Friday, 9 September 2016

The Best iPhone 7 Video Microphone Blog Post

Apple Scrap 3.5mm headphone socket on iPhone 7

So Apple have abandoned the 3.5mm headphone socket on the iPhone 7. Well who wants that pesky little socket when all it’s doing is taking up valuable space! Well, I do actually! Yes, the 3.5mm jack maybe 50-year-old technology but it is darn useful technology that allows me to plug in a set of headphones or microphone into my iPhone.

iPhone headphones
If you’re interest, the 3.5mm jack was a development of it’s even older big brother, the 100-year-old ¼ inch PO jack. It dates back to the days when you couldn’t dial a number from your phone. In those early days you lifted the receiver and asked the telephone operator to connect you to, say, “Hollywood 639”.


Anyway, back to why I think ditching the 3.5mm jack is a bad move.


For a start, the Lightning connector is proprietary technology that Apple will only share with other manufactures provided they pay a licensing fee. The technology will make accessories more expensive than if they continued to use the industry standard 3.5mm jack. That’s why very few headphone manufacturers have not gone down the Lightning connector route. One exception being JBL who offer their Reflect Aware Headphoneswhich admittedly provide excellent audio clarity, for $200 (£169.99 in the UK). They are not cheap and you can only use them with an iPhone or iPad.

Secondly, think of the unnecessary waste. There must be hundreds of millions of headphones and other accessories that might not work with the iPhone, or at least will need an adaptor. Why should consumers have to ditch the kit when it works perfectly well.




According to the Apple website the iPhone 7 ships with a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter, so at least we should be able to connect our heritage accessories. But who wants a clunky adapter poking out of the top of their stylish and expensive phone! More-over, you just know the adaptor is going to get lost. Kaching, more money for Apple! But at least vloggers and videographers should still be able to connect their existing external microphones.

At this point I better clarify what I mean by “external microphone”. For videography I’m saying it is a mic that can be placed on the presenter, several metres away from the iPhone, and NOT on the phone itself. In other words, a lavalier or lapel mic connected to the phone by a long cable.

Apple has provided a terrific camera and awesome processing power on the iPhone 7, allowing us to shoot fantastic video. It’s only reasonable that we should want to record good quality sound with an external mic. For the time it would seem we can still use our 3.5mm equipped microphones but if Apple get their way the Lightning connector will replace the 3.5mm jack as the industry standard.



But say you do want to go down the digital mic route, what are your options right now? Searching through Amazon there are actually very few, and all of them a bit pricey. Here are the three I was able to find, remember we do not want microphones that sit on the phone, instead they should be placed on the presenter. By that criteria I was only able to find two mics and one mic interface, the latter for use with professional microphones.

Sennheiser ClipMic digital Microphone

There are two versions of Sennheiser’s digital lavalier mics (or lapel mics). Sennheiser is a respected name in pro audio but they are NOT a prosumer or even consumer level manufacturer. I actually own a rifle mic and radio mic by Sennheiser for use in my video business because their products are top-notch. However, that quality comes at a price, in this case between $200 and $500. If you have deep pockets and can afford either of these lavalier microphones I have no hesitation in recommending them but even I am going to wince at paying almost as much for a mic as the phone.



Sennheiser ClipMic with Sennheiser’s ME 2 omni-directional microphone capsule, for use with iOS devices.

Cost on Amazon: $199







Sennheiser ClipMic Digital Microphone with Sennheiser’s MKE 2 Omnidirectional Microphone capsule.

Cost on Amazon: $499



IK Multimedia iRig Pro microphone interface
Yes, I know this isn’t a microphone but if you have access to professional mics, the sort with chunky three pin XLR connectors, then the iRig Pro provide a good solution to connecting to your iPhone. What’s more, if you are a musician it also allows you to connect your midi instruments to your iOS device and Mac.



iRig Pro instrument/microphone interface with MIDI for iOS and Mac.

Cost on Amazon: $129.80


The Future
If Apple succeed in ousting the 3.5mm jack as the industry standard, then we will see many better quality digital mics appearing but they will be more expensive than the 3.5mm jack version. At present you can buy a Movo LV1 Lavalier microphone for under $20 but that price point is unlikely to be kept when you need to add a digital audio converter (DAC) and Lightning connector. On the plus side you potentially will have excellent audio quality, but at a price.






Note that some of the links in this post maybe affiliate links.