How To Connect Condenser Microphone To A Phone; 2 Easy Ways
There were times when I wanted to record videos using my phone, but my phone’s microphone wasn’t able to produce the kind of audio quality that I needed for my videos. So I decided to connect my condenser microphone to my iPhone to record the audio while shooting video with my phone’s camera. I am sure many of you have found yourself in such a situation and that’s why you have landed on this page.
So, how to connect a condenser mic to a phone?
A condenser mic can be connected to a phone either via TRRS headphone jack or via charging port using a USB-C cable for Android or a Lightning cable for iPhones. An XLR condenser mic can be connected to a smartphone using an XLR-USBC adapter for Android or an XLR-Lightning adapter for iPhones.
Depending upon the type of condenser mic (TRRS, USB, XLR) and the type of smartphone (Android / iPhone) you have, you may have to follow one of the few methods that I am going to discuss further in this article.
This article features links to products on Amazon that will help you to connect your condenser mic to your smartphone. Buying any product through those links will give me a commission (and help to support this blog) at no extra cost to you! So, thanks in advance.
Table of Contents
Connecting A Condenser Microphone To A Smartphone
As we know, the smartphones, just like computers, are digital devices and work with digital audio. Microphones produce analog signals that have to be converted to digital audio via an analog-to-digital converter in order to send information to a smartphone or a computer.
Smartphones come with built-in analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) or, alternatively, we can use special adapters that will help us to digitally connect our condenser microphone to our smartphone mostly via the phone’s very own charging port.
In this article, we are going to discuss 2 basic methods to connect a condenser mic to your smartphone:
- Connect via TRRS headphone jack.
- Connect via the smartphone’s charging port.
Depending upon the method you choose, you may or may not need the following accessories. I will explain each of the above methods in detail after the following section.
Accessories You’ll Need
Connect via TRRS headphone jack
- 3.5mm (1/8″) TRRS Microphone Splitter Cable (with 3 rings)
- Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter
In case you have an XLR condenser mic and you want to connect via TRRS headphone jack, you will need an XLR-TRRS adapter with phantom power supply option (Android) and Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter for iPhones.
Connect via the smartphone’s charging port.
Now let’s discuss each of the methods in detail and I will explain why do we need these accessories in order to properly connect your condenser mic to your phone.
Connect via TRRS Headphone Jack
The most obvious technique of connecting a condenser microphone is to use the jack on a smartphone.
The smartphone headphone jacks are typically designed as 3.5mm (1/8″) TRRS (Tip-Ring-Ring-Sleeve) female phone connections.
The TRRS connection is configured as below:
Tip: Audio (left)
Ring: Audio (right)
The four connections allow for a left and a right speaker as well as a microphone. In this case, all three of these circuits are completed by a common pathway.
So, if you want to connect a condenser mic to a smartphone headphone jack, you will need to use a 3.5mm (1/8″) TRRS male phone connector.
Although 3.5mm (1/8″) TS and TRS cables will physically fit into the smartphone’s jack, they will not work because the mic signal is carried on the “sleeve”. And in TS and TRS cables the S (sleeve) is configured as ground.
To convert a 1/8″ TS or TRS microphone connection to a 1/8″ TRRS connection, I’d recommend a microphone splitter cable, like this one from KINGTOP (Click here to check the price on Amazon).
Alternatively, you can use a TRRS condenser microphone that will eliminate the need of any adapters that are required in connecting a regular condenser mic to a smartphone via the headphone jack.
TRRS Condenser Microphone
TRRS microphones are designed to plug into and send audio through smartphone’s headphone jacks.
Saramonic SmartMic Condenser Microphone
The Saramonic SmartMic Condenser Microphone is small and lightweight, making it super-portable and easy to bring with you anywhere.
It uses a TRRS condenser microphone to pick up and record a wide range of sounds with a frequency response that is wider and significantly better than any built-in smartphone microphone.
It connects to your iPhone, iPad, or Android smartphone with a standard 3.5mm plug and allows you to record high-quality, professional-sounding audio with your existing phone.
If you have an XLR Condenser mic that you want to connect to your smartphone, you will need an XLR-TRRS Adapter with a phantom power supply.
The SmartRig II from Saramonic is an easy solution to connect any XLR condenser microphone or 6.3mm guitar to your iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.
As a high-quality microphone preamp, the SmartRig allows you to use professional stage microphones, 6.3mm guitar, or high-end studio microphones to create music with your iOS or Android devices.
All you have to do is – plug your condenser microphone into the standard XLR connector of SmartRig and connect it to your smartphone with the 3.5mm output cable.
It also has a gain control thumbwheel which is easy to set precise levels. Moreover, the processed sound can be monitored through a 3.5mm headphone out.
To connect it to your iPhone you will need an Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter.
Connect Via The Smartphone’s Charging Port
We also have microphones in the market that connect to a smartphone’s charging port through a USB-C cable.
To successfully connect to a smartphone’s charging port and begin transferring information, the microphone’s signal must be converted to digital audio. This is done via an Analog-to-Digital Converter which is generally located between the microphone’s capsule and the charging port connector.
Android phones have a USB-C charging port whereas iPhones have Lightning charging ports. Fortunately, there are microphones available in the marketplace which can connect to both.
Lightning Connection Microphones
Blue Spark Digital Lightning Condenser Mic
Blue Spark Digital Lightning is a studio condenser microphone that offers both USB and iPhone/iPad lightning connectivity. The microphone includes cables for each platform with a headphone jack for zero-latency real-time monitoring. With a full range of recording capabilities, Blue Spark Digital Lightning Mic turns your iPhone into a true mobile studio.
It’s a completely plug-and-play mic, with no drivers to install. Simply plug it into your iOS device running a recording app and you’re ready to go.
Shure MV88 iOS Condenser Microphone
Shure’s MV88 is a portable microphone for iOS devices. For a tiny, fairly priced mic, the MV88 is quite versatile, with multiple patterns and the ability to record as a stereo or a cardioid mono mic. There are also multiple ways to send and edit recordings. The MV88 is capable of making some excellent recordings, whether you’re taping a rock concert from the crowd, a string quartet in a small space, foley, vocals for a song, or interviews for a news story or podcast – all on your iPhone.
Comica STM-USB-C Condenser Microphone
Comica STM-USB Condenser Microphone for smartphones with USB C jack. Simply plug it into any available USB port, select it as your input in your software settings, and you’re ready to create your own audio.
The microphone comes with a stable tripod stand, which makes it very convenient when you are doing voiceovers or live streams. There is a gain control wheel on the microphone. You can dial the wheel to an appropriate position while recording.
VIMVIP USB-C Condenser Microphone
VIMVIP USB-C condenser Microphone comes with a 1.5 meters cable and 180°adjustable mic stand. The mic is compatible with USB-C charging port phones, PC, and tablets. The mic has a cardioid pickup pattern that captures the clear, smooth, and crisp sound in front of the microphone and distinguishes it from the background noise. The microphone has a solid sturdy metal construction and along with its stable tripod stand it is suitable for chatting, podcasting, gaming, voiceovers, and more.
XLR Adapters To Connect Condenser Mic To Phone
If you want to connect a professional XLR condenser microphone to your smartphone then depending on the charging port (USB-C or Lightning) you will need an XLR Adapter.
For Android Devices: XLR-USBC Adapter
With the XLR female connector, Saramonic UTC-XLR Microphone Connector allows you to connect a professional XLR microphone to USB-C devices. Although it does not provide or pass phantom power.
For iPhone: XLR-Lightning Adapter
The Saramonic LC-XLR 3 Pin XLR Microphone Plug to Lightning Connector allows you to connect your standard XLR (female) microphone connector to your Apple ios Devices. This connector cable also does not provide or pass phantom power.
Phantom Power Supply For Condenser Mic Connected To Phone
As we know that condenser microphones require phantom power to work, and if you want to use any of the above adapters whether it’s with your Android or iPhone, you will need to supply power to the condenser mic. This is where in-line phantom power supplies come into play.
Aokeo 48V Phantom Power Supply
The Aokeo 48V Phantom Power Supply provides reliable 48V phantom power for condenser microphones in a compact, durable enclosure. High-quality components and sturdy structure will ensure that the power supply can withstand the test and run under any circumstances.
All you have to do to power your condenser mic is connect your XLR to the PS input and your XLR-charger port adapter to the PS output, connecting the adapted end of the cable to your smartphone. This will efficiently power your microphone while it’s connected to your smartphone.
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