In a previous post we looked at how you could stabilize your iPhone or iPad to shoot smoother, more professional video. Another area that the cameras on Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices could use some improvement are their on-board microphones. Below we take a look at some of the options available -  thankfully it's easy to record far better quality audio by making some small changes.

Update (8th June 2014): For newer microphone and camera accessories check out our Ultimate Guide to Creating Video With Your Smartphone or Tablet

Samson iQ5 Professional Stereo Microphone

The iQ5 is a simple ‘plug and play’ stereo microphone for recording audio on iOS devices with the newer Lightning connector. The rotating stereo microphone supports portrait and landscape orientation, meaning your ‘L’ and ‘R’ audio channels will be recorded correctly (instead of upside down or the wrong way round!).

Ideal for: Recording higher quality, general sound.

Tascam iM2 Portable Digital Recorder for iOS Devices

The iM2 is another ‘plug and play’ stereo mic for iPhone and iPad devices using the older iPhone connector. The unit has its own pre-amp and can handle up to 125dB, allowing it to record both loud and quiet noises at high quality. The pair of high-quality condenser microphones are adjustable over 180 degrees to ensure optimum placement when recording.

Ideal for: Recording higher quality, general sound.

Note: If you’re recording outside with the iM2 you can easily minimize wind noise by purchasing an additional slipover windscreen.

Belkin LiveAction Directional Microphone

If you’re shooting videos of live events using your iPhone/iPad, this solution from Belkin has you covered - especially from audio sources that aren’t close to your device.

Ideal for: Recording audio at a distance during presentations, sporting events and performances. 

MiC - Studio Quality Microphone for iPhone, iPad & Mac

If you’re shooting an interview, podcast, speech or music-heavy production and really need great quality sound then the Apogee MiC may be just what you need. A compact, studio-quality condenser microphone, the MiC is portable and requires no external power source.

Ideal for: Recording great quality speech and music.

Note: An optional adapter and accessory kits add compatibility with any standard 5/8" microphone stand or boom pole and extension cables - perfect for using the MiC to record audio on the go.

RØDE SmartLav Lavalier Microphone

Lavalier, or lapel, microphones are primarily used to record speech during interviews or presentations, commonly being clipped on to the speaker’s clothing close to their mouth. Unlike other lavalier mics, Rode’s SmartLav is affordable to non-audio professionals and has been designed specifically for use with iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches

Ideal for: Recording high-quality speech for interview subjects and presentation speakers.

Note: If the SmartLav’s supplied cable is a little short, you can easily pick up 1 and 2 meter extension cables on Amazon to give you that extra reach.

Remember, If you’re shooting on an iPhone or iPad with a 3G connection, the cell radios in the device can cause electrical interference with audio recording equipment. To avoid this, just ensure you enable Airplane mode before recording.

If you use these or any other accessories to shoot better videos for your students, we’d love to hear from you. Send us an email at [email protected] In the meantime, stay tuned for more tips, tricks and cool accessories to help you shoot better video with your device.

And don’t forget you can use the free Capture app for iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows 8.1 to make it even easier to shoot and publish content directly to your  own media library.

Written By

Aidan is a designer and filmmaker. He likes tea, technology and travelling, and is passionate about how video can transform teaching and learning.

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