Wish you sounded more professional in videos, calls, and more? Rode’s AI-Micro brings high-end recording might just bring it to any device.
We’ve all spent so much time on Zoom and calls in the WFH world, we’re all probably used to how mediocre the sound is from our computers and phones, though that can vary depending on the device.
If you have a great pair of headphones with a lovely microphone, or even a dedicated mic plugged into your computer, chances are you’re going to sound a lot more professional than someone who doesn’t. But that’s part of the problem: most people simply don’t.
With the Work-From-Home world thrust upon everyone, the hardware setup in most people’s computers hasn’t really catered for high quality sound when you were speaking, something not every computer necessary provides from the on-board microphone. If you have a recent Mac, such as the 24 inch M1 iMac, you’re probably doing better than most, but unless you have dedicated sound equipment, there’s a good chance you and everyone else you’re talking to just doesn’t sound amazing.
Your computer, phone, or tablet probably does the job, but there’s always something better.
Australia’s Rode may have an answer for that, this week showing off something slim and small made to bring strong sound to nearly any device.
An evolution of one of its previous interview recording gadgets, Rode’s AI-Micro is a small two-channel interface to let you plug in one or two microphones to get 24-bit 48kHz sound capture to practically any device.
Smaller than the case for Apple’s 2021 AirPods and weighing 20 grams, the AI-Micro packs in the ability to capture good sound into a small space provided you have a microphone that can plug into one of its two 3.5mm jacks.
Granted, there’s no microphone included in the Rode AI-Micro box, but with lavalier microphones supported and available from plenty of brands including Rode, not to mention the sheer number of other microphones with a 3.5mm jack, it’s not as if the choices aren’t there.
There’s also a headphone monitoring port so you can listen to what you’re capturing, but the other end of the Micro is for the plug, and that’ll see it connected to nearly any device, be it a laptop over either Type A or Type C USB, an iPad Pro or Android phone using the same, or even a Lightning port for the standard iPad and pretty much every iPhone.
“With the AI-Micro, we set out to create the perfect solution for recording high-quality audio with a smartphone, tablet or computer using a 3.5mm microphone,” said Damien Wilson, CEO of Rode.
The result is a tiny postage stamp of a thing built for those who need better microphone quality on their device, whether they’re conducting an interview, recording sound, or just generally having a chat and want better sound from their phone or computer.
One thing it can’t do is work by itself. Unlike its sibling in the Wireless Go II, this isn’t a device that works from a built-in battery, instead needing a phone, tablet, or computer for both the interface and the power. However, sitting at around $130 (roughly a third the price), you probably shouldn’t be altogether surprised.
For that cost, it means you can bring a mic closer to your voice and get that sound possibly clearer than what your phone or laptop can do, and might even be able to throw away another mic system, leaning on your phone or computer and a tiny mic instead.