Smartphones have been a godsend for audio and video recording enthusiasts. They give people a way to record audio/video, edit clips, and post recordings to the internet… all while using one device.
But even though smartphones like the iPhone have built-in microphones for sound recording, the quality of these built-in mics is notoriously lacking.
In truth, if you want to record with your iPhone, you are going to need an upgrade… a high-quality microphone for iPhone, that will get the job done right and help you to level-up your iPhone’s recording performance capabilities!
The good part of this is that mic companies have hopped onto the smartphone train. Many recording mics manufactured nowadays are made to be compatible with smartphones… both iPhone and Android devices.
But how do you choose the best mic for your project?
Well, that’s what we’re here for!
This is our list of the 11 best microphones for iPhone! This list should take you from ‘wondering what you need,’ to ‘choosing the best mic for you’ in a mere matter of minutes!
Let’s dive in and get started.
The Shure MV88 deserves our top-pick spot for a number of reasons. It is easy to use, carries the very prestigious and trusted Shure brand, and does everything that a quality condenser mic is supposed to do… but it is scaled down to work perfectly with your iPhone or other iOS device!
In This Article
- Top Pick: Shure MV88
- Runner Up: Comica Video Kit CVM-VM10-K2
- Budget Pick: PoP voice Professional Lavalier
- Best for Podcasts and Studio: Shure MV51
- Best Wireless: Comica CVM-WS50(C)
The 5 Best Top-Rated Microphones For iPhone
Our Top Pick
First things first, our top pick for iPhone microphones is the Shure MV88. The MV88 is made specifically for the iPhone, and comes equipped with a Lightning 3 connector pin, so it is natively compatible with all iOS devices.
The high-fidelity condenser mic has 5 DSP preset modes for different applications (speech, singing, flat, instruments, and loud) and the onboard computer automatically adjusts the EQ for the particular sound.
The Shure is perfect for the iPhone recorder-on-the-go, and requires no extra installation. Just plug it in and record. The metal casing is durable and will stand up to even the most intrepid journalist activities.
If you want awesome quality from a brand you can trust, and need an excellent condenser microphone choice for your iPhone, then look no further than the Shure MV88.
Shure MV88 Key Features:
- Lightning 3 connector pin works with all newer iOS devices
- Easy to use: just plug and record
- Shure condenser mic has great highs and lows
This Comica Smartphone Video Kit comes with the mic, as well as a mini-tripod. It allows you to turn your iPhone into a full-fledged audio-video workstation, complete with a high-quality microphone and stable, convenient tripod-mounting system, so that you can use it on-the-go and transport it easily.
The microphone is a cardioid dynamic microphone that is actually built right into the tripod… meaning that you can use the tripod either strictly as a mic stand, or as a tripod as well, to turn your iPhone into a video/photography camera, and you will also get built-in audio as a bonus!
The mic is small and easy to carry. As far as features go, it has a built-in anti-interference function. The entire body of the microphone is actually built from aluminum… which makes it not only durable, but also reliable.
As a shotgun microphone, this is an awesome option if you need to just set your iPhone down and capture audio from everything in front of it. If you’re looking for a dynamic, expressive shotgun mic for general, all-purpose iPhone audio/video tasks, then the Comica Video Kit CVM-VM10-K2 should absolutely be on your radar!
Comica Smartphone Video Kit Key Features:
- Awesome for photographers, filmmakers, journalists, and travelers
- Holds different sizes of iPhone
- ¼ inch external port
- The microphone supports all smartphones that come with a 3.5mm audio input jack
- iPhones can use a lightning adapter to easily connect to the rig
The PoP Voice Lavalier lapel microphone is an excellent choice for the casual recorder who needs a reliable and decent quality mic for on-the-go recordings. The microphone is designed specifically for use with smartphones, and is compatible with most major brands and operating systems.
It comes with an adaptor pin for use on PC and Mac. The lapel mic is small and has a sturdy clip that can be placed on a shirt collar or jacket. The only real downside is the sound range of the mic. The volume drops drastically if you move it away from your mouth. Otherwise, the PoP Voice is our pick for the best budget microphone for iPhone.
PoP Voice Lavalier Lapel Microphone Key Features:
- Extremely affordable
- 79-inch cord gives good distance
- Easy to use: just plug in and record
- Make of professional-grade materials
- A significant upgrade to most built-in smartphone microphones
Best For Podcasts And Studio
The Shure MV51 was specifically made for use with the iPhone, iPod, and/or iPad, and is certified for direction connection to any iOS device without the need for any additional adapters or connection kits.
It comes with 5 preset modes, including singing, speech, flat, acoustic instrument, and loud… and automatically adjusts gain, EQ, compression, and limiting to help you achieve optimal results, regardless of what type of audio you’re recording.
The front panel controls on the MV51 are intuitive and easy to use. You simply select which mode you wish to use. There is also a mute button, a headphone volume, and a gain knob.
The headphone output that’s built into the Shure MV51 also gives you real-time monitoring. This way, you can avoid any latency issues that may occur as you record… which will do a lot to help you mitigate problems with sound-delay, which can really throw off your performance.
Shure MV51 Key Features:
- Integrated rear kickstand helps you to position it on a desktop
- Can be mounted on a ⅝” thread microphone stand
- Comes with a MicroB-to-USB cable, and a MicroB-to-Lightning cable
- All metal construction
- Vintage design
The Comica CVM-WS50(C) Wireless Smart Phone Lavalier Microphone System comes packed with features that will truly help you to take your iPhone videography/audio recording to an entire new level.
You get 6 channels and 194 feet of wireless range with this system. It also has a built-in rechargeable battery, a special LCD screen that displays channels, audio status, and power consumption… and even real-time monitoring to counteract any potential latency issues you may be facing.
This is actually an entire wireless kit, and it comes with: the transmitter, the receiver, a mini tripod, TRRS audio output cable, 3.5mm audio mic, a USB charging cable, a wind muff, a belt clip, a portable case, and a user manual.
Our favorite thing about the Comica CVM-WS50(C) Kit is probably the fact that it takes your iPhone, and really just transforms it into an all-in-one video or audio recording station! You really can’t beat this wireless kit, especially for the price!
If you know for sure you are in the market for a wireless mic for your iphone… there are dozens of additional options in our dedicated wireless iPhone mics post, here.
Comica CVM-WS50(C) Wireless Kit Key Features:
- Real time monitoring
- Stepless volume audio adjustment dial lets you adjust the volume easily
- Available in charging-mode with mobile power supply
- 6 channels
- Boasts a working distance of up to 60M
- Built-in metal material holder
Who Should Buy A Microphone For Their iPhone?
If you own an iPhone and are looking into trying to decide whether or not you should buy a microphone for it, then you are probably interested in doing some kind of content creation.
Maybe you want to capture some higher-quality audio for your videos? Maybe you want to start vlogging? Maybe you’re looking to use your iPhone for your YouTube channel? Maybe you want to start a podcast, or even record some audio/music?
(Check out our list of best podcast mics if you’re looking to start a podcast!)
Regardless of what you are trying to create, the number-one question is this…
Is the stock microphone that is built-into your iPhone good enough to get the job done? Do you really need something better than that for what you want to do?
Here is a good rule of thumb to help answer this question.
First off, yes… your built-in iPhone mic will probably work to a certain extent for creating videos and recording simple podcast audio. But also keep in mind that the quality of this audio is going to be noticeably amateur.
If you don’t care about that, then no problem. But if you care at all about your content getting more views and building up an audience, then the customer experience is something that you are going to want to prioritize.
And the best way to do that is to buy a new microphone and level-up the recording quality of your iPhone media.
Important Features To Consider
Before buying a recording mic for your iPhone, make sure to take into account the following features.
- Directional or Omnidirectional?
Recording mics can be divided by the area of sound they capture. Directional mics restrict sound capture to a relatively small range, normally just in front of the mic. Omnidirectional mics, on the other hand, are designed to pick up sound from all directions. Unidirectional mics are typically better for recording individual voices, while omnidirectional mics are good for recording multiple people at the same time.
- Frequency Response
The frequency response of a mic is the range of pitches that it will pick up. Different mics pick up different frequencies with differing levels of quality. A mic that picks up highs and mids is good for recording instruments like the guitar, and human voices… while a lower range mic is good for bass tones.
- Bit depth
For digital mics, the bit depth refers to how many bits of information each sound sample contains. In general, the higher the bit rate, the better quality sound when the signal is picked up by a receiver. Professional audio microphones tend to use 24-bit samples, though a 16-bit depth is good enough for most casual applications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use an external mic with an iPhone?
You absolutely can… and to be super-honest, you should.
The thing about the built-in microphones on smart-phones is that they tend to be alright for phone calls and simple recordings… but they actually lack quite a bit when it comes to professional audio.
One unique element to the iPhone is that you generally need a lighting cable to make external microphones work. You may need a lightning cable to connect to USB, or a lightning cable that will give your iPhone a 3.5mm jack.
You can check out some of our favorite lighting cables here…
Is there a microphone for the iPhone?
There are actually many different types of microphones that will work with the iPhone… and we are including 11 of them in this post.
Our favorite option, by far, is the Shure MV88. This mic turns your iPhone into a serious audio-capturing machine capable of recording actual, real, high-quality audio in almost any sort of application.
What is the best iPhone microphone?
Our favorite microphone for the iPhone is the Shure MV88. But if you are on a budget and need something really inexpensive, you can also provide a pretty substantial upgrade to your iPhone audio with the PoP voice Professional Lavalier.
Is the iPhone microphone good?
The built-in iPhone mic is actually pretty good… as far as built-in smartphone mics go! It tends to work really well for phone calls, video calls, voice notes, voice messaging, and other things like that.
The only problem is that it really lacks the capability of delivering quality audio if you plan to create some kind of video or audio content. If you plan on creating high-quality content, you will eventually need to upgrade your mic… because audio is what suffers the most with content recorded straight to the iPhone.
Other Microphones For iPhone We Reviewed: Mini Reviews
Though we’ve already showed you our top 5 favorite iPhone mics, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other awesome options out there! Here were a few other notable mentions that definitely deserve a place in our review.
Other Lavalier MicsProfessional Grade Lavalier Lapel
This lavalier mic will help to boost the quality of your audio with a small investment. If you’re looking for a reliable, corded lavalier mic that will work with your iPhone, this is definitely an option to check out!
- Helps to filter out extra noise
- Plug and play… no drivers required
- Comes with a 1-year warranty
If you’re looking for a wireless lavalier system that also comes with a tripod and a few other features, then this may be the kit for you. Priced at under $140, it gives you some serious value for the price!
- Operating distance of 164ft
- Comes with a tripod
- 4 selectable UHF Channels
- Real-Time audio monitoring
This lavalier microphone system will actually work with Gopros, phones, cameras, or even PCs. It is a professional wireless mic that can be used for a variety of different applications… from meetings, to filmmaking, to vlogging, to YouTubing, etc.
- Omnidirectional wireless lavalier
- Will pick up sound from any direction
- The receiver is connected with a 3.5mm plug
- Compact, lightweight design
Other Tripod Mic KitsSmartphone Camera Video Microphone with Mini Tripod
This is a compact microphone kit that also comes with a tripod, a carry case, a windscreen, and a wide range of accessories. The mic itself is a directional shotgun microphone, intended to focus on one specific area for quality sound.
- Easy to use
- Included handbag is waterproof
- Comes with a camera cable, a mobile phone cable, and a 360 rotary phone clip
- Pure-copper microphone
Other Clip-Mount MicsPloture MIC-07 Universal Video Microphone
This unique clip-on microphone mounts directly to your iPhone, to make capturing quality audio with your iOS device a breeze. It is actually a small shotgun mic, so you can use it to focus-in on one particular source of sound and deflect other sources.
- Awesome for use with all kinds of devices
- Superior noise-suppression technology
- Low battery power indicator
- Highly-directional audio
Handheld iPhone MicsComica CVM-WS50(H) Wireless Handheld Microphone System
This wireless handheld system will give you the ability to have a more ‘traditional’ handheld setup attached wirelessly to your iPhone. It also comes with a handle, equipped with a clamp that can hold your smartphone as you film!
- LCD Screen shows wireless info
- 6 channels
- Real-time audio monitoring
- Working distance of up to 197ft
- Adjustable phone clamp
So which iPhone microphone is the best? Our top pick is the Shure MV88 on account of its simplicity of use, included Lightning 3 connector pin, and overall quality/price ratio.
Our runner up pick was the Comica Video Kit CVM-VM10-K2 kit.
Both mics offer a superior experience for a great price and are useful tools in the arsenal of any recording enthusiast.
Whether your purposes are professional or more casual and experimental, this guide will help you get off on the right foot to finding a mic that suits your needs.