Recently I have been doing podcasts and videos with my students using the iPhone. This has the advantage over other devices as it is more portable and that you can not only do the editing on the device, but also upload it straight away. However, even though the built-in microphone of the iPhone is very good, it does pick up a lot of ambient sound. As I was shooting inside the school, it was difficult to find a quiet place. Unfortunately you cannot just use any microphone with the iPhone. When I first started researching, I found that most microphones weren’t much bigger than ear-buds and plugged into the headphone socket. Great for podcasts maybe but not so good for shooting video where the subject is further away.
Then I discovered the iRig Mic which was being sold on Amazon.com for $59.99 (presently reduced to $48). I bought this microphone and have liked the results so far. However, don’t expect high quality sound. It’s not going to give you anything better than the built-in microphone. But, it will cut down a lot on ambient sound. In the video I shot above, the students are using this microphone in the playground. All around them their friends were playing and making a lot of noise. There was also a strong wind and birds singing. As you can hear from the video, none of this is picked up. You can only hear the two students.The microphone is doing exactly what I need it to do. This means I can now video at any time and any where.
One thing I am concerned about is the lead. It is attached. If you have used microphones a lot like me then you will know that these break easily and result in a crackling sound. There is no way you can replace the lead unlike with normal microphones. An alternative is to buy an adaptor for your iPhone which you can then use a normal microphone. This is a cheaper option though of course you also need to buy a microphone if you don’t have one already. Also, having adaptors means something else that could go wrong. If you want to buy in Thailand you don’t have much of a choice. I have seen this iRig Mic selling for 2,790 Baht at places like .Life and Sanook Gadget shops. At the latter shop they also had a Tascam iXZ which is an adaptor where you can plug in normal microphones. This was 1,890 Baht. They both have branches in Central World.
If you have any practical experience about buying microphones for the iPhone in Thailand then please post in the comments.