6 Best External Microphone for Phone in 2024

Are you ready to elevate your audio game to cinematic levels? Whether you’re a budding vlogger, an aspiring musician, or just want to boost the sound quality of your calls, an external microphone for your phone is your secret weapon. With the right mic, every word can be crystal-clear, every note pitch-perfect. But with countless options on the market, how do you pick the perfect match for your phone? Fear not, because we’ve curated a list of the best external microphones to help you find your ideal audio companion without breaking a sweat—or the bank!

When choosing the best external microphone for a phone, consider the following criteria to ensure clear, high-quality audio for your recordings or communications:

  1. Compatibility: Make sure the microphone is compatible with your phone’s hardware (such as the headphone jack or USB-C port) and software (iOS, Android).
  2. Audio Quality: Look for microphones with high-resolution audio capture capabilities, low self-noise, and the ability to handle different sound levels without distortion.
  3. Directionality: Determine if you need a directional microphone that captures sound from one specific direction (useful for interviews) or an omnidirectional mic that picks up sound from all around (great for conference calls).
  4. Portability: If you’re on the go, a compact and lightweight microphone will be more convenient. Some mics also come with protective cases for transport.
  5. Ease of Use: For a seamless experience, the microphone should be easy to set up and connect to your phone, ideally without requiring extra apps or equipment.
  6. Durability: A robust construction that can handle the rigors of travel and use over time is important, so look for sturdy build quality.
  7. Additional Features: Features like wind reduction, integrated shock mounts, and the ability to adjust recording levels can be valuable.

Considering these factors, you’ll find a microphone that enhances your phone’s audio recording capabilities for various tasks, such as podcasting, vlogging, or simply capturing better sound for videos.
Creating a table to compare external microphones for phones is a great way to visualize the differences between your options. When comparing these products, we’ll want to look at a few key specs that are important for potential users: price, compatibility (iOS/Android), polar pattern, frequency response, connector type, and any special features or additional items included in the kit.

Here’s a simplified comparison table:

Features / ProductHollyland Lark C1Shure MV88Rode VideoMic Me-LSennheiser MKE 200Boya BY-M1Apogee MiC Plus
Price (approx., as of last update)$$$$$$$$$$$$$
CompatibilityAndroid and iOS
(USB-C and Lightning)
iOS only (with Lightning)iOS (with Lightning)Universal (with 3.5mm TRS/TRRS jack)Universal (with 3.5mm TRS/TRRS jack)iOS, Mac, PC (USB connection)
Polar PatternOmnidirectionalCardioidDirectional (cardioid)CardioidOmnidirectionalCardioid
Frequency Response20 Hz to 20 kHz20 Hz to 20 kHz20 Hz to 20 kHz40 Hz to 20 kHz65 Hz to 18 kHz20 Hz to 20 kHz
Connector TypeUSB-C and LightningLightningLightning3.5mm TRS with TRRS adaptor3.5mm TRS with TRRS adaptorUSB
Special FeaturesUltra-long battery time, One-click noise cancellation, simultaneous charging and recording, and audio playback for real-time monitoringAdjustable via app, 5 DSP modesPlug & play, windshield includedCompact and sleek design, furry windshieldLong cable, clip-on featureProfessional quality, gain control
Included AccessoriesUSB cables, furry windshields, and protective casingWindscreen, headphone monitor jackMounting bracket, furry windshieldMobile kit includes a mini tripod and pouchLapel clip, LR44 battery, foam windscreenDesktop tripod, carry case

Price Ratings:
$ = Generally under $50
$$ = Around $50 to $150
$$$ = Over $150

Remember to check for compatibility with your specific phone model before making a purchase, as this could affect your final decision.

Hollyland Lark C1

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The Hollyland Lark C1 is the perfect example of a wireless microphone designed specifically for use with phones. Due to its broad range of features, it stands out as a suitable external microphone for those who challenge themselves to show creativity by making remarkable videos with mobile devices. One of its notable traits is the simultaneous charging of the receiver when plugged into the phone without uninterrupted audio recording. 

lark c1 box

Hollyland Lark C1

One-Step Wireless Microphone for Mobile Phone.

For example, if you are recording a live event or an interview, your phone can keep the RX active so you can record the session until the TX battery drains. So, how long does the TX battery last? Well, at least 8 hours when it’s all charged. And if used with a fully charged charging case, Lark C1 can perform up to 32 hours. However, the manufacturers recommend to avoid unplugging or plugging the RX from the phone. Otherwise, the units will automatically restart, which can take up to 6 seconds. 

Furthermore, the Hollyland Lark C1 has a plug-and-play functionality, which really simplifies the entire setup. By simply plugging in the RX into your Android mobile or iPhone, you can instantly begin recording without unnecessary installations of third-party apps. Another bulls-eye feature of this wireless microphone system is active noise cancellation. This technology proves to be the greatest asset for professional content creators as it helps diminish the intensity of unwanted background noises. 

Moreover, the Hollyland Lark C1 promises to provide Hi-Fi sound through its 16-bit bit depth and 48kHz sample rate. This confirms that all your recordings will have every detail and nuance, making Lark C1 a perfect audio recording solution even for podcasts and instruments, where audio fidelity is needed the most.

Specs:

  • Max SPL: 110 dB
  • Dynamic Range: 86 dB
  • Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Required Charging Time: 1.5 hours (approx)
  • Battery Timing: 8 hours / 32 hours with charging case
  • Wireless Transmission Technology: 2.4GHz AFH
  • Transmission Range: 650ft LOS and 130ft NLOS

Pros:

  • The audio quality is crisp and clean 
  • Very durable charging case – hard to break easily 
  • Lark C1 is a lightweight wireless mic that doesn’t add bulkiness to your phone and clothing
  • The company gives you the option to install and use the LarkSound app for more productivity

Cons:

  • Although not necessary, a few users complained about the lack of 3.5mm lavalier microphone input in the design

Price:

If you want to purchase the Android version of Lark C1, it may cost you around $99. On the other hand, the iOS version is a bit expensive and is priced at $109 on Amazon US.

With enhanced connectivity options, excellent features, marvelous specs, and an attractive, sturdy design, the Hollyland Lark C1 seems a bright microphone that won’t disappoint its users. 

lark c1 box

Hollyland Lark C1

One-Step Wireless Microphone for Mobile Phone.

Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone

image 1008

In the realm of mobile audio recording, the Shure MV88 stands out as a tour de force. Designed specifically for iOS devices, this compact yet powerful microphone offers remarkable sound quality for a small gadget that can comfortably fit in your pocket. Whether you’re a podcaster on-the-go, a musician laying down some spontaneous inspiration, or a videographer capturing impromptu interviews, the MV88’s versatility and ease of use is a game-changer.

Upon testing, the MV88’s audio capture impressed me with its crystal-clear fidelity and depth. Shure has clearly leveraged its extensive experience in professional audio to create a microphone that brings studio-like quality to casual settings. The accompanying ShurePlus MOTIV app is an added bonus, giving users a range of controls at their fingertips to optimize recordings for speech, singing, acoustic instruments, and more.

Specs:

The MV88 features a mid-side architecture, allowing the user to adjust the width of the stereo image, which is invaluable for both musical and environmental soundscapes. Its all-metal construction gives it a solid, durable feel, and the hinged, rotating design allows for optimal positioning. The direct Lightning connection delivers a potent combination of quality and convenience, although it’s worth noting that this restricts its use to Apple devices.

Pros & Cons:

Pros of the MV88 include its exceptional recording clarity and the fact that it requires no battery, drawing power directly from the connected iOS device. Its adjustable polar patterns add to its flexibility, and the MOTIV app is a standout for those who wish to exert more control over their sound.

On the downside, the MV88’s reliance on the Lightning port can be a double-edged sword, as it means you can’t charge your device or use wired headphones while the mic is in use. Some may also find its price point a tad steep, especially those who are casual users rather than audio professionals or serious enthusiasts.

Price:

As for the cost, the Shure MV88 typically retails around the $150 mark. While not the cheapest option out there, its high-quality audio capture justifies the investment, particularly for those who place a premium on sound quality and are looking for a reliable, portable solution that delivers consistently across a variety of recording situations.

Rode VideoMic Me-L Directional Microphone

image 1007

Overview:
The Rode VideoMic Me-L is a compact and efficient directional microphone designed for use with iPhones and iPads equipped with a Lightning connector. Aimed at vloggers, interviewers, and anyone in need of enhancing their audio on the go, this mic dramatically improves the sound quality over the built-in microphones on mobile devices.

What I find particularly impressive about the Me-L is its focus on capturing audio from the front while minimizing background sound. This is ideal when you’re recording in noisy environments – whether it’s a busy street or a bustling conference room. It even includes a furry windshield that is incredibly practical for outdoor shoots, helping to cut down on wind noise.

The build quality of the Rode VideoMic Me-L feels solid, and it’s reasonably lightweight, which is important for those using it handheld over extended periods. It’s plug-and-play, which means there’s no fiddly setup or battery management to deal with – a huge plus for those who want to focus on their content rather than technical configurations.

Specs:

  • Acoustic Principle: Pressure gradient electret condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 74.5 dB
  • Connection: Lightning connector
  • Included Accessories: Mic clip, furry windshield

Pros:

  • Direct connection to the Lightning port ensures a reliable connection and high-quality digital audio.
  • Cardioid polar pattern is excellent for focused recording.
  • Plug-and-play ease of use without the need for an external battery.
  • Furry windshield included for outdoor recording is a thoughtful and convenient addition.

Cons:

  • It’s solely compatible with iOS devices that have a Lightning port, so if you or someone you collaborate with has a different device, it’s not versatile in that respect.
  • While compact, some may find it a little bulkier compared to ultra-compact alternatives.
  • The lack of flexibility with the fixed Lightning connector can make angling the phone a bit awkward at times.

Price:
The Rode VideoMic Me-L is generally priced mid-range compared to other smartphone microphones. While it’s not the cheapest option out there, the price accurately reflects its superior build quality and performance. It’s a worthwhile investment for those looking to significantly step up their audio game on an iOS device.

I hold the Rode VideoMic Me-L in high regard for anyone serious about creating quality audio content with their iPhone or iPad. It strikes an excellent balance between functionality, quality, and ease of use, without requiring a professional-level investment.

Sennheiser MKE 200 Mobile Kit

image 1006

The Sennheiser MKE 200 Mobile Kit is a compact, sleek external microphone that is designed for content creators who demand quality audio on the go. My immediate impression of the MKE 200 is its robust build quality that feels reassuring in hand—a step up from many flimsy competitors. It’s clear that Sennheiser has put thought into the inevitable rigors of mobile content creation.

Upon testing the MKE 200, the sound clarity was impressive. Vocals came through crisp and clear, with minimal background noise thanks to the integrated windscreen and shock mount. I appreciated the directional pick-up pattern, which helped to focus on the subject and reduce unwanted sound. The addition of both TRS and TRRS cables in the kit is a thoughtful touch, broadening compatibility with a variety of smartphones and cameras.

Specs:

  • Directional on-camera microphone
  • Integrated wind protection and shock absorption
  • Interchangeable 3.5mm TRS and TRRS connectivity
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Sturdy, all-metal construction

Pros

  • Exceptional build quality for durability
  • Great at isolating subject sound from background noise
  • Easy to use, plug-and-play operation
  • Versatile compatibility with smartphones and cameras
  • The mobile kit includes a smartphone clamp and extension pole, adding to its overall value

Cons

  • Slightly on the pricier side compared to entry-level mics
  • May require additional adapters for certain smartphones without headphone jacks
  • Lacks some of the advanced features found in professional-grade mics, such as adjustable gain or a digital interface

Price:
The Sennheiser MKE 200 Mobile Kit sits at a mid-range price point. It’s not the cheapest option out there, but you’re paying for quality and a reputable brand. At the time of writing, prices will vary depending on the retailer, but you can expect to invest in a product that will significantly boost your mobile audio recordings’ quality.

In conclusion, the Sennheiser MKE 200 Mobile Kit is a well-thought-out product that caters to mobile videographers and content creators who need reliable, high-quality sound without lugging around heavy audio equipment. The price may be a bit steep for hobbyists, but for those serious about their audio game, it represents a worthy investment that delivers on performance and build quality.

Boya BY-M1 Lavalier Microphone

image 1030

The Boya BY-M1 is a remarkably convenient and versatile lavalier microphone that promises to enhance your audio recordings without tethering you to high-end, professional gear. Its sleek and unobtrusive design is perfect for on-the-go journalists, vloggers, and anyone looking to step up their audio game using just their phone. I’ve found that it offers a significant boost in sound quality compared to built-in phone mics, providing clear and focused audio, especially in interview scenarios or when recording in a controlled environment.

Specs:

  • Polar pattern: Omnidirectional
  • Frequency response: 65Hz-18KHz
  • Signal/Noise: 74dB SPL
  • Cable length: 6 meters (20ft)
  • Connector: 3.5mm (1/8″) 4-pole gold plug
  • Battery type: LR44

Pros:

  • The omnidirectional pickup pattern captures sound equally from all directions, ensuring that your subject’s voice is audible even if they move slightly off-axis.
  • Its long cable length gives both the subject and the recorder plenty of freedom to move around, which I appreciate when setting up shots that require distance between the smartphone and the subject.
  • The microphone includes a lapel clip, which is discreet and easy to attach to clothing – a big plus for keeping your setup professional and unobtrusive.
  • The included battery ensures you have an independent power source, which can be a lifesaver if your phone has a weak preamp or is running low on power.

Cons:

  • The length of the cable, while beneficial for mobility, can be cumbersome if you don’t manage it properly and could introduce noise if it brushes against objects or clothing.
  • An omnidirectional mic is not always ideal in noisy environments since it doesn’t discriminate between the subject’s voice and background sounds.

Price:

Pricing for the Boya BY-M1 Lavalier Microphone is typically very affordable, making it an excellent value for those on a budget. This is unquestionably one of the appeals of this mic – it delivers impressive performance without the high-end price tag. However, prices may vary based on the retailer, ongoing promotions, or package deals, so it’s always smart to shop around a bit.

Apogee MiC Plus USB Microphone

image 1004

The Apogee MiC Plus is a versatile and portable USB microphone that provides high-quality audio recording with the convenience of plug-and-play functionality. Whether you’re a musician wanting to record ideas on the go, a podcaster looking to capture clear dialogue, or a content creator in need of pristine audio for videos, the MiC Plus makes professional-grade recording accessible.

In my experience, the build quality immediately stands out. It’s solid and doesn’t feel like it would suffer much from the occasional bump or knock, which is pretty important if you plan to carry it around. The MiC Plus is relatively compact, so it doesn’t take up much space in a bag. However, since it’s geared more towards high-fidelity recording, it might be slightly bulkier than some other phone-specific microphones primarily designed for video work.

Apogee is known for its impeccable sound quality and the MiC Plus lives up to that reputation. The pureDIGITAL connection ensures a clean signal, and from my tests, the recorded audio is detailed and true to the source. The microphone also features a headphone output for real-time monitoring, which is incredibly useful for making on-the-spot adjustments without latency.

Specs:

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Max SPL: 130dB (SPL)
  • Connectivity: USB, Lightning (cable included), and comes with a ” microphone stand adapter
  • Headphone Out: Yes, with blend feature for zero-latency monitoring

Pros:

  • Excellent audio quality lends itself well to a range of recording needs, from music to voiceovers.
  • Plug-and-play operation makes it simple to use; no complex setup required.
  • Sturdy build quality gives it a premium feel and ensures durability.
  • Headphone jack for real-time monitoring is a huge plus.

Cons:

  • Comparatively expensive, possibly over-budget for casual users.
  • Not as compact as some other mobile microphones designed specifically for smartphones.

Price:

The Apogee MiC Plus usually sits at the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to price. With its premium features and sound quality, it’s targeted more at professionals and serious enthusiasts. The investment makes sense if you require top-notch recordings and versatility, but for those just starting out or with basic requirements, there are more cost-effective options that may suit their needs better.

Conclusion:

Selecting the best external microphone for your phone is crucial for enhancing audio quality, whether for vlogging, podcasting, or video calls. Today’s market offers a variety of options, catering to different needs—be it durability, sound fidelity, or convenience. Whichever model you choose from our list, remember to consider your specific requirements such as compatibility, portability, and usage environment. High-quality audio can significantly uplift your content, ensuring your message is not just heard but also felt by your audience.

FAQs:

  1. Do I need a special adapter to connect an external microphone to my phone?
  • It depends on your phone and the microphone’s connection type. Some microphones plug directly into the headphone jack or USB-C port, while others might require an adapter.
  1. Can I use these external microphones for professional recordings?
  • Yes, many external microphones are designed to deliver professional-grade audio, suitable for high-quality recordings.
  1. Will an external microphone drain my phone’s battery faster?
  • External microphones can consume additional power, but the impact on battery life varies depending on the microphone model and how it connects to your phone.

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John Doe

John Doe

I am John, a tech enthusiast with a knack for breaking down complex camera, audio, and video technology. My expertise extends to social media and electronic gadgets, and I thrive on making the latest tech trends understandable and exciting for everyone. Sharing my knowledge through engaging content, I aim to connect with fellow tech lovers and novices alike, bringing the fascinating world of technology to life.

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