It wasn’t so long ago that if you told someone they could record broadcast-quality video on their telephone, they would laugh at you and promptly call the police. But those days are now a reality. Of course, the mere fact that smartphones can record in HD doesn’t mean everyone is suddenly a world-class director of photography – things like lighting, framing and focus still matter – but it does mean that the tech-savvy content creator can do some pretty great things with gear that fits neatly in their pocket. The Samson Go Mic Mobile is all about making sure that your talking-head videos sound great.
The Go Mic Mobile is a pro-quality lavalier mic with dual-channel 2.4GHz wireless transmitter and receiver for your iPhone, iPod or iPad (it also works with Android devices via the included USB Micro B or USB-C cables), with up to 30 metres (100 feet) of reliable operation. The system automatically selects the clearest operating channel for your location, and uncompressed low latency audio transmission prevents audio sync issues. It offers over 13 hours of battery life from its built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
The pack includes mounting accessories to attach Go Mic Mobile to not just smartphones and tablets, but also digital cameras and tripods (i.e. you don’t need a separate tripod mount in order to attach your phone). While it’s being marketed very solidly at the smartphone world, the fact that it’s digital camera ready is a very good thing, since a DSLR obviously opens you up to an entire world of different lenses to shoot your content with. There’s also a handheld mike version available, and each system can pair and operate up to two transmitters simultaneously. The two signals can then be mixed together or recorded separately for additional post-production editing. Samson notes that on a larger scale, you can operate up to three full systems simultaneously for six total microphones/transmitters, which is great for covering roundtables, panels or podcasts with a lot of guests.
The controls are very straightforward and it’s a very set-and-forget system. I tested it with both my iPhone 7 Plus and a Canon EOS 700D DSLR, and the coverage was always spot-on with no interference or drop-outs. It’s interesting what such a clear-sounding mike can do for your recordings: in the case of my iPhone tests, it of course eliminated the problem of ambience, which can really quickly ruin a smartphone video and present all sorts of weird phase issues. But what I really loved was the opportunity to shoot video with my Canon that sounded as clear as it looked. It’s a real shame to spend so much on a whole bunch of lenses only to have your audio let down by in-camera miking, and this system also means you’re free to move around instead of being tethered to the camera by a mike cord.
If you’re serious about video-on-the-go within a smartphone or DSLR ecosystem, this is a great way of bumping your productions up to the next level, whether you’re podcasting, interviewing, making YouTube videos or just plain shoving content in your audiences’ faces.
Hits and Misses
Plenty of mounting/cabling options included
So set-and-forget that techies might miss the lack of extreme tweakability