5 Best External Microphones for iPhone 11 in 2024

Whether you’re recording a podcast, capturing your latest adventure, or producing your next hit single, the audio quality can make or break your project. While the iPhone 11 comes equipped with a decent built-in microphone, serious content creators know the key to crisp, clear audio lies in an external microphone. The right mic not only enhances clarity but also provides a professional edge to your recordings. In this article, we’ve rounded up some of the best external microphones tailored for your iPhone 11, ensuring you capture every nuance perfectly, no matter where your creativity takes you.

Selecting the best external microphone for the iPhone 11 involves considering several key criteria to ensure you end up with a product that meets your specific audio needs. Here are the factors we’ve taken into account for our listicle review:

  1. Compatibility: It’s crucial the microphone is compatible with the iPhone 11, ideally without needing additional adapters.
  2. Audio Quality: The core reason for an external microphone is superior sound. Look for mics that offer clear, crisp audio with good noise cancellation.
  3. Design and Portability: A good external microphone should be compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry around for on-the-go recording.
  4. Ease of Use: It should be simple to connect and use, minimizing setup time and technical hassle for users not versed in audio equipment.
  5. Versatility: Whether for vlogging, interviews, podcasts, or music, the best microphone should serve multiple purposes.
  6. Durability: A robust build quality ensures the microphone can withstand the rigors of fieldwork or frequent travel.
  7. Battery Life (if applicable): For wireless microphones, long battery life is essential for extended recording sessions without interruption.
  8. Price: The mic should offer good value for money, balancing cost with features and performance.

These criteria will guide our selection process to provide you with a well-rounded list of the best external microphones for your iPhone 11.

Below is a simplified comparison table that should help you choose the right microphone for your needs.

MicrophonePrice [Approx.]Connection TypePolar PatternFrequency ResponseAdditional Features
Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone$$$Lightning ConnectorCardioid, Bidirectional, Adjustable20 Hz to 20 kHz24-bit/48 kHz recording, 5 DSP preset modes, Portable
Rode VideoMic Me-L Directional Mic$$Lightning ConnectorCardioid100 Hz to 20 kHz24-bit digital recording, Plug and play, Furry windscreen
Apogee MiC Plus USB Microphone$$$USB, LightningCardioid20 Hz to 20 kHz24-bit/96 kHz recording, Blend feature for monitoring
Boya BY-M1 Lavalier Microphone$3.5mm TRRS connector, with included 6m (20ft) cable and adapter for camerasOmnidirectional65 Hz to 18 kHzClip-on, Battery-powered, Includes lapel clip and foam windscreen
Saramonic SmartMic Mini Condenser$3.5mm TRRS connector, direct plug-inOmnidirectional35 Hz to 18 kHzUltra-compact, No battery required, Swivel mount design

Price Range Indicator:

  • $: Budget-friendly, typically under $50
  • $$: Mid-range pricing, typically from $50 to $150
  • $$$: Premium pricing, usually above $150

This table should serve as a starting point for your comparison. However, make sure to check the latest prices and detailed specifications as they can change over time or based on the retailer. Also, consider reading reviews and checking compatibility with your specific use case and iPhone model.

Shure MV88 Portable iOS Microphone

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The Shure MV88 is a compact and powerful microphone designed exclusively for use with iOS devices, and it’s a stellar choice for iPhone 11 users looking to capture high-quality audio. My experience with the Shure MV88 has solidified my opinion that it is a cut above many of its competitors, largely due to its impeccable audio performance and user-friendly operation. This microphone attaches directly to the iPhone via the Lightning connector and is highly versatile, thanks to its multiple recording patterns and an accompanying app that allows for fine-tuning.

Specs:

  • Type: Condenser microphone
  • Polar Patterns: Adjustable – cardioid, bidirectional, raw mid-side
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Adjustable Gain: Up to 36 dB
  • Connectivity: Lightning connector
  • Software: ShurePlus MOTIV mobile app for recording and monitoring

Pros:

  • The sound quality of the MV88 is top-notch, capturing crisp and clear audio that is suitable for podcasts, interviews, and music recordings.
  • Its build quality is robust, feeling substantial and well-crafted, which is reassuring for mobile use where gear can often be subjected to the rigors of travel.
  • The versatility in recording patterns makes it an all-in-one tool for various audio recording scenarios.
  • The accompanying app is not only intuitive but offers a wealth of functionality to tailor the audio capture to your exact needs.

Cons:

  • The MV88 is definitely an investment, and some users might find the price a bit steep, especially if they’re casual users.
  • Its reliance on the Lightning port means that you can’t charge your iPhone 11 while using the microphone, which could be a limitation for long recording sessions.

Price:

While the price of the Shure MV88 can be on the higher side, hovering around $150, it’s a justified expense for the quality and features it offers. It’s a premium product that delivers on its promise of superior audio quality, and for anyone serious about their audio capture, it’s a worthwhile investment.

In conclusion, the Shure MV88 is a powerhouse of a microphone that promises—and delivers—professional-grade audio recording for your iPhone 11. Its robust design, high versatility, and superior sound quality make it a shining example of what a mobile microphone can achieve. Despite the premium price tag and a couple of minor drawbacks, the MV88 stands out as an impeccable choice for those prioritizing audio quality on the go.

Rode VideoMic Me-L Directional Microphone

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The Rode VideoMic Me-L is a compact, lightweight, and highly directional microphone designed to plug directly into the iPhone via the Lightning connector, making it an ideal companion for iPhone 11 users. This device is targeting on-the-go content creators and vloggers who need to capture high-quality audio without the bulkiness of traditional audio equipment.

Specs:

  • Acoustic Principle: Pressure gradient electret condenser
  • Pickup Pattern: Cardioid (directional sound capture)
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Connector: Lightning connector
  • Analog Outputs: 3.5mm headphone jack for audio monitoring
  • Included Accessories: Mic Clip with cable management, furry windshield

Pros:

  • The plug-and-play design is foolproof and eliminates the need for additional adapters or charging.
  • Audio quality is robust, with the directional microphone picking up clear sound while reducing background noise, thanks to its cardioid pickup pattern.
  • The inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack is a thoughtful touch, allowing users to monitor their recordings live – a feature often missing from other compact microphones.
  • It’s nice to see Rode bundle a furry windshield with the microphone; it’s essential for outdoor recording and helps minimize wind noise significantly.

Cons:

  • The form factor may not be as sleek when connected to your iPhone, which could be a bit awkward for non-video applications.
  • The lightning connector, though convenient, means you can’t charge your phone while recording unless you have a wireless charging solution.
  • Despite its compact size, the microphone can feel slightly intrusive when used with a phone gimbal or a smaller handheld setup.

Price:

The price point of the Rode VideoMic Me-L is usually around $79, which feels quite reasonable given the audio quality and the build. However, it’s important to periodically check for the latest prices or any available discounts.

Personal Opinion:

In my experience, the Rode VideoMic Me-L is a highly capable microphone that vastly improves the audio quality of your recordings. It’s simple to use, just plug it in, and you’re good to go, which is perfect for spontaneous or on-the-fly content creation. The build quality is solid, as expected from Rode, but what impresses me the most is the sound fidelity; it captures rich, natural audio with a focus on the subject. The headphone jack is a huge plus in my opinion, offering immediate feedback on audio quality, which can be a lifesaver for any content creator. It’s not without its downsides – the inability to charge and use the microphone simultaneously being a notable one. But overall, the Rode VideoMic Me-L stands out as a versatile, user-friendly, and robust audio solution for iPhone 11 users.

Apogee MiC Plus USB Microphone

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The Apogee MiC Plus is a compact, versatile external microphone that can elevate your iPhone 11’s audio recording to professional levels. Perfect for podcasters, musicians, or anyone in need of high-quality sound on the go, the MiC Plus connects easily via the included Lightning cable, ensuring a seamless integration with your iPhone. The build quality is robust, featuring a heavy-duty metal body that exudes durability and class.

Upon testing the Apogee MiC Plus, I was immediately impressed by the simplicity of its setup and the intuitive user interface. There’s a gain knob for quick adjustments and a multicolor LED indicator, which provides real-time feedback on input levels to prevent distortion. The sound quality, undoubtedly, is where the MiC Plus shines; it captures audio with clarity, rich detail, and a warm tone that’s hard to find in other mobile microphones.

Specs

  • Cardioid condenser microphone capsule
  • PureDIGITAL connection for pristine sound quality
  • Up to 96kHz/24-bit HD recording
  • Blend feature for zero-latency monitoring
  • Multicolor LED for status indication and input level monitoring

Pros:

  • Superior sound quality with rich, detailed audio capture
  • Very low self-noise, providing clean and clear recordings
  • Simple plug-and-play setup and operation
  • Durable and portable design, making it travel-friendly

Cons:

  • Pricier than some other external microphone options for the iPhone
  • Lacks multiple polar pattern options, which limits its versatility in certain recording situations

Price

The Apogee MiC Plus is a premium option, typically priced at the higher end for mobile microphones. However, its price reflects the professional-grade audio quality and build. It’s an investment for those serious about their audio recordings on the iPhone 11.

In my opinion, the Apogee MiC Plus stands out for creators looking to produce content with outstanding audio fidelity. It bridges the gap between portability and professional recording, making it an excellent choice for anyone aiming to up their audio game without lugging around heavy equipment. The premium price is justified by its performance and the notable difference it makes in recording quality. It may be overkill for casual users, but for pros who need the best, the MiC Plus is a top contender.

Boya BY-M1 Lavalier Microphone

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If you’re in the market for an external microphone that offers versatility and consistent audio performance, the Boya BY-M1 could be just the ticket for your iPhone 11. This small yet mighty lavalier microphone, often called a ‘lapel mic’, is designed to provide clear, crisp sound for a variety of content creation needs, such as vlogging, interviews, and even podcasting on the go.

What I appreciate about the Boya BY-M1 is its no-frills approach to sound capture. Upon testing, I found that it significantly improved audio quality over the built-in iPhone mic, especially in scenarios where you’re aiming to record speech – the spoken word comes through with a presence and clarity that’s immediately noticeable. Additionally, the omni-directional pickup pattern means it grabs sound from all around, which can be a boon in dynamic recording environments.

Specs:

  • Polar Pattern: Omni-directional
  • Frequency Response: 65Hz-18kHz
  • Signal/Noise: 74dB SPL
  • Cable length: 6 meters (20ft)

Pros:

  • The length of the cable is generous, offering ample room to move around when tethered to your device. This is particularly beneficial when doing interviews or if you need to step away from the camera.
  • It comes with a lav clip and windscreen out of the box, which are invaluable for reducing handling noise and minimizing wind interference when shooting outdoors.
  • Having a battery-powered option is a plus, boosting the signal when necessary and ensuring compatibility with a vast array of devices, not just your iPhone.
  • The price to performance ratio is impressive, providing a budget-friendly option without sacrificing significant quality.

Cons:

  • The omni-directional pattern may pick up unwanted ambient noise if you’re not careful with your recording environment.
  • The build quality doesn’t scream ‘premium’, but that’s to be expected at this price point, and the unit is by no means fragile.
  • You’ll need an adapter (not included) to plug into the iPhone 11 since it doesn’t have a headphone jack.

Price:
Coming in at around $20, the Boya BY-M1 is an absolute steal for the quality it offers. Beginners and pros alike will find this mic a worthy addition to their audio kit, particularly if they’re operating on a tight budget.

In closing, the Boya BY-M1 Lavalier Microphone is a fantastic entry-level option that punches well above its weight in terms of audio clarity, ease of use, and overall versatility. While it may not have the bells and whistles of high-end mics, it gets the job done, and for iPhone 11 users looking to boost their audio game, it’s a very sensible choice.

Saramonic SmartMic Mini Condenser Flexible Microphone

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The Saramonic SmartMic Mini is a game-changer for iPhone 11 users in search of enhanced audio quality without the bulk of traditional microphones. This sleek, compact condenser mic effortlessly plugs into the iPhone’s Lightning port, boasting a flexibility that allows you to position it for optimal sound capture. My experience with the SmartMic Mini has been exceptional – it’s impressively unobtrusive, making it a perfect companion for on-the-go vlogging or impromptu interviews. The sound quality it delivers is a significant upgrade from the built-in iPhone microphone, presenting a clear and focused capture of the subject’s voice while reducing background noise.

Specs:

  • Type: Mini Condenser Microphone
  • Connector: Lightning Connector
  • Directionality: Directional
  • Frequency Response: 35Hz to 18kHz
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 75dB SPL

Pros:

  • Its tiny size and plug-and-play design mean you can record high-quality audio wherever you go, without the need for bulky equipment or additional power sources.
  • The directional pattern is great for focusing on your subject’s speech and reducing ambient noise, which is especially beneficial in noisy environments.
  • The flexible design allows you to angle the microphone for better sound capture, which I’ve found to be handy when looking to improve audio quality without repositioning the whole setup.

Cons:

  • The sound capture, although superior to the iPhone’s built-in mic, may not compete with more professional setups, which could be a limitation for those needing high-end audio recording capabilities.
  • The build, while compact, may feel a bit fragile, raising concerns about its durability over time, especially with frequent use.
  • It does not come with a headphone jack for audio monitoring, so you’d need to rely on the iPhone’s own monitoring capabilities, which isn’t ideal for real-time feedback.

Price:

Based on my observation, the price point for the Saramonic SmartMic Mini is quite competitive, falling under the affordable category for most users. This makes it an accessible piece of equipment for amateur filmmakers, podcasters, or content creators who are conscious of their budget yet determined to get a sound quality that’s several steps up from the baseline.

In summary, the Saramonic SmartMic Mini is an excellent choice for iPhone 11 users looking for an affordable, portable, and fairly high-quality audio solution for their mobile recording needs. It’s a straightforward and user-friendly device ideal for capturing better sound on the go.

Conclusion

In conclusion, selecting the right external microphone for your iPhone 11 greatly enhances your audio recording quality, whether for podcasts, music, or vlogging. The key factors to consider when choosing are audio fidelity, compatibility, purpose, and portability. Each microphone mentioned in our list offers a unique set of features catering to different needs and budgets. Now that you’re equipped with this knowledge, you can make an informed decision to ensure that your recordings are crisp and clear, bringing your content to the next level.

FAQs

Q1: Do all external microphones work with the iPhone 11?
A1: Not all external microphones are compatible with the iPhone 11. Always check for Lightning connector compatibility or ensure you have the appropriate adapter, like the Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter.

Q2: What should I consider when buying an external microphone for my iPhone 11?
A2: Consider the primary use (interviews, music, etc.), connectivity (Lightning, Bluetooth, or 3.5mm jack), portability, battery life, and the inclusion of additional features like directional sound recording.

Q3: Do I need any additional software to use an external microphone with my iPhone 11?
A3: Most external microphones work with the native Camera app and other recording apps on iPhone 11. However, some mics might require their own apps or offer enhanced functionality with specific software.

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John Doe

John Doe

I am John, a tech enthusiast with a knack for breaking down complex camera, audio, and video technology. My expertise extends to social media and electronic gadgets, and I thrive on making the latest tech trends understandable and exciting for everyone. Sharing my knowledge through engaging content, I aim to connect with fellow tech lovers and novices alike, bringing the fascinating world of technology to life.

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