The other day, I had a listener send me a voice message asking me to recommend my favorite handheld microphones. I have talked several times about the equipment that I use in my studio and how I am currently using the Audio Technica 2005 USB mic for my broadcasting. But the listener put a spin on the question and mentioned that he would be recording with his iPad. this was a horse of a different color.
What Do You Need To Know About Microphones?
The reason that the iPad specification was important because it eliminates several great choices for microphones. The AT2005USB for example is both USB and XLR. True, you could connect it to an iPad through the Camera Connection Kit, but that would be impractical. To successfully have a microphone attach to an iPad, you will need one that has a headphones jack, but most importantly is Apple compliant.
What is a TRRS?
In order to look at a microphone and see if it works for Apple products, you need to check out the actual plug that goes into the device. You will notice 3 distinct parts. The first is a Tip. (T) the second is the Ring (R) and the third is the Sleeve (S). For several microphones, you will see a Tip, and only 1 Ring, and then a Sleeve. This one ring means that the microphone records Mono sound (one single sound coming out of all speakers). If you have two Rings, then your microphone will record in Sterio because it is recording independent Left and Right channels of audio.
However, for a microphone to work in an Apple device such as an iPhone or iPad, you will need THREE rings. For this reason not every microphone can work with your iOS devices. If you have a microphone that isn't 3 rings you can purchase an adapter for your device to make it compatible.
What Is The Best Choice For iPad Microphones?
My recommendation today for a great handheld microphone for your iOS devices is the iRig Mic from iK Multimedia. This portable recording device is both Apple and Android compatible. You can use it on your Chromebooks, PC's, and just about any other device you can think of.
I have been using this microphone for years and I actually own two of them and keep one at work just in case students want to do any podcasting with me.
The microphone comes with a recording application, but you don't need to use it if you have your favorite app. My personal recording app of choice these days is Evernote. Another neat feature of the iRig Mic is that it has 3 levels of recording depending on how much noise is in the room. I have used this in very quiet classrooms with no distractions and I have also used this at conferences such as ISTE with hundreds of people around.
In addition to these great features, the microphone also comes with Real Time audio monitoring thanks to it's dual in/out mini-jack connector which allows you to monitor your recordings in real time without disconnecting the mic from your device.
Weather you are a podcaster looking for a great starter mic, or a school building looking to do some podcasting with your classes, the iRig mic is a great place to start. I highly recommend it for all situations and if you ever catch me at a conference… chances are I have mine on me. If you do… please flag me down for a podcast recording!
Do you have a favorite microphone for recording on an iPad? if so… share it with us using the hashtag #AskTheTechCoach.