Travelling is cumbersome at the best of times and with luggage costs rising, people want to travel lighter and are leaving their bulky video cameras at home. And with smartphones like the Apple iPhone 7 with Google Pixel capable of shooting 4K or ultra HD video, capturing video has never been easier.
It’s hard to dispute the quality of the image but the accompanying audio often suffers. While there’s a microphone on every phone, there’s often too much distance between you and what you’re recording, so ambient noise is also picked up.
You’re at a noisy airport trying to record a family send-off. Or you’re at the beach trying to capture your friends building sand castles. Or you’re trying to interview a vendor at a trade show. But the voices can be overpowered by flight announcements, the sounds of the wind and water, or the voices of the crowds.
There’s a low-cost solution: the iRig Mic Lav by IK Multimedia. It’s a high-quality omnidirectional condenser lavalier (lav) microphone that clips to your clothing and plugs directly into the headset of your smartphone. The mic comes with a fully adjustable mounting clip to ensure it’s in the right place, along with a foam windshield to filter out noise from the elements.
With a lav mic, the audio pickup is never more than a few inches from your mouth. With a 1.5-metre cable, you can use iRig Mic Lav to record from a distance or if you’re shooting a selfie.
What makes this mic stand out is its cable has an in-line dual-purpose jack. It allows you to monitor what’s passing through the mic and connect various devices like an additional mic if you want to record two people. Those are features you wouldn’t expect on a typical lav mic.
Plug in a pair of headphones so whoever is behind the smartphone camera can hear what’s passing through the mic. If the background noise is too prevalent, you can ask the subject to move and reposition the shot to accommodate the environment.
If you have more than one iRig Mic Lav, you can flip the switch on the jack of the first mic to Input to connect them and route the sound from both mics to your phone. This is ideal when you’re recording an interview or conversation with more than one person.
The iRig Mic Lav offers broadcast-quality recording, so even musicians, presenters, podcasters and videographers can use it for professional applications.
Available through a variety of retailers, the iRig Mic Lav sells for about $60 and, in a two-pack bundle, for around $100. It comes with a zip-up carry case that fits in a pocket or purse.
To enhance the audio quality of your holiday, family or business videos, the iRig Mic Lav is a handy gadget.
Troy Media columnist Greg Gazin, also known as the Gadget Guy and Gadget Greg, is a syndicated veteran tech columnist, communication, leadership and technology speaker, facilitator, blogger, podcaster and author. Reach him @gadgetgreg or at GadgetGuy.ca.