This past summer, I came upon a Kickstarter project for a Bluetooth remote microphone system called the SmartMike+ that boasted short latency (i.e., very minimal lag time) and the ability to use two microphones at the same time. I was intrigued so I decided to take the plunge and be a backer for their TWS (True Wireless Stereo) Package at Early Bird pricing which gave me two mics. These mics were mostly advertised to be used with vloggers and people that record video and audio – my intended purpose was to use them with the various speech-to-text (STT) apps that I use on my portable devices.
For a resource that looks at the various Speech-to-Text apps that I have evaluated, click here.
After reading this post and if you want to order your own package, you can get it on the Sabinetek website here (please note that this is an affiliate link). If you sign up for their mailing list, they sometimes have promo codes. You can also find several vendors on Amazon.
What I love about the SmartMike+ system:
- Easy-to-use, lapel-worn, Bluetooth remote microphone system that can be used for speech-to-text apps on your mobile phone, tablet or computer
- If your device is not Bluetooth compatible, you can connect one of the mics (SmartMike+ A) to the headphone jack with the supplied connector, pair SmartMike+ B to A and then can use SmartMike+ B as your remote microphone. This is known as Master/Slave (M/S) mode. Examples in the directions showed this being used for things like DSLR and video cameras when people are vlogging or recording video/audio. Since all the devices that I use have Bluetooth, I never had to use this.
- Another feature with the SmartMike+ system is that you can plug in earbuds or headphones into the 3.5 mm jack to listen to your audio. As a person with hearing loss, I tried listening to the mics this way and it was way too soft for me (there is no way to adjust this monitor feature). If you pair two mics together, you can even use both SmartMike+s to talk to another person (e.g., while recording).
- I found the company to be receptive to my emails and messages though some people have found this not to be true.
What can be improved:
- The user manual has super tiny print that was hard to read with my old eyes. I found a PDF online that I could magnify.
- There also were not a lot of directions included with the box and product – I had to email the company to ask for more information (which they sent within a couple of days via email).
- I found this out by trial and error and wish they had included this in the user manual, too – you want to DISCONNECT ALL OTHER BLUETOOTH devices before you try pairing the SmartMike+. This means things like your smartwatch, keyboard, external speakers, etc.
Ok, time for some screenshots from my Samsung Note 9 mobile phone with some tips:
Next are some screenshots from my iPad.
As someone with hearing loss, I appreciate having the option to have a Bluetooth remote mic so that the person talking doesn’t have to be shoulder-to-shoulder to me as I read the captions on my mobile phone, tablet or computer. Remember to disconnect any other Bluetooth devices first.