What are the best lightning port iPhone microphones?

What are the best lightning port iPhone microphones?

Since the release of the iPhone 11 Pro, Apple has been keen to advertise its filmmaking abilities. So if you want to use Apple’s latest Smartphone to create movies, you might want to consider buying a microphone that can fit into the lightning port. Apple got a rid of the 3.5mm microphone port on the iPhone 7 and since then the iPhone only has the lightning port available to connect microphones.

Luckily, there are already a few on the market that should work with the iPhone’s lightning port and will give you great audio recordings for your movies. So all that considered, here are some of the microphones available that will work with the iPhone’s lightning port.

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Directional Microphones

Rode VideoMic Me-L

The Rode VideoMic Me-L is similar to the Rode VideoMic Me but instead of a 3.5mm connector you get a lightning connector. This means you can use it with any iPhone including the iPhone 11 Pro, XS, X, 8 and 7. You can mount the Rode Video Mic Me-L in either direction on your iPhone and this makes it perfect if you want to talk to camera for video blogs. Just like its predecessor, it has a 3.5mm headphone port so you can monitor your sound as you record it. This is great if you want to listen for any particular audio problems.

The microphone uses a directional cardioid polar pattern. This will only pick up sound that is directly in front of it and ignore sounds from the sides and the rear. The microphone gets its power from the iPhone itself, so there is no need to add any batteries to power it. It also comes with a handy windsock if you need some extra help when you are recoding outside in bad weather.

Price: £70 $75

iRig Mic Video

The iRig Video is a directional shotgun microphone, which is perfect for mobile reporting and interviews. It is also compatible with many devices and will work with a DSLR camera as well as your iPhone, iPad or Android Smartphone.

The microphone features a supercardioid pickup pattern that will reject any background noise outside its audio range. This makes it perfect for noisy environments when you only want to hear the person in front of you. It comes with 24-bit 96 kHz converters that will ensure you get a crystal clean signal for your audio recordings. It also comes with a TRS cable and hot shoe mount for use with a DSLR camera.

Price: £135 $129

Boya BY-DM200

The Boya BY-DM200 is a cardioid condenser stereo microphone that is similar in design to the Rode VideoMic Me-L. It slots in nicely to your iPhone’s lighting port to give you clean audio recording while on the move.

It comes with a foam windshield for average weather conditions and a fake fur windshield for bad weather that has extreme wind. So it will give you plenty of protection when you are location filming. It has a frequency response between 25hz and 20khz and a signal to noise ratio of 80db. If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the Rode VideoMic Me-L, this could be a good choice.

Price: £36 $40

SmartMic+ Di

The Saramonic SmartMic+ Di is a compact directional microphone that will do a great job of picking up sounds that are in front of it. This means it will ignore sounds to the side and the rear, which means you will only get the sound recordings you want and not those you don’t’. It looks similar to the Boya BY-DM200 and the Rode VideoMic Me-L, so if you are familiar with those microphones you will know what to expect.

You simply plug it into your iPhone’s lightning port and away you go. It gets its power from the iPhone so you need not worry about annoying batteries to power it. On the back of the microphone is a 3.5mm headphone port. So if you do want to listen to your audio as you record it you can add your favourite headphones if you like. It has a frequency response of 75Hz to 20kHz, which should give you clear and bright audio recordings. Also included are a foam windshield for inside and a robust furry windshield for extreme weather conditions.

Price: £80 $75

Lapel Microphones

Sennheiser Clipmic Digital

If you want a good quality lapel microphone that connects to the iPhone’s lightning port, the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital is a good choice. It’s not cheap but you do get a good quality lavalier microphone. It features the ME2 omni-directional condenser microphone, which is the same microphone supplied with the Sennheiser EW 112-P G3 wireless microphone kit. So you’re getting a quality broadcast microphone.

As you would expect from Sennheiser the sound quality of the microphone is excellent and if you need to do an interview that needs a lavalier microphone this is a good choice. It will record up to 24bit and 96kHz so there is no compromise with audio compression. The cable is about 1.6 metres long, which should be good enough for most jobs although it might not be long enough for all. There is no external gain control so you will have to use your video camera app of choice to adjust the audio gain.

Price: £200 $200

Boya BY-DM1

If the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital is a little out of your price range then you may want to consider the Boya BY-DM1. This lavalier microphone will give you clear, high-quality sound recordings and it connects direct to your iPhone’s lighting port. There is no need for annoying adaptors. It is about the quarter of the price of the Sennheiser ClipMic Digital so it is a real bargain; just don’t expect the same quality of sound. In fact, if you are familiar with the Boya BY-M1 lavalier microphone you will be fully aware of what this microphone can achieve.

It offers up to 24-bit / 48 kHz resolution with a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. It is an omnidirectional microphone, which means it will pick up sounds from all around. This makes it great for doing interviews and documentaries. It has a sensitivity of -42+/-3DB and gets its power from the iPhone. It also has a generous cable about 6 meters, which should be enough to get you far enough away from your subject. If you are looking for a budget lightning port microphone you cannot go to far wrong with this.

Price: £60 $70

LavMicro Di

The Saramonic LavMicro Di is another great Lavalier microphone, which is perfect for video interviews with your Smartphone. It allows you to record in stereo to any iOS device with a lightning port. It is an omnidirectional microphone, which means it will pick up sounds from all around.

It has a frequency response of 30 – 20000Hz and will record in 24bit 48khz resolution. It also has a sensitivity of -42+/-3DB. It gets its power from the iPhone so there is no need to power it with external batteries. If you don’t fancy the Boya or Sennheiser clip microphones, this is a great choice.

Price: £40 $60

Rode SC6-L Mobile Interview Kit

The Rode SC6-L Mobile Interview Kit gives you the ability to have two clip microphones connected to your iPhone at once. It includes two Rode smartLav+ professional grade lavalier microphones that both have omnidirectional condenser capsules that will pick up any sound from all around. These microphones have 3.5 mm TRRS jacks and not lightning plugs for the iPhone. However, this need not be of too much of a concern because both microphones plug into the provided SC6-L lightning adaptor.

The SC6-L is an input/output breakout box that plugs into the iPhone’s lightning port. It has two 3.5mm sockets to connect the smartLav+ microphones and a headphone port so you listen to your audio as you record it. Once the lapel microphones connect to the SC6-L it is possible to record two subjects at once. This is great if want to have an interviewer and an interviewee on camera at the same time.

Price: £70 $78

XLR Adaptors

iRig Pro

The iRig Pro is an XLR/1/4” combo adaptor to allow you to connect any XLR microphone to the iPhone’s lightening port. It is compact in size and comes with two connectors. One adaptor works with the lightning port on the iPhone and the other one enables you to connect it to a computer’s USB port.

On the front is a manual gain control dial so you can adjust gain. It also has a built in pre amp to help reduce hiss and give more gain. Built into the iRig Pro is a high-quality A/D converter which means it can convert the analogue audio signal to the lighting port and can record up to 24 bit and 96kHz. So the microphones you plug into it should lose no sound quality. It also has built in phantom power so you can power XLR microphones that need it.

Price: £113 $130

SmartRig Di

The Saramonic SmartRig Di is a similar audio adaptor to the iRig Pro. It will allow you to connect any XLR microphone to your iPhone’s lightning port. You can also plug in a musical instrument like a guitar to the ¼” socket if you feel like recording a music session. You control gain from the thumbwheel and this will allow you to set precise levels for your audio recordings.

The SmartRig Di has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 Khz and a signal to noise ratio of 80db at 1KHZ, -30dBu input. The SmartRig Di gets its power from a 9V battery and this will also enable it to provide any microphone with +48 phantom power, if it should need it. You can also switch the phantom power on and off, as you need it. If you want to listen to your audio as you record it, you can plug in you favourite headphones to the included 3.5 mm headphone port.

Price: £45 $60

iRig Pro Duo

IK Multimedia’s iRig Pro Duo is the dual XLR version of the iRig Pro. It gives you the ability to add two XLR microphones to your iPhone by the lightning port. This has many advantages. The first is if you are doing an interview with both the interviewer and interviewee they can both have microphones. Or the Smartphone operator could have a lavalier microphone to do a voice over while the subject could be using a hand-held microphone.

The iRig Pro has two separate gain controls so your can adjust each microphone to the correct level. Added to this is a powerful pre amp and phantom power so you can power those XLR microphones that need it. The iRig Pro Duo gets power from two AA batteries so it does not draw power from the iPhone. If you are doing a long recording session you can also hook it up to the mains power supply. Also featured is a headphone port for monitoring audio that has its own volume control. If you are doing any Smartphone video work that needs two microphones, this is a worthwhile investment.

Price: £130 $199

SmartRig+ Di

The Saramonic SmartRig+ Di is the bigger bother of the SmartRig Di. It includes two XLR inputs which will allow you to connect two professional XLR microphones at once to the lightning port of your iPhone. These two inputs also include two ¼” sockets that will allow you to connect for two music instruments to your iPhone. There are also two 3.5mm microphone inputs if you want to connect microphones with a 3.5mm jack.

The SmartRig+ Di has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 Khz and a signal to noise ratio of 78db at 1KHZ, -30dBu input. You control the gain from the two gain control thumbwheels. This will allow you to set the audio levels for each audio channel separately. Both XLR inputs have +48 phantom power, which you can switch on for any microphones that may need it. If you need to listen to your audio as you record it you can plug in some headphones to the included 3.5mm headphone socket.

Price: £160 $179

Rode i-XLR

The Rode i-XLR is an XLR adaptor that plugs into any XLR microphone allowing you to connect it to the lightning port of the iPhone. The cable is about three meters long and this should give you enough length to reach your subject once you have a hand-held XLR microphone plugged into it. You don’t need a battery for the Rode i-XLR as it gets its power from your iPhone, so there is never any risk of it running out of power unless your iPhone does.

Included on the Rode i-XLR is a level control to adjust headphone volume, so if your audio is a little loud you can turn it down. This also has zero latency so there is no delay in what you are hearing. What lets it down is a lack of a pre amp. There is also no gain control or phantom power. If these details are not an issue then it will do a great job of connecting your favourite XLR microphone to your Smartphone.

Price: £98 $150

Hand-held Microphones

iRig Mic HD 2

The iRig Mic HD 2 is the successor to the IK Multimedia’s iRig Mic HD. Just like that microphone, it is a hand-held condenser microphone that is good for interviews, voiceovers or music recordings. It has a metal body, which makes it robust and tough enough to put up with most audio recording jobs. It also comes with a dial control to adjust the gain.

The built-in pre amp gives improved audio recording and a gain boost to the audio signal. It can record audio up to 24bit 96kHz. So it won’t disappoint you with the quality of its sound recordings. It also has a cardioid pick up pattern, which will help reject any unwanted sounds from around the microphone. There is a headphone port so you can listen as you record your audio. This is handy if you want to make sure you’re getting the best sound for your video and helpful in picking up any audio problems. You can use this port to attach another audio recorder if needed. There is also a desk microphone stand if you want to do any voice-over work.

Price: £94 $99

SR-HM7 DI

The Saramonic SR-HM7 DI is a hand-held digital dynamic microphone that is great for location interviews, podcasting and live sound recordings. It comes with a lighting cable to connect it to your iPhone and a USB cable so you can connect it to a PC or Mac. A provided rubber cap helps to keep the cable in place so there is no risk of accidentally pulling it out. There is a 3.5mm headphone socket if you want to plug in some headphones to listen to your audio as you record it.

The microphone comes with a stylish black finish that will look great on camera and will minimise any reflected lights. The long handle is easy to hold and provides plenty of room to add microphone flags so you can advertise your channel or brand. The metal design will also reduce any handling noise. The cardioid pickup pattern will avoid any unwanted sounds to the side and the rear and it has a built-in preamp to give you greater gain and better quality audio.

Price: £150 $199

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