As a business owner, entrepreneur, or marketer who’s wanting to create their own video content to drive their business forward, you’ve no doubt heard how critical good audio is when it comes to producing engaging and effective videos. I’m going to walk you through some of the best microphone for YouTube you can use when you begin your video creating journey and you’re shooting on your smartphone.
Now I hate saying it, because my professional heritage is as a cameraman, but your audience will wear slightly ropey visuals so long as they can hear what’s going on. Nothing will get viewers turning off quicker than bad sound. So even at a low-fi entry level of smartphone filmmaking if you want your videos to be successful to really resonate with your audience and to ultimately drive your business growth, you need to invest in decent audio equipment.
Now we’ve not talking about spending thousands of pounds or dollars on massive mixing desks, we’re just talking about 100 pounds or so on ensuring that you’re capturing the best quality audio possible for your video production.
Why you shouldn’t rely on the in-built mic on your phone for video recording?
The first thing to say is to never rely on the in-built mic in your phone. And this is because it’s designed to be used right next to your face, and it’s not designed to pick up your voice when you stood three meters away filming.
Phone mics are designed to pick up sound from a very wide area. So, when you’re filming and you’re a few feet away from your phone’s in-built mic, the phone will pick up your voice but it will also pick up all the noises from a really wide surrounding area. Now, obviously that is not ideal. You don’t want your voice to be competing with noises off in the overall mix of the sound. You want your voice to be isolated and present so the audience don’t need to make any effort at all to hear what you’ve got to say.
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What are the types of mic for Smartphone Filming?
Now, there are a few types of mic that work really well with smartphone filming.
1. Clip/Lavalier mic
The first type is the clip mic. These are also known as lavalier mics or personal mics. They’re the discrete little mics that typically you clip onto a lapel. These are great little mics and are ideal if you’re filming interview type setups where it’s typically someone talking to camera like this.
You can pick up entry-level clip mics for around about 15 pounds or $20.
- Rode LavMic + (clip Mic)
To get a decent quality version, you’ll be looking at something like the Rode smartLav+ which you can get hold of from around about 45 pounds or $55. Ultimately, you’re paying for better quality manufacturing and a product that will last a lot longer in the field.
So, your choice can be guided by the kind of filming you’re likely to do and the frequency of use of your kit. However, as someone who is a professional kit owner and who hires high-end broadcast kit a lot, I would always advise that you invest in the best quality kit you can possibly afford. In the long run it is much more economic. But before you rush off and buying the Lav smartLav+ there is something else you need to consider.
Note: You need to think about the device that you’re plugging the microphone into. Some devices like mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, power the microphones from their internal power source. On the other hand, other devices typically such as DSLRs and other stills cameras that shoot video as a rule of thumb don’t power the microphones from their internal power source.
This means that the microphones you plug them into need to have their own power source known as phantom power. The mics that don’t require phantom power are known as dynamic mics. Typically, these are the simplest style of mic and they’re not the most sensitive.
- Condenser Mic
Condenser mics require phantom power to activate the circuitry within the mic and are much more sensitive microphones. And as a result, you’ll get a better-quality sound out of them.
- Diety V Lav Mic
One example of an affordable condenser mic that you can use in conjunction with your phone is the Deity V.Lav. Now you can pick one of these up for roundabout 55 pounds or $65.
The V.Lav is a great all round microphone and it’s powered by two watch-type batteries and only supplies phantom power if it needs to. So, the mic itself will only supply power if it can’t get power from the device it is plugged into. That’s why it’s an ideal mic for beginners who are new to smartphone filmmaking.
- Wind gags
Another thing that you should definitely invest in when you’re buying your first mic setup for your mobile filmmaking is a wind gag. These are the little fluffy things that you pop over the top of the microphone. They’re also known as fluffies or deadcats.
Now, these little chaps are absolutely essential if you’re filming outside. They effectively shield the microphone from the effects of wind noise. And if you try and record without a wind gag protecting the top of the microphone, the nearest puff of wind will render your sound pretty much unusable.
Now, a lot of kits that you buy do come with wind gags as part of them. But if not, you can pick up wind gags from around about 15 pounds or $20 for a set
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2. Shotgun mic
Another option you have for microphones that will work with mobile phones are directional shotgun mics. Now, shotgun mics are great in that they minimize the noise that they pick up from either side, focusing instead on picking up the sound from directly in front of the microphone. So, these mics would suit a situation where you don’t have time to mic someone up if you’re filming.
For example on the go grabbing interviews where you don’t have time to clip your Lav mic on and route the cable.
- Rode VideoMic Me
If you’re doing interviews at a convention and you’re just grabbing sound bites from people as they pass by, a shotgun mic would be ideal. One option is the Rode VideoMic Me. This compact shotgun mic comes in Android and Apple flavors and you can plug it directly into the audio Jack in the phone. It’s a plug and play type setup designed for ease of use. So, it’d be ideal for a beginner.
Rode themselves are a reputable manufacturer of sound kit. And this lightweight gun mic also includes a headphone jack which allows you potentially to listen to the sound you’re recording on headphones, depending though on the app that you’re using for recording. As well as that as part of the kit the VideoMic Me comes with a furry windshield as standard. Now you can pick this mic up from around about 50 pounds or $60 or so, and as it’s you.
- Sennheiser MKE 200
Another brand who make amazing quality broadcast kit is Sennheiser. Their entry-level MKE 200 directional on-camera microphone features built-in windscreen and shock mount. What that means in real life is that you don’t need to buy a fluffy. And also, the microphone is isolated on a shock mount, so any knocks or bangs, if you’re filming without a tripod don’t get transmitted through the body of your phone into your mic.
The MKE 200 is available from around about 90 pounds or a $100 or so. This would be a really good investment for a video creator who needs really good quality sound kit that will last.
Now, whilst I don’t own this particular mic, I do own Sennheiser radio mics and I have to say the quality and build of their products is impressive. They’re designed for very regular use. And as a manufacturer, they are one of my go-to’s.
So, between the shotgun mics and the clip mics you’ve got what it takes kit wise to jump straight into creating great sounding video content.
I really hope you have got lots of value from this. We’ve got a free YouTube resource, obviously which is a Bitly link there Business Growth With Video. If you’d like to download a Business Video Guide, go to that URL and ping us your email details, and we will be really chuffed to rush you a copy of the 20 page PDF, that’d be fantastic, I’d hope you’d find that super useful.
To dive into more detail about how to create video for your business, do check out the other videos on our YouTube channel.