How to connect iPhone external microphone? Four tips to help

Connecting an iPhone® external microphone can be a trouble to you if your mic has no Lightning or TRRS connector. Generally, a correct adapter can help solve the problem. In this article, we will give you the complete guide to achieving successful mic connection to your iPhone®, which includes:

  1. Identify the input sockets on iPhone®
  2. Decide which adapter is needed
  3. Some common connecting examples
  4. How to enable iphone® external microphone for video
  5. Related questions you may come across when using the microphone for your iPhone®.

Identify the microphone input sockets on iPhone®

Use External microphone for iPhone SYNCO P1LAccording to the models of your iPhone®, you have one or two audio ports to connect the external microphone.

  • For earlier iPhone®, from iPhone 5 to iPhone SE, either the headphone jack or the Lightning port can work as the audio input.
  • For iPhone 7 and above, only the Lightning port is available for connection.

The headphone jack has a dual function before iPhone 7. It has the ability to transmit audio into and out of your iPhone®. So you can use your earphones to listen to calls or your favorite music. You can make calls or capture sounds using the built-in microphone on your headphones. You could, of course, use an external phone microphone to record high-quality audio.

But first, a word of caution. You can't just plug any iPhone® external microphone with 3.5mm jack into an iPhone through the headphone jack.

The iPhone's headphone port accepts only 3.5mm TRRS jacks. The first issue is that certain microphones use a TRS connector rather than the TRRS jack supported by iPhones. As a result, trying to plug a TRS jack into a TRRS socket will not work. The electrical connections are just not compatible.

Telling these two jacks is simple. You can count the number of metal conducting parts on it. If it is 3, it should be TRS. And TRRS features four metal parts.

Table: Decide on iPhone® external microphone adapter needed for different connectors

You should be able to attach any microphone to any iPhone®, whether it has a 3.5mm TRRS or TRS jack, a Lightning connector, or even an XLR connector. All you need is One or more adapters, as well as an extension cable.

Check out the chart below to decide which adapter you'll need. Choose the row in the table where your microphone's connector type is listed in the first column. Then check for the sort of iPhone® socket you wish to connect to in the second column. The adapter (or series of adapters) you'll need is listed in the third column.

Microphone connector

Port on iPhone®

Adapter required

TRRS

Headphone

/

TRRS

Lightning

TRRS to Lightning

TRS

Headphone

TRS to TRRS

TRS

Lightning

TRS to TRRS + TRRS to Lightning

Lighting

Lightning

/

XLR

Headphone

XLR to TRS + TRS to TRRS

XLR

Lightning

XLR to TRS + TRS to TRRS + TRRS to Lightning

Examples of connecting apple iPhone® external microphone

Below we list the steps to connect the common types of iPhone® external microphone to your iPhone®’s headphone jack or Lightning port.

If you want to connect the mic to the headphone socket

  • 3.5mm TRS: Plug the TRS jack into a TRS to TRRS adapter, then plug the TRRS end into the headphone socket.
  • 3.5mm TRRS: For 3.5mm TRRS microphone, it is incredibly simple to connect it to the headphone port. All you need is to plug it directly into your iPhone®. Then you can start to record audio with iphone® external microphone.
  • XLR: The ways of connection depends on the types of adapter you choose. If you use the XLR to TRRS adapter, you can directly plug the TRRS end into your iPhone®. If you have an XLR to TRS adapter/cable in hand, a TRS to TRRS adapter is also needed to enable the successful connection.

If the mic connects to the Lightning port

  • 3.5mm TRS: Plug the TRS jack into a TRS to TRRS adapter, then plug the TRRS end into a TRRS to Lightning adapter. Then you can connect it to the charging port.
  • 3.5mm TRRS: Plug the microphone's TRRS jack into a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter first. Then plug it into the Lightning port.
  • XLR: This takes one more step compared to the connection to the headphone jack. Just follow the aforementioned steps and plug the TRRS end into the TRRS to Lightning adapter. Then you can connect the Lightning end to your phone.

Adjust iPhone® external microphone settings to ensure trouble-free recording

It is important to go to the settings and select your iPhone® external microphone as the default input device. This enables you to use it smoothly in filmmaking.

If your smartphone is iOS 10 or earlier, open Settings, go to General, select Accessibility, and then turn on the AssistiveTouch. Press the Home button to open the AssistiveTouch menu. Select Device and tap Microphone. And then you can choose the external microphone to work as the input device.

If it is iOS 11 or above on your phone, just swipe up from the bottom to open Control Center. Press the volume button until there is an orange bar. You can drag it left or right to adjust the settings.

FAQs

What is the best iPhone® external microphone for my video recording?

This depends on what you are going to film.

Are you going to shoot in noisy environments and need clear audio? Then an iPhone® external shotgun microphone could be ideal for you. It is able to capture the target sounds while blocking ambient background sounds.

If you plan to make vlogging and such like recordings that require free movement, using a wireless microphone for iPhone can be a good choice.

Besides the recording needs, you should also take audio quality, setup flexibility, and your budget into consideration.

Why my iPhone® external microphone still doesn’t work even if I follow the steps carefully?

Don't worry if you follow the steps for connecting an external microphone to an iPhone® and still have problems. Here are two aspects to check.

1. Check the connecting order of your mic and adapter.

When you connect your iPhone® and Lightning adapter before connecting the microphone, the latter might sometimes cause problems. Try doing it the opposite way around to see if the problem is solved.

2. Are you using the correct adapter? Did you buy them from an online marketplace for a low price and poor quality?

While these adapters are cheap, they may not always provide the sound quality you want. Make sure you can test them out by listening to music and capturing audio before you buy.

Note: Cover photo by newtech_2019