Review of the Movo DoubleMic Di for iPhone

The DoubleMic Di improves on the built-in microphone of the iPhone. Improvements in audio quality seem slim, but additionally the direct Lightning port connectivity means it can’t reliably maintain that quality in all conditions where it isn’t perfectly still.

If you’re looking for a microphone and have a budget of around a hundred dollars, there are countless high-quality options. If you’re looking for a microphone that’s specifically compatible with your smartphone, your options might be a bit more limited. There are even fewer options that are as convenient as the Movo Double Mic Di and don’t require an adapter

Characteristics
  • Mark: Movo
  • Type: Condenser
  • Model: Cardioid
  • Power: Provided by an iOS device
  • Audio Sensitivity: 25dB; 30dB; 35dB
  • Connector: MFi-certified Lightning connector
  • Weight: 47g
  • Frequency Bandwidth: 44.1kHz / 48kHz
  • Microphones: Double-capsule
  • Sensitivity: -36+/-3dB(0dB=1V/Pa, at 1KHz)
  • Dimensions: 86.0 x 22.9 x 32.6mm
  • Accessories included: 4 windproof hats (2 foam, 2 fur)
  • Signal to noise ratio: 80dB
  • Analog outputs: 3.5mm headphone jack
Benefits
  • Intuitive design
  • Very handy and pocket sized
The inconvenients
  • Unreliable phone connection
  • Expensive – you are paying for this convenience
Buy this product

The Movo Double Mic Di is an iPhone compatible microphone. Boasting a minimal and compact design, it shows promising potential to be an ideal upgrade to any iPhone video producer’s arsenal. But does it live up to its $95 asking price?

Characteristics

The Movo DoubleMic Di is a dual capsule condenser microphone. Double capsule, as the name suggests, which means it is a double microphone, with front and rear input. The Movo is also a condenser mic, meaning it’s directional. So for best results you will want the Movo pointed directly at what you are trying to record, between you and your subject.


moving microphone

Probably the most convenient thing about the DoubleMic Di is the fact that it plugs directly into your iPhone’s Lightning port, with no adapters or additional wiring required. There’s no need to charge it or even turn it on because it’s powered by your phone. Simply attaching it to your iPhone this way will also set it as your phone’s default microphone.

out of the box

The sleek hard case the Movo comes in looks great and is comfortable to hold. But, taking a peek inside, you’ll find that the case is mostly empty.


Microphone just in case

As mentioned, the only thing the Movo needs to work is to be plugged into your iPhone, so there’s no need for cables or other accessories that you might expect to come with a microphone. The only other thing inside the case are four windsocks.

It’s to be expected that the microphone itself isn’t very big, it’s a phone accessory after all. But having an appropriately sized quad storage solution may leave some consumers looking for alternatives between uses.

USE VIDEO OF THE DAY

Using Movo

Using the microphone is as simple as setting it up. The entire DoubleMic Di interface is limited to two switches on either side of the mic. On the right side, facing the front of the Movo, you’ll find a switch to control the sensitivity in decibels for the activated mic. There is a setting for +0.5db, +0.0db and -0.5db. These settings will come in handy depending on the environment you’re recording in, and even without a good understanding of decibel levels, the Movo’s interface eases the learning curve.

On the opposite side, you’ll find a switch labeled “F”, “S”, and “B”, corresponding to the labels for the forward-facing (F) and rear-facing (B) microphones. The “S” setting in the center of the switch is for stereo, which will activate the front and rear pickups at the same time. Unfortunately, even though it’s described as stereo, recording with both mics active at the same time will actually be captured on a single audio channel.



Movo close up

This two-switch design is probably the DoubleMic Di’s greatest achievement. Within minutes of opening the box, you’ll be able to fully understand how to use the mic, even if you’ve never used anything similar before. Movo has really done a great job of making this thing accessible to users who have only ever recorded audio or video on an iPhone.

The only other feature to talk about on the Movo itself is a headphone jack that you can use to monitor your audio levels while using the mic. Something odd about this feature that I think is worth pointing out is the fact that the Movo’s headphone jack is a standard auxiliary port and not an Apple-compatible port like the Lightning port. It seems like a weird and design choice to make an accessory for a product that is incompatible with the product’s other accessories, but ultimately it’s not an Apple product. This way, you will be able to check audio levels using the Movo in the same way as any other microphone. You just won’t be able to do that with the same headphones as your iPhone.


audio test

So how does the DoubleMic Di actually work? I took the Movo outside for a field test in a scenario I thought it would be most useful for: on a windy day near a busy street. I recorded myself talking into my phone, once with the attached Movo fitted with a windsock, and set to -0.5db. Again, just using my iPhone’s native microphone. Listening to a side-by-side comparison of my voice samples, it’s hard to tell which sample is which.

Testing the Movo was a rocky start at the time, but I figured if I turned away from the street and used the directional advantage of the condenser microphone, I’d pick up less background noise and the sound would be superior to the previous two. recordings. However, that’s when I started noticing some of the DoubleMic Di’s potential design flaws.


All my subsequent recordings were full of loud clipping and skipping with moments of complete loss of audio. Those awful clipping noises were coming from the Movo having connectivity issues with my phone. The lightning port connection point has good headroom. Any amount of movement at the connection point of the mic to the phone will cause serious issues with the audio. This happens with or without a case, and with the mic facing up or down.


microphone attached to phone

As you can see from the way the mic is located when connected to the phone, it sticks out a few inches on either side. This makes it all the more susceptible to being bumped or jostled since it sits perpendicular to your iPhone while in use. So unless you’re also using a gimbal, tripod, or some other kind of support for your phone while recording, it looks like the Movo disconnecting from your phone could be a pretty common problem.

But what about less dynamic situations? Sure, the Movo might seem best suited for impromptu run-and-gun style recording, but maybe you’re not worried about connectivity issues and just want a high-quality microphone to augment the production value of your captured videos on iPhone. How does the DoubleMic Di stack up then?

Well, much like when I first tested my scenario outdoors, it was hard to tell which sample was recorded with the Movo and which was strictly from using my phone. For $95, I think most people would expect a more noticeable improvement.

A slight improvement in audio quality that remains inconsistent

The DoubleMic Di improves on the built-in microphone of the iPhone. Improvements in audio quality seem slim, but additionally the direct Lightning port connectivity means it can’t reliably maintain that quality in all conditions where it isn’t perfectly still.

If you’re looking for a microphone and have a budget of around a hundred dollars, there are countless high-quality options. If you’re looking for a microphone that’s specifically compatible with your smartphone, your options might be a bit more limited. There are even fewer options that are as convenient as the Movo Double Mic Di and don’t require an adapter. But either way, a hundred bucks should get you a high quality mic by any standard, and it may be wiser to invest in something that can be used with more than just a port. Lightning.

The Movo DoubleMic Di simply can’t be a consistent option for capturing audio or of high enough quality to command its $95 asking price.

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