iRig MIC Cast
While attending CES 2011 this past January, I noticed a new trend — one that was covered in any press release or big fancy announcement. As I was walking the show floor, I noticed more and more reporters and journalists were using their iPhone as an audio recording device during interviews.
Now, the mic as it is on the iPhone does a decent job at capturing audio, but there’s room for improvement. Enter the iRig MIC Cast.
- Great audio quality
- In app purchases are required unlock full potential of free app
When plugged into your iPhone’s 3.5mm headphone jack, the iRig MIC Cast, improves the audio quality recorded by your device. IK Multimedia has even created a free app that you can use to record and enhance your audio with. I say free, but in order to get the full potential of the app, you’ll be required to purchase the additional features; more on that in a minute.
Installing and setting up the iRig MIC Cast is simple, plug it into your iPhone’s headphone jack and open a recording app. You can easily adjust the pickup level of the mic using a Lo/Hi switch on the front of the mic. By switching between Lo/Hi you’re able to control how sensitive the mic is — critical for noisy environments.
There’s also an additional 3.5 mm jack in the mic itself, allowing you to listen to what is being recorded via headphones, as it’s recorded.
In the box, along with the mic, you’ll also receive a stand for you iPhone. The stand makes it easy to prop up your iPhone, at various different angles, and record audio hands free. It’s perfect for podcasts or when being used as an audio source for a video.
The audio quality when using the iRig MIC Cast was vastly improved over using the built-in mic on the iPhone. The echo normally picked up when in my office was no longer present. The volume level of my voice, both with heavy background noise and in complete silence, was improved without any distortion.
My biggest complaint about the mic, doesn’t even have to do with the mic. It’s the app you are encouraged to download and use. Again, it’s advertised as free, but if you want to export any high-quality audio (among many other features) you’re going to be forced to purchase in app upgrades. You can buy all of the upgrades for $4.99, or if you opt to buy them separately, you’ll pay a premium for them (totaling $10). After having spent $40 on a mic, the least IK Multimedia can do is provide a truly free app with full functionality.
Instead of using iRig Recorder [iTunes link], I used both Garageband and the built in Voice Memos app. Both apps worked great for my needs, and in some scenarios, actually worked better than the iRig app.
If you’re looking for a relatively cheap mic for your iPhone, the iRig MIC Cast is worth a shot. I was pleased with the improved audio quality, and will begin working it into my video recordings as a backup audio source. Who knows, it may take over as my main audio source eventually.
*Review sample was provided by IK Multimedia.