Why do you need to make iPhone audio better? After all, the iPhone makes it easy to take and edit videos. But that doesn’t mean that getting great audio is as simple as pointing and shooting. The microphone on newer iPhone models like the iPhone 13 isn’t too shabby at close distances. But when you’re trying to film in a crowded room or the great outdoors, it’s not quite enough. Here are some tips to avoid sub-par sound when shooting iPhone video, starting with great equipment like the RØDE Microphones VideoMic Me-L Microphone. If you’re looking to improve the audio when playing back your videos, consider one of the best Bluetooth speakers for iPhone.
- Best overall: RØDE Microphones VideoMic Me-L Microphone
- Most versatile: Zoom iQ6
- Best price: Movo PM10
- Best deluxe microphone: Shure MV88+ Video Kit with Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone
- Best presets: Shure MOTIV MV88 Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone
- Best pop screen: Facmogu Desktop Pop Shield
- Best for outdoors: Hisonic Microphone Windscreens
- Best portable sound booth: Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield – Black
- Best universal table stand: InnoGear Upgraded Adjustable Desktop Microphone Stand
Best overall: RØDE Microphones VideoMic Me-L Microphone
RØDE’s VideoMic Me-L is perfect for when you want to make iPhone audio better. It couldn’t be simpler; just plug it directly into your iPhone’s Lightning port and go. The microphone’s directionality reduces surrounding noises. Monitor your audio as you shoot and playback your video via headphones plugged into the 3.5mm jack. You also get a furry windshield to block wind sounds and a mic clip to secure the microphone.
- Plugs directly into Lightning port
- Comes with mic clip and windshield
- Has a headphone jack for live monitoring
- On the pricier side
Most versatile: Zoom iQ6
Record your surroundings effortlessly with this highly-rated, well-made microphone. This mic can adjust from 90 to 120 degrees, making it ideal for recording your surroundings in a variety of different weather conditions and environments. The stereo X/Y recording design enables you to capture a variety of sounds from several distances. Plus, the precise gain wheel lets you easily tweak and adjust your volume without having to unlock your phone and potentially mess up your recording. Use Zoom’s proprietary app to smoothly and professionally record your audio.
- Double mic design
- Adjustable microphone angles
Budget option: Movo PM10
If you want an affordable, portable, omni-directional microphone for your iPhone, then take a gander at the convenient Movo PM10. It can easily be clipped onto a variety of clothing or surfaces and comes with a portable travel case, windshield, and lapel clip. This highly portable and easy-to-use microphone needs to have a Lightning to headphone jack adapter to use it with newer iPhones. Once you have the microphone set up, you’ll be able to record some crystal clear vocals and sounds.
- Comes with windshield and lapel clip
- Cannot plug directly into Lightning port; needs an adaptor
Best deluxe microphone: Shure MV88+ Video Kit with Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone
If it fits into your budget, consider the outstanding Shure MV88+ Video Kit with Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone. Get excellent sound quality when you pop this mic into your iPhone’s Lightning port. Multiple stereo width and Polar pattern options give you ultimate flexibility.
It’s Apple MFi-certified and is fully compatible with the native iOS camera app, GarageBand, and much more. The kit that comes with this mic includes a Manfrotto® PIXI tripod, phone clamp, and mount, plus iOS and USB-C cables, so you’re always connected. The built-in headphone output lets you monitor your audio in real-time.
- Plugs into iPhone’s Lightning port
- Headphone jack for real-time audio monitoring
- Complete kit comes with everything you need
Best presets: Shure MOTIV MV88 Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone
Shure makes incredible microphones, and the MOTIV MV88 Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone is no exception. There are five Digital Signal Processing (DSP) preset modes: Speech, Singing, Flat, Acoustic Instrument, Loud, so you don’t need additional hardware or software to get the sound you want.
The EQ, compression, and limiting are automatically adjusted. The mic is Apple MFi-certified and plugs directly into your iPhone’s Lightning port. It has matched cardioid and bi-directional one-centimeter cartridges plus mid-side architecture for optimal audio. The mic adjusts 90 degrees, so you can point it where you need it.
- Plugs into iPhone’s Lightning port
- Five DSP preset modes (Speech, Singing, Flat, Acoustic Instrument, Loud)
- All-metal construction
Best pop screen: Facmogu Desktop Pop Shield
Having a reliable and convenient pop shield in your recording arsenal is a terrific idea, especially if you’re someone who wants to record interviews with your iPhone. The Facmogu Desktop Pop Shield is a tripod with a pop shield that you can insert your small microphone into. The shield can be adjusted 360 degrees and can bend to suit a variety of different microphones. It’s designed with a double layer of mesh for smoother recording capabilities.
- Portable and adjustable
- Easy to set up
- Will not hold larger microphones
Best for outdoors: Hisonic Microphone Windscreens
If you’re recording outside, the wind can be distracting and often ruin a recording. One thing that will keep your sound clear and free of distracting noises is a good windshield. Many microphones come with a windshield. But if yours doesn’t, or the windshield gets lost or deteriorates, you’ll need another one.
The Hisonic Microphone Windscreens come in a five-pack of colorful windshields that slip over the top of your portable microphone to keep your sound smooth and consistent. Using one of these will better protect your microphone while you’re recording and allow for cleaner, smoother sound in windy environments.
- One size
Best portable sound booth: Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield
In certain recording situations, you may find a sound booth to be helpful. Monoprice Microphone Isolation Shield has acoustic foam on the front and a vented metal plate back, and the dual clamp mount attaches to mic stands or booms up to 1.25 inches in diameter.
It has a standard 3/8-inch microphone threaded mount and includes a 3/8- to 5/8-inch thread adapter. All tools needed for assembly and mounting are included. Folding sides give you different angles to work with or can be folded all the way in for storage.
- Vented back prevents reflections within the arc of the shield
- Some users report quality issues
Best universal table stand: *InnoGear Upgraded Adjustable Desktop Microphone Stand *
Regardless of which microphone you have, if you need a tabletop stand with no bells or whistles, InnoGear has you covered. The weighted base won’t let your mic tip over, and the non-slip pads underneath prevent scratches. Rather than a snap-in clasp that can loosen over time, this one enables you to screw in your microphone. It comes with 3/8-inch female to 5/8-inch male screws for multi-purpose use. You can adjust the height from 10.6 to 15.4 inches.
- May not be stable enough for very heavy microphones
Once you pick out your microphone and want to start recording, there are a few tricks you can use that’ll make iPhone audio better and give you the sharpest recording possible.
If you’re recording outside, do your best to face away from the wind and keep your microphone protected. If you have to record in the middle of a field, a lav mic is always a terrific option because it hugs close to a person’s body for a clearer sound. Just be sure it isn’t too close to the person’s mouth.
Believe it or not, you can get terrific sound in a closet. Your clothing can act as a buffer and eliminate outside noises. There are plenty of YouTubers and podcasters who do this! Most importantly, try to keep your microphone as steady as possible. The more it moves and bounces around, the higher chance you have of getting spotty, broken sound.
Be sure to use the right tools for the job. While high-quality recording equipment can get expensive, you don’t need to buy a full setup for every conceivable situation at once. A solid microphone such as the RØDE Microphones VideoMic Me-L Microphone is a good place to start; then, you can see what accessories you need as you go.
Credits — the team that worked on this guide
Karen Freeman is a teacher, writer, social media person, and family woman. She loves to travel, play with tech stuff, drink coffee, discover amazing new restaurants, and experience new things.
Cella Lao Rousseau is a true crime enthusiast, bestselling horror author, lipstick collector, buzzkill, and Sicilian. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @hellorousseau