The 7 Best External Microphones for iPad & iPhone (iOS) (2023)
iPhones and iPads have become very advanced. However, built-in microphones from almost every phone and tablet have relatively low quality because of their design and size constraints. If you want to do some professional recording, it’s worth using an external microphone.
If you’re looking to use your iPhones or iPad for video production, vlogging, filmmaking, or if you simply want a more professional sound for your audiovisual needs, then check out these great external microphones. From low budget to high-end options, you’ll probably find what you’re looking for on this list.
My top recommended external iOS microphone is Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone. This is a popular and well-rounded choice that is suitable for all occasions.
My second recommended external iOS microphone is PowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone for those on a tighter budget who still want a decent mic.
The 7 Best External Microphones for iPad & iPhone (iOS) (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
1. Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone
The Shure MV88 is one of the most popular choices by many and is a standard go-to for most. The professional quality of this external mic for iPad, iPhone, and iPod has a lightning connector and is also compatible with MAC and PC devices.
The MV88 has a sturdy construction made of metal with a stereo and directional pickup. Its movable head makes for better adjustment settings and provides more comfort and ease of use.
Not only is the flexibility of this mic of the charts but it also has two free apps that further allow for customizable options. You can get them on the app store, as well as receive a headphone adapter, a carrying case, and foam windscreen within the package.
There isn’t much to say against this external mic since all the evidence points to the contrary! It’s an amazing choice that serves many.
2. PowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone
This is a very popular and affordable lavalier mic – a type of microphone that you can usually see on TV, it’s a small mic that gets hooked up to your clothes. This little mic will pick up everything in its proximity and has a really clear and nice sound to it.
All you need to do is plug it in. No other software is required!
It works really great for iPhones and iPads. If you use a newer Apple device that doesn’t have a headphone jack then you will need to use a 3.5mm lightning adapter.
3. IK Multimedia iRig Mic Cast HD iOS Microphone
This is a great little microphone from IK Multimedia. iRig Mic Cast HD is a 24-bit/96Hz microphone that’s compact, light, and extremely easy to use.
It can connect through the Lightning port, USB-C, and Micro-USB connection with your device and it works on all iOS and most Android devices. It also comes with a 1/8” jack for headphones or any other output device.
You can attach it to your phone and through a slider on it, you can choose whether you want the mic to record front, back, or bi-directional, making it easy to set everything up. Also, you’ll get a windscreen for outdoor use if need be. All in all, this is a great low-end mic for everyday use if you need a good quality sound recorded for smartphones or other iOS devices.
4. Zoom iQ7 Rotating Mid Side Stereo Capsule
An interesting solution that was meant to be used by musicians as a way to easily record their takes in the studio. iQ7 is a stereo microphone with two separate capsules that ensure that all of the sounds are accurately captured.
Both capsules are oppositely put so that they effectively catch 360 degrees around the microphone. Also, capsules on it can rotate to get the best possible sound from your recording. It comes with a volume knob, and with a button, you can choose in which mode you want your microphone to work.
iQ7 is really light and easy to connect through the Lightning port. With the Zoom recording app, you can use the full potential of this mic. It can capture up to 120dB without cutting.
5. Shure MVL Mobile Lavalier Microphone
Another Lavalier Microphone on this list, Shure MVL is a microphone for people who are ready to pay a bit more to get a better quality microphone.
This is a standard Lavalier microphone that comes with a 1/8” jack and 50” cable. It’s omnidirectional, so all you need to do is to plug it into your phone and tuck it onto your shirt, and voila! You’re live.
You’re going to need a Lightning adapter for the newer iOS models, but a 1/8” jack means it will work on all of the Android devices as well if need be. This is a great quality microphone that’s perfect for video recording.
If you’re having a Youtube channel or just want to produce great quality material for not a lot of money, then this is your choice.
6. Rode iXY-L Stereo Microphone
Moving onto the high-end part of the list. Rode is a world-famous microphone manufacturer, so it’s no wonder they have their say with high-quality microphones for iOS.
iXY-L is a stereo microphone with two separate L-shaped microphones facing away from each other. This assures that all of the sounds around the microphone are captured by it, giving you the best sound possible.
It comes with a lightning port, a case in which you can store it, and a foam cut windscreen, enabling you to easily record outside. This microphone will provide you with true-to-life stereo sound, and because it has a continuously adjustable input level you’ll always have a perfect sound volume.
7. Rode VideoMic Me-L
If you’re looking for a small mic that will allow you to record in noisy areas but catches just what’s being told in front of the mic, then Rode VideoMic Me-L is a perfect pick for you.
This electric cardioid condenser mic is a perfect fit for anyone looking to record vlogs or do some location shooting. Because it is a cardioid condenser it will catch just the sounds that are appearing in front of it, so you just need to point to the source of the sound and your job is done.
This is a great, lightweight, mid-range microphone that can be used by both professionals and amateurs who just want to have nice, clean sound without having to spend a fortune.
Why should you use an external iOS microphone?
First and foremost, the audio quality of an external iOS microphone is far better than the built-in microphone. This is the biggest and best reason behind the use of these handy devices. Although your iPhone’s mic is probably decent quality, you would be amazed at how far beyond an external mic is, especially for vocals.
The best external microphones out there are very easy to use and comfortable, to say the least. They are convenient as an addition to your device accessories. They provide a whole new meaning to frequency range and frequency response as opposed to conventional mics.
In the age where iPhones are dominating, iPhone microphones are made all the better with these lovely little additions.
How to set up and connect multiple microphones to your iOS devices?
The setup for external microphones is fairly straightforward and requires little to no knowledge as it is simply an attach-and-use kind of deal mostly. You have you’re standard TRS, TRRS cables (usually). They can connect to most DSLRs but the bigger question is whether multiple mics can be connected to one device?
In order to connect two lavalier mics, you would need an adapter. Since the input jack for the lavalier mic is only a single slot, two can be connected only via a split cable. A similar scenario goes for regular mics, if you want to connect multiple ones, you would need a specialized adapter or a split solution.
Some external mics come with wireless connections so that’s also a possibility that makes the easiest use of all. You also have USB options if you have a USB to lightning adapter. Some can even connect to a DSLR camera. The more options the better in any case!
What are microphone windshields?
Many microphones come with various types of windscreens because mics that don’t have windscreens are not that good for recording vocals. The purpose of these windscreens or windshields is to absorb wind and heavy breaths to allow for more clarity while recording vocals.
You might have seen a furry windshield every once in a while, which is even better and can absorb more wind than usual. It is important to know these things, especially if you’re considering an external microphone, or more so if you’re planning a podcast or something similar, windshields can help you immensely!
I hope that this list has helped you learn more about external iOS microphones and the different options that are out there on the market. From small, bug microphones, to somewhat complex microphones which can get more serious and record better sound quality, there’s something out there for anyone, in any price range.
My top external iOS microphone pick is Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone. It’s an excellent quality microphone and a very popular option with a well-rounded base.
My budget external iOS microphone pick is PowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone. If you want to spare your pocket but still get a decent microphone to get the job done, this one will do just nicely!
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