The Great Mic Bakeoff: Microphones for Smartphone Video Creators

As mentioned in this week’s newsletter, testing your gear to understand what’s good and what’s not in specific use cases is essential. In the Great Mic Bakeoff, we look at 8 different types of microphones for use in shooting video on your smartphone. Which microphone works best for overall audio quality? Which is the most portable? Which provides a good balance of portability and quality?

The mics tested (see them all in this Amazon list):

  • Apple’s onboard mic on the iPhone X
  • V-Moda Boom mic
  • Kimafun wireless headworn mic
  • PoP lavalier mic
  • David Clark HBT-30
  • Bose QC-25
  • Aftershockz Aeropex
  • Apple AirPods

The winners? For overall audio quality, the V-Moda sounds the best, but requires headphones to plug it into. For portability, Apple’s AirPods are a blend of okay audio quality with maximum portability.

All the mics tested are available in this Amazon List. Disclosure: all links are affiliate links for which my company, Trust Insights, earns a commission and thus I benefit indirectly.

Watch the video to hear audio samples from each of the mics.

Can’t see anything? Watch it on YouTube here.

Listen to the audio here:

Download the MP3 audio here.

Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

In today’s episode, one of the things that I advise people to do, in fact, this was the topic in my most recent email newsletter, about testing your gear, is to do those tests to figure out what gear works best in any environment.

And so today, we’re going to do an eight way Bake Off with eight different kinds of microphones that plug into the smartphone with your choice.

I’m using an iPhone but these obviously all work with pretty much any phone that has either a regular audio in jack or an adapter or Bluetooth connection.

So we’re going to be testing things like the Bose QC 25 the whoops the David Clarke HPC 30s the arrow packs, the aftershocks, arrow packs, Apple’s iPods, the V moda boom mic all sorts of stuff to see which microphones sound the best from recording simple video from your phone.

Links to the different microphones will put in the show notes and in the Amazon storefront, full disclosure, FTC disclosure, anything you buy is going to obviously generating a nonzero commission for my company TrustInsights.ai will receive some small financial benefit.

None of these have been given to me, I had to buy them all.

And so these are the these companies did not solicit these reviews in any way.

We have the chemo fun 2.4 gigahertz microphone, a level your mic, so all sorts of different kinds of gear for different environments.

What you’re going to hear is a test setup.

Here in the office, off of the phone, I’ve got a desk fan running, that’s pretty decent amount of background noise so that you can hear the difference between the different types of microphones and not only in how much noise they make, how well they pick up my voice, but also whether they pick up the surrounding noise or not.

So give a listen to this, enjoy it.

And then if you hear it We’re seeing microphone that makes sense for specific use cases for your business by all means go go grab it and, and stuff.

I’m not going to put any prices on stuff.

It’s just we just want to listen to audio quality but I can say for the most part of it, the headsets are expensive but like the blog was like 12 bucks, the headsets are three or four or 500 depending on where you get them from.

Anyway, watch the video.

Listen to the differences in the microphones.

I’m not going to edit the audio at all so that you can hear the difference.

Enjoy.

first test native iPhone microphone, have the desk fan running here to get some ambient background noise.

second test level your microphone coming straight into the lightning jack already I can tell this is a lot hotter.

We’re peaking a fair amount on the video.

Third test the V moto boom microphone, which is this one here.

Head worn microphone Fourth test the David Clarke bluetooth headset using the boom microphone on this this is a Bluetooth microphone.

Next test to the Bose QC 20 IQZ 25 This is the Bluetooth microphone built into the headset itself.

Next is the chemo funnel wireless 2.4 gigahertz microphone This is a technically a wireless microphone but there is a dongle that goes into the phone via the lightning jack.

And finally the aftershocks arrow facts.

This is the Bluetooth bone conductance microphone that I’m will be interested to see how it turns out to see if it’s just using the standard air microphone or if it is using the the bone conduction as a form of microphone as well.

Of course, how could I forget Apple’s own air pods see how these sound recording video as well.

So got a wide variety of different types of microphones to test you So they have it eight different microphones.

Now I would say for the type of video creation that I do, which is mostly talking head, the lava Lee are sounded pretty good.

The chemo fun.

had one mic sounded really good.

The boom the Wii motor boom mic also sounded really good.

So if I was making videos just in this kind of environment where wired or wireless didn’t matter, I definitely would use one of those three.

If I’m pure wireless, and I want to remain pure wireless.

The bows were not bad.

And the air pods actually surprisingly were not bad at all.

They you can tell they’re a little more hollow sounding.

They don’t have quite as much depth, but overall, not terrible.

And the aftershocks were a disappointment and the David Clarke’s the David Clarke’s really do sound like you’re in helicopter right? So if you are going for that very specific type of effect, these are the ones have you’re looking for high fidelity voice quality for like a webinar.

Definitely not you really do sound like you’re almost phoning it in.

So lots of different options there.

In terms of costs, certainly the lava leaders the cheapest, you can get a halfway decent lovelier mic for like $11.

Right? The chemo funds around $50 which are okay.

The air pods, you know hundred $70 that was going to run you the Wii motor boom Micah sound $30 now I think so that’s, that’s quite affordable.

And then the Bose head count everything about was cost an arm and a leg so.

So based on what you’ve heard, based on what you saw, in terms of portability in terms of size in terms of stuff you want to lug around, what are you going to choose for the type of content you’re creating, I would say if you are really concerned about size, and you want the lightest possible work, the air pods didn’t sound horrible, right? They would need some post production to to be things up if you’re okay, with a little bit more cargo, the lovely I think it’s probably your your next best choice.

It is wired though, so it’s not truly wireless.

But again, if you’re just carrying around a phone on, on a stick or whatever, it should be fine.

So enjoy this.

Hopefully it was useful to you and informs your microphone purchases going forward.

Take care and talk to you soon.

Oh, and of course as always, leave your comments below and subscribe to the YouTube channel and the newsletter take care want help solving your company’s data analytics and digital marketing problems? This is Trust Insights.

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