Rode AI-Micro Review (Best Mobile Audio Interface?)

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Rode AI-Micro Review (Best Mobile Audio Interface?)
VERDICT
With the AI-Micro, Rode has created a product tailor-made for today's technological landscape. Ultra-compact, easy-to-use, and top-notch in every department, the AI-Micro gives you superb quality that works at home, at the office, at the coffee shop, and on the go.
Features
10
Design
9
Sound
10
Convenience
10
PROS
The design couldn't be more simple and streamlined
Pristine sound quality
Made for journalists, podcasters, and songwriters alike
CONS
No buttons or knobs - everything is controlled by an app.
9.8
OUR SCORE
READ REVIEWS

The Røde AI Micro is a compact dual-channel audio interface for computers and mobile devices.

It is compatible with practically any 3.5 mm microphone and features a 3.5 mm headphone socket for zero-latency audio monitoring and playback. You can capture interviews, record song ideas, and podcasts on the go with superior quality for such a small and affordable device.

Rode AI-Micro Interface

Record crystal-clear audio with this dual-channel interface, which offers two 3.5mm inputs for instantly linking your microphone to a computer, phone, tablet, or other smart devices. 

Why We Love It:
  • Ultra-compact
  • Pristine sound quality
  • Sleek design
View Price On Sweetwater View Price On Thomman

Rode AI-Micro Review: Verdict?

The AI-Micro is an ultra-compact dual-channel interface for recording into a mobile device or computer. This mini interface is compatible with RØDE apps for enhanced functionality.

If you need great quality recordings in an extremely compact interface, which is also easy to use, the Rode AI-Micro might be your best bet. It’s also very affordable, coming in at well under $100.

Features (10/10)

The Rode AI-Micro has a stellar set of features, starting with its impressive minimal weight of 20 grams. It features a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20, 000 Hz and a headphone output power of 125 mV into 32 Ohms.

It offers 24-bit audio at sample rates of 44.1 or 48 kHz. There are two high-quality preamps and you can record both inputs simultaneously.

This is done with two analog inputs of 3.5 mm, both of which feature a sensor to determine whether the mic you’re using is TRS or TRRS, and it will adjust accordingly. Input 1 can also be configured as a single stereo TRS input for use with stereo microphones!

The AI-Micro features a simple plug-and-play design that allows you to record with two lavalier microphones at the same time while you monitor through the 3.5 mm TRS headphone output.

The Rode AI-Micro connects seamlessly to your devices via its universal USB output. It comes with USB-A, USB-C, and Lightning cables so you can get to work as soon as you open the box it ships in.

The AI-Micro works with both Mac (macOS Big Sur and higher, iOS 14 and higher) and Windows systems (Windows 10 and higher and Android 9.0 and higher). Simple said you’d be hard-pressed to find a more complete and intuitive set of features in a similar product. 

Design (9/10)

The Rode AI-Micro features a slick design. Firstly, it easily fits on the palm of your hands – even with tiny hands! This 40 mm x 11.1 x 38.2 mm mini interface will fit in most pockets, so to say it is convenient to transport and store is an understatement. 

Secondly, the engineers at Rode made sure that the AI Micro can connect to almost any phone, tablet, or computer. Thirdly, it features a bus-powered design, with no need for batteries or power cables.

Its design couldn’t be more simple and streamlined. On the front of the unit, there are three ports. The middle one is the headphone output, and to either side of this you’ll find the two mic inputs. They are clearly labeled with icons and the numbers “1” and “2” to clarify which input you’re dealing with, making it foolproof. 

On the back of the unit, you have the universal USB port that connects to whatever device you’re recording to. And that’s it – talk about economic design! 

Sound (10/10)

This micro interface fills a market gap by providing great-sounding audio with convenience. In other words, you no longer have to fire up your bulky interface, switch on phantom power, and connect your condenser mic to get good sound.

Featuring sample rates of 44.1 or 48 kHz with 2 preamps and 24-bit depth, the AI-Micro provides you great sound immediately and on the go if necessary. The AI-Micro also has a full frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

(What sample rate and bit depth should you be using? Check out our guide in What Sample Rate You Should Use? (+Myths & Misconceptions))

Whether you’re writing a song with someone in a different city or chatting with your boss, this interface makes sure they hear you clearly and with pristine quality. So if you need a reliable and portable interface for your online collaborations and Zoom calls, the AI-Micro has you covered.

Simply said, the AI-Micro delivers fantastic sound that easily stands up to interfaces many times its size and price.

Convenience (10/10)

The AI-Micro is a very convenient mini interface. If you’re a journalist that needs to conduct field interviews, a podcaster that is always on the go, a songwriter that wants to record ideas with more quality, or you just need to have great audio for your video and voice calls, the AI-Micro was made for you. 

Naturally, convenience means very little if it does not come with good quality. In the case of the AI-Micro, the quality is ample.

Not only does it give you a great sample rate and bit depth on your audio, but it also lets you monitor it with virtually zero latency. Mind you, you have two mic inputs that can be used simultaneously.

For instance, you can stream your interview with great quality, or have someone else on a group call sitting next to you without having to share a mic. 

In the name of convenience, Rode had to make the call to do without any buttons, meters, or knobs. Instead, everything in the AI-Micro is controlled through a class-compliant app. Rode recommends using the RØDE Reporter app.

The app features a big red button for control, level meters, and a scrolling waveform. You can also choose if the recording is saved as 24-bit WAV or MP3.

Although some users might miss the hands-on experience that buttons and knobs offer, it is partly because of this design choice that the unit is so small and convenient.

In all honesty, I have no problem with using the app in the name of having this level of convenience and portability.

Rode AI-Micro Interface

Record crystal-clear audio with this dual-channel interface, which offers two 3.5mm inputs for instantly linking your microphone to a computer, phone, tablet, or other smart devices. 

Why We Love It:
  • Ultra-compact
  • Pristine sound quality
  • Sleek design
View Price On Sweetwater View Price On Thomman

Conclusion

With the AI-Micro, Rode has created a product tailor-made for today’s technological landscape. Video calls have become a normal part of life over the last couple of years, and everything from business meetings to songwriting sessions is handled this way now. Video calls have moved beyond an informal endeavor and it’s more and more important to sound good if you want to make an impression.

The AI-Micro gives you just that and does so with a convenient and slick design that works at home, at the office, at the coffee shop, and on the go. It’s also very affordable, appealing to those on the tightest of budgets despite offering professional sound and features.

FAQ

  • Does AI-Micro need phantom power?

No. The AI-Micro does not require phantom power to work. 

  • What are Auto-Sensing Inputs?

Auto-sensing inputs detect whether a TRS or TRRS microphone is connected and will automatically adapt to accommodate. This means no more fiddling with connectors and converters that will inevitably get lost anyway!

  • What Devices are Compatible with the AI-Micro?

The AI-Micro can be used with iOS and Android smartphones and tablets, as well as Mac and Windows computers. As long as the device has a USB-A, USB-C or Lightning connector, there’s a good chance it’s compatible with the AI-Micro.

OS requirements: macOS Big Sur and higher, Windows 10 (Build 19041) and higher, iOS 14 and higher, Android 9.0 and higher.

  • What’s in the Box?

The box comes with a RØDE AI-Micro, and the following USB cables: 1 x SC21, 1 x SC22, 1 x SC23.

  • Which RØDE Products are the AI-Micro Compatible With?

The AI-Micro is compatible with the following RØDE products: SmartLav+,

Lavalier GO, RØDELink Lav, All VideoMics, SC15, SC16, SC17, SC18, SC19, SC20, SC21, SC22, SC23

  • Which RØDE Apps are the AI-Micro Compatible With?

This interface is compatible with the following RØDE apps: RØDE Central, RØDE Reporter (recommended) and RØDE Connect.

  • Who and what is the AI-Micro Intended For?

The AI-Micro is ideal for interviews in the field, on-the-go podcasting, and making video calls or live streaming at home. Additionally, it is also great for songwriting sessions on video calls, and any other activity that requires a video call.

Simply put, if you need a great sounding portable audio interface that you can take anywhere, the Rode AI-Micro is the best option out there right now.