This video compares the two mics using a simple bench test. The Rode smartLav+ lavalier microphone is an improved version of the original smartLav. How much better is it, and are there improvements to the noise floor level that many have commented on?
The original RODE smartLav mic is a good lavalier mic but it does have the disadvantage of having a high noise floor. By comparing the original and the new smartLav+ we should be able to find out if it is worth spending a little more money and getting the improved version.
Comparing the two mikes it is obvious that there is not a lot of difference. They both have the same clips and windscreens, the cables are similar and the retaining clip is the same. One thing that is very different is the color of the plug. RODE have chosen to color code their plugs that are a tip ring ring sleeve configuration and make them gray in color. The male and female plugs and sockets will now be gray so that it is easy to identify the style of connection.
The major difference is that the mic capsule is now of broadcast quality. So the quality of audio will be significantly improved. This will make a good mic into a great mic if it works out to be the improvement that RODE would like us to believe. The box contains or the same material as the previous model.
How did the test go?
Putting the mics to the test using the RODE Rec app for a recorder should give us a good measurement of if the background noise has improved at all with the new model.
To do this I have set up each mic for a recording using the same parameters. As you can see from the screenshot there is a considerable difference between the two mics.
There is no doubt at all that the RODE smartLav-Plus lavalier mic is a real improvement over it’s predecessor and is definitely worth the little extra money. For under $100 the microphone is a great option for those that just want to plug their mic into a smartphone without the need for adapters. The mike can be used with DSLR cameras but you would have to use the adapter to plug it into a tip ring sleeve socket on the camera.