RODE iXY mic review for iPhone/iPad
True Stereo recording, small form factor and flat frequency response. Professional quality audio at 24 bits/sample, 96kHz sample rate. Instant SoundCloud upload with iXY app, iXY app lets you edit the recording effectively.
May overload your iPhone processor and drain the battery faster. It will fill up your storage quickly unless you reduce the sample rate and bit rate and the app is not free
In the previous article we took a look at 4 best iOS mics for iPhone and iPad for your recording purpose. The default microphones on the iPhone or the iPad are ridiculously bad when it comes to recording your band rehearsals, or interviews. Do not forget that they can also be used to record bird calls out in the woods. Background noise is a major problem for all built in microphones. There is a constant hum and hiss in the audio that comes out of your default mic. Additionally, it can barely be called “stereo”. From the previous article, we saw that RODE iXY is the best microphone which gives great performance output and it is very much worth buying. Read further for RODE iXY mic review.
Build: The two microphones that come are perpendicular to each other. Being pointed in that way enables each mic to capture the L and R channels correctly giving real stereo audio recordings. The microphones are permanently aligned, that way although you can remove them by unscrewing from the bottom. The entire body is made from good quality metal and feels firm. The tiny case also helps you store the mic while travelling and protecting it from dust and weather.
RODE iXY comes in two versions, one has a 30 pin connector compatible with iPhone 4/4S and the other one has a lightning connector. The other noticeable thing between the two versions is the design. 30 pin connector design is a bit wider whereas the lightning connector version is bit narrow and smaller. The different size may have to do with the size of the connectors.
Audio: RODE iXY comes with custom Apple interface which definitely does not take in raw, analog audio as the input. All the processing takes place inside the microphone module. It has a 24 bit analog to digital converter running at 96kHz giving a professional quality audio digitization. The metal casing on the mic also helps keep the EMI (electromagnetic interference) away thereby reducing the hum.
To further enhance the functioning of the A/D converter, it comes with a pre-amplifier to take full advantage of the available dynamic range. Additionally, we also have software switchable 72 Hz high pass filter to remove low frequencies.
Frequency response: RODE iXY has a pretty flat response over the entire audio range although there is a slight bump at the higher end which is an inherent characteristic of the condenser mic caused due to the tiny gap between the condenser plates which form a resonant cavity. In spite of that, RODE iXY has tried to main the resonant peak under 6dB, which is a good thing.
The two microphones have a cardioid directivity pattern which means that they would reject all the sound coming from the back. The combined directivity plot looks more like a larger cardioid. For more technical details, please check the datasheet.
Additional accessory includes a wind shield, iXY paid app for £4 and a zip pouch to store your mic. You can record, edit and mark points on the audio recording with this app. It also lets you upload the audio to SoundCloud instantly.
The original cost of RODE iXY was around £175 which has now reduced to approximately £85. For this price, RODE iXY gives excellent, studio quality sound recordings right on your iPhone or iPad. Now you do not require to carry an additional recording device anywhere with you because of this. In addition to that, RODE iXY does not need any battery. It draws power from your iDevice. The 24 bit per sample at 96kHz can easily take up your storage space within few minutes of recording. The amount of data coming into your iOS device can be overwhelming and may cause your iPhone battery to drain faster. Make sure to turn OFF iPhone processing in the iXY app settings.
With all this said, RODE iXY is a must have device for those who are into audio recording or content making. You may not always have your bulky audio recording equipment with you and that is when you would appreciate having iXY in your pocket.
I've had the iXY for a couple of weeks now and used it mostly recording acoustic guitar/vocal beds, band rehearsals and song scratch ideas.
The sound is very good and when you use it with you dslr for audio, it's a life saver.
The x/y pattern is far better than a shotgun for ambient sounds.
You have to buy a $5 app to really use the microphone as a live recorder
- Acoustic Principle Pressure Gradient
- Active Electronics JFET impedance converter,
- 24bit 96kHz A/D conversion
- Polar Pattern Cardiod X/Y
- Frequency Range 20Hz ~ 20kHz
- Signal to noise Ratio 76 dBA SPL (as per IEC651)
- Equivalent Noise 17 dBA SPL (as per IEC651)
- Maximum SPL 139dB SPL
- Sensitivity -34 dB re 1V/Pa (19.7mV @ 94dB
- SPL) ± 2dB @ 1kHz
- Dynamic Range 122 dB SPL
- Power Requirements Powered from device
- Output Connection Apple lightning connector
- Weight 51g
- Dimension (W×L×H) 30mm x 40mm x 50mm