Can I use your Microphones with my iPhone?
This is a question we have received numerous times throughout the past couple of years.
The answer was always:
“We haven’t tried it but it should be possible!”
We tried it.
We can now say:
“Yes! You will need a couple of adapters but it is definitely possible - and not too complicated!”
Why can’t I just plug it into the headphone jack?
This is a good question. The headphone jacks on smartphones only allow one channel of audio in, our microphone outputs stereo audio (two channels). Also if you have one of the most recent iPhones, your phone won’t even have a headphone jack!
So what adapters do I need?
Good question! To start off with you’ll need a Lightning to USB camera adapter. Apple sells these in Australia for $49AUD but we were able to buy one for $30 AUD on sale, so keep your eyes open.
Here is a link to it on the Apple Store website - LINK
This adapter is designed to be used with cameras but we are going to be using it to plug in a USB DAC to get stereo audio into your iPhones and iPads.
We tested a few with an iPhone X…
And only found one that fully works!
It was the iMic by Griffen - Available HERE
Update 27 Aug 2019 - Unfortunately it looks like Griffen has discontinued the iMic. You may still be able to purchase one from a third party or from eBay etc. We are working on our own solution and will update this guide when ready.
The iMic by Griffen worked straight out of the box for us with an iPhone X running iOS 12.1. The camera app automatically switches to the plugged in microphone and just like that we are recording binaurally!
Apps for Recording
There is a final piece to this puzzle, the default camera app has no audio level control and the default level is on the quiet side. In order to get around this we need to use a third party recording app that lets us set our own levels.
There are two apps (the we could find!) that touted this ability, ProMovie Recorder and Filmic Pro. Both let you adjust audio levels, the only difference between the two is the price.
ProMovie Recorder is free but all recordings have a watermark unless you pay $2.99USD to upgrade to the plus version.
Filmic Pro is a hefty $14.99USD with no free option available.
Simply going by the price difference we would recommend ProMovie Recorder Plus.
You may want to further adjust audio levels in post-production. This can be done on the iPhone using iMovie or the myriad other apps that are made for video editing. You can of course transfer the clips to your computer and edit them there.
The other adapters we tried:
Behringer UCA222 (used with RCA to 3.5mm adapter) - Recognised by iPhone, and allows for stereo audio in. No audio level adjustment available in app. Could still be used, requires audio level to be adjusted in post-production.
Syba USB DAC (this is exactly the same as the StarTech USB DAC, just a cheaper rebranding) - This was an interesting one, it was recognised and showed level control in app but when we actually tried to record it captured no sound. It works well as a USB DAC for computers but unfortunately does not like iPhones.
Audio-Technica ATR2USB - This adapter does not work at all, it only has a mono audio input, this isn’t made very clear online. DON’T BUY THIS ADAPTER.
Overall the process of getting our microphones working with iPhones isn’t too complicated and only requires a couple of pieces of equipment. Setup is very quick and anybody from amateur to pro could be up and filming in less than ten minutes.
Android phones are simpler to setup with cheaper adapters but the software side of things is a little bit more complicated. We are working on a guide currently.
If you have any questions, please message us below and we’ll try our best to help you out!