A few of the many microphone options to make your mobile recordings better.
Note on iPhone 5: Right now the only confirmed way to record stereo on the iPhone 5 is with the GuitarJack Model 2 and an Apple 30-pin to lightning adapter. All other headset-jack based solutions work as well as the iPhone 4/4S!
To dramatically increase the quality of the sound you record on your iOS device, you should use an external microphone or mixer, or a direct line input.
You can use external microphones/inputs with any of the following iOS devices:
- iPad (audio recording), iPad 2/new iPad/iPad mini (audio or video recording)
- iPhone 3G, iPhone 3Gs, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 (audio or video recording)
- iPod Touch (3rd/4th/5th generation) (audio or video recording)
Skip to: Recommendations | Details
Video: iPhone External Mic Comparison
(See also: iPhone 4/4S External Microphone Comparison, listing of mics and adapters used in this video)
Software - App Recommendations
- iPad: Use GarageBand. It's not expensive, and is awesome for recording and editing.
- iPhone/iPod Touch: Use FiRe, FourTrack, or even built-in Voice Memos.
- Camera/iMovie (Built-in) - Quick and simple to use, can lock focus, but has very few settings/features. Handles different audio inputs, but without much configuration or level control, and no monitoring.
- For Video: Although the built-in Camera app is pretty good, I prefer FiLMiC Pro, which allows focus, metering, and white balance lock/unlock, and has a built-in audio meter. No audio play-through yet (as far as I can tell).
Simple, one-mic setup (podcasts, one-person interviews)
Buy a RØDE smartLav, and plug it into your iPhone. If you need more than about 5' of cable (so you can record an interview with the iPhone's camera, for instance), buy a 2m TRRS extension cable as well.
Another option, which allows you to have a more flexible mic setup so your mic can be used with other equipment, is to buy a microphone and adapter to use together:
- Audio-Technica ATR-3350 lavaliere microphone ($22)
- KVConnection 1/8" to iPhone Mic-level adapter ($20)
For better quality recordings
This setup will allow you to record a little nicer quality sound, especially since the VeriCorder cable or Tascam adapter boosts the signal a bit so it comes into the iPhone at the right level for more clarity and amplification:
- Shure SM58 handheld microphone for $99
- VeriCorder XLR Adapter Cable for $70
(OR Tascam iXZ for $30 along with a 1/4" to 1/8" audio adapter)
(OR SignalEar iPhone/iPad TRRS to XLR adapter for $30)
- (Alternatively, for an even simpler kit, with a little lower quality audio: iRig Mic - read my review of the iRig mic)
For wireless mobility and great quality
Another option, for more freedom of movement, a perfect recording level, and much more flexibility with one mic (this is the kit I use most often now - plug the line/headphone output on the wireless receiver into the KVConnection line-level adapter):
- Audio Technica PRO88W-R35 Wireless Microphone (about $120)
- KVconnection 1/8" line-level input adapter (about $30)
For multiple-mic interviews/recordings
Buy a Dual 1/8" Microphone to iPhone adapter from KVConnection, and plug one Audio-Technica ATR-3350 into each jack. (If you use XLR mics, get this adapter instead).
Another couple of options include:
- The GuitarJack Model 2, into which you can plug a stereo input source (or two microphones that go one in left, one in right channel).
- You can get a Monster iSplitter and plug a lavaliere microphone into each side, then plug this into a KVConnection mic adapter. (See example video).
- The Fostex AR-4i works great for the iPhone 4/4S (put one lavaliere microphone in on the left channel and one on the right), but doesn't work with the iPhone 5.
- The Line 6 Mobile In, which also has a stereo input like the Guitar Jack.
For recording loud music, concerts, environmental sound
Right now, there aren't a lot of out-of-the-box options for recording sound in high SPL situations (loud rock concerts) or other environmental sounds. However, there are three solutions I recommend:
- The Tascam iM2 - a great stereo mic for the iPhone 4/4S/5 that provides a simple AB-pattern stereo microphone (that can handle up to 125 dB).
- The GuitarJack Model 2 (read my review of the GuitarJack Model 2) allows for padding and relatively high sound level input.
- A preamp or mixer in-line before the iPhone. This is more clumsy/less portable, but if you simply plug the output of a mixer or preamp into the iPhone (or a product like the AR-4i or GuitarJack), you can handle as loud of sound levels as your mixer/preamp can handle.
For line-level inputs (Guitars, Mixers, Sound Systems)
One option right now is the Apogee Jam, a nice interface for guitars and other 1/4" plug line-level inputs, that works through the Dock connector, and is specifically advertised for use with GarageBand on the iPad. Another simple option (if you want a little nicer build quality than the KVConnection adapters) is the iRig from Amplitube. Another inexpensive option is the iJAM cable from Ampridge.
KVConnection provides two nice adapters, though, which I use because they're cheap and reliable: Line-level 1/4" adapter w/ attenuation ($28), and Line-level 1/8" adapter w/ attenuation ($28)
I'll run through most of my kit for mobile recording, following along with the picture below:
- iPhone 3G/3Gs/4 Tripod (instructions for building the tripod mount)
- Crown Sound Grabber II PZM Boundary microphone ($80)
- Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Powered Lavaliere Microphone ($20)
- KV Connection microphone-to-iPhone audio adapters (read more about them, and about available alternatives below)
- Spare batteries - you can never have too many
- Sony WCS-999 Wireless Microphone Adapter ($100 - Note: Throw out the included mic, and use the ATR-3350 with this. Only good for 10-50 ft., but nice and cheap, that's why I'm recommending it.)
- (NOT PICTURED: The following items have been added to my kit since I wrote this article)
One option for easy external audio in a pinch is to plug in your headset, hit record, and voila! You have a much better sound-isolating mic than the iPhone's built-in mic (especially over distance). The disadvantage here is that the iPhone's headset cable is pretty short.
My typical video setup (especially for interviews) used to be a Canon GL/XL series camera with an XLR -> RCA box with phantom power to a condenser mic, or a wireless lapel mic, and it worked great... but it was rather bulky. I now use my iPhone and get set up in about a minute or two.
Recording with a Shure SM58, Lavalieres, Shotgun Mics, Line-Level Inputs
The iPhone basically requires a mic-level, 800Ω or better input through it's headset jack, so you'll need to do one or two conversions: first, you need to get the correct physical connection, and second, you'll need to have your audio at the right input level (otherwise, the iPhone will switch back to its internal mic).
Whether you have an XLR mic, a 1/8" mic, a line-level source with a 1/4" TRS plug, or an RCA/phono jack, you can likely find a direct adapter for the iPhone's 4-connection TRS plug from KVConnection (read their guide to mobile audio adapters).
Here are the KVConnection adapters I've tried, and my notes on their usage:
- iPhone to 1/8" Mic-level adapter - this is useful for self-powered microphones, like a condenser lavaliere (see my recommendations below).
- iPhone to 1/8" Line-level adapter - this is useful for plugging the iPhone into a computer, another iPhone/iPod, a tape player, a CD player, etc. (heck, you could even use your iPhone to record tapes to digital audio now!).
- iPhone to XLR Mic-level adapter - useful for self-powered XLR mics, or for outputs on some professional mixers (as long as they're mic-level and not line-level).
- iPhone to 1/4" TRS Mic-level adapter with headphone jack - Useful if you'd like to use a microphone, but still be able to listen to things on your iPhone while/after recording.
I also recommend the VeriCorder XLR Adapter Cable for XLR mics, and the Tascam iXZ for XLR, 1/4" or 1/8" mics or line-level equipment, though both of these products are slightly more expensive.
If you buy any of these, you can almost always find adapters at your local RadioShack, or make your own, to get from any connection to any other connection. I carry a box of about 20 audio adapters in my car for just this purpose.
Attenuation and Impedence-Matching Transformers
In order to get a line-level signal into a mic-level input (like the iPhone's), you need to attenuate (or 'pad') the signal. Some of KVConnection's adapters do this for you, but if you want to try another method, you can find line-to-mic transformers/pads from a variety of sources. Just be sure you have the right adapters to get your audio from source -> iPhone!
You'll also need to be wary of the impedance (measured in ohms or Ω) of the output of your microphone or audio device. It needs to be at least 800Ω before the iPhone will recognize it as a valid audio input.
A few caveats:
- If you're using an unpowered or dynamic microphone (like the SM58), you'll need a preamp, mixer, or low-to-high impedance transformer to increase the gain, or the iPhone will simply switch back to the built-in microphone.
- For a good mic preamp, try finding a portable headphone amp like the Shure FP12 (an old, but rock-solid amp with level adjustment - see more on my Shure FP12 here).
Recording in Stereo on the iPhone - Two Inputs
There are two solutions for stereo recording for the iPhone currently available:
One is from Fostex, the Fostex AR-4i for $149. Read my review of the AR-4i. (Note that this product doesn't work very well with the iPhone 5!)
Another is the GuitarJack Model 2 from Sonoma Wireworks. It's a great audio interface (with three inputs and one output) for all iOS devices; it has a stereo 1/8" input that works with pretty much any mic or stereo audio source, and a mono 1/4" guitar jack that also works with a variety of guitars, amps, mixers, and other sources. Read my review of the GuitarJack Model 2.
Note: The Tascam iM2 also looks like a good solution if you simply want a stereo microphone (that can handle pretty good sound pressure levels) for your iPhone (but it doesn't have a separate input jack).
Recording on the iPad - Stereo or Mono
In addition to using the adapters for the headphone jack on the iPad, and recording with a mono input, you can use the iPad's Dock Connector in tandem with the iPad Camera Connection Kit's USB adapter to use most USB-Audio Compliant audio I/O devices with the iPad... meaning you could record two tracks (stereo) sound into the iPad, iPad 2 and the new iPad (with retina display)!
First, you'll need to have the USB adapter from the iPad Camera Connection Kit ($32 from Amazon).
Then, you'll need one of the following USB interfaces to translate analog inputs to the USB connection:
- Griffin iMic for $30
- Zoom H2 for $145 - monitoring must be 'on'
- Art Tube MP USB Pre-amp for $90
- Alesis AudioLink XLR-to-USB Cable for $35
Then, you'll need one of the following apps to support multi-channel recording and mixing:
Further reading: USB Audio Devices that work with iPad.
Recording with Two Lavalieres - through Y-Adapter
If you have two powered lavaliere microphones (or any other similar mics, with mic-level, high impedance connections), you can plug them both into a y-adapter (I use a $5 RadioShack adapter or a little more durable Monster iSplitter), and you will then be able to have two independent mics (both into one mono connection, though) running into the iPhone directly (using the 1/8" iPhone mic adapter from KVConnection)! Click here to watch the video. [Update Jan. 2013: KVConnection now makes an adapter with two microphone jacks, so you wouldn't need the Y-adapter mentioned above. Looks like a good option if you don't already have their other adapter.]
More sample Videos
- Audio Technica ATR-3350 + Sony WCS-999 Wireless Mic System [YouTube]
- Audio Technica ATR-3350 powered lavaliere [Youtube]
- RadioShack 33-3013 powered lavaliere [Youtube]
- Shure SM58, direct into iPhone – Instructions
- Shure SM58, direct into iPhone (HD) [YouTube] – Instructions
- Shure SM58, through iMac [Youtube]
- iPhone Headset mic (great for when you don't have anything else) [YouTube]
Audio-only Recording on iPhone and iPad
Here are a few audio samples recorded using the Voice Memos app on both my iPhone and iPad!
A lot of people have asked me to recommend some microphones for use with these KVConnection Adapters. Here are a few of my recommendations:
- Audio Technica PRO88W-R35 Wireless Lavalier System (~$120)
- Sony WCS-999 Wireless Microphone System ($99)
- Rode VideoMic Shotgun Microphone (~$145)
- Shure SM58, Shure PG48, Shure PG81, Shure etc. They're all good. Read here for more info »
- Audio Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone (~$18) (Note that this microphone doesn't seem to produce very good levels with the iPhone 5.)
- RadioShack 33-3013 Electret Condenser Lavaliere Microphone (~$25)
- Crown Sound-Grabber-II Conference Microphone (~$80)
- NOTE: For any of these mics, you still need an adapter to work with your iOS device!
Related posts from elsewhere:
Hi! I was wondering what you would recommend someone use with public speaking. We are hoping to use the iPhone 4 for video recording our speaker and then a wireless mic set up to capture the sound. Our workshops are relatively small in size (classroom size), but could go to a set up that is a bigger hotel conference room. What would you suggest? Are the above materials still relevant? Thanks!
Yes, it is all relevant. I would test first, but I imagine the Sony wireless mic would work okay, but you might want to try using a more professional wireless system, or by using a cable straight from the hotel's sound system into the iPhone (using the appropriate adapter, line-level).
I am so grateful for this post but got it got a bit intense from 2010 to now so I'm just going to ask a question......I want to use the new iphone 4S to shoot video. I want to be able to record professional sound with the video and am wondering if all this information about sound here is applicable to use while the phone is shooting video with all the correct cables and mic etc....??? I have never owned an iphone before so this is all new to me. thank you.
The 4S will work just the same as the 4 for audio and video recording, with most apps (including the built-in Camera app and Voice Memos).
I would also like to know from those of you out there if you recommend me getting the 32 or 64 gb iphone 4S? I won't be using the phone for more than email, phone, texting and shooting video. I don't know exactly how the video is going into the camera and how much space is taken up per minute of video. Thank you.
If you're going to do a lot of video recording, I'd heartily recommend the 64GB edition, as video takes a few GB for a few hours...
Of course, if you can save the videos to your computer, the 32GB would be adequate. Just dump the videos from the phone to the computer every now and then.
Since I updated to IOS 5 (Iphone 4 and Ipod 4g), mic input is no longer working with the KV adpater. I put in the the apple earbuds with the mic, and it works. Any solution on this would be welcome.
I haven't had this problem on an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and my new 4S... I'm wondering if it might be simple coincidence that the cable is no longer working. Do you happen to have another cable, or might your microphone require a battery that has died?
The only way to know for certain is to try with another KVConnection adapter or microphone. You might want to call or email KVConnection to see if they could help.
Unbelievably great review. WOW. Keep it up and consider this as your calling.
Can you tell me what is the best recording mic set up for doing outside (wind) interviews with my iphone 4?
Thanks for the review. Great work.
Whatever you do, you'll need a good windscreen. If you want to use a handheld mic, consider something like this to protect the mic from wind noise: Shure Windscreen for Ball type mics.
If you're using a shotgun mic, consider something like this deadcat windscreen.
If you're using a lavaliere, the little windscreen included with it should do a good job in slightly breezy environments.
Some really good information here; thanks for taking the time to share.
I have a quick question if anyone can help. I'm planning on picking up and iphone 4s in the next few days and would like to use the camera to film myself while making an instructional video. What I'm after is a reasonably priced microphone which I can use a few meters away from the camera. I'd like to set the mic infront of me on the table or clip it onto my shirt discretely. Does anyone have any suggestions? Also, if I were to buy a small mic which clips directly into the iphone, would I be able to use a standard headphone extender cord from the phone to the mic, or would that not work?
Thanks in advance for any feedback.
Please see the section in this article titled "1 - On-the-go simple recordings (podcasts, one-person interviews)" - that should help you out!
Jeff - My question is not exactly in response to this post, but you seem to know a lot about this stuff and might be able to point me in the right direction. I found your post while looking for information on the possibility of using a bluetooth headset with an iPhone to output a mixed audio signal to a sound system through the iPhone's phone jack.
Essentially, I'm looking for a cheap and easy way for a fitness instructor to mix voice (from headset) and music (from iPhone) an amplifiy that through a stereo or other sound system. The bluetooh headset is key to having a relatively cheap wireless mic configuration for the fitness instructor.
If you, or anyone reading this, can point me in the right direction, I would really appreciate it. Thanks! :-)
I'm pretty sure this isn't possible on the iPhone, as the bluetooth audio routing would cancel out other audio routing - you could do one or the other, but not have something from the iphone mixed with bluetooth at the same time. A laptop may be able to do this, though, using Audio MIDI Setup to route the signals.
Thanks! I've been testing out my iPad2 with Camera Connection Kit, Griffin usb to 3.5mm jacks, and some basic mics, recording with TwistedWave app. The recording level is so low. I need something increase it. The other negative is that there is a high pitched static noise that appears when I amplify the recorded audio in TwistedWave. However, I don't hear any low level noise at prior to amplifying it. Obviously, I need to use a mic with amplification, but 3.5mm inline preamp would be the best for keeping my travel equipment minimal.
Two things to look out for: First, if you have a switch on your Griffin USB adapter, switch it to see if it might not be on mic level. That should help a lot. Also, try to use a mic with a battery or power source, or a mic with a high enough impedance to work well with the Griffin adapter.
Hi Jeff, great video - very informative. I'm curious about the tripod set up you've got that allows you to mount the rhode shotgun. You refer to it as an x grip which I've googled and turned up nothing that looks like what's pictured in your video. Thanks for any help!
Here you go: Opteka X-GRIP stabilizing handle.
Thanks for the quick response. Also, how is the iPhone attached to the X-Grip?
I usually use my SnapMount - you could also use something like the Glif.
i have searched all over the internet to try and figure out which iphone camera holder cradle (thingy) you used to mount the iphone on the opteka x-grip in the sequence of the video where you tested the rode videomic. could you help me please?
I think, at that point, that I was using my SnapMount; unfortunately, it looks like the manufacturer had a little trouble producing a batch recently, and they're on hold for a couple weeks.
thats to bad, looks freakin awesome! :)
I am writing from Ukraine. I listened to your advice and bought this http://www.kvconnection.com/product-p/km-iphone-mic.htm and Microphone Audio-Technica ATR3350. I tried to connect but without success. Later I read that this adapter is will work with most 3.5mm mono or stereo microphones except for for unpowered ECM (electret condenser mics). But Microphone Audio-Technica ATR3350 a condenser microphone(http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/9c6eca17168eef6f/index.html), so it takes is http://www.kvconnection.com/product-p/km-iphone-mic-ecm.htm.
So by your advice, I lost $ 27.
No, the km-iphone-mic is the adapter I'm using (and have been using for over a year now, with three different iPhones), and it works perfectly with the ATR-3350. ECM and condenser microphones are slightly different, and the 3350 is a condenser, requiring an external battery (read more).
You may have gotten a defective cable from KVConnection - please contact their sales email address for help in resolving the problem. (Also, check the battery and make sure the microphone switch is 'on').
Super job, I haven't read through all of the comments yet, you may have covered this already, but I was wondering if you have any additional info regarding "4 - Recording loud music, concerts, environmental sound"?
Peter - I have updated the post under that section with a little more info. I'm hoping to be able to review the iM2 very soon, as well, so you can be sure it will be able to handle the high-SPL requirements of a concert/event atmosphere!
Does a sm58 plugged directly into the irig adapter work to get broadcast quality audio into an iphone 4? I realize its made for direct guitar audio in, since thus is mic level wouldnt a sm58 work too? The imic lacks bass and presence that i like from a sm58.
I don't have the iRig adapter anymore (gave it to a friend), but it would still require something (like a Mic preamp) to allow a Shure SM58 to plug into it (since it only accepts line-level, high impedance sound sources). It would be easier to get a VeriCorder (linked in this article) and plug in the SM58 through that.
I love the Fostex AR-4i but it needs to be said that it currently does not work well at all with the iPhone 4S.
With the 4S you get sound disturbance as well as the 3G and Wifi randomly shuts off when connecting.
The sound quality is still pretty good (especially for non-professional recordings...), but yes, there are some notable problems with the AR-4i and the iPhone 4S. Please see my updated review of the Fostex AR-4i for some notes from my own testing.
I'm planning on buying either the iRig or the KVConnection Line-In adapter so that I can hook up my mixer to my iPhone 4 and iPad 2. I've read several reviews about the iRig and most are good, but some say the connection fails over a short period of time and it isn't very well built. From looking at your site, it appears that you've used both. Which of these options would last longer in your opinion? Also, have you ever tried using the the Apple camera connection kit with a usb interface for recording audio with your camera app?
The iRig is a pretty good option, but for line level audio, a KVConnection adapter will probably set you back less and give the exact same (mono) audio quality.
For stereo input from a mixer, I'd highly recommend the GuitarJack model 2 (my review). The USB adapter in the Camera Connection Kit works great with almost any low-powered USB audio devices, but only works with the iPad (not the iPhone 4/4S).
I am looking to connect my iphone to a mixer to control the volume. I want to send the input from the mic into the iphone and have the output to go into a conference call. Any suggestions. I currently use a 3mm to rca connector. 1 going to input so i can hear incoming callers and the other to the main out. I can hear them but they can only hear me if i talk into the phone.
KVConnection has a cable with a line level input and headphone output that you could use to send a mic signal into the iPhone, and get the sound from the phone call out of the iPhone. You could also use the VeriCorder cable for this purpose.
Hi Jeff. This sounds like a way to just record all input to the phone. I am looking to get the input from the mixer so that the people I have called can hear what is being said through the mic going into the mixer. the callers will be muted. This is being done so I can control the volume rather than just setting a phone in front of a speaker. Will the connectors you mentions still work for that. Is my issue thay I am using a trs and not a trrs?
Yes - you have to use TRRS to get a microphone (or any kind of input) into the headphone connector on the iPhone. Without it, you can only send signals through the headphone output—which won't work, for obvious reasons :)
Yes; you must use a TRRS adapter, as the mic signal is on the second ring, which is simply not present on a normal TRS plug.
I went to KV Connection and bought the 1/4 inch mic and 1/8 speakers cable you suggested. It worked great. I am looking for a cable similar for Droids. Do you have any suggestions.
It depends very highly on the individual model (and sometimes even the carrier-specific model) of the android-based phone. Many have no capability for external mic input, and some have similar capabilities to an iPhone. I can't help much here, as I only have three older-model android phones for testing, and none of them support external microphones. Nor are there cameras any good at all (thus I never use them for video).
Thank you for sharing this! Now I know what to get for my iPad. :) My microphone was grounded because it got wet. :| Anyway, I hope this will do the trick. :)
You have some great information here - thanks for sharing.
I'm still on the fence about which way to go. iRig Mic looks like it may be a solid first step to record audio for interviews, but I was also hoping for a more flexible set up.
Currently I have the Audio Technica ATR-3350, an XLR male to 1/4" TRS cable & cheap (but solid quality from reviews) Behringer XM8500 with your recommended KV connection. http://www.kvconnection.com/product-p/km-iphone-43f35f.htm.
Considering I am just looking for a start, I don't need hundred dollar mics. I just want to start.
Any advice? Will this work?
That seems like a decent setup; for the Behringer, you might want to try using the VeriCorder XLR adapter, as that will give you a stronger signal level. The KVConnection cable you link to would give a slightly lower level from a dynamic XLR mic like the Behringer.
Is there any set up you recommend in order to use 1 KV connection cable for both a dynamic/handheld mic AND the lavaliere mic (not at the same time, just buy one cable that works well with both)?
I also noticed a site offers the 3350 with an XLR output connector as opposed to the standard 1/4" but wasn't sure if they were legit or what the real benefit was.
The problem here is that the levels are inherently different; you need some sort of 2-channel preamp or mixer to be able to get two devices (microphones, tape players, computers, instruments, etc.) to have the same level coming into the iPhone.
So, I'd suggest getting a portable mixer, and then a line-input adapter from KVConnection. Shure makes some very high-quality portable mixers, but you can get almost anything battery-powered to try things out.
I just gave my grandson an iPod last Christmas and he is having trouble finding other functions. This site will be able to help him. It is his first gadget coming from me.
I am interviewing people outdoors using my iPhone 4, where we are standing up in pretty much open spaces. Before I saw your page, I was looking at Audio-Technica wireless system, but as I know nothing about microphones I wasn't sure how it's supposed to work. Now I'm thinking about using the Rode Mic, but the tripod shown on your site is very small and it looks like that wouldn't work for standing up doing interviews. Am I right or wrong about that? Do you think the Rode Mic is the best alternative for me, and if so could I hook it to my iPhone and then just hold it in my hand or would that be too bulky? Kind of confused. Thanks!
You can use the tripod adapter with a regular tripod and tripod head; I often use the iPhone mounted atop my Manfrotto tripod + ball head, along with the SnapMount or the Glif.
Also, it would be a bit awkward to get the Rode VideoMic handheld with the iPhone, especially since the iPhone gets a better picture when stabilized in a tripod or dolly. However, if you go the handheld route, something like the X-Grip would help.
Can you describe how the equipment you used to mount your rode videomic with your iPhone? It looks like you've got some kind of xGrip, the rode videomic, the iPhone, the adapter for the iPhone...can't figure out what else. I would like to be able to hold the grip, have the iPhone set w/in the grip, and then have the rode videomic on top of the grip.
That's exactly what I'm using; just get the right KVConnection adapter–the mic-level 1/8" adapter to iPhone TRRS.
Thanks for your reply Jeff! How did you get your iPhone to sit stabilized in the xGrip. Looking at your video, it looks like you've got it in there pretty snug. Thanks again!
I used the SnapMount, and then mounted the entire X-Grip onto my tripod. There's a tripod mounting screw for the X-Grip as well.
Do you prefer the Glif or the Snapmount? And so to get this straight...I can hook the Rode VideoMic to the xGrip, and then hook in the snapmount or Glif inside the xGrip, and then either hold the xGrip or hook the xGrip to a tripod when interviewing. Correct? Also, based on the fact that I am interviewing people outdoors, do you think I'm on the right track with going the Rode VideoMic route? Thanks so much! I'm new to this world so trying to get it all figured out.
I like the Glif for go-anywhere convenience... but if I'm going to move my iPhone at all while recording, or anything like that, I'll take the SnapMount; it's a bit more of a secure mount.
If possible, it's always best to close-mic someone; the VideoMic isn't a miracle worker, especially for groups of people or people more than 4-6' away from the camera... but if you understand its limitations, it's a great tool for the job!
Hi, I've been looking for an answer to this question and just came across your great review here. So I've tried using the KV Connection 1/8 adapter with a Sony ECMMS907 microphone. Usually I record an interview with the iPhone's voice recorder and join that with video in post-processing using Final Cut. The audio level with this method is very low and unusable. I wonder what I'm doing wrong, as it seems many other people are happy with the KV Connection and I wonder if you have any advice. Thanks, this post is a big help.
How far is the mic from the sound source? If you're more than a few inches away (I generally try to mic within 6-8" maximum), the iPhone won't be able to pull much of a signal out of any normal mic.
Also, I've never used this Sony, but perhaps it has a lower level output and you'd need a different KVConnection cable. Do you know the impedance of the output? It looks like it uses a 'cannon XLR' plug, which suggests it might be similar in level to something like a Shure SM58—and in which case you'd need to use a more specialized KVConnection adapter.
Thanks Jeff. The mic is held about 6" from the speaker. I wasn't aware there are different types of KV connectors and just bought the 'iphone mic adapter' (or however it was billed at the time). I might have given the wrong mic model, I don't have it with me, but it's a mini-plug not XLR. It is about the same price as the SM58 though. And impedance is not something I've ever really paid much attention to (thus, audio problems!). I'll have a look, and appreciate your help.
Well, there's 'XLR-style' mini jacks, and there is a difference (Sony mentions it's a 'cannon XLR', meaning there are three connections (signal +, ground and signal -), and that usually implies a lower impedance than some standard 'ECM' or other minijack mics.
Oh, here's the actual KV Connector I got in March 2011. iPhone 1/8 inch microphone and headphone adapter - 3.5mm 4 conductor TRRS Male to 3.5mm TRS Jacks
I don't think I saw the answer to this question in your comments, but please forgive me if it's there!
I need a wireless lapel-type mic that I can use while streaming video on my iPad 2 using the Google+ hangouts feature. I need the wireless lapel-type because I will by demonstrating some how-to exercises from about 30 feet away from the iPad, and I know the internal mic won't grab my voice without tons of environment noise (I will be outdoors).
After tons of Google searches, I haven't found a good-quality wireless lapel-type mic that can be used with the iPad (kind of like a bluetooth device).
Can you help?
You should be able to use the Sony WCS-999 (as I link to in the article above) along with a KVConnection adapter and your iPad. You don't need to try to find something that says it's 'iPad compatible' or anything like that.
Hey Jeff, great info here cheers :) just bumped into your page,,,
Ive just got a 4s - im just getting my head into the recording capabilities of the handset and working out what i need to get my XLR - AKG C1000s 9v powered mic into the 4s,,
have you used this mic with the iphone 4/4s?
I run a youth music project - I`ll be using it for various wide range of recording and hoping it would link in with apps like `samplewizz` http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/samplewiz/id431031166?mt=8
One thing i have noticed by going through the KV checkout is the really high cost of shipping to the uk,, 40 bucks - which makes it $64 ish - expensive,,
Any recommendations or guidance greatly received.
Have you come accross this one?
That looks like it should work fine; you might still need a preamp to use it with certain XLR mics.
Ok cool,, thanks, thts anoption i can get hold.
Is the benifit of the vericorder cable - tht it will work with ' 9v powered xlr mics' and also mics like 'Shure sm58's' ?
Also Is there any way to record a line level stereo line in - say a stereo mix from
a mixer / dj ?? GuitarJack Model 2 ??
Cheers Jeff thx for the input
For a mixer, or any other sound source with stereo (2 channels), you definitely need something that goes through the iPhone dock connector, like the GuitarJack 2 (my recommendation).
Cheers Jeff thanks..
Have you come across this device Jeff, looks interesting?
Another possible all round solution if you did not need stereo ...
I haven't yet had a chance to try the Tascam iXZ, but it does look like a great option for a single input/preamp combo, which would replace my Shure FP12 in many situations. I'll put a link up in the main article to it. For some people, just having one good input would suffice.
i have the 4s, and want to use the video camera. am concerned about how much battery power is consumed when videoing?! any time limits in your experience?
and, i guess i need to show my ignorance as to memory too--i have a iPhone 4s with 8gb. videoing takes up a lot of memory, as well as battery power. i am thinking that i would do "interviews", 15-30 minutes? i will normally be using my camcorder, but want to be somewhat prepared for "in the moment" videoing!
I've recorded for over an hour at a time, and still not needed to charge my iPhone afterwards for the rest of the day's use. I would imagine you could go a couple hours straight.
However, seeing that you have an 8GB iPhone, you'll probably only be able to fit an hour or two tops, especially if you have lots of other data.
Make sure you delete all the songs, movies, etc. that you can, and check in iTunes how much memory you have left.
thank you, mr. jeff!! i appreciate what you're doing!
I'd first like to reiterate how helpful your information has been.
At least I now feel like I know where to start.
I read through all of your responses to make sure I'm not asking a question that you've already answered and although there was one that was similar, I think this situation is slightly different.
I see that the griffin iMic allows you to marry a line-in and mic input into a single input, but it seems like that is only for a laptop or mixer.
Is there a way to combine a mic input and line-input into one KVConnection cable?
We are trying to record video with multiple audio from iphone 3gs without having to use a mixer.
I was thinking that we would use both the 1/8" mic adapter and 1/8" line-level input adapter TRRS's from KVConnection into a y-splitter but I am thinking this won't work. Do I need to invest in a mixer? we are trying to have as few components as possible. the source of the line-level audio would be from either a stereo or additional ipod and the mic we have is the ATR3350. Should we just use a second mic next to the stereo with the y-splitter?
I would really appreciate any advice on how to proceed, and if you suggest using a 2nd mic, which one? I saw your video and i think you had 2 different mic's.
It really does blow everyone else out of the water.
I would really consider buying a GuitarJack model 2 for your situation; it would allow you to have one line input and one mic input, both in separate channels, and both with controllable levels.
See my review of the GuitarJack Model 2 here.
thanks for responding so quickly. didn't mean to sound smug, i should have refreshed my page. does the iphone 3gs support the guitar jack model 2? maybe it's time to go to the
The GuitarJack only works with the iPhone 4, 4s, iPod touch 4th gen or later, and iPad/iPad 2, so the 3GS is outta luck :( (sounds like it's time for a new phone!).
ok. i realize you probably haven't read this yet, but i've already gone ahead to buy a small mixer (http://www.amazon.com/Avid-Technology-Recording-Studio/dp/B0041OSWUG/re…) and would like advice as to which KVConnection cable to get. I think I should get the line level input, but want to make sure.
You would need a line level input to go from the headphone jack into the iPhone. However, realize that the headset input that the KVConnection cable works with only allows one channel (not stereo) recording on the iPhone, so you wouldn't be able to have two separate audio tracks if you record this way.
thank you sir.
i will play with it and undoubtedly reach out again soon.
Decided to upgrade to the iphone4s. Bought the guitarjack2, listed you as how I found out about the product. Part of what we'd like to do also includes video recording as well. should i have opted for the fostex? I read the review and also like a firm connection in the tripod. do you think that by using the 30 pin extender cable would perhaps bypass the audio recording difficulties while concurrently video recording? or have you maybe recently come across another iphone 4s video app that solves the audio problem with the guitarjack2?
and i can't express enough thanks for your initiative to impart this knowledge.
I haven't tested recording from within iMovie, and only did a little testing in FilMicPro, and that was a few months ago; one of the updates may render that app better working with the GuitarJack... but I'm not sure.
I would definitely try things out before ditching the GuitarJack. Hardware-wise, and quality-wise, it's a step up from the Fostex AR-4i.
and i will let you know how we fare after we fiddle with it for a bit.
OK, mr. Jeff! Thunk me! I bought the KVC connector. I also bought the lavalier from Radio Shack. i did a video w/o an external mic. the sound was alright, but...
Then, i tried the connector-lavalier. NO sound! i DID have it turned on. So, i checked it again and retried--still no sound. When i got home, i changed batteries, the L44, and tried again. No sound! hmmm! i kept checking the connector to make sure it was all the way in, and where the connector and lavalier connect.
I am thinking that i am just missing something?? So, thunk me!!
It could possibly be that the KVConnection adapter is broken; this happens rarely, but it does happen. Please contact their support email, and they'll help you out asap (they're very good about helping customers with any cable problems!).
Thanks for this great post! I ordered the equipment and it all works fine!!
:) the old, "if this, then that..."
still on the trail...
retested everything. tried the lavaliere that i use for my camcorder. THAT worked!! exchanged lavaliere purchased for the iPhone/connector. new one WORKED!! was it me? was it the lavaliere? was it some divine intervention? Dunno!! BUT, thank you Mr. Jeff. one step at a time, one day at a time!
What do you make of this for the iPhone 4S?
In particular, do you have any idea how noisy the line input will be if I want to use something like the Ambient TinyMike though it?
Thanks for a great review site!