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Rode smartLav review: Rode smartLav

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Once the audio has been captured, users can share it through Soundcloud, send via email, FTP or use iTunes file sharing. Dropbox integration is available from the full version of the app.

Performance

The smartLav is very easy to use — just plug and play. Load up the Rode Rec app, adjust levels and settings as needed, then start the recording.

Audio quality from the smartLav is very good for such an inexpensive mic. While it's not going to replace a dedicated audio recorder, this highly portable solution produces sound that's definitely suitable for video, podcasting or interview purposes.

Here are two snippets of audio: the first uses the iPhone 5's internal microphone while the second is from the smartLav. Both were recorded using the Rode Rec app, with no adjustments to either in post, though levels were matched as best as possible. As you can hear, the phone's internal mic picks up a lot more ambient noise than the lapel mic, but the smartLav could do with a small degree of hiss reduction to bring out the clearest response.

Both of these were recorded in a controlled studio environment, so there isn't much ambient noise anyway. Where the smartLav really comes into its own is in situations where there's a fair amount of extra noise, like an auditorium or outdoor space.

One disadvantage with the smartLav solution is that there is no way to monitor the audio during recording — you will have to visually eye-off the levels or review it post-record.

Conclusion

For the price, the smartLav is an incredibly effective solution that delivers very good quality audio in place of a more expensive lapel mic or wireless system.

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