An external microphone makes iPhone video better — these are the best
Why trust us? We’re a virtual company made up of tech experts across the globe, and most of us work from home. For podcasting, great audio for video, and more, we need the best and most convenient mics around.
Best Value: BOYA Lightning Microphone
Having a versatile, reliable, and portable microphone can be beneficial for a variety of reasons: but capturing crystal clear sound in your videos is key. The BOYA Lightning Microphone is a simple to use iPhone accessory that attaches via Lightning port and allows you to record and create a stereo sound effect with the help of two built-in microphones and an X/Y condenser design. It can be used on its own, or with a foam windscreen or furry windshield depending on where you’re recording your video.
- Best for most
- Easy to use
- One year warranty
BOYA Lightning Microphone
Portable, reliable, and ready to record crystal clear sound.
The BOYA Lightning Microphone is a small but mighty microphone that allows you to record sound, speech, music, and whatever, all from the convenience of the Lightning port of your iPhone. You can use it on its own, or you could use it with a foam windscreen or furry windshield if you’re filming in windy locations.
Best Overall: Blue Spark Digital Microphone
The Blue Spark Digital Microphone is a microphone that’s ideal for someone who wants beautiful audio during something like still video or interviews. With its plug n’ play design that makes it simple to use with your iPhone (remember, you’ll need to pick up a Lightning to headphone jack adapter in order to use it), focus control switch, advance processor, and even the ability to answer phone calls, this microphone is worth checking out for stunningly sharp audio on the go.
- Crystal clear sound
- Easy to use
- Relatively affordable
- Need Lightning adapter
Blue Spark Digital Microphone
Plug, record, and revel in the crystal clear sound of this portable microphone.
The Blue Spark Digital Microphone is a standing microphone that allows you to record real-time sound with the help of two modes: normal mode for recording low frequency recordings, and focus mode for extreme clarity and detail. It’s perfect for recording landscapes, wide shots, and interviews.
Best Lavalier: PowerDeWise Lavalier Lapel Microphone
The PowerDeWise Lavalier Lapel Microphone is a noise cancelling clip-on microphone that let’s you record your voice as crystal clear as possible. You’ll need to have a Lightning to headphone jack adapter to use this microphone with newer iPhones. Simply clip and attach it to your clothing, plug it into your iPhone, unravel the 78″ cord, and start recording for your iPhone video.
- Need Lightning adapter
PowerDeWise Lavalier Lapel Microphone
Small but mighty and perfect for your lapel.
The PowerDeWise Lavalier Lapel Microphone is a clip-on mic that works effortlessly with your iPhone. It simply clips onto your shirt and then with a Lightning adapter, connects to your iPhone — then all you have to do is press record.
Best for Interviews: Shure MV88 Digital Microphone
The Shure MV88 Digital Microphone is a microphone that connects quickly to your iPhone via the Lightning port and comes with a free app so you can get the most out of your audio recording. The sleek yet retro design and easy-to-use, easy-to-rotate and angle of the microphone makes it ideal for recording in a variety of different situations, while five different present modes — speech, singing, flat, acoustic instrument, and loud — allow you to get the perfect recording every time.
- Solid build
Best for Interviews
Shure MV88 Digital Microphone
Be sure of your audio recordings with the versatile and reliable microphone.
The Shure MV88 Digital Microphone is a portable mic that allows you to effortlessly record a variety of different types of clear sound via the Lightning port on your iPhone. It’s both discreet and can be easily angled to pick up the best sound.
Best Design: RØDE VideoMic Me-L
The RØDE VideoMic Me-L is a high quality directional microphones that doesn’t require a battery and effortlessly plugs into your iPhone via Lightning port. The durable aluminum body makes it perfect for taking on adventures like camping and travelling, while the small and portable design means you can pop it in your bag without any hassle. The RØDE VideoMic Me-L can be paired with a fuzzy windscreen in order to keep the recorded audio as crystal clear as possible.
- Good for outdoors
- Short sound range
RØDE VideoMic Me-L
Durable, sleek, and ready to record straight to your iPhone.
The RØDE VideoMic Me-L is a reliable and rugged little external microphone that uses a cardioid polar pattern to provide incredibly clear sound. It comes with a furry windscreen to protect against harsh wind and outside noise.
The BOYA Lightning Microphone isn’t only portable and reliable, but it gives you a variety of different options to record your sound while still being reasonably priced and easy to use. With it, you can get clear audio of everything from a party with friends, to a speech in a lecture you want to record for later, to an interview for a short documentary you’re making, and everything in between.
Depending on the windshield or windscreen you use, you can easily record your mobile audio outside in more intense weather conditions. If the wind is howling in a particular shot, try playing around with the different options the microphone gives you (although don’t stay outside in a thunderstorm — it’s not waterproof in the slightest).
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Cella Lao Rousseau writes for iMore on social and photography. She’s a true crime enthusiast, best-selling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau.
Rene Ritchie is a podcasting pro and lover of all things clear-sounding. From audio for Vector, to recording on the road, and everything in between, he knows the power an iPhone and a good external mic can truly have.