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PROS: Works with iOS & Android, great companion apps.
CONS: Older 30-pin cable sold separately.
Connecting a smartphone to a microphone isn’t a new idea. When a company offers a mic that works with a smartphone and a computer, it’s worth taking notice. IK’s iRig Mic Studio falls into this category.
Housed within a durable metal casing is a 1” diameter cardioid condenser capsule. It’s about the size of an iPhone 5. The controls are Spartan; a mic gain control, and a headphone level control that works with the 1/8” headphone output on the far side of the mic. For monitoring levels, a multi-colored LED is also mounted on the casing. Included are cables for USB, Lightning, and a Micro USB for connecting to Android devices. For older iOS devices, a 30-pin cable is also available (sold separately). A small desktop tripod is also included, but it can be connected to a standard mic stand with no hassles.
With a maximum SPL of 133 dB and a frequency response between 20Hz-20kHz, it can handle pretty much any sound source this side of a jet engine. Connect the mic to a smartphone or computer, and it’s ready to go. Simple. Sound quality is on par with what a “regular” (i.e. XLR connected cardioid condenser mic) mic in this price range can deliver. It records at 24bit, so there is plenty of punch and clarity, without getting harsh, or squishy in the low end.
It works great with a smartphone or tablet, and even better that it works on whatever recording app is already on it. Same thing goes for any computer-related recording software. IK also has a few apps that can unlock its potential even more so; their Mic Room app acts as an emulator, giving the user choices of various classic microphones. Does their app’s model sound better than an actual, for example, Royer R121? Like most audio models, not quite, but it does make the mic respond like one, and depending on the tone that’s desired, it’s nice to have those options on-hand. IK also has a few other apps for it that you can try out: VocaLive, EZ Voice and iRig Recorder.
For field recording, it’s well worth it. Set it up on a regular mic stand, and record live bands, or use it as a mic source for video recording. Podcasting with a smartphone hasn’t been made any easier. Considering its affordable street price, it does offer a lot of applications for a variety of users, and we can definitely recommend it.
Professional studio microphone with large-diaphragm capsule
High-quality 1″ back electret condenser capsule
24-bit converter with 44.1/48Khz sampling rate
Low-noise, high-definition preamp
Integrated headphone output
Onboard gain control and headphone level control