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I'm looking for some technical advice for a correct voice-recording setup using a pro-level lavalier mic for speaking (no video)—like a RØDE Lavalier, for instance—with input into either a laptop with a 3.5mm port or via some bluetooth setup into a smartphone without a 3.5mm port (iPhone XR).

In my research I have seen several problems which I do not know or am unsure how to fix:

  • Some high-quality lavalier mics require phantom power. Obviously for my setup I would not have phantom power, only "plug-in" power.
  • The 3.5mm port on my MacBook Pro (for instance) has a TRRS setup, but most good mics I have seen have a dual-mono TRS setup. Not sure how to deal with that.
  • I would prefer to record into my phone. But since there is no port, I was looking into a bluetooth transmitter/receiver combo. The idea is the transmitter and receiver act as a wireless mic, and the lavalier plugs into the transmitter. Then the receiver connects to the recording device via bluetooth. I'm not sure if/how this would work and how compatible it is with a lavalier.
  • I have heard warnings about sound cards on computers/smartphones not able to capture high-quality sound. The last thing I want is to spend a several hundred dollars on a good mic only for it to sound trashy in the recording b/c of the recording hardware.

I would really appreciate some ideas to get from voice, through a lavalier, into a phone/laptop with high sound quality intact, and in such a way that the speaker can move around (not tethered by a cable).

Thanks for the help.

NOTE: I do own a decent, smaller sized mixer that could be used if necessary.

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Some high-quality lavalier mics require phantom power. Obviously for my setup I would not have phantom power, only "plug-in" power.

There are mic preamps that include phantom power and have a USB output (that's a random sample I found, no experience with them). That also solves your fourth point, possibly low-quality analog inputs on the computer.

The 3.5mm port on my MacBook Pro (for instance) has a TRRS setup, but most good mics I have seen have a dual-mono TRS setup. Not sure how to deal with that.

Adapters may be available to sort this. I've built one myself using a 3.5 mm TRRS female and two TRS males.

I would prefer to record into my phone. But since there is no port, I was looking into a bluetooth transmitter/receiver combo. The idea is the transmitter and receiver act as a wireless mic, and the lavalier plugs into the transmitter. Then the receiver connects to the recording device via bluetooth. I'm not sure if/how this would work and how compatible it is with a lavalier.

If you want high quality, don't do this. Bluetooth cannot transmit a lossless signal, so you'll be recording a degraded signal.

I have heard warnings about sound cards on computers/smartphones not able to capture high-quality sound. The last thing I want is to spend a several hundred dollars on a good mic only for it to sound trashy in the recording b/c of the recording hardware.

It's always going to be better than Bluetooth, but yes, audio input quality varies. The headphones output on a Mac is usually pretty good, I haven't tried recording with a good mic though.

and in such a way that the speaker can move around (not tethered by a cable).

That's the most expensive point. You'd have to go to a wireless mic setup where your Lavalier mic connects to a beltpack with a transmitter. Then you connect the receiver to your computer. The receiver usually has XLR line-level outputs. You could connect these directly to the computer or go via an audio interface (as above) again.

I used to have a Lavalier with its thin cable leading to a belt clip, and a heavier XLR cable with plenty of slack from there to the mixer. This left the speaker mostly free to move around (as long as he didn't trip over the cable) and with his hands free.

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