Technology

The Mikme bag is a improbable cellular audio answer for podcasters, reporters and builders

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Portable audio recording solutions abound, and many recently released devices have done a lot to improve the convenience and quality of audio recording devices that you can carry in your pocket – powered in part by smartphones and their constant improvement in video recording capabilities. A new device from Austria's Mikme, the Mikme-Tasche (€ 369.00 or just under 450 USD) offers tremendous flexibility and quality in a very portable package and possibly offers the ultimate pocket sound solution for reporters, podcasters and video creators and more.

The basics

The Mikme bag is small – about half the size of a smartphone, but square and probably twice as thick. It is not as compact as the Rode Wireless GO, but contains built-in memory and a Bluetooth antenna, so that both local recording and audio from up to three Mikme bags can be transmitted directly to a connected smartphone at the same time.

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The Mikme bag has a single button for control, as well as dedicated volume buttons, a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio monitoring, a micro USB port for loading and unloading files through a physical connection, and bluetooth pairing and power switches. It has an integrated belt clip as well as a 3/8 "thread attachment for microphone stands and an adapter for mounting on 1/4" standard camera tripod connections.

The mikme scope of delivery also includes a lavalier microphone with a mini XLR connector (the interface that the bag uses) as well as a clip and two windshields for the microphone. They also offer a "Pro" Lavalier microphone as a separate add-on purchase (€ 149.00 or approximately $ 180) that offers improved performance over the included Lav in terms of audio quality and dynamic range.

Credit: mikme

The internal battery for the Mikme bag lasts up to 3.5 hours of recording time and can last more than six months between recordings in standby mode.

Design and performance

The Mikme bag is a pretty plain black block, but the nondescript design is one of its strong points. It has a textured, matte feel that helps with the graininess, and it's easy to hide in dark clothing. Plus, the built-in belt clip works exactly as you want, making sure the pack can be easily attached to anyone you want to wire up for sound. It has a single large button for simplified control that also allows you to view the connectivity status using an LED backlight.

The controls for advanced features like Bluetooth connectivity, as well as the micro USB port, are located at the bottom, where they are unlikely to be accidentally pressed by anyone while recording. The mini XLR interface for microphones means that a connected microphone is securely locked in place and will not be pushed out during meetings.

Thanks to the built-in local storage of 16 GB you can also use the Mikme bag alone, but it really shines when used together with the smartphone app. The app allows up to three bags to be connected at the same time and offers a built-in video recorder that allows you to take full advantage of the recording capabilities of modern devices like the iPhone 12 to record synchronized audio in real time while you film with ease. Failure safety is also integrated in the Mikme bag and the app, which can be used to close gaps that may arise due to connection failures due to the local recording backup.

In terms of audio quality, the sound is excellent without adjusting any settings. As with all lavalier microphones, the closer you can place the actual microphone capsule itself to the mouth of a speaker, the better results you will get. However, the Mikme bag immediately produced exceptionally clean sounding and high quality audio – in environments where it wasn't, it wasn't particularly soundproofed or had no background noise.

The included mini XLR lava microphone is likely good enough for the needs of most amateur and enthusiastic users, while the Lavalier Pro is a great upgrade option for anyone looking to get the most out of their recordings, especially when post-processing via desktop Audio editing software. The mikme app has built-in audio optimization controls with a great visual interface that lets you hear the effects of processing optimizations in real time. This is ideal for maximizing sound quality on the go, before broadcasting clips and videos directly from your device to social networks or publishing platforms.

Bottom line

From shotgun microphones on the phone to handheld recorders and much more, there are many ways to record audio on the go. However, the Mikme bag strikes the best balance between very high sound quality, which is essentially there ready to go, in a package that is both extremely easy to take with you wherever you go, and offers durability and ease of use for newbies and experts alike.

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Katherine Clark