The Rode VideoMic Me is an external microphone built specifically for your smartphone or tablet with a headphones jack (TRRS jack). It is an ultra compact, lightweight microphone that is built to boost the performance of your video recordings. I purchased this microphone shortly after its initial release and honestly have only used it for a handful of vlogging hours at this point. I believe and I may be wrong but it does appear to be nearly identical the Rode VideoMicro as far the microphone housing itself is concerned. It obviously differs in the sense that this model features the plug-in jack built into the bottom of the microphone itself.
The microphone is probably the smallest in overall size of any external microphone that I personally own and that makes it very easy to carry with you as a regular everyday carry item. It features high-quality construction and is not something you will easily break just by accidentally dropping it. It is a shotgun style directional microphone that records in cardioid fashion. Meaning that if your standing in front of it speaking that is the best way to use it, which is perfect for vloggers. It will pick up some noise from behind as well, but it will primarily focus on the front side of the microphone while it’s recording.
I myself have an iPhone 6s for a phone, and I find that the internal microphone on that phone is actually quite good, I would even go as far as saying it is excellent and almost hard to beat. That applies to indoor settings though without much background noise. I didn’t do much testing indoors with the Rode VideoMic ME because the initial testing I did, didn’t show much improvement (if any?) over the stock microphone. Where the VideoMic ME is going to give you gains in performance is outside in my opinion. The microphone comes with a fuzzy windsock right out of the box and that is something that can’t normally get with your smartphone.
So, if you are a vlogger that primarily uses their smartphone to vlog or uses the smartphone for supplemental footage that you captured impromptu and your vlogging outside, this might be the perfect addition to your vlogging setup. The last test I did was on a cruise ship outside of Marseille, France and it was very windy that day, so for hours I walked around the ship’s top deck and tested different noise and background noise recordings.
The last test I did was on a cruise ship outside of Marseille, France and it was very windy that day, so for a couple of hours I walked around the ship’s top deck and tested different noise and background levels with and without the wind. I am pretty sure some people were kind of looking at me funny, but that’s ok I don’t mind. Anyways, I can say without a doubt the iPhone 6s internal microphone vs. any level of felt wind will produce muddled results as far as audio goes. So, hooking up my iPhone with the new Rode VideoMic ME dramatically changed the end result. With the microphone installed and windsock securely fastened over the microphone I was able to literally hold the camera and microphone over the ship’s top balcony in full blown wind and still get great results, almost as if there was no wind at all.
That is where the Rode VideoMic ME shines the most in my opinion. It can be used indoors or in a quiet setting for the directional recording capabilities, but I feel it’s best for outdoors usage. With it being used outdoors it very easily beats any internal microphone of any brand of smartphone. The microphone doesn’t need an additional battery to power it and comes with the windsock as well. I feel for the price Rode is offering these at, it is an excellent value and a worthwhile tool to keep in the shed. Sometimes it’s not always practical to carry around a large vlogging rig/camera setup and something like this will really add a lot of convenience for yourself if you use a smartphone and demand better sound quality.