Weight 0.8 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Apogee MiC 96k Professional

The Apogee MiC 96k Professional can connect to any Apple device through its Lightning port to become a high-quality studio tracking microphone. Note that It's better suited for recording voice work in a tuned room than it is for field work, though.
  • 24-bit recording up to 96 khz
  • doesn't require batteries
  • cardioid polar pattern
Brand Apogee
Model MiC 96K-LO
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Shure MV5

The Shure MV5 features three digital signal processing presets: flat, vocals, and instrument. This makes it easy for beginners to use and still get a high-quality recording. An integrated headphone port allows for real-time monitoring.
  • works with the shureplus motiv app
  • simple plug-and-play setup
  • compatible with android and ios
Brand Shure
Model MV5/A-LTG
Weight 9.1 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Rode SmartLav+

With all the expertise that its company gained designing some of the film industry's finest shotgun microphones, the Rode SmartLav+ provides movie-quality sound from a device that's exceedingly easy to hide on a performer's body.
  • pressure gradient acoustics
  • 20-20000 hz frequency range
  • durable kevlar-reinforced cable
Brand Rode
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Blue Microphones Blue Raspberry

Not only does the Blue Microphones Blue Raspberry capture excellent stereo sound in a slew of directions, it also features an internal acoustic diffuser to focus in on your vocals while minimizing background sounds, along with a headphone jack for live monitoring.
  • lightning connector
  • shock absorbing feet
  • quarter-inch tripod mount
Brand Blue
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Xiaokoa M30

The Xiaokoa M30 comes in gold, black, rose gold, and white, so you can match it to the color of your phone for a little more stylistic flair. It comes with a mini foldable tripod that you can set up on a desk or table for hands-free use.
  • acoustic filter
  • clear undistorted voice pickup
  • integrated monitoring function
Model M30
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Shure MV88

The Shure MV88 is a digital condenser model that has the ability to automatically adjust its equalization, compression, and limiting based on the sound environment it detects, keeping your audio clean and clear with little to no clipping.
  • certified apple lightning connection
  • records in stereo
  • rotating hinge achieves any angle
Brand Shure
Model MV88/A
Weight 2.1 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Professional Quality Goes Mobile

If you've ever tried to track any kind of live audio with your smartphone, you know how disappointing the results often are. The sound is usually far too thin, far too roomy, and more or less unusable. With an apologetic disclaimer, you might be able to get away with it as stand-alone audio for a podcast or radio program, but paired with a video track, the quality of the entire experience will be irredeemable.

The reason the microphones on this list are so superior to the mics built into smartphones has a lot to do with the size of their diaphragms. Any microphone has a little piece inside of it that senses the vibrations in the air created by a litany of sounds. The microphone then internally translates those vibrations into an electrical signal which is then converted into a digital binary passed into a processor in the phone's sound card.

That's a lot of difficult computing being done with very small apparatuses, and it turns out, in this case at least, that size matters. Larger areas of sensitivity from a larger microphone's diaphragm, as well as more processing power devoted to the translation of the sound into and out of its digital format will result in a higher quality audio.

Essentially, these are all professional quality microphones that have acquired the wiring necessary to communicate with the software and hardware they encounter when plugged into a given smartphone. Rewire any of them to fit into a different kind of transmitter or amplifier, and you'd never know the difference between these and their professional counterparts.

The Most Versatile Options

It's more than likely, if you're here researching these smartphone mics, that you intend to couple the audio they capture with video, whether or not you use the phone itself to capture said video.

I've used smartphone lavaliere mics (aka lavs) dozens of times to track audio for films, hosting segments, interviews, and more, and they almost always get the job done. The small stereo and shotgun mics you can mount on the phones are equally excellent for capturing subjects that are close to the mic itself, but they don't do great work across a distance, since they simply aren't long enough to build a sufficient polar pattern for true shotgun use.

Then, you have the more traditional vocal-style mics on the list, which are ideal for picking up a single speaking or singing voice, but don't do much good to you if you're doing on-the-fly documentary work, for example.

All of this comes down to a simple question: what are you trying to track? More often than not, if you're doing any kind of film work where you want to use the phone to track audio only and capture the video through a professional camera or even a separate smartphone, lavs will be your best bet.

Their size makes lavs easy to hide on an actor, a host, or an interviewee, and, since they plug right into your cell phone, you can have the person wearing the mic simply put the phone in his or her pocket, and nothing will look out of the ordinary. That is, unless you're filming a period piece that takes place before cell phones existed. Then, you might need to throw in a line of dialogue about how all the characters like carrying around decks of cards or something.

The one major downside to the lavs, however, is the threat of clothing rustle. A well-hidden lav mic usually spends its recording time buried under layers of clothing, and any movement by the wearer translates into unusable sound. There are additional implements out there designed to cut down on this phenomenon, some of which work much better than others, so check those out if you want to keep things professional.

Condensing Years Of Discovery

The desire to amplify the human voice spurned on the invention of the microphone before any thought of using such a device for recording its sound surfaced. Early attempts at amplification could more easily be classified as primitive megaphones than microphones.

These were the dramatic masks worn in Greek antiquity by actors in the nation's famous amphitheaters. They had small protruding beaks that increased the vibrational resonance of an actor's voice to throw it farther out across an audience.

The old tin can and string method was the next development in the technology, first arriving 2,200 years after the Greek masks. Then, Alexander Graham Bell's telephone came along, using a diaphragm suspended in an acid solution to transmit the vibrations of the human voice across an electrified distance.

A year or so later, in 1877, David Edward Hughes had his loose-carbon microphone design stolen and patented out from under him by none other than that scoundrel Thomas Edison. A long legal battle ensued, which Edison won, and the microphone set forth on its path toward modernity when, in 1916, the first condenser microphone (the technology on which all the microphones on this list are based) finally hit the scene.

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Last updated on December 19, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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