Are you a smartphone shooter? Good, welcome to the new age! But you mustn’t neglect decent sound recording just because a gear bag is now superfluous. Meet the new RØDE Videomic ME-L which is designed to fit on your iPhone without any additional cables.
The RØDE Videomic ME-L is quite similar to the former Videomic ME but this L version is designed exclusively for the lightning connector found on any halfway recent Apple iPhone. It offers a cardoid polar pattern, a headphone jack and it comes with a WS-9 fur windscreen for shooting outdoors.
RØDE Videomic ME-L
Since Apple removed the classic 3.5mm headphone jack from its iPhones a few years ago, it has become quite tricky to connect an external microphone. But since the video capabilities have improved dramatically over the the same few last years, shooting with an iPhone has become quite popular. Good video demands for good sound and therefore the RØDE Videomic ME-L comes in very handy. Watch the video below for a brief introduction:
The Videomic ME-L sports some interesting features since it’s equipped with the Apple Lighning connector: It can be mounted either in the direction of the subject or vice versa. If you are a Vlogger, this is a handy function, indeed. It also bypasses the audio circuitry of the iPhone completely. It is connected digitally and redirects the entire sound via the ME-L video mic. In this way, only high(er)-quality dedicated audio components are used to process incoming (and outgoing) audio signals.
A 3.5mm headphone jack can be found on the back. This is for monitoring the incoming audio. If you want you can also use the Videomic ME-L just as a Lighning – 3.5mm TRS adapter in order to listen to some music. The Mic comes with a adjustable mount so it will fit any Lightning-equipped iPhone/iPad/iPod.
The built-in microphone uses a directional cardoid polar pattern which enables you to pick up the sound in front of the mic but reject background noise in the rear of it. The whole unit is being powered through the Lighning connector, no additional batteries are required.
The audio circuit behind its 1/2″ condenser microphone capsule digitizes incoming (analogue) audio to 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz 24-bit and sends it off to the Lighning connector and to the 3.5mm TRS socket (with D-A conversion) simultaneously. That way you can monitor directly what’s being recorded.
The whole unit is made out of black anodized alluminum and is 73.5mm x 20.2mm x 25.7mm (L x W x H) in size. It weights 28 grams.
Pricing and Availability
The Videomic ME-L will be available next month. It is priced the same as the already available Videomic ME ($79). Here’s another video with some real life (still a commercial, though) audio recordings:
Let’s just hope that Apple won’t drop the Lightning connector anytime soon in favour of a USB-C connector. Or should we wait for that and an upgraded version of the Videomic, maybe a ME-C? Furthermore, I’m not sure if this will work well if the iPhone is attached to a gimbal. Let’s wait and see once this device hits the market.
Can you see a benefit in recording video and audio on mobile phones? Share your thoughts in the comments below!