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
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.).
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.