Zoom F1-LP Recorder and Lavalier Microphone Review

We review the new Zoom F1-LP that includes both a great recorder and lavalier mic

Coming in hot for this new year, Zoom has an announced a brand new little package of a few of their products, the Zoom F1-LP. Coming with both a very effective field recorder in the F1 and a nice and easy lavalier microphone in the LMF-1, we have a perfect solution if you need some high-end recording for stationary environments, interviews, speeches, presentations, podcasts, sermons, and more. There are of course a lot of lavalier microphones out there in the world, but paired up with a Zoom recorder for a decent price for a nice bundle? Let’s see what exactly the Zoom F1-LP has to offer and if it’s worth the money.

Features of the Zoom F1-LP

  • Low profile design
  • Comes with buckle attachment
  • Records to a microSD card (up to 32GB)
  • One-touch controls
  • Easyt-to-read display
  • USB connectivity
  • Auto-lock features
  • No chance of overload
  • Powered with two AAA batteries (or power supply sold separately)
  • Record in WAV or MP3
  • Recorder is also compatible with other Zoom capsules

The F1-LP’s sound and quality

For audio quality, we loved what we heard at the convention. Despite the loud noise around, we could hear the audio of the Zoom F1-LP quite clearly. To get technical, let’s look into the resolution. If recorded in WAV, you’re attaining 44.1 kHz/16-bit maximum, or with MP3 up to 320 kbps. Of course, we do not recommend ever recording in MP3. Stick with recording in WAV since it’s less compressed and will give you more flexibility in post-prod (yes, it’s a bit larger in size but it’s worth it). The lavalier mic itself connects via a 3.5 mm stereo mini (screw lock) and the input gain is -12 dB or +36 dB — quite feasible considering it’s size and power (and price). Like all lav mics, you have an omnidirectional polar pattern for focusing on what’s right in front of it (the speaker or even instrument you decide to clip it on). The cable length is of a decent 160 cm (about 63 inches, or about 5 feet), so it’ll reach even if you put it on somebody’s pants (although we’re not sure who would do that — perhaps you want to clip to a shirt and keep the recorder on a table instead? — it’ll reach pretty far).

The lavalier microphone itself is considered “standard” (but not cheap). It isn’t necessarily a Countryman or anything (professional lav mics that alone cost almost a grand), but for smaller purposes, semi-professional work or even pros who aren’t completely concerned with audio for a real movie, documentary or film, it will at least give us better quality than an on-board mic of a video camera. Go with a boom mic or even post-production voice-overs for more professional work.

A very solid recorder and lavalier mic combo

Using the Zoom F1-LP recorder and lav mic

Of course, this isn’t camera attachable as we have seen in shotgun mic combos, so you’ll have to sync up your audio once you’re in the office. When it comes to actually using the Zoom F1-LP, sometimes a recorder and microphone combo can be a bit tricky; however, they included some nice features that we really like to ensure its usability. For one, the field recorder has a nifty 1.25″ monochrome LCD with one-touch buttons on the actual unit to adjust quite a few settings on the fly: start recording, stop, play and pause, recording format, lo-cut, limiter and recording levels.

You can also use their auto lock features in the Record Hold function or Hold Switch to prevent whoever is speaking from accidentally hitting buttons in the middle of speaking. There’s even a safety on-board limiter and auto-level control built-in to the recorder itself make sure your levels don’t spike in case of a louder volume incident.

The lavalier microphone of the Zoom F1-LP

The recorder of the Zoom F1-LP itself weights 120 grams without batteries, so in terms of being a hassle aside from perhaps sticking out on your side (who cares, you look more official anyways!). In regards to recording time, the Zoom F1-LP is going to last about 10 hours of battery time with Alkaline, 9 hours with NiMH, and 16 hours with Lithium. You can always use their power adapter for even more power, but that’s sold separately and doesn’t come in the box (they do give us two AAA with the package, however). Or perhaps you have some rechargeable batteries lying around, you can use those as well.

For transferring data, we’re always fans of MicroSD, but just in case you can also plug it directly into your computer via USB (microUSB) and merely drag it into a folder and you’re to go for editing.

The F1-LP's recorder up close

What’s in the Zoom F1-LP box?

  • Field Recorder (F1)
  • Lavalier microphone (LMF-1)
  • Windscreen (WSL-1)
  • Mic clip (MCL-1)
  • Belt clip (BCF-1)
  • Two AAA batteries
  • Quick guide

What you're getting in the box of the Zoom F1-LP

In conclusion of the Zoom F1-LP recorder and lavalier

We’d definitely recommend the Zoom F1-LP package for somebody who’s in need of a lavalier solution and isn’t into recording directly into the camera they’re using. To answer one of the biggest questions we’ve heard of this particular type of product — yes, the audio-quality is going to be a lot better than sticking a lavalier mic straight into the camera’s audio out jack. Not only are you getting a closer recording of the source itself, but the Zoom field recorder actually processes audio a lot better than cameras as well (which makes sense, cameras are cameras and don’t have the specific built-in processors for this since it focuses on picture instead).

Unfortunately, you can’t hook up two lavs at once, so that’ll be a problem if you intend on having multiple sources. You’ll have to switch off the lav, or perhaps just buy two of these to accommodate? Or maybe your intended use will actually call for needing a shotgun microphone instead? This we would only recommend if you aren’t concerned with clarity of an actual speaker but the space you’re videoing instead.

Another look at the new Zoom F1-LP recorder and lavalier

They have a new package on top of this one they’ve just released we’ve also written about — read our Zoom F1-SP review for some more information. You can also look int our best lavalier microphones guide if you wanted some alternatives, but there aren’t as many recorder and lav combos out there like this one, so you’ll be getting something very specific here if you think it suits your needs — recording one speaker at a time in a setting that will entail them being able to attach a recorder to their side and clipping a lavalier mic on their shirt (or somewhere close). You must also be OK with syncing audio and tweaking some settings in post-production (doesn’t everybody?).

Recommended uses here would be, but not limited to (in our opinion), the following: vlogging, podcasts (there are better alternatives, however), interviews, speeches and presentations, and more. All in all, we do love the Zoom F1-LP recorder and lav mic — it isn’t low quality whatsoever. Zoom is on top of their game as always and have a reputation in the portable audio recorder as well as smaller microphone capsule game for a reason. We highly recommend it if you have the cash and think it’ll fit with your needs and in your recording toolbox.

The Top 10 Best Microphones for Smartphones

We found the best microphones for smartphones to give you some recommendations

The microphones in smartphones are unfortunately never a part of that “upgraded feature” list your newest phone creator dishes out every year or so. If you’re doing anything remotely serious with your smartphone that includes audio, you’ll 9 times out of 10 have to either use an external device completely different from your phone and sync later, or in our case today, grab a high quality external microphone to use instead of that clunky, stock “thing” that “records” audio built-in. Although we do have separate guides for each of the most popular OS out there, such as with our best Android microphone or iOS microphones article, today we wanted to give our readers our 10 best smartphone microphones in general to help your shopping search, so let’s get going.

The top 10 best microphones for smartphones

Rode VideoMic Me

The best microphone for smartphones

Up first as our pick for the best smartphone microphone, we have a high quality model that’s still pretty new to the market by Rode (one of our favorite brands). The VideoMic Me is stated to be iPhone only, but if you are an iOS user this is a very reliable and high-quality microphone (it can indeed work with Android devices as long as the headset input on the device is on the opposite side to the actual camera so that you do not see the microphone while filming). It connects directly to the TRRS/headphone socket and has a very flexible mounting bracket to fit for both the primary camera on the back or selfie on the front. You also have a high-end furry windshield accessory to use in case you’d like to ensure those P’s and S’s don’t bleed through your recordings, or perhaps you’ll be outside and want to make sure you’ve everything in place.

It’s pretty cheap in our opinion with a retail price of sixty bucks, but if you were looking for a cheaper solution there are definitely more out there. We highly recommend the Rode VideoMic Me for users who see fit in the way this one mounts to the camera — it’s also very small in size and can essentially come with you in your pocket if you’re ever on the road. Or perhaps keep this one safe in a case (doesn’t come with one, but can fit in backpacks, purses, etc.).

Blue Raspberry

A USB related microphone for smartphones by Blue

This particular runner-up as the best microphone for smartphones doesn’t mount to your device, but instead is able to sit nicely next to it like a desktop mic in case your use will allow for this type of set up. Blue Microphones at this point continues to dominate the game whichever category they release their mic for, and in this case today have another beautiful model here that spans across USB microphones for PC, Mac, iPhone and iPad. The recommended uses include podcasting, voice overs, YouTube videos, making music, and even mobile gaming if you can find somewhere to be stationary while you play.

In terms of specs, we have 24-bit audio which is way more than stock quality, no latency monitoring, a nice carrying pouch included (soft-seude) and your headphones can plug-in to the mic directly. We love the Blue Raspberry since it’s so versatile and can be a viable option for many readers out there with different types of intentions with their new smartphone microphone.

Dayton Audio iMM-6

Another one of the best microphones for smartphones

Up next is a better pick for those who need a cheaper solution to capturing their smartphone’s audio. The iMM-6 has a sleek and slim design for convenience, and is compatible with iOS devices or other types of phones with a proper input (we’ve read it be used with many different devices, such as Surface Pros, Galaxy’s, etc.). It is a precision condenser microphone with a headphone/line out to help you test for signals and listen to playback in regards to what you’re recording. The omnidirectional pattern is great for capturing in multiple directions of what’s around you, and the overall design is rugged enough to last an investment if you take proper care of it.

This is our pick as the best microphone for smartphones since it’s so cheap but also brings us at least significantly better quality to our recordings, regardless of the exact device you’re on. We also love the fact that this is compatible with nearly all smartphones since many out there are still “iOS only”. Check out the Dayton Audio iMM-6 if it fits your needs.

Apogee MiC+

A great upright smartphone microphone to buy

The Apogee MiC+ is often used in home recording studios, and the fact that they have a version out for smartphones makes us very excited since the specs on this thing are getting really close to competing even with some small home studios condenser mics out there. With 24-bit / 96kHz audio quality, if that was your concern then you’ll be more than covered in the resolution department. We also have a 46 dB mic preamp gain that is adjustable on the mic itself so you can mix on-the-fly. Great zero latency recording here and it’s plug-n-play (looks like Mac, iPhone, iPad and Windows only for now).

There’s also nifty LED lighting on the mic itself for indication and input level monitoring, and the uses for this really doesn’t many limits — voice overs, interviews, podcasts, gaming, music, you name it. It does have a limitation some may find since you can’t mount it to the camera itself and be quite mobile with it, but if you’re OK with standing stationary or perhaps holding it up to your audio source you will be fine. The Apogee MiC Plus is a beautiful pick as the best smartphone microphone if you can afford it as it’s one of the most expensive in our list.

Rode smartLav+

The best smartphone microphone if you need a lavalier

Let’s talk a different type of microphone here as we get to the midway point of our guide to the best microphones for smartphones. The smartLav+ is what’s called a “lavalier microphone”, and as you can see from the picture that tiny little mic that clips onto clothing or other gear in order to capture the audio (you’ve probably seen them around on TV such as with interviews or news anchors). We also love this because it spans across multiple types of smartphones, such as iOS as well as Android. The small size and means to setting it up won’t span across all of you out there, but for those who can use it to their advantage, the small lavalier 4.5mm miniature microphone will be very convenient.

You will indeed be dictated by the wire (we have a wireless model further down), but it shouldn’t be a problem when filming somebody else and capturing their audio because the wire is non-intrusive and quite long. You’ll have to download an external app wo work it but their Rode Rec App is highly rated and very easy to use. You’ll have to sync up your audio later in post-production (there are tons of apps for that as well). Regardless, the Rode smartLav+ is by far the best smartphone microphone if you’re needing a lavalier mic to upgrade that clunky audio. This was also in our best iOS microphone guide.

Movo WMIC10

The best smartphone microphone if you're in need of a wireless solution

Let’s talk wire free audio for your smartphones. This is a lavalier microphone as previously listed, but this time we’re able to have even more convenience and leeway without having to worry about wires while we record. The WMIC10 is universal and compatible with iOS, Androids, or even DSLR cameras if you use those as well. It broadcasts using what’s called a ‘frequency spectrum’ (many wireless electronics use this) at 2.4 GHz. It comes with a bodypack transmitter, lav mic, pop-filter, receiver, and necessary cables to get going on recording right away.

You can adjust the volume gain on the receivers itself, and there’s also a headphone monitoring input to allow you to hear what you’re recording real-time. You can also buy another on the side if you want to record more than one person at once. Simply edit in post-production and you’ll be good to go. We’ve read that sound quality is great within 15 feet but after that it starts to disrupt a bit. To us that is still a decent length when it comes to wireless recording, especially with a smartphone. Check out the Movo WMIC10 if you want a wireless lavalier for your smartphones.

Rode i-XY

Another great solution for smartphones

Another Rode model here, and this time just another simply high quality solution for iPhone and iPad that gets you up to 24-bit / 96k recording and high-end A/D conversion for smooth and very clear sound. It attaches at the bottom of your phone or iPad but comes in two version — lightning or 30-pin, your choice in case you have an older iPhone (4s and earlier).

The i-XY actually has two little 1/2″ condenser capsules that form an “XY” directional recording pattern for better pickup. It’s housed in a sturdy metal casing and won’t break on your easily at all, and is small enough to fit in a lot of pockets as well (it does come with a nice zip case, too). Check out the Rode i-XY if you’re an iOS user who wants a simple, mountable solution as the best smartphone microphone and you have a decent amount of cash saved up.

Shure MV88

Shure's best microphone for smartphones

Coming in as a rival to the previously listed model, this is another one of our favorite picks as the best microphone for smartphones if the XY pattern wasn’t your thing and you instead want another high-quality iOS mic that mounts at the bottom of your phone or iPad very easily. They also have a nice app you can use to adjust EQ, polar patterns, stereo width and even edit, record and combine audio to create full on projects.

The mic itself is adjustable up to 90 degrees on a hinge, and you can also rotate the mic head for ideal positioning depending on what you’re doing. We’ve this used a lot for uses where you can set your phone or iPad down and record talks, interviews, band practices, etc. It connects directly to your device using lightning. In terms of specs, we have an audio resolution of up to 24 Bit / 48 kHz. The Shure MV88 is a beautiful solution for those who want another high-end iOS mic. You can read our Shure MV88 review for some more info.

Miracle Sound 4330236175

A budget-friendly solution if you need something simple for your smartphone

Here is an extremely cheap solution to be the best microphone for smartphones, and this one is literally under $20 in case you wanted a budget-friendly fix with just a bit of an upgrade to sound in your smartphone. This is another lavalier microphone and is better suited for those who don’t necessarily want to upgrade their sound resolution but instead pick up audio better from a distance. For example if you’re recording somebody talk from a distance, instead of having to rely on your phone to pick up the audio (while at the same time picking up its surroundings), you’ll have the audio a lot closer to the source.

Again, this one is very cheap and something you’d see in line at your local electronics store, but it’s a nice option for those not wanting to spend an arm and a leg on an upgrade to their smartphone audio. Look into the Ultimate Lavalier Microphone for something easy and useful.


The last pick as the best smartphone microphone

Last but not least, we have a very interesting and useful solution as our final pick to be the best microphone for smartphones. The BY-MM1 isn’t necessarily by a huge brand, but has many positive reviews praising its effectiveness and overall quality for the price. This one can mount to both iPhones and digital cameras (or really anything with a TRRS) and is considered a ‘shotgun microphone’ as it points directly to the source you’d like to record.

We’ve read that the mounting clip is quite fragile, so be careful when using it. The audio quality overall however is praised well by many, and considering the price we don’t expect a crazy build like many others we’ve listed in the hundreds range. You’ll get what you pay for here, but overall we think the BOYA BY-MM1 is a great solution for those wanting a smartphone microphone within the lower price-point with great audio quality and easy mounting versatility.

Samson Go Mic Mobile Wireless Microphone Review

We review the all new Samson Go Mic Mobile wireless smart phone microphone

When we went to NAMM this year, we were ecstatic to get into the Samson booth and be met with a brand new wireless mobile phone microphone solution, The Samson Go Mic Mobile. We’ve had a feeling mobile phone microphones were going to become more popular as the years went on (especially with our iOS microphone guide becoming super popular through out the past few years), but a wireless receiver that attaches to your smart device and is compatible with both a traditional handheld mic or lavalier? We had to see what it was all about, especially with that now-popular “Go Mic” name we all know attached to it. Here are our thoughts as well some in-depth information on what you’ll exactly be getting with the Samson Go Mic Mobile.

Features of the Samson Go Mic

  • Available in two mic transmitter configurations
  • Dual-channel receiver
  • Low-latency, professional quality audio
  • Compatible with iOS and Android
  • 100 foot (30 meters) operating range
  • 13 hour rechargeable battery
  • Can work with two microphones at once
  • Operates on 2.4 Ghz band
  • Can mount on DSLR shoe mounts
  • 10Hz–22kHz frequency response
  • USB audio outputs with volume control
  • Switchable 1/8” headphone/line
  • Also included: 3.5 mm audio cable, USB charge cable and power adapter

Standouts of the Samson Go Mic Mobile

When it comes to intended uses and applications here of the Samson Go Mic Mobile, it’s great filmmaking, journalism, live streaming, vlogging, and really, all types of videography that will entail either a handheld mic or lavalier with a wireless connection. The possibilities are pretty endless here; however, we don’t foresee it being used for just a few applications, such as recording concerts, band practices, or other types of audio that you want to capture clearly in larger rooms (the handheld and lav are limited to and best for pointing it at a direct source as opposed to a larger spectrum). Of course, you can always get creative with the solutions you have at hand here, but it will depend on how you want to work it out. For example in band practice or performances, perhaps you can hook up the handheld to a mic stand in front of a singer, while recording the rest of the band directly through a mixer, and then overdubbing the audio later on?

We were also glad to see Samson made the decision two create two variations of the Samson Go Mic Mobile. The first is the mobile receiver paired with their Q8 dynamic mic with HXD2 handheld transmitter, and other their LM8 omnidirectional lavalier microphone with PXD2 beltpack. Which is best for you will of course depend on your intended application. Looking to interview others, podcast, record some sermons or speeches? The handheld package may be for you. Want something a bit more inconspicuous and on-the-go for vlogging, interviews and more? Grab the lav package. Not sure which to buy? Perhaps both? You can use them at the same time if you do so.

The two configurations for the Samson Go Mic Mobile

Using two mics at once with the Samson Go Mic Mobile is huge for us, and this is a problem at times we’ve seen with some recorder and mic combos only allowing one source which limits us a bit in terms of versatility (having to switch off the lav mic to people, etc.). Especially during interviews (such as at the convention using it) or other times (many times at that) you’ll need to record two individuals at once, you’ll be good to go for that. One person can hold the handheld while the other (perhaps partaking in the demonstration) can clip that lav mic to their shirt. These two signals can then be mixed together or even recorded separately with those channels for some additional flexibility when editing — we love this part because nothing is worse than having a mixed audio file, especially with two different speakers. The more channels the better, and let’s say one person’s voice is different from the other (pitch, volume), you can adjust accordingly in post-production. If you want to scale it even further, you can operate up to three full systems at the same time for a grand total of six mics and transmitters. Why not?

The audio is uncompressed, so we’ll have some leeway when it comes to tweaking it to our liking in post-production. No compressed MP3 stuff here. The low-latency transmission is also effective for syncing with your video file, but that usually isn’t too hard to do in post-production with some software. You can choose if you’d like to record directly into your device using a third-party recording app or the actual video file itself.

Using the Samson Go Mic Mobile

Usually with wireless transmitters, you’re going to be called for some knowledge in the ‘setting up’ department. This particular transmitter operates on the most common wireless frequency band — 2.4 Ghz. However, a little feature we really like that helps out with user-friendliness is the automatic operating channel selection. What it does is it searches through the available channels in your particular location and will find the less crowded — excellent for convenience. Of course, there will still be those risks of interference as there always is with wireless microphones and receivers; however, this helps give us some confidence it won’t happen nearly as much as if you were just select the first channel you find. On top of that, you’ll be getting about 13 hours of recording time, which to us is more than enough for at least one day of work (just don’t forget to charge it the night before).

On the mobile receiver’s interface itself, you have quite a few controls at your disposal. The front includes a smart phone locking screw, analog output selector switch, and mixed mono/split stereo selector switch. The sides of the unit have an output for digital audio and analog audio as well as a charging port.

The mobile receiver up close

The Samson Go Mic Mobile’s compatibility

The Samson Go Mic Mobile is compatible with Android running at 5.0 (lollipop) or higher, however they must also allow for USB digital audio connection (USB Micro B or USB-C cables — which come in the box), of course (not all do so, which may call for you to download a third party app). You can always use the 3.5 mm cable connection as a safeguard. On the other hand, it’s compatible with all iOS devices (yes, it comes with the lightning cable). All of these connections are compatible with any device you have that supports the inputs, so this includes cameras, camcorders, computers and more.

When it comes to actually mounting the receiver onto your compatible device, the package (both configurations) provides us with quite a few mounting accessories — bracket arms, hook-and-loop fasteners, shoe mount adapter, and 1/4″-20 adapter), so you have quite a few options when it comes to flexibility in mounting that receiver.

What's in the Samson Go Mic Mobile's box?

What you’ll be getting the box (aside from one or the other in terms of the dynamic or lavalier mictransmitter). (Source: SamsonTech.com).

Conclusion of the Samson Go Mic Mobile review

This is definitely a standout when it comes to the new microphones we were able to check out at NAMM. The market is starting to become saturated with everybody’s version of their “Yeti” or different lines of USB microphones. This was however the first and only new smart phone microphone we saw available for the new year, not to mention it’s one of the first of it’s kind being in being wireless. Well done, Samson.

It’s definitely nice that it’s also compatible with different recording devices so long as it has the proper connections, such as a DSLR camera, however when it comes to actually capturing semi-pro and professional recordings for perhaps documentaries, movie making and filmmaking, you may want to get something a bit higher in quality (and of course, more expensive). Our DSLR video mics guide may provide some better options there.

Aside from that, and when specifically pertaining to a smart phone, there isn’t necessarily anything stopping you from grabbing a traditional portable audio recordermicrophone combination that supports wireless recording; however, many out there do not actually mount to your phone and you’ll have to either hold it with your hand or stick it in your pocket.

Ultimately, the Samson Go Mic Mobile is in our opinion the first of it’s kind. Not to mention allowing us to record up to six different sources on different channels for some great versatility for post-production. As stated previously, you can read our iOS microphone guide (we’ll write an Android one later on) for some competitors, but there aren’t many wireless solutions out there just yet. This is a must if you’re planning on recording audio to your smart phone, and we think it’s the start of a new trend and the further progress of smart phone microphones as a whole.

The Best Microphones for Android Devices

We found the best Android microphones in the market

A microphone for your Android device will completely change your audio resolution, and as many are aware, is a big deal considering the stock quality really won’t cut it if you’re doing anything serious with it. We’ve seen many guides focus on microphones for iOS devices or even articles such as what we’ve written in our best smartphone microphone guide, but many out there rarely cover recommendations strictly for Android devices in particular. Today we wanted to do the hefty research for you and explain why each of these mics will be recommended, which of course will depend on what your needs individuals are.

Finding the best Android microphone

Unfortunately, there are way more external iOS microphones than there are for Android devices. For some reason it hasn’t become as widespread for Androids, which we’re assuming microphone creators are prioritizing due to the “more popularity” in the operating system and device type. But never fear, there are some gems out there we were able to find.

Aside from budget, you’ll have to look into what type of microphone you’ll be seeking for your Android device. The main types of mics in this particular article will include lavalier mics (the tiny microphones which can clip on to your shirt), shotgun mics (which will mount on to your phone itself and protrude out in order to record), as well as traditional condenser microphone (mics you’ll need to set aside on a surface to record).

The best microphones for Android devices

Shure MVL

Our pick as the best microphone for Androids

Up first as our pick to be the best Android microphone, the MVL by Shure is a lav mic which connects via a long 3.5 mm cord (you’ll need a TRRS connector and does not come with one). It is an omnidirectional microphone with a great signal-to-noise ratio that won’t distort on your easily and pick up a clear sound. Omindirectional means it will be picking up sound from all directions, so it’s great for being close to a speaker in an interview or presentation. It will however not reject any sides either, so the possibility for picking up sound from its surroundings will be more probably as opposed to a one-directional mic.

The sleek, discreet appearance is great for those who don’t want to necessarily portray that they’re recording, or at least make it less distracting or obvious. It comes with a windscreen, clothing clip as well as carrying pouch. We’ve seen this one used by musicians, podcasters, journalists, vloggers and more. You can also use their ShurePlus MOTIV App to record and have some extra settings to tweak for your recordings. Check out the Shure MVL for a high-end lavalier microphone for your Android.

Rode VideoMic Me

By far one of the best Android microphones in the market

Here’s Rode’s highly rated microphone for Android devices, and this one brings us a different design and means to capturing audio on your smart device. It’s very versatile since you can either position it for your front or rear camera. Termed a ‘directional’ microphone since it mimics a ‘shotgun microphone’ by capturing whatever source of audio it is exactly pointed at with its front end, and uses the 3.5mm headphone jack for play-through of audio. This is just a solid Android microphone all-around and is great for those who are capturing either themselves or a source in front of them. You also don’t have to worry about cables or clips and simply mount it to your device. We love the Rode VideoMic Me for any Android user needing a simple solution to upgrading their audio quality.

PowerDeWise Lapel Microphone

A great lavalier microphone for Android mobile devices

Another one of the best microphones for Androids is a lapel (also known as lavlier) and is quite budget-friendly for those just wanting a simple and affordable solution for a bit of an upgrade in the audio department. They advertise this as ‘noise cancelling’ but we’re sure this isn’t the technical and ‘real’ “Active Noise Canceling” we see in some headphones, but it’s still a great option for those wanting to record a close source and you’re OK with clipping it on somewhere near them or yourself. What’s also great is the super long extension cord that comes in the box (79″), extra wind muff, mono adapter, as well as carrying case for safe storage. We’ve also read through user reviews and see it’s been used for outdoor conditions and that you’re able to hold the mic nearly 10 feet away and still capture some sound. Check out the PowerDeWise Lapel for a great, budget-friendly solution to your Android microphone.

Audio-Technica ATR3350iS

Audio-Technica's best microphone for Androids

Next, a possible verdict as the best microphone for Android devices come to you by one of our favorite brands ever, with an affordable omnidirectional lavalier microphone with surprisingly great quality for the listing price. It has a sleek and low-profile design for minimal visibility, and there’s also an included adapter for smart phones (newer Androids), tie clip, battery, and foam windscreen. Again, the omnidirectional pickup pattern has full coverage of what’s around it, so it’ll depend on what you plan on doing with your Android mic. We know some who just need a directional mic such as the Rode listed above, or something like this to ensure you capture the whole picture. The Audio-Technica ATR3350iS is a great lapel mic for Androids.

Saramonic SmartMic

A convenient sized microphones for Androids

Here’s a bit of a different spin to the best microphones for Androids. The SmartMic is a little mini condenser that isn’t obtrusive at all and is flexible in terms of how you’re able to position it — it’s directional and can rotate 90 degrees. There’s also an integrated shock mount to help absorb some unwanted noise that may try to bleed through in to your recordings, and it’s super cheap on top of it all (one of the lowest priced in here). It isn’t necessarily the best at recording isolated sources, so if you’ll be in a busy environment and need something more professional this won’t be your pick. Otherwise, look into the Saramonic SmartMic if you want an Android microphone that’s super cheap and effective for what it’s supposed to be able to do.

Movo WMIC10

A beautiful wireless microphone for Android mobile devices

Let’s talk wireless Android device microphones. We include this particular microphone in many of our guides for a reason — effectiveness and affordability. The WMIC10 is a lavalier microphone with a bodypack transmitter (includes belt clip, too), and broadcasts on a 2.4 GHz frequency spectrum up to 50 feet. You can also adjust the volume gain and headphone monitor input on the transmitter itself. Operates using two “AA” batteries, so we’d bring some extra just in case it dies on you in the field. All in all however, this is the perfect pick for you if you wanted a wireless solution to your Android audio. The Movo WMIC10 is highly rated by many.

ZaxSound Condenser Microphone

The last pick as the best Android microphone

Last but not least, we have a more traditional ‘microphone’ build here with a larger condenser that stands next to your device with a tripod. That means it can really work for any device out there, aside from Androids — PC, Laptops, Macs, Xbox, all of the above. You can hook it up wither either a USB cable or TRRS 3.5mm, and the cable is around 6 feet long for a decent distance. The particular pickup pattern on this Android mic only takes what’s in front of it and cancels out the sides and back, so it’ll be great for uses such as podcasting, gaming, recording interviews, and more. Check out the ZaxSound Condenser as our last pick to be the best Android microphone in the market today.

Samson G-Track Pro USB Microphone Review

We review the Samson G-Track Pro USB microphone

Our ears definitely perk up every time we hear the phrase ‘new USB microphone’, and when we were able to check out the Samson G-Track Pro USB at NAMM, we were extremely excited to get our hands busy. There are countless USB microphones in the market right now and that’s only going to increase with time, considering they’re growing in not only popularity but overall quality to help give us versatility in the plug-and-play microphone game. As we can see at first glance, this here G-Track Pro looks suspiciously like a very popular USB mic I’m sure you’re all aware of (the Yeti, if you weren’t). However, there hasn’t really been a direct competitor with not only size but functions, capabilities and of course, price-point. So let’s jump in.

Features of the Samson G-Track Pro

  • All-in-one USB mic and interface
  • Dual 1″ condenser capsules (25mm)
  • Three selectable polar patterns: Cardioid, bidirectional and omnidirectional
  • Compatible with Mac and PC
  • 3-color LED for power, clip and mute
  • 1/4″ instrument in, 1/8″ stereo headphone out
  • Integrated desktop base (removable)
  • 120dB SPL
  • Frequency Response: 50Hz–20kHz
  • Resolution: 16 or 24-bit up to 96kHz
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs (1.6kg)

Quality of the Samson G-Track Pro

Our number one concern with any microphone ever is this — how does it sound? USB mics aren’t going to be the ‘warmest’, ‘clearest’ or even ‘best’ of course — we aren’t talking a professional studio microphone here. However, for those concerned with uses that don’t involve professional music, such as streaming, vlogging, podcasts, skype calls, business meetings or really, in a home studio, a solution such as this can be perfect. It isn’t fuzzy or bad at all, in fact it comes at a higher than average sample rate and resolution at 24-bit, 96 kHz (most we’ve seen out there, such as with the Yeti that we’ll do a comparison on down further, come in at 16-bit, 48 kHz). The frequency range could’ve gone a bit lower (we’re always fans of the standard 20 Hz as opposed to 50, but beggars can’t be choosers and for those in home studios or other non-musical related adventures, this isn’t a concern unless you’re recording a literal bass guitar.

Another look at the G-Track Pro USB mic

The build of the G-Track Pro is great, and it felt like a tank when we got to hold and inspect it. The construction is actually made of die-cast zinc so no cheap plastic here. What we also love is that little desktop stand that makes it perfect for setting it right into our existing setups, or if you’d like, you can remove the stand and mount it to a microphone stand (any time, whether it’s a traditional stand or even arm). The buttons and insouts aren’t cheap and definitely won’t break on you if you take care of this. It’s going to be a long-term investment and will last you years.

Next, let’s talk latency. With the 1/8″ stereo headphone out and the level control on the unit itself, you can monitor your sound without any disruptions. While recording, there isn’t going to be any noticeable lag in between the playback and recording feedback, or even in post-production when it comes to syncing any audio. You’re fine here.

Using the G-Track Pro USB microphone

As with many USB mics in the game, getting this going right out of the box is extremely easy. No driver installation required — just plug it in to your computer or laptop (yes, PC or Mac — unfortunately, no smart device use here) and it’ll be recognized within 10 seconds. Just get some of your music software going and voila, you have instant audio recording.

Another huge plus of a USB mic in this price-point is the selectable polar patterns. For most uses a USB mic calls for, especially if you’re recording a podcast or some type of vocals on your desk or in a studio, the cardioid pattern will be your main go-to. However, the bidirectional (picks up from two sides — the front and rear) gives us flexibility for recording and performing, such as those with a guitar who sing at the same time. The omnidirectional pattern (picks it up equally from all directions) may be of use to some if you want to pick up an entire band or some type of quartet in the studio. The last two patterns may not be used quite frequently (especially for those recording professionally, we’d say stick to a traditional studio XLR connected condenser), but it at least give us some flexibility just in case.

A look at the front of the G-Track Pro

The gain control on the microphone unit itself is a big plus as well. Simple turn the knob by hand if you want to tweak the volume of your recordings as you wish. The other knobs below can also control the instrument in volume as well as your headphone level. Also to keep in mind, if you are going to be using the G-Track Pro traditionally with its desktop stand while you’re sitting, do not point the mic right at your face. Instead, keep it face up so the front side faces your mouth and it can capture your audio that way. It’s a side-address mic.

Additional standouts of the Samson G-Track Pro

For those who aren’t just concerned with vocals or recording any type of talking, the G-Track Pro will also work very well with instruments. You have a 1/4″ input for guitars or other types of gearinstruments that are compatible with this connection. This give us the ‘audio interface’ name, and although of course you can record instruments straight through your traditional interface (or perhaps use acoustic instruments with the G-Track Pro’s traditional mic use), it won’t hurt, especially if you don’t want to invest in a standard audio interface that cost a few hundred more bucks in your budget.

Keep in mind you can record both the microphone as well as 1/4″ instrument input at the same time as well. This is done by using the Mono / 2-Track switch which will make it literally record each source separate into two tracks for easy post-production editing. When doing so however, you’ll want to set up your studio in a way that the others don’t blend with each other, such as the guitarists strumming being picked up by the mic capsule, etc.

In conclusion of the G-Track Pro USB review

We don’t want to do too many ‘comparisons’ with the Yeti. Standing by itself, the G-Track Pro is an excellent USB microphone solution, and is starting to show us when technological advancements in the USB mic game while keeping the price relatively steady.

Multiple angle views of the Samson G-Track Pro USB microphone

There are a few factors to pick apart when it comes to looking at competitors, however. If you were wondering, yes, the Blue Yeti actually goes down to 20 Hz in the frequency response area. However, keep in mind the Yeti’s capsules are only 14 mm large, so you’re getting a bigger capsule for a little bit more audio quality and clarity with the G-Track Pro’s 20 mm. Also, the Yeti only goes up to 16-bit while the G-Track Pro is 24-bit, while the Yeti and Yeti Studio are only 48 kHz and the G-Track Pro is 96 kHz. If you’re concerned with audio quality and price, the G-Track Pro wins.

If you want to go higher in the audio resolution area (which is a make or break to us), you’ll have to grab Blue’s Yeti Pro which goes all the way up to $250 retail, about $100 more than the G-Track Pro. It does go up to 192 kHz as well, so that may be a determining factor if you have the cash, otherwise the ‘price-to-quality balance’ verdict still goes to the G-Track Pro. Not to mention that price is higher because they include ‘software’ in the bundle. Now don’t get us wrong, if you need software as well (keep in mind there are a lot of free solutions out there), the package may be worth it, but that still makes G-Track Pro the winner when it comes to capsule size, audio quality and of course, affordability if you can get past that small frequency response difference.

We think Blue needs to up their game since we have a new sheriff in town, so look out for some ‘improvements’, ‘tweaks’ or ‘new versions of the Yeti’ in the coming years. This may even call for Samson to continue creating models in the G-Track series as well — we’re always open for battles since it will only help us consumers. For now however and until further notice, the Samson G-Track Pro is in our opinion the best USB microphone in the game for under $200.