Mobile devices have become indispensable tools for content creators, journalists, musicians and more who need to capture high-quality audio on the go. As smartphones and tablets continue to improve their built-in mics, there is still a need for dedicated external mics that offer superior sound pickup.
The mobile microphone market has exploded in recent years, with everything from lapel mics to shotgun mics now available in compact form factors designed for portability. As we look ahead to 2024, the capabilities of these mobile mics will only get better.
In this article, we break down the top microphones that content creators should have their eyes on for recording when travelling light in 2024. We’ll look at key specs and features to consider when choosing options optimized for iOS or Android devices.
Shure MV88 – Best Overall Mobile Microphone
As an established leader in professional microphones, Shure is a name content creators already know and trust. The Shure MV88 builds on the success of their previous mobile mic, the MV88+, with improvements that ensure it will remain a top choice in 2024.
The MV88 features both cardioid and bidirectional polar pattern options to accommodate different recording scenarios. Dual A/D converters provide crystal clear 24-bit/48kHz audio quality regardless of which iOS or Android device you use it with. The all-metal construction also makes this an exceptionally durable mic.
Five DSP preset modes further optimize the audio capture depending on if you are recording speech, singing, acoustic music or in loud environments. You can even dial in your own settings with the ShurePlus MOTIV app. Built-in limiters prevent unwanted distortion.
For convenience, the MV88 includes its own flexible stand that can be bent and rotated for ideal mic positioning. The microphone jack connects directly to iOS devices or via USB-C adaptor for Android and works with most recent phones and tablets.
With great audio performance, useful features tailored to mobile recording and Shure’s reputation delivering, the MV88 is poised remain the best mobile microphone for content creators in 2024.
Rode VideoMic Me-L – Best Mobile Mic for Vlogging
Australian audio brand Rode has earned its place as a go-to option among YouTuber and vloggers for its quality microphone options catered to video. The Rode VideoMic Me-L takes their know-how in on-camera mics to develop an optimal mobile solution for selfie-style vlogging and interviews.
The VideoMic Me-L enhances audio recording in the mobile landscape with directional cardioid polar pattern focused on the front of the mic. This allows you to capture better sound from the desired source while minimizing background noise. The mic delivers clear, studio-quality audio with 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response.
Rode has designed the VideoMic Me-L specifically tailored to the latest iOS devices or Android phones using USB-C. The microphone features a lighting connector or USB-C cable depending on your device and a furry windshield manages plosives. Gain control, high-pass filter and -10db pad give you options to optimize levels.
With plug-and-play use, broad device compatibility, wind protection and a hypercardioid polar pattern honed for selfie recording, the Rode VideoMic Me-L makes mobile vlogging easy in 2024.
Shure MV5 – Best Plug-and-Play Mobile Mic
The Shure brand returns to the list again with the straight-forward but high-performing MV5 digital condenser microphone. This compact mic keeps thing simple but still delivers excellent audio quality for mobile recording.
Connecting through either USB or Lightning connectors, the MV5 is compatible with latest laptops, iOS or Android devices. It automatically configures settings to optimize performance. DSP preset modes include speech, singing, acoustic instrument recording and loud environments to get great sound in different situations.
With its flexible stand and ability to mount on most camera tripods, positioning the Shure MV88 is convenient. Gain control, mute button and headphone monitoring help you dial in levels. The MV5 works right out of box and stores recordings for easy transfer.
Forcontent creators that want great mobile audio without fussing over settings, the easy-to-use MV5 will be a top plug-and-play choice for recording with mobile devices in 2024.
Comica CVM-VM10-K – Best Budget Mobile Microphone
The Comica CVM-VM10-K cardioid condenser microphone has already built a following for bringing pro-level performance to budget-conscious content creators. As its quality and popularity continues in 2024, it remains our pick as the best budget mobile microphone option.
Priced under $40, the Comica CVM-VM10-K mic still boasts features you would expect in more expensive models. It offers both USB and TRS connections for seamless use with iOS, Android or Windows/Mac recording devices. The sturdy aluminum build, foam windscreen and carrying case add value.
Audio capture is superb for the low price tag with sample rates up to 48KHz/16-bit. The frequency response range of 35Hz to 18KHz performs well capturing vocals and acoustic instruments cleanly. The foam windscreen prevents plosives for clearer sound.
For creators looking to elevate their production value without spending a lot, you can’t go wrong with the Comica CVM-VM10-K as the best budget mobile microphone pick for 2024.
Saramonic Blink 500 Pro B2 – Best Wireless Mobile Microphone
Wireless microphones free content creators from dealing with cables while allowing talent to move freely. As accessories for DSLR, mirrorless or mobile cameras, wireless microphone systems have become essential kit for videography.
Our pick for best wireless mobile microphone goes to the Saramonic Blink 500 Pro B2. This 2-person mic system features the latest digital transmission technology to deliver low latency with extended working range up to 200 feet between transmitter and receiver.
The Saramonic Blink 500 Pro B2 comes ready to use out of the box with transmitters featuring built-in microphones. Channels can be set to avoid interference when using multiple systems on one shoot. Up to 8 compatible systems can pair with the receiver.
With metadata support, you can sync audio and video perfectly during post-production. Other handy features include phantom power for condenser mics, headphone monitoring and aux input. Rugged metal builds ensure these wireless systems handle field use.
For content creators who need to capture audio remotely from mobile devices in 2024, Saramonic Blink 500 Pro B2 delivers wireless mobility and great features at reasonable price point.
Mobile Journalism Trends in 2024
As smartphones continue to advance, mobile journalism has allowed more creators than ever to capture compelling photos, videos and audio for their projects on device they already own. Mobile hardware and accessories now offer capabilities once limited to expensive professional gear.
In 2024, we can expect the quality of mobile journalism and content creation to get even more impressive year as innovation provides tools to elevate production value. Beyond choosing the right microphones covered in this article, here are some of the trends to expect:
Better Camera Capabilities – Multi-lens arrays, larger sensors, improved computational processing and optics will enable smartphones to capture stunning images and video. Capture options like 8K video recording and HDR modes found on models like iPhone 12 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra will trickle down to even mid-range mobiles.
5G Connectivity – As 5G mobile networks become widely available in 2024, content creators will be able to live stream events, collaborate with remote teams and share large files faster than ever while in the field.
Advanced Mobile Apps – Sophisticated apps using AI and ML will help creators edit content and even provide virtual production capabilities not previously possible on mobile devices. We’ll also see more apps that integrate tightly with mobile accessory hardware for enhanced control.
Cross-Platform Compatibility – More mobile microphones and other production hardware will work seamlessly across iOS, Android, Mac and Windows devices. The lines between desktop and mobile tools will continue to blur.
Improved Storage Options – As mobile content like 4K and 8K video requires massive data storage, smartphones in 2024 will ship with 1TB or larger capacities. Mobile-friendly SSDs also provide reliable external storage for overflow and backups.
Better Power Solutions – Long battery life continues to be a priority for mobile devices. Expect advances that improve efficiency along with faster charging for devices and accessories. Portable power stations provide hours of uptime for extended shoots.
While built-in mics and basic editing tools may work fine for casual users, expectations and standards continue to be elevated for professional mobile journalism. Investing in dedicated external accessories can vastly improve production quality to compete with user-generated content.
How to Choose the Best Microphone for Your Needs Here are some key factors creators should consider when selecting mobile microphones and recording gear tailored to their needs:
Intended Use – Are you recording interviews, music, videos, voiceovers? Different microphone polar patterns and features excel for certain applications.
Mobile Device Compatibility – Android and iOS devices have some specific connector requirements. Make sure mics integrate properly with your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Wireless systems should offer long range and low latency transmission.
Audio Quality – Sample rate for capturing sound should be at least 16-bit, 44.1kHz quality. Lower noise floors provide cleaner audio. Brands like Shure and Rode have excellent reputations for sound.
Controls & Monitoring – Touch controls, gain adjustment and headphone monitoring let you optimize audio levels. Visual levels are handy when devices don’t have headphone jacks.
Physical Design – Condenser microphones with sturdy metal construction best withstand mobile use. Integrated shockmounts prevent handling noise. Windscreens reduce plosives and outdoor noise.
Power Requirements – Make sure any accessories like wireless systems and condenser mics have necessary battery power or phantom power available from connected mobile devices.
Budget – Set realistic expectations based on what you can spend. You can certainly get excellent audio for under $100. However more advanced features require higher financial investment.
By balancing these factors with aesthetics like color options, creators can find their ideal mobile microphone match. Paying attention to reviews from actual customers using mics with intended mobile gear also helps make informed buying decisions.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mobile Microphones
Mobile journalists and content creators shopping for the best microphones to use with phones, tablets and laptops in 2024 are bound to have plenty of questions as they evaluate options. Here we answer some of the key questions we hear frequently:
What is the best smartphone for recording video?
While almost any current smartphone has basic capability to capture decent video, brands that edge out the competition in mobile videography include Apple iPhone 12 Pro/Pro Max, Samsung Galaxy S21 Series, Google Pixel 4a. High-end models offer advanced multi-lens cameras, better onboard mic quality and extensive app ecosystems.
What external mics work with iPhone 14?
Apple’s iPhone and other iOS mobile devices require mics with a lightning connector or adapters. The Shure MV88, Rode VideoMic Me-L and Shure MV5 mics covered in this article offer native iOS compatibility through lightning while delivering outstanding audio quality well-suited to video production.
What is the best lavalier mic for Android phones?
Clip-on lavalier or lapel microphones allow subjects to have a mic on them for clear voice pickup even when they are untethered from the mobile device. Top Android-compatible lav mics include the Purple Panda Lavalier Lapel Microphone, Movo WMIC50 Wireless Lavalier Microphone and Rode SmartLav+.
Can I use USB microphones with iPad/Android tablets?
Yes, with the right adapters and cables, USB microphones like the Blue Yeti Nano can connect to iPads via the camera connection kit. For Android devices, USB-C ports allow direct connections. The Shure MV5 works across either ecosystem.
Do I need special accessories for mobile filmmaking?
Investing in tools like gimbals, tripods, lights, lenses and microphones will elevate production value which tends to lack in mobile device built-in options. Be sure to get stabilization, off-camera lighting/audio and lens attachments to take mobile cinematography to the next level.
How can I improve audio for TikTok videos?
Short-form social content lives or dies by its production value. Mobile microphones help capture better audio. Useful accessories also include small clip-on ring lights for attracting views. A mini tripod with Bluetooth remote helps frame the perfect shot. Portable solar chargers keep devices powered all day for extended shoots.
What is the best mic under $50?
The Comica CVM-VM10-K covered in this article offers astonishingly good audio capture for under $40. With cardioid polar pattern and aluminum build, it competes with mics 3x the cost. For just over $50, the Mawin USB Lavalier Lapel Microphone also delivers great voice pickup.
Should I choose wired or wireless microphones?
Use cases differ for mobile creators. Wired mics generally provide higher quality sound with no latency or interference issues. However wireless systems allow subjects to be untethered for interviews, vlogs and other videos. Multi-mic sets like the Saramonic Blink 500 Pro B2 offer great wireless performance optimized for DSLR, mirrorless or smartphone cameras with features that improve convenience for mobile journalism.
Conclusion Choosing the right external microphone to match your mobile device remains one of the best investments for improving production quality. As smartphone cameras and apps help democratize high-end photography and videography, professional-grade audio capture completes the package.
We hope this breakdown of the latest and upcoming microphones for mobile journalism equips you to pick the perfect mic for your needs as a content creator in 2024 and beyond. Paying attention to key factors like intended use, controls, physical design and compatibility allows you tailor selections.
Keep an eye out for newer releases as brands continue innovating new solutions for iOS and Android ecosystems with the rise of mobile-first media. But rest assured the microphones covered here will continue delivering exceptional mobile recording performance that both amateur and professional users can rely on.