IK Multimedia has just released the new iRig MIC Cast (US$39.99), a tiny plug-in microphone for iOS devices that promises to make recording podcasts anywhere a reality.
The iRig MIC Cast is a little bit larger than a US quarter, with a gold-plated plug, an output port for monitoring recordings, and a two-position gain switch. I was initially concerned that the plug wouldn't work with the Apple Bumper for the iPhone 4/4S, but it plugged in easily and was ready to go in a snap.
IK Multimedia, the manufacturer of the iRig MIC Cast, offers free versions of two apps to anyone who buys the microphone -- iRig Recorder FREE and VocaLive FREE -- but the mic also works well with my favorite recording app, GarageBand.
The iRig MIC Cast comes with a small folding stand for your iPhone or iPod touch, perfect for doing hands-off recordings. Once you've started the recording, that's where the magic of this device is really apparent. It's an extremely unidirectional mic, so background noises tend to be masked by the voice being recorded. IK Multimedia notes that the iRig MIC Cast provides "an incredibly flat frequency response with zero tonal coloration", a fancy way of saying that it does a really good job of capturing voice recordings.
I found the iRig MIC Cast to be much better for making voice recordings than IK Multimedia's $59.99 iRig Mic, which I reviewed in March 2011. Here's a sample podcast recording done in one take with the iRig MIC Cast using Apple's GarageBand app for iOS:
While I wasn't impressed with the iRig Mic, I have no such qualms about the iRig MIC Cast. I can easily see recording and editing podcasts from my iPhone or iPad using this microphone. IK Multimedia has created the perfect pocket mic for making podcasts or other voice recordings on your iOS devices.
- Tiny and lightweight, easily pocketable
- Gain is adjustable for nearby and far away sources
- Earphone jack for monitoring your recording sessions
- Comes with free voice recording apps and a tabletop stand
- Affordably priced
- Very good sound quality
- Small size might make it easy easy to lose