UPDATE TO THIS POST – The App Ultra Video Camera by Multimedia International that made this work doesn’t appear to be in the Google Play Store any more. You can search for another app but I can’t recommend one unfortunately. I did however learn that Samsung S4’s were built with two different types of headphone jacks.
Some had the same one’s they used in the iPhone’s which allowed a simple microphone to be installed and then there is the kind I have. I don’t know what the technical reference to these types of jacks are but I saw a post where it explained that if you have the good kind, a microphone will work and if you have the old kind (like mine) it won’t work. Well, that was brilliant.
Anyway, I’m sure there’s another solution out there and if not, don’t be afraid to keep making your videos until you get a new phone.
But I can assure you that when I replace my phone, I will be bringing along a microphone like the one listed below and test it on the new phone BEFORE I purchase it.
Recently I purchased a Movo LV1 Lavalier Microphone Smartphones (Including Apple iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy & Note, etc) and was excited to add some great audio to my videos that used to sound like I was in a tin can if I was any distance from the phone.
When I got the MOVO LV1 Smartphone microphone, I plugged it in and tinkered with everything I could think of just to get it to work. No such luck (don’t worry, there’s a solution). By the way, this problem is only on a handful of smartphones. Many of them work just fine with the mic by itself.
I started doing some research and found out a few things about the Samsung Galaxy S4 camera app and the audio input. I commented on those things below each of the steps.
I probably spent a good day and a half trying to figure this out and in the end including the MOVO LV1, The adapter and the Video Camera App it cost be about $28 which I figure is waaaayyyy less than a new phone that allows audio input. But in the end, I figured it out and it should work just fine for you too. Now we can make some good videos.
I wish the guys at MOVO would have figured this out first but here you go.
2 parts to it.
1. You need an adapter.
The StarTech.com MUYHSMFF Headset Splitter Adapter
Reason: From what I have read, the Samsung S4 input somehow can’t split the audio in and audio out (I’m not an electrical or audio engineer so don’t ask me to get technical) so this adapter splits them for you. FYI, with step 2 below I tried it with and without the adapter and it only works WITH the adapter.
2. You need to install a different video camera app. I installed Ultra Video Camera by Multimedia International $0.99 via the Google Play Store.
This Video Camera App was the only one I could find that had a separate audio input setting. Also you pretty much know you’re recording from the right source because in this app it has an audio input meter right on the screen.
From other sources I read the reason you need a separate app is that the default video camera app does not have a setting for “external microphone” so will never work with an external mic.
Once I downloaded the app all I had to do was go into settings and change audio input to “Talk/Headset” and it worked great. It is super easy.
Only sort of downside is that recording doesn’t work in “off/smartphone mode” it only works in “ON” powered condenser mode which should provide for some great audio but you have to make sure you are carrying extra batteries which are the LR44 batteries (again my link please):
Energizer LR44 1.5V Button Cell Battery 10 pack
I prefer Energizer over the other cheaper brands because they last way longer.
I hope that helps.