iRig MIC Cast
IK Multimedia, ikmultimedia.com
Compact; easy-to-use; great for recording close-up audio
Not as capable of capturing clean audio in uncontrolled, noisy environments
The iRig is a portable microphone for recording audio with your iDevice. So, whether you’re an on-the-go podcaster keen to record your next episode, a studious scholar taking lecture notes for study prep, or if it’s simply a gadget you want to use for personal things like a FaceTime chat, the iRig is a handy attachment that packs sizeable grunt for its compact form.
Roughly the size of a large postage stamp, it’s easy to stash in your back pocket or computer bag. Attached to the main body is a jack that plugs into your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad and can withstand sturdy cases for secure connection.
The microphone comes with some added ‘extras’, like an adjustable desktop stand so that you can position your iDevice where you want it while you record. Plus there’s also a stereo mini-jack headphone output for users to access via headphones or speakers if they want to keep track of what’s being recorded.
What we liked most about the iRig was its simplicity; it really is a basic tool that delivers pretty good audio performance across the board. There’s a dual gain setting that offers two options for different sound environments, so you can tweak the audio pickup pattern to accommodate a close-up interview or multiple voices in an open space.
We tested the iRig in both scenarios and were generally pleased with the results. The close-up chat was clean sounding and filtered a good amount of background noise. The second test was conducted among four people chatting at an outside café table, on a busy street. Admittedly playback was a little messy to decipher at times, but it did pick up most of the conversation and filtered a small amount extraneous sound.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice
All up, the iRig is a microphone better suited to more controlled environments where the audio source is not competing with other loud noises. Its compact size makes it ideal for portability and easy set up. Depending on what you’ll use it for, this is a great little gadget to consider buying.