Rode VideoMic Me hands-on
Smartphone cameras are so versatile, thanks in part to the improved performances we've seen in them through the years and the level of convenience they offer over traditional point-and-shoot cameras. While the quality can no doubt rival some high-end dedicated cameras, one area that can struggle is the audio. When you're dealing with very little room to begin with, the audio recording performance is usually the first to suffer. Well, that doesn't have to be the case!
For those wishing to improve their audio quality, the Rode VideoMic Me is an easy solution that'll greatly do just that the moment it's plugged in and used! What's amazing is that you'll instantly notice the difference, just like we did. It's a compact sized directional microphone that snaps into the headphone jack of your phone, and comes with a windscreen filter to minimize wind from interfering with the recording.
What's the best part about it? For starters, this directional microphone has a very narrow area where it focuses its recording – while keeping background noise around the sides and rear of the microphone from intruding. Obviously, it's perfect for those vlog style videos when you're in the frame and recording yourself using a smartphone's front facing camera. However, the windscreen filter will block the camera if the headphone jack is situated on the same side, so that's something to watch out for.
Quickly comparing the quality between it and the on-board microphones in the Samsung Galaxy S8, there's a noticeable difference that gives the Rode VideoMic Me the advantage. Not only is our voice in the recording clearer, but it doesn't catch as much of the ambient noise around us. In addition, our voice sounds more amplified – whereas with the on-board mics, they sound thin and distant.
The Rode VideoMic Me can be set up to work with either the front and rear cameras, making it even more versatile for different shoots. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack on one end of the microphone, so you don't have to constantly remove the VideoMic Me if you want to use a pair of headphones to listen to the recording. Like we said, if you're serious about improving your audio, then this is a great solution to think about.
You can pick it up from various retailers for about $60, like Amazon. That's not bad at all given the improvement to the audio recording. However, since it's meant to work with smartphones through the headphone jack, you'll need to pick up an extra adapter if you wish to use it on other things like a DSLR or personal audio recorder.