Have an iOS device and want audio?

Ashley Vincent has some ideas on this…

Always on the go creating content for clients and yourself from whichever device you have on you? It’s time you had a look at the Rode VideoMic ME-L for IOS devices.

Having played around with the previous version with the 3.5mm connector and being an iPhone user I was underwhelmed by iPhones decision to drop the input for mics and headphones and give us another cable to lose. The lightning connector version was great news, and after having upgraded to anything past the iPhone 6, feels like a well thought out natural progression to support content creators across all platforms.

I managed to get hold of the new Rode VideoMic ME-L at the same time as the launch of the new Adobe Rush application which made testing it pretty exciting. The first thing I noticed was that, when using the internal mic from the phones through the app, the sound was being auto processed and I was getting some strange chipmunk esq. results which left me wondering at what was happening in the background and whether adding a mic would help at all. What I was quite happy to see and hear is that as soon as the Rode Mic was plugged in and used for recording that virtually all gain operations in the background seemed to be turned off. The sound coming from the recordings was natural, crisp and clear, you can listen to the samples with and without the mic below.

In terms of applications for the Rode VideoMic ME-L it has great applications for the new generation of iPhone creatives who vlog and shoot content for social media use. Another group that should be looking at this device are the journalists out there covering live news on the go. Having a quick option to live stream from your device and having a mic in your pocket that can push the quality of your broadcast up makes viewing those kinds of streams that much more watchable and informative. Local journos are pairing this mic with devices like the DJI Osmo mobile and getting great results considering the relatively low cost of putting together the kit.

Here are some of the features of this mic that really stood out :

3.5mm output : Having a way to monitor your audio feed on such a small device makes a huge impact on what you’re able to do in the field. Having this feature gives you the confidence to use this device while knowing that you’re getting a quality recording and the ability to adjust should you be picking up any noise.

Delux Wind Shield : This is a really great addition that comes with the mic and great for those exterior situations where a little movement or wind can cause havoc with audio recording.

Clip : For something that connects through the lightning port I was a little concerned about the stability of the mount, the rubber clip holds the mic in position and is pretty solid.

App pairing : Pairing this device with the Rode Reporter app allowed for some great flexibility in terms of recording format and bitrates. Using the mic with the Adobe Rush application, as far as I’m concerned, makes the audio recorded with the footage useable compared to what I was experiencing without the mic.

Form Factor : The Rode VideoMic ME-L will feel very familiar for anyone who’s used any of Rode’s other small form factor mics. They’ve taken the Rode VideoMicro and optimized it for mobile use, that mic is huge value for money and I think this one falls well into that same category.

Pick Up : I found that the pick up range of this mic was actually really impressive in terms of the directionality as well as being able to pick up a wide range of audio levels without distortion on the high end. The noise floor seems relatively low too.

The $79 price tag is well worth putting up for such a great little unit. Pair this with a Rode SmartLav+ and you’ll have a great on the go kit to cover you for vlogging, interviews, live feeds and anything else you can think of shooting on a mobile device.


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