RODE VideoMic Me-L

RODE VideoMic Me-L 

Here’s one thing any successful vlogger will tell you – audio is integral to the quality of your video content. Just like you wouldn’t shoot your videos on a camera that gives a grainy result – you don’t want to record audio that comes off cheap quality. The appeal of your content lies in its basic components – and your iPhone vlogs or videos will only be considered high quality if their audio and video both are on par with the expected standards today. 

With the advent of Instagram TV and Adobe’s Project Rush – iPhone vlogging has increased in demand. People are continuously on the lookout for better smartphone accessories that can help them create better quality content. These accessories can consist of everything from the lightning you’re using on yourself to the microphone for recording audio. One such offering, for anyone looking to make kickass vlogs that are of the highest quality, is the Rode VideoMic Me L. 

What is Rode VideoMic Me L, how does it work, and how much of a difference will it make to your content? In this article, we break it all down:

The Basics

Rode VideoMic Me L is a useful alternative to using the internal microphone on your iPhone for recording videos.  The difference between using VideoMic-L and the internal microphone on your iPhone is unbelievable. The audio you get here will be crisp, high quality and without any clutter. You’ll also get rid of the awful tone that makes it look like the audio was recorded from 15 meters away in a bad acoustic room. 

The main reason you’d want to buy a product like VideoMic Me L is to get better audio, period. If the audio you receive now isn’t tremendously better than the internal microphone audio – then why spend your money at all! Fortunately, VideoMic Me L makes a difference to your audio that is  notable and remarkable. 

What Sort Of Mic Is This ?

The VideoMic Me L is a directional mic that will pick up most of its audio from the front & cancel out the sound from the rear and the sides. If you’re going to be filming your own self, as is the case with vloggers, the lightning jack happens to be reversible so as to allow you to face the mic (in selfie mode) back towards yourself. Rode VideoMic Me L consists of a 1/2″ condenser microphone capsule, which is claimed will result a much higher quality audio. The audio will all be transferred digitally to your device through a lightning port. This is essential when you happen to be filming with the iPhone as you are looking to avoid the audio behind.  

If you’re looking for an audio quality that is almost up to par with that of a professional mic, Rode VideoMic Me L is just what you want for your iPhone. 

Who Is VideoMic Me L For?

You’re obviously not going to be seeing people carry around a mic in their pocket and pulling it out whenever they want to make use of their iPhone. This device has been designed primarily for vloggers who will have a mini filming unit, but require something that captures better audio. It is also helpful for journalists shooting on an iPhone as well as amateur/mobile filmmakers. 

VideoMic Me L: What Are The Features?

Monitoring

A 3.5 mm headphone jack is available on the microphone rear – hence making it easy for you to playback and monitor your recording. This is especially helpful as the microphone is making use of the lightning port. This can partially solve the issue of not monitoring the audio from a tablet or smartphone, as the VideoMic Me L takes up the place on the iPhone where headphones can be plugged in. Although you can’t exactly monitor the recorded audio in your iPhone, you can still hear sufficiently how the audio is sounding, and also ensure that you pick the audio you want.

Mounting

VideoMic Me L offers an adjustable rubber mount so that you can mount the microphone to the iOS device securely. Although this will make it just a tad bit harder to press the button on your iPhone – it still works very well. The moment you plug the VideoMic Me L in, it will become the default mic for all video and recording apps on your iPhone.

Build Quality

The VideoMic Me L has a similar design to the standard VideoMic Me. The lightning connector has been encased inside another mount that is held in place by screws. This is meant to offer more support as well as to ensure the connector get bent or break. The casing is made of aluminium, and happens to be well made and robust to work with any mobile device.

With Apple changing and chopping features from its devices all the time, there’s no guarantee that the lightning connector will be kept for much longer. RØDE has not yet mentioned any other products in their range, but it is likely that they will also produce a version using a USB-C connection so as to adjust Android devices. 

Some Cons

Although VideoMic Me L works well by and far, it is not completely devoid of some faults that can come in the way of your shooting. There are some slight issues that you can have while using the VideoMic Me L. We’d like to warn you of them beforehand so you don’t run into problems on the spot, with no way to solve them! 

For one, although it’s perfect normal when you shoot horizontal mode is fine – if you happen to be shooting a vertical video (which you ideally should NOT) – the mic will be at the bottom of your iPhone. Also remember that when using the VideoMic Me L – you are confined to where the mic is placed.

Keep in mind that although VideoMic Me L is a perfectly sufficient option for any iPhone vlogger, it is still not going to result in audio  as crisp as that from professional microphones. However, realistically, that’s not what the Rode has designed VideoMic Me L to be. 

VideoMic Me L also does not have a pick up pattern like that of a shotgun mic. Hence, if you happen to be too much farther from the mic – the resulting audio will likely not be high quality enough (This won’t be an issue if you’re in a quiet environment – you can then be several meters farther from the mic while recording). Also, if you happen to be in an environment that has too much background noise – the microphone pickup pattern will be off, and you might have to struggle a little to get the job done right. 

Additional Windshield

Fact is, you could have the best mic in the world. But if it’s not shielded from wind noise – your audio is still going to come out awful. A windshield is extremely helpful if you happen to shoot outdoors. RØDE provides a windshield with the VideoMic Me L. The WS9 windshield has been designed to work in very windy conditions – and fortunately also doesn’t look comically large when attached to the VideoMic Me L. It fits on firmly to the microphone and also provides a nice area to rest your fingers while you vlog, hence making the whole shooting process just a little bit easier. 

Our Verdict: 

Here’s the deal: The VideoMic-L does not work like a professional microphone. But again, you’re also not using it for a Hollywood production. This is not a one stop unit for all amateur filmmakers – but still perfectly sufficient for audio in many different scenarios. One thing is undeniable, and that is the resulting audio from VideoMic Me L is far more superior to the audio you’ll get from the internal mic of your iPhone. You can use the current smart Lav+ with the Lightning to 3.5mm adaptor – and  RØDE will hopefully soon also make a lightning version of their smartLav+. A combination of the mic and the VideoMic Me L, will result in a beautiful solution for mobile filmmakers.

One important thing to remember here, which has also been stated before in the article, is that there is no assurity that the new models of iPhone devices will come with a lightning port. Apple has a reputation for switching up their designs every now and then, and the new design are completely unpredictable. This means that the lifecycle you will get from VideoMic Me L, provided you’re looking to shoot on newer iPhone, is also unpredictable.

Bottom Line – the RØDE VideoMic Me L is a brilliant way to easily and conveniently capture high quality audio on your Apple tablet or smartphone. If you happen to be a vlogger looking to turn your quality up a notch, or perhaps a tutor who is making tutorials online, or a filmmaker that’s using the iPhone to shoot a movie – VideoMic Me L is definitely worthy of your consideration. 

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