The Sabinetek SmartMike+ is a neat wireless mic solution for mobile and camera audio. Mobile users require one SmartMike+ to get up and running, with the wireless connection provided through BlueTooth while camera users require two; one as the transmitter the other receiver. Two SmartMike+ can be paired for interview situations when used with a mobile, however, camera users are restricted as the additional SmartMike+ has to be used as the receiver, but still, it’s a superb wireless audio solution.
Simple to use
Works with most phones
Two required for use with cameras
Older style USB connector
Limited to pairing two
What is the Sabinetek SmartMike+?
The Sabinetek SmartMike+ is a wireless mic that has been designed to work with your mobile phone, or if you have two, then your mirrorless or DSLR camera.
It’s a small clip device that attaches to your clothing, and then through the App, you can connect to the mic and directly record audio and video.
Using an external, in this case, wireless, mic rather than the one built into your mobile phone or camera promises far higher audio quality. While using another piece of hardware can be a hassle the size and ease of use of the SmartMike+ just make it all incredibly easy.
At a basic level, the SmartMike+ can be used in isolation with your mobile, both iOS and Android, to record directly to video or audio. The SmartMike+ App features video and audio applications to enable you to do this.
However, the SmartMike+ isn’t just confined to use within its own native App; it will also work with any application supporting wireless BlueTooth mics; apps such as FiLMiC Pro.
Getting a little more advanced with the SmartMike+, you can pair two together to either pick up the audio from two people being interviewed or use one as a transmitter and another receiver if they’re being used with a camera.
Audio: High Fidelity Sound
Real-time audio monitoring: yes
Noise reduction: 4 Levels
Battery life: 6 hours
Our review sample of the SmartMike+ consisted of one unit, so I was able to test the abilities of this compact wireless mic with an iPhone 11 Pro.
Opening the small box reveals the small SmartMike+, and it instantly looks like a very neat solution. There’s not a great deal to it, an older micro USB connector on the base, a standard 3.5mm audio socket on the top, a power button and mic on the side and a large clip on the back.
Alongside the SmartMike+ in the box, there’s also an earphone for audio monitoring, a USB cable for charging and two windjammers that you can choose from depending on the weather conditions.
Getting started is easy, charge, download the App, power on the SmartMike+ and connect through BlueTooth.
Once all powered on, the App enables you to select to record audio or video. The App is comprehensive and enables plenty of adjustment over the audio settings.
Starting with video the direct options at the bottom of the App enable you to adjust the gain, volume of the audio monitoring, noise reduction etc.
The effect of these audio adjustments can all be heard through the monitoring earphone. This is a nice feature, and there is compatibility with wireless headphones.
When shooting video, you can add visual effects such as Berlin, Shinjuku and Florida. These named effects are all pretty standard visual styles, but still a nice touch.
What does stand out is the ability to add a teleprompt so that you can be mic’d up with the mobile phone on a gimbal and then present to the camera with your script. This is a nice option and one that could be developed so that it would work with gimbals like the DJI OM5.
When it comes to the connection, the SmartMike+ provides one of the most robust BlueTooth pairings that I have come across. I positioned the phone at the end of the garden and then walked away from the phone in our test. The distance remained solid until 15 meters and usable up to 20 meters, at which point the mic hit the limits of the BlueTooth range.
To fully test the audio quality I used the SmartMike+ as a second mic on a couple of jobs. Through the filming session, I was impressed with the ease of use of the mic and quality. Used alongside the Sony UWP system, the quality stood up well with the track recording down to the iPhone rather than the camera.
While there is a difference in the audio clarity and depth it’s not as much as you would think. The small SmartMike+ is capable of capturing very high-quality audio.
Overall the performance of the small mic as a mobile phone audio solution was impressive and there is little to fault. It worked seamlessly within the ecosystem of the Sabinetek App, and even when used with third-party apps such as FiLMiC Pro, the small mic proved a powerful audio solution.
The audio quality is really what is at the heart of this review, and there’s no doubt that it is excellent. The difference between the audio captured through the small SmartMike+ and that captured by the small onboard iPhone mic just isn’t comparable.
But the audio capture quality is only part of the picture when it comes to the SmartMike+. The App enables you to record video and audio in both options and there’s plenty of scope to boost your productions.
The audio side of things is handled well by the App, and if you need to adjust noise reduction or gain, then those settings are easy to access and understand.
When shooting video, a real bonus is using the built-in teleprompt. This only occupies a small space on the screen but works well. If your eyesight is slightly off, you may have a few issues reading the text, but otherwise, it’s fine.
The SmartMike+ also has loads of potential beyond the scope for this review as I only looked at a single unit. Add another and you can individually mic up two people or connect to a camera.
There is little to fault as a mobile solution, especially at a price. If you’re looking for a simple wireless mic for your camera, then the dual kit is equally suited.
If Sabinetek adds support for additional units and gimbal support you’d have one of the most compact professional video systems going, still as it is, this is one very impressive product.
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