For the past five years, Mikme has been chasing the dream of perfect mobile audio recording. Its first product was an excellent wireless microphone that automatically synchronized with your video recordings on iOS and Android devices. Now, the company is turning that box into something that you can easily hide from the camera. The Mikme Pocket is its spin on a wireless lavalier (or "lav"), those tiny microphones you typically see attached to talk show hosts and broadcast reporters to capture everything they say. It'll still do the hard work of syncing up its high quality audio with your mobile videos, but now you can clip the microphone on your shirt, stuff the recorder in your pocket, and shoot more like a professional.
As much as I liked the original Mikme microphone, it wasn't the most convenient thing to use for vlogging and reporting on the go. I either had to hold it, or find a convenient spot to set it down. The MikMe Pocket solves that issue, allowing you to capture high-quality 44.1kHz/24-bit dialog wirelessly over Bluetooth, while also keeping your hands free. It's less complex than existing wireless lav solutions, which typically require a receiver connected to your camera. And of course, the Pocket is a capable standalone recorder, with the ability to capture up to 96kHz/24-bit quality on 16GB of internal storage. That means you'll be able to use it for higher-end video products, as well.
The Mikme Pocket is a fairly nondescript box with a recording button front and center. It's a bit of a step down design-wise from the company's last device, but that makes sense since you'll be keeping it mostly out of sight. The recording box connects to the lav mic over a mini-XLR connection. a port you won't typically find on mainstream gear, but it'll let you easily plug in replacement mics or even connect to production decks. This time around, Mikme didn't go to the trouble of building its own custom microphone. Instead, you'll get a standard lav to begin with, though you can pay a bit more for a "professional" Pocket bundle with a higher quality mic.
Gallery: MikMe Pocket | 6 Photos
Gallery: MikMe Pocket | 6 Photos
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to demo the Mikme Pocket, but it's easy to see how it could be useful for YouTubers and reporters. The company's app automatically combines the mic's audio with the video being shot on your phone, and you can also edit your clips there too. That's a far simpler process than throwing everything into a PC video editing app and making sure your sound and imagery are in sync. Starting next year, you'll also be able to switch the Mikme Pocket over to the Bluetooth hands free profile, which lowers the audio quality to 16kHz, but will let you use the device with any third-party app. (It'll likely still sound better than just recording with your phone normally.)
Professional users will likely appreciate some of the Mikme Pocket's more advanced features, including the ability to wirelessly monitor your recordings, as well as a 3.5mm stereo out connection for passing audio to cameras and mixers. Mikme also plans to offer a "pro" version of its app with more capabilities, like recording a video with two of its microphones, livestreaming, video customization and custom branding for $9.90 a month. You'll get a year of pro access with every Mikme Pocket, but after that you'll still have free access to basic features, like wireless recording and auto video syncing.
Mikme has already raised nearly $70,000 for the Pocket on Kickstarter, and it still has 28 days left to go on its campaign. You can snag the standard version of the device for around $284, or pay $329 to get a better lav mic. And if you want to go all out, there's the professional kit with two Mikme Pockets for around $660. All of the bundles will cost around 30 percent more once the Mikme Pocket hits retail, so there's an incentive to jump in early. The company plans to start shipping the Pocket to backers this December, and we're hoping to test it out before then.