I have been looking for a audio solution for microphone recording on my iPhone 3GS. I want to be able to record rehearsals of my band, and the level is just too hot, and distorts the audio horribly. I need something that will allow me to adjust the line in levels. In my search for this (and I have still yet to find it) I can across the Brando Workshop Flexible Mini Capsule Microphone.
The website boasted “10 Times Better Audio Reception!!” which for what I need, would actually make things worse, but I got to thinking, I could use this for other things as well. After looking at their audio samples on their website, I was impressed ad had to order one for myself.
Ordering from Hong Kong to Chicago took much less time than they advertised. They claim 7-22 working days. It was in my mail box in about 7 days total. Very nice!
The box they package this in, could house about 150 of these microphones, it’s so small. It’s out the size of a large pill, no taller then a dime (minus the plug). The website says it comes in Black or White, and I purchased the black one.
First impressions of this product, is the flexibility or bending hinge feels a little bit cheap. I wouldn’t want to flex this over and over. It’s a bit still, and feels like it could easily break. Maybe it’s because of the small size, but it does concern me a bit.
I tried this with 2 applications. First, I used the audio voice recording with the iPhones 3.0 software. I started recording without the microphone using the iPhones mic, and speaking clearly. During the recording session, I plugged in the Brando mic, and the recording stopped. I recorded a second test with the microphone plugged in.
Listening to the first test, with the iPhones built in mic, the voice is warm, deep and rich. A decent level of volume. Certainly good quality. When I listened to the second test, using the Brando mic, I was blown away. this is a HUGE difference. It’s loud, bright, clear, and much better sounding then the internal mic.
I had to try this with the video camera, and this is where the flexible mic is valuable. I was able to bend the mic toward the back side, facing the subject being recorded. Again testing, I started recording with the built in iPhone mic, and plugging in the external mic this time, did NOT pause the recording. Again, the difference is incredible. This mic is fantastic.
But wait… What’s that noise I’m hearing in the background? It’s sort of like GSM noise, but that’s not it… It’s a clicking? An odd sound I’ve never heard before… After much troubleshooting, I had to contact Brando with my issue. Guess what? Thay did have a solution, and this is where I have a HUGE problem with this product…
Their solution to fix the back ground noise is to turn OFF WiFi during use. Wait… What? I have to turn off my WiFi capabilities while I use a microphone that is plugged in? And if this is known issue, why the hell isn’t this on the website? This is major inconvenience when wanting to use this. Now, one more step is needed to use something they claim is “Plug and play.” Well, it IS a company in Hong Kong, and FCC standards don’t apply. Plus, I suppose it’s not a lie in China, since the iPhones coming out there are sans Wifi… All kidding aside, this is not a HUGE deal, but certainly a hassle.
Over all, I would recommend this mic, even with the WiFi issue. Just know, you need to turn that off, or simply put your phone in Airplane mode when you want to use this, and the background noise disappears.
Their website claims compatibility with the following: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPhone 2G, iPod Nano 4G, iPod Classic 120GB, and iPod Touch 2G.
It sells for $14.00 plus a few dollars shipping, and for under $20, this is well worth the money. Now, if Brando comes up with a Line Level solution, I’ll be a happy man, and the frost to place an order.