Creating video with just your smartphone has never been easier or produced a better product. Smartphones have amazing high-def (in many cases 4K) cameras, you can edit on them, and once you're done you can share them to your platform of choice all without using a traditional video camera or desktop computer.
While smartphones have decent microphones built in, they do have their limitations. If you are producing a video with your smartphone you will probably want a wireless microphone that you can attach to a character or subject so that you can capture very clear and full audio without having to have the camera super close to them.
With so many people creating video with smartphones there is an array of options for you to choose from when looking for a wireless microphone. Here are some options:
Samson Go Mic Mobile
The Go Mic Mobile from Samson is a wireless microphone for smartphones that is a great option for video producers. The 2.4GHz digital wireless system comes with a lavaliere microphone and transmitter, a receiver, a traditional stick mic that can connect to the receiver, and a multitude of adaptors that can connect the receiver to your Apple or Android device.
The receiver has a clip mount that will connect it to your phone and then you just have to plug it in. It will connect to the transmitter and without any major set up it will override your smartphone microphone and give you the professional wireless audio you want. The system has a range of 100 feet so this option is not going to allow your subject or character to stray too far away from the camera without the audio cutting out.
The best feature of this one is definitely its clip-on receiver which means you don't have to have a separate rig to attach it too or have to hold it while you are filming. The draw-back on this is its range. While it gets great quality audio it can be hard to notice when you are out of range and since it connects to the lighting port you may not be able to monitor the audio in real time unless you are using an app like FiLMiC Pro with audio meters.
The Rode Wireless Go
Another option for wireless microphones for smartphones is from Rode, one of the most popular names in professional audio. Rode is definitely a brand you can trust and they have just released a new wireless system for smartphones called the Rode Wireless Go.
The first thing you notice about the Wireless Go is how tiny it is. It can easily fit in the palm of your hands and measures 44mm x 45.3mm x 18.5mm. The transmitter can clip easily onto the subject and the receiver can either be mounted onto a rig or hot shoe or can clip on to a strap. It is not a clamp like the Samson receiver so it can't clip onto your phone directly but if you have a strap or grip you can easily clip it onto that. It connects to the phone with a multitude of cables for your smartphone or other camera making it versatile.
Coming from Rode it is designed with some of the best audio technology and has a wider range than the Samson system and also claims that it won’t get any interference from dense wifi or Bluetooth although we haven't been able to test this fully ourselves. It is battery powered and you can get up to 7 hours on a charge making it a great option for video creators who are working on the go or in difficult environments, as you won’t need to stop every hour or so to refill the charge.
The system comes with RODE’s market-leading smartLav+ microphone which they guarantee will capture crystal clear audio, but you can also connect most 3.5mm jack-equipped lavalier microphones, if you already have one. It also has a digital display so you can easily change settings and monitor output.
At the same price as the Samson system, $199, this is an option that will get you a compact system with the brand trusted name of Rode.
Sennheiser XSW-D Portable Lavaliere Set
One last option we’ll look at is from another trusted name in microphones and audio: Senheisser. Considered to be the best of the best when it comes to audio Senheisser has its own smartphone option in the XSW-D.
Similar to the Rode Wireless Go, it has a battery-powered 2.4Ghz transmitter and 2.4Ghz receiver that are very small in size and that can also fit in the palm of your hand. Both have clips on them and hot shoe compatibility for easy mounting onto your subject and rig, but again like the Rode system, it does not have a clamp for easy attaching onto your smartphone, so you will either have to use a rig or clip it to yourself as you walk around.
The set also comes with the highly popular ME 2-II omnidirectional lavalier microphone for crisp, crystal clear audio. Additionally, it has a USB to Thunderbolt cable to easily connect it to your phone and is compatible with other adaptors for android phones.
The transmitter and receiver are pre-paired, so all you have to do is push the 'on button', connect it to your camera and start recording, without having to worry about interference. It is optimized to work in dense wifi and Bluetooth areas. The charge on the internal batteries gives you up to 5-hours of use, which is not as good as Rode but will still give you a lot of flexibility when working on the go or in a remote location. The system has no digital display, just a single LED light to indicate if it’s on and connected.
Lastly, and what makes this one of the more exciting options, is that you can pair this system with other Senheisser products including XLR products that you may already have.
This system is the most expensive of the bunch costing $349.95 on B&H.