8 Best Smartphone Microphones of 2019

Posted on
3D Insider is ad supported and earns money from clicks, commissions from sales, and other ways.

Why bother with a separate smartphone microphone? It’s a reasonable question, but there’s an equally logical answer. See, the built-in mics of mobile devices are tinny and amateurish. That’s fine if you’re not bothered about professional sound. But keep reading if you’d like superior audio to accompany your high-quality video. One without the other will always render footage average at best.

PoP voice Lapel Mic
Mic Type: Lavalier
Pickup Pattern: Omnidirectional
Lightweight and portable, metal parts, clear audio, long cable, extras.
Check Amazon
Best Value
BESTFYOU Shotgun Mic
Mic Type: Shotgun
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Crystal-clear audio, cables for DSLR, phone strap, mini tripod, smart carry case.
Check Amazon
Top Pick
IK Multimedia iRig Studio Mic
Mic Type: Studio
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid
Low-noise, high-def preamp, headphone output, onboard controls.
Check Amazon

Why Sound Matters More

Most people want coherent audio with their mobile phone video. But it’s only ever going to be so-so with the tiny, fixed mics hidden inside smart devices. You need both audio and visual quality to stand out from everyone else. Experts agree that sound is as vital—if not more so—as the visual element. Fact: Low-quality sound loses an audience faster than a low-average picture.

In other words, if the audio is crystal-clear, but the visuals are below par, people still watch it. There’s not the same focus when it’s the other way around. Mics for smartphones are small, easy to use, and can take your footage to a whole new level. Even the cheap miniature ones are a vast improvement on most of the built-in options.

How to Choose a Smartphone Mic

Choosing a mic for your smartphone is easy. Choosing the right one, however, can be a little trickier. That’s because there are so many products to choose from, all of which claim the best audio. Well, they’re not all good, and some are a total waste of hard-earned dollars. But many others offer incredible value, ease-of-use, and versatile recording capability.

The two common types for smartphones are the small lavalier (clip-ons), and shotguns. There are also handheld options, though they are less used as not as mobile. Which model suits you depends on personal preference and the kind of footage you record. Don’t worry if you’re unsure right now. Everything will become more apparent as you start to read the mini mic reviews below.

About My Smartphone Microphone’ Guide

There are 8 smartphone microphone reviews below. These are handpicked from the current favorites among iOS and Android users. I scrutinized about 3 dozen of the bestsellers before finalizing this list. I also took user feedback and opinions from industry experts into consideration during the selection process. The first 3 reviews are my picks for Best Budget Mic, Best Value, and the Top Choice.

Soundbars Under $200 Comparison Table

1. PoP Voice Pro Lavalier Smartphone Mic | Best Budget

PoP Voice Pro Lavalier Smartphone MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The PoP Voice Lavalier Microphone is one of the most affordable smartphone mics there is. It continues to be a bestselling product and the Editor’s Best Budget pick for this guide.

  • Best feature 1: Broad smartphone and device compatibility
  • Best feature 2: Plug-n-play simplicity
  • Plus points: Lightweight and portable, metal parts, clear audio, long cable, extras
  • Minus points: Not compatible with every smartphone, not pro-grade

PoP Voice Lapel Phone Mic Highlights

Microphone Compatibility: iOS/Android smartphones, Touch, iPod, iPad, Apple MacBook, Windows Smartphone, Windows laptops, and PCs w/ adapter.

This tiny, portable microphone is surprisingly well-made considering its price. The clip and mic casing uses protected polished steel, whereas many other budget mics are cheap plastic. The clear audio is better than anything found on a smartphone or tablet’s built-in mic. It’s a handsfree solution that lets you move around and position the capsule for best results. The included cable is around 5ft in length.

Plugs in Anywhere at Anytime

You can connect the PoP Voice Lapel to all popular devices. It’s ready to go for most smartphones with the attached 3.5mm adapter. For iPhone 7s and higher, it needs the Lightning to 3.5mm adapter that came with the product. And all you do for PCs and laptops is use the included PC adapter, and you’re good to go. The low price and flexibility make this lavalier mic unbeatable.

The PoP Voice lavalier microphone is a superb entry-level product. Consider this tiny, clip-on mic for voice recording, videos, interviews, and online chat, etc. Is it perfect? Of course not, it’s too cheap to be faultless, but it is perfect for the price.

The Not So Good

This mic has broad compatibility across a wide range of smartphones and other devices. It may not be compatible with every model, though. Check with the seller before committing if you’re unsure. Makers of these microphones tend to get overly excited in product descriptions. The PoP Voice Pro Lapel mic is an excellent product, but it’s not a ‘professional’ model. Please don’t expect it to be.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: PoP Voice
Mic Type: Lapel Lavalier condenser
Connection: 3.5mm
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 1 x 59”
Product Weight: 1.6 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Broad device compatibility
Plug-n-play simplicity
Lightweight and portable
Well-made, metal parts
Clear audio
Long cable
2 wind muffs
4-pin to 3-pin PC adapter
Soft carry pouch
The Cons
Not compatible with all phones
Not pro-grade despite the title

2. BESTFYOU Smartphone Video Mic | Best Value

BESTFYOU Smartphone Video MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

The Best Value smartphone microphone goes to the BESTFYOU Videomicro. It’s a compact mic that uses pure copper in its build to enhance the sound quality.

  • Best feature 1: Pure copper material for enhanced audio
  • Best feature 2: Effective ABS shock mount
  • Plus points: Crystal-clear audio, cables for DSLR, phone strap, mini tripod, smart carry case
  • Minus points: No USB-C to 3.5mm adapter

BESTFYOU Smartphone Mic Highlights

Mic Compatibility: DSLR cameras by Canon, Sony, Olympus, Nikon, Panasonic, etc. Android and ioS smartphones w/ 3.5mm jack, including iPhones X/XR/XS.

This mic is compatible with various devices and suitable for film, journalism, sports, and travel., etc. The crystal-clear sound quality is far superior to anything built into phones and cameras. Videomicro is a durable microphone set that’s quick to assemble and easy use. There’s even a respectable drop-proof, waterproof case to keep everything together and well-organized.

Guaranteed Foolproof

Color-coded wires make connections fast and foolproof. The black one with a white adapter plugs into most smartphones that have a 3.5mm jack. The red cable plugs into brand name DSLR cameras. The mic’s shockmount is made from highly-resilient ABS material. Another neat feature is the rubbery phone protection strap. It stretches over the 4 corners to protect against falls or knocks.

There’s a mini desktop tripod included in the box with a smartphone clamp. That’s useful for when you need to record stable, hands-free footage. The smartphone sits horizontally in the provided phone clamp, and the mic screws in directly above it. The clamp can rotate 360° so you can choose the camera’s orientation. It’s also possible to fold the tripod’s legs and use it as a handheld stabilizer.

The Not So Good

There are no serious cons with BESTFYOU Videomicro considering what it offers for the money. It doesn’t have a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter in the box for use with newer Android smartphones. Still, that’s more of a want than a negative, and easy to resolve.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Mic Type: Shotgun condenser
Connection: 3.5mm jack
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Package Dimensions: 8.6 x 7.4 x 2.8”
Product Weight: 19.2 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Full smartphone/DSLR mic kit
Plug-n-play simplicity
Crystal-clear audio
360° rotating phone clamp
Protective phone strap
Copper material to enhance audio
Effective ABS shock mount
Cable for DSLR & smartphones
Versatile mini tripod
Smart storage/carry case
Exceptional value
The Cons
No USB-C to 3.5mm adapter

3. IK Multimedia iRig SmartPhone Mic | Top Pick

IK Multimedia iRig SmartPhone MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The IK Multimedia iRig is a high-quality, portable, large-diaphragm condenser microphone. It has a full suite of useful controls. They allow users to exploit recording potential not found on other products.

  • Best feature 1: Compatible with all iPhone and Android smart devices
  • Best feature 2: Full suite of controls
  • Plus points: Low-noise, high-def preamp, headphone output, onboard controls, status LEDs
  • Minus points: High price tag

IK Multimedia iRig Smartphone Mic Highlights

Microphone Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, Mac, Android, and Windows PCs.

IK Multimedia’s iRig is not cheap, but it is an ultra-versatile, palm-sized mic of high-quality. It boasts a 1” condenser in a compact enclosure, that’s capable of pro-quality recordings on the move. The superior audio quality, versatility, and portability are what make the iRig unique. That’s why it’s so popular among traveling vocalists, musicians, voice-over artists, and podcasters, etc.

There are many standout features with the IK Multimedia’s iRig. It has a high-definition low-noise preamp, built-in headphone output, and various cables. Its multi-color LED status indicators let you know what’s going on at a glance. And the onboard volume control and input gain give finger-tip access to vital adjustments. The mic also comes with a sturdy desktop tripod stand.

The mic’s analog-to-digital converter (24-bit, 44.1/48 kHz) is also worth mention, as is its 133dB SPL rating. The latter gives plenty of scope to record loud events without distortion.

The Not So Good

Smartphones mics start at just under 10 dollars, so the iRig is very expensive in comparison. That puts it out of reach for a lot of amateurs who’d find it difficult to justify the high price tag. For prosumers and professionals, though, the IK Multimedia iRig Studio is worth every penny.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: IK Multimedia
Mic Type: Studio condenser
Connection: Micro-USB
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Max SPL: 133dB
Gain range: 40dB
Frequency Response: 20Hz -20kHz
Mic Sensitivity: -42 ±3dB
Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 2.8”
Product Weight: 7.7 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Wide compatibility
Compact, palm-sized mic
Superior audio quality
Full suite of app controls
Cables included
Multi-colored LED indicators
Onboard volume and gain controls
Low-noise, high-def preamp
Rugged desktop tripod
Handles high SPLsw
Headphone output
The Cons
High price tag

4. PoP Voice Upgraded Lavalier Smartphone Mic

PoP Voice Upgraded Lavalier Smartphone MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

Meet the POP006 PoP Voice upgraded and incredibly affordable lavalier smartphone mic. It guarantees to provide users with the freedom and flexibility not available with built-in mics.

  • Best feature 1: Low-cost entry-level lapel condenser microphone
  • Best feature 2: Clear, accurate voice reproduction
  • Plus points: Broad compatibility, plug-n-play, steel build, long, quality cable, wind muffs
  • Minus points: Velcro straps not attached, no mute control

PoP Voice Lapel Smartphone Mic Highlights

Microphone Compatibility: Android & Windows smartphones, Apple iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Apple Mac, Pro, Air, and other smart devices. Use Apple’s 3.5mm adapter for iPhone V7 or higher.

There’s a lot of positive feedback from real users for the POP006’s sound quality. They’re right to be pleased too. The audio is outstanding for a mic in its price category. And the omni pickup pattern holds the voice well, so it doesn’t compete too hard with background noise.

Cheap but Not Tacky

Don’t be put off by this mic’s low price tag. It’s well made and uses polished steel in the construction. Even the 6.5ft cable has anti-friction and anti-tensile properties. And the wind muffs are vital for recording outdoors on breezy days. The mic has 3 of them in 3 colors, i.e., red, orange, and black.

This tiny clip-on, plug-n-play lapel mic connects to a smartphone’s 3.5mm headphone jack. That’s all you do to make this puppy active and ready to record. Then, unplug the mic and turn on the phone’s speaker to playback the recording. The POP006 also comes with a specific PC adapter. That allows you to use it with most laptop and desktop computers.

The Not So Good

There’s a handy Velcro strap with the mic to help keep any excess cord tidy. It’s not fixed to the wire as with some products, though. That makes it one of those things that’s easy to misplace or lose. Mute buttons are always welcome, but the POP006 doesn’t have one. Still, it’s important to remember how cheap this product is and what it does offer for its lowly price tag.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: PoP Voice
Mic Type: Lavalier lapel
Connection: 3.5mm jack
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Package Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.9 x 1”
Product Weight: 1.6 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Low-cost entry-level lapel mic
Clear, accurate audio
Broad device compatibility
Plug-n-play simplicity
Polished steel parts
Long, quality mic cable
3 colored wind muffs
4-pin t0 3-pin adapter
Fantastic value
The Cons
Velcro straps not attached
No mute control

5. Akaiyu Karaoke Wireless Mic for Smartphones

Akaiyu Karaoke Wireless Mic for SmartphonesView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The Akaiyu Karaoke is a fun wireless microphone designed for use with modern smartphones. It’s called the Karaoke mic, but it’s so much more than just a vocal tool.

  • Best feature 1: Enjoyable mic for kids
  • Best feature 2: Easy to use
  • Plus points: Snazzy design, comfy to hold, onboard controls, noise reduction, rechargeable
  • Minus points: Annoying ON status verbal announcement

Akaiyu Wireless Smartphone Mic Highlights

The Akaiyu Karaoke is for kids, and it’s not only a microphone. It’s also a player and recorder with 2-channel stereo speakers between the capsule and handle. There are all the usual touch buttons on the front. They include Scan, Speaker Volume, Previous/Next, Record, Mic Vol, and Remix. Kids have lots to play with in one handy gadget. Battery life averages 8 hours, and recharging takes 5 hours or less.

There are two connection options, one via Bluetooth and the other by audio cable (included). The sound quality is pretty decent for a toy-like mic, and more than acceptable for kids having fun. This entertainment center even has 3-layer noise reduction to help enhance the sound quality.

How Do You Sound?

The fun doesn’t end with the aforementioned features. One of the more exciting aspects of the Akaiyu Karaoke mic is its four voice-changing functions. Kids can choose how they sound, i.e., themselves, a singing lady, an old man, or a funky-sounding robot. That’s sure to amuse them every time.

The Not So Good

For some unknown reason, Bluetooth speakers verbally announce when they’re ON and ready to pair. These prerecorded voices are often overly loud and can’t be turned down or turned off. This little mic is no exception and it’s annoying, though Kids may find it amusing. But too much switching ON and OFF is sure to drive some parents up the wall. Other than that, it’s all good.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: AKaiyu
Mic Type: Handheld kids
Connection: Bluetooth/cable
Polar Pattern: Not specified
Power Supply: Built-in battery
Playing time: <6 hours
Charging time: <5 hours
Package Dimensions: 10.4 x 4 x 3.1”
Product Weight: 13.3 oz.
The Pros
Enjoyable karaoke mic for kids
Super-easy to use
Snazzy design
Connects via Bluetooth or cable
Compatible w/ most phones
Decent sound for a toy
Voice-changing functions
Comfortable to hold
Onboard touch-controls
3-layer noise reduction
Rechargeable battery
Decent battery life
The Cons
Annoyingly loud ON status announcement

6. IK Multimedia iRig Handheld Mic for Smartphones

IK Multimedia iRig Handheld Mic for SmartphonesView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

This review is for the iRig Handled Condenser Microphone for smartphones. It’s not a kid’s product like the previous one—it’s more of an artist’s travel tool (see review).

  • Best feature 1: Rugged, all-metal build
  • Best feature 2: Real-time monitoring
  • Plus points: Easy to set up, simple to use, works with Android/iOS devices, includes apps
  • Minus points: Tries to please everyone, limited use

iRig Handled Smartphone Mic Highlights

Microphone Compatibility: Most Android smartphones and devices, iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, etc.

Handheld microphones for smartphones are still few and far between. They have a way to go if they’re to move from good to exceptional. However, this iRig mic is an attractive model for most speech applications. It’s also useful as a personal tool for singer-songwriters to record ideas while on the move. It’s certainly a step up from the tinny built-in mics found on iOS and Android devices.

The adjustable 3-level gain switch is handy for moving between soft and loud recording. I doubt anyone would use this mic to perform live on stage unless it’s an informal karaoke event. It’s perfect for that, and it works with many favorite audio apps. The unidirectional pickup records the voice close-up and from a distance. And the familiar mic form makes it suitable to hold or mount on a stand.

App Options and Control

This smartphone mic has a definite place. New owners will not be disappointed if they buy it with realistic expectations. It’s well-made, has a rugged all-metal body, and should last a long time with proper care. It comes with a mic clip, travel pouch, and a mobile suite of real-time special effects. IK Multimedia throws in some free apps which include VocaLive, AmpliTube, and iRig Recorder.

VocaLive allows singers to add special effects to their vocal recordings. It also provides a few innovative recording and sing-along features. The AmpliTube app exists to help songwriters. It has musical features like guitar and bass effects and ways to fine-tune the audio. And the iRig Recorder is for quick, on-the-go audio chronicling and processing.

The Not So Good

The IK Multimedia iRig Handled Mic tries to please everyone, but it can’t. It’s well-suited for most speech applications, though. You can use it for vocals and instruments, but it’s OK rather than exceptional, so try not to buy into the sales hype. It’s offers value price if you exploit most of its features. Or, look elsewhere if you need a mic specifically for high-quality musical applications.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: IK Multimedia
Mic Type: Handled condenser
Connection: Mini jack connector
Cable Length: 6.5ft
Polar Pattern: Unidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Response: 100 Hz–15 kHz
Product Dimensions: 9 x 2 x 2”
Product Weight: 10.4 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Rugged, all-metal build
Traditional mic form
Easy to set up, simple to use
Works with Android/iOS devices
3-level gain switch
Real-time monitoring
Includes intuitive free apps
Includes mic clip
Travel pouch
The Cons
Tries to please everyone
Limited use

7. Rode SmartLav+ Smartphones Omni Lavalier Mic

Rode SmartLav+ Smartphones Omni Lavalier MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5

The penultimate review goes to the Rode SmartLav+. It’s a plug-n-play, omnidirectional lavalier microphone designed for Apple iPhone and other smartphones. Let’s check it out.

  • Best feature 1: Ultra-lightweight and discreet
  • Best feature 2: Clear, high-quality audio
  • Plus points: Plug-n-play, wide device usage, Kevlar cable, windshield, carrying pouch
  • Minus points: Unpopular recording app, app costs extra

Rode SmartLav+ Smartphones Mic Highlights

Microphone Compatibility: Google Android OS (most devices); iPhone 5S/5/5C/4S/4, iPad 2, iPad mini, iPod touch (4th & 5th generation), Apple iPad Air, iPad (3rd gen).

Rode’s SmartLav+ works seamlessly with a wide range of iOS and Android smartphones and devices (see above). It’s very well-made, ultra-lightweight, and has a tiny 4.5mm capsule. It’s so discrete that you hardly know it’s there, but it is there, recording everything you say. The mic’s reinforced Kevlar cable is another plus point. It’s impossible to snap or stretch the cord with regular usage.

The Rode SmartLav+ is an excellent choice for those ready to move away from budget-end mics. It’s superior to the cheaper alternatives for several reasons. It sounds better for one, but it also has a higher S/N (signal to noise) ratio and enhanced sensitivity. The omni polar pattern picks up the sound source from 360° angle, so placement doesn’t have to be exact or point right at you.

Extras include a handy case and a quality foam shield. The latter helps to reduce wind noise and lessen vocal plosives. And there’s a highly-durable mic clip with a useful built-in cable management wire. So, why the average rating with so many plusses? See next.

The Not So Good

The mic is popular, but the Rode app is not. Many think it’s archaic, clunky, and in desperate need of an update. They’re right on all three counts. Apps—unlike physical products—can receive bug fixes and feature enhancements remotely. I guess Rode is aware of these issues and will look to modernize its app. I say this not least because the company has the gall to charge a few dollars for its software.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: Rode
Mic Type: Smartphone lavalier
Connection: TRRS
Polar Pattern: Omni-directional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Range: 60Hz–18kHz
Maximum SPL: 110dB
Sensitivity: -35.0dB
App: RØDE Rec app
Package Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 3”
Product Weight: 0.16 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Wide device compatibility
Ultra-lightweight and discreet
Clear, high-quality audio
Plug-n-play simplicity
Super-strong Kevlar cable
Carrying pouch
The Cons
Rode App needs work
App costs extra

8. Movo Smartphone Shotgun Mic V1 Video Kit

Movo Smartphone Shotgun Mic V1 Video KitView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The Movo V1 Smartphone Video Kit has a lot to offer in one handy set. It’s the last microphone review for mobile devices and the second most expensive on the page. So, is it worth the extra dollars?

  • Best feature 1: All-in-one photo and video rig
  • Best feature 2: VRX10 shotgun microphone
  • Plus points: Smartphone grip, powerful video light, integrated shockmount, windscreens
  • Minus points: Rigid shockmount, price

Movo Smartphone Mic Video Kit Highlights

Kit Compatibility: Smartphones from 2.2–3.6” wide, including Apple iPhone 5/5C/5S/6/6S/7/ 8/X/XS/XS Max, Samsung Galaxy, and many others (check with the seller if unsure).

These reviews have focused on improving the audio-quality of smartphones using external mics. This one looks at enhancing your audiovisual presentations, i.e., sound and pictures. That’s where the Movo V1 Smartphone Video Set all-in-one comes in. You get everything you need in one box, including:

  • VRX10 shotgun microphone
  • LED30 video light
  • PR1 smartphone video grip
  • Dead cat (furry) windscreen
  • RC101 Bluetooth remote control

VRX10 Smartphone Shotgun Microphone

The VRX10 shotgun mic uses a cardioid condenser to minimize unwanted environmental noise. It has a standard 3.5mm input for use with most modern smartphones and DSLR cameras. The microphone also has an integrated shock mount to reduce vibrations and handling noise. And there’s a cold shoe mount with 1/4” thread at the bottom. Movo’s shotgun mic comes with foam and furry windscreens.

The crystal-clear audio and exceptional build of the VRX10 mic almost justifies the price alone.

Powerful LED30 Video Light

The LED30 video light can prove invaluable for those who need it. Movo calls it the LED30 because there are 30 ultra-bright LEDs inside the unit. You’re not stuck with the full beam as there are 3 brightness settings to choose from. It’s a lightweight device that uses rechargeable batteries.

PR-1 Smartphone Grip

The smartphone grip is highly-durable and made with high-quality materials. It accommodates most modern smartphones with widths from 2.2–3.6 inches. The comfortable padded handle and adjustable wrist strap make the PR-1 easy and safe to use for extended periods. It even has a built-in spirit level so that you can achieve the perfect orientation.

The Not So Good

The shockmount works as expected, but it seems overly rigid and vulnerable to cracking. I’ve seen plenty of shock mounts made with flexible ABS material, but this is not one of them. The price is a little high, but it’s also great value if you need all that the kit offers. OK, that’s all for the negatives.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Brand: Movo
Mic Type: Shotgun condenser
Connection: 3.5mm jack
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Response: 35Hz–18kHz
Signal to Noise Ratio: 76dB
Package Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.5 x 2.8”
Product Weight: 20 oz.
Warranty: 1 year, US-based support
The Pros
All-in-one photo and video rig
Broad device compatibility
VRX10 shotgun microphone
Crystal-clear audio
Quality, versatile smartphone grip
Powerful 30 LED video light
Integrated mic shockmount
Foam and dead cat windscreens
Bluetooth remote control
Lint-free cleaning cloth
US-based support
The Cons
Rigid shockmount
Quite expensive
0/50 ratings