RØDE AI-Micro Review – Have you ever wished to record high-quality audio using only your mobile phone? Although there are some applications that allow you to record your voice using your phone’s built-in microphone, the results are pretty mediocre. It absorbs a lot of noise, and your voice sounds hollow. Compared with recording with those studio-grade microphones, there is a big difference between day and night.
RØDE AI-Micro will change all of this. It is basically an ultra-compact two-channel audio interface, you can plug in up to two microphones (TRS or TRRS) and record high-quality audio to your mobile phone, tablet, and even laptops and desktops.
It is smaller than the palm of my hand and fits easily into a shirt pocket. The two auto-sensing 3.5 mm microphone inputs will automatically adjust themselves, so you can plug in a TRS or TRRS microphone in any of them. There is also a headphone input, so you can plug in headphones or earphones for audio monitoring and playback during recording.
The first input (labeled with number 1) can also be configured as a single stereo TRS input for use with a stereo microphone, which is cool.
At the other end, there is a USB-C slot for connecting to your recording device. The package contains USB-A, USB-C and Lightning cables, so you can connect AI-Micro to any modern device, such as iPhone or Google Pixel 6/6 Pro. It's plug and play, so you don't need to install any drivers or applications to connect. The device should be able to recognize it directly, and you can start recording soon.
I personally think that size and simplicity are the main advantages of RØDE AI-Micro. Well, that, and it can record 24-bit/49kHz audio. This makes it ideal for podcasts, interviews, live broadcasts, or anything that requires clear audio capture.
I am testing AI-Micro using their Lavalier GO (TRS) and smartLav+ (TRRS) wearable microphones. As expected, all I need to do is plug them into any microphone input port and they will work properly. This is great because no matter what 3.5 mm microphone (ie TRS or TRRS) you have in your home, it can be used with RØDE Ai-Micro.
The audio from input 1 will be recorded in the left channel, and input 2 will be recorded in the right channel, so you will need to convert them later in the audio/video editing software.
Lavalier GO and smartLav+ are very similar in terms of specifications, and you will not be disappointed by any of them:
I am not an enthusiast or professional audio grader, but judging from what I have read, many people still prefer the sound of smartLav+ because it is richer and lower in bass. But again, just grab whatever is available (or cheaper) in the store, depending on what else you need (TRS or TRRS).
They all come with a clip to connect the microphone to the actor/subject, and a windshield to minimize wind noise and vocal popping (such as hard "b", "t" and "p" sounds) , And an easy-to-carry pouch all these in.
The cables are reinforced by Kevlar and are 1.2 meters in length.
However, RØDE Ai-Micro does not have audio gain or other controls, so you have to rely on applications for recording audio or later enhancements using video/audio editing software.
Since you can insert two microphones at the same time through RØDE AI-Micro, you can easily record one-on-one interviews with a single device such as a smartphone, tablet or laptop.
This is a comparative recording test using the built-in microphone of iPhone 13 Pro Max, RØDE Lavalier GO and RØDE smartLav+ inserted into AI-Micro, and recorded using the RodeReporter iOS app. Please forgive my accent.
In contrast, the built-in microphone on the iPhone sounds hollow, and it can also pick up the noise of the PC fan sitting on my desk (you may need to wear headphones to notice these).
RØDE AI-Micro makes it very easy for you to record high-quality audio with portable devices such as smartphones. It can record at 24-bit/49kHz, supports simultaneous recording (left channel and right channel) with two microphones (TRS and/or TRRS), and can work without modifying any settings.
The package contains USB cables with different connector types, including Apple Lightning, so you can plug it directly into your iPhone.
This is an excellent compact tool that you can take with you to create high-quality audio content, such as podcasts or videos, anytime, anywhere.
We used to only use the built-in microphone of our smartphone to record short videos or interviews in our church, but thanks to RØDE, we definitely plan to use AI-Micro to upgrade the audio quality of future videos.
RØDE AI-Micro is available now, retail price is 130 Australian dollars. RØDE Lavalier GO retail price is 79 Australian dollars, RØDE smartLav+ retail price is 89 Australian dollars.
Disclosure: provide review samples for review