Top positive review
One person found this helpful
Cheap, cheerful and useful - but get a windshield
on 24 July 2017
This is a useful mic. I'm a pro sound engineer, and although this is not a high-quality microphone, it doesn't claim to be. Other reviewers hear little or no difference between recordings with this mic plugged in and those using the standard internal iPhone mic. Well, that's not what I hear. First of all, the quality of the internal iPhone mic is not at all bad - I've recorded interviews for broadcast both on the internal mic and this mic, and no-one pricked up their ears in surprise as it went on air.
The overall sound quality of this mic is comparable to the internal iPhone mic - NB as long as you keep it switched to the 'wide', or cardioid position. As soon as you switch it to 'narrow', or 'zoom', the sound becomes thin and nasty, i.e. quite audibly distorted - I don't recommend using this setting at all. I do, however, strongly recommend getting some sort of foam windshield, whether for the internal mic or the Belkin mic - because outdoors, even light winds will ruin your sound otherwise. You can pick something up on eBay for not much more than the price of this mic. It's a lot easier than trying to 'filter out' wind noise later on - this never really works, and the loss of bass involved makes voices sound horribly tinny.
It's a useful mic because although it's only mildly directional on the 'wide' setting - anything within an arc of about 150 degrees will be picked up adequately - the directionality of the mic is forwards, i.e. the same direction as the camera lens is looking, whereas the internal mic picks up, as you might expect, in a similarly wide arc to the right side (assuming that you a) film horizontally and b) that you rotate the phone 90 degrees anticlockwise when you do so - this will leave the mic, which is on the bottom surface of the phone, pointing right.
Now, you might find this advantageous if your own voice is going to form part of the soundtrack. If you're interviewing someone, for example, and you're both filming and asking the questions, then with the Belkin mic you'll be on the back of its directional pattern, sounding quieter and a bit muffled, whereas with the internal mic you'll be more 'on mic'.
But if you're able to mount the iPhone in some way, so that you don't have to hold it, then I recommend you position yourself close to the lens on the left side of the (horizontal) iPhone. This will help the subject's eyeline to be good, and if you're slightly ahead of the phone (without being in shot, obviously) your voice will be picked up adequately.
You can get better iPhone mics - in particular, models that give you a headphone socket to monitor the sound while recording, which is not possible with the Belkin - but for a tenner this is a cheap and cheerful little bargain. With a windshield, it means you can film outdoors. It's not especially sturdy: the clamp has fallen apart on mine after about two years of occasional use, but it still fits to my phone OK. It's easy to leave the thing switched on, and flatten the battery, so keep a packet of AAA cells handy.