How do I use an external microphone on my Android?

Using an external microphone with an Android device like a phone or tablet can greatly improve the audio quality of recordings compared to using the built-in microphone. There are several reasons why someone may want to connect an external mic to their Android:

  • To improve audio quality for videos – An external mic can record clearer, richer sound compared to a phone’s built-in mic.
  • For better podcasting or voiceovers – External mics provide professional-grade audio ideal for podcasts or narration.
  • Higher quality music recordings – Musicians can capture studio-quality recordings using external mics.
  • Reduce background noise – External mics minimize distracting ambient sounds.
  • More versatility – Specialty external mics like lavaliere clip-ons cater to specific recording needs.

In general, external microphones greatly enhance the audio quality compared to a phone’s built-in mic. This allows content creators, musicians, podcasters and more to produce professional sound when recording videos, music, speeches and more on an Android device.

Things to Consider Before Buying

When shopping for an external microphone for your Android phone, there are several factors to consider that will determine which mic is the right fit for your needs:

Wired vs Wireless Mics

Wired mics plug directly into your phone’s headset jack and don’t require batteries or pairing. However, they limit mobility. Wireless mics use Bluetooth to pair with your phone, allowing more freedom of movement. But they require charging or battery replacement 1.

Battery Powered vs Plug-In Power

Battery powered wireless mics allow the most flexibility, but may run out of power at inopportune times. Plug-in powered mics draw minimal power through the headset jack, reducing battery drain on your phone 2.

Mono vs Stereo

Mono mics record single channel audio from one microphone. Stereo mics have two mic elements to capture a more spacious stereo image. Stereo is preferable for music recording, while mono works fine for voice 1.

Lapel Mic vs Shotgun Mic

Lapel mics clip onto clothing near the speaker’s mouth, ensuring consistent voice pickup. Shotgun mics are directional, filtering out unwanted ambient sound. Choose lapel for interviews and shotgun for events 2.

Compatible External Mics

There are many quality external microphones available that are compatible with Android devices. Here are some of the top options:

The Rode VideoMic Me-L is a great directional microphone that conveniently plugs directly into the headphone jack. It provides clear audio quality and background noise isolation.

For lavalier style clip-on mics, the Sennheiser ClipMic digital and Rode smartLav+ are excellent choices. They attach discreetly to clothing for professional interviews and voiceovers.

If you need a versatile handheld mic, the Shure MV88 delivers great sound quality for everything from vocals to acoustic instruments. It comes with handy recording apps for Android and iOS.

For studio-quality sound, the Apogee HypeMic is an excellent USB condenser mic for Android phones. Though pricy, it provides excellent directional recording and crisp audio.

The Samson Go Mic Mobile is an affordable and portable condenser mic that clips onto a smartphone. It captures clear stereo recordings great for music, podcasts and interviews.

Connecting a Wired Mic

To connect a wired microphone to your Android phone, you’ll need to plug it into the headset jack, USB-C port, or use an adapter, depending on your phone’s ports.

Most external microphones have a 3.5mm TRRS connector. If your Android phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack, you can simply plug the mic directly into the jack.

Some newer Android phones don’t have a headphone jack and instead have a USB-C port. For these phones, you’ll need a USB-C to 3.5mm adapter to connect your wired mic.

If your phone doesn’t have a headphone jack or USB-C port, you can get an adapter that plugs into the charging port to add a headphone jack. Then connect your mic to the adapter’s headphone jack.

One other thing to keep in mind is that some wired mics have a TRS connector instead of TRRS. TRS only has 2 black rings instead of 3 and does not support mic input. If your mic has a TRS connector, you’ll need to use a TRS to TRRS adapter for the mic to work properly with your Android phone.

Overall, with the right adapter if needed, it’s straightforward to connect an external wired microphone to an Android phone. Just make sure to get the proper connector or adapter for your particular phone setup and microphone.[1]


Connecting a Wireless Mic

There are two main options for connecting a wireless microphone to your Android device – using a Bluetooth microphone or a plug-in wireless transmitter system.

Bluetooth microphones connect directly to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth, without the need for any extra transmitter hardware. Many newer Android devices have Bluetooth 5.0 which provides extended wireless range up to 800ft between the mic and receiving device. Popular Bluetooth mics like the Boya BY-WM4 Propair easily and work for both audio and video recording.

Wireless transmitters use a radio signal to connect a lapel mic or handheld mic to a receiver plugged into your phone’s mic input. Systems like the Rode Wireless Go II provide reliable audio up to 200ft away from the transmitter.

The main steps to pair and set up a wireless microphone with your Android device are:

  1. Turn on the wireless transmitter and receiver, and ensure they are on the same channel frequency.
  2. Plug the wireless receiver into your Android device’s mic input jack or charging port (with an adapter).
  3. Activate the mic and ensure levels are displaying on the receiver.
  4. Open your recording app and select the external mic as the audio input source.
  5. Position the mic close to your mouth and test recording audio and video.
  6. Make gain adjustments on the receiver if needed to optimize the signal.

Going wireless avoids cables getting in the way during recording. Just be mindful of potential interference from other wireless sources in the area when using a wireless system.

Mic Apps and Settings

Some camera and audio recording apps for Android allow you to use an external mic for capturing higher quality audio. Here are a few tips for configuring mic settings in apps:

Open the settings in your camera app like Open Camera or Camera FV-5 and look for options to switch the audio source to an external mic.

Try advanced camera apps like Open Camera and Cinema FV-5 that are designed to work with external mics. Their settings allow you to adjust mic gain levels, choose stereo or mono recording, and monitor audio while recording.

Use audio recording apps like Easy Voice Recorder which let you customize sample rates and bit rates for optimal external mic quality.

Consider downloading an app specifically for external mics like Microphone that has tools to test mic functionality.

Most video recording apps like Filmic Pro also allow connecting an external mic. Look for a mic icon in the app’s settings to switch audio input sources.

Audio Recording Apps

When using an external microphone with your Android device, you’ll want a recording app that provides advanced audio settings and high-quality recording capabilities. Here are some top recommendations:

Otter ( is one of the best audio recording apps for Android. It allows you to record clear, high-fidelity audio and integrates seamlessly with external microphones. Otter also automatically transcribes your recordings and syncs audio with the text.

Dolby On ( enhances the sound quality of your recordings using Dolby audio technology. It works great with external mics and has options to reduce background noise.

Easy Voice Recorder (Free & Pro apps) is a highly-rated Android app that provides professional-level recording functionality along with support for external microphones. The Pro version unlocks higher quality audio formats.

For a comprehensive audio editing suite, check out Voice Recorder & Audio Editor on Google Play. It allows precise control over audio input and output when using an external mic.

Testing different recording apps with your external microphone is recommended to find the best pairing for your needs and preferences.

Video Recording Apps

When recording video on your Android phone, you’ll want an app that provides high quality recordings and full support for external microphones. Here are some top recommendations:

FiLMiC Pro is considered one of the best video recording apps for Android. It offers advanced controls like exposure, focus, white balance, and more. FiLMiC Pro works with external mics through the headphone jack or USB-C port.

External Mic Video Recorder is specifically designed for recording video with external mics. It supports USB microphones and has options to monitor and adjust audio levels. The app provides various video and audio settings.

Open Camera is a free, open source app that has full compatibility with external mics. It provides granular controls over focus, exposure, resolution, and bitrate. Open Camera is highly customizable for advanced mobile video recording.

For stable, professional-grade recordings, Cinema FV-5 is an excellent choice. It works seamlessly with external mics and produces high quality video. Cinema FV-5 gives you control over color profiles, encoding, frame rates, and more.

These apps provide the best performance and controls when using an external mic for video recording on Android. They offer advanced audio and video settings not found in basic recording apps.


If you’re having issues with your external microphone on Android, here are some troubleshooting tips:

Make sure the microphone is properly connected and the connection is secure. Microphone cables can become loose over time. Try unplugging and reconnecting the microphone.

Check that the microphone is compatible with your Android device. Not all external mics work properly with all Android phones and tablets. Refer to the microphone specs or contact the manufacturer. Consider getting a mic designed for Android devices.

Inspect your phone case to ensure it’s not blocking the microphone port or interfering with the microphone. Try removing the case and testing the mic again.

Check that microphone permissions are enabled for your recording apps. Go to Settings > Apps and make sure microphone access is allowed.

Try a different recording app and see if the issue persists. Some apps may have bugs that prevent proper external mic use.

Restart your Android device and the microphone/recording app. This can clear any software glitches.

Update your Android OS and recording apps. Developers often fix microphone issues in app and system updates.

Adjust audio settings on your device and in the recording app, like switching between mono and stereo recording.

If possible, test the microphone on a different device to isolate the issue.

As a last resort, you may need to replace a faulty microphone cable or the microphone itself.

For additional troubleshooting tips, refer to the microphone manufacturer’s website or reach out to their customer support.


In summary, Android devices provide options for connecting external microphones to enhance audio quality for recordings and livestreams. Wired lavalier mics that plug into the headphone jack offer an affordable way to upgrade from built-in mics, while wireless Bluetooth mics provide more flexibility and mobility. Look for mics designed for smartphone use with integrated controls and battery life optimized for portability. Top app choices for recording with external mics include FiLMiC Pro, HyperRecorder, and Open Camera. Focus on mics with straightforward connectivity that work across Android devices. Test potential mics with your specific phone model before purchasing to ensure full compatibility and optimal performance. With some basic gear and app tweaks, Android users can tap into the versatility of external mics for professional-grade audio.

For most Android users wanting to improve audio quality, lavalier or shotgun mics in the sub-$100 range provide the best value. The Purple Panda lavalier mic kit works across Android models and offers handy controls and accessories. As a step up, the Rode SmartLav+ produces broadcast-worthy results. On the wireless side, the Rode Wireless Go II delivers excellent quality with effortless portability. For more advanced use, the Shure Motiv line provides premium recording and livestreaming performance. With the right external mic, Android devices can deliver impressive audio that meets the demands of mobile content creators.

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