Best Smartphone Microphones [Getting it right in 2020]

Being a creator it’s never easy when you’re starting small. Back in the ’90s, creators didn’t much on hand to prove their worth to their audience. 

But we will say this-It’s great to be alive in 2020. 

The average person who just comes and goes to the office can have a shot at becoming popular. And that’s largely thanks to the popular social media platforms. 

But if you want to be a creative showman who’s just starting out, then you will certainly want to consider the best smartphone microphone. 

Of course, for someone who just wants to wing it, having the right smartphone microphone is a must. In the modern world, where so many are trying to get a shot at attracting the general audience, there are no second chances. 

So, if you want the best results, you have to go with the best microphone, it’s as simple as that. 

Before we move on to the review, let’s have a look at what we have for you today:

Best Smartphone Microphones: Offerings for 2020

Product NamePickup patternDimensions
Rode smartLav+Omnidirectional5 x 1 x 3-inches
Movo Smartphone Video Rig with Shotgun MicrophoneCardioid7.6 x 5.6 x 4.7-inches (Full kit)
Shure MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone (Gray)Cardioid4x5x4.5-inch
Saramonic Mini SmartMic Directional Condenser Flexible MicrophoneDirectional
1.2 x 1.2 x 2.7-inches
Shure MV88+ Video Kit with Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone4-polar patterns7.5 x 4.4 x 4.4-inches
Movo GM100 Lavalier MicrophoneOmnidirectional4.5 x 3.5 x 1.1-inches (Full Kit)
Rode VideoMic Me Compact TRRS Cardioid MiniCardioid3.1 x 0.8 x 1.5-inches

Do keep in mind that you don’t have to buy what we recommend. You may be tempted to go with a microphone that suits your style. If that’s indeed the case, then we would urge you to look at our buying guide. It will help you out. 

With that said, it’s time to jump into the reviews for the best microphone for smartphones.

Best Smartphone Microphones: Our Picks for 2020

Rode smartLav+

Product Overview

We have said these things countless times in our previous reviews: 

When it comes to audio products, Rode is probably one of the better choices in the market right now. The reliability and usability you get with Rode products is something unmatched, even in today’s competitive market. 

As we talk about the best smartphone microphone, the Rode smartLav+ simply comes to us as the top option. If you factor in all the features and match it to the pricing, then you may find it to be an intriguing option as well. 

Let’s start with the design. It comes in a very compact shell. In short, it’s got a minimal footprint that anyone will appreciate. 

As far as the performance goes, you will find it to be very polished overall. The audio quality feels very professional as a whole. And if you pair that with Kevlar reinforcement, then you will find this mic to be an ideal choice for vloggers and on-the-go videographers. 

So, should you consider buying the smartLav+?

Despite the mediocre controllability of the microphone, if you consider the price and the overall features, you shouldn’t have any problems believing the true worth of it. If the decision were left to us, then we would waste no time getting our hands on it.  

Pros

  • A highly portable option with solid audio quality. 
  • It features a professional condenser capsule design that stands out. 
  • It comes with a 4.5-mm mini discrete mic that’s very comfortable to use. 
  • It’s highly compatible with iOS devices. 
  • The Kevlar reinforcement is a nice addition. 
  • The quality of the included accessories is on point. 

Cons

  • The app isn’t very intuitive. 

Movo Smartphone Video Rig with Shotgun Microphone

Product Overview

The Movo Smartphone Video Rig with Shotgun Microphone comes with a couple of surprise features. Although it’s understandable that many users don’t know too much about Movo, your mind will change once you get to know the features. 

First of all, the kit itself is fairly compact and doesn’t have any unusual heft to it, which is a good thing. Also, the clamp has the ability to fit 3.6-inch wide smartphones, which is a very convenient feature as well. 

One of the main advantages of having such a small and compact design the ability to be mobile in a matter of moments. And if you’re a creator who loves to share his views on-the-go, then the Movo kit is perfect for you. 

As for the audio quality, it’s more than what you’d expect at this price point. It’s clear and concise, and there are no noticeably annoying artifacts you need to worry about. 

As mentioned earlier, the Movo Smartphone kit is for those who want to get up and running without wasting any time. So, if you have a fair amount to spend going with Movo is clearly a decent option. 

Pros

  • It’s a portable video rig that has good overall build quality. 
  • The setup process is very quick and easy, good overall functionality. 
  • The wrist wrap and handgrip offer more-than-decent protection. 
  • A very suitable option for vloggers and on-the-go videographers. 
  • The overall usability is commendable. 

Cons

  • The mounting clip quality isn’t up to the mark. 

Shure MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone (Gray)

Product Overview

In terms of brand recognition, you will find Shure holding a spot with the leaders. As far as reliability is concerned, then you shouldn’t worry too much about – you will be getting a pretty decent deal for what you pay. 

If that’s the case, then the features should be good, right? 

Yes. The combined set of features will give you a solid overall experience. 

As always, let’s start with the design first. One of the signature qualities of the Shure MV5 is its design, which does stand out in the crowd. The sleek-looking aluminum stand along with the round microphone offers a feel of elegance. And if you’re an aesthetic guy, then you should see it as a plus point. 

And there are really no complaints with the performance as well. You are getting a custom capsule design that’s bound to make you happy. 

Also, the preset options have really well assets that will offer a solid overall experience. As the equalization and other compensations get added intuitively, you don’t need to worry about manual control. 

All in all, if you’re new to the whole vlogging business but want to get started without any hassle, then the MV5 has your back. Despite some mediocre design choices, we believe it is your best shot at getting in the big leagues early.  

Pros

  • It features a robust and aesthetically pleasing design. 
  • You get 3-preinstalled presets ready for use. 
  • The automatic equalization and compression adjustments are on point. 
  • It features a custom capsule that offers crisp audio. 
  • The headphone jack input is an added bonus. 

Cons

  • It won’t last long if you don’t treat it with proper care. 

Saramonic Mini SmartMic Directional Condenser Flexible Microphone

Product Overview

If Apple iOS and budget are the two things you care about the most, then the Saramonic Mini SmartMic is a decent option for you. With its simple and miniature design, we believe it will live up to your expectations. 

Let’s get started with the design first. 

There’s nothing too extravagant about the design of the Saramonic Mini. It’s small and simple, as mentioned earlier. So, if the form factor is a concern for you, then you may want to keep the Mini SmartMic under your radar. 

Well, talk more about the design in a bit. Let’s have a look at the performance you’re getting. 

You have a directional TRRS condenser that’s capable of making a huge difference in the audio quality. Also, the battery-less design allows you to be very agile with your work. 

Speaking of performance, you do have a rotation aspect of the microphone, which is also a key design feature of the Mini SmartMic. And you also get a 3.5mm headphone jack, which can be thought of as an added bonus. 

In conclusion, for the price, the feature set you are getting is pretty stellar. Despite the minor snag in the build quality, the compact nature and clear audio of the microphone does make a solid case in its favor. Also, it’s integration capabilities with android adds more to its cause. 

You may want to check it out for good measure. 

Pros

  • The design is very versatile and portable. 
  • The pricing is very aggressive. 
  • You get the 3.5-mm audio jack for proper monitoring capabilities. 
  • You have the ability to use multidirectional audio because of the design.  
  • The directional TRRS mic has a wide enough frequency range for superior quality. 

Cons

  • The parts aren’t very robust. 

Shure MV88+ Video Kit with Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone

Product Overview

Many users out there are more concerned about the one hand usability. With that in mind, we have the Shure MV88+. Although it has some limitations when it comes to battery life, you will find the overall feature set to be very intriguing. 

There’s clearly a good reason for us to keep the MV88+ in this best smartphone microphone review. Well, in reality, there are a couple of reasons we want to point out. 

In terms of the design, its compact nature happens to be one of its key selling points. Although there isn’t much room within the mic chassis, it still manages to amaze users with its all-around performance. 

Also, the Manfrotto Pixi Mini Tripod is one of the coolest additions of them all, as you will find it to be very helpful indeed. Furthermore, the parts have a very decent quality that does stand out. 

The performance of the MV88+ is proper as well. You are getting full usability with all the popular iOS apps, which is something not many users have access to. Also, you do have the option to record with different polar patterns at different stereo widths, which is a nice addition as well. 

So, if you’re in the market for a solid microphone and video kit that’s well within reason and offers great performance, then you should certainly check out the Shure MV88+ video kit. You won’t be disappointed with its offerings. 

Pros

  • It features a highly portable and stable design. 
  • It offers good usability with both Android and iOS apps. 
  • You have a good array of polar patterns and stereo options. 
  • The tripod design feels very premium. 
  • You get a good number of highly functional accessories. 

Cons

  • You’re limited to your smartphone charge. 

Movo GM100 Lavalier Microphone

Product Overview

When it comes to the best smartphone microphones, one of the main things that come to mind is balance. As long as you don’t have the right balance between performance and pricing, the microphone isn’t worth it. 

And that’s where the GM100 comes in. It’s got a simple design that allows any user to be on top of their game. 

The design of the GM100 Lavalier Microphone is very subtle. It’s just a simple microphone that’s going to clip and help you with your vlogs.

That brings us to another one of its strong suits, which is the simple plug-and-play aspect. All you have to do is plug it in. There’s no additional software setup or anything like that. 

So, when it comes to the decision of buying the GM100, you need to consider a couple of things. 

You have some minor issues with the overall design choices. But, when you look at the subtle, yet important feature set, then you will find the pricing to be very justifiable. 

We’ll leave the final decision with you then.  

Pros

  • It’s a simple but highly portable design. 
  • You have a good omnidirectional pickup with clear audio. 
  • You’re also getting good resistance from external noise artifacts. 
  • The accessories come in a small-scale form-factor. 
  • It’s an ideal choice for vloggers. 

Cons

  • The mic clip is mediocre in terms of quality. 

Rode VideoMic Me Compact TRRS Cardioid Mini

Product Overview

The Rode VideoMic has a lot of unique features up its sleeve. After all, if it didn’t have anything special, then why on earth is it on our list for the best smartphone microphones?

Let’s get down to business. 

Keeping up with the small form-factor trend, the lightweight VideoMic stands out from the crowd with its more-than-decent performance. You have all the necessary features you need to have a decent overall experience, including the wide frequency range and a headphone jack for monitoring purposes. 

Overall, if you think of the convenient sound signature and small form-factor, the pricing will seem fair to you. It’s got all the bells and whistles you need to make proper use of your creative time. 

So, you may want to give it a shot. 

Pros

  • The design offers good versatility. 
  • The included windshield’s capability of unwanted noise shielding is commendable. 
  • It features good compatibility with both Android and iOS devices
  • The JFET impedance converter will allow a decent audio output. 
  • The 3.5mm audio jack offers the ability to monitor your output. 

Cons

  • The battery life could be better.

How to Buy the Best Smartphone Microphone: Your Personal Cheatsheet 

How do you find the best smartphone microphone?

Anyone who hasn’t had the experience of buying a smartphone microphone will certainly panic once he/she goes through the product brands. It’s enough to make anyone second guess their decision. 

In order to save you the trouble, here are some simple tricks that will help you make a better choice. 

The compactness 

When it comes to smartphone microphones, the first thing you need to take into account is the dimensions. Of course, it’s always hard to make out the size without having anything to judge it against. 

The accessories

Always look at the number and quality of the accessories you are getting. They will make a huge difference in terms of your overall functionality. 

But will leave the quality vs. quantity debate in your hands. 

The features 

These are the most crucial set of things you should be looking at. 

One small but important advice here is to go with a reputed brand that has good recognition in the market place. When you choose something from a reputed brand, they make it their priority to give you the best possible experience. 

Also, take note of crucial features like battery life, dynamic range and more. Remember, the more information you can gather, the better your chances of landing a decent product.  

The pricing

Pricing comes as the very last thing to consider. Once you have set your eyes on some options, try and speculate the value per dollar you’re getting. You can just do some simple reasoning within yourself. 

That should be more than enough for you. 

FAQ

Q: Are there any specific types of microphones for smartphones?

Ans.: In 2020, we are seeing a lot of unique options sprout from within the market. But in general, the popular choice is little condenser microphones that have improved electro-mechanical capabilities. 

Q: Is it possible to record from a microphone with the headphone jack?

Ans.: If you really want to do it, then you certainly can. But there are a few things you’d need to do here. 

For starters, you will need an adapter for the headphone jack. Now you plug the mic into the adapter and test the input (keep the mic at around 50-60% volume). After that, you’d want to stop the device with the headphone jack once you’re done. 

Q: How many pickup patterns are there?

Ans.: Well, there are four main types. They are unidirectional, bidirectional, omnidirectional and figure 8. In general, with smartphone microphones, the unidirectional or cardioid patterns are popular. But, if you want some more room for improvement, then you could weigh your options. 

Q: What is the difference between a condenser mic and a dynamic mic?

Ans.: Condenser microphones have the ability to capture vocals with proper attention to detail. Also, high-frequency performances are also one of its strong suits. In short, they work really well when you’re using it for live stage performances.

As for the dynamic mics, well, they are more suitable when you’re using them at higher volumes. Usually, they aren’t capable of capturing that much detail at low volumes.  

Q: Will I need an amplifier for my mic?

Ans.: That will depend on your choice. If you want to have crisp and clear audio, then having an amplifier is probably not a bad idea. But modern small form-factor mics already come with decent amplification systems built-in. 

It will come down to your use case ultimately. 

Q: I don’t understand the concept of microphone pre-amp?

Ans.: The answer to this question has a connection to the answer to the previous question. 

Microphone pre-amps are nothing but boost systems that increase or amplify the mic sound, which is very low in many cases. But, as modern smartphone microphones have pre-amplification systems built-in, you may not even need an amplifier for your mic in the first place. 

Closing Thoughts 

Well, it’s easy to start the review for the best smartphone microphones. But the question is – how do you finish it?

To be honest, we are certain it’s been hard for many of our readers to take in all the information that’s been shared here. Still, we would like to congratulate those who have made it this far. 

Clearly, they want the best possible option for their use. 

Sure, there may have been somethings we may have overlooked. But all the information we have here for you will certainly play a role in helping you make the best possible decision

After all, that is the goal we want to achieve. 

With that said, it’s time for us to say goodbye. We hope you’ve enjoyed our discussion. 

Good luck!