4 Tips to Make Your Mobile Live Stream Sound Great

These days we have in the palm of our hands all the tools needed to broadcast to the entire world. Thanks to apps like Periscope, Meerkat, and Facebook Live, you can see what’s happening anywhere and everywhere in real time. But what good is widely sharing your thoughts with the world if every word can’t be clearly heard and understood? What good is experiencing a live a concert from another country if the music sounds distorted?

It’s easy to overlook audio when live streaming, but if you really want people to experience what you’re seeing or feeling, then your stream needs clear audio. Fortunately, we know a thing or two about good audio here at Shure. Below are some tips that you can apply to help every word and sound you broadcast be heard accurately.

1. Get a Good Mic

The video quality on our phones is better than ever, but the onboard microphones have not been improved at the same rate. The most important tip to achieving quality audio for your live stream is to invest in a quality microphone. There are lots of options on the market depending on your situation, budget and smartphone, including some great mics from our MOTIV line.

If you’re just filming your own personal musings, we suggest the MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone. It plugs directly into your headphone jack and clips on your lapel. If you’re streaming a live event with an iOS phone, the MV88 iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone plugs directly into the Lightning® port and captures pristine audio, especially in loud settings like a rock concert. If you have an Android device, you can use an MV5 Digital Condenser Microphone or an MV51 Digital Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone with an additional OTG cable accessory to improve the quality of your audio.

MOTIV Microphones

2. Use Airplane Mode to Avoid Interruptions

The last thing you want during your live broadcast is to be interrupted by incoming calls, messages, or other distracting notifications. The best way to cut off these distractions is to set your phone to Airplane mode. To get the best streaming performance, most social streaming services suggest you use WiFi instead of your 4G connection, if available.

Simply switch on Airplane mode, then establish your WiFi connection. If you’re using a microphone that attaches directly to the end of the phone, like the MV88, Airplane mode will provide the added benefit of keeping any GSM interference noise from marring your broadcast.

Live streaming with an MV88

3. Do a Sound Check

The best way to make sure everything will run smoothly and sound great is to do a sound check or rehearsal.

On Periscope, click on the Lock icon in the Broadcast screen to set up a private broadcast with a friend who can let you know whether everything is sounding as expected. Facebook Live allows you the option of sharing with only yourself so you can do a quick air-check.

Alternatively, you could rehearse your stream in full. Either way will set you up for success before you start broadcasting to the world.

4. Monitor the Process

The hardest part of streaming is that you don’t really know what your audience is hearing on the other end of the stream. To make sure that everything sounds as good as your sound check, have a friend follow along on the stream on their own device. They can keep you posted if anything goes awry.

Live stream monitoring

These are just a few tips to help your next live mobile broadcast sound great. Do you have any tips that we missed? Share in the comments below.


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Cheryl Jennison DaProza

Cheryl Jennison DaProza

Cheryl is a Media Relations Specialist at Shure with previous experience in the customer service department. She is also a professional singer involved in several tribute, cover, and original bands in the Chicago metro area. In what little spare time she has between work and music, she can be found reading or hanging out with her parrot. Cheryl’s favorite mic is the KSM8 and her Twitter handle is @TheUnsungDiva.

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  • Dave says:

    Very helpful post! I just purchased the MV88 but I’m wondering how to use it for a livestream on Instagram? If the mic is only engaged when I’m using the Motiv video app, how do I get that to feed from within the app to within the live feed for Instagram?


    • Cheryl Jennison DaProza Cheryl Jennison DaProza says:

      Great question, Dave! The MV88 actually does work with most third-party recording and streaming apps, not just the MOTIV Video and Audio apps. Use our app to get the mic settings where you want them, and then open up Instagram Live and stream away!

      • Anonymous says:

        Wow! I’m so grateful for your incredibly quick response, Cheryl. I’m really glad to know it works with other 3rd party and streaming apps! It’s definitely a “keeper.” Thanks again!

      • Dave says:

        Wow! I’m so grateful for your incredibly quick response, Cheryl. I’m really glad it works with other 3rd party recording and streaming apps. It’s a keeper. Thanks again!

  • Alvaro says:

    Great post Cheryl. I have tried the MV88 with Periscope several times but I stop using it because the audio would disappear in the middle of the stream. I know this has, sometimes, to do with the how the app handles audio. I wonder if anyone has reported having issues with the MV88 and Periscope. The MV88 works fine with FB Live though.

    Thanks and regards.

    • Cheryl Jennison DaProza Cheryl Jennison DaProza says:

      Yes, I’ve noticed similar issues with the Periscope app lately. We’ll dig a little deeper and see if we can come up with a solution. Thanks for the comment!

  • Michael says:

    Is there a way to get a direct feed to the phone? I know Facebook live doesn’t allow it because I’ve tried…

    • Cheryl Jennison DaProza Cheryl Jennison DaProza says:

      If you use the MV5 or the MV51, you can monitor using the headphone jack on the mic itself, but that won’t necessarily demonstrate what your listeners are hearing. Your best options are to follow my advice in tips 3 and 4: do a soundcheck prior and have a friend or colleague monitor from their own device during. Hope that helps!

  • Robert Chalmers says:

    Brilliant. Thanks so much. These are the simple things that get forgotten, often leading to frustration and much head banging. 4 Tips to Make Your Mobile Live Stream Sound Great. Truly, very timely.

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