TL;DR Quick Picks
Top Pick: Shure MV88
Best Entry-Level Microphone for iPhone: Sennheiser MKE 200
Least Expensive Pick: PoP voice lavalier microphone
iPhone Mics 101 (A Quick Buyer's Guide)
External microphones are quintessential for recording audio for video. An iPhone external microphone is a no-brainer when it comes to superior audio quality for your iPhone video.
Cardioid vs Omnidirectional Microphone
Cardioid microphones have the highest sensitivity to the front and the least. It is protected from undesirable background noise and has a better response when used in contrast with directional mics. Cardioid mics are mainly appropriate for loud stage performances or to capture defined sound sources within a louder environment, while omnidirectional mics are a better option for recording meetings.
Using the frequency spectrum to analyze music a user can understand the way audio equipment create, reproduce & record sounds. It is important to consider how sound interacts with music in real-time recorded by musicians. Frequency ranges are determined by room size, proximity with objects of different shapes or sizes, location near drywall or almost anything in the recording environment.
What Are the Best Microphones for iPhone and iPad Video?
- High-quality condenser microphone
- Stereo and Mid-Side recording
- Durable metal construction
- Wide frequency range
Why it's great:
This mic from Shure offers excellent audio quality with its condenser microphone and ability to record in stereo or mid-side mode. Its durable metal construction means it can handle the rigors of on-the-go filming, and its wide frequency range captures a full spectrum of sound while you record audio. This is our pick for the Best iPhone Microphone.
Shure is a highly respected name in the audio industry, known for their top-notch microphones and audio equipment.
Get the Best Price for the Shure MV88 (Best Buy)
Zoom iQ6 X/Y
- Stereo recording
- Supports mid/side mic
- Adjustable gain
- Durable construction
Why it's great:
This mic from Zoom is a solid option for those looking for stereo recording capabilities. It also supports mid/side microphone techniques and has adjustable gain, making it versatile for various filming situations. Its durable construction ensures it can withstand the wear and tear of on-the-go filming. It is one of the best iPhone microphones you can buy for iOS devices.
The numbered wheel in the front adjusts your mic gain setting, so you can make changes without having to go into software. There's also a headphone/line-out jack that can be used for recording and playback. If you have an iPhone 7 (or newer) without a standard headphone jack, this is very useful!
The Zoom iQ6 contains a removable spacer for use with or without an iPhone case. 3 LED’s display your levels, and the included recording app records .wav or .aac files.
Zoom is another trusted name in the audio industry, known for their reliable and high quality audio equipment.
Rode VideoMic Me
- Directional mic
- Lightweight and compact
- Can be used with headphones
Why it's great:
This mic from Rode is a good option for those looking for a compact, directional microphone. It's lightweight and can easily be attached to your iPhone, and its ability to work with headphones means you can monitor audio while filming.
Rode is another trusted name in the audio industry, known for its innovative and high-quality microphones and audio equipment.
Get the Best Price for the Rode VideoMic Me (Best Buy)
- Cardioid microphone
- Can be used with older iPhone models
- Compact and durable
Why it's great:
The RØDE i-XY is the best recording microphone for iPhone and iPad users. It provides up to 24-bit/96k* recording quality, cardioid condenser capsules for stereo recordings, and on-board high fidelity A/D conversion. This results in captured true-to life audio details that are immersive and in high resolution.
Rode is known for their high-quality microphones and audio equipment.
PoP Voice Lavalier Microphone
- Includes lapel clip
- Compatible with iPhone
Why it's great:
This microphone from PoP Voice is a great option for recording interviews or vlogs on the go. Its omnidirectional design captures sound from all directions, and its lapel clip makes it easy to attach to clothing for hands-free recording. It's also compatible with iPhones, making it a convenient option.
About PoP Voice:
PoP Voice is a trusted manufacturer of audio equipment, known for its affordable yet high-quality products.
Microphones for iPhone and iPad Frequently Asked Questions
What is a condenser microphone?
Condenser microphones have a thin, vibrating diaphragm that captures sound waves and converts them into electrical signals. They are often considered to be higher quality than dynamic microphones, which use a coil and magnet to capture sound waves.
How do I attach the microphone to my iPhone or iPad?
Most external mics for iPhone and iPad will come with an attachment that allows you to securely connect the mic to your device. However, it's always important to read the product instructions before attaching any equipment to your device. Many of the above iPhone microphones use the same adapter as your iPhone charging lightning cable to connect to a lightning port.
Can I use an external mic with voice recording apps on my iPhone or iPad?
Yes, as long as the app supports external microphone use. Always check the app's instructions or website for compatibility information before using an external mic with a voice recording app.
How do mid/side recording techniques work?
Mid/side recording uses two microphones to capture audio - one directly facing the sound source (the "mid" mic) and one positioned perpendicular to the mid mic (the "side" mic). This technique allows for greater control over stereo width in post-production. However, it is important to note that not all mics support mid/side recording. Make sure to check product specifications before purchasing if this is a feature you're interested in.
What Are Omnidirectional microphones?
Omnidirectional microphones capture sound from all directions, making them a good choice for recording multiple speakers or natural ambient sound. They can also be less sensitive to background noise and wind interference. However, they may not provide as clear and focused of audio as a directional microphone. It's important to consider the intended use before purchasing an omnidirectional mic. Some mics offer interchangeable polar patterns, allowing you to switch between omnidirectional, cardioid, and other patterns depending on your needs.
What is a Shotgun Mic?
A shotgun mic is a highly directional microphone, often with a longer barrel shape. This design allows it to capture sound from a narrow area in front of the mic, making it a good choice for reducing background noise and focusing on a specific sound source. However, this also means it may not be as effective at capturing ambient or surrounding sounds as an omnidirectional mic. As with all microphone types, consider your intended use before purchasing a shotgun-type mic. Some mics offer interchangeable polar patterns, allowing you to switch between shotgun and other patterns depending on your needs.
Can external mics improve the audio quality of videos recorded on my iPhone or iPad?
Yes, using an external microphone can greatly improve the audio quality of videos recorded on your iPhone or iPad. The built-in microphone on these devices often results in muffled or distorted audio, especially in noisy environments. Using an external mic can help capture clear and high-quality audio for your videos.
Can I use an external mic while recording video on my iPhone or iPad?
Yes, as long as the app you are using supports external microphone use. Always check the app's instructions or website for compatibility information before using an external mic to record video.
Do I need any special equipment to use an external microphone with my iPhone or iPad?
Not necessarily. Many external mics for iPhone and iPad come with all necessary attachments and cables. However, it's always important to read the product instructions before using the mic to make sure you have everything you need. In some cases, you may need a separate audio interface or pre-amp to use an external mic with your device.
Can I use an external mic for live streaming on my iPhone or iPad?
This depends on the app you are using for live streaming and whether or not it supports external microphone use. Always check the app's instructions or website for compatibility information before using an external mic for live streaming.
Are iPhone Microphones Good at Recording Music?
It depends on the quality and type of microphone you are using. While some external mics for iPhones can provide high-quality audio recording, it is often recommended to use specialized equipment for recording music. Always make sure to do research and read product reviews before purchasing a mic for music recording. Additionally, using an external audio interface can improve the sound quality when recording audio with an iPhone or iPad.
Can I plug an iPhone External Microphone Into a Headphone Jack?
It depends on the type of external microphone you are using. Some mics intended for use with iPhones or iPads come with a lightning connector, while others may have a 3.5mm jack that can be plugged into the headphone jack.
Always check the product instructions and specifications before attempting to use an external mic with your device. Additionally, keep in mind that plugging in a microphone to a headphone jack may disable the device's built-in microphone function. This means you may not be able to simultaneously record audio from both the external mic and the built-in mic.
Overall, having an external microphone can greatly improve the audio quality of recordings on your iPhone or iPad. It's important to choose a mic that suits your needs and make sure it is compatible with your device and apps before purchasing. Happy recording!