External Microphone Advice for Singing or ASMR on Android

Using an external microphone with an Android device can significantly improve audio quality for singing performances, ASMR recordings, podcasts, and more. The built-in mics on smartphones and tablets pick up a lot of background noise and are not designed specifically for music recording. An external mic helps isolate the vocals or sounds you want to capture.

Adding an external microphone enables you to record audio with enhanced clarity, volume, and control. Dedicated mics are engineered to accurately reproduce sound with proper frequency response. They capture intricate details, subtle tones, and a full dynamic range. External mics also allow more flexibility in positioning and distance from the sound source.

With some adapters, Android devices can support various types of mics including condenser, dynamic, and lavalier. The right microphone depends on your particular needs. This guide covers the benefits of external mics, important features to consider, proper set up and placement, recommended models, and tips for getting great vocal and ASMR recordings on an Android device.

Benefits of External Mics

Using an external microphone with your Android device can provide much better audio quality compared to relying on your phone’s built-in mic. External mics are specifically designed to capture high-fidelity sound, with features like condenser capsules that pick up a wide frequency range and sensitivity levels suited for close-mic singing or speaking performances (Quora).

External mics also reduce background noise like echo or ambient sounds that the phone’s basic mic tends to pick up. Directional mics can focus directly on your voice while minimizing peripheral sounds. Even omnidirectional mics positioned close to your mouth will isolate your vocals above the noise floor. This results in clearer, cleaner recordings ideal for music or speaking applications (Joby).

Microphone Types

There are several types of microphones commonly used with Android phones for singing or ASMR:

Condenser Microphones

Condenser microphones are very sensitive and well-suited to capturing subtle vocal tones and textures 1. They require power, so USB condenser mics may drain your phone’s battery faster. Condensers pick up background noise easily, so a quiet environment is ideal.

Dynamic Microphones

Dynamic mics are more rugged and durable than condensers. They don’t require external power and handle loud volumes well. Dynamics have a tighter polar pattern and isolate the vocalist’s voice from ambient noise 2. They capture a warmer, more intimate vocal sound.

Lavalier/Lapel Microphones

Lavalier or lapel mics clip onto clothing near the mouth. They provide hands-free use and consistent distance/positioning while singing or speaking. Lav mics isolate vocals and suppress ambient noise. However, they can pick up rustling from clothing.

Important Mic Features

When selecting a microphone for singing or ASMR, three key specifications to consider are polar patterns, frequency response, and sensitivity.

Polar patterns indicate how sensitive a microphone is to sounds arriving from different directions. The most common patterns are cardioid, supercardioid, and omnidirectional. Cardioid mics pick up sound mainly from the front, reducing pickup from the sides and rear. This helps isolate the vocalist’s voice. Supercardioid is even more directional, while omnidirectional picks up sound equally from all directions. For singing, cardioid mics like the Shure SM58 are ideal.

Frequency response refers to the range of frequencies a mic can pick up. Wider frequency ranges allow capturing more overtones and nuances in the voice. Many vocal mics aim for a presence boost around 4-5kHz to add clarity. However, excessive boosts can make the sound harsh. Mics with a flatter response like the Shure Beta 58A give more neutral reproduction.

Sensitivity indicates how well the mic converts acoustic energy into output voltage. Higher sensitivity picks up fainter sounds more easily. But too high sensitivity can lead to background noise. Dynamic vocal mics strike a good balance here. Condenser mics offer higher sensitivity for delicate sounds like ASMR.

## Mic Placement

Proper microphone placement is crucial for capturing the best vocal sound quality. Here are some key tips for positioning the mic when singing or doing ASMR:

Distance from Mouth – A good starting point is about 4-6 inches away from your mouth. This allows you to avoid plosives while still capturing a strong signal. You can experiment moving closer for more low end response or farther for more room ambience.

Angle – Angling the mic so it’s pointed toward your mouth but just off-axis can help reduce popping sounds. A 45 degree angle is common.

Use a Mic Stand – Using a stable mic stand allows you to stay a fixed distance from the mic and maintain proper angle. It also reduces handling noise compared to holding the mic.

Mic screens or “pop filters” can also help reduce plosives when singing up close. Position this between your mouth and the mic element.

Check the polar pattern of your microphone and aim the most sensitive side toward your voice source for best isolation.

Experiment in your space to find the optimal distance and angle for your mic. Consistent placement is key for quality results. Refer to guides like Mic Placement 101 for more in-depth techniques.

Microphone Recommendations

When choosing an external microphone for singing or ASMR on Android, there are good options at various price points to consider.

Budget Options

If you’re looking for an affordable external mic under $50, the Boya BY-MM1 is a solid choice at around $20. It easily clips onto your phone and records high quality sound (https://www.engadget.com/best-mobile-microphones-for-recording-with-a-phone-154536629.html). Another good budget option is the Movo VXM-10 which provides solid audio quality for around $30.

Mid-Range Options

In the $50-$150 range, the Rode VideoMic Me-C is an excellent mid-range option designed specifically for Android devices with USB-C ports. It produces crisp, broadcast-quality audio and background noise isolation for around $60 (https://riverside.fm/blog/best-android-microphones). The Shure MV88 is another great choice in this price range, providing flexible controls and quality audio capture.

High-End Options

For professional recording quality with premium features, the Rode NT-USB Mini is a top choice at around $100. It has a studio mic sound, zero-latency monitoring and more. If budget is no concern, the Sennheiser MK 4 Digital provides pristine audio with features like Apogee’s Soft Limit technology to prevent clipping, for around $200.

Connecting Mics to Android

To connect an external microphone to your Android device, you will need the proper adapter or cable. The type of adapter or cable you need will depend on the input connection on your microphone as well as the ports available on your Android device.

Most modern Android devices do not have a dedicated microphone input port. However, many Android devices do have a USB-C or micro-USB port that can accept microphone input with the right adapter cable. For example, you can use a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter or micro-USB to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter to connect a microphone with a standard 3.5mm output.

If your microphone has a USB output, you may be able to connect it directly to your Android device’s USB-C port without an adapter, provided the microphone is designed to be compatible with Android. Some microphones also have Lightning connectors designed for iOS devices that can be connected directly to Android models with USB-C ports.

Wireless microphones will often come with their own wireless receiver that can plug into your Android device’s headphone jack or USB port to receive the audio signal. Just make sure the wireless microphone system you choose is compatible with Android OS.

The key is finding the right adapter or cable to connect your particular microphone’s output to the available ports on your specific Android device model. Do your research to ensure the components you need are compatible. With the proper connectors, any good external microphone can be used with an Android device.

Microphone Apps

When using an external microphone with an Android device, you’ll need a recording app that can utilize external mics. Here are some top recommended audio recording apps for external mics on Android:

  • Smart Voice Recorder – Offers advanced recording features like bitrate adjustment and format selection. Works with external mics.
  • Pro Voice Recorder – Simple interface but powerful recording capabilities. Can record in high quality formats like WAV.
  • Hi-Q MP3 Voice Recorder – Optimized for voice recordings. Has noise reduction features.
  • Easy Voice Recorder – Free app good for basic recording needs. Supports external mics.

Look for apps that specifically state support for external microphones. Avoid generic sound recorder apps, as they may not work properly with external mics. The apps above provide reliable recording capabilities when using a plug-in Android microphone.

Tips for Recording

When recording vocals or ASMR, the environment can greatly impact audio quality. Look for a quiet space with soft surfaces to absorb sound reverberation. Close windows and doors and avoid rooms with noisy appliances like air conditioners or refrigerators. If possible, hang blankets on the walls as a DIY vocal booth.

Consider editing the audio after recording to optimize quality. Use an audio editing app like Audacity to remove background noise, compress dynamics, or eq problem frequencies. Export the final track as a high-quality file like WAV or MP3 320 kbps.

To monitor your recording in real time, use headphones connected to your smartphone’s headphone jack. This avoids sound from your phone speakers bleeding into the microphone. Adjust headphone volume high enough to hear clearly without creating mic feedback.

Position the microphone close to your mouth pointed directly at the sound source, around 4-12 inches away. Get closer for a more intimate sound or move further for a natural room tone. Angle the mic slightly off center to avoid plosives on consonants.


In summary, using an external microphone with your Android device can significantly improve the audio quality of your singing performances or ASMR recordings. Condenser microphones tend to provide the best sound quality due to their sensitivity, but dynamic microphones are more durable and affordable. For singing, a cardioid or hypercardioid polar pattern will help isolate your voice. Place the mic close to your mouth but not so close that plosives cause popping. Some excellent USB mic options for Android include the Blue Yeti, Audio-Technica AT2020USB+, and Samson Go Mic. With the right mic and recording app, you can capture studio-quality vocals on your smartphone. Just be sure to minimize background noise and position the mic properly to get the best sound. To take your mobile recordings to the next level, an external mic is highly recommended.

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