I promised an older relative I would find her a directional microphone she can plug into her Android phone to record birds for iNaturalist. I had in mind something like the Rode VideoMic Me, that fixes directly to the phone’s Aux port, which allows the whole assembly to be held in one hand. https://www.rode.com/microphones/videomicme
Unfortunately, I’ve tried Rode products with Android before and found them useless. I’d appreciate a recommendation for something that functions similarly, but plays nice with Android. Thank you.
is your relative trying to record the sound of birds at, say, a stationary feeder, or is she moving and trying to record birds? if the latter case, is she trying to record nearby birds (say, a few meters away) or distant birds? is it pretty quiet where she’s trying to record, or is there a lot of background noise from, say, nearby roads? how much are you willing to spend? and how much is she willing to carry around (weight- and size-wise)?
also, why does she need something beyond what her phone will already do for her? are the results too noisy? too soft? do the recordings suffer from clipping due to wind? etc.?
She is not willing to carry around very much. There is generally the noise of wind in trees and sometimes cars on a nearby road. She is moving around trying to record birds at greatly varying distances. And I’m willing to spend about $50.
She has tried recording with her phone and says its internal microphone is very bad. It is hard to hear her on the phone, so that makes sense to me. And she’s older, so not at all interested in getting a different phone.
ok. so if you’re just improving upon the phone’s built-in mic, the Movo VXR10 ($40) and VXR10 Pro ($50) both have good reviews. i’ve never tried either myself, but there are plenty of videos online where you can check out the quality. most of those are recording sound relatively close-up (within a couple of meters). so you may want to see if you can find a video that shows it recording more distant sounds for birds to get a better sense of how they perform in that use case.
you may need to get an additional mount to attach it to your phone. whatever mic you pick, check to make sure that it has the right plug for your phone, or else you may need to get a converter.
EDIT: oops. i looked at this again and realized that you were looking specifically for a mic that attaches directly to the phone. so the Movo models i mentioned above wouldn’t fit the bill.
Thank you! I’ve ordered that one for her! It has the right connector, so no cables needed, and I appreciate hearing that you are already using it and getting good results.
maybe a Smart Mini Pluggy EM272 Omni with windshield? I’ve read a lot of nice things about Primo EM272 capsule, but I didn’t tested it.
here’s a link https://micbooster.com/clippy-and-pluggy-microphones/220-trrs-mini-pluggy-em172-with-windshield.html
Nice query, I also am looking at the suggestions closely.
However, was curious, is the inbuilt phone mic not good enough ? and is the difference substantial enough to warrant a clip on mic as opposed to a standalone device ?
Usually the onbord mics of the phones have a high noise. I really don’t like them. When recording birds I use a Sony PCM A10 with an external battery and a LOM mikroUši stereo microfone, recording WAV files 96KHz/24 bit on a 128 GB memory card I get around 70 hours of very high quality recordings. I could get more with a 512 GB card…There’s a video on youtube called Field recording nature and wildlife with mini drop rigs by George Vlad, I use the same rig.
LOM microfones are hard to find, a good alternative is Clippy EM272 Stereo Microphone from micbooster.com
and what about clip on mics on android phones - how much of a difference does it make ?
I use a Zoom H2 , and a Tascam DR100 MKIII Wildtronics ProMono Parabolic Mic
However, many times, the phone is the handiest tool available, so anything compact that can make recordings better is great to know. Also for people who may not have access to higher resolution tools, due to cost reasons, this standalone clip on mics maybe an option.
Smart Mini Pluggy EM272 does not appear to be available in the US. But thank you.
Sir while I am recording audios of birds and animals I try to cover to mic of phone to reduce wind and I try to don’t move, and I think audio should be recorded a little clear, but it won’t have clear voice of birds. But if I speak in that mic it records clear audio, can you tell me why? or I am expecting much from phone.
that is one reason why most mics have a windsock or windscreens. (or see this link
The phone mics do also have a very basic windscreen which is usually not good enough to curtail sounds that a better windscreen would.
Other Audio-experts please do add to this, thanks
Well, I think this post started to move away from it’s original subject, but that’s not a problem for me.
I don’t think it’s fair to compair a phone recording with one made with a device designed for this purpose. Maybe you shouldn’t expect that much from a phone. While using it you’re supposed to speak very close to the microphone, when recording wildlife you have a much bigger distance between the device and the subject; those microphones are designed different.
Also google |signal to noise ratio| and read a bit about it.
Windscreens are a protection against wind and sometimes rain if you leave the recorder w/microphone outside in the elements. Some people, sound technicians, don’t like to use them because they can cut away some frequencies.
When I record with my phone, I can cup my hand around the mic to help block some wind noise. When feasible, I put my back to the wind and use my body to block the wind. They are not such great recordings, but the sounds are often recognizable.
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