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How To Use a Professional XLR Microphone with a Smartphone or Mobile Device

Jan 20, 2022 | Content Marketing, Online Strategy, Podcast

Image with XLR microphone and smartphone

As a content creator who creates online videos or podcasts, it is really important to get good clean audio. You can argue that audio is more important than video, as even if your video quality is not that good, most people will overlook that if the audio quality is great.

Using a professional mic with an XLR connection is one way to get great audio, and in this blog post and podcast episode, I want to talk about a device that can specifically help you use these mics on the go with your mobile phone or other mobile devices.

You can either listen to the audio on the player below, watch the video, or just continue reading if you prefer.

Why use a professional mic on the go

No one wants to listen to audio that is poor quality as it can be annoying and off-putting. So if you want to record audio on a mobile device, it would be great to use a professional mic.

There are some advantages to recording your podcast or video on your smartphone.

  • You’re able to get high quality sound for your video or podcast without being tethered to a permanent studio setup
  • You can get more flexibility around when and where you can record, which means you get more content done.

How to connect a professional mic to your smartphone or other mobile devices

Most professional microphones are used in studios or on stage with a 3 pin connection called XLR. And on top of that, many of these mics require a power source in order for them to work. 

This power source is referred to as phantom power, which needs to also be delivered over the same XLR connection.

The problem is that mobile phones do not have this type of connection, therefore you can plug one of these mics directly into them.

So some sort of adapter needs to be used in order to get this type of connection on the go.

Luckily, there are adapters that you can use to overcome this by allowing you to connect XLR cables to a regular mic/headphone combo socket on a smartphone.

What I use to connect my professional XLR mics to my mobile phone.

I have several microphones that require an XLR connection and I regularly use a special adapter called the iRig PRE to make the connection to any of my mobile devices including my android phone, iPad, or even my MacBook. Because it works by connecting to the normal headphone and mic connection on these devices, in theory, it should work on any device with that type of socket.

The iRig PRE basically is a small battery-powered device that has an XLR female connection on one end where you plug in the professional microphone, and on the other end, it has a 3.5mm combo jack that fits into your phone.

It also has a power switch to provide phantom power to the mic (if needed), and a gain control to set the perfect volume level.

The newer version – iRig PRE 2

There’s also a newer version of the iRig PRE, called the iRig PRE 2 which provides some additional features and improvements. 

With the iRig PRE 2, you can actually monitor your audio directly on the device using headphones. This way, you can be sure that your audio sounds good while you’re recording. It also has some improvements with the gain control that allows you to be more precise with your adjustments.

I actually have a full video comparison between the iRig PRE 2 and the original iRig PRE where I go over things in more detail, so go ahead and check out that video. You can see that video below:

How to record using the iRig PRE or iRig PRE 2

To record using the iRig PRE or iRig PRE 2, all you have to do is plug it into your mobile device and it will show up as an external mic.

You need to then open up your favourite recording app, then select external mic as the source for your input and record as normal with the app. Most apps will already recognise that you have a mic plugged in and will use it as default instead of the internal mic.

This is how I use these devices to get excellent audio quality when recording on my Android, iOS devices, and my laptop.

Now of course there are other ways to record good quality on the go, but if you want to use an XLR mic, this is one of the best ways.

Hopefully, you found this helpful.

If you need any help with your content creation strategy, have a look through my website to see how I can help.

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