It’s easy to take and edit quick videos on the iPhone, but getting great audio isn’t always as simple as pointing and shooting. Whether you have an iPhone 7, an iPhone X, or a fancy new iPhone XS: the iPhone microphone isn’t too shabby at close distances, but when you’re trying to film in a crowded room, it’s not quite enough. Here are three ways to avoid tinny, awkward or terrible sound when shooting iPhone video!
Products used in this guide
- Blue Spark Microphone ($199)
- Zoom iQ6 ($100)
- Movo PM10 ($15)
- Rode smartLav+ ($70)
- Apple: Lightning to Headphone jack adapter ($9)
You’ll need an external microphone for the best sound quality
If you’re trying to shoot something a little more high-quality, chances are you’ll want to pony up a little cash for an external microphone. There are a few different categories here: on-device mics, wired lavalier mics, and wireless microphones.
There are a bunch of on-device mics available for your iPhone or iPad, depending on what you plan to record. I’ve personally heard good things about Blue Spark Microphone, and the Zoom iQ6; the two are designed more for single-room recordings and music captures.
Use another iOS Device
Of course, you don’t have to get close to your subject when using an external microphone. If you have an older iPhone or iPod touch, or you can borrow a friend’s, you can use it as a portable microphone with little problem. Use your iPhone to film how you’d like, then set up the second iPhone near where you want audio. (If you’re filming interview-style, you can even hold it like a portable microphone or hide it, mic-side-up, in a jacket breast pocket.)
To record, just open the Voice Memos app on the second iPhone and dictate what clip you’re shooting (“Christmas party, kids playing with new toys”). Then set your video camera to record, and clap your hands in front of the frame — it’s an old trick, but a good one.
When you finish shooting, you’ll have the video and a separate audio track; you can bring both into iMovie on the Mac and edit accordingly.
Tips for getting the best possible audio recording with your iPhone
Once you pick out your microphone and want to start recording, there are a few tips and tricks you can use that’ll give you the clearest, sharpest out possible.
If you’re recording outside, do your best to face away from the wind, or keep your microphone in a somewhat secluded location. If you have to record in the middle of a field, a lav mic is always a terrific option because it hugs close to a person’s body for clearer sound. Just be sure it isn’t too close to their mouth.
Maybe you’re just recording a podcast — believe it or not, you can get terrific sound in a closet. Your clothing can act as a buffer and eliminate outside noises (there are plenty of YouTubers who do this.)
Most importantly of all, try to keep your microphone as steady as possible. The more it moves and bounces around, the higher chance you have of getting spotty, broken sound.
Top equipment picks
Blue Spark Microphone
Keep it portable and sounding fantastic with this external mic
If you’re someone who wants the feel of a professional mic without whipping out your DSLR, this mic is for you.
The Blue Spark Microphone is a portable, highly-rated little piece of gear that makes recording on the go effortless. You can record natural, pure sound with this mic which makes it the perfect tool for toting around and recording.
Perfect for recording your surroundings.
Record your surroundings effortlessly with this highly-rated, well made microphone. This particular mic can adjust from 90 degrees to 120, making it ideal for recording your surroundings.
Clear voice recording
If you want an affordable, reliable, and portable microphone for your iPhone, then take a gander at convenient the Movo PM10.
Tiny yet powerful
Clip away with this tiny mic
Want a mic that works more like a lav, but that’ll still work with your iPhone? Check out the Rode smartLav+ that can effortlessly clip to clothing and record everything you need.
Picking out the perfect microphone can be tough, but there are plenty of different options out there to choose from.
Lightning to Headphone jack adapter
With the lack of headphone jack that’s been implemented more and more with newer iPhones, using these microphones could be a bit tricky. This adapter is key to getting around that, so it’s worth it to pick one up.