RODE smartLav Microphone [Review]

RODE SmartLav


If you’re into recording audio, or just making your video audio sound better, you’ll probably recognize the name RODE. The Australian company designs and makes high quality microphones and audio software. For Christmas I got the RODE smartLav. It’s a professional-grade wearable microphone that connects into your iOS device via the headphone jack and then records right onto your device.

Here’s my video review of this awesome little mic.

YouTube video

The RODE smartLav microphone is omni-directional so it captures sound all around you or whoever you’re recording. The 360 degree sound capture is ideal for recording speech. Even if you or your subject is moving around, the microphone captures very even sound.

The mic also includes a pop filter or pop shield. This is especially useful if you’re recording outside. It cuts down on wind noise and helps filter out hard vocal plosives. The mic clips nicely onto clothing thanks to a very strong clip. And the cord itself is fairly long so you can clip the mic on, and you can have your iOS device in your pocket.

The RODE smartLav works in conjunction with the RODE iOS app. There is a free and paid version. The paid version of course offering a lot more options including changing your sample rate, you can edit clips, set timed recordings, playback speeds and all sorts of other good stuff. In my opinion it’s well worth paying for the app.

Sharing your audio files is also really simple. You can use Dropbox, SoundCloud, FTP, file sharing or even send it to yourself or someone via email.

But how does it sound? In short, really good. My video review of the RODE smartLav was recorded using the mic. As I showed, the sound between the smartLav and a typical in-camera mic is night and day. The in-camera audio sounds like garbage. I’ll repeat myself, you can have the best video in the world, but if you’re audio is garbage, people aren’t going to watch. When compared to my USB mic, the smartLav falls a little short on performance, but not by much.

The only thing that disappoints me about the RODE smartLav is that fact you can’t monitor the audio while recording. When you’re ready to record you can set the audio recording level, but once you start recording it can be tough to change. I would suggest setting the levels a tad lower, but not too low. The bars should just be touching the red but not staying in the red.

Overall, this is a great mic that provides great sound quality. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay up to date on my latest reviews.

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