Disclosure: I received a complimentary iRig Mic Cast after attending CES.
As someone who tech-drives a number of mobile devices and accessories, it’s always hard to pick “the one” or “must have”. When I was at CES I stopped by many booths and learned a lot about accessories that were originally off my radar. One such accessory was an external microphone from IK Multimedia called the iRig Mic Cast. Often marketed to those who podcast, do mobile interviews, or record lectures, I, a mom recording her kid’s performances, wasn’t their target. But they thought it would be interesting to let me try it out so they sent me one and told me to have at it.
I have to tell you, you NEED to buy an iRig Mic Cast if you plan on recording a performance your son or daughter has in the upcoming performance season. Truly a plug and play device (or more like plug and record), at $40 retail it’s a bargain. Small enough to carry in a pocket, the microphone plugs in to the stereo jack (the one for your headphones) on your mobile device and delivers amazing audio results.
Over the years I’ve recorded BabyGirl’s violin performances on different devices always hoping the sound quality will be worthy of her performance. But no matter if she’s accompanied by a piano or not I end up recording more of the coughing and throat clearing around me than her terrific performances. Didn’t matter if it was a traditional camcorder, a digital camera, or a mobile device. She’s there giving her all but the recording was never “good enough”.
So, while I was tech-driving the Droid Ultra, which I was given by Verizon, BabyGirl had a Phoenix Youth Symphony performance. Every spring, 5 of the ensembles perform together for the Teacher Appreciation Concert. This year, to celebrate the Olympic Winter Games they performed Summon the Heroes. It’s a mass ensemble of about 150 kids and it’s pretty impressive. Most of the kids are from 5th – 8th grade, but they play at a professional level.
In the audience, ten-plus rows back I pull out my little Droid Ultra with the iRig Mic Cast attached and hit record. The results were phenomenal, to say the least. Sure, the kids were the hit. But the difference this tiny accessory made was amazing. CycleGuy also recorded the performance with our standard camera but it couldn’t really compare. Our camera takes amazing photos, but when it comes to the audio portion of performances it falls short like most standard digital cameras. Like most parents, though, one always records on the mobile device because it makes for easier sharing. Only, the microphones are often in weird places and get covered up or end up recording everything else around us and not much of the audio we’re hoping to get.
With a musical performance, it really is all about the audio. A dance recital with poor audio might still be a dance recital but most people either mute or not watch. Neither are good options. I was amazed at the quality of the recording I got from the iRig Mic Cast. At less than 2″ x 2″ it was easy to carry with me and not bulky or obtrusive. Don’t get me wrong, it’s obvious when it’s attached to the device. I had a number of people ask about it, but the proof was in the results.
Take a listen:
Now, tell me. Wasn’t that fantastic? Seriously, that was taken with my cell phone using the iRig Mic Cast external microphone. You’re thinking you need one of these, right? If you have Amazon Prime, you can have your own iRig Mic Cast in about 2 days! I’ve used it on iOS, Android, and Windows devices and the results have all been better than the phone alone or a separate digital camera. For under $40 (Amazon often has them for less!) you really can’t go wrong!
Disclosure: I received a complimentary product after attending CES. This article was not reviewed or edited by a third-party. All thoughts and opinions are mine. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.