Zoom iQ6 X/Y Microphone for iOS devices
Zoom is a Japanese company known for producing excellent quality, durable microphones. Their H4n microphone is a quite popular model and it is widely used. The bad part about H4n model is that it is a completely independent device which needs to be connected to a PC to dump the recordings. The new Zoom iQ6 brings the same high quality audio recording capabilities to your iPhone and with a much smaller, lighter microphone.
The Zoom IQ6 XY stereo microphone is made from high quality material and can be used for podcasts, music recordings, and pretty much for all your audio recording needs. The iQ6 comes with a high quality 16 bit ADC with maximum sampling rate of 48 kHz which is more than enough for achieving studio quality sounds. The XY arrangement also allows for true stereo effect to be heard in your recordings. We have already reviewed a similar microphone in the past which came from RODE. The RODE iXY microphone has a similar design and specifications apart from the fact that it can record 24 bit audio at 96 kHz, which is indeed an overkill. The RODE iXY body design is also slightly different. The iXY microphone does not cover the entire width of the iPhone whereas the iQ6 is broader and covers almost the entire width.
iQ6 has many more features compared to the RODE’s iXY. There is a 3 LED level indicator on the body of iQ6 which allows quick-look level reading. There is a headphone jack allowing the user to monitor the sound being recorded. It is one big feature that many professionals would love to use. iQ6 is meant to be used with a Lightning connector device such as the iPhone or iPad. People like to use cases and covers which could block the microphone from being correctly connected. It has a removable spacer to achieve a snug fit.
Zoom North America VP Micah Eberman says that the iQ6 is basically an evolution from the iQ5 microphone. iQ5 was indeed an inferior microphone as compared to iQ6. The sampling rate was limited to 44 kHz and the maximum sound pressure level was maxed at 120 dB whereas the maximum sound pressure level is 130 dB on the iQ6, a pretty good improvement. The smooth rotating dial on the front of the mic is the one with which you can adjust the sound levels. The smooth rotation gives a feel of an analog dial.
The iOS application allows the user to record, edit and share it on soundcloud or send via email. The application is very well developed and easy to use. The app also allows you to adjust the volume levels if you do not want to touch the physical dial on the mic. Zoom recommends that you record your audio in linear PCM format for highest quality and AAC format when you are short on storage space. It also has the option for you to select threshold of sound above which it would trigger the recording process and once the sound level falls below the threshold, the recording stops. You also have the ability to apply EQ and reverb to the recorded audio.
The Zoom iQ6 X/Y microphone will be released in North America in this September at a price of $99.99 (£62). This product has already released in Japan few weeks ago and a lot of Japanese vendors are selling it online on eBay at an exorbitant price of $200 (£122). If you love microphones for IOS devices then you can also check out a previous article looking at a small selection of similar mics to the Zoom Iq6 here.