As people who upload to our YouTube channel often, we’ve always wanted to explore more options when it comes to recording audio. One such product we wanted to check out was the Rode SmartLav+, which claims to be a “Broadcast quality audio” microphone. So we bought one from Lazada and gave it a try.
The Rode SmartLav+ is a small microphone designed to be used with today’s modern smartphones and plugged into the headphone jack. This eliminates the need for extra equipment, as most professional equipment use less-accessible XLR cables and microphones / accessories. Rode’s solution is pretty much the marriage of a high quality microphone connected to a CTIA-compliant 3.5mm TRRS jack. Neat.
In practice it works just like you connected a headset to a phone. And that’s exactly what it is – just with the headphones cut out. You can create the same effect by just cutting off your earphones, but probably won’t have the same sound quality – or durability. The SmartLav’s cable is kevlar reinforced, and the clip and microphone seem fairly solid as well.
Audio recording is done through any sound recording app, and Rode provides their own Rode Rec for iOS. It has the right equalizer preset for the best sound output, but unfortunately Android users are left out with no official app and properly calibrated EQ.
Not having an iOS device, we used it on an Android with ASR recorder. The quality was acceptable, and with some tweaking in post production it definitely should improve. (Rode Rec app should provide better output with its presets.) That said, our Lumia 1020’s mic (with built-in processing) sounded much better than the Rode’s raw capture. The beauty of the SmartLav+ though, is you can walk away and still get clean audio to mix with the video later.
Anyways, a lapel mic is probably not something most people would be interested in. However if you are, this is a decent choice.
Rode SmartLav+ on Lazada – PHP 2,580 as of writing
Lapel mics are not for everybody. But for people looking to record audio on their smartphone, this is one of the better choices out there.
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