Smart Device Filming Must-Have Series – Part 3: Audio

In this series of smart device filming must-haves, we have looked at the importance of having a stabilising device and what constitutes good lighting.  Now is time to turn our attention to audio.  There is nothing worse that poor audio on a video, everyone feels the same, so to mitigate getting a negative response to your videos, make sure you get the audio right. Again, when it comes to creating impromptu videos, you don’t have much time to set things up. Most people I see recording on their smart phones use their headphones as the microphone, which works perfectly.  Personally, I don’t like the look of having an earphone hanging out of one ear when you’re trying to say something serious.[/vc_column_text]

So what are the solutions available?

There are so many cool gadgets out there its really hard to narrow down the best recommendations.

Get a high quality Lapel Mic like the Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and Smartphones , simply plug it in and make sure you subject hides the lapel mic in a sneaky place and you are good to go. The audio will automatically synchronise with video, so postproduction is simpler. If you were setting up to film an interview or testimonial then this type of microphone would give you professional quality audio.


Because the mic plugs directly into your phone, and depending on the length of the cord, your subject can only be the length of the cord away. So if you are looking to film an event or training, or the subject is over 2 metres away then this type of mic wouldn’t be appropriate.

The next option would be to investigate the Zoom H1 & The APH-1 is the perfect companion for your Zoom H1 Handy Recorder.  If you purchase the additional accessories pack then you have a tripod for sitting the audio recorder on or near your subject.


If you looking for a high quality mic that plugs directly into your phone/device, then check out the Zoom iQ7, iQ6 or iQ5.


Whilst in principle these look really cool, I am not sure how effective they are for business video recording because typically the subject (s) are not close enough for the mics to pick it up.

To be able to have a remote mic, so you can be positioned away from the subject, then my recommendation is that you jump to the next level of gadgets and invest in a RodeLink Filmakers Kit. Plug the receiver into your Zoom H1, give your subject the transmitter and lapel mic and away you go.  No one is restricted and you can capture perfect audio.   The audio will record onto the SD card in the ZoomH1 and you can synchronise the audio with the video in post-production.


The good thing about the RodeLink & H1, you can use both products when filming with your camera. Whilst slightly more upfront, you will get better value for money as they are not just restricted for using on your smart device.
There are hundreds of options for lapel mics and sound recording gadgets that plug into your smart devices. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what product or brand you have, what matters is that you have the ability to capture high QUALITY audio all the time.


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