Today we have to do with a not so common multimedia gadget. It is a microphone for the iPhone and iPad that comes bundled with various sound recording apps, for recording high-quality sound directly to your Apple mobile device. The name of the microphone is the IK iRig Mic.
IK Multimedia was founded in 1996 and they mainly specialize in music software, as well as audio products designed to record high-quality sound from instruments or speech.
Let’s take a quick look at the IK iRig Mic specs:
Microphone Type: condenser electret
Polar Pattern: unidirectional/cardioid
Frequency Response: 100 Hz – 15 kHz, -3dB
Maximum Sound Pressure (set for high sound pressure): 120 dB
Maximum Sound Pressure (set for mid sound pressure): 90 dB
Maximum Sound Pressure (set for low sound pressure): 75 dB
Distortion: 3% THD at 120 dB, 1 kHz
Power and Connection: works with iPhone/iPod touch/iPad only
iRig Mic is compatible with iPod touch (2nd, 3rd and 4th generation), iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPad. They all require iPhone OS 3.1.3 or later.
iRig Mic does not support 1st generation iPod touch models, due to their lack of a mic input.
A Closer Look – Package and Accessories
The IK iRig Mic comes in an elegant white box with a transparent window so we can see the mic. At the back side we can find a full feature list.
At the one side of the package we can find the free apps that can be installed on your Apple device and used with the microphone, while on the other side there are illustrations that show us the usages the mic can have. We can understand that through this microphone we can sing, record speech or even record sound from instruments.
Inside the package we also find a mic stand, as well as a brief but helpful User’s Guide.
There is also a neat carrying case of black colour included.
A Closer Look – The Microphone
The IK iRig Mic is well protected inside the box with a plastic casing that has the iRig Mic logo encraved.
The main build features a full metal housing, making it a very solid structure. Overall the mic is carefully crafted and there are no visible flaws.
Here we can see the three-level gain switch that can be used to adjust sound gain real-time.
The cable is long enough so that the user will not have problems moving with the mic. The 3.5mm headphone jack plug is golden to ensure maximum sound quality transfer. There is also a headphone passthrough jack built into the plug for connecting the mic to a headphone set or an amplifier.
Performance and Verdict
The IK iRig Mic was very easy to install with our iPhone 4 – we just plugged it in and it worked instantly with no problems. The mic comes with VocaLive free, which is a real-time effects processor suite for singing, and AmpliTube which is mainly designed for guitar recording and effects. It is nice to have all these in the box. We were a little bit hesitant for the sound quality, but we were proved mistaken. The iRig recorded sound in an unexpected quality, whether it became from our electric guitar or plain speech. We cound not imagine that one day we could be using our mobile as a mini recording studio. It is worth mentioning that it did not capture background noise. The software is also easy to use and you can really make the sound suit your desired needs. Compared to other cheap mics, the iRig definitely made a difference. Given the fact that it is not considered expensive, we can surely say it is totally worth the money as it efficiently does the job it promises.
(+) Decent sound quality
(+) Easy to use
(+) Apps included in the box
(+) Nice price
Thus, we can surely give the IK iRig Mic our Performance Award, for the top recording sound quality it provides.