When we went to NAMM this year, we were ecstatic to get into the Samson booth and be met with a brand new wireless mobile phone microphone solution, The Samson Go Mic Mobile. We’ve had a feeling mobile phone microphones were going to become more popular as the years went on (especially with our iOS microphone guide becoming super popular through out the past few years), but a wireless receiver that attaches to your smart device and is compatible with both a traditional handheld mic or lavalier? We had to see what it was all about, especially with that now-popular “Go Mic” name we all know attached to it. Here are our thoughts as well some in-depth information on what you’ll exactly be getting with the Samson Go Mic Mobile.
Features of the Samson Go Mic
- Available in two mic transmitter configurations
- Dual-channel receiver
- Low-latency, professional quality audio
- Compatible with iOS and Android
- 100 foot (30 meters) operating range
- 13 hour rechargeable battery
- Can work with two microphones at once
- Operates on 2.4 Ghz band
- Can mount on DSLR shoe mounts
- 10Hz–22kHz frequency response
- USB audio outputs with volume control
- Switchable 1/8” headphone/line
- Also included: 3.5 mm audio cable, USB charge cable and power adapter
Standouts of the Samson Go Mic Mobile
When it comes to intended uses and applications here of the Samson Go Mic Mobile, it’s great filmmaking, journalism, live streaming, vlogging, and really, all types of videography that will entail either a handheld mic or lavalier with a wireless connection. The possibilities are pretty endless here; however, we don’t foresee it being used for just a few applications, such as recording concerts, band practices, or other types of audio that you want to capture clearly in larger rooms (the handheld and lav are limited to and best for pointing it at a direct source as opposed to a larger spectrum). Of course, you can always get creative with the solutions you have at hand here, but it will depend on how you want to work it out. For example in band practice or performances, perhaps you can hook up the handheld to a mic stand in front of a singer, while recording the rest of the band directly through a mixer, and then overdubbing the audio later on?
We were also glad to see Samson made the decision two create two variations of the Samson Go Mic Mobile. The first is the mobile receiver paired with their Q8 dynamic mic with HXD2 handheld transmitter, and other their LM8 omnidirectional lavalier microphone with PXD2 beltpack. Which is best for you will of course depend on your intended application. Looking to interview others, podcast, record some sermons or speeches? The handheld package may be for you. Want something a bit more inconspicuous and on-the-go for vlogging, interviews and more? Grab the lav package. Not sure which to buy? Perhaps both? You can use them at the same time if you do so.
Using two mics at once with the Samson Go Mic Mobile is huge for us, and this is a problem at times we’ve seen with some recorder and mic combos only allowing one source which limits us a bit in terms of versatility (having to switch off the lav mic to people, etc.). Especially during interviews (such as at the convention using it) or other times (many times at that) you’ll need to record two individuals at once, you’ll be good to go for that. One person can hold the handheld while the other (perhaps partaking in the demonstration) can clip that lav mic to their shirt. These two signals can then be mixed together or even recorded separately with those channels for some additional flexibility when editing — we love this part because nothing is worse than having a mixed audio file, especially with two different speakers. The more channels the better, and let’s say one person’s voice is different from the other (pitch, volume), you can adjust accordingly in post-production. If you want to scale it even further, you can operate up to three full systems at the same time for a grand total of six mics and transmitters. Why not?
The audio is uncompressed, so we’ll have some leeway when it comes to tweaking it to our liking in post-production. No compressed MP3 stuff here. The low-latency transmission is also effective for syncing with your video file, but that usually isn’t too hard to do in post-production with some software. You can choose if you’d like to record directly into your device using a third-party recording app or the actual video file itself.
Using the Samson Go Mic Mobile
Usually with wireless transmitters, you’re going to be called for some knowledge in the ‘setting up’ department. This particular transmitter operates on the most common wireless frequency band — 2.4 Ghz. However, a little feature we really like that helps out with user-friendliness is the automatic operating channel selection. What it does is it searches through the available channels in your particular location and will find the less crowded — excellent for convenience. Of course, there will still be those risks of interference as there always is with wireless microphones and receivers; however, this helps give us some confidence it won’t happen nearly as much as if you were just select the first channel you find. On top of that, you’ll be getting about 13 hours of recording time, which to us is more than enough for at least one day of work (just don’t forget to charge it the night before).
On the mobile receiver’s interface itself, you have quite a few controls at your disposal. The front includes a smart phone locking screw, analog output selector switch, and mixed mono/split stereo selector switch. The sides of the unit have an output for digital audio and analog audio as well as a charging port.
The Samson Go Mic Mobile’s compatibility
The Samson Go Mic Mobile is compatible with Android running at 5.0 (lollipop) or higher, however they must also allow for USB digital audio connection (USB Micro B or USB-C cables — which come in the box), of course (not all do so, which may call for you to download a third party app). You can always use the 3.5 mm cable connection as a safeguard. On the other hand, it’s compatible with all iOS devices (yes, it comes with the lightning cable). All of these connections are compatible with any device you have that supports the inputs, so this includes cameras, camcorders, computers and more.
When it comes to actually mounting the receiver onto your compatible device, the package (both configurations) provides us with quite a few mounting accessories — bracket arms, hook-and-loop fasteners, shoe mount adapter, and 1/4″-20 adapter), so you have quite a few options when it comes to flexibility in mounting that receiver.
Conclusion of the Samson Go Mic Mobile review
This is definitely a standout when it comes to the new microphones we were able to check out at NAMM. The market is starting to become saturated with everybody’s version of their “Yeti” or different lines of USB microphones. This was however the first and only new smart phone microphone we saw available for the new year, not to mention it’s one of the first of it’s kind being in being wireless. Well done, Samson.
It’s definitely nice that it’s also compatible with different recording devices so long as it has the proper connections, such as a DSLR camera, however when it comes to actually capturing semi-pro and professional recordings for perhaps documentaries, movie making and filmmaking, you may want to get something a bit higher in quality (and of course, more expensive). Our DSLR video mics guide may provide some better options there.
Aside from that, and when specifically pertaining to a smart phone, there isn’t necessarily anything stopping you from grabbing a traditional portable audio recorder\microphone combination that supports wireless recording; however, many out there do not actually mount to your phone and you’ll have to either hold it with your hand or stick it in your pocket.
Ultimately, the Samson Go Mic Mobile is in our opinion the first of it’s kind. Not to mention allowing us to record up to six different sources on different channels for some great versatility for post-production. As stated previously, you can read our iOS microphone guide (we’ll write an Android one later on) for some competitors, but there aren’t many wireless solutions out there just yet. This is a must if you’re planning on recording audio to your smart phone, and we think it’s the start of a new trend and the further progress of smart phone microphones as a whole.