Best iPhone Microphones for Musicians & Content Creators

iphone microphone

If you’re an Apple devotee who expects just a little more audio quality than your iOS device’s in-built mic can provide, then we have just the selection of iPhone microphones for you. 

In a world where vloggers, podcasters, and musicians are transforming smartphones into makeshift recording booths, audio tech brands are stepping up their game. With the advancements in technology, convenience no longer means sacrificing quality.

So whether you’re using your mic manufacturer’s dedicated recording app or plugging into good old Garageband, scratchy recordings and background bustle will soon become a thing of the past.

Dive into our top picks for the best iPhone microphones below:

What are the best microphones for iPhone?

Shure MV88

Shure Motiv MV88+ Video Kit

You’re unlikely to find a ‘best-of’ list of microphones of any description without an offering or two from Shure, and their Motiv MV88+ is yet another example of how this mic manufacturer continues to blaze the trail.

A step up in terms of compatibility compared to the MV88’s built-in Lightning connector, you can swap in the USB-C connector to use your MV88+ multi-directional condenser microphone with selected Android devices too.

You can purchase the MV88+ on its own, but with the Video Kit, you get everything you need to start vlogging straight away: a Manfrotto PIXI tripod, a phone clamp, a mount and a roll-up carry case to cart them around in are all included in the price.

Pros

You can get the most out of your MV88+ with the free ShurePlus Motiv app and ShurePlus Motiv Video app, available on the App Store and Google Play

This mic is powered by your device’s battery, but you can also connect the mic to the mains if you need to charge it on the go

Cons

This microphone does not work with all Android devices (find out more at Shure | Motiv compatibility)

This microphone does not work with iPads that use a USB-C connector

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Rode VideoMic Me-L

Rode VideoMic Me-L

Big things come in small packages – don’t let the Rode Me-L’s compact size trick you into thinking this is anything less than a pint-sized powerhouse.

You’ll barely notice this 7cm, 28g shotgun VideoMic as it perches neatly across your iPhone’s Lightning port. What you will notice, however, is the huge leap in audio resolution it will bring to your recordings.

With a directional cardioid pattern and little more onboard than a line out for headphone monitoring, the Rode VideoMic Me-L is the definition of plug-in, point, and play.

Pros

Its tight cardioid pattern does a great job of rejecting off-axis noise

Rode also provides a furry windshield

Cons

There are no controls on the microphone

The built-in Lightning connector makes this mic only compatible with iPhones, although separate USB-C and 3.5mm jack models are available

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Comica Smartphone Vlogging Kit

Comica Smartphone Vlogging Kit with CVM-VM10-K2 Pro

If you want the audio quality of your TikTok videos to match your iPhone’s excellent video quality, then get yourself a vlogging kit from Comica.

The shock mounted CVM-VM10-K2 has a tight cardioid pattern, so will only pick up sound from the direction you point it in. Comica also includes a furry wind screen in case you need to record while exposed to the elements.

The adjustable stand that Comica provide as part of this vlogging kit is also very reliable, whether you’re using it in handheld mode or as a stationary tripod.

Pros

The tripod stand is sturdy and holds its position well

You can fit everything into the provided carry case

Cons

You’ll need to purchase an adapter separately to connect the mic to your phone

The CVM-VM10-K2 struggles to pick up sound from a distance

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Zoom iQ7

Zoom iQ7

A smart choice for any smartphone user, the Zoom iQ7 is an excellent phone mic for capturing music, conversations, and ambient background noise. 

The iQ7 is unique because it houses two condenser microphones – one directional microphone, which records sound from the centre of your device, and one bidirectional microphone, which records sound from the left and right of your device.

One feature to take note of is the three-way switch on the front of the iQ7 that allows you to use different combinations of these two microphones to achieve different stereo widths: 90 degrees gives you a narrower, more focussed width; 120 degrees gives you a wider, more atmospheric width; and M-S (mid-side) allows you to control the stereo width of the raw audio using the included Zoom Handy Recorder app.

You can also rotate the capsule so the microphones are pointing in the correct direction for either audio-only recordings or audio/video recordings.

Pros

The onboard gain dial is easy to use while recording and has three LED stage indicators

The iQ7 is compact and lightweight, making it a handy iPhone attachment that will not get in your way

Cons

Only compatible with Lightning devices

Other than for music, you may find this much control over the stereo width unnecessary

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Apogee Hype Mic

Apogee HypeMic

Believe the hype – this iOS microphone from Apogee can achieve unrivalled audio clarity for vocalists and podcasters alike.

The perfect choice for front-facing recordings, the Apogee HypeMic sports a robust gain adjustment dial, an onboard mute button, and a stereo headphone output – all of which you can easily reach from the front.

The HypeMic’s analogue compressor also allows you to Shape, Squeeze or Smash your signal, giving you smooth, spike-free audio.

For wider compatibility, the Apogee HypeMic kit comes with a collection of cables to connect with Lightning, USB-A, and USB-C ports, all presented in a custom carry case.

Pros

Studio-quality microphone compatible with iOS, Mac, and Windows

Apogee provides you with a pop shield and a tripod stand

Cons

Not a direct-mount microphone, so you’ll need to set it up separately from your device

More expensive than others on our list

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Saramonic SmartMic DI Mini Ultra-Compact Condenser Microphone

Saramonic SmartMic DI Mini

The smart minds at Saramonic have approached the iPhone mic from a different angle. Similar in appearance to the Rode Me-L at a glance, Saramonic’s offering differs in two major ways.

One: it’s omnidirectional, so rather than rejecting noise from sources the SmartMic is facing away from, it picks up sound from all directions. Two: you can rotate the head 180 degrees, giving you a variety of poses to choose from while recording.

Like the Me-L, however, the SmartMic is discrete, lightweight, and offers a simple solution to improving the quality of your audio recordings.

Pros

No set-up required – just plug it into your Lightning port and start recording

Light, posable, and easy to handle while plugged into your device

Cons

The SmartMic has a limited frequency response for a condenser, ranging from 35 Hz to 15 kHz rather than the more standard 20 Hz to 20 kHz

The furry windscreen is sold separately

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Movo iVlogger

Movo iVlogger

The perfect mic for YouTubers, vloggers and live streamers alike, the Movo iVlogger is a great all-in-one kit that transforms your iPhone into a portable film studio.

While Movo’s directional shotgun mic outperforms the iPhone’s built-in microphone by a considerable degree, this vlogging kit – which all fits into the provided hardshell carry case – is greater than the sum of its parts.

First up, you get a versatile tabletop tripod with a ball head mount that you can rotate 360 degrees, tilt 90 degrees, and collapses when you want to use your phone as a handheld camera.

The kit also includes an extension bracket that fits on top of the phone clamp so you can position your mic and your LED light above your phone, keeping all your gear together in a compact arrangement.

Pros

The carry case is sturdy and durable

The LED light, which has three selectable brightnesses, is a useful addition for videographers

Cons

The tripod is noticeably less sturdy than others on our list, such as the more professional Manfrotto PIXI Mini

The overall audio quality the Movo shotgun mic can achieve is not as impressive as other iPhone mics we’ve reviewed

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IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio

IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio

The clues are all in the name – the iRig is specifically designed to give iOS users the full multimedia studio recording experience, and it does a fantastic job.

The compact microphone design coupled with the portable tripod table stand makes the iRig easy to pack down, transport, and set up.

While small in size, the microphone itself contains a large diaphragm, allowing it to add warmth and richness to the sounds it records. This isn’t something that only iOS users can benefit from either: the iRig includes Lightning, USB and Micro-USB cables, so you can also create your own Mic Studio with Mac, Android and Windows devices.

Pros

The iRig comes with a suite of IK apps, including VocaLive for the studio and iRig Recorder for the field

The stand makes it easy for you to access the onboard gain dial, headphone level control and headphone output

Cons

Not direct-mount, so you’ll need to set it up separately from your iPhone

The dials on the front of the mic are quite small

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Sennheiser MKE 400

Sennheiser MKE 400 Camera Microphone

As with all Sennheiser microphones, the spec for the MKE 400 is impressive. With a solid aluminium build, integrated wind protection and an internal suspension mount, the MKE 400 is ready for anything.

When powered by two fully-charged AAA batteries, the MKE 400 can run for over a hundred hours, so you can rely on it to last for a full video shoot.

This shotgun mic, which was originally designed to be used with a camera, also has a supercardioid pickup pattern, allowing you to focus on the sound you want to capture with even more precision.

Pros

Includes a low-cut filter on board if you need to remove low rumbles

Kit includes a Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod and a clamp to secure your iPhone in place

Cons

Heavier than other mics on our list

This mic has a 3.5mm TRS connector; you will need to buy a Lightning or USB-C adapter to use it with your phone

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Neewer Vlogging Kit

Neewer Vlogging Kit with CM14 Pro Mic

Neewer’s vlogging kit is a great bundle to get more out of your iPhone, with the CM14 Pro mic at the heart of it. The Neewer CM14 Pro is designed with DSLR cameras in mind, but it can also take your phone or tablet recordings up a couple of notches.

However, the first thing we noticed about this vlogging kit from Neewer was the T90 flexible tripod’s magic arms. Made from durable aluminium alloy and coated in elastic anti-slip rubber, you can mold the T90 into any position you can imagine – and it will stay there.

The Neewer vlogging kit includes a PL81 LED light, allowing you to attach your light source to one magic arm and your CM14 Pro to another. As far as windshields go, you have your choice of foam or fur depending on how windy your location is.

Pros

The T90 stand can help you to achieve camera angles that other tripod simply cannot

On full charge, the PL81 LED light can last up to four hours at 100% brightness

Cons

You’ll need to purchase an adapter or a separate cable with a Lightning connector to use this with your iPhone

The CM14 Pro can’t quite match the audio quality of the similar Rode Me-L

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What type of microphone do I need for my iPhone?

Like what you see? We know that you’ll love what you hear too – as long as you know which type of iPhone mic is going to best meet your needs.

Here are a few things for you to consider that will help you make the right choice:

Compatibility

First things first, you need to choose a microphone that’s designed to be used with your current device.

Depending on the type of iOS device you’re using, you may need a microphone that supports a different connector type. Apple iPhones typically have a Lightning port, whereas Android devices and certain iPads have a USB-C port.

We recommend that you research which devices the microphone you’re looking at is compatible with, as just because the connection types match up does not always mean that the devices will talk to each other.

If you want the best possible audio quality, consider using a microphone with a balanced XLR connector, for which you’ll need an audio interface. Check out our run down of the best audio interfaces on the market today.

Mount type

How a microphone can be mounted will impact how you can use it with your iPhone or iPad.

Some of the iPhone microphones on our list are direct-mount, which means you can attach the microphone to your device without needing a separate stand. Direct-mount microphones are a good choice if you want to record video and audio simultaneously from a single device.

Other microphones need to be mounted separately on their own stand. Many microphones that need to be mounted on a stand include one as part of the package. Such microphones do tend to give you better audio quality overall, but they can be less convenient to use out in the field.

Pickup patterns

The type of pickup or polar pattern you choose depends on the type of audio recording you want to use your iPhone for.

Omnidirectional

If you want to use your iPhone to record an interview, live music in a treated environment, or ambient background noise, choose a microphone with an omnidirectional pickup pattern.

Omnidirectional microphones capture sound equally from all directions, making them a great choice for recording natural-sounding conversations into a single channel.

Omnidirectional microphones also do not have ‘the proximity effect’, which is the name given to the boost in bass frequencies caused by moving a microphone closer to a sound source. This is great if you want a more even response to higher and lower frequencies.

Cardioid

If you want to use your iPhone to record voiceovers, isolated vocal or instrument tracks, or sound in an untreated room, choose an iPhone microphone with a directional or ‘cardioid’ pickup pattern. 

Cardioid microphones capture sound in a heart-shaped pattern in front of them while rejecting noise from behind – useful when you want to separate out your audio tracks and focus specifically on the sounds you’re recording.

Cardioid microphones do often have the proximity effect, which you might find desirable when recording certain sounds. Many vocalists, whether singing or speaking, enjoy the proximity effect because it can help to make their delivery sound more dramatic and intimate.

By understanding these aspects, you can ensure you pick the best iPhone microphone that meets your unique needs.