Smartphones are a masterpiece of technical engineering that allow us to take an HD (or 4K) video camera, GPS, media streamer, and computer in our pocket everywhere we go. But by being a jack-of-all-trades, it ends up being a master of none — at least when you’re trying to get more serious work done.
If you use your smartphone to record podcasts, take a lot of phone calls, or want to use it as a one-stop-shop for music recording (there are very powerful apps for that), you’ll want a better microphone. Full disclosure: You can connect almost any USB microphone and many USB audio interfaces to an iPhone or Android phone with the right accessory. If you already have a microphone or interface you like, there’s a good chance all you’ll need is an Apple Camera Connection Kit or USB-A to USB-C cable to get started.
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This guide is designed to help you if you’re starting from scratch, and need a higher quality microphone now. As a bonus, many of the microphones we’re recommending in this guide also work when they’re plugged into a PC or Mac, so you don’t have to get separate recording equipment for both. This is especially useful because you’ll get consistent results with all of your recordings.
Whether you’re making audio notes, recording voiceover work for a video or school project, or making music, the best smartphone microphones will help you sound a lot better than the one built into your phone.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Smartphone Microphone
There are many factors to think about when choosing the right smartphone microphone for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Size: Our guide features microphones of different shapes and sizes; some are better suited for home use, while others can be thrown into a bag, or even kept in your pocket for recording on-the-go.
Connector: Smartphone microphones can be connected USB, or a 3.5mm audio cable; you’ll need an adapter in both cases. The microphone’s connector doesn’t impact its compatibility because both USB and 3.5mm audio cables are open standards designed to work with as many devices as possible.
Microphone Type: Different microphones are best suited for different scenarios. For instance, a lavalier microphone is really small, and meant for people recording audio during video shoots. This makes the a great choice for vloggers. On the other hand, a condenser microphone is better for recording vocals, so it’s a better fit for musicians. Our guide was written to accommodate a wide range of use cases.
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