IK Multimedia iRig Mic Studio USB Microphone
The iRig Mic Studio is a large-diaphragm condenser USB mic which comes with free software including models of the Neumann U-87, Groove Tubes VELO-8, and AKG D20 mics for the VocaLive app. Other bundled software includes Cubasis LE, T-RackS CS Classic, and 25 credits for use in AmpliTube, T-RackS and SampleTank. More information on the included software is available from IK Multimedia.
It is very good for recording music as well as podcasting using an iPhone. Its compact size lends it well to any type of mobile recording.
With its high max SPL of 133dB you can record just about any source including electric guitar amps.
It comes with Lightning, USB and OTG cables. It also has a mic clamp for attaching to mic stands along with a table top mic stand.
The iRig Mic Studio is also the only mic in this guide that officially supports Android.
It comes with a headphone jack and you can control both the gain and the headphone levels. Note that several owners have reported that the headphone monitoring is only available if your recording software supports it (which most Digital Audio Workstations do) however this indicates that it is not providing zero latency monitoring although I also haven't seen any reports that this is causing problems for monitoring.
Update: IK Multimedia have confirmed with us that "The iRig Mic Studio does not offer direct monitoring" - "The monitoring is routed via your DAW or software, where you can set the buffer size"..
The LED on the front not only indicates it has power but it also lets you know if clipping occurs.
*These require a 30 pin cable which is sold separately.
- Type: Condenser
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
- Sampling Rate: Up to 48 kHz
- Bit Depth: 24 bits
- Maximum SPL: 133 dB
- Power Requirements: 5V USB
Many musicians report that this is a great mic for mobile recording - its portability has gained much praise.
Phil O'Keefe said in his Harmony Central expert review that "There are other high-quality microphones that work and play well with your mobile devices - Apogee's excellent MiC 96k comes to mind - but it's about $50 more expensive. The fact that the iRig Mic Studio compares well with it in many respects is high praise indeed."
In Performer Magazine Chris Devine said, "Sound quality is on par with what a “regular” (i.e. XLR connected cardioid condenser mic) mic in this price range can deliver".
There were no consistently reported complaints in customer reviews other than a few people being disappointed that it doesn't offer zero latency monitoring.
If you are already involved in the IK Multimedia software ecosystem then the bundled free software may help make this an attractive option for you, but even if you're not then this is still a good value microphone.
The iRig Mic Studio is not currently on our highest rated list - you can see that in our guide to The Best USB Microphones for Recording & Podcasting.