RODE VideoMic Me-L iPhone Microphone
My first impression of the Rode VideoMic Me-L for iOS was, ‘Geez, that’s a bit quieter.’ Of course, I simply hadn’t adjusted for the fact that reducing the background noise to that degree would feel so drastically different. All that rowdy sonic junk that had been clouding the sound of what I was actually trying to capture had largely disappeared.
The noise reduction was courtesy of the VideoMic Me-L’s mini-shotgun microphone, which does a good job of focusing on the sounds in front of it, rather than around it like the iPhone’s onboard omni-directional mics. It’s not the longest shotgun mic, but has more than enough ‘reach’ when holding a phone in selfie-mode at arm’s length.
This little phone mic appendage isn’t completely new. The VideoMic Me has been around for a while now. That’s the generic version, a mini-shotgun mic that attaches to the TRRS jack on your smartphone. Unfortunately, iPhones don’t have those kinds of ‘antiquated’ ports. Hence the need for a Lightning-equipped version.
Courtesy of the long Lightning jack and slip-on winged attachment, the VideoMic Me-L fit snugly over my iPhone 8’s rubber case. It was also happy to face either way. Rode has really mastered the art of accommodating phone cases, something which other accessory manufacturers still struggle with.
Sound-wise, it’s an undeniable improvement over the built-in microphones. I never realised how boxy they sound. When compared to the VideoMic Me-L, the iPhone microphones were lacking plenty of high frequency information and generally made everything sound more nasal.
The VideoMic Me-L also comes with a mini deadcat windmuff, which performed admirably on a windy Winter day. It also hardly dampened the top end. Perfect for out and about vloggers.
Monitoring your sound is simple with the direct 3.5mm stereo output on the back of the microphone. It’s not the loudest of outputs, but it’s enough to check if you’re getting a clean signal or not in any crucial moments.
If you’re using your iPhone to film anything — events, vlogs, music performances — and haven’t invested in a microphone yet, there’s no two ways about it: go and grab one.