The IMicrophone: A Smartphone Mic Review

Posted: Jan 17 2011, 1:18pm CST | by , in Peripheral


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The iMicrophone: A Smartphone Mic Review

Worth it for crowded hallways, not so much for voice notes.

My smartphone is already how I do my banking, navigation, most of my communication and nearly all of my flashlight-ing. But, when I have to conduct interviews or record the drunken ramblings of friends for posterity, I usually turn to my camera and directional mic. Then I heard about the i-Microphone, which plugs right into your headphone jack to provide improved audio pick-up.

GoBiz was good enough to send me a sample unit, which I set to work with right away. I hassled all of my friends and neighbors to help me test the audio at five, ten, fifteen feet and twenty feet. I used the Voice Recorder app to conduct all tests.

The Bad: Your phone can't output any audio when this thing is in. You'll need to remove it to place any phone call or even to hear your phone ring. I don't think there's any way for GoBiz to get around this, but it's something to be aware of as a user.

General Performance: At every distance interval, the i-Microphone sounded notably clearer and louder than the Evo's stock mic. At five and ten feet, both microphones had fairly clear pick-up. At ten, the Evo started to fade, and by fifteen I could no longer distinguish most individual words when outdoors.

The i-Microphone was clear as a bell at up to 10 feet, and clear enough to discern without trouble at fifteen feet. It was less than ideal at 20 feet, but still clear enough that I could make out what was being said.

Conclusions: If you want to use this thing to take notes in a crowded lecture hall or classroom, I'd suggest sitting in either the center-front, or top rear. Place your phone with the i-Mic facing the instructor and just let it sit. Indoors, I expect you'd be able to get a decent sound even at twenty, twenty-five feet.

The i-Microphone MSRPs for $25.99. It works well, but the difference between it and the stock Evo mic is not meteoric or anything. For close-range interviews and personal notes, the i-Mic isn't really necessary. If you're looking to record outside or in noisy, chaotic environs though, this is a cheap and simple way to get the sound bites you need.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/5" rel="author">Robert Evans</a>
The excitement about new smartphones, tablets and anything mobile drive Robert to unearth the latest rumors and developments in this fast moving space. He adopted 4G as soon as it become available and knows where the mobile market is going.
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