The Røde VideoMic Me is a mini shotgun mic and the latest mobile friendly microphone from Røde.
There are many small microphones that will plug into the TRRS jack of a mobile device. But up until I tried the VideoMicro I’d not found one I was happy to carry with me every day.
The specs of the VideoMic Me are pretty much identical to the VideoMicro. They both use the same cardioid capsule. The obvious differences are the TRRS jack and flexible mounting bracket. This enables the mic to clip snuggly to your device without the need for a hotshoe mount. It also has the addition of a headphone jack for monitoring audio with certain recording apps. A fantastic addition for those who take the audio quality of their videos seriously.
For those with the budget, I’d grab the VideoMicPro and the VideoMic Me. I like to leave my kit bags packed and not think about swapping kit from one to the other. For those right at the other end of the budget let’s not forget how great Lav mics can be. If you are happy clipping a mic on to your subject and don’t need to move, then a Lav mic is all you need. Especially if you are only doing pieces to camera.
I like the freedom the VideoMic Me gives and would be happy using it without any kind of rig or handle. Unless I need to keep flipping between subject and myself. Then some kind of grip will help.
Remember that the VideoMic Me is in effect a tiny shotgun mic and picks up audio directly in front of it. This assists you in focusing on sound from the subject. Reducing the sound that happens around you. You can be heard speaking behind the phone, but at a much lower volume. In a quiet room with no distractions I’m often happy to use the phone’s inbuilt mic. In a noisy space with lots going on, a plug-in mic helps. Outside, with a little wind, the iPhone mics are useless at grabbing quality audio. If I’m recording audio alone then I’m happy to slide a simple windbreak over the end of my phone. If shooting video, a directional mic with a windshield (dead cat) is a must.
After trying the Røde VideoMic Me out in various situations, I’m happy for this to be my main every day carry. It’s simple, small, affordable and delivers great quality audio indoors and out. Even in high winds. There are no switches to forget to switch, no batteries to forget to charge. The ceramic coated body means it can survive rattling around at the bottom a bag. Just as well, as it doesn’t come with a carry case. I pack it with the windshield attached. As I often move when I film it’s nearly always used. The headphone jack on the rear of the device is a great addition if you use apps that let you monitor audio during recording. It also allows you to review the audio on the phone without removing the mic. The flexible mounting bracket means it will work with a variety of phones and cases. Though it still may not fit over some of the bulkier waterproof cases. Make sure the mic jack on your model of phone is not near the lens. Especially if you use an Android device. When the dead cat is attached it may block the lens.
I’m always looking at simplifying the kit I carry without losing quality in the media I capture. The VideoMic Me should be a staple piece of kit for any iPhone equipped video blogger or networked journalist.