Pixel Finch lavalier microphone is a very decent and affordable solution for iPhone and iPad users. The biggest advantage is high build quality and cable length. The cable is a single loop and plugs straight to your phone. It is much more reliable than using any adaptors and extensions required for use with other lapel mics. In terms of sound quality it can be compared to entry lavaliers from mainstream brands, which is notable. Overall it is great for vlogging and tiktok, it is definitely more useful than in-built mic, nevertheless the audio isn’t particularly crispy.
When talking about sound quality, first there are few things we need to consider. Pixel Finch is a budget mic, it is supplied from Hong Kong and is offered at a very competitive price. It makes little sense comparing it to the professional lavaliers that usually worth over $300, not only because of the price difference but also due to the fact that none of those professional microphones are compatible with iPhone. Second, sound recording is not a simple task, so more often than not, poor quality is a result of lousy recording technique rather than a mic problem. Finally, iPhone users largely have unrealistic expectations about quality.
Having cleared those misconceptions, we can now say that Pixel Finch is actually quite good, for what it offers. It doesn’t fall short in terms of specs compared to any other budget microphone. Moreover, they actually reveal their specification, such as self-noise, etc. So you certainly aren’t buying a pig in a poke, which cannot be said about other similar-priced products. Talking of noise, Finch actually addresses this problem quite well: the cable it uses is well-shielded and the direct connection to phone helps to eliminate issues such as grounding or poor contact, compared to solutions that use adaptors and/or multiple connectors.
Overall, the sound quality is fine, however this mic isn’t particularly crispy or transparent. Especially alongside a professional lavalier it sounds rather muffled. Still, personally I would use it any time instead of the in-built mic, which often produces unacceptable artefacts and makes speech indistinguishable. For an average user though, you don’t necessarily need a professional equipment to produce a decent quality video. Also, in order to truly appreciate the difference between two mics you may need to use quality monitors, not like you will be able to notice it while using the same phone’s in-built speaker.
For professional video, I wouldn’t recommend this mic, but for making vlogs on Facebook or Youtube I find it quite convenient and the quality is just about right. There is no hiss, artefacts or electromagnetic interference, just a bit lacking in high-end in regards to details. Others may even find this beneficial as it helps to attenuate the background, reducing the amount of distractions for the listener. One application to be cautious about is ASMR: do NOT use this mic if you intend making ASMR videos because instead of accentuating those sounds, it kind of does the opposite.
Build quality & application
There are also few things to be said about the build quality and the actual user experience with iPhones. Pixel Finch lavalier does pass all the check marks when it comes to quality of the build and the materials used. The cable here, probably being the biggest advantage. Not only is it long and durable, it is actually quite soft and bends well. Neylon braiding isn’t something that you usually see on microphones but it does feel good. (Professional mics however do often reinforce cables beneath the rubber without looking fancy). The connector quality is also good, you can’t see it on the picture but the contacts are of a different metal. They have a quality nickel plating that gives a nice shine and makes them resistant to corrosion.
The mic itself is quite sizeable, having a length of 40mm and 11mm in width. Both the body and alligator clip are metal, which is all fine and looks durable. The foam however I find annoying, because it is loose and sometimes slips off the mic, which shouldn’t be the case for a factory new device. Perhaps they should have used the same rugged texture for the tip so it doesn’t slip. My final remark is about iPhone. Somehow it recognizes the plugged-in device as a headset, and essentially turns off the speaker during playback unless you unplug the device. This can be quite inconvenient if you intend to record and playback a large number of samples.
- Reviewed at $39.99
- Excellent! - 8.5/108.5/10