My Review of the Rode VideoMic Me

In Gear by Rick McEvoy

My Review of the Rode VideoMic Me

In this article I will write about the Rode VideoMic Me, kindly sent to me by Rode to trial and review. I have never used a microphone before, and want a microphone to improve the quality of the audio on my talking videos. At the moment all I do is talk into my iPhone, and I have been looking for a quick and easy microphone that I can attach to my iPhone to quickly give me much better audio quality.

I know very little about video recording, and even less about audio quality in videos, so please join me as I quickly dive into the world of better quality audio on my videos.

Why am I doing this?

I want to improve the quality of the audio on my videos. I am working on adding more videos to my YouTube channel, and I am also looking to the future, and will be adding video to the commercial photography services I offer to clients. This will be both architectural videos, and in particular building walkthroughs, as well as destination videos filmed in nice places.

What is the Rode VideoMic Me?

This is from the Rode website.

“The VideoMic Me is a compact and lightweight, high-quality directional microphone that connects directly to the iPhone TRRS microphone/headphone socket. Its flexible mounting bracket accommodates a wide range of smartphones and allows the microphone to be fitted for primary camera or front camera (‘selfie') use. A 3.5mm headphone jack on the rear allows for play-through of audio while recording (app dependent) as well as easy playback of your videos without having to remove the microphone. The VideoMic Me includes a deluxe furry windshield for shooting outdoors or in adverse weather.”

Why the Rode VideoMic Me?

Well I have heard about Rode, and seen them at the Photography Show. And when I heard of a directional microphone that plugs straight into an iPhone and is ready to use I had to try it. I want a mic that is quick and easy to use, as for now all I want to do is produce videos using my iPhone, which does record in 4K lets not forget.

I want something that is quick and simple to use. Something that is me proof!

How much do I know about video and audio in video?

Nothing.

Why do I want better quality audio?

Because the audio quality straight from my iPhone is ok but not great, and I want it to be much better. I have heard said on many occasions that people forgive shaky video footage, but bad audio is a big no no. And improving the quality of the audio on my video output will put me a step ahead of those who haven’t done this.

I have another device that I am trialling for video, but that is for another time.

What am I going to do with the videos?

My end-point is for me to be able to provide clients with video walkthroughs of their buildings. I also want to make short videos of travel destinations – after all my dream job is being paid to go to nice places and take photos and shoot videos. If my videos have better audio than others then great.

My locational videos basically will be me talking into my phone in nice places, so something like the Rode VideoMic Me is just what I am looking for to give my audio a quick boost.

I would also like to interview clients and add their footage to my still images. All stuff for the future but something that I have decided I need to get on with right now.

Is the Rode VideoMic Me easy to set up?

Yes.

You plug it in to your phone and that is it.

Is the Rode VideoMic Me easy to use?

Yes.

Once you have plugged it into your phone it is good to go.

Look at me – I'm smiling!

Is the Rode VideoMic Rick proof?

No. Read below. The first trial was not good. Which was all down to me and no one else.

What about the audio?

The audio is much better than without a mic plugged in. Read more below about my non-scientific tests in a variety of locations.

Test 1 – The New Forest – Monday 8th January

I realised that I could not use the Rode VideoMic Me on my iPhone 7 Plus when I opened the box. Remember that Apple innovation of getting rid of the headphone socket in the iPhone 7?

When I got my iPhone 7 Plus and saw that the headphone socket had gone I very nearly sent the phone back – I never did and here is another reason I regret not doing just that.

I also have an iPhone SE so fortunately I used that for the trial, not ideal nor what I wanted to do but I am on the hunt for an adaptor or way of getting round this annoyance.

I didn’t find an adaptor, so the trials are with the iPhone SE.

I will not subject you to the audio from this first trial, for the obvious reasons below!

Test 1 was in the New Forest on a very cold January Monday. It turns out all you do is plug the mic into the phone and that is it.

It really could not be simpler.

As to the audio – not great I have to say. The sound was intermittent. Very disappointing. But then I thought about this.

Was it a fault or failing of the mic? Or more likely I had done something wrong.

And I was right – it was me.

It turns out I had not plugged the mic in properly.

Oh well – this is exactly why I had planned a series of tests.

Test 2 – on the A27

I decided to try the mic by the A27, with the audio starting off using the iPhone SE mic, next the Rode VideoMic Me without the muffler, and finally with the muffler.

And the difference?
Much better sound quality. I have never heard myself sound so good!

Here is a link to my low quality video on YouTube.

And at this point I am wondering what else can I say? The Rode VideoMic Me is really good, simple to use and significantly improves the audio recording quality.

The sound of my voice, as hideous as it is to me, was much clearer, and the sound of the passing traffic and the wind noise much reduced. I am going to find this microphone very useful for my on location videos.

Which is exactly what I wanted.

Test 3 – sat in my car in the New Forest

I wanted to do one more trial, which was yesterday sat in my car in the New Forest. I made a discovery about the mic – I can spin round the camera but keep the mic pointing at me, which is very cool indeed!

Here are two more low quality videos on YouTube.

Me waffling on YouTube

Raining and the spinning mic on YouTube

About my videos – a small apology

I know my videos are not of the highest quality, so apologies for them, but they hopefully demonstrate the point I am trying to make here.

And that is where my review ends.

Apart from one last point.

How much does the Rode VideoMic Me cost?

£46 on Amazon at the time of writing, Monday 15th January. And you can find other places to buy the microphone on the Rode website.

Conclusion

Would I buy a Rode VideoMic Me?

Yes. Without hesitation. I really like it.

I want a microphone that plugs into an iPhone and works. And the Rode VideoMic Me does just that.

My opinion on the audio quality is entirely subjective, but to me the audio is much clearer and of a higher quality with the microphone than without.

If you are getting into video like me then I can recommend this mic as an easy to use and effective product, which I will continue to use on all the videos I produce with me talking.

I did ask Nicholas at Rode if there was an iPhone 7 version being developed, which there is – it is in the early stages of development. When the new mic comes out that fits into the iPhone 7 Plus I will be buying one, which tells you that I like the product.


About the Author

Rick McEvoy

Twitter

I am a photographer based in the lovely county of Dorset in England. This is my Website, and I also have a weekly photography Blog. I specialise in architectural photography – well anything to do with buildings, and extend this to industrial and commercial photography which have similar requirements – stationery subjects, no people, no animals. I also enjoy landscape and travel photography. My dream job is photographing buildings in nice places, which I am working on right now. I have two travel photography websites, one which is completed called Photos of Santorini and a website that I am working on called Paxos Travel Guide