iPhone 4 external microphone

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by jonnysods, Sep 3, 2010.

  1. jonnysods macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    Hey everyone, I was wondering if anyone has been using an external mic with their new iP4 to record video or anything like that. I'm going to Nepal in November and I will be using my iP4 as a video camera (a mix or portability and quality) but I know that the mic sometimes pics up bad stuff.

    So I was wondering if anyone uses anything? This will allow me to travel light, get some decent footage with some good sound quality.

    Thank you.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If you're traveling light, why are you asking about an external mic? Why even bother; sure, it will pick up some extra stuff but so will the external. If quality is really an issue you're going to have to do some post-processing no matter what.

    Are you going to carry around a tripod as well?
  3. Glaxx macrumors regular


    Aug 19, 2007
    I agree. Unless you're going to be carrying around a tripod and perhaps some other accessories, there is no need for an external mic. Maybe at most a small directional mic for orienting it towards the camera's viewpoint, but that is still going to be marginally better than the built in if you are wanting to avoid extra packing. Post is where the audio fixing should come in.
  4. aXelerator macrumors newbie

    Jul 25, 2010
  5. jonnysods thread starter macrumors 603


    Sep 20, 2006
    There & Back Again
    Thanks everyone. It's not so much about the audio quality, but reducing noise created by wind etc. Anything I've done outside on the phone picks up wind in the camera, even on very still days. I can't post process that stuff as well.

    Thanks for your help.
  6. jonesge macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    Azden ECZ-990 External Microphone For iPhone 4

    NOTE: I am not affliated with any manufacture, product, vendor mentioned herein. The information herein is accurate and cannot be easily found on the Internet. If you are into the iPhone 4 and want better audio with a Shotgun / Directional style mic, then this information will give you the guidance needed.

    The $50 Azden ECZ-990 Mono Microphone is a great value in an external Shotgun / Directional mic for the iPhone 4.

    6" length

    As with almost anything, you get what you pay for. The notes below in the specs compare the $50 ECZ-990 to the $250 Rode NTG-2 mic. I would imagine that 70% to 90% of readers here would be more than satisfied with the $50 Azden ECZ-990 mic. If you want to go all the way, then go for the $500 Sennheiser ME66 / K6 Short Shotgun Mic combo. Those recording bird calls who want the best and most sensitive Shotgun / Directional mic for the iPhone 4 would go this way.

    Those who are in to some serious movie / video work with the iPhone 4, may prefer to go with the battery powered Rode NTG-2 even though it is less portable than the Azden ECS-990. The image below shows the iPhone 4 & KV Connection XLR impedance matching adapter cable & the Rode NTG-2 as used by a Hollywood Movie Producer.


    Other 3.5mm mics, such as the Vericorder Mini Mic, which work on the iPhone 3 series, do not work with the iPhone 4 because of an impedance mismatch.

    The ECZ-990 along with a 3.5mm TRRS connector from KV Connection works fine with the iPhone 4. This special connector is a MUST HAVE REQUIREMENT.

    The Azden box says: "ECZ-990 Zoom Microphone For Camcorders"

    They should redo their box and say: "ECZ-990 Directional Microphone For Camcorders & The iPhone 4". The word "Zoom" in this case means "Directional" or "Narrow / Shotgun Polar Pattern" when speaking about microphone pickup pattern types.

    The iPhone 4 shoots HD 720P Video. However, using the iPhone 4's pinhole internal Omni Directional Short Range Mic is a poor choice when shooting HD Quality Video. The internal iPhone 4 mic is a real bad choice in windy situations. As noted below, the ECZ-990 comes with a foam windscreen.

    The iPhone 4 internal mic is "OK" for phone call usage ... but "Not OK" for decent video / movie usage.

    Good quality audio is at least 50% of the equation when using the iPhone 4 in the movie mode. This is specially so for professionals such as journalists who are incresingly using the iPhone 4 for their MOJO Kit - Mobile Journalist Camera / Video Kit when they don't have their DSLR or video camera with them. Other professionals such as those doing field voiceover work, live and recorded field podcasting, remote field radio broadcasts, semi-pro movie production, etc. may want to go with better iPhone 4 / Rode NTG-2 Mic / KV Connection adapter cable as noted in the above text and image.

    In breaking news situations ... the best camera / mic is the one you have with you. The iPhone 4 & ECZ-990 is the duo to have with you. Apps such as iMovie, Reel Director, etc. can be used on the iPhone 4 for a quick edit in the field. Or, with a little more time and money ... in FCP - Final Cut Pro on your MacBook Pro.

    For better quality HD Audio on the iPhone 4, an external microphone such as the the Azden ECZ-990 is the way to go. The mic is easy to carry with its 6 inch length and low weight of 2.75 ounces. The iPhone 4 weighs 5 ounces. So together, you have a 7.75 ounce audio and video mobile kit that can easily fit in a pocket.

    The ECZ-990 can be used as a handheld mic for interviews (get a 10ft extensiion cable) or mounted next to the iPhone 4 (in a holder with 1/4" thread)on a 11 ounce Zipshot collapsable tripod.

    For the tripod see: Tamrac TR406 ZipShot Compact Ultra-Light Instant Tripod

    Azden ECZ-990 Specs & Notes For iPhone 4 Users (and what the specs mean)

    A. Mic Type / Transducer Type: Electret Condenser (For the iPhone 4, a battery powered sensitive condenser style mic is preferred over a dynamic mic. Some iPhone 4 users have tried a 350 Ohm dynamic mic (XLR connection) with the iPhone 4 along with a special matching transformer cable. However, most iPhone 4 users, such as journalists, should consider a battery powered condenser mic such as the Azden ECZ-990. The $250 Rode NTG-2 is also a battery powered condenser mic ... but with a XLR connector. My advice is to stay clear of a dynamic XLR mic unless you are going to use it in conjunction with a portable audio mixer with mic preamps or a battery powered portable mic preamp. One can also consider using the iPhone 4 in conjunction with a portable audio recorder such as the Tascam DR100 where you can use the line out going into the iPhone 4.)

    B. Polar Pattern: The ECZ-990 has a switch to select 2 different polar patterns. 1. In the the Long Shotgun "Directional" Pattern the ECZ-990 has a "Zoom / Directional" 30 foot range and picks up sound directly in front where it is pointed. 2. In the Short Cardiod Pattern the ECZ-990 picks up sound from a wider set of directions. For the iPhone 4, the Long "Zoom / Directional" pattern is the best. You direct or point the iPhone 4 video camera ... you direct or point the Azden ECZ-990 mic in the Long "Zoom / Directional" position toward the sound source. The Rode NTG-2 has a a Supercardioid pattern similar to the Short position of the ECZ-990.)

    C. Frequency Response Range: 150Hz - 18000Hz (This range is perfect for the iPhone 4 since the iPhone 4 has a low pass cut off filter of 150Hz for the internal mic and external mics. The human voice frequency band ranges from approximately 150 Hz to 3400 Hz. The ECZ-990 will also pickup various musical instruments and sounds which are are in the higher frequencies. The Rode NTG-2 mic has a 20Hz - 20,000 frequency response range. The iPhone 4 frequency range is 150Hz to 20,000Hz)

    D. Microphone Output Impedance: Long = 1700 Ohms (at 1000Hz) and Short = 760 Ohms (at 1000Hz) (It is very important to note that the iPhone 4 internal mic input requires a mic with an impedance of 800 Ohms and higher. The ECZ-990 has a 2 position switch: Long & Narrow Directional Pickup Pattern at 1700 Ohms and Short & Wide Pickup Omni Directional Pattern at 760 Ohms. It is recommended that iPhone 4 users select "only" the Long & Narrow position for optimal audio perfornance and compatability with the iPhone 4. The Rode NTG-2 Mic has a 350 Ohm Output Imbedance and can only be used with the iPhone 4 with a XLR Impedance Matching Cable as seen in the above image.

    E. Sensitivity: Long & Narrow = -33dB (at 1000Hz 1V/Pa) and Short & Wide = -43dB (at 1000Hz 1V/Pa) (As noted above, iPhone 4 users should select the Long & Narrow Directional position. Mic Sensitivity indicates how efficiently the microphone converts acoustic sound pressure to output voltage which goes into the audio amplifier in the iPhone 4. A high sensitivity microphone creates more voltage and so it needs less amplification at the recording / pickup device such as the iPhone 4. The -33dB Long & Narrow Directional setting is more sensitive / efficient than the -43dB Short & Wide Omni Directional position. GOOD SENSITIVITY: The $250 Rode NTG-2 XLR condenser mic is at -36dB. BETTER SENSITVITY: The $50 Azden ECZ-990 is at -33dB in the Long position. BEST SENSITIVITY: The $500 Sennheiser ME66 K6 is at -26dB)

    F. Maximum Input SPL - Sound Pressure Level: 100dB (The point where the mic distorts, or clips the waveform. [More=better] In normal interview situations with the ECZ-990 with the iPhone 4, a SPL of 100 dB is fine. The higher the Maximum SPL value, the better, although microphones with a very high maximum SPL also have a higher self-noise. The Rode NTG-2 has a Maximum SPL of 131dB)

    G. Dynamic Range (Typical): > 75dB (The range between self noise and Max SPL. [More=better] If stated on its own, for example "120 dB", it conveys significantly less information than having the self-noise and maximum SPL figures individually. The Rode NTG-2 has a dynamic range of 113dB.)

    H. Signal-to-Noise Ratio: > 43dB (Signal to Noise ratio = The range between self noise and a reference signal. [More=better] The Rode NTG-2 mic has a Signal-to-Noise Ratio of 76dB.)

    I. Microphone Output Connector: 3.5mm TRS Male Plug (The iPhone 4 requires a special $20 KV Connection part: KM-IPHONE-2TRS. This connector has a 3.5mm Male TRRS Plug which goes into the iPhone 4 and the other end a 3.5mm Female TRS connector into which the Azden ECZ-990 3.5mm Male TRS plugs into. There is also a headphone 3.5mm TRS Female jack which works in the playback mode only. No external mics will work on the iPhone 4 without this special TRRS connector!)

    J. Power Requirements: 1.5 Volt AAA Battery (The ECZ-990 has an ON/OFF switch. It is recommended that that iPhone 4 users select a longer life 1.5 volt lithium battery.)

    K. Dimensions & Weight: 6" Length x 0.83" Diameter. Weight 2.76 oz Without Battery (This compact mic size and weight means the ECZ-990 can readily be carried along with the iPhone 4.)

    L. Accessories Included: Foam Windcreen (If the Azden ECZ-990 is used in very windy situations a better fuzzy style windscreen is strongly suggested)

    M. Azden ECZ-990 Microphone Audio Review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONQVpwDjWd8
  7. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Wow, you're not commercially affiliated with them by any chance are you? :rolleyes:
  8. jonesge macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    Who is "them"?

    :p No, I am not affiliated with any of "them". Next time try to put "them" in the proper context.

    :D Your snarky comments to my post got me to wondering ... are you ODing by chewing off too many of your fingernails?

    :eek: If so, there's an App for that. Try dipping your fingers in some commercially available Tobasco sauce then chewing on a nail or two and rubbing your I s.

    :eek: Let us know how "them" eyes feel afterwords.
  9. patton686 macrumors newbie

    Nov 23, 2009
    Wow, thank you very much man. I love to read posts as exhaustive as this,
    except you just added 200$ of equipment to my monthly bill!:cool:

    Guys, remember this: as a music producer, I know my stuff when it comes down to audio. I couldn't count exactly how much jonesge just saved me in time and money for telling us straight what is the best solution. Information. Sharing.

    Thank you man, very much.
  10. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    Fair enough then - I've lost count if the amount of spam commercial posts I've seen on here lately though, most of them reading pretty much like yours i.e. like a block cut and paste from some ad copy.

    p.s. Just writing "no, I'm not" in this thread would have sufficed - although I'm glad to see you have sufficient spare time to track down other posts I've made. :rolleyes:
  11. swbratcher macrumors newbie

    Nov 30, 2009
    Commercial Affiliations...

    George Jones appears to have been posting this info all over the internet. I, too, assumed he was not being forthcoming about his affiliations or vested interest, however he may choose to define it.

    His counter-attack doesn't help him look innocent, nor do non-spammers need to go around posting disclaimers before a kind, informative post. Don't SPAM. If you're going to SPAM, and get caught, at least man-up and own your SPAM.

    Lastly, if you decide to openly counter someone calling your post out as spam, you should make a special point to not sound defensive... or offensive for that matter. It's unbecoming.

  12. westerlu77 macrumors newbie

    Mar 4, 2008
    I'm wonder if somebody has tried any if these micks into the iPhone:
    Sony ECM 719
    Sony ECM-DS70P
    Olympus ME 51S
    I want to have it for music-rehearsals and especially for drums..
    Can somebody help me?
  13. Daremo macrumors 68020


    Jul 3, 2007
    Hey hey, whoa there fella...

  14. apertusjay macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2013
    can I use this for an Android phone (Samsung Galaxy Note II)?

    can I use this microphone and the setting for an Android phone (Samsung Galaxy Note II)?

    - Jay


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