External Microphones for the iPhone XR

The iPhone XR takes incredible video and that’s the reason why I chose it as a smartphone. I needed a new phone and I also needed a new video camera so it seemed like a no-brainer. The video quality hasn’t disappointed me at all but for outdoor recordings, on windy days, the built-in mics on the XR produces quite a bit of distortion, as would be expected. So I went on a search for a good external mic for the iPhone XR. The mics below also work for any iPhone using a lightning connector.

I came across two on Amazon. Both use lightning connectors so no adaptors are needed. The less expensive options require adapters and I figured that would be just one more item to keep track of when I’m recording outdoors. I just wanted something to plug directly into the phone and begin recording using the camera.

The first one I found was a standard lavalier mic with a cord. It features an omnidirectional clip-on mic, a lightning connector for iOS devices, and a 20′ long cord. It is the MOVO LV1-DI digital lavalier microphone that can be used with iPhones, iPads, and other compatible Apple devices.

As opposed to other lavalier mics I’ve used with a camcorder, this one doesn’t require a battery. Instead it is powered by the phone which is convenient. It comes with a hardshell case to store the mic.

MOVO LV1-D1 Specs:

  • Audio Output Connector: Apple MFI certified Lightning connector
  • 24 bit/48 kHz digital connection
  • Lightning connector for iOS devices
  • 6 m (20′) long cable
  • AD Conversion: Multibit DeltaSigma
  • Pick-up Pattern: Omni-Directional
  • Frequency Response: 30 Hz-20KHz
  • Sensitivity: -42+/-3D8 (@1KHz, 0dB=1v/Pa)
  • Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz / 48 kHz
  • Bitrate: 16bit/24bit

The other external mic I found is the BOYA BY-DM200 digital condenser stereo microphone. This seemed like the ideal solution for my needs, since most recording I do is outdoors when I’m on trails. I didn’t want to have to deal with a cord.

The mic can be pointed in either direction – at me to record my voice or away to record whatever I’m looking at.

It also comes with two windshields, a standard foam shield, and what is called a ‘dead cat” wind shield which is just a fury cover over the mic to greatly reduce wind noise. It is also powered by the phone, so there’s no need for extra batteries.

Specs:

  • Audio Output Connector: Apple MFI certified Lightning connector
  • AD Conversion: Multibit DeltaSigma
  • Pick Up Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 25-20KHz
  • Sensitivity: -38+/-3dB (@1KHz, 0dB=1v/Pa)
  • Signal to noise ratio: 80 dB
  • Dimension: 67x38x38mm

The video below is a sound test of both mics and I was happy with the sound quality of both. I think the lavalier mic had a richer sound but the BOYA didn’t disappoint me. I’ll likely be enhancing the sound quality in Final Cut Pro for videos I plan to edit but for those I plan to share directly to YouTube the sound quality is sufficient.

I definitely found the BOYA much more convenient and practical to use on the trail. When I wasn’t using it, I could easily fit it into a pocket. The corded lavalier is more ideal for tripod usage. For instance, if you plan to make a presentation in front of the camera and will be standing more than a few feet away from your phone than a lavalier makes more sense.

One thing that I was concerned about with both is if they would still be able to pick up the nature sounds around me. I didn’t want a muffled sound but instead wanted to capture the birds and other nature sounds around me since pretty much all my videos are outdoors.

I’m happy to report that both did a good job at that. I think the MOVO lavalier did a little better but I did test the BOYA with the fury windscreen since it was such a windy day. Using the foam windscreen would filter out less background noise

I did the tests on a windy day and there is certainly a noticeable difference between the internal mic on the iPhone XR and both mics. But the proof is in the sound. Take a listen below.

View the BOYA BY-DM200 and the MOVO LV1-DI Lavalier on Amazon.