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Connect a XLR microphone to your smartphone

If you want to use a smartphone to record sound through a professional microphone, a quick solution is the SmartRig, offering headphone monitoring and 48V phantom power in a small package.

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Smartphones do everything these days, even 4K video or 4K UHD, but how good are they when it comes to sound? Well, they’re good enough, and better with an external microphone. That’s where the SmartRig comes in.

Smartphones are quite good as sound recorders, but the built-in microphone might not be the best solution for clear audio in many situations. Both its coverage and position may not be the best for much more than recording your own voice. An external microphone is a good solution, but not all will work as intended, so it is always better to check compatibility before going ahead and purchasing a microphone.

If you’re creating video and need a portable audio solution centered around your smartphone, nothing stops you from trying to get the best solution that works for you. A practical solution is the SmartRig from Samaronic, which allows to connect a professional microphone to iPhone or Android smartphones.

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The SmartRig is a high-quality microphone preamp that allows you to attach any XLR microphone to your smartphone or even tablet, and even offers a 48V phantom power for use with condenser microphones. The SmartRig is powered by one 9V battery and has a switch that allows to turn the power on/off, according to the type of microphone in use. Saramonic say that the SmartRig works with iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and Android devices.

With a standard XLR connector for the microphone and a 3.5mm jack output cable to connect to the iPhone or Android device, the SmartRig has a gain control thumbwheel on the front, to adjust levels. Processed sound can be monitored through a 3.5mm headphone out present on the top of the unit.

The Saramonic SmartRig comes with a free app for monitoring sound, SmartRec, but many other apps can be used with the SmartRig. Multiple apps are even free, meaning you can have absolute control of sound levels with a setup for which you just need the SmartRig and the microphone. This can be used, for example, as a good sound recording system for your DSLR, if you do not want to use the sound capture system from the camera.

The SmartRig has an estimated street price of $29.95.


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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…

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