I have been a sound technician and a musician for twenty years, and I know that it means having an idea on-the-road and not being able to work on the fly.
You will agree with me on one thing.
It is not always possible to have the right equipment to record with you: a good portable recorder or your own audio card of trust.
But one thing is certain:
We always have our smartphone in our pocket.
In recent years, many brands emblazoned in the audio world have decided to launch into the creation of accessory microphones for the iPhone and iPad.
Apple devices are highly evolved from any point of view, they are capable of recording very high quality photos and videos giving semi-professional results. These devices, however, given their size and their ultra-flat technology are scarce in terms of sound output, as they cannot fit microphones worthy of the name.
If we find ourselves recording something that goes beyond vocal memos, we need to use a microphone of superior quality and performance.
Considering how iOS devices are becoming increasingly relevant and protagonists in terms of music production, podcasting, youtube video, interviews with makeshift media, vlogging etc., it is of fundamental importance to have an accessory in our arsenal
that allows us to get as close as possible to a professional audio quality, so that we always have with us an object that allows excellent quality recordings in all circumstances.
Let's face it, the quality of stock microphones on Apple devices is not low, I don't want to say this, absolutely. But the efforts that have been made in the direction of constant video improvements have unfortunately not even been vaguely matched by the audio sector, which has remained more or less the same from the first model to today.
Why is this happening?
Well, because we all know that the average user buys the smartphone to be able to create and share photos and selfies of great visual quality, but is satisfied with just as far as audio quality is concerned, as long as it "feels good".
However, listening to a recording made through the last iphone and comparing this with a one made with a common usb microphone, we can easily realize the abyss that separates the two worlds.
Most microphones made for iphone and ipad are arranged according to the X-Y scheme, because it is the most practical considering the small size of these devices, and also allows a very satisfactory type of stereo spatial shooting.
Best IPhone and IPad Microphones, iOS 2019:
Rode i-XY, the best around
Here is my favorite iphone microphone, with this it will be like having a h4n zoom in your pocket.
Rode is one of my favorite brands, and when I heard that they would launch a series of iOS solutions, I immediately rushed to see what they could pull off with the technical limitations typical of mobile phones.
And I have to admit that they managed to surprise me.
The Rode i-XY can record up to 24-bit / 96k audio quality, quite impressive for an iphone accessory. As the name of the model says, the microphones are arranged according to the famous XY configuration, that is two directional microphones arranged at 90 facing each other, which allows to obtain a different sound pressure output on each of the microphones, providing to the recording greater clarity and spatial rendering.
Apart from the great audio quality and the excellent features of the microphones, the Rode i-XY comes with a discreet set of accessories that greatly expand the possibilities of the device. It is sold in fact with a sponge that acts as a wind screen and in addition a protective case that is perfect for those who travel a lot or like to record outdoors.
Another interesting aspect of this Rode is the dedicated registration app that allows you to get away from that Apple stock, considered by many to be very limited, to guarantee new features and possibilities. It's called Rode Rec app, don't expect anything incredible, but it's an excellent application to quickly record our audio and archive it.
The price is a little higher than the average but guarantees a very high quality, if any of you know about the Zoom H4N portable recorder, well, here is what you can expect in terms of sound quality, clearly in less less space and with all the practicality given by the fact that it can interface on the fly with your smartphone.
Zoom IQ7, very good and cheaper than Rode
Here's another great iOS mic, at about half the price of the Rode i-XY.
The Zoom is a very famous brand in the field of portable recording, having produced in time authentic masterpieces for semi-professional users, very used in every field, such as the Zoom h2 and the Zoom h4n.
Not even this time expectations are betrayed, since the Zoom IQ7 is a great product and a possible alternative for those who want to have great quality but at a slightly more moderate price.
This device is equipped with connectivity to the light sources, it is small enough to be stored and transported directly into the pocket very comfortably, it is also equipped with a GAIN wheel to adjust the recording power of the microphone and LED lights to understand if you are or less recording.
There is also a dedicated jack output that can be used for monitoring.
Even Zoom has well thought of creating a dedicated app, to facilitate the whole shooting process.
The microphone is a condenser, so the quality is at the highest levels, as we always do not expect to have a 9,000 euro Neumann magically implanted on our mobile, but for price and size the results will certainly be surprising and encourage us to shoot audiovisual more and more frequently.
The audio quality is a bit sacrificed compared to the competitor Rode, arriving to record only at 48 kHz / 16bit, but this is a quality much more than superior to the needs of the average user (I remind you that the standard CD is 44.100 kHz / 16bit ).
This model is also sold with a wind protection, but does not have a case like the Rode. The production quality is high, certainly an excellent alternative for those looking for a high-level microphone.
Apogee MiC 96k, very high quality
- Analog IO number: 1 In / 2 out
- Monitorar Mixing: Hardware Monitoring
The Apogee Mic 96k microphone is different from all the others on this list, because it is not equipped with the same portability and direct integration on the body of our phone, it must in fact be used preferably over a tripod.
It looks more like a real microphone, but is designed to be fully compatible with iOS devices.
It is decidedly smaller compared to normal USB condenser microphones.
The Apogee is a guarantee of quality, given that it is one of the houses that produces among the most famous dedicated audio cards for MAC systems, many of the discs of the 90s / 2000s that were appreciated were recorded on this brand's audio interface, which is all say.
Do not think of being limited as a choice for small pocket mics when you are looking for something to connect to your iphone or ipad, here we are in front of a professional microphone that promises excellent audio quality at 24-bit / 96 kHz , with 40dB of gain, direct plug-and-play capability and incredibly solid and robust construction materials.
Certainly an excellent choice for those who plan an intensive use of its mini portable recording kit.
The mic is sold together with a USB cable, a desk stand, an adapter to be able to mount it to the microphone bars, so you can be ready to record from the first moment you open the box.
It is not very small as we have already mentioned, but it is certainly portable enough to be able to travel without problems.
It is sold without a protective case, which must therefore be purchased separately to protect it.
The best iOS microphone if you don't intend to move it too far from here and there.
The Shure MV88 is another good microphone, the recording quality is surprising, even if compared to more professional and economically demanding solutions there is a smaller body than the low frequencies and the sound appears less warm and convincing.
Clearly not great if you intend to record a disc 😀 but already as a microphone for proofs is to be considered.
The size of the capsule is very small, the timbre it returns in recovery is very natural and pleasant, without annoying distortions that we sometimes find in cheaper models.
There is a bit of background noise, but it's inevitable in this kind of microphones, and nothing that can't be solved with a good EQ pass in post-production.
The quality as we have said is not the best but it is certainly enough to satisfy our needs when it comes to having to register in situations on the fly.
It is sold with a foam rubber windscreen capsule and a small hard case designed for transport.
When we place the microphone inside the case, the windscreen can easily serve as a protective padding, an ingenious way to protect our device.
The microphone is built almost entirely of metal, so it looks very sturdy and durable.
To rotate the capsule so that the L and R channels are correctly oriented, some effort is required.
Unlike the Rode iXY which has a mount that helps keep the microphone firmly attached to the phone, the Shure MV88 relies solely on its Lightning type connector.
Perhaps not the most exciting solution, because a mechanical stress is exerted on the telephone connector and if this should loosen the microphone is likely to slip off at any moment, making it very easy to have a ruinous break.
The Shure is sold at a price similar to the Rode iXY but it has a significant advantage that it is to have an adaptable head that allows us to use it while shooting videos. In terms of audio quality it is in a bit less than Rode, but it is obviously always at high levels, so it will not disappoint anyone.
The dimensions of the microphone are such as to leave fortunately free the headphone jack, so it is possible to monitor the live sound while it is also recorded with very small iphone models.
It has an excellent dedicated app that allows you to adjust the quality levels of our recording.
It can also be recorded in various configurations, taking advantage of the Mid-Side, the bidirectional or the cardioid with variable amplitude between 60 ° and 135 °.
IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo
Here is a beautiful iRig of high professional quality, for those who want to make music seriously when they are traveling or on the road.
It goes on batteries or with the common charger.
It is suitable for mobile phones, tablets, iPads and small notebooks.
It has two XLR / TRS 24bit preamps with phantom, to power even the most demanding microphones. MIDI in / out.
In the package there are all the cables needed for use.
There is no need for any software or drivers if you intend to use it with Mac OS or iOS devices.
The preamps are excellent, recording quality is professional, you could not ask for anything more than a device like this.
Very easy to use and made to the state of the art.
The latency is excellent and also allows you to play a guitar in real time with all the effects needed for a nice live performance.
Direct monitoring when recording is incredibly useful when you intend to avoid any kind of latency, to have a perfect recording, neither too far nor too far back, but exactly on the grid where we will play it.
It is possible to connect any type of microphone, they all work very well. Nothing to say.
It has a clearly contained price compared to its rivals, and shines on all fronts.
Several in and outputs to satisfy even the most demanding palates.
It is a device for those who take music seriously, and not just as a simple pastime, for those who want to enter the world of music creators from the main door, without going through any kind of compromises.
I used this coupon a lot last year while we were recording our record, and I don't know how I could have done without it, while we were on tour, my partners drove and I behind to pull down the last lines on the benches of our beloved van wolksvagen.
Perfect for traveling musicians or for all the small homestudio where you don't want to spend a capital but have an excellent quality.
There is no need for much more to be able to pull out a big disk to place on Spotify or itunes.
Rode I-XLR brilliant preamp
First let's clarify What is a preamp?
The preamp is a device that allows to amplify the power of a microphone, without which through some microphones they would not even be audible, as they do not have their own amplification.
In this case this Rode I-XLR is an ingenious preamp interface that allows you to connect to our iOS devices any microphone via an XLR cable, also called CANNON cable. That is the very normal one used to connect the microphones to the mixers and to the speakers.
This device is perfect for those who want to make on-the-road recordings, such as going out directly from a concert mixer and recording everything on their iphone, on the fly.
The sound quality is great, because the preamp is precisely Rode, so the highest quality is guaranteed.
If you already have a microphone or intend to make an XLR cable connection from another audio source this is the device for you.
If you don't know what we're talking about when we talk about XLR cables and mic preamps, you'd better opt for some other model on this guide 🙂
IK Multimedia iRig Mic
- IRig MIC Field – Panoramic microphone for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch
- Dual condenser capsule configuration Near Coincident Pair – cardioid polar diagram – max SPL 115dB – frequency response 40Hz – 20kHz – 24 bit resolution, 44.1KHz and 48KHz – Lightning connector – rotatable 90 degrees – headphone output 1/8 "
Here is a nice product all in one instead to make recordings on the fly when you don't have your own zoom h2n on hand.
Just adjust the gain appropriately making sure you don't go "red", thus avoiding distortion, and you will have excellent recordings.
A thousand times better than the iPhone's supplied microphone.
I used it a few times to record some specimens of some batteries in our rehearsal room, and we know well how difficult it is to record the batteries, especially given the presence of the plates with the usual violent transients, which if they don't have good microphones tend to "swashare" of ugly.
Thanks to this IK Multimedia iRig Mic you can get good recordings even when you make outdoor videos.
Recommended for recording your own live shows or the auditions of your own band. But it can be used for practically everything.
Promoted with full marks.
Rode smartLav +, lavalier microphone
- The included water resistant pop filter and the mini "dead cat" (plush) for wind protection, ensure the best recording and transmission quality
- The waterproof and shockproof packaging provides adequate protection for the microphone, cable and accessories
The smartLav + from Rode is a so-called lavalier microphone, which is one of those small microphones that attach to a person's shirt or jacket during an interview.
It is an alternative to hands-free microphones, as you can easily clip near your mouth or the collar of your shirt.
It connects via a 3.5mm cable, it is omnidirectional or it records the sound coming from all directions in the same way, it is sold with a screen and a clip to place it wherever you want.
It is compatible with all smartphones, not just iOS, so Android users will also benefit from this interesting external microphone.
The quality of construction is relevant, as is the gold-plated connector, as they were once manufactured in the way of electronics to guarantee maximum efficiency.
The audio is very clean, there is a total absence of background noise, excellent for recording then even in near-silence conditions.
The clip clip is made of metal and not plastic, a detail that alone gives us the idea of the quality of this microphone.
You can use the handy Rode app provided to record directly.
A great microphone recommended for those looking for something different and needs to record video for their movies with a microphone that is firmly attached to their mouth.
Movo PM10, an excellent economical lavalier alternative
For those who want a good lavalier microphone at all costs, renouncing Rode quality but saving significantly and obtaining a good product, Movo is undoubtedly the answer.
It connects to the smartphone via a 3.5mm cable, sold with a small case, a windscreen and a clip to attach it where we want.
It does not require batteries to work which really makes it the solution more
simple and economical as an external microphone for our mobile phone.
In my opinion, with the Movo PM10 we are faced with the best economic microphone for iphone and iOS systems.
Don't be sure to get the same sound quality you are used to from your studio interfaces when using these small smartphone microphones.
These devices are not made to be the definitive portable alternative to an excellent condenser microphone, which continues to be the best solution for those who wish to have high quality recordings without any compromise.
There are also several portable recorders on the market, such as the Zoom, which are suitable for those who want to have a high performance and easily transportable shooting solution in their hands, but it clearly means carrying another object with us, and there are many people who prefer to have maximum comfort by performing all daily operations with your smartphone.
And it is exactly this type of users that this list is aimed at, for those who perform vlogging from a mobile phone often on the street and want a solution all in one, that is without having to synchronize the audio at home at a later time. With a microphone for iphone it will be possible in fact to make audio-visual recordings all in one go without the need for editing and having to associate audio and video later, for those who prefer the "cooked and eaten" solution, being able to send the online own work.
I greet you and invite you to read other interesting articles from my blog, to the next boys and girls.
OTHER ESSENTIAL GUIDES:
Best Dynamic Microphone
Best Condenser Microphone
Best USB Condenser Microphone
Best Wireless Microphone
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