Warning (Not a replacement for an H4n or Sound Devices - just another use for your phone) Warning

The iPhone uses a Mono mic input on a TRRS connection, so I was wondering what other mics you could use with the iPhone. Snag a good enough mic and you have yourself a solid portable recorder on the go.

Check this out:


Its an XLR to TRRS adapter.

Now grab this if you want to use a shotgun mic:


And for 60 bucks you now have the option to throw a couple pieces of gear into your backpack and have the ability to whip out your phone with your favorite mic to record away!

  • make your own cable - save $20!
    – VCProd
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 18:31
  • @VCProd what part distributor do you buy from?
    – C3Sound
    Commented Mar 31, 2011 at 19:12

2 Answers 2


Have you used this method before?

I have two similar adapters, and with any program / any mic I've used, the audio comes through very "thin" (iPhone 4). Seems as if the frequency response on that input is a bit wonky (which makes sense, since it's purposed to use over a telephone network).

I have, however, seen successful recordings done via the 30-pin port. There are a number of companies out there that use the 30-pin as a connection for their interfaces. Works very well. I know you can use the Sound Devices USBPre 2 on the iPad. Possibly on the iPhone? Alesis and a few other companies also have interfaces that work well.

Again, this is all about the iPhone. Not sure how other smartphones would work.

  • @Colin Hart Were you using the XLR to TRRS? If it was a condenser were you using a wall wart or battery operated phantom box? What mic were you using? The frequency response of the input shouldnt be modified just because its a phone - any noise cancellation or enhancement would be done after the audio is captured and right before or during the signal transfer to the 2nd party's phone. Meaning the regular mic for voice memo recording and/or sound recorder app would not have those features running.
    – C3Sound
    Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 21:50
  • @C3Sound - I've tried a few dynamic mics straight into the XLR to TRRS, I've tried a Sound Devices 302 output into the adapter (calibrated it to -20db with 1k tone and all - worked wonderfully, just didn't sound great. Also tried an MKH60 through a Deneke power box into the adapter. Every way I tried, still had the same problem. The best results I got was when I plugged an EV ND767 Dynamic mic straight into the adapter. It could pass for acceptable, but I wouldn't have been able to even use any of the other recordings. Even tried another iPhone and an iPad - same issues across the board.
    – Colin Hart
    Commented Mar 26, 2011 at 21:59

I am waiting for the first company to release a high-quality dock connector stereo mic for the iPhone. It's gotta happen soon. I would have thought Apogee would have had something like this to market by now.

  • Apogee have made this: [apogeedigital.com/products/jam.php][1] Since it's Apogee, I'm gonna assume that it's of a decent quality - or at least as near good a quality as you'll get on the iDevices. Maybe check it out and see if there are similar quality issues? If there are, you can bet it's a bandwidth problem rather than an interface problem that causes the 'thinness' Cheers [1]: apogeedigital.com/products/jam.php Commented Apr 1, 2011 at 1:03

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