Apple’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices have evolved to the point where it’s becoming much more common for people to do video blogging, journalism and podcasting while on the go. IK Multimedia’s new iRig Mic Lav ($50) is designed with these users in mind, providing a high quality condenser lavalier microphone that can be quickly setup and plugged into your iOS device to record high quality audio for on-the-spot interviews or podcasts.
The iRig Mic Lav package includes the microphone itself, along with an optional foam windshield, mounting clip, and carrying case. The mic itself sports a generous 5’ of cord length, providing you with flexibility to take video recordings of subjects in front of your iPhone camera. A small box near the connector provides a 3.5mm jack for connecting standard headphones or earphones to monitor the audio while recording.
However, this 3.5mm port serves a dual purpose. One of the more interesting features of the iRig Mic Lav is that you can actually chain two iRig Mic Lav units to the same device. A toggle switch on the side of the connector box allows you to choose between “monitor” mode for use with headphones, or “input” mode for use with a second iRig Mic Lav. When you’re using two mics, the 3.5mm jack on the second mic can also still be used to connect headphones for monitoring (you can’t chain a third mic). This ability to chain two mics makes iRig Mic Lav particularly useful for two-person applications such as interviews, and in fact IK Multimedia sells the iRig Mic Lav in a two-pack for $80 for users who know that they’ll need two mics right off the bat.
We’ve come to expect a lot from IK Multimedia when it comes to recording quality, and iRig Mic Lav doesn’t disappoint in this regard. Spoken audio recorded with the mic clipped to a shirt came out very clear and free or any distortion or echo. Compared to the built-in mic on an iPhone 6 Plus, the audio was noticeably cleaner with a focus on the spoken voice and much less echo or background noise. The foam-pop shield especially made a difference when trying to record outdoors, minimizing wind and other ambient noise while recording.
iRig Mic Lav uses a standard analog connection and will work with any iOS audio recording app, including Apple’s own built-in Voice Memos app, and it naturally works well with IK Multimedia’s own VocaLive and EZ Voice apps. The monitoring jack capabilities also mean that iRig Mic Lav can be easily paired with an external speaker and used to process audio through your iPhone or iPad for a live presentation setting.
iRig Mic Lav is a great solution for anybody who needs a mobile lav mic for on-the-go audio/video recording or presentations, and as with the company’s prior microphone offerings, iRig Mic Lav is ideally designed for mobile use with an iOS device; in addition to optimal tuning, the chainability and monitoring features are totally unique among lavalier microphones that we’ve seen, making it the best choice by far for podcasters and journalists who conduct all of their audio/video recordings on their iPhone or iPad. Best of all, like many of its previous accessories, IK Multimedia has made iRig Mic Lav available at a price point that makes iRig Mic Lav an easy choice.
Company and Price
Company: IK Multimedia
Model: iRig Mic Lav
Compatibility: iPhone 3GS and later, All iPads, iPod touch 3rd-gen and later, running iOS 4.3 or later.