Rode smartLav Lavalier Microphone for iPhone, iPad, iPod

Rode Microphones has announced another iOS Product called the smartLav. The smartLav uses a TRRS connection to plug directly into any iOS device and uses an Omni-directional capsule picking up sound equally around the lav microphone. The smartLav will work with other recording apps, but is perfectly paired to be used with the new Rode Rec App which includes a wide range of equalization presets to suit various recording situations. The smartLav should retail around $60 bucks. For more information check out the dedicated website at http://smartlav.com.

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Rode smartLAV Lavalier Microphone for iOS



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31 thoughts on “Rode smartLav Lavalier Microphone for iPhone, iPad, iPod

  1. Nicky B

    I picked one of these up as I'm about to head over to cambodia (on holiday) and want the option of being able to do an intervew or two without taking a load of kit with me. I have an old iphone, the mic and my dslr, plus gorilla pod. All of it fits into my camera bag - easily. The most expensive part of my kit is the lens! I could have bought a zoom recorder, an lugged my $300 sony ecm and some xlr cables with me - but it's all starting to get a little bulky, and now I'm stressing about humidity affecting my gear. Basically now I have the option of getting passable sound but haven't blown a lot of cash on something I might not use (my partner will not be too impressed with the video component of our holiday plans) - in short it really depends on what you want it for

  2. I bought an Audio Technica Professional Uni-Directional (Cardioid) Lapel mic that's been adapted for video recording on my iPhone - and it works with Filmic Pro! $99 from The Sound Professionals. They make them up when you put in your order so you can get a custom length cable (max 114 inches). I'm looking for a similar omni-direction version and was hoping this Rode mic would be the one but I'm not sure it's going to work with the apps I use.
    Marjonneke Grech

  3. Randy Flaum

    Any idea when smartLav goes on sale? I tried their web site his morning and it doesn't let me order yet

  4. I was excited when I heard about it. From this test by PlanetMitch:
    http://youtu.be/_e01EndkG9A

    I would deem it a sub-professional microphone. Too scratchy and distorted. I'm sure it will have many applications such as classroom, meetings and personel note taking. I don't mean to be an audio snob but I would hope to deliver better for professional work. Better lav/recorder setups I've worked with recorded a smooth and pleasant sound and rejected background noise. It's possible that with better record settings this lav could work "better". But I'm thinking not by much. Probably issue is with the pre-amps and the quality of the lav. Still useful for some things and in a pinch for others.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Srowe - Probably not because of the TRRS connector specific to the iOS device or devices that share headphone out and mic input. The Zoom H1 uses a TRS only for mic input and uses a separate TRS for headphone out.

  6. Actors - you know they're going to try to text and Facebook with the thing.

    Groom - will likely try to take snapshots with it during ceremony.

    Officiant - Likely a Fruit Ninja addict.

    In all seriousness, this is a smart product & idea.

  7. MovieBuff

    @Emm Thanks for clarifying. I'm surprised there's no WIFI adapters/devices for this. If the transmission(s) fails then there's a recorded backup on the iphone/ipod/ipad etc.

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @MovieBuff - Digital transmitters are handy, but without spending a few thousand dollars on the best equipment there will be hiccups. Battery issues, interference, transmitter fails or receiver fails. Some wireless kits also can't capture full vocal sound so it will sound very thin (artificial).

    I know tons of guys who have switched to the Zoom H1 recorder in the pocket with a decent LAV. Excellent audio results for cheap money. This workflow was never as popular before mainly because most audio recorders were larger than the Zoom H1. I can see why Rode created this LAV and speaking for myself, I think it's going to be a great selling product and I would personally use this over a Zoom H1 (if the audio is clean). The Zoom H1 is still a bit bulky in a pocket and the input connection comes off the side making it even more uncomfortable.

  9. MovieBuff

    The whole point of transmitters and LAV mics is to get great audio transmitted to your camera. SmartLAV would require additional syncing in post. This would be an INCREDIBLE device if it included a transmitter to a camera.

  10. I think Toby nailed it - "an interesting gimmick". For all those Techno-Spielbergs who want to strut around the set looking cool, it's right on the money. "Look at me...I have cool technology...I must know what I'm doing!"

    Learn to use real equipment...no one is hiring production people who come equipped with an iPhone audio system. You might as well shoot the video with it as well...

  11. Emm

    Post author

    @Toby Fairchild - I've worked a few weddings in my day, and it's standard to mic the groom and the officiant (or priest). Use a microphone that captures sound equally around and you'll get clear audio from the bride without having to mic her. Usually in a church setting people remain very quiet during the vows so it comes out very clear.

  12. Toby Fairchild

    The Fire app seems to be re-branded and licensed to Rode btw (for clarification of when I said they seem to use the Fire app). Blue microphones licensed this same app when they made (still make i suppose) a small mic that plugs onto the top of iOS devices.

  13. Toby Fairchild

    Ok, just saw the real price. I was mistaken. $60 is not too bad. On a earlier post I thought I read that someone said it was $190 but I misread. Hmmm. So now, I'm quite a bit more interested. It appeared that the software has the ability to attenuate the input gain of the mic. The software used is the Fire app for iOS. I bought it years ago and it's good but it had no input gain attenuation, only input compression (which is an ok but not optimum work around for input gain attenuation). I just checked and I see that Fire 2 has improved and seems to have this feature as the description mentions new "input metering". No need to meter if you can't adjust the input so I assume they either have this in the software (although input gain attenuation is usually a hardware function rather than software). I suppose they could have an attenuator built onto the mic itself but it appears that the videographer is attenuating the iphone input signal via software.

  14. Toby Fairchild

    Nice try Rode. Interesting but I can't get past a few cons of doing this professionally. Firstly, how many iOS devices does the wedding videographer own to put a separate iphone in everyone's pocket. Also, where did he put the iphone on the bride's dress to get her voice so clear. She doesn't have a pocket. Bleed from the grooms I suppose. Did they record the promo video with these? I think not or they would have boasted so. An interesting gimmick as far as I'm concerned. Definitely interesting and I could even see using this on rare occasions (or if you are shooting video of yourself for youtube) but at the price point it it out of the question for something that would not ever be my go to solution. Again, in summary, very interesting as a novelty but at the price they are asking it's out of the question. On a positive note, I do enjoy seeing innovation in this arena. More innovation from competitors would help the pricing.

  15. Travis W

    This is great. It's hard to find these types of mics compatible with smartphones, they'll sell alot of these. Pro's wont use it (altho I'll have one for backup). But this is geared to people who want better audio but don't have the tech knowledge to get an audio interface.

  16. Henri

    I wonder if the audio quality differs, when using different devices to record? On their website they claim that older ipod touches will also work with, that mic, but what about the quality, will it be tha same?

  17. Mark

    Finally! I've been looking around and frankly was surprised that nobody sells a reasonably-priced plug-in mic for iPhones or Droids.

    I'm not looking to buy an iPhone specifically to record audio. As Scott mentioned, there are plenty of good digital recorders that come in at or below the price of a new phone. But everyone has a smartphone of one type or another. It would be great experiment with this setup to see if its reliable. If it is reliable, about half the people I encounter have iPhones, so it would be worthwhile to get a few of these mics just for the heck of it. An Android version would also be welcome.

    Also, setting the iPhone to airplane mode does not disable any time or location-based notifications you setup in apps on the phone. However, if you set the phone for silent mode it should disable all notifications, and the recording app might be able to do this automatically.

  18. Ian

    I wonder what kind of active electronics (if any) are contained in the mic. Rode is strangely vague about what people are paying for. Is it truly a condenser? If so, how is phantom power being generated? And basically the preamp and A/D converter must be entirely done by ipod/iphone. Definitely not the most professional solution, but still might come in handy in particular situations.

  19. Scottrellwi

    I am not sure about stability of iOS for critical situations like a wedding. If the app crashes, you can't redo it. I guess we will se how well the app holds up. Also, 5th gen iPod Touch start at $299. I think I would trust the Rolond R05 way more.

  20. @emm - Good point. The ipod would be slicker and eliminate the possibility of my car horn alarm going off if the groom hit something on accident.

  21. Scottrellwi

    Ok, I have a real problem if this the same basic mic as their regular lav mic. This thing is $190 less than the lav mic. No it may not come with the shock case and fuzzy windscreen, but I just don't understand why the huge price difference.

    Will the iPhone's airplane mode totally eliminate any chance of an interruption in audio recording? If not, this thing would be risky.

  22. Emm

    Post author

    @Johnny - I would plan on just using an iPod over an iPhone, and I like how sleek it fits in a pocket. The Zoom H1 is great, but it's an odd thickness and the microphone sticks out the side of the unit. An ipod would be way more comfortable to slip into even a front pocket.

  23. Would be great to slip my iphone into a grooms pocket as opposed to a Zoom H1. I would be scared as all hell though that my phone would ring during the middle of the ceremony in his pocket. Of course turning off the sounds of the phone would fix this but still...

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