The 8 Best External Microphones for iPad & iPhone (iOS) (2024)

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 iPhone or iPad for video production, vlogging, or 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 pick is the Shure MV88+ Video Kit. This is a popular and well-rounded choice that is suitable for all occasions.

My budget pick is the PowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone for those on a tighter budget who still want a decent mic.

The Best External Microphones for iPad & iPhone (iOS) (2024) – At a Glance

And now onto the full list:

1. Shure MV88+ Video Kit

Top Pick
Best overall choice, well-rounded iOS microphone.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The Shure MV88+ video kit is one of the most popular choices by many and has been a standard go-to for most ever since the popular MV88 (predecessor) was discontinued. Note that the needed smartphone accessories only come by purchasing the Video Kit version.

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 comes with a free app that further allows for customizable options. You can get them on the app store, as well as receive a tripod, phone clamp, and a shoe-mounted mic clip with the video kit purchase.

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

Budget Pick
Affordable omnidirectional lavalier mic.
View Price at Amazon

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. Sennheiser MKE200 Mobile Kit

Well-rounded, Mobile Kit
Microphone mobile kit with included clamp and tripod stand.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

The Sennheiser MKE200 is another mobile video and audio recording kit, much like the top pick on this list. Hailing from a very well-known brand, the MKE200 is a good, quality microphone that comes with a smartphone clamp and mini tripod.

Keep in mind that if you want to get this kit, you have to purchase this exact one, because the MKE200 is also sold as a standalone without the needed accessories for mobile users.

That being said, the MKE200 is a compact, super-cardioid mic with an integrated windscreen and shockmount for reducing and handling noise. Due to its directionality and bonus accessories, it captures audio from a single sound source while successfully reducing background noise.

Overall, the MKE200 mobile kit is a compact, battery-free, and quality microphone for iOS smartphones that comes at a reasonable price point.

4. Zoom iQ7 Rotating Mid Side Stereo Capsule

Good Quality, Rotating Mic
Rotating stereo capsule mic.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

An interesting solution that was meant to be used by musicians as a way to easily record their takes in the studio. The 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.

The 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

Shure Quality Mic
Quality small microphone from Shure.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

Another Lavalier Microphone on this list, the 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 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 have 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

Professional Choice
High-End, high-quality stereo mic.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

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.

The 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

All-around, Quality Mic
Cardioid condenser microphone.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

If you’re looking for a small mic that will allow you to record in noisy areas but catch 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 a nice, clean sound without having to spend a fortune.

8. IK Multimedia iRig Mic Cast HD iOS Microphone

Attachable, Nice Design
Handy mic that can attach to your device - lightning cable included.
View Price at SweetwaterView Price at Amazon

This is a great little microphone from IK Multimedia. The 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 good-quality sound recorded for smartphones or other iOS devices.

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+ Video Kit. It’s an excellent-quality microphone video kit 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!

Featured Image By Gaby03032018 / CC BY-SA 

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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